Saturday, January 28, 2012

Flash Fiction Week of January 23rd

Finding time to do the flashes this week was a bit difficult with how busy I was with work but here they are! Again, trying to keep as many of the drabbles in the spirit of my #WIP500.



Title: Nowhere Safe


“Ugh, going through the archives was such a pain in the ass,” Alana muttered.

“It was, but we found out quite a bit,” David said as he sat down with a couple of drafts in his hand.

Alana gratefully took hers and enjoyed a long pull from the crisp Irish beer. “We did, that’s for sure.”

She looked around at the window and door frames nervously. “I don’t see the shepherd’s crooks anywhere.”

“This place wasn’t built by my family so it doesn’t have the mark.”

Her face drained of color. She only felt safe in places with the Ward family mark, and felt incredibly exposed without it.

“It’ll be okay, Al,” he reassured.

She knew better.

It wasn’t until after the waitress brought their food that things started happening. The whispers were back and they were angry. Black shrouds seem to ooze from the corners of the room. She shrank back in fear while the rest of the patrons appeared to be unaffected.

“Alana?” David asked. “Are you okay?”

One whispered voice cut through them all. It was laced with evil and coldness. “Your mother was just like you. We will destroy you and everything you represent.



Title: Deadliest Dreams


People call them dragons. Alana called them harbingers of death. Anytime there was something bad happening in her life, she saw a dragon. Sometimes it was just a picture, a caricature, or cartoon of one, or one of those gecko-like ones that some people kept as pets, but it was always something.

Growing up, her friends didn’t understand why the cartoon “Puff the Magic Dragon” made her cry or why she’d never watch Shrek. They saw innocent, cartoonish dragons. Alana saw death and destruction and evil.

Dragons never hurt Alana per se, they just seemed to always be around when something bad would happen. When she broke her leg in elementary school after falling from the monkey bars, she had dragons on her cast –at least until she took a Sharpie to them. When her dog died when she was in junior high school, Barney was on the television. When her first boyfriend broke up with her in high school at a football game, the other team’s mascot was a dragon.

Those things were relatively innocent but nevertheless made an impression on her young mind.
It continued much the same as she grew into adulthood. When her grandfather, Robert, died while she was in college, she had a horrible nightmare. Her grandfather was fighting a huge fire-breathing dragon. For a time, it looked like he was going to win, but at the end of the dream, the dragon defeated Robert, tearing him to shreds. Alana woke immediately afterwards, chilled the bone and somehow knowing that her dream wasn’t just a dream, that her grandfather really had died.

The tear-filled call by her grandmother later that morning confirmed that.

It wasn’t for several years before Alana saw another dragon. She thought she was finally growing out of it. One spring night, she was dreaming about her grandmother. They were in Evelyn’s garden, tending her flowers and ivy, when the house behind them was incinerated by a huge fireball. When the smoke cleared, a fierce dragon stood, trails of fire dripping from its nostrils. Shrouds of darkness swirled around the dragon like an evil halo.

Evelyn cried out and shoved Alana aside as the dragon let out a gust of fire at them. The older woman was immediately engulfed in the deadly flames.

Alana woke, screaming with tears running down her face. Her boyfriend tried his best to calm her down but she was inconsolable. It had happened again. Alana wasn’t sure if she’d ever be the same again.



Title: Bloody Fields


Alana was puzzled. The last thing she remembered was laying down to sleep but now she found herself walking through Wardville. She was by herself, which was strange. Usually David was with her when she was in town.

The sky was an odd opal hue, almost like there were Northern Lights but during the day. Everything was completely silent. Trees didn’t rustle, although she saw leaves wave through the wind. Birds didn’t chirp, although she saw their beaks open. There also weren’t any cars on the street, or any other people for that matter.

She was completely alone.

Alana turned the corner towards the Town Hall and was immediately surrounded by a field of lilies. Normally such a pleasant flower, Alana was struck with how sinister they looked. The petals were blood red and looked wet to the touch. As she approached one, she gingerly reached a finger out.

