Wednesday December 30th, 2015

The exercise:

With 2015 drawing to a close, let us write about something that is: around the corner.

Going to a New Year's Eve party tomorrow night. Don't worry, it will end well before midnight, as pretty much everyone invited has at least one young child. Still looking forward to it, as I haven't seen most of the people who should be there in a long time.

This morning I hauled some wood back to our house, which meant shoving a wheelbarrow through a snow-filled orchard. I think next time I'm borrowing the truck and bringing as much as I can chop.

Mine:

It never seemed to matter where in the city Simon went, the Peterson brothers were always just around the corner. In an upscale neighbourhood or on a derelict street, they were never far away.

And Simon wanted so badly for the Peterson brothers to be far away.

At night, as he tried to fall asleep in his crowded motel room, he would wonder how they did it. It was like they knew where he was going next before he did. Which was impossible, really, seeing as Simon had been picking his destinations at random for the previous week. Sometimes he let the wind carry him with it; others he pushed against its strength.

Either way, he'd turn a corner and find them waiting for him. Sometimes with a knowing smile, other times with a hard stare, but most of all with a look of complete disinterest.

Simon found that last the worst. It was so... demoralizing. Just a reinforcement of the fact that they were always watching him and there was nothing he could hope to do about it.

Well, except kill them. But he had no reason to expect that to work, either. Not the way those two were armed and trained.

Besides, killing the Peterson brothers wouldn't get Simon his daughter back. That, it seemed, could only be achieved by doing what their boss had demanded of him. Which required the death of another individual. One who was proving to be extremely difficult to locate.

And Simon was running out of time to find his assigned target.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Shouldn't I worry more than you're going to a New Year's Eve party that fails to see the New Year in or the Old Year out? You might all end up still living in 2015 while the rest of us have moved on to 2016! As for the wood: I'd chop it first and then make a decision on whether you've got enough for the truck or if you've still only enough for the wheelbarrow :)
The Peterson brothers seem to have a handle on following Simon and then appearing when they know it'll upset him most. I'm impressed with them, they're clearly very good at their job! There are a couple of details in there that really intrigue me: why is the motel room crowded? Who is employing the Peterson brothers? And why, given they seem so much better at these things, is Simon tasked with killing someone instead of them?
Another one for you "to be continued" list I suspect ;-)

Around the corner
Callista arrived at the café first and got the waiter to seat her at the corner table, much prized amongst the café's regulars because it was in good sight of both the dessert cabinet, so you could see when the desserts were being refreshed, and the rest of the café so that everyone else could see that you'd just obtained the freshest slice of Dobostorte or the plumpest, juiciest, sweetest red strawberries for your Erdbeerentorte. She sat down, happy with the table, and ordered a mocha with an extra shot of espresso, and then set the files she was carrying down on the table and allowed herself a moue of disgust.
Frieda arrived as the coffee did, and promptly ordered a caffé lungo. She was dressed like a frumpy housewife: there was a blouse with a print that Laura Ashley had discontinued in the seventies, there was the eighties terry-toweling wrist-sweat-bands and a leopard-print scarf tied around her head to hold her hair back. She even appeared to be wearing lycra leggings, which a lot of the rest of the café seemed to have noticed as well.
"God I need this coffee," she said without preamble. "I've got Tina Turner next!"
"The real..."
"Hah! No, though that would definitely improve our cash-flow! No, I've got a woman who things she's going to be Tina Turner in her next life." Callista looked puzzled. "You've had the odd reincarnated patient right? Been Cleopatra in a previous life, or Marie-Antoinette, or Gypsy Rose Lee."
Callista nodded. "But never Hitler, Mussolini, or Margaret Thatcher," she said. "And I did once have a group of eight people – two men! – who were all apparently Cleopatra in a previous life. I don't think we ever resolved that one."
"So I've got the opposite," said Frieda. Her coffee arrived and she laid a hand on the waiter's arm, downed her coffee and handed him the cup back indicating she wanted it refilled. "Her next life is just around the corner, she tells me, and she's going to be reincarnated as Tina Turner."
"Does it work like that?"
"If Cleopatra can be reincarnated as six women and two men simultaneously then why not?" Callista nodded, and sipped her mocha. The sweet liquid healed something in her soul. "Hence the get up, I have to help her prepare for the fame and glory that's just around the corner."
"Doesn't she know about Ike then?"
Frieda laughed. "Apparantly not."
"You're not going to tell her?"
Frieda's answer was laughter enough. When she'd recovered she looked at the files on the table. "What's around the corner for you then?" she asked.
"Referrals," said Callista bitterly. "From bloody Dr. Fraud."

Marc said...

Greg - ooh, now there's an idea for a story...

My thinking with Simon being forced to do the job had something to do with the organization not wanting to have an obviously direct hand in the killing. Or at least to have a fall guy. Either way... pretty sure Simon isn't going to see his daughter again.

Ah, I do enjoy the back and forth between these two. And a patient expecting to be reincarnated as Tina Turner... that's quite something.

I think you meant the laughter to be answer enough near the end there, by the way.

And a reference to Dr. Fraud is an always welcome inclusion :D