creative writing contests.  your imagination.  PUBLISHED!

 
2016 valentine flash fiction contest | THIRD PLACE WINNER 

CLICK:  CAPTURE AND RELEASE  
by Katherine Menon 


 

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William had awoken that morning with the strangest sense that his plans for the evening would go off without a hitch. It wasn’t that he hadn’t planned. Oh, he had planned. He lay there in bed smiling and thinking about the dry run. He wanted everything to be perfect for his date. Sierra was a special woman. And it was going to be a beautiful day for a picnic in the woods.

            Click. "Oh, yes. That is beautiful. Probably enough for today," he heard her mumble to herself. As she turned to head back to the trail, a twig snapped behind her: click. She spun, camera ready, maybe thinking it were a doe. Click. She checked the digital screen.     "Hmmm..." The forest was dense and warm, green and patient. She gently pushed at low branches and stepped over felled limbs and roots unconsciously. Her attention focused on the camera and the images she had captured, she made her way through the thick of it. She stumbled a bit here and there but let herself be guided by the shape of the natural way. As undergrowth gave way to sparser trees and ground cover, she abruptly stopped.

            She looked up from the screen, head turning back and forth. She lined up the image with the place she had just been. Her head cocked to the side. She turned slowly and walked in the direction of the trail and toward the gravel parking lot. When she caught sight of the trail, she let the camera drop. It caught mid-chest on the strap around her neck and swung as she moved a little more quickly.

            This was idyllic: alone in the state park, nothing but the cover of green and her. Click. That small grin; she looks satisfied. Where is she going? Deeper? His smile broadened, and his breath caught in his throat. His eyes on her form as she slowly adjusted this way and that. Click.
            She bent to pick up a twig, held the twig at arm’s length, and aimed the camera. Click. She was focused, her dark, blue-green eyes scanning. As am I, dear. He adjusted. Click. Stepped on a rotten branch. Her head turned, followed by her thick body. Her smile! Click. She was looking right at him but couldn't see. Her eyes went dark, sad. A pout formed on those small cupid's bow lips. He followed close behind as she made her way to the clearing. Finally done, love? She stooped and stepped, finding her way with agile limbs. He could have watched her move all day. But, then, she stopped. Her shoulders went rigid, no breathing, so still...like a deer in headlights as the saying goes.

            All of a sudden, she bolted! He watched for a moment, smiling. This is going to be even more fun. Silly girl. He made his way slowly around to the other side of the trail, taking the long way. These were his woods. He knew just where she would come out. "Ugh," she grunted as she stumbled. Her voice echoed off the wall of stone just beyond the lot. He waited--his heart racing, his mind clear and focused. His fingers fiddled with the pre-knotted rope in his pocket. Click. The buckle of the cuffs tapped together. What a sensuous sound. His mouth watered, longing for the taste of her eventual submission.

            She was on the trail and moving faster now. Her eyes darted, alert to the shapes of the forest. She pumped her arms and legs; her feet skittered on gravel as she turned to align herself...straight to the car! Click. The doors unlocked, the key fob dangling from her shaking fingers. Gravel crunched behind her. Her hand was on the door.

            “Hey, miss. Miss, you dropped you camera bag!” he smiled as he approached her slowly.

            “Oh, oh my goodness. Phew! I was a little freaked out. You should have said something earlier. You scared me,” she replied.

            “So sorry. Here, let me help you with that.” He walked around and opened the trunk, placing the camera bag in gently. She followed and put the camera down.

            “Well, thank you.”

            “The pleasure is all mine, or at least it will be.” His smile grew dark. Click. He fondled the handcuffs in his coat pocket.

            “Um…well, it is getting dark. I better go.”

            “So soon. We’ve just met.”

            “Haha. As someone once said, ‘parting is such sweet sorrow,’” she said, emphasizing the quote slightly.

            She tried to close the trunk, but William took her wrist in his hand. “It’s pretty roomy in there. Wanna try it out?”

            Suddenly, the sounds of several booted feet came echoing up from the path entrance. “FEDERAL AGENTS!! DOWN ON THE GROUND! Five very gruff-looking individuals in body armor and carrying assault rifles surrounded them. One man grabbed William by the back of the neck and forced him to his knees.

            “W-w-what’s going on??” William stuttered.

            “William Jessup, you are under arrest for the abduction and murder Alyssa Jones, Bethany Summerset, and Gary Franklin! Good work, Agent Johnson.”

Sierra nodded. “Thank you, sir.”

            “You wanna do the honors?”

            “You bet,” she grinned. Special Agent Sierra Johnson took her own handcuffs from her boot. Click.

                                                                                                                                THE END



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