Flash Frenzy Round 57

Posted: February 28, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , , ,

Hello again and welcome back. This weekend you’re writing to impress Round 57 judge, Catherine Connolly.

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.

Round 57

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

 

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Comments
  1. Steven M. Stucko says:

    sms (359 words)

    BETWEEN

    “Scott, wait. Check this out. With this app I can tell exactly how tall this wall is.” Sam held his smart phone over his head and aimed for the top of the wall surrounding the Greek fortress. “Damn, this thing is impenetrable!” Sam and Scott were on the isle of Crete spending a semester abroad.

    “Hey Sam, let’s sit down on the steps and have some lunch, I’m starving.” The two friends bought some sticky souvlakies and plastic bottles of water and sat in the shade beneath a scraggly olive tree. Tourists and students swarmed past them in packs, fumbling with maps and guide books. “Sam, I want to finish what we were talking about this morning.”

    Sam took a bite of his lunch and gave a sideways look to Scott. “I thought we had finished buddy. What’s more to say?”

    Scott cleared his throat. “I just want to make sure we’re still good, the two of us.” He pointed his finger back and forth between the two of them.

    “We’re totally cool Scott. I’ve told you before, I love you, I’m just not in love with you. Ok, buddy?”

    Scott’s heart twisted. His stomach started to reject the food. He gulped down a mouthful and turned to Sam. “Sam, I’m so glad you are my best friend, and I need you in my life. I just want to take it to another level. I need you in that special place in my heart. You fit there. You and only you.” Scott started to sweat and felt his bowels churn.

    Sam turned to him and put his hand on Scott’s knee. Scott felt electricity and his body filled with an ecstatic euphoria. He put his hand on top of Sam’s but Sam slid his away. “Listen Scott, I need you in my life. You fill a place in my heart too. But it’s friendship. That’s even better than being boyfriends because it will last longer, get it?”

    Scott did not get it. It was all or nothing for him He felt a wall between them. Impenetrable.

  2. Stella T says:

    @stellakateT
    359 words

    Myopia

    “This picture isn’t very good” mumbles Lance “but Granddad’s name is really there”

    I can’t see anything however hard I try. I was never one to celebrate ill doings. Lance and Daniel had been friends since nursery school but I’d never like Daniel’s mother she’ll have a hard job persuading Saint Peter to let her into God’s kingdom when the time comes.

    “Who took the photo?” I ask. I’m not that interested but its nice Lance has come to visit me. He shifts uneasily in the old lumpy chair and takes time before he answers “Dad” He watches my face and I try not to flinch. That word hits me hard deep in my memory of long lost consciousness. I’m learning this new fandangle mindfulness that everyone is talking about, where you live in the day forget the past and not worry about the future. The future, now that’s God’s problem. It’s the past that haunts me in my thoughts and dreams.

    “Are you not proud of Granddad’s name being on the Wall of Heroes?”

    How could she explain to him that choosing not to fight did not make a hero? The Government had decided early on in the conflict to surrender and fight from within. The British people had never before given in but then the adversary had never been Mutants from Outer Space. She would not speak their name. When they’d destroyed Moscow and Washington she decided she’d fight until her dying breath. Her husband took the easy option and signed the Pledge of Allegiance hence his name on that ugly wall.

    Lance subconsciously pulls his hair over the space where his ears should be. She smiles; it’s hardly the lad’s fault he was born without any. Her daughter chose to fraternise with the enemy. If she spoke her thoughts out loud she’d be in Siberia. They soon realised the human race were not lovers of the cold!

    Tomorrow her name will be revered with the hero’s of her generation. She will walk into the Mutants Lair with dynamite packed neatly in her shopping trolley. Who would suspect an old lady with arthritic joints and myopic eyesight?

  3. Through Another’s Eyes

    Annie hates her name. It’s old fashioned.

    Jayson loves her name, connecting her rich personality with historic queens and cartoon characters with similarly curled locks.

    Annie is ridiculed for her boyish styles in clothing.

    Jayson likes her style, especially the fact that she doesn’t blindly follow what everyone else is wearing.

    Annie has spent most of her life being picked on, adopting a view of herself as the victim of a cruel world.

    Jayson drove away her detractors. Sometimes becoming bruised and battered for her sake.

    Annie can’t see anything special about the monolithic side of the building.

    Jayson can’t help but take picture after picture. He speaks of it as an aesthetic marvel.

    Annie waits for him, because he would wait for her.

