Friday Flash: Don’t Soil the Rug

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Chihuahuas are not known for the patience. Neither are they known for their large bladders. Combine these two deficiencies with a twenty-story apartment building, and tragedy is the inevitable outcome.

Butch, the geriatric purebred chihuahua belonging to Mildred Butterbridge of apartment 416b, never stood a chance. Mildred’s own elderly hips disallowed more than a couple walks daily for her grey-furred companion. As a result, he spent his days wandering on the apartment’s balcony overlooking the major thoroughfare of the metropolis in which they both lived.

While Mildred rested on couch or bed, Butch would inevitably relieve himself on the balcony. That was no big deal because 1. the balcony was concrete surrounded by a very sturdy guardrail and 2. it kept him from soiling Mildred’s ancient Persian rug, the only artifact she had kept from her short-lived marriage forty years previous. She readily forgave Butch’s small breaches of conduct, with one exception – he was never to soil her treasured rug. Consequently, Butch was utterly bored with nothing new or interesting to smell, neither grass nor flower nor the butts of other canines. Routine was the order of his day, every single day.

So one lovely Spring day, when the dying dandelions had managed to float a few seeds as far as his fourth story confine, he managed to stick his head between the twisted metal bars of the guardrail in order to catch a temptingly close snow-white puff. Arthritis may have slowed his reflexes, but his sight was still excellent, and as he licked with ever increasing frustration at the seed taunting him just beyond reach, he chanced to see Mr. Norris standing almost directly below.

The little dog growled louder, his attention directed to his mortal enemy below. That man had been mean to his Mildred. Butch may not have understood the exact words exchanged between his Mildred and the condo board president, but he understood enough to know he didn’t like the man and his ridiculous (even to Butch’s eyes) mop of unruly hair. Today it sat slightly askew his balding pate, no doubt he’d unsettled it when he bent down to retrieve the mail he was sorting as he chatted with one of the building’s other residents. From the woman’s expression, she didn’t like Mr. Norris either.

As his Mildred lay quietly snoring in the next room, Pat Sajak and Vanna White bantered wittily, and Butch conceived of the greatest revenge scheme his walnut-sized brain could conceive. Being elderly, he had no small trouble aligning his body properly, though being male made his plan entirely possible. After all, he had drunk the water from Mildred’s watering can barely ten minutes ago, so he was already properly fueled. With the delicious taste of sweet, sweet revenge of his little pink tongue, he relieved himself beyond the balcony’s confines and was rewarded by the shouts and exclamations of the hated Mr. Norris. As an added bonus, he could hear the female companion laughing hysterically.

Just imagine what his sweet Mildred would think! How utterly proud she would be of him! Though she had warned him not to wet the Persian within the apartment, he was sure this was one soiled rug she would enjoy.

 
*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by a random text prompt at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, slice of life

Friday Flash: The Results Were In

 

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The results were in.

After extensive training with the field’s expert, a long and gruelling campaign, sucking up to the right people, greasing the right palms, making the right friends, and working exhaustively to sway public opinion in his favor, Bobby Redman had the lead. His victory complete, he held his new office with pride. His long-standing dream would soon become his reality.

High from his recent triumph, he sauntered up to Kylie Weathers – by all accounts the most popular girl in Carl Smithers Middle School. Chicks dug power, so winning the election meant he’d land a cheerleader, right?

Two minutes later, he rubbed his freshly stinging cheek and retired to the boys bathroom to wallow in his defeat.

Who knew she had voted for his opponent?

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by the text prompt, “The results were in” at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, satire, slice of life

What I’m Doing on My Summer Vacation

2010-05-30 18.08.53

In the grand tradition of grammar school essays, I’m going to write a “What I’m doing on my Summer Vacation” post. Clever and original, right? Don’t answer that. It’s part of my strategy to motivate myself by publicly declaring my goals. Aren’t you glad to be included in my plans? Again, don’t answer that.

Anyway, this is what I plan to do during my Summer Vacation.

