150-Word Story: Deathlessness

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Deathlessness

Kenny lay on the mortuary table and watched as they performed the autopsy on his body. He could feel a tugging sensation as they removed his organs and pressure when they cut through his rib cage. He watched as they examined the contents of his stomach and weighed his liver.

Kenny didn’t pretend to understand what was going on. Death had always been a mystery to him. But he was starting to wonder just how long he was going to remain conscious. Surely someone would come along soon and take him to the next place.

But what if there was no next place? What if this was just how things went for everyone? Maybe there were billions of dead people lying underground right now staring at their coffin lids, trying to amuse themselves with fading memories.


150-Word Story: 3.17 AM

Scary Bear

3.17 AM

You’re lying in bed. Alone. Staring at the ceiling. The room is pitch black apart from the single sliver of moonlight cutting a line across your bed.

Outside your bedroom door, you hear a noise. A faint squelching noise, like bare feet walking across a muddy field. Slow, rhythmic squelching. So faint you’re not sure you hear it at all.

You hold your breath and strain your ears, listening as hard as you can.

Now you’re sure. You can hear it clearly. It’s definitely squelching.

But it’s not coming from outside your bedroom door. It’s coming from underneath your bed.

You freeze. You stop blinking. You couldn’t breathe even if you wanted to. Your arms and legs feel limp, as if your bones have crumbled away inside. Beads of sweat are breaking out onto your forehead, your top lip, the back of your neck. You know you should do something, but you can’t move. You can’t think. You can’t breathe.

So you lie there. You listen. And you wait.


One Month Old

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My blog is a month old today (Happy Birthday, Blog…I’ll buy you something nice later), which means I’ve officially been writing again for a whole werewolf  lunar month. Kind of.

I know I’m a mere baby compared to you seasoned bloggers out there but, as someone who has a mortal fear of committing to anything, I’m just amazed that I finally stuck with something.

Anyway, for my Blog Birthday, I got the lovely surprise of winning the Ad Hoc Flash Fiction Competition – my first competition win since returning to writing. So I thought I’d share the winning piece with you below. It’s not my usual kind of flash fiction story, but I’m guessing most writers have experienced this…


 The Writing Process

Draft 1: Steve bought a cup of coffee.

Draft 2: Steve bought an extra-tall, triple-shot, non-fat latte.

Draft 7: Steve bought a grande latte from the pretty girl behind the counter.

Draft 11: Steve bought a latte from the smiling waitress who reminded him of his mother.

Draft 24: Steven Blake purchased a foamy latte from the waitress who looked uncannily like his mother.

Draft 46: Steven Palmer-Blake pulled out his gold credit card and paid the pretty waitress for his triple-shot, extra-tall, non-fat, extra-foam, mocha-latte with extra sprinkles, all the while thinking how much the waitress looked like his recently deceased mother.

Final draft: Steve bought a cup of coffee.


 

150-Word Story: On a Day Like Today

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On a Day Like Today

This is the Emergency Broadcasting Service. Please stand by for an important message from the Prime Minister.

Good afternoon to the people of Great Britain on this sombre day in our history. As your Prime Minister, I promise to do all I can to ensure the survival of our great nation.

For those of you with basements and underground shelters, please take the water and tinned food provided by your local council and make your way downstairs. For those of you with no access to underground facilities, try to find a cupboard or room in the centre of your home and stay away from the windows. Remember to ration your food and water and tend to any wounds before they become infected. Stay tuned to this frequency and check for daily updates.


150-Word Story: That Face That Isn’t a Face

 

Faceless

That Face That Isn’t a Face

The light hurts my eyes. I can see it streaming in through my cage, illuminating the bars. Sometimes it doesn’t seem so bad down here. He looks after me. He gives me food and water. He gives me a purpose. I exist to keep him sane. Somebody has to. Because you don’t ever want to see him when insanity takes hold. His face can change in an instant. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it contort and twist and fold in on itself until he is no longer human. His eyes – oh those eyes – they turn inside out until the back’s at the front. His teeth become talons that can rip and tear the flesh from your bones. And you don’t want to be here when that happens. So I stay here. With him. To keep him sane. I do it so that you never have to see that face that isn’t a face. 


150-Word Story: Early Retirement

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Early Retirement

Bernie stared at the oil slick oozing across his plate. Anaemic chips and dried out chicken breast that looked like it should be hanging in a bird cage slid around in the greasy pool.

He looked up at his once-beautiful wife of 37 years, who now ate with her mouth open and kept her legs closed, and watched as she washed the inedible meal down with yet another bottle of cheap red wine.

He shifted his gaze across to his 26 year old daughter, who had systematically bled him dry and driven him to three heart attacks with her penchant for expensive shoes and cheap men.

Bernie looked back down at the grease-filled plate. He impaled three chips on his fork, swirled them around in the congealed oil and shovelled them into his mouth. With a bit of luck, the next heart attack would finish him off.


150-Word Story: I Can See the Future

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I Can See the Future

Janice stared into the bottom of the cup. The tea leaves were just random splotches to her, but of course, she would never tell her clients that. She looked up at the rotund middle-aged man at the other side of the table. The man was sweating profusely and breathing heavily. Janice was no doctor, but even she could see this guy was in bad shape. The last thing she needed was a client having a heart attack in the middle of a reading. Best to give him some good news.

“Well, Mr Banyard, it looks like you’re in for a windfall. The tea leaves show a large sum of money coming your way!” Janice looked up and smiled.

“Ahh, that’ll be the insurance money for my wife’s murder.” He said.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. Your wife was murdered?” Janice asked.

“Not yet.” The man replied.


Even I admit the ending is cheesy/corny/terrible and sounds like a punchline (I can almost hear the ba-dum-bum-CHAH drum roll at the end).

150-Word Story: For the Flies

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For the Flies

A single fly. Resting on the inside of a window. Rubbing his front legs together, like an old woman warming her hands by the fire.

Another fly lands on the window. A third. A fourth. Ten. Twenty. They keep on coming. And soon the glass is alive with a carpet of black and grey chaos.

From the outside, they are silent. Inside, they hum and they buzz and they flap their wings. They stomp their feet on a half-eaten sandwich. They glide over a cup of unfinished coffee, now covered with a furry skin of mould.

Beside the abandoned lunch, a chair. Behind the chair, a shoe. A leg. Twisted. A hip. Fractured. A heart. Beatless.

Somebody’s mother. Somebody’s grandmother. Broken.

A feast for the flies.


This was written for a competition based on the prompt “fly”. When looking through the other entries, I realised that most of them were about flying in some form or other.

It’s a little bit disturbing to realise that when presented with the prompt “fly”, most people automatically think of something as freeing and beautiful as flying, whereas my mind automatically thinks fly > flies > dead body > decomposing.

I’m sure a good psychologist could help there, but perhaps it’s best not to pull at that thread.