Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:
Use: “As thick as London fog …”
or “Like oil and water …”
or “She ran in …”
Use: Pizza, peanut butter and kool-aid
or Lightning, blue sky and a chair
Use: The image of a dead tree
I’m using “As thick as London fog …”
All That He Desires #10
“Well, you got here faster than I thought you would. I had allotted at least another ten minutes before your arrival. Oh, I also stopped and got us something to eat. Your food is in the microwave so it would be kept warm. After we eat, we need to have a long talk, Jules.”
“Fuck.” Jules stared in shock at Anslee, who was sitting on his couch as pretty as you please.
The urge to run right back out the door must have shown on Jules’ face because Anslee raised an eyebrow. “Running will do no good, Jules. I’ll just hunt you down. There is nowhere on this planet you can hide from me. Now come in and eat.”
Jules slumped against the door frame, defeated. What the hell had he been thinking coming here? Of all the places Anslee was sure to check, home had to be high on the list. But what else was he going to do? Take off on foot with only the clothes on his back and no way to go? He had to have his car, at least. Maybe he should’ve hid out for a few days then come back here… and it didn’t matter anyway now. Maybe it hadn’t mattered at all. God, he felt thicker than London fog.
Jules shut the door behind him, the noise echoing through the room. Now, didn’t that sound final?
“How did you know I’d come here?” Jules stepped farther into the room.
* * * *
Anslee watch his human edge closer. “It’s like everything else, Jules. You had a choice to make, and you made it. You could’ve run with nothing, but how well would that’ve worked? Or, you could’ve come here for what you considered important… then tried to run. Or… you could’ve not run at all. Either way, you had a choice, an opportunity, and you made a decision. And with any decision you make, you also have to deal with the consequences. As I told you before, for every action, there is a reaction.
“But how did you know?”
Anslee shrugged. “It stood to reason from what I’ve observed of human nature. You were scared and not thinking clearly. The need to “go home” or to seek a place you consider safe can be strong in some of your kind. Now, please, come in and sit down. You must be tired and hungry.”
“I was stupid in coming here.” Jules ran a hand through his hair, making it stand up in every direction.
Anslee patted the couch. “Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered, Jules. I would’ve found you no matter where you went. You are mine and nothing will stand in my way of having you… including you.”
Jules dropped down on the couch, suddenly more tired than he had been in ages. “Why me?
Why did you offer that lotto ticket to me in the first place?”
Anslee stood. “I’ll get your food. Just rest while I reheat it. And Jules, don’t try to run again. I promise you… you won’t get five feet out of this apartment before I’m on you.”
Jules looked at Anslee, defiance shining in his eyes. “Really? I got away from you earlier.”
There was that spark he so admired in this human. “You got away because I let you. I wanted you to see that no matter where you go, I’ll come after you.”
“Have you any idea how arrogant that sounds?” Jules muttered, glaring.
Anslee’s soft laugh trailed behind him as he walked to the kitchen. “I suppose it does, from your standpoint, but I wasn’t trying to be arrogant.” Moments later he returned with the food. “Here. You asked me what attracted me to you. Simply put, that night I sensed your desperation as I drove by. That caught my attention first. That desperation, and the will to succeed no matter what.”
Jules picked at the food. “What do you mean?”
“Humans are forever struggling with things around them, trying to figure out what to do or what not to do… my kind finds that interesting.” Anslee returned to his place next to Jules on the couch.
“Jesus, you make us sound like rats in a maze—trying to figure out which way to go to get to the end.”
“Your words, not mine, Jules. Anyway, I sensed something was bothering the human—you—inside the service station, but I also sensed a driving need behind that desperation. I admire such a strong will—it glowed in you, Jules—that will to succeed, to not be beaten down by whatever was going on in your life. It was a beacon that drew me.”
Anslee shook his head. That was exactly what he was talking about. “Your struggle might have been what caught my attention, but that drive is what made me decide to claim you. You are very strong, and you’ll need that well of strength to be a mate to one such as me.”
Jules put his food on the coffee table. “Well, goodie for you. You still don’t get it, do you? It’s all about you—what you noticed, what you wanted, what you decided to do. And meanwhile, me—poor little human that I am—is just expected to fall in line with all this. Like I said, arrogant.”
Anslee stared at Jules for a moment. He’d never thought about it that way—and would he? He’d never had a human stand up to him before. Interesting. Several minutes passed as he considered Jules’ words. “I will allow you may have a point.”
“You’ll ‘allow’, huh?” Jules’ eyes narrowed as anger crashed through him. “Allow this…”
Jules flipped Anslee the bird and stood up.
TBC. Don’t forget to check out the other briefers!