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:
"In what universe did you think..."
or use: kumquat, canary and vitamin
or "He had to chuckle when he saw..."
or use: backwards, light, brandy
or "The lady is a tramp..."
or any other Cher reference.
I’m using "He had to chuckle when he saw..."
All That He Desires #9
Was he completely nuts?
Jules stopped again. But what was the alternative? Just give in to what Anslee demanded? Give up his life to be… he wasn’t sure what he’d be, but he damn sure didn’t want to find out.
While lost in his head he’d covered more land than he thought, and now he was coming out of the woods. All he needed to do was get across the farmland and he’d be close to home. This was going to be the hardest part because the lands were bare this time of the year. He’d be exposed.
“Shit.” There was no hope for it. He’d try to stay as close to the tree line as possible and… pray.
As good as praying sounded, he was more worried about the fact he wasn’t being followed. At least, he was pretty sure he was alone out here. While racing madly through the woods, he’d half expected Anslee to pop out from behind a tree and yell ‘boo’ at him. The fact he hadn’t scared him more. He didn’t strike Jules as the type to just shrug his shoulders and give up.
Jules skirted the pastures, eyes searching the darkness for anything that looked out of the ordinary. God, everything looked so different at night with moonlight bathing the land in its silvery light. The stark beauty would’ve interested him more if other things hadn’t been demanding his attention.
Like… where was Anslee, and what was he planning?
* * * *
Anslee parked, watching as the one he’d claimed ran hell for leather away from him. He sincerely hoped his human didn’t break an ankle in his mad dash for freedom.
“Mental note—lock the doors from now on.” Sighing, he got out and walked around the front of his car. The headlights cut across the park, illuminating the swings close by.
He shouldn’t have been surprised by Jules’ actions, though. Humans were notorious for fighting against anything that represented a loss of what they considered their freedom. Freedom. He snorted. What was freedom? Did these humans not realize every living thing on this planet was governed by rules in some form?
There was the law of nature, laws set up by man, laws of the different deities… freedom was nothing more than an illusion. They all answered to someone, even beings like him. Laws, freedom, choices… opportunity. These concepts were all related, as were the consequences tied to each. For every action, there was a reaction. Call it Fate, Karma, or whatever, life was not lived in a vacuum.
Ever since the universe came into being, and the first creatures crawled out of the primordial ooze, there had been choice, and with that, opportunity. Human history was littered with examples. As long as a creature lived, he had choices. Anslee smirked as he remembered one of his favorite examples revolving around a garden, a snake, and an apple. Jules took the opportunity offered and now it was time to deal with the end result of that…. him.
Wasn’t there an old saying about when Opportunity knocked…?
Anslee shook his head, clearing his thoughts. Now was not the time to ponder such things. He had a human to tend to. He could admit he was slightly annoyed with Jules, but privately he did have to chuckle when he saw Jules bail out of the car. His human had guts and a very strong will. He admired that in any creature.
“So, to chase or not to chase… that is the question.” Anslee leaned against his car, debating. A chase through the woods might be fun for him, but he didn’t imagine Jules was in a frame of mind to enjoy such a thing. Maybe later that would change.
“Where would he go? Hmmm. If I was a human who had just been confronted with the unimaginable, was scared and not thinking clearly, and now was on the run… where would I go?” Anslee smiled suddenly. “Home, of course. I’d need money, supplies, and so forth. Yes, my first stop would be home.”
Satisfied with that answer, he returned to the car. Maybe he’d pick something up to eat on the way to Jules’ apartment. He was sure when his human managed to stand still for more than a few moments, exhaustion would hit him like a ton of bricks. Adrenaline drop wasn’t a pleasant thing and Jules would need comfort. Which he was more than willing to give.
* * * *
“Shit,” Jules hissed when yet another branch smacked him in the face.
He’d made it. Now all he had to do was cut through a few business parking lots and he’d be home free. While running, he’d made a plan. Okay, sort of a plan. He’d grab some clothes, something to eat, some money he had hidden, and get the hell out of there. Once morning came, he’d find somewhere to sleep for a while, then hit the road again. There were plenty of ATM’s around for him to get money from too. If he had to, he’d move clear across the country and start a new life.
A very small part of his brain that was rational pointed out the glaring flaws in the plan, but he ignored it. As he drew closer to his apartment complex, he checked the parking lot. Good, he didn’t see Anslee’s car. He grabbed the spare key under the planter and let himself inside his dark apartment. He’d get what he had to have then…
“Well, you got here faster than I thought. I had allotted at least another ten minutes before you arrived. 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.
TBC. Make sure to visit the other briefers!