Monday 31 October 2016

Monday Flash Fics: The Bastard

The Bastard

“Five minutes until we go live.”The bastard, the one they were supposed to address as ‘Master’ scowled at Gary. “Remember what I said. You two fuck this up and you’ll wish you were dead.”

Gary swallowed hard. He’d no doubt the words were meant exactly as they sounded. The man who’d imprisoned him and his mate, Max, six months ago had hurt them to make them submit, he’d hurt them just because he felt like it, and he’d tortured them for infractions of the rules, perceived or real.

“Is he ready?” The bastard brushed past Gary, pushing him so hard he almost crashed into the wall, and stopped to stare down the stairs.

“Shit!” He looked at Gary for a moment, a triumphant grin on his face. “When you’re good, you’re good. Go on, admit it. He looks so real I’d be afraid if I hadn’t bought the costume myself.”

Gary knew what was expected of him and approached the stairs before glancing down. “Yes Master. He does look good.”

Good didn’t begin to describe Max’s appearance. The pointed ears and snout lined with sharp teeth, made him appear fierce, dangerous, maybe even horrific. But no matter how bestial his face was, his arms were still all too human in appearance, if not in colour or skin texture.

“Now remember,” the bastard turned to Gary again. “When he reaches the top of the stairs you start hitting him.” He glared at Gary. “No pretending. You hit him with all you’ve got, and you don’t stop until he’s down and out. For real.”

The first time the bastard had shared his ‘brilliant idea’ for a live Halloween pod cast, it had been all Gary could do not to burst out crying. He couldn’t, wouldn’t beat his best friend and lover to a pulp. When their ‘Master’ had left them alone in their cell again, Max had taken Gary into his arms and reassured him. It had taken all night but eventually Gary had allowed himself to be persuaded. Now the moment had arrived doubt filled him again.

“Get in position.”

Gary stepped to the side of the stairway, turned his body exactly as he’d been instructed and raised the, thankfully blunt, axe up over his shoulder.

Five.Four.Three.Two.One. Now!

A bone curling growl emanated from the stairwell and seconds later a black blur flew past Gary. He blinked. No way. Max wasn’t capable of movements like that. Whatever black monster he was staring at, it wasn’t his boyfriend dressed up.

The creature landed on the floor midway between Gary at the stairs and the bastard and his camera. It turned its head to look at Gary, staring at him hard before inclining its snout.

Gary knew those eyes. He’d looked into them every day for the past ten months. His lips formed the word but no sound escaped his lips. “Max?”

The moment was over. Before Gary could blink the creature—Max?—switched its attention to the bastard again and jumped. It effortlessly bridged the four metres separating it from its intended victim. It ploughed into their captor, who appeared paralysed by fear, slamming him head first into the wall. When the man lay stretched out on the floor, clearly unconscious, the creature knelt on his chest, opened its jaw wide and bent forward.

“Max. No!”

Gary said the words without thinking and watched in wonder as the creature—no, it really was Max—looked over its shoulder at him.

A low growl escaped Max’s mouth before he lowered his gaze, jumped off the bastard’s chest and raised himself to his hind legs.

“Let’s go.” Gary held out his hand and led them to the door they hadn’t been allowed to walk out of for the past half year. “You scared the shit out of me.” He looked up at the black hairy face next to him. “I should have known you weren’t joking when you said you’re cursed.” He winked. “Seems to me sometimes curses are blessings.”


666 words.

Yes, I did exceed the target word count by quite a bit, but when I ended up with a first draft exactly 666 words long for what is a Halloween flash, it was too perfect to mess with. In the end I did do some editing, but much to my delight I managed to keep the word count as it was. J

More Halloween flashes based on one or both of these photos can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook.

Happy Halloween!

Monday 24 October 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Abduced


“I’m so glad you could make it.” Ben smiles at me when he opens the door.

I’m still not sure about coming here. Every bit of advice I’ve ever come across tells me not to meet strangers in their own homes for the first time. I should have insisted on a neutral place—a coffee shop, cinema, or public museum, but curiosity both about the man and about what he’d told me about himself had gotten the better of me.

“Come in.” He opens the door wider and steps back, creating space for me to step by him into the interior of his house.

Six months have passed since we first chatted online. We found each other in a group of science fiction aficionados and quickly bonded over a mutual interest in alien abductions and experiments.  

“Would you like a drink or do you want to see my collection first?” he asks.

“I’d love to see everything you told me about. If it’s even half as good as you made it sound….” I trail off, excitement over what I think will come next robbing me of words.

He smiles at me as if I’ve given the right answer, his enthusiasm clear on his face. “Good, follow me.” He leads us down the hallway to a door which opens to a stairway leading down. He turns a switch and lights come on, before gesturing for me to precede him.

