Flash Fiction Contest Winner #7 – “A wrong done right”

Please note: Flash fiction stories are submitted by members of our Discord server. Many contain adult themes and may be objectionable to some readers.

A wrong done right

Dust fluttered about as I scratched at the never-ending series of glyphs carved into my attic floor. The monotonous sound of metal smoothly boring through wood soothed me like nothing else.
      “Darryl! Darryl, the damn tv is on the fritz again!” I sighed and silently hoped if I ignored her, she would simply go away. “Darryl!” her voice was more of a screech than speech at this point.
      I rose up from my knees, and opened the attic hatch. “Yes dear, but what exactly do you want me to do about it?”
      “Can’t you fix it? Useless man, you could at least call the repairman-”
      My mind raced through a million scathing responses, but at the end, I said nothing. I closed the hatch and continued my work on the glyphs. Tracing the edges of a particularly complex one, I slipped cutting my finger. The small trickle of blood was enough to activate the portal. My heart raced as the world spun around me. I had completed it by accident, but I still needed to go through. I got back on my feet, bracing myself as the vertigo grew. A smile tugged the side of my mouth into a wry grin ages gone. I clenched my fist and yelled out to that damn hag downstairs. “Hope it was all worth it you damn bedswerver, may you burn in hell for all I care!”
      And the world went dark.

I opened my eyes in a familiar place, a familiar time. The warm cobblestone road beneath me held me through the worst of my vertigo.
      “Fifty-four years-” I stumbled as I spoke, and the young man I stumbled into held me up reluctantly. It was like looking into a mirror, well, not really a mirror but a photograph. I thanked him, but as he tried to continue on his way I grabbed his wrist. He halted, his reluctance quickly turning into distaste, and anger.
      “What do you want old man?”
      The words took me by surprise, though they really shouldn’t have. The old bravado I once boasted had withered during the years, but the memory remained. “There’s not much coin in the purse you just nicked from that girl. Not worth the trouble at all.” I watched him intently, his eyes widening in surprise.
      “I didn’t steal nothing you crazy bastard, I-”
      My eyes kept hard and stern on his, and I spoke slowly with all the gravity I could muster. “Believe me. It’s not worth it. Give the purse to me, and I’ll return it. No harm no foul.”
      The young man’s eyes darted around wildly, probably looking for the police, or some backup, but as he looked back into my eyes I could see him relent. “Fine.” he took the prim wallet out of his deep pocket, and handed it over to me. “But teach your daughter to keep better care of it in the future.”
      I laughed the heartiest laugh of my last few decades. “I will, thank you.” We parted ways, and I made my way to that fated market stall. The smell of bread, pastries, and vegetables surrounded the market, and I bought a small loaf of barley bread to eat while I waited. It was marvelous, or maybe it was just my mood. The giddiness threatened to overwhelm me, I felt a skip in my step long gone —all until I saw her. She was as beautiful as I remembered. Her long golden hair simply dazzling in the warm sunlight, her eyes the perfect coral green, her lips….
      I fought down my feelings, and remembered the truth. The devil disguises themselves in the wool of the most pristine of sheep, and oh how pristine she was. She fumbled with her purse, growing anxious. I approached her from behind, and tapped her shoulder. “Sorry, you dropped this.” I said, handing over her wallet.
      She looked at me eyes wide, with a warm smile, but I did not stay for thank yous, I did not stay for her company. I simply left. After all, this was what I’d dreamed of for so many years. I was finally free. That one mistake I made as a young man, returning what I stole because of that angelic visage perfectly undone.
      Good riddance you bedswerwing hag.