Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Ball - #FridayFlash

“What’s that, Daddy?” Cindy pointed to the picture of the silvery ball in the photo album that David had been showing her.

“That’s the ball in Times Square that used to drop on New Year’s Eve.”

“It doesn’t drop anymore?”

“No, honey. In fact, that picture shows the last one to drop, the night before the Overseers came. We don’t celebrate New Years that way now.”

“Then that’s a good thing, right?”

“Yes, Cindy. It’s a good thing.” David’s voice choked on the words as he tried to speak in an even tone.

“Why are you crying, Daddy?” Cindy frowned as she asked that and David dashed the tears from his eyes.

“They’re happy tears, sweetheart. You were born just a few months later.”

He smoothed the tentacles out of her eyes and Cindy’s face relaxed again. Good. He still remembered what happened the last time she got upset. He scratched at the welts on his face.

“It’s time for bed now.”

Cindy turned her golden eyes to focus on him, her tentacles wriggling in silent communication before giving him a kiss.

“They said you should get rid of that photo album. Goodnight, Daddy.”

©2009 Laura Eno

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Nice, Quiet Job - #FridayFlash

Blergh sneezed as the blowing sand hit him in the face – again. Sentry duty was tough on the sinuses out here. Sandstorms, molting trees, dusty crypts – if it could make him sneeze, it did. His snout dripped all the time now, rather disgusting when it hit his tusks. The other guard, Morp, didn’t seem bothered by any of it, but he was new.

“What am I supposed to be doing?” Morp said.

“Standing guard.” Blergh sneezed again.

“I’m making sure that nobody gets by me?”

“Something like that.” Blergh decided that Morp was a little slow. It was just as well; otherwise, he’d be terrified later on.

The night was uneventful until midnight – always midnight, Blergh thought with a sigh and a sneeze. A crashing noise came from inside the crypt.

“Go see what that noise was,” Blergh said.

Morp started up the hill towards the crypt. Blergh didn’t know what was in there, but no one ever came back out once he went in to check on the noise. Astonishment made Blergh sneeze double when Morp walked out five minutes later.

“I fixed the problem.” Morp stood placidly, without a care in the world.

Blergh strode up the hill, determined to see what Morp had done. When he entered the crypt, the door slammed closed behind him. A black shadow coalesced in front of him, its form plunging the temperature in the room to near freezing. Blergh’s heart stuttered in fright, his sneezing ran in marathon time. The black shadow sighed.

“Do you realize that your partner was the first one to ask me if he could help? Your nightly sneezing has disturbed my rest for weeks now, but you always send someone else up here. Finally, the cause of my agitation makes a personal appearance.”

One mighty sneeze sounded from the crypt before all fell silent once again. Morp smiled. He knew that Blergh would be too nosy for his own good.

Guard duty suited Morp. It was a nice, quiet job.

©2009 Laura Eno

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The New Flesh Top 10 Stories of 2009

My story, Demons and Acid Don't Mix, made the Top 10 Picks of 2009 at The New Flesh Magazine. WOOT! Congrats to all who made the list. You can read them here:

III's Picks - The Best of The New Flesh 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Present - #FridayFlash

David walked inside the large room, its warmth welcomed by others but not by him. He preferred the cold snowy weather outside. It matched his mood.

Grabbing a plate of food, David sat alone in the far corner, sneering at the festive little group singing carols around the Christmas tree. What were they so happy about? Homeless beggars, the lot of them. He shoveled mashed potatoes into his mouth and tried to block out the noise.

The area filled quickly, but David stared down anyone who approached his table. He enjoyed his solitude and didn’t want anyone disturbing it.

A family walked in, laden with gifts. Do-gooders come to rescue the downtrodden, no doubt. David didn’t need rescuing. He liked his life just fine. It suited him well since the accident that took his family. He closed his eyes to block out the images.


Startled by the sound, David’s eyes flew open.

“Tommy?” No, of course it wasn’t Tommy.

“No, sir. I’m Matthew, but you can call me Matt. That’s what my friends call me.”

“I’m not your friend, boy.”

His voice gruff with unaccustomed emotion, David stuffed a forkful of food into his mouth to end the conversation.

The kid stood there for a moment longer, then walked back to his parents. David watched him go through half-closed lids. He looked to be about seven, the same age that Tommy had been before…

He applied himself to his food, angry that he’d been reliving ancient memories. Those belonged to that other David, the one who hadn’t rolled the car and killed his wife and child.

Matthew came back again, this time carrying a box.

“This is for you, sir.”

The child tried to hand it to him, but David pushed the present away. A single tear slid down the boy’s cheek.

“I want to give this to you. If my name was Tommy, would you take it?”

