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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Devil's Game - #FridayFlash

The place was crowded, the lights dim. Old world elegance oozed from the inside of the bar, not at all what Cate expected from its non-descript exterior. She wondered if she had the right place. This didn’t seem like her friend’s style.

Her entrance went unnoticed, something she wasn’t use to. All eyes focused on the billiard game happening in the middle of the floor. Cate didn’t know much about pool, but the charming man with the easy grin must be winning. The others looked worried.

Cate studied the man in the expensive silk suit. She found herself unable to look away. He glanced at her—spoke a word of welcome. His voice was smooth whiskey tumbled over shards of ice. The ribbon of smoke from the cigar he held enticed her to follow its trail to his side.

He completed his shot as she reached him, three balls in the corner pocket. His opponent was visibly sweating as he watched the table.

“Hold this for me.”

He handed Cate his cigar with a smile. Its heady aroma wrapped Cate in its spell. She took a drag without knowing why.

“I’m Lucian,” he said and hit the final ball in the pocket.

The ground opened below his opponent, fiery souls billowed forth and consumed the man where he stood. Cate backed away but the crowd closed in around her, rapacity written on their faces. Her head spun from the cigar smoke.

“Are you ready to play, Cate?”

Lucian’s voice caressed her, locked her in place. She looked back at the door where she’d entered just moments ago. It had disappeared.

“If I win, will you let me leave?” Her voice sounded thick to her ears.

“No.” Lucian’s grin took on a wicked cast. “But I’ll buy you a drink if you do. I have to tell you though, I’ve never lost.”

©2009 Laura Eno

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Great American Teach-In

I had the honor of speaking at an elementary school today for the Great American Teach-In on what it’s like to be a writer. The two half-hour sessions, one for a third grade class and one for fifth grade, taught me as much as the information I imparted.

I focused on perseverance, because it’s necessary no matter what they choose to do in life. My motto was, embrace it even when it sucks because that’s the only way to learn. They enjoyed my use of the word ‘suck.’ I found out later that the teachers are trying to ban it from their vocabulary. Oops – go Laura!

We also worked with a story prompt. It had a monster in it, naturally. The kids had a good time with it. I tapped into a rich imaginative vein with the fifth graders. Not so much with the third graders. I would have thought it to be the other way around. Here is the story prompt. What would your next sentence be?

A little girl in a red sweater and a monster walked down the dirt road. The monster started to sneeze but he didn’t have a tissue.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Bus Stops Here - #FridayFlash

This is a minor character from my NaNoWriMo WIP.

The last of the group made their way up the three steps and onto the bus. Thomas shut the door and studied the happy faces behind him from the rearview mirror. Like kids on a field trip. He hoped he could still summon that kind of excitement at their age. The youngest of the lot was 75.

The Sun and Fun Retirement Home had chartered this trip up the mountain for a day at the casino on the reservation. Thomas would earn time and a half as their driver. Maybe a few tips as well. He really needed the money but, after a restless night with little sleep, he didn’t feel well. In fact, the pleasant greetings from his passengers annoyed him. Nothing was fine about today, as one old woman had remarked. Nothing was fine about his life, when it came right down to it.

The gears ground as Thomas shoved the old bus into first, pulling away from the curb with a slight sway and shudder. As they made their way up the hill, he tuned out the excited chatter, turned his thoughts to Jenny instead.

The bitch didn’t deserve both house and alimony – she was the one who left. Normally, he didn’t spend time dwelling on the inequities, but for the last few days he couldn’t seem to think of anything else.

The dark mood started right after the accident in the store, when he got the stitches. Thomas brushed his fingertips against the bandage gingerly, although it didn’t hurt. He still had a headache; nothing seemed to touch it, not even the pills the doc prescribed for him. He hadn’t told his employer either, since the bottle said “do not drive.”

None of that had anything to do with his present state of mind. On any given day, Thomas could stuff his depression into a dark corner, ignore it and move on. Not so for the last four days, when an unfocused revenge dogged his every step.

As the bus wound around the last steep curve to reach the top, clarity breached Thomas’ thoughts. He knew what he had to do. The bitch wouldn’t get any more alimony out of him.

