Posted in friday fictioneers

4:29 – Friday Fictioneers

Beep.

“Hey kid. It’s …. uhhh …. it’s dad. I’m here.”

Howling wind and feedback sent the signal fading in and out.

“Wherever here is. I think I found it. It’s on the train tracks … over a valley. It’s a steep valley, gotta be careful.”

Quincy squinted at the figure moving towards the tunnel in front of him. 

“Anyway, it’s 4:30, Sunday the … 30th. It’s … uh … it’s October. Hey it’s your birthday, sorry I’m not there bud. I know you’ll tell your mom I’m sorry. She never believed me.”

The message sputtered feedback.

Beep.

Quincy checked his watch, 4:29, the 30th of October. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

Word Count: 99

I’m super late on this one. I intended to write it back on Friday, then I intended to write it over the weekend. Thank you to
Rochelle for wrangling Friday Fictioneers.

Posted in flash fiction

Bec the Brave

The only way in or out of this dying town is marked by the ghost of a strip mall. It decays on the corner of the highway under the steady blinking of a traffic light.

Bec cocked her cap to the side, her curly ponytail escaping in wild fragments, and watched the yellow blinking reflect in Juan’s eyes.

“We all had to do it.” Juan tips his board with the worn toe of his converse. Bec surveyed the faces around her. None were much older than her thirteen years but in dying towns like this even children race to the finish line. “You gotta do it too.” Lit cigarettes bob as the boys succumb to snickers and jeers. “I’ll go with ya though. Mom thinks you’re fragile so I gotta.”

“We all had to go alone.” George, the de facto leader and smallest boy, jabs a stunted finger into Juan’s back. “Nobody cares what your mom thinks.”

Bec’s stomach flips, sending waves of nausea travelling up her throat.

The boys shift under George’s glare. “Just cuz she’s a girl she gets to bend the rules?” Even Juan, nearly a foot taller, shrinks back at the boy’s venom. “Nah, she goes alone, just like all of us.”

One by one the boys, cigarettes slack between dirty fingers, turn away.

“We’ll be waiting here when you come back Bec.” Juan said quietly.

She’d always heard it was the jump that was the worst part. As Bec watched the concrete pass beneath her worn sneakers she wondered how anything could be worse than the walk.

The highway offered a constant din to this dying town, lulling it to sleep, shaking it awake and giving it the rhythm of its days. Blurs of lives flew by, but never did they pull off at the exit.

Often residents wondered, “Why would they? We’re cursed after all.” There was nothing to see, nothing to do, but fall into small town waste.

Bec chose a spot overlooking the east bound blurs, cars flying towards the beach, towards the cities. East towards the sunrise and new beginnings.

Malfunctioning street lights threw her shadow against the broken street. She turned slowly, watching darkness engulf light like a monstrous wolf. She brought crooked fingers upwards, letting the wolf’s fangs gnash at the edge of a canyon like crack. Bec let out a low hollow growl, “All the better to eat you with my dear.”

Then the monstrosity was gone, replaced by a girl with her hands outstretched. Her attention was pulled back to the highway din below.

“Now or never.” Bec sucked in the cool air and, one foot after the other, climbed onto the concrete railing. Beneath the holey toes of her sneaker’s lights streaked by. Above her the sunrise was beginning to pierce the clouds with subvert pinks and oranges. Bec steadied herself against the cool concrete light pole and let the breeze tousle her curly ponytail.

“Now or never.” She whispered.

 

Deena watched Jason’s knuckles as he gripped the steering wheel.

“I’m just saying.” She hissed, “I don’t think it’s worth it.” Jason’s free hand pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Look, can this fucking argument wait? We’ve been driving for like 8 hours. Now really isn’t the time.” Her eyes fell on the rear-view mirror where she could see their two children, one asleep and one only pretending.

“Shawna.” Deena cooed. “You don’t have to keep pretending to be asleep.”

“Great.” Jason growled, his knuckles becoming an uncomfortably pale shade.

Shawna pushed a tuft of red curls back from her face. “Are you and daddy going to break up?”

“What? No! Of course not honey!”

“Debatable.” Jason snarled. Deena shot him a sideways glance as she pushed her seatbelt out of the way and leaned into the backseat.

“You know no matter what mommy and daddy love you and sissy very much.” Shawna twisted her small hands.

