Monday, 29 February 2016

Monday Flash Fic: Legacy


It took them almost two hours to get there. Not that they minded. It was a pleasant day. Hazy sunshine lit up the forest and was a welcome surprise after ten days of nothing but heavy, autumnal rain.

“You never brought me this way before, did you?” Ben asked.

Harry thought for a moment before answering. It was true. Ben and he had taken numerous walks in the woods surrounding the cabin he’d inherited from his great-uncle, but up until today, he’d avoided bringing Ben to the place he was leading him towards now. It was time. Either Ben would be accepted or they would be over. It wouldn’t be the first time. Harry had lost two previous lovers because he’d misjudged them.

“I didn’t realise it was a difficult question.” Ben smiled when he said it, but Harry could hear the insecurity in his lover’s voice.

“Sorry,” Harry tried to sound reassuring. There was no need to worry Ben, not yet anyway. “You’re right; we haven’t taken this particular walk before. I only bring those I’m very close to,” he smiled at Ben, “those I’m hoping to spend a long time with.’

“I’m honoured, kind Sir.” Ben smirked. “It took you long enough.”

Ben’s words shocked Harry. What did they mean? Did Ben imply that it had taken Harry long enough to trust him, or was there more? For a fleeting moment Harry thought Ben might have been waiting for this exact moment, although he’d no idea how or why that might be the case.

“I told you I had trust issues from the start,” was all Harry said in the end.

“So you did.” Ben responded. When Harry glanced at his face all traces of the smirk had gone. Looking back at Harry was the Ben he’d fallen for, the man who’d turned out to be everything he could wish for and more. Well, he would be, if he passed the test.

When they entered the clearing, memories assaulted Harry. He was scared. If it had been possible he would have avoided this moment indefinitely, but the pull had been getting stronger by the day and Harry had known, without a single doubt, that if he didn’t bring Ben to the meeting place, those who resided there would come to them. He could neither ignore nor avoid his legacy.

Harry had taken a few steps into the clearing before he realised Ben was no longer walking beside him. He turned around to discover the man he’d shared his life with for the past eleven months leaning against a tree on the edge of glade, staring at the scene in front of him with an expression on his face Harry had never seen before.

“Is this where it happened?” Ben asked in a toneless voice.

“Where what happened?” Harry asked the question while his mind scrambled to figure out what Ben knew and how he could possibly have found out.

For a moment Ben just stared at him, hatred clearly written on the beautiful face that up until a few moments ago had only shown Harry love. “So what happens next? I’m to try and shake that hand, right?” Ben nodded at the book holding hand sticking out of the dead leaves on the ground.


“Just answer me,” Ben growled.

“Yes,” Harry whispered. “If the book drops, it is yours. It will give you access to my family history and secrets. If it doesn’t…if you can’t shake the hand because it won’t let go of the book….” He trailed off, not wanting to relive the two previous occasions he’d brought a man he loved here.

“If it won’t let go of the book I’ll die.” As soon as the words had left Ben’s mouth he bent his knees and jumped up. Harry watched in stunned wonder as Ben arced through the air, almost flying, before landing on top of Harry, sending them both crashing to the ground.

He had no idea where the knife had come from and almost welcomed the pain when it plunged into his chest. I deserve this.

“That’s for Bastian. Didn’t you know it’s impossible to kill one twin without the other one feeling it, seeing it?”

As blood and life flowed from Harry’s body, Ben stood up. Fighting to keep his eyes open, Harry watched as Ben walked to the hand, bent forward, and pulled the book out of its grasp.

If he’d been any stronger, Harry would have laughed. He’d been so close to finding his fated, the one his ancestors would have accepted.

I picked the wrong twin. Harry’s world went black.


772 words (o dear J)

As always more flashes based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Facebook group. I’m rather curious this week because this picture could take the story anywhere.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Monday Flash Fic: Waiting


Turn around. Look at me!

Of course he doesn’t. He never allows himself a backwards glance when he leaves. All I can do is hope that he’ll choose to return again when he’s ready or when he needs me, and that it won’t be too long until he reaches that point.

I’ve spent too much time on my own. I thought I liked it. As long as I was alone I couldn’t get hurt or bullied. I’ve never been tempted to harm myself, so living on my own has meant a life without abuse. I believed being alone was a small price to pay for being safe and had no reason to doubt that conviction…until he walked into my world and showed me what sharing my life could be like when it’s right.

