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.