I'm not that good at flash fiction myself. Might as well post something to prevent the thread getting buried so soon.
A Throwback to a Playstation Classic
Edie leaned against the railing. Inches away, some of her features still managed to get lost in the fog. Or maybe I was just getting too good at losing them. My thoughts were, frankly, elsewhere: notably, the couch and blanket I’d been dragged from. For what, exactly? The roof was the same as it always was. High enough for us to call the apartment building ‘respectable’ in a neighborhood that was anything but. Too low to escape the smell of hot dogs coming from the street below. A street melting in distorted, flickering neon lights and bad intentions.
Thankfully, Edie never suffered from the latter.
Not as thankfully, intentions carry small weight when it comes to results. And the only result I was seeing in all this was hypothermia.
“Reminds me of Spider-Man.” she said. “The PlayStation one. You know, with all the fog.”
“I only played the PS2 one.” My breathing danced before me, losing itself to the fog. “I think that’s the best one. That’s what everyone says, anyway.”
“Naw. The PS1 was the best one. It’s just got that great sense of atmosphere. And—Oh. The music. Baram-barra-bam-bam-barra-rarra—”
“Did you seriously drag me out here to talk about Spider-Man?”
She chuckled. “No, no. That’s just to keep you talking. I dragged you out here to freeze a bit.”
“Oh. Okay.” I cleared my throat. “In that case, I’m going back inside.”
“Huddling up under a blanket feels way better when you’ve just come out from the cold, you know.”
“Not if I get sick.”
She lifted her finger. “Being out in the cold doesn’t do that, actually. It’s still the people who spread it. The temperature just makes you less immune.”
“In Spider-Man, there’s this bank heist level, right at the start. Whole hostage situation scenario; you gotta go in, rescue the hostages and all that. But you gotta be stealthy, make sure the robbers don’t see you. One mistake and they shoot the hostages.” I heard a sniff escape her nose. “And, at the end, there’s this giant bomb you have to dump in a secure vault to shield the building from impact.”
I sighed. “Okay?”
“I never actually got that far into Spider-Man. See, when I was a kid, I got the hostages killed the first time around. Years later, I dug up the copy and tried to take a trip down memory lane. Couldn’t bring myself to even re-enter the bank, though. Too scary. Too stressful.”
She yawned. “This is a nice night, isn’t it, Vee?” Her arms spread. “What a city, too!”
“I’m cold.” I said.
“I know you are. Stay like that a little longer for me, would you?”
Of course. Of course. “I’m already sleeping on the couch, you know. And if you’ve got something to say, I’d rather you just say it. I don’t want to play games.”
“And I don’t want the bomb to explode.” she said simply. “I don’t want the hostages to get hurt.”
“Who’s the hostage?”
“That’s a good question. Who’s got the gun? Am I the idiot? Are you just going to turn around and do it all again, the moment I let up and forgive you? Or are you the stupid one? For staying with someone who might end up torturing you like this for the rest of your life?”
“I wouldn’t worry. The idiot eventually wisens up. They always do.” I said.
Sirens roared in the distance. Tried as I might’ve, though, I couldn’t see flashes of emergency lights. Nor the danger. Nor the burning buildings.
The fog grew – soon, even those neon lights below were swallowed whole. Maybe they just flickered themselves out of existence.
The only thing left was her silhouette.
“Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.” she whispered.
“I’m cold.” I pleaded.
“Someone wiser would’ve tried apologizing at this point.”
“I’ve done that way too many times for it to still matter.”
“True. I guess that’s why we’re both gonna freeze a little longer.”
Until the fog took even her silhouette.
Until we couldn’t see each other anymore.
The only thing left was the distant roar of sirens.
And a ticking clock.