    Annie admires his artistic eye.

    Annie knows that when he shows her the best pictures later, they will be beautiful.

    Then it occurs to her, he sees her in much the same way he sees the skyscraper. He sees her as entrancing, aesthetic, and he sees her as beautiful.

    Annie cries at the joy of seeing herself through another’s eyes.

    184 words
    @CharlesWShort

  4. Amy Wood says:

    @jujitsuelf
    #flashdog

    358 words

    The Wall

    “Who built it?”

    “Nobody knows.”

    “When?”

    “Nobody knows.”

    “Why?”

    Dan glanced at Michael before looking back at his camera, which he was trying to focus on the top of the Wall. “To keep something in, I suppose.”

    “Or to keep something out?” Michael said, scuffing his shoes on the too-smooth pavement and ignoring the churning in his gut. “Like Hadrian’s Wall. Was it to keep the Romans in or the Scots out?”

    “God, you’re a history freak,” Dan muttered, eyes on the camera. “This thing’s impossible to fit into one frame. Too bloody big.”

    Big and perfect and utterly unknowable. The Wall had been there for as long as anyone could remember, unblemished and untarnished by time. No bomb scarred its smooth face, no spray paint lingered on its regimented stones. Unaffected by man and indestructible, it was simply the Wall.

    Michael’s head throbbed as he gazed at the far distant top, white slabs of marble scratching at the fluffy clouds above.

    What was it for? What was on the other side? Was there a door somewhere in its uncharted length?

    “Feels weird,” Dan said pressing a palm to the stone. “Kinda warm.”

    Michael balled his fists, no power on earth would make him touch the Wall. The one time he’d dared, the chest pains had put him in hospital for days. Whatever or whoever had built the thing, they’d imbued it with such menace that even being nearby made Michael nauseous.

    “You’re such a girl, being scared of the Wall,” Dan snorted.

    Michael backed away. Better to be called a coward than to touch those silently ominous blocks.

    Static electricity crackled, the stones crawled with sparks. Dan’s smile vanished. St. Elmo’s Fire shot up his arm, his eyes shone white and he crumpled into a heap.

    Michael stared at his friend, now a charred puppet with its strings cut. The Wall didn’t like to be touched. The Wall protected itself. The Wall was forever.

    Fingers unwillingly outstretched, he edged closer, a moth to an inexorable flame. The Wall knew how to protect itself and it called to him. Who was he to refuse? The Wall was forever.

  5. Mark A. King says:

    Wall Art
    @making_fiction #FlashDog
    268 words

    —–

    Berlin.

    China.

    Hadrian.

    Pink Floyd.

    Forget them all.

    The wall behind Greggs Bakers on the periphery of the M1 service station is the most famous and valuable wall of them all. But it wasn’t always that way…

    “Oi, watch wot ya doin’,” the man with the scruffy hair and spray-paint jeans said to the older lady, who he watched suspiciously.

    “Oh, come on Robin, I really don’t know why you insist on talking like that,” the lady with the blue-rinse replies.

    “Like wot, ma?”

    “Call me mother, please. You and I both know we spent a lot of money on your education.”

    He looks at her as she holds his precious tools. He thinks about disobedience. Then just rolls his eyeballs, knowing (despite the fact he’s 43 and rather successful,) he’ll be grounded if he doesn’t comply.

    “Sorry, mother. Please be careful with that. It’s the new equipment.”

    “You’ve only made me carry cans and stencils before. I’m getting on a bit, Robin, I really shouldn’t be carrying all this stuff for you.”

    “Yeah, but you have to move with the times, mother. Anyway, you know I can’t carry it, I’m doing the work.”

    Scruff-man, AKA Robin, takes the 3D printing equipment from his biggest fan and spray-paints the wall outside Greggs?

    He stands back and admires his greatest work. The 3D graffiti is so life-like that the man and boy appear to be standing there.

    “You’ve done good, Robin. Fancy a nice treat? Maybe a sausage roll, from Gregss?”

    “I’d love one, mother. Oh, and if it’s not too much bother, please call me Banksy.”

