This Chick Walks into a Bar…

Book 2

The Arcanum Infernata says:

“Those who encounter daemon, Those scored by tooth or claw, Those fortunate enough to walk from the beast, Those burdened of stolen magics, forevermore.”

For those of you not fluent in cryptic Grimoire-speak – it means:  You survive a fight with a demon, and you get their powers.  Do not sell your soul to Satan, Do not die & work your way up the Hell Ranks…just go directly to power.  Do not pass Go…and do not collect $200.

Cool, huh?   How could a girl resist?

What the damned Arcanum failed to mention was the damned thing you stole powers from would chase you to the damned ends of the damn Earth to regain it’s damned abilities. That’s a hell of a catch there.  A rather important bit of a codicil to the ole’ contract conveniently penciled in extremely fine print in an unreadable font.

Trust me on this one…you do NOT want an extremely pissed-off demon dogging your every move.

I see you squirming on your barstool.  Rethinking that pick-up line?

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction – Calling all Cars!

 

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

I sometimes miss the old Flash Fiction website – it was a vibrant online community of semi- (and not so semi-) hobby writers, who gathered at least once a week to be challenged to produce a small piece of original fiction.  Inspired by the photo prompt or directed requirements – we operated on a tight timeline to pop out a tiny slice of creative wordplay.

I’m sharing this piece again – as it was one of my favorite flash pieces, and, well, ’tis the season 😀

 

 

 

Calling All Cars!

157 words

“Calling all cars!  Calling all cars!”

Every year, we get the call.  Every year, we respond.  Every year, our department fails to close this decades-old case.

“Person of interest male, white, late 70’s, portly.  Full facial hair, white.  Last seen wearing bright red suit and hat with white fringe, black belt, black knee-boots.”

My hands curl around the steering wheel, mentally preparing for the yearly bloodbath.

“Suspect get-away vehicle tiny sleigh pulled by 8 animals of reindeer origin.  No plates evident.”

My partner and I lock eyes, knowing …HATING… what’s coming.

“Ocular trauma to multiple victims.  Eyes replaced with charcoal briquettes.”

I yank a cigarette from the pack on the dash.  “Shoulda been nice…” I whisper, even as my partner mutters  “It’s always the naughty ones…”

“Suspect 3.75 inches tall.  Last known locations… “

A string of addresses follow, blanketing the car in a wall of sound.

“Public Enemy number one…” I growl, flipping on the siren.

Flash Fiction – Five of the clock

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

I’ve been digging through my old stuff again – and found another flash fiction piece I wrote up about a year ago.  Why it never ended up in the published list is a question best left to sages and those gurus who own time.

It IS a good piece of situational flash  –  so I’m sharing it now.  Enjoy!

 

Five O’Clock

Story Elements:  Conflict and Character

242 words

Too much alcohol.

Too little sleep.

Too much of whatever that white-ish sludge I found in the bottom of my whiskey glass was…

 

He wanted me quiescent.  Immobilized.  But conscious.  As much as I would like the reality of this room to fade away into my comfortable library, it stubbornly sticks to reality.

His boots scrape along the concrete floor, his off-key whistling echoing weirdly from the steel rafters.  Like a cobra strike, his face pops into my field of view.

“Ahhhh…” the word a long, slow exhalation, punctuated with garlic and tobacco smoke.   “No introductions necessary, I assume?”

They’re not, and he knows it.  His face and his escape have been plastered all over the news and social media since ‘The Butcher’ performed his vanishing act from his not-so-cozy cell a week ago.

Those stories amplified as he resumed his grizzly … work.

“It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he says sardonically, his face inches from my own, his breath forcing trickles of tears from my watering eyes.  “Have you ever heard the term?  It’s an excuse.  A cop out.  A clever way to say I’d rather go fill my gullet with alcohol than to do a competent job.”

A finger of ice traces it’s delicate way down my spine.

“You said that, your Honor, the day you sentenced me to life without the possibility of parole.”

He slowly draws a very shiny, very sharp knife between our faces.

“It’s time for my drink.”

Flash Fiction – Not all Reapers are Grim

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

This is a Flash Fiction post I created waaaaay back in July for Flash! Friday.  In the spirit of cleaning up my drafts folder – and actually putting content on the T&T (instead of amusing myself at night by twisting wire into pendants…) I’m posting some of this old stuff.

The book FF suggested for this week of flash was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

 

Not all Reapers are Grim
Elements: Character & Conflict (man v man)
with just a hint of Theme…
102 words

 

Snatches of sing-songy intoxication wiggled their way around the filthy towels valiantly clinging to the charred beams masquerading as walls.

“Food for all!”

“Comfort and Fun!”

“Dreams come true!”

