Flash Frenzy Round 49

Posted: January 3, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Welcome back! I hope everybody had a lovely holiday season and is ready for an amazing 2015.  To start this year of flash off right, Amy Wood has volunteered her services as judge.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie, receive a winner’s page, and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao


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Comments
  1. @patrickjstahl
    335 words

    “You Don’t Need Wings to Fly”

    Alyssa had always wanted to fly. Almost everyone she knew could fly, beating their massive hawkish wings and soaring to market or school or wherever they wanted to go. I’m a freak, Alyssa thought, but she thought it with no lack of sarcasm and a muted laugh. She stroked her floor-length tail.

    “Are you sure you want to skate with a Tail, Jacob?” Alyssa asked to the young man beside her.

    “I don’t much mind,” said Jacob. “Sometimes wings just get in the way of things. And I hear that you skate beautifully.”

    Alyssa blushed. She coiled up her tail tight and relaxed it slowly. Deep breaths, she thought.

    The roller rink clerk asked who was paying and what size shoes would be needed. Jacob took care of everything.

    How did he know what size skates I wear? Alyssa thought. That must have been why Maria was smirking all morning. He asked my sister what size shoes I wore so he wouldn’t have to ask me. An interesting idea.

    Alyssa went down to the rink first. She skated a few wide circles, loosening her legs. After her third, or maybe fourth, lap, Jacob made chase. He huffed and puffed trying to catch her, falling a quarter-lap behind, then a half. Alyssa forced back her laughter.

    “Wow,” Jacob said. “You really can fly.”

    The wind left Alyssa’s lungs. A burning started in the corner of her eyes. “What?” she said through a tightening throat, turning toward him.

    Jacob looked at her, puzzled. His eyes widened. “I’m sorry, I…”

    “No, it’s okay.” Alyssa spun five hundred and forty degrees and pushed off toward him. “It’s true. When I’m skating, it’s like—”

    “It’s like you’re flying.” Jacob peered up into Alyssa’s eyes. “You don’t need wings to fly, Alyssa.”

    Alyssa nodded, returning his gaze. “Yeah, all I need is a pair of skates.” She reversed directions, skating away from him, backward. “On the other hand, you’re a little slow with those wings.” She winked at him, giggling.

  2. drmagoo says:

    She liked the metal on metal sound of the ball bearings from the first. Late at night, when the world around her stagnated into stillness, she would spin each of the wheels and watch them spin effortlessly. At that moment, they became the wheels of a car or a bus or a train taking her away. Not back home, but away from here.

    As with all things, the hope of a better life was transient. The wheels always slowed eventually – almost imperceptibly at first, then a steady, wobbly rattle to a stop. Just like what happened to Mom’s lungs. And Dad’s heart.

    Sometimes, she’d spin them again and again, dreaming in tiny snippets of a future she didn’t understand, and wake to find herself bent over, clutching the skates to her chest. Other nights, she’d rest her fingers on the wheels, feeling the plastic which had been ground and tempered by thousands of hours of use, and then put the skates down. On those nights, the distance between reality and hope was too large even for dreams, and she didn’t have the energy to do anything but cry.

    When she dreamed, she saw herself cruising through the night, her lithe, strong body lit by a thousand neon lights, the stars of some unknown city. She was beautiful in the night, and she could feel the awed stares of the other denizens of whatever world we dream in, like a net, not capturing her, but drawing her deeper into herself.

    But when she woke and looked into the mirror at the scars that the doctors called a face, there was no more beauty. Deep within herself was only darkness and loneliness, and the stares of the residents of the daytime world were filled with horror or pity. Sometimes both.

    She never knew what woke her in the darkest stretches of the night, but the lights didn’t come on, and her phone was dead. She was alone in a world where she could be anyone she wanted to be. Without pausing to think, she tied the skates on and rolled slowly out the door. She was beautiful in the night.

    358 words
    @drmagoo

  3. zevonesque says:

    Reflections
    A.J. Walker

    Reflections

    Terri sat on the dock with a hot dog and soda, being ultra careful to avoid mustard spillage on to her favourite black stockings – in case she bumped into Mal or Dan. She felt invigorated after her evening skating along the boulevard. She was starving, she’d had her lunch too early.

