Monday 29 June 2015

Monday Flash Fic: Delayed


You’ve got to be fucking joking.

Ray looked at the announcement in dismay. The train had been delayed by three hours? How could a four hour journey possibly be three hours late? What had the train been doing? Going backwards?

He did the math and it told him what he’d known as soon as he’d found out about the delay; three hours was not enough time to go back home and it was way too long for him to sit around doing nothing. He opened his bag and rummaged through it in the vague and unrealistic hope of finding something to occupy him during the wait.

His hand connected with the cardboard box and he extracted it. Ray smiled. Pascal would be so happy when he gave him this present. His boyfriend always had his nose in a book and had been complaining about the inconvenience of having to weigh his luggage down with books every time he came for a visit. Ray didn’t get it. He’d pretty much given up on reading as soon as he’d left school. The books and poems he’d been forced to read there had been enough to kill whatever joy he might have found in words in the past.

Pascal would be surprised. Both of them lived on very tight budgets. As students with only part-time jobs to supplement their grants, they couldn’t really afford the travelling they did every weekend in order to spend time together, never mind fancy birthday presents. They had this unspoken rule they wouldn’t spend money on anything unless it was a necessity. But Ray’s parents had sent him some cash and rather than spend it on clothes, as his mother had told him he should, Ray had used the money it to buy the Kindle. He’d also loaded the tablet with a few books, choosing from the titles he’d secretly copied from Pascal’s lengthy wish list.

With one last angry glare at the notice board, Pascal bent his legs and sat down on the stone paving of the platform. He shrugged his shoulders and took the Kindle out of its box. While he didn’t like reading very much, it had to be a better way to kill time than staring at the passing trains. He glanced at the titles and covers before randomly picking one; it was not as if knew anything about these books or the authors. Nothing beyond the fact that Pascal loved them – and if it was good enough for the man he adored...

When he felt two arms embracing him from behind Ray emerged with a shock from the dystopian world he’d lost himself in.

“What are you reading?” Pascal’s voice was soft and laced with humour.

“Something called The Long Fall of Night.”

“Oh. I’ve been looking forward to that book.”

“I know.” Ray got up, pulling Pascal, whose arms were still wrapped around his neck, up with him. “It’s yours.”

“Mine?” Pascal asked.

“Happy birthday.” Ray kissed Pascal on his lips. “This is for you.” He held out the Kindle. “No more lugging books around with you from now on. But...”

It didn’t happen often but Pascal seemed momentarily lost for words.

“But what?”

“But you may have to fight me for it. Who knew reading could be this much fun?”

Pascal returned Ray’s kiss. Although he didn’t say it, Ray could hear the words as if Pascal had. I did.


569 words
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Monday 22 June 2015

Monday Flash Fic: Photo Shoot

Photo Shoot

“I’m telling you, it is totally safe.”

Carlos stares at me from behind his camera. “No, this is too much Danny. I know I said we needed something spectacular if these pictures are going to raise the money we need, but this is ridiculous. Will you at least tape his jaws shut. You’re naked. I mean...” All colour leaves his face and I have no problem imagining the scenarios going through Carlos’s mind. “Dude, put the animal back wherever you got it from. We’ll think of something else.”

I look away from the alligator for a moment and smile at Carlos. Having him worried about my safety is a nice feeling, even if it is completely unnecessary. Of course, he doesn’t know that.

“I mean it.” Carlos turns and bends before taking something I can’t identify from his bag. When he’s facing me again I stare at the role of gaffer tape in his hand. “Just secure that mouth. I can always photoshop the bindings out again.”

The creature trapped between my legs stirs for the first time since we assumed our position as if he understands what Carlos is saying and has objections of his own. The sensation of his rubbery skin against my cock and balls sends blood rushing to the area. Gratitude that his reptilian body obscures my private parts from view fills me. I wouldn’t know how to begin explaining why I’m hot and excited right now. Not to Carlos anyway.

