The words for this week’s CAKE.shortandsweet writing challenge are:
window of opportunity :: churn :: rubicon :: advance :: breeze
‘What in God’s name are you waiting for? How many more chances like this do you think you’re going to get?’ muttered Luke. ‘I mean, we’re talking a prime window of opportunity here.’
‘‘Window of opportunity’?’ I looked at him, eyebrow raised. ‘You sound like my dad.’
‘Yeah, whatever,’ he replied, fixing his eyes on the prize. ‘It’s still the truth.’
I sighed, and looked back. Our position was good – upwind of the breeze, sheltered by heavy foliage. The target was hemmed in, distracted. If we wanted the advance, it was ours to take.
So why, I wondered, was I so uptight? My hands trembled, and my stomach boiled. My heart felt like a churn, pounding heavily behind my ribs.
Luke’s elbow clattered against my spine, and I yelped.
‘What the…’ I growled. ‘What are you playing at?’
‘We’re spotted!’ he hissed. ‘Forget about making a move, my friend. That Rubicon’s already crossed.’ With that, he got to his feet and ran. I cringed when his feet hit the gravel pathway, giving away our presence with every crunching footstep. It hardly mattered, really – within ten minutes, everyone would know about this. Luke could never keep his trap shut.
I glanced back at the target, keeping low. Damn! She’d seen me…
‘Are you ever going to come out of that hedge?’ she said, grinning. ‘I don’t bite.’
‘I – um…’ I brushed off a stray leaf as I shook my way out of the greenery. ‘Well, it’s like this…’
‘All right, all right,’ she sighed, closing the book she’d been reading. ‘Don’t beg. I’ll go out with you.’ I blinked, trying to figure out what had just happened.
‘But – what?’ My throat was a dead river.
She winked as she passed me. Somewhere, a bell trilled. ‘Hurry up,’ she said, ‘or you’ll be late for Maths.’
‘Hey – wait!’ I called, turning to follow her. ‘How d’you know I have Maths now?’ She turned, smiling, and held out her hand to me.
‘I’m a better spy than you, I suppose,’ she replied, when I got close enough to hear.