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.


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.”


“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.”


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.

Riding the Flash Fiction Train, Round 3/Week 3

I've been regularly joining in at Kat Avila'a Fiction Trials to play a story writing challenge. Check out this week's offerings, then come back to play on the Flash Fiction Train. Here's my offering...

Rita glared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked awful. The cold wasn’t budging and it was just a miracle she made it through the conference call. Thankfully Laura had been on her game and kept the conversation grounded.

A yawn, interrupted by a new bout of coughing brought Rita back to the perusal of her image. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Her nose reddened and tender from the continuous application of tissues. With a sigh she pulled the bottle from the medicine cabinet.

As much as she needed to dampen her symptoms and get a good night’s sleep, Rita was hesitant to dose herself again. The dreams induced by the vile liquid were becoming harder to shake off. The most recent dream had conjured a name for the mystery man. At the thought, Rita’s lips tingled at the memory.

“No.” She spoke to the mirror, “I'm not going to do it!”

She replaced the bottle and shuffled out of the bathroom. Her slippers scuffed the carpet, the small noise causing her head to pound. She dropped onto the couch grabbing the knitted throw from the back. She wrapped herself in its warmth. As long as she stayed upright she kept the drainage from choking her. She closed her eyes and drifted into an unsettled doze.

“You're back! I didn’t think I would see you so soon.” He reached to stroke her cheek.

Rita pulled back, “Who are you? Why do you haunt my sleep?” 

His eyes filled with hurt, “I’m Walter. I’ve always been here for you.”

“Not always. Only if I use that gawd-awful cold medicine.” Rita narrowed her eyes, “which I did not take tonight!”

“No, I’m always here, Rita. You just don’t remember…”

“Oh, I’d remember, just like I remembered last night’s dream.” 

Walter sighed, “It’s not a dream to me, Rita.”

“Really? Then, I think it’s time you explain why that is!”