“Dead Match,” by Karen Walker

Aug 20th, 2020 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

The date, she hoped, would be a killer, but she was running late. Nails proved harder to drive into his car tires than expected. There was dirt on her taffeta skirt, her knees.

Inside the restaurant, he caressed a small silver vial. Slipped it into a pocket when, at last, she came breathless to the table.

“Hello, Diana,” Todd said, rising.

“Di, please.” She paused. “I am not disappointed.”

So often she had been. Her kind offer of a ride home—”Oh, no! Vandals!”—and a proposal of a meticulously planned happily-ever-after always ending in rejection and screams. A gown, awaiting an elegant shotgun wedding, yellowed in the back seat of her car.

“I’m glad,” Todd replied. He kissed her hand, held her chair. “But you’re nothing like your profile picture.”

Di stared, measuring him for a shroud.

“Much more beautiful in person.” Todd liked to sprinkle magic at first.

She fired a smile at him. “I thought for a moment I’d have to kill you before dinner.”

“I expect no less, my little pistol,” he said.

Di tapped a trigger finger on the table. “Nice that we already know each other so well, Todd.”

The dark agency had demanded untouched photos and full disclosure, whether applicants preferred cats or dogs, owned or rented, and what—in summary—had happened to ex-partners.

“Should save time and drama,” Todd said. “The hunt can be so tiresome.”

“Oh, I’ll never give up searching for love. I’m a romantic.”

“Let’s toast to that, Di. What’s your poison?”

His, he wrote in his profile, was a dinner at his pied-a-terre. An invitation in French, lavender roses, vichyssoise—a pinch of powder from the vial finished it nicely—and coq au vin made every lady weak at the knees. Dessert, for one, was a last kiss on blue lips.

Todd ordered the ice water running through his veins. Di guarded her tonic and lemon.

“What’s on the menu then?” she asked.

Todd snuffed the candle on the table. “You.”

Black hearts, plots embraced.

“We can keep on for the next hour or we can end it now.” Di panted.

Todd cocked a finger gun. “Bang. My place.”

They laughed.

“Cheeky devil! We’ll take my car. Yours isn’t going anywhere.”

“If I survive the drive, I’ll make you my specialty.”


Karen Walker writes short fiction and flash in Ontario Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in online magazines and anthologies including Spillwords, Reflex Fiction, The Brasilia Review, Commuterlit, and Blank Spaces. People say Karen is fun and frustrating even at a distance, and her chicken lasagna is pretty good once you get past the taste.

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