This is the last story for 2018. Well done to everyone who got #12/12! Keep an eye on your inbox, high-fives are coming your way. I am very proud of every writer who participated, even if you didn’t meet every deadline you have written more than you would have. Those still aiming for 12, keep going.
I will accept and approve posts for That Will Not Be Necessary (Word count: 1200 words) from 5 December 2018, 8:00 (Johannesburg time), until 6 December 2018, 8:00 (Johannesburg time) on 12shortstories.com. Please ask Google to figure out what time that will be in your part of the world.
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In the post title bar: Story Title by Author Name.
Just above the story: Prompt: XXXXXX | Word count: XXXXXX | Genre: XXXXXX
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We will be writing more short stories next year. You are welcome to join us. Please sign up on 12 Short Stories.The first prompt for 2019 will be up on 9 January 2018.
Here is my short story:
Prompt 12: That will not be necessary | Word count: 1200 words exactly | Genre: Action Warning: violence and profanity Joy stares at the man she thought she knew so well, tracing the familiar creases looking for a sign, a memory, but all she sees is the maniacal glint in his eye. He clutches his rosary in his one hand and a gun in the other, a red smear mars the white square of his collar. “Make them stop.” She says. José is a bloody pulp at their feet. Padre looks at her and grins. “They’ve waited a long time for this.” Joy grabs a sidearm from the man on her left. He’s distracted by the bloody debacle and reacts too late. She has the gun pointed at Padre. “Make them stop.” The fleshy thumps of the beating cease and are replaced by dozens of clicks and they train their guns on her. “Leave him alone or I kill the priest.” Nobody moves. Padre turns towards her and holds up his hands. He makes a show of putting down his gun. Joy kicks it away. “Child, you know better than anyone what he is capable of.” “Yes, but I never knew you were capable of this.” “Desperation makes one capable of many things.” “What is this place?” Joy asks. “My base.” “Base for what?” He grins. “The Church, you know, they don’t pay so well.” Joy’s mind reels. She doesn’t want to believe what she is hearing. “And then there is the added bonus of revenge.” “But he let you go.” she says. “He did. I left, became a priest to be with you, but when he figured out I was your father, he took you to punish me.” He puts a hand on her arm, but she recoils. “Make them go away.” She doesn’t want an audience for this. Padre flicks his wrist; their guns are holstered and they retreat. One closest to José lands another kick in his side and she fires a shot at his feet. The crowd disperses faster after that. She lowers the gun and turns to Padre. “Why?” Joy can’t think. Images of Padre, of the quiet gentle man, war with this one before her. “I know it is a lot to take in, but he took everything from me.” He waves his hands as he talks, as if it can erase what he has done. “He killed Sofia,” he closes his eyes, “and once he found out who you were, he took you away as well.” “What? Who?” “Sofia. Yes, I loved her very much. When we realised she was pregnant we were going to run away, but then you were born early and José found out you weren’t his and he killed her.” “You had an affair with José’s wife and I’m her daughter?” Joy shakes her head, “What a bloody cliché.” She glances at José, but he is passed out. She turns back to Padre. The pieces falling into place. “You thought José was cutting in on your business, didn’t you? That‘s why you involved the Americans. You wanted them to eliminate José.” Joy says. “You thought it was José and he thought it is was you. That’s why he wanted me to shoot you? He knew it was you all along.” She turns away, fighting back the assault of emotions. “The children; you’ve been selling them for years – all the women. You’ve been profiting off them all the while letting me believe it was him. You fucking sold them.” Padre straightens under her glare, he brandishes his crucifix at her. “He took everything from me, I was just taking what I was owed.” Joy descends on him so fast he has no time to react. She slams the pistol into his temple and he sinks to his knees. “In what messed up place are you the victim in all this? You sabotaged the drugs that killed hundreds, you sold women and children to perverts, you…” Joy raises the gun again and presses the barrel to his forehead. “Stop.” Drew’s voice stops her cold. “Joy, stop.” He appears to her right. She can’t begin to imagine how he got there. “No, he deserves to die.” She presses harder. “Joy, it is not necessary. Stop it. We have enough evidence. He’s going to jail for a very long time. Miguel told us everything. He is going to testify. He has the proof. He kept the records. The women and children Padre sold are already being located. We’ve got Padre. We’ve got José. It’s over.” “Miguel knew?” she whips around. “Everything. It’s why José beat him and left him for dead. He found out about Padre and that it was Miguel helping him.” Joy steps back, the gun dangles in her hand. “They said it was my fault. Because I left. He said it was because of me.” “They lied. To you. To me. They thought everything was fine, but then you began sabotaging their loads. José thought it was Padre and Padre thought it was José. They didn’t know it was you who stole the drugs. They didn’t know about Carlos. You stopped the trafficking and the drugs for more than a year. That’s why he took the risk of kidnapping the kids. He needed they money. Desperately. But you stopped him again.” “You?” Padre says. “It was you?” “Yes, you sick demented bastard. I took everything. I burnt your cocaine. I made sure every girl you kidnapped was rescued. I…” Her voice cracks. “How could you?” He wilts a little as she rants. “You were the one good thing in this world.” Her voice drops to a whisper. “I trusted you. I loved you.” “I did it all for you.” “Don’t you dare say that.” Her voice rasps. “You did it for revenge. You did because it you hate him. It has always been about him. Don’t make it about me.” Drew puts a cool hand on her arm. “They’re here. To take them away. It’s over” Troops are swarming the camp. Green camouflaged swamp monsters emerge from the foliage and drop from the trees. She steps back. A sharp light glints to her left, she draws and fires in one movement. José gargles and fresh blood bubbles from his lips. He looks at Joy. Panic flares but dissolves into a blank stare. A small cough draws her attention, she spins around to see a wet, shiny patch blossom on Padre’s chest. José’s shot found its mark. Padre folds into his robe and shudders as he exhales for the last time. Drew pulls her towards him. She leans into him for a moment closing her eyes. “What is this - a fucking Hallmark movie? Are you cheating on me, mi amor?” Joy pulls away. “I’m not your amor, Carlos.” “You break my heart, mi amor.” He straightens and takes in the carnage. “Sorry, about Padre. Didn’t see that coming. Girls are safe though.” “Thank you.” she drops the gun as she walks away. Drew steps closer, takes her arm. “You ok?” “Not right now,” she looks at the bodies again, “but I’m going to be.” She keeps walking. “Where are you going?” “Away.” She gives him a half smile over her shoulder. “Find me when you’re done.” Joy disappears into the foliage.
by Mia Botha
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