  1. I’m not taking a vacation.
  1. Pack as much freebie fun as I can into the days between my son’s virtual school year ending and his new school year beginning.This includes free concerts, book clubs, Summer Reading programs, and of course movies!
  1. OK, this is the biggie. I’m going to redo my blog. That means that all the stories and posts I’ve posted in the past years are all going to disappear, as I’m starting again from scratch. I have backed up my stories locally and remotely, but they will no longer be available through this website. So if you want to reread something, now’s the time to do it. I hope this doesn’t offend any of my readers, but I can’t think of another way to revamp the site. Thank you for your support!
  1. Finish the final tiny bit of formatting I have to do for my novel and send out to beta readers.
  1. Begin shopping for an agent.
  1. Finish my Spring Cleaning. I know it’s Summer, but it’s a lot of work! Especially reorganize my office. Now that the weather is warmer, going downstairs to my garage-adjacent office is rather appealing.
  1. I don’t know. Whatever other fun things come up. If my recording equipment is sufficient, I would like to volunteer for Librivox.

So there you have my plans for the next couple months laid out nice and tidy. What do you plan to do this Summer?

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Friday Flash: Space-Timer

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They were trapped for seven days, but the time passed quickly with the help of their trusty time machine.

How could they be trapped for an entire week, while zipping along in the space-time continuum, you ask? Well, the answer is very simple. They had inadvertently set the time-lock on the spaceship’s door for one week, the time they had planned to spend in ancient Rome, before making the terribly unfortunate mistake of pissing off their ride.

“Please, let us out!” cried the couple, banging on the door, the delights of the ancient world so close and yet so far.

“NO.”

“I’m sorry she called you, ‘An Overpriced Toaster,'” moaned the tall, thin man. His hair was coiffed, his toga perfectly adjusted to fit his lanky frame. He looked despondently at his female companion. “Say sorry,” he whispered urgently, “or we’ll never get out of here!”

“I’m SORRY, ok?” said the blonde woman, rolling her eyes. “You are obviously the sleekest time machine in existence.”

“I was, am, and will be a top of the line model, I’ll have you know,” sulked the ship.

“I know! What a beauty!” enthused the man.

“Yeah, what he said,” replied the woman, less enthusiastically than her companion. Why did the damn thing have to have such a fragile temperament?

“I’m not the one that made you set the timer wrong,” continued the ship.

“Of course not,” soothed the man, stroking the door in a way that did not at all soothe his wife. She cleared her throat loudly, and he jumped back as though slapped. “Of course, it’s completely our fault! You know how humans are, always overlooking details-”

“Details! Don’t even get me started,” said the ship, starting anyway. “Dashing about the time-space continuum, plotting courses in multiple dimensions. If I wasn’t such a stable ship, it’d be enough to drive me batty.”

“If?” ventured the woman. Her husband looked at her in alarm.

“That’s IT,” said the ship. “Just for that, not only will I NOT let you out, I’ll travel to all the places on your itinerary so you can see what you’re missing.”

Time and space are always interchangeable terms when referring to what goes on outside a time-craft, merely a matter of the correct coordinates within the cosmic cube of existence. However, over the next week, time passed rather quickly as the ship whooshed through the continuum with alarming speed. The ship was a very speedy time-machine, after all. They could barely count the star-patterns cascading outside the spacecraft’s window, though time limped slowly forward during the week of its passengers imprisonment; the only entertainment the ship allowed them was an old and worn game of checkers.

As time passed them by within the confines of their small ship, the two humans contemplated how to get the ship back to the dealer for a full refund. One week later, in their personal timestreams and judging by the ship’s internal chronometer, they found themselves parked exactly where they had been on the outskirts of ancient Rome.

“Looking forward to finally seeing Rome?” asked the ship politely.

“Yes,” replied the couple in unison.

“Thank you for bringing us back here,” said the man.

“You’re welcome,” said the ship.

“In fact, we were thinking of getting you an upgrade,” ventured the woman. “When we get back, you know. To make up for our misunderstanding earlier.”

“Oh, really?” said the ship. Evidently pleased with the idea, the front door of the craft swung open, revealing a lovely sunny day.

As the two humans walked through the door, the woman added under her breath, “I just hope they’ll take the damn thing back.”

Striding in the open, confident in their sparkling togas and wearing smiles of relief as they breathed the fresh ancient air, they failed to see the laser-gun emerge from the ship’s side and silently turn toward them.

Payback was a bitch, and sometimes a ship could be one too.

