The cold, sinking, sickening feeling sweep through my body.
My palms, sweaty. The pounding in my chest is making me dizzy, breathless.
It’s that knowing that there are things you can’t control, or things you just don’t want to face or deal with yet…
Why can’t it all just go away? Why can’t I hide in that recess of my mind where everything’s sunny and happy? Where the responsibilities and burdens are not pressing down on me so that I’m unable to breathe or function?
Oh, how I long for the days of innocence! When the evils of this world haven’t touched me yet. When life was blissful, and I was so naïve.
Where has she gone? Will I ever find her again?
Do I want to?
Time keeps marching forward. The world passing by as I sit here at the window, watching out.
The desire to interact long gone.
Here, where I sit, familiarity’s my friend, my comfort.
The unknown. The pain of the past.
My heart’s splintering as my mind. Torn between wanting to remain here, and stepping out there.
Freedom. Oh to be free.
The better question is–to be freed of what?
*Written for the MId-Week Flash Challenge
Our souls. Our history.
All that we ever were.
Lost in the glowing whiteness.
Will the sun ever return its gaze to the earth?
Will its heat be sufficient enough
for our re-awakening?
world’s greatest predator
the first to perish
Write a micro or flash story (or if you prefer, a poem) around the following prompt:
Post your story or poem in the comment section below. Deadline: This Friday, June 14th
No minimum words but try to keep it under 750 words.
Dark gray clouds hung heavy in the sky like a blanket of wispy fog partially covering the treeline in the distance.
Kurt’s day didn’t start off on a positive note as he trudged along the heavily cracked road.
“I’m so sorry Mr. Buxton, I’m unable to work today due to an aging car that I can’t fix because the wage you’re paying me royally sucks!” he muttered as his brown eyes pandered ahead of each step, hands deep inside the pockets of the long black coat, “of all days to break down, it had to be today.”
“What’s so special about today?”
Kurt jumped and swerved around to see where the voice came from.
There was an old man standing well off the side of the road nearly encased in shadows. His clothes were tattered, his salt n’ pepper hair oily and unkempt. Kurt noticed a strange looking box that he held in his gnarly hands.
“Excuse me, sir, are you alright?” Kurt asked as he stepped slowly to the man.
The elder’s pale face only partially visible save the eyes which were hidden under the lid of a baseball hat with its emblem long worn off.
“Sir?” Kurt now stood a mere yard from him. The wooden parcel appeared very, very old. Its craftsmanship told Kurt it came from a time long since past. The box wasn’t perfectly squared. No, it held more of a rectangular shape which reminded him of a–coffin.
“What’s so special about today?” the man asked again. His croaky voice carried an unrecognizable accent.
An icy breeze swept over them. Kurt’s body shivered as he buried his hands deeper in the wool pockets.
“Um, I have a presentation to make,” Kurt let out a sigh of frustration as the breath came out in a wavy mist and drifted upwards briefly before dissipating.
“One you really do not want to make,” the man stated as he continued to stand still.
Kurt cocked his head at this strange person before replying, “You’re right, I don’t really give a damn about the presentation.”
“What if I could take away the misery you call your life and give you one with a true purpose?” the man’s tone was an eloquent one.
Kurt straightened as he considered the man’s offer. The breeze suddenly halted as if nature was holding its breath.
Shrugging, Kurt said, “Sure, whatever.”
The man’s lips curled upwards ever so slightly, “Care to see what’s inside?”
Kurt glanced to the peculiar box, “Okay.”
As he took a step forward, the wind let out a whistling moan which caused the hair on the back of his neck to stand up.
“There is nothing to fear,” the voice crooned.
Kurt watched as the lid slowly rose releasing a familiar scent.
“Come a bit closer,” the smile on the man’s lips grew when Kurt took another step, “and behold your future.”
As Kurt stood over the box, the first thing he noticed was that there were movements inside.
Was there something alive in there?
Blinking, he peered even closer.
At first, he thought he was looking at a box full of the old-fashioned clothespins painted grayish-white. He then realized that the tops held faces.
“What the hell?”
His mouth dropped when he noticed that these “clothespins’ were all looking up at him. With their rapidly fluttering eyes.
