Tag Archives: flash fiction

F is for Flashfiction | #AtoZChallenge

Have you ever written a flash fiction piece?

In general flash fiction is a story that’s less than 2000 words. It can be any genre and topic, of course. Every month for #writestuff I create a flash fiction prompt. This year, stories written with the prompts in mind could possibly be published in an anthology next year. Join the fb group and learn more.

Here’s a flash fiction story that I wrote. It’s not from a prompt, it was just a scene I saw. Hmm…I guess now you get a glimpse into my head. My apologies.

***

She grabbed his hand and held it for a moment, looking into his eyes. The normal sparkling green were murky, like a meadow in fog choked twilight. Beautiful but dark.

“What’s happened to you, Joseph?” she asked, voice barely a whisper. He shook her hand off and just looked at her. Through her.

“What did you think, huh? You could leave out, no call, no nothing, and all hell wouldn’t break loose? When’s that ever been true?” She reached out to flick that stubborn bang out of his face, but his face stopped her. Habits.

“I didn’t think it through,” she admitted. “I know that. I’m sorry.”

His laugh was short. Grating. This isn’t how she wanted things to be. This isn’t what she’d come back for. Everything was off. It was too quiet here. It felt like a mausoleum in the Ivory Tower. Voices spoke in hushed tones as the servants hurried past his room. Nobody stopped in to chat like they used to. His phone wasn’t getting texts every other minute. He didn’t have some hip hop blaring in the background. He hadn’t been out of there in weeks and it felt like it. The air was musty and heavy. She got up and opened one of the picture windows, letting in some air.

“What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you. See if the Great Joseph had really been brought so low. What are you doing with yourself, eh?” She reached out and yanked the blankets from his legs. She ignored how thin they were. Pale. He must not have seen the sun in weeks. She smacked them to see some satisfying color bloom. He jumped.

“The hell, Francine, you come back to abuse me?”

“No, to stop letting you feel fucking sorry for yourself.” She balled her hand into a fist and punched the bed between his legs making him jump again. She took a deep calming breath. “I know, you’re hurting, because of Steve-”

“You don’t know nothin’-”

“But you think he’d want this bullshit? Eh? You think he’d want you to just stay down like this? Wither away to nothing? Look at you. You’re a breathing corpse. Your room looks like a hospital room.” She smacked the IV-bag hanging on the stand beside his bed.

“Hey!”

“What’s you got in there? Something to ease your pain? What pain?”

“You don’t know Francine. You don’t know what’s like. You weren’t there.” He rubbed his hands down his arms. “I can’t get his blood off me.” Looking down at his clean arms, scrubbed free of even the hair. “I try and I try, but his blood is always there.”

“It’s always going to be there,” she said. “You gotta learn to ignore it.”

That laugh again.

“You gotta stop running away from life Joseph. You ain’t living up here in the Ivory Tower. Not like this.”

“You can tell me a whole lot about running, Franny, you wrote the book,” She winced even as she smiled a little. Childhood names slipped out easily.

“Oh what, you wanna be like me now, eh Joey? That what you want?”
“You know what I want.” He always knew how to stop her in her tracks. She licked her lips and his eyes followed.

“Whatever either one of us might want, some things can’t be like that,” she said. She took a deep breath trying not to fall back into old mistakes.

“Hey, remember Ambersterdam?” she asked abruptly.

He blinked a few times coming out of the moment, “Who could forget that car crash? You gave us the honor of being international car thieves.  Well almost, anyway.”

“I didn’t know cars were so different over there!” she grinned, “The steering wheel was on the wrong damn side, threw me off.”

He laughed this time, a real one. Rusty with disuse, but it sound good. Like the old Joey.

“Remember that time in Brooklyn?” he asked.

“How could I forget? Who knew those after hour parties were such good pickings?”

“We made a mint, going to parties and picking pockets that summer.”

“Yeah, it got us enough money to really do it up. Me, you and Stevie.” They sat in the moment thinking about times they both treasured in their own way.

“You can’t just come here, dishing out memories like chicken noodle soup and then leave like it’s all better. It don’t work like that,” His voice was low, raw. He didn’t meet her eyes.

