Archive for flash fiction

Short Story: DREAM-BLADE

Posted in Original Writing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2016 by smuckyproductions

A piece of flash fiction that introduces an entity I mentioned in a few short stories. Intended as a player in the Red Door mythos. More on that soon…

DREAM-BLADE

IMG_0137

Above the blue sphere it could feel all. The dark pulse of sound and thought shred through it, washing over its invisible parts, the touch of strangers. It shuddered and began to whirl.

Mmmmvvvvvvvvvvvhhhhhhhhhhhh…

The blue sphere dimmed. It sensed infinite voices sigh in unison. Their thoughts muddled, confused with other things, and melted altogether. It trembled its blades and prepared. Yet, nothing rose from the sphere. There was no word for resistance in its vocabulary. It spun faster.

Mmmvvvvggggghhhgggg…

As always, some thoughts congealed and screamed. It had lost those minds. They would either wake and deem it a nightmare or self-destruct. The sleeping ones were its prize. It sensed their thoughts twitching, lifting, and responding. Their blue sphere turned grey. Humming with hunger, it quickened its vibrations and began to harvest.

The grey shape of their world faded, turned black, and then burst forth with a multitude of awful colors, spraying through the frequency, screaming with forms that deliquesced when the vibrations found them. Shapes emptied and thoughts became monsters as its frequency surrounded the sphere. Calling. Consuming. Whirring at a speed that destroyed.

Mmmmvvvvhhhhhh.

Mvh ghhhbbtyyyyyyg.

The last of the colors died out, and it was finished.

Some time later, perhaps in seconds or in eons, the blue sphere awoke. It would acknowledge its emptiness, but without thought, it could not despair. As the abandoned vessels wandered and wondered they would at times turn to the sky, the infinite blackness, where they could still hear the whirring of the dream-blade retreating in space.

Advertisements

Short Story: BEARING GIFTS

Posted in Original Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2015 by smuckyproductions

 

In the nights before Christmas, a different kind of gift giving… one kept in shadow.

BEARING GIFTS

IMG_9937

The snow tried to follow her inside, buffeting the dust and gauze of the empty hall, until she forced the door shut. Without the wind and the snow’s glare, the house was utterly desolate. In the early days it had nauseated her to be alone there. She could feel the weight of all the silent rooms, the winding corridors pressing down on her, tempting their secrets. Now she had grown accustomed, though the wind still sounded like a warning as it begged for entry.

Clutching her bundle, she stepped across the wasted floorboards and approached the ballroom doors, which hung ajar in anticipation. Their moaning movement revealed what once had been a grand ballroom. She imagined it, glowing with candles and extravagant fabrics, a rebellion against the blasted land outside. All that remained of that glamour were the web-shrouded chandeliers and the cavernous yawning windows. They still leaked blue light into the room, enough to reveal the silhouette crouched in the center.

She never took more than three steps into the room. It was enough to made the shadow stir, ripple into movement. A sigh whipped around the ceiling; then, the wheezing voice. “You bring dinner.”

So many years and those words still rattled her spine. “Yes, I did.”

She did not look at the shadow anymore. In the beginning she had made the mistake of doing so. The impressions of grey flesh, distended from misery, and the tatters of an unused bridal gown squeezed over the rotten frame, would never leave her mind. It was best to close her eyes and present the bundle blind.

There was shifting, the crackle of old bones, then the bundle was ripped from her arms. She tried not to listen as the bundle stirred, cried, then extinguished with the crunching of teeth. The chewing dragged on for several moments until the swallowing throat belched and groaned in disgusted satisfaction.

“Done,” the voice sobbed. “Done…”

The sobbing was the worst. She could bear the grotesque shape, the chewing; even the preparation, creeping into silent homes and lifting the bundles from their cradles to satisfy her ward. That was all, she knew, necessary. But to hear this creature, who had once twirled beneath the chandelier with ultimate grace and promise, shaking and blubbering in such degeneration… She ran from the room, holding her hands over her ears until she had burst back into the storm.

Outside and concealed, she withdrew the knife from her dress. She had been carrying it for weeks. When the sobbing became too awful she would use it and end the cycle, allow that deformed body to rest. It would be an act of mercy. But the time had not yet come. She could still hear the innocence, the pure beauty, of that cursed child, trapped somewhere in the body of a beast.

Short Story: ON THE WIND

Posted in Original Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by smuckyproductions

Here is a story for the beginning of winter, and the strange, liminal phenomenon of snowstorms at night.

ON THE WIND

IMG_9173

The streets emptied themselves when the snow fell in earnest. Lamps pooled cold light on abandoned drifts, frozen seas of ice, an alien landscape laid over one too familiar. Houses revealed their warmth through glowing windows and shuttered walls. Inside, people pretended to listen to the wind, ignoring how it begged. Trees bowed to the wind, earth withdrew to escape its blast. It owned the world on these nights. And across its domain it carried voices.

