Featured in the WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants) Anthology Weirder Tales.
A note from Marla: I wrote this story a while back for a writing prompt that used to be featured on NPR (National Public Radio). It was called Three Minute Fiction. The prompt was to use several random words – I don’t even remember what they were. Needless to say my story was not acknowledged. My stories are seldom if ever acknowledged by people who run writing contests of any kind. Mine tend to be too random, tangled, or heaven forbid have urban fantasy elements. This one does not have urban fantasy or paranormal elements. It is just a story and I always wrote something from the prompts just for fun. If it isn’t fun then why do it? Right?. I’ve tweaked it a bit from my first version, but not much. Anyway, if you are reading – don’t overlook stories that are different from what you normally migrate towards. You may find something new and original that is not full of the usual cliches. If you are writing – then keep writing what YOU write, and don’t worry about playing it safe. Write a good story – your story.
Romance of the Needles
Tiffany packed up her laptop and decided and left the coffeehouse at 5:00. Her bag was packed with a hundred hypodermic needles, red lipstick, a few limes and a couple of condoms.
In the restroom she’s shook the ponytail out of her hair, donned a black cocktail dress, red lipstick and black stiletto heels.
He told her he had something for her. She didn’t know what it could be. Flowers maybe? A gift certificate to a spa perhaps? He wasn’t the type to give anything inappropriate; after all, she had worked for him.
After the accident she’d worked around the clock helping with public relations work and anything else that was needed to keep his business going. Sure he had a huge staff and she was the outsider, but she knew she had to mean more.
Driving to his estate she knew what she was doing the wrong thing. In the hospital he’d taken her hand and murmured over and over that all he wanted was clean needles.
Her reaction was so wrong, but she wanted him in such a wrong way. Hers was a sick, twisted, obsessive love. In turn she was addicted to him the same way he was addicted to whatever it was he needed to inject himself with.
She would rescue him from his habit. In gratitude he’d give her his love, his body, his life. She’d be the angel who’d be with him when the drugs called to his soul and the addiction sang its serene song to him. She’d be the chains on the rock that held him safe. His addiction would switch from the opiates that held his will, and she’d become the fire that consumed his soul.
On the other hand, he could be looking for clean needles for disease prevention in local addicts. He could be one of those good souls who bring bag lunches and blankets to homeless people. No, it couldn’t be that. She needed to rescue him, not help him rescue a bunch of stinky strangers.
He answered the door, dressed in a long sleeve tee shirt showing off his muscular form, well fitting jeans, with a lock of hair falling over his forehead, almost begging for her to brush it out of his eyes, wrap her hand around his neck and pull him into a kiss.
“Tiffany, what a surprise” he exclaimed. “You look lovely.”
Leading her to a room in the back of the house he spoke of his recovery and how he was ready to live a fulfilling life of enlightenment and joy. His smile was dazzling as he looked at her for affirmation.
“My dear Tiffany, I have something special for you,” he said, causing her heart to flip. On the tables were baskets. Exquisite baskets of brown, amber and tan. Tiffany watched him push up his sleeves, and pick up a basket with clean, track free arms.
“You’re all dressed up.” He said to her, delighted, yet somewhat puzzled to see her in the seductive black dress.
She lied “I was going to meet some friends at a club but they canceled out. Um, these are lovely. Very unusual.” she said looking at the baskets. She felt like an idiot.
He handed her a reddish brown basket. “This is one of my favorites. It took me almost 60 hours to make it. I’d like you to have it, as a thank you. You know, darling Tiffany, my business wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for you.”
Tiffany’s heart pounded. Her head was light. She studied the intricately woven patterns, amazed by the construction, sick to her stomach. “You made it out of pine needles.” She said, feeling her face go flush, trying not to cry. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.”
A tall strikingly beautiful auburn haired woman came into the room. “I’m sorry Daniel, but you need to wrap up business and send your little friend home. Dinner is ready.”
Daniel flashed Tiffany his dazzling smile once more. “It’s so hard to find clean needles this time of year.”
~ Marla Todd