AFRAID OF SCORPIONS?

Every breath sends a burning arrow into his brain. In quick succession. Too quick. He tries to calm himself. Something is off. He had woken up to find himself surrounded by impenetrable darkness. He was naked. In isolation that was not a surprise. He had after all left the bar with the prize he had desired.

Cassia. Not his type but irresistibly attractive nonetheless. The mere fact that she was Robert’s girlfriend was enough to mark her as his prey.

Robert. The pathetic geek. Back when they were in school, Robert had always been the teacher’s pet, scoring the best results in exams. The ugly mite with the thick glasses hadn’t been a success with the girls though. That was his forte, his looks and chutzpah had always helped him to outscore Robert with ease when it came to the prettiest girls in sight. Still a virgin at seventeen, since then Robert had gone and become a successful big shot in business. Couldn’t allow money to nullify his good looks advantage, right? So he’d gone and seduced any girlfriend Robert’s success had managed to buy him. Because that’s what it was really, they were in for the money, right? Despite the malevolent gratification he got out of his game he was really doing Robert a favour. What was more important was that he even achieved fame for himself. Paparazzi had photographed him holding hands with a succession of Robert’s ex-girlfriends.

He coughs. Piercing his lungs with an assault of tiny needles. This darkness. This pain. That was not meant to happen. He was meant to wake up in a luxurious bed which enveloped him with the fragrance of roses and lavender, next to Cassia who would melt into his embrace. Now that he has slowed his breathing he smells sewer not roses and lavender, and his naked form feels damp stone not luxurious bed. His testing hands come to rest on what feels like a cardboard box. A sound of something scraping inside it, trying to free itself.

“Hello, is anybody here? Cassia, where are you, are you here?”

“Read what is written on the wall. Anagrams of your fear. Unravel the anagrams, state their source, and the box will remain closed and you will be set free. You have five minutes, no more.” Not Cassia’s voice, Robert’s.

The click of a switch and the wall is illuminated. Dark and moist. Nonsensical words written on it in white chalk.

IRON PAD FOR FIASCOS

INCISOR FOR OAF PADS

DIN FOR PROSAIC OAFS

DOCS FOR FAIR PIANOS

OAF DIP FOR NARCOSIS

ADIOS SCRAP FOR INFO

SCARF FOR POISON AID

PAID INFOS FOR ORCAS

FOOD FOR PANIC AIRS

FAIR POISON FOR CADS

ACID IFS FOR SOPRANO

IRONIC FADS FOR SOAP

PODS FOR CASINO FAIR

COO FOR ASPIRIN FADS

CODA FOR PASSION FIR

OASIS FOR RANCID FOP

POOR FIND FOR CASSIA

Indoors affairs cop? Cold sweat. How many minutes have passed?

“Knew you wouldn’t have enough brains to figure this out. So easy to get you distracted. Put the spotlight on something. Make the letters bold. You’ll fall for it. Time and again. Two minutes left, buddy. Do you even remember the fear you once told me about? Maybe you shouldn’t have confided in me, but there we are. One minute left. Pathetic. You can’t even resolve an anagram when you’re given 17 chances. Open the box!”

The scraping has stopped. Maybe it is all just a joke and it will be safe enough to just play along. Robert is just a pathetic nerd, not a criminal. He rips the box open, and screams.

 

© Ash N. Finn, 2016

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9 thoughts on “AFRAID OF SCORPIONS?

  1. Haha, that’s brilliant. You have such a beautiful way of weaving a story together, I always have to go back and read it again. I also love the anagrams, I’m not ashamed to say it took me a couple of minutes to get it.

    1. 🙂 Haha, thanks! Funny you should say that, I find that I’m doing the same with your stories. They strike a chord with me immediately and then I go back and read them again to get the extra layers of meaning.

      1. Thanks Jac, you’re always so encouraging. Yes, I was a bit stuck and couldn’t write at first, so I just drew whatever came to mind and that happened to be scorpions and sour grapes. That’s what it took to unleash the beast this time. 🙂

  2. Without the title I’d never have gotten it. Without the anagram it was a well drawn evocative scene with unobtrusive backstory and a character who could easily have ended up a homeless dreamer or a thumped up skirt hound. Cool.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Phil! Robert is such a terrible nerd, he argued against me giving his geeky game away in the title. I’m glad now that the “narrator I” won that battle! 😀

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