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Genie In A Candle

Day 13 of Flash Fiction Month!

Today we were given a horror genre challenge. My personal challenge was to use the monster/creature trope, using a birthday candle, and lastly ending it on the “The End…Or Is It?” trope. 


Having nothing better to do after school was let out, Alexander, Paul and David sat in a dimly lit garage holding their breaths as Alexander held the striped birthday candle.

“Jimmy sold this to me for five bucks,” Alexander said. “If nothing happens, we go get my money back alright guys?”

“Sure,” Paul agreed. David answered with a nod. “And what exactly is supposed to happen?”

“He said a genie’s soul is trapped in this candle. And you know what genies do.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen Aladdin,” Paul nodded. “So now what? You supposed to rub the candle?”

“We light it.”

Alexander struck a match and lit the striped birthday candle. The three boys looked at each other for a second before the flame began to flicker. The flame moved from one side to the other and flickered from yellow to green to blue. It grew larger and large till it touched the ceiling.

“This is it, boys,” Alexander proclaimed, rubbing his hands.

The flame that was now well above their heads suddenly shrunk to the size of a fist and out of it came a voice that said: “What?”

Alexander cleared his throat. “Oh ye wise genie of the candle. I am your new mast—..”

“Now just who the hell do you think I am?” Out of the blue flame emerged a tiny round head that peered up at the boys. Two tiny arms emerged from either sides of its round bulbous blue body.

“You’re the genie of the candle right?” asked Paul.

“Genie?” The blue entity rested a hand on one hip while the other came up to point at the boy who spoke. “I am no genie. I am a monster from the deepest darkest depths of your innermost fears sent to eat you up.”

“So,” Alexander started, “you’re not a genie?”

He turned his gaze and his little pointed finger to Alexander. “Hell no,” he spat out a tiny spark of blue that hit the ground with a fizzle.

“So,” Alexander continued, “you’re not gonna grant my wish?”

“Your wish?” The blue entity looked incredulous. “No, I’m not gonna grant your wish. I ain’t a fuckin’ fluffy ass genie. Who do you think I am? I’m a spawn of the devil. I am Beelzebub and Behemoth combined. Some call me Asmodeus, some call me Azazel. I am Lucifer’s servant and I am here to eat your sou—..”

Alexander blew the striped birthday candle out and the blue entity vanished leaving behind a trail of smoke.

“What a waste,” Alexander said. “Come on boys. Let’s go teach Jimmy a lesson.”

Alexander snapped the striped birthday candle in two and threw it on the ground. He stomped off with Paul following closely behind.

David, who’d sat there quiet like a ghost the whole time, stared at the broken candle. He got up to leave but not before picking up the broken striped birthday candle, carefully placing it in his pant pocket. He smiled, gave his pocket a light pat and followed his friends.

 

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Fly Me To The Moon

Day 12 of Flash Fiction Month!

I only used one prompt today, which is:

“I was in love with a man the world did not want me to have.”

It’s a quick and silly one.


“I’m going to marry him some day.”

“Who?”

“The man on the moon.”

That was about how every conversation went when Millie Matherson was around.

Nobody knew when her obsession with ‘the man on the moon’ began but her parents would often joke that when she was born, she did not cry but she howled and that was on the night of the brightest full moon of that year.

From age three to twelve, she always set a place next to her on the table for tea with the man on the moon. From twelve to sixteen, the man on the moon was there to keep her company on the days she felt loneliest. Somewhere around seventeen, she started to notice the way that boys looked at her and her parents breathed a sigh of relief.

“Millie, remember the time you couldn’t stop talking about the man on the moon?” they’d laugh.

“Yeah, I remember,” she smiled.

And then life continued normally the way a normal woman’s life pans out.

That is, until Millie Matherson’s 100th birthday celebration. She was surrounded by friends and her growing family and so much love to celebrate a century of living. As they brought out the birthday cake and sang ‘Happy Birthday’, she smiled. She patiently blew all the hundred birthday candles that filled up the vanilla frosted cake one-by-one and when she blew the last one out, the room turned dark. After a few moments of fumbling about and hey-who-turned-the-lights-outs, a beam of bright yellow light shone on Millie and Millie alone. Sat in her wheelchair, her body slowly lifted up and out the front door. Some family were screaming, some friends were gasping but all Millie did was laugh.

She lifted off into the moonlit sky, bellowing from above: “See ya later, suckers!”

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Flame In My Bloodstream

Day 11 of Flash Fiction Month.

Today’s challenge was “Hybrid Genres”. I had to choose two genres and write in a non-linear narrative style. I chose Western & Slice of Life.

The prompts I used: 

“He was a bastard and a drunk, but he was her only hope.”

S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne

This is my favorite one I’ve written so far. 


As fist connected to jaw with a crackle and a crunch, Ray was home at last.

Word got around that a bandit died with a smile on his face. Some say he was mad, others say he died doing what he loved. Most folk believed that his poor unfortunate soul had finally found the peace he’d been searching for his whole life; a real redemption story.

Do bandits go to heaven?

He was twenty-six when he first met Jolene. She was a real angel. She lit a fire in men who weren’t too deserving of her love and Ray was one of them.

