This week on Romance Writers Weekly, we’re back to an old favourite. Dani Jace set this week’s topic:
Flash Fiction: 500 words or less using dog, fire & rain
If you joined me from Leslie Hachtel, welcome! Here is my contribution this week.
The smell of wet dog permeates the cab of the truck.
“Get back,” I say as a cold, damp muzzle is thrust in my face. Argos whimpers and wags his tail. “I know you don’t like storms, but stop being such a big baby.”
I sit behind the steering wheel, Argos taking up the remainder of the bench seat beside me. He’s fifty percent Bernese Mountain Dog, fifty percent Newfoundland and one hundred percent yellow coward. A few minutes ago, we’d been sitting around the campfire, both of us quiet and content after sharing a steak dinner, when he’d bolted to his feet and attempted to leap into my lap. Moments later I heard the deep rumbling roll of thunder, and before I could even think to react, slashing wind and pelting rain assaulted us. Leaving the fire to fend for itself, we dove for the truck, a much more secure refuge than the tiny two-man tent I’d erected earlier that day.
Argos is too nervous to lay down. He stands on the seat, switching positions constantly. One minute I have a sopping wet tail slapping me in the face, the next I am battling dog breath and drool. Through the windshield I keep a wary eye on my tent. Its fragile fabric is billowing and collapsing violently in the wind, and I pray that the pegs hold.
The rain bulleting on the roof is so loud I can barely hear myself think. When I see headlights appear in my rearview mirror I am not surprised I didn’t hear the vehicle approach. I am surprised when someone jumps out of the cab and dashes to my window.
The figure is tall and broad and his—I assume his from the way he moves and his size—his face is shrouded by the hood of the dark slicker he is wearing. He taps on the window and motions for me to roll it down. Argus starts barking, just about blowing out my eardrums. “Quiet,” I command, and he stops, but a rolling growl continues to escape.
Surreptitiously I press the lock button, barricading Argus and myself in the truck. I’ve set up camp in a forestry site just off a well-used logging road. There is no one else here, which is its main appeal. But its isolation is also the reason there’s no way in hell I’m opening my window to a stranger.
When I don’t do as he asks, he gestures again. One hand holds the brim of his hood so it doesn’t whip off in the wind. I don’t know how well he can see me, but I shake my head and shout through the cacophony of rain. “What do you want?”
He either hears me or figures out what I want on his own. With no regard for how drenched he will get—the rain is driving down so hard it is rolling in sheets down the windshield—he pushes back his hood.
Using the torch on my cell phone, I illuminate his face.
Well, that’s just over 500 words, so I guess I have to stop there. What do you think happens next? Does she (I know the narrator is a woman, not that I gave you any clues to that) recognize the man outside her window? Is he really a stranger? Does she open her window? Let me know in the comments, then be sure to hop on over to Jenna Da Sie and see what she came up with!