Flash Frenzy Round 93

Posted: February 6, 2016 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Are you ready for your Round 93 prompt? I bet you are, seeing as it’s a bit on the tardy side (my apologies). This weekend Sal Page is judging your stories.

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 93

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

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Comments
  1. stephellis2013 says:

    On the Edge

    318 words

    @el_Stevie
    #FlashDog

    “Don’t,” said Julia as Mark stepped down from the ledge.

    “Don’t what?” he asked, halted by the pull of her hand, her refusal to move.

    “Don’t go there.” Julia looked at the beautifully arched windows, the sparkling glass, the lights that were slowly coming on as night began to fall, the growing, gnawing darkness behind it all and shivered.

    “Come on,” said Mark, trying to urge her forward but still she resisted.

    “It’s not even on the map,” she said. “How could it be so big, so very much here and not even be on the map?”

    “An oversight,” he laughed.

    “Well, it’s a pretty big oversight,” she said, looking round for the taxi driver who had dropped them off.

    “He’s gone,” said Mark, noticing the direction of her gaze. “I told him there was no need to wait, we’d stay here tonight. I’m sure we’ll find a room. The place seems empty enough.”

    That was it, she thought. The emptiness. It didn’t feel right, natural. The city was a veneer, a perfect front hiding something, something that was waiting – waiting for them.

    She glanced again at the windows. How like eyes they appeared to be, watching, contemplating, predatory.

    “Look, I’ll go on ahead,” he said. “It’ll be alright.” Mark gave her a smile and headed off across the courtyard which now rolled itself out towards them like an empty tongue.

    She wanted to stop him, to run after him and pull him back but found she could not move.

    She tried to call out but no sound came from her mouth. It was as if nothing was permitted to break the silence of that moment.

    Instead she could only watch helplessly as the tongue rolled him up into the city’s belly, grinding, chewing, swallowing him down until there was nothing left.

    Except Julia standing alone on the edge of darkness.

    And the lights went out one-by-one.

  2. A V Laidlaw says:

    @AvLaidlaw
    347 Words

    Tourists

    Throughout the tour, the American tourist with sunburnt shoulders sits at the front of the bus and tells me she’s loving her trip to my country. “So much history,” she says in the breathless way of all tourists, “so spiritual.”

    She’s first off when we arrive at the City of Statues. The silence is only broken by the slap of her ridiculous sandals against the pavement as she runs towards the nearest statue, a young man in crisp white shirt and shorts, hands casually in pockets and a clever expression as he gazes across the park. A handsome one. I’m not surprised she chose it first.

    I sit on the step of the bus and drink tea from my thermos.

    “Hi,” she says to the statue. They always do, believing that the statues with their exquisite detail, the beads of sweat on their foreheads and the fine hairs on their arms, are not inanimate but real people playing a role who will eventual break and smile and reply to them. Perhaps they were people once. Nobody knows.

    The statue remains silent. She walks around it, an animal sensing something is out of place. She lifts her arm, stretches her fingers and brushes the crisp linen of his shirt before snatching her hand back. The statue doesn’t move. She steps back and lifts her phone to take a photograph. She hesitates. She put the phone back into her bag and walks away across the park, glancing back over her shoulder as if expecting to see the statue move, betray itself, when she’s not looking.

    A dusty twilight falls over the city. The tourists troop back. Really, after the first statue, there isn’t much to do here. “Not a single living thing in the whole city,” the American woman says to me.

    “Depends what you mean by living.”

    The rest of them are aboard the bus but I sit and finish my tea, and gaze at the statue of the handsome man as I do every time, waiting for a wave or a flash of recognition in his eyes.

  3. “Nervous”
    332 Words
    @jaimeburchardt

    “Ricky, come on, it’s getting dark soon. Let’s go back to the room.”

    “Soon, my love. Soon.”

    “I’m exhausted from the drive. Aren’t you? Baby, you said we were gonna get some room service and…Ricky?”

    “Yes?”

    “Don’t.”

    “Don’t what?”

    “Don’t do what you promised you wouldn’t do.”

    “Sweetie, I really don’t know what you mea—PEOPLE OF NIGHT, YOUR SOULS WILL BE MINE!”

    “Oh for the love of god…”

    “Tremble as your blood will soon belong to me! Your veins, your necks, will not have a single place to hide!”

    “And you’re waiving the finger, fantastic.”

    “SOON the city will literally run red with the blood of your pathetic beings!”

    “That makes no sense, why would you swim in the food you need to—wait, no! Ricky!”

    “Get in line for the best sucking of your life! AND YOU’RE LAST!”

    “RICKY!”

    “AND AL—also, wait, what sweetie?”

    “God…damn it, Ricky. You promised.”

    “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.”

    “We just got here. Just…got here. A brand new city, a fresh start for both of us. And you’re pulling this shit? You’re not a vampire! And even if you were, vampires don’t announce their arrivals.”

    “Angela, I’m so sorry. I just…I get so nervous!”

    “Baby, so do I, trust me. I’m freaking out inside! We don’t know our surroundings, or the actual amount of security in the parks. We still have a lot to research in the next few days! But—baby, look at me.”

    “Angela…”

    “As long as I have you, as long as you are with me, I’m not afraid of anything.”

    “Sweetie…”

    “Breathe, baby.”

    “You know I feel the same. I do.”

    “Good. Now let’s take a moment, go to the hotel, and relax tonight. Room service, maybe a movie, and just…be in the moment.”

