Claire walked to the courtyard through the late afternoon mist. The grayness was oppressive and the light rain seemed to hang in the still air. She drew into her red pea coat like a brightly colored shell.
The uneven cobblestones led to a Greek-looking statue of a man with a flowing beard leaning against an enormous sword. Zeus, maybe? In the middle of the courtyard, surrounded by towering Gothic walls caged in ivy, the statue seemed diminutive, trapped. An inert God.
Where was Salim?
He was never on time, but he was increasingly unreliable. This would be the last time. She’d been skimming just enough to scrape together an early retirement somewhere far from here, far from the deception and the looking-over-your-shoulder. Somewhere where she’d never again have to hear the words—
“You have something for me today?”
Claire could see her breath as she silently cursed.
Salim appeared from around the pillar of a darkened archway. “Yes?” he called.
“Yes,” she said. She removed a small envelope from her pocket.
An invisible hammer struck her twice in the chest and a cloud of smoke erupted from Salim’s hand. Suddenly she was looking at the uniform sky and becoming aware that the thunder she heard was not from the weather.
Yes; she’d go somewhere far from here. That would be nice.
Notes: I used an image as a writing prompt for this piece. You may be able to find the image on the artist’s ArtStation page.