it happened one night

With a smirk, she closed the door in his face.

He walked away, the rain soaking him to the bone, and never looked back.  The storm raging around him was playing second fiddle to the tempest waging war in his mind and soul.

Ducking under the limbs of a giant elm at the of the street he sought a brief respite from the storm’s onslaught.  He dug his phone from his pocket and dialed one number.  When the call went to voicemail, as he had known it would, he simply said “Goodbye,” and hung up.  Dropping the phone where he stood, and not bothering to watch it sink into the mud pooling at his feet, he looked first left and then right down the lengths of the cross street.

His mind made up, he stepped out from under his shelter and disappeared into the stormy night, never to be seen again.

But, that’s how the story ends.

Logan’s shadow, alive in the rain water running down the street, flitted across the black pavement, barely discernible, as it was thrown this way and that by the flickering street lamps he passed under.  He walked with a purpose, resolute, determined.  Inside, however, his mind reeled at that task that still lay ahead of him, and reflected on how far he had come to get there.  The thief was nearly in his grasp.

After years of stumbling, broken and lost, from town to town, a shattered remnant of the man he had been, he finally found the motivation to confront the person who had left his life in tatters, the person who had stolen his most prized possession, Lucy McLane.  While managing to continue working during the day, keeping up the pretenses that he was a contributing member of his team at work, Logan threw himself into researching her whereabouts.  Every spare moment was spent scouring the internet, flipping through white pages, looking for the first lead that would set him upon her trail.

Then he’d found it.

She was writing a blog under a pseudonym.  Logan knew it was her, though, from her tone and manner, from her writing style, from the subjects she wrote about, from the mannerisms that were evident in her comment replies.

He had her!

He read her entire catalog of posts, compiling pieces of information here and there: what landmarks she lived near, what cities she could live in, restaurants she frequented, etc…  If he could narrow down her potential area he had a better chance of finding her.  Once he found her he would confront her and get back what was rightfully his, what she’d had no business stealing in the first place.

The final breadcrumb fell when she accidentally let slip in a post that she had a new married name.  He did one last search through the area he believed she was living in and found her new name listed, and, critically, the address that went with it.  He had felt elated in that moment.  Finally, he would be whole again.

He took a leave of absence from work and traveled across the country to confront Lucy, no longer McLane, Farlan.  The thief.  The woman from his past.  The only person that could set him right again.

It was raining when his plane landed.  He was fine with that, the dark rain clouds mirrored his dark intent.  He would not be denied.  He would have his prize no matter what.  Logan hailed a cab and directed the driver to the neighborhood that was his destination for the evening.

Logan had the cabbie stop a few blocks away from Lucy’s house, so he could walk up to it without drawing attention to his presence.  He tipped the driver well.  As dark as his mood was, he was still flying high from the hope that he would soon have his stolen item returned to him.  The cabbie thanked him before speeding off into the darkness and the storm to pick up his next fare.

The import of that was lost on Logan.  He was too much single-minded in that moment to understand that his quest for the thief had become the only purpose in his life, but it wasn’t, it shouldn’t be, the most important thing in his world.  His quest should have been just one chapter, as dropping him off in the dark, in the rain, on that deserted street had just been one chapter in the cab driver’s night.

He noticed his shadow playing in the water on the street as he made his way to Lucy’s home: shimmering here, running there, distorting, reflecting, constantly on the move, advancing and retreating.  Without giving anything a second thought, he marched across her lawn and knocked on her front door.  His face was set.  His resolve was unwavering.  He would not be denied.

And then she answered the door…

“Lucy,” his voice hitched perceptibly as his eyes locked with her’s, “you stole my heart and I want it back…”  Suddenly doubt filled his mind.  The energy and power he had felt during the weeks he had been looking for her ebbed away.  The elation he had felt at finally finding her vanished.  The slimmer of hope he had been holding on to all those years at ever being whole again faltered, failed, disappeared as though it were washed away in the rain pouring over him.

Logan could no longer hold her gaze, and, ever so slightly, his face dipped.

With a smirk, she closed the door in his face.

……

Word Count: 922

This was written for the Flash Fiction Friday writing prompt.  The prompt asked for a 1,300 word, or less, crime fiction story with a goodbye.  While I’m not sure this exactly the type of “crime” they were looking for, I started writing and this is what came out.

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13 thoughts on “it happened one night

  1. I like that style – ‘but, that’s how the story ends.” I was thinking he’d shot her or something, but it was her that shot him down. Poor guy, all that wasted time and anger.

    • Glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun putting it together, and I’d like to say I wrote it in that style intentionally, but that’s just how the words came to me. I wrote the first lines and then realized that was the ending rather than the beginning and then had to backtrack.

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