Flash Frenzy Round 119

Posted: December 10, 2016 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Welcome back, writers! I’ve got a shiny new photo prompt to inspire you, and A.J. Walker will determine which of this weekend’s stories will top the Angry Hourglass podium.

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 and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

round 119

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

  1. All Daddy’s Rules

    I watched the two policemen get out of their car and go inside. I’d been hiding in Beth’s place a week. She was out. I might be recognised if I went too. But now I was cornered. No way down. I’d have to go up.
    The last thing I expected was a garden. And the view; the city a magnificent sight in greens and greys, the river a flash of blue brilliance, the pale sky creamy. I longed to explore it, look up at buildings and down into gutters, walk the dark streets all dressed up, go to places Daddy said young women weren’t allowed. I belonged there. I could even smell it.
    I was surprised to see the trampoline and the wooden trunk caught my eye. I yanked it open; juggling balls and clubs, hoops and a bundle of clothes. A plan formed. Daddy never let me have stuff like this. I was to remain indoors and stay quiet.
    He didn’t stay quiet. His opinions and rules echoed in my head.
    I knew why they’d come. I had to move fast.
    As a child I obeyed his rules. What and how to eat, wash, dress, talk, sit, stand and walk. What to do and not to do at all times. Most recently, not to look at boys even if they looked at me, not to wear tops too tight or skirts too short. Never trousers or jeans.
    Instinct told me to put on the red leotard and leggings. Daddy said I shouldn’t wear red. I undid my plait. The breeze played with my hair.
    Voices on the stairs. This was it. I climbed onto the trampoline and began to bounce. I stretched out my arms. Fantastic. I could hear them calling my name.
    Last month I’d realised, in all Daddy’s rules there wasn’t one about not killing him. I laughed for a long time about this.
    Then I did kill him.
    So now I was free. Things would be difficult for a while but I was going to live. In this beautiful city. I’d buy new clothes. I’d cut my hair, grow a beard and finally be a man.

    360 words

  2. alva1206 says:

    Alva Holland
    360 words

    SAD Day

    Do you see that red-brick building between the two trees? Top floor, third window from the left – that’s our apartment. He’s there now, watching me.

    He promised. He stood here with me just last week and promised to love me forever. We wrote our names on the chalkboard in the wall. We drew a heart around them. Of course, the next lovers erased ours and wrote theirs, but that moment was ours and I believed him.

    Until I saw luscious-lips Rosie, the two-timing whore who dared to call herself my friend, wrap her lithe legs around his not-so-reluctant body at three o’clock in the afternoon, in OUR bed, in OUR apartment on Wednesday afternoon at 2.58 precisely – the bedside SAD projection clock lasered the time on my brain in all its LCD redness. Whoever named that clock could see into my future. SAD projection.

    It was meant to be a surprise – I’d bought a new red leotard and a small trampoline, the ones like they use in the gym where luscious-lips works – Christ, why didn’t I cop that?

    I was going to be inventive, you see. He was home for the afternoon – that doesn’t happen very often, so I took time off work and decided to surprise him. Well, he was surprised alright!

    Come to think of it, so was I! I’ve never seen his thighs from that angle – interesting, although a little hidden by buxom-butt herself.

    So, I took my new leotard, my best black tights and my new trampoline and I trekked them right up to the place where he’d promised me the world. Old luscious-lips wasn’t long departing the apartment once I turned up, so I had a chance to tell him my plan.

    ‘In approximately thirty minutes you will see me standing in my leotard on the roof terrace of the Cassius building. I will balance on one leg on the trampoline, spread my arms in the air and shout your name as loud as I can – that’s my way of throwing you off the building. You can watch yourself fall, and then watch me soar.

    I will soar.

    Don’t be here when I get back.’

