Thursday, October 29, 2009

Midnight Swim - #FridayFlash

Marsha was having a blast at the Halloween party. She and her friend, Sue, had pre-arranged a signal if either one needed to be rescued but it didn’t look like they’d need it. The music thrummed in her soul, the booze flowed freely and the costumes were fabulous. Marsha felt like a million dollars here.

When Sue had suggested crashing the exclusive party of the hottest horror film director in town, Marsha was sure they’d be thrown out at the door. Instead, the director himself greeted them, warmly ushering them inside.

His vampire costume was to die for, probably costing thousands of dollars for the authenticity. Everybody here sparkled in their expensive clothing, although not all were in costume. Marsha’s little devil getup was cheap, but it made the most of her assets. In the dark, no one would know it didn’t have a designer label. Come Monday, when she put her waitress uniform back on, she’d have some awesome memories of this night.

“Would you care to dance?”

The sexy voice belonged to someone in a death costume. As Marsha melted into his arms, she tried to think of which star he might be. The voice wasn’t familiar, but so many actors modulated their speech.

After a while, they drifted out to the balcony, overlooking the Hollywood hills. Marsha felt a bit tipsy, drinking more than she normally would. The night sky opened before them with a thousand stars, the air vibrated with promise.

“Do you choose to be with me?”

The voice whispered in her ear, inviting her to share his exciting life. Why not? Marsha thought. If I don’t like him tomorrow I’ll just tell him I’m a waitress. That ought to send him running. She giggled at the image of death fleeing from her.

“Sure.” It came out a bit slurred but understandable.

“Why don’t we go for a swim.”

An Olympic-sized pool sat directly below the balcony. Marsha had been so busy gazing at the stars that she hadn’t noticed it before.

“Okay.” She turned to go find a way downstairs, but death picked her up and threw her over the railing.

Marsha broke the surface, sputtering and glad to have survived the fall. Death floated next to her, not a smudge in his make-up.

“Is your make-up waterproof?” She gazed into the blackest eyes she’d ever seen. He hadn’t looked this scary earlier.

“My dear, I’m not wearing a costume. Are you ready for your swim?”

Marsha’s confusion quickly progressed to terror as she sank endlessly, deeper than the pool’s depth. When she broke the surface again, she stared into the eyes of the ferryman.

The police ruled Marsha’s death accidental, a broken neck as she fell over the railing and hit the concrete walk in the garden below. Someone reported seeing her just minutes before it happened, standing alone and swaying to the music. It was determined that she was a gatecrasher, nobody worthy of a headline. The party played on.

©2009 Laura Eno

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carnival Time - #FridayFlash

“Have a good time and call me when you’re ready to be picked up.”

“I will, Mom.” Ricky dodged his mother’s attempt to kiss him in front of his friend Jimmy. Jeesh. It was bad enough that he had to go to the school carnival instead of trick-or-treating like the rest of his friends; did she have to embarrass him too?

“There’s just baby stuff here,” Jimmy said.

Ricky was inclined to agree as he looked around. Their mothers had decided that this was safer than going around the neighborhood knocking on doors. He was willing to bet that they were the only two ten-year-olds dressed in costume. Everyone else was much younger. Come Monday, they’d be the laughing stock at school.

“We’re doomed.”

Some kid in a bed sheet kept following them around as they made their way down the line of booths passing out candy. Ricky nudged Jimmy and whispered in his ear. Jimmy grinned as they walked over to a quiet spot between the buildings. The bed sheet ghost followed them.

“Okay. Why are you following us?” Ricky said.

The ghost didn’t answer, just stood there fidgeting as he looked up at them out of the two eyeholes. Jimmy tugged the sheet off, revealing a small, grimy boy.

There was something weird about this kid, Ricky thought.

“Say something, creep.”

The kid smiled, a rather ghastly-looking occurrence, as he spoke.


©2009 Laura Eno

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Perfect Diet Plan

Someone sent me this diet plan and it's the first one I've seen that I'd honestly be able to follow on a regular basis. I figured what better way to bond with my friends than to share it with you?


