Category Archives: Flash Fiction Mondays

Flash Fiction

Standard

photoprompt

03-2015 -  Orb

Eve sat in front of the mirror, touching up her make-up. Red lipstick, eyes outlined in kohl, a light dusting of glitter that would sparkle in the right lighting. She didn’t even have to think about it anymore, the look was pretty much muscle memory at this point. The finishing touch was a scarf in her long, chestnut, hair; turquoise with silver swirls and beads dangling off the ends. It was pretty yes, but it was also expected.

With that last touch, the picture was complete. Eve stood up and examined her reflection in the full length mirror on the opposite wall. Her costume changed daily, but always contained the same basic elements, a long flowing skirt, a peasant top, sandals and the scarf in her hair. It’s what people expected of a carnival fortune teller. With a heavy sigh, she picked up the bundle on the table next to the door and stepped outside.

Squinting in the sunlight, Eve scanned the fairgrounds and saw the crowds were already starting to gather. It was going to be another humid, exhausting day. And the owners thought it wasn’t “authentic” to have air-conditioning in her tent, so she had to make due with a hidden, hand-held fan. She made the short walk over to her tent, purple and bejeweled, and stepped inside through the opening in the back.

The floor of the tent was covered in soft pillows surrounding a low table. In the center of the table was a silver stand. It was on this stand that Eve placed the item from the bundle she carried. Once it was settled and she made sure it was secure, she stood back a moment and admired the way the lamps made it glow. It was a glass orb, something you could hold in both hands, and the inside was full of delicate glass filaments in a rainbow of colors. The other members of the carnival thought it was odd how protective Eve was of this particular prop. It was pretty, sure, but it was just a fake crystal ball. But she never left it in the tent unattended and never let anyone else touch it, let alone carry or move it.

But what no one actually knew was, the crystal ball was where she saw her visions. Because Eve was a real psychic.

A long time ago she had realized the safest place to hide out was in plain sight. Tell the world you’re a psychic and no one believes you. Try to hid and eventually someone will find you out.

Once she was sure everything looked perfect, Eve went to the front of the tent and set out her sign, proclaiming her attraction open for business. It only took about fifteen minutes for her first customers to arrive, potentially knowing the future was a hard thing to resist.

The first hour of the day was mundane. Will I get married? Will I be rich? Will I get the new job? People’s worries were so predicable and petty. No one cared about anything important. Will I make a difference? Will we ever get world peace? Will my children grow up to be good people? Those would be important questions. And for all Eve saw about other people, she never saw a hint of her own future. When it came to what the future had in store for her, she was as blind as everyone else.

After lunch, Eve was preparing to suffer through the heat of the afternoon when the flap of the tent opened. The sunlight outlined the individual so at first she couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. Once the flap was closed against the sunlight, she the person was a man, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. His clothing seemed odd, given the heat of the day, she thought.

“Have a seat, please,” Eve said, gesturing to the pillows across from her. The man folded his legs under himself gracefully has he sank down. “What question can I answer for you?”

“I think it’s a simple one,” the man said. “I’m mostly curious about my plans for this afternoon.”

“This afternoon?” Eve was confused. Usually people came to her either to ask outlandish questions or to find out about things farther in the future.

“Yes, I have some rather audacious plans for the afternoon and I’m interested to see if they are going to work out in my favor. Would you mind telling me if you can see how things will go?”

Eve looked at the man across from her, really studying him for the first time. He was probably close to her age, maybe twenty-five or so. He had light brown hair, brown eyes, a pleasant, if unmemorable face. All in all, the most distinctive thing about him was his voice. It was very low and smooth and almost made her stomach flip every time he spoke.

“Please?” he prompted.

“Of course,” Eve replied, giving herself a little shake. “But first, that will be five dollars please, sir.” He smiled and handed her the money, and something in that smile made a little shiver run down her spine.

Eve tried to center herself and leaned over the crystal ball, pulling on her other senses to see what was in this man’s future. Slowly, shapes and images started to materialize in the orb. From experience, she knew he couldn’t see anything, so he was looking at her expectantly.

The scene in front of her solidified and she smiled to herself. She saw the inside of her tent, with the man sitting across the table, watching her. It was strange, almost like an out of body experience. And the first time she had ever seen herself in a vision.

“What do you see?” he asked.

“Well,” she said, meeting his eyes, “I see us. Here, in this tent.”

“That’s a good start,” he said.

“Is this a part of your audacious plans?” Eve asked with a smile.

“It is, actually. What else?”

