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.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lungri’s Revenge (Race The Date #9 entry)

Once again, there were children in the jungle.

He’d nearly tasted such tender meats as these once before, but the village boy had escaped, a slight that was still raw and throbbing, even after all these years. The great Bengal inhaled deeply, savoring the fragrance of succulent man flesh.

He moved soundlessly through the moist jungle undergrowth, stealthy despite his uneven limp, toward the source of the alluring fragrance. His sensitive nose, undulled by the passage of time, discerned two distinct scents. That of a boy child and that of a girl child. The great cat’s stomach produced a roar that rivaled one of his own.

He reached the edge of a clearing. There, lingering near the watering hole, were his intended prey. Unaware. Unassuming. Unguarded.

The Bengal crouched. Eyes wide. Tail twitching. His deformed leg pained him, but he paid it no mind. He was Shere Kahn, rightful lord of this jungle. He would not be denied.

This time, he would sup on the lean, sinewy flesh of man-cub and satiate his thirst with their blood.

This time, there would be no escape.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Scout (Flash! Friday 2.5 entry)

Kevin stepped out of the 1925 Lincoln and stretched his muscles. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to travel, but the ol’ two-five got great mileage. He couldn’t think of another vehicle that got more than twelve years to the gallon, and with the price of dark matter these days, well... 

He walked toward the enormous tree he’d just passed through, kicking up little dust feathers as he went. The price of dark matter was precisely the reason he’d embarked on this little journey. Retro-resourcing was a highly profitable, highly illegal practice, and Kevin was the best scout in the business. 

He took several minutes to walk the circumference of the tree, inspecting it. With processing techniques that wouldn’t be invented for another two hundred years, a tree this size could provide energy to a million homes, maybe more, for a tidy six-figure profit. 

Kevin nodded. It would do. It would do quite nicely. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Soul Searching (Flash Friday 2.4 entry)

His ancestors eviscerated the dead to aid their spirits in the afterlife. Ini-herit eviscerated the dead in search of the spirit, that he might ensnare it during life. Medicine worked miracles, transplanting organs to cure physical disease. It followed that one might transplant souls to cure spiritual disease.

Indeed there was a plague of spiritual disease spreading like a shadow across the earth. Greed. Hate. Apathy. And violence. So much violence... Ini-herit was determined to discover the key to this sickness. He would find the human spirit and cure it. If, however, the human condition proved terminal, he would use its corrupt essence to summon Ammit. If Ini-herit could not cure the wicked, the Destroyer would consume them without remorse.

Ini-herit slid his blade into soft, unblemished flesh. Still warm. Still pink. It broke his heart, but the search for salvation must begin with the innocent. To defeat the darkness he must harvest souls that still burgeoned with light.