#FlashMobWrites 1×18 : Savin Me

Zachary cried as they took down the flag in front of the capitol building. Some folks watching patted him on the back, not realizing his tears were not happy tears, but tears of loss, tears for his country as people nailed another nail into its coffin.

It wasn’t like he wanted slavery. He knew it was wrong to own other people. And he did think everyone was equal. But, that didn’t make everyone the same. Black and white people were different. They didn’t belong together, they belonged in separate places. And them homos, they were sick people, had some virus or something, and were infecting everybody.

He knew what to do. The Bible said if a man was sick, cast him out. If he lived, let the church leaders figure out if God had healed him before letting him back in.

Them people wanting the flag down wanted to have black and white people get married, and make babies, have men marry men, and women marry women. And that was sick.

“It’s time to start fixing all this shit. Time to start getting rid of the sick people, so the diseases they got won’t infect everybody.” That’s what he said that night, to his friends in the chat room. And they all said the same thing.

Zachary prayed a lot that night. “Grant me the strength to take down Satan’s minions, oh God almighty. Guide me, and my aim. Protect my family from the evil people of this world. Keep them pure and safe.”

At sunrise Zachary gathered his two handguns, and assault rifle. He signed in to the chat room one last time. Several of his buddies were there, checking to see if everyone was ready. They wished each other well. They wished each other victory. They prayed.

It was time to save his country.

He drove his car as he hunted Satan’s minions. People with that cursed rainbow flag thing, men kissing men, men holding hands, women kissing and holding hands, people walking with them. The weak, infected, sick people who didn’t know they were supporting Satan.

He found a group of six men, holding hands. He watched a couple of them kiss each other. Made him sick to watch. Several couples were with them, men and women, shaking hands with the sick men, everybody laughing, smiling.

He parked his car, climbed out, pulled his rifle off his back, checked it was ready to fire, and screamed, “For the glory of God!” People screamed, cried, ran. He made sure he shot all six of the sick men, made sure they were dead. Then, he got in his car, started hunting more of the sick.

“If it’s my time to die today, Almighty Father, then I’ll leave this life behind, and join your heavenly army.” He hoped he didn’t die, but if that’s what it took to save his country from Satan, then so be it.

487 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×18, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×18. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

#MidweekMusings 1×06 : Carry You Home

She was still alive. The man next to her was dead, the hole in his head, the mush that was the back of his head. They’d shot him. He’d been in the way.

Frank knew what they’d done to her. Naked and tied to a tree. His blood turned to ice as he remembered Beth. He’d saved her body, but couldn’t save her heart.

The ice calmed him. “First, make sure no one’s still around.” He pulled his bow off his back, set an arrow, then moved, silently, like a wolf, through the trees and the brush. A predator, hunting. He listened, but heard no one. He searched the ground, and the trees, ready to fight if needed. A trained warrior. A trained killer.

The woman was still alive. Damn it. He should have walked away. Should have let her die. One more victim of the violence filled world. But, he couldn’t. He wouldn’t sleep that night if he did. He might never sleep again if he left her there.

He searched the woods until he found them. Three of them in the trees, four of them on the ground, arranged in a half circle around the woman, waiting for anyone to show up. A classic trap, she was the bait. Outnumbered, seven to one, Frank could have walked away. Waited until the men gave up. That might be a day, or two. That might be a week. They might stick around until their bait died. Either way, they’d move on, find someone else.

The woman, and her friend, lost in the woods. They’d probably been hunting a safe place. A village, a town, where people would welcome them. Take them in. Plenty of lost couples wandered in the forest, the mountains. Most of them starved to death. They didn’t know how to hunt for food.

Bands of men hunted them. Always killed the male. Always raped the female. Always set a trap. Frank knew they set traps because it always worked. Others lost in the woods tried to help. They rushed in, blindly. And the men who waited had another woman to rape. And they did. Endlessly.

Frank wasn’t lost in the woods. He lived there. Hunted there. Survived there. Alone.

Carefully, he pulled two more arrows from his quiver, propped them against the tree he stood next too. Frank knew what to do. He targeted one of the men in a tree, let the arrow fly. It struck the man in the neck. The second arrow struck the second man hiding in a tree. It caught him in the belly. The man howled in agony and fell. Idiot probably broke his neck in the fall.

The other men knew something was wrong, but hadn’t started to react. Frank fired the third arrow. It caught the third tree dweller in the chest. The man stood on a tree branch, and looked at the arrow sticking out of his chest. He looked surprised, like something was wrong, something didn’t make sense. He sat down on the branch. Frank wondered how long it would take for him to die. But he had no time to watch. He dashed through the brush to his left, toward the closest of the men on the ground. He pulled an arrow from his quiver as he ran. The man never figured out what was going on. Frank pounced on him, and drove the arrow into his neck. The man fell, silently. Unable to scream.