The man in the bright-purple great-coat wandered the alley – an ocean of deserted street-urchins caught in the wake of his swell as he sang us songs of dreams.

Willingly we followed him into the dark building – visions of meat and heat and candy and comfort dancing in our heads.

Only to find combat, blood and death, all broadcast LIVE to the well-paying audience.

 

He planted our dreams.  Harvested our nightmares.

Flash Fiction – New Recruit

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

The competition on Flash! Friday is fierce, challenging.  The writers who offer up flash pieces week after week are fantastic authors – extremely well honed at putting together a brilliant story with both a tight deadline and a tight word count.  I’m very happy to number amongst them.

I’ve learned so much on how to tighten up my own writing since I started regularly posting my own pieces.  And, although I’ve yet to win the weekly challenge – this week’s entry got me one step closer.  I made 3rd runner-up – which is the highest I’ve been in the weekly ranks.

You might recognize where the opening phrase came from if you regularly join me left of reality.  I recently described Delores Umbridge in almost the same way.  I loved the phrasing so much on the Potter’s Field piece that I had to use it again.

New Recruit

205 words

 

Were the world a great disco-ball, she would be the shattered panels of mirrored glass – broken, beautifully reflective chaos very dangerous to handle. Known only as Bug, she was – street. Savvy, cold, hard, and merciless at protecting her own against all comers. She’d had her fill of life’s lemons and was ready to grind them into someone’s eyeballs for that elusive opportunity: escape from the rough alleyways she called home.

Street children such as Bug were perfect candidates for espionage. They learned to manufacture personae on demand at an early age, were dismissed and ignored by the rich and powerful, and considered disposable by those who would recreate them into a mosaic of unrealized destruction.

She needed her target to show. The cold winds of Autumn were dancing through the alley behind the Embassy parking lot, flirting aggressively with Old Man Winter. Soon, Bug knew, the weather would chase away her dreams of relocation. Of money. Of a new life far removed from the gutters of childhood.

Dreams that could only be realized by the successful completion of the task the man in the wool coat had equipped her for.

The gun concealed in her ragged clothing, and her instructions, were her ticket to freedom.

Flash Fiction – Superhero Blues

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Flash! Friday has given us another day to express our creative impulses, with a warm-up for the big weekly event!  CEWL!

So today – the picture was of a guy hanging on the side of a building with mirrored windows.  We had to incorporate a superhero into our piece.

No judging on the mid-week warmup – just fun and flash.  Here’s my piece:

Superhero Blues

100 words

You think you’ve got a rough life? Let me tell you…

I fight crime. I’m good at it. Phenomenal, if I do say so myself. It’s a gift from something mysterious…I’d tell you more, but I’d compromise my secret identity. You understand, don’t you?

Sooooo – I’m scaling this wall.

Why? Do you ask the chicken why he crosses the road?

So, up this wall I go…and out of nowhere, this kid comes slinging a hard rubber ball. Smack! Hits me right in the small of the back.

My chiropractor isn’t covered by insurance. It’s no joy havin’ the Superhero blues.

Flash Fiction – Shades of Grey

Rose lineup Flash FictionAnother Friday – another Flash Fiction piece posted over on Flash! Friday.

I had fun with this one (well, OK, I have fun with all of them :D) – the photo prompt was a black & white picture of a black kid hugging an electrical panel while looking at the busy shopping avenue laid out before him.

magician's taleSeveral years ago, I read a book called The Magician’s Tale.  The character we follow is a photographer who is completely color blind – she sees only in values of black and white.  The story was powerful, and one thing the author did to remind his readers of her affliction was have her ruminate periodically over her inability to see in a normal human spectrum.

So this week, with David Hunt’s book surfacing from the mire that passes for my mind, I wrote this week’s flash fiction entry entirely in black and white.

Enjoy!

 

Shades of Gray

160 words

The pearly-white beetle whistles a merry tune down the slate-colored street, chirping at the enormous silvery bus spewing leaden exhaust as it labors with its belly-full of passengers.  Ladies parade across the granite avenues between street and shop, wearing brilliant ivory suits, clutching frosted alabaster bags straining at their seams.

I cower, my terrified breath ravaging my throat.  I do not belong here.

Yesterday, I fled into the raven twilight – choosing the uncertainty of ebony and onyx star speckled skies for my bedroom ceiling, instead of the resolute beating promised in mother’s alcohol-poisoned eyes.  The reek of cheap spirits and cheaper perfume preceded her down the sooty, cracked plaster hall, her face the obsidian color of guaranteed violence.

Flight, rather than clenched knuckles forcefully sending blossoms of bisque, bone and cream fireworks to explode behind my eyelids, was my hasty decision.

But now, alone in this big, monochrome world, I’m wondering – where do I go when I’ve run from home?