Poll

Please vote for your 1st and 2nd choices

Glimpsing Heaven
3 (10.7%)
Silk
6 (21.4%)
Gotcha!
1 (3.6%)
See You at 8
7 (25%)
Fallen Angel
7 (25%)
Gravity
3 (10.7%)
Untitled
1 (3.6%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Voting closed: September 25, 2011, 05:08:47 AM

Author Topic: Flash Fiction #33 VOTE NOW!  (Read 1004 times)

Offline Chrissie

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Flash Fiction #33 VOTE NOW!
« on: September 20, 2011, 05:08:47 AM »
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Glimpsing Heaven

     Had the artifact been found by anyone else,  it would have been photographed, written up, then safely tucked away in a museum case instead of becoming the instrument of both rapture and misery for so many.  But Dr Alex Malasri had a particular genius devoid of moral distraction.  He manipulated the relic, deciphered it . He did not fear it.   Dr Alex Malasri discovered the genetic code of God, and found the key heaven.
                  
#
     “You know this is completely illegal?”  Karina’s heels clicked loudly on the vinyl floor as she tried to keep up with Alex.
    
     “Ms. Thorpe, you do tend to exaggerate don’t you?  I’m sorry you find fault with our methods here at Sanctuary Hospice, but we aren’t’ breaking any laws.”
    
     Katina darted around a woman slowly wheeling her way up the hall and grabbed Alex’s elbow.  “Could you please just slow down?”
    
     “Lot’s to do, Ms Thorpe, lot’s to do and the clock is ticking.”  They paused at the TV. room and Alex stuck his head in and chatted with one of the old men.  Karina caught her breath while he finished.
  
      “And what about the risks?  You know about the Sterk-Banks study.  You know the implications.”
    
      “That was one study, my dear.  As yet no one else has replicated the outcome.  No one else has found a correlation between the procedure  and the . . .complications.”
    
     “You can’t risk it, Alex.  You know, deep down you know what happens to them.”
    
     Alex stopped abruptly and put his hands on her shoulders.  “Look, Karina, they are volunteers.  They make the choice, not me.  They believe it is worth any risk. For one moment, they touch God.”
    
     “Jesus, you promise them so much, you lie to them. “  They stared at each other an uncomfortable moment before Mr. Maxwell clomped in.
    
      “I’ve changed my mind,” he said.  “I DO want to go to heaven.”
                  
#
         
     On the day of the procedure, Karina sat in the observation room watching a nurse adjust lights and tinker with machinery.
    
      “Ah, Missus Thorpe.  Come to bear witness to the ‘miracle’?”
    
      “Father Terry, hello.”  Karina managed a half smile.  
    
      “Why do you do it, dear? Why do you continue to come and watch when it troubles you so?”
    
      “As you said,  I come to bear witness.”  Karina turned to face him.  “It’s unnatural, what they are doing.  It’s not right. And they’ve announced they are going to take non-terminal patients soon.”
    
      Father Terry rubbed his eyes roughly as if to erase all vision, and then sighed.    “Is it so bad to want a glimpse of heaven, perhaps the only one you’ll ever have?”
    
      “It is for the ones that can’t bear life here by comparison.  What about them, Father?  They’re the ones that end up on my ward.  They’re the ones for whom the loss is too great.”  
    
     They sat together, Father Terry watching for the proof he’d always needed, Karina waiting to pick up the pieces after the fall.



Silk

I'm not sure if the devil usually makes phone calls, but he did that day.

"Is that Mr Pigg?" a voice asked in an egregious Scottish accent. I didn’t bother replying, I just replaced the receiver in the cradle. Whatever El Jocko was peddling I didn’t need it and I didn’t want to waste my time debating that fact. The strange thing was, I couldn’t seem to release the handset: my fingers gripped it tightly and refused to let go. I raised my hand and flapped it about a bit. No change. I assumed I had cramp … or worse, perhaps some kind of terminal disease.

Before I could even get into a panic wondering if phone-gripping was a symptom of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, my arm began to bend (unbidden) and pushed the headset back up to my ear. The voice said, "Now, now, Mr Pigg, where are your manners?"

I've encountered many strange things in my life – for example there was that bishop's daughter who had ginger armpit hair on one side and jet-black armpit hair on the other; she wasn't even French – but this phone thing was even weirder than that. "Bugger off," I shouted down the phone. My arm (unbidden) raised itself above my head and crashed the phone down onto my forehead like a telekinetic Glaswegian kiss.

"Do I have your attention yet, son? I am the angel Lucifer, the fallen angel, and I need your advice. So stop arsing aboot. I've got a parole hearing coming up with Big G and I'm hoping this time he'll let me back into the crew."

