Tag Archives: flashfiction

Mirror, Mirror

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall” she joked.

“Yes Mistress?” Came the reply.

She froze. Did that really just happen? She turned back toward the mirror, its surface shimmering now in a way it hadn’t before.

“Umm…………” she was at a loss as to how to proceed.

“Did you have a question mistress?” the mirror asked.

“Yeah, why do you call me mistress?” as soon as the words left her mouth she realized there were at least a dozen more relevant questions she could have asked. Starting with, how on earth the mirror was talking.

“Because you are my mistress,” it answered, “you have fulfilled all three requirements, you have physical possession of the mirror itself, through which we can communicate, you have the power to summon me and the ability to scry.”

“Scry?”

Did she hear the mirror sigh?

“Yes, mistress, scry, the ability to see visions in reflective surfaces such as water, glass or obsidian.”

Well she had to admit that her interest was piqued now. This overly large and ornate mirror had been left to her by her grandmother. It had arrived on her doorstep, with a simple note attached.

“For Esmerelda, who holds the power.” She hadn’t understood it then but it was starting to make a bit more sense.

Ok, so scrying is one thing, but this mirror is talking to me, she thought to herself. Out loud she asked, “Who and what are you?” Yes, that was definitely a more sensible question. She had about a million questions about her grandmother now, but one thing at a time.

“Let’s just say that I exist in another dimension and this mirror serves as a portal for the purposes of communication for those who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”

She wasn’t sure if the mirror was being overly simplistic or outright cryptic, she was sure the mirror didn’t mean physical eyes or ears. She was equally sure that she wasn’t living in a fairy tale; this was rural Texas for the love of Pete! Well, she might as well play along. What could it hurt? Maybe she was on a hidden camera show!

She leaned forward and reached out to swipe her hand across the mirrors surface. It responded, the surface shimmering as if she had disturbed a pool of tranquil water. Through the shimmering surface she could just glimpse the other side, just glimpse her future.

 

 

 

Warehouse

The warehouse was dusty, dimly lit, abandoned. She had made it her temporary home. At least, she hoped it was temporary! It was echo-y too, she tried not to be too loud or to stir up too much dust. In the far back corner, she had made a room by arranging some large, stacked boxes. Behind these boxes was the pallet she slept on, her few meager belongings and her sketch book.

That sketch book was the reason she was living in abandoned warehouses. She drew everything she saw. Everything. Drawing has been her passion since she was old enough to hold a crayon.

How was it her fault that she had sketched the face of murderer? She hadn’t known he was a murder at the time. She had seen him leaving her neighbors house, he hadn’t seen her at first. He froze when he saw her, caught her eye. They just stared at each other for a long moment then he started across the street toward her, glanced to his left when he heard sirens, then gave her one last look before turning and fleeing down the street.

Of course she had told the police everything when they had questioned her. She gave them the sketch but the officers who questioned her had never returned to the police station that day. When she got the call from the police searching for the missing officers, she knew she was in trouble so she threw a few items into a duffle bag and took off. She had watched enough crime shows to know not to use her debit or credit cards and she wasn’t sure who she could trust now.

She lay on the pallet now, gazing up at the cobweb coated ceiling. There were windows lining the top of the room, all the way around. It let in just enough moonlight through the dust coated panes that she wasn’t in pitch blackness.

She was almost asleep when a noise startled her. She sat up quickly, then held her breath, listening. There was a rustling sound, like someone moving through the darkness toward her. She calmly pulled out her gun and readied herself. She was not going to be taken out, not tonight, not any night!

A flashlight shone in her face, she brought the gun up and aimed, “Who’s there?” she demanded.

The next thing she knew she had been disarmed and the face of the killer was staring down at her. “Thought you could hide from me?” He smirked at her.

This is it, she thought, as she scooted back away from him. A surge of anxiety and white hot anger boiled up inside her. As she thought about how much she wanted to hurt him for what he had done to her neighbor and what he was about to do to her, he reached out toward her and she flung her arms forward in a defensive position.

Inexplicably, she held a glowing orb in her hands. It was so bright it hurt her eyes, it was white and it felt burning hot. She flung it away from her and it shot with deadly precision straight at her attacker. Then suddenly, he was lying on the floor, a gaping, smoking hold in the middle of his chest. The orb was gone and she was safe.

