Finding the Right Balance

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A short, fun piece today, inspired in part by the word ‘baggage‘ and by a complete ignorance of sport!


(Image found here)

Nina walked through the shadowy alley, laden down with baggage; her steps ponderous for her week’s work had been wearing. Her arms hung heavily, the bags, an assortment of attaché cases, holdalls and a backpack, swinging in long arcs off of clenched fists. She shrugged, nudging the backpack central again; the contents of the bags were uneven, difficult to weight for balance, but they had to be delivered.

She stomped on; wading through a slick of food refuse behind a take-out joint, around the reeking dumpster behind the butcher’s and was trying not to slip in the unidentified smears behind the garage when she caught a faint shuffle behind. Though it seemed impossible, her shoulders slumped further; she really didn’t need punks with nefarious intentions tonight. She stopped, turned, and scanned the patches of light and wells of shadow with exhausted resignation.

A man stepped from behind the dumpster, grinning, twirling a knife, advancing with that lope which told her just how much he thought of himself, invulnerable, unthreatened by a shabby street woman. She let him come.
“Whatcha got for me, darlin’?”
“Nothing.”
“Everyone’s got sumfin, sweet cheeks. Cough up.”

He stopped in front of her, casually tossing the knife from hand to hand, still grinning. That’s probably why a few of his teeth flew into the gutter when she swung a holdall at his head. Shocked by her unsuspected strength and speed, he went down without a murmur. Nina couldn’t help herself. With a fast glance around, she whipped her saw out of the backpack and chopped him up, tucking his dismembered pieces into her baggage. She discovered he balanced her bags beautifully, for which her aching back was grateful. She once more made for the harbour, her fifth trip in a week, her step lighter from the unexpected adrenalin rush. Every little helped when a serial killer had had a busy week.

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3 responses »

  1. That took an unexpected turn. I’ll never look at an old woman carrying bags the same way. I don’t want to wind up in the harbor.

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