Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

Friday Flash Fiction: The Beast

She was just a girl.

With a trust fund none knew about.

A girl born into the wrong time.

I should have lived in Victorian America, when melancholy was in high fashion—she’d whisper as I lay spooned around her. More often than not, I found her curled up in bed, staring at the wall. Only I witnessed her bravery in rising after days of feeling like nothing. She remained alive by sheer will.

And my cooking. I loved to cook for her. She ate everything and delighted in it, even when the beast held her tighter than I ever could. Food comforted her, and kept her alive, if not lively.

She rarely left her little home overlooking the river. The little house hung like an afterthought upon the bluff, threatening to come unmoored at any moment and tumble into the river. Incredibly, she worried not at all about the inevitable possibility. Her reason—This house will fall when I’m ready.

I love this house—she said quietly—Did you know it used to be a hermitage before this area was developed? I did, but shook my head, encouraging her to continue with the story about our local river king, whom most called a saint for the miraculous happenings during his time in this home.

Susurrations of gossip followed her through town as she walked, head up, eyes straightforward, never lingering to purchase anything beyond necessities.

Until I followed her home one day and she invited me in as though she were expecting me. From that day on, I made her purchases along with my own, but nothing staved off the beast, her modern day melancholy. The conversation that first day immersed us in an ongoing dialogue of slightly differing philosophies and worldviews, with matching intellectual curiosities. Love blossomed that day.

I saw it happen.

On my way up the switchbacks with an angelfood cake and a handful of wildflowers, the ground trembled. A cracked formed on the edge of the bluff just under the overhanging edge of the house. It shook, and slowly shifted downward.

Until it tumbled and slid down into the river. A hand may have appeared out the window. Perhaps not.

There’s no explanation for my continued climb to what was now the top, where I found the beast dangling. It lives in me. I shall not love in that way again.

Flash Fiction Friday: That Little Lock

In the quiet of twilight, when everyone else was gone, I went out to Dad’s garage behind the house. He was working on our old Ford Ltd.


Sitting on a stool in from of his worktable, I posited, “Daddy?”

“Yes, baby?” He responded while putting parts together. He’d tried teaching me mechanics, but it didn’t take, leaving him so frustrated that he yelled at me to go back inside and learn how to cook. I can’t cook neither.

“Daddy, I need a lock on my door.” The silence expanded to fill my head with his rising anger.

“What the hell do you need a lock for? You’re not locking me and your mother out of that room. We pay the rent here. Whatever you’re hiding we’ll find out anyways.” Holding the part, he dropped onto the creeper and rolled under the car.

“Daddy, I’m tired of Sam coming into my room without knocking. He comes in when I’m dressing and won’t leave no matter how much I scream. I gotta grab my clothes and go past him to dress in the bathroom.”

The creeper flew out and Dad sat up, looking at me with his crazy eyes that scared me, but I held my ground. “Are you serious?”

I nodded.

He stood up, wiped his hands on a red rag, and paced the room, shouting, “That little sonuvabitch! That little bastard! I didn’t raise no son of mine to be a pervert. I didn’t raise him to be peeping at his sister.” Daddy stopped, looked me straight in the eye, and asked, “He never touched you, has he?”

“God, no! Ain’t it enough that he’s looking at me? That he’s coming in my room without permission?” I hugged myself and shivered, having not thought of that possibility.

“Alright, baby, I gotcha,” he reassured me as he looked for a lock in his tool box. After picking up his drill, he left the garage, me following him inside and down to my room. A simple latch lock went onto my door in a few minutes. Daddy kissed my head and returned to his garage.

That evening, I was reading in our downstairs family room when my brother got home from his after school job. Daddy was waiting for him. Soon as the door opened, he launched into him, reamed him out clean. He didn’t even show up for dinner.

Halfway through dressing the next morning, Sam’s voice boomed through my door, “You awake in there, Serena?” A little chuckle turned into a BAM as he hit the door that wouldn’t open. I stood quietly in front of my closet, one leg in my pants, as he pounded the door and hollered to be let in.

My journal is filled with possibilities of what coulda happened without that little lock.

Flash Fiction Friday: Escape

Gabriella, aka Gabriel, dashed through the alleys and over fences, easily evading the militia. She prised the top off the faux ammo urn, the sign behind it proclaiming it the property of the Fortnite Militia. Inside she shirked the clothes off and whispered the spell. The mercenaries jerked off the lid and peered inside, seeing nothing at first in the darkness. They turned aside and inspected the lid. Gabriella pulled herself out of the urn and slowly backed away, as quietly as possible, completely naked and invisible. Again, the soldiers looked in, and this time, they saw the shed clothing. Snatching up the shirt and pants, they guffawed at the audacity of the young man to think he could escape them, and yet they were at a loss to explain returning with only his clothes and an unbelievable story.

