The Drop

She looks like she might cry, and that seems to make her more angry than anything else. Thin hands, gloved except for fingertips, curled into whiteknuckled fists. “You… You’re just trying to –” Gritted teeth and pale face except for two flushed cheeks. Tears stinging such dark eyes. “You just–” You’re just trying to make me angry. Don’t you want me to trust you? Are you pushing me away? “Fuck you.” Except she doesn’t mean it. In any of the ways she could.

“I’m not leaving,” she says finally, decisively. “You can be as much of a shit as you want,” she grits. “You’ll have to burn me up to make me disappear,” she tells him, stalking across the room, all six and a half feet of her in those crazy boots. She moves to stand in front of him, her sharp features angry, dark eyes hiding her worry.


“It’s already six,” she tells him, shifting to pull out a smoke and a lighter. “We don’t have much longer.”

* * *

Six fifteen, and right now, she should be meeting that ‘redheaded bitch’. Six thirty, and she should have what she needs, and be on her way back. Six forty three and the mostly-contained bomb should only force that single car off the highway, the woman in the back murderous with fury. Or, if they were lucky, her face blown off, and most everyone else in the car half-blind. Either way, the stuff is destroyed, and she should be done. Six-fifty, and there is no call. Just as he’s walking out the door, she comes running up the stairs, looking nauseated and pale, holding a slim briefcase clutched to her chest, one glove missing.

She shoves the briefcase at him and runs past. Right for the john. Still, no TK. None. Shouldn’t it be crawling all over him? What else has he forgotten? She drops to her knees right in front of the toilet bowl, and vomits noisily. Painfully.

She kneels there, and her shoulders hunch as he holds her hair back, hunch as she leans forward to purge herself of… whatever. For whatever reason. When it’s over and she spits, one hand fumbling, the naked one, thin fingers reaching for a washcloth, she rasps, “Never have to worry about her again.” She hunches again, making a strange hiccuping noise, and then shakes her head. “Wanted me to show,” she murmurs, resting that hand up on the back of the toilet, the webbing between the thumb and forefinger bruised as hell, the skin broken and bloody. “I opened the cases, let her see. She shut my hand in the one with the bomb. I thought she knew and was gonna let me lose it. I had–I had to wait. She was mad you weren’t there. Got fucking chatty. Six forty two and thirty seconds, and I undid the snap on the back of the glove and just pulled free. Already had my case. I ran. I looked back — case popped open in her face ’cause of my glove. Six forty three. You ever see that comedian Gallagher?” she wonders, and her shoulders hunch again as she vomits from the soles of her feet, getting rid of lunch from six years ago last Tuesday.

About Catastrophe Jones

Wretched word-goblin with enough interests that they're not particularly awesome at any of them. Terrible self-esteem and yet prone to hilarious bouts of hubris. Full of the worst flavors of self-awareness. Owns far too many craft supplies. Will sing to you at the slightest provocation.
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