Laughter gave way to stunned silence in those first few moments. The bus jerked hard to the right. The tires left the pavement. Then the screaming started.

Thomas watched the view change from clouds to rocks as the bus nosedived on its way to a flip. His mad grin widened. He thought about the time he executed a belly flop in much the same way. It had been painful, too. Then his head hit the wheel. Thomas missed the rest of the action.

The bus didn’t make it all the way to the bottom. It landed on the road some 1500 feet below the top. No one lived to give thanks for that small mercy. The resultant explosion took care of that.

©2009 Laura Eno

Timing is Everything: Flashes in the Dark

I have a story up at Flashes in the Dark called Timing is Everything.
Many thanks to Lori Titus over at FitD for featuring it.
I hope you'll stop over there and give it a read. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Five O'Clock Tram - #FridayFlash

“Sally, I told you to quit fussing with your sweater.”

“But the sleeves aren’t long enough.” Sally tugged at the bright red knit one more time in a futile attempt to stretch it. Her mother ignored her complaints and hustled her out of the car. The huge parking lot was filling up fast for opening day of the new amusement park.

The “Gateway to Other Worlds” promised live exhibits of creatures from other planets. Since that was impossible, speculation was rife about what they could have planned. The concepts had been kept under tight security so no one knew what to expect. One of the planners was a famous comic book author so rumor had it that he designed animatronics for the exhibits.

Seven-year-old Sally forgot her quarrel with her sweater as she was awed by one exhibit after another. They watched tiny Gorn at play, their purple fuzz dusted by mint green snowflakes that fell inside the protective dome. Another had giant butterfly creatures that came up to the window, looking like they wanted to speak.

Multiple domes portrayed life on a dozen different planets, their habitats authentically reproduced according to the guides.

At the end of the long day, Sally and her mother boarded the tram that ran through a series of tunnels, showing visitors the domes from the backside. It stopped in one dark tunnel and the voice system came on.

“Please exit to your right for the tram to the parking lot. We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay with us.”

A boy and his father stood in front of a dome, watching creatures that looked a bit like woolly mammoths. Their guide pointed to his watch and announced that it was five o’clock, the creatures feeding time. On cue, a chute opened, spilling several people to the ground. The boy watched a girl in a red sweater try to run before the mammoth bit her in half. Now her legs matched the color of her sweater.

“Those animatronics sure are realistic looking,” his father murmured.

The guide smiled at them. “Aren’t they just?”

©2009 Laura Eno

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Bridge - #FridayFlash

The bridge towered above the expanse of water, the height terrifying when viewed from below. Odd, Danni thought. She felt comfortable up at the top now, whereas just minutes ago she’d known the heart-rending fear that must enshroud those about to jump. At least, that’s what she’d experienced.

The decisions that brought her to this place in time seemed of little importance now. Danni pondered the change in attitude. Why was she still standing here?

A noise startled her. A popping sound, then metal grinding before a dull thud of impact. Danni spun in time to see the car fold in on itself; the flames start to lick the sides before it devoured the contents like an insatiable beast. A small face pressed against the window, hands reaching out in supplication, eyes locked on hers in mute plea.

Danni yanked the door aside, mindless of the fire hissing in anger at her approach. The little girl melted into her arms as her mother scrambled out the other door.

“Are you an angel?” the child asked.

Danni found she couldn’t speak for the lump in her throat, settled on a smile instead. This must be why she still lingered. It was too late for her, but the child was safe. Danni ascended; comforted by the fact that at least in death her life had found meaning.

©2009 Laura Eno

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Burnt Offerings - #FridayFlash

Squaring shoulders grown wide from Special Ops training, Dan approached his task with some trepidation. Smoke curled in a graceful arc before drifting outward on the breeze. He wrinkled his nose against the acrid smell before bending to his unenviable task. At times like this, he wished he wasn’t so qualified, but the others counted on his expertise. Best to get on with the job.

