A Simple Trade. Flash Fiction.

Kelly watched the thick black smoke that rose into the sky, the screaming from inside had stopped long ago. Above the roar of the fire she could hear sirens getting closer, she had wondered when they would show up. She was wearing a thin nightie, but the heat from the fire was keeping her warm. A man put his hand on her shoulder, she turned and smiled at him, “It all went as planned.”
“Good, glad to hear it. And your husband?”
“He told me he was going back in for the cat and then he just walked right back in.” She shook her head, “We don’t even have a cat.”
The man nodded, “People do strange things sometimes. Don’t worry, you’ll be in the clear.”
“And you’re sure it won’t get traced back to me?”
“Oh, we guarantee it. There will be no evidence that the fire was anything but accidental, once you don’t say anything stupid everything will be fine.”
She looked down at the ground for a moment, her bare feet were covered in dirt, “Why did it have to be fire?”
“It wouldn’t have worked without pain, everything has a price. You’ve lost everything you’ve ever owned and your husband, or should I say ex-husband, has lost his life. It’s a fair trade, though we haven’t quite finished our transaction yet.”
“Yes, I know. First born.”
“Yes,” he reached out and placed a hand on her stomach, “Hmm you’re about a month in at the moment. Won’t be too much longer until you have a healthy baby.”
Kelly put her hand over her stomach, “How? I can’t have children.”
“Oh we knew all about that, it’s not as easy as you seem to think to get one over on us. Don’t worry, once the deal was made everything was set in motion. I would also like to remind you that should you try to avoid this deal, should you try to seek out an abortion or anything of that nature, the contract becomes void and we own you and trust me, we’ll make you pay. It will make the last few years seem like a peaceful vacation, every bruise, every cut, every broken bone. You’ll wish we were that gentle and kind.”
He reached out and gently pushed a lock of hair behind her ear, “Don’t fret, just a few more months and this will all be over. The doctors will think the baby was stillborn, we’ll take it from there. You won’t even have to see him if you don’t want to. My employers also wanted to tell you that you’re husbands life insurance policy was quite generous, you should be able to live comfortably on it for the rest of your life if you wish.”
Kelly nodded, her hand still on her stomach, she felt as though she could almost feel it inside her.
“Is there anything else you’d like before I go?”
“No. Thank you.”
“You’re more than welcome.”
Kelly turned as flashing lights bounced off the trees around them, when she looked back the man was gone. People were talking to her, asking questions, firemen, police. It was all a blur, she tried to answer their questions as best as she could. Someone put a blanket around her shoulders and lead her towards an ambulance. There was a high pitched squeal, almost like a shriek and the house collapsed in on itself sending thick clouds of smoke and sparks shooting into the sky. Kelly turned from the house, she was finally free from him, it was all over. It was time to start again, to have a better life, the life she had always wanted.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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1 Response to A Simple Trade. Flash Fiction.

  1. Pingback: A Simple Trade. Flash Fiction. — Alan James Keogh – Crappy Writing

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