"Good luck," I said. "Now if that's all, I'm afraid I must go. I need to put a bandage on my cracked forehead. So if you wouldn't mind …"

"Not so fast, son. You're that flash lawyer who defended whatshisname. The bloke was a corrupt corporate banker Monday to Friday and a mass-murdering, paedophile at week-ends and you got him off scot-free. And you forced the CPS to issue a full apology. You're a legal miracle worker and I need a legal miracle."

I took a deep breath. I tried to flex my phone-gripping fingers: no joy. "Listen, divine providence is not my speciality, but I'll do a deal with you. If I help you and you achieve the desired result, then I get your soul. Basically, you're my bitch for eternity. Deal?"

"OK, but no win, no fee."

I agreed and began explaining the plan. "You start by getting something on the judge. They all have things they're hiding, be it drugs, prostitutes, or just a perversion like wearing their wife's undies in court. Anyway, then …"

My arm (unbidden) raised itself above my head and crashed the phone down onto my forehead. And again. And again.

I awoke to the sound of a dialling tone and a pervasive smell of sulphur and crispy bacon. Oh well, some you win and some you lose.



Gotcha!

In drunken gibbers Constance entertained the thought that ‘agronomist’ went very well with their names. It made them sound like latter day saints. The definition didn’t really live up to the name’s romance, but they weren’t bothered.
    
     Constance and Gemma took drinks after dinner and met a group of ‘gentlemen’ on a stag weekend. They all wore identical ties and looked like estate agents. For the weekend they had adopted their mother’s names, so introduced themselves as such, and for a long time refused to reveal their real identities. Other game players – this could be fun.
    
     When ‘Florence’ challenged them to guess ‘Shirley’s’ occupation, stakes were set for a correct answer; in one guess, free drinks all night, in two, a bottle of champagne, in three, large gins for each of them. ‘Shirley’ was confident about ‘What’s My Line?’ too cocksure by half.
    
     They conferred, asked if they were allowed any clues and told they weren’t. “Allow us to chat with you just for five minutes, and any questions we ask, you have to answer honestly. Yeah?”
    
     ‘Shirley’ agreed and for five, timed minutes they quizzed him. His answers were no help whatsoever. Defeat to such an arrogant prat, maddened them. ‘Shirley’ eased up on them and offered the same odds if they could say what he did if he told them his title. Constance and Gemma reckoned they had nothing to lose. “What if he says he’s a plant operator? Could involve any sort of machinery.”
    
     “If he says he’s a plant operator I’m a tree surgeon,” Gemma quipped.
    
     “It could be any job with any duties. How would you describe teaching for this?”
    
     “I’d say futures. That could easily be misinterpreted, he’d fall for that. Well, we are preparing today’s youth for our pensions tomorrow, aren’t we?”
    
     “I like it, Gem’. Should we challenge him first?”
    
     “No, it’ll save face if we don’t guess his, annul the bet.”
    
     “Good thinking, bat-girl.”
    
     “Okay, Shirley, go ahead.”
      
     “I’m an agronomist.”
    
     Not only did Constance and Gemma squeal with delight, they jumped up and down and squealed some more.  “We know that one, we know it,” shrieked Constance.
    
     “Well, I’ve never had that response before.” Shirley declared, bemused at their reaction and disappointed he’d lost his bet. Gemma went on to explain their silly fascination with the word and challenged him to guess her occupation for double the stake.
    
     As anticipated, he failed to guess correctly after three attempts and the two women were smug with satisfaction at his fall, a double whammy. Shirley’s pals ribbed him, but he did offer to honour his bet and bought the first of many rounds for them. Unable to provide two free night’s drinking with the stake doubled, he offered to tell them his real name in lieu of the promised alcohol. They accepted. Their triumph had been his crash to earth, and they began to enjoy the banter, so they let him announce himself as Craig, from Essex.
    
     “Wanker,” whispered Gemma.



-See You at Eight-    


“Eddie, what are you doing here?”

Hi Mrs. Baker, Danna called an’ asked if I’d give her a ride; said it was important.”

“Oh my stars.  She didn’t tell you where she was going, did she?”

“Just said it was important.”

Tina Baker opened the screen door. “Come in. Better sit down.”

“Why?”

“You two have known each other for . . . your whole lives, right?”

“Sure, you know, well, third-grade. So, yeah-kinda. What are you gettin’ at?”

“The girls Danna works with convinced her to do that speed dating, again.”

