Time (#FlashFiction)

Image for the weekly’s Midweek Flash Challenge (@ Finding Clarity)

 

 

As he carefully wiped the face of the clock, he wondered – what if each hour represented a stage of life, which would he choose?  

Would he pick the early morning hours so he could relive a childhood he never had?

Or, would he opt for mid-day where he’d chosen the other road instead. Would this have saved his young bride?

Perhaps he should choose the evening hours where he could observe the storm clouds blanketing the twilight sky as they attempt to hide a life full of regrets and broken dreams.

No matter which he chose he knew that time was no man’s friend.

The past was best left alone, and the future to remain obscured.  For the moment, the present was beckoning him to stay. So stay he will.

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Sunday Story: Surrender

Deepwater Horizon – Neatorama

*Warning: has mild language.

 

Ben was resting in bed, perusing a Road & Track magazine, when the first blast shook his quarter.

Damn crane must have dropped another casing, he thought casually and went back to the article.

But, when the second blast reverberated through the rig, he knew something was wrong.

Deadly wrong.

As he pulled on his sneakers and life-jacket, an enormous explosion blew the heavy-duty door off its hinges like it was just a piece of cardboard; only it didn’t feel like cardboard when it smashed against his stocky body instantly knocking him unconscious.

Somewhere in the murkiness, a familiar voice floated to his ears.

“Do you love me?” It was Mia’s, his high school sweetheart. She leaned her petite body against the blue sports car.

He was bent over the 8-cylinder engine, his hands fingering the spark plugs, “Course I do,” he said.

Mia let out a chuckle, “Liar. You love your car way more than me. ‘Sides, my Daddy won’t let me marry you anyway.”

She let out a squeal which strangely morphed into a high pitch ringing.

“Warning,” echoed a female computerize voice, “proceed immediately to the lifeboats. This is not a drill.”

When Ben opened his eyes, at first he thought he’d gone blind but realized the lights were knocked out. Back up on his feet, he steadied his shaking body and assessed the situation.

The white strobe lights faintly flickered through the thick, black mass pouring into his sleeping area. His head throbbed as something warm trickled through his lips.

Blood.

He could feel the entire rig rattling and groaning as one word penetrated the deep fog within his mind.

Blowout.

“Oh, god,” he said.

When he stepped out in the dark corridor, the scent of burning oil nearly overwhelmed him as he bent over to gag and cough.

Got to get to the lifeboat.

The trek to topside was met with twisted steel and thick smoke. Twice he had to seek out a new direction. On his last attempt, the heat was so intense he could hear the soles of his sneakers sizzle with each step.

Sweat streamed down his smoke-grimed face as he quickened his pace up the warped metal stairway. Another voice wormed its way into his head. His father’s. They’d gone fishing at Pilot Pond that last time–just before the fatal heart attack.

“Son, every man needs to decide the kind of road he’ll travel. Whichever one you surrender to will rule you for the rest of your life.”

It was an odd conversation as Dad was never one for offering advice of any kind, it was as if he knew his time was nearly up. Ben hadn’t grasped what the elder meant…until now.

The closer he moved to the surface, the louder the roar and screams grew until he broke through, and entered hell.

Surrounded by towering flames and billowing black smokes. he sought out familiar shapes or bodies. Nothing appeared like it normally should only melting steel structures and burning debris falling from above creating blockades everywhere he turned.

Where’s the damn lifeboat?

His tearing cobalt eyes searched through the hellish scene for the section where a lifeboat should have been. He saw nothing.

As he stood near the edge of the platform, the realization that he’d been left behind coursed through his body as his eyes surveyed what lied below.

“Oh, sweet Mary!” He croaked.

The water was on fire.

Mia’s face filled his mind. Her mesmerizing chocolate eyes, the ones he always lost himself in.

“Why wouldn’t your daddy let you marry me?” He’d asked.

Those eyes narrowed and seemed sad, “He said you’re too much into the things of the world, and that you’d value them over me.”

“He’s wrong,” he replied.

“Liar,” she laughed softly, ” and you know it.”

Another explosion ripped through the rig as the heated blast slammed into his body, and sent him flying in the air. As he landed on the steel landing, he felt all the oxygen whooshed out of his lungs.

Was this how he was going to die? Here, on this fiery rig? In all of his twenty-four years, he’d never truly done anything worthwhile except work on that worthless piece of metal on wheels. His father was right, and so was Mia’s.

Ben wanted to change that.

Grunting loudly, he pulled himself up off the hot steel surface and looked out over the blazing sea.

And jumped.

 

 

*Inspired by the true events that took place on the Deepwater Horizon

 

Saturday Story: Suppose

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate. 

