Hello, my darlings! Life has been...interesting of late. My daughter had the flu and school has started and writing and Kickstarter and and and... *sigh*
So, I have a piece of microflash for you today. The prompt comes from a random first line generator. I really liked this line and may use it again some time just to see all the things that could be done with it. This story, "Going Down", comes in at 416 words. I'd just like to remind you that I am running a Kickstarter to fund UNINVITED the third book in my urban fantasy series, Etudes in C#. Please consider backing it, and please share the link generously.
I'll be writing the next installment in the "Hallowed Grounds" serial soon. This, as you'll remember, is the story I posted here called "Open Mic". You liked the idea of doing more in that world, so that monthly serial will be exclusive to Patreon.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support of my work. On the down days, it means a lot to me.
by Jamie Wyman
I'm stuck in a glass elevator with a mime. Again. She closes her eyes and gives a bow, her gloved hand flourishing over the button panel.
“Lobby,” I grumble.
She pushes the button with a star on it, and straightens her spine. Hands in front of her, nose in the air and painted mouth fixed in a scowl of sorts, she looks every bit the cartoon lift operator. The world shifts as we dip down in a controlled plummet from the twenty-third floor.
The trip is short-lived, however, as we stop on twenty-one for a pair of women in glittering micro-dresses. They reek of perfume, hair products and pumpkin spiced latte.
“Lobby,” the taller one says, not even looking in the mime's direction.
I suppose Vegas really does desensitize you to certain things.
We stop again on nineteen for quartet of men, one of whom wears a slew of Mardi Gras beads, and a crown askew on his head. Finally, on six, the target steps into the car.
We're all headed to the lobby, the nine of us packed into the elevator close as could be. The target keeps his eyes forward while the partiers try to chat up the ladies. One of them grins coyly and accepts the attention. The other glances at me for a split second before sneering and turning her made-up face away.
Good. Pay me no notice, girly.
To everyone's surprise but mine, there's a metallic pop. A spray of blood on the gold doors. The target sags to the floor, blood gushing from a wound at his Adam's apple. I'm shoved into the back corner as the other occupants of the elevator scream and push away. One of the women is banging on the glass walls, shrieking for help from the milling crowd below. No one can hear. Though we're encased in a transparent bullet, no one can see.
We land in the lobby with a jolt and as the doors open, the others spill out. I stare down at the target. His eyes meet mine and in this, his last instant, he knows. His lips tremble, he gurgles and he dies.
I put the gun back in the deep pocket of my coat.
The mime is still there, her face a grimace of horror and shock. She opens her mouth and draws a breath as if preparing to speak or scream.
Bringing a finger to my lips, I give her a stern look. “Shh.”