Flash fiction challenge where I had to write a maximum of 404 words including the title. I came in at 401.
Regrets, I have a few.
I could have been less of a twat when my parents were alive.
I could have studied harder so I got better than a third class.
I could have not wasted four years with a materialistic bitch.
I could have responded to my public humiliation by said bitch with dignity.
The murmurs of the University crowd washed over me lavishing me in sympathy and derision while I stood there in my supposedly lucky Chelsea jersey, holding one broken sandal, trying not cry.
Dignity; I had none.
“I want her to pay.”
Mr Henry looked at me across the table. He wiped away the crumbs from his meat pie. “The best way to do that is to make something of yourself. I can help you with that.”
I was all ears.
We stand outside a pretentiously-named housing estate in Lekki. The sun isn’t out yet but I’m sweating like a prisoner. The reality of what we are about to do is descending upon me oppressively like dusk.
Our target is Kola Ahmed, 37, a driver. Today he will die in a botched kidnapping. Our job is to make sure he’s in the right place when it is time.
Kola walks by, chats with the security crew and signs in. I can’t do this, I have to stop it.
Instinct takes over, I’m running towards him. “Kola? Kola Ahmed?”
He turns around. “Yes?”
His last words. Anything else is cut off by one of the estate shuttle buses smashing into him. I feel my insides lurch upwards.
Pandemonium. People screaming ‘Jesus’ and ‘Chineke’, others feverishly pushing the blood streaked bus off him.
There’s a smell of blood, and shit and a fruity smell. A stunningly ugly man appears, dressed in a jumpsuit and a cap. A Reaper. His name tag says Uviemu.
“Two minutes late,” Mr Henry grouses..
Uviemu ignores him. He looks down at Kola, struggling for air, gurgling wetly through ruined lungs. He reaches down into his chest and pulls out his soul. Kola stares, horrified, at his mangled body before slowly dissipating.
Uviemu signs a form, nods and disappears. The fruity smell again.
I look at Mr Henry. “I’m s…sorry.”
“I expected you’d try that, so I lied, you did everything you were supposed to.” He’s smirking. “Welcome aboard.”
“First time’s always rough.” He pats my back gingerly.
Regrets, I have one more.