She stared in disbelief at her hands. Well that had been interesting. Suddenly she remembered her great aunt, the one who claimed to be a witch, the one the whole family thought was crazy. She quickly gathered her things and headed out of the warehouse. It was time to pay her aunt a visit and find out what was going on.

 

VROOM!

Throwing the car into gear and putting her foot into the pedal, Sophia sailed out of the parking lot and launched the Shelby Mustang down the road.

“Whoo Hoo!” She shouted as she opened up the throttle, threw her head back and felt the air rush through her hair. Top down, blue with white racing stripes, she loved this car! She felt free and exhilarated! What could be better than this?

Flying up the road, the wheels came off the ground as she went up and over a hill. She flew through an intersection then slowed down to take a turn, but not quite enough, the car started to spin, she was able to regain control as it fishtailed around the corner.

She was sad when she reached her destination. She pulled back into the parking lot, gravel spraying from behind the wheels as she slid to stop in front of the building. Turing to her passenger, she asked, “So, do I get my license now?”

Flight

I had always known I was special. People always treated me differently, even my parents. I never knew why until one day when I was nine years old. I stood in the middle of my bedroom, facing the bank of windows that dominated the east wall of my upstairs bedroom. There, along the top of the row of windows hung dozens of stuffed animals, out of my reach.

Stretching my arms up and out, I focused on the one I wanted and out loud I said, “Come here!”

In amazement I watched as the stuffed bear detached itself from the wall and floated lazily down and into my waiting arms. I turned to find my mother watching from the doorway. She didn’t seem surprised.

Later that day, I overheard her on the phone telling someone that “The experiment is working.” I had no idea what she meant. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out she had been talking about me.

I began to move small objects first, retrieving a book or a pencil without getting up from where I was sitting. Eventually I moved onto larger objects, like moving the couch without touching it so my mom could vacuum under it. I kept my friends entertained for hours moving objects they requested.

Eventually we figured out that I could move my friends themselves. It was fun until I accidently dropped Jimmy Watkins into a pile of lumber and he broke his arm. It was an accident, but after that most of the kids weren’t allowed to play with me anymore.

Without my friends around, I practiced on myself and found that I could levitate! I went out in the front yard and practiced and practiced until I had it down so well it was indistinguishable from flying. I could fly! This was fabulous and I whiled away entire days flying around my neighborhood.

It was fun until one day I flew too high. I don’t know what happened but it was terrifying. At first, it was fun, I was soaring! Then, as I got really high, it was like I could feel the earth letting of me, gravity gradually subsiding. That wasn’t the scary part; the scary part was when I felt something very much like gravity pulling me the opposite direction, up! The higher I got, the stronger the pull and I felt myself zipping up, up, into space, the air was getting thinner and the earth was rushing away from me. I was in a state of pure panic, struggling to get back. I fought and thrashed my arms around like I was swimming, trying to thrust against the force pulling me upwards.

Finally, gradually, I was able to push myself down a little, then a little more. Eventually I passed some kind of threshold where the force of gravity pulling me toward earth became stronger than the force pulling me up. The problem with this that I began to fall, truly fall. I was plummeting toward the ground, heart pounding, sure I was about to be squashed. Again, I thrashed my arms around like I was swimming, this time pushing against the ground that was rushing up to meet me. I managed to slow myself enough that I didn’t splatter when I hit but it knocked the breath out me.

I lay on the ground unable to breathe or move or scream for what felt like an eternity. Petey Grayson from across the street rushed over and was staring down at me with wide eyes yelling my name. I couldn’t answer at first. Finally, the air rushed back into my lungs in a huge, gulping, gasping shudder. I sat up, panting and sucking in air. Something had tried to take me and I had no idea what it was or when it might strike again. This though kept me grounded for months but eventually the urge to soar through the air was too great to deny.

My mother was hysterical when she heard the story, I overheard her sobbing to my father that, “They are trying to take him from us!”

I didn’t know who she meant until one night about a year later when I woke up to a soft pulsating glow coming through my bedroom windows. I ran to the window that overlooked the front of the house and there right outside my window, hovering just over the roof of the front porch, was a small, silver vessel. It was humming softly and there was an alternating blue and green light bathing the roof of the porch just beneath the ship. I quickly slipped out of my room and ran downstairs to my parent’s room.