David found his hands trembling as he tried to set his fork down.

“Why are you crying, mister?”

He blinked and his vision blurred. David’s fingertips explored his face and found wet cheeks, something he hadn’t experienced in five years, not since…

“Would you open the box for me…Matt?”

“Okay, but I know what it is. I picked it out of the stack just for you ‘cuz you don’t have one.”

Matt pulled a thick woolen scarf out of the box and wrapped it around David’s neck.

“Now you’ll be warm when you’re outside. I have to go now but Merry Christmas, sir.”

David surprised himself by giving the boy a gentle hug.

“Thank you, Matt. I think you just gave me the best present I’ve ever had.”

©2009 Laura Eno

Heirloom Birds

I have a story up at Jim Wisneski's site for his Twelve Days of Christmas 2009, called Heirloom Birds. I'd love for you to stop by and read it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Heads Aren't Better Than One - #FridayFlash

My thesis was due in two days and I still hadn’t picked a suitable animal to study. I ran down the list of extinct animals, wondering which might pique my interest.

My finger landed on one that I hadn’t noticed before: the two-headed dragon. Funny that. Being a pragmatic sort, I hadn’t realized they’d ever existed at all, and yet the list clearly pointed out my error.

Setting my portable time machine to a date midway in their timeline, I traveled back to interview one. Traveling through time always gave me a sick stomach but I put on a brave face in the name of science.

What extraordinary luck. There, right in front of me was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen. The iridescent blues and greens of its scales shimmered as they marched up the sleek body, expanding into all shades of gold on two supple necks. One head was slightly darker than the other was. I wondered if that was significant.

It would have been an interesting question to ask but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. The rapid-fire conversation didn’t allow for a third party. After several minutes of endless argument, I grew restless. There was a blank thesis paper with my name on it back home.

“Excuse me. Might I cut in?”

They didn’t notice me, as I was quite a bit shorter than they were. I walked over to a front leg and climbed upon a knee. That got their attention.

“Who are you?” said one head.

“What are you?” said the other.

They argued amongst themselves as to which was the more relevant question. I whistled, which stopped them cold. Apparently, they don’t like sharp noises.

“I am here to interview you. Do you realize that soon you will be extinct?”

“How could that happen?”

“Why did that happen?”

I thought I already saw the problem. “What were you two arguing about when I arrived?”

“What to have for dinner.”

“Why we have to eat now.”

“How could one of you be hungry but the other one not? You share one body.” Most puzzling.

“Because we don’t share a stomach.”

“Because we have two stomachs.”

I tried to look them both in the eye from my perch on their knee while I thought.

“If you each have your own stomach, then why don’t you each eat when you want?”

I was met with stunned silence, perhaps the first time they’d experienced that. Maybe they each only had half a brain, but I didn’t mention that out of politeness.

“Why, what a grand idea.”

“Why, that’s a perfect idea.”

I said my goodbyes and traveled back home. After glancing out my window, however, I realized I’d changed the timeline. Two-headed dragons jostled for space amongst the people going to and fro, still arguing with each other.

Sighing, I picked up the list to find another extinct animal for my thesis.

©2009 Laura Eno


My inspiration for this story came from the last two comments on this post, over at Miscellaneous Yammering. I originally said 'fuck off' and her library circle complained, so she asked me to re-post. I had to dip into my dwindling bucket of stars to comply.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tis The Season

I have a little holiday story featured over at Paul D Brazill's site called

Tis The Season.

I hope you'll stop by. While you're there, have a look at his wonderful noir site.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monster on Aisle 13 - #FridayFlash

“I know what I saw, even if they don’t believe me.”

“Uh huh.”

Her lawyer seemed rather non-committal.

“Ms Dennison, you’ve been charged with shoplifting.”

“I can explain that. I was in one of those big-box stores, looking at the DVDs. They happen to be on aisle 13, by the way.”

“Uh huh. Go on.”

“So anyway, there was a little boy and his mother standing right next to me. The kid picked up a copy of Monsters Inc and asked his mom if she’d buy it. Next thing I knew, two shaggy blue arms came out of that DVD and grabbed them both—their shopping cart too. Sucked them right inside. Don’t you see? I had to take it. Someone has to save them.”

“Perfect, Ms Dennison. Don’t change a thing. We’ll plead temporary insanity.”


“Robbie, I picked up a new copy of Monsters Inc today. Why don’t you watch it while I get dinner started.”

Robbie walked into the kitchen a few minutes later.

“This one isn’t like our old copy.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come look. There’s some lady pushing a shopping cart with a little boy in it and Sully’s chasing them.”

©2009 Laura Eno