“No tape, Carlos.” I hear the impatience creeping into my voice and it doesn’t escape Carlos either. “Just take those pictures. I know what I’m doing. The sooner you take them, the sooner this will be over and you can stop worrying about nothing.”

Carlos shrugs. “Your funeral.” He mutters the words under his breath but loud enough for me to hear them. The reptile I’m holding stirs again, igniting more heat in my body, and I think I see a flash of humour in his eyes.

Five minutes later Carlos has all the images he needs.

“Want a hand with that animal?”

“No.” I smile at Carlos. “I’m fine. He’s used to me. Being handled by you may just make him nervous.”

Carlos nods, relief clear on his face, which makes me all the more impressed and pleased he made the offer in the first place. It’s a completely unnecessary gesture of course, but Carlos has no way of knowing that.

As soon as Carlos closes the door behind him my reptile turns in my now relaxed arms and for what must be the hundredth time I watch in wonder as the creature transforms into the beautiful man who’s been calling me his mate for the past four months. When his mouth meets mine and our loins connect I know I’m not the only one affected by this photo shoot.

I smile. The only danger I was ever in was having to explain why I’d come all over a dangerous predator.


497 words

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Monday 15 June 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Into the Light

Into the Light

Careful. Don’t rush it.
Connor’s gaze was fixed on his reflection in the mirror as he slowly moved the stick across his lips. The pink almost exactly matched his natural colour. Almost, but not quite. He didn’t want to attract attention to his mouth, but it had to fit the rest of him.

He took his time finishing his lips before blotting them and staring at himself in the mirror. It wasn’t the first time he saw himself wearing make-up of course. He’d been playing with eyeliner, mascara, blush, powder, lotions and lipsticks ever since he’d been fifteen years old. Half his life ago.

He’d gotten good at it too, if he said so himself. He’d studied instructional videos on YouTube and practiced until his hand was steady and he could achieve almost any design he desired. Tonight the kohl made his dark blue eyes smoulder. He’d gone easy with the eye shadow, limiting himself to creating a play of light and shadow above his eyes which emphasized the eyeliner and made his eyes the prominent feature in his face.

No, this wasn’t the first time he’d worn make-up. Nor was it the first time he pulled stockings up his shaven legs and squeezed himself into a tight dress. He’d done it all hundreds of time before but tonight his hands shook, making him clumsy, and his breath came too fast.

He checked the time. Ten more minutes. Nerves raged through him. Only ten minutes before he’d know. He stared at himself and the small goatee. Why was this so difficult for so many people? Why couldn’t they see what he saw; how well the make-up suited him, how beautiful it made him? Well, some could. He smiled at the large bouquet of flowers and recalled the words his lover, Hugo, had written. You can do this. I love you.

Time went by too fast and the moment of truth arrived too soon. Reluctantly Connor got to his feet and walked through the hallway and stopped when he reached his destination. He couldn’t remember why he’d thought this might be a good idea anymore. He should have flat out refused rather than put up feeble arguments Hugo had found all too easy to dismantle. In front of him Connor stared into what felt liked a dark abyss; behind him lay defeat if he decided to retreat. Both ways he faced the possibility of shame.

 “It’s time.”

Connor didn’t acknowledge the man who’d said the words. He took a deep breath and placed one foot in front of each other until he stood in the middle of the dark platform. The music started, bright lights erupted in the ceiling, blinding him. Connor closed his eyes and opened his mouth.

I am what I am. I am my own special creation.

As he sang the words and heard applause erupt in front of him Connor knew Hugo had been right. He belonged here. He’d finally found his place in the world.


499 words.

As always, other flashes based on the same photo can be found in the Monday FlashFics Facebook group.

Because it fits so nicely with the story I wrote, I’ve attached a link to a video of John Barrowman (I do adore him) singing the song mentioned in my flash for your enjoyment.