The petal of the lily felt vevelty soft, as was normal. As she pulled her finger away, she noticed the tip was bloody. Quickly, she wiped off on her pants. There wasn’t a cut on her finger or anything. Nervously, she looked back at the lily. It remained as it did before.

She touched it a second time, leaving her finger there for a moment. Fluid collected on the tip of the petal until it finally dropped to the ground. It was blood. The lilies were bleeding.

Alana woke with a start in her bed. She sat up and looked around and everything appeared to be normal. With a sigh, she reached up to brush her hair out of her eyes. She screamed when she saw her hand covered with blood.



Title: The Path of Enlightenment

(Won an honorable mention)

“Which journey do you want to take?” the kindly old man asked.

Paulette stood in front of the bookshelf, tilting her neck from side to side as she thought. These were all her best loved books.

“You need to choose,” he prompted.

“I can’t decide. They’re all wonderful.”

“You have to pick the best option for you.”

“But why? Why can’t I have all of them?”

“It’s not possible.”

Paulette woke up with a start from where she had fallen asleep at her desk. It was covered with college applications from schools all across the country.

“I just can’t decide.”


Till next week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Flash Fiction Week of January 16th

As I continue with #WIP500 hosted by the delightful Cara Michaels, I try to keep my flash fiction drabbles within my story. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Either way, I'm still writing. :)


Title: Finality


We just wanted to be free, Alana thought as she and David stepped carefully through the wreckage of the town hall. There were burned bricks and broken bits of drywall all over the place. Shards of glass littered the floor from windows that had blown out. It looked like a bomb had gone off.

In some ways, it probably had.

Her life had been so simple before she moved back to Maine, and she couldn’t wait until it could be again. All they had to do was free themselves and free the world from the threat brought on by the Destroyers.. Now, everything was different. She was different.

She sighed as she walked gingerly through the somewhat clear path to the basement. There was no other place the Destroyers would have gone. The bell tower was in shambles and that was the only room left that her and David hadn’t investigated.

Clutching the spiral pendants at her neck, she hoped for strength from her grandmother and all the women before her, and opened the steel door that led to the beginning of the end.



(no title)

“Blessed are the meek,” the angel said.

“Really? Cause being meek got me into this position in the first place. If I had spoken up for myself, maybe I’d still be alive,” the ghost argued.

“But you will inherit the earth.”

“Ha, didn’t I already? I’m IN the earth! I definitely think I’ve already inherited it.”

The angel showed no sign of annoyance, merely looked on with that same peaceful gaze. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

“Hello! I’m dead! What could I possibly be hungry for now?” The ghost swirled around the angel in agitation.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” the angel continued reciting Matthew.

“What mercy was I shown? I was murdered!”

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

The ghost scoffed. “The only time I saw God was when I had an orgasm. Tell me, O Holy Angel, have you ever had an orgasm? I doubt it.”

The angel blushed.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“If this is heaven, I want a redo.”

The angel sighed.



Title: Revelations


“Grab me a beer, will you?” David asked as he and Alana poured over the paperwork they copied from the town archives.

As Alana sat down next to him, she twisted the cap off of his beer and one she got for herself. They had been sitting at the table going over stacks of papers for several hours and Alana’s eyes were beginning to cross.

There was so much history in the town, which was remarkable for how small it was. David’s family was involved in just about every aspect of the town’s growth from a simple farm to what it was now. It wouldn’t be classified as a city but they had more than one stoplight.

“Find anything yet?” she asked, as she rubbed her forehead.

The difficult thing was they weren’t sure exactly what they were looking for, but hoped they would recognize it when they saw it, something that dealt with a battle between one of David’s ancestors and some of the same evil forces that were after Alana now.

Their beers were nearly empty when David jumped out of his chair. “Alana, I think I found it! Look!”

“What is it?” she asked, quickly leaning over what he had been reading.

“Here, look at this section here.” He pointed to an obscure paragraph that was nearly illegible due to fading and water-damage.



