Okay this is a long read (1500 words) so be warned, but I had to write it in one go. A story I so wanted to write after being inspired by a title of a poem by Laura A. Lord. Together with the picture prompt from Creativity carnival it all came together. I just hope you enjoy the read.
Gun and Flower!
Melanie dropped the plates from her hands. The sounds of breaking porcelain made her hair stand up in the back of her neck. The eerie feeling of something bad happening, creped up along her spine and had her drop her to her knees in the rubble the shards had made.
Tears flowed without any clear reason across her cheeks into the palms of her shaking hands. A quick fold and pressed close to her chest she leans over into a small ball to try and stop from trembling in fear and sadness.
She had been anxious for some time now as her husband had not come home from work that one day. He was a representative for a small company who sold kitchen appliances for restaurant kitchens.
A little over a week ago he did not come home, though Melanie did not think much of it as it would not have been the first time he was across state lines. Still he usually would have called to let her know he would not come home that day. Married for a long time and having spend most of their teenage years together she trusted him so she was not worried.
Work was calling her being a head nurse and all so she just went off to work leaving his dinner in the microwave with a small note sealed with a lipstick kiss.
Being okay with this was also because they had not yet thought of children that would run around the house. They talked about it but made the decision not to be ready yet and left it at that for the time being. And now it turned out to be the right thing to do as she finds it hard to handle life.
It has been days she came home with that same note lying untouched on the kitchen table and the food still in its place. And one day became two. Panicking she tried calling him but the phone was dead. She than called a friend who would call the police in her stead as she was losing herself in grieve and thinking the worse. Reasons of why he rushed through her mind but none would make any sense.
There wasn’t a lot of money. They got by and were able to out for dinner more than once. Clearly he wasn’t doing or dealing drugs. No not Daniel. Her mind was playing tricks on her. He had an affair and ran off. But how could he? A day earlier he came home with flowers and tickets to an opera she so wanted to visit. It all didn’t make any sense.
Days of stress gathered its toll and she collapsed. Her family and friend helped her back on her feet. She would send them away after a few days, while they would call regularly to check in if she needed anything or if the police would have found a lead.
She couldn’t work and she spend days staring at his picture. One they made together smiling in their happy days. His eyes fiery and full of passion looking at her long curly hair as she clicked at the camera. The smile would only last a second to the moment tears welled up and she was wishing him home again. The heartaches kept her indoors most the time and keeping up her appearance when ever some one would come over. But now it kept her home and crying lonely on her kitchen floor.
The sound of the doorbell has Melanie startled and standing up wiping her tears away best she could.
Slipping and sliding across the broken plates she walks over to the door and opens it carefully. With a peek through the crack she see a postman holding a package in his hand.
-“Good after noon miss, a parcel for Mrs. Melanie Stronghold. Would that be you?”
His young appearance is a gentle one and his smile kind of like an innocent kid asking for candy.
Melanie opens the door further and reaches out her hand, “That would be for me. Yes!” But she is stopped in her movements. Startled as if seen a ghost she stares down at the sticker.
-“I need your autograph for that, if you could be so kind. Is something wrong?”
Without further spoken words and confused nod her hand moves across the paper, eyes focussed on the address and takes the parcel from his hands.
“Thank you very much Ma’am!”
With a small smile she leaves him walking down the path. Closing the door behind herself she walks over to the kitchen table and puts it down. The weight is significant on the heavy side.
Fingers slide across the edged strokes of ink on the white sticker. She recognizes the handwriting all to well. It is from Daniel.
Does it mean he is still alive?
Tears roll past curled lips. She was smiling feeling along the letters as if she was writing them herself. Her mind is making overtime as she tries to understand why now and a parcel at that. He could have called just the same.
Her nails peel away on the tape and rip open the box. The smiling face is looking shocked as she looks down inside of the box. A trembling hesitation is noticeable in her movements as her hands dive in and pulled out a gun. It looks so big in her tiny feminine hands.
