A Black Market "Don't do it... Please, we can make it on our own we don't need this. Please Syd, I can sell my mother's ring I can thin out the soup, not this," Eve was pleading her husband, tears beginning trickle down her cheeks.A Black Market9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He glared her in the eyes with an iron look. "I need to do this. The little one shouldn't come into this world starving." He put his hand on her full belly. "You're eight months in, Eve." There was no changing his mind. He turned around and began walking away.
"You don't even remember our first date anymore," Eve whispered as Syd left, slamming the door after him.
It was true. No matter how hard Syd tried, he could not remember his first date with Eve. Nor their first kiss. The thoughts ran chills along his spine.
The black market was crowded to the point where you had to push your way through the streams of people shouting and exchanging money and goods over each other's heads. Syd saw peopl
FFM24: It's Raining MenShe's finally done it, Dani realized as lightning streaked across the sky, the damn writer had lost the last bit of grey matter keeping her from the cuckoo bin. The forecaster had predicted rain, but not this kind of rain. The first drop to hit the pavement was six feet tall of glistening, rippling sex beast. He should have died instantly, but since the writer was out of her vulcan mind, he landed gently beside the first and just as shirtless.FFM24: It's Raining Men8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Love me,” he said, holding out a hand.
Dani groaned, pretending not to look. This was so wrong.
All around the world, people stopped to watch this mysterious rain. Traffic stalled. Inside, the forecaster who had predicted a wonderful summer shower hid in his office, studying the readouts. It just wasn't possible. Men don't fall from the sky like rain.
“You've done it now,” Dani shouted, “Don't pretend you can't hear me. I know you're typing this right now. You have to stop this.”
Kaleen, the writer, ignored he
HopeThere are so many daysHope9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
when humanity frightens
the most compassionate
it takes only a knife
or a word or a gun, and
we scare so easy.
I'm tired of living
I'm tired of not believing
There may not be a god above
but believer or not,
there are so many
reasons to love
I'm not giving up
I'm not letting go;
I'm going to dream
and one day
perhaps I will fly
and I will believe
the best of people
until it kills me,
because the moment
that you give up
is the moment
you become the problem.
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 Dead9 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
CupboardingMagnolia and Bertie were sitting side by side in bed, reading.Cupboarding9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Magnolia put down her Georgette Heyer and turned to her husband. “Do you think the romance has gone out of our marriage?”
“Hmm..?” said Bertie, flicking through his copy of Aeroplane Weekly.
“We never seem to do anything together any more,” said Magnolia. She put her book away on her bedside table. “Why don’t we go out for a meal on Saturday? That new Chinese restaurant seems promising. We could have sweet and sour chicken or some nice stir-fried pork.”
She looked into the middle- distance. “Oh, I can just smell it…” She paused. “Hang on, I can smell it.”
She put her hand on her husband’s arm and he looked up at her. “Do you smell that?” she asked. “Someone cooking?”
“Don’t be daft,” said Bertie, going back to his reading.
“It seems to be coming from…” Magnolia g
Twelve Drowned RosesThey are waiting for him in the water.Twelve Drowned Roses9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He can see their faces – pale and fish-bitten, so swollen with water that the tide might slough them from their skulls at any moment. Their eyes are dark and hollow, but he can see the emotions swirling in their depths: love and lust and loneliness, despair, longing. They claw at him with rotted hands. Always they stay below the surface of the water; never do they reach out into the air.
He looks from one waterlogged face to another, naming them. Emma, Jamie, Kathryn, Elsie – little Elsie – she was his first, in her fluttery white dress. He remembers the flowers she was holding, roses in pale yellow and white. The petals fluttered about her in the breeze – now her dress is fluttering beneath the waves, ragged and torn, and her little mouth forms his name in silence.
She was his first, and an accident. He had never meant for it to happen. But it happened all the same; and she looked so lonely there, a single white rose burie
His EyesIt has been three months since we heard from the mainland.His Eyes8 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.
Almost a Love PoemI can almost feel your skin,Almost a Love Poem9 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
When your hand almost brushed against mine again.
We almost took a picture of just us two
And we almost got away with it too.
You almost stared at me for more than a moment,
And I nearly blushed before I noticed
How you almost smiled just for me
So that it was you that I would almost see.
Every time we're almost alone,
I think there is something you and I both know.
If we can somehow have a little more time
Maybe one day our hands can almost intertwine.
If we could almost kiss that'd be great too,
Because then you would almost love me like I almost love you.
FFM19: Where No Sock Has Gone BeforeHis socks blinked at him. Jim hunched his shoulders. The socks tried to mimic the motion but since they had no shoulders they just kind of bunched up a little. Captain Bob, as usual, was not impressed.FFM19: Where No Sock Has Gone Before8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“It's life, Jim, but not life as we know it.”
“Shut up, Bob, this is serious.”
Captain Bob gave him a look that made him immediately regret his outburst. It was the “I'm your superior officer and I have the airlock codes, so no one will think twice if they see your body suddenly floating in space “ look.
“So am I,” Captain Bob said, “Stop leaving your dirty uniforms next to the radiation shields. It's an old ship, there's bound to be some spill off.”
