Microcosms 217 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 217 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 217 – your free, weekly flash fiction […]
Hell In Her Handbag
300 licks of flame
Mall Santa / Hades / Romance
I am open to derivative works.
The mall was crowded with moms pushing strollers, dragging children by the hand, and chasing them when they managed to pull free. Last minute shoppers raced from store to store, bags clutched in sweaty fists as they scrutinized crumpled lists. Santa gulped down cold coffee in between children, his knee soaked with whatever was leaking from the last toddler’s diaper. He should have had a break more than an hour ago, but the line stretched out of Santa’s village and around the corner. His vision distorted as he tried to see the end, the shine and sparkle of the lavish decorations blurring and sending light stars over the scene. He sighed and rubbed his eyes as an elf came forward and placed another solid, wriggling weight on his lap. His arms came up and he opened his eyes when he felt a sudden, unrelenting heat. Huge, dark eyes and sultry lips inches from his face made him feel dizzy. She stroked his beard and opening her bag, she dove headfirst into it, taking him with her. The mall vanished. In its place was crystal cold darkness. Only his lap was hot, almost to the point of pain. His hands burned when he tried to push the slick form off, and his heart jumped into his throat as unseen arms and legs wrapped around him, their heat making sweat pop out on his skin. A scorching tongue licked it off, causing a storm of emotion to well up inside him. He clutched the squirming torch closer, capturing the sweltering lips with his own as orange fire erupted around them, and he could finally see the charcoal demon he was kissing. He closed his eyes and listened to the hiss of his flesh burning as he gave himself up to her inferno.
Hades Impregnated Me (Santa Man)
Mall Santa / Hades / Fantasy
I am open to derivative works.
There was this mall santa. His name was Ahoge. Driven, by anger and fear he recluded himself, from society. And, then, he was found in Hades; the burning, pits of hell, that succumbed to the will of Hades. The “Mall Santa”, didn’t know what he was doing, or, what he was driving towards. He was riding in a mine—cart, down a rail—way and went past the Elysian/Elysium fields… there, was cart—wheeling towards the center of Hades. Then, Hades appeared and stopped his mine-cart. “What, are—you doing?” The Mall—Santa shouted. “I’m only, stopping you from continuing this journey,” Hades—replied. Hades, with his crazy blue flames of hair coddled the young Santa—Man politely, as if he was persephone. Hades, feeling he had impregnated the Santa—Man continued to hold him in his arms, whispering softly, “you… don’t belong here.” And then, Hades disappeared. Ahoge feeling untouched by Hades’ blue flames, continued on his journey in the mine—cart. Before, reaching Elysium, the golden—fields of underworld—paradise, took a photo of the incoming-sight. Hades, directed his cart back-to-the-world-of-the-living where he recounted the rest of his adventures with the santa—crew.
The Butterfly Effect
Butterfly/ 80s Shopping Mall / Sci-fi
On a large cherry tree, a chrysalis hung for twenty nights. The next day, the pleats expanded and separated. A bright butterfly emerged; her rainbow wings spread for the first time. Ready to enjoy the forest landscape she’d adored as a caterpillar. Instead, glass, tiled floors and white concrete filled with big-haired humans wearing ill-fitting clothing.
A wheezing groan echoed through the strange building. A blue box materialised from which a large man, all teeth and curls, wearing a long scarf, popped out.
“A mall,” he exclaimed. “If only they sold jelly babies”. He and his box disappeared as if disappointed.
An electronic crackle travelled the sound waves. A ball of electricity dissipated to reveal a naked, kneeling man. His muscles perfectly carved.
“Where is Sarah Connor?” He asked. A confused woman with shoulder pads pointed at the distance. The naked man stomped away robotically.
The groaning wheeze returned. The curls were the same but blonde. He wore a terrible coat of many colours. He shouted, “Time travel shouldn’t be this difficult”, before the box faded away.
A flash of lightning ripped through the mall. Car brakes screamed from use. Steam hissed from its roof. One of the sides opened like a gull wing. Out stepped an old man with a ring of white hair. “Great Scott Marty! The flux capacitor worked. We travelled in time!”
Again, the wheezing groaning echoed around her. The butterfly knew what she needed to do. Get inside the blue box and then find a way to save her forest from this concrete monstrosity. This time, a smaller man appeared in a hat and question mark jumper. He raised the former and said with a wink, “Welcome aboard.”