Eddie clenched his jaw and ran his hand through his hair. “Ah . . . t-tell her, I-ah, shit. I’ll wait for her outside.”

“Wait. Please Eddie, talk to her. Talk her out of it.”

“What am I supposed to tell her?”

“Tell her not to do it. She’s gonna get hurt . . . again. She won’t listen to me.”

Seeing some movement, they both looked toward the stairs. “Mother, what are you telling him?”

“Oh honey, you look nice.”

Eddie nodded when Danna looked at him. “You do.”

“Thank you. Are you ready?”

“No. I’m not gonna do it.”

“But you promised.”

“Until I found out where you wanted, I mean, what you’re. No.” Eddie headed for the door waving his hands. “Not this time.”

“Wait.”

“I’m sorry Danna.”

“Eddieeeee, why not?” Danna lightly touched the screen blocking his retreat.

Still shaking his head, Eddie looked her in the eye. “Don’t ask me to do this for you, not again.”

“But you’re my best friend.”

“You don’t get it do you?”

“What?”

“This. Look at you.”

“Don’t you like it?”

“Oh God, Danna you don’t, you just . . . Okay yes. I like it. In fact, I love it. So would anyone that, that. No.” He pushed past her hand. “I’m not takin’ you.”

“Why?”

“Why? You wanna ‘why’. She wants- Okay, okay I’ll tell you. Because you suck at it. Picking men. That’s right you suck at it. I finally said it.”

Eddie walked out and half way down the steps to his car before turning around. “Last time Mr. Wonderful ended up being married. Oh, wait, so was the one before that. Only this time he put you in the hospital when you surprised him with a few balloons an’ a card.”

Turning back toward his car, Eddie took another step but pivoted on his heels. Danna paused at the edge of the porch while her mother hovered near the door. Every time Eddie remembered something further, his voice got louder and he jabbed circles in the air. “Then there was Ol’ Spike the biker that wouldn’t take no when he wanted you to snort a few lines.” Eddie turned his angry finger toward himself. “Who spend the rest of that night in the emergency room?” Seeing the tears in Danna’s eyes sickened him and his voice cracked. “Why can’t it be me? I fell for you at eight.”



Fallen Angel

Angelica had married him at seventeen; he being a few years older. Her mother had warned she was too young and he was a wrong ‘un. He was good looking, though. All the girls wanted him but Angelica was the lucky one. That was twenty-five  years ago.

The first two or three years had been fine. You are my Angel, he’d always said. Then the arguments  - she was spending too much on the kids; not showing him enough attention; not wanting enough sex. He’d started drinking and going out more. Or just not coming home. He’d also started womanising. Sleeping with whom he could, when he could. She’d been left just looking after the kids.

She’d been lonely. Married, but very lonely. She hadn’t planned the affair but day after day her routine was the same. Kids, school, housework. He was a divorced father she met on the school run. First they’d chatted, then became friends. It went further and she slept with him. Just once.  Racked with guilt, she confided to her husband, begging his forgiveness. Pleading for him to give her the love and comfort she needed.

It fell on deaf ears. She was now his ‘fallen Angel’. No matter he’d had dozens of affairs and one-night stands, she’d let him down. And didn’t he remind her. Every day he would taunt her; call her names; slut, whore; belittle her. Then the violence started. It started with an occasional swipe here and there. Then worsened. If they did have sex he was cruel and uncaring – sating his desires and not caring about hers – but finding it arousing to hurt and humiliate her.

They had grown apart – him out drinking every night, her alone watching TV, the kids having grown and left. It was watching CSI one night the idea hit her. Over the next three years she had raised his life insurance cover. She had learned long ago to copy his signature – it was often the only way to pay the bills when he was drunk.

Angelica  visited her poor mother every Wednesday and Saturday, but tonight she crept back into the house. Picking a rock from the garden, she brought it down hard on his drunken neck, snapping it in two, whilst he’d dozed on the sofa. Breaking the small kitchen window whilst making sure the glass fell inside, she also thrust a knife into his crotch. Using one of her father’s old shoes she made a footprint in the garden, before creeping away disguised in her mother’s borrowed old coat and wig, discarding the shoes in a waste bin miles away.

She arrived back home late, screamed and rang the Police. Her mother swore she had been with her all evening. A simple case, the Inspector said. A knife in the groin meant it was likely a lovers jealous husband. Case closed.

The insurance payment bought them a two-bedroom apartment by the coast.

She may be fallen, but she’d never been an Angel.





Gravity



“Daddy, it's not working!  It's the first day of Fall.  I'm supposed to be able to balance an egg today.  This isn't much fun.”    

