Flash Fiction

It’s been far too long since I posted any fiction. Time to change that, though I’m easing back in with something super-short. Just 98 words.

The prompt comes from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘floss’, ‘history’ and ‘sketch’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

I hope you enjoy it.

the dentist

“Have you been flossing?” he asked with a little too much trill in his voice. His patient did not answer.

“You know the history of dental care, don’t you?” he continued. “A great deal of it was extraction.”

He tugged hard and another tooth popped free.

“A bit sketchy, really. I mean, it does nothing for gum disease.”

Tug. Pop.

“Just primitive.”

He wiped his blood-soaked fingers.

“It’s a good thing we got that tongue first. I have so much more room.”

His patient moaned in protest, but it would do no good.

“Now, where is my drill?”

Flash FictionThe last several weeks have been pure chaos, though I admit that shouldn’t stop me from writing. I’ll try to be better. I promise.

Thank you for waiting so politely in my absence. You didn’t complain or pitch a fit or anything, and I appreciate that ever so much. Especially given how much you must have missed me. It was agony, I’m sure, but you managed it quite nicely.

This week, I’m venturing back to The Prediction for our prompt:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘necessary’, ‘pucker’, and ‘willow’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

I hope you enjoy it.

the price is the price

“Necessary?” he asked. “Is anything really necessary? That willow by the lake, for example. Seems a bit much to me, but there it is.”

I sighed. Fairies are exhausting.

“That’s not what I mean,” I explained. “Is there another way to cover the cost?”

His eyes widened with understanding. “Oh. I see. Too expensive for you?”

“In a manner of speaking,” I said.

“Sorry, lass. The price is the price. Pay it or chew cabbage.”

What could I do? No substitute would work for the spell.

I closed my eyes and puckered. His lips were cool like the autumn breeze.

Flash FictionI’m not sure why, but three of my last four flash fiction stories have prominently featured guns.

I’m not particularly into guns. I don’t own one. I don’t even know much about them.

But few things deliver savage violence like a bullet. Especially one to the head – another commonality.

This one was difficult to cap at 100 words. I can see the scene vividly. There are a ton of details I left out of the final draft. I may have to go back and add some meat and bones to this skeleton.

The prompt is (betcha can’t guess…) from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘emulate’, ‘spaghetti’, and ‘weak’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

xoxoxo

“It means imitate,” I said.

Carlos had a toothpick in his mouth, a gun in his waistband, and a lot of stupid shit in his head.

“I ain’t emulating no one.”

Music drifted into the alley.

“You should be emulating a man who pays his debts.”

He shrugged. “Why? Ricky ain’t got nothin’ but weak bitches. Do I look worried?”

See what I mean? Stupid.

I moved faster than he could think, whipping the Desert Eagle out of my coat and kissing him three times. Hard. In the face.

Pop, pop, pop.

“No,” I said. “You look like spaghetti.”

Flash FictionIt’s time to (very briefly) revisit the nameless assassin. I haven’t written a story about him in a while, and this week’s prompt was a good match for his verbose nature.

He does so like the sound of his own voice.

Sadly, this story doesn’t really get at his overall character. If you’d like to know him better, check out the full series. It’s kind of fun.

As has been the trend lately, the prompt is from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘fine’, ‘jargon’, and ‘pecuniary’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

customer service

Ideally, I’m a ghost. In and out without a trace of evidence. That’s my preference. But the client was adamant. She wanted him to know.

Fine. It’s not my style, but fine. Customer service and all.

Of course, he had questions. I suppose that’s fair. I’d feel similarly inquisitive were I in his shoes. So I tried to be respectfully, chiefly by being frank.

“Candice hired me. In the parlance of my profession, you’re the mark.”

“But why?!” he pleaded.

I shrugged. “Pecuniary needs.”

I’m not sure what confused him more. The gun at his head or my jargon.

Flash FictionI’m going to go ahead and answer three questions about the story below before you ask them.

First, yes, I’m talking about who/what you think I’m talking about. Second, if it reminds you at all of The Hunger Games, that’s not by accident. And third, it absolutely qualifies as horror.

The prompt this week is once again from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘dwarf’, ‘eve’, and ‘ostentatious’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

the greatness

He stands tall, his off-white suit in unsettling contrast to the falling snow. The crowd sways in the flakes as his words roll over them.

“On this, the eve of greatness restored, ostentatious displays of resistance will not be tolerated. Stand with us or be counted as an enemy – of the state, of the people, and of all that we hold dear. We are ONE.”

“We are ONE,” the people echo in lifeless unison.

Behind him, dwarfed in both stature and intellect, the president nods. His yellow locks blow to and fro in the wind, much like his attention.

Flash FictionOh, it can be fun to go dark. It’s especially fun to go dark in the name of righteous vengeance.

This makes three weeks running of flash fiction based on prompts from the good folks over at The Prediction. If you’re into writing flash fiction, I encourage you to check the site out. They’re a very supportive group, so be sure to share your stuff.

It’ll do you good.

Here’s this week’s prompt:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘rampart’, ‘sewer’, and ‘unreason’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

the fury

“You’re being unreasonable,” he sputtered.