Title: Game Show

“Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel. The letter ‘u,’ please.”

“All right, let’s see what you got!” The overly enthusiastic announcer turned toward the game board, his papery skin nearly transparent from one too many face-lifts.

Three letter boxes lit up and rotated forward.

“Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle. The word is ‘Pulchritudinous.'"

An applause track burst harshly from the speakers overhead as the announcer began clapping, his thin arms flapping like bare tree branches. “You are correct! For the bonus, use the word in a sentence!”

“Botox can make someone pulchritudinous but not attractive.”



Title: Nerves


“Alana, what you possibly worried about? They will love you,” David said as he stood behind her, rubbing his hands up and down her arms. She fidgeted in front of the mirror, adjusting the same strands of hair over and over again.

“They knew my parents and my grandparents. What if I don’t live up to what they expect?”

“Alana, I know my parents. I’m telling you, you have nothing to worry about.”

She sighed, straightened her shirt, and turned to face David. “I hope you’re right.”

He pulled her face towards him and kissed her forehead. “I am. You look great, and yeah, you’re worth a million bucks, and you don’t give yourself enough credit.”

She blushed and looked away briefly. “How do you know just what to say?”

“It’s a gift,” he replied with a smirk. “My father taught me everything I know.”



Title: Hidden Clues

He laid the keys out, one by one, in specific order, in precise placement. He disregarded the chaos around him as he worked. He did not see the shambles of the room, or the destruction brought on by his many rages.

Each key stood for something. They were clues, clues that only he knew the answers to. He supposed that someone smart enough could figure it out, if they really tried.

With a pair of tweezers that he had bathed in bleach earlier, he carefully placed the final two keys and a slim, black button on the plate and waited.


Till next week ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flash Fiction Week of January 9th

Last week was a good week for me with the flash contests. Always nice to get recognition. My goal this week was to write all of my flash contests in the universe of my WIP, with the hopes I can use some of the material in the actual story. If not usable, it will still keep my mind in those characters.


Title: Off-Roading in Style

“David, this vehicle is not appropriate for off-roading,” Alana said as she looked over the three-wheeler.

“What do you mean? The guy at the rental place said this was perfect for looking at the terminal garbage glacial stuff up in the hills.”

“They’re called terminal moraines, David.”

“Yeah, glacial garbage.”

Alana rolled her eyes and examined the vehicle again. She really didn’t see how this was practical, but she’d take a chance on it. With a deep breath, she grabbed a helmet and tossed David the other one.

“Time to saddle up, big boy.”



Title: Guardians
(This is also the cliffnotes version of my WIP if you are curious)

An ancient legend tells of a sword and stone, but this was something different. It was still a battle of good versus evil, except with a shepherd’s crook in stead of a sword and a womb for the stone.

In a small town in Maine, a woman returned after being gone since she was a small child. She had no idea of the evil that was laying in wait for her. A small group of men, overtaken by a timeless evil, had killed her parents and now were after her.

She was the ultimate Creator. She was the last daughter from the Original. She was the symbol of woman, of she who brought life into the world. The men were Destroyers. They reigned with delight in chaos and death.

What the Destroyers failed to realize was that without life there was no death, and vice versa. Life needed death and death needed life, as long as there was always more life to sustain the next cycle. If the destroyers ever truly won the war for good, it would be the end for everyone and everything. The Creators knew that and strived to always be one step ahead.
Until they almost weren’t.

When the Destroyers killed the last daughter’s parents, they thought they had gotten an edge. What they didn’t realize is that there were protectors out there.
Hope was in sight.

A man stood up for the last daughter and kept her safe from the evil that tried to get to her, to make her crazy, to kill her. He was a guardian. With an innocent shepherd’s crook, his symbol of his protection and strength, he stayed the wave of evil until the last daughter was strong enough.

In an epic battle, she released the men from the evil that held them. The spirits of the Destroyers were free, but without bodies, they could no longer harm her or anyone else. The last daughter was free to fulfill her destiny and create new life the only way she knew how.



