Blog Flash 2012: A Furry Friend

Okay, so I managed Day 1 of the Blog Flash Challenge yesterday and Day 2 today, so now I am only *counts on fingers* four days behind. At least I can twist this prompt to my whim, as I’m not much of a warm and fuzzy story person.

I apparently have a fix on plague doctors lately. I did a bit of flash for the #Faerypin contest here, on a plague doctor.

If you enjoy this one, you might check that one out too. 

DAY 2: A FURRY FRIEND

I press my hand against his brow. The pustules bubble up and break. His lips move in life’s pantomime, though the soul has fled. I close his eyes.

I mark the door with a scarlet ‘X’, a house of contagion, paint pooling on the sill like blood.

People move away, crossing themselves.

Once I arrive at the wharf, I pull from my cloak the seed of my vengeance. His red eyes glare into mine, reflecting the black mask.

“Go forth, my friend, and show them the way.”

The rat scampers up the chain and into the bowels of the ship.

Blog Flash 2012: Thinking

I have looked on in envy as my friends have signed up for #BlogFlash2012, a blogging challenge that has thirty days, thirty prompts, run by Terri G. Long (@tglong on Twitter).

I cannot join this challenge, as the combination of a new job and massive overload of creative projects (editing, Thieves at Heart audiobook, etc) has left me with almost no time to blog. Poor Yearning for Wonderland has suffered as a result.

And then came along J.B. Lacaden (@jblearnstowrite) and all he had to do was express mild regret that I wasn’t doing it. I’m apparently a complete sucker for a personal challenge.

So I shall pick the days I can manage and bobble along. You create 100 words or less, fiction or fact, that communicates the prompt in your own creative way.

DAY 1: THINKING

You only ever think; you never do.” 
His words cut. All she’d been created for was static beauty, thought over action. He’d left the next day.
She stood on the edge of the marshes circling her father’s estate. She envisioned dragging iridescent silk through stagnant water.
The sky spat rain, lowering clouds sweeping into the far horizon. Circular gusts ripped hair from her tidy chignon.

Around her neck, she wore his ring. A quick jerk and it sunk to the bottom of swirling mud. She took a step, then another. Looping her skirt over her arm, she never looked back.

Word count: 100

Art by ©2012 Melissa Nucera
All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist.

Locating My Inner Zombie

My friend J. Whitworth Hazzard is running a snazzy 250 word flash fiction contest. It is even sponsored by Big Fish Games. The grand prize is a choice of 3 of their zombie games. You might recall my post touting the virtues of Plants vs. Zombies.

The Game Over Screen for Plants Vs. Zombies

 I am a wild fan of flash fiction contests, zombie games, and also my friend J. Whitworth Hazzard (@zombiemechanics on Twitter).

I am well-known for my love of fairy tales. I have never written a zombie-inflected tale before, but I hope you enjoy this one.

Embry nestled further into her concave of damp earth, rotting leaves crusting off the surface like sad strips of old wallpaper.
First they’d eaten her mother, then her brother. They ate her neighbor, Mr. Sanders, and the boy who brought the newspaper. She didn’t mind that last so much – he’d kicked her shin once.
She’d run for three nights now, but could run no further. So she dug, through black earth oozing with worms and chill decay. She tried to keep her tunnel entrance tiny, packing the dirt in around her, bricking herself up into the darkest place.
“They know we’re in here now, Gus. “
A mahogany curl feathered over her cheek, a slash of red in the dimness. She pillowed her head against a knobby root.
Gus’ nose burrowed into her hand, his tongue giving sandpaper comfort but no warmth.

“I’m glad I’ve got you,” Embry said to the deer, charcoal eyes slitting to tiny half-crescents as they drooped.

Gus started following her on the second day, a silent shadow to her steps. The woods were empty; the birds and squirrels were the first to go.
As it darkened, the embers of her hair muted to faintly glowing ash.
Footsteps shuffled closer, thumping over her pitifully thin layer of dirt. In the world above, they were coming. She was too tired to care.

“Stay with me till the end, Gus?”

Everyone needs an imaginary friend at the end of the world.
Wordcount: 249