Flash Fiction: How You Met My Mother

Sebastian ran for the cab, noting the lady also headed for it. He pushed a little harder, chivalry aside. He really needed to get that ride. His briefcase felt heavier, the extra weight shifting as it swung with his stride.
“Stop.”
A man’s voice. Sebastian wasn’t sure to whom it was directed but ignored it regardless. Sebastian put his hand on the taxi’s trunk and made for the door. The lady made good time, despite her long dress. He looked away, her sunglasses making it difficult to tell if she was looking at him or the cab. Sebastian was sure she cursed as he opened the door to get inside.
Sebastian was sitting as he heard, “Get out.” He looked back to the sidewalk, where a man had a gun pointed at the lady’s head.
“Get your own,” Sebastian said. Chivalry was definitely gone this time. Not even a slice of regret at what that man would do to that lady. As long as the splatter didn’t spray inside, Sebastian did not care.
The man aimed his gun at Sebastian, while maintaining control on the lady. “You can slide over on your own or I will push you out after I shoot out that window. I guarantee your head will be in the way.”
Sebastian got out.

###

Cat didn’t have time for this crap today. She missed lunch and tonight’s meeting would go for the rest of the evening. Now she had to humor this jerkwad into thinking she would just go with him at gunpoint. Actually, she didn’t know why she was humored him.
He had her almost all the way in the cab, the poor guy needing the cab was now out, and this man with the gun, a rather weak gun at that, was forcing his way in too. She needed the cab. If he was willing to “force” her in, maybe he would pay. She needed to stick him.
“38th and Chestnut. Now!” The cabbie didn’t charge for the trip. She didn’t know if the cabbie charged for the trip, because she got out at Main and Shoreline. The man holding her at gunpoint left his outer flank open and she used the car’s momentum in a turn to force him over against the door and then knocked him out when the gun was safely away from her head.

###

Cat passed the bi-weekly envelopes to the others, making sure Jerome got the right one this time. She hated how insistent he was about getting his envelope and only his. Mamie never complained, though she sometimes had the other part of the transposition. It was neither one’s fault they shared the last name. Jerome just had a bug up his butt and needed to get over it.
Cat was in control when possible but with this group she tried to ease off. All of the personalities had to mesh and it was her job to keep that synergy. Synergy was one of her favorite words. So was control.
“Hey, you want to get a drink? Anne and some of the girls said they’d go out tonight. You know, just like we used to?”
“Not tonight.” Cat felt bad when Gary gave her the “good times” guilt trip. She turned him down every time since, yet he kept coming back.
“You sure? It’ll be fun.”
It took every bit of strength for her to hold her words. She wanted desperately to yell, “No you stupid son of a bitch. It didn’t work then. It sure as shit won’t work now. Grow a pair and annoy someone who gives a shit.” but she couldn’t and just told him, “I’m sure. Go have fun.”
He nodded, not in an I’m-finally-okay-with-your-rejection but an I’m-okay-for-now-but-I’ll-try-again way. Mamie came over after he left.
“You okay?”
“Yeah. Fine.”
“I thought…”
“I know you did. You all do. It’s okay. Nothing to see here.”
“Okay.”
Not okay. Just drop it. Cat smiled with little enthusiasm.

Cat made her way home. Despite her relegation to a solitary home life, she was not a “crazy cat” person. Definitely not. Everyone assumed because of her name. Not a cat person. Short for Catherine.
She undid the locks, thumbed the fingerprint pad, grabbed the mail out of her box. Up the stairs, not even a slight workout, she put the mail, mostly junk, on the entry table. She hanged her jacket on its hook. Her handguns stayed in the holsters and went on the kitchen table. She went to the fridge for a drink before she cleaned her firearms. There was a knock at her door. At least she thought it was her door as she grabbed one of the handguns. She checked the peephole; it was Mamie. Some of them knew where she lived. She didn’t know where most of them lived.
“What do you want?”
“I needed to talk to you about something.”
Cat went for the eye roll but stopped short. She really wanted to tell Mamie where to go now. Anger management. Cat breathed deep. Exhale.
“Talk about what?”
“Gary told me about…”
“Dammit, it’s none of his business. It’s none of yours.”
“Okay, but this is a serious problem.”
“The only problem I have is when somebody else assumes I have a problem. I don’t have a problem. I don’t need any more counseling or therapy. I’m good where I am.” Well, except for the anger now.
“Um, I’m embarrassed to ask this.”
Cat was ready to shut the door.
“Cat, I need a place to sleep for a few days.”
“Godda…Wait, what? What happened to you and, um…?”
“Sebastian. He’s leaving. Actually, he told me to leave.”
“That’s…wow. Did he tell you why?”
Mamie was holding back tears. Cat’s heart melted.
“He said it wasn’t me. It was him.”
It’s never the man. Damn him.
“You stay as long as you need.”
“Cat, thanks.”
“Did you bring your equipment?”

###

After finding his address, Cat waited until midnight to visit Sebastian.

END

The story starts when your protagonist is forced into a car at gunpoint. Another character is an assassin who is determined to move in with your protagonist.

This story comes from a Flash Fiction challenge on terribleminds.com. In fact most of the Flash Fiction originates from these challenges. Enjoy!

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