Flash Fiction Month 2020 Day 24

Today’s story is inspired by an Oblique Strategies card. If you’ve not seen the cards before, each one has a vague phrase designed to break creative blocks and approach your work from a different directions. When I have a writing day I tend to draw an Oblique Strategies card as a way to set the tone for the day. Sometimes I work with the suggestion, and sometimes I work against it. Others I just share it on Twitter, but it always helps me start the day. The card I used for this story also forms the title.

Remember .those quiet evenings

The first quiet evening was a Friday in November, a fire crackling in the hearth, flames blackening the bare stone. I sat on the rug playing with my toys while my grandparents polished the horsebrasses. What I saw in the reflected flames was only briefly there but vengeful enough to hook in as a memory.

The second quiet evening was in the woods, a small clearing where we gathered when the clubs shut and the pubs was a distant memory. Sitting in nests of empty cans, the sting of phet in our noses. The figure was only in the flames for a moment. Maybe it needed me to see it before it could drag itself out. Become a creature of the shadows instead of the burn.

The third time I was alone and the only burn was the cheap vodka in my throat long enough to clear the way for the next glass. I saw the vengeful thing beyond the window, glittered by the outside lights, its skin only existing where in sodium hit.

The fourth quiet night was the last. On that evening I sat in the doorway watching the rain tumble down to stain the concrete in alphabets I could not read. There was nowhere left to go apart from inside and the silence in there sat too heavy. On the fourth quiet night the vengeful thing walked up to me. It wore skins of all who accepted it, and those who let it look out from its eyes. I knew it tasted my rage, my dislike for the world. On the fourth quiet night I let the vengeful thing in and the only reason was so there would be no more quiet nights again.

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