Play Date


Charlie smirks, “It’s a game.”

Trish gulps, wincing in pain as if she swallowed a wasp, “I don’t want to play.”

“You liked playing with me a few months ago. Different game, but you wanted to play then.”

Panic bubbles in Trish. She pushes the floor with squirming toes. Her chair scoots along the plastic drop cloth that has been spread out underneath her. Charlie stands up, puts a firm hand on the chair, then gives a no-no finger wave before taking his seat across the table from her. She violently yanks at her restraints. The steel handcuffs cut into her wrists and ankles.

Trish yelps out, “We were in a bar. You came up to me!”

Her words are met with deafening silence. Charlie lifts the .38 off the table and loads a single bullet. He spins the cylinder, places the barrel to his head and without a hint of hesitation, Charlie pulls the trigger.


Trish’s heart freezes. Her body trembles uncontrollably off Charlie’s dead, fish-eyed stare. She screams, “I should have told you!” Charlie makes a clicking sound with his tongue then asks, “What did you say to me that night? Something about picking up strange girls is like playing… what?”

He spins the cylinder again.

Mascara tears streak down Trish’s face, “I made a mistake! I was angry! I should have told you…”

He places the barrel between her eyes.

“I should have told you I have AIDS!”

Charlie pulls the trigger…

~ fin ~

Mike McCrary is a screenwriter and author of GETTING UGLY, REMO WENT ROGUE and GENUINELY DANGEROUS. His short fiction has appeared in ThugLit, All Due Respect, Dark Corners, Out of the Gutter, Shotgun Honey and The Big Adios. Mike has been a waiter, securities trader, dishwasher, investment manager, and an unpaid Hollywood intern. He's quit corporate America, come back, been fired, been promoted and fired again. Currently, he writes stories about questionable people who make questionable decisions.