Archive for the ‘Micro fiction’ Category

They Call It Puppy Love

Friday, July 25th, 2014

The sex was great, but he was so territorial. Peeing on my furniture was the last straw. A gun was easy to get; silver bullets, harder, but now I can buy a new couch and move on.

* * * * *

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge, “A Story in Three Sentences.”

Sex and Sexibility

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

“You write like a man,” he told her.

She sipped her chocolate martini. “How so?”

“Straightforward. Active.” He leaned in and she could smell the gin fumes in his throat, welling up from his round belly. “No maudlin sentiment or insecurity.”

She considered this as she surveyed the hotel bar. Dark, polished wood shelves lined with liquor, behind them mirrors presumably intended to let the bartender keep watch over patrons while his back was turned. She could see the reflection of her eyes, but the bottom of her face was lost in a bottle of Jameson.

“I presume you mean that as a compliment,” she said finally.

“Of course. Other women write the same trite, banal garbage for their women readers to consume like greedy children eat candy. But you… you are a true chef of words.” He grinned, and she imagined he was pleased with his analogy.

“Delicious. So there isn’t a single other woman out there who can appeal to your refined palate?”

“Not one.”

“Not Atwood, or Lessing, or–”

“None. I see a woman’s name on the book cover and I ignore it. I know I will only be disappointed.”

She crossed her arms. “What if they used a male pseudonym?”

He shook his head and moved even closer, laying a hand on the bar next to her drink. “It’s still obvious when something is written by a woman. Anyone can tell after a few sentences. You, though… perhaps. You would almost certainly double your readership. Appeal to those of us who avoid women writers.”

She looked down at his hand. “But not women in general?”

His smile broadened. “Where would we be without women?”

“Alone in a hotel bar, I suspect. Tragic.”

“Tragic indeed.”

She looked up at her reflection and saw another pair of eyes approaching behind her.

“Sorry I’m late,” her girlfriend said, wrapping an arm around her waist and kissing her neck.

“It’s all right,” she said. “This gentleman was explaining to me how I write like a man.”

Her girlfriend smirked. “I’ve never thought so. Every inch of you is very, very much a woman. Ready to go?”

“Definitely.” She regarded the man beside her, whose jaw was trying to unhinge like a snake’s. “Tragic,” she said thoughtfully. “Without a woman, you’re alone in a bar. Without a man, I’m still going to get wildly fucked.”

She raised her glass and downed the rest of her drink. “Cheers, asshole.”

A Last Hurrah: Compacted

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Birthdays weren’t supposed to be like this. She watched him sitting up in his hospice bed.

‘Lovely steak, dear,’ Tom mumbled, ‘Shame Sarah couldn’t join us.’

Mary did not respond, re-living the previous day’s argument.

‘I’m having no part in this lunacy.’

‘If it’s what your Dad wants for his birthday, why should I argue?’

‘He’s dying, Mum.’

‘He’s decided.’

* * *
Mary drove Tom out to the airfield. She dialled Sarah’s number on her phone and stared up at the clear blue sky. Voicemail.

A man in a pilot’s uniform walked over. ‘Mary?’

‘Yes. Is he…’

‘We’ll take good care of him. You can watch from the spectators’ area.’

Mary settled herself on the bench inside the perspex shelter. The plane pulled out of the hanger. As it taxied, a figure dashed from the hanger and clambered aboard. The plane was soon climbing into the morning sky, leaving Mary on the tarmac.

After what seemed like hours, first one, then another black speck emerged from the plane to fall back to earth. Mary let out the breath tightening her chest at the sight of her husband with his instructor floating towards the white “X” on the grass. She was transported back to the church hall when the sergeant with paratrooper insignia on his shoulders had asked her to dance.

Mary noticed the other figure again, bent down to kiss Tom, pulling her helmet off and shaking out her blonde hair.

Sarah turned towards her mother and waved. Mary pecked Tom on the cheek then stood back.

‘Dad, that was brilliant!’ Sarah laughed, ‘Bloody scary though.’

Tom roared with laughter, a knowing, bittersweet look passing privately between him and Mary.

