Flash Fiction is — loosely defined — a short-short story of approx. 500-700 words. If you’re reading this, you know me well enough to know how HARD it would be for me to narrow a story down to that scale. I’ll have you know I did this one in 555 words. I love an even number…
Later it would seem to Lucy that her gasp and the knock at the door that woke her happened simultaneously. She turned quickly in the bed toward Sean. His arm was thrown over his head, his black hair, worn longer than he liked because it pleased her, was tousled. He stirred at her movement in the bed and his vibrant blue eyes opened sleepily, widening quickly when he saw her.
Lucy shook her head.
There was another knock at the door and Sean started up, Lucy grabbing quickly at his arm, stopping him.
“Don’t go. You know it could only mean one thing this time of night.”
Sean watched her, understanding in his eyes, and settled back in the bed. He was so beautiful. She lay back on her pillow as he propped up on an elbow and eyed her with the same satisfaction. She’d fallen in love with him on their first date, a walk along a pier that ended with him accidently in the water and her practically choking from holding back the laughter. Such a klutz.
But not on the job. She’d had occasion to see him in action, albeit off-duty action once, a chilling moment – a thief who chose the wrong time to rob a convenience store, Lucy’s off-duty cop happening by at the second of his hasty exit, gun still in hand. What happened next – sweeping her behind him, the gun out, the stance… it was poetry. She fell harder in love with him day by day.
The knock at the door came again. Sean barely flinched this time.
“What shall we do today?”
Lucy smiled. “Plant those flowers?” He hated that.
“Why don’t you stay right here and I’ll watch you all day.”
They’d done that once – stayed in bed all day, telling every childhood story they could remember. Then she read him poetry while he wept and he read to her from the latest thriller he was devouring until she pulled the covers over her head, begging him to stop.
She smiled with the memory, puzzled at the sudden look of concern in his eyes.
“Why are you crying?”
Was she? She reached up and felt the moisture on her cheek. Looking up at him, she smiled again.
“Because I’m happy. You’re just so… We’re just so… perfect.”
Sean leaned down and kissed the tip of her nose. “You’re the Wilma to my Fred,” he said. An old joke.
“You’re the Archie to my Edith,” she countered, her eyes sparkling.
“Don’t care much for that one,” he said, grinning.
“Okay, how about you’re the Tarzan to my Jane?”
“Mm.” His eyes were soft.
The knocking at the door sounded again. Lucy closed her eyes. Sean started to get up.
“No,” Lucy said, pulling him down. She threw the cover over him and kissed his jaw line, right below his ear, inhaling deeply the musky scent of him. “No,” she repeated, “I’ll get it. Every cop’s wife knows it could only be one thing this time of night.”
Lucy stood, pulling her robe up and around her, sighing deeply, afraid to go forward, afraid to turn back. Taking a shuddering breath, she glanced back over her shoulder, her heart catching at the sight of the empty bed. Then she squared her shoulders and walked toward the door.