The blue box dissolved along with the mall to reveal a great forest of caterpillars and butterflies.
I really enjoyed this story Cay. It is a great tale considering how random the prompts were.
Microcosms 216 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 216 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 216 – your free, weekly flash fiction […]
Delay this weekHey all, Temporary delay on the posts for this week due to personal health issues. They should be up later today. Apologies and thanks for your patience. -KM
Microcosms 215 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 215 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 215 – your free, weekly flash fiction […]
Smiled all the way through this!
Wow Eryn! Beautiful!
How To Clear A Crowd
By Jaime Bree
Ice Sculptor/Retail Hell/Poem
I’d started this job
The worst ever shift
Known as ‘Retail Hell’.
It wasn’t just busy,
Crowded or packed.
They were squashed like sardines
Don’t try to swing that…
Of all of the things
I had to place
On display that day
Before to the tills they’d race
Was an ice sculpture,
Sculpted by some weirdo
Who’d sold it to the store
What was really clear though…
She’d pulled the wool over their eyes, for sure.
The imbeciles running the shopping asylum
Had gushed and purred
At the ‘artist’ beside them
Maybe it was her hat
Or ‘creative demeanour’
The clothes she wore?
If only they’d seen her
It seemed they were taken
By her icy monstrosity
What it represented was unclear
Describing it an impossibility.
Looked a bit like a mermaid.
From one angle.
But, at least it stayed
So, here I was
Handling something quite slippery
– swear-word-inducing cold – it was making me jittery.
The shelf needed adjusting
And all the while
There was pushing and shoving
Below in the aisle.
Easy on the ladder now.
The atmosphere was heated
I swear I saw smoke
Coming from a man’s ears
And another one choke
When a woman who wanted
That last china plate
Put her hands round his throat
Make no mistake
She’d fight ’til Retail Hell froze over.
I looked at the time
I’d been there two hours
Hemmed in, ignored,
Left on a ladder
From hypothermia or
Crushed by a crowd.
Then, suddenly, I thought,
And I said it out loud:
‘Why the hell am I trying
A complete lump of nonsense
For half of the day?’
So, I dropped it.
You’ve never seen a crowd disperse so quick.
My day at Buc-ee’s. 281 words. New Employee / Mistaken Identity / Western.
No, I am not open to derivative works at this time, thank you. (non-experience)
My day at Buc-ee’s.
It was a mistaken identity. They didn’t know me. I didn’t know them. However… I couldn’t explain that to them now, that I’ve got a gun to my face. The first thing I had to do, was make sure, I was safe. That’s for certain. The second, to wack this guy’s gun out of my face.
I eye the counter next to me, working at Buc-ee’s was phenomenal until these guys came along. They were a tough gang of boys that I’d never seen before. However. I had to do something about it.
“Hey, guys?” I asked. “How, ‘bout… you let me go and I, don’t call the cops?
“Sure?” the Guy asked. “Do— that, and I’ll blow your fucking hands off?”
“Okay— okay,” I said, calmly lowering my hands. How ‘bout, you give that to me?
“No can do, Sir,” the Man, said. He kept his guard up, the entire time, as I looked for an scapegoat, as the boys snickered.
Damn, I thought. How, about, you give that to me? Am I an fucking idiot?
The Boss cleared his throat, “we, don’t want any trouble.”
He, said, meekly.
“Sure, and—then, you’ll call the cops?” the Boss asked, filled with thug—life syndrome.
“Alright’,” my manager said. “I know what you want.”
“Snickers?” the Boss asked. You’re not you when you’re hungry, my boss replied.
My boss fell to the floor with a thud. Damn, I hate my job. I thought to myself.
The guys left. They. Broke a couple of game stations on the way, with their metal—bat. I shook my head. I, knew, exactly, what, to, say.
Welcome to a fun and supportive contest!
Your style is so entertaining and I love the descriptions for the place names!
Wow, thank you so much, Jaime. Really appreciate your kind words.
Word count stifled some rhythm here and there but I loved writing this!
Love it! You always create something unique and witty.
A Light Lunch
New Employee / Mistaken Identity / Western
Yes, I am open to derivative works including variations on the niçoise salad.
