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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project 365, Project #10, Flash Fiction - Reunion

I'd been tailing him for the better part of a week. 

I'd watched him from the shadows of alleys, overhangs and rooftops since I'd caught glimpse of him in the crowd at the exhibition.  Its not like I could ever have forgotten him.  He hadn't noticed me as I twirled about the room in my costume, with lengths of colored ribbon streaming behind me.  We always draw an eclectic crowd to our events.  I immediately noted and acutely recalled the aspects of his make up.

He remained unchanged other than perhaps some slight grey to his hair and goatee.  It was still cut short.  He had the same mannerisms that betrayed him.  The way he inclined towards the person he spoke to, showing intense interest, but his facial expression remaining neutral.  He still walked with the determined purpose he always had, stomping at the cobblestones rather than placing his feet one before the other.  His laugh grated at you, not unpleasant, just infectious.  It would crawl inside of you, loosening and disarming even the strongest of will.  His charismatic affect was rippling through the neighboring guests. as they began to circle closer to him, trying to learn more, to ingratiate themselves.

I made my excuses for being unable to stay and quickly exited the exhibition hall to change.  For all that he had remained the same, I had changed immensely.  I had grown to womanhood since he last saw me.  I'd made a life for myself.  I'd developed the few skills that he had taught me as a child and honed them to perfection, or at least as near to it as could be done.  I donned my dark clothing, removed my flashy makeup for a more somber palette.

I had a different persona each night since I first saw him.  I hung back the first night and determined where he was staying.  He hadn't left the establishment much, other than to attend more exhibits, drinking holes and whore-houses.  I overheard the name he was going by and began to wonder what the angle was for him.  He always had a plan for each place.  He always had a time table.  The biggest lesson I even learned from him was not just how to manipulate others, but, to do it in a way he had never learned, with subtlety.

I resolved that perhaps tomorrow I would confront him.  I observed him slip into the home he was staying in from my perch adjacent the street, dressed as I had the first night.  I slipped down the side of the building and into the alley at last and began to double back towards my apartments.  I began to turn the corner when I felt my body slammed against the grimy bricked wall.  Stupid.  I'd gotten so caught up in my own thoughts I didn't survey the alley ahead of time.  In this area, it could be just about anyone.  I found myself gazing up into my target's eyes as he towered over me.  His arm pinning me across the chest, and the other draping his cloak across the aperture to the street.  He forced one of his legs between mine to prevent me from dropping out of his restraint.

"Why are you following me, Girl?"

Girl?  Well I was almost hurt by that.  I was well in my late twenties by now, and clearly his memory was relegated to when I was 8.  I laughed at him.

"Well, surely you recognize me, Brother?"

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