Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zombie Luv Flash Contest - Island Nights - #FridayFlash

My #fridayflash this week is also part of Zombie-Mari's Zombie Luv Contest. Join in the fun! It runs until July 10th. Guidelines are below.

Palm fronds swayed in the fresh Caribbean breeze as Mari wiggled her toes in the sand. Her husband of two days stretched out beside her, his body golden in the dwindling sunlight.

"Steve, wake up." She gave him a kiss on the cheek and he stirred, a smile gracing his lips.

"Hmm? I was re-living last night. You woke me at a crucial point."

She batted him playfully. "I'll give you something else to dream about later but right now I'm hungry."

He yawned and sat up. "Why don't we walk into town and visit one of the pubs? We can get dinner there."

Mari tossed on her cover-up and they walked over to the cabana to return their towels. The attendant smiled as they handed them over, his wizened face studying them.

"Going back to the hotel?" He asked in the charming lilt of an islander.

"No, we thought we'd go into town for awhile," Steve said.

The old man's face sobered. "Be careful where you go. The sun's going down."

Mari shuddered as the man's eyes bore into hers.

"We will."

Steve replied with a nonchalance that Mari suddenly didn't feel. Don't be silly, she scolded herself. You've been listening to the zombie stories about the island and now you believe in them.

The zombie lore was everywhere here. In fact, it was part of the allure of this particular location. Rumor had it that this island held a large number of zombies—not that they'd seen any, of course—but still, the fantasy lent an air of adventure to the place.

They talked while strolling down the street, wandering with no particular destination in mind. Mari heard a scraping sound behind her and spun around, her heart beating fast.

Nothing was there but she noticed that the lights of town lay far behind them while the street in front seemed dark and strangely empty.

"Maybe we should turn around. I think we went the wrong way."

Steve gave her hand a little squeeze. "Why? I'd rather experience the nightlife with the locals rather than the tourists, wouldn't you? There's a pub on the next block."

Mari saw the red neon sign then, the garish welcome flashing in an otherwise deserted area. She took a deep breath and smiled, determined to relax and enjoy the evening.

"Hey, look," Steve said with a laugh as they reached the doorway. "It's called The Zombie Club."

"I hope they don't serve brains for dinner," Mari muttered under her breath as they entered.

The room was cool and dark, with calypso music playing and dancers over to one side. The host seated them by the bar and a waiter immediately brought them drinks.

"What are these?" Mari asked. Her hand trembled slightly as she pointed at her glass.

"Zombies, of course." The waiter laughed, a rich booming sound while Steve chuckled along with him.

Mari took a cautious sip. The cold drink slid down her throat, encouraging another taste. As she sat back to relax, she studied the dancers.

Their movements seemed odd and a bit jerky, but maybe it was only the strobe lights that played across the floor. She took another sip of her drink and looked over at Steve.

He smiled at her, pulling a bit of skin off his lip. He reached over and brushed a fleck of eyebrow away that had fallen onto her shoulder.

The waiter brought a steaming plate of brains over to the table and set it in front of them.

"Welcome to the club. Careful with the plate—it's very hot."

Mari scooped a handful of brains into her mouth, chewing with delight. She took Steve's hand in hers and brought it to her lips with a jerk.

"I guess the part about "till death do us part" wasn't quite accurate, was it?"

Steve shook his head in slow motion. "This is even better. You want to take a spin on the dance floor?"

©2010 Laura Eno


•Word count: maximum 1.000

•The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. ;)

•Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.

•Post your entry on your own blog, with a title resembling this:
Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title

•Leave your story title and a link to the story entry post as a comment at mari's randomities:

•Copy and paste the contest logo and the guidelines at the end of your entry post.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Midnight Train - #FridayFlash

Stella woke to the sound of a train blowing its whistle. The lonely sound bled away as metal ground against steel to slow for a turn in the tracks, leaving her disoriented. There weren’t any trains that ran near her house.

Wondering if it was just a vivid dream, she looked at the clock. Midnight. Flopping back down on her pillow, Stella fell back asleep within moments.

“Did you hear a train whistle last night?” Stella looked at the morning newspaper sitting across from her. It waggled a bit, presumably in answer to her question. She just didn’t know if it was a yes or a no.