  6. Steven M. Stucko says:

    (360 words)
    EPIC BUZZ KILL

    It was the first time David Gilmour played a concert with Roger Waters in fifteen years. A Pink Floyd reunion was one of the most anticipated rock shows ever. Bill and Ted had begged Bill’s sister to let them help with her catering company that was to provide food for the band and the backstage crew. She was hired to feed a hundred people and needed all the help she could get to unload the food from the trucks and set up the buffet in the makeshift dining area behind the stage. Bill and Ted arranged hors d’oeuvres and sandwiches were stacked in piles. Cases of beer, soda and water were put on ice. They each brought their cell phones, hoping to take pictures of the band when they came to eat, but the band never showed up. Apparently they eat at their hotel and the catering is for the crew and press. Bill and Ted helped themselves to the bounty and each had several beers. They hung out with some merchandise guys and asked a slew of questions about touring around the world with Pink Floyd. The two passed a skinny joint with a reporter from Rolling Stone and began to get loopy. Bill suggested they explore the stage area where crew members were preparing the spectacle that is a Floyd concert. Inflatable pigs and an enormous projection screen were being tested. Laser lights were creating dizzying displays around the arena. “Whoa…” was all Ted could say. “Dude…” was all Bill could say. They found their way to the front of the stage where an immense wall stood between the band and the audience. Large styrofoam blocks were stacked 80 feet high. Each concert began with a few songs being performed behind the wall and then the blocks were knocked down to reveal the musicians. The crowd would go crazy. Bill and Ted marveled at the mammoth prop. “Whoa…” said Ted as he took a picture with his phone. “Dude, check this out!” Bill said. He had found a switch connected to the base of the wall. He could not resist. The concert was delayed five hours.

    • Foy says:

      All thanks to Bill and Ted that was certainly NOT a most excellent adventure. 😉
      It’s funny, Pink Floyd didn’t even cross my mind but it works so well with the prompt!

    • voimaoy says:

      Brilliant take, the wall as a giant styrofoam prop for Pink Floyd. Well-done!

  7. (360 words)
    Click

    “Got one today.”
    “Oh yeah?” A smoke ring rose above the young woman’s head like a halo.
    “Look.” A calloused hand slammed a fat wallet down on the concrete.
    Blowing smoke rings mesmerized Lana for a few seconds until she looked down at the wallet. “How much in it, Frankie?”
    “Around two hundred,” stretching her legs out, “enough for a couple a’ nights on a motel bed.” Frankie sighed, satisfied with her haul.
    “That it? Any credit cards??”
    “No credit cards,” there were but Lana wasn’t going to know, “just pictures of kids and a driver’s license.” and credit cards: Visa Black, Master Card, Nordstrums, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and $2,000.00 in cash. Frankie felt a fiendish smile widen inside her mind. Time to rid herself of this lazy partner.
    “Lana.”
    “Hmmm?” The younger woman, vacant-eyed, continued to gape at her smoke rings. Her blond hair hung in strings down her back. Frankie studied her for a moment from the corner of her eye. Nothing bothered that chick, she thought: not living on the street, not being harassed by jerk-offs, nothin’. She’s too stupid to do anything about anything.
    “Take a hike down the boulevard here and check out motels for the night, will ya?”
    Rising reluctantly, Lana flipped her cigarette butt into the gutter and sauntered down the sidewalk, her hips undulating languidly as her flip flops smacked the concrete. Frankie smoked a cigarillo, watching her until, growing bored, she leaned against the cement wall behind her, and shut her eyes.

    *
    Night! Jarred awake, Frankie sat straight up.
    “Hey, hey, Frankie,” Lana sat on top of the wall, legs dangling, grinning down at her partner. “I found us a motel room. Only thing is that them two over there,” she pointed across the street, “wanted it first.”
    Two teenage boys, one with hands in pockets and the other holding up a smart phone peered innocently at Frankie.
    “Sooooo,” Lana squeaked, “I snitched the wallet off a’ you and tossed ‘em a couple a’ hundreds,” She laughed. “Little more in it than you told me, bitch. But you sure liked thinkin’ you was the smart one.”
    Flash. Click.

  8. voimaoy says:

    The Words on the Wall
    @voimaoy
    351 words

    These are the things we know about the Wall—It is gray. It is featureless. It holds up the sky.

    This is what I know about the Wall–It talks to me. It shows me pictures. It does not hold up the sky.

    No one knows why the Wall is here, but my grandmother remembers the way it was before the Wall. One day, something came out of the sky, a ship like a folded bird. Then, the Wall was there. Was it made to keep us out, or to keep us in? She does not remember.

    Most people avoid the Wall, altogether. Some say there is no Wall.