The other three did what Frank expected. They left their hiding spots, wandered into the open, headed toward the tree dweller who’d screamed. Frank put an arrow in the back of one of them. The other two turned, drew their guns, and started shooting at everything.

One arrow struck a man in the left thigh. Another struck the other in the right hip. Both howled in pain. Frank stayed hidden, and waited. The two he’d wounded panicked, dropped their guns, and started to rip the arrows from their bodies, which only caused them to bleed more profusely. The other five were no longer threats.

Frank walked to the two wounded men. He kicked their guns away, into the woods. They looked at him, pleaded for help. Frank never made a sound. He approached the woman. Untied her. She was too weak to walk.

“I know a place you will be safe.” He pulled the shirt off one of the dead men, helped her put it on. Then, he carried her. “A place you can call home.” He looked to the sky and screamed the cry of an eagle. An eagle answered. Frank screamed again. He knew, the eagle would fly to Jessica.

“I know someone. A woman.” Frank looked at the woman he carried. “She’ll take care of you.”

And he carried her away from that place of death.

808 words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×06 of #MidweekMusings, a flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#MWBB 3.03 : Moshka

“I’d kill the bitch again, you know! I would!” Robert screamed through the bars of the cell at the pussy-whipped guards. “She got me fired!” Robert slammed his forearm into the bars, “So I shot her ass!”

Jailed for rape and murder. That was going to look good on his résumé. That’s what everyone would say. No one would say the truth. Framed by a whore, so he shot her. Of course no one would say that. They’d all side with that bitch.

Hell, he was a man! If a woman looked good, he told her she looked good. It’s what guys did. If she had boobs he wanted to see, he told her he wanted to see them. Nothing wrong with that. He was being honest, like his parents taught him.

Asking questions was curiosity on his part. “I don’t see any lines, do you wear thongs?” Curiosity, nothing more. Some days she had more cleavage than others. “One of those miracle bra things?” Curiousity was natural, wasn’t it?

He tried being helpful too, like when she wore a dress. “You have great legs. Why don’t you wear something a bit shorter, show off your legs more?” Constructive suggestions, that’s all. “Men go stupid around boobs. Show them off a bit, and they’ll give you everything you ask for.” Nothing sexist at all. He wasn’t harassing her. He was trying to help her.

He even tried being friendly, “I’m going to lunch, wanna come? I’ll buy.” She always declined. “Why do you never go to lunch with me?” She never answered.

He’d even tried being polite. “Women like flowers and candy, right? So, I left a flower on her desk once. And some chocolate once. What’s wrong with that?”

The boss called him to the office more than once. “Robert, you have to stop harassing Penny.”

“But, I’m not harassing her.”

“According to her, you are.”

They made him watch this stupid video about what sexual harassment in the workplace was. Made him take a test after the video. He got every question right, passed that stupid test. Proved he knew what harassment was.

“What’s wrong with telling her she looks pretty today?”

“Nothing wrong with telling her that, Robert.” The bos shook his head. “It’s how you say it. With that leer in your eyes and how you stare at her boobs.”

The meetings became more frequent. Turned out the bitch was filing sexual harassment reports against him. “He keeps asking what kind of underwear I wear. If I have on a push-up bra. Telling me I should wear shorter skirts.” There was more. “He keeps asking me out. He won’t take no for an answer.” And more. “He stares at me. Watches me all the time. Like he’s stalking me.” And it all ended with, “I can’t work with him. I don’t feel safe around him.”

After several months of her lies, several months of the boss talking with him, telling him to leave her alone, the company fired him. They didn’t let him resign. They fired him, and listed the reason as sexual harassment.

She got him fired! Cost him his job!

That little bitch!

So, hell yes. He went to his truck, got his gun, and waited. He followed her home, snuck in. Finally did what he’d always wanted to with her. Found out she didn’t wear a thong, and her bra was not one of those sexy lace things like in the pictures on his computer. No, just plain underwear.

But he finally got to touch her boobs. While he was at it, he screwed her. Like he’d always fantasized about doing. That’d teach her to get him fire.

Then he shot her. Stuffed the gun barrel in her mouth, and pulled the trigger. “It’s what she deserved! She ruined my life! Got me fired!”

Life was so fucking unfair! God! He didn’t deserve any of this shit!