She puts it aside on top of the many cards she left for him just in case. A quick look inside the box reveals there is still a folder inside together with one of her favourite flowers. On the outside is a picture of Melanie in her nurses outfit held by a paperclip. On the cover Daniel’s handwriting had carved some words in black ink. “I Love you Melanie” accompanied by a heart.
Her legs are unable to hold her up an collapse from underneath her. She lands on a chair and stares with fear to the folder before opening. Inside she finds a letter in the same handwriting again as Daniel’s.
To my love Melanie,
I have written this letters a hundred times now and I am still unsure on where to begin. Or even how. Crazy to think you always thought I was the strong one. Well as it turns out I am the weakest of us two. So much so I am to scared to even face you at this very time and apologize for al the lies I had been telling you for so long.
No I was not having an affair. I love you Melanie.
And it is because I love you I can’t do what I was set out to do. I been torn apart by my love for you and the work I truly do.
I am not a representative. What I do is much worse and I have kept it hidden from you.
For crying out loud, I can’t say it. I do not know how to tell you.
My hearts is breaking knowing. Shattered to the point I am not coming back.
I am sorry my love, but by the time you get this I might be already dead.
Let me try and explain the best I can.
Melanie’s tears smudges the paper reading those words. Circles of earlier tears disappear as they are mixed again with hers. With a hand covering her mouth she reads on. On occasion wiping a tear away when her vision was being blurred.
Sweetheart in real I am a hitman and I got the order to deal with a nurse who supposedly helped a mafia boss who kept his life, while he should have died. That nurse, the picture I got was you.
I can’t do it. I cracked down and went into hiding. I can’t kill the woman I love. I am sorry but I was weak and confused. Scared. I do not know what to do. I wish I could tell you. But I am lost for words. Afraid you will hate me despise me for not telling you sooner.
They are looking for me and will kill me since I neglected doing the job. After that they will come after you again with another killer. I can’t do it. I could never pull the trigger on you.
I added a gun in the box for your protection. I am sure you still know how to use it, just like I taught you.
Truly sorry for being so weak, but I thought I could keep them away from you as they hunted me. But as mention I am not sure how long I can keep that up.
I am sorry Melanie. For everything. I am not asking forgiveness it is inexcusable what I done.
Forever love, Daniel.
A loud sound resonates through the kitchen. The smell of burned gunpowder fills the space. A metallic objects falls to the ground and crumbles up more shards
On the letter ruby red drops drip from the tip of a nose. Melanie’s eyes staring lifeless to the ringing phone. One hand clinging on to the flower close to her chest.
OH wow! I never would have guessed! Fantastic story. I love that you entered this prompt. YAY!
It means a lot coming from you. Guess it became a love story with a twist.
His gift… your bullet.
It just gave me this in an instant.
I love inspiring you!
A great story. As a rule I don’t like sad ends, but then some stories are meant to end this way – that their love stayed strong through it all is a consolation…but I can’t stop wondering how it would’ve been had he decided to protect her instead. I once read a short-stories collection by Jeffery Archer, in which he presented a story with three different endings.
Thanks so much for participating. You used the cue-art extremely well 🙂
I thank you so much for the kind words. I enjoyed the write very much.
And true I thought of different endings while writing. I kept the ending blind as I like to call it. It was the first I thought of and kept to it.
Did she shoot herself? Was she murdered? Did he die? Is he still assuming her to be alive?
Leaving an opening to the imagination of the reader.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
Great to read, the story moved really well, keeping me guessing and surprised by the twist in the tale. (It was slightly reminding me a little of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ at one point with the husband being a rep, out of state). Excellent 😀
Haha thank you. Yeah the sales rep was a quick fix as an solution why he might be out of state. I only had the end if the story in my head. We often use what we remember when writing.
I got a big smile plastered over my face knowing you enjoyed the read. Thank you for taking the time.