#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 24

“Leighla. Take Flint home.”

My sister grabbed my hand, and pulled me from the library. We walked a short distance from Old Phoenix to a boardwalk over a lake. There were houses among the trees of the hills by the lake. “I know this place.”

“You should.” Leighla pointed to one house. “Especially that one.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 24 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.

If you wish to read all the parts of the story, they are in order, from most recent to first, here.

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#VisDare 43 : Memory

The eagles asked me to take Alice to a second place. As I did, Alice pulled me to a stop. “I can’t.”

I took both her hands in mine. “Why?”

“You don’t know, do you?”

I softly touched her cheek with my fingertips, as I closed my eyes. Alice pressed my hand against her face. And I saw her memories. She stood in the small glade the eagles told me about. She was much younger. I saw her speaking to a butterfly, her eyes closed, as she listened to the stories it shared with her.

I saw members of the horde pour through the walls of the glade, destroying it. I learned what they’d done to Alice that day. When she was just a child.

I’d seen enough. I kissed her. I held her.

“Alice. It’s time for things to change.”

She kissed me. “I’ve looked for you so long.”

150 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 27 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

If you wish to read the entire tale, you can find it, starting with Part 27, running back to Part 1, here.

#ThursThreads Week 93 : It’s Beatiful, But It’s Flawed

The kid looked at his hand, and watched the blood leak from it. I’d tried to warn him, but he hadn’t listened. This was Earth. The world of the humans. Where even the flowers were violent, and dangerous.

I laughed. “Careful, boy.” I pulled a strip of medical tape out of my pocket, and wrapped it around his finger.

“What happened?”

“The humans have a song. Says every rose has its thorn.” I carefully reached into the rosebush, and pulled the stem out into the open. “The song doesn’t lie.” He could see the stem, and the thorns spaced randomly around it. “This is a rose, kid.” I cut the stem, and pulled the rose bloom free, handing it to him.

He studied it. “It’s stunning.”

“Yeah. It is.” I sighed. “Every bit as beautiful as anything in the City of Gold.”

He nodded his head. “Look at the way it’s petals all wind together.” He ran his fingertips across the petals of the rosebud. “They feel like velvet, or silk.”

“They are one of Joshua’s most exquisite creations.”

The kid stared at it. “And yet, it’s filled with thorns.” The kid shook his head. “How? How can this be?”

“This is Earth. Where Lucien and the fallen live.” I looked up at the moon in the star filled sky. “Perhaps Joshua’s greatest creation.” I took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. “It’s beautiful. But it’s flawed. It’s why Joshua trapped Lucien and the fallen here. On Earth.”

250 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 93. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MWBB 36 : Howlin For You

Friday night. And I was alone. In my car. Going to watch a movie. With no one. Going to eat a dinner somewhere. With no one. Going to lie on my bed, with my eyes open, staring at the ceiling all night. Again.

That’s not how I wanted to spend my Friday night. I wanted to spend it with her. Take her to a movie she wanted to watch. I’d have even gone to watch one of those love story movies, if that’s what she’d wanted. I wouldn’t have cared what movie. I wouldn’t have seen the movie, or remembered it. I’d have seen her. I’d have talked with her. I’d have sat next to her. Maybe she’d have even held my hand.

But she wasn’t with me. I’d picked a movie for me. Just like I did every Friday night. One movie after another. And I sat through it, wishing she was there.

After the move I’d have taken her to dinner. A real restaurant. With sit down service. Not a pizza place. Not fast food. She liked Italian. So I’d have picked an Italian place. She’d sit across the table from me. We’d talk about the movie. And about work, and school, and our friends. I’d get to watch her again. See the way the light shined through her hair. See the way her hair caressed her neck and shoulders. I’d wish I could put my hands where her hair was, letting my fingertips trace the curves of her shoulders. I’d stare into her eyes, and forget everything. No studies. No projects. No deadlines. Nothing. I’d just stare into her soft blue eyes. And get lost. I’d talk about anything she wanted. For as long as she wanted. And we’d get a desert. And split it. Two spoons, one for each of us.

Instead, I went to Taco Bell. A fast food burrito, and an absurdly big cup of Mountain Dew. I wolfed both down, and got out of there as quickly as I could. I’d learned. If I kept moving, I didn’t notice as much how she wasn’t there.

After dinner, if she wanted, I’d drive to the ocean front. And we’d take a walk on the beach. She’d take off her shoes, and walk barefoot on the sand. And she’d hold my hand. Her graceful, delicate fingers laced through mine. Our palms pressed together. I wouldn’t even notice the ocean breeze, or the sounds of the waves. I wouldn’t even notice the other people there. All I’d see was her. All I’d feel was her hand, holding mine.

Instead, I went home. To my room, shut the door, and turned off the lights. And I pulled aside my curtains, and looked out the window, into the dark. I stared at the stars, and the moon. I knew they were alone. So far from everyone, and everything. The stars couldn’t talk to each other. No one could visit them. Stars were isolated islands in an ocean larger than I could ever imagine. The stars were alone.

