The Last Page of a Novel
A very short story by Michael R. Lockridge
Rodger sat at the table of his favorite café. He was nursing a mocha cappuccino, along with the bullet wound in his left thigh. It hurt. The bullet wound, not the cappuccino. The cappuccino was great. He hadn’t enjoyed such pleasures for many weeks. Months.
The cut along his right side still ached a bit, as well. All things considered, it was a small price to pay. He reflected on how surprised he had been, when Linda’s knife pierced his jacket and opened the skin along his ribs. She died in his arms, their blood mingled on the ground.
She had been a great partner, and fabulous lover. Still, hunters of treasure have a lust greater than the flesh. Memories of their time together flooded through his mind. Memories of fighting common enemies on their way to gain what Rodger had in his satchel. Good memories.
The satchel rested in his lap. He opened it, just a bit, and peeked in. Yes, there it was. Glorious! The very definition of a treasure. Once delivered, it would be the beginning of a whole new life.
Rodger finished his coffee, and got up from the table. His wounds cried out from the movement, but settled down as he walked out of the café. Rodger felt pretty good as he walked down the street, on his way to the office building where he was to make the delivery.
He felt like he was in the last page of a novel.
In the next alley he passed, there was no motion in the shadows. Nobody jumped out, swinging exotic weapons and shouting in foreign tongues. No bullets flew. No heavy objects fell from above.
Rodger turned into the office building. He went to the office of his contact. He made his delivery, and received his pay. He walked out through the door, and into his whole new life.