This is a piece I wrote for #FridayFlash with the letter I as my writing prompt.
She pirouetted through her door.
Sunlight flooded the living room from the skylight overhead. She danced through the rays. Step, step, jump, arms at shoulder length, step, hands above her head, be graceful, turn her head just so.
She stopped on the final pose, and laughed. It was too perfect.
“You got the part,” her husband stated.
She straightened, smiling up at him. “No.” But she would as soon as full dose of ice worked on her.
I decided to write a Friday flash with a title that starts with C, because of the A to Z challenge. This is what resulted.
Rain drizzled down, a steady, punishing stream of water.
It wound down the body of the stone statue, past its blind eyes and dripped on ground already soaked with rain.
And me? It left me dry. My sister didn’t dare touch me, even here, far from land and age of our power. She still stayed clear of me, left me in a circle as dry as the sands of our birth.
Well, she would not touch her either. This rain wasn’t true, as fake as the rosy color on her cheeks. She wasn’t grieving. How could she? She had done this, shoved my beloved into a deep ditch and poured water she couldn’t breathe.
I brushed my fingers across the statue’s damp eyes. They were large in life, one brown and one blue, and so beautiful.
I would deepen my sister’s oceans until she thought she was winning; I would dry up her rivers and lakes; I would turn her land into the sands for our family’s graveyard.
And I would start here, on this island.
Tell me what you think about this story? Is it confusing?
Eyebrows arched high, blue eyes wide and carefully made up to hide the first signs of wrinkles, Ashara posed in front of the crowd. Colorful fabric streamed behind her, a parody of the flags ringing the stadium. Cameras flashed, but the applause was polite.
She turned on her six-inch heels and stalked back across the stage. Her hair swept down her back in long, loose waves; it excited more comment than the flower-print folds of her dress.
Her heels left faint gold marks on the wooden boards, but no one noticed.
The next model was a slim, dark figure in white wedges, a shimmering black crop top and ivory pants. She strode over her predecessor’s footsteps.
The crowd roared and cameras flashed enough to blind anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in the glare. The model kept turning, kept moving. She was rumored to take Ashara’s place as the next top model.
A hush came over the crowd when she stumbled and went down hard. One of the stage crew helped her off.
Ashara came back in a number designed to show off a svelte body, all smooth lines and shining fabric. Whispers flowed like water at her appearance. She looked as if she had lost a decade in the ten minutes she had been off stage.
A story made up of nothing but dialogue is a challenge for me, because I’m not especially good at it. I haven’t written one in a long time and today I feel, oddly, inspired by soap operas. I suspect nothing good can come of this, but I’m giving it a shot.
“Stay away! Go away, or I swear to god I’ll call the cops! Go. Go.”
“Baby, listen. Please, just listen. I’m -“
“You have the nerve to apologize, after what you did? With the pool boy!”
”It didn’t mean nothing. He wasn’t always a pool boy and I know him from way back. But I’m just into you these days, baby, just you. He means nothing to me. Nothing!”
“Officer? Yes, my ex is harassing me and won’t leave. Could you – thank you.”
“You shouldn’t have done that, baby. You really shouldn’t have. You see this? Give me a hundred thousand and your computer, and the world won’t see it.”
I am not sure where this came from, but it’s only a hundred words.
She watched his truck barrel down the road. The convoy – friends for at least a decade – followed him like beads on a string. Odd-shaped, bumpy beads, rejects from the bead factory.
She waved my fingers; the large snow dunes on either side of the road melted slightly and shifted.
His truck sped past the first of the dunes. Lumps of snow and ice fell and lodged between wheels and coated windshields in a fine icy pellets.
His truck slowed to a crawl; behind him the convoy stopped entirely. He stopped only when the truck’s wheels spun uselessly.
She smiled, pleased.
This is an old story I’ve resurrected for #fridayflash!
Cries rent the morning air, like a knife slicing through butter.
Startled – and afraid – I grabbed the dog and rushed indoors.
Cas barked in my arms and shook his blond head. Stone crunched under my claws.
The cry came again, piercing my ears like a needle.
I shut the door just in time. The shriek cut off in the middle. I sagged against the heavy stone gratefully.
Cas licked my nose, rubbing soap suds over my face, and barked. I let the dog jump to the floor.
Cas shook himself, lay down, rubbed himself dry over the carpet.
I didn’t care. As long as I was alive.
I never wanted to see a hunting dragon ever again.
This is my first Friday flash of the year – and my first in many, many months. I meant to post this last week, but I forgot. 😦 This is an experiment, using a different POV from a story I posted earlier.