I walked into the hotel wearing my smart new suit, not knowing there was death in my future. I planned a light lunch of niçoise and martini, but I had to abandon the idea completely when a rather flustered bellboy grabbed me. I had in mind to tell him off, but the poor lad looked so distraught my objection caught in my throat.
“What is it, lad?”
“Sir, it’s Mrs. Amar. I, well…” I motioned him to continue, “well, he’s hit her, sir.”
I made assumptions. First, any man who strikes a woman is a brute. Secondly, the disturbance must be nearby. Lastly, I should interpose myself between any vulnerable person and violence.
“Right, lead the way, lad,” I said and unbuttoned my jacket as I followed close behind.
The bellboy made haste to the elevator whereupon we encountered a most undignified scene. A woman, slight and pale, with a hand to her cheek. Standing over her was a squat toad of a man, one of her wrists gripped tightly, his other hand raised. I caught his wrist and he turned his steaming countenance.
“Who are you?” he asked and attempted to wrench free. I did not relent.
“Piers Fairweather, sir, I frequently lunch here. Today, however, I strenuously object to your behavior.”
Two more things happened. The bellboy, realizing his error, blushed.
“Sorry, Mr. Fairweather, I thought you were the, um…” he cleared his throat, “the manager. First day, sorry.”
Second, a shot. During my intervention, Mrs. Amal produced a Derringer from her garter and put a bullet neatly through the old boy’s heart. He didn’t say another word, only sighed a little and fell to the carpet heavily.
“Right, that’s done, then,” I said and offered the widow Amal and hand up from her place on the floor.
I feel like this would be performed by either Tom Waits or Strugill Simpson.
Oh yeah, thank you, Galen. Totally with you on Tom Waits but I have no idea who Strugill is.
I like your story. I think I like them every week, even when I don’t have time to put one in.
That’s a good respin right there! Myth debunker!! Well handled!
Wonderful! I enjoy trying new things week to week, and this makes it even better!
Bless you, Fran. That is a word I rarely, if ever, hear to describe my work.
Microcosms 214 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 214 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 214 – your free, weekly flash fiction […]
Librarian / Secret Research Facility / Fairy Tale
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including a series of derivative works.
Once there was a mean, lonely woman who worked in books. She didn’t write books, though, for she had no imagination. She only had loneliness, which turned to bitterness, as wine turns to vinegar.
“Rotten kids with their filthy hands. Always touching everything!” she’d whisper as she slammed books into place on the shelves. Nobody came to the library, so Agnes Hook took the books from the shelves herself mornings, and put them away again afternoons. What the children didn’t know, nor the teachers, the school nurse, or the principal either, is that Agnes kept secret notes on the children. Dozens of files were hidden all through her library.
“Poor Ms. Agnes Hook,” the children sang. “She doesn’t know how to cook, she only has her books, and if you stop to look, she’ll drown you in the brook!”
“I’ll show those rotten children!” she vowed. An idea came to her! She worked feverishly, consulting her books, and drawing up her plans.
The next week, she took all the kids to a nearby riverbank to observe nature, get fresh air, and then Agnes Hook could tie one wicked child to another and drown them all.
“Look here, Ms. Hook! Someone has dumped a pile of books into the brook! Hurry, look!” the children cried. The children knew, in their wickedness, knew she couldn’t stand the idea of books being ruined by getting dumped in the water.
“Where? Where are they?!” Ms. Hook asked. Without warning, the children pushed her into the river. Every time she tried to swim ashore, the children drove her back by pelting her with rocks. They laughed their wicked laughter as she succumbed to exhaustion and drowned. The school never hired another librarian, and no one ever found her secret notes detailing how truly evil each of the schoolchildren were and so they grew up and lived their terrible lives.
I love love love this very much! Perfect micro fairytale. You’ve really captured the essence!
Love the use of the rhythm and the words to create the tone! Great work!
Love love love. A perfectly captured fairytale in a micro
I love the ideas behind this.
A great write. Unique! Well done!
Thank you for your kindness, Jaime. It was your enthusiasm on X that led me to write it in the first place. Sometimes I really need a push. But then, where is your story, Jaime?
And, as she began to laugh, her head fell off.
I think that might be the most perfect ending I’ve read this week. Well done.
