The Girl in the Picture

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series MicroFiction

It was the least of his worries, his main concern being getting away from the building before he was discovered, but it gnawed at him deep within: Who was she? He had seen her picture on a desk, she was half-smiling at the photographer as she sat on a small boat dock on a lake.  Familiarity had caused him to pause, even knowing that the bombs he had planted around the building were blipping away towards the destruction of Indigo-Montoya Industries. He had seen her before.

He had seen her before.

He had shaken himself from thought, and began to run towards the stairs.  He had planned on taking the elevator, but had wasted too much time now.  Besides, if any guards were to see him on the stairwell cameras, it was now too late to do anything to stop the bombs.  If they were lucky, they might catch him in the lobby, and hold him long enough so that the collapse of the building would bury him along with them. A hollow victory for the guards, a tragic end for him and the information he carried.

But who was she?

As he hit the third floor, he heard the alarms go off.  He had been seen.  He pulled his gun as he heard stairwell doors opening above and below him, the static hiss and pop of radios and the stomp-clap of overweight heavies in white shirts with tin badges. He aimed his gun at the fire extinguisher on the landing below and waited for the guards to get closer to it.  He pulled the trigger and the extingusiher exploded, catching the guards in a cloud of fire-repressing chemicals as he jumped the railing and landed behind them on the next flight down.  When he hit the exit into the lobby, he crouched low and kept running straight for the doors, firing his gun at the thick glass to weaken it for his exit.  A shotgun blast to his left caused the marble tiled wall to his right to explode.  He dove for the glass just as the first explosions began from the top of the building, working their way down and distracting the guard from firing another round as he sailed through the air.

Who the fuck was she?

He pierced the glass wall and rolled into the courtyard, small jagged balls of safety glass falling around him. He was about to stand up and run, when a large chunk of building landed on him, crushing his spine and causing his organs to burst and begin leaking out of any available exit.

As he lay dying, more pieces of burning building coming down around him, her picture fluttered down to the floor in front of him.  Burned at the edges, but she was still half smiling.

“Who are you?” he whsipered, coughing on his own blood.

And then he remembered.  He knew where he had seen her before.  He owned the same frame once, about ten years ago.  And she was the model in the picture that had come with it.

“Oops,” he coughed as he finally died.

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