“Oh shit!” The car jerked violently as a pale figure descended in front of the hood. Jason twisted the steering wheel rapidly but it was no use. The SUV collided with highway barriers, distorting and crunching as it cartwheeled over them.

Bec watched the car move in slow motion, hard plastic and luggage exploded from it like fireworks. When the mangled remains finally came to a stop people dashed to the wreckage while screaming and jerking their arms in the air.

One by one four pale figures gathered by the wreck.

Deena stared at her daughters. They were somehow there but not, full of color and life but also devoid of all. Jason stared at his own hands, “What happened?”

“Strange, isn’t it?” Bec offered with a shrug. Four sets of eyes focused on her. “But you’ll be ok. We all are.” She pointed towards the highway exit. “This way.”

“Oh my god.” Firetrucks and ambulances descended on the scene with metal grips to free bodies from the car. Deena’s eyes traced a dark path across the road into the grass. Slowly her hands traced her face and neck.

“You’d taken your seatbelt off?” Jason’s gaze followed his wife’s.

“Um, maybe this isn’t a great idea. You know, kids, might not want them seeing all that.” Bec nodded towards the blinking yellow light. “We just need to go up here.”

In the strip mall parking lot the boys waited, never ending cigarettes clutched between their lips.

“I’m impressed Bec.” George eyed the family. “Hi, what’s your name?” Shawna ducked behind her mother as the short boy’s attention fell on her. “No? Ok. What about you? What’s your name?”

“I’m sorry.” Jason blocked his oldest daughter from the boy’s questions. “I don’t know what’s happening. Are there … I don’t know, adults or something we can talk to?”

George shrugged, “Sure man. Just keep going up that road. They’ll be waiting for you.” One by one the group turned their backs, fading away.

Deena gripped Jason’s hand. “I’m scared.”

Jason shook his wife’s hand free, “Just follow me.”

Word Count: 998

Edited to add, because it fits well and I have nothing new for it RDP 10/30: Dead

Posted in Word Prompt

There’s A Man

There’s a man at my door.
He’s not moving anymore.
He just stares,
Icy blue and brown,
Through the concrete
At me.

There’s a man at my window.
He’s not breathing anymore.
He just taps,
Clicky clack and double rap,
Through the pane
To me.

There’s a man in my room.
He’s here with me.
He just stands,
Staring and stroking my cheek,
Through my skin,
Bleeding me.


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Posted in Word Prompt

What Secrets This Lake Keeps

What secrets this lake keeps
When the dark nights rain
And it’s just humid enough
For the lake to stain
With the ghost of clouds
That couldn’t quite take flight.
There’s a story here
Only unfolding in those nights.
Billy lives in that mansion across the way.
Him, his mistress and a perfect family.
He shines the spotlight over the lake
When the fogs settle in thick.
Billy claims it’s for the speedsters,
Whipping in and out,
Keeps them quick.
But I know the truth,
Of Billy and the lake
And the girl he vowed to take
As his first, his wife.
His heart and soul she was.
Until one day sweet Billy found her
Facedown in the red mud;
Gunshot wounds
To the back and head.
The gun was his
And sweet Billy was no saint.
Scared, he hid
Her body at the bottom of the lake.
Now he shines his spotlight,
When the fogs coat the waters thick
To keep the specter of his love
From spilling his secrets like oil slicks.


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Posted in Word Prompt

The Faint Voice

WordPress Daily Prompt – Faint

I’m sitting at my desk when I hear the faint little voice behind me.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

I know she’s looking at the mess around me. I really should be cleaning today. When’s the last time I washed those dishes or changed my clothes anyway?

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

My friends don’t come around much anymore. They say they’re just busy but I know the truth. My house kind of smells from all of the food.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

Really I know that they think I’ve gotten a bit more strange lately. Sometimes I waltz outside in the dead of night, leaving my door standing wide open.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

Together we dance through the flowers and across the streets. We’re not always careful like I know we should be.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

We dodge the bright lights and blaring horns. It’s a mighty fun game but it can make you a little sore.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

I chase her through the park and down the hill, right through the cemetery gates so she can dance on her grave.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

The dirt here is growing over with grass and the flowers are dead. But there stands her stone, peeking just above her head.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

Her faint voice giggles as she spins in her gown. The bloodied spots have turned a dark brown.

“Come on mommy, let’s play today.”

My friends don’t really come around anymore. They say it’s because they’re busy but I know the truth. They don’t hear the faint voice like I do.


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