Friday 17 April 2015

'Which Way' by Carol Leggatt

Concealed behind the dense foliage that lined the winding, steep cliff side path, Mike peered down the incline at the man standing by the fork in the path that he and his wife had passed a few minutes before.  Which way would he go?  Mike's wife lying half collapsed in his arms after their or rather her liquid lunch grew heavier by the minute.  For her the decision was vital.  If the stranger took the left path, the one they were already on, she would live. If he took the right.  Well things wouldn't turn out so well.  Even as his  anxiety rose as he waited for the man to move he was aware of the irony that this vital moment that had come about as a result of a moment's impulse should lie in the hands of this indecisive stranger.

It had been while they were at lunch that he had realised he couldn't stand the idea of returning back to the life that waited for them at home .  Or at least not with this woman.  But he knew how much divorce would cost him.  She had made that very clear the last time things had come to a head between them.  As he had watched her eat and especially drink to her usual excess the idea had suddenly sprung unbidden but irresistible into his head.  Carefully he had matched her increasingly drunken behaviour but without the drink.  By the time they had left the restaurant the reputation of British holiday makers had taken one more further knock.  He had half carried her away from the small town and up the steep, rocky path, stumbling now and then in a drunken pretence.  The path they were on lead to a cliff top that was unfenced, crumbling and potentially dangerous.  One more accident waiting to happen.

The man at the crossroads frowned, loath to follow the couple.  They had looked so intimate, his arms wrapped around her.  But they had both seemed unsteady and the path was a dangerous one.  Only last week there had been a terrible accident.  In truth it was the path's possibilities that had drawn him there.  Another accident so soon would inconvenience his own plans.  He stood a moment longer.  Try again another day, risk imposing himself where he might not be welcome.  Then he nodded. Surely the decent thing had to be done.  Decision made he set off behind them.  Inconvenience aside it would be a shame if anything happened to them.  They did seem so much in love.

FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
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