Thank you, Galen. One of my favourite sayings is you’ve never known love till you’ve tasted the kiss of a camel. I’ve thought of Mavis a lot this week. But, can I just say how much I enjoyed your fairy tale. Did Ms Hook really drown? She had so much cruelty to offer. What a character.
Oh, that’s lovely. Especially the dogs, except my dog doesn’t think so since she hates all the other dogs, but she’s wrong.
by Vicky Hinault
Inmate/ Secret Research Facility/ Sci Fi
@StayTrueCreate on Twitter/BlueSky/Instagram
Yes, I’m open to derivative works.
“Come on,” his hushed order was accompanied by a wave of the hand.
Bugs, affectionately named after his penchant for eating insects due to the ceaseless hunger, followed.
His orange jumpsuit brightened under the swirl of silent redlight alarm as he met up with the crouching, wiry frame of Giles who silently signalled instructions.
Bugs met the orders with blank stare. Giles despaired and repeated them in a whisper
“10 steps, door on right, you guard, I enter.”
Bugs grunted in agreement.
The door was where Giles had said and the handle gave way under the correct pressure at the correct angle as planned. He counted to 7 under his anxious breaths and opened the door cautiously, peering through the gap before staring back at Bugs in alarm.
“What?” asked Bugs.
“Wait here,” instructed Giles.
He disappeared through the door, ignoring Bugs’ question.
Inside the room, bodies, suspended in stasis inside tall tubes hung limply in the contained fluid. He looked at the security screens – inmates sleeping in their cells – then back to the tubes. The same inmates but in a different kind of sleep.
Slack jawed and silent, he approached the tube containing “Bugs” and tapped the glass. No movement.
He turned, searching the room with his eyes but stumbled backwards as he set sights on ‘himself’. Breathing through his panic he approached the tube, inspecting this version of himself carefully.
Then he looked up at the label, “Soul extraction: September 19th 2004.”
His eyes moved as he digested this information and caught sight of his reflection in the glass tube. He noticed red text running over his eye which he sounded out loud.
He turned again, confusion reigning until it clicked and he sounded it backwards. “PROCESSING”.
This made me genuinely laugh! Great work!
Thank you, Vicky. So happy you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing CYBORG. Really liked it. Clearly this inmate and secret research facility prompt opened up some interesting ideas.
Lol – little dig at DW there?! Fun read with strong characters.
Such a vibrant and beautiful world you’ve created here!
The mood of the character really shines through in this piece and I love the little lift of humour at the end! Great piece!
Amazing job Fran, beautifully written and a great ending suggesting that there may be hope for this world. I love it!
And It Was Spring
Spy/Inside a Movie/Fairytale
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via Gmail for more information.
It was winter. A beautiful girl looked wistfully out the window at the snow falling on the grass outside the castle. Her white dress hugged her flawless body, and her mouth’s corners were always slightly lifted in a polite smile.
She sat there peacefully, unaware of the men spying on her from outside the computer. And she waited for spring. She dreamt of a prince that would rescue her from unforeseen trouble and they’d wed in the garden outside that would bloom with flowers.
One of the men accidently spilled water on the computer. The girl’s world glitched.
“Something is wrong with the program!” a man shouted.
That’s strange. The girl couldn’t recall a time when she wasn’t waiting by this window. Perhaps, until spring arrives, she can do other things?
“We’re losing control! Spring must come now!” a man called.
The male animators created wind to push away clouds, revealing the sun that melted the snow, drawing flowers instead.
“What’s happening?” the girl asked aloud in a hoarse, confused voice.
“Why is it talking, thinking?? Bring on the hurricane!”
Wide-eyed, the girl spotted a massive hurricane approaching. The danger she wished to be saved from didn’t seem romantic anymore. She ran towards the exit, but the men locked it.
She was trapped.
Suddenly, in the corner of the room, the prince of her dreams appeared.
Then, the window splashed into pieces by the hurricane.
She looked at the prince waiting for her to come. She hesitated, but then she knew what to do. She ran towards the broken window, leaping out to freedom.
“End the program,” the men decided.
A sharp stick lifted by the hurricane’s wind went through her stomach. Blood splattered and stained her white dress.
The hurricane faded, revealing the blue skies.
And it was spring.
Thank you, Fran. I really enjoyed your story. Thank you for sharing it here.
