Author Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds posts Friday Flash Fiction challenges and I finally decided to do one. The theme was F-you, and was to be 1,000 words. What I wrote doesn’t have quite the in-your-face attitude that he was looking for. Uncomfortable may be a better word.
I left a few notes about writing the story at the end. As always, I welcome any feedback.
The Cost of Loyalty
She buttoned up her blouse, and fixed her hair into a stylish bun. “Jude, you’re staring,” she smiled. “Yeah,” I replied. Her green eyes locked with mine, making me curse the fact that we had a deadline to keep. “Is that it?” she asked. I nodded, handing the large, black case to her as we headed towards the door. I turned off the lights, taking one last look at the lab. “Come on,” she said. “Let’s go change the world.”
We walked in silence, her heels echoing down the empty hallway. She and I made quite the pair. She, a dark-haired goddess draped in Armani. Me, five o’clock shadow and a buzzcut in jeans and a t-shirt. As we entered the elevator I looked at her. She was perfection. Four months ago, Lucille Kain, the new CEO of Cascais Medical, approached me with an offer. I worked at Raymond Pharmaceuticals, their main competitor. The offer? I was to be the new head of R & D. The catch? I had to help her steal the serum and notes for Raymond’s new bioweapon. I thought that she was crazy. That said, she was irresistible and it wasn’t long before I would do anything that she asked.
Yeah, you heard right. A bioweapon. Both companies had been approached by the Department of Defense, and you don’t say no to the government. Bioweapons were the future of warfare, replacing nukes. There were always rumours about such projects overseas, and it caused tensions between foreign governments. It was said that Russia and even Japan already had such weapons perfected. That’s where I came in. Raymond had been the first North American company to succeed in creating such a weapon. It was a serum that could be converted and released in gas form. I was the head of the team that made the breakthrough. Now, here I am giving it away to the competition in exchange for a shitload of money and really great sex. What can I say, my loyalty was for sale. This would bother me if I actually had a conscience, but I sold that a long time ago.
Information was passed on for weeks, stealing the actual samples was the last step. It went without a hitch. I don’t know how we did it and I didn’t ask. As we drove away in the limo, she sat back and closed her eyes. Me, I was nervous, staring at the reflection of the summer night sky in the glass of passing buildings, and tapping my fingertips on the door’s armrest. “Relax, we’ll be there soon,” she reassured me. I knew that I wouldn’t feel better until this whole thing was over.
It wasn’t long before I realized that we weren’t heading to Cascais’ headquarters. Instead, we had passed the city limits and away from the glow of the urban jungle. We drove in the dark for some time, before heading uphill towards what appeared to be an abandoned fenced in outpost. As we stepped out into the warm night air, two men in lab coats approached us and Lucille handed them the briefcase. I was ignored as the three of them headed towards the outpost’s main building. Something was very wrong with this situation. “Wait! What’s going on?” I called out, quickening my pace to keep up. Once inside, I had my answer. I stood there dumbfounded as I looked around the launch room. People were either rushing around with papers or hunched over computer terminals. Three large monitors hung on the far wall. On the central screen was the image of a launch bay where I could see three rockets.
She watched for my reaction. I just stood there like a damn idiot. “But…I… I don’t understand.” I stammered in shock. “That’s okay, you will soon enough.” she replied. Walking over to me, she slipped her arm into mine and pointed to the monitor on the right. That’s when I realized that it was a map of Europe. Holy shit. My legs suddenly felt too heavy to hold me up and I sunk to the floor. She just stood there and let me fall. “This plan was really one of opportunity.” she said frankly. “I knew that I could count on you to make it easy. All it took was money and sex, and you sold out the human race. Now I just have to sit back and watch the fallout.” Pointing to the map, she continued. “This always plays out the same. Diplomacy will fail and the world will fall into chaos. That’s cliché I know, but it’s true.”
I suddenly couldn’t breathe. “I just helped you start a world war.” I said. I looked at her. “WHY?” She gave a sigh. “I’m tired Jude.” She looked about the room. “You humans and your need for destruction. It doesn’t take much, does it? Frankly, I really thought that this would’ve happened sooner.” She then looked at me, her tone bitter. “He always favoured mankind. You were his perfect creation. He even gave someone like YOU a second chance. But why should you be forgiven while I am made to pay for my actions? I’ve always seen what you truly are. Now he will too.” He? Who’s she talking about?
“Jesus, Lucille…” I began. She interrupted me with a wag of a finger. “Not Jesus, but you’re close,” she smiled. She stepped forward, turning around to look at me, then tore off the mask that was her face, ripping off clothes and flesh. I stared at the creature that stood before me, fighting the urge to vomit. NO. This can’t be happening. My head filled with images, old yet familiar. We had played this scene before. Like then, I betrayed those around me. That’s how he found me. He knew what to do. He now walked over and helped me up. I knew that touch. The touch that now burned my skin as I remembered…
“Lucifer,” I said.
“Hello Judas,” He replied.
I let the story guide me and never planned to have the religious slant and the theme of jealousy and betrayal that it took.
This is the most uncomfortable thing that I have ever posted. I’m not just talking about writing the story or even hitting the word count. I picked and poked at this piece, wondering if it was any good, thinking about changing how it ends. After everything, it ended up here. I really allowed the story to totally guide me and changing it (even if it may have made a better story), just didn’t feel right.
You might like this story. You may think it’s okay or that it’s the biggest piece of…well…you know, but it’s mine. “Raw” sounds cliché in describing how I felt writing it, but it really sums it up well. It’s all part of my goal in becoming a better writer.
Thanks for taking the time to read it. I appreciate it. 🙂
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