Thursday, 21 May 2015

Thursday Threads I Just Killed A Man

“I just killed a man,” Nancy said, flatly.  
    “That’s what I thought you said,” replied Karen, digesting the words.
    “It still doesn’t seem real, even when I say it.”
    “But why? How? Who?” Karen blurted.
    “The lodger. He refused to pay rent, refused to leave. I couldn’t get him out. I wanted him out.
    “There must’ve been another way? I mean, to kill someone? Are you insane?”
     Nancy shrugged, turning her back on Karen as she prepared dinner. It was her only choice. She was sick of seeing him strutting around like he owned the place, like he owned her.
    “How did you do it?” Karen asked, sipping her wine, hoping it would calm her.
    “Stabbed him,” she replied, turning back to Karen. “Actually, with this knife.” She placed a basket of crusty bread on the table. “It made a bit of a mess. But I’ve been wanting to remodel that room for ages.” She noticed Karen looking ashen and wide eyed. “Oh for goodness sake, Karen. I’m not going to hurt you. You know what he was like! You didn’t have to live with him.”  She slammed down the casserole dish.
   “Sorry,” whispered Karen, resting a hand on Nancy’s. “It’s just a shock to hear.”
   Nancy served up dinner and watched Karen eat.
   “This is delicious! But, before we move on, can I just ask, what did you do with him?”
    A smirk crossed Nancy’s face. “Let’s just say I don’t mind having him to dinner these days.”


Sunday, 15 March 2015

FlashMobWrites #03 Fall Out of the Atmosphere

I was left for dead.

Clawing my way through mud, I dragged my broken body through the decay of the forest floor. This was not my day to die. A hole in the ground was no place for a sorceress to rot. But I bled like any human. My strength and spirit seeped out in the blood oozing from the gash in my head but I pushed myself forwards, snagging a fingernail on a root and ripping it clean off. Pain scorched my body, paralysing me to the floor.

Maybe this was my time to die. Submitting easily to my fate, I closed my blood sodden eyes.

When I awoke, darkness surrounded me. I lay for a while, adjusting to the night as a cool breeze dulled the burning pain. I’d stopped bleeding. My strength was returning, I felt the energy tingling in my fingers, healing my fragile shell. Magic coursed through my body. And my mind turned to revenge.

Making him suffer would be easy. How was the tricky part. Being a sorceress opened up so many ways.  I had to choose carefully as I wasn’t his only victim but I would be his last. Begging with his last breath, on bended knees, he would eventually fall. Out of the atmosphere, a shooting star blazed across the indigo sky, interrupting my thoughts. It died just as suddenly as it appeared, leaving the night empty. That’s what I would do to him. Leave him empty. Leave him in a state of permanent darkness to match his heart. Leave him with the nightmares of his victims’ last moments, playing over and over in his tortured mind. Leave him broken, screaming out in pain, screaming for me to end his misery, begging me to let him die.

He would never die.

He would never live.

Eternal darkness waited for him. His soul would be nothing more than a black hole, consuming his body from within.

A new flash fiction challenge to get stuck in to. Flashmobwrites, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. 300-500 words and a choice of prompts.
Cara: 'leave the evidence far behind'.
Ruth: 'fall out of the atmosphere'.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thursday Threads wk 159 Maybe You'd Like to Give It a Try

A Honourable Mention for this little story. 

Huddled close to the fire, Ella watched as Conor placed their skewered dinner carefully on top. The flames licked at the flesh, hissing and crackling as fat dripped down. It had been three days since they’d eaten a proper meal, three days of scavenging, three days of walking, hiding and killing.
Technically, the Infected were already dead so killing wasn’t quite true but you never ignored an Infected. That’s how you lost people. Ella shivered.
“Reminds me of the bbqs we used to have, although the choice of meat was better,” he laughed.
“It’s not funny.”
“You gotta lighten up. This is the new world now, you eat what you can. Gotta stay strong.” He turned the skewer. “You have to at least try it.”
“Maybe you’d like to give it a try but I’m not. I can’t believe you’re going to eat it.” Ella turned away as Conor slid the meat off the skewer, tearing the hot flesh with his fingers. Bile rose, burning her throat, at the sound of Conor’s chewing, her appetite for even the meagre berries now lost.
“Are you sure you don’t want some?” Shaking her head, Ella sipped some water, thinking back to the days of Sunday roast; a simple roast chicken with all the trimmings. It turned her stomach. She would never eat meat again. “Shame, it tastes just like chicken.”