Oh how well you know me, Laura. So happy you loved it. Your story clearly heralds the start of a series of adventures for the brilliantly named Paige Turner.
Love it. I feel emotional reading towards the end.
by Jaime Bree
Inmate/ Secret Research Facility/ Sci Fi/ Firefighter/ Ancient Library
Yes, I’m open to derivative works
The book signing was slow, but she knew he’d come. Years of honing her skills had brought unwanted attention and although they’d locked her away in this remote place, it didn’t make any difference.
Setting a realistic scene drained most her energy, but it was necessary to contact him.
Her power, invisible to those who thought they were containing it, seeped through the walls into the real world. Her ‘other’ self, her holographic form, went with it. For the unsuspecting, she was entirely real and so was the ancient library she sat in.
People wandered over out of interest, some recognised her from advertising she’d painstakingly posted on social media, all part of the ruse, all whilst confined to a small white-walled room.
In this room, observed 24/7, men scratched notes onto clipboards and yawned through her moments of inertia. In her projected world she scratched signatures onto books and drummed her fingers on the desk as she waited.
What both her forms knew, however, was she was running out of time. For him to arrive. For them to realise what she was doing in front of their eyes.
He entered the library right on time at dusk. She knew it was him when he spoke.
‘I had the urge to be here. I don’t know why’, he said.
She drew out a book from the pile. This book detailed what would happen in mere months, had instructions on how to fight when the time came and contained a map to a portal that would reset time. Only she knew how. Now he would.
‘What do you do?’ she asked him.
‘I fight fire’ he replied.
She signed the book and pushed it towards him knowing that was exactly what would be needed when the war came.
Microcosms 213 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 213 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 213! This week, we are pleased to continue with […]
Thanks so much, Geoff. So happy you enjoyed it.
The Plot Thickens
Space Tourist / Skyscraper / Action
I am open to derivative works.
When the dust finally clears again, I’m on the roof of some tall building. I’m stiff and sore, and I have trouble getting to my feet. It’s freezing, and the sky is iron gray. It takes several tries to remove a sealed helmet I don’t remember putting on. Bits of ice buffet my cheeks as I look around. Viewfinders stand on top of a tall concrete wall. Steel mesh is strung between iron pilings, preventing jumpers, I assume. It’s a long way down. People and cars on the street below look like ants from up here. I head toward the door. The warm air inside hits me like a wave and I stop to savor it. When I look up, Marie is there, rushing toward me, face streaming with tears. The wondering is pushed to the back of my brain by her first words.
“One hundred yards away.” She grabs my arm and steers me toward the bank of elevators.
“How did you know I would be here?” I pull back, thinking I need to stay close to where the portal dropped me off so I wouldn’t miss the next departure.
“Come on, we don’t have much time.”
“Time for what?”
“Look, Jeanie, do you want to travel forever?” Cryptic response. For me, it’s only been a few hours, but Marie looks about ten years older than she did before. I shrug and follow her. Going out past security, the guard stops us.
“Didn’t I tell you no tourists allowed?” he demands. I spot a key around his neck, a twin to mine! As I zero in on him, his eyes narrow, and his hand goes to his gun. I smile and pull my key out on its chain. His eyes widen, and he prostrates himself.
“My Queen!” he grovels.
What an amazing imagination! Loved it.
Sharks Don’t Eat Cotton Candy
Mime / Shark Attack / Comedy
I am open to derivative works.
Dressed in full costume, Miles stood on the pier and gestured at passersby. His makeup portrayed a sad clown, the corners of his mouth drawn down and tears standing out red and blue on his white cheeks. His movements were sharp and defined, making him, he thought, the best show on the boardwalk. His cap lay upside down on the splintered wood with only a few coins and a lonely dollar bill inside. At the shore, a group of boisterous boys made their way down the gangplank, cutting up large. At the cotton candy stand, they overturned the vat allowing long sticky strings to blow away in the wind, sticking on hair, and jackets, and pants. At the fresh fish stand, they dumped the offal buckets into the sea and stole crabs and lobsters, chasing girls with them and laughing at their screams. Miles watched them come, fear making his heart pound at first, then curling the corners of his mouth as an idea snaked its way into his head. He went into his box routine, edging his way over to the edge by the fish stand where the waters were beginning to roil. One boy, the largest and meanest, therefore the leader, spotted Miles and with a nasty grin headed toward him. Miles stayed serenely in his box. At the last minute, he swung out with his hip and the boy tumbled over the side. As fins showed up, he started to thrash, the water turned red, and Miles mimicked his movements. No one noticed but his friends. They only saw Miles. And it looked like they were joining in, with their jumping up and down and their frantic waving. Everyone on the pier gave Miles a standing ovation, impressed that he had included those boys in his act.
