Some Manner of Shocking TwistDear Miss MacAbre,Some Manner of Shocking Twist9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I have a somewhat embarrassing problem. As a recently deceased usurper of the throne, I’m having some difficulty adjusting to the afterlife. I understand that’s totally normal, and I’ve been very impressed by the advice on offer. The leaflet I was given upon arrival—So You’ve Been Besieged by an Army of Guys Dressed Like Trees and Your C-section Rival Lopped Your Head Off—was both helpful and unnervingly specific. I’ve taken everything it says on board and, though it’s hardly smooth sailing, I feel that I’m making good progress. My wife, who died shortly before me, seems to have acclimatised much more quickly and has already succeeded in gaining employment with a local magazine.
My real problem is that while I am content to slowly adjust to life after death, my wife is pressuring me to commit regicide once again. This causes no end of worry, as not only did it not work out so well for me last
The Well Beast and I"NO," the beast in the well said.The Well Beast and I9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"What do you mean, 'no'? Don't you know what an ultimatum is?" I shouted down at it. "I really will do it!"
"NO," the beast said. "IS TRICK."
"I really don't have to cut you this slack," I yelled. "I really loved that cat! Not even the Prior would blame me for taking revenge!"
"WAS GOOD," the beast said.
"Was...? Wait. Did you just tell me how delicious my pet was? Did you really, in the name of cruel irony, tell me that my Mr. Snickers was delicious?"
"WAS GOOD," the beast confirmed.
"Alright, this is fucking happening," I said, getting up onto the lip of the well. I unzipped my fly.
"NO, IS TRICK," the beast said, a little uncertainly.
I whipped out my man-hose and started peeing down the well.
"NO NO NO NO NO," the beast said. The walls of the well shook as the beast writhed around.
"Nowhere to hide in a well, is there?" I called down. "I've been drinking an awful lot of water! Why, I daresay I c
I've Really Lost My MindThe young man smiled, with just a touch of embarrassment. “I seem to have lost my mind.”I've Really Lost My Mind10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The female attendant looked at him. “This is a railway ticket office.”
“You want the lost property section over there.” She pointed at a counter where a severe-looking man was rearranging misplaced umbrellas.
“Thank you!” The young man nodded politely and headed across to the other section.
The lost property attendant looked up as the young man approached. “Is it an umbrella you want?” He indicated the display.
The young man appeared to be tempted for a moment by a purple one decorated with cats and dogs, but then apparently remembered why he was there.
“No,” he said. “I’ve lost my mind. I’m pretty sure here was the last time I used it—I was trying to work out what would be the cheapest ticket to Inverness on a weekday in June, outside peak hours, travelling with my back to the engin
SquirmA cool breeze blasted Jack in the face. Shuddering, the young man shifted his merchandise to one hand and pulled his turtleneck up so it covered his chin. Better, but still cold. What was winter weather doing in autumn, anyway?Squirm2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His breath came out in short, wispy puffs as he strode toward the benches. “Come on, guy,” he murmured. “Show up already. Lemme go home.” The things he did for his clients.
Funny thing was, though, he couldn’t pick his client out of the handful of people. The benches by the tracks were nearly empty. There were a couple of men and one lady, all waiting patiently for their train to arrive. But none were dressed nicely enough to be his buyer. Not rich and classy- just ordinary. Jack sighed, releasing more warmth into the morning air.
“Excuse me.” A man brushed past him, fumbling with a suitcase of his own.
Jack perked up at the voice. There was a slight accent in it, though he couldn’t identify it for the life
FFM 09: A Gentleman's View“I must’ve been Greek in a past life,” Arty grunted through a mouthful of Gyro. I didn’t pay much attention. We both knew he didn’t believe in reincarnation anyway. “This’s amazing. Oop, hey, new guy’s here.”FFM 09: A Gentleman's View2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was another long night, wasting my life at the tavern. I was on the money-making end, rather than one of the Orcish bikers or shady Elves that shoveled their money at me in exchange for a sympathetic ear and a bottle. I was lucky in that, but I always felt like there was more to life than keeping the family business afloat. Always that sense that something was missing.
