Flash Fiction
$25 Prize
by Sarah Marie Kosch
Damn she looks good in a suit, that 007 waistline.
Killer curves. An ass to die for. Let us bow down in
worship of her crisp trouser lines, her dainty ankles. How
does she run in those heels? Her voluptuous tresses
hang down her back, salon-perfect even after strangling a
man in a stairwell. She only pins it up for special

When the cards are down, she heads for the bar in her
eveningwear, orders a martini. Why yes, she’d like some
shake with that stir. She’s dressed in some sleek number
she put on the company card after her last outfit was
strategically shredded during hand-to-hand combat. Her
new dress is superbly cut, angles for angels. Diamonds
caught in her breasts, gold on her fingers. Reflections
glimmer on slivers of skin, the inevitable bruises and
scrapes healed by sheer vanity.

She sips her drink, takes in the room without turning her
head—exits and entrances, good guys and bad. On the
other side of the bar, her unlikely novice partner pretends
to look aloof. The wide-eyed Bambi on his first big
the Jane Bond, can you believe it?—he wonders
when she’ll take him to bed. Whoa, slow down there,
Agent. All in good time. First there is the necessary
dance of danger, a look across the bar, a raised eyebrow,
a glint of half-smile. Play the part, Bambi. Put on a front of
resistance before you give in. It’s not fun without a fight.

The backstory is tangled, but the important thing for you
to know is that deep down beneath that poise and cool
untouchability, there is a sensitive soul in need of
comfort. She was in love once, a long time ago. Give her
your body as a talisman to ward off bad dreams. You are
just filler, but my god, you will flare so brightly when you
rake your fingernails across the moon and watch the light
pour out of the scratches.

And even when the villain finds you, because the villain
will always find you—alone and naked, dozing, dreaming,
splayed in the sheets, silk on silk satisfied, content in
Jane’s whispered promise, “wait here,” because you
always knew she’d have to leave—even when the gun
nuzzles your temple or the knife tip grazes your throat or
the plastic bag smothers your lips in a kiss, be satisfied
you’ve done your part; this is all expected. Don’t be
frightened. Don’t cry. Thank you for your sacrifice. She
may never think of you again, but she sees specters on
nights she can’t sleep—when the moon is full, and the
world is not enough.

Sarah Marie Kosch is a fiction writer pursuing her MFA at Oregon
State University in Corvallis. Her work has appeared most recently in
Rappahannock Review, Knee-Jerk Magazine, and Print Oriented
Bastards. She is an editor for Anomalous Press and the fiction editor
for 45th Parallel.