Flash Fiction Friday: Werewolf Museum

Photograph by Max Braday
Dungeon and Torture Museum
Burghausen Castle, Burghausen, Germany

The dozen or so individuals gathered around the display while one read the placard out loud.

During the seven centuries long Bloodluster-Lycanthropy War, torturous atrocities were committed on both sides. Here you see “harmless” non-silver metal spikes that were driven into a small coven of vampires onto a silver slab, thus preventing their escape. Placed in an isolated cave deep within the Eurasian forest, they were found 157 years later by chance, after the war ended.

Of all the names, why do they insist on that one—a voice lamented from the rear. Dude, you’re not even a vampire; you’re a simple wraith—scorned a tall, dark, handsome vampire. The wraith whined—But I want to be. Laughter spread through the group as the reader rejoined them and said—the winner gets to name the war, bloodsucker.

Flash Fiction Friday: The Enemy Comes

“No one is my enemy.”

“Sure, Hank, no one is your enemy. We know. But let’s keep our tazers at the ready just in case, okay, my friend?” Waltraud snagged the book from Hank and stuffed it in the front of her shirt, bumping his tazer up with her own. “Why does your book smell like puke? It’s overwhelming my own fetid swamp in there.”

“It’s regurgitating the hate that surrounds–“

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Sorry I asked.” Shoulder to shoulder, they strode stealthily through the starship’s upper deck, three starkiller robots on their heels like big dumb dogs with 4317s holding ammo that detonated on contact. When one hit a human head, it was a fireworks of organic material. Hitting a robot endangered them all. Sometimes the difference wasn’t obvious. The starkillers were programmed to follow the instructions of Waltraud alone.

When she turned the corner and her head disappeared from a blaster ray, the starkillers turned to Hank, who said, “No one is my enemy.” They fired.

Flash Fiction Friday: Energy in Motion

The petrified god was deeply embedded in the stone. I was allowed to use it for my art based on two absolute requirements: it would be returned in the exact same condition I received it, and it would be guarded at all times. I talked to him while I worked, using all the names speculated by the various archeologists, and suspecting this lack of identification was the deciding factor in the loan. Energy emanated from the little figure, energy I attributed to the magnetic field I set up to make him seem to come alive. The hair on my arms stood up and my whole body tingled. The guards, one at each corner of my table, stood farther back than I expected, refusing to come closer at my suggestion. Well armed and well trained, each of them alone would have been sufficient protection. My work on the system as I awaited approval for the tablet with the god meant I finished connecting him within weeks instead of months. He would come to life in front of millions of people across the world. As I attached the last wire to the system under the table holding the tablet, the blue light was brighter than expected, but the image popped up, and the little god swayed and danced above the crowd, larger than life. He carried on the mesmerizing movements in lateral motion over their heads, which wasn’t possible. My system was static; although the figures moved, they stayed directly on top of the system. I switched it off. The little god continued dancing away as we watched in silence. The tablet was empty.

Flash Fiction Friday: The Joy of Snacking

The orange ones taste like caramel—shouted Pelokie. Everyone else groaned. Once again—exhorted Celosp—they taste the same, all of them, all colors, since they are always changing colors. Pelokie sloughed off to the subterna with a “Pfft.” The others continued gobbling down the miniature creatures running rampant. They found themselves choosing ones with any orange at all, just to make sure. After awhile, they looked at one another and shrugged en masse, returning to snacking on all colors. The creatures constantly went in and out of structures they’d built. Pelokie’s departure had the structures shaking and the creatures stumbling about haphazardly, so that everyone could simply lay out tongues and let the snacks fall on them. They sucked the creatures down swiftly. Muldosina blurped out a molten stream of montacid. Pardon me—she said, settling back into position, dribbles down all sides. Creatures increased their volume until the dribbles hit them. Then they stopped, which made them no longer fun to eat.

Flash Fiction Friday: Boys Will Be Boys

Dry ice swirled around Reverend Terrance as he gave an old fashioned, heart pounding sermon under multi-colored lights crisscrossing the stage. The squat, cinder block building belied its revival tent facade with its chilling a/c. The Reverend must expend an outrageous amount of heated energy in such a performance. My childhood friend felt far removed from our childhood in this atmosphere. However, I was not surprised. He’d always been dramatic and insistent on being right. What better way to be the center of attention and lord it over people than religion.

