H is for Hypnotized


She cursed the gall of crackling dead leaves in springtime, but April could walk through a forest like a cat across a velvet bedspread. The whistling was too sharp in her muted green mise-en-scene to lull, but she floated towards the sound as if in a dream. Snippets of sandy brown curls materialized through bold green leaves and shy flower buds.

Snapshots of grabbing, slapping hands clashed with daydreams of secret spooning under sunflower-patterned blankets. “Is this a joke?”

Zach looked up from his cellphone. His flying thumb froze mid-text and faux birdsong plummeted to dead calm.

“April…” he smiled, eyes back on the screen. He tapped a couple more characters and put it to sleep, slid it into a back pocket. His face was bright and open, “I thought you were gonna stand me up.”

From a guy who knows that would never happen. April crossed her arms over her chest and wondered if her cheek sported a handprint. She raised an eyebrow, demanding an explanation without a prompt.

“I’m sorry. I don’t have as much time as I thought.” He shrugged and searched the canopy over her head. “There’s some kinda plumbing emergency and my mom’s freaking out. And ever since my dad passed…”

April’s anger morphed into sympathy, a nurturing mother over her wounded cub. “It’s okay. Really.”

“I just wanted…” he looked over his shoulder, “to just.” Zach took her hand and led her away from the road. “I really like you, April.” His hand was rough on the edges, soft in the center. “You’re so pretty.” He reached back and pulled her braid to his face, fondled it between his fingers.

Trees enveloped them in sudden privacy. What?

Soft brown eyes fixed on electrified green. Moving in. For the kill?

“Just trust me, okay…”


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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