House Arrest

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He slid the CD, a meal of memories, into the mouth of the plastic device. It accepted his offering with a grinding, mechanical thank you, a sound that became his friend over time, his partner in torment.

Images leaked from the television, coating the walls and his face with the chaotic light of evacuation. He was a human tree on the couch, rooted in the fabric, sedentary, except for his eyes. They shimmied in their sockets, pulsating blue, as they drank the beauty on the screen and devoured the colorful silhouettes that crawled through the darkness like radiant serpents.

Over time, he had moved his bed into the basement. And the refrigerator. The microwave. He turned a storage closet into a matchbox bathroom. This theater of solitude became a damp penitentiary of the past. Daily, he slammed the mental bars, turned his key of regret, and did his time.

Newspapers piled up on the porch like black and white firewood. His lawn grew into a suburban savannah. The mailbox gained weight.

Richard couldn’t differentiate between dusk or dawn, snow or sunshine. The outside world was as foreign to him as happiness.

He snatched another CD, stabbed Play. Caged bones and iced soda, their trip to the zoo last summer.

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My entry in Flash! Friday: Volume 3-27. Your story had to use a Theater as your setting and the photo above was the prompt. Word count between 190-210.

I’m quite stunned to be named the winner this week, my fourth win in this lovely weekly contest. A huge thanks is in order for the outgoing judges, Eric Martell and Carlos Orozco. They had a difficult task this week, as there were a plethora of wonderful stories to choose from. Their comment about my tale is below.

Judges remarks: “The first line “He slid the CD, a meal of memories, into the mouth of the plastic device” took our breath away, and it only got better from there. From “He was a human tree on the couch, rooted in the fabric” to “Newspapers piled up on the porch like black and white firewood”, every description in this was deliciously original and we were beyond envious. This writer showed a strong command of the language, twisting and contorting each word and phrase to tell a great story. The pacing was also well executed. Like the depressed protagonist we lose track of time and slip into the monotonous routine of daily life. Ordinary objects become fantastic (mailboxes gaining weight, lawns turning into extraordinary landscapes), but it doesn’t matter to us because the story also drops us into that dark place. Well done.

Bathed in Pixels

mc3a1rciusi_mese_1934 Public domain image

The images on the screen cut the darkness with a splash of glowing love. His arm is draped around her shoulder like a muscular shawl. Her face, still captivating, roars with a feline happiness. The twenty comments and thirty-six likes reveal their popularity, their coupling accepted. Lauded. If I’m missed, it’s obscured by the flash of white pouring out of her mouth. Further scrolling is required.

We were a pack once. She was mine and he was just our friend. We met on the dirt diamond as teens. He was the slugger, a wunderkind who obliterated baseballs with a violent, tornadic swing. “Chicks dig the long ball,” he’d always say with a wink. Tonya would lounge on the bleachers, her designer sunglasses concealing the prey ensnared in her glance. Later, we’d get wasted in my basement. Billy would toss his charm around like handsome confetti. Tonya’s uncovered eyes fluttered when he spoke, a flirtatious gyration of blue deception. A foreshadowing.

They’re going to Miami next week. “Sand, salsa dancing, and mojitos,” she posted.

She hasn’t blocked me yet. Maybe she’s a sadist and wants me to feel the burn. Or maybe she knows I’m a masochist, that I welcome the burn. Either way, Billy was right about the long ball.

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My entry in the Flash! Friday contest this past week. I didn’t make the podium this week but I received some very kind feedback on my tale. Always a good thing.The story element required was a coflict of Man vs Man. The picture above was the prompt and the word count was 190-210.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hands of a Charlatan

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After participating in the National Flash Fiction Day FlashFlood last year, I knew I couldn’t resist submitting again this year. Luckily, the editors accepted my story for publication. Hands of a Charlatan first appeared on the Luminous Creatures Press site. Thankfully, FlashFlood is fine with previously published stories. Stop on by and read a plethora of sublime flash fiction when you have the time. You can read my story here

Family Time

vaults-for-humans Photo Credit: Mark Hillary

Silent perversion filled their minds like a blooming lullaby. A magnetized melody. Daniel and his boy shared a glance then floated down to the basement.

Molly was crumpled in a porcelain casket, an antique clawfoot tub. Her lacquered, rouged face resembled a ventriloquist’s dummy. Her carved throat appeared to be smiling at them.

“She can’t scream at us no more, papa.”

“She can’t do anything no more, son.”

“Can we kill her again?”

“Dead is dead. Don’t be greedy. Give her a kiss goodnight.”

Henry squatted and pecked his mother sloppily. He detected the nectar of neglect on her lips, a boozy decay lurking beneath a cherry-red, ghoulish film.

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This would’ve been my entry in the weekly Micro Bookends contest if my insecurities didn’t get the best of me. I abstained from submitting at the last second. Your story had to begin with the word Silent and end with Film. Your inspiration was the photo above and the word count needed to be between 90-100.