Bree bounced up and down on the bed. A bit lumpy but hopefully she’d be too exhausted to care. Her mouth twisted into a wry smile as she imagined the torrid night ahead. It was their first night together, and she wanted it to be perfect. They’d found a quaint cottage on airbnb in the mountains. Bree arrived early to add some special touches; candles, rose petals, champagne and exotic delicacies in case they needed sustenance during the evening.
As she lit the last candle, she heard a car pull up. Her tiny robe hung open suggestively. It revealed French lingerie she’d spent a week’s wages on.
Liam barged through the door.
‘What a day!’ He exhaled, like a middle-aged man coming home to his long-suffering wife of 30 years.
Bree’s suggestive smile stayed firmly in place.
‘Well, maybe the night might be better,’ she said.
‘Woah, Nelly! Look at you! Sorry, Babe. Hard day at the office. Let me open the champagne. Nice spread!’ He said, noticing the food on the coffee table. ‘But I grabbed an egg sandwich at a diner on the way up.’
Bree’s smile waned, not sure this night — hell, this relationship — wasn’t one big mistake.
‘To us,’ Liam toasted. ‘Let’s have a good look at that outfit you’re not quite wearing.’ He pulled Bree into his arms. She forgot her misgivings as he kissed her deeply. She melted into him, feeling dizzy with desire.
He moaned. That’s more like it, she thought, and began to move her body against his.
Liam pulled away suddenly.
‘I don’t feel so good. I think that sandwich was a bit…’ His hand flew to his mouth, a wild look in his eyes.
Bree pointed towards the bathroom, and sank to the lounge. His retching killing the mood instantly.
A sound from the fireplace drew her attention away from the god-awful noise in the bathroom. Something was clattering down the chimney. Soot surged out, followed by a creature straight from hell, a possum, as surprised as Bree to be in this situation. It recovered first, however, hissing and growling, then launching itself at her. She only just managed to throw a cushion to deflect it from her face. The creature landed on the coffee table, delicacies skittered everywhere as it’s claws scrambled on the glass surface.
He staggered from the bathroom.
‘Fire!’ He yelled, running for the door. Bree turned around to see the cushion she’d thrown had knocked over a candle. Flames had travelled up the lace curtains and along the brittle wallpaper.
Bree heard a crash behind her. Liam was sprawled in the doorway, the screen door flattened underneath him, the possum running across his back.
‘My hero,’ she muttered, grabbing a throw off the lounge and wrapping it around her. She picked up her handbag and followed the possum across Liam’s back and down the front steps.
She phoned 911.
Liam crawled down to her. ‘Hey, you free next weekend, Babe?’
Kim Hart lives in the Snowy Mountains region of southern NSW, Australia. She writes micro-fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and has numerous novels in varying stages of completion. When she’s not writing she enjoys coffee, tea and Netflix. She is a mother to two daughters, and grandmother to one grandson.