Tell Me a Story

Written for Chuck Wendig’s weekly Flash Fiction Challenge.  Mention a unicorn anywhere.



Hello, are you awake?  Good.  I’m afraid my associate has a distinct lack of a light touch.  Ugh, that’s going to bruise.

I know, I know, this is very confusing.  Let me guess, “Where am I?”  That’s usually the first question, followed by another much more important, “Why me?”

Why me?  Might be the most important question in the world.  Well we’ll get to that one later.

Where am I?  You are in a warehouse with the words “Jenkins Cannery” on top of a red roof.  The outside veneer is more of slate gray siding.  We are next to the Tuna Bee distribution center and the Baby Acres Warehouse.  They are blue and I guess “steel” colored respectively.

The road we are on is Industrial Drive.  If you were to take it East you will meet with Franklin which will take you to the 70.  Highway 70 East towards Harmerville is home.

Hold on, there’s more.

Outside the door there is a forest green ’96 Pontiac Grand-Am.  There is slightly less than a half tank.  The keys are in the center console.  Careful, a wind storm hit the driver’s door when I was going to Taco Bell one day and jackknifed the door open.  I had to pry it out of the quarter panel with a screwdriver.  It makes a god damn awful racket when you open the door.  What else?

Plates are good, lights all work, as long as you drive about five over the limit you shouldn’t get pulled over.  If you do, I forged a registration in your name in the glove box.  Your wallet is over here on my work table.  See?

I know that look, you want to know why I’m telling you all this.  I’m getting to it.  Just a couple more things for the…prologue, if you will.

Your room is back there, it has a cot and a working toilet.  Your door will be locked at night but a stiff kick will bust it open, it barely even qualifies as cardboard.

At night, my associate will be keeping guard.  He has a little desk with a TV and a laptop with an internet connection.  So he’ll be engrossed with porn or the NFL network at any given time.  He will be armed with a tazer, buck knife, and a 9mm Beretta.  Now this is important, are you paying attention?

He is left handed.  That means if you see his right hand go into his coat he’s grabbing the knife, the reverse, left hand, right side of coat means bang bang.  Got me?

On my work table which is right next to the door to your room are my tools.  Lots of gnarly shit but you should focus on the Desert Eagle .50.  It will be enough to handle my associate.  Serial numbers are scraped as well as any identifiers.  I oil it every morning so I promise you it will not jam.

Now why am I telling you all this?  Your escape is all but guaranteed if you heed my directions.  The main doors are locked but after you shoot my associate you will find the keys in….  Paul, where do you keep the keys?  Left front pocket?  Thanks.

The keys are in the left front pocket.

So kick door, grab gun, shoot Paul, get keys, unlock main door, get into Pontiac, go home.  Simple enough.

But I don’t think you’ll do it.  You’re smirking.  You must one devious bad ass mother fucker, am I right?  I played right into your hands, like I’m some dipshit Bond villain giving you the goods while you are strapped down.  Damn it, man I am just dumb.

But there is that other question.  I answered, “Where am I?”  But if you bolt out of here first night, you’ll never find out, “Why me?”


Now I don’t see why during all of this we can’t be friendly, or even become friends.  There’s no reason to behave uncivilized towards each other.

However, I am very good at my job and I was paid $750,000 plus expenses to bring you here.  That’s an awful lot of money, and I am the very best.  Someone has a hate boner for you.

Now comes the unfortunate time where I prove to you how good I am at getting information.  This first time I won’t be asking a question.  Just applying my trade to your left inner thigh.  It will hurt.  Hurt more than anything you’ve ever experience.

You need to do something for me.  Picture in your mind the happiest day ever.  The day you got that puppy, the first time you got to second base, uh Rush live in 1978.  Whatever, just think about it hard.

Now shut your eyes and put yourself in that one shining moment, the light in the darkness…


She is standing there with a pout on her face, idly toying with one of her braids.  Her whole body is selling the slump in her shoulders.  Boredom, thou art defined.  The carnival is small this year, just a Ferris wheel and scrambler.  The games are the usual throw a dart, throw a ring, everyone is a winner. 

When her father glances back at her for approval, she rolls her eyes.  Thirteen years on the planet and she is not impressed any more.  It has been discovered, weighed, and assessed.  Lame.  Boring and lame.

She doesn’t see her father ring the bottle with the star, so she is taken completely by surprise when he walks to her with a big grin and even bigger purple stuffed unicorn.

She squeals and kisses him on the cheek…


Sorry about all of that.  How bad was it?  Where you able to focus on something?  Good, remember it you are going to need it more and more.

So, um, leave the bandage on all night.  I left some antiseptic in your room.

Tomorrow we will start for real.

Your homework tonight is to think on two words, “Why me?”

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