Jane—at least that’s what she thought her name was for tonight; maybe it was Erica—slid through the crowded room, around gesticulating bodies wrapped up in each other’s limbs. The bass pounding on the floor, like an off-balance washing machine, her only connection to the rest of the dancers around her. The lights strobed; flashes of light burned shadows onto the cavernous walls. Stained glass windows rose to the converted church’s dome high above. She stopped in front of an image of Christ, his hand in the sign of benediction, and followed his fingers toward the walkway around the dome where she had just come from. She knew it was only a matter of time before they found him in the private side room, one of many, jutting off from that walkway like spokes on a wheel. A red velvet curtain was the only thing separating the drunk and coked-up twenty-somethings from his prone body. Jane couldn’t be entirely sure he was dead. She knew she had to get out of the club quickly though.
Jane moved toward the far entrance, away from the DJ booth and pushed through the center of the dance floor, letting the swaying hips and flailing arms propel her through the crowd. She was suddenly grabbed on her bicep by a strong yet small hand. Jane bent her body backwards, which caused the person grabbing her to move toward her and side-stepped out of the way. The woman, older than the twenty-somethings surrounding her, fell forward.
“What the fuck,” the woman said as she caught her footing and pirouetted to face Jane, “was that all about Jane?” Her words were barely audible above the climaxing music.
The woman swept her purple hair out of her face. Jane remembered seeing her from earlier in the evening. She couldn’t remember her name. Maybe it was Ingrid? She looked like an Ingrid. Why did she have such a hard time with names? It’s not like any of it mattered though; she didn’t think she’d be seeing Ingrid ever after tonight.
“Where’s Brian?” Ingrid shouted into Jane’s ear. Jane just shrugged her shoulders and turned toward the exit. Ingrid grabbed hold of Jane again, pressed her sweaty cheek against Jane’s cold one and shouted, “Stay! Dance with us!” Jane hollered back about having to pee. Ingrid flashed Jane a thumbs up, smiled and started moving in the same direction as Jane.
Fuck, Jane thought to herself. The two of them moved to the bathroom line, just a few girls deep but in a quieter spot. Ingrid stepped into line, turned back to Jane, and said, “What’s up with you and Brian lady?”
Jane shrugged her shoulders again. The less she said, the better.
“Come on, you gotta give me something more.”
Jane scrambled for something resembling a cohesive story in her head. “I don’t know. Nothing, I guess,” Jane said, shrugging her shoulders once more. “He left me at the foot of the stairs.”
“What? Fuck that dude then,” Ingrid said. One of the stalls opened and Ingrid dashed in. “We’ll go talk to the asshole. Wait outside for me,” she said and pulled the stall shut. Jane turned around and darted out of the bathroom, down the corrider and into the blaring music.
The exit was on her right and she moved toward it. Another hand grabbed her hair and pulled her backwards. She stumbled backwards into the chest of a man. Jane looked up and saw Brian holding her blonde hair in his meaty fist. “You fucking cunt,” he said. He held the ice pick in his hand, wet with his own blood and covered in Jane’s fingerprints. This whole night had gone horribly bad. It looked like it was going to get worse.
Brian moved back toward the throng of dancing people, dragging the clump of Jane’s hair with him and her body followed suit. The pain was a thousand needle points of hard light on her scalp, which caused her brain to jump out of the fog it had been in since the first attempt of ending Brian’s miserable existence had failed in the room above.
Jane quickened her step and slammed her body into a large boy twice her size. He turned around with anger in his eyes, looked at Brian’s hand with Jane’s hair, and grabbed his wrist. “What the fuck, little man?”
Brian released Jane’s hair, started to square off with big boy, and Jane saw her chance. She grabbed the ice pick out of Brian’s hand as he brought it up, spiraled out of the confrontation, around Brian’s back, and plunged the ice pick deep into Brian’s side, piercing his lung. She saw Brian gasp, like a fish trying to breathe on dry land. His free hand tried to grab the pick and big boy, not knowing what had just happened, pulled Brian closer and cocked his fist back. Jane sprinted toward the exit.
This is a flash fiction challenge. The details can be found at Chuck Wendig’s site.
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