Flash Fiction Friday *Return*

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Return

By Jillian Bost

Violet jerked awake, her heart thudding like a thick fist against an iron door. She tossed away all outside sounds and sat up in the bed, clutching the blanket to her chest.

Yes. She heard it again.

With shaking fingers Violet threw on a robe, hurried into the living room, and flung herself onto the couch. She reached for the remote, then hesitated. She left the television, and the lights, off.

And waited.

The shadows elongated in the vague moonlight spilling through the thinly-opened curtains, and tried to coax her to come out to them, and be enveloped in their skeletal embrace.

The next bang came seconds or years later. Violet crept to the front door and peeked out through the peephole. She sucked in a gasp and grasped the lock by instinct.

The man on her front stoop was over 6 foot, and solid like a side of beef. His hair was stringy, clothes drenched. Even through the door, she could smell the sea. His face had been nibbled on by innumerable fish.

He was beautiful. Violet unlocked and opened the door, and held out her arms. “Come here.”

He lumbered forward into her embrace, and she held him tight.

Tears spilled over, and she slashed them away with the backs of her salty fingers. “I’ve been waiting for you a long time,” she said, voice as tender as a baby bunny. “I’m going to take care of you now.”

Seawater dribbled from his gaping mouth, and Violet smiled.

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*Flash Fiction Friday* That Hugh Grant Face

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That Hugh Grant Face

James Pyne

A pinch in Gary’s neck with him blacking out had him waking up roped to a chair in a dimly lit kitchen. Wintery-grey hair draped his captor’s back who he hadn’t seen face to face yet.

“Where am I?” He tried wiggling loose.  Who are—”

By the sounds of it and looks of the package of carrots, she was cutting some on a cutting board.

“I’m Barb’s ex.” She pulled out a carrot from the bag. “Why so quiet? Your wife didn’t tell you that she was into girls? Does that excite you?”

Barbra’s family was from money. Ransom was the only explanation; his luck to end up with a smartass kidnapper.

“She gave me the speech,” the woman continued, “about how she’ll always love me but she’s met someone else. Looks like Hugh Grant in his prime, she said. Like it was the most important thing ever.”

“Money, is that what you want?”

“I tried winning her back.” She sliced some more. “But, Hugh, you got your roots deep inside her.” Gary caught himself from correcting her on his actual name. He didn’t want to provoke her, especially when she held up a knife with carrot bits on it as if looking at her reflection in it. “Yes, this one will do just nicely.”

She spun around. Her face was a painted-skull of black and mustard-yellow makeup with dark branches spreading from her eyes and a black saw-like mouth drawn up to either ear.

“Look, whatever you want, you got, just don’t kill me.”

“I’m not going to kill you, Hugh.” She smirked, pressing the knife tip against the cleft of her chin. “Question: When she finds you, and Barb will, I’ll make sure of that, do you think she’ll still love you without a face?”

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Spellbound

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Spellbound

by Fanni Sütő

 

Akimitsu stood before the huge lacquered mirror, examining her naked body with a smug smile. Her skin smelled of warm sunlight, sweet rice cakes, and powder white perfection. She was preparing for the arrival of her beloved, the man she had summoned with the help of spirits and the power of angry longing. Her spell would call him away from the arms of another woman, from his duties, from his life. It would overthrow anything that stood between them. Akimitsu’s power reached out for him across seas, above mountains, and below rivers. From the moment she laid her eyes on him a long, long time ago, she wanted Nobuharu to be her lover. But he already wore another woman’s mark, a faded ring of hasty promises.

Akimitsu frowned at the memory and ran her hand down the golden brown kimono waiting for her on a chair. She tried to twirl her hair into elaborated designs but her locks kept breaking free. Under her touch, the silk rustled with the sound of falling leaves. She felt her lover drawing closer, dragged by the power of Akimitsu’s spell. The ground moaned about the fall of his footsteps. Akimitsu, the witch of the autumn winds, smiled. She enjoyed her power, it was bringing her the man she had desired for endless years. Her longing was so strong it would have ripped the jaws of earth open.

Akimitsu had been alive since the dawn of the time, dancing around death with the light steps of a geisha, always avoiding his touch when he reached out for her. Her power grew as the years went by, her reality merged with visions about the past and the future.

Akimitsu couldn’t remember when she saw him first, the ink-haired Nobuharu, but she remembered the haunted look in his eyes when he saw her. He must have seen Fate sitting on her shoulder.

The drifting scent of incense filled her house and the wind chimes reminded Akimutsu of wedding bells. The dying sun poured its copper light on the zen garden and the room, setting the scene for the long awaited meeting.

There was a knock on the door. Akimitsu gave herself one last appraising look, then rushed to salute her fiancé. He was bound to love her and to share her long life and to warm her tatami.

The autumn witch pulled away the rice paper door and faced the man she hadn’t seen for such a long time. Lost in her timeless thoughts, it had never occurred to Akimitsu that human life is as fragile as the finest china. Once it’s broken, it cannot be mended. Unless…

Nobuharu’s skin was gray and he was shading it like a cherry blossom shed its petals. His lightless eyes were drinking in the shape of Akimitsu who stood in front of him in her full beauty. Nobuharu’s one remaining nostril trembled with yearning for Akimitsu’s flesh.

