This week's Friday Flash Fiction #40 on Cormac Brown's site http://fridayflashfiction.blogspot.com/ uses the spooky line: "I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys." Hell, this flash fiction is becoming addictive. Thanks to everyone involved. I love it.
Anyhow, here it is ......
It had been raining. The pavement and road were washed clean and they glistened darkly in the light of the street lamps.
I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys.
Swinging around quickly, I saw no-one. The street was empty. It took a while for me to realise that the footsteps were my own and that I was jingling the keys nervously, mindlessly, in my coat pocket. “God, I’m jumpy tonight” I thought as I edged my way along the forlorn street. And no wonder, for what I was about to do would put the bejesus up anyone.
Yes, the keys ... those keys in my pocket. Why did I pick them up? Why did I agree to do this? And why was I out on this cold wet night? I’d much rather be watching TV, snuggled up under a doona and clutching a nice mug of hot chocolate. But they said it was my turn. I had to do it.
Big Jules was a mighty scary character and this was my first time on the job. The tales the other girls had told filled me with dread. “You’re all older than me. Can’t you let me off the hook?” My begging whine was met with blank stares all round – stares that didn’t need the word “NO” to be articulated. The “boss” had taken the phone call: “I need it BAD and I need it NOW!” said Jules. I’d be mincemeat if I didn’t deliver.
I buttoned up my coat and braced myself against the wind and the daunting task ahead. But with only one block to go before I reached Jules' apartment, my knees were knocking and my teeth were chattering ... mainly from fear, not the cold. The apartment loomed before me all too quickly. “Just get it over with.”
After several shaky attempts to get the front door key into the lock, I entered the lair of the beast. Big Jules was waiting in the front room ... impatient and hungry.
“Hello Grandma” I said. “I’ve brought you your dinner. Sorry I’m late.” Mrs Julia McTavish-Scott, the dowager of our family and the "boss's" mother, merely snorted as she grabbed the still hot casserole from my hands.