My latest for Angry Hourglass’s weekly flash fiction contest. Above photo as a prompt and 360 words max, peeps.
Tom thought he got a faint whiff of the dead body’s Eternity by Calvin Klein, a musky cologne, in his rolling suitcase and that maybe someone else would also smell it and connect the dots, but maybe it was still on his nostrils or in his head. After all, he had killed the body a mere 33 minutes and 42 seconds…43 seconds ago.
To be sure, he had to check.
He rolled into the men’s bathroom and locked the door behind him. After he checked under each stall — empty — he unzipped his suitcase. The body was in pieces. A body had to go in pieces to get into a suitcase unless he happened to kill one of the few contortionists in the world or a little person and Tom didn’t want to hurt little people.
35 minutes and 29 seconds…30 seconds ago.
Tom picked up the head, the hardest piece to contort into the suitcase, as it was one of those oddly shaped ones you could pick out from a crowd. One green eye was open and the other shut. Weird. Tom opened one, shut the other, opened that one, shut the other, shut both, opened both and then twirled a particularly long eyelash in his fingers.
He closed both eyes. He was afraid someone would make eye contact with the dead head, maybe the head would wink, a clue to the peril it was in. After all, being inside a suitcase was stuffy, hot, suffocating. Tom had never stuck and zippered his head into a suitcase before, but he could just imagine. And dark. It would be dark.
38 minutes and 12 seconds…13 seconds ago.
“You’re running out of time, Tom,” the American flag on his shirt whispered.
The flag then seemed to burn his chest. He gripped the handle on the suitcase like he was free-falling into space and left the bathroom.
Eternity was still under his nostrils, taunting. All it took was one person to smell it and connect the dots. Then the American flag would really punish him, burn him worse than ever.
40 minutes and 8 seconds…9 seconds ago.