Flash Friday: China Doll

The china doll lay on the sidewalk, a crack running from the right eye to the left corner of its jaw. The flickering fire danced shadow and light across its eyes. The once-white dress now covered in soot and blood – red and black, a funereal cloak.

The sirens blared around the corner. Men jumped off the big, red truck. Hoses uncoiled, water surging, boots tromping. The fire raged inconsolably, fed by stacks of books and gallons of gasoline.

They did not see her lying there in the dark. They shouted and ran and shook their heads, trying to tame the flame. The crunch of their boots rose above the roar for a moment, shattering the porcelain. Only a brief pause to notice its passing, but the little girl in the bushes screamed once and was gone.

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Dead Eyes Published

Daily Bites of Flesh 2011
Cover Price $24.99
Published by Daily Flash Publications, an Imprint of Pill Hill Press
ISBN 13: 978-1617060182

DAILY BITES OF FLESH 2011: 365 DAYS OF HORRIFYING FLASH FICTION is a 2011 flash fiction calendar anthology, with a 500 word or less horror short story featured for every day of the calendar year. Filled with 365 short stories, this is a fun and practical anthology designed for busy readers of the horror genre.

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Dead Eyes in Daily Bites of Flesh

Daily Bites of Flesh anthology from Pill Hill Press is slated to be released on Wednesday. More information to come as it becomes available.

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Dead Eyes Accepted

Dead Eyes has been accepted for publication in Daily Bites of Flesh anthology by Pill Hill Press.

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Long Time Gone

I have not been active on the blog for some months. Life is complicated and my focus has turned in other directions. Click Here for more details on that. In the writing world, I’ve had a few more rejections and made a submission today. The Old Ones was rejected by The Pedestal Magazine on April 29th, 2010. The Albino was rejected by Realms of Fantasy on June 1st, 2010. May 9th, 1999 did not win the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest this quarter. I submitted Dead Eyes to Daily Bites of Flesh on August 21st, 2010. There are a couple other anthologies I am considering as well, but my focus is more towards nonfiction writing right now, and my career path, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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Flash Friday: Dead Eyes

“What’ve you done?”

Sam looked up from his blood-stained hands and stared at the mouth that had uttered those words. He could not speak, only compare the red of the lips the red on his fingers. It was dry and faded, whereas the blood was still shiny and new. They moved again, but he did not hear it. He was staring at the body again.

He wanted a mirror, wanted to see what he had become, what those dry faded lips saw when they looked at him. He wiped his hands on the body’s pants, but not much came off. Then he got up and looked around, a glint of light at the end of the hall. He moved towards it, afraid, but deeply curious.

“What are you doing? Get back here!” The lips were screaming now but he did not care.

He stood in front of the mirror, a full-length, wall-filling glass. He saw nothing, no, that was not right – he saw his shape and form, his clothes, but when he looked at his own eyes there was nothing in them. No fear, no love, no alarm. It was like his mind was no longer connected to his face. He was feeling these emotions, he was sure of it, he had made himself walk down here, but the windows to his soul were broken.

The lips appeared at his shoulder, still screaming, and he looked up. Her eyes were full of emotion. Fear, anguish, even tears. When he looked into her eyes, the mouth stopped screaming. She looked back at him through the mirror, mouth open and then backed away. He kept looking at her, watching the terror grow until she broke and ran. At least she had stopped screaming.

He turned back to the room where he had left his father, rubbing his hands together to crack off the caked blood. The body was still there, but it was alone now. He wondered if he would have run if he had looked into his son’s eyes, even once in his miserable life.

He turned the body over, crossed the arms across the chest, and opened his eyes. Looking in, he nodded. His eyes looked like that now. Eyes of the dead. Fitting, he supposed, for people to look at him and see their future. He was death, now and forever. Or so he had been told the night before.

