Archive

Tag Archives: flash! friday

The silver coin spun in the moonlight, lions and nobility blurring into a mythical beast. Tabitha snatched it from the air, her patron disappearing into the East End’s gloomy labyrinth. The coin magicked into the folds of her emerald satin dress, joining the eight other crowns already earned tonight. One more and Tabitha could retreat to Old Sally’s, a glass of port for her soul and balm for her sores.

“Evening young lady.”

Moonlight traced over an immaculately tailored suit, top hat and gloves. The face was old but handsome, fine lines echoed by a fine moustache. In one hand the gent held a suitcase.

“Somethin take yer fancy?”

“Indeed, though not your undoubtedly welcoming embrace, I’m a collector by trade.”

“Collector?”

“Broken things, discarded things. Would you care to see?”

Tabitha nodded, the gent keeling, locks clicking. As he prised the lid open silver light spilled out, filling the alleyway. Tabitha moved closer, inside, lying on a blanket of darkness was the moon.

“Is it?”

He nodded encouraging her closer, Tabitha leaning in, hand reaching out, wanting only to caress this pearl of lustrous silver.

A push in the small of her back, suddenly Tabitha was falling, spiraling into endless darkness.

As locks snapped back into place.

Scuffed boots trod across the cracked arid group. Max head bowed, let the rhythm of each step carry him onwards. Pausing only to lift his head toward the tree far off in the distance. Under whose shade the saviour would be waiting,

Hobbling with each step, dirt and dust coating his ski, Max cursed his toil. The sky was barren aside from the sun that burnt his mind as much as his skin. The shade of the tree when he reached it was as cold as the freshest mountain pool.

The man was there, the hood of his dark robe covering all but his mouth. Max waited as the grin slowly peeled back, revealing tombstone teeth, haphazardly leaning one against the other.

“Romans 3:23?”

Max ran his dry tongue over the crumbled remains of a white picket fence.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

The man nodded, Max’s belly growling as he watched a skeletal hand reach up into the dark canopy of the tree. White thin fingers grasping at a light bulb. Plucking it down.

“Feast my son,”

#

Max awoke, the crack pipe still clenched in his fist. Scorched black by years of devotion.

Before long the bulb glowed orange once more.

AL-Z1-M#R

The sand splayed out before Zoe, shards of glass sparkled like jewels amidst the undulating dunes. Poseidon roared again from his lair, a frustrated wail that filled the world. Dropping to her knees Zoe plucked at the glass, a scarlet bead bursting into existence as a barbed thorn pierced her skin. Waves rolled down over black clouds as Zoe sucked at crimson. Meanwhile Poseidon thrashed and wailed, oblivious to her pain.

He hadn’t meant it, how could he when the Furies had cast their influence so deep into his very soul. All Zoe could do was perch on the edge of the storm watching his once noble face contorted by confusion and pain. When he had grabbed at the hourglass, demanding to know where she was, the love of his life, the giver of existence to Zoe, she had tried to calm him. To assure him that everything was going to be okay.

He had screamed in disbelief at the revelation, holding aloft this revered relic whose grains had counted Mother’s daily writing ritual. When blue skies were omnipresent and they were together.

In dismay he had cast the hourglass down, showering the floor in glass and time.

Time, which had eroded his consciousness like sand.

The Return

The compartment was empty apart from Astrid, Grandfather and the echoes of the others who had sat here before. Outside, brown and grey stone merged into green fields, as blurred memories rose of her breath clouding vision and sculpting fragile hearts onto glass.

The carriage swaying, drumbeats of rail under wheel. Interrupted only by places that Grandfather spoke fondly of – Bristol – Taunton – Exeter, Astrid watched grey faces alight into a world devoured by grey rain.

Near their destination the sun banished the gloom. Astrid alighted onto the platform, the seaside town of Torquay. Holding tightly to Grandfather she navigated their way through the bustle of tourists and commuters.

The beach wasn’t far from the station, the world ending at the border of red sand and dark water. Astrid stood at the edge, time slowing as she watched white horses gallop, salt coating her skin.

Then she let Grandfather go.

Just as he had made her promise she would.

Clowning 1.01

The clowns bustled excitedly out of the ward, Pennywise’s stern painted face, intently focused on his examiner’s clipboard, halting their momentum.

‘What d’ya think boss?’ Mo broke the silence fingers anxiously twisting his horn.

‘Think? Well, what’s the first rule we discussed in Visiting Normals 1.01?’

‘Electric handshake, then custard pie?’

‘Optimise farting?’

Alfonso mimed taking something.

‘No stealing, a fine guess,’ Pennywise felt his blood pressure rising ‘but gentlemen, the golden rule of visiting sick children is…?

They all looked bashfully at the floor, the silence broken only by a mournful squeak from Mo’s horn.

