Tag Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

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11-Jan-2019

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Still haven’t come up with Flash Fiction plan for 2019, so you get this random bit of I-May-Have-Watched-Too-Much-Supernatural-Last-Year.

The smell of must and old hung in the air. An ancient floor board creaked as Molly stepped on it. A chill ran down my spine as her shadow—dark compared to the beam of my flashlight—crawled along the floor.

“Are you sure we should be here?” I asked.

Molly didn’t bother to look over her shoulder. “Do you want to stop these attacks or not, Brian?”

Of course I wanted the attacks to stop. Three people had died and six more lay unresponsive save for eternal screaming in the psych ward of the hospital.

“Why do they always pick these old houses?” I grumbled.

“Because they feel comfortable in broken places.”

Molly had a point.

“Now be quiet,” she said.

I sighed and tightened my grip on the flashlight.

I never should have told Molly that I could see them.

Another creak sounded from the floor. Then the whisper of a breeze went past my ear.

My hand shot and grabbed Molly’s shoulder.

She looked back, a scowl on her face. I pointed to the room on my right. When she saw that her lips formed on ‘O.’

Like all of the others, a cracked wooden door barred our way. The lock had been ripped out years before, yet the door stood closed.

Sweat broke out on my forehead and I licked my lips.

Molly hefted her pistol—full of salt and silver—and jerked her head at the room.

The door bowed out ever so slightly, as if the room were breathing. I lowered my eye to the hole where the lock used to be and gazed inside.

A broken bed sat along one wall, and the remains of a dresser stood opposite. Five translucent people huddled in the far corner of the room—two women, one man and two children. They looked human, but the aura around them spiked black and red.

I glanced back at Molly, who stroked the trigger of her gun, and held up five fingers.

She nodded and motioned for me to get back.

The cold from the room beyond started to seep into the hall, and I pressed myself against the opposite wall.

Molly raised a foot and slammed the bottom against the door. A burst of silver exploded from where she hit, and the door flung open.

“Beyond the bed,” I said.

The ghosts’ eyes narrowed as they looked past Molly to me.

I glared right back and covered my ears.

Molly shot, and a spray of the salt and silver peppered the corner of the room.

The sound of the gun hammered against my brain, and I hated myself for forgetting ear protection. Again.

The man and one of the children got thrown against the wall, where the little pieces of silver kept them from moving or disappearing. Their forms shifted between human and monster, complete with dripping fangs, glowing red eyes and scaly hides.

The other woman surged forward, right into Molly’s second volley of shots.

“Watch the floor,” I yelled.

Molly pulled her other pistol and aimed at the floor in front of her feet. She hit the child.

“One left!” I shouted.

Instead of attacking, the last woman hissed, revealing to rows of teeth, and sunk through the floor.

The four pinned specters flickered in and out of reality, clinging on to their home here in the earth. Molly moved forward with a steel cross.

The little boy on the floor, trying to tug his arm free, wailed as the steel touched his skin. The sound turned into a shriek as she drove the cross into his eye.

Then, like blowing on ash, he disappeared.

“One of them went down.” I pointed.

Molly quickly finished the others, who tried to gnash and bite her, before turning back to me. Her green eyes bore into mine. “Find it.”

I nodded and moved back out into the hall. The cold air bit at my lungs, and all of the hair on my body stood on end. I froze.

Molly walked right into me. “What is it?”

“They’re here,” I whispered. At least ten pairs of glowing red eyes regarded me with hate.

“Here?” Molly asked.

The largest of the bunch, standing just a few feet away, growled.

Molly let out a gasp. “I can see them.”

My hand dropped to my waist, where I’d tucked a crowbar. “We need to get out.”

“Down the back stairs. Follow me.”

Before she could move, the specters flickered, and then turned back into human form.

Humans I knew.

Humans who had been attacked.

A young girl gazed up at me with fear in her eyes. “Why are you killing us, brother?”

“She’s not real,” Molly said through gritted teeth. I felt her shoulder bump mine as we ended up back to back.

The girl stepped forward. “Join us.”

