N is for Nailed

NFootsteps chunked through gravel. The engine ticked, exhaust fumes died. Still, April counted a thousand one-thousands before daring to wiggle past the bungee cord into fresh air.

Whew! She wrinkled her nose; fresh was relative that far into the twisted back roads. If you could call them roads. She eased her sneakers onto the pitted dirt, appreciative of encroaching kudzu camouflage. She didn’t need to see the collection of rotting log cabins, tin shacks, and parked RV’s to know where she was. Yeast crowded oxygen, making room only for the sharp tang of methane burning—it was enough to tell her she’d arrived at moonshine central. She had always wondered about the notorious Finley (a name synonymous with “just look the other way” in Shirley County) encampment. Her interest was piqued, but not as high as her fear.

That fat man had a gun and didn’t even bother to hide it. She shook her head at the irony. How did her sniveling dork of a brother even know those people? Whatever, let’s do this.

She crept to the front of the nearest building, unable to resist investigating the backyard several hundred feet beyond. Huge copper carafes sat over blue flame, with dented, soldered tubes running to steel-banded barrels. A pimpled tweenage boy patrolled, rifle slung over his back.

April eased her burden off her shoulders and set it in the dirt. She thumbed through screens, a bead of sweat dripping onto her brother’s phone, before she finally found the alarm clock app. She set it to “Rooster Wake-up,” then slid it into the front pocket. Every tendon coiled, she stood and turned to make her escape in an elaborate robot breakdance.


Her chuckle caught in her throat.

The Rottweiler’s mouth seeped fluid, but his eyes were trained on her.


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.



Sarah is the author of the new Young Adult novel, The Tramp, which is the first book in her epic saga, Bound. She is also currently working on a related novella entitled, Wicked Lover, which will be released in serial format on Amazon every two months. View the trailer for The Tramp, and listen to its original soundtrack! Find more info and links at www.sarahwathen.com. An artist turned author, Sarah's literary work incorporates art judicially, both in plotlines and in supporting social media. A reader can view characters' art and posters for fictitious events in Shirley County, listen to samples of character's favorite music and music that inspired the writing process, and even purchase a charm given to the heroine of The Tramp. LayerCake Productions is Sarah Wathen's independent publishing company, responsible for producing all video, audio and imagery for the Bound saga. Visit www.layercakeproductions.com for more info.

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5 Responses

  1. shanjeniah says:

    I’d have an advantage here. Critters tend to love me, even when they’re tough as rusty nails to everyone else. I’m not skeered of a Rottie; he’s just doing his job, and a soft voice and no direct eye contact will help…

    The kid with the gun, though? THAT makes me more than a little nervous. Someone who’d set a young person to do guard duty with a rifle at a mass still probably hasn’t done due diligence on imparting a respect for life…

    • sarahwathen says:

      You sound like one of my best friends, who is an animal trainer and lover. I think the critters may love her even more than she loves them, too, bc she’s one of those dog whisperers (and bird and cat and fish and anything else). You never know, April may be, too… 😉

      • shanjeniah says:

        I just had to set the laptop aside so that the cat could stand on my lap and purr at me on her way to the food dish…

        May April is. =)

  1. April 16, 2015

    […] Pingback: N is for Nailed | Sarah Wathen […]

  2. April 17, 2015

    […] N is for Nailed […]

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