Funny how the more I write these flash fiction pieces, the less I end up editing. My first draft was 218 words, I fleshed it out to 263, then I re-wrote a line and cut out a couple extra words to make it 250:
It was nearly morning. The moon was an overturned bowl shaking the last drops of milky starlight into the silkscreen washed sky. Tomorrow it would be a waning crescent on its way to a new moon. Funny how a lightless night, after the moon has been extinguished, is when it’s thought to be reborn.
I flicked my lighter, the tiny sunspot of manufactured light as fast and ephemeral as a single heartbeat. My thumb pulsed, keeping time with sparks and the sharp scent of flint. Not the same as gunpowder, but close.
The lights were still off in the house, doors and windows latched for the night.
She’d be out soon. She ran every morning for an hour, her Belgian shepherd, Kali, keeping a loping pace at her side.
Flick, spark, burn, wait.
A razor gap of black widened as she opened the front door in the dark. In a pink sports-bra and knee-length shorts, she bent to tug the laces of her shoes tight. She took a few minutes to stretch, her hamstrings first, then planted her hands on the door and leaned into an almost-kneel to target the tendons in her calves and feet.
I checked the holster straps, ran my hand over the butt of my 9mm.
She took off jogging, and I let her get half-a-block away before I followed. In this light, I didn’t want to be seen.
It was time to do my job.I would keep her safe.