Flash Fiction Challenge: No Stopping

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Mitch slowed as he approached the red light, but he could tell even from the corner of his eye that Eileen was shooting him a look that would peel paint.

Perfect. There’s Deputy Dunbar just parked up there in the lot ahead and looking right at me.

Except for all the points already against his license, Mitch might not have given it a second thought. Of course, not giving things a second thought had accounted for a lot of Mitch’s problems.

That’s sort of why he was driving Eileen to the hospital now…

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 Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

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.

Author: Administrators

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: No Stopping”

  1. Suddenly, the lights turned green. The brake pedal metamorphosed into the accelerator pedal as his foot switched from the brake and plunged on the gas. His mind turned black. The hospital, the license points, the deputy … his wife … the goddamn lights, life! Everything combined in his profusion of second thoughts, his brain infusion of second guessing every future possibility. When he woke up he had no idea of time, space or place. Through the haze and glaze of heavy eyelids he saw white and brown images floating left and right past his feeble efforts to focus.

    ‘Can you hear me?’ a female voice whispered.

    He mumbled, ‘mm … mm.’

    ‘Can aah speak to him now, ma’am?’ said another voice.

    ‘ I’m afraid not, Officer. He will be in recovery for at least two days. He’s not going anywhere in his condition, Officer!’

    Several more hours passed since his “awakening” and he was able to recognize items – the saline drip … the enamel hand basin to the left of his bed. ‘My God!’ he weakly exclaimed. ‘I’m in a hospital! Where’s my wife? Eileen … Eileen Eileeeen!’
    A nurse inserted a needle into his left arm and quickly his eyes closed and he drifted away into a morphine fantasy. Deputy Dunbar wrote on his yellow pad: ” suspect awoke at 13: 00 hours but we have been unable yet to formally charge him with careless driving causing death”.

  2. “Damn!”

    Mitch slammed his foot on the break, continuing to curse as the red light loomed rapidly closer. Eileen’s face twisted into an ugly snarl and her tone left no doubt of the contempt she felt for him.

    “Don’t you dare stop this car until we get to the hospital.” She shook her hand for emphasis, displaying the palm sized creature clamped on her upper arm.

    “Don’t worry,” he’d said when she delivered a package the postal carrier had given her by error. “It’s not dangerous.”

    Wrong. When Eileen came near it had sunk its teeth and tail into her arm. He’d found the monkey-like creature in the woods the day after the meteor fell and didn’t give a second thought about bringing it home. Now his spontaneity had destroyed any chance he had with his dream girl. That same quirk had put him on the wrong side of trouble for years. If it wasn’t for Deputy Dunbar glaring at him from the lot across the way he would have run the light without thinking, but one more infraction and he’d lose his license for good.

    Eileen opened her mouth and Mitch cringed, expecting another snarky complaint.

    “Hey, Tiger.”

    The words purred from her mouth, rich and husky. Her thick lashes fluttered, settling low across her eyes. Mitch saw the creature wink as Eileen kissed him long and hard. When the light turned, so did Mitch – right back home. That creature was staying right where it was.

  3. Mitch punched the gas and as he expected, the Christmas tree lights of Dunbar’s police cruiser appeared immediately in his rear view mirror. He slowed his vehicle, pulled over to the curb, and waited. Glancing over at Eileen, he saw that same icy stare of disapproval she always gave him – the same look that finally caused him to snap. He didn’t mean to hurt her, he just wanted to escape that judgmental scowl, that smug self-righteous opinionated smirk of superiority.

    Dunbar tapped on the window and Mitch pushed the control that lowered it.

    “Hi Mitch, you know you blew through a red light just now. Have you and Eileen been fighting again? You had anything to drink tonight, Mitch?”

    Mitch hated people who asked rhetorical questions. Eileen was just like that. Asking questions she damned well knew the answer to and just waited for a denial so she could pounce.

    “Where is Eileen, Mitch? Is she okay?”

    Again, with the judgments and attitude? Mitch glanced over to the passenger seat – it was empty. He looked Dunbar in the eye and told the simple truth, “The answers to your questions in order are: yes we have, no I haven’t, she’s in the trunk, and no she’s not okay.”

  4. Mitch eased the brake on, hoping the cop wouldn’t recognize his daughter’s car. If Dunbar happened to see what Mitch had done to Eileen he wouldn’t rest until Mitch was behind bars for something – anything. Eileen’s father had disapproved of their marriage from the very beginning; nobody was good enough for Daddy’s little girl.

