Whisper #FamChallenge #flashfiction

I can hear the whispering again…

For the last 2 years… On every full moon…the voices call to me…

Shiya…come…come to us…Shiya…the moon rises…come…

Every month, for the 2 years since I’d turned 18, I’d heard this soft, insistent voice, pushing, pulling, tugging at me. 

Come…Shiya…come now…come to the circle…

“Shiya. Shiya! What the hell?! Are you listening?”

Shaking my head, I look up at Brenda, her staring, puzzled, back at me. My friend perched on her chair across the table from me, our coffees between us at the small town bakery we met at every other week for brunch. I knew she wanted to hear me tell her that everything was normal, that I was fine…but that was so not the truth.

“Sorry, Bren, I was…just – ah hell. I don’t know.”

I scrubbed my fingers through my hair, raking it back over my head, knowing it would be an unholy mess, and totally not caring. 

“Shit, Shiya, it’s the voices again, isn’t it?”

“Shhhh!” I hushed quickly, glancing around the room to see who was looking. Last thing I wanted was for the local gossips to hear that I was hearing voices, for gods’ sake! Oh, that’d set the biddies up for a lifetime supply of stories over their fence lines, and my family would send me packing with the men driving the padded truck.

“I don’t want to talk about that here. Not now.”

“Ok, fine. But you know this is nuts, right?”

“I know.”

That night, the moon rose, silver and full.

And the whisper rose with it, filling my head.

And then, just in that moment as the moon shone overhead, I knew I had to get out, and I knew where to go.

To the trees…the whisper was coming from the trees…

Opposable #FlashFiction

“You’ll write what I want you to write, and that’s that, goddammit!”

Moira flinched as a meaty hand slammed the table in front of her, punctuating the sentence with a slap.

“No,” she breathed firmly, “I won’t. I’m not a smut writer, and I won’t start just because you’re threatening me. I write what I want, and kidnapping me won’t matter, you fucktard. You’ll never get what you want from me. Sick bastard.”

Moira could hear him grinding his teeth as he growled under his breath at her refusal, but she refused to cave in to his sicko demands.

She’d been here for just over 3 nights now, or 4 days…she couldn’t really tell. She knew she was underground in some kind of bomb shelter, since she could smell the musty, mildewy smell of old water on concrete, but he’d fixed the place up…almost nice.

Creepily so.

The walls were covered with faux wood panels, that had pictures and paintings hanging from them, to add some semblance of “windows”, even to having curtains hung around a few. It was – homey – and macabre, all at the same time.

The table at which she was now seated was real wood, a deep butcher’s block kitchen- style surface, ready to seat at least 6 people, but currently only holding her and an old manual typewriter, a fresh ream of paper, & a cup full of freshly sharpened Number 2 pencils.

Exactly like she’d told Author’s Gazette last month when she’d done that article about her writing habits, & her quirks about liking to have pencils on hand for the odd note-taking, twirling, putting up her hair in a bun when really getting serious, & chewing on the erasers when she got stuck on plot points.

“Alright. Well, you’ll stay here until you write what I want, then.”

************

“Are you going to write it yet?”

“No, go to hell, asshole.”

“Supper’s on the table.”

“Carrots and cheese sticks again?”

“Bologna tomorrow. You know you get meat once a week.”

“Fuck off”

“Write it.”

“Die.”

****************

“Maybe…maybe if I just… No, I can’t.  But…then he’d let me leave, right? Yeah, sure, after all this time…he’d just let me go. What, it’s been how long? How many weeks, months…ohh…god…so long…he’s never going to let me go…”

***********************

“Write it”

“Never”

“WRITE IT!! I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!”

“THEN JUST DO IT ALREADY!”

“no”

“Then die”

“You first”

*************************

“Crunch…crunch….crunch…..”

“carrots all gone…hehe hehe…”

********

“OH GOD! What did you do!!”

The blood dripped from the table, smeared along the walls, spelling out “Never” before slumping into an indecipherable scrawl near the bed where the dead woman lay. All her fingers bitten off, strewn about on the floor and tabletop.

“No, dammit! I never got my story!”

He flipped her over onto her back, furious, noticing as he did so, that she was smiling, with her own thumb, firmly wedged in her own mouth and throat.

Well…it was an opposable thumb, after all.


Perspective – Flash Fiction

There was a dead body in the kitchen.

Again.

A heavy sigh escaped Jonah’s lips, deflating his hope of getting through this evening without drama.

How the hell was he going to explain this?

“Shit. It’s Thanksgiving, all over again”, he muttered to no one in particular. “Can’t I get even  one holiday off?”