I expected my parents to deny the presence of the ship, as they had always denied the existence of the monsters that I clearly knew lived in my closet, but instead they went up the stairs and I heard all kinds of banging’s and angry voices.

The next day we packed up and moved several states away. I learned to hide my powers and I managed to fit into my new school, blend in as a normal sixth grader. Years went by with no one the wiser. I graduated from high school and went to college.

But I always knew they’d find me again someday. As I sit here typing this, I can hear their footsteps, see their ship hovering outside my window again. This time, I’m going with them. I have questions, I want answers. I hope they have good intentions and I can learn from them. But just in case, I have a backup plan. I have developed other powers over the years. I can create and hold onto then project balls of energy. I have been practicing, at first it was just a small amount of energy, but now I can hold quite a bit. I’m sure I could hold and expel enough energy, at this point, to approximate a small nuclear explosion if I need to.

I realize this will be the end of me as well, but I won’t be held prisoner, I won’t be experimented on and I won’t be used as weapon to hurt others. I have to know what was done to me and why and if there are others. I will get answers or I will get vengeance, but I will not stay hidden any longer.

Fire Starter

Alexander stretched his hands out toward the pile of sticks he had stacked together in his back yard. Extending them, palms facing out, he started at the little pile of wood intently and focused his power like a laser beam. The power he could feel surging through him, had felt for awhile now.

His brow furrowed as he concentrated, a sheen of sweat breaking out on his forehead. He barely blinked, he focused harder.

Slowly, finally, a small tendril of smoke rose up from the pile, there was a slight flicker, then another, a crackling noise as the fire caught hold. Alexander did not break his concentration, he directed the spark, move over here, over there, heat the wood, catch, burn. His gaze intent as he mentally manipulated it.

Finally the fire caught with vigor. It popped and crackled as it flared up, the entire stack of twigs now engulfed in flames that danced and licked at the sky. Alexander broke his concentration and sat back, with a smile, quite pleased with his nine year old self as he watched his creation dance.

This story is a bit of an origin story for the character from The Would Be Thief.

The Vessel: Frank

Catherine stepped back to admire herself in the mirror. Her short blond bob had just gone even shorter, into a cute pixie cut. She felt free!

She smiled to herself, funny how something as simple as a haircut could make her feel free when she had already left behind everything that was weighing her down.

She had been onboard the ship for several days now. She seemed to be the only biological life form aboard. There were no other humans on board or anything she would describe as an alien or even an animal. No plant life either. She was completely perplexed as to who was in charge here.

Until Frank spoke to her. Frank was what she was calling the computer, or maybe the ship itself, she was unsure what, exactly, Frank was. Maybe Frank was the on board computer that controlled everything or maybe Frank was the ship itself. The distinction was a minor one, she knew. All she knew for sure was that Frank spoke to her, prepared her meals, adjusted the environment of the ship for her and plotted the course they took.

She knew this, because he had told her so. “The air inside the ship now approximates Earth’s atmosphere to accommodate your needs.” He had told her.

“Approximates?” She had asked, wondering if she should worry about approximations.

“Well, the air you breathe on board here is much superior to Earth’s atmosphere.” Frank had responded and she swore he sounded haughty.

“The air that I have manufactured is free of pollutants and allergens so yes, it approximates Earth’s atmosphere, but better than Earth itself.” That time she was sure he had sounded smug and self satisfied. This argued against him being a programmed machine, at least she thought it did. Could the ship itself be sentient? She had no idea. She had never been on board a spacecraft before, after all. What did she know about the mentality of UFOs?

The Vessel

The Vessel: Forward

The Vessel: Night

The Vessel: Food Edition

The Vessel: Return to Earth

Wild Flowers

It was the frame that first drew her attention. It glinted at her from across the room. She glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. They hadn’t seemed to.

She was in a little antique shop that she had almost missed amongst all the other stores on the square. She was traveling, just passing through but had stopped in a town in the middle of nowhere USA for lunch.

Pulling off the highway she was going to stop at Mcdonalds or Burger King, but she could see the town square from the gas station she fueled up at and decided to take a break, explore  a little, hopefully find a mom and pop lunch counter or diner, which she did.

“Down Home” was the name of the café, she was thrilled with menu options that included real vegetables and home cooked foods like meatloaf and pot roast. She had the pot roast with a salad and homemade rolls.

