Tag Archives: flash fiction

Mirror #writephoto

mirror-pool

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Which is the real world, the one in front of me or the one reflected in the mirror of the pool?”

Dan laughed at his bit of silliness.

It had all been getting to him, work, family, everything.  Reality.  His reality.  He needed some time alone, far from his work and family, far from his reality.  Time to be alone with himself.  What is more important than self?  It wasn’t a hard decision: he took a long weekend to unwind in the woods. It would be perfect.

But it wasn’t going as well as planned.  Despite being away from it all, so far all he had done is worry, worry and more worry. The real world just wouldn’t leave him in peace.  He would see a flower and think of bills unpaid, work not finished, arguments unresolved. Continue reading

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Within #writephoto

echo-within

Photo by Sue Vincent

I wake and open my eyes.

It is dark, but that is to be expected.

There is nobody around.

That isn’t expected.

No children.  No progeny.  No kin.  Nobody.

It doesn’t feel right.  Something is wrong.

I walk to the entrance and look out across the barren landscape.

I can still see the villages and the fields full of crops, but I know they are gone.  The thin soil could not bare the weight of the plows for too long.  This was no longer Home and people had to purposefully travel to see me.

I sniff the air.

Although what I see seems unchanged for time out of mind, I know everything has changed.  The world is different.  The times are different. Continue reading

Welcome Home

Byron?”

Byron Davis continued to walk, eyes forward, mental blinders on.  If he ever thought about it, he would have called it his “urban defensive mode”.  He saw obstacles to avoid and heard noises as warnings, just the bare minimum needed to navigate without running into things.  He didn’t see or hear individual people above the static.  A person was a distraction.  They were “things”.  It was his way to survive the crowds.

“Byron Davis!  It is you.”

The half familiar voice cut through his defenses, his name being recognized and thus the voice flagged as “important”, or at least “something over the background din”.

A young man approached him.  The man was dirty.

“Do I know you?”  Byron curled his nose, drawing his mouth into a slight snare.

“Are you telling me that you don’t recognize your own brother?” The man half laughed.

Byron frowned.

“I don’t have a brother.”

He turned to walk away, but a hand come down on his shoulder, stopping him.

“Sure you do.  Derrick.  Remember?”

Byron turned, his face burning.  Who was this idiot, disturbing him like this?

“Derrick died almost 30 years ago.  Quit bothering me.  I won’t give you any money or whatever in Hell it is that you want.” Continue reading

Forgotten #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

The women giggled and pointed.  William studiously ignored them.  Like the others, they had strange attire and even more bizarre behavior.  He thought of his own clothing and was sure that he looked out of place.  But this was his home village!  Or, rather, town, as it had grown since he had left.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t find any records.”  The man smiled at William.

“Are you sure?  My family was here when William’s men came through, counting heads, well on five centuries back!”

“Are you talking The Conqueror and the Domesday Book?”  The man frowned.

“I know nothing about a book.  My grandfather made a claim and it was proved by good King William, thus the name stayed in the family.”

“Well, your history is wrong, then.  The survey was well over nine centuries ago.”

“I’ve been away less than a decade, not half a millennia!  There has to be something in your box.  The name is Grote.  My father was also William, William Grote.  Check again.”

“Is that ‘G-R-O-T-E’ or ‘G-R-O-A-T’?”

“How should I know?  Just look, please.” Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 1

“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred.  “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks.  Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine.  But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”

I was home for Spring Break.  My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on.  They were all like Matt.  All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey.  His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.

I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away.  I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old.  “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.

I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.

Old number 345, yeah, what a house.

Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading

The Yearning #writephoto

yearning

Photo by Sue Vincent

Meg crested the small hill and stopped.  A last fragrant breezed wafted up from the ocean as the sun slipped down for the night, causing the sky and water to flame.

Her heart bounded and for a minute she felt like a little girl, full of the desires of youth and pull of the sea and distant lands, the deep unending yearning, the yearning to be someplace, anyplace, else.

She brought herself back to the present and found An watching that same sunset.  She gave a knowing smile and walked over to her granddaughter.

