Flash Fiction: Sludge

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The Sun Is Sick (Austin Osman Spare)

We’d been trudging through the treacherous sludge of the Louisiana bayou for nigh on a fortnight, when we came to the clearing. Boudreaux, our guide, stopped us outside the stone circle.

“I do not go into this place,” he said. “It is cursed.”

At the time, I laughed off Boudreaux’s melodramatic warning. I did not laugh when we found the heathen idol on its crimson stained altar, its bulbous outline depicting the hideous features of a membranous winged monstrosity. And as I compile my notes, here in the British Museum’s archives, it begins to glow with a pale, unearthly luminescence.

~100 words

via Daily Prompt: Sludge

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Flash Fiction: Because I Could Not Stop

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Image Credit Brooke Lark

“It’d be so nice to hear little footsteps, tramping along the boards of this drafty, old house. I’ve asked outright, but Barbara is too busy with her career,” said Esther.

“You don’t have to worry about Barbara anymore,” said Death.

“I’ve set two places at breakfast. I don’t know why I did that. Charlie’s been dead ten years now.”

Death reached out a black gloved hand and helped her up from the dining room chair. “It’s time to go. There is nothing more for you to do.”

“Easy for you to say,” said Esther. “I’ve got to wash these dishes.”

~100 words

Flash Fiction: Riff

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Robert Johnson Photo Origin

When you sell your soul, the devil asks for a bill of sale. He don’t make you sign it in your own blood, just regular old ink. Both upstairs and down have some very specific, and arcane, laws.

For example, you get thirty days grace period, in case you change your mind. I’d seen the side effects by now, my fingers gliding up and down the neck of my old six string like magic. But it wasn’t me that was doing the playing. The music was playing me.

“Lucifer!” I cried, standing at the crossroads, “You and I gotta talk.”

~100 words

via Daily Prompt: Riff

Flash Fiction: Nanjo Castille

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Photo origin

“Several consumer surveys have shown,” said Nanjo Castille, “that having a human name helps customers identify with our brand.”

“Okay,” said Detective Merrick, “but I’m gonna call you by your model number, NAN-50.”

“As you wish, officer,” said Nanjo, “perhaps a handbag for the missus?”

Merrick produced a hologram photo from his trench coat. “Have you seen this girl? Name’s Cheryl Wei.”

“No,” said Nanjo, and held up one of the handbags, “but this is a very popular purchase among our sixteen to twenty-one demographic.

Merrick inspected the tag, and in that instant drew his sidearm. It read “Cheryl”.

~99 words

For Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge

Flash Fiction: Murder Ballad

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via Google Books

She lay her lover’s head gingerly down, seeping red into the muddy water. She smeared a red stripe on her white dress as she wiped the knife clean. It was, after all, not so different than slaughtering a hog.

She’d come up from behind with a midnight embrace, the way they’d done in a thousand secret trysts, here by the river. He didn’t know she’d overheard him talking to his father. They’d decided a pregnancy was too much scandal for their family to bear.

But she wouldn’t be another Pretty Polly, and this murder ballad wouldn’t be about her.

~99 words

via Daily Prompt: Gingerly

Flash Fiction: Gateway

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Image Credit Brevitē

Stephen rummaged through the backpack, laid out all of his weapons, his tools, his talismans. A chill wind blew through the closet door, freezing his breath mid-air.

There was a thing in the dark of the closet door, and the thing was the door, its mouth a jagged, broken glass gateway into labyrinthine viscera. He’d been there before, and would go, one last time, for Josh’s sake.

He made careful inventory, and brought out his nightmare slicing Swiss army knife, a Christmas gift from his Uncle Edwin.

“I’m coming for you, you bastard,” he said, and walked into the dark.

~100 words

via 100 Word Wednesday

Flash Fiction: Twin Guardians

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Photo credit: Enisa

How long had the steel guardians stood watch over the town? Years. Centuries. Aeons. They’d stood proud at the city limits, greeting tourists, challenging them with frozen fire breath. And now they rattled in the back of a flatbed truck, on their way to death in fiery melting pot, or worse, to rust in the backlot between tractor tires and a naked camaro chassis, its flesh stripped clean by the twin piranha of time and entropy.

“Doesn’t anybody want them?” said Johnny.

Johnny’s dad, behind the wheel, thought so long before answering, it seemed as though he hadn’t heard. “I guess not. This old town wants to be a city, I s’pose. And long legged beasties just aren’t a part of that vision.”

“But they’ll melt them down, won’t they?” said Johnny. “Make them into something new?”

Dad grinned, and ruffled Johnny’s hair. “I hope so, kiddo.”

~147 words

via Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers