Stop Struggling

“I see,” she began, looking at the cards, “wow. That’s… That’s a lot of conflict.” Navy blue eyes glanced up, met a pair so cerulean, she had to glance away, for fear of being burned. “You gotta lotta, uh. Hm. Shit, dude, I feel bad charging you for this one.”

Blue-eyes snorted, shaking his head. “Come on, or I’ll take the tenner and get some other con a cheap lunch.”

Her hand slapped over the bill on the table; she gritted her teeth and snarled, “I said I feel bad. Not that I ain’t gonna fuckin do it.”

“On with it, then.”

She looked up at him again, frowning as she said, “So I gotta ask — do I know you?”

“Really?” he sighed. “That’s what you’re leading with? Some bloody past life fuckery?” Full of snark, he planted his hands on the table, and leaned in to stand up. “I’m done. You’re all alike; you rope a bloke in and then–”

She could see over his shoulder, and her gaze focused there for a moment, navy blue eyes so very wide, impossibly wide, strangely dark — two toned? No, just one pupil blown out. Daft bint was on something, he bet. It made her left eye seem so very dark, her right eye almost pale in comparison.

He knew he shouldn’t stare, shouldn’t get caught up. He forced himself to blink.

That’s when her eyes got huge, and she grabbed his tie, and hauled him back down, as if to crack his skull against the cement of the chess-top right there in the park.

“Oi! Whatchoo think y–” His shout was indignant, but it cut out when the bullets started flying. He tried to scramble up over the table, but something kept him pinned down. “Leggo!”

“Stop. Struggling!” she cried. “Fuck, do you want to get us both killed?”

“I’m not the one staying fucking still in the fucking middle of a fucking shooting!” he shouted back.

“You’ll be a lot more fucking still if you don’t shut up!”

And that’s when he felt the pressure against him increase. He craned his neck to try to see what else was holding him — but from his angle, all he could see was her hand on his tie. Even so, the pressure on his back kept his belly against the table, his hips against its edge.

Against his back — hands. Pairs of them shifting their weight, their touch, as if they couldn’t figure out where best to settle.

When the shooting stopped, the sound of sirens could be heard.

When she let go of his tie, he felt the hands leave his back — he stood, whirling to face the ones he’d thought held him down, but no one was there.

He turned back, but she and the ten were gone, leaving behind something else, instead.

A trail of blood splotches, leading away from the table.


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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