Monday 8 June 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Imagination


“And I say we’ve waited long enough. It’s time to take matters into our own hands before it is too late.”

The high-pitched screechy voice of the witch made Pollyanna cringe. Why did she have be so loud, intrusive? In fact, why couldn’t all of her be less offensive, less negative? Looking at the witch Pollyanna could almost understand why it had all transpired as it did. Pollyanna would be happy and maybe even able to live with the way things had turned out if it meant never having to listen to that voice or others like it again.

“Surely there’s no need to turn to aggression.” Just the thought revolted Pollyanna. “People will come to their senses. They’re inherently good, they won’t let us die. We just need to have more faith.” She caught the witch’s evil glare and shuddered; if circumstances had been different Pollyanna would have been in so much trouble now. As it was, no matter how angry the witch got, there was no danger to Pollyanna or any of the others.

“Silence!” The knight roared his command before the witch could open her mouth and lash out at her and despite the lack of danger Pollyanna released a huge sigh of relief. She’d given up on trying to remember everybody’s name ages ago. They weren’t supposed to be together and should never have known the others existed. Whatever happened next, there was no need to know who everybody was. They’d either all disappear or be restored to the places they’d come from. Both options lead to the same result; they’d never be in each other’s company again.

“The time for waiting is over. We have to take action now or we will all evaporate – lost to the world without a trace, as if we never existed.”

Put in those terms even Pollyanna had to admit their future looked dismal, but maybe it wouldn’t get so bad. There was good in the world, and in her experience that good always triumphed. Pollyanna knew better than most that with enough patience it was possible to beat the odds eventually. She opened her mouth to say as much as when a mouse with a giant head pushed to the forefront of the meeting with his rather silly looking sidekick close on his heels.

“I have a plan.”
Pollyanna sighed; the mouse’s voice was no improvement over the witch’s screechy tones.

“What? What do you want to do tonight, Brain?”

His answer was as swift as it was predictable.

“The same thing we do every night, Pinky, or at least, the same thing we’ve been doing every night until they got rid of us, try and take over the world. And this time failure really isn’t an option.”

“If failure isn’t an option we really don’t want to put him in charge. Look at his track record.”

Pollyanna had no idea who’d said the words and gave up trying to figure it out as other voices joined the debate. By the sound of it there were as many opinions as there were participants in the debate and Pollyanna stopped listening. She’d said what she wanted to say and clearly she was in a minority of one. The opinions on what exactly should be done differed, but all others agreed that something needed to happen.

“Enough.” The deep voice had barely been raised but still silenced the shouting match. “We’ve been working on something and I think we found the solution we need. The potion is potent and should restore our status, provided we can find a way of releasing it and as many of us as possible can be present during the release to boost its power.”

Pollyanna looked at the two grey-haired wizards. She’d never be able to tell who was Dumbledore and who Gandalf but she trusted both of them. They’d been a calming and stabilising influence on their mismatched group since the start.

“I think I may be able to help with that.”

Pollyanna turned and looked at the man wearing the rather silly leather cap and sporting goggles on his forehead.

“Ah, you are...wait, don’t tell me...” Dumbledore – or Gandalf, who knew – stared at the man. “Biggles, that’s your name. And I think I know what you’re going to suggest. That might actually work. You’re plane still exists? It still works?”

“Yes Sir.” The man named Biggles face stretched into a half-smile. “The plane is faring better than I am. I can feel myself fading but the plane is still rock solid. I guess it’s less fictional than I am.”

Fictional. Pollyanna still couldn’t get her head around the concept. She’d listened to the explanations at least ten times and still the idea was as strange as it was abhorrent. How could she possibly be the figment of somebody else’s imagination? Who’d ever heard anything so ridiculous? There was nothing fake or unreal about her life, the hardships she’d gone through, the lessons she’d learned or the good she’d encountered. And yet, she couldn’t deny her memories of exactly how she’d lived her life were beginning to fade. She knew there were holes in her back story and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t fill them anymore. Every day there seemed to be less to her, of her.