1 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 cup skim milk


1 small portion lean, steamed chicken
1 cup spinach
1 cup herbal tea
1 Hershey's kiss

Afternoon Tea

1 The rest of the Hershey Kisses in the bag
1 tub of Hagen-Daaz ice cream with chocolate chips


4 glasses of wine (red or white)
2 loaves garlic bread
1 family size supreme pizza
3 Snickers Bars

Late Night Snack

1 whole Sarah Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)

Remember: Stressed spelled backward is desserts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Delivered Fresh - #FridayFlash

Lorraine scrubbed at the brown stains splattered against the wall and sighed. She’d have to repaint…again. They weren’t washing off. Another Halloween night full of mayhem. Beastly neighborhood children roamed the streets in their costumes, up to no good. They ran up to doors, demanding treats. If no one answered, the kids threw eggs…or worse.

The kids avoided Lorraine’s house the rest of the year, believing it to be haunted. An old iron fence blocked off the patch of overgrown grass, giving the impression of a cemetery at first glance. Add in the peeling paint on the weathered sideboards and one might suspect that vampires lived here. Lorraine snorted in amusement.

The house had stood for 150 years now, in much the same condition as when it had first been built. No modern conveniences had been added; the frayed lace curtains were original as well. Lorraine preferred it that way, living life at a slower pace, not caught up in the frantic activity of those around her.

One night each year though, the kids would venture into her yard, wanting to see the ‘vampire house’ from the inside. She would oblige the brave soul who came alone, patiently explaining that she was, in fact, a demon and not a bloodsucker.

The holiday was rather convenient for her, actually. 150 years ago, she’d had to go hunting for her yearly sacrifices. Now they came to her, delivered fresh to her doorstep.

©2009 Laura Eno


I have a story up at Flashes in the Dark today called Ironies. It's for their Worst of Love Contest. I'd be honored if you go check it out and maybe leave a comment. You can find it here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Graveyard Tales - #FridayFlash

“Let’s play a trick on Tommy.”

It was Halloween and Mike had planned on hanging out with his two best friends. His parents had other ideas though. They insisted that he take his little brother trick or treating. At seven, Tommy was five years younger than they were and a big crybaby, so when Steve and Chad came by the house Mike was ready with his plan.

“What do you have in mind?” Steve asked.

“Let’s play a game of hide and seek in the old cemetery with him.” Mike grinned as both Steve and Chad looked askance. No one went into the place at night. Its rundown appearance gave rise to tales of haunting and general mayhem. No one had been buried there for over fifty years.

“When he walks by, we’ll grab his legs and scare the crap out of him.”

When told about the hide and seek game, Tommy started blubbering but finally agreed, since it was the price to go out with the older boys. They all slipped past the loose chain on the gate and snuck onto the grounds. The full moon made the old headstones shimmy and dance as if alive when the tree branches swayed in the wind, throwing shadows at odd moments.

While Tommy counted to one hundred the others hid, each waiting for the chance to scare the big baby. Tommy yelled, “Here I come” and started walking.

He soon let out a blood-curdling yell as something grabbed his leg. Steve and Chad both popped out of their hiding places in fits of laughter. Their laughter died as they realized that Mike was nowhere to be found.

“Something reached out of the ground and grabbed me,” Tommy said. He started crying again. “Where’s Mike?”

Another scream split the air, farther into the graveyard. The older boys smiled. Mike was still up to his tricks. They headed in that direction, dragging a reluctant Tommy with them.

After searching, the boys couldn’t find Mike anywhere. They stumbled upon a fresh mound of dirt over one of the graves. Scared now, they ran back to Mike’s house, telling his parents about the fresh grave and the fact that Mike was now missing.

The police arrived, delivering Mike, whom they’d caught exiting the graveyard. He confessed to his practical joke, finding no one particularly amused by it and earning months of restriction for his troubles.

“I still have one question,” Tommy said, after the police had left. “If Mike was at the back of the graveyard, who grabbed my leg?”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We All Travel - #FridayFlash

“Martyrs to the left, sages to the right.”

The small gnome barked the instructions at 30-second intervals. Paul looked around in bewilderment as people shuffled into their assigned designations.

“But what if I’m neither?” he asked.

The gnome blinked once, as if never confronted with the question before.

“Then go back to the end of the line and think about it some more.”

Befuddled, Paul trudged back to where he began. He thought over his life at length, tossing a hundred examples around, discarding a hundred decisions. What made one, in the end, a martyr or a sage? Was it a single act, or the accumulation of a life’s experience? Was one preferable to the other? He was no wiser as he approached the gnome for a second time.

“I am neither. I’ve been both at times in my life, but neither defines my total experience. What should I do?”

The gnome shrugged, a smile on his face.

“It doesn’t matter which line you choose, the destination is the same. The journey you took to get here is the only thing that counts.”

©2009 Laura Eno