Once her stomach was full, Irene turned her attention to the rest of the square. She loved finding unique shops filled with interesting things that you couldn’t buy in bulk or find at Wal-Mart. It made her a popular gift giver. “Oh I’ve never seen anything like this before!” was an oft-used phrase amongst her friends and family. She prided herself on it.

Antique stores were particular favorites of hers. Old furniture just had a certain feel about it, like it was bursting with memories she couldn’t read. It was also built better in her opinion. Solid, sturdy. Not particle wood crap like they sold so much of today. Built to last.

It was a small shop, but it was jam packed full of merchandise, from giant armoires to ancient handbags, there was even a collection of old pipes. She was admiring the pipes when the picture caught her eye. Pipes reminded her of her grandfather, sitting in his rocking chair, encircled in smoke, the smell of pipe tobacco surprisingly pleasant considering she could not stand cigarette smoke.

From the corner of her eye she saw something glimmer. She looked up and craned her head around trying to determine what it was. She wandered to the back corner of the store. She had to weave in and out of dressers, curio cabinets, a canopy bed and plenty of old chairs.

Hanging on the wall was a watercolor in pastels of ladies laughing and sipping tea in a gazebo surrounded by a field of flowers. The golden frame around it had caught her eye from across the room, but up close the patterns in the painting itself were mesmerizing. If she stood very close, the flowers ceased to be flowers and just became dots of color, a dizzying number of them!

She wasn’t sure what was so fascinated about the dots, but she couldn’t stop staring at them. As she leaned in closer to the painting, she could swear she could hear the soft murmur of women’s voices, the tinkling of their laughter. She could smell the wild flowers; feel a gentle breeze caress her face.

She moved closer and reached her hand out; convinced it would go right into the canvass. She felt sure that if she just took a step forward, she would be there, sitting in the gazebo, sipping tea, forever in the wild flowers. The field of flowers began to move, as though waving in the wind, the entire painting seemed to shimmer, then……

“I said excuse me ma’am, may I help you?”

The voice startled her. More than startled, her heart nearly beat right out of her chest! What on earth? She shook her head, trying to clear the fog that had settled in it. It was like trying to claw away cobwebs from her mind. Irene was getting older, but she wasn’t so old that her mind was gone.  She had not yet succumbed to the trials and tribulations she had watched her grandparents go through, confusing one child for another, not knowing what year it was, not knowing where she was at.

Yet at that moment, she struggled mightily to remember who and where she was and what she had just been doing.

“Ma’am, are you ok?” The voice came again.

“Uh….y…yes, sorry.” She looked at the sales clerk who was watching her warily at this point. She was a young woman with auburn hair piled on top of her head in a knot and a long, flowing skirt with matching sweater. Her name tag said her name was Karen.

“I was just, just………” Irene trailed off, again, not quite sure what she had just been doing.

The painting! She had been admiring the painting!

“I was just looking at this painting……..” she trailed off as she turned back toward the blank wall, blinked a few times then turned to face Karen again.

The young clerk looked even more concerned now, “Would you like to sit down? I can get you some water. Is there anyone I can call for you?”

It was the pity in the younger woman’s eyes that finally snapped her back to herself. Call someone for her? She wasn’t old and decrepit yet, she still had many good years, hell, decades, in her!

“I’m fine!” She snapped, drawing herself up to her full height, “just got lost in thought for a moment!” She lied, “Thanks for your concern, really, but I’m ok. I really should be going now.”

She was momentarily confused as she headed for the exit; it was full dark outside though she had just entered the shop a few minutes ago, in broad daylight. She paused and asked the clerk what time it was.

“Almost nine o’clock ma’am, closing time.” Karen replied chirpily.

Irene knew she had entered the shop just before two in the afternoon. She swallowed, mumbled thanks and headed for the door.

“Irene” she heard, but it wasn’t Karen’s voice. No, it was the soft murmur she had heard from the painting, complete with the tinkling of laughter in the background. She fought the urge to turn and find the voice, to stare back into those dots, to stay forever in that field of wild flowers. Shaking, she forced herself to push her way out the door and hurried back down the road to her car without ever looking back.

 

 

 

Sara, Strong and Tall

The cougar stared into her eyes. Sara stood stock still, so close to the cat that she could feel it’s breath on her face. She stood without fear, tall, straight backed and staring right back into the cats eyes.