In this part of Harlem, it was the same characters every night, but the new guy had shown up a week ago, claimed a stool at the counter, and made himself comfortable there each night since. Arty called him ‘the rich faggy type’ and insisted that he’d be dead by the end of the
ChimeraOn midsummer's morning a boy found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a lioness.Chimera9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She spewed fire into the sky, and said: “Child, be ever proud: be ever regal: fear not the fire, but wield it as your own. You shall find strength, and all barriers shall fall before you.”
Awed, and frightened, the boy carved her words into his heart.
On midsummer's midday a man found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a serpent.
She spewed fire into the earth, and said: “King, you have forgotten yourself. You have forgotten your people. Too long have your eyes gazed heavenwards: frail is your might, and brittle: you must bring yourself back to the earth.”
These words he heard; but he forgot them.
On midsummer's evening a beggar found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a goat.
She spewed fire into his eyes, and said: “O Graybeard, you have fallen far. All your fancies have led to failure, and the fury of your heart
RefugeeWhen Craig dies, you burn every letter he ever sent you. You donate all of his gifts and delete his number from your phone.Refugee2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
You go to visit his mother, just once. There, she keeps Craig’s room like a shrine.
This used to be your place of refuge. You came here when your parents fought, when you did badly on a test, when you had no reason at all.
It isn’t safe any longer. It still smells like him. You feel you could fall backwards onto his bed and find his body there beside you, his back warm against yours. Pictures of the two of you together stare at you from the walls.
You catch movement from the corner of your eye and turn, quickly, to the mirror. For a minute you see him standing behind you, his shoulders rolled forward and his hair hanging in his eyes. When he lifts his head to meet your gaze, there is nothing—only blackness.
You walk outside at once. The sun is so bright you have to stop, wiping your eyes.
The stacks in section 200, Religion, are glowing, sick
RenovationsThey will come again, and when they do, the others will hide.Renovations2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Mr. Brown will curl up in his hole in the eaves. The Wife in the crawlspace, and I'll be here, clutching my dear ones close. I'm wrapping my legs around them, and I can hear them fidget against the soft sac, their little tremors not unlike the desperate throes of flies, but warm, beautiful. It won't be long now. Now is the tender time. Soon I'll wear them on my back, and we can leave this place. But not yet. Not yet. Now is the time when a swift strike would kill them, and me with them. I will not leave.
I can't leave. I've hidden as well as I can. A small shadow between the braces under the mantel, where their lights don't penetrate. At least not yet.
Too much light. Too many sounds. They come with their sounds, with their fangs at the ends of their legs, shooting explosions into the walls, toppling everything. They are giants. They grumble at each other, tear up the floors, rip down the lights. Destroy everything that has
FloraThe breeding process had taken seemingly forever but it had led to the hoped for result.Flora9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Bruton cackled fanatically. They had called him foolish—even mad—but at last he was ready to unveil his multi-headed creation to his contemporaries.
He flung off the cover.
Five hundred people gasped. And then the selected representatives of the UK’s Flowering Plants Associations applauded wildly.
It really was a particularly fine polyanthus.
Spring faded into summer but his polyanthus continued to flower. She was beautiful and exceptionally fragrant—attracting a great many bees and butterflies.
Bruton frowned. She was his and ought to be faithful. And he had found evidence of more sinister interest: deliberate damage to the stem bearing that multitude of blooms.
His friends all sympathised.
For how could they know that secretly Bruton was his own flower’s stalk-er?
He had tormented her and neglected her, and left her frying in the hot sun. Finally there seemed to be n
His EyesIt has been three months since we heard from the mainland.His Eyes9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Speculation abounds. Some catastrophe has befallen them there: a plague has ended them, perhaps, or a war, or something so dreadful that we cannot even imagine it. We are left here to starve, slowly, as we wait for news and supplies.
At noon we saw a boat on the horizon.
Through the spyglass we saw that its occupant was a lone boy, and that his skin was patterned with lesions. Sula saw something in his eyes, he said, though he would not speak more clearly of it; but he was so shaken by the sight that he begged us to shoot the boat down at a distance.
We were without choice but to obey. We pitied the boy, perhaps, but if he carried a plague – as indeed he must have – any show of mercy might have doomed us. We fired the cannon as soon as he came within range.