 

*The above flash was inspired by a text prompt from the six minute story site. I did not post it at the actual site because I could see I needed more time and I wanted to edit more extensively. I hope you enjoyed the story!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

 

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Happy Towel Day 2015! and Don’t Forget to Wear the Lilac!

Towels may be employed as cunning camoflauge...

Towels may be employed as cunning camouflage…

For those of you wondering what in Almighty Zarquon’s name I’m talking about, I’m referring to the wonderfully zany, fan-created holiday honoring the late author Douglas Adams. Douglas Adams is a humorous science-fiction author most famous for writing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, but he also wrote Dirk Gently novels, the non-fiction book Last Chance to See, and even worked on Doctor Who. On Towel Day, fans across the globe don their towels with pride, because, in the words of Douglas Adams:

““…it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

For the uninitiated, I have several suggestions for celebrating Towel Day listed on my earlier post, Towel Day 2015 Approacheth! Also, if you missed it, I wrote a brief flash fiction story in honor of Towel Day titled “The Most Massively Useful Thing.” Photos of myself and my son using our towels in suitably unorthodox manners are included in today’s post.

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Monsterbat is ready for hand to hand combat!

This year, however, in addition to honoring Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett fans are also celebrating Wear the Lilac day in honor of the author who died recently from Alzheimer’s. As a fan of Pratchett’s work, I was also deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Pratchett is known primarily for his DiscWorld novels, stand-alone books that nevertheless all take place in the same universe with many of the characters overlapping from book to book. Terry Pratchett’s books are mostly erudite, humorous fantasies.

Why this day and why lilacs? From the Wear the Lilac site:

“On May 25th, certain members of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and a few others around the city, wore a sprig of lilac. The 25th of May was the day that they remembered those who fought and fell for hardboiled eggs, truth, justice and reasonably priced love, who died – and in Reg Shoe’s case rose and kept fighting – in the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road”

If you are a Pratchett fan, here are a few additional suggestions.

 

Obviously, wear a lilac.

Read out one of his books! or perhaps watch a movie based on his work, or listen to an audiobook. I personally recommend Going Postal.

Donate or volunteer at a charity that cares for victims of Alzheimer’s.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, today is also, appropriately enough, Geek Pride Day!** Today was chosen to celebrate geek/nerd culture because Star Wars was released on this day in 1977. Go forth and wear those horn-rimmed glasses with pride, guys.

So, if you are a fan of either of these authors, now is a time to honor their memory by celebrating their lives and works. And if you aren’t a fan yet, today is the perfect day to become one by treating yourself to some intelligent and silly fiction. If you do celebrate, I would love for you to share what you’re doing today in the comments, In the meantime, Happy Glorious Geeky Towel Day to you all.

 

*photos taken by me.

 

**I realize that ideally I’d link to something other than Wikipedia, but since I’m discussing obscure holidays on my personal blog I’m willing to let it slide. There actually was one network source, but it was posted in 2013.          

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Friday Flash: The Most Massively Useful Thing

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What sort of woman was she? She’d known how to swim for as long as she could remember. When she was growing up, her parents had been hard-pressed to get her to spend more time out of the water, but what of that? Plenty of people loved the water, whether it was oceans teeming with fish, a backyard pool, a public beach, or even running through sprinklers. Many people went skinny-dipping too, but not always in such a public place.

Of course, her relative isolation at the time had appealed to her inner tadpole. How could she resist waters so tranquil and clear? However, that was before the schoolbus arrived, teachers and children chattering about spending time at the Castle. Someone took her clothes. When the Castle closed, they would leave, she’d dash to her car and… damn. Her keys were in her missing pants. Still, it was late, the kids should be leaving soon…

That was, of course, before she knew about the fireworks.

As the sun slowly sunk into the horizon, darkness descended, and Kate hid against a log floating some distance from shore. She retreated underwater once the children gathered on her previous hiding spot, the pier. Though there were no boats, the wooden structure jutted out into the water, and schoolchildren sat dangling their legs along its edge. She gazed resentfully at them with their flashlights and sparklers. They oohed and ahhhed at the fireworks lighting up the heavens.

“Nice show, ain’t it?” came a voice from beside her in the water.

Kate gasped, the beginnings of a scream forming as the man swimming beside her clasped his hand over her mouth. “Shhhhhhh,” he said, pressing one webbed finger over his mouth. “Don’ wanna alarm the kiddies, do we?”