Don’t Be Off Your Guard In A Game Of Charades
Mime / Shark Attack / Comedy
By Jaime Bree
‘It’s a beetle.’
‘No, hang on, hang on, I’ve got it… your grandma.’
‘Ok. Possibly that was offensive. It’s…’
‘In the water?… Finally!’
‘I don’t get the hand on your head.’
‘No. Nope. Still not getting it. Loser?’
‘Not you, darling. I meant do you mean loser? Someone is a loser? No? Ok.’
‘Water… swimming… hand on head, like a, like… you’re drowning… who am I kidding? I’m drowning here… Er… er… I know. It’s a fin? You’re a fish.’
‘Finger. Fish finger?’
‘Well you’re gritting your teeth so I …’
‘You’re pointing to your watch. Is that part of the mime?’
‘More gritting. And snarling… And pointing. Frantic… Saliva… Definite saliva. Pointing. Oh, oh, ok, I get it. We’re running out of time.’
‘Well, if you did something that showed me anything about what it is I’m supposed to guess, my love, that would help… your chin? A fin and your chin? And something to do with having a swim?’
‘Keep your head above water? No that would be stupid especially if you had your hand on your head. I mean, who could stay above water like that. Idiot thing to…’
‘Sweetie? Is the knife part of the charade or…?’
‘It’s a slasher movie?…’
Brilliant and witty!
One of your best opening paragraphs ever!
Never team up with the other half!
Microcosms 212 + The Karen Cox Prize for Entertaining Short Fiction (Flash Fiction Contest) MC 212 Flash Fiction Contest Greetings, flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 212! This week, we are pleased to continue with […]
A Slight Mistake.
Wedding Planner/Wine Cellar/Horror
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including audio productions. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.
The Merlot dribbles in a clockwise flow from a small slit in the wooden barrel. The dim light, escaping from the flickering fluorescent tube, enhances the dark crimson colour of the wine.
Dave, lying on the cold, stone cellar slabs, mouth open, catching every drop of the vintage red, isn’t appreciating the soft tannins nor the wild fruit flavours. No, he is simply getting drunk.
Above him, in the white linen-lined room, is the bride, scrunched in a corner near the fallen, layered cake. From a distance, the white dress appears to be covered in intricately embroidered red roses, the colour of wine. Closer inspection would reveal that, although it is a liquid, it has never seen the inside of a barrel. Unfortunately for the bride, she had recently seen the outside of a double-barrel. So had the groom. A real shotgun wedding.
ABBA plays on.
Dave closes his mouth for a few seconds, allowing the cool, scarlet stream to roll over his lips. Somewhere in the distance a siren screams. The police probably won’t get too many invites to weddings. They’ll have to radio through to their ambulance friends when they discover what awaits them behind the large, wooden doors. Gatecrashers.
Dave is aware that the carnage is all his fault, so he reopens his mouth and allows a self-service refill. His back is getting stiff and his thoughts are growing blurry. Images of knives and flashing guns zip through his mind.
Being a professional wedding planner he should never have made such a blunder.
He should have double checked.
The bride had used his services for her first wedding. Dave had mistakenly sent the invites for her second big day to all the friends and family of her first husband.
Dark and Spiraling
Wedding Planner/Wine Cellar/Horror
Yes, I am open to derivative works, including themed and/or corporate-sponsored outer space colonies.
Aiden stepped further into the tunnel, certain the other man living his life would be found within. The noise of the reception upstairs grew quieter, faded, and died in the close black silence. Past the rows of racks, bottles resting dusty and serene, and into the tunnel.
“The tunnel will spiral down into a place where no light or sound can reach,” he whispered to himself as he let a hand trail the rough stone, though it came away wet, and sticky. Aiden wasn’t sure if the stone was wet, or if it was him. He let his mind wander as he pushed further into the darkness.
