Talon – Flash Fiction Piece
Friday is my favourite day of the week. End of the working week, start of the weekend, and a chance to write a piece of flash fiction without having to come up with my own topic! Yes, it’s time for another of Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenges.
This week’s challenge involved using an RNG (in lieu of a d10/d20) to pick some stuff from some lists. What I came away with was:
Genre mash-up: Magical Realism and Erotica (argh!)
Must include: A locked door, and A key made of bone.
Fate, right? I randomly generated a locked door and the key for it? Pretty weird!
So, my story. The protagonist is actually a character I made up for a fan-fiction I’m currently writing. Or, should I say, she made herself up and beat me over the head until I promised to put her in a story. I gave her two chapters out of nine, which she was quite happy with, but I thought I’d bring her out of semi-retirement to appear in this little piece. As you can probably tell, I don’t normally write erotica. Or romance. I’m pretty crap at writing anything like that, which probably means I need to write more of it to get better. But anyway, enough ramble. Story. 999 words.
A shroud of thick white mist had descended upon Washington D.C., cloaking the city in a moist, chilly blanket. Men turned up the collars of their coats as they hurried through the streets. It was a night perfect for clandestine meetings, for secret-sharing and exchanges—the fog was a screen, hiding individuals from the prying eyes of others.
The moisture clung to Talon’s skin, hair and black figure-hugging clothes, but she ignored it, her concentration focused on the front door of the building across the street. Even before the fog had rolled in, she’d been in a grim mood. She hated coming here, to America—too many memories for comfort—but she had no say in the matter. She went where MI6 sent her, and today they’d seen fit to send their frog across the pond.
A black sedan rolled up through the fog, coming to a stop in front of the building. Talon stopped slouching against the alley wall, stood up straighter, her eyes straining through the mist to pick up every scrap of detail. A suited man got out of the car, hurried towards the building’s front door, and was admitted by the heavy guarding the entrance.
The car pulled away, disappearing into the white night, and Talon left her watching place in the mouth of the alley. Her footsteps as she crossed the road were quiet, and as she reached the sidewalk she reached out with her mind, touching the thoughts of the door guard. Into his brain she implanted an image; an empty street, nothing to be seen or heard. Withdrawing her mind, she reached for the handle, opened the door, and slipped inside.
The pulsing sound of soft music filtered into her ears, at the same that her nose was assaulted by the floral scent of perfume. She sneezed, and mentally cursed the bloody stuff. Why some women saw fit to drown themselves in perfume, she had no idea; hadn’t they heard of bathing?
Her footfalls were silent as she walked down the carpeted corridors, following the route she’d memorised from the schematics given to her by her handler. As expected, she found herself entering a large open-plan room, and felt a moment of revulsion over the decadence of it.
The sofas peppered around the room were finished in the finest velvet, the tables which held crystal glasses all fine, rich oak, and the single chandelier seemed to be cut from flawless diamonds. Candles in sconces around the room didn’t illuminate, as much as soften the contours of all within. The women wore very little clothing, but what they did wear was sheer silk and satins, exposing maximum flesh and leaving very little to the imagination. Disgusting, thought Talon, but honest. There was only one thing on sale here, and both the girls and their clients knew it. There were no hidden agendas, no thoughts of back-stabbing or blackmailing, no political scheming; just men who wanted pleasure, and women who were paid handsomely to provide it.
A few people noticed her, her black outfit which covered every part of her body except her head marking her clearly as an outside, but before they could speak out in surprise, she insinuated images into their minds, transforming herself within their thoughts into one of the nubile barely-dressed beauties. Men and women alike fell for the illusion, and Talon was free to move around the room at her leisure.
The schematics had been accurate; she found the alcove easily, though it was obscured by a long blue velvet curtain, and tried the door handle. It didn’t budge, of course, but she’d come prepared for that. From a small pouch attached to her belt she took out a small white key, one that had been carved from bone. Human bone. She had no idea where her handler had got it, and she didn’t particularly want to know. The key slid into the lock, and when she turned it, there was a quiet click. Talon smiled, and stepped through the door, closing it behind her.
The back rooms. The music was louder, here, all sensual melodies winding around steady pulsing beats. A strange contradiction; the walls of each room were sound-proof, but the doors were mere wood. Every door she walked past brought a new pair—or sometimes, trio—of voices, of the sound of giggles and slapped flesh, moans of pleasure mounting in volume and speed, each groan and laboured grunt adding to the crescendo of sexual excitement that followed the tempo of the music.
Twenty years’ worth of telepathic training was only barely enough to keep out the thoughts and feelings which assaulted Talon’s mind. Her mental barriers were stressed to their limits as she pushed out the feelings of unrestrained pleasure, the thoughts of what men were doing—and how much more they wanted to do. She focused on her mission, on her objective, on the feeling of the sharp bone key digging into her skin as she closed her fist around it.
Finally, she found the room she’d been searching for; the master suite. Tensing, she kicked the door, flinging it open, but nobody heard. Everybody here was too wrapped up in their own gratification. Even the pair inside the room took thirty seconds to cease their coitus, their sweaty, pounding bodies stilling as they realised they were no longer alone. The woman, shock marring her painted Jezebel face, pulled away from the man, covering herself with a blanket. Her partner leapt to his feet, not even bothering to hide his still-hard erection.
“What the devil do you think you’re doing in here?” he demanded.
“The devil didn’t send me, Senator, but please give him my regards when you see him.”
She drew her gun from its holster, and pulled the trigger.
* * * * *
Three days later, Talon bought a paper from a street-seller, and glanced at the headline. ‘Murder Suicide; Prostitute Kills Prominent Senator, Then Self.’
She smiled, and set off to the airport.
I don’t think you give yourself enough credit. You wrote a really good story, perhaps not traditionally erotica (a subject I don’t enjoy much either), but done well.
My thanks, Fatma, for your kind words and reassurance. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂
I’m grateful the erotic was muted. (Erotica, like porn, makes me giggle incessantly) You spun quite the tale. Well played!
Thank you. I have a similar sort of reaction to erotica (more cringing than giggling, though) so I was dreading writing this. I’m glad you enjoyed the tale.
I’m always impressed Spaceman. Good show! And as the others have said- you and your monkeys are some incredibly fast writers. 🙂
Many thanks! Our secret—we drink a lot of coffee! 😉
Fun story! Can’t wait to see what next week’s challenge has in store.
Thank you! And yes, Chuck always comes up with amazing topic ideas.
Okay, how do you do it? You have your story posted up before I’ve even had a chance to see what the challenge is. Clearly there is some kind of time travel involved.
All I can say is that it involves a very fast spaceship and six monkeys working in ten-minute shifts on a single type-writer. In today’s story, the character actually narrated her own tale to the monkeys, but normally they have to come up with their own ideas.
I’ve always wondered how you manage! I always have to refrain from reading your piece until I write my own but you make it so difficult. Very interesting story! I think you handled the magical realism quite well!
Many thanks, from the monkeys and I 🙂 Can’t wait to see what other people come up with for this one, too.
You’ll have to wait until next Friday for mine. I like to stew over these things.
I’m envious of your stewing abilities.If I don’t get something done the moment it comes to my attention, I tend to forget about it rather quickly 😦 At least I have something else to look forward to next Friday, then!