 

Suppose

 

Scared witless, he slammed the company’s truck to a full stop and watched as the radioactive sludge engulfed the town. Strangely, the first thought to come to mind was- “Dang, I suppose I should have lowered those control rods.”

Thursday’s Tale: The Beast In the Woods

Pixabay Free Images

 

 

I once had a friend named Blue who swore there was a beast in the woods. She claimed it was a wolf as big as a house. It had red eyes too. Of course, none of us believed her until one day, she simply vanished.  Weeks later, a park ranger stumbled upon a boot, the same kind she usually wore.  But that wasn’t all that was found. Apparently, he nearly fell into a large hole . He quickly realized it wasn’t just a hole, but an enormous paw print the size of a small car.

I guess Blue didn’t fib after all.

Monday #FlashFiction: The Suitcase

 

 

*Note: This was taken from a prompt suggested on the DIY MFA website. To retrieve a prompt to ignite a story or poem in your mind click here

Here are what I had to work with:

Character: Night-shift nurse

Situation: Must face his or her worst fear

Prop: Suitcase

 

It was a quiet night as she walked the halls. Most of the patients slept as she carefully checked their monitors and IVs. In one room she paused to study the milky rays as they filtered through the thin curtains covering the wide archaic window. From the 16th floor of the aging building overlooking the city-that-never-sleeps, she could barely hear the sounds of the street life below.

She used to find comfort in these quiet moments but that was before the Suitcase Killer which she barely survived some ten years ago. Her body shuttered as the image of a hand reaching out of the suitcase she’d packed earlier in the day for her red-eye flight home. Other than that, she remembered nothing of the three-day ordeal with the sadistic monster (which her psychologist have labeled “Dissociative Amnesia ” ) but it left her infertile and with a mountain of medical bills.

Over the two-year span, there would be twelve victims before he was caught, tried in court and sentenced to death by lethal injection. The state invited her to witness his demise, but she didn’t attend. She couldn’t bring herself to look at his face again in fear of triggering the traumatic memories. Memories she just as soon forget, forever.

The execution took place two years earlier. With him gone from the earth, she’d thought she’d moved on with her life until she turned to check on the comatose patient.

Setting on top of a chair nearby was a suitcase.

Her breathing hitched and held.

It looked strangely familiar. No, it couldn’t be.

Can’t be.

She had it destroyed in an incinerator immediately after she was discharged from the hospital.

Her head began to spin as the darkness encased her.

Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe as she forced the air to move in and out of her burning lungs.

Her eyes fixated at its brown leather body until they zeroed on a flaw. The same flaw her suitcase possessed. A circular shaped white patch on the upper right corner. They said hers was damaged during the manufacturing process, and because of this, she got a steal of a deal on it.

What were the chances of finding another with the same damage?

Next to nothing?

She wanted to tear her eyes from the bag, but couldn’t. Her feet was rooted to the spot. Her skin felt frozen and yet she was sweating under the white uniform.

Pain radiated through her chest as she tried to slow her hysterical panting, but failing miserably.

The deafening roar in her head blurred  everything around her until the suitcase was all she saw.

Oh god, oh god.

Horrific images pricked somewhere from the deep recess of her mind as they threatened to explode into her conscious.

No, no!

“Nancy?”

The voice sounded so far away at first she’d thought she was imagining it. Then it repeated her name.

Blinking several times to clear the fog that seemed to have enveloped everything, a woman’s form came in view.

“Are you okay?” She was asking, in her hands a tray of carefully measured meds.

Nancy slowly shook her head and returned her attention to the object on the chair, and had to close her eyes for a moment before looking again.

The chair was empty. Void of luggage of any kind.

“Nancy, you’re scaring me,” the younger woman’s voice rose to a higher pitch.

Nancy forced herself to meet the woman’s wide-eyed expression with an unquivering smile, “No worries, Beatrice, he’s not here anymore,” and walked away.

 

Friday Short: Fire

Click on image for the original post

 

This micro-story was written for this picture prompt (click on the image to read the original post):

 

Fire

 

She was kept in a cold, dark prison for eons; now the light beckons her to take flight once more, to freedom, to the fiery death of all who stand in her way.

Story Sunday: Journey’s End

 

There, he stood at the twilight of life

where the sun quickly descended for the horizon.

He glanced back and saw all the closed doors.

So many.

Regrets. Wrecked promises. Missed opportunities.

Yet…

there were also realized dreams, unbroken vows, seeds sowed now in full blooms.

Legacies to live beyond the barriers of the physical body.

No, he refused to linger another moment

for there was one remaining door to cross,

into the rising moonbeams that will carry him

up, up

to the final journey.