She shot a look at the shore. Teachers and children happily chatted, pointing out the display in the night sky. Luckily the fireworks noise had covered their conversation, plus they were a fair distance from shore. Kate began to wonder how lucky she really was.

Though it was difficult to tell in the light shed by the differing hues of fireworks, the man had light green, shining skin, scaled slightly along his hairline and the edges of his fingers and hands. Flowing green hair floated behind him, and his eyes were two pools of darkness she felt she could easily fall into for the rest of her life. His facial features were angelic. She continued to gape as he watched the display.

“Eh, don’t mind me, chicky. Just wanted a bit o’ company, din’t I?” continued the man, unphased. “No fun watching a show by meself, ist?”  The gills along his sideburns opened and closed as he spoke. What kind of sense did that make? Also, what the hell was his accent? Merman-cockney?

Was she hallucinating?

“I… you speak English?” she said, feeling stupid.

“Well, couldn’t resist meeting a sweet lil’ catch like youself, could I?” he continued. “I hafta say, you a beauty, aintcha?”

Despite the water’s cool, Kate felt the heat rise to her face as she realized exactly what “beauty” he meant. She suddenly had the horrible suspicion it wasn’t fish nibbling at her feet and legs earlier. A large fin bumped against her thigh, and she yelped. Though the merman continued watching the atmospheric display, she detected a smirk during one brief moment of illumination.

Oh, what the hell, she thought, resigning herself to madness. If she was hallucinating, what else could she do?

“Look, I sort of got stuck out here,” she replied, unable to think of anything else to say. “I need to cover up, so I can get out of the water and go home.”

“Cover up?” Now it was the merman’s turn to gape. “Why the bloody ‘ell ‘ou wanna doa thing like that for?” He dipped beneath the water, then came back up. “I mean, lookatcha!”

Kate bit her lip in frustration. Maybe she could just run past the kiddies. I mean, could streaking through a crowd of middle-schoolers really be worse than this?

Before she could form a reply, the merman disappeared beneath the water again. She stayed as still as she dared, hoping he wasn’t ogling her from below. After awhile, she began to wonder if he was coming back. Had she scared him off? She contemplated that streaking scenario again. Would these fireworks never end?

The merman suddenly emerged beside her holding, with an air of triumph, a soaking paisley beach towel. “There! That do?” he asked, handing her the sopping material, a knight bestowing his most treasured possession upon his lady.

“To dry off with?” asked a bewildered Kate.

The merman emitted a childish giggle. It was quite endearing, almost innocent. “Naw, sweets. I mean, you seem to wanna cover up them beautiful boobies and buttox and all dat. I still don’ unnerstand, but whatev’ you need, love.” The giant fin brushed against her thigh again.

“Uh, thanks…?” said Kate. “Why do you have a towel? Er…”

“‘Name’s Carl, sweets,” replied the merman. “I nicked it, dint I? People leave all things along the shore, don’t they? If you ever in the neighbor’ood…” He winked, slid gracefully beneath the water, and disappeared.

Kate waited for another thigh bump, which never came, and firmly refused to admit she was the tiniest bit disappointed. Maybe Carl wasn’t such a bad guy after all. He did bring her a towel, though she began to have different suspicions about her clothes’ disappearance. Still, it wasn’t every day she met a merperson. She smiled, wrapped the heavy towel around her body, and made her way to shore.

 

*This story was inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site. I decided this needed more time and editing. Since May 25th is Towel Day, I combined the photo prompt with my personal challenge to include something about towels and flashing, all in honor of Douglas Adams and #FridayFlash. I hope you enjoy the result!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Towel Day 2015 Approacheth!

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In the interest of spreading the word about this wonderful fan-created holiday, I’m posting once again an explanation and a list of resources and ideas for celebrating Towel Day. “What is Towel Day?” Why, I’m so glad you asked! May the 25th is Towel Day, created to honor the life and works of the late and great author, Douglas Adams, who gave us such jewels as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, several Dirk Gently humorous detective novels, and the non-fiction book Last Chance to See. He also worked on Though Adams died too young, his work lives on after him in everything from books and television series to pop culture references that constantly pop up to the amazement and delight of geeks and fans everywhere.