Her smile disappeared. “I know. I ain’t gonna be gone for long. I’m back.” He smiled a little smile and reached for her hand this time.

Her phone rang from somewhere inside her Louis Vuitton handbag, shattering the moment.

“Knockoff?”
“Naw, the real deal, Holyfield,” she said.

“Nice one.”

She nodded, while she fished her cell out her purse. She tried to answer it but remembered the notoriously bad reception in the upper levels of the Ivory Tower.

“I’m gonna go down and take this. I’ll be right back up.” She turned to walk away.

“Hey Franny?” She turned back to him. “I didn’t miss you at all.”

She smiled a little sadly, “I didn’t miss you either. Be right back.”

She walked out of the room that had the only spot of color in the entirely whitewashed house and hurried to the staircase. She passed his mother in the hallway. She remembered what today was.

“Happy birthday, Mrs. M,” she said, as she walked past his mother in her adjoining sitting room. Before her husband had died, she was always spoiled with some big party, big ring, always a big thing for her birthday. Franny idly wondered what she was getting this year.

“Oh, it will be,” Mrs. M. sat her teacup down on its matching saucer with an audible click. Franny hurried down the ornate stairs to answer the call. The house’s cell phone reception was notoriously bad.

“You shouldn’t have come back,” the voice said and hung up. She looked down at the phone, felt that sour space in her gut. She turned on her heel and ran back up the winding staircase, skipping stairs, two-three at a time. Something wasn’t right.

 

The boy looked up at him and smiled. He would always be a boy to him.

“How’s it goin’, Stan? Got any hot tips for the races tonight?”

Stan shook his head with regret. He was going to miss this one. “Sorry kid, Mama gets what Mama wants.

 

She tried to run faster than she ever had in her life. She started crying before she reached the top of the stairs. She knew what this was. How could she have been so stupid?

“What are you-?”

He put the pillow on the boy’s face so he wouldn’t have to seem him when he pulled the trigger. Close range like this was risky, but that’s what she wanted it. Low caliber. Silencer. The boy was weak, it didn’t take long for him to stop moving.

“Then we make sure to drop it over here, eh? Gonna miss you kid.”

He climbed out of the window. Opened like a present for him. Shimmied down the side onto the grassway like he’d been doing it for years. He took off at a loping gate, quickly entered the gatehouse like nothing had happened.  He took his position there, manning the radio. He grabbed his pastrami sandwich and gave it a good bite. Nice. His old lady had put extra mayo on it, just like he liked.

Mrs. M.’s screams shattered the quiet in the Ivory Tower. She was too late.

“Find that bitch, she killed my son!” Mrs. M’s voice ripped through the intercom system. Franny’s knees were weak. Trying to process. She wanted to go look, see for herself. But she knew protocol here. Shoot first, ask questions later. She turned, jumping off the balcony landing in a crouch on the ground. Two stories, no problem.

She’d been setup. But the only way to avenge her best friend’s death was to stay alive.

 

***

 And that is the flash fiction piece. Would you like me to write more of these this month? Are you writing any flash fiction for #AtoZChallenge or just in general? Let me know down in the comments.

letter F

Aloha y’all!

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The Moon Curse (A Short Story)

Princess Tatiana adjusted the lace at the end of her ballgown, looking out among the people. The most affluent, the most elite were at the St. Williams Gardens tonight to ostentatiously celebrate the rising of the moon’s tide. St. Williams was an incredibly superstitious country town where everyone followed the rules.

Tonight she would disobey those rules. She would stop the senseless defiling of one of the landowners tenant’s son. An act that had happened every few months since before she was born. She could scarcely think of it without shuddering. It was a horrifying practice that she refused to allow to happen anymore. Tonight was the night.

Tatiana adjusted her crown when no one was watching, knowing that her curly raven’s nest of hair would set off by the rubies and emeralds in the crown, the town’s colors. She smiled and nodded to countrymen as they passed. The women were all settled in a room off of the galley way, probably planning needlepoint and gossiping about barren wombs and slutty daughters.

