Flash Frenzy Round 107

Posted: May 14, 2016 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Greetings, FlashDogs. I hope this weekend finds you well and that you had an enjoyable Friday the 13th. I am currently deep in the midst of StokerCon 2016 in the flashy land of Las Vegas, so responses to edit requests may be more delayed than usual. Marie McKay is this weekend’s presiding 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.

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Photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

 

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Comments
  1. steve lodge says:

    Seamist Bay (358 words)
    by Steve Lodge
    @steveweave71

    Hackett made his way gingerly over the dunes above Sand Point in the half light, cursing his stupidity. Larissa Rogers had promised they’d be together if Hackett would just get rid of her abusive husband. He may have messed this up. He readily admitted that he was as clumsy as a fat acrobat.

    Ascending onto the beach at Seamist Bay, he saw what had once been the best beach in the region now littered with detritus, poisoned fish and homeless guys. Coming towards him was a large dog with something in his mouth. It was a severed hand that the dog was chewing on.

    With sinister purpose, a killer returns to the scene of his crime. Somewhere here lies the body of Dr Rogers, shot by Hackett as Rogers jogged along the beach. Unfortunately for Hackett, on moving the body to a more secluded spot, his gun fell from his pocket, which he only realises while drinking beer in The Haunted Poacher.

    Along the beach a bonfire blazes. Guys gulp tins of beer, staring vacantly into the fire, embers and ash agitated by the soft sea breeze.

    From nowhere a figure appears, punching Hackett in the face. He awoke in a hospital room, his mouth very dry. He tries to speak. A scruffy man in a porkpie hat appears with a nurse.

    “I’m Inspector Lo Fat, Sand Point CID. I go through what I know. You fill in gaps, OK? John Hackett. Found at Seamist Bay. You have broken nose, some deep bites from dog, your gun and a severed hand in your pockets. 2 bullet wounds in your groin. By your side, body of blond lady, mid 30’s. 2 bullets in her head. Will send all bullets to Four and Six.”

    “Four and Six?” Hackett tries to ask.

    “Not Four and Six. Forensics. Too soon for jokes? OK. Nurse says you need rest. I wait in hospital coffee shop. So beautiful. The lights of Christmas already shining to help visitors in their pain. Mmm.” Lo Fat leaves the room.

    The nurse moves to bedside.

    “Just rest, Mr Hackett. Dr Rogers will be in to see you shortly.”

  2. Looking For Love, #27

    Benny was the shortest blind date I ever had: I looked through the window of the bar – vacant, like his eyes – and made a run for the subway home.

    31 words
    @bartvangoethem

  3. stephellis2013 says:

    Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

    360 words

    @el_Stevie
    #FlashDog

    “Evening, Anson. Working you late tonight are they?”

    “Yeah,” said Anson, thinking of Kim and Tommy, both home and waiting for him. “You know how it is.”

    The guard nodded sympathetically, let him into the silently waiting warehouse. Anson crossed the vast empty space. If he was quick he’d be back in time to read Tommy’s bedtime story.

    We’re going on a bear hunt, he chanted softly to himself. He’d read it so many times he knew it off by heart.

    A plastic curtain cordoned off his workspace. No glamorous office for Anson but his boss was a great believer in keeping his workers happy and so the lights glowed purple tonight. Anson had once mentioned how relaxing he found the colour.

    His phone buzzed. Kim reminding him to pick up Tommy’s bike. He would be three on Sunday.
    Anson parted the curtain and stepped through. The prisoner’s wrists were raw from his struggles but now he sat mute and hopeless, his defeated gaze fixed on somewhere beyond Anson.

    Birthday cake, thought Anson as he moved the prisoner over to the chains. Chocolate.

    He stripped the still silent prisoner and pulled the chains tight rendering the unfortunate man immobile.

    His phone buzzed again. Could he pick up some pork for dinner? She was going to cook his favourite Mexican dish, cochinita pibil. His mouth watered at the thought.