    She spun the Kyrptonic wheels against the dock wall listening to them whir. They sounded okay but she’d adjust the wheel nuts later – it never hurt to keep on top of maintenance.

    Terri’s mobile vibrated rousing her from her daydreaming. She hoped it was Mal, but it was her mom. She put the phone back in her tight denim jacket leaving it unanswered.

    Terri took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. She decided she would have to drive things as Mal was clearly never going to do it. Then again to show her hand would leave Dan as her fallback out of the picture.

    She closed her eyes and listened to the water lapping against the quayside. It was therapeutic but the noise from the amusement arcades on the opposite pier kept intruding into her thoughts. The bass from the arcades and rides drifted over the dock indistinct with the breeze.

    When she opened her eyes the floodlights and neon filled her vision. The black water splashed with intense wavering lights in a soothing chaotic kaleidoscope of reflections.

    Terri loved looking into the black water leaving her imagination to run riot. Tonight the water below her went on forever.

    She was enjoying the lovely evening, but she felt something was missing. Mal should be sat with her enjoying it too. But he was never going to call. She looked at the phone again, there was still no call from Mal. Tomorrow she’d take the bull by the horns.

    “Hey there!’ Mal’s voice shouted.

    Terri jumped, she dropped the phone into the wet infinity, but she didn’t care. Mal was there.

    She grinned excitedly turning to Mal. Colour drained from her face when she saw he was with someone – holding hands.

    “Hi Terri,” Mal said. “Er, this is Charlotte. Charlotte, Terri here is one of my best mates.”

    (360 words)
    @zevonesque

    #Flashdogs

  4. Mark A. King says:

    @Making_Fiction

    359 words

    The Time Traveller

     

    Perhaps this is the thousandth time I have witnessed this.

    Yet, this is the final time.

    I am a time traveller without a DeLorean.

    This pitiful attempt to rewrite the past has eaten away at me like a parasite. I know it has destroyed me more than the growths which now suffocate my consciousness.

    I cannot change what has gone before.

    I stand on the distant shore. Around me the lights twinkle, sparkle and shimmer. I take the corroded coin from my pocket and place it in the static binoculars that are normally only used by tourists. I place my eyes into the cold metallic sockets and swivel the device. The distant fairground comes into focus and I see the knowing and hungry grins of carrousel horses flash by. Then I see Bethany, my beautiful daughter.

    It is June 1996, the summer of Euro96. The sounds of Brit-Pop echo through warm evenings full of joy, promise and hope. Noel crones Don’t Look Back in Anger, and two comedians sing Three Lions.

    She absentmindedly laces up her roller-skates. I help her, half-awake half-asleep through the fog of yesterday’s alcohol. I replay that goal in my head. I see myself check the Nokia, laughing to myself at the joke my friend sends to me: black text on ethereal green-screen.

    I play Snake on the chunky device ignoring her increasingly confident twists and twirls – her elaborate (yet futile) attempts to get my attention.

    The water that separates us has become cold and dark and seemingly eternal.

    I scream. At her. At myself. At a god that can sit back and allow this to happen.

    The laces come undone and wrap around the wheels.

    She falls.

    Falls.

    Falls.

    The visions have become more frequent as I sleep more often. But I will suffer them no more.

    Now, for the first time, I see a boat is waiting on my shore.

    I climb in and let the tide pull me.

    I sense that when I reach the other shore, she will not be motionless, she will not be cold. There will be music and hope. I will hold her hand and never let go.

