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!

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