I wrote this bit of flash fiction this week as part of an exercise. I really like expanding Mable’s journey and I might try my hand at writing her a novella when I get the chance.
The howler let out a high pitched wail and slashed at the trunk of Mable’s car. Its long lobster-like claw sunk into the metal of the trunk with a screech. The car jerked to a stop, the wheels squealing as they spun uselessly against the road.
The white dog beside her barked, its eyes glowing like two coals in pitch black. Mable grabbed the shotgun from the backseat and took aim at the creature through the rear window. She could taste the sweat dripping down her face. It was 90 degrees still, despite the sun having vanished hours ago. The moon shone high in the sky, casting the desert landscape in silver.
She pulled the trigger and the shotgun thundered. The back window shattered with a crash, sending glass spraying out across the trunk and backseat. The howler howled in pain and pulled back, ripping the trunk lid away from the car. It skittered down the highway, still dragging the trunk lid. Sparks shot up as it struck the street, like little fireflies.
Mable heard her heart pounding in her ears. She took a deep breath to try to still it before turning to the dog.
“It will be back,” said the dog, its voice sliding across Mable’s mind like a razor against skin. She winced and nodded. The damn things never did stay away for long.
She bent to retrieve her purse from the floor of the passenger side. She opened it and reached for another shotgun shell when she saw the journal she had been carrying. Eva’s journal.
She took it out and held it. The green leather looked almost black in the moonlight. She smelled it, and it smelled like lavender and vanilla. It smelled like Eva.
Mable was back in the pancake joint where she had met Eva. They were young then. Mable had just graduated from college and was working as a temp down the street. She had skipped breakfast and stopped in to order something before work. Eva took her order.
She had dark black hair and warm brown skin. Her eyes lit up her face like two jewels of amber. She had dimples and when she laughed, her nose crinkled and she smiled so wide her eyes almost closed. She had smiled at Mable and Mable had felt her heart melt. She was perfect.
Mable went to that restaurant every day, and every day she ordered two eggs, poached, no hash browns, sausage, and a large cup of black coffee. The cook was all right. Objectively, the breakfast was just what you would expect from a dive breakfast joint, but what made it special was Eva.
One day Mable came in to see her breakfast laid out ready for her, the coffee steaming hot. There was a note.
Are you free this Saturday?