I shook my head.

A voice sounded from behind me. A woman. My friend. My lover. My life. “Kill her and join us.”

“They’re not real,” Molly said again.

I blinked to clear my vision, and a tear ran down my cheek. “I brought her, like you asked.”

“What did you do?” Molly asked.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

Molly yelled and fired.

I fell to my knees.

The little girl’s aura brushed mine. “Thank you, brother.”

I shivered as cold gripped me. Molly continued to fight, but I followed the cold.

 

 


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4-Jan-2019

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I haven’t made new lists for Flash Fiction in 2019 yet, so you get this little ditty I thought up today!

2019 sneered down at the wrinkled man. “You ready to give up the ghost?”

2018 stared at him with steady eyes. “I have a few more hours.”

“Just give up already,” 2019 said. “What more can you do?”

“More?” 2108 chuckled. “You have no idea what you’re capable of yet. Of what you can accomplish in just a matter of hours, or even a few seconds.”

2019 shoved his thumb at his chest. “I know exactly what I can accomplish.” He leaned in, lording over the dying year. “I’m going to change everything.”

“Yes, you will.”

The serene yet determined look on the old year’s face brought a frown to 2019. “What does that mean?”

“You’ll find out. Soon.”

2019 turned away. “I’m ready. Just get out of my way.”

“Can’t do that until the clock tolls twelve.”

“Tolls? You even use old words.”

2108 chuckled. “I didn’t used to. It’s amazing how much a year can change you.”

“I ain’t changing.” 2019 turned back. “I am who I am.”

“Yes, you are.”

The smug tone in the old year’s voice made 2019 flex his hands into fists. “You got something to say to me?”

It took a few seconds before the dying year answered. “A year ago I stood where you are. Anxious. Ready to change the world. Ready to be the best year that had ever been.”

2019 narrowed his eyes.

“The way 2017 looked at me made me want to punch him in the mouth. Like he knew so much more than I did.” 2018 coughed—a juicy sound that rattled his lungs.

“Yeah, so?”

“Then he told me what I’ll tell you now. Not only am I going to change the world in the next few hours, but I’ll change everything in the next ten seconds.” He shifted, and somehow his grey hair thinned as 2019 watched. “Forty two babies will be born. Thirty six will live. Of those, five will have serious health issues. Two of them won’t last the week. Some parents will rejoice while others mourn. Families will break apart while others will bond together stronger than before. These births and deaths will affect thousands of people in the next year. Your year.”

2019 swallowed. “And?”

“And you may want to change the world as a whole, but by the time you’re sitting here talking to 2020, you’ll know the power of a single breath, and a war.”

“You’re talking in riddles.”

“I remember how it sounds, and like the year before me, I can’t explain it any better. You’ll have to experience it. Love. Hate. War. Peace. Joy. Despair. You will feel them all, and when your end is here, you will be glad.”

“You’re happy to be dying?”

2018 managed a small smile. “Yes.”

2019 let out a pfft. “Whatever, old guy. As soon as you’re gone, I’ll take over.” He glared. “And I won’t quit at the end.”

“I’m not quitting, but you won’t understand for a while yet. When you do, you’ll know.”

“Uh-hu.” 2019 glanced at the clock. Over an hour left. He sighed. It was going to feel like eternity.


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28-Dec-2018

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A Weeping Angel and Krampus’ Bag of Naughty Children

I beat my wings one last time to get over the rocky hill. I shook my head as the gaudy gingerbread house came into view. Snow covered the ground and the peaks of the monstrosity. Towers rose high into the sky while an entire wing looked to be made of glass. A gingerbread bridge connected the two towers while tight spiral stairs led down to the main courtyard.

Good thing I was made of stone. If not I would have been freezing. Much like the pack of children huddled beneath the balcony of the second story.

Krampus—half man, half goat and all cranky—stepped out from the front lobby into the courtyard and waved. He had a large sack slung over one shoulder. He set it down as I landed, and an impossible number of confused-looking children dressed in night clothes tumbled out. Several sobbed into their own shirts. Krampus gave them a kick as he walked by.

