The Dead Tree: Pepper Spray Incident

**Brief Excerpt: Subject to change pending editing.**

"What the hell?" I muttered under my breath.

He sat drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, his hair stuck straight up, and he obviously hadn't shaved in a few days. Don't make eye contact.

I picked up the pace and made a beeline for the driver's door of my Mustang, but it was too late, he'd spotted me and was out of his car and moving in for an interception. I was so not in the mood for his shit.

Being an avid runner, I always kept a tiny container of pepper spray on my key ring, and I swore if he touched me, I'd use it. My trigger finger was definitely itching.

"Ariel do you have a minute?" he asked, stepping between me and my car.

"No Bryan, I really don't. I didn't have one last night. I don't have one today, and I'm positive I'm not going to have one tomorrow," I said.

"About the other night...I can explain," he reasoned, reaching for me.

I stepped out of his reach and snorted. "So can I. It's called f*cking your girlfriend's best friend and roommate behind her back because you all thought it was the thing to do. Does that about sum it up?"

He gave me a sour look and grabbed my arm. My eyes slid down to where his body connected with mine, and I didn't bother warning him. I just sprayed merrily away.

"Explain this, dick!" I said, climbing into my car. I felt only the slightest twitch of remorse at seeing him writhe on the patch of grass between the curb and sidewalk. Until I slid into the cool leather seat of my baby and took off like a bat out of hell. 

Halfway down the block I glanced in my rearview mirror, and fits of maniacal laughter began to bubble from somewhere deep inside of me. You are so bad, Ariel, but God Damn that felt good!

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Lori L. Clark

Lori L. Clark currently resides in Hazelwood, MO with three rescue dogs. When Lori isn't listening to the voices in her head, waiting for the next creative inspiration to strike, she also loves to read, run, paint pet portraits and save dogs. Email Lori at

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