RECOMPENSE

Every year, on the same day, another one appeared: a black dahlia.

She had almost run out of space to put them around her villa.

Each year the perennials re-sprouted, a forest of dark bloomage that shrouded her white walls.

The shadow they cast she could not escape. The blackness in her heart was embodied in their display. She kept them as a reminder.

Someone knew what she had done.

She opened the door and saw the new arrival. This one was red, the same colour as the blood on her hands.

The gunshot echoed around the white walls.


ceayr-3
Copyright CE Ayr

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.


My first novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is available now
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96 responses to “RECOMPENSE”

  1. I love the device of strange knowing gifts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All it takes is one plum unwelcome symbol to trigger an equally unwelcome flashback~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It reminds me of “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.
    Great concept here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome. No matter what she’s done, it must be hell to live like that, in the shadow of consequences yet to come. Perhaps she was relieved that this flower was red.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting that it may have been a relief to her, I like that reading of it, thank you 🙂

      Like

  5. Sounds like someone got their revenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After a long wait, must be a patient person 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Iain,

    Great use of color in this piece. Hmm…is it the source of the photo that sends us in a homicidal direction?

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it most definitely is! 🙂

      Like

  7. There’s usually someone who knows. A well-executed tale Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s always one. Thanks Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Creepy story! The Black Dahlia is still unsolved, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, James Ellroy fan here, and just got his new book to read too.

      Like

  9. Intriguing piece, Iain.
    Guess she was a bad lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She must have done something. I didn’t like to ask.

      Like

  10. Ooh! This is chilling. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that was the intention!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounds like she finally snapped. Assuming of course that she shot herself and wasn’t polished off by her stalker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be taken either way.

      Like

  12. Oh no …
    No more black dahlias in THIS location but I have me a feeling they’ll begin arriving at another’s place …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be a serial offender, you think? Maybe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I donnow, but I don’t like them, whomever they are …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They certainly have a violent streak

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Neel

      Like

  13. Good plot, with an intriguingly ambiguous ending. Did the messenger shoot her for revenge? – your title suggests so. Or she could have shot herself through guilt; that too fits the title. Or maybe she shot the messenger, to get him to stop messing with colour scheme of her garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, true angry at the red flower! 🙂 Thanks Penny

      Like

  14. Reads like a film noir, Iain. Great use of colors.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. aheartforafrica641064503 Avatar
    aheartforafrica641064503

    Great story, Iain, with an ambiguous ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You’ve given us plenty of room to surmise our own conclusions. Well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I would thik after all those years of dread the shot will have come as a relief. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may well have done. Thanks Liz

      Like

  18. Iain, really great stuff, she’s being watched by someone, love it

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Revenge or suicide…either way the story is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you DB, I will let you decide the ending 🙂

      Like

  20. Such an interesting tale, Ian. I love the ambiguous ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Well, this one really makes us think: I’m still trying to figure out if I like it better thinking she killed herself or thinking the bearer of the red dahlia did her in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandra 🙂

      Like

  22. Well done. I think the red dahlia made her snap.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. it looks like karma has finally caught up with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Does Nature know what she did, or did feelings of guilt finally get the better of her? Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – could be many ways this ended.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. She must have been afraid for ages. It seems she had a right to be. A good mystery thriller, Iain. Well written. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Beautifully plotted, with the slow reveal that these flowers are like ravens, signifying doom not pretty floral gifts. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You reap what you sow. At last she had got her due in a red dahlia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems like it. Thank you

      Like

  28. I love this one! Great tension and use of color. Someone very patiently tormented her until their revenge was meted out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Brenda 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Blood on her hands, finally revenged. The killer was a patient stalker. Great tension here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda. Being patient is a good skill for a stalker to have.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Damn, that’s a long game for revenge. Well played.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Revenge is best served that way 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Such a pretty home with dark secrets in and out.
    I found it intriguing enough to want to continue reading, Iain.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dawn, I assuming it’s a good ‘wow’!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. And yet, you seem like such a mild-mannered man… this is a dark side of you!
    And funny, I watched the series “I Am the Night” just a couple months about the Black Dahlia…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale. I’m a firm believer that everyone has a dark side lurking there – in general, the nicer someone seems, the darker their dark side will be! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Here’s to skeletons in the closet. They will get you one way or another. 🙂👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They make for good stories too!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Oooooo someone knows the truth. Well told and very creepy with mysterious gifts appearing

    Liked by 1 person

  35. There is a terrible sense of torment in this, revenge delivered in a slow drip – not knowing exactly when. Hellish. I liked the tension.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you James, hope the new book is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Iain, slow start with the book, still trying solve the market hype.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. The anonymous flower giver certainly wanted to prolong her suffering, with all those black dahlias. A very original idea, and a gripping story. Like other commenters, I love the ambiguity of the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Margaret 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Well done, Iain. Beautifully written and you used the image of the black dahlia to great effect.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Powerful imagery in this “bite-sized” thriller!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Given the title, I think she shot herself. Grisly tale, full of mystery and symbolism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – seems to be a 50/50 split on what may have happened in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Clicked the like button after the first line. Brilliant story, Iain. Justice was self-served in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Fatima 🙂

      Like

  41. Nature has a way of reminding her of her black/dark deeds. what goes around comes around.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2019/06/property.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no escaping your past. Thank you

      Like

  42. Probably dusting off the old revolver and practicing her shooting skills. Someone’s identity best remain a secret.

    Liked by 1 person

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