He sits at the bar holding his whiskey drink and takes a sip. His throat burns the way his soul did when he’d first kissed Jolene. He chuckles when he thinks about the way she pushed him away. Was it the way the hair on his face prickled her delicate ivory skin? Or was it the stench of alcohol that stained his tongue ever since he was a boy of sixteen? It was hard to tell then and now it was just a memory.

His momma was a real angel too. She had fiery red hair that went along with her fiery spirit and when that fiery spirit got out, she’d earn herself another fiery brand on her skin. Ever the momma’s boy, he’d run to her side trying to cool her down and sometimes he’d get caught in the crossfire. “Boy, you got your momma’s spirit,” she’d say to him. “Ain’t nothing getting in the way of your fire.”

Maybe that was why Ray loved that fiery sensation burning in his throat and through his whole body every time he took a sip.

Jolene’s fire burned blue. She was the type that you love loving until she disappeared on you like a will-o’-the-wisp. He found her face down in a ditch near this very saloon two years back after a fight had broken loose.

It was too late for him to do anything so he poured himself another one.

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Nirvana

Day 10 of Flash Fiction Month.

The prompts I used today are:

Dictionary Prompt: exigent (adj.) – requiring immediate action or aid; urgent; pressing.

Flashback Prompt: The universe ended ages ago, but everything in it keeps going. 

Standard Prompt
It’s time for the annual sacrifice to the garden gods, the petunias are looking peaky.

Audio Prompt
Breezeblocks by alt-J

Visual Prompt
Endless Sands


Maybe it was a long time ago. Maybe it came to be.

He was the last man. Agonized from the lonely path he walked, he wanted to perish, he wanted to be with his brothers and sisters. But she would not let it be.

Every fatal step he took, she was moss to pillow his feet. With every cut and bruise he endured, she was water to ease his pain. Whenever he hungered, she bore fruit. On every sleepless night, she was a light shower to sing him to sleep.

When he wanted to die, she breathed life into his lungs.

“Why do you keep me here?” he exclaims desperately to the great unknown.

She answers with a soft breeze that caresses his body and sends a light shiver down his spine.

“Please. Let me go.”

She answers with a single droplet that falls gently down his cheek.

He falls to his knees and takes a deep breath. With an exhale, he dies.

It is an exigent matter that she saves his dying breath.

She readies herself for a storm. It lasts for moments that cannot be defined. The winds rage and she expels all the dead things up from within her core. With a sudden gust, his body explodes, releasing new life. She begins to create.

Maybe it was a long time ago. Maybe it came to be.

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Rain Song

Day 9 of Flash Fiction Month. 

The prompts I used today were:

Dictionary prompt: solander (noun) – a protective box made in the form of a book, for holding such items as botanical specimens, maps, papers, etc.  

Standard Prompts
1. “That’s definitely NOT the way to properly set off fireworks.”
2. Snails where snails should not be
3. Every album by a metal band (heavy, dark, gothic, etc) is actually a grimoire

And yet again, there’s Led Zeppelin references.


Last week, a Hungarian couple moved in across the street from me. The morning of their arrival, they came in two fully loaded trucks. And that was Saturday.

Sunday morning, they set up a garage sale.

I was one of the first people there, then came my next door neighbour Mary, then came a few of the Johnson children, then came Todd Foster.

The Hungarian couple were selling foreign wares and goodies; they had boxes and boxes of books and vinyls, a couple of odd ceramic animal sculptures and dishes, racks of robes and other colourful clothing and more ornaments.

There was a table full of empty black solanders in pristine quality. On each box, they’d written odd and unusual names such as “Tome of Toadstool”, “Guide to Ozymandias”, “Book of the Living” and “Pandora’s Box”.

“Pandora’s box, huh?” Todd uttered as he stood next to me. He was clutching a vinyl of Led Zeppelin’s “IV” and a book titled Gardening 101. Todd Foster was a collector of novelty objects and knick knacks. He scuttled about the neighbourhood where you were sure to find him at any garage sale, flea market, Salvation Army and pawn shop. He’d occasionally introduce himself as “Todd Faustus” for his love of collecting knowledge. Mostly, the kids called him “that one hoarder guy”.

“Yeah,” I said. “I suppose they’re cool and catchy names.”

We stood there in an awkward silence till Todd Foster reached out and grabbed “Pandora’s Box”, headed straight towards the Hungarian couple, paid for his items and left.

I didn’t think much of it. I myself bought a simple brass tie pin which I wore to work on Monday and it did manage to garner a few more compliments than I was used to from my co-workers; I think even the cute receptionist noticed. I just thought it was a lucky day.

Tuesday evening as I made my way back from work, I saw Todd up on a ladder picking at the side of his house. Todd’s house looked like any other house in the neighbourhood only that day it looked as though it had caught a sudden and very aggressive growth of moss or mould or something like that. Nobody believes me but I swear to God, that black mass was moving. Slowly. I knew something was up when he pulled a chunk off and, clear as day, it left a residual thick string of slime. He cursed loudly and then he turned to look at me. I stepped on the gas pedal.