    I know the Wall is there. I have touched it. The first time I touched it was a shock, a cold fire running through me. A word flashed in my head. “hello.”

    The Wall does not go on forever. I have climbed it. There are handholds, like a ladder going all the way up to the top of the Wall, hidden in the clouds. One day, I will climb up there. I will climb to the top, and down to the other side. On the other side of the Wall, there is a vast open field. In the middle of the field, there is a ship like a folded bird. Inside the ship, a man sleeps, surrounded by strange humming machinery. He is beautiful, and alien.

    I have seen these things in the words on the Wall. The Wall talks to me. Words appear on its surface, “HELLO DARLING” and if I touch them, they are warm. The Wall becomes alive. It breathes and hums. Words keep forming in a language I cannot read yet.

    But I am learning. I can already read some of the words on the Wall. They tell me the story of the Traveler, where he came from, and why he sleeps, dreaming of distant hills. Some day, I will go to him and I will understand the repairs that must be made. I will know how to send him home. I am learning. The words are a door, opening…

  9. Sal Page says:

    A Sticky Situation

    Wed 7th May
    When I first met Toby I thought we were friends. We had some good chats up by the swings on the green. Then he palled up with stupid-named Suds and turned against me. I’ve had enough now. They call me skank and tramp and worse. Things Mum calls no-no words. And I’m not a slag either. What did I do?

    Thurs 8th May
    Me and Uncle Ben went to the hardware shop. I told him I had to mend Mum’s jug before she gets back from Spain so we bought stuff to fix it. Buy one get one free. Didn’t go online all day. Scared what they might’ve posted.

    Fri 9th May
    I didn’t want to look. I couldn’t help it. I still want to go on Facebook, especially since the twins moved away. Suds had posted a pic of me, tagged me and Toby and all his mates. He put words in my mouth I never said. Words I’d never say. They’re all laughing at me with yellow smileys and lol’s and hahahahahaha’s. I can’t take it.
    13 texts at 4 AM. Switched phone off. How did Suds get my number?

    The Gazette
    A Sticky Situation
    Two boys, aged thirteen and fifteen, were found today super-glued to the sports centre wall. Watched by a crowd of almost a hundred people, they were there for several hours. The older boy was glued by his elbows, phone in hands, and also by his face and feet and the younger by one foot and his hair. Acetone and cutting apparatus were obtained and the boys, who are yet to be named, were released by paramedics. It is unclear how this happened but police are investigating.

    Saturday 10th May
    Haha. I did it. Well, WE did it! Couldn’t have done it without my girls. Back for the weekend visiting their Gran. Suds was too busy looking at his phone and Toby was peering through the glass. They think that’s where the women’s changing room is and they can see through the glass wall. As if!
    Don’t care about the police. They can do what they like. It was worth it.

    @SalnPage
    360 words

  10. mariemck1 says:

    The Limit
    (224 words)
    Two at a time, they move beyond the queues, beyond the barricade, beyond uniforms, beyond artificial rays of light.
    They stand on the areas marked out for them knowing they are in the soldiers’ sights.
    ‘You’re not looking up,’ says Boy One.
    ‘Don’t know if I can,’ says Boy Two.
    ‘What?’
    ‘I’m afraid it’ll be too beautiful.’
    ‘Of course it’s beautiful. Look! ‘
    ‘I won’t be able to return if I see it.’
    ‘You’re wasting everyone’s time. Photograph it. Memorize it for your kids, their kids. They might never have their
    numbers drawn.’

    30 seconds remaining says the electronic voice.

    Boy Two closes his eyes.
    Turns his face to the  sky above him.
    He deliberates.

    10 seconds remaining.

    The decision made. He opens his eyes to the blue. He smiles. It is worth it.

    Your time at Sky Portion has terminated. Please make your way towards Door Zero.

    Boy One hurries inside.

    We must insist ALL parties make their way to Door Zero. This is your final opportunity.

    We apologise for the short delay at Sky Portion. The area is undergoing some essential maintenance work. We ask that you fully prepare yourselves for Viewings. Failure to do so may result in loss of life. Activity will resume in 5 minutes. Please stay behind designated lines. Your cooperation in this matter is required and appreciated.

    • mariemck1 says:

      Ahh! ‘says the electronic voice’ shouldn’t be in italics

    • Steven M. Stucko says:

      Eerie. That e-voice is in my head now. I love the line “I’m afraid it’ll be too beautiful.”

