Fiction Friday! This weeks prompt was HARD. We had two to chose from; a middle-of-the-night phone call from a person from your past, or a week after attending a funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard telling you the friend is not dead and to meet at a pizza place.
I don’t even need to touch the postcard in my steering wheel to know whom it is from. The front of the card is a picture of me holding his wife Sarah at his funeral. Her auburn hair gleams in the light and I can still smell the sharp sweet scent of green apples that wafted up filling my nose.
He’s too damn curious and arrogant. I knew he’d be there watching. I tried to scan the crowd as she soaked the shoulder of my suit with tears of real grief, but I couldn’t spot him, implying that he’s more adept at covert than I gave him credit for. Though, ‘killing’ oneself isn’t exactly covert with the messiness of the ritual that death brings.
On the back of the postcard in Aidan’s characteristic block penmanship is a ridiculous message. I try a couple of different ciphers and then realize I’m trying too hard and go back to the basics. Finally, I get location and time and turn the ignition on, half expecting the car to blow up.
Once home I change into night gear, grab my go-to-bag and wonder if he even knows the depth of the world of shit he’s just put himself into. He should have been smart and disappeared when he had the chance. Hell, he could have taken Sarah with him. But now it’s too late. I pick up the phone and make one call.
“Sarah? It’s David. Just calling to check on you. You need anything?”
“I don’t even know how to answer that question anymore.”
“I know. You want me to stop by later?”
“You don’t have to.”
I can hear loneliness and confusion in her voice. “I’ve just got a couple of things to finish up here at the office and then I’ll come by.”
“Thank you, David.”
“Talk to you later.”
I park a good mile from Indian Mount and hike in, circling around to approach the coordinates from the North. Once there, I find myself in a moonlit small clearing right in the middle of the woods. Someone’s illegal pot farm.
“You know, they did it. They really did it,” Aidan says from my left. I can’t see him but I’m guessing from his voice he’s 15 feet or so, due west of me.
“How do you know?”
“I saw the blueprints and one of the technicians snuck out a 86 second clip of a testing video,” he says with a voice full of awe.
“How?” I ask.
“They finally got the enzyme right. Once it breaks down the salt in the seawater, it dies off, becoming no threat other organisms.”
“This is going to change the world, not necessarily for the better,” I remind him.
“It will be for the better but it has to be now David, we have to get those blueprints across the Internet now. If the technology isn’t readily available for everyone, the rich will just get richer and the poor dead.”
“You bring me the copy or not?”
A red USB flash drives flies through the air and I catch it.
“Why’d you do it Aidan? Was killing yourself really necessary?” I ask.
Aidan steps out, “I did it for her. To protect her, they are going to come after me. You know that.”
“Yes, I do,” I say as I shoot him with the tranquilizer dart filled with enough tranquilizer to stop his heart. I miss his neck but get his chest and though he fights it, he goes down fast.
“Why?” he asks even as he begins to fade away.
“Oldest reason in the book my friend. You just made it too easy for me when you ‘killed’ yourself to resist. Don’t worry I’ll make sure everyone has access this,” I say waving the flash drive in front of his eyes, “And I’ll make sure Sarah’s so happy she’ll forget you existed at all.”