Wednesday midnight, I woke to a booming sound. It had been overcast the entire day but I could have sworn that was not the sound of thunder. Maybe I was dreaming.

It happened again on Thursday. I was definitely not dreaming.

It rained Friday night and with the weekend ahead, I decided to stay up and figure out what was going on. I sat next to my bedroom window and watched the rainstorm. At around 11:43pm, I heard a quiet riff. It was muffled by the rain but it was music. Then I heard a melodic voice singing inaudible words that grew more imperceptible as the showers intensified. Then there was lightning but no thunder. They came in flashes of red and yellow and burst like fireworks in the great celestial skies. I texted my next door neighbour Mary but she didn’t reply.

I stopped by Todd’s house on my Saturday morning run to see if the mouldy, mossy thing was still there but it was gone. Todd stepped out of his house in a robe, a powerful guitar solo playing behind him as he shut the door. He muttered a faint “morning”, stuffed a couple of things into the garbage bin and stepped back into his home, shutting the door and the increasingly powerful guitar solo behind him. “Pandora’s Box” stuck out the garbage bin.

“Well, we can rule that one out,” I said to myself. I put my earphones in, played “Black Dog” on my phone and carried on my morning run.

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When The Levee Breaks

Hello friends!

I recently decided to participate in Flash Fiction Month over at Deviant Art. I’ll be posting my flash fiction pieces this whole month of July so stay tuned if you like reading short short stories!

The theme for the 8th of July was ‘The Hands of Fate’. The protagonist in this piece is based off of my Fate Core character, Ripley, who is a water bender.

Enjoy!


She did this before and she felt just as powerful.

Ripley lifted one hand up and felt a fiery heat between her fingertips and within her sweaty palms. She could feel the water move and pulsate all around her. Every trickle, every droplet obeyed her every command; they swayed when her fingers moved.

The scars on her body seemed to twitch and throb beneath the skin-tight black suit she wore. Years of being submerged under water, held by different hands, some gentle and some tugging hard as they pushed and pulled until she could feel the tingles running down her spine as her vision blurred from being covered in patches of raven black hair. Ten lashes for every child who screamed. Ten more lashes on open palms for every child who could not soothe the waters around them. The scars adorned her pale body like second skin; stronger, tougher and unfeeling.

Ripley stood motionless and stoic. Her raven black hair fell behind her shoulders like a dark waterfall reaching down to her feet. She was calm like the ocean.

She turned her open palm up and water obeyed. She felt the gushing of liquid flowing faster and faster like a raging river.

In the back of her mind, she saw eyes of emerald green, jewels in muddy water. Ripley could not remember her name but she would take her away every night, when the horrible hands were asleep and there was no one around to catch the pitter-patter of scurrying feet and muffled sounds of childhood amusement. The girl with the emerald eyes would place her hands on her open wounds and it made everything better. They were sisters-in-arms sworn to protect each other till death did them part. Hooked at the hip, they kept each other’s secrets and the girl with the emerald eyes was the only one who witnessed Ripley’s darkest secret.

Ripley’s hands vibrated from the heat that surfaced all over her shivering body. She curled her fingers slowly to make a fist, tugging at the river before her, willing it towards the sea. She remembered this feeling. She was powerful then too.

She remembered standing over the lifeless body of a master, covered in warm liquid that slid across his glistening skin. Water was the source of all life; she felt it in her veins as much as she felt it in that lifeless body. The girl with the emerald eyes watched her, hand on her face, blood dripping down the side of her cheek.

“What did you do?” her voice quivered. Ripley felt the vapors around her shifting.

“I won’t let him or anyone else hurt you,” she said defiantly.

When the other masters found out what had happened, a swift punishment followed. The girls were separated. Caring turned to ignorance and love turned to hate. In her years of solitude, Ripley knew she had to escape the masters and she knew that she would need her sister. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she was too late.

As her fingers turned in to meet her palm, the river burst forth and released into a great sea of red. Warm liquid was washed over and oozed over the surface of skin as pale as hers.

What did you do? echoed a small voice in her head. She felt the soft touch of a child’s hand on her open palms.

“Something wicked,” she whispered.

Green eyes stared back in an ocean of red.

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Milan

Tell me if I remember.

Is it still as beautiful as it was eighteen years ago?

Are there still meadows and are the meadows still green?

Does the terrace still embrace our old heart where the evenings were endless and the nights were warm?

Can you see my shadow as it pushes itself along on a set of training wheels?

Tell me if I remember your sun-kissed faces.

Do your piazzas have room for a small body grown? A pair of feet to twirl around for good luck?

Is it still warm when it’s cold?

Will dinner be waiting on Christmas day? And maybe some poorly hidden presents we feigned surprise for?

Will we dance away the nights in a long conga line under the soft glow of yellow lights and a few stolen kisses?

Will they remember us for the things we did or the journeys we could undertake?

Will the journeys still be long and tiring and sweet?


I was rummaging through some old writings of mine this evening and I found this little gem reminiscing what few memories I have of my time in Milan when I was a wee toddler. Sometimes, short-lined poetry just isn’t enough and you want to write long-ass sentences.