Ah, but at least it got a place among the Top 10 finalists of the Morning Rain Publishing Freaky Flash Fiction Contest (say that ten times fast), which has to count for something. Let’s see. They said I should expect a present in the mail soonish. I have high hopes it will be books.
Either way, since MRP didn’t publish it, they gave me the green light to do it myself, so here we go. Enjoy!
“Sheesh, look at that!” Pat exclaimed, pointing at the moonlit path before them.
Curly frowned. “A pair of nylons. And?”
“And? Think about it! How do you lose a pair of nylons in the middle of a bloody park? Wouldn’t you lose your shoes first?”
“Silly. They might just have fallen out of a bag.”
“No way. They’re all stretched out. Had they just fallen out, they’d be at least half folded, or scrunched into a ball.”
Curly rolled his eyes. “So what? You want to go back and search for the shoes?”
Pat shook his head and laughed. “No. I want to go ahead and search for the half naked lady!”
“Perv.” Curly shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and walked on, dragging his feet. The tip of one boot kicked a fir cone. His eyes, idly following the missile’s trajectory, came to rest on a bare-branched bush.
“There,” he said. “There’s your shoes.”
A pair of red high-heels stuck out from underneath the shrubbery.
Pat whistled. “Now it’s getting interesting.”
Stepping forward, he positioned himself next to the shoes, facing the nylons. “So,” he decided. “If whoever is doing the stripping here has first discarded her shoes, and then her nylons, we should find the next item of clothing,” he squinted, lining the items up like a sniper, and pointed, “that way.”
Curly grunted. “Forget it, mate. We’ve got better things to do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Pat grinned. “It means I double-dog dare you to come with me. Tell you what, if we find nothing within, say, twenty paces, I’ll give in. If we do, we follow the trail.”
Curly sighed. That was so Pat. Always the hunter. One of these days, it would get him into trouble. Hell, it would get them both into trouble. “Okay,” he agreed, knowing the bastard would tease him relentlessly if he backed out now.
They veered from the path, and in amongst the trees lining the edge of the park. They had barely taken more than five steps when another flash of red caught their eyes.
A skirt hung there, carelessly flung over some low branch. They traded an incredulous glance.
“Wow,” Pat breathed. “I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt.”
Curly chuckled. “Think there’ll be a chest at the end?”
Both paused as the double meaning of the word struck them.
On they went, deeper into the wood. They passed a jacket a short while later, quickly followed by a woolen jumper. Next, a white blouse, torn off in such a haste, silvery buttons were scattered everywhere.
Curly made a sound, not quite a snort. “What the hell?”
Pat laughed. “Looks to me, someone needs it badly.”
“Needs what?” a woman broke in.
Without noticing, they had entered a clearing. She stood there, her back to them, her head half turned, her naked limbs bathed in the light of the full moon. Enhanced by the ivory glow, it looked as if her body was rapidly darkening.
His laugh cut short, Pat cleared his throat and self-consciously replied, “Um…you know.”
“Do I? Silly little cub. Do you really think the only reason for a woman to rip off her clothes underneath a full moon is that she needs a man?”
Her voice grew lower and huskier with every word. In the end, it was a growl.