654 Words
@LurchMunster


And so goes year 3, week 3 (Week 3.03) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Moshka” by Vas. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#MidweekMusings 1×05 : Fire

Flora paid for the drinks, then left the bar. She spoke with the grass, dirt, flowers, trees. “Where has Pahana gone?” A trail of white only Flora could see formed along the ground. She followed it.

Pahana stood before the remains of his house. Fauna felt the heartbreak in his veins, the aching of his heart, the tears of his soul. “Pahana?”

He turned as he wiped away his tears. “Flora?”

Flora’s fingers touched his cheek, his tears. “Show me where they rest, please.”

Pahana led Flora to a mass gravesite at the edge of town. A dozen fresh graves were there, unmarked. He stopped before three of the graves. “My daughter. My son. My wife.” He slowly sank to his knees. He didn’t cry. Flora knew he’d run out of tears in that place. All he could do was kneel before the graves, and pray someday he could feel anything other than empty.

She placed a hand on his shoulder, “Thank you.” She spoke with the ground, the grass, the trees, the flowers. Pahana watched as green grass sprouted around the graves. At the head of each, a rose-bush grew. Deep red for his wife, peach for his daughter, yellow for his son.

Pahana stood. “Thank you.”

Flora smiled, touched his cheek once more. “Tell me, my friend, are there still angels here?”

He nodded.

“Tell me where they are.”

He took her hand, and guided her through the town, to the home of the mayor. “They took over everything.”

She smiled, touched his cheek once more, “Go someplace safe. Tell everyone you can to hide someplace safe.”

“What are you going to do?”

Flora said nothing. Pahana looked at her, into her eyes. He saw fire. Burning, white-hot fire.

“Be safe, Flora. Please.” Pahana left, running from house to house, telling people the fairy Flora was here to save them from the angels. “Get somewhere safe!”

Flora called on the wild magic. She knew it was the machines of her world, of Cylinders. The ubiquitous machines flowing in the blood of everyone, in the air, the water, the trees. She still called it the wild magic. She couldn’t begin to understand the machines, their sciences, their technology. But she could understand wild magic. Especially her wild magic.

Vines grew, came alive, gathered around her. A vine crossed the ground to the door of the house. It grew between the door, and frame, unlocked the door. The door swung open, silently. Flora entered the house, the vines surrounded her, protected her.

She moved room to room, searching for the angels. They’d gathered the beds of the house, the chairs, the tables, in one room. They slept there, draped across everything. They had no guards. They were angels. No one would attack them.

Flora spoke to the wild magic. The vines spread rapidly through the room, twisting around each angel, binding hands, feet and wings. No angle was free. The vines trapped them all. She spoke to the wild magic again.

The vines erupted in flames.

The angels burned.

Flora watched them die. “For Pahana. For his family.” She walked among the dead angels. “For my sister.”

She walked from the home, still surrounded by vines. Outside, the vines spread until the house was no longer visible. She heard the sound of wooden beams splintering. The vines crushed the house, consumed it, turned it, and everything in it, back to dirt.

The fire in her eyes never wavered, never faded. “The angels want a war.” She spread her wings, “Then they shall have a war.” Her wings tore into the air as she took flight. She used the wild magic to guide her as she headed toward her mother’s side.

It was time to stop the angels.

Time to stop the madness.

“There must be no more families like Pahana’s.”

639 words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×05 of #MidweekMusings, another flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#FlashMobWrites 1×16 : Bad Blood

It wasn’t the first night Frank couldn’t sleep. Valerie slept inside their small home, in their small bed. He’d worked hard with her to make that house, to make the things they had.

Frank stood in their garden. Valerie cared for it, every day he was away. He was away often, with his wolf, bear, eagle, and hawk friends. The animals, all predators, walked through the world with him. They hunted men. Men who saw women at things, possessions, things they used, then disposed of.

Frank lost count of how many he’d killed. But he remembered them when he slept. Flesh and blood, like him. He saw the faces of the dead, some of them boys being raised by their fathers.

What they did was wrong, he knew that. Women were people, not animals, not slaves, not sexual objects. They were human beings. Flesh and blood. Like him. He remembered when it started. That long walk to the ruins of a city to find books and tools. Anything they could use. Anything they needed to survive.

He’d found Kelly on that trip, rescued her. The two of them found others, including Beth.

Beth’s body healed. But her heart, her soul, were to wounded. Too many nights Frank closed his eyes, and saw her body in the forest, in an ocean of dried blood. Beth killed herself

And Frank went insane.

“How many have I killed?” He stared at slivers of the night sky, filled with stars as it peeked through the leaves of the trees. “Before I become like them? Before I lose who I am. Before…”

His heart ached, his hands shook. He wanted to scream, but had no voice. To cry, but had no tears. He wanted to feel. Anything. Alive.

