Friday, April 29, 2016

Tuesday Flash Fiction Train Challenge Round 4/Part 4

Here I am sliding in at the last minute again for the #TuesFlashFicTrain Challenge with my next take on Gloria's story!


Gloria crept down the hallway in the direction the two intruders had gone. She’d been thrilled to find the invisibility shawl still folded in its original plastic packing. Once beneath its cover she noticed the light was a bit dimmer, and the sound of her footsteps seemed muffled. She hoped that effect would help her get close enough to her quarry to perform the spells she’d decided on.

Working her way through the maze of hallways, Gloria checked each door she passed. So far all had been locked. She had a pretty good idea where the men had been headed. The main security office; it handled the incoming calls as well as keeping the non-witch personnel from accidentally stumbling upon the work that went on after hours. If people found out exactly how the city’s infrastructure was really kept together…well, it would not be good.

Gloria rounded the next corner and nearly ran into the pair of scoundrels she’d been hunting.

“Come on Tom! We won’t have all night.” The deep voice came from a tall, dark haired man wearing a long, black cloak. He wielded an ivory wand carved with symbols that made Gloria’s stomach heave. 

The other man was a foot and a half shorter and dressed in faded jeans and a dirty pocket t-shirt. “This is an art Manny, if you're in a hurry just use that twig you're waving around instead.” He never looked up from the knob he was working with a lock pick.

Manny just scowled at the other man’s back. Gloria knew he couldn’t use the wand to force the door without causing several alarm wards to sound. The designers hadn’t counted on a simple thieves’ trick in this part of the building.

Under the cover of the shawl, Gloria lit a yellow candle and pulled one of the packets and a small marble bowl from her pocket. After measuring the proper amount for a stasis spell she drew a breath and opened her mouth to recite the paralysis incantation. 

But, when she formed the words, no sound came from her throat. Not only was she hidden visibly, she evidently couldn’t be heard either. And if she couldn’t recite the spell, her wand, the candle and powder were useless. 

Gloria silently cursed herself for not reading the packaging completely. She hadn’t grabbed an invisibility shawl, she was wearing a solitude shield.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Winterdone

Tara gave us "south" this week for the 100 Word Challenge. having finally gotten the peas in today (here in the north), this is where I went...



Bitter wind blew, raising goose bumps on the back of her neck. The long running winter had almost broken her will.

The stubborn daffodils, refusing to be held at bay kept her from giving up completely.

She stood in the yard, waiting for the dog to finish investigating the frosted grass. 

Her breath exited in cold cast miniature clouds. 

As she shivered in her light jacket, the dog raised a nose to the wind.

She curiously lifted her own muted sense to sniff the air.

Her eyes widened in delight.

Ever so faint, from the south, she smelled spring arrive.

Tuesday Flash Fiction Train R4W3

I didn't get a chance to play at Kat's TuesFlashFicTrain last week, but Stacy'sentry was perfect. Here's what I came up with to follow.


Gloria backed out of the room never taking her eyes off Harvey’s back. With nowhere else to go, she returned to the supply closet. She ducked inside and pulled the door shut.

She kept one ear to the door as she lit one of the candles she’d just collected. “I don’t know what’s going on,” she whispered to the flickering taper, “but if Harvey thinks he can ‘take care’ of me, he’s got another thing coming.!”

Squinting in the restless light, Gloria scanned the overflowing shelves. “Ah ha!” she grabbed a small pouch tucked neatly between two jars.

“Won’t be quite as powerful without my wand, but it’ll have to do.”

She poured just a pinch of silver powder from the pouch into the palm of her hand.  After reciting a short incantation, Gloria blew the shimmering dust into the air; then walked beneath it.

She exited the closet again, shutting the door with a firm hand. Gloria walked back to the office to see Harvey expectantly awaiting her, having heard the door close.

“There you are, Glo.” Harvey smiled, “I thought I’d catch you before you went on break, get this over with.”

Gloria smiled back, the candles clutched in her hand. “Sure, Harvey. What’s this meeting about anyhow?”

“Oh, just some security measures we need to go over.”

Gloria kept smiling. “Okay, your office?”

“Yeah, that’s perfect!” Harvey grinned as he gestured for her to precede him.

Harvey and his companion exited the office and strolled down the narrow hallway past the supply closet and turned the next corner.

A few minutes after they passed, the closet door opened a sliver; then wider as Gloria stepped out. She ran quickly to her desk and snatched her wand and a book of basic spells. Her pocket bulged with what she hoped would be the most useful ingredients to find out what the two men and her sleazy supervisor were up to. 

She also carried a shimmering invisibility shawl. Before she left the office again, she threw it over her shoulders. As soon as Harvey figured out the ‘Gloria’ he was escorting to his office was actually the janitor’s dust mop, he’d be back.






Saturday, April 2, 2016

Without the Letter Before B

Muddled through this week's 100 Word Chllenge without the letter before B. 
100 Word Challenge







None of those. Not here. They’ll throw you out if you do.

I’m serious. Mustn’t do it!

How difficult could it be?

Terribly difficult.

See, words ditto-ing themselves so soon.

But, finished one fourth!

Trying to think thoughts without them.

Mind numbing!

Fingers fidgeting over the keys.

The first to come to mind, must be thrown out.

Shuffling through the options. 

Begin over.

Sighs upon sighs.

Over fifty percent now.

Ooh! Two thirds!

Heh heh, three fourths to the end.

Not much longer, four fifths.

I will do it!

Such silliness to nine tenths.

Relief!

I’ve found the end.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Flash Fiction Train Challenge R4-W1

Popping into the Tuesday Flash Fiction Challenge with Kat Avila again.  Here's this week's offering.




