Flash Fiction: “Hello Dolly”

K​eller opened the drawer. “Pick your poison,” he said with a grin, several days of stubble giving his chin a ragged look.

Undaunted, Polly reached for the largest knife, all gleaming metal, almost a foot long. She stepped back and echoed Keller’s grin, but with a single laugh and a slight sheen of sweat on her upper lip that gave away her nervousness. “Okay. What now?”

Keller’s grin faded. “What the hell is that?”

​”What?” Polly said, looking down at the knife. It looked big and sharp and intimidating. It felt alien in her hand. She felt she could kill by accident with the damned thing. “I picked a knife.” She shrugged.

Hand moving so fast she barely saw it, Keller snatched the knife from her weak grip. His eyes didn’t leave hers as he tossed it back into the drawer with a loud jangle of metal on metal. “We ain’t going to a sword fight, Dolly.”

“My name is Polly –”

“I don’t care. You’re being a stupid little Dolly right now. This isn’t a prize fight, fists up, toe to toe.” Keller mocked her by doing a little dance, shadowboxing. “This is a sucker​ ​punch, Dolly.” Without warning, his left hand hooked in toward her body, stopping inches from her abdomen. Then his grin was back, and Keller reached into the drawer. He pulled out another knife, small, more handle than blade, but wickedly pointed and sturdy-looking. It was nearly hidden by his big, hairy hand. ​”We don’t advertise our intentions. There are no rules. We hide the truth until we are ready.”

Polly nodded as Keller handed her the small knife.

​He turned away, heading out the door. Not knowing where else to hide the knife, Polly turned it upside down so the blade hugged the inside of her wrist while the short handle remained ready in her hand. Then Keller was in her face again. “And when we are ready, we move fast. You hesitate and you’ll be the one who ends up dead. Dolly.”

Polly sighed then nodded again, and she followed Keller out the door like a dog behind its master.

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