“My god, what kind of freak are you?” He stammered as he attempted to take a step back, but a sharp coldness cascaded through his body when he discovered he could not move.
His boots remained planted in the dirty snow, his eyes on the ghostly stick figures.
“What kind of sick game is this?” Spit spewed from his lips.
With a joker’s grin, the man let out a soft, menacing chuckle, “My dear sir, I assure you that this is no game,” the interior now completely exposed, “it is futile to resist. Give in, and fulfill your chosen purpose.”
The more Kurt tried to move his head, or even a leg, the louder the drumming grew in his chest. His face, red with sweat beads rolling down the sides, he opened his mouth and let out an anguished roar that only the trees heard.
Panting, Kurt closed his eyes, fighting back the hot tears, “wh-wh-who the hell are you?”
“The name is Reike,” the man pushed up on the hat’s lid revealing a taunt face that held eyes that were like coals, and a mark engraved in his forehead – of a full moon with an eye in its center.
“And your soul now belongs to me!”
Story written for the Mid-Week Flash Challenge
My body feels like it is being cupped by something cool but heavy with a sour musky scent. Did I fall asleep in the tub again? My head tips to one side but only for mere millimeters before it met resistance.
I can not see anything. Are my eyes still closed?
I order my right hand to rise up to touch my face, but it will not budge. It is stuck under something…it almost feels like either a thick pilty blanket, or dirt.
It is at this moment I realize how difficult it is to breathe. Something is sitting on top of my chest.
“Do not try to move,” the man’s back to my left ear, “it would be useless.”
A grunt emanates from my lips as I try to move my arms anyway. He’s right, it is useless. I try to force the eyelids to open, but it is like they are barred by something strong like steel.
My heart is pounding causing my chest to ache.
What is he doing to me? Why doesn’t he just kill me and get it over with?
Something metallic clunk heavily to the ground quite close to my head as I feel the breeze from it.
“Well, if you really must know,” more clinking and motion of some kind, “I just buried you in oh about three feet of clay, but left your head uncovered so you can still breathe.”
I hear him grunting with more clinking noises.
“I’m going to set up somewhere nearby, bring out some popcorn and watch the fun,” he let out a croaky laugh, “not so much for you I’m afraid.”
The crunching of rubber soles fill my ears as they tread over the ground quickly fading away until the only thing I hear is the sound of my shaky breathing.
I attempt to wiggle my body one more time to see if I could budge the dirt-filled cover on top of me, but a sharp, fiery pain shoots through my bowels causing me to cry out.
Gasping, I can feel the tears trickling down my face.
Damn! Damn! Why is he doing this?
The fire is burning so hot it feels like thousands of pins are ripping through my innards. My lungs are spasming as I try to gulp in air but just can’t get any. My head, spinning…spinning out of control.
Oh god, I’m not ready to die.
It came so faintly, I nearly did not hear my name being whispered.
That voice…why does it seems so familiar?
“I’m right here, Lex.”
For the first time, I finally am able to open my eyes. The scenery around me is different somehow. The tall pine trees now obscured by layers of mist. My eyes glance all around and zeroed in on a human form encased within the fog.
My mouth opens as I attempt to ask for its identity, but nothing would come. Just the shuddering wheezes.
“I am here. You are not alone, sis.”
My brows crinkle together as I ponder on the boy’s words. I’m the only child unless–no, that is not possible. Can’t be.
The name forms a vivid image in my head of a boy with a shaggy blonde mop on his head and a face loaded with brown and red freckles. The green eyes mirrored my own.
You can’t be here. You’re dead.
To be continued…
Didn’t catch the beginning? Here’s Part One.
The breeze. Its touch on my skin is warm, the scent sweet and rich with pine and lavender.
The songs of robins, sparrows and blue jays fill my ears as they flutter from tree limb to tree limb.
I feel strange though. As if the world has shifted, unnaturally. There is nothing solid under my feet, but the smell of dirt is so close to my face.
If I really concentrate, I’d swear the earth’s under my back.
My nostrils detect another smell. One that’s metallic–like rusted iron. I’m trying to move my head but it will not budge. My body has become one solid leadening object that refuses my mental orders.
What is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?
The lids of my eyes are heavy as they slowly slide down. Soon, all I see is the blackness which is being accompanied by an iciness that goes straight to the bones.