    • Foy says:

      Oooo! I loved this one. A similar idea tickled my brain but you’ve done a much better job with it. The fact they are nameless plays well into the feel that they are just the next tourists in line for a peek at the sky and losing life is as easy as waiting 2 seconds too long.

    • mariemck1 says:

      Thanks for the lovely comments. Really appreciated.

  11. “Evelyn’s Wall”

    Steven’s eyes darted across the height of the impressive wall. “What is it?” he asked, shuffling closer to Caleb.

    Caleb said nothing. He held his phone higher, spastically jerking it from side to side, as if he were recording a racquetball game.

    Steven trailed him, watching the wall for what he clearly wasn’t seeing. “Dude?”

    Caleb shushed him. “You don’t see it?”

    A sudden burst of fear skittered up his spine, and Steven tried to find the exact spot his brother was looking at. “I don’t know! What is it?”

    Caleb took a step back and his body stiffened, causing the fear to harden in Steven’s stomach, taking hold of his nerves.

    “Caleb, what?” he said, attempting to sound more impatient than frightened. He grabbed his brother’s arm, trying to steady the phone enough to examine the screen, but there was nothing there—just the wall.

    “S-Steve…” Caleb trailed off, his tense gaze still glued to the screen. His arm flailed at Steven until he caught a fistful of his t-shirt, and tugged him as he started backtracking faster. “We shouldn’t have come…” His voice hitched at something Steven still couldn’t see. “We shouldn’t be here.”

    “It’s just a wall…” Steven shook his head as if denying something no one was saying. “It’s a ghost story, man!” But his faked, brave exterior cracked when horror replaced the color in his older brother’s eyes.

    “It’s not… Steve, ru—” But his warning was cut short. The phone smacked to the concrete several feet away, as if he’d thrown it. But Steven knew he hadn’t. Caleb shrieked and reached for his brother as his body was snatched and snapped midair, like a whip.

    Steven tried to move, but his heavy terror held him, fusing him to the concrete. Blood appeared where it didn’t make sense, and he watched as his brother’s body was shredded, only managing a whimper.

    What was left of Caleb’s skin slithered across the ground and inch-by-inch disappeared, as if it were being eaten, leaving only bloody proof behind. The air staled, dead and quiet. Steven stood stupefied, and his eyes fell to the blood-spattered phone at his feet.

    (360 Words)

  12. Foy says:

    Foy
    @db_foy
    WC: 359

    HOW MAN KEPT HIS MORTALITY

    What worth is there in godhood when there are none to magnify us? Perhaps we were indolent in letting man pass from life in falling fire. Who would go to Mictlan and fetch us their remnants that we may restore our worshipers to flesh and breath?

    Quetzalcoatl, of handsome heart and quick mind, presented himself. His chest, more marvelous than bronze mountains, was covered in the feathers of a quetzel bird; while his legs, treelike, were wrapped in serpent skin. His voice boomed in accepting the challenge, “I and my brother Xolotl will go, convince the Lord of the Dead to release his charges, and return here to lay their bones at your feet.”

    Xolotl shifted his diminutive frame further into darkness. If his head were not helmeted in the skull of an ocelot, that divine session might’ve seen the envy lighting his eyes. Escorting the sun and the dead to Mictlan was his task and his alone. While Quetzalcoatl could guide that immortal orb back to his throne in the heavens, he had no right to the same with man.

    But the gods loved his fairer brother. To Mictlan, they would go.

    Cautiously, Xolotl lead them until they reached the northern gates. While Quetzalcoatl surveyed the unmountable bulwark, his polar twin knelt and whispered ancient words to the earth. Those fearful doors appeared, gaping like the jaws of a snake.

    “After you, Brother…” Xolotl said and followed in shadow. Through catacombs and caves they weaved, until at last tunnels opened into cavern and there, the Underlord and his woman sat throned in death.

    “What brings Morning and Evening Star unbidden?” Mictlantecuhtli asked, and the eyes strung about his neck lolled, piercing the Unwelcomed with sightless gaze.

    “We’ve come to bear hence the remnants of man, to recreate them that they may adore us.” Quetzalcoatl answered.

    Mictlantecuhtli scoffed. “I see no profit in this for me.”

    “You’re name would be venerated among them.” Quetzalcoatl, god of justice and mercy, knew little of guile; less still did he know of his brother envious heart.

    Xolotl locked gaze with the Underlord, setting him at ease.