Like me.

Without her.

I slept with the curtains open that night. Lying on my bed. Staring at the stars for hours. Until I passed out. I’d done good. I was proud of myself.

I didn’t cry.

546 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for week 36 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 23

“Alice is fine.”

I had to ask, “Alice is your mother?”

“Flint. Alice is our mother.”

Leighla laughed, and I saw a younger version of her. Long grey-black hair and deep brown eyes. She wore a headband that meant something, but I didn’t know what.

Taran smiled, “You’re remembering who you are, aren’t you, Flint.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 23 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.

If you wish to read all the parts of the story, they are in order, from most recent to first, here.

Stopped

Photo: shared by LIORA www.twinflame1111.comThere it was.
On Facebook.
A picture of a beach somewhere.
With big waves.
And bright sun.
And some random guy
Walking toward the ocean.
And the words on the picture said:

Decide what you want.
Believe you can have it.
Believe you deserve it.
And believe
It’s possible for you

And my brain cells analyzed the words,
Passing them through the filters I’ve made
That translate what people say
To something I can understand.

And I found those words
Suddenly
Terrified me.
Because the told me
Clearly.
Why people stop.

I’ve always seen people
Stop.
They stop growing.
They stop learning.
They stop trying.
They stop changing.
They stop dreaming.
They stop.

I’ve never understood why.

When I worked
Where I used to work,
I never stopped.
I never stood still.
I never treaded water.
I never once believed
I was good enough
At the work I did.

I always believed
I had to get better.
I had to learn more.
I had to push myself.
My abilities.
My skills.
Just to keep the job
I had.

And it disturbed me greatly
When the people I worked with
Explained to me
A hundred thousand times,
“I don’t touch my work
When I’m at home.”

They stopped.
They quit growing.
Learning.
Improving.

And then wondered
How I always seemed
To get better,
And know more,
That I did the year before.

And that poster on Facebook
Shocked me on this Sunday.
And I’ve been trying
Every since,
To figure out the words I saw
In my heart and soul,
When I read those words.

I remember what Gina said to me,
When she was in Chemo-therapy,
And fighting for her life.
“I just want my life back.”

Then there were the words
Tim spoke.
“Sometimes, you do
What you have to do.
To keep your job.”

There were so many other words
I heard in those days.
And just as many words
I hear all the time
In this new life I’ve found.

“I wish I had a job like that.”

“I’d gladly go through hell
To get paid that well.”

It was as those thoughts
Raced through my memory,
As I tried to understand
The words on that poster,
I became very sad.

Because I knew.
People stop.

They figure out
What they want.
The car.
The house.
The family.
And all the stuff
That goes with it.

They dream the dream
Of American success.

They grow up.
Graduate from college.
Get a job,
Get married.
And start their families.

And then they live
For just one thing.
To retire.

To escape the dream
They have achieved.

I’ve always wondered why.
Why they were so unhappy.
Why they worked so hard
To reach success.
And then just stopped.

What they meant
When they said to me,
“I’m too old to change.”
And
“It’s too hard.”

They’re reached the dreams
They believed in.
Not knowing
There’s always more.
The journey never ends.

So here I sit, tonight.
With my cat
Sleeping on my lap.
Wondering.

Will any of the people
I have known,
And met,
In the live I have been given,
Ever realize
They’ve stopped changing,
And growing.

Will they ever realized
They’ve stopped?

#ThursThreads Week 92 : Like Hell It Is

“I hear Earth is a beautiful place.”

I looked at the young angel next to me. He bore no scars. The armor on his wings was still polished, and new. He had never been to Earth before. Never faced Lucien’s minions before. Never faced humans before. So, he didn’t know.

“Yeah. It’s pretty enough.”

He smiled. “Tell me about it?”

I kept it simple. “Earth has nights and days. It rotates on its axis. So the sun seems to come up from the horizon every day. And then sink below the horizon later that day. It’s pretty enough. Lots of colors. Pink, orange, yellow, gold.”

“That sounds beautiful.”

“It has oceans of water covering over ⅔ of its surface. Where the oceans meet the land, there are cliffs, and beaches. With rocks and sand.”

“I want to see them. Sunrise, sunset, beaches, cliffs. Can we see them?”

“Yeah, kid. We can see them.”

So innocent. He didn’t know about fear, anger, rage, hatred, bigotry, pride, arrogance, lust. He didn’t know about sin. I sighed. I couldn’t let him go in blind. “There’s something you should know about earth. It’s beautiful, but it’s flawed.”

“Flawed?”

“Ever hear the saying like Hell on Earth?” The kid just stared at me, so I explained. “Lucien and the fallen ones live there. Demons all. Earth itself is not Hell. But like hell it is.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know, kid. I know. But you will. You will.”

The ship started its descent.

248 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 92. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.