At nightfall we burned the flotsam brought in by the tide. There was no sign of the boy's body. With luck the current carried it away, to be eaten by the fish.
life goes on (until it doesn't) (FFM 29)Dear Chrissy,life goes on (until it doesn't) (FFM 29)9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The TV's saying horrible things about you. They're using you as some sort of cautionary tale for 'troubled' youth. You know, I'm pretty sure they want to bring up the driving age, literally because of what happened to you. Do you find that amusing? If I could stop crying for long enough to laugh, I would. Great job, Chris. Ugh, the paper's all smeared now, but I guess you'll never read this so it's probably not a big deal. Why were you on the phone? Why did you have to die?
Did it hurt? When you died, I mean. At your funeral I was inconsolable, and someone – one of your cousins, I think – told me that you couldn't have felt anything. That it was all over in a moment. Mom gave him the evils and pulled me away, but it helped, a bit, to know that you probably didn't suffer.
and he was actually pretty hot, so that was a wee bonus.Your cat kept crying for you, she looked around your house for
Tick, Tock | Time, DistanceHow do you bridge the gapTick, Tock | Time, Distance3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
between time & changes in a tap?
Everything comes to pass
Nothing is meant to last
All you can do is look back
Revisit, reminisce, recall the fact
That every tick, every tock
always runs with the clock
In your memory lane, you may go down
with a smile, a smirk, or a frown
the what was, that what is, the what will
woven together by an instant you can't kill
The past may be too far to reach
focus more on what it tries to teach
The future, a stone's throw away
dream, stand firm, persevere you may
Pre-inventing the WheelLon was an I.T support worker. He was also a caveman, so perhaps it would be more accurate to call it lowercase ‘t’ support.Pre-inventing the Wheel10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Me rock no right way up,” said Gurp.
Lon looked at Gurp’s rock with an expert eye. “Gurp try drop it pick it back up again?”
Gurp dropped the rock. Then he picked it back up. It was still upside-down.
“Hmn,” said Lon, mulling the problem over. “Try throw it at wall.”
The rock clattered off the wall and landed on the ground the right way up and only slightly chipped.
“Gurp thank Lon,” said Gurp as he resumed aimlessly hitting bits of cave with his rock.
Lon strolled out into the sunshine chewing cloves. Some of his fellow proto-humans were sat a little way down the hill trying to make fire. One in particular seemed to be having trouble.
Krog was waving a single stick in the air furiously, a somewhat perplexed expression on his simian face. “Fire no work,” he complained.
It's a Wonderful Spoof“Goodbye, cruel world!” Greg prepared to take a long jump off edge of the bridge—he didn’t want to bump into the side on the way down.It's a Wonderful Spoof2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light. Barely managing to stop himself falling off in surprise, Greg looked to his right. A glowing, winged figure was perched on the railing. “No, stop, don’t do it,” he said, not particularly enthusiastically. He took his cigarette out of his mouth for a moment to have a swig from a three-litre bottle of cheap cider.
“Who are you!?”
“I’m your guardian angel.”
Greg just stared.
“I’m not being sarcastic. I literally am.” He put the cigarette back in his mouth, freeing up a hand to offer to Greg. “The name’s Lawrence.”
Greg shook his hand. “Greg.”
Lawrence screwed his face up, as if talking to an idiot. “Yeah, mate. I think I picked that up at some point over the last forty or fifty years. N
ParallelIt's 2014 and you've spent the better part of the last four years dealing with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Your head is more full of noise than ever, and your skin still feels like it's the wrong size far too often, but life is slowly starting to improve as recovery begins to take shape within you.Parallel9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You are touching the mirror, nose to the glass and examining your face in minute detail when it happens. The floor shudders beneath you, your forehead hits the reflective material and a crack forms. Something in you likens the crack in the mirror to the crack of your fractured personalities, and then there is nothing.
The silence wakes you, and you take stock. All your limbs are there, and except for a bump on your head, you seem unharmed. Whole. The word seems to want to connect to something, but you're still a little muzzy. Pieces of the puzzle gradually come back to you - the mirror, the ground shaking beneath your feet. The mirror.
You try to see how the glass fare
Zombie ApocalypseCreeping CrawlingZombie Apocalypse3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Blood spilling, tears falling
They hungrily moan and groan
With a hunger that remains unknown
The police advising:
Stay inside and lock the doors
Cover your ears to silence the roars
Run and find a place to hide
Quickly! Please come inside!
