Poll

Vote for your three favorites...

All In A Day's Work
A Nice Day
My Part of Town
Payback
Blood on the Carpet Tiles
No Need to Lie
Jessie
OMG I killed Santa
Death and Laughter

Author Topic: Flash Fiction Challenge #23 - The Vote  (Read 963 times)

Offline Don

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Flash Fiction Challenge #23 - The Vote
« on: December 08, 2010, 12:51:55 AM »
Here are nine stories of mayhem to delight you.

Everyone get three votes. Keep score as you read or you'll never remember which ones you liked. Voting ends December 17th at midnight.

1. All In A Day’s Work    

“Christ! He stabbed me, he stabbed my blocked arm. What am I gonna do?” Nobby shrieked and danced about gripping the wound and releasing it to inspect it every now and again. It was only a long, shallow slice – no arterial spurt.
    “Shuddup! Nobby, Nobby, stand still for chrissakes, let us have a look at it,” I said. If I couldn’t calm the bugger down the bizzies would soon know where to come. I’d surmised that if the wound were all that debilitating he would have passed out by now, or perhaps be dead. Amateur!
     Nobby finally stopped his perverse jig, moaning softly now. I got him to hold it hard and grabbed a bar towel from the counter. Nobody noticed, they were all too busy staring at the body on the floor. Death has always held a morbid fascination for folk so I took advantage of their transfixion and helped Nobby out through the door beside the cellar.
     I checked over my shoulder to make sure no one had scoped us and made a quick assessment. The fracas had been a swift encounter with Nobby stalking his victim and presenting a surprise attack while he sat with the young trade girls in their low cut tops and thigh high boots. One blow was all it took, but Jerry, the corpse now lying in a pool of blood on the floor had managed to pull his own knife in his dying throes and swiped the blade at Nobby as he fell. Jerry wasn’t groaning but the screams, squeals and wails of the onlookers, especially the girls covered in blood spray provided enough distraction for our exit.
     At least the boss would be happy the job was done, Nobby still needed practice though…another day, another nonce.


2. A Nice Day

A cold, dark night with swirling mists that curled like cigarette smoke in the graveyard, no, it wasn’t like that.

Scheming at length, planning everything, not a trace left behind when they discovered the body, no, it wasn’t like that.

An angry lover driven to desperation by his partner’s infidelity suddenly goes berserk, picks up the nearest heavy object and bludgeons her to death, no, it wasn’t like that.

A phial of venom from the tiny Golden Poison Frog from Colombia, smuggled into a restaurant kitchen and secretly mixed with the victim’s food, no, it wasn’t like that.

Planted in the market place early Saturday morning, an innocent dustbin laden with explosives and ball bearings, detonated at midday to cause maximum mayhem and death, no, it wasn’t like that.

Cold crypts with echoing footfalls growing closer, ever closer, raised hackles on the back of a neck, heart thumping like an express train in a heaving chest covered with flesh the texture of a plucked chicken, no, it wasn’t like that.

Was it a nice day?

“Yes it was, late afternoon in fact, I’d been out with friends at the game, and was driving them home. I took a short cut through the Woodlands Estate, thought it would be quicker, we were laughing and joking about the way the game turned out. Hey! We won, I looked over my shoulder at Paul, saw his eyes and mouth open simultaneously in a look of fear, then a series of bangs seemed to hit the front of the car and the windscreen shattered even before I could turn around”.

“She lay in the middle of the road, arms and legs akimbo, bloody rivulets from her mouth and ears combined to pool beside her. I blame that last beer.”!


3. My Part of Town


Vladimir had just lit his smoke when distress cried.

“Help!”

A woman’s voice, possibly in her late teens to early twenties, out where she shouldn’t have strolled alone, maybe cute, he’d have to see. Two more puffs and then he snubbed its remains with the others on the gravelled roof-top. About twenty, burnt, nicotine-soaked soldiers lay cluttered at different angles at his feet.

Christ, he’d have to give that shit up.

Letting himself fall the ten stories to a concrete ground, he hit and then began running. Vladimir ignored the cringes of flight from low-lives hiding in the alleys. They were waifs of life.

At last he came upon their disturbance.

Two large men enclosed a small woman in fear. Tight-pressed against weathered red bricks she looked every inch a damsel.

One thug busied himself with her flat leather purse, rifled through with his meaty fingers, discarded the vestiges of her past life; snap-shots taken, saved memories.

“Twenty bucks.” He threw her remains to the ground, “Shit. What else you got?”

The other; slimmer in build, was already ogling her body. Dirty fingers probed every opened orifice and his excitement tainted the air.