    Anson opened his toolkit and picked out his favourite small knife. In one swift action, he cut the man’s throat. Skin flayed from a living victim had a better quality than that taken from the dead but there was no time for that tonight.

    Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

    He started with the face, peeling the skin away carefully.

    And eyes and ears and mouth and nose …

    Blood trickled down the man’s chest. A nice Rioja would go well with dinner.

    At last he’d finished.

    He tossed a package into his holdall – it would save a trip to the butcher’s at least – and turned out the lights.

    “’Night, Anson,” said the guard, locking up after him. “Have a good weekend.”

    Anson smiled. It had already got off to a great start.

  4. Mark A. King says:

    Fair e_lights

    @making_fiction

    76 words

     

    She once worked in seedy bars filled with metastasis smoke,

    Now she lines the mirror in ridges, as razor blade slices coke.

    Her girl waits downstairs—mouldy sandwiches in Pepper Pig lunch box,

    Ambulance-lights colour Happy Meal toys, as paramedics smash well-worn locks.

    The girl once dreamed of iPhones, and fairy-light curtains draped over a four-poster bed,

    Strange men float on e-cig clouds—they fill the girl’s thoughts;  they’re in the house, in her head.

  5. Richard Edenfield says:

    365 Mirrors
    _________________

    This was the trick.

    I set up 365 small mirrors from string that I hung from the ceiling. It looked like those places that sold 60’s rock posters & bongs. Head shops. Or massage parlors that dazzled you with the promise of relaxation. But this was my photography studio on West 59th street in Manhattan. A place my father owned when he became a successful photographer for Life magazine in the 50’s.

    I set it up so my image would reflect off the mirror in front of me and essentially ricochet off every other small mirror strategically placed till the final result was captured.

    This was the trick.

    My father made a photo book called ‘365 days a year,’ that was a present for my mother on Christmas of 1959. In it he had photos of me and my family at play or on vacation or other things. He was never home, so few of the photos were of him. It was like a calendar of absence.

    The domino effect of life. How each event hit another till the last block fell. My life. All my affections returning to myself. All the loss. Victory. Leafing through an issue looking for a name. Something that let me know who I was. Where I belonged.

    My camera pointed toward a small mirror at my feet. I sat still. Looked straight ahead. Tried to see into the past. Tried to find answers. Tried to let go. My finger gently descended on the button. A marginal click like a hunter taking out the last of a species.

    The silence of 730 eyes staring into one another, each blinking, till the last lid fell amputating another abandoned moment.
    _________________________________

    (283 words)
    grxhauntedengine04@gmail.com

  6. Richard Edenfield says:

    Coffin Convertables Hanging

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Light dropped like candles from corners of the night with a black ooze of evening sweat running down the table face and windows and eyes caressing a menu that winked with reflections of laughter and crystal glasses torching air with delicate sirens. Her eyes performed surgery on each and every moment turning each second out like refurbished automobiles.
    Wine swaying in oversized bottles. Christmas in June. The doors were hanging off. In little Italy in NYC. We fell into this place. A restaurant dressed like a whore. We became the present.

    Our conversation melted into the talk around us till the place was communicating with a dark hum that protruded down the street. Conversation you can’t make out says everything. A menu you can’t understand could be to your taste. Drug dealers whispering around the corner as if they were on the news.

    I’d no idea what I ordered. I didn’t even know her name. Veal eyes with spaghetti hair. I like red hair. Photos tattooed to walls. Faces pregnant with years and days buried in frames on the wall. An optimistic ground. Coffin convertibles hanging. Eyes staring out. Reading my mind. They have already been here. Left a tip. Experienced savior of desert. Then disappeared.

    Not good on dates. I start talking about my can opener I bought at a thrift store. She seems very interested in can openers. I notice that when women are not paying attention they seem very interested. Women have been interested in me my whole life. The food comes and we eat.