“About time,” he said as he approached.

“Are they ready?”

Krampus shrugged. “They’re here.”

I nodded. We both looked away from one another. Finally he cleared his throat and motioned for me to follow. “Line up!” he bellowed.

The innate power Krampus held caused the children to straighten like marionettes. With stiff legs and panicked looks in their wide eyes, they marched into a line in front of the frozen fountain.

Krampus put his hands behind his back and marched in front of them. “Children, you’ve been naughty. And because you’ve been naughty, you now have to pay for your sins.”

I winced. Why did he have to make the speech each time? Why not spare them at least one thing?

The children—who probably had done nothing more than talk back to their parents—whimpered and tried to move away from Krampus, but his magic held them in place.

“You will be sent into a different realm, where you will have to work to redeem yourselves.”

I shook my head.

“Once you finish your penance, you will see your families again.” He stopped near me.

“Why do you bother?” I asked.

“It makes me feel better.”

I sighed.

Krampus started down the line again. “In order to go to your new home, you’ll have to look into this angel’s eyes. You’ll go to sleep, and when you wake up you’ll be in a new place.” His lips formed a grotesque smile. “Follow instructions and do everything they ask you.”

More children were crying now.

I ground my teeth and stepped to the center of the line.

Krampus turned and glared at me, but I held up my hands. “Children, look at me.”

They did. I was an angel, even if I was made of stone. Hope shone in their eyes. I tried to ignore it.

Once all thirty of them looked at me, my own magic burned to life. I’d never seen what I looked like when this happened, but people always screamed.

Fire seemed to sear my eyes, and my teeth elongated. Red glowed all around me, and the children screamed.

Or started to. Each and every voice got cut off after a fraction of a second, and when I pulled my magic back, they were gone.

All but one. A cherubic boy who had managed to hide behind a taller girl.

The look on his face told me that I was more terrifying than anything he’d seen in his short life. I walked to him, and like most people he stared with fearful eyes. Tears ran down his face as he fought against Krampus’ magic.

I sighed and knelt in front of the boy. “I am sorry, my little one.”

He didn’t scream, but it looked like he wanted to.

Krampus swore. “How much longer are we going to do this?”

I got to my feet and shook my head. “The fate of my planet and your planet hangs in the balance. We send them children to fuel their war machines, and everyone we know and love lives.”

Krampus huffed, and his breath formed a cloud in front of him. “I hate it.”

“You think I don’t?”

He sighed. “I’d rather never see you again.”

“The feeling is mutual, I assure you.”

Krampus turned and walked into his house.

I beat my wings and took off into the sky.

We would both be here next year and every year until time stopped.

***

Well that turned dark quickly. If you’re not a Doctor Who fan you won’t really get the weeping angel, but if you are, then there you go!

Character – Weeping Angel

Setting – Gingerbread house

Random Object – Krampus’ bag of naughty children


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21-Dec-2018

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Fancy Toilet Paper and a Feisty Old Lady

Christmas has always been a magical time. The lights. The decorations. The kindnesses given to others without thought of return.

There is a special feeling at Christmas—some might call it magic. I call it magic because it brought me to life.

I’m not a snowman, but the spirit of the Nutcracker Prince. I’ve never really lived, but each year my spirit is pulled into a single version of myself. Sometimes at the ballet as a prop, and other times on a mantle of a dark fire in the midst of despair.

I have seen many seasons, but there is one that I will never forget. I once found myself in a beautiful Nutcracker standing tall and proud on a spotless, marble mantle.

Each item in the room, including the decorations on the Christmas tree, sung a song of perfect harmony. I waited to see who’s abode I had entered in to, and found a young couple who only had each other.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with the lack of children. They encompass the Christmas season, and the sound of their laughter is often my favorite part of coming to life each season.

However, I soon found this couple to be delightful. They made bread and cookies for their neighbors, they wrapped more presents than they could ever give away and they loved one another with a bond I hadn’t seen in many seasons.