  5. Crazy Legs

    Beyond the closed doors the boom box is blaring and scant lights festooned about the room display bodies bringing on their boot-clad boogy, rolling counter-clockwise in formation – loose-limbed; swirl and twirl; hand-holding – others clinging in comfort to the walls, whilst their counterparts career in circles at the centre of the wooden floor, scant attention paid to the faded painted lines beneath their wheels or lack of disco decoration – likewise the less than luxurious locks sported by a selection of the male participants. Already there are striped socks and zebra patterned tights to compete with Beth’s black net, in addition to the ever obligatory leg warmers and souls sporting spandex. She grins as she moves into the midst of the youth of yesterday and passed the guy casually checking his iPhone amongst the mass to get on down with the best of them, before spotting the lanky guy hurtling towards her and the speed at which his wheels are rotating – seemingly without any ability to stop them. Beth sees panicked brown eyes and an apologetic expression before his arms are out – flailing – and she is somehow embracing him with minimal incident, albeit awkwardly, as opposed to the envisaged full on prat fall. With a smile and nod, she sends him spinning back into the pack. Grant is here tonight, somewhere, if she can find him, amongst others. Beth breathes slowly, as her pulse quickens. Performing a swift circuit, she searches – coming to a sudden tip toe stop, careless of those behind her as she spots him first, hand on the shoulder of a short brunette, towards one wall, his attention focused upon her, unheeding of Beth’s presence. Beth watches for a moment, before propelling herself forwards towards them. “You’ve met Jess, then?” she says, lips twitching.

    Grant glances into Beth’s eyes, before looking intently at the other woman and relinquishing his hold on her. “Ah. Yes – guess so,” he says, shrugging, followed by a grimace – on, then off.

    “Jess – Grant,” Beth says. “Guessing he didn’t get as far as introducing himself properly? The family was brought up decently, promise. How about starting over?”

    “Lets,” Grant says immediately, emphatic.

    (360 words)

    @FallIntoFiction
    #FlashDog

  6. voimaoy says:

    What’s in a Name?
    @voimaoy
    356 words

    What’s in a name? The power. It confers the ability to go beyond yourself, to fly on wheels. Opposing forces part before you, the slammers and jammers left in your wake. Bruises are temporary tattoos.

    Margo admires her new tattoo, the dog head on her shoulder. She’s a flash of light, a star in this part of the quadrant known as the roller derby circuit. She’s left old friends behind.

    The Go-Go Girls are gone. Cindy joined the Windy City Rollers. She’s Cinnamon Twist, now. Britt signed up with the Double Crossers, got a XX tattoo and a new name, too. Double Espresso. It fits, she’s strong.

    Margo needs a new name, to go with the new tattoo. She’s on a new team, the Dog Stars. The logo was killer. No broken bleeding hearts and flowers, here. It was hardcore, the dog head. An honour to wear it.

    All the girls had doggy names, too—Kiss My Lassie, No Pitty, Lady Bow Wow. Lady Bow Wow works in a bank. Her real name is Jenna. No Pitty works at an animal shelter. Her real name is Lynne. Kiss My Lassie teaches preschool, looks so sweet and innocent. Her real name is Rachel.

    They’re sitting at the pub, after practice. The tattoos mark them as a pack of wild girls. Margo is one of them, now.

    She thinks of Cindy, rubbing her bum knee. Britt with the tender shoulder.

    “So, Margo, ” Lady Bow Wow says. “Have you thought about a name?”

    “Well, sure, but I’m not good at names and stuff.”

    “You’re good, though,” Kiss My Lassie says. “We’ll come up with one.”

    “Of course we will!” No Pitty says. “You like dogs, don’t you?”

    “Oh, I like dogs, and cats. You know.”

    “All good,” Lynne/No Pitty smiles.

    “Another round?” Jenna/Lady Bow Wow says. “I’m off tomorrow.”

    “Not me,” Rachel/ Kiss My Lassie says. “Back to school, for me.”

    “Yes, me too,” Margo says. “Holiday sales, everything must go.”

    “To the New Year,” Lynne says.

    “To new friends.” Rachel says.

    “There you go.” Jenna says. She smiles at Margo. “What are you thinking?”

    “Go Dog Go,” says Margo.

  7. ROLL BACK

    Brian S Creek
    349 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    I hear Archer’s heavy footsteps as he makes his way down the jetty.

    “My Anna used to love coming down here,” I say. “We’d sit on the edge here long into the night, just gazing across the river at the brightly lit city; a galaxy of stars just out of our reach.”

