Learning to Dance Again

Some of you were probably expecting a continuation of The Accident serial I started a few weeks ago. I’ve decided to take a break and write something new this week for the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.

While some of you might be disappointed, others are likely relieved that they don’t have to be burdened with multiple story parts. It was getting difficult to effectively write a 100-word story with a beginning, middle and end, while continuing the plot from the previous weeks. Plus, I don’t think I was being fair to my readers. We all have busy lives and limited time to read.

With that, now that I’ve planted the seeds of murder in your minds, I’m going to work on a longer version of the story. Detectives Leale and Archer and the mysterious Copycat will emerge in the future and all will be revealed. Continue reading

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Scatter: A Trifextra Flash, Week Ninety-Seven

The dazzle of the setting sun across the basin is blindingly breathtaking, but my view is myopic. In our favorite place, I honor his last wish as his ashes scatter into the wind.

Setting Sun

This tale was written for Trifecta’s weekend challenge, Trifextra Week Ninety-Seven. The challenge was to add thirty of our own words to the following three words, for a total of thirty-three: Myopic, Basin, Dazzle.

Trailer Trash

The sorrow was tangible, hovering over the trailer park rubble like impenetrable fog. It engulfed them in a blanket of hopelessness.

Survivors wandered through debris piles searching for scraps of their former life mixed amongst the tornado’s aftermath. Their humble neighborhood resembled a steamy, fetid landfill.

Sylvia perched on the dismembered steps that once led to her front door and stared at her brother’s dissected keyboard. She wanted to feel his presence, hear his music again. But staggering numbness consumed her as she watched the ambulance drive away, its sirens silent, its lights extinguished. The need for urgency gone.

Now don’t be too sad. This is a work of fiction, after all. Well, mostly. This story was written for the Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt. The challenge is to write a story or poem based on the photo, in 100 words or less. I clocked in at exactly 100 words.

Trifecta Week Ninety-Six: The Final Victim

I said it many times, to many insistent faces, “I didn’t know.” My words were met with skepticism and judgment based solely on rumor. They cannot know what I felt, what I experienced, what I knew.

When they came with their grandiose weaponry raised, their cagey interrogation tactics and groundless accusations and plucked him from our once normal home, I refused to believe their lies. I stood at his side through the feeding frenzy of hate. I held his hand and whispered in his ear, “I believe in you.”

He insisted it was a matter of mistaken identity. He wasn’t capable of such violence and debauchery. His face was a portrait of virtue. His eyes a porthole of anguish. His tears saturated my heart with misery.

Six months of wait, of worry, and warding off the vigilant eye of the community, and the trial began. I dutifully watched from the back row, craving anonymity. I became an afterthought for a brief and glorious moment. All eyes on him. All ears on the facts.

Judgment day came and through a haze of testimony and evidence, the creeping tendrils of doubt latched around my mind and suffocated my faith in his innocence. The proof was undeniable. He was a monster, animal by nature. His deeds corporeal.

His punishment was death. Far too inadequate, I realized, as I stared into the plagued eyes of the victims’ families and listened to their grief-stricken pleas for answers. Justice had failed to resurrect or bring closure. It only reflected a callous light on the how and when, unable to illuminate the why.

In the end, I was his final victim, the only one to have survived. It made me, not admired or pitied, but hated, ashamed, accountable. A jury of my peers rendered my verdict, “Guilty by association.” I was sentenced to death, not in body, but in spirit.

This story was prompted by Trifecta Week Ninety-Six. The word (third definition) to use for this week:

ANIMAL (noun) 3  :  a human being considered chiefly as physical or nonrational; also :  this nature

Don’t forget to read the other creative writings based on this prompt. Click on the Trifecta link above to visit their website.

Trifecta Week Ninety: A Whimpering End

As the city bustled, the flyovers unleashed a delicate vapor, barely detectable to the unaided eye. While I sat on the restaurant’s open-air patio, sipping wine and reading, I felt it touch my defenseless skin, seep into my exposed pores and drift into my nostrils. It burned, ever so slightly, as it infiltrated my lungs, surged into my bloodstream and signaled my brain that something wicked was unleashed.

Shrieks pierced through the commotion of daily life on the street. They grew in intensity and frequency until all other sounds were drowned in their deluge. People crumpled to the sidewalks like discarded rag dolls.

I stood, knocking the wine glass and book to ground, as I tried to grasp the horror of the situation. My body began to shut down, the poison taking me into its dark oblivion. Continue reading

Remember the Mistakes

Remember the Mistakes

A short story

~

NoteIt started with a short, handwritten note that appeared on the dining room table; a shaky scrawl that she didn’t recognize. The first note, found early on a Saturday morning, merely said, “It’s me.”

She ignored it.

The next note appeared in the same place on Sunday morning. Same wobbly writing that said, “Me again. This is a test. Reply if you get this.” He found the note and showed it to her. They wondered and then threw it in the trash.

The next morning the third note appeared, “Why are you ignoring me?” She found it. They read it. Talked about it. Worried over it. Who wrote it? What did it mean? How did it get in their house?

When the forth note came, an angry undertone, it demanded, “Reply or you’ll be sorry!” He began to worry she was the writer; lately, she seemed to be acting strange. She began to believe he was trying to trick her, after all, the writing looked a little like his. They argued. They accused. They said things they didn’t mean. They slept in separate rooms that night. Continue reading