“He’s out there someplace,” she said to the 24-year-old woman.  An didn’t respond.  “Yes, out there beyond the horizon.”

An gave a slight nod.

Meg drew closer to the young woman and watched the last flashes of light play across the water. Continue reading

Transition #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom. I dream of adventure and romance.

I dream of her.

This transition has not been easy.  I was always a wild one, forever on the move, forever starting a new adventure.  To be locked away with no hope of escape doesn’t suit my nature.

And the cruelty of it all!  Just across that small courtyard that I can glimpse through an opening that I can never pass pass, just there, always in sight but forever out of reach, is where she is.

If only I could see her one last time, catch a glimpse of her smile.  If only I could hear her melodious voice one last time, I’d be content to settle here forever in my personal prison.  But no! She is kept just out of reach.

It was a dark night.  We had a rendezvous and she was late.  Impatient, I went to her abode to find her, to find why she hadn’t met me as promised.  Stupid, yes, but I was young and in love.

I thought I had entered the gatehouse unobserved.  I thought I had been sly.  I thought I had been crafty.  But he had been craftier, that jealous husband. He was waiting as patiently as I was impatient.  He would catch me.

Before I knew he was there, my throat was slit with the same knife that had taken her life.

I dream of open spaces and sunlight.  I dream of freedom.  I dream of adventure and romance.  I dream of her.

Although 300 years have passed, the transition from living to dead, from physical body to ghost, has not been an easy one.

***

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto challenge.  This weeks challenge, Transition, is here.

Wicker #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

So you are saying that sunlight has magical powers?

Yes, over evil it does.  You see, it is full of purity.  It destroys monsters.

Right.  There is a certain orange monster I’d like to expose to the sunlight…  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work with human monsters.

Maybe not, but it does other, more supernatural monsters.  Case in point, trolls?

I read The Hobbit.  They turn to stone.

Exactly.  Vampires?

Uhm.  Let’s see, I think they burn up.

Good.  Werewolves?

Hmmmm. Makes them take a nap?

No!  They turn back into their human form not remembering what happened under the full moon.

Right. And I’m sure you are going to tell me that it turns witches into wood.  Like in Monty Python.  Burn them!

Well, now that you mention it…

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Easy enough.

Oh, so you are saying there are some wicker witches out there?

Something like that.  Let’s take a walk, I’ve something to show you….

(If you can’t see the prompt, the image shows three figures that seem to be female and made of branches, with their hands joined. Witches dancing? Perhaps caught mid-step by the sunlight?)

***

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto challenge.  This weeks challenge, Wicker, is here.

Monochrome #writephoto

timbered-building

Photo by Sue Vincent

And on the sixth day it was decreed that all color, hue and chroma would be banished from the world. 

*

It was raining.  Again.  Not hard, just a little cold drizzle.  Andy drew his jacket a little tighter and frowned.

Why was he here?

The kids had made him come.  They said he’d enjoy it. Steven, his grandson, made the arrangements and was here with him, but he wished he was anywhere but here.

“Hey Pops, look at that.  I’m sure this was standing before any Englishman set foot in America.  It might even be older than that place where you raised Dad.” He smiled broadly at his joke.

Andy continued to frown.  He knew Steven was trying, but it was useless.  Even the old jokes about the house on Cleveland street rang dull, colorless in Andy’s mind.  The myths and legends of the 1950s, seen almost as black and white reruns of the Donna Reed show or Leave it to Beaver had help to shape Steven’s childhood, but they had moved out long before he was even born. Continue reading

Sign – #writephoto

Photo prompt provided by Sue Vincent

The house was pitch black when I entered.  I assumed the power must have been out, but the rest of the neighborhood was well lit.  Was there a problem that tripped off our entire house? Perhaps Aunt Lucy had done something. An image of her, frizzy grey hair standing on end, eyes bugged out, flashed through my mind.  She was an oddball and may have done something, well, not too bright…

“Aunt Lucy?” I said, though it was little more than a whisper.

I walked carefully through the house, not turning on any switches.  If my great aunt was touching a wire, I didn’t want to be the one to throw even more juice through what I imagined must be her smoldering remains.

“Aunt Lucy?” Continue reading