    He spoke, “I have a proposition…”

  13. WITNESS

    Brian S Creek
    354 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    “Tell me again what you think you saw.”

    “I – I don’t understand. Please, I just want to see my brother. Where’s Tony?”

    “Kid, this is bigger than your brother. Hell, it’s bigger than all of us. Safety of the whole God damn world’s at stake. Now tell me what happened.”

    “But –“

    “Now!”

    “Okay, okay. So me and my brother, we were out by the river, the one that goes through Mr Jackman’s farm on the other side of town. He don’t mind us going down there so long as we let him know. Which we did.”

    “And what did you see?”

    “I don’t know?”

    “Don’t mess around with me kid. I can make you disappear real easy.”

    “Wait! I’m not playing. What I mean is, I don’t know what ‘it’ was. But it was big, real big; hurt my neck just to try and see how high it went.”

    “Did you go near it?”

    “Two kids with nothing else to do on a hot July day but fish? ‘Cause we did.”

    “And?”

    “It was like a big metal wall, smooth as a baby’s behind. Cold to the touch and it hummed like a refrigerator.”

    “Did it do anything?”

    “Other than just sitting there? Nope.”

    “And did anything come out?”

    “Out?”

    “I’m sorry, am I speaking French? Out. Did anything come out from this structure?”

    “No sir, I didn’t see nothing like that. ‘Cept-”

    “Except what?”

    “These was this clanging noise. It happened when Tony got his phone out to film the thing, so he could prove to the guys at school what we saw. Next thing I know there’s this light.”

    “Coming from where?”

    “The wall, it’s the panel right in front of us. It lit up like a cinema screen.”

    “And that’s it? You saw a wall and it’s shone its night light on you?”

    “Look, that’s all I remember. I blacked out and woke up here. Now, please, I want to see my brother.”

    “Sorry, kid. No can do. There was no sign of your brother, only you. The ship’s gone too.”
    “Ship? What ship?”

    “Let’s just say, we’re not alone.”

    • Foy says:

      Brian, I love the voices here. Through dialog alone you’ve managed to breathe life into both of them and they’re so clearly distinct. This played out like a scene from a movie.

  14. necwrites says:

    Pointed View
    359 words
    @rowdy_phantom

    “Think we’ll recognize him?” Todd asks, elbow on knees.

    Waylan hesitates. Todd poses things as questions but winces whenever someone actually replies. This one’s probably not a real question either, the way Todd’s scanning the clouds and not the people.

    “Of course,” Waylan says. As the courtyard fills with corporate lunchers, though, he’s not so sure. He flicks a cherry blossom into the inverted fountain. It swirls to the center and disappears, like in a toilet.

    “He had a face like the side of a cliff,” Todd notes.

    Whatever that’s supposed to mean, thinks Waylan. None of the suits on the brushed steel benches matches the description cliff-face. Waylan remembers a smooth cheek marred by missed tufts of beard, some smaller than a hangnail, enough to tickle like crazy the rare times Daddy rough-housed. Back before he left. “Wonder if he’s gotten any better at shaving.”

    Todd raises an eyebrow at Waylan, then snorts.

    “What are we going to say?” asks Waylan, a real question that he’s been asking himself since they got the tip. All he could come up with was: Why?

    “That he’s an ass but he’s still Dad.”

    Todd surges to his feet and Waylan hops up next to him, trying to follow his focus. “You see him?” Waylan whispers, but Todd just strides right up to the skyscraper, fishing his phone from his pocket.

    “Now that’s a cool perspective,” Todd murmurs, snapping shots upward to catch the parallel lines of the building as it approaches a vanishing point beyond the clouds.

    Waylan sighs, bored of the view the second he’s noted it. Instead, he drops his gaze to the concrete. Tiny imperfections scrawl layers of graffiti in gray. He envisions the planks used to mould this particular square, the blemishes that it’s accrued since and how they came to be there. How time alters details, yet the thing remains essentially constant.

    Waylan gasps and turns back to the benches surrounding the fountain. There! The man shoveling noodles from a take-out box into his thin lips.

    Next to him, he hears Todd suck his breath in through his teeth.

    “There he is,” the brothers say together.

    • Foy says:

      There are so many little things about this that I love, Nancy. “Todd poses things as questions but winces whenever someone actually replies. This one’s probably not a real question either…” ““He had a face like the side of a cliff,” “That he’s an ass but he’s still Dad.”

