Nariman Parker–BURGUNDY

Raindrops huge and insistent assaulted the glass behind him. Staring in his rear view mirror it looked like the dark was stalking him. He shrugged his jacket closer hoping the camouflage might shield him against the enveloping danger. The howling wind cried a tearful lament; warning him to veer off the unlit winding road where the only thing standing between him and the edge, were tiny pillars and the warning bells ringing in his head.

Jack cursed as a loose stone hit his windscreen. He drove on knowing he had trespassed against all reason when he made his way in the direction of Signal Hill. Why on earth had she suggested they meet here? The area was renowned for pickpockets and dodgy corners fit only for unsavoury business.
“Dammit!” he cursed in the freezing car, his air con on the fritz, “why does she still have a hold on me?”

Ava’s text had come through, catching him off guard.
“Unfinished business” was the words she used.
He had become increasingly alarmed at her neediness, afraid she’d drain the life out of him.
“We’re DONE!” he yelled, defeated, “I can’t take this anymore!”
“Done?” Looking at him with venom she whispered,” I’ll say when we’re done.”

He expected to bump into her; to hear tit-bits of her new life, but nothing.
Slowly he didn’t expect, wish or feel.
Slowly he healed, forgot, forgave.
Slowly he fell in love and fell forward.

It came, summoning him.
He didn’t respond; she knew he’d be there: 10pm…Signal Hill.
He was afraid seeing her would reel him back in yet he raced to meet his beautiful nightmare face-to-face. He could barely make out her car parked in the distance and as he drew nearer, his headlights fell on her braced against the elements.
He came to a stop, keeping his headlights switched on and stumbled over branches and pine cones in the dark.

She was wearing burgundy heels; 6 inch stiletto’s the colour of warm blood. It was nonsense shoes for the terrain and the weather.
It threw him.
The adrenaline coursing through his veins kept him on track.
“Always loved that jacket?” she said holding out her hand.
“No hello?” asked the puppet on a string.
She took it from him with a smile; his white T-shirt instantly soaking through.
The smile died on her lips and her eyes were soulless pools. He was transfixed, looking for signs of the old her …
Leaning in he saw the sharpened spike of her stiletto flashing in her hand and watched her raising it above her head…
He stood rooted to the ground like a giant Pine.

She lunged at him, her ungodly scream piercing the night as the heel pierced his heart… again and again.
Lying on the ground in a river of burgundy, she sat astride him dripping rain and blood.

And as the blood drained from him into the ground of Signal Hill, she leaned forward and whispered: “Now we’re done.”

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