Yet another entry to Furious Fiction.
This one was fun to write, as I had the chance to play with the action genre in a really short space. Having said that, it was a pretty challenging task to create something original and not predicable given the parameters for this month:
- Your entire story must take place in an AIRPORT.
- Your story must include the word SPRING somewhere. (Plural is also okay.)
- Your story must include the phrase: IT WAS EMPTY – it can be anywhere, in dialogue, as part of a sentence, or as a sentence on its own.
You will notice names popping up across stories from time to time. I just like them, and tend to stick to the same names unless I have a particular reason to change it. It’s just one less thing to think about.
After reading the story, most people who I have shown have mentioned that they are more aware of the existence of their tongue than they used to be.
You’ll understand when you get there.
“A metal suitcase?”
“No, a metal briefcase.”
“A metal briefcase,” the attendant paused, “nothing springs to mind I’m afraid. What kind of metal?”
“How would I know?”
There was an awkward silence.
“What was inside?”
“That’s none of your business, mate,” Zahraa said, and took a moment to take in her surroundings. White fluorescent lights shone off the polished tiles. People walked grittily around, trying to fumble their way out without losing anything or anyone. It was a standard domestic airport, and a quiet one even by domestic standards. And she was told that she’d be able to get through without hindrance.
Nevertheless, here was Zahraa arguing with a baggage attendant.
“Sorry ma’am, but I’ve got to get going,” the lanky attendant, ‘Grace :-)’ according to her name-tag, said as she gestured towards the customer service kiosk to the right of the two carousels and pointed to the older man behind the counter, “but maybe Mal can help you out.”
He did, and only moments after she’d described her baggage did she have it safely back in her possession.
She took a breath and made her way towards the exit.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Where’s the money?”
The voice was a stereotype – deep, growling, and positioned much too close to Zahraa’s left ear. It was unbelievable that the owner of such a voice could have sneaked up on her so soon after entering the terminal lobby, but he had.
She shook the case, answering the man’s question.
Hadn’t it been heavier on the way over? she thought to herself.
“Turn left, and open the suitcase-“
“Open it on the counter there.”
A moment later Zahraa carefully placed the briefcase where the man had indicated. She punched in the code and clicked the latches open.
It was empty.
Zahraa ducked under the man’s hand as it came down to grab her shoulder and spun around behind him, swiftly kicking his right knee forward to bring his chin down hard on the countertop. Usually you would hear the teeth smash together with an impact like this, but this time the big guy’s tongue got in the way, cushioning the two sets of teeth as they came down on each other.
The man let out a dazed groan, and Zahraa brought the heels of her hands down hard on each of his temples.
He crumpled to the floor.
Zahraa looked around. No one had noticed. All the people that could have seen still had their heads safely buried in their phones.
It didn’t take long for her to find a hidden holster on the left side of his torso, and it took her even less time to unburden him of its contents. She tested the pistol’s weight in her hand.
Domestic security is great.
Zahraa put the pistol in the briefcase, clicked it shut, pulled her hood over her head, and walked quickly towards the terminal doors.
“Well,” she said to herself, “what now?”