On the sunlit days that clamored with the cries of the living, these voices would be lost. They waited until the snow fell in thick palls and masked their whispers. Then they disembarked from close hollows and reunited with the world that was once theirs. Anyone who wandered into the storm might hear their cries, brushing against frozen ears, but no one ever believed what they heard. In that way the voices were merciful. They wanted one thing, and it did not concern the living.

In a flurry of ice and wind the voices collided. It was almost like touching. Their forgotten molecules flew against each other and joined. Through the dark rushing air they could feel their words.

My love.

I longed for you. I almost couldn’t –

Hush. We are here. We are here.

Trees moaned, branches sagged, the moon hid behind grey clouds. The wind became their breath and their flesh. For a moment, so brief in the span of their eternity, they could press against and into each other. It was a kind of intimacy that they had never known while still alive. They tried to cry and howl, instead whispering their ecstasy over the snow, which stirred and trembled at the sound.

It was never long enough. The wind returned and ripped them apart before they could ever finish. Daylight began to seep into the kingdom of ice, banishing all who muttered there. They whistled in torment as the gusts carried their particles back into the dark emptiness, where they would wait for another storm; and as they went their voices whipped the snow, dangling from blind rooftops and sleeping trees, into glistening icicles.

Short Story: THIRST

Posted in Original Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2015 by smuckyproductions

Another bit of flash fiction that originated from a class assignment – to write a character who wants something. Badly. 

THIRST

IMG_2101

Even the grass had begun to scald her exposed skin by the time she noticed the glass of water, shimmering in the rays of brutal white sun. Her sandpaper throat gaped and sucked in dusty air at its promise. The sun had taken nearly every atom of moisture from her body and absorbed it uselessly into the furious sky. Brittle and draining, she could not move, let alone find her way back into the house under the protection of a roof. She had lain there wheezing, aware of how her body would shrivel like a forgotten apple off the tree, until the glint of liquid shot into her eyes and blinded her. Someone had left it on the old boards of the porch, barely concealed by the shade and leaking deliriously attractive condensation. As she stared at it, she could almost feel it sliding down her throat, seeping into the membrane that had receded and cracked, replenishing all that was about to evaporate. The false sensation was enough to give her strength, and she turned over, and began to crawl.

Dark sweat had crusted on her skin, beneath which her muscles and bones were melting into rancid jelly, so movement was a monstrously painful task; but the water beckoned, and she could slide along the grass if she rooted her fingers into the soil and tugged. With pitiful huffs of desert-breath she inched toward the house. The soil singed her hands and formed instantaneous blisters. Pain, however, had become mundane to her in the heat. She scorned her hands for their weakness. Soon soon soon she promised them, that cool touch and rush and we will feel good again.

The porch seemed to retreat from her as she dragged her gelatinous body toward its prize. Stooooop she wanted to cry, but her tongue clacked like a dying beetle between her teeth. She could feel her vocal cords twanging in her chest; in a moment they would snap. Wait goddamnit she cried to them, wait one fucking second. It was closer, yes, drawing closer all the time. The water seemed to exude relief and mercy in a cooling breeze. Its cresting kiss invigorated her flaccid limbs and they slunk forward at a slightly faster pace, just fast enough to reach that water before the sun finished its task of burning her to ashes. She would laugh at the sun once the water had restored her vocal chords and tongue. Oh, how she would laugh, shake the earth with the raging sound, quake the sky until the sun itself came tumbling down, crashing into her flood of moisture and extinguishing in a pathetic fizzle of steam, how lovely that sound would be in her gushing ears, how powerful her cooled and reanimated body pulsing with fresh fluid…

The door to the house opened as she reached for the glass, hardly a foot away. A man dressed in loose beige linen stepped out, squinted at the sun in disdain, and made his slow way over to the edge where she was lying. Without looking at her, he stooped and swiped the glass from its place. He sipped at it and grimaced – no longer cold. Spitting to rid himself of the taste, he upended the glass and let the water tumble into the dirt, which drank it up greedily. Then the man took the glass back inside and disappeared.

She remained still, unfeeling, for a moment. Her mind had numbed. But she did notice the rim of condensation on the wood of the porch, the ghost of her salvation. The grass or the sun had not yet swallowed it. Perhaps if she moved quickly, pulled harder at the soil, she could reach it with her tongue before it, too, disappeared. With a hollow groan to the merciless sky, she rooted her fingers once more and heaved.

Short Story: HER MASTERPIECE

Posted in Original Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2015 by smuckyproductions

I did this as a writing exercise, but ended up really liking the result. Let’s see if you guys think the same. 

