Sunday, December 29, 2013

Flash Fiction: Bruised

PROMPT/CHALLENGE SUMMARY: Now that the big five-week challenge is over, I thought it was time for something a little more, well, typically me. I used that challenge to stretch myself, writing types of things I don't usually write and merging my voice with that of others. This one is just a little bit of an idea plucked from the chaos in my head. Have you ever noticed a bruise and found yourself totally unable to recall where you got it? When something like that happens to me, the Muse invariably ends up making up a story.

His hand slid up my thigh and my body tingled. God I needed this. This week had been hell. Literally.

But he paused a few frustrating inches short of the goal. "How'd you get this bruise?"

I pushed up on my elbows. It said sad things about my life choices that I didn't know which bruise he was talking about.

From his tone, you'd think I had a mark the size of a melon. This one wasn't bad. About the size of a half dollar and, instead of throbbing purple and red, it was already faded and splotched over with yellowy-green.

My brain filtered back, trying to match the bruise up with something. A screeching meow and a dull thud.

He gave my thigh a little squeeze, letting me know he was waiting for an answer. I bit my lip, debating. Even though I hadn't gotten that particular bruise at work, I didn't want to talk about that night.

Blood and guts weren't good pillow talk.

Besides, I didn't want to be that girl right now. I wanted to be a normal girl about to have normal sex with a normal guy. Okay, not normal sex. Damn great sex.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," I said, shifting my legs and hoping he would get the hint.

No such luck. "I always believe you." He traced the bruise, content to just lie there and talk instead.

We were naked here. Shouldn't that be enough to distract the man?

"So what was it? Rogue shape-shifter? Runaway zombie? Biker witch on a bender?"

I rolled my eyes. "I was getting out of bed, stepped on the cat, and hit the footboard." It was the exact truth, not one letter more.

He glanced from the bruise to the footboard, lining it up. "Why do you put up with their shit?"

"I tripped over a cat. My normal, not-in-any-way-magical cat. It could happen to anyone. Or don't you believe me?"

My heart clenched; I hadn't meant to ask that. I never asked that. Because at some point he wouldn't believe me anymore. At some point all of them did. And then I'd be alone again.

"I always believe you," he said, and my heart started beating again. "But you left out the part about why you were getting out of bed. It was for something completely outside normal human nightmares, right?"

Clever. Too damn clever. I flopped down on the pillow. "I don't suppose I could get away with saying I just had to pee?"

"Is that what happened?"

The mattress dipped as he crawled up my body. His gaze met mine and there was a challenge I hadn't expected there. All this time I'd been waiting for him to reject my crazy shit and use "the truth" as an excuse to pull away. Instead he was daring me to not give him a reason.

When this thing between us went south, it wasn't going to about him not trusting me.

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