Monday, 22 August 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Bait


Bait

I stare down the street, studying people walking by while trying very hard not to pay attention to the arm around my neck pulling me closer to the man behind me who’s wearing even less clothes than I am. It is our fourth night here, and the proximity isn’t getting any easier.

“You’re tense. What’s wrong?” Cal whispers the question into my ear, cigarette smoke travelling up my nose as he exhales.

“Nothing,” I lie. “I’m just fed up standing here like a fool, waiting for something that may never happen.”

“It already happened,” Cal replies. “That’s the reason we’re here.”

He’s right of course. If it hadn’t been for the violent attack on a group of gay friends five days ago, we would probably have been sitting behind our desks, typing up reports, or responding to calls about domestic disturbances or missing people. But a young man died on the way to hospital that night, and as a result Cal and I are undercover, hoping to lure the culprits out, provoke them into another attack.

A sudden hush falls over the street. Music still blares from the various bars but where up to a moment ago people had been talking, calling out and even singing, everybody has fallen silent now and they are hurriedly making their way indoors. The tightening of Cal’s arm is the only indication he’s noticed the change too.

“Told you all faggots are cowards.” The triumphant voice is loud enough to be heard over the blaring music.

“Game’s on.” Cal’s voice sends shivers down my spine and the feeling has nothing to do with the impending danger. In fact, I welcome whatever shit storm is about to erupt around us. Admiring my partner from a relatively safe distance has been hard enough. The past four nights of pretending to be the couple I’d love us to be, has stretched my restraint and nerves to their limits.

The men have spotted us and as they turn and take their first steps in our direction, my attraction to Cal is suddenly the furthest thing from my mind. Shit’s about to get real.

And then they’re upon us, surrounding us, their grinning faces sinister in the red neon light. I see glimpses of knives and knuckle dusters. Suddenly our disguise leaves me feeling exposed and vulnerable. Where’s a stab vest when you need one?

Cal releases me and turns until we stand back to back, facing the six man surrounding us.

“Remember, the first punch is mine,” the largest of our attackers says. “We’ll show these abominations what real men are made of.” He raises his fist and hits out, but I’m ready and catch his hand with mine before it can connect with my face and push back. When he falls and lands on his back it only enrages his mates more. They come at us from all sides. I deflect as many hits as I can, but there are too many of them, not enough of us. Cal curses behind me and not turning around to check on him is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

“Freeze!” The loud shout has the desired effect as the four men still standing take a moment to check their surroundings, recognise our uniformed colleagues, and look for a way to escape.

Minutes later it’s all over. The men have been handcuffed and are being led away.

“You two okay?” Our sergeant studies us as he asks the question.

I nod and turn in time to see Cal do the same.

“Good,” our superior says. “You two are off duty for the next five days. Good work.” He turns and walks away.

“I’ll see you.” I say, almost sorry the case has been closed and there’s no need for us to pretend to be a couple anymore.

“Not so fast.” Cal’s arm is back around me, except now we’re face to very close face. My heart stutters when he presses his lips against mine. “I’ve wanted to do that for the past two years,” he says. “Never realised you felt the same until I noticed your boner every time I pulled you close.” He waggles his eyebrows. “Your place or mine?”

****


699 words

It’s been a while, but at last I managed to write another flash. Sure, it’s two-hundred words longer than it should be, but at least I’ve writing something. The picture was chosen by Brigham Vaughn, and as always, other stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Reminiscence



Reminiscence

Shane leant against the window as his mind took him on an all too familiar journey.

 How had he ended up here? Had it really only been a few months since he’d lived the life of riley in Florida? If he closed his eyes he’d see the beach, feel the sunshine and hear those accents again. He’d felt at home there, as if he belonged. He’d taken a risk, had been a thorough bastard in the process, but he’d really believed it was for the best. He’d been so sure going away would kick start a new life; give him the opportunity to start from scratch. He’d expected to stay in America for years, if not forever.

He opened his eyes and gazed upon the grey world outside the window. The contrast couldn’t be starker. He’d gambled and he’d lost. He’d come to believe in karma too, and had no doubt that it was indeed a bitch.

Except that he was being selfish again. He wasn’t paying the price, not really. No matter how unlucky and inconvenienced he felt, at least he’d live, which was more than he could say for….

“Uncle Shane,” Danny’s high pitched voice prevented him from delving even further into the darkness of his thoughts. “I’m ready, Uncle Shane. Are we going to see mammy now?”

