Become a Fan
By Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Friday, July 02, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
A flash fiction piece.
They hadn't seen each other in over twenty years, but he knew her instantly.
She was on the other side of the road, surrounded by flowers, bliss etched on her face. Clutched under her left arm were more than two dozen flowers -- roses, sunflowers, jasmin, daisies. An old woman -- the vendor -- followed her as she glided along the rows of flowers -- smelling, picking, caressing the colorful blooms. She bent to inhale the scent of a newly-bloomed rose and closed her eyes, surrendering herself to the moment.
His breath caught in his chest. She was breathtaking, and oblivious to the admiring and lingering stares of passers-by.
He crossed the street slowly, stopped behind a parked van and watched her. He didn't want her to see him. Not yet. He didn't want to spend another twenty years haunted by her face, her laughter. He had waited a long time for this moment, and he didn't want her to run away from him again. No, he'd never let her get away from him this time.
Over the years, he had pursued and captured many others like her, but they never compared with her. The others never gave him excitement, frustration, despair. No, compared with this woman, they were boredom. Pursuing them was merely a duty he performed because it was expected of him. Every successful pursuit he made, he thought of her. The memory of her slipping away from him was the bucket of cold water that always doused his elation over his latest capture.
He saw her move away a couple of feet along the row of riotous blooms and survey the row of angel's breath. He moved slightly forward and continued to watch her.
The years had been more than kind to her, more than generous to her. She still looked like the woman twenty years before, but different. Her hair, still the color of burnt amber, was now a soft, wavy mass that cascaded past her waist. Her mouth still had that fullness and redness about it, her skin the rich color of honey, her figure lithe. He couldn't see her eyes, but he knew they were still the color of dark chocolate.
"Would she recognize me?" he asked himself. There was only one way to find out. He straightened himself and approached her slowly, his right hand jabbed in his back pocket.
She was reaching inside her purse for money, her back to him, when he grabbed her right wrist.
Startled, she whirled around. Her chocolate-colored eyes flashed with anger, then surprise, then recognition. He heard her sharp intake of breath. Ahh, so she recognized him.
"Melinda Anderson," he returned.
Two dozen flowers fell on the pavement as Chief Inspector Ian Kincaid slapped a pair of handcuffs on the slim wrists of the woman who had murdered her husband more than twenty years ago.
"You have the right to remain silent..."
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