Title: Purity of White

“I hate pink,” Matilda declared.

“We can paint it, Maddie,” her mom said with desperation.

“No, you can’t.”

Maddie faced her mother while sitting on her pristine white bed in her pristine white bedroom. Her eyes were wide, seemingly innocent, entirely deceptive. Her mother cringed back in fear, no longer defiant.

“Remove it,” the child demanded. “Now!”

Maddie’s mother hurried to the wall and began scrubbing with the hem of her shirt.
“Harder! I still see it!”

The woman scrubbed as hard as she could, even using her hands and wrists, until blood began smearing across the wall.

“Much better.”



Title: Life in a Dream

I awoke in my bed, much the same as every day, wishing it was not. My husband’s clothes were tossed about the room, wherever he decided to throw them and his collection of coffee cups littered his bedside table. My frequent requests for him to clean up after himself always went unheeded and I was tired of picking up after him. We had three kids already. I didn’t need or want a forth.

With a grumble, I trudged through the mess into the living room. Again, it was much the same. The destruction that only kids could create was aided by my husband’s increasing laziness. The dish washer was full of clean dishes just waiting to be put away, while the sink was full of dirty ones. Shoes were all over the floor, interspaced with the occasional dog toy. Jackets were flung over the back of the couch in a pile.

I wanted to scream. Instead, I sighed with resignation and started to pick up the room. As I turned with an armload of shoes, I tripped on a dog bone. The last thing I heard was the clatter of shoes.

I woke on a wicker lounger on a beach with a tanned, buff man kneeling next to me with a plate of chocolates and a bottle of wine in his hands.

“Are you okay, Shar?” he asked, setting the plate down and running his hand down my arm.

“Yes, I think. I had such a horrible nightmare,” I replied with a moment of clarity.

“Was it the messy house again?”

I nodded as he fed me a piece of chocolate. As the treat melted on my tongue, I smiled at my little slice of perfection.



Title: Through a Child’s Eyes

The little girl watched the lemurs in the zoo enclosure, her mind awhirl at what they were thinking and doing in their little world.

Doris, the female with the fluffiest tail, was being serenaded by Boris, the tallest male. She twittered as he sang, clearly pleased with his efforts. She shook her tail at him as he scampered over to the pool and gathered water in his hands like a goblet for his intended.

To the little girl, she thought it was a celebration. The small creatures looked so happy, completely different from the generic description the zoo guide provided.



Title: The End of the Cycle

David and Alana raced down the street of downtown Wardville, the skies darkening as they ran. The destroyers were gathering power quickly. If they didn’t get to the town hall in time, it would be too late. She couldn’t believe what was happening. Alana barely had time to digest everything she had found out about who and what she was and the significance of her pendant before she and David were literally running for their lives.

It had been an interesting day to say the least.

They burst through the doors of the town hall and were encased in darkness. Alana gasped in surprise, expecting there to be at least emergency lights on. David grabbed her hand and squeezed it gently.

“You ready for this?” she asked, as her eyes scanned the room, looking for the men who were the cause of all the evil happening.

He nodded with a smirk. “No place I’d rather be. I’m strong like bull,” he said, affecting a fake Russian accent.

“Sure you are, tough guy.” Alana laughed, her heart lifting before they got down to business.



(This got submitted a few minutes too late to count but it was still fun to write.)

I remained, observing all. I was there in the day. I was there in the night. I was solemn when people came to mourn and I was pleased when the deceased spirits rose to their final rest.

Life continued by me, and still I remained.

Flowers grew, bloomed, and withered, only to grow again the next spring..

The trees grew taller and fuller each season, shedding their leaves like a layer of skin before growing again.

Still I remained and observed.

My presence was never noticed. I was as still as stone, observing all, for all time.

I remained.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Flash Fiction Week of January 2nd

Happy New Years!