Eve watched a for a minute, waiting for the scene to advance. As she looked on, she saw the man reach behind his back and pull something from underneath his shirt. As it glinted in the lamplight she realized it was a knife. The man in the crystal ball lunged and the knife plunged into that Eve’s chest.

Eve’s eyes flew up from her crystal ball to the man sitting across from her.

He smiled. “I’m guessing my plans work out just fine.” He reached behind him and pulled out the knife.

Eve screamed.

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess
Jessica
Kris
Gwen
Bronwyn

Flash Fiction

Standard
Flash Fiction

photoprompt

02-2015 - WinterCottage

I could hear Milo’s steps getting quieter as he fell farther behind me, but I couldn’t bring myself to slow down. We were getting close, I could feel it. Something was pulling me deeper into the woods.

“Kat, wait up!”

I paused momentarily to let Milo catch up and I could hear branches snapping over the sound of my harsh breathing. The cold made this trek harder than it should have been but waiting just hadn’t been an option. Once Milo was close enough, I headed towards what looked like a clearing on the other side of a grove of pine trees. We pushed our way through and I stopped short.

“Is this the place?” Milo asked, his voice ringing in the cold air.

“Shhhh.” I hushed him. I don’t know why, but I felt like we were being watched. Or maybe that someone was listening to us somehow.

It looked the same as in my dreams. A small, stone cottage surrounded by a creek on three sides. It looked abandoned, but there was an energy coming from it, waves pulsating out from the house. Beckoning. “Do you feel that?” I asked Milo.

“Feel what?”

I didn’t bother answering him, but started forward, crunching through the snow. I didn’t stop when I reached the creek but splashed through it, expecting the water to be icy cold. Instead, the water soaking my jeans was warm like a summer sun was shining down on it. I heard Milo gasp in surprise behind me but other than that he stayed quiet.

We reached the other side of the creek and as we stepped onto the bank, the scene in front of us changed. The snow-covered grass became green and vibrant. The broken and missing shingles on the roof repaired themselves and the cottage looked like it had just been built. Smoke curled slowly from the chimney and lights glowed softly from the windows.

As we approached the front door, it swung open on silent hinges and the delicious smell of baked bread surrounded us and pulled us inside. Seated at the worn wooden table in the middle of the main room was a young woman with long black hair braided down the middle of her back. She wore a floor length, emerald-green dress with bell sleeves, almost Medieval looking. She was heartbreakingly beautiful, but was surrounded by an aura of sadness that was almost tangible.

“Please come in,” she said. “Don’t be scared. I’m glad you finally found me, Kat.”

Her voice was soft and melodious. I glanced over at Milo and he looked like he was positively entranced.

“I didn’t realize I was looking for you,” I said to her. “Who are you?”

She smiled, “My name is Celeste. But I understand that you may know me as Snow White.”

That was just too much for me. I sank down on the bench on the other side of the table from the woman, Celeste, and felt Milo sit next to me. “I, no. You, no. Absolutely not. No.”

She laughed softly. “I’m sorry, it’s probably a shock. But I called you here because I need your help.”

“What do you mean you called me here?”

“And how do you need Kat’s help?” Milo asked.

“Let me tell you my story,” Celeste said, “and hopefully you will take pity on me.”

When neither of said anything, she continued. “I believe most of what you know about me as a fairy tale is at least partially true. The Queen tried to have me killed because she thought I was more beautiful than she and she was jealous of me. She paid a huntsman to take me into the woods and kill me. What the Queen didn’t know about, and what the fairy tales never mention, is that I had magic of my own. I knocked the huntsman unconscious and fled from him, finally coming to a small cottage in the woods, this cottage in fact. Here I met seven men, miners, who took me in and helped to hide me from the Queen. They protected me and in return and I helped to care for their house and for them. I used my magic to help with their mining operation and they became more successful than they ever dreamed. They built a house for each of themselves nearby and I stayed here in my little cottage. Unfortunately, they became so wealthy and well known that they attracted the attention of the royal house. The Queen found me and was enraged when she discovered I was still alive and living a happy life. She decided to punish me eternally instead of killing me. She locked me in this cottage forever, never to age. The miners were stolen away, but kept alive, so that I could never see them again. And that’s where I need your help.”

“Ok,” I said, “I’m not saying I believe you in the slightest. But if I did, how in the world could I help you?”

“Yeah,” Milo said, “That’s what I asked.” I’d kind of forgotten he was there until he spoke.