People shuffled nearer as the flames spat and hissed, curiosity drawing them at the same rate as the flies that now hovered. Dan looked over his shoulder and spotted Linda hanging back at the edge of the milling crowd. She raised one eyebrow, a mute question he’d learned long ago to interpret as a countdown.

He nodded his head in silent reply, going back to his observations. The fire licked at the charred flesh, hungry tongues of flame dancing in the late afternoon heat. Someone handed him a drink that he downed in one gulp, grateful for the cool shot to expunge the grit from the back of his throat.

“I don’t know how you keep track of so many. I know I never could.”

The speaker watched the flames with a gleam in her eye that Dan tried his best to ignore. Her avid attention reminded him of a hunter, stalking her prey. The thought made his stomach churn.

Linda diverted his thoughts by arriving at his side after elbowing through the crowd to reach him. She deposited her armload of items on the makeshift table beside him and kissed him on the cheek.

“I know this is an unpleasant task for you, being a vegetarian, but no one can barbeque steaks as well as you.”

©2009 Laura Eno

Monday, September 14, 2009

Proofreading is a dying art...

This landed in my email box the other day. I don’t know who to attribute the newspaper headlines to, but they were too funny to keep to myself. The following also serves to remind us that proofreading should be a top priority. Our readers may not always interpret our words the way we meant them. I can’t take credit for the pithy comments under each one, either.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Quite an accomplishment!

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
No crap, really? Ya think?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that's taking things a bit far!

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Good-for-nothing lazy so-and-so's!

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial!

War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya think?

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Weren't they fat enough?

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That's what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken?

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?

I hope these brought a smile to your day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bad Maintenance - #FridayFlash

Julie entered the ancient elevator, struggling out of her coat while still managing to hold onto her briefcase. She jabbed at the number six button hard. It usually stuck and maintenance hadn’t fixed it for the past two months. It slid easily this time, causing her to hit the seven button as well.

They finally got around to one complaint. Julie doubted if Mr Townsend had done anything about the heat yet. That would cost him money, something he valued far above happy tenants.

The elevator creaked and groaned, making its slow journey up to her humble abode as if on its last strand of cable. This trip seemed to take longer than usual, but the lights over the door displayed their relentless trek, moving from five before winking out completely just as the elevator jerked to a stop.

Great – another problem. A burned-out bulb would be far down the fix-it list. Julie stepped into the hallway and froze. This wasn’t her floor. At least, it didn’t look like her hallway, even though she could see the door to her apartment. Had they painted today? The color was garish.

Whatever. She pulled her keys out and went inside, thankful to be home at last. Flipping on the TV for company, Julie listened with half an ear as the newscaster related some breaking news.

“Reports just in of an accident in the old Townsend building. A cable snapped on the elevator of the eight-story apartment house. It’s not known yet if there were any injuries…”

A knock drowned out the rest of his sentence, just as the name of the building sunk in. Puzzled by the reference, Julie answered the door. A handsome man stood in front of her, his white suit stark against the newly painted red walls of the hallway.

“Julie – I thought I’d stop by and personally welcome you to the 13th floor. If there’s anything you require, just let me know, since you won’t be leaving again.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Move Over - #FridayFlash

“I’m leaving you, Mick. I’ve found someone new.”

“But why? We’ve been together for so long...”

“I’m no longer attracted to you.”

“What’s so unattractive about me?”

“Ha! Where do I begin? You never dress in anything other than shorts and your nose…never mind. You’re also too short for my taste.”

“What? I’m the same height as you. That never used to be an issue. And what about our mutual friends? What do I tell them?”

“I don’t care what you tell them. They’re your friends – a bunch of quacks, if you ask me – not mine. My new man hangs with a different crowd – mysterious and exciting.”

“So, what you’re saying is that you prefer a mysterious man in spandex to a guy with big ears and nose who wears shorts? Tell me, Min – what does Spidey think about that stupid bow in your hair?”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One True Friend...

I’ve been trying to wait until the dust settles before awarding this, but…call me impatient. I had purposely left someone off of the Kreative Blog Award list, intending to present this to her on the following day, but she received that award from someone else so I held back and continued to collect dirt information about her.

