Extreme Writing Challenge #38: “Surrender”

Anyone else have a be-a-yootiful day in the forecast?  It’s supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny here today, which means there are a dozen things I’d love to go do outside if I could spend five minutes in the outdoors without having a sneezing fit.

(Damn you, allergies.  Damn you, Zyrtec, for being unexpectedly ineffective.)

So, I got sucked back in by the beast that is Twitter.  Several of my friends have joined lately and I thought, Well, shoot, I don’t stalk them enough on Facebook so I guess I’d better re-board the Twitter train.  If you want to follow me, I’m @hopelynnmccain.  Not to brag, but I commented on one of my favorite author’s tweets the other night and promptly received a notification that she is now following me.  (No, seriously, not to brag.  She follows 26,000 people and will likely ignore everything I tweet.  But I’ll take my celebrations where I can!)

Okay, you probably came here for a story.  Here’s the newest one, and I’ll tell you the challenge at the end.  🙂


He was the last person she kissed. She was the last person he killed. He found love, finally, and it had to be stopped.

When it was over, he fell asleep on the sofa. He woke to the buttery sound of her voice. She was there at his side, naked, cold. He petted her face and she grinned. He thought, Oh thank God, it wasn’t real. But when he blinked, she evaporated.

He’d tried, once, to tell her about his past. “It’s not about who you used to be,” she’d said. “It’s about who you are now.” But he hadn’t finished. He’d only told her about the trivial tings. The burglaries, the drugs, the arsons. Her credulous eyes predicted she couldn’t cope with the truth. Not the whole truth, anyhow.

Now he flipped open her phone. The background was glittery like the tops she wore. The screen was still sponged with her face powder residue. Was he the last person she called? He couldn’t look.

He’d hated the two other people he killed. A lot of planning went into their deaths. He fantasized about tasting their blood, celebrating his victory. Once they were gone, he was swallowed by ecstasy.

He avoided the garage all day. He carried on as usual, cleaning, balancing his finances. The curtains closed, he was alone in the world. Only he existed. There were no friends or foes, no lost loves. No regrets.

At sunset, he cracked. He stepped into the garage without turning on the light. Though he couldn’t see her, he knew where she was.   The garage wasn’t where he killed her. He’d dragged her body here after the fact. After he stripped her clothing and tried it on. He was still wearing it, suffocating.

In the dark garage, he wondered, Where is the ecstasy? He had secured his independence. He hadn’t planned to kill her, like his past targets. Their closeness was getting out of hand. She’d said “I love you” and he’d said it back. He found love, finally, and it had to be stopped.

He says it again to the darkness: I love you. She whispers back, “I love you, too.” He turns on the light, hopeful. He’d heard her, clear as day. But she is still and gray. Like she’d always been this way. He turns off the light and slips back inside. Frantically, he opens the curtains and surrenders to regret.


The challenge for this story is:  Every sentence is ten words or less in length, and there is no letter “m” in the story.

Happy Saturday!



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