Obviously not. 

At least this one wasn’t bloated and blue like the last one. Those drowned ones were the worst, in his opinion.  Impossible to dispose of them without making a huge, freaking wet mess all over the kitchen floor.  And the grout between the tiles was almost impossible to scrub completely spotless.  Totally useless, hard to clean up, & leaving a fishy smell around for days…But…sigh… Time to get to work.

An hour later, Jonah knew why the body had been in the kitchen, who had put it there, and what he was going to do about it.  

Absolutely fucking nothing.

The body was gone, Jonah’s specialty & his talent…to make the uncomfortable truths and the inconvenient secrets disappear.  It was all a matter of perspective.  

And his restaurant had one of the highest ratings in the city because of his personal outlook on life…and a cousin in the mob.

The Gypsy Road

I’m done posting stories from my other blog, they’re all moved over here now. 

Except 3.

Those, I’ll be putting on pages of their own, as they’re much longer than my regular flash fiction. 

I’ve moved the first one… The Gypsy Road. Check out the top of my blog, & you should see the page appear there.

I’ll be moving the other 2 as soon as time permits.

Also, if you want to check out my other flash fiction that already exists here, on this blog, type “fiction” into the search button. There is some, buried in the archives here.

Happy reading!

How Mary Spent Her Summer Vacation

​Oh. My. God.  The summer had been soboring.

No friends, no sun, no warm summer sand and cool blue water.

Just gray walls and boring, boring,boring.

Mary’d just about gone out of her mind with all the nothing that had been going on around here all summer.  She’d just been hanging out, watching people through the windows, driving down the streets, walking past on the sidewalks, but never coming in to visit.

Up and down the halls, walking, walking, looking out all the windows, waiting for someone to notice her there.  Maybe, if someone had just looked up, just seen her at the window, maybe they would have come to let her out.

But they never looked up.

I mean, c’mon, just one??  Not even out of curiosity?

Chickens.

Ha.

But that was about to change.

Because the summer was over, and school was about to start again.

Finally, Mary thought to herself. Someone to talk to.  Someone to hang out with.

God, this summer’s been boring, I’m so glad school’s in again.

Tonight was move-in night at the dorms, and Mary was ready for the new students, fresh meat.

But she knew… they probably wouldn’t be ready for her…

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…

-Feb.24, 2014

Blue Moon

​Tonight was the night of the blue moon. The fourth full moon this season, when normally there were only three, and Jess was so not going to miss it. No matter what her mom had to say about it.

And she’d had quite a lot to say earlier that night.

“Jessamine Langtree, you have been running with that crowd of yours entirely too much! I won’t have it said that I’m raising some kind of ‘wild animal’, and have you talked about behind our backs! You will stay home tonight, if I have to lock you in your room and take the key!”

Mom had been on a royal rip all week, slamming cabinet doors and ranting about the state of Jess’ hair and makeup and clothes. Seemed like she couldn’t do anything right, lately, so she’d stopped even trying. Jess didn’t see the point of pretending to be something she wasn’t, and she definitely wasn’t her mother’s ideal daughter.

So, now she sat, alone and angry, in her bedroom. The door had, indeed, been locked behind her, and she could hear her mother pacing and muttering just outside her door, occasionally stopping to stomp her foot in frustration, or to bang her hand on Jess’ door for dramatic effect. Jess rolled her eyes as her mother went on and on about the “sort of heathens” that her daughter ran with. If only she really knew…

A faint scratching noise brought Jess’ attention swiftly to her window, and she saw her best friend, Miranda, at the window. Grinning like the Cheshire cat, her eyes aglow with mischief, she gestured for Jess to open the pane separating them and come outside. Jess smiled back, took one look at her bedroom door, and made up her mind.

“Fine – Mother, I know you’re mad and all, but could you keep it down now? I’m going to go to bed, and you’re keeping me awake.” Stifling a giggle, Jess knew that this would send her mom into a tizzy, but it would get her away from the door in the hallway, and off to her own room for the night.

And it worked. “Well! Good! I’ve had about enough of your attitude, anyway! I’m going to bed, and I better see you bright and early tomorrow. I don’t care if it is Saturday, you’re going to get up early and clean house with me. You live here, you’re going to help out with some of the housework, young lady!” Stomping off, Jess’ mom headed down the hall and could be heard to go into her own bedroom, not quite slamming the door, but absolutely shutting it… firmly, and with finality.