I have saved this One True Friend Award to roast feature a very special person, Tomara Armstrong of This, That...The Other Thing

Its purpose is to focus on the person behind the blog, highlighting his/her qualities as an honest, true friend. The only rule of this award is to pass it on to someone who has made a difference in your life.

Now for the fun part, where I embarrass list 2’s remarkable qualities.

Ten Reasons Why I Follow Tomara’s Blog and Stalk Her on Twitter:


1. …can take out (cardboard) bad guys with the skill of Chuck Norris. I have personally witnessed the (bloodless) aftermath of that spectacle.

2. …turns into a ninja when confronted by ostriches.

3. …discourses on brain worms.

4. …draws lewd pictures on dry-erase boards.

5. …laughs at all of my jokes (an amazing feat all by itself).

6. …can spit without fouling her spurs.

7. …has managed to integrate into her new locale without resorting to murder yet (although I don’t know the particulars that precipitated her move from the last location).

8. …managed to leave comments and RT messages even in the midst of fleeing moving across several state lines.

9. …is a powerful writer with wonderful stories on her blog.

10. …But most importantly, she’s an amazing friend for anyone to have. Follow her – she’s great!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I have been honored with the Honest Scrap Award by fellow #fridayflash enthusiast, Dan Powell of dan powell – fiction. Thank you so much, Dan!

The award is meant to be passed on to bloggers who post from the heart. The rules are simple: pass the award on to seven worthy blogs and list ten honest things about yourself.

My list of seven ‘honest’ bloggers who post from the heart:

Tomara Armstrong of This, That…The Other Thing

JujuJuniper of We Can All Use a Little More Juju

Stef from 52 Weeks of Wordage

Carol Kilgore of Under the Tiki Hut

Laura Mercurio Ebohon of Laura Mercurio Ebohon

Lisa Gurney of My Life As a Daughter

Angel Zapata from A Rage of Angel

Now on to the ten honest things about me –

1. Hate coffee, but love coffee-flavored ice cream.

2. Have always wanted to live on a space station.

3. Love to travel, but not around the U.S.

4. Don’t like to cook, but haven’t found a chef willing to work for free yet.

5. Love cats.

6. Like to watch snow fall, but then it needs to go away – which is why I live in the South.

7. Am a native Californian.

8. Don’t watch TV.

9. Was pushed aside by Princess Leia in the battle for my 5 yr old son’s affections – I guess she was Hot Woman, hair buns and all.

10. Detest phones.

Many thanks to dan powell – fiction for giving me this award. And to my awardees, please pass the award on so that we may all continue to meet new people.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Teacup - #FridayFlash

“Don’t touch that. You might break it.”

Kelly jumped at the sharp admonition from her grandmother. If she had been holding the cup right then, it would have slipped from her hand for sure.

“I’m sorry, child. I didn’t mean to startle you, but it mustn’t break.”

Grandma stared at the teacup, wrung her hands in her apron.

“Why? It’s just a little pink cup. It doesn’t even match anything else on the shelf.” At ten, Kelly now had the privilege of entering her grandmother’s parlor, a place off-limits to the younger kids. The antiques lining the shelves were just odds and ends to her, but grandma said they each had a story to tell.

“That pink teacup has been in the family for over one hundred years,” her grandmother said, settling into the overstuffed chair to wait while the cookies baked. “Would you like to hear the story?”

When she nodded, her grandmother’s eyes took on a faraway look. Kelly sat on the floor next to the chair to listen. Grandma always told good stories.

“The woman who originally owned it was said to have evil powers. Family members recorded that right before she died, she asked for that cup. They said that tears flowed down her face as she held it and several drops fell into it. As she drew her last breath, she muttered an incantation and smoke filled the room for a moment. After she died, the tears in the cup formed a black stain that wouldn’t wash out. After that, people swore that the cup whispered to them.”

“Like it was haunted or something?” Kelly watched the muscles in the old woman’s right cheek twitch, a pained expression cross her face as she fell silent. She looked unhappy.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing – nothing at all.”

