Today’s Daily Post prompt – Flash Talk: You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?
Clara stumbled through the plate glass doors, sending a waiter flying, his champagne flutes showering three shrill women who had been trying to get the attention of a rather handsome movie star. His howling laughter was probably not what they had in mind.
Clara staggered to the centre of the ballroom, swaying underneath the immense crystal chandelier, her wild-eyed gaze roaming the assembled dignitaries. A few ‘men in black’ were casually sauntering in her directions but she leveled her crossbow and it seemed to give them pause. Her breath came in hiccupping gulps, her face was beet red from exertion and her clothes displayed a variety of rips and unidentifiable stains, too many of them a shade of red very familiar to Chief-Inspector Gray, who was approaching Clara, hands held up and splayed, conveying calm with every muscle.
“Please, let’s talk, young lady. It’s clear something unfortunate has happened to you…”
Clara wheeled to face the portly man in his fifties, penguin suit stretched over too many good roast dinners, her face ablaze with disbelief and fury. A security guard decided it was a good time to be a hero, starting a run at Clara, but she’d been outside too long. Her hand flicked back over her shoulder and he went down with a small knife between his eyes. Gray signalled the men to stand down, aware this bristling fury of a woman probably had more concealed weapons about her.
“Do you have any idea what’s going on out there? Do you even know that the world is ending, that millions are dying whilst you swan about in here, drinking fake champagne and stuffing your ignorant, heedless faces with salmon that the staff spat in before serving?”
This outburst was followed by a few isolated retching sounds and many more clatters as plates and glasses were hurriedly disposed of, the floor being handy. Clara turned in a slow circle, Gray noting the shotgun strapped across her back and the suspiciously weapon shaped bulge at each ankle. She shuddered, her eyes closing for a moment, the fight going out of her, but Gray made the mistake of moving closer. A man his size was not built for delicacy and she was alert in a second, the crossbow aimed straight in his face. He decided to try a new tack, play into her delusions, whatever they were, until they could figure a way out. Before he could apply this new strategy, Clara laughed, shocking everyone in the room into stillness with its vicious, mocking edge.
“Where do you think you are going to take them?”
Her comment was aimed at several burly guards who were herding guests toward back exits. She succeeded in halting their progress.
“You really don’t know, do you?” Her disbelief was palpable, “They’re everywhere. This is the first place I’ve seen that hasn’t been hit. Take them outside and they’ll be dead in seconds, you morons! We all have to…”
Clara never got a chance to explain. The ceiling caved in and multiple winged forms poured through; winged and clawed and sharp-toothed.