Written for Siobhan Muir's Thursday Threads over at The weird, the Wild and the Wicked

Judge, Tina Glasneck
Tina says: The Cannablism story was dark, just like I love a story, and I couldn't help but wonder what got them to that point -- and I also wondered if they were eating the flesh of other humans, who'd they'd killed or actual zombies, and infected meat

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thurs Threads wk157 With What I know

A Honourable Mention for this little story.

“You think these bonds are enough to hold me!” Sarah hissed. “You know nothing of what I can do.”
“Why don’t you tell me?” offered yet another doctor, pen poised despite his look of boredom.
“With what I know, I could destroy all of you.”
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Because that’s what I’m made to do.” She watched him scribble away, flexing her wrists. A restraint snapped but she didn’t move. “Dr? If I were you, I would leave.” She felt he deserved a warning, and she was feeling generous or playful; much like a cat with a mouse. “Only one of us is walking out of here you know.”
He ignored her, looking through his papers before meeting her wild gaze. “Sarah, we all have choices. For instance, I could sit here, listening to your idle threats, pretending to write up my notes . . . Or I could just do this.”
In one stride he was at Sarah’s side, his pen plunged in her free arm. His hand smothered her face, stifling her scream.
“You see Sarah, I’m just like you. Made to destroy. Made to kill. Except, I work for the other side.”
He yanked out the pen. Crimson flowed freely down a limp arm. “And yes, only one of us is walking out of here.” He shut the door quietly behind him.


Written for Siobhan Muir's Thursday Threads over at The Weird, the Wild and the Wicked

The judge, Tom Keller said:

Tom says: I liked the imagery and the ending.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Thursday Threads If They Stay, I stay

Innocence Lost

There are two types of people in the world.  Raiders. Survivors. If you don’t fit in either, you’re a Biter. This was Casey’s world now. Gone were the books, revision for exams. Now, she helped ration food and cook for the small community.

The camp was good. Crops grew. Biters were few. No Raiders for ten days now until throbbing engines could be heard in the distance. There wasn’t panic as everyone knew their role. As Casey ran to hide, counting the children in, her father came running up. He handed guns to Jack and AJ; boys  Casey’s age.
“We need you. You up for the job?” he asked. The boys nodded vigorously, itching for the opportunity to show they were now men, and get their hands on the guns.  
“What about me?” Casey asked.
“Go inside.”
“If they stay, I stay.”
“I don’t want you to see this Casey. I’ve got to protect you.”
Casey stood before her father, laying a hand on his rifle. “You can’t shield me from my responsibilities. This is my world now Dad. I gotta get used to it. I gotta start fighting for it. You’ve got to let me fight.”  She saw pain in his eyes as he loosened his grip on the rifle. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”
“I know,” he whispered as he watched his child run to the boundary, shedding her innocence with every step. “That’s what worries me.”

written for Siobhan Muir's Thursday Threads over at The weird, the Wild and the Wicked

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

MWBB Snowdrops in the Dust

Snowdrops in the Dust

For sixty eight years Caleb’s body clock never let him down. He knew when the sun rose, when it was noon and when it was time for bed. Clocks never meant much to him . . . but time did. The less of it he had, the more it mattered. He rose from his bunk, coughing as he shuffled across the dusty, wooden floor, his eyes adjusting to the dark.

