A Ficly for today. This one is pretty open-ended because I’m hoping that someone over on Ficly.com will write a sequel for it.
I walk out of the small farmhouse to watch the sun set behind the ridge to the west, casting a red shadow over the grapes. Wine season just outside Panzano, Italy.
My father isn’t here. A long string of clues left by a mad man on the run lead me to this vineyard, but it seems like I have wasted my time. He could be anywhere with pockets as deep as his.
You could call him a genius, I suppose. He escaped his cell and managed to take all his money with him when he left the States. Wanted me to grow up and become a theoretical mathematician, a new world man. We’re not all made of that caliber.
Now I’m chasing this savant across the globe, and I’m not sure why.
I stare at the vines. Dark grapes. An idyllic setting if it weren’t so haunted by the memory of my missing father.
Before long the sun is gone, leaving only the slightest purple trace in the night sky. Headlights appear down the driveway and draw closer. Crunching gravel and sand. It’s only when the car gets closer that I notice it’s an old Ford Model T.
Originally on Ficly: http://ficly.com/stories/17020
Sequel by thelostgirl: “Bargaining”
The woman is head and shoulders shorter than me, her long black hair lit up by the headlights as she steps out of the car. I can’t make out her expression but I suspect it is one of caution, mistrust. She doesn’t know who I am.
“Can I help you?” she asks in perfect English. She must recognize me as a foreigner.
“I’m looking for someone,” I answer.
She looks at me for a long time before she finally reaches into the car and switches off the ignition. She motions for me to follow her inside.
I have already been through the farmhouse, sweeping the area for clues and, more importantly, traps. My father’s paranoia is not entirely unfounded. She leads me into the kitchen and takes a seat at the table. I sit opposite her, wondering what has made her invite me into her home. Perhaps she knows something.
“You are looking for your father.” It is a statement not a question.
“I may be able to help you. But I will need something from you in return.”
Originally on Ficly: http://ficly.com/stories/17021
Sequel by Adam Susskind: “A Shared Glass”
She lights three or four candles in various corners of the room, the lambent light dancing about several racks of wine glasses.
“No electricity?” I ask.
“No need.” Her voice is hoarse. I have to admit, the lack of halogen bulbs is refreshing. She brings over a glass, a deep maroon liquid at the bottom.
“Business without wine is bad luck.”
I shake my head, “I’m sorry. I don’t drink anymore.”
She takes the glass abruptly. “Your father was here for a week. He drank what wine was offered to him.”
“Maybe my father and I are dissimilar.”
“So he said.”
I shift in my chair. “Did he say where he was headed?”
“I think you owe me something. Your father said you would have it with you when you got here.”
“How long ago did my father leave?”
“About a month ago. He could be anywhere by now- I suggest you give me your medicine.”
“What? Absolutely not.”
“He said you would say that. He’s trying to slow you down. Give it to me, or leave.”
“You want money? I have money.”
I reach for my wallet. She stares coldly.
Originally on Ficly: http://ficly.com/stories/17023