The socks agreed.
But it wasn't until his uniform pants tried to bite him that Jim truly learned his lesson. He spent the rest of the voyage in the laundry room, learning how to operate the machines. Captain Bob was still not impressed.
Jack FrostIt's coldJack Frost1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I can see my breath
It floats away from me
Hangs in the air above my head
I watch as it rises
I am becoming nothing
Floating away from reality
Like wisps of smoke
Like winter's breath
It's so cold
It is settling in my bones
I can feel the icy claw
Digging its way through my marrow
Rendering my joints immobile
I am forced to lay here
Staring up at the moon
It's so bright it is blinding
It shouldn't be this cold
But it is
And that's when I see him
His hair is a glowing silver
His eyes electric blue
His skin is pale as the snow
That's surrounding me
He is the most handsome man I have ever seen
No, he is beautiful
"Come with me."
He says the words
Yet his mouth never moves
He speaks into my mind
"Come with me."
He reaches out his frostbitten hand
I want to reach up and take it
But something is urging against it
Something, alive, inside me
Is screaming don't do it
I stare into those electric blue eyes
And I love them
I love the frozen ghost hover
The Fifth Horseman“I'm not saying they're not killing each other,” I explain. “I can see from the figures in front of me that they're killing each other. What I'm saying is that unless you can broaden your demographic, we're never going to meet our targets for this quarter. This is supposed to be a world war, Belgium and the Netherlands isn't going to cut it.”The Fifth Horseman9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
War squawks at me down the phone. It's hard to hear him over all the screaming in the background, but frankly I'm not interested in his excuses, I need to see results.
“What do I expect you to do? Do your job! Think outside the box! Look, Famine is in Europe right now, why don't you ask him for some help? I see the potential for synergy there. No, I'm aware you don't do 'asking for help'. I'm also aware of your performance over the past century, and I'm noticing some startling correlation between- hello? Hello?”
I slam the handset back into its cradle, which is a lot harder than it sounds when done from the back
ApocalypseContrary to popular misconception, the end of the world is not global warming, a nuclear fallout, or a mechanical uprising. Zombies do not erupt from their graves, aliens do not suddenly decide to invade. There are no horsemen, vengeful Gods or wayward comets. Lightning does not smote the wicked and angels do not lead the worthy to peace. The end of the world is not a mass disaster; there is no exploding sun, tidal wave or earthquake. Instead, it is those quiet moments happening all over the world, every day.Apocalypse9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Resting my hand on the gentle curve of my belly, I croon sweet nothings to my baby. I have decided that "it" is a "she", though the ultrasound confirmation is still several weeks away. Still, I have heard her heartbeat, and I am looking forward to hearing it again later today. I sit like this for an hour or so, soaking the sunlight into my skin and communing with the life growing inside me. I am lulled by the sound of traffic in the street, but the unmistakable drone of my hus
EternityDown by the lake, a child stands overlooking the water. Her dark hair is damp from a drizzle of rain not long passed, and her shoulders are lightly hunched beneath a pink jacket. Her small hands cup something tenderly as she seats herself on the grassy knoll by the water's edge. Once settled, she carefully tips the object into her lap, creating a bowl with her dress.Eternity9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Her hands dip quickly into pockets and pull out items that she lays beside her with reverence: a crumpled sheet of paper, a pen, and a lighter. She ignores the pen and lighter for now, smoothing the paper and folding it attentively. Spiders drop from the trees above and she periodically swats them without giving it much thought.
When she is finished, she holds up a paper boat and examines it. Satisfied, she uses the pen to mark it with what she feels is an appropriate name, leaning sideways to avoid spilling the object from her dress. She holds the boat up again and nods in solemn satisfaction, slipping the pen back into h
strange habits (FFM 4)Coming home had always been a challenge for Natasha. The music was constantly just a little too loud, the ghosts in the corner too rowdy, the poltergeist in the attic too fond of guilt-tripping, or just plain tripping. Everything in the old house seemed to crowd Natasha, to shout and jeer and laugh; she even found the ornaments distasteful and a little embarrassing. And all of that, that was before she even began thinking about her family.strange habits (FFM 4)9 months ago in Scraps More Like This
Nonetheless, here Natasha was, making the seven hour drive back to the house she'd grown up in. Only on one day of the year did her family enforce attendance, enforce 'social behaviour' and 'family spirit'; it wasn't worth the consequences of not going.
Natasha drew out the trip as long as she was able. She stopped multiple times at petrol stations, buying a chocolate bar, or a drink. She tried desperately to ignore one over-friendly cashier, who wouldn't stop asking questions;
"Why aren't you out partying? Young thing like you, I'd'
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 Wheel9 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.
Here, There, and Everywhere“I've had it.” Paul grabbed his guitar and strode out the door.Here, There, and Everywhere8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You can't—” Ringo ran after him. “Hey, you can't leave!”
Paul spun to face him. “You know what? We aren't—weren't—even that good. Losing a member can't make it worse.”
The audience glared.