I didn't have the heart to tell Sammy it was an old wives tale, an urban legend.  Eggs don't follow direction any better on the equinox, according to Wikipedia. It brought back a memory from  long before smart phones and instant information.  

We were eleven at the time. Whenever Tommy Murphy picked on Harry Snitson, my best friend, I beat on Tommy. Unlike that egg, we were balanced--until my vacation to a beach with no waves. I was glad to be back--then I saw Harry. His left eye nearly shut, purple welts up and down his arms. Harry could have covered the sores, he wanted me to see them. My hands shook.

“He tied me to a tree, Bert. Then he made me eat dog shit. I spit it in his face, he went ballistic. He whipped me with his belt, over and over. I was tied to the tree, I couldn't help myself. Bert!”

I pedaled my Schwinn as fast as I could, and found Tommy shooting hoops. I don't know how many times I punched him, or banged his head into the concrete.  My knuckles ripped open, blood that was probably both of ours. I was in the police car when Harry arrived. He stood over Tommy, a foot on his chest, and clenched a fist in his face.

“I'll fight you, Murphy. This isn't Bert's fight. I need time to train. The first day of Fall, you're going down.” I'd never seen this Harry.  



I was grounded, but relieved to learn that Tommy was grounded too.  We couldn't avoid him when school started.

“Summer's over, Shitson.  Anytime you're ready.”  

“It's still summer, turd.  September twenty-first, you're going down.”  

“Hey fellas! Shitson's a big man!  He's going to drop me in the fall!

Harry smiled.  “That has a nice ring to it.”


Harry's phone call woke me up.

“The quarry in an hour.  Don't be early. Don't be late.”

 He hung up as I asked why.

The abandoned quarry was fun and dangerous. We threw empty beer bottles into the pit, and barely heard the crash. When I arrived I saw Tommy's bicycle, and could hear them struggling. I climbed the hill as fast as I could. I reached the top just in time...to see them disappear together into the deep quarry.

Gone.  I crumbled to the ground, and began to cry.  

“Hey!  A little help?”

I ran to the edge.  Harry dangled below, a rope around his waist.  Tommy hung on for dear life.  Harry pried one finger loose.

“Up or down, Tom?”  Tommy looked to me for help, I turned away.

“Bert, toss Tommy's line? It's up there, somewhere.”
 
The second rope barely reached Tommy. He scurried over the edge and ran.

Harry wore a smug grin. “I changed my mind. Gravity is wonderful, isn't it?”      




Untitled


With the start of the September equinox, cycling to work did not possess the same sparkle it had in summer.  With the sun still clinging to its memory foam mattress,  fresh morning dew shimmered on the floor, the first fall of yellow, brown leaves snow flaked across the road. Tom a 40 something safety officer perspired in his quest to conquer his nemeses that damn hill, a slight hiccup in the landscape.

The morning air  illuminated with the strobing lights of the emergency services. Two hundred pounds of gymnasium fuelled muscle carefully dispatched to hospital.  A metallic heap of twisted steel and rubber sat quietly discarded in the neighbouring ditch.

Tom never saw or heard the cowardly driver that hit him. His eyes transfixed through the hospital window, as an avalanche of Kamikaze raindrops, each one determined to be the first to smash through the window, driven on by a harassing wind teased him.

The hospital clock shouted at him persistently, Can you hear me, "Tick".

Since the accident life has become humdrum, his only pleasure was the world created in his mind.  Escaping to a paradise hidden from view, a world filled with an embracing sun, warm tranquil sea, refreshing breeze, soft white sand and birds singing love songs that lifted his spirit. A place where he could run or walk again, somewhere Mr. Awesome could breathe. No cowards allowed.
 
Can you hear me, "Tock".

"Good morning Thomas, And how are we this morning?" said Nurse Robert as she entered the room, an overly happy, podgy woman.

"Fine".

"Just need to check your dressing and I am finished for the day, then straight home for some hot coco, couple of hours sleep then four glorious days off work".

"Swell".

In a vibrant motion, dancing around the bed she whisked away the old dressing, replacing them  with crisp white bandages. A crafty smile began to surface from Tom's face as he caught sight of her upper lip.

"Done, all shipshape and Bristol fashion as my old man would say; see you in a couple of days Thomas and get some sleep, you look a bit down."

"Good bye nurse Roberts, oh and do not forget to shave!" snide Tom.

She paused for a fleeting moment as she left the room, dropping her head slightly before continuing on her journey.

Tom returned to his window, the raindrops growing more violent in their attack, the wind in full distressing song.

Can you hear me, "Tick".




« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 05:59:56 AM by ma100 »