“Princess Tatiana, you look charming this evening,” It took a moment for his thin rather rodent-like features to register.

“Yes, of course, Lord Wilfrog, how do you do this evening?” He was one of the biggest landowners in the town, however, he treated his land and his wives like chattel. Probably worse than his chattel as he needed to actually sell the cattle.

“As long as the sun rises and sets, all is well,” he smiled, and she imagined his whiskers shook. She excused herself and went to find her father. She could feel his eyes on her bared back and she stifled the need to shiver. The little man had always made her feel entirely uncomfortable.

“Shouldn’t you be holed up somewhere with the other bitches Tatiana?” her nemesis, Lord Canton sneered at her. The boy was jealous because she would always have a higher standing than he would. And she’s always be much more clever than he could dream of being.

“I’ll be sure to let your mother know you said so,” she said, just to watch him squirm.

He shook it of quickly, “Regardless, the lady-folk are to be in the backroom, sipping tea and doing what women folk do. And you are to be doing something entirely different.”

“Well, thank you for that succinct summation of my lady duties. I’ll be sure to make a note of it in my planner. Now if you would excuse me,” she spun out of his light grasp and went on toward her father.

She stopped less to talk to people. She had a feeling she wasn’t going to get to him in time. She needed to stop the travesty before it occurred. Not again. Never again.

Her father stood on the balcony, his hand already wrapped around the boy’s throat. The entire party gave him room, a semi-circle to watch the festivities with a grim resolution. The boy himself was only a few years younger than she. He had kicked out a few times when he was younger, but he’d been soundly beaten for it.

He had learned obedience.

“The dagger,” her father, the Lord King said, open his hand. He whispered something she couldn’t hear in the boy’s ear and he nodded quickly. He closed his eyes.

One of the King’s footmen put the jeweled handled dagger into his hands. This was the only time she ever saw it out. For this outdated ritual. The King pressed it against the boy’s neck, starting a small river of blood to drip down his neck, pooling at the top of his ragged-edged shirt.

The boy’s eyes were tightly closed and then her Father, the Lord King, latched onto him, almost slurping up the boy’s life’s blood. As he drank greedily, the boy became even paler than before. His hands twitched at his side and he made a strangled grunt.

It was horrifying to watch, but yet she couldn’t look away. She knew her father would take a moment to allow the boy to have a bite of a bread with jam and to drink a bit of wine and then he would go for more. Leaving the boy half dead on the floor.

When that happened, she knew what she would do.

Her father’s hand had blood flowing over his fingers. The boy’s pale skin glistened in the moonlight. She could smell blood and the scent of the aroused males around her. They liked to watch, they seemed to feed on her father feeding on this poor lad.

When another foot soldier came with the tray of bread with jam and the wine, she knew she had to make her move. Her father disengaged from the boy and the boy stood there swaying in the wind. A small shove would send him over the edge. And really what would be better for him? To live like this for the rest of his days until The King accidentally took to much, which happened more often than not? Or to be freed from these procedures. To fly free.

Before she could truly registered what she was to do, Tatiana rushed over and pushed the boy. He wasn’t able to cry out, but she could hear the final thud as he fell down the three stories.

“What have you done?” her father asked. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”
She remained silent, defiant. Raising her chin against his cruelty. His sickening madness. What kind of man would do such a horrid thing?

“Oh dear, she’s ruined us,” the footman whispered under his breath, but loud enough she could hear. “She’s ruined us all.”

Her father marched over to her, blood clinging to his beard, dripping from the fingers that were pointing over the banister.

“That my foolish girl, was the only thing that separated the town from the monster that’s inside of me.”

‘What ?”

“The blood from my bi-blow in the pale full moon’s light keeps me from turning into a monstrous beast that will roam the land, slaughtering and killing along the way,” he said, and she noticed how long and sharp his teeth truly were. “Now I’ll have to take another one of my children to finish tonight’s job.”

She gulped, inaudibly. She had a feeling she knew who that unfortunate soul would be.

****
This flash fiction piece was in response to April’s #writestuff prompt. Check it out and if you want to share your own piece.

Aloha y’all!

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