F is for Forfeit

FThere were five species of tree in her haunt: spruce, elm, birch, oak, pine. No hemlocks. She counted at least three types of bush: rhododendron, holly, azalea.

“One rabbit, three sparrows, one deer.”

The deer was way in the distance and spooked when April cracked a stick under her sneakers. Her path was worn to dirt, leaves and rocks kicked aside hours before.

She flung her arms around her head. “More bugs than I want to know…”

She’d forgotten her own cellphone, but her brother left his in the backpack.

“Fifteen to twelve.”

Reassuring herself that it wouldn’t be pathetic to show up early, since the only way Zach would know was if he were also early, she made for the corner of Forest and Hemlock.

She tried to look normal, curling fingers around the stop sign post and tapping a foot in rhythm with her speeding pulse. Just as she gave in to checking the time again, a shiny black Ford F-150 came into view around a bend in the road. She had no idea what Zach drove, but as the truck approached, a different face came into view behind the windshield. Derrick. He’d sat with his back to her, one of the baseball caps she didn’t recognize at breakfast.

“Hey,” he rolled down a heavily tinted window as the pick-up halted. “Get in.”

Annoyed and confused that Zach hadn’t come alone, April squinted to see inside the back of the cab. There was no one there. “Zach sent you?”

Derrick smirked. “Yeah.”

Dubious, but unwilling to pass up the opportunity or resist the curiosity, April got in.

“Where to?” Her voice felt shaky.

Derrick made a silent U-turn. When he shifted gears, she saw the angry mosquito welts that mottled his forearm. Her fault. Enemy.


This flash fiction is a part of the Blogging From A to Z (April 2015) 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 this blogfest HERE.


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