I stop moving when we reach the bottom of the stairs, unable to believe my eyes.

“This is even better than I imagined.” I stare at him in wonder. “You made this? How? Those men...they look so…real.”

“Thank you.” Ben sounds proud. “It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of trial and error but in the end I found the right method.”

I stare at the cylinders holding figures so realistic I almost expect them to raise a hand and wave at me. The green liquid surrounding them combined with the somewhat eerie light in the cellar give the room an unworldly feel, perfectly in tune with the abductions we discussed.

He slowly leads me from one cylinder to the next, telling me which one he constructed first and how he takes comfort from their presence now. “In fact,” he says, “I spend most of my time here now. I even brought a bed down.”

I’m awed. I can’t imagine coming up with an idea so grandiose, never mind putting it all together.

My host takes me by the arm and smiles at me. “Come, let’s have that drink I­—"

A loud crashing sound coming from behind us cuts his sentence short. I turn around and my heart skips several beats.

“I thought….” My mouth is suddenly dry and I swallow hard. “You said….”  I stare from the man leaning out of the broken cylinder at Ben, my mind scrambling to come up with a logical explanation. A deep and paralysing fear grips me when I see the bowed man’s hand twitch.

“Such a shame you had to see that.” There’s no longer any trace of friendliness in his voice. He tightens his hold on my arm while he reaches around me with his other arm

I pull, try to break free, while at the same time twisting to see what he’s up to behind my back.

A vicious pinch in my arse and my muscles turn to jelly. I open my mouth but can’t speak. My eyelids are too heavy. I’m falling. I’m doomed.


I overshot my word count by almost 100 words today. But this is how this flash wanted to be told so I can live with it. More flashes based on this picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook. And while you’re there, why don’t you suggest an image we might use for our Christmas project?

Monday 17 October 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Freedom


“Fuck you. I thought you trusted me, saw me as an equal. I’m good enough to be in your bed, but not to do my job, is that it?”

A week has passed since he shouted those words at me before turning and stalking away. I was concerned then, now I’m worried sick.

As I leave the forest and climb higher I wonder how it all went so horribly wrong. If I’d kept my big mouth shut, if I hadn’t voiced my doubts, I might not be here today, hoping against hope to find signs of life where so far I’ve encountered none—I slap a hand to my neck—except for insects, determined to eat me alive that is.

I stop to take a break and catch my breath. I’ve been on the go for almost eight hours, since first light, and know it won’t be much longer before I’ll have to find shelter for the night. I already left it too late to turn around and go back. Maybe that’s what happened? It’s possible he went too far and just kept going. It’s also possible he had an accident and has long since died…horribly and alone.

I push the thought away and think back to that final meeting. Had I been too negative? This is a sensitive and prestigious project. If we get it wrong we’ll lose our funding. And no matter how bad that would be for us, it would be even worse for those in our care.

Too worried and restless to stay still for long I push forward again, climbing the mountain, over and around boulders, checking my compass occasionally to make sure I don’t veer off course.

I’m not being honest. Of course I’m worried about the future of our work; we’ve come so far and achieved so much, it would be a crying shame if it all went wrong now. But that’s not why I suggested he shouldn’t go. He is as qualified as any of us to take this task on. His chances of success are as good or as bad as mine or anybody else’s would have been. I wanted someone else to go because I didn’t want to be without him.

An hour later I come to a stop. The view in front of me is breathtaking. The expanse of almost barren rock, the soft clouds reflected in the lake far below. This is nature at its purest, but it’s not what has my heartbeat speeding up and understanding dawning on me. I carefully move closer, making sure not to startle either Jeff or the wolves approaching him.

He must have sensed my approach and turns his head, smiling before he holds up his hand, indicating I should stop.

It all makes sense now. He did successfully release the wolf couple we raised to adulthood. The reason he didn’t return has nothing to do with me, or our fight, never mind any incompetence on his part. He can’t leave until he’s sure they’ll settle in the wild rather than follow him back to where they can only survive in captivity.

From now on, he won’t be waiting alone.


528 words

This flash was a little bit harder to write than most but that’s my own fault. A shifter story would have been easier, but I sorta accepted a challenge to write something other than that. I hope you enjoyed what I came up with instead.

As always, more flashes based on this wonderful image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook. 

Monday 10 October 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Justice by All

Justice by All

“I don’t know about this.” Melissa averted her gaze from the idiotic looking creature standing in front of her to glance at Paul just in time to see the irritation sweep across his features before he smiled again.

“Will you give it up?” His tone of voice expressed all the impatience his expression no longer showed. “The decision has been made. It’s not up to us to question it. Nothing has changed, not really. You know that as well as I do.”