Grandma spoke quickly, tried to smile but her lip trembled now. Kelly didn’t understand the woman’s nervousness, but it had something to do with that dumb old cup.

“Why don’t you get rid of it if you don’t like it?”

“It won’t let me.”

The muttered words were so faint that Kelly imagined she heard wrong. The timer rang in the kitchen, announcing fresh-baked cookies waiting to be pulled out of the oven. Her grandmother left to attend to them, reminding the girl not to touch anything.

Kelly tiptoed over to the teacup, peering into the bottom of it while clasping her hands firmly behind her back. The black stain rested in the bottom, just as grandma said it did.

“What?” Kelly whirled, sure that someone had just spoken to her. Off-balance, she stumbled into the shelf, causing it to rattle. A low laugh emanated from the cup, its sound pitching into a screech as it became louder. Unnerved, Kelly picked up the offending cup and threw it onto the floor where it shattered, silencing the brutal sound.

Her grandmother entered the room and moaned, collapsing to the ground in utter despair. Kelly didn’t have time to wonder about grandma’s well-being, as a cloud of smoke rose from the broken pieces to claim the young girl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

On Monday, I received this Kreativ Blogger Award from Helen Ginger of Straight From Hel. To say that I am surprised and flattered would be an understatement. Thank you, Helen! There are two parts to this award. First, that I pass it on to seven other bloggers:

Alan W Davidson, Conversations From Land’s Edge
Angie Ledbetter, Gumbo Writer
Kevin J Mackey, KjM – on the web
Jameson T Caine, Lacuna Ex Obscurum
Jon M Strother, Mad Utopia
B T, Musings of an Aussie Writer
Hope101, Tartitude
Anton Gully, The Black Dogs of Despair Ate My Novel
Pippa Hennessy, The Old Bat

Some of these blogs are fairly new to me, others I’ve read since I first started blogging. All have kept me informed and entertained.

No need to point out that I can’t count, either. It was too hard to cull the list as it was.

The second part of this award is to list seven mystery authors. Err…I will save that for another post. I can also guarantee you that they will be dark fantasy/horror authors. But then, you already knew that, didn’t you Helen?

Please provide a link back, pass this award on to others whose blogs you enjoy and notify your recipients. My hope is that each of you will continue the tradition of this award so that we may all find new treasures out there to follow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

I first became aware of the “One Lovely Blog Award” when Helen Ginger of Straight From Hel received it for her fabulous blog. It features a dainty teacup with flowers and lace, living up to its Lovely name. The premise of the award is that the recipient passes it on to another worthy blog. Helen gave it a spin down the rabbit hole and into the world of horror writers. I followed its dark journey into night with fascination.

Let me assure you that the following recipients were quite pleased to receive it. The humor of the situation is solely from my own perspective. (Although, I swear I heard the teacup rattling in its saucer while sitting next to the ferocious-looking dogs.)

Helen passed one of the three awards to Anton Gully of The Black Dogs of Despair Ate My Novel . From there it journeyed to Alan W. Davidson's Conversations From Land's Edge, Aaron Polson's The Other Aaron, Catherine J. Gardner's The Poisoned Apple, Jameson T. Caine's Lacuna ex Obscurum and, as of today, to K. C. Shaw of The Knotted Thicket.

I expected the pink teacup to drip blood and sprout black roses along the way, but that hasn't happened as of yet. Regardless, I've enjoyed the delightful path of exploration. Thank you, Helen, for allowing me to find new treasures.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Proof of Life - #FridayFlash

Harry stood in the customs line at the L-1 docking station, trying to contain his excitement without much success. The broad grin on his face let everyone know that this was his first visit to Earth, the cradle of civilization. Even the old lady behind him, bumping her suitcase into his legs at regular intervals, couldn’t dampen his spirits. The line snaked around the spaceport in an intricate weave; he kept meeting the same bored expressions at each turnstile as they inched toward their goal.

The customs inspector seemed robotic and Harry thought that maybe he was, before remembering that the Unfair Employment Act of 2263 had banned robots from civil service jobs.


The monotone voice caught Harry off-guard, but couldn’t suppress his enthusiasm.