Gloria hustled to grab her jacket from the locker room, then ran for the time clock. She’d gotten a late start this evening; her keys managing to not be where she’d expected. Ten minutes wasted searching for them left her rushing to be at her post on time. As she rounded the corner she slammed into Harvey.

“Pushing the time limits tonight, Glo?” he asked.

Gloria muttered about the missing keys as she attempted to side-step the assistant supervisor. He anticipated the move and blocked her escape. “Don’t forget to check in on your break tonight. I need a word with you.”

“Yeah, sure.” Gloria made another attempt to pass him.

Harvey grabbed her arm, his eyes bored into hers, “Seriously, Gloria, you need to show up this time.”

She wrenched her arm from his grasp, “Fine, Harvey, I’ll find you.” She stared at him until he stepped aside and let her pass. As she hurried away, she could feel him watching her. Shivers rippled up her back telling her to turn and make certain he hadn’t followed her. She resisted the urge; this time. She supposed she’d better make the meeting, Harvey would make the paranoia worse if she kept defying him.

Gloria punched her card with one minute to spare. The sense of relief she’d gotten from being on time faded as she walked the long hall to her cubicle. At this hour no one else was on duty. The dim night-lights cast eerie shadows along the way. 

She hated the night shift. The old building seemed intent on letting her know she was alone in this section. Random thumps and groans echoed down the hallway. When she reached her department, the only light came from her desk. At least someone had left it on for her. She shuffled to the space as quietly as she could. The rap of her heels only accentuated the empty desks she passed on the way.

Gloria dropped into her chair with a sigh. The screen in front of her was already filling with tasks to be attended. She opened the large drawer in the desk and cringed as it uttered a metallic shriek. Shuddering, she dropped her handbag inside and kicked it shut. She gingerly tested the next drawer, relieved with its hushed compliance. She shuffled through its interior until she located her wand and candles.

After printing out the list of problems to fix, she pulled up a map of the city and zoomed in on her sector. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Flash Fiction Train; Round 3, Part 5

Sneaking in at the very last minute with my offering for Kat Avila's Tuesday Flash Fiction Train




Rita stood in the middle of the aisle, eyes squeezed shut. The screams no longer reached her ears and she shuddered in anguish at the result of her rage. The memories had flooded her mind, intermingled with the taunts of the old woman and other passengers. 

She had let it overcome her.

A hand touched her shoulder then stroked her cheek.

“Rita.” 

She ignored the whisper, soft and warm as a summer’s breeze. But Walter would not be shunned.

“Rita, open your eyes. Look at me.”

“Nooo,” she sobbed, “I can’t look! I can’t!”

She could hear the people on the bus again. “What’s wrong with you, girly girl?” it was the screech of the old woman.

Again she heard the soft voice, “Hush now, Lucy. You haven’t walked in her steps. Go still yourself.”

“But…”

“Sit, Lucy.”

As Rita finally opened her eyes, she saw the old woman trudge to an empty seat. The bus moved steadily down the street, the passengers still staring at her, but without the hostility she remembered. There was no blood, no shattered windows. No one screamed.

Rita looked back to Walter, “I thought…I thought I killed them!”

“You almost did.” Walter said, “but you stopped before it became real. You chose life over death.”

“How?”

Walter smiled at her. “Because you are stronger than the coven. They couldn’t control you as easily as they thought.”

“But the memories, the pain.”

“Lies. All of it.”

Rita shook her head in confusion, it had seemed so real. But as she tried to recall the fear and hate, the feelings faded.

“You are free, Rita.” As he turned to go, Walter looked back one more time, “See you in my dreams.” 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Blown Away

My offering for this week's Coldly Calculating prompt at Our Write Side.
Coldly Calc Featured Image



Sherry sat on the back porch listening to the newly opened leaves shuffle against each other in the gusty spring air. She loved the smell of fresh growth. Though this morning it was tainted with the strong flavor of bleach..

She sighed, it couldn’t be helped. In the end, bleach was the only answer. Some things just couldn’t be washed away with soap and water. At least not entirely. 

She rose from her seat and headed for the garage. Once there, she searched the neatly organized shelves. “Ah! There you are!” she grinned as she bent to retrieve the mason jar filled with the soft blue hue chosen for her bedroom. “And he thought I was silly to save some of the paint.”

Rummaging further, Sherry found a paint brush. it had been carefully cleaned and stored after use. She glanced around the garage contentedly. Everything neat and tidy. Just as it should be.

She took the brush and jar inside. Refusing to be distracted by the clutter in the kitchen, Sherry strode purposefully into the bedroom. It would only take a few minutes to touch up the spots left by the scouring pad. 

After she finished, she scurried through the kitchen once more; only taking time to toss the blue tinged brush at the sink. Once the jar was tucked safely back on its shelf in the garage, she took a deep breath. The kitchen would have to be tackled next. The longer she left it, the more stressed she’d get. 

As Sherry crossed the yard, she was momentarily mesmerized by the movement of three sheets waving lazily in the breeze. They were secured to the line with her grandmother’s old clothespins. She smiled. No hint of stain was visible in the bright spring sunshine.

Now, on to the kitchen she told herself. With lips pressed in a determined line, she stepped into the space. 

He’d thought he surprise her with a spaghetti dinner. It had been thoughtful of him she supposed. But what could he have been thinking? Leaving puddles of sauce on her normally spotless stove. And so many pans crusted with filth in her shiny sink.

Sherry swallowed the bile and dove into the task. 

Well, at least it wasn’t a mistake he’d make again.