Flash Frenzy Round 86

Posted: November 21, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Welcome back! This weekend the lovely and talented Sal Page is our 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

  1. stephellis2013 says:

    Time to Go

    359 words


    Rain drummed down with a relentless beat, a liquid curtain on glass obscuring the view beyond. Try as he might, Aiden could see nothing but shadows lurking outside. Occasionally one would move, stand and stare in his direction and then drop back in a never-ending waiting game. Only a solitary security light kept the darkness at bay but everyday the shadows crept a little closer.

    Aiden shrank back from the window, pulled the blanket tight around him.

    Keeping his head down he scuttled over to his wife’s side, their son clasped tight in her arms. They looked so cold. He took the blanket from his shoulders and gently wrapped it round them so that only his wife’s grey face could be seen above its edge.

    Her eyes begged him to let them go.

    But he couldn’t do that. He couldn’t be on his own.

    Night gave way to an overcast dawn and the shadows disappeared … yet the darkness was still there whilst in the distance headlights flickered as cars slowly began to fill the highway for another day’s commute. A slow rumble, orange eyes heading his way, gravel crunching beneath car wheels. Then footsteps. Voices.

    “He may be a psycho but he’s not mad enough to come back here, is he?”

    “It’s his home.”

    “But his wife left months ago, as soon as they heard he’d broken out.”

    “Looks deserted, better check it out though.”

    The two voices drifted off, occasionally rattling a door handle or peering through a window until they’d done a circuit and were back at the front door.

    “Nothing. Completely pointless as per usual.”

    “Think it’s about time we got in touch with his missus?”

    “Yeah, Betty’s got her new address. She’s written her a couple of times but no reply yet. Probably busy settling in.”

    “Can’t harm to warn her though. Just in case he is heading down that way.”

    Aiden heard their footsteps fade. The car drove away. It was time for him to go, to join his family. He crept under the blanket, held the rigid bodies of his wife and child for one last time. Then he pulled the trigger.

  2. A Selective Invitation

    Casey has heard the rumours. They whisper ear to ear, though no-one knows where they started. They are simply there, existing independent, where before they were not. They tell of the play, sometimes scripted within a play, which is, perhaps, not a play at all but a bacchanalia – or the staging of scraps promising hidden stories, a dreaming made flesh for those beholding it, as its circumference surrounds them, lover-like tight. No-one knows who has attended. Such secrets remain close.

    The invitation arrives unmarked, bearing her name. The envelope’s flap is sealed shut with cinnabar wax; its edges spilling outwards like blood. Casey breaks it open, reading the few words. An address; a time.


    With the Witching Hour, Casey steps over the building’s threshold and into the dimly lit corridor. Torches flare, flames rising. Hesitant, she steps forward, as a hand grasps her right shoulder firmly from behind. Whirling, Casey sees blank wall, where the entrance existed – a table and top hat balanced on its surface. Frowning, she draws the thick card, crumpled, from her pocket, placing it within the coloured lining of the hat. As she does so, silver lit stars fall from the ceiling, covering the floor.

    A grating sound from behind causes Casey to turn counter-clockwise where a door stands open before her. She walks towards it, heels clicking quickly, a sudden breeze at her back. She glances behind her, before walking on.

    The room inside is a chaotic cascade of masks, grotesques hanging theatrical companion to blackout sleep and Venetian. Casey pulls one from its red ribbons, placing it over her face. As she does so, the scent of caramel, accompanied by the salt of fresh tears reaches her nostrils and sooty smoke curls around her body. As it unwinds, she sees the black and white coated man, proffering a horn and ivory box with gloved hands. She nods in response, holding hers out. From shadows, hounds form to lie panting at her feet.


    Casey writes a name, an address, sealing the envelope with carmine tinged wax. The dreaming reveals itself to those who accept its invitation. Midnight shares it secretly with selective dreamers.

    (360 words)


  3. Voima Oy says:

    Mountains Moving
    242 words

    You’ll find the Dark Cloud Cafe right by the el stop. You can hear the passing trains. Best coffee in the city, some say. It has that old bohemian vibe from the beatnik days. There’s improv jazz on friday nights, open mic readings on Wednesdays.

    The Dark Cloud Cafe is the labor of love of Desmond Arroyo. A jazz musician himself, he’s been known to sit in on the improv nights, plays a sweet clarinet, you should hear him. Desmond plays the heartbreak of the world. He’ll tell you about it if you listen.

    Anyway, Desmond was looking for new talent. I though of Mr.Jesse who plays in the subway. He’s from Mongolia he says. He plays for the crowds who record him on their phones.

    His family raised cashmere goats. I asked him once if he missed the mountains, the goats, the Himalayan winters. “There are mountains here,” he said. “and winters.”

    He came from a family of throat-singers. Mr. Jesse’s grandfather was a master. He could sing four notes at once. Jesse said he could do two, maybe three sometimes. He was still learning. Modesty aside, I persuaded him to come with me to the Dark Cloud and play for Desmond.

    It was like a meeting of two proud birds, circling high over the city. Jesse sang and Desmond played. Outside, snow was falling and I could hear the vibrations of the passing trains. I could feel the mountains moving.

  4. Voima Oy says:

    Just missed the deadline! But I wanted to post this story anyway…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s