“Yes, sir. I have it right here.” He handed the chip to the agent with a flourish.

“Planet of birth?”

“Mars—the Clinton Colony.” Harry was rather proud of the fact that he came from such a famous colony. They were all named after dead Earth presidents, but some were more notorious than others. The agent gave him a cold-eyed stare.

“Birth certificate?”

Harry sputtered briefly before regaining his composure.

“They didn’t tell me I had to bring it. I had to present it in order to get the passport. It’s all in the scan there on your reader.”


What? “Human.”

“How do I know that, if you don’t have your birth certificate? Only humans are allowed to go down to Earth.”

“What else would I be?” The line behind Harry grew restless with the delay. The old lady shoved her bag into his legs again.

The agent shrugged, the first human gesture Harry had seen him make.

“You could be an Orion.”

“The Orions are the only aliens we know and they have purple skin and three eyes! Of course I’m human.” Harry broke out in a sweat, the grumbling behind him increasing in volume.

“I don’t make the rules, just enforce them. You have to present your birth certificate.”

“What rule is that?”

“The Birthers Act of 2025.”

“What? That was between countries, not Human vs. Alien.”

“The Space Agency decided to apply it here. Not my call.”

Shouting broke out in the line, calls of “go back home” audible within the mob. The agent motioned to a security guard standing off to one side.

“You’ll need to step out of line, Harry…,” he glanced at his screen, “Townsend. Please go with the guard to the deportation area.”

“But I’m human. I was born on Mars.” Harry panicked as the burly guard with no neck pushed his way next to him.

The agent frowned at Harry in suspicion now. “Without your certificate I don’t know that. In fact, how do I know that you were even born at all? There’s no proof. I’m sending you to the interrogation center instead. Mars might not want you back, either. Next in line…”

The last thing Harry saw was the old lady stepping up to the counter and presenting her birth certificate as she waved goodbye to him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Interview up on Mad Utopia

I've just participated in my first 'virtual' interview with J. M. Strother, of Mad Utopia.

Jon is the founder of #fridayflash, a group of writers who participate in the weekly posting of flash fiction on their blogs and spread the word on both Twitter and FaceBook with the hashtag. Participation is open to all writers and, of course, readers are especially welcome!

To learn more about the group, please visit the Mad Utopia website or look for the #fridayflash.

Oh, and remember to come back on Friday for another story.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finale - #FridayFlash

As soon as she heard the noise outside, Cassie demanded to go sit on the porch steps and watch the show. Elaine couldn’t deny her little girl these few moments of happiness and watched as her daughter clapped her small hands in delight at the fireworks in the sky.

Months ago, Elaine had allowed the five-year-old to stay up until midnight to see the spectacular New Year’s display on TV. She’d talked about it ever since, even though the television no longer worked.

Back then, the world had been a far better place. A world that held light, laughter…and a father for Cassie.

The tracers shot through the air in many directions. Elaine sat as silent witness while her daughter ooh’d and aah’d.

“When will the colors start?” The innocent question of a child, full of hope and bright promises.

“Any moment now.”

When the finale mushroomed blood red in the darkened sky, Elaine hugged her daughter close and waited for the end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grandma - #fridayflash

“Grandma, my teacher says I have to write a story about what life was like when you were a kid.” Jessie looked at the old woman expectantly. Sometimes it took a minute before Grandma started speaking.

The old woman made a noise, like she was clearing her throat. Her eyes grew animated as she began to speak.

“When I was your age, we had to walk to school. You’ve got it easy, learning from home from computer teachers.”

“They’re netbots, Grandma,” Jessie corrected her.

“I don’t care what you call them. We didn’t have all of that fancy stuff. Had to actually talk to real people back then to find something out.”

Jessie sighed. Grandma was in one of her cranky moods today. Hopefully, she’d answer enough questions for Jessie to get the paper done.

“What kind of music did you listen to?”

“None of that psychotic stuff you feed right into your head! We had real music, with musicians playing it.”

“You mean real people?” Jessie could hardly credit what she was hearing, but Grandma was old. Maybe her memory was going bad.

