Posted in friday fictioneers

Gathering Place

You always said the kitchen was our gathering place. 

“Over fine food families are saved.”

We’ve finally begun washing away the smoke gathered on your plates. Odds and ends scavenged from charred remains gather dust among piles of bills. There’s a bill for every emotion it seems but our payment for grief falls short. 

In your absence we gather under your favorite tree. We try to laugh but they burn our lungs on the way out, so we stand and pretend. Maybe we believe you’ll turn the corner, picnic basket in hand. Maybe if we just squint a little harder …

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Word Count: 100
For
Friday Fictioneers, many thanks to Rochelle for herding us in.

Posted in flash fiction

Fire Starter

I walked my dog here from the time the rain smelled of flowers through heated summer pains. We grew old here, grey hairs cropping up like pine needles. Soon we were covered with avalanches of them, prickly and sticky like aches and pains. Needles gave way to winters and snows heavy with human sorrow.

I had my first kiss here when birds were still quiet against the rising sun. He rested his hand on my cheek. He told me it would be alright. We planned a wedding through the morning dew and afternoon rays. But when the evening breeze came it left no remains. In the dark they strangled what we thought we had. By midnight it was just me and the needles, alone again.

I find myself in this place, over and over, shuffling dying fire starter from one memory to another. There’s smoke in the distance; the smell of burning dreams. I wonder what’s the cost to catch it all aflame and dissolve into the night, a waft of regret on the scent of what remains.

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Word Count: 178
For
Sunday Photo Fiction – This might as well have been partially written by Dirty Three (seriously, I’ve been on a binge)

Posted in flash fiction

Always the Kettle

It’s the tea kettle, always the tea kettle.

Jada had no idea why it was the kettle. Surely it wasn’t always. How many childhood stories were there about tea kettles being possessed?

Zero.

She couldn’t resist the designs. It begged to be taken home.

Such a tea slut.

The walls rumbled. In front of her individual scales twitched and flapped. A beast of terrifying size draped over her furniture.

Don’t move.

Jada knew the beast couldn’t be real. Yet here it was, half chasing something in its sleep; its forked tongue hanging from between scaly lips. Its serrated claws curled as it feigned trotting through a field playfully tossing its massive head.

And probably a corpse.

A feeling of panic rested low in her belly. Jada’s legs ached to run but she was frozen. 

Don’t breathe.

Its head snapped up. Jada could see her reflection in the glossy red iris. The beast inhaled as its nose passed across her.

Not a snack, the whole meal. Is this really gonna be my last thought before I die?

Its putrid breath filled Jada’s nose. Instead of a roar it let out a series of low clicks.

Oh god, it’s engine won’t turn over.

Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

Word Count: 200

For Sunday Photo Fiction – It’s my first time joining in with this (we can post on days other than Sunday right?) Also, dragons are like puppies. Who knew?

Posted in friday fictioneers

Shelley Robotics

Will had built robots and explored AI since he was a boy. This new project presented new challenges but Will was ready to tackle them.

This one looked just like Sheila. Sometimes Will had to remind himself S2 was different. As she stood, unblinking, in the garage Will didn’t need reminding. 

Her arm fell to the floor with a soft thud. Will stared at the fleshy decomposing mass.

“Well, the robotic one is almost ready.”

S2 pulled her crumbling lips back like a scared dog baring teeth.

“We’ll work on that smile next. Sheila had the most beautiful smile.”

Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

Frankenstein was first published in 1818. 

Word Count: 99

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers as always.