Ringo glared back. A handful of people from a handful of villages—there were fewer people in the tent than there were cigarette stubs. As they continued to play, he saw several groups come in, look at the three-Beatle stage, listen to a few bars of a three-Beatle song, and leave. He suspected that their potential fans living in Kottspiel—who could hear the music from outside the tent—weren't bothering to come in at all. It was obvious what was wrong.
“There are meant to be four Beatles,” said John. “We'll need another Paul.”
“Paul. Ha!” Ringo jutted his chin at the audience. “They're the proble
WinterbleederCurled around alpine legs and caughtWinterbleeder3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
within hollows and inclines of pale skin,
she carries her endless winter always.
It settles upon frosted shoulders and
caps heavy-lidded eyes, clinging close to
the darkness of each snow-flecked breath;
lingering above cracked lips and the
remnants of a long forgotten warmth.
But darling, don't we deserve each other?
(She'd been Spring's child before Winter's whispers.)
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.Sicklefox9 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
blackout (FFM 3)At some point, I start to become aware of what's going on around me. Not all at once; it's a flash here, a voice there, a touch on my shoulder. But gradually, I'm waking up. I open my eyes, blinking at the bright light. I'm on a couch. There's a girl standing with her back to me, holding a cellphone. I know her, I think.blackout (FFM 3)9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
All at once, I'm panicking, terrified. There was danger. I had to hide. No-one was supposed to find me. I fell. I couldn't get up. Why? How did I get here? She turns at the sound of my quickened breath.
"Sarah, you're awake! How are you feeling?"
I can't respond, I feel sick, I don't know what's happening. I'm hyperventilating.
"You must be freezing. I'll grab you another blanket."
She leaves. I doubt she even realised how awful I felt. Or maybe she didn't care. Confused, bewildered, I tried to remember.
* * *
It's dark, and I'm running, but I've never been very good at walking in high heeled shoes, so I stumble. A lot. I'm running, and it's dark a
Rescue TeamShe called me because I lived right downstairs. She called me because she knew I wouldn’t call her parents. She called me because she hadn’t called in three months, and she knew that if she called me, crying, blubbering, watering the receiver with her tears and blood, I would come running anyway.Rescue Team2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was hunched up on the kitchen floor, her arms wrapped around her legs, her eyelashes wrapped around her bloodshot eyes. She looked up at me as I dropped the key I had never given back into my pocket. Her feet and hands were bloodied and full of cuts.
She said nothing as I crunched my way over the broken glass to her and hunched down, balancing on the balls of my feet. She looked down.
“What did you do?” I asked, looking around the messy kitchen, filled with shards of glass and broken plates. I noticed she was holding the phone in one hand and a champagne glass in the other. The only intact one left, I observed from my place facing the open cupboards and empty sh
Ashen“Four, five, six. Six? You said you could do fifteen!”Ashen1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
“My arms are getting tired!”
“You just can’t do them,” Emily insisted, crossing her arms. She narrowed her brown eyes at Grady and shook her head. “I bet Sven can do twice that!”
“I probably could,” Sven replied, standing to the side. He surveyed his two friends and debated on proving his strength.
Emily ran her fingers through her auburn hair, glowering at Grady. “You get one more try. You’ll be a liar and a wimp if you can’t do fifteen pull-ups.”
“I can do them! Watch and learn!” Grady reached for the ash branch and braced himself for the fifteen reps. After five, his arms burned from the repetition of the movement. He doubted Emily could complete one with her scrawny build, and Sven always barked with no bite. Taking heavy breaths, he passed the ten mark and felt his weight shift. With a loud crack, the limb suddenly gave way.
MonstersThere are monsters in the corner. I can see them; their eyes a bright golden yellow, shining like a cat’s in the dark. I can’t take my eyes off of them because if I do, they’ll move.Monsters9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Are you even listening to me?” she asks.
I can’t look at her but I know I have to otherwise she’ll think I’m crazy. “Yes,” I say quietly. I turn back to the corner and they’re gone. The eyes have vanished and there’s nothing there to prove they ever existed. But I know they were there because they’ve been with me my whole life.
“I have to leave for a week, are you going to be OK on your own?” she asks, her hands on her hips.
I nod, still not taking my eyes away from the corner. They’ve gone and I find myself praying to a god I don’t believe in for them not to come back. I look back at her trying to find some solace in her eyes but she’s just frowning at me. I wonder what she thinks of me? Does she t
CursedWhen I was five I told my teacher that my mother magically appeared whenever I was doing something wrong.Cursed8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Miss Jones laughed. “All mothers do that, Jill.”
So it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I realised that my mother was unusual in this respect. Picking my nose, yelling at a friend, trying to copy someone else’s homework—no matter how far apart we were, if I did something bad my mother would abruptly appear at my side glaring at me.
And she still does.
Mum doesn’t talk that much about my curse. I only know that it came from my father. Well, he was Mum’s husband—he wasn’t actually my father. Hence the curse, I suppose. I’ve never met him but he’s some kind of natural magician. Very rare.
The situation felt bearable as a child. I didn’t know any different and I was reassured by it, to be honest. But as a teenager going through a rebellious phase… Smoking, bit of graffiti, kissing boys. And more. My mot
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