    “I can’t let you do this,” says Archer. He’d been my partner back when I was on the force and he was always straight to the point.

    “It’s not what you think.”

    “I’m here for the skates,” he says, “which you should have handed in the day you quit. You know the rules. They’re not meant to be used for this.”

    “You’ve got to let me go, old friend,” I say. “It will make things better.”

    “Look, I’m sorry for what happened to Anna, I really am. But I can’t let you travel back and alter the timeline. They’ll lock you up in the Eternity Well just like the scum we used to hunt down. Is that what you want?”

    Holding the post beside me I stand and turn. I glance down to see the wheels of Archers own time skates still smoking from his recent jump. “I’m not going to change anything, I swear. This has nothing to do with the date of the accident.”

    “I don’t understand.”

    “I just want to go back to the day we first met. I want to see the smile I first fell in love with just one more time, knowing this time that I’ll have to cherish it.”

    “It’s too risky.”

    “You know me, Archer. Time won’t even know I’ve been there.”

    For a second I think maybe he’s grown heartless in his old age. But then he sighs and nods.
    “In and out,” he says. “And then you hand those skates over to me, no excuses.”

    I roll forward and embrace him like the best friend he once was. Then I speed off down the jetty and focus on that one perfect day.

    The skates ignite and the world around me blurs as I roll back in time.

  8. Foy says:

    Foy
    @db_foy

    word count: 360

    …To Spite the Face

    I’ve done a lot of passive aggressive things in this struggle against the “Overbearer,” but hooking up with a stranger from Tinder might be my magnum opus. Definitely out does that time I chopped my hair for Confirmation; rage painted Mom purple.

    I like the sexual undertones of meeting at a roller rink and this one’s been abandoned since the new one went up on Falls Street. January cold clings to my hair and skin, and I hug my coat tighter. The wind is spiteful. Out here it’s eerie but there’s no screaming.

    “Would it kill you to pick your clothes up off the floor?”

    “You are NOT wearing that, young lady.”

    “No man gonna is respect you if you don’t even respect yourself.”

    Our fights are more frequent. Celebrating my 16th year felt like the catalyst for a thousand raw acts of domestic terrorism. I don’t blame Dad for leaving but I hate him for not taking me.

    Rain distorts the lights across the bay, robbing them of warmth. Clickclickclick. The toes of my skates tap uncertainly. Vixen –Victoria– found a guy this way with “abs like granite and a fife you’d pay to play.” My luck I’ll get a 60 year old. While bruising my “sacred flower” with an unknown geezer might be the ultimate F U to the Overbearer, it wouldn’t be pleasant.

    Checking my messages again out of muscle memory.

    Guy: Wut will U B wearing?
    Laci: Dark pea coat. Scarlet thigh highs. U?
    Guy: Overcoat & goulashes. Expect rain tonite.
    Laci: K, C U @ 11.

    I pull back my sleeve. 10:59pm. Pushing air impatiently, I trace the scar, small and white, on my left wrist. Lenore, a friend from school, cuts with her dad’s razors as a form of release. I tried it once with a forgotten nail. Wasn’t for me.

    Hairlings on my skin raise and my spine pushes me upright. Fog hides any moonlight but I feel eyes on me and there’s movement on the far end of the rink.
    This is it. The car keys are hers, the house and the electricity I “waste” but my body isn’t.
    “For you, Mom.”

  9. Stella says:

    Skatey Katey
    265 words
    @stellakateT

    Once I’d got my skates on I’d be out of the house down those lanes, heading for the rest of the world. Sometimes I wouldn’t be missed and I’d get on a bus to the local town. Sid the bus driver would ask if my mum knew where I was going and I’d laugh and say the Moon, his several chins would wobble with mirth, it was our little joke.

    My skates were my best friends. They took me to magical places, they whispered “Go your own way, don’t be led” as they rolled over the pavements leading to new adventures. I went fast like the wind. I hardly every fell so the few marks were like battle scars I proudly displayed.