After a few more questions, Grandma started to sputter. Jessie wasn’t sure if it was out of anger or something worse. Maybe she should go to the RX tomorrow. Her father came in to tell her goodnight just then, rescuing Jessie from a diatribe.

“It’s time for bed, sweetheart. Tell Grandma goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Grandma.” Jessie reached over and flipped a switch. “I think Grandma needs to go to the Reality Xchange tomorrow. Some of her data seems corrupted.”

Roger eyed the 2.0 version of his mother with envy, savoring the silence. Too bad the original version hadn’t had an ‘off’ switch when he was growing up.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Comment Whores

Something’s been bothering me lately…people who take over someone else’s thread in a forum.

We all know the type in our physical existence—‘you think that’s bad, wait until you hear about my…’—but the cretins are worse in the virtual world, often not even pausing to acknowledge the thread owner.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-expression, promotion, personal rants—but start your own thread, please. Direct your comment towards the question/achievement/whatever that was originally posted. Don’t latch onto it as your personal platform. The courtesy won’t always be reciprocated, but people do notice. In the end, you’ll gain more followers.

In case you’re wondering—no, this hasn’t happened to me personally. If it had, I would have skewered the offender with my pitchfork. Just saying…

Do you have a ‘comments’ pet peeve? Tell me. (Pitchfork currently locked in the closet…I swear)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hunter - #FridayFlash

Jessica felt the heft of the blade in her hand, pleased with the balance. She stashed it in the leather sheath strapped to her thigh, in plain view. Her act of defiance marked her as a hunter, not one of the sheep. The promise of a confrontation hung in the air. Good. Bring it on.

Tales of the Overlords filled her bedtime stories as a child, living in the communes, raised by the sheep. She’d lost her parents as a babe during those months of conflict, twenty years ago. The swaths of destruction in the city beyond lay fallow, silent graveyards attesting to the absolute power of the diabolical soldiers. The bleats of mourning for missed conveniences had been her education about the world of yesterday. Let them lament what they’d lost; it had been their world, not hers.

The raiders had left enough infrastructure in place to subsist in a rudimentary fashion, even improving it on some levels, from what she’d been told. No one wanted for food or clothing. And if they were forced to reside in groups, what of it? Jessica didn’t see the allure of living by oneself. The old ones were crazy anyway, wanting what they no longer had.

A few of the Overlords remained, determined to hold that which they’d so brutally taken. Their two species were quite similar; at a glance, the Overlords could blend in well. What set them apart were the uniforms they were so fond of wearing. That attitude of superiority sparked a budding hatred in Jessica as she grew up, convincing her to become a hunter.

The assholes could be killed, just as any mortal man. A swift plunge of steel in a well-chosen spot would silence the organs that kept them breathing. Only death would stop the advance of their tyranny. Let the sheep huddle in the safety of their comfortable cages. She, and other hunters like her, would liberate the planet…or die trying.

Stealth brought Jessica up behind a lone Overlord, taking his ease in the sunshine behind a building…sunshine forbidden to the sheep, because of the anti-congregation laws. She withdrew her blade with the slightest whisper of sound, the snick of leather just loud enough for a casual turn in her direction. The thrust held true, his eyes widened then closed forever.

Jessica pocketed his uniform patch to add to her growing collection of souvenirs. Perhaps she wouldn’t kill the next one as quickly, have a conversation with him instead. She’d been wondering for some time now as to where their home world was located and what ‘United Federation of Earth’ meant.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Forbidden Dreams - #FridayFlash

Linda stumbled out of the waiting room in a daze. She barely heard the whoosh of the door as it slid open, didn’t recognize the slight momentum as the walkway whisked her along to an unknown destination. Several minutes went by before her head cleared enough to realize that she was almost in front of her office building in the downtown sector.

Other faces passed by on the belts; dazed or not, they all wore the same blank expression. Another day had begun, life continued on. Tomorrow had become today, written in yesterday’s ink. If left to her own imagination, Linda might have pondered the point of it; as it was, she couldn’t.

