imthatkay

Love Games

In Fiction, Writing on August 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

I am a member of the Writer’s Digest website, so I receive emails with writing opportunity updates and information for budding writers.  I also has the option to participate in competitions they have on their forum.  The competitions are pretty simple: you’re given a prompt of some sort and specific instructions as to what they want you to write.  The winner is chosen by a community vote of other members and prizes are awarded.  I have entered a few of these, but never won.  I don’t mind, though.  My purpose in becoming a member and entering these competitions was to flex my writing muscles, make me think, and allow me to further practice and improve my abilities.  Anyways, this was a story I wrote for my latest submission in which a story no more than 800 words (I think) had to be written beginning with the sentence: “Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”

“Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”

The room was so quiet I could hear the electricity humming between our too close bodies.  Or was that anxiety?  Maybe fear?  I wasn’t sure.  In that instant, everything else faded and there were only three things in the room.  I was, drawing my breath in slowly and holding it.  Closing my eyes only momentarily in an attempt to steady the twisting of my gut.  Wringing my hands, crossing my fingers, still not exhaling.  He was, his right hand wrapped tightly around the thin metal circle he had nonchalantly scooped off the floor.  He looked steady, sure, but I caught a slight twitch in his upper lip that indicated his interior may not be as cool as his exterior.  His eyes dilated slightly and I watched almost in slow motion as he gave the tiniest flick of his wrist and opened his palm toward the ceiling.  And then there was the quarter, flying through the air with both our eyes burning a hole into it.

I flicked my eyes quickly to his face. No lip twitch.  I wondered if he was in as much anticipatory agony as I was.  The quarter!  I turned my face upward and searched the dimly lit air.  There it was, still soaring up.  Flipping, twisting, turning.  Just like my stomach.  He held his palm steady, ready to catch our fate in his hand once gravity took over.  But that didn’t happen.  We both watched, still holding our breath, as the quarter began to arch.  Flying backward, over his head, and far out of reach. He turned, still planning to catch it, but was just seconds and centimeters too short.

The quarter came crashing down, barreling into furniture.  It bounced off the surface of an end table and ricocheted into the table lamp like a bullet.  The metallic clang of the objects colliding was like the wake up call we both needed. My breath came out in a gush of hot air as I sprung from my position on the carpet.  I was vaguely aware of movement around me, but I had tunnel vision on that coin.  I had to get to it first.  I had to be the first to see it.  I had to make sure I got the result I so desperately wanted.

As the quarter ricocheted again, rolling away from the table lamp, I stretched out my arm as far as it would go.  I felt the cool metal graze my fingertip and watched helplessly as it fell to the floor just out of reach and rolled far too fast under a large bookshelf.  I snarled, because now we would never know.  Our only option would be to flip again, and I didn’t have time for that.  I slumped back into a sitting position on the fuzzy carpet and dropped my head.

“Well, shit.”  He slumped down next to me.  I looked up into his face, waiting for him to say more.

“So…?” I asked slowly.

“So, I guess it’s neither.”  He shrugged.  “Movie?”

“Oh, you’re ready now?  We’re going to be late because of your silly games, and you know how much I hate being late!”

“I know, I know.  Calm down.  We’ll make it.”  He stood quickly and put a hand out, assisting me up. “So, you’re paying, right?” I shot him a fake dirty look and he laughed.  “Okay, okay.  I got it: heads, I pay; tails, we break up. Or…heads, you pay; tails, we get married?  Oh – heads, you pay; tails, you pay!”  And as we walked out the front door of our apartment, I watched him slide a new shiny coin out from his pocket.

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