It was Vladimir’s laugh at their amusement which caught everyone’s attention.

The larger one snarled out a crude greeting.

“Fuck off!”

Cooled by Vladimir‘s dead skin, the steel rondel slipped from its hiding place. Well honed instincts and super-human strength allow him to throw straight and bury its point deep into the big man’s forehead. The hilt stuck there, quivered, warmed against last thoughts.

In his dying moment; with the two slowed by comprehension of that fact, he reached and took their lives, and then drained them all dry.

Back on his rooftop, Vladimir lit another smoke, tried to enjoy time.

“Help!”

Another interruption.


4. PAYBACK

I lied on the stand, said I didn’t recognize the man that invaded our home, tied me up, and killed my wife and son. They let him go. Gloating as he walked out of the courtroom, high-fiving his buddies.

I ached to do it quickly, but I knew the killing would be more satisfying delayed. So I spent my days liquidating assets. Sold the house for a loss. Cashed in our, I mean my, savings. Gathered up all the gear I needed. I kept only the car.

I moved into a pay-by-the-week hotel in the bad end of town as John Smith. They didn’t give a shit as long as I paid up front. Then I started tracking him. I kept well back and followed him to as many places as I could without being seen. Got to know his routine.

I did it one night when he left a club he drank at. Zapped him with a stun gun while he was opening his car door, cuffed him, gagged him, and threw him in the trunk of my car.

I had already scouted out a place to do the work, an abandoned factory. I opened the trunk and zapped him again; threw him onto the concrete floor. I sat patiently until he came to.

I turned the flashlight on my face. “Remember me? You took my life.”

“No. They found me not guilty. You can’t do this.”

"I wish I could kill you a thousand times. But one will have to do." I blinded him with an icepick then gutshot him with my .357. I sat back and waited as he thrashed and screamed. It took a long time. I didn’t care. I had no place to be, no one to meet.


5. Blood on the Carpet Tiles

Five dead, beaten to death with one of Guildford Library's pristine copies of Wolf Hall. The Booker Prize committee must surely accept some responsibility, yet the inquest concluded: death by misadventure.

Pugh had been fifth in line at the check-out. He peered down his nose at the dimwits ahead of him clutching their John Grishams. They wouldn't know a quality book if it fell on them. He thumbed the pages of Wolf Hall, scanning Mantel's magnificent prose, almost tumescent with anticipation. Suddenly a phrase span off the page and slapped him across the face. His neatly trimmed moustache bristled with annoyance.

"You alright?" a bearded man, wearing socks and sandals, asked him.

Pugh shook his head. "Booker book. It's … bollocks."
 
"I'm not surprised mate. You should try Terry Pratchett instead. Wizards 'n stuff."

Pugh stared at the man. "No, you don't understand. Bite your bollocks off, that's …"

A flustered octogenarian dropped her large-print copy of Murder at the Vicarage onto Pugh's foot. Pugh, still shaken by Mantel's betrayal of common decency, and now in severe pain from a fractured distal phalange, lashed out at the woman, using his copy of Wolf Hall as a bludgeon.

Ten minutes later, the library floor was littered with dead and dying bibliophiles, and the sound of police sirens filled the streets of Guildford.

They found Pugh in the CD library. He'd slit his wrists with a recording of Winston Churchill's speeches. As he lay dying, bleeding to death all over the Abba discs, his final words were clearly audible on the CCTV footage: "I should have stayed in and watched Countdown."


6. No Need To Lie

I was returning from a week long business trip, tired and looking forward to getting home. Turning onto the dirt road leading to my country home lifted my spirits.

Unlocked the frond door but didn’t hear the expected paws scrambling over tile and wooden floors. No sounds. My Dobie was always Johnny on the spot to welcome me home. Hairs on the back of my neck came to attention.

“Rusty,” I called, expecting him to come running.

Ignoring the light switch I had been about to flip, I moved into the shadows, then into the living room.

The fading sunset through the windows showed nothing out of place. Removing my shoes, I went into the dinning-room and finally the kitchen. No outside light here, I stood listening for any wayward sound.

Realizing this wasn’t accomplishing anything, I flipped the light on.

There he sat. Grinning like a bear enjoying a honey-comb.

“Hi Sweetheart, have a good trip?”

He acted like he didn’t know he had just scared the shit out of me; like he still had a right to pop in unannounced.

Guess me telling him we were through and retrieving my keys at gun-point, didn’t drive the point home.

“Get out of here,” I said.

