When bullets fly

I haven’t wrote flash fiction in forever. The urge hit tonight, and I decided to play around with words and also write something without real dialogue. I do bend that rule a bit here. And also, don’t worry because I also wrote some on In my Dreams.

When bullets fly

She didn’t see the bullet coming, but even if she had she wouldn’t have moved out of the way. She’d been waiting on that bullet for years.

As she went out to the car that morning, the lightning in the steel sky might have appeared as a sign to the superstitious, which she was. But she felt a strange lift in her chest and smiled. It wasn’t a happy or good smile. More like grinning as you go down in flames. You know that saying that lightning only strikes once? That’s only partly true. It strikes once with the really good stuff, but it hits the shit out of you with the bad.

As she watched the electricity branch across the sky at the stop of 23rd and Polk, a Chevy truck slammed into her rear bumper. After the jolt, she pushed open her door and rose shakily from the driver’s seat to address the other driver…a six foot five construction worker with a buzz cut who reeked of cigarette smoke. Of course he didn’t have insurance or the patience to stay and discuss it.

So maybe the lightning was a sign? Maybe she needed to go home and go back to bed. Some days just aren’t made for getting ahead.

But she didn’t.

She instead went to work to be greeted by the boss by the front door. Oddly, he wore a tie, and escorted her to his office to let her go.

Home and bed would have been the right course of action after that, except that the door was open at Johnnie’s Bar. Johnnie himself was inside finishing a meeting when she walked in. Normally they’d smile at each other. Today he took a look at her and poured a shot of bourbon. Luckily she downed it before the two men walked in shouting. And maybe more luckily, she downed Johnnie’s just as the bullets flew.

It was the strangest sensation past her ear. The spot of heat. The rush of wind. The following caress. And then the sound. The other sounds were far away, down a canyon as she stood still, glass in hand, turned toward the door and staring blankly. Both men wore black leather jackets. One tall, skinny and bald. The other shorter, round and lost in a hairy goatee. Silence rang loudly. Questions floated in the smoke. Mainly, why didn’t she move? They glanced at each other and backed up out the door. Seconds later, Johnnie peeked up from behind the bar. Jesus. What was she doing standing there? Was she hit?

When she finally did turn toward him, the light from the still open door illuminated a puff of hair floating like dust.

Johnnie kept those strands for good luck. She’s not sure if she’d call it luck, but she learned you can’t back down when the bullets fly.

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