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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Diamonds and Fur: A Free Flash Fiction Story by Graham Downs



“What are you doing?” she hissed from the floor.

“Eating,” I replied.

“We’ve been held hostage, and you decide to raid the kitchen?”

“What? They didn’t say the fridge was off limits.”

Sarah put her finger to her lips. “Shh! They’re coming. Get back on the ground.”

Obediently, I sat my bum down on the floor and pressed my back against the kitchen counter.

A moment later, the two re-entered the room, brandishing their rifles. They were wearing balaclavas so we couldn’t see their faces. The one whom I assumed was the leader growled at me. “I thought I told you to be quiet in here. One more word outta you, and it’ll be your last.”

“Look,” I said, “if you’ll just hurry up and tell us what you’re looking for, I could help you, and we could all get back to our lives.”

The man slammed the butt of his rifle down into my midriff, winding me.

“None of your damn business. I said be quiet!”

I groaned in pain as the man stormed out of the kitchen. As soon as he was out of sight, Sarah rushed over to me.

She put her arm around my shoulder. “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” I wheezed. “Just a little winded.”

“Well, I’m not going to stand for this any longer.” She shot up to her feet and opened the cupboard above the stove.

“What are you doing?” I watched her frantically rifling through plastic containers.

“Aha!” she said and pulled out a bottle of sunflower oil. “These idiots were stupid enough to lock us in our own kitchen, and I’m not going to look a gift-horse in the mouth.” With that, she unscrewed the cap, and poured the oil all over the floor, in front of the closed door.

I tried to laugh but clutched my chest in pain. I thought a rib must be broken. Sarah looked at me apologetically. “Don’t worry, my love,” she said. “It’ll all be over soon."

A few moments later, we heard shouting coming from down the passage.

“Where is that stupid teddy bear? The Boss said it’d be here.”

“Quiet down! We don’t want these fools to hear us. What would they think if they knew there was eleven million in diamonds hidden away in their house?”

With that, the two fell silent. A moment later, a stomping noise, coming down the passage. It stopped, just outside the door, which flung open, and the man who had broken my rib stormed in.

“All right, you–“

He slipped on the oil and fell backward. On his way down, his finger squeezed the trigger of the rifle he was holding. The noise was deafening; the bullets punched holes in our kitchen ceiling.

Sarah wasted no time. She leapt on top of the man and yanked the rifle out of his hands. Taking a step back, she took aim and fired. The man’s head exploded in a red mist. She lifted the rifle and aimed it towards the door, just in time to see the other man rush through the open doorway.

“Jimmy, what the-”

Bang!

The second man went down as well.

A nauseous feeling rushed up my gullet, at the sight of my sweet, beautiful wife, now a cold-blooded killer.

“Sarah,” I gulped. “Sarah, what did you just do?”

“Nobody hurts my husband and gets away with it.” Sarah spat onto the floor. Standing there, brandishing the rifle, she looked like Lara Croft. Or maybe some female John Rambo. Jane Rambo? I chucked at the thought, then winced in pain.

Sarah dropped the rifle and rushed to my side. Gently, she lay her hand on my chest. “We need to get you to a doctor.”

“In a minute,” I wheezed. “Do you know what they were looking for? The teddy bear?”

“Oh, don’t you remember? I gave that to my god-daughter years ago. I had no idea there were diamonds in it. I’ll give her mother a call later. But first,” she hooked her arm around me and helped me to my feet. “Let’s get you out of here.”

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