Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ravenous (Grey Matter Press Flash Masters entry: June)

If he wasn’t eating, Milo was crying. Diseased chromosomes insisted to the toddler that he was starving. Every single minute of every single day.

Lizzy tried to be a good mother. She worked two jobs so she could afford to quiet Milo’s tears. She ignored the sloppy, open-mouthed way he consumed every morsel and the greedy gleam in his too-moist eyes when she surrendered her own supper to his insatiable hunger.

One morning, she woke to find the kitchen in shambles. Overturned chairs lay scattered across the floor. Padlocked cupboards—doors ripped from their hinges—gaped open and empty as Milo bawled in the corner, still wearing yesterday’s spaghetti-stained pajamas.

Lizzy bent, plucking a chair cushion from the chaos, and approached her son.

Even through the fabric and thick foam, she could hear Milo chewing. She pressed harder, but his tiny teeth shredded the polyester, masticating the padding inside and devouring the pillow instead of smothering beneath it.

When it was gone, Milo continued to cry.

He’d consumed everything in a single night, and it would be days before she could afford more. Staring at the empty cupboards, Lizzy pressed a knife to her thigh.

She hoped she would last that long.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Peter's Promiscuous Pucker (Flash! Friday 2.27 entry)

Peter said he’d picked a peck for me. He passed me a box of peppers and planted a quick, dry kiss on my cheek. I smiled, till I saw him peck Mary and each of her pretty maids, too. My pal, Simon, said we should punish Peter for his pecking.

The next day, Simon and I proceeded the fair to peddle Peter’s peppers. On the way, we passed a face familiar to us both.

The Pieman smiled down at Simon, trading a penny and a piping hot pastry for a pint of pilfered peppers. Pleased with the produce, the Pieman was primed for another purchase. He turned to me and asked, “Little Lucy Locket, what’s that in your pocket?”

The Pieman paled as I pulled the package from my apron and said, “Only the very best from Piper’s Pepper Pastures. Can I interest you a pint of pickled Peter?”

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fancy Footwork (Flash! Friday 2.15 entry)

Creative Commons photo by Kat/Swim Parallel

Kevin rested his aching feet on the seat in front of him, glad nobody was on the bus to admire his ill-fitting footwear: a pair of shiny black women’s pumps. It was a handy trick—put on the shoes and follow them straight to the owner—but it was hell on his soles.

He removed a shoe. As he inspected one of a dozen blisters he’d acquired that afternoon, the bus swerved violently. The shoe flew from Kevin’s hand and landed in the aisle several seats in front of him.

Moving to collect the rogue shoe, Kevin bent He froze mid-stoop. Under the adjacent seat was a suitcase. He inched it into the aisle and unzipped it slowly. The suitcase was full of feet. 

Kevin took the black pump and carefully slipped it over the freshest severed appendage. He sighed and pulled out his cell phone.

“Hello? This is Detective Prince. I found Cinderella.”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Morning After (Grey Matter Press St. Valentine's Week Massacre Entry)

Rachael’s mouth ached. She wore a beard of dried blood that extended down her front, expanding into a ragged bib, an artifact of the previous night’s violence. It was her own fault, of course. She knew better than to interrupt Boy’s Night, but it was Valentine’s Day and she couldn’t wait to share the good news.

She tiptoed up the stairs. There was doubtless a mess in need of cleaning. Best to just get it over with. Rachael straightened up, tossing beer bottles, emptying overfilled ashtrays and righting an obstacle course of overturned chairs. Then she turned her attention to the bodies. What was left of them.

The kitchen was littered with limbs and viscera that had been torn apart and cast asunder such that if she hadn’t previously seen them in working order, she’d have no idea they represented the remains of only three men. Rachael set to cleaning again. When she’d finished, she showered and then hauled the remaining trash—double bagged—to the curb. That done, she started for home. Her belly rumbled. Rachael was mildly shocked, considering what a pig she’d made of herself last night, but then again, she was eating for two.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gravid (Flash! Friday 2.10 entry)

Kolmanskop. CC photo by Damien du Toit.

Abigail hadn’t set foot in the desert town for years. From the looks of it, neither had anyone else. Just as well. Shifting dunes lumbered up and down the solitary street like herds of wandering bison. They’d bullied their way through doors and windows, filling bedrooms, kitchens and hallways alike with their spawn.

Abigail wound her way carefully through the labyrinth of living sands. She identified her destination—her birthplace—with the ease and assuredness of a wild salmon. She entered the abandoned home, moving slowly toward the nursery. Inside, a half-buried cradle peeked from the dusty lawn like a tombstone. She clutched her belly; concealed within her womb was a mass of rapidly dividing cells—not the child she’d hoped and prayed for, but a hideous would-be child turned malignancy that was eroding her tissues with deliberate patience.

Abigail was patient too. She settled in next to the cradle. Humming a lullaby, she closed her eyes and waited to be born again.