Prompt for June 18, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

The hurricane bore down on the town of Naples, Florida, as if it were seeking vengeance for a past wrong. The category four hurricane was gaining strength as it approached land and the ocean surge was already reaching Gulf Shore Boulevard. Farther south the Port Royal Club had been boarded up, the parking lot deserted but for the two cars in the southeast corner of the lot.

There hadn’t been a mandatory evacuation, there really wasn’t anywhere to go with Hurricane Isabel being the third hurricane to hit in two weeks. Every part of Florida had borne the brunt of this peculiar hurricane season and now it was Naples turn. As the manager of the Port Royal Club Stephanie Vargas considered it her responsibility to ensure that the club survived Isabel and she would do whatever it took. With no family in this part of the country, she had nowhere that she needed to be so she was going to spend it where she felt most at home. At Port Royal.

Her partner in this endeavor, Michael Fardune, didn’t care for the club, it was a job, a means to an end, but he did care about Stephanie. Although almost fifteen years her junior he adored the way that she ran the club and how she interacted with the members. She knew everyone’s name, their birthday, their families, special events, when they had last dined at the Port Royal and even their favorite food. He also had a massive crush on her. Stephanie did not look anywhere close to forty years old, she looked in her late twenties at most. She took advantage of the facilities at the club and worked out daily and that made her all the more appealing to Michael.

When she had asked for volunteers to look after the Club he immediately volunteered. And now that he was here he followed her around the club, checking the windows, doors, umbrellas, patios, tennis courts, everything that could be exposed to the wind and rain. If it could be moved it was stored. If it couldn’t it was covered and protected. The club was safe. Stephanie was safe.

They had just come inside after checking the windows surrounding the fitness center when they heard a clanging sound as if two pieces of metal were hitting each other. They both turned towards the shuttered windows just as the tip of an errant umbrella pierced the shutter and window, hurling itself into Michael’s chest. Stunned he looked at the blossoming red blotch on his white polo shirt.

“Stephanie?” His breath came ragged as he stood there, impaled by the umbrella. Flecks of blood flew into the air as he breathed, landing on Stephanie’s immaculate shirt, but she just stared, her eyes wide with shock. “Stephanie, talk to my brother, make him understand. Make him understand.”

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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