*Flash Fiction* The Stranger in Your Bed

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The Stranger in Your Bed

By Laura Beasley

Her answers didn’t add up.

She told him the wooden cage was for a large bird she’d caught. But only small and medium-sized birds lived in the woods. She let him chop up the cage to burn in the fireplace.

She let him scrape the candy off the outside of the cottage. It had been a failed decorating project she’d seen on Pinterest. Women do crazy things.

They met on a dating website. He liked her long, grey hair and flowing black dresses. She was interested in marriage and liked children. She owned her cottage in the middle of the woods.

Their relationship was clicking and he planned to pop the question. He was ready to bring his grandson to visit on weekends.

Everything changed one day. He was fixing dinner in her kitchen while she painted her nails blood-red. He needed more EVOO for the salad dressing. He found the pouch of bones in the pantry. They were children’s finger bones.

He never married her. He kept his grandson safe.

He called the cold case district attorney. The DA had been searching for the killer of a missing child. A little boy had been lost in the woods for more than a decade.

Hansel’s parents would find peace at last.

 

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Crown of Thorns

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Crown of Thorns

By Mark Slade

Blake came to Kerr’s séance, hoping to get in touch with his dead son.

Miles had committed suicide almost a year ago, just as Gregory Blake decided to quit his nationally televised show where he gave his sermons every Sunday morning at eleven a.m., a prime spot for syndication, right before football. Rev. Archbishop Gregory Blake, his full title, had his show, loyal worshipers that hung on to every word he spoke, nice cars, and a nice home in Canyon.

But he also had a lot of troubles. Twice a divorcee, women and drink would always complicate Blake’s life. Almost tried twice for being Heretic, he had less than half of the Church Officials he could call his friends or colleagues. It was Blake’s outspoken rants on Homosexuals in the Church, and getting the right literature to for married couples and non-married couples concerning planned families, or the fact he didn’t believe Mother Mary was  a virgin when she had Christ, that was kind of way of thinking as a carrier of Christ’s words and teachings, really ticked them off. None of that weighed on his mind as much as being able to talk to Miles one last time. Tell him, he was sorry. Continue reading

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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Drink, Eat… Be Merry?

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DRINK, EAT…BE MERRY?

by Tim J. Finn

Brett Ralston tapped the Smartphone in the pocket of his parka and silenced its chirping. His latest friend with benefits failed to comprehend his no-call directive also applied to text messages. Her spectacular bedroom skills stayed him from booting her taut buttocks to the curb. He should be enjoying her prowess instead of supervising a body dump in the middle of a hazardous waste site. Ralston resolved to leave grown up virgins alone, despite the appeal of acting as ‘deflowerer’. Paula Downey proved to be too stupid and too Catholic to prevent her problematic pregnancy.

Adam Edwards leaned on his shovel and tugged a gin bottle from his coat. He gulped half a dozen mouthfuls and offered the bottle to his fellow digger. Continue reading

Apocalypse Manifesto

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Apocalypse Manifesto

by  Frankenstein Jones

cool-zombie-silhouette-clipart-d3kyzj-clipart I want to talk about the Apocalypse and I want to start by asking why nobody’s talking about it.  First, let me say that what I mean when I say “The Apocalypse” is the Zombie Apocalypse.  I’m not kidding.  Maybe people are going to say that it’s just something on TV or in the movies, but I want to ask: how many movies? How many TV shows? It’s everywhere—in books and comics and flash mobs and costume contests, and it just goes on and on.  All that must be coming from somewhere; it’s the zeitgeist, the collective unconscious.

And in most of those stories, the cause is never explained.  We’re afraid to ask that question because that will make it real.  The more times we see and hear the story, the more we deny it.  People want to pretend that it’s just a story when they should be figuring out what’s going to cause it and getting ready.  The religious may think it’s the Rapture.  It could be terrorism, some kind of biological weapon or radiation from the nuclear fallout after a war. That could make anything happen—maybe zombies, maybe giant ants! Continue reading

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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10 ‘What If’ Writing Prompts

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It’s Monday! If you’re feeling a little stunted after the weekend, here are some ‘What If’ writing prompts to get you thinking or writing (hopefully both!).

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