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[Flash fiction is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words)]

‘We are nearly there,’ he said, turning to look at the woman in the backseat. She only grunted in reply. She was in a lot of pain, he could see. There was blood everywhere on the seat. Its smell made him him gag. It always did, even after all these years. But nowadays there was no need for him to come in contact, there were people to do his bidding.

He was a little annoyed with himself. Why had he stopped on a lonely road at night to help an injured and bleeding woman lying by the wayside?Because humanity isn’t altogether dead in me yet, he smiled wryly at his own joke. What would his cronies say of him if they knew? Probably laugh their fucking heads off at the thought of him being humane.

He told the driver to hurry up. It was needless. The man knew the emergency as well as him. He squinted at the sign that came up next. Two more kilometres to the nearest town and the hospital. He turned around to look at the woman. She looked pale. The slight rhythmic movement of her chest reassured him. She was still alive.

He had many more kilometres to drive still to reach his own home. His mother would be waiting. He hadn’t seen her in a long time. But first the woman had to be taken care of.

As the car pulled up to the hospital entrance, things started moving fast. The woman was quickly wheeled in and the duty doctor took over after asking him some pertinent questions. He didn’t know much, other than how he found her. Someone, a young attendant, came rushing out from inside the room where the woman was being tended. ‘It is Sheela Rani, the actress.’ Her excited voice informed her friend at the counter.

The blood drained from his face. ‘Are you alright, sir?’ he heard someone ask from somewhere far away. No. He bloody well was not alright. I am okay, just need some water, he replied. He slowly walked as if to the water cooler and quickly made a dash through a side door to the parking lot. What a fool he had been, taking a risk like this. Let’s go, he told the driver.

‘The airport.’ he said in reply to the driver’s questioning look. ‘And you better lie low for a while too’. Where was the woman’s husband right now? He hoped the man wasn’t lying dead somewhere in a ditch close to where he had found the woman. The irony. After all it was he who had given the orders to find and silence him. He still had the reward money on him, some of it at least. He would now have to send it to his mother through someone else.

© Shail Mohan 2020