I hope your New Years went well and that the start of the new years is off to a good foot. I didn't do any flash fiction last week, taking a bit of a break from it for the holiday. The start of January not only brought me refreshed for flash fiction but also the start of Cara Michael's #WIP500. So far, I'm just a little behind but I will catch up. First off is my Nano 11 novel that I haven't finished than time to crack open my Nano 10 that I set aside. Ah, cannot wait to finish!

(My entry won Judge's Pet!)

Title: Cheese Curls of Doom

Across the aisle from the cube farm we toiled away in, Leland was busy devouring cheese curls. It was disgusting to watch but I found I couldn’t look away. It was like being a gawker at a car accident. You don’t want to look but can’t stop yourself. Each bright orange curl disappeared into his huge maw, a pie hole of epic proportions, leaving only a faint trail of orange dust on his chin and a thin line of drool.

No wondered why he was still single and living in his mother’s basement.
Turning back to my workstation, I tried to ignore the muted crunching by Leland as I looked at the days left on my calendar. I was eagerly counting down the days until my vacation started and I could get the hell out of dodge for a few weeks. A good long vacation would fuel my soul and keep me from offing my co-workers –although I doubt Leland would be missed.

The crunching stopped, only to be followed by licking and sucking as Leland meticulously removed every bit of artificial cheese powder from his hand. My stomach churned and I quickly crossed through today’s date on the calendar.



Title: An Ending at the Beginning

Celebrations were happening all across the city as people prepared for the new year, full of hope and promise. As fireworks exploded overhead, a gunshot rang out. There was no distinguishing the pop from the gun from the fireworks.

The bright lights of the fireworks shone in the conglomerate of cement surrounding the Space Needle. A spreading pool of blood trickled across, extinguishing the reflections. Steam swirled in the cold night air from the rapidly cooling blood.

A steel-toed boot kicked the body that laid on the ground. “Happy New Year, you dirty old bastard. See you in hell.”



Title: While In Rome

Alan laid on the bed in his small room and stared at the cracks travelling up the walls. The service was friendly at the Hotel Cordial, but all the friendliness in the world couldn’t make up for how run-down the unremarkable place was.

His muses were interrupted by the heavy footfalls of boots down the hallway. Another downside of the hotel – lack of any modern soundproofing.

Thankfully, the area of Amsterdam the hotel was located in was relatively conservative so the only noises he heard were people walking back and forth, instead of other more ... vigorous noises.

He sighed.



Title: Out of the Shire

“His name was what?” the cop asked as he took notes in his notepad.

“The old man said his name was Milo Scaggins,” the woman repeated

“Bilbo Baggins?”

She shook her head and huffed. “No, Milo Scaggins. Milo. Scaggins.”

The cop scribbled in his notepad again, paused, and read over what he wrote. He tapped his pen against the open page.

“What did he say to you?”

“He asked me if I wanted an apple.”

“An apple?”

“Yes, then he yelled ‘Opa,’ laughed, and ran off the ledge there.

The cop shook his head and flipped his notepad closed. Other officers were walking around the scene, taking pictures and measurements of some of the evidence. A coroner knelt over the body of the dead man.

“Thank you, ma’am. We will contact you if we need any further information.”

The woman nodded, relief evident on her face, and rushed off down the street.

“Hey Sauron, find out anything interesting?” one of the officers asked as he walked over with a smirk on his face.

“Not really, just another crazy old man.”

“Well, I found this on him. What do you think?” The officer held out his hand, revealing a gold ring.

Sauron’s eyes lit up and his lip curled as he plucked the ring from the other man’s hand. “I think this is an important piece of evidence, Theo. I will make sure it gets where it needs to go.”



(No Title)

The ivies were such simple things, but they brought Alana’s grandmother such pleasure. Alana would often watch her grandmother run her hands up and down the vines, checking for soft spots or damage, nurturing each and every shoot. It often looked like the ivy was embracing her, with the vines curled up around her arms.

This was how Alana wanted to remember her grandmother, now that she was gone, gone to the earth that fed her beloved ivy. Anytime Alana walked into the backyard now, she couldn’t help but see the shade of her grandmother, always tending to her ivy.


Enjoy until next week!