He closed his eyes and rested his forehead against his hand for a moment, before forcing his mouth to stretch into the semblance of a smile, and turning to face the beautiful five year old boy. Danny hopping from foot to foot, clearly excited to go and see his mother, momentarily lifted Shane’s mood. To be able to see the world through the eyes of a child. Shane clung to the thought and walked towards his nephew, pulling on a long-sleeved T-shirt on his way.

“Let’s go, munchkin.” He took the boy’s hand when Danny reached out for him. “Can’t keep your ma waiting.”

****

324 words.

While the above can be read as a flash, I think it may well end up as the start of or inspiration for, a scene or chapter in Redemption, the third book in the trilogy I’m working on at the moment. We’ll see.


As always more stories can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Caught


Caught

Lars enjoyed the feeling of the cooling sand between his toes as he slowly walked towards the entrance of the party area. He stared at it while trying to work out whether the gate constructed out of crates and paddles combined with the flashy lights and bright colours made the place look garish or delightful. He’d never seen it from this side before tonight.

A loud burst of laughter, coming from inside the area almost made him stop walking. Would he get away with it, or would someone take one look at him and realise he didn’t belong?

He’d noticed this activity on what used to be a deserted beach for the first time a month ago. He’d kept an eye on the people who’d taken over the island. One person in particular he’d been studying very closely.

He took a few more steps towards the entrance, realising that standing still and staring at the place was far more conspicuous than just walking in would be. It was almost disappointing when nobody gave him a second glance when he entered. Nobody that is, except for a tall, blond, broad-shouldered, and very handsome young man.

Three hours later Lars knew he had to leave. The longer he stayed, the bigger the chance he’d be found out. He could feel the moment drawing nearer, and he wanted to be back where he belonged when it happened.

“Do you really have to go?” Stephen looked at Lars imploringly. “Surely you can stay?”

Lars shook his head. “No, I’m sorry but I can’t. Not tonight.”

“I’ll see you around tomorrow then?”

He wanted to say yes. Stephen was the reason he’d come here in the first place. He’d spotted him on the beach, and swimming in the sea and he hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off him.

“No,” he said, the regret in his voice genuine. “You won’t see me tomorrow. I may be back next week though.” He took a step back, the knowledge that he’d almost run out of time battling with his reluctance to say goodbye.

“I’ll be counting the days.” Stephen bent forward and surprised Lars by pressing his lips against Lars’s.

He didn’t look back as he walked away from the party and didn’t relax until he got to the end of the short beach, rounded the rocky outcrop, and found himself alone again.  The water was warm and welcoming as he walked into the sea. The change started as soon as the sea level reached his hips. Within seconds his legs had merged together again. One powerful flick of his tail had him below the waves, back in his element…but alone again.

Yes, he would be back. And if the myths were right, every subsequent time he left the water it would be easier to stay in the human form.

Unable to resist taking one last look he emerged from the water, a safe distance away from the still crowded party area.

“Hey!” A blond head appeared from the water in front of him, a wide grin brightening Stephen’s face as his legs kicked below him to keep him from sinking. 

“You didn’t really think I’d let you get away, did you?”

****

536 words

When Theo Fenraven suggested this picture I commented that ‘even I should be able to stay away from the dark with this one…I think.’ Whether or not I succeeded, I leave entirely up to you. J


Don’t forget to check out the Monday Flash Fics group for other stories inspired by this image.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Training




Training

I watched him closely as he walked towards me, two mugs of coffee in his hands. It was our fifth meeting that week, and I searched his face for signs that he was happy to see me and might even be looking forward to these all too short moments we would spend together. My soldier's expression gave nothing away.

“Hey.” He smiled at me, and bent forward to softly brush his lips again mine.

My hands ached to pull him close to me, hold him tight and devour that delectable mouth of his. Not wanting to burn both of us with spilled hot coffee I reigned myself in and accepted the mug when he handed it to me.

We talked, we kissed and we drank coffee. I fought to keep the anguish I felt from showing on my face as he, not for the first time, shared his thoughts with me. He couldn’t hide his excitement whenever he spoke about the day first contact had been made with Cidra. He’d been ten at the time, and from that moment forward his one goal in life had been to go there. 

As soon as my mug was empty I made my kisses more demanding. His response was instant and hungry; the soft groan escaping his throat delighted me as much as it scared me.

I deepened our kiss further and stroked the inside of his thigh, allowing my hand to move ever closer to his crotch. His breathing changed, his kisses became more frantic and I wasn’t surprised when my hand encountered his erection. A flash of pure joy shot through me. I’d done that. My touch had brought him there.

