Flash Friday 2-51


Breathe. She couldn’t breathe. Amy couldn’t breathe. There was air. She knew there had to be air. Others were laughing and talking as they passed by, oblivious to her distress. And breathing. They were all breathing. But there was no air. Her heart was still beating, pounding, pounding. Could they not hear it? How could they not hear it? Amy tried to swallow, hoping to break the stasis, to make her lungs work again, but her mouth was dry. Her mouth was dry and her hands were wet. Why wasn’t her body working right? One boy wasn’t walking past her. Scott was looking right at her. What was that look on his face? Fear? Confusion? Revulsion? He really should just leave and let her die, that would be best. Without knowing how, Amy nodded. Go ahead. Leave. Let me die here in this hallway. He didn’t leave. Scott didn’t. He just smiled. “Great, so I’ll see you at eight?”


Finish that thought: 2-21


“All may be fair in love and war, but Kayleigh just stepped way over the line.” I sipped my water and stared straight ahead, trying to let the slightly slurred words of the man who’d sat down next to me flow past me without reacting. I wasn’t confident they would.

“I certainly wouldn’t want someone like that mad at me, that’s for sure.” Ugh. He wasn’t going to stop. It had been a long day, and all I wanted was some quiet. Nobody else in the bar was talking – couldn’t he tell I wanted to be left alone, especially right now?

“What do you think he did to her? I’ll bet it was something pretty bad to lead to all this.”

I took another sip of my water and sighed. “Look, if you have something to say, just come out and say it. This small talk is driving me crazy.”

“I wasn’t – I just.”

“I know what you just. You disapprove of my methods. You always have.”

“Not always. But … did you have to kill everyone in the place?”

“I didn’t kill everyone.” I drained the water and let the silence stretch on. He got my point.

“You couldn’t kill me if you wanted to. You love me too much.”

“I loved him. You, I tolerate. And you’re immortal.”

“There is that. Fine. I’ll rephrase. Did you have to kill all the humans in the place, Kayleigh?”

“Have to? No. Just the three we came for, if you want to be technical.” I’d actually killed them last, ostensibly just to make them watch. The truth was that it was a lot more fun to fight them when the rest were strewn around the room. It added a certain atmosphere to the fight when you had to avoid tripping over a severed arm or two.

“You’re getting worse, you know that?”

“Me? You’re the one downing bourbon like it’s ambrosia. Some days you can’t even get out of bed.”

“I’m not talking about that.” He looked at the amber liquid in his glass and sighed. “And this stuff’s frankly awful. I don’t know why I keep drinking it. I’m talking about you. I know why you killed David. And Alex. And those three in the corner – I can’t remember their names, but I remember what they did to you. Kayleigh, is there an end game to this?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. There’s not really anything they can do about it, you know.”

“No, but you’re like a kid burning ants with a magnifying glass. You killed the one that bit you, and the others around him, but at what point does it stop being fun? The ants can’t kill that kid, nor will they learn anything from the slaughter.”

I know he was hoping to make some headway, but the truth was, I didn’t care anymore. The killing was who I was, so I did it. What else was there?


Flash Friday, Vol 2, Week 50


The Barkthur Murray Patterns

No no no. It’s STEP one two three, not step ONE two three. Belle Jasmin MacGuffin, sometimes I think you don’t want to learn to dance at all. Again. Yes, we’re going to do it again. We’re going to do this until you know the entirety of the dance. I will not have the Duke and Duchess of South Winterford here with their mutt that they call a purebred Alsatian howling and barking and calling it singing and have to clap and bow and scrape and act like it wasn’t my mother that introduced the kingdom to the aethereal glories of Lady Twinkletoes. No! It will not stand! Now, are you ready? Position. And STEP one two three STEP one two no no. Not on the rug! That was a gift from Queen Victrola to my great grandmother, as you well know. Done? Fine. And STEP what is it now? Oh, I wuv you too, widdle cuddews.


Thurs Threads, week 145


The cat just sat there and watched. From time to time, she’d raise her head and cock an ear, but then she’d set it back down on her paws and stare, her bright pink tongue flitting out to wash her nose.

I screamed. Of course I did. They knew what they were doing, and the part of me that had done the same thing to lists of people forever gone appreciated their professional skill. I had long wondered how I’d hold up under my ministrations, and now I had my answer.

Sometimes you torture because you want answers. Not truth – that’s as absurd a concept as justice. Just an answer that you can record on tape and take to whoever thought this person had something to say. And sometimes you torture to punish. I thought that’s what they were after tonight, but I was wrong.

Because after a while, you torture because in the screams of others, you find the only peace you understand anymore.

And after, when I had no voice left, and no fingernails, and no skin, she stood up and padded over to me. I knew I should never have given her a taste for blood.

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