Always Have an Exit Strategy


Each Week Terribleminds has a Flash Fiction Challenge –
The week before last the challenge was “The titles have been chosen” the challenge was to write a story using one of the 13 title options he gave. I chose “Always Have an Exit Strategy”…… I started that story but did not meet the deadline. Lucky for me the challenge this past week was “Five Random Sentences” and the story I started for the previous weeks challenge could be finished in this new challenge.  The Random Sentence I chose was “When Does the Family Document the Thunder?” So for a 2 week combined challenge I give you….

Always Have an Exit Strategy

“Always have an exit strategy.” Those are the words that kept running through my head. Too bad I hadn’t thought of that before I ended up behind a desk in a small corner of a dark room with a killer just a few feet away from me. He hadn’t seen me yet. It was probably hard to see me over the rage in his eyes.

Yesterday I had been your normal everyday teenage girl. I had my prom dress hanging in my closet. It was candy apple red. That was what my granddad had called it. Said he had a T-Bird back in his teenage years that was the same color. Funny how just a few short hours ago my biggest problem in the world was what color shoes to wear with my candy apple red prom dress. Kyle Huggins was taking me. He was a year older than me but in the same grade. He was tall, handsome and on the fast track to be picked up by a baseball scout.

I looked across the room at the crumpled body lying in the floor beneath the killer. Kyle wouldn’t be on the fast track to anything if I didn’t figure out a way out of here so I could get him some help.

Kyle and I had been going together for a few months now and we were ready to take it up a notch. We had been looking for a place to make out when came across a barn in the back of an old farmhouse a few miles out of town. We had seen it a few days earlier and planned our perfect night. I hadn’t wanted to lose my virginity on Prom Night that seemed so ordinary and Kyle and I did not want to be ordinary.

We planned the perfect night and told our parents we were going to a movie in town. It was one we had both already seen so we didn’t worry about being questioned on it. Kyle stole a bottle of wine from his mom’s wine cabinet and we stopped by Tasty Burger and picked up dinner.
We parked down the street from the farmhouse just in case someone came by and noticed Kyle’s car. Armed with all our gear we walked the few blocks to what we thought was an abandoned farmhouse and barn.

It was dark inside as you would expect so Kyle lit up the small battery powered lantern we had brought with us. We spread the blanket out on the cold ground inside the barn and just as we were ready to sit down and eat our dinner we heard a shuffling noise. Thinking it was some kind of animal Kyle grabbed the bottle of wine to use as a weapon and went to look out the small barn window.

He stepped on a bucket to look out. I saw the fear in his face when he turned around and rushed to turn off the small lantern. “Someone is out there,” he told me as he took my hand and led me to the back of the barn and into one of the old horse stalls.

We tripped over something as we were hurrying to the back and when I reached down to touch it I felt the cold clammy skin. I jerked my hand back and tugged on Kyle to make him stop. “I think it is a dead person.” I whispered. Kyle squeezed my hand a little tighter and pulled me back into a corner of the stall. “Stay here.” He said, “No matter what.” He let go of my hand and I watched as his shadow crept back out into the barn.

As Kyle went out he shined the light from his phone on the thing we tripped over. I saw the blue shirt and Khaki pants and knew it was the 2nd boy from the papers. There had been a write up a week after he disappeared saying that they thought the person who took him was the same person who took the boy from the bus stop a few months ago. The name of the article was “When Does the Family Document the Thunder?” It was saying that the initial disappearance was the lightning, the shock of the situation but when there is no body and you have no answers when do feel the thunder that follows or do you ever without closure? It was such a sad article about how family’s of missing children try and cope with the loss.

Before I had time to react I saw the dark figure come out from behind Kyle and smash something over his head. Kyle crumpled to the ground in a pile at the figures feet and he began to drag him out of the barn. I crept quietly behind him being sure to keep out of his sight. When he pulled him into the old farmhouse through the back door, I ran around to the front of the house. There were no cars and no houses nearby. If I left Kyle here alone to go and get help then surely the man would kill him like he had killed the boy in the barn. Instead I opened the front door and stepped inside. I heard shuffling at the back of the house.

I heard the movement coming towards me in the living room and I scrambled to get under a small desk that was setting in the corner. He pulled Kyle into the living room and dropped his crumbled body at his feet.

That is where I sat right now. With no exit strategy and a frightening feeling that we might not make it out alive.

(c) Shelly Tennyson Taylor May 2013


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