Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Short story project: Unidentified Flying Object, Part 13

I tucked the last stray stands of hair into my braid then grabbed a lint brush and gave my blazer a couple of go-overs. The last time I wore these clothes was at the interview that garnered me my current position with the public library. Now I’d be using them to commit a felony—or was it multiple felonies? Breaking and entering,...I planned to snoop, but not actually remove anything from Homian’s offices, so that seemed like one felony, unless this could be consider industrial espionage.
I grabbed a grey trench coat from the hall closet, then took one last look around my apartment. The lights and stove were off, and my computer was in sleep mode. Sighing, I headed out the door, locking it behind me.
In the alley behind my apartment building I took of my heeled shoes, holding one in each hand then closed my eyes. In my mind I pictured each bone in my body, imaging them full of holes like a birds. I imagined my lungs swelling with air, picking me off the ground the way a hot air balloon would its basket. Slowly I rolled onto my toes, until they could no longer touch the ground, and gradually I gained altitude.
In the distance I could see the Sears Tower—causing my stomach to flip. Why had I agreed to this again? Because I was a sucker, and the picture of the pretty girl in my trench coat was convincing. How did I know this wasn’t an elaborate trap?
Once I reached the Tower, I manoeuvered myself toward the alley where I’d first met Jason. As I descended, I peered over my toes to spot the ground and watch for possibly witnesses. The alley looked empty from my vantage point, several stories up, so I focused my energy into my feet, pushing against the air as I continued to lower myself down. I tightened my abdominal muscles to keep myself upright, and prepare for the landing that was soon to follow. When my toes brushed the ground I relaxed all the muscles I’d been holding tight, and settled onto my legs, which had been inactive during the journey.
“Wow, Claire. You look great. If I hadn’t seen you land, I wouldn’t have believed it was you.”
I scowled, but didn’t respond. He must have been hiding, possibly behind the dumpster a few feet away. I dropped my shoes to the ground and stepped into them.
“Ah come on, Claire.” Jason stepped toward me, motioning as if he wanted to grab my wrist or shoulder, but ended up shoving his hand in his pocket. “Sorry. Thanks for not being too late, I wasn’t looking forward to waiting for you all night.”

“I’d be more suspicious if I was lurking around Homian’s offices at midnight, don’t you think?” I checked my watch: quarter past eight. “I’m going in. If I’m not back in an hour, just go. I’m probably not coming out on my own, and you’ll have another person to try to rescue.”
To be continued...look for another installment of the story on Thursday, May 1st, 2014.

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