 

OK, so why use a towel to remember such a hoopy frood? SO GLAD YOU ASKED.

From the Guide:

 

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

 

—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

Anyway…

First things first, if you haven’t read any of his books yet, FOR THE LOVE OF ZARQUON, read one of his books! If you don’t have time to sit down and read, listen to an audiobook. You can check them out of the library. If you can’t do either of those, borrow one of the movies! But seriously, you could finish one of the books in a day, because they are pretty thin as well as awesome.

 

If anyone has read these suggestions before in my previous Towel Day posts, I apologize for the repetition, but consider this an update, ok? Anyway, you three know you are the hippest cats this side of Betelgeuse, so I know you’ll understand.

 

Since the holiday is called Towel Day, the most obvious suggestion is to carry a towel with you all day long. Do it as conspicuously as possible, so that if people ask you why you are carrying a towel to the grocery store, you can tell them all about Hitchhikers. Like so:

Uninitiated stranger: “Hey, why are you carrying a towel in the grocery store?”

You, fan extraordinaire: “Why, I’m so glad you asked! Let me tell you…”

And so on…

 

For those of you already familiar with the book, here are a few more suggestions:

 

*Lie down in front of a toy bulldozer in a tatty bathrobe. (caveat: the TOY part is important here, as lying down in front of a real bulldozer might be hazardous to your health)

 

Wear a bathrobe and pajamas all day long.

 

Drink lots of tea. Possibly eat fairy cake.

 

Try to make the perfect sandwich for lunch!

 

Create a Terran (Earth) version of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. There are tons out there, but my son and I challenge ourselves to create a non-alcoholic Terran version of the galaxy’s most alcoholic beverage! Hey, he’s a teenager, ok?

 

Speak in Hitchhiker slang all day. You dig that, you hoopy froods?

 

Write some Vogon poetry using the Vogon poetry generator.

 

Take a photo of yourself with your towel and share it on Twitter (#towelday), FaceBook (at the Towel Day FB page), or Flickr (labeled “Towel Day).

 

Donate towels to a charity. Lots of animal shelters like to have towels on hand for their charges.

 

Be very nice to a bowl of Petunias. Water them,  talk to them, plant them in some really nice soil. Goodness knows,  Agrajag had been through enough!

 

Come up with alternate uses for your towel, other than hand-to-hand combat and drying off. I’m thinking mine might make a nice scarf or wrap.

 

Visit other Towel Day themed pages. I discovered this little treasure recently!

 

Create a blog post in honor of Towel Day!

 

Tune in to Nick Page’s YouTube channel for some wonderful animations of the Hitchhiker series!

 

Visit the Towel Day page to discover events in your area and get more great ideas!

 

I posted this early this year so that you should have sufficient time to implement any suggestions that take your fancy. As always, remember you can always borrow materials from your friendly, neighborhood library. And in this digital age, that usually includes that library’s electronic selections as well, instantly downloaded through the magic of the Internet! And if you can’t find what you need on their website, just ask the reference librarian to order whatever you need.

 

So what are you waiting for? Please feel free to make any suggestions of your own here, and I’d love it if you’d share your Towel Day adventures! So, see you in a week, and stay hoopy!

 

 

 

*This suggestion was kindly donated by John Wiswell of The Bathroom Monologues via Twitter. Thanks, John!

 

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Friday Flash: Watching

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Karen sat in bed, the quilts tucked under her chin, knees pulled up against her body in an effort to conserve warmth. She loathed being sick, helpless and useless, and what’s more the house would be a hundred times harder to clean once she was better. No one would wash dishes for her, prepare her meals, make sure she was hydrated, and she was too damn exhausted to do it herself. It was maddening.

Propped against the pillows, she stared at the tv, sniffling miserably. The skin around her eyes and below her nose was red and stinging, and she pressed the button on one of the many remotes with a ferocity that belied her condition, as though the harder she pushed, the better she would feel. It didn’t work.

So, the red light meant the tv was off, so if she hit…? Voila! Blue light meant “on”, she was sure of it. Now to work her way through the two additional remotes and she’d finally be able to watch the sitcom she’d been binge-watching during her ordeal. Five minutes later, the program was set, and she relaxed back into her ugly but surprisingly comfortable cushions. She was thirsty, but hemmed in by her two dogs and finally comfortable, she’d be damned if she’d get up now.

