Turns out, she broke his nose.

“B-but it’s cartilage!” She grabbed for tissues, ripping them from the confines of their box and throwing them at him. He might have caught them if they were anything but the thinnest sheets of paper, but as they weren’t, he caught a couple as the rest of them fluttered to the floor.

“Cartilage can still break!” How he managed to enunciate that, she had no idea.


He shook his head, then stopped when that proved to be too painful. “No. No excuses. Just…” The next word was the muffled sound she expected to hear after the crack which preceded this. One of the words had to be “idiot”.

If her panic wasn’t making her say stupid things, she wouldn’t be. As it was, she had to agree.

It was the worst of times, situationally, then it wasn’t

He sat in the car and waited. The instructor had kept him waiting. Five, ten minutes. Sitting there, waiting.

The instructor finally arrived, spouting off instructions. He followed all of them, to the letter. Or he believed he had. The panic rose within him, panic he had never felt before when sitting in his car. No matter who sat beside him, he had felt comfortable here.

Now someone was truly going to judge him on this. He didn’t like the feeling.

It was raining. Starting out, listening to all of the instructor’s directions, it went well. As the rain came down harder and harder, it was more and more difficult to hear what it was he was supposed to do.

He no longer recognized the streets. Then again, this wasn’t his hometown. There was no one to give him his test there.

The instructor raised his voice, still calm and collected. Not as if he had trusted his life to a person who could possibly have no idea what they were doing. The tester began to wonder if he had ever known what he was doing.

Finally, finally, he was told to park the car. Back where it had started.

He was told about what he had messed up, given his paper.

He had passed.

With a sigh of relief, he followed the instructor back inside to stop in the bathroom. Time not to look like he had had a panic attack for his picture.

When they don’t want to be there in the first place

They were the only two left standing. It could have been a standstill, but only one of them still had a bullet in their gun.

The other didn’t know. She hoped to bluff long enough to evade the other woman’s pull of the trigger.

Hiding behind their pieces of cover, they both waited for their opportunities. The woman with no more bullets weighed her options. If only she could make the other believe she was still here while she ran for it. It would be considered a loss, yes, but she would be alive. At this point that was all she could hope for. To live. She should have taken the opportunity earlier to pretend she was shot, but if she did so no the other would come over and put a last bullet in her head just to make sure.

She balanced her gun so the muzzle remained where it was, as if it was waiting for her to shoot. Now, to move away without making any noise.

Looking at her surroundings, she knew she couldn’t do it. A sob escaped her.

“I surrender.” She wondered if saying so would matter.

Then she heard a laugh. “Oh thank god. I think my weapon jammed.”