Back Again

She’d agreed to this assignment. Put retirement on hold for one more case to smoke out a mole. The honeypot. Dumb blonde stereotype. She still had the body for it, so she gave in to their persuasive pleas. And he’d fallen for it.

Now as he snored, she quietly rolled over, about to get up and finally walk out on this life. Until a cold blade chilled the back of her neck. No sounds except her gasp of shock. There are moments caught between heart-beats. Some see their whole life flash before their eyes. She saw only what could have been.

His hand tangled itself in her hair. Jerked her head back. One last look at that god-awful bare ceiling fixture. It looked different from this angle. More sinister than when she was lying on her back. The yellowed light flickered. Then sputtered out.

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Kim is hosting Prosery Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to use the line “There are moments caught between heart-beats” from Louis MacNeice’s poem Coda in a piece of flash fiction that can be up to or exactly 144 words. Back Again is 144 words. Photo from pixabay.com. 
YES! Even though dVerse is usually poetry….this is a prompt for flash fiction, using an exact line from a particular poem.

45 thoughts on “Back Again

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 17, 2020 / 3:01 pm

    Oh, what a chilling end… and what a great end to her employers… no retirements to be paid. Maybe they set her up simply to save some money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:42 pm

      Hah….somehow, unless she was able to get the name of this mole to her employees….before that cold blade crossed her neck….I don’t think they’d be happy to have her gone!

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Hah! I don’t believe I’ve ever thanked anyone for the “compliment” of the word “sleazy” — but yes, here it works! 🙂

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty February 22, 2020 / 5:00 pm

        I’m in two minds about whether sleazy is ever derogatory. It has its moments 🙂

        Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, Linda. Sometimes I don’t know how my mind or my pen slip over to the dark side!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:44 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, Sarah! 🙂

      Like

  2. kim881 February 17, 2020 / 3:14 pm

    Oh, my goodness, Lill, you’ve incorporated the line so well, I didn’t spot it at first! And this piece is so good! I want to know more about your blonde spy before she retired. I love the introduction of the sinister ‘god-awful bare ceiling fixture’ and the ending!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:44 pm

      Thanks, Kim. I’ve been reading some chilling mysteries lately….perhaps they were the impetus for this slip over to the dark side! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Victoria Stuart February 17, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    This is fabulous! Amazing what you can do with 144 words. I was completely invested in the story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      So glad you enjoyed, Victoria! I must say….I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of creating an entire plot in flash fiction. This one was fun to do….even though I slipped over to the dark side!

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:46 pm

      Always glad to send out some chill! 🙂

      Like

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus February 17, 2020 / 4:21 pm

    A crackerjack tale, spun passionately; excellent twist ending. I loved the attention to detail and the Mickey Spillane feel to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:46 pm

      Hah! Mickey Spillane feel….yup. 🙂 You got it!

      Like

  5. merrildsmith February 17, 2020 / 5:08 pm

    Fabulous, Lillian! You really wrote a wonderful story, a real spy caper feel to it. I love how you worked the line in, and the descriptive details.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:47 pm

      Thank you, Merril. I actually have always enjoyed writing flash fiction more than poetry. If I have to be hones! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gina February 17, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    chilling and provocative, a tasty piece of flash Lillian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:47 pm

      So glad you enjoyed, Gina. Somehow my mind and pen slipped over to the dark side for this one!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:48 pm

      Yup….I actually had moths flying near it but alas, they died out as words past 144! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Jahnke February 17, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    Yikes!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:48 pm

      Sometimes I have no idea how my mind and pen slip over to the dark side like they did with this piece of fiction! So glad to see you here, Nan! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      I do enjoy the genre of spy thriller….in the time when Marlene Dietrich could play this role! 🙂

      Like

      • jazzytower February 22, 2020 / 4:52 pm

        Ah, yes, Miss ” I can’t vant to be alone”….that was her, right?😊

        Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:50 pm

      Hah! It was to this blonde spy as well! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:50 pm

      Thanks, Donna. Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:51 pm

      …to her coffin, I’m afraid. Have no idea how or why my mind and pen roam sometimes over to the dark side. Sure did here….maybe a Marlene Dietrich type of role?

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:51 pm

      Yup….a bit different from my poetry, right???? 🙂

      Like

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:52 pm

      Oh….thank you so much, Carol! 🙂 Really appreciate your comment here. I had fun writing it…although sometimes I have no idea how my mind and pen wander over to the dark side.

      Like

  8. Reena Saxena February 19, 2020 / 3:16 am

    “Some see their whole life flash before their eyes. She saw only what could have been.”
    It lends a depth to the story, leaving a lot to imagination. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:53 pm

      Ah….I liked those two lines as well, Reena. So glad they struck you too. Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2020 / 4:53 pm

      Ooooh…..glad to hand out goosebumps! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

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