Cheap, knit gloves

by | Apr 18, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 2 comments

Cheap, Knit Gloves
By Laura McHale Holland

It was after he had rolled off of her that the sandbag landed on her chest, before she could even consider her options. He stood up, put the knife he’d held at her throat in his back pocket and zipped up his pants with fingers that looked like striped Twinkies in his cheap, knit gloves. They were just like the gloves she’d seen hanging by the checkout line at the drugstore last week. She’d wondered at the time why anyone would buy them. Now she was trying hard not to look at the masked man who could have purchased that very pair. He slinked to her side, leaned down and growled into her ear, told her to count to 500 before she moved a muscle or he’d come back and finish her off.

She could barely breathe, the fear and dread and shame pressing down on her chest were so extreme. She didn’t dare even blink as he climbed out the window he’d come through while she was sleeping what seemed like a lifetime ago. She counted silently, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000— on and on she counted.

Through the sunrise she counted and then through the sunset. She counted until the moon came out and hung so close to her window it was as though someone had swept the earth’s atmosphere completely away, and her tears began to flow and then the sand poured out. She took a deep breath, lifted her arm, rolled over and picked her cell phone up from the headboard where she’d left it the night before.

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2 Comments

  1. Dennis Blackburn

    I do not really understand this blog. I have read it three times. What has the sand got to do with anything? She was told to count to 500 not all the rest. Did it take her that long to come out of the shock? Did she think the man could not escape due to the identification of his gloves?
    Was it all a dream – Gigi?
    What has the cell phone got to do with it, call the Pinkerton Agents?

  2. admin

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this story, Dennis. The sandbag isn’t a real sandbag. If I decide to develop this story (I don’t know if I will. I’m going to work on the ones that seem to have the most potential) I could easily say “sandbag of shock” or something like that to clarify that it isn’t real. Or, I could go in more of a magic realism direction, making the universe of the story not the same as the one we live in every day. Anyway, as far as your other questions go. The way I see it, she kept counting because she was so frozen with fear she couldn’t do anything else. The gloves are just a detail she noticed. I don’t think she thought they’d help the perpetrator be identified by police or anything. I don’t see this story as being a dream. And I imagine she reached for a cell phone to call someone who cares about her, a close friend, boyfriend or parent, something like that.

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