She peeked in the window. Her old yellow scarf moved in the breeze and she yanked it back. The room was dusty, and littered with pencil stubs and torn paper. The man was inside. He bent over a pad of paper, fingers smudged with graphite. This looked promising.
She moved around the house, past the scraggy grass in the front lawn. There was a kitchen garden in the back. A basil plant grew by the side of the house, its leaves a bright, verdant green, in direct contrast to the faded whitewash of the house.
She squatted in front of it, and cringing, reached inside. But her fingers passed through the soil painlessly, like air through a flute. The bones were buried among the basil roots. Perfect. She cradled them in her hand and lifted them out. The skeleton was no larger than her hand, dead so recently that bits of flesh still clung to its skull. The burial must have been rushed, she thought, the ceremonies not properly observed. Otherwise the basil would have protected the small baby from such as her far better.
A dead baby and a grieving widower – this was perfect. She picked several delicate finger bones and chewed. It would tell the babies in her belly how they should appear to the man.
She left the bones on the ground and rose, turning to the window. The bells on her anklets tinkled in the air, as loud as they had been silent before.
The man walked came outside from a second door. She smiled at him and pulled on the magic of her people. It covered her like a new silk dress, soft, pliable yet strong. The man gazed her, entranced. She embraced him; his arms wrapped tightly around her. He breathed on her neck, long, slow breaths, and she led him inside.
She made him man food, but left the dust in the room alone. Night fell and she took him in the bed. Finally, finally, she let the magic go. He saw her as she was. His eyes widened above her; he gasped and moaned as though overcome with fear – or desire. His sounds were a wonderful music. She grinned – and drank down his energy. Afterward, he lay on the bad, watching her with wide, staring eyes.
She gave birth on top of him. Blood soaked the bedding. Her babies slipped from her, tiny, writhing, hungry creatures. They bit his lips, sipped his blood. The man would care well for them for a few years. She would be back then.
She knew the villagers would leave him be. They knew her people’s reputation.
This didn’t turn out quite like I intended, but here it is.
He heard steps and turned. A woman’s light yellow scarf fluttered outside his window and vanished.
Just a passing woman, he thought. No one was inside.
He turned back to his sketch. His wife had long black hair, large, lively eyes and a faint smile. Her laughter was a balm to his heart, like cut roses floating on water. Pretty, delicate and, he thought now, dead.
He squeezed his eyes shut at the thought. His last sight of her floated into his head. Wrapped in a white sheet, eyes closed, she was very still on the wooden pyre. The warmth licked up his face. His tears dried from the heat of the fire even as the flames consumed her.
The sound of light footfalls and the tinkle of silver ankle bells filled the air. He looked around. A light yellow scarf flickered, but this time kitchen window. That was his wife’s garden.
Frowning, he set the sketch aside and rose. How dare a strange woman enter his wife’s space?
He walked out the kitchen door and – stopped. There was his wife, smiling, standing next to the basil, skin glowing like black pearls. Too much time gardening, he thought dimly. She’d spend months gardening. How had he missed it?
He strode forward, arms wide open. She rushed to him, laughing, rubbing her rounded belly.
The pungent smell of crushed basil leaves teased his nose. No . . . that wasn’t . . . it couldn’t . . . He blinked. Why had he thought he smelled basil? His wife grew roses here. She liked to use the blossoms to decorate glass bowls.
Later that night, he rose above her. She opened her mouth. He gaped at her thick, black tongue. She grinned – and kissed him.
The townspeople found him in bed. The sheets twisted about his body. His eyes stared and he yelled strange things. Black snakes curled up in his lap; he cuddled them like they were his own.
They sent a message to his family and left him be.
This isn’t quite what I hoped it would be, but it’s done now. 🙂
City lights gleamed in the distance. They were pinpricks of life, of hope.
He automatically searched out the building with the spire made of stacked metal gargoyle skulls. Even obscured by wet and fog, it was beautiful. His family lived there, walked and worked in its rooms. He’d spent the best part of childhood there.
His lover’s home was a couple dozen blocks past it. He’d thought it was his home, too. He was wrong.
He looked over his shoulder at his friend. His friend’s dark clothing was wet from the rain and his hair was slicked back. But his gaze held only rough sympathy.
“You knew it would end,” his friend stated.
He nodded. He knew. It still hurt. He took a deep breath of the cool, rain-scented air. “Time to go.”
The both walked to the edge. He placed his hands on the wet railing and looked down. The river below was dark and the waters roiled in the storm.
A small boat bobbed in the water. It was barely visible. He swung his legs over the railing and jumped.
The splash he made was lost in the storm’s fury. The water was numbingly cold. A moment later, his friend dropped beside him.
They looked at each other, than started swimming.