Tuesday, 29 September 2015

"I have absolutely no faith in your ability to get this job done."

#writeworld #shortfics

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!
"I have absolutely no faith in your ability to get this job done." He said it again. It was about the tenth time that he had said it in several different ways.
The woman shoved various packages into a backpack and seem to completely ignore him as she did it but her shoulders looked tight. When the bag was packed she moved over to point at the map spread out in front of the man. “Here?”
“Yes.” He was terse.
“You’re sure? These valleys look the same.”
“I don't make mistakes.” The rest of the sentence hung in the air. She waited but he didn't add anything else. Her lips pressed together. She seemed to be counting.
After an interval, she shouldered the bag and started towards the door. Footsteps rang from outside of the room. She glanced at the internal door and waited.
The man that entered the room had the easy gait of a person used to physical work. He had a presence, not just because of his height. “Hey,”  he said to her but it said so much more.
“You just caught me.”
He smiled as if that was a private joke. “What's up?”
She jigged her head at the first man. “His wife is missing. Deer Valley.” She adjusted the bag on her shoulder.
“Okay.” He gave the man a balancing look. “Got anything of hers?”
It wasn't clear which of them he was talking to.
“She didn't ask for anything.”
“But you do have something?”
“Hand it over.” Standing in front of him, he made the husband look weak.
The man fumbled in his pocket and pulled out a ring. The plain gold band look small in the palm of the tall man. He made a noise, a kind of a thoughtful noise, before he handed the ring to the woman. They exchanged a look. It was clearly a woman's wedding band. The kind of thing people didn't take off unnecessarily, so why did the husband have it?
He used both hands to close her fingers over it. He whispered in her ear, “He reeks of deceit.”
She nodded.
Trap? he mouthed.
She nodded. “He's not convinced of my skills.”
“Huh. Why hire you then?”
When the hirer chose not to speak, she gave her man a quick peck on the lips. She had to stand on tiptoes to do it. “See you later.”
“Yes,” he agreed.
He locked the external gate behind her and leaned back against it. Arms folded and eyes fixed on the customer who looked increasingly nervous. “Sit,” he ordered.
He did.
“You stay until she gets back and you had better hope she does get back.”
“Th-that wasn't the deal.”
“I didn't make the deal. Sit down.”
His mouth opened but he closed it and sat. He hunched forward a little. “What can a lone woman do?” he muttered very low.
“You don't like women, do you?”
He startled, clearly surprised that the man had heard him.
“Do you?” he pressed.
An awkward shrug.
“Odd that you didn't offer to join her. Show her yourself.”
“I barely made it here!”
“And yet you expect her to do the trip twice? There and back again.”
“I told her she would fail.”
The tall man laughed. “She doesn't fail.” Another balancing look at the customer. “And your wife? Did she fail?”
“Is she your wife?”
“No, she is my mate.”
His eyes widened and his heart raced. Only shapeshifters had mates. Aware that his physical reactions could be catalogued they immediately betrayed him.
“She's dead, isn't she?”
“Who is?” he tried.
“Your wife.”
“No,” but he didn't sound sure of it and the shifter knew he wasn’t.
“You'd better hope not.” He gave a bitter chuckle. “Why do you think she is so good at this? Why do you think she went alone?”
The man made a sound of disbelief.
“She didn't tell you that? You must have done something to annoy her.” He chuckled. “You know what's really funny?”
The man shook his head.
“She can find the missing more easily when they're dead. The dead to talk to her, and they find her because she's the only one who hears them.”

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