From: email@example.com (Annie) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: ricochet Date: 1 Dec 1997 10:04:55 -0500 Organization: canetoad communications Lines: 73 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Summary: 2 people, one dies, the color purple, a chinese fortune X-Newsposter: trn 4.0-test55 (26 Feb 97) "Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment," Linus said, staring out at the water and pushing a long, blonde strand of hair back behind his ear. Grace had no idea what he meant by that, but she figured that anyone who could come up with such a line either deserved to be kissed or ought to be hired to write fortunes for Chinese cookies. She kissed him. She parted her lips in a faint smile, leaned toward him on the bench, and tasted the skin on his temple. "Mmmmm." Linus closed his eyes, shutting out the bruised, orange and purple glow of sunset across the Brooklyn promenade. Grace brushed her mouth down along the hollow of his cheekbone, enjoyed the unshaved scratchiness of his jaw and the faint musk odor of his skin. No, she thought, not musk. Sweeter. More like baked pumpkin. How could anyone smell as good as Thanksgiving? Opening his eyes, Linus brought his arms around her and turned to touch his lips with hers. "'Mmmmm' yourself. I was speaking of the water." She laughed out loud and sat back in the circle of his arms. "I see; the Reverse Psychology School of Seduction." "That's Dr. Love to you, ma'am." He slid his hand down her rib cage and then back up, this time on the inside of her blue wool sweater. Grace shivered. His hand was cold on her skin. "You're nice and warm," he said. "Was." She watched her own breath steam in the fading light. "So tell me again, doctor, exactly why you dragged me out here on this fine December evening?" The teasing smile faded from his face, the corners of his mouth no longer twitching and dimpling his cheeks. He thought carefully about his next words. There was no perfect way to ask a question that would affect the rest of his life. Or maybe there was, and the space aliens Grace seemed so fond of believing in would drop from the sky and solve the problem. Enough-- "--Grace. I was hoping youUd grant me a divorce." Grace snorted. "First we'd have to get married, Linus--oh! /Oh/." She looked away, wide-eyed, down the line of benches, then back at Linus, whose mouth had begun twitching up at the corners again. Then, softly, "Oh." Linus withdrew his hand from the warmth of her sweater and reached for his inside jacket pocket. "My grandmother wore this--" A gun fired, followed by shouts, curses, and the sound of hard-soled shoes on the paving stones of the promenade. Two men came running toward them in the dusk. The couple half rose from their bench, undecided. Should they crouch on the ground or run for cover? Where? As Linus pulled one way and Grace another, two more shots rang out. Grace felt a sharp tug as Linus screamed and then buckled, falling to the ground. She collapsed on top of him, screaming herself and tearing at his jacket. "/Linus! Linus no!/" The blood mixed with the blue of her sweater, forming a spreading purple bruise, as dark and ugly as that of the fading sky. Annie -- but I still think he was reaching for a gun, not a ring.