I’d just finished tying his hands.

“Unreasonable? You left my friend to the sewer rats.”

His eyes searched the room. For purchase. For rampart. For anything he could use to save himself.

I grabbed his chin, forcing him to face me. “How does the saying go? Hell hath no fury like…what was it?”

He shook his head. I pushed double barrels into his crotch.

“Hell hath no fury like what?” I demanded.

“A…a woman scorned,” he whimpered.

I smiled. “You’ll know soon enough.”

I fired.

First between his legs, then between his eyes.

Flash FictionLast week’s 100-word was so much fun (and so well received), I can’t help it. I have to do it again.

I really like the feel and idea behind this story. I may have to play with it. I don’t see it being a lot longer, but it might work with more than 100 words. We’ll see.

Regardless, it’s a fun, creepy little piece to get your weekend started.

The prompt, once more, is from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘flux’, ‘jute’, and ‘spoil’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

bound

Shall I spoil it, dear reader? The twist? The surprise ending you won’t see coming?

Or shall I let you discover it for yourself?

This is a tale in flux. Can you feel the fluidity? Like jute wound into rope, my words form the line that pulls you in deeper.

You’re bound to me, even now. You just don’t know it.

But you will.

Sitting there, comfortable, perusing my words, I doubt you’ll even feel it. The blade kissing your neck. The quick flick. The gush.

Shall I tell you how this ends? Or let you discover it for yourself?

Flash FictionI like to revisit characters, even in super-short form. This is one of those times.

James Kinter remains, for me, an epic villain. There’s nothing particularly original about him. He’s like so many other killers, a disturbing mix of sophistication and psychopathy. But that’s part of why I like him.

Well, not HIM. Stories that feature him. He’s deplorable, but you can’t have horror without a good villain.

This one was especially fun as the closing line echoes the title of the first story I wrote about him, back when I wasn’t sure how I felt about being able to go so dark. Now I delight in it. Ain’t that a kick in the head?

If you like this little thing, be sure to check out the much longer original series, The Kinter House. It’s classic American horror.

Oh, and the piece below was written based on a prompt from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘lone’, ‘sanguine’, and ‘splay’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

rhapsody

He was sanguine, even as sirens sounded in the distance. They were a pack of rabid dogs on the hunt, but he didn’t care. He just smiled, depositing his tools on the table and taking off the heavy butcher’s apron.

His work was splayed across the room. “Rhapsody In Red” played on a lone speaker. “Love to feel it flood down to my soul…,” Garcia sang.

His soul felt light, sanctified by the sacrifice.

They would come, ready to dissect his masterpiece. But it didn’t matter.

He would simply wrap himself in the comfort of the memory of those screams.

Flash FictionWe haven’t heard from Jimmy and Glenn in a while, so this week’s story revisits the duo’s dark antics. The plot is pretty much the same. I see myself writing more of these, but I don’t see any big changes in theme or resolution.

Jimmy and Glenn are going to keep right on doing that terrible thing they do.

There’s something weirdly reassuring about their consistency. I’m not big on formulaic fiction, but these super short stories are the exception to the rule. I like knowing what’s going to happen, and I like listening to them talk about it with the same kind of casual indifference you or I might discuss the weather.

That’s good, old fashion psychopathology right there.

If you’d like to read the previous two stories, you can find “Martial Bliss” here, and “Lazy Sally” here.

The prompt, once again, comes from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘miracle’, ‘spoon’, and ‘still’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

Enjoy.

fair enough

“You know what your problem is, Jimmy boy? You keep expecting a miracle.”

“I’m a romantic,” Jimmy said.

Glenn laughed.

“I’m serious,” Jimmy snapped. “I still believe in love.”

“Hey, I get it. Who doesn’t want a slice of heaven?”

“Right. I just haven’t found mine yet.”

They finished tying cinder blocks to the tarp roll, hefting it over the railing. The mass plopped into the water below, sinking unceremoniously.

“I’m just tired of this shit,” Glenn said.

“It’s not fun for me, either, man.”

“You’re digging the next grave with a spoon. Alone.”

Jimmy nodded. “Fair enough.”

Flash FictionI’m taking a one-week break from my series focused on the theme of waiting. There’s only one story left, and I have a rough idea of what it will be, but it simply wasn’t ready today.

When a story is like that, sort of there, but not really, I know better than to push. There are times when you can work anyway, and there are times when it’s better to turn to another project and wait for the first to decide it wants to be written.

Instead, this week I bring you a brief, grim tale based on the following prompt from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘bake’, ‘feather’, and ‘tough’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

Enjoy.

plunked clean

Her bone fingers moved fast, rending feather from skin.

“This is the tough part,” she said. “If you don’t plunk ‘em clean, don’t matter how you bake ‘em.”

From across the room her guest watched in silence.

“You will eat,” the witch said. “Heaping spoon-fulls. This meat pie’s for you.”

Only a snarled lip.

The witch shrugged. “All you harpies are the same. Weak stomachs. But ya see the trouble I’m goin’ to, cookin’ up your young ‘un. You will eat.”

“And you will die,” came the response, laced with the anger of righteous indignation and the promise of retribution.