He beckoned to me from the stage at the end of the show, and so I met him backstage, where he was removing makeup while chatting with his crew. Shelley—he boomed at me as I approached. A shiver ran up my spine ending with a slight spasm as it hit my neck, the reverberation chilling me. I smiled and nodded. Reverend Terrance … Terry waved his hand at me as though announcing me to an audience anticipating me. Then he informed the paid sycophants—Shelley’s after my little brother; again. Any response would go badly for me, so I stood silent until he finished with me, giving me leave to walk away, wondering why I’d come, wishing that I’d ignored his little brother Dennis’ admonition that I had to see him in action. I had seen Dennis on this visit home, as I’d seen other childhood friends. It was an innocuous meeting, lunch at Darby’s on the river, reminiscing, as we’d not seen each other in a decade.

It was a challenge to continually force the man from my mind as I went about my remaining days in my hometown, vowing to avoid him and his brother. The icky feeling lingered no matter what, and I wasn’t sure which brother was attached to it. The process resulted in a headache, sending me to the local drugstore, McCarty’s. I hadn’t gone in this visit since the soda fountain was gone. As I perused the headache relief meds, a booming voice resonated throughout the store. Unfortunately, the good reverend was between the door and me. Feeling trapped, I grabbed something off the shelf and crept toward the back of the store intending to circumvent the man by passing through the feminine hygiene product aisle. He turned into the other end of the aisle, spotting me immediately. Shelley—he cried in mock surprise. Enough—I thought and dragged my wilting courage back up to reasonable height. Holding it firmly, I announced with no greeting—You should not have insinuated that your brother and I are an item, because we aren’t now and have never been. Under the surprise, a flicker of anger alarmed me, but I felt comforted by the presence of other shoppers. He apologized loudly enough to draw attention from them and then bowed, saying—And now I shall take my leave of you. He walked around me, head held high, chest out, toward the back of the store. I scurried to the front, feeling violated. While standing in line, Dennis came up to me in his pharmacist’s tech uniform and asked me out on a date. I shook my head. Terry never changed.

Flash Fiction Friday: Something Much More Frightening

I’m not different, and I’m not special—she ranted to the air in the attic. Dust fell through her as bats fled the rafters at her outburst. The two teenagers snooping through the abandoned house merely shivered slightly and zipped their jackets higher. The taller girl fingered the photographs of her on the table under the window. They must have loved her very much to keep her at home and take care of her—she said softly. The other teen nodded, looking around her at the pictures. Only moonlight illuminated the attic, which covered the entire top floor, a hospital bed on one side. Bars running the width and height of the room divided it in half, essentially imprisoning whoever had utilized the bed. The smaller teen had placed a small chest in front of the gate to block it open, though her friend had admonished her that they were alone before bringing out the book Different and Special to compare the black and white photographs with the bedroom that had remained untouched for centuries. They stepped back from the altar-esque table and positioned the book for optimal moonlight. See, that would have been her view when she was confined—said the girl whose book it was, as she pointed toward the window behind them. They both turned, and immediately dismissed the shadow crossing the light, looking at each other and away. The tall teen pointed out each item depicted in the book, both girls looking for a moment and immediately back to the book. Was she possessed like they say—asked the smaller girl. Her friend shook her head and replied—I think she was mentally ill, but no one understood that then. I was not mentally ill, and I was not possessed—screamed the spirit. She kicked the chest and slammed the gate. Both teens jumped, and the book fell to the floor. Then they ran out the gate and into the night. She whispered—I was something much more frightening, a woman.

Flash Fiction Friday: Danger

Karen swore the susurration followed her as she walked along the cornfield. It seemed to come only from the section right next to her, as though her energy were bouncing off the stalks. She thought she could actually feel the energy hitting her, but maybe it was just her imagination. When such things happened to her, no one else felt it, and everyone so far in her life blamed it on her imagination, ergo her conclusion here. Karen walked on, a bit jittery until the land opened up onto a meadow.

Deep inside the cornstalks, warnings leapt out as the human passed, with the universal understanding of plants that when their buds came to fruition, they would be raped and pillaged, often by the big monsters the humans employed. For now, they could only deflect the human energy, whispering to each other—a human is near; our time is coming.