C is for Curl

CApril sucked in her breath as a hand slipped around her belly under the covers. She felt his nose between her shoulder blades, hot breath seeping through her cotton nightgown. So his head was under the blanket, thank god. Whoever he was…

Light burst crimson across her eyelids. Kitchen smells and lived-in aftershave wafted into her bedroom on a gentle hallway breeze. She heard her father’s impatient sigh, felt his gaze on her like a slap. She held her breath to keep from heaving, but there was nothing she could do about her racing pulse.

Please just go. Nothing to see here, Dad. Just g—

She felt a stiffness poking into the back of her thigh, and the warm body spooned around her went to stone.

“April?” her dad whispered.

Corpses never laid so still.

Until a thumb stroked the skin around her bellybutton. And stone melted by degrees. April’s heart was a jack hammer—there was no way her dad couldn’t hear it. A feather caress against her back.


A calf hooked around her foot.

He’s tall.

“Damn brats.” Dad’s voice was already trailing down the hallway. “Gotta get up at freakin’ six-o’clock…”

A hand brushed past her breast and up to her face, a tender stroke on her cheek.

Zach. My god, it’s Zach.

If she just turned her head a fraction, her lips would touch his thumb.

“Zaaaaach…” came her brother’s whisper from the window, a sound she relished and abhorred. “Come on, dude. Let’s go.”

Bedsprings creaked and her body fell back against the sudden declivity behind her. Then the mattress sprung flat again as Zach’s body left hers.

“Alright, I’m coming,” he whispered to the open air outside.

April lay like a dead fish as lips pressed against her cheek.



This flash fiction is part of the A to Z Challenge. A new installment arrives every day in April, following the alphabet; check the calendar below to see which letters post on which days. Read more about it HERE.


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