    “Ok. Ok. We just have so much to do before the next full moon.”

    “Yes, we do. But, not tonight. Now come. Even freaks need to unwind.”

    “Yes, my beautiful shredder. Let’s go.”

    “Rick, stop.”

  4. A.J. Walker says:

    Tourist Class
    A.J. Walker

    Paula looked down on Cosmo. He was standing on the grass below the wall with his hands in his horrible tight white shorts. Paula was struggling putting on the act more than usual this weekend. She’d spent so long with him now the trust fund boy was almost hers. If she could just hang on that little bit longer all her efforts would be well rewarded.

    Cosmo looked across the city beneath them trying to decide whether he should sound disdainful, or like he was lucky to be able to buy so much of it if he – should want to.

    “It’s not a bad place I suppose.” said Cosmo. “I mean considering some of the poor people who live here.

    Paula said nothing. She was happy though to notice his dandruff seemed to be getting worse.

    “I’ve been speaking to daddy and his estates guys and they reckon there are only two streets worth investing in, or being seen on.”

    Paula put her hand on his shoulder.

    “Oh Cosmo, have you been looking at houses? It’s such an amazing town. I’d love to be here near the centre of things.”

    “The yacht club here is so lame though. Dad’s going to have to understand I’ll need the private jet to get over to the Caribbean many weekends.”

    Paula was not bothered by the yacht or the boys he played with there. The house, the shops, the restaurants. Rich friends. It was coming together.

    “So, have you seen any houses you like?”

    “Bought one already actually.”

    Paula was startled. “Without me. Such a big decision. What if I don’t like it?”

    Cosmo turned to Paula and looked up at her pretty porcelain face. “Well Paula, it’s like this. It’s been fun and all that. And you have looked very nice on my arm from time to time, but it’s time for me to move on. Trade up as it were.”

    He fumbled in his pockets before producing his wallet. “Look here’s a ticket back home. It’s first class of course. Wouldn’t send you any other way. But maybe after this you better get used to going tourist again.”


    WC 357
    @zevonesque

  5. Walking in my girlfriend’s shoes.
    word count 319
    @fae_fielding

    The time had come to open the door.

    The moment they first met they discovered a common ground which bound them together.
    Theirs was a freedom which kept them a prisoner.
    Consider their careers for instance.

    He; a fire fighter.

    She; a model.

    They discussed the expectations which accompanied their roles.
    “You have a heroic career and the appearance of a Greek God, but you’re complaining because you attract too many women? Is it such a hard status to live up to?”
    “It’s all right for you,” he said, “all you have to do is dress, be natural and pose for the camera.”
    “You want to try walking in these shoes.” She said.

    So he did.

    He liked it.

    His inner gaoler locked him in the room with the black dog, swallowed the key until he was ready to take charge.

    “Why don’t you leave me here?” He said.

    “Your prison is my prison.” She said.

    He looked deep into her eyes, saw his reflection mirrored in there and cried.
    He rested his head on her shoulder and played with her long, thick brown hair.

    “I am feeling how you are feeling.” She said

    “That is exactly how it is.” He said.

    Being caged, cooped up in one small room, is a lonely existence but now the door was unlocked.

    “Let’s go.” He said.

    She turned to glance at the pile of long brown hair, on the tiled floor by the sink. Tentatively she lifted her arm to smooth her palm over the newly cropped style, before she dug her hands into her trouser pockets with confidence.
    In contrast he flicked his long fair hair from his shoulder, and smoothed down his dress.
    Holding hands, they stepped out onto the sunlit road, and faced the town.
    They’d found their freedom, unlocked the chains binding them to expectations.

    Each walked forward and onward, heads held high, in their girlfriend’s shoes.

  6. stevenstucko says:

    TRANSACTION (360 words)

    Vicky and Michael stood at the top of the steps and stared out over the still sleeping city; their gaze transfixed on the dawn’s light shining off the buildings in front of them. A few taxis honk their horns in the muffled distance and early morning birds chirp and coo around them.

    “I’ve always liked this time of day best. The tourists haven’t woken up yet, the buses and mopeds haven’t started clogging the streets with pollution, and the pigeons haven’t taken over the plaza.” Vicky shifted her weight from leg to leg. Her feet were killing her but her short summer dress was not something one sat down in, especially on cold dewy steps.

    Michael’s eyes followed an airplane in the distance and wondered if he should be on it. The vacation had been scheduled for two weeks but it felt like he had over stayed his welcome. The city, the people, even the food and booze seemed to have stopped being exciting and new. The trip was to get a change of scenery and now he wanted nothing more than to lay in his own bed in his own house in his own city.

    “What are you thinking about honey? You look like you’re far far away.” Vicky reached over and took his hand in hers. She leaned in and gave him a playful nudge.

    Michael cleared his throat. “Nothing. I’m just thinking of home and all the things I have on my desk when I get back. I’m thinking of the kids, I told them I’d bring them back something and I haven’t picked up anything yet. I’m thinking about all the things I wanted to do on this vacation and put off ‘til the last minute…”

    “Well, I’m glad we met honey,” Vicky said. “I can really use the work. I’m starting my hormone treatments this week and my insurance doesn’t cover it.”

    “You still have all your original parts though, right?” Michael asked.

    “All that God gave me. You ready to go?” Vicky said.

    “Let’s do this.”

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