  3. ewansmithxxx says:

    Ewan Smith
    291 words

    When I Was Very Young

    Tamara glanced at her grandmother out of the corner of her eye. Slowly and with exaggerated control she lowered herself into a splits position on the carpet. She held the pose.
    “Granny,” she said, looking first at one outstretched arm and then the other. “Can you do the splits?”
    Vera gazed down at her grand-daughter and took a sip of her whisky. “I could when I was young.”
    Tamara’s eyes narrowed slightly. She raised herself using her arms and with a smooth flowing movement crossed her legs beneath herself. Stretching over to her bag, she took out her phone. She mirrored the screen and looked at her reflection for a moment. “Were you ever beautiful, Granny?” she asked with studied casualness.
    A corner of Vera’s eyelid twitched. “I was when I was young.”
    A frown flickered across Tamara’s forehead. She turned back to her phone and began flipping through her messages. As she read one, her nostrils flared in amusement. She looked up. “Have you had many boyfriends, Granny?” she asked. “Apart from Grandad, of course.”
    Scraps of memory flashed through Vera’s mind. She felt touched for an instant by a long-forgotten warmth. “I did when I was young.”
    Tamara’s mouth quivered. A smile perhaps, or a sneer. “And those you loved, did you sleep with them?”
    Vera held her gaze for a long moment. She loved her grand-daughter dearly but there were times, looking into Tamara’s eyes, when she wasn’t sure exactly what she saw there.
    Tamara’s face broke into a sudden bright smile. “We’re really quite alike, aren’t we, Granny?”
    There was an endless silence. “Oh no, my dear,” said Vera quietly. “I grew out of playing games with people a long time ago; when I was very young.”

  4. Angelique Pacheco says:

    Word Count: 358

    Dancerella’s Dream

    As a little girl my head was filled with dreams of being a dancer. I dreamed of being on stage.

    Lights! Camera! Action! All the dancers are in place. Flash! The lights illuminate the stage. People move about slowly beginning their part in the scene. A leg begins to show. Flash! A hand unfurls and begins to sway gently. Flash! The smooth skin glows in the light as the dancer begins to move to the tune of the orchestra. Her lace, Spanish skirt billows out as she turns. It flows like satin. Her arms are outstretched as she waits silently. The leading man gently takes her by the hand. All his focus is on her. She allows him to take her by the hand as his eyes move over her body searching, wanting something. Her body moves to his prompting. Her dark hair flows freely as he guides her body to his bidding. He twirls her and lifts her until she feels free.

    My eyes refocus as I come back to reality. I just had one teeny tiny problem. I had the worst stage fright ever. I had run off stage so many times they nicknamed me “Dancerella”. You know, she gets a fright at midnight and runs away from the ball, blah, blah, blah. I was so over it. I needed a plan.

    I decided to take my dancing to the streets. Not to perform, mind you, just to practice. I found a spot that overlooked the city and the harbour and set myself up there. At four a.m. every morning. No one else was up. It was just me, dancing my heart out for the city. My confidence grew. Eventually, I was dancing later as people came past in cars on their way to work. I still got nervous, but I pushed through, telling myself that they would only see me quickly as they whizzed by.

    Walking in a shop one day, I heard a man say, “That’s Dancerella!” I was about to run out when I stopped and looked at him. His eyes were filled with awe as mine filled up with tears of gratitude.

  5. Through Icarus, Kisen And Beyond

    The slim blonde, clothes tight on her hips and torso, whispered into the tall man’s ear as they stood on the tower’s balcony, his companion silent, watching them from a slight distance. Neither paid him any heed as she spoke. Strike cocked his dark head down towards the girl and nodded, looking into the distance. “Icarus,” he replied, without meeting her gaze. With that, the young female spread her arms wide and jumped; a graceful leap over the balustrade towards the city lights below.

    “Shame,” Strike said, leaning over the barrier to look down at the spread eagled silhouette after a moment. “All things considered. Clever little thing. Could’ve found further uses for her, should’ve thought.”

    “Useful assets,” the other man, Cole, agreed, raising a whimsical eyebrow. “Still – we got what we needed. We’re ready to activate and acquire our target?”

    Strike nodded once more. Tapping his ear, he murmured, “Lazarus.” Turning towards his dark haired companion, he added, “raised and live.”

    “She’ll serve her purpose?”

    “Again and again. They’re trained to relentless. Part of their programme. Subject to specification.”

