Flash Fiction: Paradise Lost
This is my entry to a Flash Fiction challenge sponsored by Indies Unlimited. With this photo (attribution K.S. Brooks) and the following writing prompt, the challenge was to write flash fiction of 250 words.
Donovan basked lazily in the hammock as the gentle Caribbean breeze caressed him. Alone on this tiny out-of-the-way island, he could at last live the simple life.
Here, he could just let time wash over him. He ate fresh fish and crab and fruit. He didn’t have to worry about shooting anyone or being shot at. He didn’t have to cope with any plans cooked up by idiot desk jockeys back in Washington. Most of all, he didn’t have to think about her.
He frowned as he rubbed at the ropy scar on his left shoulder. The aching in the old wound always seemed to portend trouble.
His brow furrowed as he heard a familiar low thrumming. Of course. He looked out over the water to see an all-too-familiar little black dot in the sky.
As the whir of the helicopter grew louder and unmistakable, Donovan swung from the hammock and walked back to his hut…
Pushing the string of beads aside that acted as the entry to his thatched-roofed hut, Donovan grabbed his side-arm and pushed it into waistband of his shorn jean shorts—old habit—and went back to be the welcoming party. There was no use running from the copter—or from fate, apparently.
“Who will be it this time?” Donovan squinted against the blowback from the copter’s wings. He expected the grizzly, pot-marked face of his CIA handler, saying they were this close to a lead on the ones who’d ruined his reputation and his life. He wouldn’t fall for that again—or for her, if she made another attempt to suck him back in.
The package fell from the copter like a cruise missile, whistling until it cratered into the sand. So they didn’t send the old stand-by’s this time. Donovan grew confident. His ‘no’ would certainly stand firm against whatever was in that thing.
Donovan calculated the possibilities of what the package held. They had nothing to hold over him—he’d made sure of that. His family was gone. There was no fortune to lose. And revenge, he’d found, was a bitter pill to swallow.
He crouched down and put his ear to the package. Now he knew. A rope ladder fell from the copter. The package was his final invitation; the ladder his affirmative RSVP.
Donovan turned and pushed through the beads. He’d finish this thing on his terms.
He didn’t feel the effects of the blast.