Updated: Sep 17, 2020
The stipulations are:
1.) No more than 500 words (much more difficult than it sounds because it has to tell a story and build a character while being short and sweet).
2.) Must be in a genre in which I don't currently write.
3.) Must use the prompt "Light."
I chose to write a crime story and I titled it The Light at the End. Here is what I came up with. See what you think.
The Light at the End
Blinding Frank as he fell to his hands and knees. Wet crimson from the bullet wound in his shoulder painted the hard pavement beneath him. The charging car's engine sang a death song across the parking lot. Frank reached for his ankle.
Two minutes, fifty-seven seconds earlier.
Friday. 11:00 PM. Frank and Darryl stood roll call in the dark, police substation parking lot. Their sergeant eyed them with narrow, calculated eyes. "So, what do you think, Darryl?" he asked.
Darryl had been a cocky SOB ever since Frank met him during the police academy years ago and probably for a long time before that. He walked with a king-of-the-school kind of swagger and Frank didn't much like him.
"We have to do it, Sergeant," Darryl answered without missing a beat. "It's gotta be Frank."
Frank's stomach turned. This was a bastard of a set-up if he'd ever seen one. One could call Frank clumsy, which people often did, or a slob since he never tucked in his shirt. But crooked? Not a chance.
Frank stared forward, his hands instantly clammy as his sergeant's eyes burned a hole through his temple.
"Open my trunk," the sergeant said with a nod toward his black Nissan.
Darryl reached through the open car window and popped the trunk. He held up trash bags, a dirty shovel, and duct tape with bloody fingerprints on it. Frank swallowed hard.
"Put it into Frank's trunk," the sergeant said. His hand slowly traced his sidearm.
Frank backed away while secretly feeling for his own revolver. "What'd you guys do, Sergeant?"
"Not us. Frank. What did you do? Don't fight us. It's better this way." The air turned angry. Darryl drew his weapon first and fired. Frank spun away. He unloaded seven shots of his own as he retreated across the lot. A bullet tore through his right shoulder, knocking his weapon from his hand. Though Frank was clumsy, he was a hell of a shot and Darryl lay motionless on the pavement beside the car. Frank fell to his hands and knees, his strength pouring from his wound. The sergeant's car engine screamed to life. The tires squealed toward him, it's headlights blinding.
Frank fumbled for his backup revolver from his ankle holster, forced himself to his feet, and fired five shots into the windshield. The fifth one struck pay dirt. The car veered left, inches from his leg, and slammed into another parked sedan.
Frank staggered to the window, gun aimed. The sergeant's wounds were mortal; he just didn't know it yet.
"What did you do, Sergeant?" Frank asked.
"She was never gonna leave you. I had no choice."
Frank's gut filled with dread. "My beautiful Gracie?" His heart ached with the thought of his estranged wife.
The sergeant coughed blood across the spidered windshield. His eyes grew cold and vacant. Frank stumbled backward. Gracie's smile flashed through his thoughts and a tear kissed his cheek. He lifted the gun to his temple.
"We could have fixed us, Gracie."
He squeezed the trigger.