She had summoned him and he came, following the call of her spell, leaving behind his village, his serenity and even the realm of the dead.

Nobuharu stepped closer to embrace the woman who ruined his peace. He saw horror in her eyes, but she didn’t try to escape, not even when he bit into her lips hungrily.

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Flash Fiction Friday *Well-Read Books*

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Well-Read Books

By Lance Eaton

Viscous red liquid seeped from the pages of the closed book and crawled in all directions. I thought about what an interesting predicament this was. I pondered what to do.Let the book bleed out, allowing my inner sadist to feast on the sight. Channel my bibliophile horror and attempt to clean up the damaged book. Ride the pounding waves of curiosity and open the tome.

Curiosity won and I coquettishly lifted the cover with the tips of my fingers in such a delicate fashion, one would think I feared I was waking a dying beast. Well, it was far from dying. No sooner did I half-open the book when two purplish black tendrils surged forward and latched onto my wrists.

I leaned back and struggled with the moist appendages but I knew it was a lost cause. The tendrils had small teeth that tore into my skin and giving my growing nausea, possibly seeped some weakening chemical agent into my body. Somehow, my skull made it into the book unscathed, except for an ear. The book wasn’t that big and I felt innumerable bones crack as it dragged me deeper into its bowels.

It fascinates me to no end that my curiosity much more than my sadism leads me into such troubles. But here I am in some perverse reality, where books are people and humans are repeatedly opened wide to be read with great intensity.  I wonder about the day when one of these things decides they want to annotate me.

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Flash Fiction Friday *Scrounging for Scraps*

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Scrounging for Scraps

by Chantal Boudreau

The ebony-furred cur hovers at my feet, waiting, I assume, for any tidbits that might tumble from the table.  Hot, dry breath tickles my ankles and calves. It wants what I have, but I’m not about to yield to it.

I glare down at the hound, my own teeth bared while keeping my fork well out of reach.  What I’m eating today is a rare treat.  I’m unwilling to share.

“Mine,” I snarl, hoping it will back off.

It does not budge.  Its pupil-less eyes, piercingly red, glare back at me.  It exposes its teeth too, intimidating fangs.  Steam rises from its putrid black tongue.

It growls, a sound that seems to penetrate my soul, and I shudder.  I can’t help but wonder if it truly does want to sample the piece of Eleanor perched on the end of my fork or if its hunger runs deeper.

Does it crave what I’m currently eating or is it here to devour something else of mine?

 

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Flash Fiction Friday *Oneirokinesis*

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Oneirokinesis

By Betty Rocksteady

She wouldn’t speak to me anymore, so I forced my way in.

When I heard her snoring, I rolled gently on top of her and slid my fingers across her temples. Closed my eyes, opened my soul, clutched her brain.

I entered.

We used to be closest in dreams. No matter what lies she told when she was awake, in her subconscious I could see the truth.

Something had changed.

Shallow puddles splashed beneath my feet. Ropes of thick green vine twisted to the sky, impenetrable.She was up there, hidden in her tower. Alone.

Remembering her old life? Plotting ways to leave?

Whatever it was, it was without me.

I yanked at the vines. They sprouted razor teeth, tore my hands to shreds. It hurt. It shouldn’t hurt. Not here.

I withdrew. Her face was pale, relaxed.

I punched the wall beside her head. A puff of plaster rained down on the sheets.

She was smarter than I thought.

I worked so hard. I provided. I built this place with my bare hands. For her.

She didn’t care.

I left.Climbed the stairs, locked the door. Pulled the bookshelf back into place.

She couldn’t hide forever. Not even in dreams. She was mine, inside and out.

I double-locked the shed.

Patience. Practise and patience is what it would take.

She couldn’t hide forever.

I left her to her own devices, behind her fragile walls. For now.

I went back into the house, to my wife.

 

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Flash Fiction Friday *My Favorite Pillow*

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My Favorite Pillow

By Briana McClendon

The anger that rolls through my head sometimes blocks out all other noise, so all I can focus on is how mad I am. Have you ever just wanted to stab something so badly that you can’t think of anything else? This is the case in my marriage. My husband just doesn’t understand my needs anymore. I NEED him to do what I ask the first time. I NEED him to stop watching the football game long enough to spend time with me. I NEED him to stop seeing other women. Which is what brought on this sudden case of the stabbies. We are going to be late for counseling. My husband called to tell me he would be late because he was going out with “friends” after work. Funny how he always smells like a French whore when he is finished hanging out with “friends”.

According to my counselor when I feel the need to stab something, I should stab a pillow or piece of foam.“It’s best to let it out,” she says. I grabbed my favorite pillow from the bed, and the knife from the drawer in the bed side stand. Going into the bathroom I stabbed the pillow I had gotten for these occasions. I stayed in the bathroom to watch myself. I stabbed it and stabbed it till my arm hurt, and then I threw the knife as hard as I could at the wall. It missed. Oh well,I’ll find it later. I finished getting dressed. I wasn’t going to be late for our counseling session. The bastard could be late and drive there on his own; I still didn’t know where he was. Exiting the bathroom, I found my knife. It was sticking out of my husband’s lifeless body. It doesn’t look like he’s going to make it to counseling tonight after all.

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