Quickly, Jess grabbed her light summer jacket from her chair and tiptoed to the window, sliding it as quietly as she could up the track. Miranda backed up and away from the second-floor window, maneuvering her way back into the handy tree that grew right next to Jess’ side of the house. There was a reason why Jess had picked the smallest bedroom when they’d moved in. That tree had been a very kind friend to her, allowing her up and down its branches, without letting her fall, for well over a year now. And Jess, in return, made sure to keep the tree well fed, fertilizing around the roots every year, and pruning away the dead branches. Her mom had always been puzzled as to why Jess took such pains with this one tree, and pretty much left the others in the yard to their fate, but Jess just told her that she didn’t want anything to happen to the tree, since it shaded her window on the hottest days of summer. Her mom had totally believed her, and let it go.

Jess was now, a silent ninja, as she snuck out onto the roof, and hopped into the tree’s branches. With plenty of practice at this, she’d gotten to the point where she knew just where to place her hands and feet, to get away quietly. Her mom had never known about any of her “escapes”, and she meant to keep it that way.

Shimmying down the tree, the girls didn’t speak, knowing that sound traveled better after dark, and her mom might be in her bedroom, but her window would be open to the night breeze. They were off like a shot, and once they reached the corner of her street, they burst into the laughter they’d both been holding in.

“Oh, wow, Jess! Your mom was a real whirling witch tonight, wasn’t she! I thought she was going to shackle you to your bed!” Miranda doubled over, laughing and out of breath.

“Yeah, well, let’s just get going, shall we? I don’t want to miss the moon tonight! This one’s special, and I have all the ritual stuff waiting at the clearing. We need to be ready at just the right time, or the spell we found won’t work!” Jess grabbed her friend’s arm and started tugging her down the street toward the woods. She’d been back and forth from the house to the woods every chance she’d gotten this week, getting things ready for this occasion. It was all set, and she was totally pumped for the ritual to go well. She’d put in so much hard work, she didn’t want it to go to waste.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Jess to become what she was truly meant to be, and she would have it. The blue moon was a time of change, which would… or could, at least, become permanent. And Jess was ready for change. She’d played human long enough. Looping her tail over her arm, she gripped Miranda’s arm tightly in her claws and started running, letting the smell of the night fill her nostrils.

Tonight was going to be epic, and no one would ever forget it. Tonight, the blue moon was going to change Jess’ life…. forever.

-Feb. 20, 2014

Triskaidekaphobia

​Genna’s chai was cold.

And chai was not improved through cooling off.  It was always better when it was scalding hot, with just a touch of honey in with the milk and spices.  If you could gulp it down, it wasn’t right.  It should be sipped slowly, almost painfully, in order to really be good.

But it had been sitting too long.

Just like Genna.  And she was rapidly moving in the opposite temperature direction from her tea.  From cool, calm and collected – to scalding hot and ready to blow up.

Jerks,”  Genna blurted in a loud exhalation of breath,  “They’re superstitious jerks, both of them.”

Grabbing her bag and her tea, she stood abruptly, making the chair protest by squealing against the tile as it was pushed out.

Just because it was Friday the 13th, the world had to stop?

Genna had set up this coffee date with 2 of her best friends, Naomi and Mark.  Both had said yes, but obviously they hadn’t noticed the date on the calendar when they’d done so.  Genna knew what day it was, and that usually everyone stayed behind closed doors on Friday the 13th.  It was silly, really.  It was just another day, after all.

I mean, really.

Nothing was going on here.  She was the only person in the coffee shop, except the coffee dude.  He was back there, busily mixing potions for coffees and teas behind the counter, frothing milk and…. putting hot dogs in the microwave?  Wait… what?  They didn’t serve hot dogs here.

As he wandered into the back part of the shop, Genna moved up to the counter to put her tray down, and snuck a glance at what was on the other tray sitting in front of the small microwave.  The coffee shop used it to heat up things like cookies and specialty sandwiches, but they didn’t serve things as mundane as hot dogs.

Hot dogs…no… hot dogs don’t come with fingernails.

The hair stood up on the back of Genna’s neck, and a shiver ran down her arms as she realized what was going on.  Taking a step back, she bumped into another person.  The coffee guy, whose breath was hot on her neck.

“You should have stayed home today, ma’am.  Most people are bright enough to be afraid and stay out of our way on the 13th.  But I guess you’re just not that smart.”

The coffee shop opened bright and early on Saturday the 14th.  The floor, spotless, not even really showing where the blood had stained the grout between the tiles.

Jerry, the coffee guy, smiled as he watched the customers meandering in for their morning caffeine fix.  Yesterday was over, and it was a new day.  Time to make the coffee.

-Feb. 10, 2014