Signs extolled the virtues of constructive teamwork, placed at intervals deemed beneficial to the hive of human drones. Linda paid scant attention to them, forcing her mind to remember what she might have lost. In the deepest hours of the night, she’d perfected the recall trigger that allowed her to compensate for the early morning invasions.

Sitting down at her desk, Linda plugged her interface into the console and waited for the day to begin. A thought surfaced briefly; one to be savored before carefully tucking it into that secret compartment. Despite the electroshock treatments, she would pursue her forbidden dream. Some day, she would be a writer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Errant - #FridayFlash

“You don’t fit in here anymore. You’ve got to go."

“But you said you loved me, that I fit in perfectly with your plans.”

“That was before I’d had time to evaluate you. You aren’t capable of carrying your own weight. You know how these things go.”

“No, I don’t. I’ve never been here before. I remember your sigh of satisfaction the moment I first arrived. You called me ‘beautiful’, said I belonged here with the others.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I’m sorry.”

“Please give me a chance! Perhaps with a bit of shuffling I’ll still find a place.”

“You just won’t work out. You don’t have what it takes to endure to the end.”

“But if you throw me out I’ll cease to exist! I have nowhere else to go.”

“You’re flawed. It wouldn’t be fair to keep you around. You’d diminish the quality of the others.”

“No, wait! Don’t cut me!”

“Relax. It will be over in a second. It’s the quickest way to get rid of an errant sentence. Don’t worry. If I change my mind I can paste you back into the paragraph later.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fade To Black - #FridayFlash

Darlene sipped her coffee, watching the pages of the newspaper flip back and forth. Brad sat somewhere behind them, oblivious to everything else – including her. Every morning started out the same way. He’d grab the sports section and hide behind it until 8:00. At 8:01, he’d peck her on the cheek and race off to his photography studio.

I know he’s cheating on me. The late-night studio sessions, the client dinners – he must think I’m stupid. Darlene knew who his clients were; she handled the books for the studio, saw the proofs for their photography sessions. She ought to divorce him, but that would be the easy way out for Brad. He’d probably thank her.

At 8:02, she scooped up the newspaper. The headline screamed ‘Black Ribbon Killer strikes again!’ in bold print. Tabloid journalism at its best. She tossed the pages into the recycle bin. She didn’t need to read the lurid details. She ought to stop delivery of the paper altogether. Let him get his sports fix online and quit wasting trees.

Brad called from the studio midday. “I’ve got another client dinner tonight. Sorry. I’ll stop at the store on the way home though. I picked up the grocery list on my way out this morning. Is there anything else we need besides coffee and bread?”

“Yes. Would you pick up a package of black ribbon? It’s over in the notions section.”

Friday, July 3, 2009

#fridayflash - The Windowsill

The blood still dripped from the windowsill. Soon the shadows would obscure it completely. No one would be the wiser then. The deed would be lost, not to be discovered until morning. By then, he would have his alibi ready, no longer thinking about the satisfaction that came from rending flesh, nor the pleasure derived from hearing the pop and crunch of bones.

Indeed, by morning he might not even remember this night. That was his way, after all. The morning light would hit his face, showing an innocent composure. But tonight…tonight he still recalled everything that had transpired.

It wasn’t his fault, not really anyway. They shouldn’t have led him to it, shouldn’t have given him the opening to such temptation. They knew what acts he was capable of, but chose to ignore his inner nature, believing that he had been rehabilitated by the docile life forced upon him. In the morning they would discover the truth. This might be his last night of freedom.

He saw the moon rise now. The light spilled across the windowsill, hitting the blood stains. The dark blotches stood out on the carpet to his eyes, but they wouldn’t be noticeable to anyone else…not until daybreak anyway.

What should he do with his last night of freedom? Run? Look for more trouble? No, he finally decided. He was too weary for that. He would just sleep and wait for the morning. Whatever accusations came his way wouldn’t really belong to him anyway. They knew his nature. It was their fault. They shouldn’t have left the damn bird sitting on the windowsill in the first place. What did they expect a cat to do?
I've moved my blog to this nice, clean, very blank new page. Hopefully I'll fill it up soon.