Flash Fiction Challenge: Witness Prevention Program

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Millie heard the shots and had gone to the window in time to see the two thugs standing over the lifeless body of their victim.

One of them had looked right at Millie. He smiled maliciously at her and raised a finger to his lips, as if to tell her to be silent.

The other man turned and saw her frozen with fear there in the window.

The two men exchanged some words. The smiling man dragged the body into the alley. The other man crossed the street, headed for Millie’s apartment building. She knew what that meant. Time was short.

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Witness Prevention Program”

  1. This was inconvenient to say the least. Half the fun was in tracking, planing, and setting up a kill room. Not to mention that she had never entertained two guests on the same evening. Well fate had dropped these two into her lap and when opportunity knocks…

    Millie quickly drew up two syringes, put on latex gloves, killed the lights in the room and waited next to her unlocked door. She had named them “The Prince and the Frog” based on their respective reactions to discovering they had been seen. The Prince entered the room first, Millie waited for Froggy to cross the threshold before emptying the contents of one syringe into his neck. She lowered his limp body to the floor silently then repeated the procedure on Prince Charming who she simply let fall to the floor with a thud.

    She had only a couple of hours before they would awaken and a lot of prep work to do. Her bedroom would have to be the place to host her guests this evening and the bathroom would be set up as a parts distribution center. Lots of clear plastic wrap would be needed, fortunately she kept a huge inventory. Time to get the ice chests out of the closet! Once Charming and Froggy were parted out they could easily bring in over three thousand dollars. That’s business for you.

  2. Millie heard the pumph, pumph of muffled shots. From the window on the second floor, she saw two thugs dressed in black, bent over the body.
    One looked up at Millie and placed a forefinger over the twisted grin on his lips. His accomplice followed his gaze and nodded. After they exchanged a few words Smiley dragged the corpse into the alley. The second killer crossed the street headed toward Millie’s apartment building.
    She had to move fast. Timing was the key. Millie grabbed her purse from the bedroom closet with trembling hands. She ran to the door and caught a glimpse of bruised, pale face in the mirror. Hurry.
    She yanked the door to the hallway open and crashed into the hood in a black jacket, tee shirt, and jeans. Their eyes met. He snatched the package from Millie’s hand, looked at the bills inside, nodded, and raced for the stairs.
    Millie closed the door and smiled, strolled to the bar, poured a drink and lifted it to the ceiling. “Burn in hell, Johnny, you’ll never beat up another woman.”

  3. Time was really short. The man was coming quickly. Millie needed to get out of her ex-husband Dan’s apartment as quickly as possible but Dan wanted to continue arguing over custody issues of their two children. He knew he would eventually make her see things his way. He always did. Good thing the kids were happily visiting Grandma’s house, oblivious to the continuing animosity between their parents.

    Millie screamed at Dan, “We have to leave now!” but Dan grabbed her arm and punched her instead. At this point she became furious and stated coldly, “Fine. I’m leaving without you. That is the first and last time you will ever hit me. I will tell the kids you love them.”

    While Dan stood there in shock from her ultimatum, she scurried out of the apartment and went down the stairs to the parking garage and quickly drove away.

    The next day, she read about the murder in the other building but the coverage of the brutal murder of Dan was more satisfying. She even felt safe. After all, she had short hair the same colour as Dan’s and a similar build. “Karma is sweet,” she realized.

  4. Her roommate Theodora grabbed Millie’s wrist and yanked her back from the window. “Did they see you?”
    “Some neighborhood.”
    Millie jerked her wrist away. “No time for that.”
    “With our luck, they’ll both come for us.”
    “Get moving, Theo.”
    Theodora ran to the apartment door and put her ear to it. “He’s downstairs.”
    “The back bedroom is the only other way in or out.”
    “We’ll barricade the bedroom door.”
    Millie ran across the living room to the back hallway. The runner rug slipped, and she flung her arms up to keep from falling. Millie banged her hip into the wall. She all but collapsed from the pain.
    “Get moving, girl. He’s at the top of the stairs.” Theodora dashed to Millie, yanked her upright, and hissed. “Go, you twit.”
    Theodora flung Millie’s arm over her shoulder and all but dragged her to the end of the hallway. Her roommate kicked open the bedroom door, shoved Millie ahead of her, and slammed it shut. Theodora turned the thumb lock. They retreated to the far corner, then cowered.
    Both men came. One blasted away the locks on the apartment and bedroom doors, the other busted the window to the fire escape and crawled in.
    “Hello, ladies,” the blond man said. “Do you know what time it is?”
    Enough of cowering. Millie stood and tugged her blouse straight. “Yes. It’s dinnertime.”
    She and Theo bared their vampire fangs, flew to the men, and feasted. Some neighborhood, indeed. Dinner delivery to their door.

  5. Millie stood at her brightly-lit window watching the shadows below after she heard the muffled shots. Though she was slightly hidden behind the thick, dark curtain, it wasn’t enough; they had seen her. When one man gestured for her to keep quiet, she got a good look at his face—the face of a licentious man she hated and feared.

    Damned if she was going to cower like she did all those years ago married to that man who beat her most of the time just because he felt like it, plastered or not. She had been an insignificant person to him then, except when he wanted to hit on her. Millie didn’t know she could walk away from her marriage and tormentor. But enough had been enough, and after twenty years, she had finally stopped being his doormat and punching bag.

    The jury had declared it was self-defense, and the town felt that what he received was justified, but after seeing that man’s face, it was clear she was in grave danger again. After the dust had settled around Millie having gotten rid of the lecherous man, she had purchased much needed protection. She refused to let men like him, and fear, assault her life again.

    Millie walked to her bedroom, grabbed her loaded .38 pistol out of her nightstand drawer and her loaded rifle beside her bed. She sat in her chair facing the door and waited. Double jeopardy—she couldn’t be tried for his death again.

  6. Millie was just beginning to believe it was all going to turn out fine, she’d live after all.

    How the hell had she managed to get mixed up with that lunatic anyway, and then marrying him… how gullible was she! Oh well, tomorrow she would be escorted into the Federal Court, give her evidence and be whisked away to begin her new life, in another state, with a new name; while Hal would be spending the first day of his life sentence in the Federal penitentiary. Perfect, she thought, and she smiled. That’s when she heard the muffled, ‘Bumphh!… Bumphh!’ Without thinking, she was at the window looking down at the two figures silhouetted by the streetlight, standing over the lifeless form of Special Agent Ryjle Jones.

    “Oh my God… Agent Smith!”

    “Way ahead of you…” he said, dragging her from the window. “I need backup asap!… Jonesy’s down,” he was saying into his cell phone while peering through the peephole into the hallway. Exchanging the phone for an automatic pistol, opening the door, he ran for the service stairs, pulling Millie after him, but as they reached the door it opened, their path suddenly barred by two gunmen. A cacophony of small arms fire rent the air.

    One more Federal Agent, one would-be assassin and one murdering, vindictive, SOB of a former husband were dead. Millie, deafened by the proximity of the fire-fight and coughing from the cordite, was fine, she’d live after all.

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