“Listen child.” The old woman had looked at her from her sick bed, petting the head of the wolf who’d snuck on top of the covers. “You don’t need to know all the details. All that matter is that those in charge of the world have decided that imagination is a dangerous thing. They banned the use of and access to it. Books, movies, oral stories all of them have to be factual. They’re eradicating the fictional, one bonfire at a time.” The sweet old lady had stroked Poliana’s cheek before continuing. “Just like you, the people can’t or won’t see what’s happening. By the time those in power have succeeded the public won’t remember we ever existed and we’ll be gone, forever, never to be heard off again.”

A decision appeared to have been made while Pollyanna’s thoughts had wandered back to the conversation she’d had earlier that day, and a few hours later she found herself being ushered towards the fragile looking airplane.

“Biggles,” the knight who’d clearly taken charge of affairs turned to the pilot, “how many of us can you take?”

“As many as want to come.” Biggles’ smile looked sad to Pollyanna. “We’ve lost so much of our substance already; there is no risk at all.”

The situation was beyond strange and Pollyanna knew without a doubt that should their mission be successful she’d never forget sitting on the wings of a bi-plane with creatures and characters she’d never encountered before in over a hundred years of existence.

Five minutes after takeoff the plane neared the centre of town.

“Three. Two.” One of the wizards counted down. “One. Now!”

A bright red cloud erupted behind the plane and slowly spread over the town and surrounding land as it drifted ever lower towards the ground. Almost instantly Pollyanna felt more substantial and as she glanced along the length of the plane’s wings she saw the same was true for the other members of the group. The clock chimed. A man whose face was covered in ashes had to hang on to the legs of a woman who threatened to be pulled into flight by her umbrella. A black horse reared and kicked its front legs in pure joy, while a man clad in only a loincloth swung from one wing to another. Inside Pollyanna’s chest a rose opened and she thought back to the words her father had said.

“I’m glad...” She paused as she felt the eyes of every person, creature and item on the plane turn towards her. “If it hadn’t been for almost disappearing I would never have known how amazing it is to exist in peoples’ imagination.


1331 words

As you may have noticed, this week flash is somewhat longer than usual. We’ve decided to allow that because there is so very much going on in the picture. For me the combination of picture and extra words resulted in a story unlike anything I’ve ever written before. I do hope you enjoyed it and would love to hear what you think. More flashes based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. Enjoy!

Monday 1 June 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Nine Lives

Today’s flash is more like a prologue to a longer story than a stand-alone short. I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway. This beautiful image was suggested by Theo Fenraven and as always, more flashes inspired by the same picture can be found on the Monday Flash Fics Facebook page.

273 words

Nine Lives

We jeered when they told us the end was coming. We laughed in their faces and turned away, unwilling to listen and unable to wrap our minds around the idea of total destruction.

And then it came, just as they said it would. Not slowly and gradually but like an explosion in the middle of the day. I assume it happened everywhere but I can’t be sure because all modern technologies stopped working. People didn’t die – at least, I never saw any bodies – they just disappeared, as if they’d been hovered up by a big vacuum cleaner in the sky.

I don’t know why I’m still here and I don’t know where I’m going either. Behind me everything is barren and dark. Ahead of me I see an inviting light. A voice in my head warns me the light may not be the friendly, welcoming phenomena I want it to be but it scares me less than the empty darkness behind me so I keep on moving forward.

I have no idea where the cat came from although I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before. It accompanies me towards the light and I’ve decided to take it as a good sign. After all, everybody knows cats have nine lives and this one looks young enough to still have most if not all of them left.

When we reach the light it embraces us. My feet leave the ground and I stop being curious and afraid. New beginning or end - I don’t know and no longer care. I concentrate on the cat’s meows and think nine lives before closing my eyes.