Heads or Tails #2

[Fiction] Friday Challenge #163 for July 9th, 2010

In her right hand a woman holds a loaded gun, in her left, a coin that just came up ‘tails’…NOW WRITE…


The sweat beaded in her palm, moistening her fingers and lubricating the trigger.  She could feel her grip loosen, yet she resisted the urge to wipe it away, maintaining her control.  She focused on her breathing, the sensation of oxygen consuming her lungs.  It heightened her senses: touch aroused a deeper longing.  The sound of her pulse echoed in her ears.  Sweat mingled with lingering bouquets of wine on her palette.

Her excitement increased as she fondled the pistol in her hand; her breath becoming shallower and more rapid.  With each sharp intake of breath her grip tightened on the trigger.  A final breath drawn in and she squeezed the trigger.  The recoil shuddered through her body, tantalising each fibre as the ripples swept out until they subsided.  Cordite wreathed like a necklace in the aftermath.

The two naked bodies collapsed into each other, rapid breathing raising and lowering their chests against each other until there was stillness.  Her hand lay the pistol on the table, where it beckoned her, reminded her, coaxed her.

16 responses to “Heads or Tails #2

  1. I took another perspective with this week’s prompt, and I am not sure how successful it is. It is best to read this as an extended metaphor of a sexual encounter, one that ends in the “little death,” as opposed to an actual death.

  2. I read both of these so will comment on both of them in one comment.

    I really liked how you did an alternative perspective, really makes the heads or tails thing deeper.

    I thought this one was the strongest, and could sense an absurd sexual metaphor that I really liked.

  3. I love the imagery in this one, it was easy to feel the character.

  4. Wow, is it this same woman! There’s something dark ticking over in her head for sure. I love the outcomes of both these pieces.

    • I hadn’t thought of the character as being the same person, rather, as two separate entities that I could use to explore the prompt.

  5. After having read the first piece, I also thought the character, time, and place were the same between the two pieces. I thought just the outcome of the coin flip was different.

    Knowing now that the two stories are different, A second read through this leads to more understanding.

  6. I haven’t read the other piece yet but this one is fascinating. At first I thought it was straightforward, a suicide, but now I’ve read it again with your comment in mind it’s very layered and sexy–though the last sentence either makes it slightly confusing or very ominous. I’m happily going off to read the other, now, to see what it tells me.

  7. Like Jen, I haven’t read the first piece but this had me riveted from the first sentence! Will also go to read the other.

    Well done!

  8. I was in two minds about posting this one. I can easily see the fragility of the metaphor of a sexual encounter between the woman and a man breaking with lack of sustainability. I wanted to use the weapon as a metaphor of sexual excitement and release, a control of force and power.
    Consider this as simply an experiment.

  9. Certainly an interesting take on the prompt. Your other story generated more emotion for me. Not sure what that really says. Hmmm.

  10. I agree with Walt’s analysis. Nice nevertheless.

  11. Again, good imagery, but the other one was a little truer to the prompt. Not that we can’t take liberties, right?

  12. Love the attention to detail, it really helps build tension. Well done!

  13. On first read I thought it was a woman finding her man in bed with another woman and shooting the pair of them. The second read, coupled with reading the comments, led me down the right path.
    I would like to stress that my reading was at fault here and not your writing!

  14. i like that you told the story in two different angles. very interesting approach.

  15. I thought she had found her husband with another woman but then after a second reading it was more clear. You did a great job of building the suspense and tension in the first paragraph. I must confess I still prefer the other story.

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