You are safe for now but what can you do?
Don't you realize i am hungry for you too?
I want your flesh, muscle and bone
Once i am done i will leave you alone
The world is falling swiftly from grace
And is becoming an undead place
Sicklefox Once upon a time there was a naughty boy. He was about your age, if I’m not mistaken. This naughty boy loved to run and jump and play with his friends, but more than anything he loved sweet things. So when he spied the baker coming down the street with two trays of iced buns, he wasted no time in running over to him.Sicklefox10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Aren’t you afraid carrying all those buns?” asked the naughty little boy.
“Afraid?” asked the baker. “Of course not—why would I be?”
“Why,” lied the naughty boy, “because Sicklefox likes nothing better than iced buns, and I hear he is nearby. If he finds you, he’ll cut out your tongue and eat it.”
The baker stopped. This was new to him, but all had heard tales of Sicklefox and all knew them to be true.
“Perhaps I should take half,” said
salt (FFM 1)When she moved to the tiny beach town in the north, she was young, poor, and vibrant. The seaside was like a promise lingering on her breath; it seemed to symbolise everything she would achieve. She’d walk along the shore every morning in her two-piece skirt suit, pumps in hand, bare toes glorying in the chilly 7 AM water. The incongruity of it all delighted her; the rush of the wind at odds with her perfectly coiffed hairdo, and the salt spray filling her lungs, daring her to take one pace closer, one pace further into the ocean.salt (FFM 1)10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There were some days when she’d succumb; arrive at work dishevelled, damp, and smelling of salt. She enjoyed these days the most, even when the sand frustrated and worried away at her feet, even when her hair dried awkwardly in tendrils to the back of her neck. There was something bewitching about giving in to the immense body of water, about carrying the Pacific through her day, in her shoes and on her skin and inside her veins.
The Most Wonderful ThingsThe Most Wonderful Things2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Sometimes you look up at the sky and think, just think, like something in the stars or that great blue open sky councells you, and you ask questions, discovering. Thoughts come seeping out of your brain like a faucet turned full force. Worlds and people flash through your vision that you swear you've never seen before, but have created first hand. The writer stares through open windows not of boredom, but of deep thought, his or her mind creates an entire universe, an infinite playground of twice infinite wonders and adventures that only they can enjoy, until they use those ideas, they use the ink in their very veins, pumping through their heart to create art, to create beauty, and then they gain a tiny speck of control in their own little realities, creating smiles and memories for others in their lives. They are their own gods, a pillar of self worship without an iota of narcissism. And they are the creators of great things. Wonderful things...
A Damp Squib Professor Hattersley took his place at the podium, ignoring the less than kind murmurs that spread through the audience as he crossed the stage. Talk didn’t bother him. For one thing, he was used to it. For another, after this conference the talk would be different. He set the shoebox-sized casket of gold and lapis lazuli before him.A Damp Squib9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Esteemed colleagues,” he began. “I am aware that my research has drawn a certain amount of scorn in the past, and I appreciate that a degree of scepticism is only healthy.” The murmurs showed no sign of abating. If there was one good thing about being an academic pariah, it was that it did wonders for one’s public speaking skills. He spoke louder. “The idea that the deities of ancient Egypt were not merely the invention of a primitive society, but powerful visitors from another dimension, will no doubt have a dramatic effect on Egyptology, and indeed the study of all
The Talking Dead “If you thought it was alright to be a zombie...” Bruce pumped his shotgun for emphasis, “you were dead wrong.”The Talking Dead10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Aaah!” yelled the zombie. “Not the face! Not the face!”
Bruce jumped in surprise, accidentally pulling the trigger, but only after he had also made an ungainly flailing motion with the shotgun. The result was that he not only missed the zombie, but the recoil caught him completely by surprise, prompting further flailing. All in all, it didn’t really fit with the badass action hero persona he had been trying to cultivate since the start of the zombie apocalypse.
“Stop! I’m not a zombie!”
Whether or not this was true, the slightly-rotten figure in front of Bruce was cowering, and since he had already ticked “shoot first” off his mental list, this seemed like a good time