Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bag Bait

A response to B. Nagel's "Wednesday" prompt in Flashy Fiction.

Holden heard sirens from the Park District when he got off at 51st Street. He searched for the sirens and that was when he saw the black purse tucked into the weeds growing behind the bus shelter. He would have ignored it, except out of the corner of his eye he saw green. Even then, he might've passed the purse if his rent hadn't been two days overdue. He told himself he was looking to see whose purse this was. He'd just take a small finder's fee.

Handfuls of cash. Handfuls and handfuls of cash. Sweat beaded on Holden's skin and he wasn't sure whether he shivered from the breeze or the two men who sauntered down the street towards him. There wasn't any ID in the purse and those men weren't purse carriers. Holden held the purse hidden on the side away from the men and hurried towards the alley. In the alley, Holden clutched the bag to his chest as he glanced over his shoulder at the bus stop. A hand fell on his shoulder, fingers crusted in dirt. "What have you brought me today?"

Holden turned to look at the man, the man was pale as puke except for a black bruise on his cheek and arms polka-dotted with scabs. Evidently, he was a little shaky when shooting up. "I didn't bring you anything," said Holden. He could take this creep.

"I wasn't talking to you." Holden choked on the stench of the man's breath. "She brought a nice young man. I hope you have brains. I could use brains."

The man's arm lurched upwards and struck Holden on the shoulder. The blow threw him against a brick wall. His shoulder stung where the man's hand had held him and he felt blood. He stood as his foot slipped on something wet on the pavement. The man lumbered towards him. Holden still had the purse. He backed away before sprinting for the man who blocked the way to his apartment. He passed him, but felt something trip his legs as he fell and scrambled against the ground. The man had Holden's jeans in his grasp. Holden cursed the man when he heard his jeans rip.

Holden thought the man muttered, "Keep her tight. She'll bring me to you." He shook his head, his imagination must be getting to him. He had to get home, this would pay off the rent. When he looked over his shoulder, the man limped in the alleyway and couldn't keep up.


  1. The images and action in this piece are compelling. I was reading fast, wanting more.

  2. Thanks. I'm working on lengthening favorites into short stories; if I lengthen this one I'll let you know.