    Mitch’s impulsiveness had led him to convince his wife to get her facelift done during their vacation in Mexico instead of waiting until they were back home in L.A. He could think of dozens of better ways to spend the money they saved.

    Things couldn’t have gone more wrong. The cut-rate Mexican surgeon had made a monster out of Eileen. Even when she wasn’t angry she looked as if she’d just eaten the rear end out of a skunk. The entire left side of her face was frozen in a permanent scowl while the right side was unnaturally high, the eyebrow pointing skyward as if she was perpetually surprised.

    The light changed and Mitch accelerated, silently congratulating himself for staying calm and cool in the face of potential disaster. Now to get Eileen to the hosp –

    Mitch had been so busy watching the patrol car in his rear view mirror that he had failed to notice the brake lights of the car ahead of him.

    He sighed as the red and blue lights of Dunbar’s car lit up and the cruiser sped toward the scene of the accident.

  5. Mitch had been with Eileen for ten years – five years longer than any previous relationship. Yes, he had been getting sick of her sarcasm, her smug replies to every argument, but he did not wish for her to be ill. He just wished she would leave him. He had done everything (short of murdering her) to make her get the point that he did not love her anymore. How could he truly love a woman who was incapable of having offspring?
    He even cheated on her numerous times and bragged about his infidelities during their heated arguments. Despite his best efforts, she kept declaring her undying love for him. After all, she had lost her virginity to him and, and according to her, God saw them as married. Turns out she did not care about his infidelities or anything else he had done. Mitch often wished he had not foolishly desired a virgin – he should have heeded his father’s warnings that virgins were trouble.
    Well, he would prove to her God did not exist. He ran the red light knowing full well the odds of them making it safely through the light were not good at this time of day. Too much traffic to run a red light safely. Unfortunately, they did not crash. Then Deputy Dunbar pulled them over and even offered to escort them to the hospital (at high speed) after Eileen’s impassioned plea. She did not want to die. She felt she was having a heart attack and who was Mitch, or even the officer, to argue. So Mitch followed the officer – going close to 140 km per hour in a 50 km zone.
    Miraculously they all made it to the emergency room of the hospital in one piece. Just Mitch’s dumb luck. Now he would have explaining to do. Once they found the arsenic in Eileen’s system he would be a suspect in her poisoning. Mitch knew he was screwed because his latest lover confessed to him earlier in the day that she had been poisoning Eileen. Yet, Mitch knew he would be the one to go to jail for years – not Heather.
    He should have killed Heather when he had the chance; just like the other thirty women he had affairs with. The only reason Heather had not disappeared by his hand was that she was pregnant and the baby was conceived on a satanic holiday. This meant the child would follow in his footsteps.
    Mitch followed Eileen and the officer into the emergency room. At this point, he realized life was good. He had a child on the way and if he was sent to jail, at least he would be free of Eileen and her God.

  6. Things had gotten grossly out of hand. Okay, that was an understatement, Mitch thought, glancing over at Eileen. She was sneering at him, or maybe it was at the pain.

    He should have known better. He’d never gotten away with anything his entire life. That’s why they were sitting at this red light instead of blasting through to get Eileen to the hospital. Deputy Dunbar would like nothing more than to take his license and impound his car. The situation was already bad enough.

    Mitch knew from watching too many cop shows on television what happens when someone with a gunshot wound is admitted for treatment at a hospital. The authorities are notified – and then there’s an investigation. A silent, defeated sigh slipped through his nostrils and his grip on the steering wheel tightened.

    Poor Eileen. He’d only been trying to make her life better. And now, instead, everything was falling apart.

    He looked over to her again. “Are you keeping pressure on it?”

    There was so much contempt on her face that she looked like she wanted to bite him. “Yes.”

    “I’m so sorry, Eileen.”

    She didn’t reply. She didn’t have to. In fact, Mitch was glad of it. He knew he’d screwed up big time. He wished Deputy Dunbar hadn’t been sitting there. He wished the gun had never gone off. He wished he’d never even gotten the idiotic idea to begin with. Who would have thought the bullet would go through her husband and into her? Who?

    The bastard never should have hit her. He got what was coming to him. Maybe the courts would sympathize. Maybe they would buy self-defense.

    Eileen moaned.

    “I’m sorry, baby,” Mitch said in response. “If we get pulled over, with my luck, Deputy Dunbar will open the trunk. How will we explain the dead guy?”

Comments are closed.