Flash Fiction: Dead Memorable Part 2

flash fiction dead memorableAfter writing ‘Dead Memorable’ for a flash fiction competition, I was requested to write more. Well flattery of that kind cannot easily be ignored. So I sat down and continued the story of Max.

If you want to read the first part then you can get to it from here.

As always, I am interested to hear what you think, especially if you want the next part. (Although I’m likely to write it anyway.)

Dead Memorable Part 2

Max ran out of the warehouse as fast as he could, his mind still struggling with his memories. All Max could think was ‘why’, that one word stuck in his head. Why would his wife conspire to kill him? Had he been a bad husband, was he rubbish in bed?

‘Shut up, Max’ he told himself. This was all about something else, but what? He wasn’t rich, and he certainly wasn’t influential. In fact the other guys at work would scarcely listen to him, so what was worth killing him for?

As his sprint turned into a run which turned into a breathless stumble, his chest ached. ‘Going to the gym’ like ‘gun recognition’ was just another line on his to-do list. His mind ran through the facts again. So my wife and a guy posing as a cop, lured me to a warehouse and then tried to kill me, and as far as she knows she succeeded. Max stopped. What was he going to say to her? That he’s invincible? Should he apologise to her or scream at her? Despite his own mind’s misgivings, his feet started walking again and still without any idea what he was going to say or do he made it home.

Max quietly unlocked the door, and pushed it open. The house was quiet; everything was exactly the same as it was when he left the house this morning. The same pile of unopened mail laid in wait for him on the side-table. Logically, not being able to die should mean you wouldn’t worry so much about running into dangerous situations, however fear is rarely logical.

‘There has to be something here that can tell me what the hell is going on.’ Max crept up the stairs, being careful to avoid the squeaky step he’d tried and failed to avoid so many times when he’d come home drunk. He stood on the landing and noticed something, something that wasn’t right. The door to their bedroom was open and through the crack in the door he could see Elaine just standing there, her arms by her side. Her blonde hair was messy and her clothes dishevelled, and if it wasn’t for the expression on her face, Max may have become the jealous husband.

But something made Max stop. There was something about the awkwardness of her stance that made Max feel very uneasy.

‘Where is it?’ whispered an unknown voice from the bedroom.

‘You’ll never find it?’ Elaine responded with an odd sense of bravado.

Max pushed open the door to catch a glimpse of the unknown speaker.

‘You know we’re going to find it anyway, and you know we can make you suffer. So be a smart girl, eh?’ the unknown voice said, a cockney accent showing in his threats.

Elaine remained stoically silent.

Something stirred within Max; forcing him to rush into the room, at which point he instantly remembered he didn’t have a weapon; he wasn’t even wearing a shirt.  There was a man dressed in black with a scar over his eye pointing a gun at his wife. He looked as if he had been taken from a book of James Bond stereotype villains.

‘Max? This doesn’t concern you. Leave’ said Elaine; a small flicker of confusion crossed her face.

‘Elaine? Who is this? What are you into?’ Max asked, his brain just flat-out refusing to make sense of any of this.

‘Oi!’ said the scarred men ‘I’m the one with the fucking gun here, both of you shut up. I thought he was dead.’

‘I must have missed.’ Though it was clear that Elaine didn’t believe what she was saying.

‘Missed eh? So, you can’t shoot straight, and you aren’t going to tell us anything. I’m starting to wonder why we keep you around at all.’ The man theatrically pondered for a moment ‘Oh yeah, because we can do this.’ The air was filled with three very loud bangs. Smoke curled from the end of the scarred man’s gun, and Elaine fell to the floor her head and blonde hair turning red.

‘Elaine!’ Max rushed the man, who then turned and pointed his gun straight at Max. Another loud bang echoed through the room, and Max fell to the floor. As he lay there being reminded of just how painful being shot is, he saw the figure of the man in black walk past him and out of the door ‘Later, Max.’

Max’s vision blurred as he started to lose consciousness, and once again he heard that tiny part of his brain wishing that this time he just wouldn’t get up.

***

Max’s eyes opened with the familiar throbbing in his head and burning in his chest. ‘Not again’ he thought, looking down at the closing bullet hole in his chest ‘At least I didn’t ruin another shirt.’ Max looked around as he performed his usual checks that helped him figure out what had happened, then he saw her. Elaine was there, dead; a large pool of blood had puddled around her.

His mind flashed with images, a warehouse, waking up, taking his shirt off, and running home. There was nothing that could explain this; he hated the feeling of helplessness when he couldn’t remember. Elaine had been shot in the head multiple times that much he could tell just from looking at her.

‘Elaine, I’ll help you. I just need to remember.’ Max said moving the blood soaked hair from her eyes.

Elaine’s eyes flicked open and she sat forward gasping, causing Max to scurry to the other side of the room. ‘Holy Shit, Elaine! You were dead.’

Elaine stared back at Max as she held her head in her hands. ‘Max honey, I’m not entirely certain but I’m pretty sure I can explain all this.’

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