Celeste looked at me for a moment and I slowly realized what she was seeing, the same black hair and blue eyes I saw on her face. The more I stared, the more I realized we looked like we could be sisters. She saw it dawn on my face. “I need your help, Kat, because you are my only living relative. You are the descendant of my younger sister making you my great, great, many times great-grand niece. And because I was able to call to you in your dreams, it means you share my magic. That means you can help me free my friends. You’re the only one who can help me. Although the Queen cursed me for eternity, the modern world is causing the magic to fade. If I don’t find the miners soon, they’ll be lost forever. You have to help me find them. I can’t let this happen. They are good men, their only crime was to help me.”

Leaning across the table, Celeste clasped my hands in hers, “Please, Kat. Please, say you’ll help me.”

To be continued…

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Bronwyn Green
Kris Norris

Flash Fiction

Standard
Flash Fiction

Happy Monday everyone! In an effort to write more in 2015 (one of my goals), I’m taking part in a new challenge that I’m calling Flash Fiction Mondays. The first Monday of each month during 2015, a group of fantastic ladies will post a piece of flash fiction inspired by an image chosen for us.  Without further ado, here is the picture for January 2015…

01-2015 - ManIceCave

Four days had passed and there had been no signs of rescue. Although how a search party could even make it out in this weather, he didn’t know. Outside the cave it looked like a snow globe that had been shaken repeatedly, without pause. He watched the hypnotic swirling for a few more minutes before giving up, realizing he couldn’t see more than a couple of feet past the mouth of the cave that had become his sanctuary. Turning back towards the interior, the man breathed into his cupped hands and rubbed them vigorously together, trying to get the circulation moving again.

He sank down onto the pallet he had made of the coats and snow pants he had pulled off of the others, those that hadn’t survived. Undressing the corpses had been distasteful, but the extra fabric was helping to keep the cold from seeping into his bones from the frozen ground. They had been foolish to think they could make the trek at this time of year, but it had seemed necessary at the time. The town on the other side of the mountain pass needed the medical supplies he had, what other choice was there but to try? And what had it gotten them but four dead people and him, lost and stuck in a cave with no real hope of rescue.

At least he had supplies for a few days, a little bit of food and water and some wood to keep a fire going. He kept the fire small so as to not burn through it too fast, but it helped to take the edge off the chill. The worst part was the silence. Other then the howling of the wind, there was nothing. He had started talking to himself just for some other sound, reciting anything he could think of. Snippets of poetry he remembered from school, singing his favorites songs, going through the bones of the body like he used to when he was studying for anatomy class.

He finally started to doze off when a howl that was distinctly not part of the wind jolted him back to alertness. The man was instantly on his feet, pulling out the hunting knife that was his only weapon. The two shotguns they brought on the trip were swept away in the initial avalanche.

Walking swiftly to the mouth of the cave, he paused, straining to listen. Hoping he had imagined the sound. There it was again, a long, lonely, drawn out howl. Out of the snow stepped a gray wolf, larger than any he’d seen in a picture or a movie. The wolf stood completely still, almost a statue save for the wind ruffling its fur. The man’s heart started beating double time, he was sure the animal could hear it over the noise of the wind. Trying not to make eye contact, he knew that was a challenge, he kept the wolf in his sight while scanning for more animals off to the side. They hunted in packs, or so he thought. This one seemed to be alone though.

The man took a step backwards, slowly, hoping maybe he could make into the back part of the cave and the wolf would go on about its way. Or maybe, if he could get the fire between them, he could use that to his advantage. Another step backwards and the wolf responded with a throaty growl. The man froze. The wolf took a step forward. The two creatures, man and wolf, were in a stand off. Before he could decide what to do, the wolf charged and lunged.

Before he could think, instincts took over. The man dropped to this knees and brought the knife up, catching the wolf in the underside of its throat. The warm blood spilled down over his arm and the animal landed on him, pinning him to the ground. After a stunned minute, he pushed the wolf off and struggled to this feet. He watched as the animal gasped one last time and then died. Well, he though, at least I’ll have some meat. He started to drag the wolf back into the cave towards the fire when he heard it.

A howl.

And then another from the opposite direction.

Looking back out into the night the man saw wolves materializing from each side, a whole pack. This wolf hadn’t been alone after all.

Gripping the knife, still dripping with blood, the man stood his ground. If this was the end, he would face it on his feet, fighting.

photoprompt

Check out the links below to read the other stories for this month:

Jess Jarman
Bronwyn Green
Gwendolyn Cease
Kris Norris
Jessica De La Rosa