“We Are Not Descended From Fearful Men” by Angele Sionna
Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.
This week, Angele Sionna shares a glimpse of a different Washington, DC.
We Are Not Descended From Fearful Men
by Angele Sionna
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
“We are not descended from fearful men,” the box filled with wires and lights says to her as she sits, waiting, on the anniversary. She stares into its eyes.
This is the sign.
Viatrix slides on her boots and grabs the old handgun from the pocket she’d sewn under the chair. Outside, a man in a black brimmed fedora sits inside a taxi. It’s dark, but the streetlamp gives away too much. She’d have to go out the back. It would take longer, but it’s still possible.
Viatrix grabs her hat and coat and shoves the gun in the left pocket, her hand gripping it tight as she sneaks the door shut. She goes out the gate, turns right, looks around. No one except the neighbor’s cat, just like last time. His gray fur brushes against her leg. Each step barely makes a noise, but the sound rings in her ears. She drowns it out repeating, “We are not descended from fearful men.”
Some ten thousand paces later, Viatrix turns right once more, onto a crowded street. She blends in with the rest of the shadows tending to their calling. Nothing more, nothing less. Leaning on the chipped brick façade, Viatrix watches the faces reflecting the amber lights. She wonders what it was like here a hundred years ago. If people thought then about what it would be like now. If they’d have guessed life would be like this.
“There’s my gal,” the tall man says as he gives Viatrix a kiss, grabbing her right hand. “Been waiting long?”
Viatrix shakes her head and leads him back around the corner. He smiles coyly with excitement as she pushes him against the wall.
A muffled bang. His eyes scream wide as he slides slowly to the sidewalk.
“Good night, and good luck,” Viatrix whispers as she places the gun in his hand, firing it again into his heart. Viatrix turns left and walks back the way she came.
The time, March 9, 2054. The place, the former Washington, DC. The man, well, let’s just say he’s the one that almost got away.
ANGELE SIONNA has been a professional writer for about two decades, working in a variety of platforms as a journalist (in TV news, web, print, and social media) and as a blogger. She teaches at Northern Arizona University and is a fellow with the Television Academy foundation this year. You can find her daily musings on Twitter @AngeleOutWest and contribute to her name stories project at namesRedefined.com.
Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected]. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Jul 11, 2016
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