    There’s a bright rhapsody playing blue and purple notes all around us as we finish. The wine has rounded us off. We become like two children playing in a sandbox. We create silence together. A wonderful hushed castle is built. It stares at us with countless windows. It’s alone. It’s made of purple rain. Of wine and dreams. A slow dripping flower of time.

    I start the car and put the top down. The keys hang like chimes on the porch of eternity from the ignition. We hear the voices of the restaurant fade as if jeans stone washed with a headstone.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    (360 Words)
    grxhauntedengine04@gmail.com

  7. Solitary Pleasure by Jeff Rowlands
    @jeffnuggets
    360 words

    He walked down the street. So much time gone. Some things shockingly familiar, he had mixed feelings about being here, it had some happy memories but it was also the place that had betrayed him.

    Some things had changed, he felt out of place, a visitor from another age. People passed him indifferently, maybe noticing his slightly eccentric dress but nobody’s interest was piqued, no person’s gaze lingered but that suited him anyway.

    He looked for the old café where he used to take her, where the gang met. There were a few eateries but none of them looked right. How many of his crowd remained? What had happened to her? She had kept in touch for a short while after he went but the letters soon stopped, he was not a man to beg so he stopped thinking of her.

    She had been resurfacing lately though as his time to return approached. He realised that there was an emptiness inside that had never quite gone, he just managed to stop it echoing around his head.

    He entered the only open place. He could treat himself to breakfast, another solitary pleasure. The fairy lights were incongruous but he took his seat and waited to be served, studied the menu.

    The absent minded waitress had switched them on forgetting they were usually reserved for the evenings. She eyed her sole patron sourly, surely this was not his sort of place? She bounded over to him impatiently, took his order wordlessly and strutted back to the counter.

    He looked like he wanted conversation and she could do without that, still recovering from another late night. He should have been offended but something in her eyes and her bearing made him think of her. Happier times.

    She switched on the stereo, it blasted out Latin music. Too loud, she glanced at him, he was tapping his foot perfectly in time with the beat. High volume remained. She took him his coffee, broke into a slight smile, he smiled back and raised his cup to her. She started to dance almost imperceptibly to the music as she made her way back to the bar.

  8. Voima Oy says:

    Inferno
    @voimaoy
    359 words

    She was walking down a tunnel in the subway, high heels clicking on the concrete, when she came to this place. It was a nightclub called Inferno. The man at the door looked like Telly Savalas. “Who loves ya, baby?” only he didn’t say that, and he was smoking.

    “What place is this?” she held on to her white raincoat, as if the belt gave her confidence.

    “What do you think it is?” Smoke rising to the ceiling, where baroque cherubs cleaned the air.

    “Is this a dream?”

    “If you think so.” he inhaled, exhaled. “What do you think?”

    “I don’t know what to think.” She looked around. It was just the two of them amid the empty tables, under the flashing lights. “Am I too late for the show?”

    He laughed and blew a smoke ring. “Baby, you are the show.”

    “Is this a joke? Reality TV?”

    “Not exactly. This is about as real as it gets.”

    She was craving a smoke, now, to hold it her red-nailed hand. “This has to be a dream. I never wear high heels. I don’t have a white raincoat. I don’t have long red fingernails.”

    “Here you do. This is your dream, sweetheart. Do you want to dance? Let’s have some music.”

    A thumping bass, and a chorus line of dancers appeared. She was wearing a sexy purple jumpsuit and high platform shoes.

    A spotlight came on, and her partner appeared. He was dark and handsome in his purple shirt and tight black jeans. They danced, and it was like two bodies moving as one. He led, she followed. She led, he followed. Their faces touched. “Love me, love me,” he whispered.

    She woke up, late, rushing to get ready. She pulled on her jeans and gray sweater. There was time enough for a cup of cold coffee. She headed for the station, running to catch the train.

    The doors closed, and she was packed in with the other passengers. She saw a man in a tan raincoat who looked like Telly Savalas. He winked at her.

    Turning around, she met the dark eyes of the man from the night before.

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