It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I’m still on course with my flash fiction challenge. Here are the next seven stories.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 15
(Nearly halfway through!)
Two paths led from the lake back to the house, and Rachel knew almost straight away that she had chosen the wrong one.
Concentrating on placing her feet upon the riverbank’s wet grass, she ignored the teeth glistening in the water until there were only rocks and jaws.
Kneeling, she tugged out a lock of hair, draped it across the mud choked shallows and watched the dead grasp at the strands. Become tangled up in the follicles that knotted into rotted gums.
With the other end wrapped around the fingers of her left hand, she dragged their corpses from the water. Scraped them along the path back toward her apartment, ready to render them to paste. There were some advantages to taking the wrong route home.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 16
This was inspired by a place name I recently spotted on a map.
The glitteringstone floated six feet off the ground. Each time geologists approached with their hammers and curiosity it rose further out of reach. With every attempt to rise higher (chair, step ladder, cherry picker), the glitteringstone responded staying beyond human hands.
Feldspar and quartz, caught the sun, reflecting the shine across the marketplace. When someone in a flat let the radio play a bit too loud the glitteringstone began to spin, keeping time with the music.
The parish council turned spotlights on the glitteringstone, and as the light danced so did the people. Local DJs took turns playing tunes, the whole marketplace becoming a dancefloor. They danced until the day faded and until it began once again. They did not stop to eat or drink,
And though the dancer’s legs weakened they could not stop.
Feet swelled and bruised with exhaustion, until one by one the dancers slumped to the floor, legs still twitching.
Then the glitteringstone stopped spinning and descended from the sky.
Hovering along the floor it absorbed each broken dancer one by one, expanding with the addition, faces picked out in feldspar and quartz. Once no more bodies lay on the floor the glitteringstone rose into the sky, the last of the music playing on to an empty town.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 17
The boat was river wrecked, timber rust-stained from the steel of his staples and sutures. We dragged it up the bank and shattered the planks with blunted axes, building a fire that sent smoke up through the damp trees above us.
He found us. Sat down on the edge of the circle. Sparks shadowed his skin so we could not see where it slid off in strips.
Greyed flesh underneath came alive in its own way with the twist and flex of those who make their home in the already dead.
He did not eat, though the meat on the spits was fresh.
“I have more in common with them than you,” he said, pointing to the roasting rabbits dripping fat into the glowing ash.
By morning he had left us, the timbers nothing more than charcoal and the rabbits nothing more than bones.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 18
A single filament of glass draped from the moon, kept soft and pliable by it’s constant movement through the atmosphere . At night it would filter the reflected light from the cratered surface down toward the Earth, sliding across mountains and forests. Each place the filament touched it left a trace of glass.
Simon knew the locations it brushed the land were not random and he set out on an Autumnal night to chase the filament as it marked its orbit upon the ground.
Seeing it approaching he steadied himself. As the narrow thread of slightly molten glass passed by Simon reached out with gloved hands and grasped it in two tight fists.
First the filament slowed, then stretched, and as Simon held on longer it cooled. He tried to let go. Too much lay in his hands. The moon hauled across the night sky, and the filament paused. Stretched. Shattered. Coated Simon in shards of glass.
The filament no longer draped from the moon to leave traces of molten glass upon the earth, and the world was less beautiful for its loss.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 19
Branches from the willows clattered the water, spreading ripples and leaves downstream.
No-one paid them any attention. Didn’t notice the way the buds slicked under the surface, soaked and hungry. Children still swam nearby. Families and dogs.
Each fragment that the trees absorbed was too small for the victim to notice, but over time the swimmers were lessened and the willow grew broad on the souls it sipped.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 20
Carol-Ann sat in her front room and watched the rain rivulet down the window. Erode in channels and deltas. Testimonials of mistakes made a generation earlier.
The glass bubbled and slid down the outside walls, pooling into the gutter. Three days more and the walls would be gone again.
She picked up the phone and rang the repair company once more as rain-drop by rain-drop the house dissolved around her.
Flash Fiction Month 2018 Day 21
I took the photo this morning, and it inspired today’s story.
Campbell was stood by the window when the ice shifted, giving a glimpse of the world outside. Distant trees were cracks in the sky. Other houses erased by the weather.
The snow had fallen for thirty eight weeks straight, pausing only occasionally as if catching its breath. Coating the house in a silken coat so vast that the world outside was a forgotten shimmer.
Campbell glanced out again. The trees seemed closer now. Each one larger, though it could have been a trick of the light. Perspective. He hadn’t seen anything further away than the other side of the room for months.
Going to the kitchen, he made tea from stale water, then went back to gaze on the outside world once more. One last time before snowfall encased the house and sealed him off.
Whether through weight or pressure, the tap root smashed the window, covering Campbell in splinters of glass, and ice just as sharp. Finding purchase on his legs and arms the tree dragged him out of the house and lay him on the snow. Roots rasped away skin scalded to blisters by spilt tea.
It took time for the trees to force their roots into his arms and legs. Find the minerals hidden in his bones.
By the time they were finished he was powder and skin and covered by the next snowfall.
They still felt the gnawing emptiness the never-winter had brought them, the weakness in their branches, but they were not done for yet. There were still many houses hidden under the snow, and many minerals hidden in the bones of those within.