For weeks he’d catch sight of himself, reflected in a mirror, or a window. A puddle. The man peering back wasn’t him; it wasn’t even someone he knew.
“The Montclair has a wonderful ballroom and plenty of parking, too,” he remembered saying, though not exactly when. The details of the other man’s life were slipping around in his mind, but he’d find him and a place to be quiet, both.
When he judged he’d gone far enough down, Aiden dropped to his hands and knees and felt around in the soft, warm dirt until he felt an elbow, an ear. He read the braille of the other man’s form and his mouth moved with each discovery.
“An ear, a hoof, and these are his gnarled fingers,” he whispered, “teeth and cheeks and his long, crooked spine.” Aiden curled himself into the stranger’s waiting embrace and sighed. He’d found himself after all.
Wedding Planner / Wine Cellar / Horror
I am open to derivative works.
By the time I felt solid ground beneath me, my hands were frozen around the rings, and it took several tries before I could let them go. There was something I was forgetting but I was having trouble thinking. It was dark and smelled faintly of fermented grapes. I fumbled in my pocket for my phone, the dim light making me feel better at once. I was in a narrow, stone-lined room. Row after row of wine bottles marched along one wall and shelves of amber fluid in squat bottles adorned the other. The door opened and in stumbled an inebriated woman with a large wineglass in one hand. A light bloomed, making me squint.
“Five on the nose!” she announced.
All of my hairs stood up and said hello. My heart joined the process as I moved closer, pounding hard inside my chest. This person looked like my sister, only much older.
She nodded, almost falling down in the process.
“I threw you a party.” She gestured toward the door, where I could now hear the regular thump of bass drums.
“How did you know?”
“Every day, Jeanie. You show up here at the same time every day!”
“Wait, I just left. This is my first stop.”
She burst into tears.
“Oh my God, Jeanie! What are we gonna do?”
My memory handed me a déjà vu just as the rumble started again.
“I don’t know. What have we done before?”
“Everything!” she screamed. I grabbed a bottle of amber, popped the cork, and gulped a mouthful. It burned all the way down, but now I was fully awake. The package! It was still in the post office box. But now I was too far away. The whirlwind roared into existence.
I would have nothing to hold onto…
I see what you’re doing here…
Yay! It was fun to challenge myself even more. Too bad I didn’t include a wedding…I was thinking party planner.
Nasty! You made that very real.
I was kinda thinking that but wanted to come clean. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!
Nice! Gave me a little shiver.
Title: Just Desserts
Wedding Planner/Wine Cellar/Horror
Yes, I am open to derivative works. Please contact me via one of the above channels for more information.
‘Seriously? I told you I’m not going down there.’
‘It’s our job, Stacey, they made their choice and you have to go fetch it.’
‘Do you know what they say about this place?’
‘I’ve heard the rumours, but that’s all they are. This is our big break.’
‘I can’t believe you chose here to start a business.’
‘It’s the most prestigious castle in Europe. Rooms to die for and the most extensive selection of wines in the world. We’re going to make big bucks this weekend.’
‘There’s a reason no one ever comes here.’
‘Well, I’m very persuasive. They’re here getting high on the atmosphere and drugs and hoping to wash it down with a very, very expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, so get yourself down there.’
‘What’s with the hesitation?’
‘I’m just realising why horror movies have idiots going down into dark cellars.’
‘Jesus, Stacey, what took so long? The guests have almost finished their mains.’
‘The stupid light didn’t work, then I fumbled for a torch and that was shaky, plus, I was literally crapping myself with every step, but you know, the wine choice is more important.’
‘Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t take how afraid you were seriously. You really do look pale, you sure you’re ok?’
‘Just shook up, and I feel so hungry, I don’t think I’ve eaten all day.’
‘We’ve been busy. Give me the bottles, I’ll go serve the bride and groom.’
‘It’s ok, I’ll do it. You’ve been working flat out, and don’t worry, I’ll be the perfect host.’
‘Christ, Stacey, why are all the guests… what the fuck happened? They’re… there’s so… much… blood. I don’t understand. I don’t…’
‘I told you I was hungry. Shame they didn’t get to the dessert course. I spent ages making that cheesecake.’
Dark and creepy very psycho with only a hint about what happens.
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