Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Help Requested - Critique Needed

Writer's Digest, a website and magazine, offers an online flash fiction contest called Your Story. I never seem to remember until the last minute to check out the prompt. (This month I remembered two days late, Your Story #29.) Last month for Your Story #28, I got the story written but life did not allow me time to edit and get it entered into the contest.

I have decided to share it here on my blog and request honest if gentle feedback.

The Bet
Tidying up the beige damask pillows on the overstuffed couch, my hand touch something cold and hard. Afraid I let my hand close around the object and pull it out, a silver and black cell phone. What the? It wasn't my husband's or mine. We haven't had anyone over since those boorish Tinnins last month. The phone began to play a ringtone I didn't recognize.

I slid the phone open. I had never seen one like it even in commercials. "Hello."



"You don't know me."

Well, duh, I was holding an unknown phone in my hand. How did he know my name? "What's going on here?" I demanded. "Who are you?"

Laughter was the reply I received.

"I'm going to hang up if you don't answer my questions."

"I'm glad to see you haven't lost your humor." A unknown male voice said. "Melissa. Melissa, have patience I'll tell you everything in time."

"Who are you?" I whispered. Then stronger, "Well, get on with it. I don't have all day." I gathered my cell phone on the way to our home phone.

"Melissa, there's no need for that." he said.

My eyes scanned the room. How could he see me? The sage drapes were pulled closed. What should I do now? Play it cool, "No need for what?"

"Go turn on your computer." he ordered.

"Why?" I stood there frozen as dozens of scenarios ran through my thoughts. Then I laughed.

"What's so funny?"

"Okay, where's the camera?" I asked.

"What are you talking about?"

"You know those old TV programs that catch you doing something silly or dumb." I stifled a giggle.

"Wrong show!"

"Which show then?" I asked. Laughter again, but was there more than one voice this time? Spinning around, I demanded, "Where are you? Whose with you?" Dizzy, I fell into our chocolate brown recliner, breathing hard.

The laughter subsided, "Are you okay?"

He definitely could see me. I rubbed my arms as chills assailed me. "Like you care!" I said.

"Just do this favor for me and I'll tell you everything."

"Who are you and what do you want?" I cried. Why am I doing this? I thought. I simply closed the phone, cutting the connection. I tumbled the phone over and over in my sweaty palms.

It sang at me again. I shrugged stetting the cell phone down and walked away. Pulling the drapes open, were there any unfamiliar vehicles out there?

Yes? Yes, there was a small red car. What was the make so I could tell 911? The plate number? There were two dark haired men sitting in the front seat. What were they hunched over? That man in the passenger seat looked familiar. Should I approach the vehicle? I debated.

My husband got out of the car smiling, waving a wad of cash at me. He slapped the roof of the car. It drove off. He was suppose to be golfing with a buddy.

As he entered the house, he said, "Good job, baby." He kissed me on the cheek.

I pulled away. "Someone's watching." I whispered.

He held up a small screen thingy. He walk to the computer desk in the attached dining room. He held up a tiny camera. "All gone! You did great. I won," he cleared his throat, "I mean, we won a thousand dollars."Spy Pinhole Nanny Mini Camera System Wireless FULL SET!

"You bet on me?" I whispered, my voice gained strength, "You bet on me!" I reached over and grabbed the money. "Thanks, I can have fun shopping."

"But, baby. . . " He stopped at my glare. "Have fun."
The End
Leave feedback in the comments, please remember to be gentle. Don't forget to check out other free short stories available at Writer's Digest. They post the winning entry for your reading enjoyment.
Leann Holland

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