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'Sunset Invasion' by Tracey-Anne Plater

LISP Flash Fiction LISP Finalist, 'Sunset Invasion' by Tracey-Anne Plater

Sunset Invasion

Sasha hugs her knees on the bathroom floor, studying the cracked tiles. The first crash jolts her. The second brings teeming glass. They spill in like giant ants on a mission, and she hears her love fumbling for his clothes.

‘Have a nap before your shift,’ she’d said. Then called the police. They used the tea-time sunset to make a stealthy advance.

‘I have the address of Larry Jennings’ killer,’ she said before awaiting the inevitable.

Larry’s death littered the news. Dramatisations and speculations.

‘Who’d do such a thing?’ the locals asked, huddled in corners.

‘I’ve locked my back door for the first time in fifty years, what with there being a maniac on the loose,’ Mr Butcher said.

‘Apparently, Larry’s head was shot clean off. Many people owed him money – anyone could be a suspect.’

She knows Mr Butcher is watching this unfold from behind his tobacco-stained curtains.

The gun sits inches from her feet. Her nails dig into her thighs as they stomp up the stairs. Each thud pulses through her, and she cries for the blank canvas she once was. Before the debt and the lies. She knew the lifestyle she was getting into when she fell for him.

‘Armed police!’

Tears drip onto her fraying cardigan sleeve.

They’ve cuffed him on the landing. It’s time.

‘Are there any weapons in the property? Is anyone else here?’

She wonders why they need to shout – no one’s making a fuss.

‘In here,’ she says.

Three officers coated in plastic explode into the bathroom. She kicks the gun towards them before they cuff her.

Her love stands restrained, his eyes full of question marks.

‘What have you done?’ he asks.

Cold metal squeezes her wrists. She looks at him through messy hair.

‘I killed him. You’re free.’


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