“Well, did you?”

Martin folded the paper in half, looking at her for the first time that morning.

“Train? What are you talking about?”

“Why do I have to repeat everything? I said did you hear a train last night?”

“There aren’t any trains around here.” He went back to hiding behind the paper. “Is there any more coffee?”

Stella got up and poured him more coffee, splashing it into the saucer for good measure. He didn’t take notice.

That night the train woke her up again. Stella got out of bed and walked over to the window. A low ridge nestled against their backyard. She’d climbed it many times and knew there weren’t any tracks up there, yet a dim light moved through the fog as brakes hit metal to slow for the curve.

“Martin, wake up. I can see the light from the train up on the ridge.”

“Go back to sleep. You’re dreaming.” She turned to see her husband cover his head with a pillow, unwilling even to check on her.

She stood there for a while, listening to the ka-clunk sound as the train continued on its journey. After a time, it seemed to blend with the beat of her heart – ka-clunk, ka-clunk. At last she climbed back into bed, wondering what it meant. An owl hooted into the silence that followed; an exclamation point to the emptiness of her life.

At 11 the next night, Stella slid out of bed and dressed, grabbing a flashlight as she left the house. It would take about a half an hour to reach the top of the ridge.

Just before midnight she saw the light of the train coming towards her. There weren’t any tracks, but she heard the ka-clunk sound anyway. The whistle blew as the train slowed to a stop. The conductor stepped out of the first car and tipped his hat to her.

“Will you be boarding?”

Stella turned and stared down the hill at her house before answering. She thought she saw movement at the bedroom window. Turning back to the conductor, she made her decision and placed her hand in his.

“Where are we going?”

He shrugged one shoulder and gave her a smile. “I don’t rightly know, ma’am. I guess we’ll find out together, won’t we?”

Stella smiled back. That was good enough for her.

©2010 Laura Eno

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Choosing - #FridayFlash

Gray mist loomed ahead as the ferry came to a stop, waiting for his command. Turn left or turn right? Indeed, another choice to be made after a lifetime of choosing. None had prepared him for this, his final choice.

Or was it? Did life go on in a different form after that last breath – perhaps many times over that one no longer recalled?

The ferry floated in silence; the mist began to obscure his surroundings. Time pressed in, as if the moment to decide was fast ticking by on a celestial clock. Would the decision no longer be his if he waited? Would the mist itself be his final choice if he did nothing?

He gazed to the west. Pale blue sky reigned over a grassy knoll, peaceful and serene. Friends and family waited for him there, smiles beckoned in static tranquility.

The east portrayed something different altogether. Ever changing, much as his life had been. An orange sky shimmered behind a gateway of stone. Water rushed beneath the gate, disappearing over a cliff to a fathomless destination. The wind whispered of adventure, danger and loss. A siren's call to be sure.

The grassy knoll remained unchanged as he stole another glance. The people he loved waited there with patient smiles to welcome him home, promises of peace upon their lips, a chance to rest his weary soul within their arms.

He raised his hand in silent farewell and turned east, slipping into the unknown.

©2010 Laura Eno

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Audio Fiction at Cast Macabre

If you haven't heard of Cast Macabre yet, hightail yourself over there. Barry Northern, who has a wonderfully fluid voice and fine British accent, produces audio fiction for horror stories. He has produced my short story, Dangerous Premonitions, as part of his Stab of Fear series. While you're there, join the site, sign-up for the newsletter and befriend the FaceBook page. You can follow @CastMacabre on Twitter as well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Writer's Envy

Many of you can work on several projects at a time – I know this because I see your works in progress on your blogs. I can't. I also can't read several books at a time, switching back and forth as the mood strikes me. It's total immersion for me, whether writing a story or reading a novel.

I know I've been absent of late on twitter and blog-hopping. I just want you to know that I love you all – my blog friends and my twitter friends. If not for you, I wouldn't even be writing. Your support means everything.

One of my biggest insecurities concerns is that you'll all forget who I am while I'm sequestered in my cave. Please don't. I couldn't stand that. You are each unique treasures in my heart. I'll still be around, just not as often.

I. Must. Write.