Tag Archives: Short Fiction

Glow – #writephoto

frosty-dawn--glow

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Ouch! Damn…”

I could feel the warm glow on my cheek where the twig had slapped me.  I rubbed it. Was I going to get a welt?

Wiping away that unbidden tear – I was sure it was from the pain of the slap not something else – I continued on my way.

“Damn” was right. In fact, it felt too weak for the turmoil surging through my brain.

I pushed another leafless branch out of my way, but was careful this time that it didn’t slip and smack me as the last one had.

I was going to my little private spot on the ridge. “Private”, though it was the worst kept secret in the village.

Perhaps even worse than my love for Anita. Continue reading

Final Battle

I enter a corridor. It is a trap. I know it is, and they know that I know.

A quick scan revels nothing. There are no obvious explosives, no beams or triggers, nothing. Innocent.

I move slow, slow and methodical.

There is a book that talks about moving to blend in with nature so your footsteps cannot be detected, to mimic the wind across the sand. What can I mimic as I feel my way down the giant spaceship’s most important corridor? And yet I know my movements stay below that ½ decibel over background that is so important.

A door. Closed. Locked.

I know I can enter, but at what cost?  I would lose time and make a racket.

I scan as well as possible, yet I can’t tell if the room behind is occupied, there isn’t enough data.

I think for a tenth of a nanosecond and move on. I wouldn’t forget that the door was there, a potential enemy, a menace. Continue reading

Midnight Adventure #tanka #tankastory

well-2

Midnight adventure
To exhume the ancient crypt
But we are too late
The slab is already moved
The dead has unearthed himself

Did we delve too deep
Awaken that which should sleep
Release the terror?
We run from the open tomb
But once more we are too late

The crunch of a twig
Silver shadow from the moon
He is following
A hand grabs me from behind
Sharp nails gouge into my flesh

Leave the dead alone
Sleeping under the cold ground
Peaceful undisturbed
It is a lesson I learned
Only when it was too late

***

This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge.  She gives us two key words, but we must use synonyms.  This week’s words were Dig and Grave.  (I so much wanted to find a way to say “Dig this” or “Do you dig” ;) ).  I did a tanka these week. OK, I wrote a story made from four connected tankas this week :)

Murmur #writephoto

murmuration

Photo by Sue Vincent

The people murmured as a new star appeared in the daylight sky. It grew brighter and larger. And grew. And grew.

Not a star, but a gargantuan ship from a people far away.

An alien invasion!

The monstrous craft descended, slowly growing larger, filling the sky. Lightning bolts of energy crackled from the underside, destroying all below. The sky glowed red and orange as the cities turned to a burning plasma! 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

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

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

The Painting

“Where did you say we were going?” Ellie asked.

Justin shot her a quick glance and mischievous grin before putting his eyes back on the road.

“I didn’t.” he said.

He drove on, still grinning, He could see Ellie out of the corner of his eye and could tell she was grinning too.

“We’ve just been on the road so long, I’m getting a bit tight.”

She stretched in a way that Justin felt was to accentuate her curves more than to relieve any muscular tension. In fact, in ways it increased his tension.

He risked taking his attention off of the narrow back road to take in that nice form of hers.

Elisabeth was quite a bit older, but he wasn’t sure how old.  His guess was in her mid-40s, but it might have been up or down by as much as a decade.  He had heard that women that age liked guys in their mid-20s, particularly guys like him who spent a lot of time at the gym: fit muscular men in their physical prime.  Actually, she could be mid-60s for all he cared, because she was pretty hot.  He had been itching to undress her from the moment he first saw her. Continue reading