Monday, April 25, 2016

Thirty Minutes or Less



“One more cut and you'll bleed out.”

Chloe looked at the demon, her eyes narrowed. “That's not helpful, you know.” She rested the thin sliver of steel against her wrist. The lump in her throat felt the size of a football.

“I'm not trying to be helpful, just stating a fact. Hurry up, I haven't got all day.” It pulled a watch from its waistcoat pocket and checked the time on it against the digital clock on the bathroom wall. “It seems I have another seven minutes, mind. Your clock is fast.”

“Mum sets it that way so we're ready for school on time.”

“We?”

“My brother and me.”

“I thought your brother was dead.”

“He is.”

“Squashed flat in an RTA.”

“Do you mind?” She cave an upward nod toward the instrument of her impending death.

“Not at all. Go right ahead.” It scrolled through its phone. “Are you going to be much longer?”

“I'm going to take the rest on my life.”

“Ha-ha. Clever. Only, if you're going to be another thirty minutes I'll order a pizza.”

“What sort of pizza?”

“All the meats.” It put the phone to the hole in its head which deemed to pass for an ear, then paused. “Why? Do you want one?”

“What? A last request?”

It smiled. “Sure. Got any money?”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Official Caution

“Honestly, they look so easy to drive.”

Sergeant Wilde was in plain clothes, but she still had that air of official zealotry. You could tell she wasn't used to kids by her manner, half consoling and half cajoling, like a community sports instructor who's caught you having a fag at the back of the cricket pavilion. “But you've not had a lesson, have you? How old are you? Fourteen?”

“Fifteen. It was my birthday last week. Not that anyone cared.” Chloe folded her arms. One card, that's all she'd got, and that was from her aunt Ruska who'd put in a hundred hryvnia note. Chloe had been excited until she'd found it was worth less than three quid.

“So not even a provisional licence yet?”

“I had a lesson on my dad's building site. I learned how to drive it and work the shovel. It's harder than it looks but it's not exactly rocket science. There isn't even a steering wheel.”

“No, but there is a lever for raising the bucket, isn't there?”

“Obviously. I didn't mean to carve a six foot deep trench behind me. I wondered why I couldn't get any speed up.”

“The speed limit was five miles an hour.”

“So I wasn't speeding.”

“No. Not through the graveyard, anyway.”