I can’t make myself walk away from the window despite the fact that it’s far too cold to be standing around naked. Although I know better I can’t help hoping that he’ll turn around and come back to me now. I stand there; staring at the street he just walked down and, not for the first time, contemplate keeping him prisoner here in my apartment.

I play the scene out in my head and can see how it would unfold all too clearly. He wouldn’t understand. He trusts me far more than I trust him. He has no doubt that he’ll be welcomed back whenever he chooses to show up; whereas I’m never sure he’ll return. He asks for so little—some of my attention, food when he’s hungry, a drink when he’s thirsty, a place in my bed and the freedom to come and go as he pleases. If I were to deprive him of any of those he’d find a way to escape, and that would be one departure from which he wouldn’t return.

And I’m happy to give him what he needs, delighted that he continues to find his way back to me while I worry that today may be the day when he doesn’t. Nobody has ever stayed with me. Everybody has always come into my life and walked out of it again according to their own wishes and desires, without ever considering my feelings. A small but loud voice in my head tells me it’s only a matter of time before he too will find a place where he’s happier than he is with me.

I turn away from the window because I’ll need to go shopping if I want to be able to feed him again when he returns. Maybe, if I continue to be ready for him, he’ll keep on coming back to me.


I stand at the window again, fully dressed this time. It’s getting dark outside. If he sticks to his usual schedule he should be back any minute now. Just as I think those words I spot him, gracefully and unhurriedly strutting my way. As relief flows through me I open the window a nudge before walking to the kitchen.

When I turn and bend to put the bowl on the floor he’s sitting on the windowsill. My tomcat has once again returned to me.


530 words

For more stories based on the same image please visit the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Hero


Please obey me!

If thoughts had any power he’d hear me and follow my commands. My beautiful, impossible to train stallion. But he doesn’t react to my thoughts anymore than he does to my voice and continues to race around the paddock, kicking up snow as he goes.

“You’re almost out of time!” Kor’s hateful voice reaches me from behind. I refuse to turn around and face him. He doesn’t need to see how close to despair I am.

“If I can’t saddle and ride him tomorrow it will be curtains for him and repercussions for you.”

Tears burn in my eyes because I know he means it. I’m not afraid for myself. Kor’s punished me in the past and will continue to do so in the future, regardless of whether or not I manage to train this horse for him. He enjoys it too much. He thrives on my pain, loves to see me cowering; his power over me is total and he relishes it.

“You can stop now.” He sounds impatient. “It’s clearly not going to happen and I want my dinner.”

Still without looking at Kor I walk towards the gate and reach to open it. The stallion—officially still unnamed, although I think of him as Hero—will see himself into his stable.

“Leave it closed.” I detect glee in his voice now. “He might as well stay out there. If he won’t serve me, he doesn’t deserve the heat or the food.”

“But…” I turn around and close my mouth the moment I see him. I know this mood, the more I plead for Hero, the harsher Kor will tread him—and me. I lower my gaze, resist turning back to look at Hero and walk to the house to prepare food for our tormentor. I try not to worry about sub-zero temperatures and what they’ll do to Hero, but it’s a futile effort.

I wait until he’s fast asleep and snoring loud enough to wake the dead before carefully sneaking out of bed. Without breaking stride I pick up my clothes and walk through the house, unlock the front door and let myself out. The cold night air assaults me instantly, making me shiver and my teeth shatter in my mouth. I dress as fast as I can with fingers so cold I can barely coordinate their movements. I’m not sure when exactly I decided enough was enough. Was it while I was cooking and saw Hero shivering in a corner of the field? Or was it when he put his gun and his whip on the table saying, “one for that useless piece of meat and one for you”?

There’s no hope for me, but maybe I can save Hero. After all, what can Kor do? He’ll punish me until I’m broken anyway. It will hurt less if I don’t also have to deal with the pain of having seen Hero die.

I walk to the paddock, and open the gate. It’s all I can do. That and hope that Hero will recognise the opportunity I’ve given him. Hero trots towards the exit but I don’t stay to watch him leave, turning back towards the house instead. I haven’t taken ten steps when I hear a soft neigh in my ear. Hero strides past me, bends his legs and lies down, turning his head to look at me expectantly. Joy fills my heart as I decide to trust him and settle myself astride his strong back. Hero raises himself with ease, as if I weigh nothing, and takes off towards goodness only knows where.


601 words

To my shame I have to admit that I can’t remember who suggested this wonderful photo (must do better). If I ever remember or find out, I’ll give credit where credit’s due. J

As always, more stories based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.