The chirpings of the birds are fading. I feel a pull in that I want to fly away with them.
Oh please, don’t leave me!
Instead, my head feels like it’s sinking while spinning around and around like some child’s toy top. Like a slithering blanket, a deep chill spreads through my legs, and soon it’s creeping for my hips.
Flashes of images filter through my mind. Of faces and places, I can no longer name.
Just as the icy tendrils slid towards the sternum area, a loud snap rang through my head as my eyes sprang open.
A moaning wheeze escapes my mouth and it is at this moment I finally realize what is truly going on…
Confusion fills my mind.
What happened to me? How did I get here?
Only to be answered with images of shining metal objects as I heard my skin ripping like a zipper followed by fire.
Through the billowing fog, I quickly become aware of the burning pain in my gut as my mouth fills with the thick salty liquid.
“I see you’re still hanging on,” a man’s voice whispers near my left ear.
Choking on my own blood, I’m trying to find this man. He has to be standing right beside me, but my eyes no longer see anything. It is as if I’m in a tiny room and someone has turned off the lights.
Something hits the ground disturbing the dirt just enough that I felt the movement under my left leg. Then I catch a whiff of him.
“No one will be looking for you,” I hear him say, “they all think you’ve gone on your retreat in the mountains!”
He guffawed as sounds of metal and wooden objects clinking together echoing over me, and another rumbling thud to the ground.
“Your boyfriend won’t miss you either!” I can hear the creaking of rubber soles, “he’s fishing with his Army buddies the next state over.” He lets out a sigh that tells me just how sick this man really is, “Yeah, it’s just you and I — soon to be just me. Ha!”
Suddenly, an awful stench washes over my face as I feel him pressing against my shoulder.
“You know the longer you hold on, the more painful it’ll be,” he pauses for a second, “but, I hope you do ‘cause I have special plans just for you!”
*End of Part One*
Have you ever gone through a period of time when no matter how hard you tried to do something, or in my case – complete a novel, you just can’t quite get there?
For years and years, I believed I was meant to be a fiction writer especially of suspenseful (and at times, horror) stories. I still enjoy writing these stuff, but there’s a growing part of me that keeps telling me to shift my focus/attention to poetry and essays. I’ve resisted, well I tried to anyway, against this quiet tugging until recently.
In February and April of this year, I’ve participated in various month-long blogging/writing challenges where my original intentions were to focus on flash/micro fiction (suspense/horror kinds) and maybe sprinkle a few poems in there.
Well, I ended up writing mainly poetry. It wasn’t planned. It just happened that way.
As I wrote these poems, it occurred to me how the muse had tricked me (by the way, I’m nicknaming her “Trickster” from now on). All through these two months, whenever I picked up a pen (hovered my fingers over the keyboard), my first instinct was to write poetry – not fiction.
Wow…it hit me then (specifically, during the last week of April). I might have already said this in a guest post I wrote for another blog, but never truly believed in my heart at the time — I’m a writer of many things, but the essence of me is a poet.
Okay, I will admit that the Trickster (formerly known at “muse”) had been right all along — but…
Are all movies produced from screenplays only?
Many have been inspired by novels. Think Harry Potter and Twilight. But, did you know that there are a large number inspired by short stories?
Here are a few just to give you an idea:
Sleepy Hollow – based on Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Birds – based on Daphne du Maurier’s story with the same name
Minority Report – based on Philip K. Dick’s story with the same name
I, Robot – inspired by a collection of short stories by Issac Asimov of the same name
Candyman – based on Clive Barker’s collection of stories in the Books of Blood
They Live – based on Ray Nelson’s Eight O’Clock In the Morning
Dark Water – based on Koji Suzuki’s Floating Water
Screamers – based on Philip K. Dick’s Second Variety
The Thing – based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s Who Goes There?
In my next post, how does a short story get selected to be a film?
Some reasons as to why you should stay committed to your writing:
“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” —Albert Camus
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
“We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. … Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.”
—John Updike, WD
“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.”
—Andre Dubus III, WD
“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD
“Writers live twice.” —Natalie Goldberg
“Tears are words that need to be written.”
“A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on it’s own. That’s when you’ll start writing.”
“When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.”