Caleb opened the door to the morning, and closing his eyes heard the morning song of the blackbird, the coo-coo of the wood pigeon, next door’s dog barking at the cat who sat on the fence out of reach as he taunted the dog silly.

If Caleb concentrated hard enough, he could smell morning dew and feel the dampness on his feet as he walked across the garden. The faint smell of roses permeated his nostrils, filling his mind with memories of a lost life.

A single tear trickled down his grubby cheek as he took a deep breath and opened his eyes. He would never get used to this world now.




The sooner he left it, the better.

Walking across a land of ash and dirt, Caleb stoked the embers to the fire, thinking about breakfast. If his Isabel was here, she’d tell him to snap out of it, tell him he was lucky to be alive.

Lucky? She always looked on the bright side, saw good in everyone, everything. Even when the world burned, she just rolled up her sleeves and got on with it, doing whatever was necessary.

He coughed, a deep, hacking cough, breaking the ghostly silence. He pulled away his grimy hanky, now with fresh crimson spots.

He’d underestimated his amount of time.

Gentle footsteps approached and a child sat down next to him, holding a book. He looked up to Caleb. “Can you read me one of the stories?” Kai asked.

“Sure.” Caleb recognised the book; his Isabel’s book of fairy tales, read to their grandchildren. Now, he was reading it to children he didn’t know, children who called him ‘grandpa’, children of the new world who either couldn’t remember the world or knew no different.

He opened the book, flicking through the pages. Something fell out;  innocent white from a past life, now in a charcoal world.

“What is it?” asked Kai, his eyes wide with wonder.

“This, this is a snowdrop, your grand . . . my Isabel’s favourite flower.” Caleb closed the book and turned to face Kai. “Let me tell you a story, a story more fantastical than any fairy tale.”

“With wizards!”

“Better than wizards. A place where flowers grow, birds sing and everywhere you look is green. Where warmth shines down on you. Where life is a rainbow.” He coughed, his hanky now sodden.

“You can tell him later. You need a rest,” Kai’s mother said, gently helping Caleb stand.
“Can you do me a favour? Look after this snowdrop. It is so precious to me, us. Everyone.” Kai nodded. “I’ll be back later, I promise,” he said, walking away, hunched and still coughing.  Kai looked down at the pressed snowdrop, now stained with a tiny speck of red.

Caleb lay on his bed, his chest aching with every breath. He felt Isabel  nearby and a shallow laugh escaped his lips as he heard her chastise him.

“Not so soon!” she said. “ You have stories to tell that boy. You promised.”

Despite the coughing, Caleb felt a new sense of purpose; his mission to fill young heads with his real rainbow world would not be defeated by time. It wasn’t how much time he had left that was important, it was what he did with it.


Written for Jeff Tsuruoke's Mid Week Blues Buster to Faded Flowers by Shriekback which you can listen to here: Youtube

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Horror Bites #15

They don’t listen.
Time after time they’ve been warned of building on sacred land. But we have been ignored. Our heritage trampled. Our resting place desecrated.
Distant rumblings above us vibrate our fragile bones as rats scurry, no longer able to gnaw at our rotting flesh as we rise from eternal sleep.
Earth crumbles, our ancestral home falling around us. We are their dead. Do they not wish for peace for their dead? Was the suffering we endured through death not enough? Faint voices echo through the mound, punctuated with laughter.
Pinpricks of light seep through the once rich, organic soil; rich from blood that fed this land for centuries. Fed us. Now, the arteries have been severed, filled with cold concrete while asphalt burns.
As one, we claw our way towards the surface, their voices clearer, their smell . . . A new feeling engulfs us . . . a ravenous hunger urges us.
Guttural groans unconsciously escape our rotting lips, reverberating  around us, through us . . . above us.
The tools stop. The laughing is no more. But we hear them, their beating hearts, their blood coursing.
Pounding feet throb inches above our heads as clay falls, revealing daylight. We reach up, our arms flaying for flesh, screaming only enticing us further to rise.