  15. zevonesque says:

    The Silent Wall
    A.J. Walker

    Spring had sprung and Ethan was feeling euphoric as he walked towards Market – it wasn’t just the weather, he was looking forward to coffee with Sam where they would start to sort out the arrangements for the summer music festival.

    “Hey there!” Ethan called, when he saw Sam ahead of him heading towards the cafe.

    Sam turned with his wide cheeky grin. “Tickets out today!”

    “It’s going to be epic.”

    Ethan caught up with Sam and the two shook hands, mirroring each other’s grins.

    “Epic, indeed,” said Sam. “Checked out the latest line up? A-may-zing.”

    The men almost skipped down the road to the junction with Market.

    “Jeez, what the…” Sam said. The pair stopped.

    Ethan looked up at the grey monolithic wall which now filled his vision, his mouth agape as he turned right and left. He could see stretch out along Market and beyond. Sam got his phone out to check if his Twitter feed had anything about this sudden wall – there was no signal.

    “You seen this?” Said Ethan. “I mean, before today?”

    Sam shook his head. “I came down here yesterday… I think. I’ve certainly been down this week, there wasn’t even any construction work going on.”

    Ethan nodded. “I was down here Wednesday too. Same.”

    Ethan started to photograph the mysterious wall.

    It was smooth, cold – and gigantic; it was impossible to visualise its height.

    “I’m at a loss to see when this could have built.” Said Sam.

    Ethan turned to him. “Or, what it’s for.”

    They proceeded to walk along what was Market flummoxed by what they were seeing. The wall turned down Main Street then went south along First Avenue.

    “Is it to keep us out or them in?” said Ethan.

    Sam stopped.

    “Who’s them? And more to the point what would that make us?”

    When they got to Hillside and looked towards the river they could see the wall snake for miles.

    “It’s bizarre. I can’t work out if it’s around us or around something else. It’s not even a political boundary.”

    Sam shrugged.

    Ethan looked at Sam. “Have you seen anyone else today? I don’t remember hearing another soul.”

    (360 words)
    @zevonesque

    #FlashDogs

    • Foy says:

      Wow, the contrast from start to finish it stark! With the word “spring” I was hearing birds, laughing people, smelling flowers then by the end of it, realized it was all self-projected with the line, “I don’t remember hearing another soul.”” Chilling.

  16. I know it is after the time cut off. I wanted to give this prompt a try though. This is my first attempt at flash fiction and I just wanted to practice before I officially entered a contest. I would like to know what you think. Constructive criticism is welcomed. I would love to start writing more flash fiction. This is really fun.

    (355 words)

    Disconnected

    “Come on!” Logan said, slightly agitated. They had been going to the corner store but stopped along the way six times so Hank could take pictures. He was obsessed with his new phone and was convinced that he had to take as many pictures as he could and post them to build his “following”.

    “Just a minute, I need to get this shot.”

    Logan let out a sigh hoping his brother would hear his impatience. He kicked the wall, putting his hands in his pocket. The fall air was crisp and cool and the morning breeze brought the smell of leaves to Logan’s nose. Taking a deep breath, he let out another sigh.

    “OK, got it.” Hank started walking again, His head bent down still staring at his phone. Logan watched his brother in amazement as he avoided every obstacle without even looking up. A trash can, a dog lifting his leg on a parking meter, a plastic cup.

    “Hank?”

    “Yeah?”

    Logan hesitated. He didn’t know how to broach the subject but it had been eating at him all night. He looked over at Hank, still lost in his phone, and wondered if it bothered him too. It didn’t seem to. Nothing seemed to bother him. As long as he had his friends and his followers, Hank never seemed to care about anything else.

    “Do you think mom and dad are gonna get a divorce?”

    “What? Why?”

    “Because they have been fighting. Last night they were screaming at each other for the third night in a row.”

    “Really? I didn’t notice.” Just as he said that Logan yanked on his arm, pulling him over a few feet.

    “Hey! Why did you do that?”

    Logan pointed behind Hank at a runner that was disappearing around the corner. Hank shrugged and went back to his phone, not seeming to care that he almost collided with her. Logan kicked a pebble out of his path and pulled the door to the store open. Hank went in, still not even looking at his surroundings.

    “I wouldn’t worry about it. They always fight. Hey look! Fifty likes in three minutes!”

  17. […] first attempt at flash fiction. This is in response to a prompt by The Angry Hourglass. The challenge was to write a story inspired by the photo prompt and it had to be 360 words or less […]

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