HER MASTERPIECE

IMG_9590

            She knew he was watching, but she didn’t stop. Her palm skin had melted into the handle and her arm swung of its own volition. The burn of her muscles radiated to her mind and heated her thoughts so that she did not care about the eyes that had chained themselves onto the mess of a head beneath her. She knew he could hear the crunch more sharply than she, with the heat sizzling in her ears as it was, and she envied him for that. The sound of Mrs. Tergell’s breaking skull was the detail she had looked forward to the most.

With a blaring tang the blunt head of the hammer snapped off its mount and bounced into the air. She howled and ducked from it, but it clattered into the gutter a few feet away. When it settled and the street grew silent, her ears were still clogged with the muffled cries and squelches of impact. Several moments passed before she grew accustomed to the loathsome quiet. Then she turned to face the watching man, searing with rage. He, after all, had caused the hammer to break, and had cut her triumphant percussions cruelly short.

He stood where he had halted upon rounding the corner. When he had first appeared, his jaw had gone limp and his arms had dangled like severed puppet strings. She had expected him to scream or to faint, but he had remained upright, almost mocking her. The rage stemmed from this parody of her expectations. Now she faced him and wielded the jagged handle. He was meant to scream, plead, or piss himself. But he had not moved at all; only his expression had altered, pulling taut into a nearly lustful grin, cracking all the way up to his impossibly dark eyes.

“How wonderful,” he said.

The rage, so red and metallic before, sizzled into the steam of shock. Her thoughts produced no logical response – in fact, they had ceased altogether, chased out by the battering echo of his two words. She stared at him, dumbfounded.

Somehow managing to widen his grin, he extended a puppet arm – far too long – and pointed at the sticky pulp of Mrs. Tergell’s corpse. “What do you call it?” he exclaimed. “It’s marvelous! Brilliant!”

Her fingers lost all tension and the handle slipped through them. “Oh – I…” she stammered.

“No name, then? Even better – very mysterious,” he said. His legs began to quiver and he clapped rapidly. It seemed that he had begun to dance. “I’ll take it,” he shouted, pointing to the dark sky. “For one point five. No less. Or even two. Anything. Name your price.”

Understanding crested over her mind like a radiant dawn. She, too, could feel herself grinning. Beholding her masterpiece as a mother would her first, most angelic child, she said, “Two point five.”

Short Story: TRICK FOR TREAT

Posted in Halloween, Original Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2015 by smuckyproductions

In time for Halloween, here’s a little story about a different kind of trick-or-treating.

TRICK FOR TREAT

IMG_1136

Dressed in a white sheet, the shape went out at sunset, when the bare branches were black against a sky of fire and the cries of children lilted on the wind. No one looked twice at the shape. Gliding behind the other costumed children, he looked like any other little boy. He did not speak and was not spoken to, until the group he followed reached the porch and rang the doorbell. Creeping up the steps, past fresh pumpkins leering with ephemeral faces and false spider webs drifting in the brittle air, he waited for the tribute like the other children, but did not say “thank you” and flee giggling to the next house as they did; and the adults, looking down at what they thought was a child, would pause, smiles fading, and speak. When they went quiet and had shut the door, he was free to dissolve into another group, and at the house next door, would do the same.

When the adults leaned down and looked into the holes in his sheet, expecting to see the glint of eyes, they spoke in soft voices. They said, “Well, no, I’m not sure I do love him;” or, “I meant to throw those dirty magazines away, but I couldn’t stop staring at them, I couldn’t look away.” He listened as they went on – “He doesn’t look at me anymore;” “I never wanted to touch that student, but he was so, so beautiful;” “You know, sometimes I do wonder, I do want to know what she would look like dead.” In their whispered tones the words had no more substance than the autumn wind that curled around them. They flitted off into the leaves, into the moonlight, and into the holes in his sheet, where they twisted and hardened into something material. Once the words could no longer sustain themselves, he left. The speaker would stand frozen for a moment, frowning and staring at the ground, trying to understand the hollow that had formed inside their chests. It never took them long to realize that they would never understand, so they trailed back inside. He did not know what happened to them after that.

The violet evening and black night shrouded him for long enough, and allowed him to visit many houses, hiding in the folds of plastic devils or cheap satin witches, who he knew did not see him. Only the adults, herding their children down the street or stumbling on their way to a neighbor’s party, would stop and watch. Once the moon began to peak in the sky, and the children were dragged back into their homes, he would no longer be safe roaming in the open. With no one left to camouflage him, he faded back into the night, from whence he had come. The sheet fluttered away and stuck in the branches, a ghost of its own; and he, uncovered, became an It, blended seamlessly with the dark. Under the cold moon and the black branches, he could feast on the treats he had plundered, the breathed secrets that had been tricked from the mouths of those who refused to acknowledge them.