FlashFriday, welcome to year 3.


The world spun around me, twisting the blurry fog of drunkenness which I had worked so hard to cultivate into an exquisite sharpness that cast my failure into sharp relief. As I fell, the claret followed me, tilting into the perfect sunset behind the stupendous harbor that lay at the feet of the miraculous city where I’d betrayed myself. Three days was all it had taken. Three days from the soft bounce of wheels on tarmac to the silky caress of a stranger’s lips to the hard crunch of bone on speckled stone. I tried to call for my wife, but I couldn’t find the words, and the words couldn’t find her, not now, now that she was so far away.

The girl had been beautiful, there was no doubt. As remarkable in her own way as the cabernet which was mingling with my blood on the balcony. I wondered how long it would take to trickle over the edge.


Flashiversary 2


A Time to Reap

I have made of my home a wasteland. Where once there was beauty, I have wrought ruin. Where once fields teemed with life, I have sown salt and lye. The gently flowing stream, laced with arsenic. The air, sulfur and brimstone. And I have done so proudly, for I serve a noble cause. My marriage bed, a crucifictorium; I drove the nails in without hesitation. The nursery, an abattoir; I gave thanks for each that I was given leave to save. And everyone went willingly, from the mayor, on his knees in prayer, to my wife, weeping tears of ecstasy, to the youngest, calling out in a language beyond words, welcoming her ascent into her home of eternal love. My only regret was that I would never hear their words of gratitude, for that was not my fate. I was called but to reap, and I did so with joy.


MWBB, 2-27


I came to with the taste of vomit in my mouth and the smell of a sewer in the air. Guess I hadn’t gotten lucky last night. Some broad probably did, by virtue of not ending up in bed with me. I rolled over, but I didn’t open my eyes. Not yet. But I was tired of kissing concrete, and it was morning, after all.

Aw fuck, my head hurt.

I needed to pee, and despite smelling like an outhouse, now that I was soberish, it seemed wrong to just let it go, so I cracked open my eyes and pulled myself to my feet, using the crumbling brick wall of wherever the hell I was as support. Vertical, I found a corner and emptied my bladder, scaring the hell out of some bum who probably looked better than I did and a rat which had been – aw, shit – gnawing on his foot. Suddenly, I needed to vomit – again – leaving more delicacies for that rat and its friends, and took off for less disgusting pastures. So to speak.

This place was a shithole. This street, this city, this whole fucking planet. Not that I was any better. But at least I wasn’t with her.

Dammit. Godmotherfuckingdammit. I wasn’t going to think about her today. That’s why I was out until – sometime – drinking the foulest stuff I could find. Last night wasn’t about fun, it was about obliterating today, and I couldn’t even do that.

Something buzzed in my pocket. Huh. I hadn’t been mugged, even though I’d been asking for all manner of atrocities to be perpetrated upon my person last night, as much of an asshole as I was being. I pulled the phone out.

12 pm – Angie and Rick’s Wedding

Fuck me, did I set an alarm? Why would I set an alarm to see her marry that rich lawyer douchebag?

Goddamn, she was probably getting dressed right now. Slinky underthings, a dress which showed her off to the world, but which kept the best secrets just for him. Her friends tittering about tonight, when he’d take them off and she’d make that face, the one which said you’re my whole world, and then they’d fuck all night. She’d be lying, of course. That’s what she did.

Maybe I was thinking I should show up and do one of those movie things, where the loser runs into the church and professes his love, and the chick would dump her fiancée in front of the whole world and her mom and God and run off with doofus. That would totally work.

Maybe I was going to show up and pop caps in their well-dressed asses. Did people still talk like that? Fuck, I didn’t even own a gun.

My phone buzzed again, and I thought about hurling it at the wall, then thought twice about it and looked at the screen. Hell. What the fuck was she calling me for? I swiped my thumb over the screen angrily and punched the speaker button. “Rick? Rick? Where are you? Are you okay? Please, Rick, we’re all waiting for you!”

Ah, shit.


Finish that thought 2-22


As quickly as she appeared, the woman in the red dress vanished into the woods. I’d tried to follow her in the past, but in the ruddy light of early autumn sunsets, she was naught but a sprite in the leaves. This year, I had something different in mind.

The snap and the squeal came sooner than I’d expected, followed by a string of curses which made my cheeks turned florid with shame. Faeries weren’t meant to be caged, and I’d pay a price for what I’d done – and what I had yet to do – tonight. For a moment I considered freeing her, wondering if she’d forgive me, but as I set off toward the trap, I fingered the knife in my pocket and knew that hope was in vain.

I’d paid a pretty penny for enchanted rope, and it had done its job, binding her tightly to the oak. She looked like the avatar of all things autumnal, her feet kicking through piles of spent leaves, scattering bits of ochre to the winds. The world died in the fall, though.

There was hate in her eyes, feral and visceral, but she stopped yelling when I entered the grove. It was clear that her reputation for cunning hadn’t been spun out of whole cloth. Her breathing slowed, and gradually, the scarlet left her face, until she looked like no more than what she was – the most beautiful woman in the world. We considered each other, her and I, for more than a few heartbeats, and I ran through my options once again.

Unless I was prepared to give up, there weren’t any, and that wasn’t going to happen. My choice, to be sure, but I’d spent too long getting ready for this to stop now. When I drew the knife from the pocket, the blade glinted crimson, as if it was already slick with her blood, and all doubt left me.

Her eyes filled with fear at the sight of the weapon, and she tried to twist away from me. But the rope held her tight. I reached out and touched the tip of the blade to her swollen belly, and she stopped squirming. The panic was emanating from her in waves, her faerie nature magnifying the maternal instinct common to everything from insects to humans. It was almost enough to rattle me. Almost.

I knew she’d try to stop me, somehow, but I didn’t give her the chance. I knew where her child was, and as she started to mouth the word why, I made the first incision. Vermilion cascaded over my hands, and she screamed, shrill into what now was night. My fate was sealed as soon as I’d pierced her skin, and the time would come soon when the gates of hell would welcome me. But with her babe by my side, I’d be entering as a conqueror.