Snippet – Friday Firings

Dorinda Russell

Dorinda Russell

“Off to the firing range, Dora?”

Dorinda Russell’s shoulders fell, the handle of the gym bag now in her hand. There were times she swore her father’s father was out to get her. Her only saving grace was the fact that her own father-.

“It’s Friday, dear.” Nana said.”Firing range, again”

Dorinda gave a silent prayer, hoping her father didn’t read any of this. It was bad enough that he worried about her boxing. “Nana, you make it sound like I’m having an affair.”

“Forget I said anything, dear. Sweetheart, we’re going to be late for bingo.” The elder Russell couple left by the side door where their bridge friends waited in the car; their games routine delving towards squared numbers and colored ink dots for the evening.

She turned and saw her father leaning against the door frame, hands in his pockets. Dorinda didn’t want to have this conversation now. The fact he took a ‘silent stance’ of his own could be reassuring.

“It’s nothing to worry about, Dad,” she told him. “I’ve been going for a few weeks now and-.” She wanted him to respond, wanted to fight to justify her latest habit.

Instead, he sat down in the armchair, folded his hands over his knee and waited.

“Look, I traded in the boxing lessons for martial arts, so you can’t get mad at me,” she continued. True, his logic in why she should expand her disciplines didn’t amuse her at first, but he made valid points. “How I work out is my business.”

Vincent still remained silent.

“Swimming and running, those work for you. They bore me. Besides, only one comes in handy during a confrontation and-.”

“And one’s supposed to feel safer with a gun; a gun that can be turned and used against you,” he asked. “Given everything you share with the people you work with, why reach for a crass weapon now? Are you in trouble?”

Dorinda scoffed. The latter question was more fitting for Aunt Heloise. “Do you recommend me using a rock and sling?”

He shrugged. “Archery.”

“What’s the point?”

“The arrow.”

Dorinda stopped to think about it then laughed. “Dad, we both know what side of the fence you fall on, in terms of ‘fight or flight.’ I won’t join you.”

His brown eyes showed neither disapproval nor anger, even as her remark hit a sore subject she didn’t want known. He  left the room. Before she could get out the door, he signed, “Be careful, Ahab.”


(Today’s SoCNoC word count, 1,425)