‘Really … four weeks of lessons … nothing?’

‘Oh, oh,’ Mo shrieked hand in the air, ‘to not ask if the kid fancies seeing your puppy and going for a drive.’

‘Precisely! And that’s why you’re all getting Ds. Now off to the clown car and please gents, seven in the back and five in the front this time.’

 

Seventh Sense

Billy was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth, wanting for nothing. Tragically his silver cloud lifestyle was besmirched by a lead lining. Billy himself was unaware that the world he existed in was so different. It was his mother, stiff of words and manner, who noticed that Billy would often talk to the air. As if engrossed in conversation with no one at all. Finally she worked it out:

Billy saw dead people!

She freaked, as is natural for a parent challenged by such paranormal fears. So began an endless parade of specialists, counselors, hypnotists and electro-shockers, none of which found a cure.

Finally they met Dr. Pennywise who suggested the fault lay in the hippocampus region of the mind.

‘We’ll whip it out and hey presto normality restored!’ the Doctor confidently promised.

When Billy awoke from surgery, his parent’s concerned faces hovered into view.

They looked different, as if their faces were painted …

Billy screamed.

 

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

 

Subaqueous Homesick Blues

Seb adjusted his footing on the undulating rowboat as the net taunted his callused grip. His shoulders complaining from hauling another seaweed slick disappointment up from the depths.

‘Nothing?’ Arch asked.

Seb shook his head.

‘Fuck it,’ Arch spat into the sea, ‘so what’s that today? Ten fish, some plastic shit!’

‘The Senate will understand.’

‘Yeah and one day they’re going to get their hands wet. No, reckon the lash this time.’

Seb slumped, the boat rocking in response, ‘we could go …’

‘Where precisely? Hell boy if its not the lash its exile, now stop talking stupid and grab an oar.’

The rhythm of wood slicing water broke the silence as they followed the meager assortment of vessels that comprised the scavenger fleet. In the distance the Senate’s oilrig lay squat on the horizon.

Weary and anxious, Seb gazed at the dark shadows that glided beneath them. Daydreaming about living within submerged towers that had once pierced the sky.

 

 

The Waiting Game

Now watch me cast.

Christ I feel sick.

Notice how the rod reacts as the line dictates?

Breathe, its okay, a routine emergency cesarean that’s what the nurse said. Happens all the time.

Now we wait hoping for a bite.

A name. A name so they both live.

Shouldn’t be long I reckon.

What did Emma want … Thatcher, not going to happen, far too Tory.

Hmm, can feel something teasing.

Something else. Damn where is she?

Ah a bite, now gently we reel it in, gently, teasing.

What’s the nurse carrying, is that my son? Bloody hell he’s so small.

Easy now, this one’s struggling.

Emma should be out by now, then she can meet … Elliot … Elliot that’s what we’ll call him.

Gentle.

Where is she? How can I cope alone?

Gentle.

He’s so beautiful. Must stop crying onto him.

Easy now.

Please, where is my wife?

There, isn’t she a fine specimen?

 

 

Yominokuni

From the dockside Emma-O watched crested horses leaping over the lurching ferry’s bow. A grey cloak of rain concealed the rest of existence and, not for the first time, Emma-O wished she had more than her umbrella to shield her. Yet as father had reminded her, first impressions counted.

Her phone purred in her hand distracting Emma-O from the vessel’s struggle, her twitter feed exploding with doom-laden hashtags.

#Typhoon
#D3struct10n
#Tsunami
#Deathcount

So many lost souls, yet all Emma-O could do was keep to her routine, trust that people would survive nature’s onslaught.

For what was she without people?

The boat docked, ropes thrown, tethering the swaying vessel to land, a gangplank extending out. Tentatively the first of the passengers disembarked, rain slickening skin and clothing.

“Welcome everybody, sorry about the conditions.”

Silently they gathered on the dock, confused, uncertain.

“Are we all here? Excellent, well just follow my umbrella and mind your step.”

Emma-O led them away into eternity.

 

I Am Myth

The rain danced upon Hinata’s umbrella, the greying skies a refrain to the melancholy in her heart. It was foolish to mourn. For so long death and destruction had blighted the land. Yet as she had cast the last victim into the dark turbulent river below she felt only regret.

It seemed inconceivable that once she cruised for temptation in neon lit realms, flitting between gyrating bodies. The world filled to the brim with potential.

Now there was just her.

Hinata dropped her umbrella, rain slickening skin as she slipped the gas mask off her face. Her ally that had disguised her on those nights of hunting yet was now inconsequential within a realm of solitude.

Hinata breathed in deep, dead batteries filling her lungs, toxins rushing to corrode her veins. She knew she could have carried on, scavenging, eking out an existence.

Yet what’s the point of a serial killer when there was nothing left to kill?