The piercing sound of a whistle shattered my moment of happiness.

He pulled back and for a moment I allowed myself to believe he did so reluctantly.

“I have to go.” His voice was toneless. “The sensor must have received the required information. I’ve passed the test.” His lips curved upwards, but I wasn’t convinced he was really happy. “You trained me well,” the smile he gave me then was genuine. “Thank you. I don’t think I could have done it without you.”

While I sat there, lost for words, and desperately searching for a reason to keep him around for just a few more minutes, he bent towards me, gave me one last kiss and took the cup out of my hand. “Goodbye.”

I stayed schtum as he got up, turned and walked away without a backwards glance. The next day he’d get on that spacecraft and leave for Cidra. He’d passed his final test. He would have no problem fitting into a society where the vast majority of the population was pansexual. The fulfilment of his dream—to be part of the first exchange group to travel to that distant planet—meant the end of mine.

It had taken him five days to learn to appreciate being intimate with a man. It had taken me the same amount of time to lose my heart to a man I would never see again.

***

513 words.

Trust me to take what looks like a happy picture and…. J

I hope you enjoyed my take on this image. As always, more stories can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Monday Flash Fics: A Tide of Change


A Tide of Change

“The boat is back.” The words moved from mouth to mouth through our settlement. “Did you hear? The little rower is back in the tree, just as it was the last time.”

I allowed the words to wash over me, while trying to make my excitement match that of those surrounding me. Appearing curious and intrigued would be good, but I couldn’t allow them to see how delighted its return made me.

Most of us spent that day watching the vessel in the tree. Just like the last time it had appeared, exactly a year ago, people wondered where it had come from and how it had ended up in the branches. The ground was dry so the only thing we knew for sure was that it hadn’t been a tidal wave stranding the boat there. And while my knowledge about the vessel and its owner—I had to fight hard to repress a shudder every time I thought about him—exceeded that of my neighbours, I had no real answer for those questions either.

Day turned to twilight before darkness descended, the boat turning into a barely visible silhouette in the pale moonlight but nobody returned home. A year earlier the boat had arrived one day only to have disappeared the next morning. This year people were determined to stick around and find how it would dislodge itself and where it would go. Their presence worried me.

A fragrance moved on the soft evening breeze, something barely perceptible yet heady and alluring. Excited speculation became interspersed with yawns and people dozed off around me. Within minutes I was the only person left awake, excitement coursing through my veins while I waited.

“Have you decided?” His voice came from behind me and was exactly as I remembered it; deep and seductive. A shiver ran down my spine and the hairs on my arms stood to attention but I didn’t turn around.

“Yes,” I replied while still looking towards the tree-bound rowing boat. “This time I’m coming.”

I’d tried to forget the night we’d spent together a year ago. I’d done what I could to purge him from my mind, but like a virus he’d inserted himself in my body; always present and conjuring up his voice, touch and embrace in my memories without warning, at the most inconvenient times.

“Get in the boat then.” He’s still behind me, where I can’t see him but he’s clear as day in my mind’s eye. Slim, tall, with long flowing white hair, he mesmerised me a year ago. I would have gone with him then, but he told me I had to be sure, that the decision would be irreversible. I wasn’t sure what he meant then, and I still didn’t know how to interpret his words but the question had become meaningless. I would go anywhere with him.

He wrapped his arms around me as soon as I sat down on one of the narrow planks in the boat. I knew without a shadow of a doubt he hadn’t walked past me, but my mind refused to worry about how he’d gotten there before me, too busy watching in wonder as a giant wave reached out for the boat and carried us away from the island without a drop of water touching the ground.

I relaxed into his body as the water carried us away from the only life I’d ever known. His lips touched the sensitive flesh on my neck and those few inches of skin became my sole focus.

“You’ve chosen me,” he said; his voice a hypnotic mixture of awe and possessiveness.

“Forever,” I replied not sure why I’d chosen that word but certain it was the right answer.

“You’ve no idea how right you are.” His words were the last thing I heard before teeth replaced his lips and bit down hard, changing me and my destiny irrevocably.

****

650 words.

I think I may have outdone myself when it comes to weird this week but hopefully this flash will leave you intrigued, if nothing else.


More stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Goodreads.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Solitude



Solitude

I followed him onto the coach, staying close while trying not to intrude. Just as I’d kept a safe distance while he waited for the bus to pull up. I wanted to go where he went, but I tried not to spook him in the process. He seemed tense and distracted.