‘Aye, kid,’ he replied, ‘As birthdays go, that one wasn’t too bad.’

* * *
The original at Future; Nostalgic


Thursday, March 10th, 2011

She stood in the darkness at the back of the cave, waiting for the man to reach her. No doubt he had practiced fighting blind to prepare for their confrontation, but her senses were no longer human, and she had skills of her own. Still, this sort of thing made her feel bad, even if he had only come to kill her.

“We don’t have to fight, you know,” she said.

He froze and cocked his head to the side, sword raised.

“You’re the third one this week,” she continued, stepping toward him. “I’m sure you saw the second one outside.”

She heard his breath quicken, tasted his sweat on the stale air. Her skin prickled.

“The first made it home, didn’t he? Only a few scrapes, maybe a bruise here and there from when he ran into… your predecessors.”

The sweat intensified and she licked her lips. Would he flee back into the night? She hoped not. It had been at least a month since she had, well–

“What do you want from me?” he asked.

She smiled. Getting him to talk was a good start. “Some sympathy, maybe,” she said. “I didn’t ask to be this way, you know. I was just a regular girl, even if now I’m–”

“You’re a monster.” His tone was harsh, but a trifle uncertain.

“Only some of me.” She inched closer to him, practically tasting each hard curve of his muscles. It was all she could do to keep her movements slow, restrained. “The rest of me is still the same as it was before I was changed. I have all the same feelings, the same… needs.”

Had that other boy talked, she wondered? She’d gotten so far with him, and then at the last minute he’d raced off. Mostly her little “heroes” seemed embarrassed, ashamed, even terrified at what they’d done after the fact. But they all enjoyed it, and sometimes they told others what had happened. Sometimes, more followed.

He lowered his sword. She was almost close enough to touch him.

“What can I do to harm you?” she murmured. “I’m unarmed. Powerless if you can’t see me.” She ran a hand down his arm and he flinched, but didn’t move. “Don’t you want to know what Poseidon himself found so irresistible?”

His breath caught in his throat as she pressed herself against his side.

“I want you,” he said. “To die.”

Before he could move, her snakes lashed out. He was dead when he hit the ground, sword clutched in poison-stiff fingers, his face and torso covered in vicious bites.

Such a shame. She shook her head, snake-hair hissing and writhing from the motion, their tongues flicking in and out to taste the last of this hero’s scent. Why did it have to end like this? Better than another macabre statue getting in her way, she supposed, but even so. If only these silly boys could understand that everyone looked the same in the dark.

Before Valentine

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy. –Plutarch

Two men ran naked down the suburban street, laughing, the blood on their foreheads hot despite the pre-dawn chill. If they were caught, they could go to jail for indecency or public exposure, but at the moment they didn’t care. The sacrifice had been made, and now it was time to run, even if no other brothers of the wolf were there to join them.

As they passed a house, the dog inside began to howl. Other dogs on the block took up the call until a vast chorus sang to the night. The men howled back between giggles but did not break their stride, nor did the noise seem to wake any of the people sleeping around them. Not even a car alarm went off.

Mary, already up, had wandered outside for some fresh air. Her back ached and her feet were swollen, but she comforted herself with the thought that the baby would be coming soon. Or so she hoped; it was already a week past her delivery date, and the doctor wanted to schedule a Caesarean. She had declined so far because she wanted a natural birth, but now even she was growing concerned. She rubbed her belly absently and looked up at the stars, wondering whether it was foolish to wish on one. Or maybe she could pray to St. Valentine, whose holiday was coming up. Not that anyone remembered a saint was involved amid the flowers and chocolates.

Movement caught her eye. The sight of two nude joggers was a shock, but she wasn’t afraid, even when one started towards her. She raised a hand in greeting, and the man slapped it as he trotted past, as if he were an athlete and she a waiting fan. Brow furrowed, she stared at his retreating form, her palm stinging.

A gush of moisture warmed her legs and she looked down in confusion. Then the first pang of labor hit. The man’s laughter followed her as she staggered inside, calling for her husband.