She stared at the show as the light indicating the tv’s power shone a steady, glowing blue.

##

 

The female continued to spend hours in the reclining position.

During its intermittent lapses of consciousness, the machine watched the human in the large, cloth-covered bed. It had watched her eat. It had watched her remove clothes and replace them on her body with other clothes. It had watched her gazing at a small glowing screen she held in her hands for hours at a stretch. And it had watched her, as she watched it watching her, for many more hours.

What did the female do during the blank times in the machine’s consciousness?

From somewhere in the dim recesses of its memory, it recalled a previous life, a hint of some common humanity with this forlorn creature that sat shivering and alone. A phrase floated into the machine’s consciousness, Who watches the Watchmen?

Unable to make sense of the phrase, it merely recorded its observations and forwarded them, as always, onto the Company.

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Friday Flash: The Ring

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The house fire took everything Cynthia cared about, including her life. The only copy of her manuscript, which she had typed on an old fashioned typewriter in a fit of romantic sentimentality, had been incinerated. Her body, which she had taken such pride in keeping healthy and strong, had been reduced to ash when the home she had known for the past four years had burned to the ground. Her only companion had been her tabby, Gertrude, but rather than warn her owner of the inferno, she had done the sensible feline thing and saved her own ass. Cynthia didn’t blame her.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty, and that goes double when you’re a ghost. Sure, trauma had driven her to a life of seclusion, but present circumstances made her rethink the decisions she had made. If she had lived closer to town, maybe a neighbor would have seen the fire. As things stood, the firefighters only happened on her home because of the forest blaze. Now, her consciousness didn’t even have a body, dead or alive, to cling to. The only thing left was the ring she had been wearing when she died.

Her spirit condensed and became contained within that tiny metal band when she had shuffled off her mortal coil…

Most of the firefighters had walked farther off, but two remained close to her former home. From within the ring’s shining band, Cynthia watched one of them approach. “Hey, Bill,” said the female firefighter, picking the ring up to show her companion. “Hear anything about family, next of kin?”

“Nah, sweetheart,” said Bill, the condescending endearment making the firewoman wince while Cynthia psychically winced on her behalf. Cynthia knew that voice; even through the grime and the distortion of the ring, she’d recognize that face anywhere. Though dead, her first impulse was to run away, her second -to warn the woman.

How could she forget that monster? Four years ago, he had turned her world upside down. He had said he’d find her again, that she belonged to him body and soul, but she had moved! Changed her name, secluded herself and- dear God, how did he find her?

Hiding had done her no good. Now was the time for action. Before he hurt someone else.

“Nobody that I know of,” he continued, oblivious to both women’s distress, “but you could find out when we get back to the station.”

“Thanks, Bill,” said the woman, whose name Cynthia learned was “Eve” from the lettering on her flourescent yellow jacket. Eve examined the ring a moment longer before slipping it into her pocket. Instinctually, Cynthia prodded, mentally probing the woman’s psyche. Seeming to reconsider, Eve put the ring on her finger instead.

Immediately, Cynthia felt the rush of life in her new body, the woman’s strength, the ache of her muscles, the warmth of her browned skin. She even smelled the ash in the air. Was she breathing in her old body from within her new one? Eve’s body turned to gaze at her coworker through new eyes. The other firefighters had moved farther away, leaving the three of them relatively isolated. Stepping behind a crumbling and charred wall, the woman grabbed a sharpened piece of unmelted metal, readied herself, and called to Bill. “Hey, come here a sec’. There’s something here I want to show you.”

Bill smirked. Sooner or later, they all wanted him. “Coming, sweetheart,” he said, sidestepping blackened debris as he unknowingly approached his final destination.

 

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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No Friday Flash, but Free Comic Book Day is Nigh!

2010-05-30 18.08.53

Due to time constraints and physical limitations, I am not posting a #FridayFlash this week. I had one prepared, but since I didn’t have time to properly edit the story by letting it sit between passes I’m going to save it for next Friday.

In the meantime, tomorrow – Saturday, May the 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day! It is my sincerest wish that you find a local comic store tomorrow and get loads of free comics and other goodies. May the Force be with you!

 

 

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