It’s been a while since I did one of these so here’s a quick unedited (and context free) snippet from a short story I was working on until very recently. This one will never see the light of day because it coincidentally lines up too well with a real-world tragedy. I started the story well before those events but no respectable editor would accept a story that seems to be so directly inspired by reality.
Carlos pulled a chunky cellphone out of his pocket. He stared at the screen for a moment, a pensive look on his face.
Then he said, “Sorry, got to take this.”
He turned away from Walker and pressed the answer button.
A strident woman’s voice, already in mid-sentence assaulted his ear “—that it would be different this time. Why won’t you do what you promised. That’s all I ask. I need you to—”
Carlos grimaced. “Sofia, Sofia, I—”
“I know you’re there. I can hear you. Don’t ignore me!”
“I’m not ignoring you, it’s okay. What do you need me to do?”
“You know what I need you to do. I’ve been asking for—”
“I’m sorry, but I’ve forgotten, Sofia. Why don’t you just remind me. Then I’ll do it.”
“I need you to tell that woman to leave me alone. I don’t want her here.”
Carlos glanced back at Walker. He was pressed even further into the corner, his eyes darting around as he tried to look anywhere but at Carlos. Sofia’s voice was so loud, he must be able to hear what she was saying.
Carlos, lowered the volume on the phone and took a deep breath. “Do you mean Gabrielle?”
“Yes! Yes, Gabrielle. That woman! Who else would I mean? She’s the only on that comes in here and moves my things. I don’t want her moving my things. And she smells of fish.”
“Sofia, she doesn’t smell of fish.”
“Yes, she does, and not nice fish like I have in my pond.” Her voice trailed off for a moment. When it came back the sharp edges had disappeared. “When can we go to my pond?”
“Soon, Sofia. Soon.”
Carlos waited for the discussion to return to the evil Gabrielle but the line stayed silent, just Sofia’s gentle breathing disturbing the silence.
“Okay, Sofia. I’ve got to go. I’ve got a client.”
“I love you,” Carlos said but the line was already dead.
Carlos pressed his eyes closed for a few seconds then slipped the phone back into his pocket
[Sunday Snippet – 2nd July 2023 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 2nd July 2023]