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Flash Fiction: The List

Her dagger slid into his ribs, clean and deadly. He fell to the ground with a shove, freeing her knife. She wiped it on his shirt and put it back in her boot. She hated rapists worst of all. Murderers left their victims in peace, which was more than this bastard deserved, but she had no taste for torture. She turned and headed for the street, stepping around the growing pool of blood. Sticking her hand in her pocket, she pulled out the list. Three down, two to go. It was a busy night for her, but they were all fairly straightforward. Most nights she only took two, maybe three, but tonight all five were for the same client and he did not want word to get around before they were all dead.

Next was a mile away, another rapist, older and fatter. She loaded her hand crossbow. This one she did not want to touch. Nearing his usual haunt, she took to the roof, gazing into the shadows and scanning the alleys. She spotted him exiting alone, but intent on a young couple. She tracked the trio away from the lights and when the couple turned the corner she shot. The bolt went through the back of his head and stuck out his left eye. He fell in his tracks and she was gone again.

Barely midnight and four kills in. She appreciated how specific her client had been with the details on these marks. Sometimes all she got were names. Those could take a week to track down. These five she had located easily the night before and soon the last one would be dead. It was almost like cheating.

The fifth was the only challenge on the list. The rest had been scoundrels of the lowest order, two common murderers and two rapists. Men who committed violence for pleasure, brutal men with no cunning. The last was a thinking man, an organizer of lesser men. She had no doubt he had directed the other four, though she never asked what they had done.

He had a house in the higher part of town, and a couple guards. She watched them from the opposite roof, but they never looked up. She went back down the block and crossed the street. Gaining the roof again, she was perched above their heads in moments.

She waited a little longer and then climbed down to the windows. Slipping a wire between the wooden frames, she lifted the inner latch and climbed inside. He did not stir as she closed the window behind her. She had a hand over his mouth and her knife to his throat before she realized he was already dead.

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Flash Fiction: Say Goodbye

It was the same dream every night and she was beginning to grow weary of the argument. Slow drips of brackish water painted her vision black. She stepped back and revealed a window, where the drops collected. Turning, she knew he was waiting for her, in that dandruffy leather chair.

“Come, sit with me by the fire.” He waved to the fireplace that had only just appeared.

She relented because she knew she would eventually. She always ended up by the fire when the rest of the room grew chill. She studied her arthritic hands, wondering when she had grown so old. The knuckles were permanently crooked and swollen, she could hardly hold her brandy snifter anymore.

“It’s time to go.” His voice a soft echo of friends half-remembered. “You feel it, don’t you?”

“No.” She replied. “I feel nothing of the kind.”

“Surely you don’t think you can keep on like this?” He sounded concerned, how sweet.

“I can, and I will. My daughter needs me. I shall not abandon her.”

“You’re holding her back. Her loyalty to you is keeping her from happiness.” His tone grew cold. “She wants you to go.”

“She loves me. I only want what’s best for her.”

“What’s best for her is for you to let go. You should come with me and let her do as she pleases.” The window was now covered in frost.

“You will not win this. Why must you haunt my dreams and scold me about my daughter? What do you want from me, really?”

“I want you to come home with me.” The echos solidified into the voice of her late husband.

“It’s not time, yet. You are not my husband, he would never ask that of me.” She stood up and moved closer to the fireplace.

“He misses you. He watches and waits. He wants you to be with him again. It is your time, you need to let go.” His voice softened back to the multitude of echos.

“You don’t need my permission, not if it really is my time, you could just take me.” She stared into the dying fire, the walls were gathering frost now, too.

“It would be easier on you if you agreed to come with me. I don’t want to force you.” He was walking to the door, the dream was almost over.

“Just let me tell my daughter goodbye.” She cried at his retreating form. “Let me tell her I love her. Then I’ll go with you.”

He nodded and opened the door. “Until tomorrow night, then.” And he was gone.

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Flash Friday: No Cheating

The moon glistened through the damp pine trees, shedding glittering light on the path. Keri trudged on, one hand on her hilt, the other on her pack. She glanced about, casting looks behind her as often as ahead. Every rustle of brush or flap of wing drew her eye, but she did not stop moving. The sound of hoof beats sent her scrambling off the path.

