Flash Fiction Friday *Waltzing Matilda*

0

wil1b

Waltzing Matilda

By Jillian Bost

Matilda trudged down the country lane in a huff. She shouldn’t have been walking by herself this late in the evening, but Emma had stayed behind at the party to bat her eyes and giggle at every word Thomas Ward said. Matilda was the one who’d coaxed Thomas out of his shell, and taught him how to waltz. Yet Emma had been the one he’d stared after, as if she were the cupbearer and Matilda the desert.  “You can’t dance, you great big drooling beast!” Matilda had yelled before storming out of his house.

Jealousy bit at her insides, and she winced. She drew her cloak tighter around herself, hating the wind that battered her face and cursing the moon that was hiding in the dark, for Thomas would be walking Emma home tonight, not her.

Matilda closed her eyes and imagined a new dance partner. This man would be taller than Thomas, stronger, and have a full head of lush black hair. He wouldn’t fall prey to the simpering lamb act of a bored young woman. He would know every dance, including the waltz.

She opened her eyes and gasped. “Oh my…”

“Good evening, milady. I’m sorry to have startled you.”

It was him. Tall, strong, and mysterious.Her dream.

Together they waltzed, though he moved as if he were pained. He released Matilda just as she caught a glimpse of yellow eyes. Some trick of the moon, she mused, which had peeked out from behind the clouds.

“Thank you for the dance.” He bowed, then hobbled away, curled in on himself.

“But wait! What is your name?” Matilda hurried after him, nearly stumbling over her skirt.

She gasped when he swung round, his snout and fangs shining in the light. “Oh dear,” she managed, before he closed in.

Follow Jillian Bost on Twitter for updates!

Help FunDead Publications continue posting FREE content regularly by supporting us on Patreon!

Advertisements

Drops

0

4549647874_4c320542e1

Drops

By Lee Blevins

The first drop fell during a Buster Keaton comedy at the arthouse theater in the city nearest their town. Bertrand felt the cool plop of a single drop of liquid upon the edge of his hairline. He raised his hand and brushed the water off and chalked it up to leakage or spittle or maybe premeditated hooligansim and continued watching the film.

The second drop fell during fourth period the following day. Bertrand had placed a slide upside down a projector. One of the less anarchic students then pointed out the error. Bertrand was turning the slide around when the second drop fell onto the transparent sheet. The fluid ate through the word Indochina. Continue reading

A Cry for Help

0

sad_teddy_by_trinefina-d57p9k7

A Cry for Help

by Rivka Jacobs

They turned left from Peachtree Street, into the parking lot beside the Brookhaven apartment building. Kayla, sitting like an unstrung marionette slumped against the back seat, caught her mother’s eyes as she glanced in the rear-view mirror. “Young lady, put your knees together,” the woman demanded of her daughter as they pulled into their reserved slot.

Six-year-old Kayla didn’t move. She watched as her mother checked her makeup and hair, then switched off the ignition. “I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with you,” her mother said as she exited with a graceful swing of her legs, stood, tugged her tight red skirt back into position. “The doctors and counselors couldn’t find anything wrong with you. They don’t have to live with you, sitting there with your mouth hanging open like a dumb animal, your mind the hell knows where…” She paused, then said loudly, “What are you waiting for? Take the damn seat belt off and don’t forget your book bag.” She waited another moment, then shouted, “Kayla Marie Boggs, get your butt out of that car!” Continue reading

Flicker

0

1

Flicker

By Claire Davon

The candles flickered, once, twice and then burst to life, surging up in a synchronized flare of yellow and sulfur.  They cast their shadows across the altar in forms that to the untrained eye appeared random.

They were not.

The flame sought the stale air, using it to gutter higher. Although it had no eyes, it could see; no ears but it could hear. No mouth but it knew the taste of flesh.

A human was coming from the heavy slap of feet, one after the other; after so long another being had found this place of worship. It had been that human once, come to make offerings to the terrible, magnificent altar of skulls and smoke and power. It had dared to invade this sanctuary and had paid this price. Then it had waited for the next one to come. It had not expected the decades that followed.

There was a faint squeak, a terrified high pitched noise. The human did not come alone. A paltry offering, to bring only a rat, but it would serve. Continue reading

Don’t Fear The Reaper

0

429e4217518943289b89c7a5dc4cf7eb

Don’t Fear The Reaper

Alexander Brown

1

“I need you to kill him for me.”

The words were spoken in the right order, the request not unreasonable. After all, Brian Turner’s father had been a son of a bitch long before the Vietnam War but an even bigger one since.

But Brian also knew that rules were rules.

“You know I can’t,” Luke replied.

Before he could continue, Brian snatched the words out of his mouth.

“Rules are rules.” Continue reading

Defender of the Girth

1

Doctor with clipboard

Defender of the Girth

By John Taloni

Jerome sat in the examining room, waiting for the doctor to return. The chill metal of the examination table bit into his thighs. The too-small gown, open wide in back, provided little warmth. As the minutes ticked by Jerome tried the chairs in the room. They were all too small and the sides pushed into his legs.

After a half hour, the doctor finally came back. He gave Jerome a quick look, then stared at his clipboard. “Well, it’s arthritis,” he said, “Bone on bone.”

“I see,” said Jerome, “I’d pretty much guessed. So what are my options?”

The doctor barely looked up from his clipboard. “Lose some weight,” he replied.

“Um.” Jerome tilted his head, “Of course I’ve tried many diets. It’s not really as easy as that.” Continue reading

And the Rest Is Silence

0

vultures-1081751_960_720

And the Rest Is Silence

Rie Sheridan Rose

It started with silence. Eerie silence against a cold, gray dawn. There were no streaks of red and gold breaking through the heavy cloud cover. I might have been alone on the streets. Odd for a Monday. The traffic was negligible—almost non-existent. Also odd for a Monday.

I shared the world with the silence. And the vultures.

They hulked atop the lampposts, black silhouettes against the pearl-gray sky. Maybe they were buzzards…but vultures is so much more descriptive, and who is there now to care if I misidentify one of God’s creatures? He certainly seems to have turned a blind eye on the world below His heavenly realm.

Monday morning and I made it to work in ten minutes. That’s usually a thirty-minute drive with the traffic. Parking my car on the first floor of the garage was another treat. But the vultures watching silently from the street lights took the edge off the pleasure.

I hurried into the building as fast as I could, one eye on the brooding birds. It was a relief to get inside.   I know vultures and buzzards don’t usually attack the living…but seeing a committee in session is unsettling. Continue reading