Friday, November 9, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 80


Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a photo prompt from Miranda Kate's 80th Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:

This week's picture prompt was taken by a friend of mine, Michael Sands, when he was in Oxford. This building is called The Radcliffe's Camera and it's part of Oxford University. It houses the Science Library.

Here is a link to the photo prompt for this week's challenge.

If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.

I wrote this in a hurry tonight, so if you see any missing words or other errors please let me know. It's a bit of fantasy this week, 631 words worth (no pun intended). But you have to read Miranda's tale first!




On the Flip Side


The damp stones of the old building exuded a chill as he huddled in its shadow. A shiver went down his back. As uncomfortable as Fenton was, the shadows were his friends now. What he'd stolen was worth quite a bit. He expected the owners would want it back. Surely the police had been notified by now.

He glanced each way, half expecting to find them on his trail. He took a deep breath. Only a couple of people passing by—no one to worry about. It was then something caught his eye.

Though the morning rains had stopped, the street was still wet. There was movement in a puddle not far in front of him. He couldn't make out what might be causing it, but it appeared to be a shoe. Whatever the object was, it quickly disappeared. A moment later, a finger, then a hand, briefly appeared.

Fenton cussed. This was not good. "Some fool must have fallen into an open manhole," he said. "Probably flooded and didn't see it. Now he's drowning. I don't need murder added to theft if I'm caught."

Before he could figure out which way to run, two feet sprouted up out of the hole. Within seconds, an entire person had popped out of the puddle and was standing upright not ten metres away. The man seemed confused, though not as much as Fenton. Oddly enough, he wasn't the slightest bit wet.

He fought the urge to approach the man, still concerned about possible pursuers. Fenton ducked behind the corner of the building as the man turned towards him. When he peeked out again, he saw him running down the street. There was no trail of wet footprints to mark his path.

Despite his circumstances, Fenton's curiosity drew him to the puddle. It looked no different from the others along the street. He reached out to touch it. There was no ripple, no visible disturbance. He rubbed his fingers together. They weren't wet.

"Bloody..." he muttered under his breath. He reached in further, staring into the puddle trying to see what was within. He leaned closer and felt himself being pulled deeper. Whatever force was drawing him in was stronger than his efforts to resist.

He found himself sitting on the street—the same street as before—though in a world around him that was in ruin. The cold rain hitting his face brought him back to the moment.

Reaching into his coat pocket, the clandestine prize which had driven him to desperation was still there. The police were no longer his concern, but he felt an uneasiness as to what, or who, might be here instead. It was time to move. He would have to figure what had happened to him later.

He didn't go far until his path was blocked by debris. He worried about damaging the precious item in him pocket climbing over the twisted metal and stone. Fenton pulled it out of his pocket, still wrapped in an old cloth. He would set it up on some stones, then climb up to it, repeating this until safely over the top. He had just raised it above his head when he heard a familiar voice,

"So, what have we here?"

Before Fenton could turn, something hard and sharp went into his back. He couldn't breathe. As it all went black, a hand reached around him and took the package from his hand.

"Must be something mighty special," the man said. "What do you say we have a look?"

He started to unwrap his prize when Fenton's body fell over. Though life oozed from his mouth and the eyes were closed, the face was one he'd seen before—in the mirror.

"Bloody..." the man muttered under his breath as he backed away.


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 79

Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a photo prompt from Miranda Kate's 79th Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:

This week's prompt picture is again all over the net and various pinterest accounts globally. A lot comes up in Arabic so it could be from someone in the Middle East, but sadly can't be tracked.

Here is a link to the photo prompt for this week's challenge.

If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.

No horror this week. Only mushy stuff. 684 words.





Searching for Flowers


It had been years since Jason last walked down the beach. It was where he'd met Alicia. That was all so long ago, it seemed. She was gone forever now, taken from life too soon. The shore was still beautiful, though not as inviting as he remembered. The once-invigorating fragrance of salt air now only induced shadowy, melancholy visions.

At his feet, lodged in the sandy soil next to a half-buried piece of driftwood, a flower sprouted. How many times had he picked these for Alicia? How many silly little bouquets had he made? He reached down and pulled the stem free of the tough roots. It was only a weed, though an attractive one.

"That's pretty."

It was a tiny voice he heard, so small he wasn't sure it was real. He turned slightly in its direction to find a girl, a very young child, in truth, standing next to him. She had a wide smile on her face.

Jason attempted a smile, though with little enthusiasm. "Yes, I suppose it is, isn't it?"

The girl remained quiet, alternately grinning and biting her lip, shyly avoiding eye contact. Jason held the flower out and said, "Here." She snatched it from his hand, then ran off giggling.

He quickly disappeared back into his thoughts, his mind entranced by the rhythmic waves and gentle breezes. What, if anything, was left for him here?

"That was very kind of you."

The sound startled him. A young woman stood only a few feet away. He'd been so engrossed in his thoughts he hadn't noticed. Her long, dark hair drifted across her face from the sea breeze, though her eyes seemed to pierce through its gossamer veil as if they had a light of their own. She was smiling, though she eventually looked away. He realized he'd been staring at her for an uncomfortably long time.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to surprise you like that," she said.

"I—I didn't know anyone was there."

"I know. I was trying to catch up with Sarah. She ran off ahead of me. I hope she didn't bother you."

"Oh, uh, no, not at all. Your daughter?"

"Yes. She can be a handful at times. The two of us moved here last week from back east. Thought we go exploring today. By the way, I'm Kristen."

"I'm..." His voice drifted away as he studied the soft contours of her face. "Jason," he finally exclaimed, as if shocked by some great revelation. "My name—it's Jason."

She tried not to laugh, craning her neck to check on her daughter as a cover. "Do you live nearby?"

He took a deep breath. "No, not anymore. I came by to—well, I'm not really sure. Just to see it again, I guess."

"Is this place special to you?"

Jason wasn't sure how to answer the question. It used to be. Was it still? Did he really want to bother someone else with his past? He hadn't talked much to anyone about Alicia, let alone to a woman. He didn't know what to say, even what he should say, but he did want talk about something, anything. He hadn’t felt that way in ages. There was life in the way her eyes seemed to dance, glancing at him only briefly before looking away.

"There's a cove not far past the point here." He knew he was staring again. "I used to go there a lot. It's really beautiful."

"Oh?"

"If you'd like to see I could..."

She turned away, grinning, he noticed, exactly like her daughter.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to presume."

"That's alright." She looked directly at him this time. "I'd love to see it."

They walked along the beach together as Sarah scampered from shell to stone, the tiny flower firmly clenched in her fist. When he could divert his attention from Kristen he scanned the beach, inspecting every rock, clump of grass, and piece of wood that might provide a shelter for life. What a shame it would be, he thought, if there were no more flowers to be found.


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved