Quiet in the Hills — A 259-Word Do Over

259words_01.jpgSpecial note: Yesterday, I posted the 259-Word story,”Tea with Sydney.” A friend commented on Facebook that it “Reads like the start of a murder mystery.” That comment instantly created a new vision and compelled me to write another story using the same opening lines but with quite a different ending. 

We rode the train through the Scottish Highlands to Mallaig, a storybook harbor town surrounded by a jumble of whitewashed buildings.

We missed the last ferry to the Isle of Skye. The man at the dock said, “Sorry. That’s the old schedule.”

Stranded until morning, we booked a room at an inn. The pub wouldn’t open for hours.

“Off for a hike!” Sara tallyhoed in her fake Scottish accent, waving her souvenir walking stick toward the hills that rose up behind town. Her need to make the best of things filled me with rage.

I once loved her joyfulness, spirit, and energy. Now, I hated her.

As we trekked across the countryside, she talked non-stop. “Look…sheep!” she exclaimed. “What a view!” “Flowers!” I usually could tune her out, but today the sound of her voice was unbearable.

In the middle of nowhere, we came upon a red public telephone booth. “Look at that,” Sara said. “Isn’t that odd? Take my picture!”

“How’s this?” She laughed with each new pose. “How’s this?” Every time I saw her open mouth in the viewfinder, I hated her even more.

I put the camera away and nudged her into the phone booth. “Shhhhh,’ I said, placing my index finger on her lips. I pressed against her and kissed her. Hard. It felt good to put my hands around her throat. She tried to scream.

The sun was setting. I would wait until dark to throw her body off the nearby cliff.

I looked out toward the sea. The only sound was the wind.

2 comments on “Quiet in the Hills — A 259-Word Do Over

  1. Variations on a theme – I love it!

  2. Gloria says:

    Thanks! Interesting to me that the murder version was WAY easier to write.

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