“It’s okay, Honey, I decided to let you forgive me.”  Rising from the chair, he started toward me just as Rusty flew through his dog-door and with a mighty lunge, knocked him over, gripped his throat and buried his fangs deep.

When I was sure he breathed his last, I rang 911.

 “I need help. There’s a man is in my home.”

“Well, he doesn’t seem to be breathing.”

“No, he was attacked by my guard dog.”  

“Yes, I know him.”

“No, I just returned from a business trip and found him here when I arrived.”


7. Jessie

Jessie studied the notebook. Her daughter left it out last night, something she'd never done before. Maybe it was deliberate, maybe not. Shaking, she stumbled over to the armchair by the window and continued to read its poisonous contents. She never knew how much her daughter hated her. Now she saw it in her daughter’s untidy handwriting, scrawled in large letters across the centre of the page. How to murder your mother.

The details read like a plot for a book, could that be what it was? Laura always said she wanted to be a writer. Either way the information in it was not good to read.

Taking a deep breath and a large gulp of her tea Jessie carried on reading. After the pages describing her murder plot Laura dropped another bomb shell. Somewhere out in the world Jessie had a granddaughter, the child of her only child.

Laura didn't say whether the child lived or died, just that she had been born last June. During the time she spent with her father. Colin should have known, but Laura claimed she kept her secret. She described the child as a squalling nuisance, a thing she wanted to get rid of.  

Now Jessie knew she would have to find the child and confront her daughter. Finding the child would be by far the better task. Confronting Laura with her drug friends and bad habits, her rudeness and her violent temper did not appeal to Jessie at all.

So she picked up the phone book and called Citizens Advice. Was it all just another way for Laura to hurt Jessie, had she deliberately left the notebook where she knew her mother would find it? Jessie put the phone down before someone answered it. First she had to confront her daughter.


8. OMG I Killed Santa

I am sick of it all. Sick of the non-stop music. Sick of the crowds and the noise. Especially the screaming kids. And if all that isn't enough, I look ridiculous. This skirt is too short, the hat never stays in place and the shoes... ugh. Most irritating of all is the fat guy. But I'm on break now, alone in the room so I can sit down and relax a bit.

"Well there's my favourite elf!" a loud voice boomed. I rolled my eyes. "Lots of good boys and girls today, eh Mary?" Too many.

"Yep there are," I dutifully responded.

"Come here, you have to see this!" he boomed overly loud. I waited as he opened his locker and pulled something off the top shelf.

On the table, he unrolled a canvass pouch and displayed a brand new set of hunting knives. Three silvery shafts of steel glinted in the light. "My boy's into hunting now. Squirrel. Rabbit. Deer. Maybe even reindeer someday!" He guffawed at that last bit, seeing as he was dressed up as Santa Claus.

I snapped. Stress pushed me over the edge along with this man's raucous laughter at the idea of his son hunting reindeer. My hand darted out and grabbed the biggest of the three knives and I jammed it right into his chest. He dropped to the ground instantly.

Oh god. I killed Santa Claus! I stared down at his body, a slightly used knife protruding from his chest.

"Mary? Mary! Wake up!" A kick to my foot and I jerk awake. "C'mon. Break's over. Santa's line is getting too long."

I sit up and run back out to the mall's center stage. There he is, sitting with another crying child on his lap. And not very dead at all.


9. Death and Laughter

They say you see your life flash before your eyes just before you die, but that's not what's happening to me.  My flash is nothing more than reliving my final minutes, or rather, what led up to my current situation… I wonder if that's what other people see as well…

Monday morning, 8am, my alarm goes off as normal. I get up with a groan, walk to the window and grudgingly open the curtains.  What I see is not what I normally see from my first story apartment.  I see smoke billowing from downtown, a lot of it.

As I begin to ponder what might be going on I hear a deafening crack. The building begins to convulse; I jump out the window and run into the street.  I turn around to see my apartment building half destroyed, the remaining section becoming rapidly engulfed in the spreading flames.

Are we being invaded? Is it a large-scale terrorist attack?  But my questions are quickly interrupted with the sound of laughter coming from down the street.  But this is no normal laughter, it's the laughter that reminds me of a child as he burns ants with his magnifying glass.  The laughter doesn't last long though, only a few seconds before a new explosion erupts in its place.  It wasn't a building that blew up or a car, but nothing, the explosion seemed to just appear out of nowhere.

Some people are running and screaming, some are crying, some are just standing still.  The distant laughter continues, the explosions continue, the death continues.  

Panic swells inside me. Is this the end?  Am I going to die? Once again my thoughts are interrupted by laughter, but this time it's coming from right behind me…

« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 01:07:45 AM by don86usa »
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.