I will try to make regular updates to the blog, rather than random ramblings (although there will still be plenty of that, have no fear🙂 ). So:

Friday – a “flash fiction” or some kind of text
Tuesday – Updates
In between – when time allows, some other goodies😉

Here’s the first one:

Cassandra Malone
By
Gil Shalev – May 2011

“Why did you pick up the phone damn it?”
“I’m sorry, it was instinct. I always pick up the phone when it rings”
“Yes and now we’re both screwed!” Joe raised his hands towards the ceiling, peeling and threatening as it was “Now they know we’re alive and there’s no going back”
Cassandra was cowering in the one corner of the room where both walls and ceiling were still intact. Sort of. Joe paced the length of the temporary shelter and tried to come up with something constructive to do, but that which didn’t come to him in the past three hours did not seem to want to come to him now.
“We’re screwed. There’s no two ways about it”
“You already said that. Twice” Cassandra moaned “You need to think positive”
“Yeah, right…” He didn’t like being angry with her, but he found that she had to bear the brunt of his deteriorating patience. “Much good it did your mother”
Immediately he regretted saying that, and before he covered the distance to her position she was bowling.
“Here Cass, don’t cry. I’m sorry, ok? I didn’t mean that honey. You know how much I loved your mother, god bless her good soul.”
That did not do much to calm her crying, but at least enabled him to take a seat next to his daughter and put his arm around her wet shoulders.
“What I meant was that she trusted these thugs, and they used her kindness against her”
He didn’t know what else to say. He wanted to be honest with her, but he couldn’t afford to. Not now, when he needs her to cooperate without questioning every word he says.
“Come baby, they must be looking for us. We have to put as much distance between us and them as possible.”
“What about our stuff?”
“Forget about that baby, we cannot go back home. Not yet. They probably have someone watching it, expecting us to slip”
“But why can’t we go to the police daddy? These guys are criminals”
“We’ve been through this Cass, I told you that we can’t-“
“But why?” she insisted the way only a twelve-year-old could “We did nothing wrong!”
“I promise I’ll explain everything to you, but you have to come with me and you have to do it now. We’re sitting ducks in here. This place is a village. It won’t be long before they look here”
She stood up as though gravity was increasing as she was rising, and she caught his eyes for a very brief moment. He was startled by something that flashed in hers, something mature, determined rather than spiteful. His pause gave her courage to speak up rather than respond for the first time that day
“I want to know what’s going on”
“I told you-“
“No!” She stopped and her legs were planted in the dusty floor “I am not moving any closer to the car before you tell me what’s going on. I want to know why we cannot go to the police” she started crying again “I want to know what happened to mommy!”
Things were falling apart. Joe was not ready for this one. Of all time, she picked this moment to grow a personality.
“Let’s make a deal. We need to move, and you need to know everything. I promise you that as soon as you sit in the car I’ll start talking, ok? By the time we’re at our next stop you’ll have all the answers and more”
He moved towards the car and opened the passenger door, looking at her with anticipation. “What do you say?”
Good, no auto reply. That means she’s actually thinking about it
“Alright. But I swear that if you lie I will make it impossible to drive” she fell into the bucket seat and put her belt on.

***

“Slow down now young girl. I can’t make sense of any of this.”
“Just let me in p-l-e-a-s-e! I can’t stay out here. I promise I won’t cause any problems”
The truck driver removed his hands from her shoulders, allowing her to climb into the cabin, where she found there was a little bed hidden behind the driver’s seat and sat low on the thin mattress.
“Go right ahead, make yourself at home” he mumbled as he climbed back to his truck and they were off.
Looking in the rear view mirror he said “Name is Morris. What’s yours?”
“My name is Cassandra. Cassandra Malone” she said quietly
She saw his face change, and she knew she didn’t need to tell him much more than that.
“Oh” he said, calculating “I… Well, I mean, I’m sorry for your loss”
“Thank you. You probably know all the rest, right?”
“Well, you’ve been on the news all day. They say that your dad killed her and committed suicide, is that so?”
“I can tell you he killed her, although when I jumped out of his car he was very much alive”
Morris took out a can of coke from a cooler box next to him and passed it behind “What do you want to do then, Cassandra? Do you want me to take you to a police station?”
“You know, I don’t think so. I was thinking about it all through the day. He was telling me, my dad that is, that we can’t go to the police, and once I figured out that they were actually the people who were after us I… I decided that I don’t want to be involved in all this crap. I don’t want to be Cassandra Malone”
“How do you mean?” The wrinkles on his forehead deepened
“Where are you going?” She asked instead of answering
“Well, eventually British Colombia. But I stop in a few states along the way-”
“Sounds good”
“You don’t mean-“
“Why not? What reason do I have to stay? My mom, who apparently was the only family member who wasn’t on the FBI’s most wanted list, is dead”
“I see your point” Morris said

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