    People called me Skatey Katey, which was better than what my brothers called me, Fulham. I was christened Chelsea; my parents had run out of Shakespearian names by the time I was born. With five brothers and two sisters it was hardly surprising. Mum joked that another child would have to be called No More. Mum always looked beautiful; she had an army of nannies, cooks and chauffeurs to do the hard work. Dad played the stock markets and as I got older I realised our lifestyle had more to do with insider trading than expertise.

    He went to prison when I was eighteen no skating away for him. Our house was sold. Mum remarried an honourable. He thought I was wild. I thought he was a pompous oaf! My skates knew the real me, a lonely little girl in a big family.

  10. Nemeses

    “Dragons can’t wear roller skates,” said Muffy. “It’s a physical impossibility.”

    “Bumblebees fly.”

    “Sure. But there’s a scientific reason for that we just haven’t mastered yet. Like gravity.”

    Zieta sniffed. “Exactly.”

    “Or friendship.”

    This time Zieta snorted. “You’re telling me. Why are we friends, anyway?”

    “Who says we’re friends?”

    “You hang out with me. All the time.”

    “Maybe that’s just boredom.”

    “You? Queen-in-waiting of the biggest kingdom in the known world, bored? Not a chance.”

    “Pity, then. I know you don’t have any friends besides me.”

    Zieta laughed. “Never needed any. And you — I tolerate. Despite our differences.”

    “Perhaps it’s for political experience. No one wants a queen who is incapable of negotiating with others, especially those who are opposite her in every way.”

    “You’re preening.”

    “I am no such thing,” said Muffy, instantly dropping the tiara. It clattered across the rocks and came to rest only inches from the cliff’s edge. She pretended not to care.

    “Maybe we’ll never be able to figure it out.”

    “Maybe not.”

    “Ah well.” Zieta sighed dramatically and scrambled to standing. If she did so more awkwardly than normal, Muffy tactfully didn’t mention it. “I’ll be back in an hour.”

    “You’d better. Those are my favorite skates.”

    But Zieta was already airborne, delicate swirls of flame streaming around her. “No,” she said, grinning down at the unicorn princess, “they’re my favorite skates.”

    228 words
    @postupak

  11. necwrites says:

    Just for fun as I mistook the deadline:

    Works Every Time
    359 words
    @rowdy_phantom

    98: City lights wink up at Beatrice as she flounders with the walker. She thought it’d be different, that she’d clamber onto her feet and the old magic would shoot up her legs and into her heart.

    Oh, how tired she is of the feebleness swamping her body! She’s shakier than the day she’d first strapped on skates.

    5: Beatrice sucks in a mighty breath, pushes away from the bench. Feet splay outward, but she rolls across the four-square court without help. C’mon, c’mon! She makes it to the tetherball pole and clings to for dear life. It totally makes up for Papa being too busy to try out her new skates.

    10: Backwards skates still intimidate even though Beatrice practically lives at the rink—matinees are cheaper than babysitters. Her favorite song inspires her to shove off the rail, legs slicing as she’s practiced. By the third time around, she can do it without hunching forward. By the fourth, it’s the best birthday ever.

    22: Evening broods along the horizon. Beatrice tears around the top of an abandoned parking garage. Pavement creases threaten to dump her, but she rides over them without a bobble. He didn’t call. She skates singleness back into her heart.

    44: Janey now spends weekends with Daddy, deciding she’s too old for the rink anyway. A pain more piercing than the divorce drives Beatrice on. She scissors her legs, whips around the curves, away from the sting of separation.

    66: Her legs don’t have the strength they once did, but she hits the boardwalk with a vengeance. Last night, Janey’s new fiancé reminded Beatrice too much of her ex-husband. All through dinner Beatrice choked down the urge to scream, Run! Today she skates away the impulse to meddle.

    98: She barely recognizes her own daughter these days, yet she’s cognizant enough to see the shadow in Janey’s eyes during visits.

    Teetering on the edge of enormous need, Beatrice points the wheels down the slope, invoking the flight of independence with the roll of eight wheels.

    C’mon, c’mon!

    She exhales as her wheels leave the asphalt and launch her into the night. Works every time.

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