All he felt was empty.

A wolf entered the garden, stood before him. Jessica followed it. “Frank?”

Frank said nothing.

“The wolf brought me here. Told me you were here.” She stood beside him.

Frank said nothing. He wasn’t sure he was breathing. Maybe he’d never breathe again. Maybe he was already dead. Like the men he’d killed.

Jessica looked into his eyes. “Frank?”

“I’m not who I thought I was.” He didn’t know where the words came from. “I’m not a hero. Not a good guy.” He couldn’t look at Jessica. She was a hero. He wasn’t. “I’m a killer.”

Jessica took his hand, “It’s time. Go. Find yourself.”

Frank looked back at his home. “Valerie?”

“We’ll take care of her. You know that.”

Frank looked at the stars through the trees, then walked from the garden, into the woods.

Jessica cried. The wolf kept her company. She didn’t know if Frank would. She stayed in the garden, waited for sunrise, waited for Valerie. She had to tell Valerie where Frank had gone. When he’d be back.

And she didn’t know how.

The wolf spoke, “He’ll return. When he believes he’s paid for the things he’s done.”

491 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×16, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×16. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

#MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest

They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

“Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

“Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

Rose nodded.

“My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”

“Rose.”

“What a pretty name!”

Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

Rose nodded, “OK.”

Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

683 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 2 (Week 3.02) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “A Forest” by The Cure. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#MWBB Week 3.01 : Freedom

You, with your job.
Your house.
Your cars.
Your children.
You do not see
Or understand.

You go to work five days a week.
Through endless weeks.
And months.
And years.
In a job you hate.
A job which slowly nibbles away
Your very soul.

Until there’s nothing left.

You know the truth.
Somewhere.
Buried under all the lies you’ve told yourself.
The pictures you painted of success.
Of the American Dream.
A dream the tells you how to live.
What to think.
And what to dream.

You, with your job.
Take your headache pills each day.
To numb the aching in your head.
An ache that always starts
Once you get to work.
One you never have on weekends.
Or holidays.
But every day at work.
And you never wonder why.

You sit at a desk five days a week.
Wishing you were somewhere else.
Belittling yourself.
“You have work to do, damn-it!”
“Get your lazy ass together!”
“Do your fucking job!”

You know the truth.
Somewhere.
It tries to speak to you at night.
On those long, sleepless nights.
When you toss, and turn.
And stare at the ceiling,
In the darkness.

There’s nothing wrong.
This is how things are.
How they will always be.
How they’ve always been.
You’re a grown up.
Mature.
Responsible.
You have a good job.
It pays well.

Damn.
Anyone would love to have your job!
Anyone would love to make
The money you make.
Hell, the benefits alone would make the job
Worth any misery for some folks.

Everyone knows that.

You know that.

As you stay up late at night.
Studying for that test next week.
That certification test.
The one you have to take.
Have to pass.
To keep the job you have.

It doesn’t matter how you feel.
It never has.
The truth lies trapped inside you.
You dare not let it out.

Because you can’t afford
To lose your job.

Remember the times you wanted to scream?
To call the boss an idiot.
“You don’t know what the fuck you talking about!”
“That can’t be done!”
“You want it when?”

You never did.
Never said a thing.
Instead.
You ground your teeth together.
Until your jaw ached.
That ceramic crown on your molar,
The one on the top left.
You know how you got that.
That tooth cracked under the stress.

You know the truth.
Somewhere deep inside.
Pretending you are free to do
Anything you want.
Knowing you’ll do anything you have to do
To keep the job you have.

Swallow your pride.
Do what you’re told.
Be where you’re told.
And be there when you’re told to.
Wear this.
Not that.
Shave every day.
And wear business clothes.
After all.
You have to look the part
Of a professional.

All you are is a little cog.
In a big machine.
And if you break.
If you don’t do your part.
You’re easily replaced.

For the truth you’ve buried
In the ground.
With your heart and soul.
Is something you’ve always known.
And can never talk about.

The people you work for.
The job you’ll do anything to keep.
The life you’ve worked so hard to have.
The wife and kids.
The house,
The cars,
The yard.

That life is who you are.
It’s all that’s left of you.
It owns you.
You have no freedom left.
And all you’re dreams have died.

So, lie awake in bed each night.
And wonder why you cannot sleep.
And wash your pain pills down each morning
With an ocean of caffeine.

And lie to yourself.
Until the truth is gone.
And you believe once more.
You’re free.

And everything’s exactly
Like that dream you had.
So many years ago.

620 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 1 (Week 3.01) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.