Sending a Message is a collection of short stories that may or may not evolve into a book. We’ll see where this goes. New episodes will show up periodically in my blog intermingled with all the other random stuff that pops into my head.
Ch 1: SENDING A MESSAGE
by L.F. Sarrouf
The guard knocked twice and pushed the door open a few inches, keys banging against his flashlight as he leaned in keeping his eyes on the tile floor.
“Shop’s closing, ladies.”
He started to leave, but a voice came from one of the stalls.
“Oh, sorry, almost done.”
The toilet flushed.
“That’s okay, ma’am. Five minutes.” He started to leave again, but she stumbled out the stall door and fell. He rushed to pull her up.
“You alright?” The whiskey smell was overpowering, mascara streaks unmistakable.
“Fine. I’m fine,” she said, trying to stand on her five-inch heels. She managed, with his help, and pulled her sagging jacket over her spaghetti straps. “I’m fine. It’s just… I think my husband is cheating.”
“Can I call you a cab, ma’am?”
She smiled. “That would be sweet.” She leaned on him tapping his shoulder with a long elaborately painted nail, flashing a large ring on each finger. “Is this a good job?”
“Let’s get you home,” he said, moving her towards the door. She reached for his crotch. He blocked just in time. “Sorry, ma’am, I’m married myself,” he lied.
On their way out the door, he reached for the light, and at the last minute she turned tossing his keyring across the floor. It hit as the door closed.
A blue glow clicked on in the farthest stall. The stall door opened and the tinted flashlight beam found the keys on the floor.
Sandy carefully stepped off the toilet seat balancing a messenger bag on each side plus a backpack. She picked up the keys, exited the bathroom, and made her way to the elevator. Her partner’s chattering told her the guard was moving in the opposite direction.
The keyhole next to the highest button was locked but the guard’s keyring gave her access and then opened the stairs to the roof where she dropped the backpack next to a cell tower. Sandy pulled one end of a rope out and fed it through her own rigging before securing it to the tower. She stepped on the ledge and fell backwards. Brisk air tickled the back of her neck.
Counting the floors as she jumped, Sandy repelled to the right level before opening one of the messenger bags and unfolding the top of its trash bag lining to the rows of aerosol cans wrapped in thin foam sheeting to keep them from clanging. The covers were off for convenience but the tops were painted in their appropriate shade, all rose tones but for two blue. She started with the blue.
A snap came from above, and the tautness in the rope gave. In a second, she focused her chakra energy to her skin, hugging the glass as the rope fell until her rigging stopped it. The blue paint can continued. Sandy skidded just a bit burning her cheek and hands, but her chakra kept her glued to the side of the building. She steadied her breathing slowly waiting to hear the can hit. Waiting. Shouldn’t she hear it? No, just like she couldn’t hear the traffic, too far.
“Well,” she said, voice straining, face pressed against the glass, “this is going to make things more difficult.” She slid down another inch.
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