Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Matter of Greed - Flash Fiction Entry

A matter of greed

On a deserted road, in a village about 65 miles from Kiev, a Rolls Royce drove down a dark lane.

Yuri rubbed his hands together through his woolen gloves, wondering why his boss had chosen this god-forsaken day for his adventure. He leaned out of the window and saw dark clouds, pregnant with an eminent snowstorm. The engine purred, emitting a stream of smoke as it worked overtime to keep the interior warm.

The car's owner, Alexei however seemed oblivious as he searched for the lamp-post that marked his final destination. As he caught sight of the gnarled remains of a lamp-post, he said,"Yuri. Right there, by that post." As the car stopped, it began to snow.

Alexei reached the lamppost and examined it carefully. He stepped into the third door down the road. Only half a batwing remained. He pulled out a torch from his overcoat pocket and walked in. He reached the bar, and ran his hand along under the bar, until he reached a packet taped to the inside, that held a large key. He raced across the bar to the large steel safe -vault, that lay exposed. He turned the key in the keyhole. The door opened slowly, creaking on it's hinges. As it opened, he shined his torchlight into it's interior. His expression slowly turned from a huge smile to shock to dismay to exasperation, his face aging 30 years in 30 seconds. The inside was wiped clean. A small note was attached to the back of the safe.

It said simply, " You shouldn’t trifle with Lili, young man." As he read the small note, he pictured an old, pale small woman, losing hair, curled up in pain on her hospital bed, battling the final stages of cancer, dying, telling him about her life’s savings held in a vault in a tavern near Chernobyl, now abandoned. How she wanted him to get it for her. How he had planned to keep it all.

He stormed out of the abandoned tavern, pushing through knee-deep snow towards the car. As he reached the lamppost, he looked about him but he saw no headlights around. He stomped about, looking for the car. As he returned to the lamppost, now only a stump above the snow, he pointed his torch and saw a note tacked to the lamppost, written in Yuri's crisp Cyrillic script.

Alexei, suddenly cold in his inadequate overcoat, shivered as he heard the bone-chilling cry of a wolf-pack.

Miles away, Yuri in his driving seat behind the wheel, heard the wolf's howl. He winced as the Rolls entered the outskirts of the city.

(word count: 491 words)

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