[Monday Spark] “Put Hope Away” by Lex Chase

MS_Put_Hope_AwayHello Internet! And once again I present to you another Monday Spark, where I pick a prompt from a hat and run like a kid with scissors at it. My previous Monday Spark, Between the Stacks was Darkmore Saga short featuring Jack and Sevon. Today, we have a new Darkmore Saga short featuring everyone’s favorite Armiger, Captain Bianca. What happens when she meets an old flame over drinks and a chance to come clean?

Put Hope Away

by Lex Chase

Genre: Suspense

Prompt: Two friends reunite after twenty years, over drinks one of them makes a terrifying confession.

Violet admired the tattered photograph. Creased in the middle, and the paper separating from the backing, she always carried the photo in her checkbook. She tapped the bar, and the bartender refilled her glass of ice water. Violet checked the time, and masked her disappointment. It was almost midnight, and Bianca was never late.

Soft, icy fingers brushed over her hand, and Violet flinched with a gasp. She shot her attention to her would-be molester, and found Bianca sitting next to her, as if she had always been there.

Bianca ran her index finger over Violet’s thumb, and Violet slipped her hand away as her face heated.

“I didn’t th-think you were coming,” Violet said, her voice a nervous chirp.

“I wouldn’t miss it.” Bianca nodded and tapped the bar top. The barrel-chested bartender glanced to her and smiled. “Vodka, straight.”

“I didn’t think you liked vodka.” Violet smiled, and spun a sandy blonde ringlet around her finger. Would Bianca notice her new color?

“I don’t.”

Bianca’s abrupt tone made Violet’s stomach clench.

“But I like it when I’m here with you.” Bianca smiled and her green eyes narrowed and more intense by her dramatic swooshes of eyeliner.

Violet sat up straighter and put her shoulders back. The bar was too dark and chilly to be walking around with a strapless mini-dress on, but perhaps this time it would get Bianca’s attention.

The bartender set Bianca’s drink in front of her without a word, and she handed over the cash. But she let the glass sit in front of her, and made no move to touch it.

“I see you changed your fashion sense,” Violet said as she stroked her water glass. The droplets of water slipping through her fingers. “Leather jacket? Piercings? A mohawk? That’s a different turn for you.”

Bianca arched a pierced brow and quirked her lip. Violet pressed her lips together and folded her hands into her lap.

“Do you remember that day?” Violet asked. She tried to keep calm and play coy, but was thankful the darkness of the bar hid her flushed face. “When we went to Monaco?”

Bianca chuckled. “And you wore that dress.” She looked Violet up and down in appraisal. “That dress. You changed your hair.”

Violet ran her fingers though her hair and nodded. “The color of wheat. Remember? You said it was your favorite.”

Bianca ran a hand over her face and took a deep sigh. “What are you doing?”

“Doing?” Violet smiled crookedly.

“I come here, excited to see my old friend, and you’re making passes at me?” Bianca asked. “We ended things and it was mutual. We agreed.”

Violet swallowed and looked down to her lap. “I’m sorry. Just sometimes I wonder.” She sniffed.

“Vi…” Bianca sighed.

“Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be her.”

“Vi…please,” Bianca urged her. “It’s over. Our lives took us in different directions.”

Violet snorted a laugh. “Oh. Right. You being a bodyguard of a king that I never heard of—and to be fair—I’m sure doesn’t exist.”

Bianca growled. “You need to trust me.”

“Trust you?” Violet asked. “Trust you? After that night in Monaco and I find you with her?”

“That’s different,” Bianca said. “I owe Chaney everything.”

“Don’t say her name!” Violet snapped. “I don’t care how supposedly complicated your relationship with her is, or whatever epic love story spanning all time you two have. It’s all bullshit, Bianca. All bullshit to make me feel better about you breaking my heart!”

The bartender hesitated, and Bianca gave a slight shake of the head.

Violet shrugged. “Of course.” She scoffed. “That’s always how it works. You always hold all the cards. You always have everything under control. You always charm them with grace into doing whatever you please.” She laughed. “They follow you everywhere. Even into hell without question.” She slapped a hand to her chest. “I followed you. And what did I get for it? Nothing.”

Bianca slipped off her stool and tossed two twenties on the bar. “We’re done here. I need to get back.” She nodded to Violet. “It’s been nice seeing you again, Vi.”

Violet reached into her purse and ripped out the photograph. “Here. You need to remember. I know you forgot. But you need to remember what you meant to me.”

Bianca furrowed her brows and hesitantly took the tattered picture. Her eyes widened as she shook her head. “This is from Cameroon…” She gritted her teeth. “You didn’t. The children too?”

Violet grinned, her lip curled in a jackal smile. “I ate their hearts. So I could replace the one you stole.”

Copyright © 2015 Lex Chase. All Rights Reserved.


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