    “Coded to complete the transfer post connection and after the event?”

    “As requested,” Strike confirmed. “If that’s all?”

    “Yes, everything,” Cole said. “So. Seneca, my friend.”

    Strike’s eyes widened, straining, the vessels in his forehead bulging, as he began to struggle for air, gasping.

    “You thought yourself other?” Cole queried, looking directly at the other man without expression. He shook his head. “We have what is needed. You’ve earned your release.”

    Strike clutched his throat, face reddening, before he turned purple. His knees crumpled as he hit the paved floor of the balcony, his gasps making way for sudden silence.

    Cole fumbled in his trouser pocket, pulling out his phone and hitting the first button on speed dial. He listening for a moment after pick up. “Yes,” he said. “Understood.”

    “Kisen,” Cole repeated, reaching into his other pocket, pulling out a cigarette, taking a long drag after lighting it. “Guess you’d gotten what you needed. Guess we all think we’re other. All part of the programme.”

    Cole’s eyelids fluttered as the smoke dissipated and he fell into his release.

    (360 words)



  6. Voima Oy says:

    The Last Summer

    Before the summer changed, the air in the early morning was fresh and full of possibility. Reaching for the sun was an act of love.

    Hedy practiced yoga and she wanted to be a dancer. Gabe used to watch her practice on the roof in the morning. “Come join me,” she said, and they bounced on that trampoline, just for fun. He loved her, I know, even though he knew we were together. He flirted with me, too, calling me his sister.

    How silly these entanglements seem, the needless pain and uncertainty. Does she love me, I wondered making coffee. I envied the two of them.

    I remember the view of the city, how from the roof we could see the lakefront, the train lines. I could see all the way downtown, the office building where I worked as a fie clerk. To the west was the college campus where Gabe was a student of architecture. “Cities are the future,” he would tell us, on the rooftop in the evening.

    And it seemed to me then, the city was the future opening before us, that it didn’t matter if we had no money. All we needed was each other. We were going to be together forever.

    That summer the heat wave wouldn’t stop. Places with air conditioning became the only refuge. The three of us camped out on the roof.

    Every day, Hedy did a rain dance. The sky was merciless blue.

    Then the food riots started. Trucks were hijacked at the edge of the city. We looted the expensive stores. Riot police tried to drive us off with fire hoses. While the city burned, we danced in the spray like kids. Everyone got new phones.

    It was the beginning of the relocation camps. A temporary measure, the news said. I remember the day they came for Gabe and Hedy and me. Hedy was wearing her red leotard. She raised her hands to the sun.

    325 words

  7. stephellis2013 says:

    Praying Mantis

    344 words


    Hungry. I am so hungry. I stand and wait, poised—not in the shadows—but in broad daylight. Most walk swiftly past my door although once safely beyond reach they turn a wistful gaze upon my home. If they are lucky I reward them with a smile. You should see them run! Fear of their wives outweighs their desire for me. They do not know that that fear keeps them safe.

    Today I see a stranger. Fresh meat. Our eyes lock as he gazes up at the balcony and I smile boldly. My neighbours have noted my midnight visitors, declared me a whore. Today this show is for them. I will be the brazen hussy of their gossip. I will behave scandalously. I will …

    Oh, they do not know what I will … If they did, they would be running to that fat little priest of theirs as fast as their legs could carry them and he would have them on their knees. Something I suppose you could say we have in common.

    But I am digressing from the script. Watch. He is climbing the stairs now and my silks and ropes are ready. His eyes gleam with expectation and he lies before me without question. White. Naked. Glistening. He is a worm. And as I bind him, he is a subservient little worm. And I am ready to feed. He squirms with anticipation and I pull the ropes tighter. He moans. A mistake. I like to dine in silence. I tighten the bindings and he falls quiet. An obedient worm. I sit astride him and his eyes widen in horror as I open the mouth that no living creature usually sees. But this man, the one I have taken as my husband for only a moment, is given this final vision as his reward. Wider now, the gaping void of my being slices through his skull, picks out the delicate brain, nourishes my body in a way that I have missed for too long. And this time I will become a mother.

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