Knowing that she’d never win this argument didn’t stop Melissa from pushing her point. “It has turned the whole thing into a joke. Look at him.” She pointed at the bad imitation of a shark, cooling its feet in the water. “How is anybody supposed to take that seriously?”

“Who cares if people think it’s all a joke?” Paul sounded as if he was close to losing patience. Then again, he always gave the impression that he couldn’t stand Melissa, so who knew for sure? “Don’t make yourself look even more…” he hesitated. “…more silly than you usually do. It’s all about the ….”

“Counting down to the end of the commercial break.” The disembodied voice interrupted Paul before he could finish his sentence, but it wasn’t as if Melissa needed to hear the rest of it.”

“And we’re live.”

Here we go. I hate this part. Like the professional she was, Melissa plastered the obligatory bright smile on her face.

“Welcome back viewers,” Paul said. “We’ve reached decision time. But before you get to make your choice, let me recap the case for you.”

Melissa sighed as he paused for exactly three seconds as he always did. Surely he had to realise that after having done the same thing at least fifty times whatever dramatic effect his silence might have had in the past had long since been lost.

“The accused as he stands before us is obviously a shark. A high-end loan shark to be precise. As such he’s been responsible for at least three suicides, five violent beatings—two of which ended with the victim dying, and numerous cases of homelessness and despair. In a few more moments you, our democratic jury, will get to decide his fate. The choice, as always is between death and exile and, also as per usual, the sentence will be executed instantly. Please cast your vote sixty seconds from now.

Melissa knew the viewers would see a huge clock on their devises, counting down to zero. She imagined fingers hovering over the button of choice as she reflected on how she’d ended up here. When they’d recruited her they’d sold her on the idea of this show by stating that it would be true justice because the general public would get to decide the fate of those who endangered their society. And, as long as the setting had been a courthouse, she’d been able to make herself believe the spin. Now it had turned into a circus where those making the decision didn’t even see the accused’s face any more.

“Choose now!”

Melissa silently counted down from ten. The shark would either drop or disappear, depending on what the majority verdict was.

Three. Two. One….


536 words.

I wasn’t sure I’d come up with a flash this week but clearly having to get up at five o’clock in the morning worked wonders for my muse, because here we are. I hope you enjoyed it and I wasn’t too obscure.

As always more stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook. I’ve already read a few and they’re good!

Monday 3 October 2016

Monday Flash Fics: Copy Cat

Copy Cat

“Oh, isn’t that cute?”

A tall and leggy blonde to Jonah’s left gushed loudly and he turned to study the image she was pointing at. It was kinda cute, he guessed, if you liked a messy pile of kittens and babies. Personally he wasn’t overly fond of the younger generations, feline or otherwise. He preferred the creatures he interacted with a bit more mature.

Not for the first time that evening he questioned the impulse that had led him here. He should have stayed away. It was bad enough that…. He shut his thoughts down. It was a bit late to start worrying about it now. Besides, there was nothing stopping him from walking away. So far nobody seemed to have noticed or said anything. If he went now he would avoid awkward questions for which he didn’t have good answers—in the short term at least.

“This image is remarkable.” It was the woman who’d spoken earlier, sounding more subdued this time.
“Yes, I see what you mean,” her friend said. “It’s almost eerie, isn’t it?”

He took an involuntary step in their direction before he realised what he was doing and stopped. Adrenaline coursed through his system and he was on edge, ready to flee at a moment’s notice. He looked at the picture the women were studying and stared at himself. He should have never taken that photo. He shouldn’t have left it where his younger brother had been able to find it. Now it hung in an exhibition of local photographers and while Jonah could certainly do with more clients, this was the one image he would never have picked to advertise himself.

“I mean, if it wasn’t impossible. If I didn’t know any better….”

“You’d say they were one and the same.” The blonde finished her friend’s sentence. “I know. I feel the same.”

The women turned and stared at each other before bursting out laughing. “Maybe we should read something besides shifter stories for a while.” The words came out chocked as the woman tried to catch her breath.

Jonah sighed in relief and turned towards the exit. Maybe coming here hadn’t been a bad idea after all. He’d just been given the reassurance he hadn’t realised he needed. He heard rather than saw the two women turn towards the next image as one of them spoke again. “Still, that photographer has remarkable skill to produce an image like that. I’ll put his name on our list.”

He smiled—some might say like the cat that got the cream— as he walked out the door of the gallery into the dark night. He felt the change and knew exactly what anybody who’d look him in the face would see: eyes shining bright from slit pupils. He purred softly before walking home.


467 words

More stories based on the same image can, as always, be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. I do hope you enjoyed my whimsical tale and would love to hear your thoughts.