Flash Fiction Friday -- The Folder

I apologize for the silence and promise to try to go back to posting regularly on Fridays. Things have been hectic between getting out everything that was requested at Nationals, summer vacation, and getting the tot ready for kindergarten. Here's a little something from my WIP. Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend.

The Folder
© 2009 Suzanne Lazear

In the safety of her empty dorm room, Jenna Brown withdrew the battered file folder from her backpack, hands trembling. She still was surprised that she actually had taken it today. She’d never stolen anything in her life. Not bubble gum, not toys, not even those red panties she’d wanted so badly, the ones her mother wouldn’t buy, stating they were “the devil’s panties.”

She paged through the copies she’d made. Sitting on the bed, hunched over like she was reading under the covers after bedtime, she looked at them in puzzlement. There were printouts of blog pages—the kind where people poured over line items looking for “pork.” But the stuff circled was bizarre and seemed to be funding alphabet agencies she’d never heard of.

There were also pages of joke laws on both the national and state levels. Again, the ones highlighted were beyond the usual illegal to bathe donkeys sort of laws. Why in the world would there need to be a law protecting Vampires? Whose idea of a joke was that? Vampires were no more real than Fairies and unicorns.

Next were clippings from tabloid magazines. She’d noticed an increase in tawdry tales as stories of the existence of Vampires and Werewolves elbowed for room with the latest celebrity scandal. Even one of those educational cable channels recently did a television show on the science of the supernatural as people tried to prove that they existed.

That was as puzzling as all those “supernatural” books, TV shows, and movies. Why were people so obsessed with the idea of there being other creatures among them? Jenna thought that was silly. Didn’t they have better things to do?

After the various clippings, including newspaper and magazine articles were websites of something called “SuNat sightings”–where people chronicled unexplainable events, like people turning into wolves and women who could lift cars. Sure, they all had tea with Bigfoot and Nessie. Really, some people had too much free time.

It wasn’t until she studied the pictures that her skin began to crawl. There were several small files with names of people on them. Each one contained a number of pictures with names, dates, and information. There were things written on the pages like Vampire or responsible for the New York Blackout? written on them. But the pictures…

Pictures really were worth a thousand words, because even though the pictures in each file were from different times and places, it was obviously that they were the same people. How could that be possible?

But it was.

Jenna put a knuckle in her mouth to stifle a cry. What was going on here?

There were other things, emails, letters, official documents. Everything seemed to point that there might actually be such thing as Vampires, Werewolves, and even Witches. Just the thought made her shake and want to crawl under the covers. But nothing actually proved their existence.

Why would her boss have such documents in the first place? Jenna didn’t get it.

Still, trembling, she put the folder in a manila envelope, also stolen. She couldn’t wait to drop it in the mailbox and get it out of her hands. The strange email she’d gotten told her that it was very important for her to get a certain file from the office, copy it, and to mail it to a particular address. Why, they never said, only that it was a “matter of life and death.” Who was she to not help someone in such a situation?

But Jenna didn’t understand what the information had to do with life or death.

The door opened and she jumped, startled.

“You look like you’re doing something naughty.”

Jenna relaxed, it was just her roommate. Wait, her roommate liked those romance novels about vampires and such, maybe she would understand. The email never said not to show anyone. She just wasn’t supposed to let anyone at the office know that she copied the file—or even knew about it.

Biting her lip, Jenna looked at Lucy. “I did.”

She told Lucy what she had done and handed the file to her.

Lucy whistled, as she looked through the file folder. “This is some cool shit. I can’t believe you did all this on some strange email from someone you don’t even know.”

Jenna winced at her purple-haired roommate’s language. Love of romance novels and foul mouth aside, Lucy Davidson was a decent and trust-worthy person.

“I don’t either.” Her voice was soft. This type of behavior was so unlike her and she felt guiltier by the minutes.

“Want me to pop it in the mail for you? I have to go to the post office anyway.”

“Please?” Now she really started to get nervous. What if someone saw her, if someone knew? Worse, what if she lost her nerve and couldn’t mail it. The email never threatened her or made her feel like something bad would happened if she didn’t, but she couldn’t help but wonder. What was so important about all those random things anyway? It didn’t prove a thing….

Still, relief filled her as she handed the envelope to Lucy.

As soon as Lucy left, Jenna got down on her knees next to her twin bed and started to pray for forgiveness for stealing file, making copies, and stealing an old file folder to put them in and a manila envelope. She prayed for a very long time and was still on her knees, eyes closed, deep in prayer when the door opened again.

“Jenna Brown?”

The unfamiliar voice startled her. Her eyes snapped open. “Who are you and why are you in my room?”

The masked man didn’t say a word and moved so fast she didn’t even have time to scream.


Madai said...

wait.... what happened???!!! who was the man????????

Suzanne said...

Actually, I'm not sure who the man is yet (I'm about 9 chapater in), and alas, poor Jenna...

This is actually the prologue. The story itself features a character named Rory, but the story does revolve around what happened to poor Jenna, why, who that man is and who sent him, what was in the folder, who wanted the folder sent to who and all that good stuff...

Thanks for visiting!