She dove beneath some bushes, holding her breath as she stared down the road. A horse and rider came into view and rode past without pausing – a messenger by his saddlebags. Keri pulled herself out of the brush and kept on, scolding herself for paranoia.

They were out to get her though, she thought, patting the purse at her waist. It never paid to be too lucky in one place and she knew better than to overstay her welcome. She heard another horse, slower this time, and slipped off into the woods.

Hiding behind a tree, she watched him approach. He was walking his horse and studying the ground. Keri gripped her sword tighter. He reached the first place she had left the path, but barely paused. Coming even with her, he looked straight at the tree she was using for cover.

“You didn’t think you’d get away with it, did you, Keri? Come on, now, don’t be childish.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong.” She stayed put.

“You cheated at cards and used rigged dice.”

“No, I used the same dice as everyone else and I never even dealt the cards.”

“No one is that lucky.” He stepped off the path, drawing his sword. “Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
“Stay away from me.” She pulled her sword and retreated further into the woods. “I’m not a cheater.”

“Come on, Keri. Just come back and give us the money you stole.” He came on.

“I didn’t steal anything.” He was gaining and knew she was not fast enough to outrun him.

“You did, and you’ll give it back, or I’ll take it.” His sword whistled through the air.

They were well off the path now. Keri sheathed her sword and he stepped forward. She bent down, pulling off her pack and set it on the ground. With a quick motion, she pulled her dagger from her boot and threw it dead center into his chest. He stiffened and fell.

Back on the road, she mounted his horse and road off. “Now I’ve stolen something, but he won’t need it anymore.”

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Flash Fiction: Long Drink

The radio crackled, old horns and worn drums blared through the noise. Jakob stared at it, willing it into silence. He had just awoken and the world was falling asleep, all except that infernal box. Jesse woke beside him and pouted up at him.

“I like the old music. Makes me feel alive.”

“You’re dead, Jesse, we’re both long dead.”

He pulled himself to his feet and straightened his clothes. The night was just beginning and he was hungry. Jesse climbed to her feet and ran a hand through her hair. Not that it did any good, but it was an old habit, very old.

“Can we go to the movies?”
“No, you scare the children.”

“I promise I’ll be good this time. I won’t even go to a kid’s show.”

“Not tonight, I want to hit the clubs, I need more than a little drink tonight.”

“The clubs are noisier than the radio.” she muttered, but he pretended not to hear.

The went out into the night, arm in arm, just two young lovers out for a stroll. Downtown was packed full with clubbers and drinkers and people just trying to blow off steam. They headed for their favorite haunt – Galaxy. The swirling lights and constant pounding music pulled in the biggest crowd every night. They parted once the got inside, each hunting their own dinner.

Jakob stood just off the dance floor, eyes closed, mind searching. He brushed Jesse a few times, but pulled away. He wanted to find someone new, someone he had never met, never touched, never drank.

There was a couple in the corner, watching him. They were curious and attractive. Wondering why he stood so still while the music throbbed. He went to them, barely moving, seeming to float. This only intrigued them more. They welcomed him into their corner and their arms. Drunk and high, they touched his cold, smooth skin and ran fingers through his long black hair. He looked at them and they gazed into red eyes.

“Come with me.” He took their hands and led them deeper into the club, into a back corner booth.

He pulled them in on either side of him and they both kissed him. He kissed them back and their hunger rose to match his. They touched him and ran their hands over him, kissing his mouth, face and neck. He let their passion build, stroking them with care.

When they were gasping for breath, pressing against him, writhing with hunger, he gave in. He took the girl first, while holding the boy to his chest. He sank his teeth into her neck and drank while she groaned with ecstasy. Then he turned to the boy, kissing him tendering and then biting into his throat. He drained them both, and licked their wounds. It had been far too long since he had killed.

He cast about and found an impatient Jesse not far away. She was watching him, waiting for him to finish. She still wanted to see a movie, but they had bodies to hide, now. He waved her over and together they took the couple to their graveyard.

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