On the eve of Christmas the husband’s parents came to visit. The wife, Julie, had set up a little painting station in the office nook. I couldn’t see what she was doing from my vantage point, but she’d been working on it all week.

“Still not finished?” her husband, Mark, asked.

“Not quite,” Julie said.

“You know my parents are going to say something.”

She shrugged. “Let them.”

He pat her on the back just as the knock came at the door.

Like so many families, this one descended in a shower of loud voices, brightly wrapped packages and thinly veiled accusations.

“Mark, my boy, how are you?” Mark’s dad said. They exchanged a back-slapping hug.

His mother—all darting eyes and judging frown—put on a fake smile. “Honey, Merry Christmas.”

Mark took their coats and the dance of the holiday family ensued.

Dinner went fine. Julie beamed about the dessert Mark’s mother had brought. I thought there might not be any drama, until the drinks came out. After one glass, Mark’s mother turned on Julie with a frown. “Did I see you painting toilet paper in there?”

Julie smiled. “Yes, it is for my grandmother.”

“The one in the old-folks home?”

“Yes. She’ll be one hundred and one tomorrow.”

“I forgot her birthday was in Christmas!”

Even I could tell that was a lie.

“Does she know who you are?”

“Sometimes.”

“Then why bother? And with such a silly gift.”

“Silly?” Julie was halfway through her glass of wine.

“Yes, you do it every year, and all she does is use it.”

Mark cleared his throat.

Neither woman noticed.

Julie sat forward. “My grandmother lived through World War II. She told me a story when I was a young girl about the first time she saw toilet paper after the war. It was quilted and beautiful. She called it fancy, but she didn’t care. She used it.”

Mark’s mother snorted.

Julie continued. “So I paint a roll for her every year.” She smiled at Mark. “And we deliver it on Christmas.”

The mother-in-law sat back and sipped from her glass.

Mark changed the subject, and an hour later his parents left.

I admit I wanted to see this marvel of painted toilet paper, and to my delight, they brought it into the living room.

In all of the seasons that I have been alive, I’ve never seen such a labor of love. Such an extraordinary gift. It was as if someone walking through a village painted it as they went along. It started at one end in the square, then moved through the streets and people until the walker reached the sledding hill.

I memorized it as they carefully rolled it up, not wanting to lose a single detail. When they finished they gently laid it in a box which they then beautifully wrapped. All the while they talked about this old woman who sometimes didn’t remember her name.

“But she always remembers this,” Julie sad as she arranged the silver bow.

“She does.” Mark pulled Julie into an embrace. They kissed, then turned off the lights except for the tree and retired for the night.

Without children in the house, I didn’t expect an early awakening, so when the phone rang I knew something was amiss.

“I got it,” Mark said, stumbling out of his room.

“Who uses the land line?” Julie asked, following after him. She hugged herself in her robe and watched with wary eyes as Mark picked up the phone.

“Hello?” He listened for a moment, then his expression fell and his eyes turned to Julie. “She’s right here.”

Julie covered her mouth with her hands and shook her head.

Mark embraced her, said soothing words, kissed her on the head and handed her the phone.

“Hello? Julie asked in a thick voice. Tears rolled down her face, caught in the lights from the tree. “This is she.”

Silence.

Julie gulped. “When?” Pause. “She did?”

Mark rubbed her shoulder and pulled her to his side.

Something between a laugh and a cry escaped Julie. “Of course she did.”

Mark cocked his head to the side.

Julie wiped her nose and nodded. “We’ll be there in the morning. Thank you for calling.” She handed Mark the phone.

“What was that about?”

Julie smiled up at him. “Apparently Grandma left us a note. It says to use the fancy toilet paper on our own butts.”

Mark and Julie laughed and cried at the same time and then strung up the toilet paper around the room like a garland. They watched the sunrise in one another’s arms and talked about this woman. A woman I wish I had known.

***

I kind of want to do this one again and make it better! Okay, I did cheat a bit with the In-Laws, but it’s my story so I can do what I want!

Character – The Nutcracker Prince

Setting – The In-Laws

Random Object – Christmas Toilet Paper


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