I contemplated taking the seat next to him before rejecting the idea as too stalkerish and slipped into the seat across the aisle from his. Would he have noticed if I’d sat down next to him? As I looked at him I couldn’t escape the feeling he’d closed himself off from his surroundings, choosing to concentrate on the world outside instead.

I wondered about what might be going on in his head. What were his thoughts? Why did he hug himself like that? The way he’d turned his body towards the window suggested he wouldn’t welcome interaction from anyone.

To have him so close and yet so far away ate at me. He’d been my world—my everything—for the past ten months. My last thought before I fell asleep was for him and the first image in my head after waking up in the morning was always his. Apart from one confused glance while we waited at the bus stop, he hadn’t acknowledged me.

I might as well not be here. The thought screamed in my head

When he rubbed his eyes before sniffling loudly my heart skipped a beat. Something was wrong. I had to do something. Suddenly keeping my distance, being smart and inconspicuous didn’t matter anymore. Fuck the consequences. I got up, crossed the aisle and set down next to him. I only hesitated for a few moments before lightly gripping his upper arm and squeezing.

“What’s wrong?” I held my breath as soon as the words left my mouth. What would he do?

He turned to me with an apologetic smile on his face, his eyes red-rimmed and glassy. A cold sweat erupted across my brow. I’d been right. Something was seriously wrong.

“I’m so…” He sneezed loudly, caught his breath and sneezed again. After the fourth time I stopped counting and settled back to wait him out.

“I’m really sorry,” he picked up my hand and squeezed it. “I always turn into a solitary bastard just before my hay fever kicks off.” He tilted his head, “Forgive me?”

****

394 words


More flash fiction based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Monday Flash Fics: The Audition



The Audition

“Okay,” Scott the director said. “If you two are ready we’ll start the read through now.”

I stared at the pages in my hand. This was the first time I’d auditioned with this company and clearly they did things differently from others I’d worked with. “What is this play?” I asked. “There’s no title, no author.” I skimmed down the lines before adding “and these pages don’t give me any idea what the play is about.”

“It’s something new,” Scott replied. “First time author and a recently finished play. I would have been shocked if you’d recognised it.”

I’d only met Scott ten minutes earlier, when I walked into the rehearsal room. Two minutes later I’d been introduced to Peter, the man sitting next to me, although I couldn’t help feeling I’d seen him before somewhere. It wasn’t just the play confusing me either. Why had I been told to take my shoes off when Peter was still wearing his?

I glanced at the phone on the floor in front of me, silently cursing the impossible timing of this impromptu rehearsal. I couldn’t miss the message. Over the past eight weeks I’d been receiving mysterious but alluring texts from an unknown number. When the first one arrived, my initial instinct had been to delete it and block the sender.In the end I’d saved it without replying. I just didn’t have it in me to delete a text saying: *I’ve been watching you. One day we’ll share a kiss…and more.*

My silence hadn’t deterred whomever the sender was. The texts had kept on coming, each subsequent one more alluring than those I’d seen before, as if the person behind them knew how lonely I was, how much I craved attention.

*Two o’clock, Market Hall auditions. The veil will be lifted.*The words of that last texthad sent excitement coursing through my veins. My mysterious sender had coxed all my secret dreams and desires out of me over time, rewarding me with words describing how he—I assumed it was a ‘he’—would make those wishes come true.

“Very good so far,” Scott interrupted us once we’d gone through the first page of what appeared to be a budding romance between two men, except there was a dark edge to everything we’d read so far. “I like the fear in your voice, Josh,” he said to me. “Even without knowing the full story, you’re getting the tone just right.” His words made me glow inside.

“It was easy,” Peter read. “He was so desperate for attention I didn’t even have to try.”

I stared at the page, expecting to see my character’s name in front of the next line but finding a different one instead.

“Desperation will do that,” Scott’s voice speaking the next line took me by surprise.

My phone vibrated on the floor next to my feet and I reached forward to glance at the screen and read the message, only half-listening to Scott continuing his lines, barely aware of him slowly walking towards me and circling my chair.

“It just takes finding the right subject. There’s so many lonely people out there who’ll do just about anything to end their isolation.” Too busy fiddling with my phone, I noticed but ignored the tone of his voice changing from engaging to threatening.

*Got you* I read on my screen moments before something was pulled over my head and my world went dark.

“That’s how you get them.” Scott’s voice was the last thing I heard before a needle broke my skin and I lost consciousness.

****

594 words

Yes, I moved over to the dark side again. Considering the book I finished reading today that is hardly surprising though.


As always other—and possibly happier—stories based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Facebook group. Please join us there. The more the merrier.