AW Flash Fiction–10/4/09 “Thrill”

Not sure whether I like this one or not.  I like the story’s concept of a plodding planner getting the better of the impulsive thrill-seeker in a seemingly impulsive act, but I’d probably rewrite it were I to ever invest more into it.

My probable edits / criticisms are marked in color.


Jayna lived on adrenalin, absolutely adored the high it gave her. She never wore a seat belt and drove far faster than the speed limit, waited until the last minute to do her school assignments and work projects, loved to skydive and do other thrill-seeking sports (meh, somewhat lame examples–I’d tweak these). The rush of shifting into overdrive was her particular form of crack, had been for as long as she could remember.

So it came as a huge surprise when she fell in love with Gavin, a man who planned every second of his day with exacting precision. They say opposites attract and nothing provided a better example of that concept than Jayna’s and Gavin’s love affair.

They married on June 15th, the day when the planets aligned in the most favorable arrangement for their respective astrological charts.  (the June date is traditional but the astrology part was out of character for Gavin.  This I’d replace with something else more mundane) At least that’s what Gavin’s calculations showed. Jayna’s contribution to the wedding was to show up 30 seconds before the wedding march began, still putting on her earrings. (probably a better example here)

But just as opposites can attract they can also repel. Within six months, the happy couple was not so happy anymore. Jayna exhausted Gavin with her recklessness and Gavin exasperated Jayna with his plodding lack of spontaneity. Their love disintegrated and contempt crept in and filled the void.

Not one to plan anything, Jayna saw no reason to seek a divorce from Gavin when offing him would be so much more fun and immediate. She didn’t plan it per se but knew when the moment was right, she’d seize it. Just thinking about doing it gave her a thrill. She spent her nights fantasizing about different methods of murdering her husband. Knife, gun, fire, fall from a great height, poison, hitman, vicious animal attack, the possibilities were endless. (POV issues or fine tune for omniscent possibly…would need to research omniscent more.)

Gavin took the more traditional approach and filed for divorce when he realized that Jayna would not. They had separated months ago and he had moved into an apartment on the other side of town. When it came time to serve the papers, he followed the delivery with an in person visit.

Jayna answered the door and glared at him. “You think you’re so smart, don’t you,” she snarled. (why does she say this?)

“It will be a lot quicker and easier for both of us if you’ll just sign and be done with it Jayna.”

“How long do I have before the papers are due?” He smiled because she treated it like it was a school assignment. Nevertheless, he played along and said, “You have until midnight tonight.”

“And if I don’t want to sign?”

“It doesn’t matter if you sign or not,” he lied, “the divorce will go through with or without your consent.” (this whole dialogue passage is just bad and wrong–need to totally swap it out for something a bit more contentious, like a fight over who gets the house, etc.)

“We’ll see about that,” she said and then slammed the door in his face. A few minutes later, she reopened the door and saw that Gavin still stood on her doorstep, waiting.

“Why haven’t you left?” she asked.

“I’ve planned my day to wait for your signature or midnight, whichever happens first,” Gavin said calmly. (yeah, yeah, zzzzz)

“Well, you might as well come on in then.”

Gavin smiled as he followed Jayna inside what used to be their home.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” said Jayna as she disappeared upstairs.

“Take your time,” said Gavin as he walked over to straighten a picture on the wall. (I loved this very simple action–to me it foreshadowed Gavin’s next moves)

When Jayna returned, she brandished a gun and pointed it at Gavin. She smiled and he could tell that she was breathing a little faster than normal, that she was enjoying the thrill of threatening him and no doubt would also enjoy the moment she pulled the trigger.

Pow, pow, pow rang out the gunshots in rapid succession.

Gavin and Jayna stared at each other as the smoke from the gun curled up and then dissipated.  (<—I was happy with this) Jayna looked down at her abdomen and saw three gunshot wounds bleeding profusely before she collapsed on the floor. “Gavin. How…”

Gavin lowered his gun and tucked it back inside the waistband of his pants. “My dear, I’ve had this planned for quite some time. I only needed your provocation to validate my actions. Not entirely unpleasant, this whole adrenalin rush, but I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it. Afterall, look what it did to you.”  (Liked this part too.)

The light in Jayna’s eyes flickered and then went out.  (Reminds me of when the Terminator is finally “killed” and his red eyes go out.  he-he.)

“No more fun and games now, let’s wrap this up,” said Gavin to himself as he went out to his car to retrieve the gloves, plastic sheeting, duct tape, and sulphuric acid that he had brought with him (delete “he had brought with him” cause that’s kind of a “duh” thing.). He had always been a tidy man and quick to clean up his messes and correct his errors, all of them.  (My favorite line of the whole piece and I’m very happy to have ended it on a strong note.)