Greetings everyone. It feels good to be back into blogging, even on a limited basis. These are short stories called ‘flash fiction.’ If you are new to the term it means a story in 1,000 words or less. I have written them for the Write, Edit, Publish blog-hop challenge. The prompt on the first story is 28 Days. For the second story, In Too Deep. Both are a little out of my comfort zone, but I hope you enjoy reading them. To read what others have written in this challenge, go here.
The buttons on the coffee pot blurred. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and they came into focus. I pressed the one I needed and soon the smell of coffee filled the kitchen.
“Get dressed, Olivia.” School days. I really hated getting up so early. No! I can’t think like that. Embrace the sun!
Well…the sun wasn’t up yet this time of day. I’d spent last night plotting the changes in my life. It’s said, in 30 days you can change your habits. It’s February, 28 days will have to do.
I have some really bad habits. Smoking, drinking…well, just a cocktail or two after a long week Friday night. But the worst is procrastination. I wanted to change that. I hated cleaning and doing dishes. I despised it so much that I avoided cooking and opted for fast food. I needed to eat healthier and so did Olivia.
As I sipped my coffee, I turned to view my progress chart on the refrigerator. 24 boxes filled with three words. Cook, dishes, and pick up. Saturday had one big word in it; Clean! That equaled 28 days. My mother always said that it was easier to clean if you organized and picked up daily. That was my goal and I had bought little sticky stars to add to the end of each word in the box.
“Do I get to put stars up tonight Mommy?” Olivia stood beside me dressed for school.
“Yes, now it’s time for breakfast. Then, off we go, you to school and me to work.”
In the last few years, I’d changed my life for better. I left my abusive ex and the court sided with me. He wasn’t allowed to see Olivia. Yeah, he was that bad. Then I moved back in with my parents and went to school. Their support was critical and now because of that I had my degree in computer programming and was making the big bucks. Last month, I moved us into a new apartment close to mom and dad and in the same school district for Olivia.
I loved the cozy little place. Two baths, two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and no furniture. LOL…that would change. We had beds and plastic bins, but nothing else.
That’s where we were now on the floor eating dinner. I’d put a blanket down and Olivia giggled her way through mac and cheese. Yeah, I know, not the healthiest but hey, it was a long day. Well after six when I picked up my daughter from the sitter. Tomorrow I’m buying a Crockpot.
I almost made it through the first week. I should be proud, right? But I’m disappointed in myself. Olivia sat across from me at our new folding table and chairs. A McDonald Happy Meal for her and Mac.’s grilled chicken for me. Dishes weren’t done from two nights. Tomorrow, I promised myself. My chart was missing some stars. I’d do better.
February 20th. I’ve fallen off the wagon. Almost the whole week so far without doing a single dish. I didn’t make it through school by giving up, and it was hard. I called mom. She said, “One day at a time.”
March, day one. My poor chart for February was half full of stars. I had a new chart for March, and I was doing dishes while Olivia colored at the table. We didn’t have a T.V. yet. My radio was playing Hotel California. An oldie but goodie. I danced while putting a rinsed plate into the dish washer. This was kind’ a fun. Maybe, that was the secret, turn chores into fun.
Word count 612
This story was inspired by my daughter who just graduated nursing school and has a new job. She is trying to quick smoking, lose weight and overcome her procrastination. I’m cheering her on.
Brett watched as the door clanged behind Marsha Lent. She took tiny steps forward because of the shackles, guards on either side. The men forced her into a chair and put her hands in the restraints attached to the table.
“Is that necessary?” Brett asked. The guards grunted and left the private visiting room.
Marsha smiled displaying missing and rotting teeth. Her brown hair needed to be brushed and her chocolate brown eyes studied him. Brett looked down, pulling out his recording device.
“Who are you?” Marsha no longer smiled.
“Brett Summerville, with True Crime Magazine.” He stood as an automatic reflex and put out his hand.
“You want me to shake it?” Her hoot made him shiver.
Brett unbuttoned his plum jacket and sat. “You don’t mind if I record this?”
“My story?” She shrugged her shoulders.
“Let’s start at the beginning.”
“The beginning. Your jacket is tattered. True Crime ain’t pay’n you much?”
“They pay enough. How old were you when you met…” Brett fumbled through his notes.
“Jason Caudwell.” Marsha smiled. “I was sixteen. Jason was twenty-one. Sandy hair and blue eyes that looked like the pool down at YMCA.”
“Go on.” Brett readied the tablet and pen in case he wanted to emphasize anything she said.
“He was my first sex toy.”
Brett’s mind went to his wife and lingered there for a moment. “Go on.”
“Jason could have anyone, but he liked me. I loved him and would do anything he wanted, if you know what I mean.”
“And the drugs.”
“Ecstasy was first, then cocaine and lastly heroine. I quit the dumb ass school and left my parents. All they did was argue anyway and I’d had enough. Jason started his own gang. I oversaw the money. We were the best, robbing businesses and banks. We got away with it for three years. Jason had a mask of Trump he used. He’d go in with his gang members, walk up to the teller and sing, ‘Money, money, money.’ It was hilarious.”
“You were happy?”
“Yeah, I loved every minute of it, until…” Marsha looked down and off to the side.
“I was coming down after a bad trip. In fact, they were mostly all bad now. Jason gave me an M-27, that things a bitch. I put on my Melania mask and we entered a bank, the Trust something---”
“Yeah, that one. You won’t believe what was in the bank. Monsters, drooling, hairy monsters with red eyes in business suits and dresses. I wasn’t gonna let them kill my Jason, so I opened fire. Even some of our gang members had turned. I killed all the monsters. Jason grabbed my arm, yanked the gun out of my hands and asked why I done that. I told him.
There were only three of us running out of the bank with no money and driving away.”
Brett studied Marsha. He wasn’t certain if she believed that story or not. “What happened next?”
“Jason wouldn’t let me have no more drugs and…he shacked up with a new girl. I could hear them fucking.”
“How did that make you feel?”
Marsha raised her eyes to Brett, they’d gone completely black. “How would it make you feel?” Her voice sounded like she was trying to speak with gravel in her throat.
Brett slid his chair back.
“I killed them, I killed them all. That’s a stupid jacket. On a stupid man. Your momma was killed in a car accident when you were ten. Your daddy started beating you while drunk. Social Services took you away and put you with your mother’s parents. Grandpa put you in your place every time he saw you. But grandma, she believed in you.
“How do you know this?”
“I know everything. I know you down a bottle or two every night. I know you raped that girl in college.”
“I didn’t rape her.”
“I know, you’re gonna die!” Marsha stood abruptly. “Brett Summerville.”
Brett quivered. The shackles on Marsha’s feet and hands clanged and fell off. Her body lifted in the air. Hands out stretched.
Brett’s chair fell over backwards and he backed up against the wall. Then…
Marsha flew at him, hands outstretched, long nails tore his cheek in three places. Her long-forked tongue licked his blood. Brett peed himself.
The guards entered just as Marsha’s fingers tightened around Brett’s throat. The guards used clubs, hitting Marsha until her eyes turned brown once more and she collapsed to the floor.
Brett didn’t wait to see what would happen next, he grabbed his notepad, pen and recorder before running through the open door, down the hall were another guard let him out.
True Crime would never believe this. Maybe he should work for the National Enquirer.
Word Count 804
This story felt a little too cliché for me, so I turned it into a horror ending. What do you expect from a fantasy author? I’m not satisfied with normal.
Please leave a comment on anything you want. Today is payday which means, crazy, insane errand day. I will get to everyone’s post before this coming Monday.