Ficlet: Franchisement

Written as a Ficlet sequel for A Loaded Gun in the Mailbox by Will Hindmarch. The original Ficlet ended thusly:

He goes inside, past his wife, who’s doing dishes, and gets the phone. He dials 911. She asks what’s wrong.

“There’s a hand holding a gun in our mailbox,” he says.

“Finally,” she says.

“… and hang up the phone,” she said, heading out to the mailbox.

She’d been expecting it? Why would she ever need a gun? Unless …

“Oh, God.” His knees gave out, then met the floor.

No sooner had she stepped out, she returned. Over his pulse, he’d heard her steps on the sidewalk, the way she’d opened the screen door and held it to close slowly behind her. He always let it slam. She hated that.

“Honestly, I should leave you down there. But I haven’t the time.”

He was crying now, shaking, stem to stern. To confirm, he peered up through tearful eyes to know for sure and there it was, cradled in her arms. “I’ll do anything, be a better husband, just don’t — !”

“This one isn’t mine, you fool! Pull yourself together!”

He stood, bolt upright, as if his posture might save his life.

“Good,” she smiled.

She opened a closet, fetched a bag marked Avon and placed it inside. As she stepped out the front door, she said simply, “This Hand Of Glory™ is for Ms. Monday in #314. She’ll be so excited, won’t she?”

Originally posted to Ficlets on May 14, 2008. What’s a Ficlet?

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