This piece of flash won December's One Word Challenge comp' over at Writers News Talkback Forum...
The superstore was abuzz with shoppers. Clocking the newspaper headlines, “Local Paedophile Escapes,” Ged whisked Beth and Josh to the next aisle.
‘Right, stay close. No wandering.’
Ged became engrossed in reading the back of the supermarket’s own brand of Choco-pops. Instinctively looking down, his heart flickered.
Blasé, Josh clutched a box of Shreddies. ‘Daddy, can I…?’
‘Where’s your sister?’
Ged scanned left and right. He sprinted, stopped at each aisle.
Glancing behind, Josh wasn’t there. Panic swamped him. Torn, he back-tracked. His head pivoted back and forth like an owl on speed.
That headline! Shit. Make a decision.
Frenetic now, he ran for the exit, dodging shoppers. He bumped into a shelf-stacker. ‘Pleeease...lost my kids...Beth n Josh!’
He patrolled the exit foyer, head spinning, eyes manic. Children’s voices amplified, teasing him. Every man was a paedo’, every woman an accomplice. Lips pinched, fists clenched, teeth gritted.
The Tannoy boomed their names. Tears welled, palpitations intensified.
A security guard emerged from the crowd, Beth in one hand, Josh in the other.
Sobbing, Ged hugged his kids like never before.
A wide-eyed man in a trench-coat strolled past them, sighed then exited the store.
© Col Bury December 2009
TKnC co-editor, Col Bury is currently writing a crime novel and his ever-growing selection of short stories can be found here on TKnC, A Twist Of Noir, Six Sentences, Blink Ink and Flash Fiction Offensive. Col's story MOPPING UP won a comp' to feature in the anthology EVEN MORE TONTO STORIES (to be published May 2010). He blogs and interviews crime authors at Col Bury's New Crime Fiction.