After a few tense moments, the large cat yawned and looked away. The wolves that surrounded her relaxed as the cougar turned and walked lazily back into the forest. Sara herself drew a breath of relief and stretched her back and arms. She felt completely exhilarated!

Leaving the human village behind her had been the best thing she had ever done. She felt at home here in the forest and it wasn’t just because of the wolves. It was the freedom! The lack of humans and their judgments, their silly rules, their inexplicable hatred and fear of the things they didn’t understand, of her.

Yes, this was her world now and she was happier than she had ever been.

This is a continuation, see the original here.

The Vessel: Return to Earth

This is a piece of flash fiction that piggy backs on another. You can find the original here.

“You must put in the code.”

She paused, perplexed, “What?”

“You must put in the code.” The mechanical voice came again.

She was standing at the door of the apartment building that she had been to a million times in her life. She had never needed a code before.

“uh……okay…..” she murmured as she glanced around to see if anyone else noticed this anomaly. Apparently no one did.

She sighed. Well if this wasn’t just about right. Things had just not been going her way ever since she decided to board a strange spacecraft and take off to parts unknown.

Returning to Earth had seemed like a good idea. A bit of time had gone by and she thought maybe she owed her ex an explanation. Or not. He was kind of a jerk. Still, seemed like stopping by was the right thing to do since she was in this part of the universe.

She touched the com in her ear that connected her back to the ship.

“Frank!” She demanded, “Can you get me the code to this thing?”

She swore she heard a metallic sigh from the other end of the com. Who knew computers could be so moody?

“You’re going to see him? After what he did to you?”

“Just tell me the code please!” she snapped.

“Fine, but don’t blame me when this ends badly. Scan it.”

She pulled out her little handheld device that Frank had given her and moved it back and forth over the keypad.  There was some bleeping and crackling as the numbers lit up on the screen and then the door swung open.

“Thanks!” she chirped as she pocketed the device and turned her com off.

The Vessel

The Vessel Part Two

The Vessel: Food Edition

 

The Drummers

He sat straight up in bed, sweating. The bedside clock read 2am. This time he knew he wasn’t dreaming. He heard the sound of drums distinctively, thrumming, the rhythm so out of place yet so familiar to him.

Tossing the covers aside, he hurried to the bedroom door, following the sound. He slipped quietly out the door and down the hall. At the top of the stairs, he paused, wondering why he wasn’t afraid. Surely the sound of tribal drumming coming from your living room at 2 am should frighten a sane person. It should definitely frighten a person who lives alone, who knows he didn’t leave the stereo or television turned on. The logical part of his mind told him that he should be frightened, or at the very least, concerned. And yet.

And yet, he was not frightened, he was not concerned. He was intrigued, he was curious, truth to tell, he was excited!

He had first starting hearing the drums several weeks ago. He heard them at random times throughout the day and night. At first, it was really more a rhythm in his head that he couldn’t quiet place. Like a tune stuck in your head, but he was sure he knew no songs that employed only percussion instruments.

After several days of it being stuck in his head, he started hearing it for real. The first time he had been at work. He left his desk and wandered down the hall trying to find where the sound was coming from, but it always seemed to be coming from the opposite direction he was walking. His coworkers didn’t hear it. Weird, he had thought at the time.

The first time he had heard it in his sleep, he assumed he had dreamed it but this time it hadn’t stopped when he woke up. He was sure he was awake.

He made his way down the stairs and into his living room. Across the room from him was a door that he had never seen before. Streams of mist were trailing out from under it and filling up the room. The drumming sound was definitely coming from behind that door.

He felt no fear or apprehension as he strode across the room to the door. He felt only eagerness to finally find the source of the drumming.

Opening the door he found himself standing at the threshold of a different world; a lush, tropical jungle alive with sounds. He heard birds calling to one another, lions roaring in the distance, and from within the distance tree line, the constant thumping of drums. He stepped unhesitatingly into the jungle.

Coming to the edge of the trees, he could see into a clearing. He saw a circle of drummers with painted faces, dancers in the middle of the circle, twirling and swooping with long cylinders that had smoke coming out of them as they swayed around a crackling fire. One of the drummers glanced up and gestured a greeting to him. It was both a welcome and an invitation.

He glanced back at the doorway to his living room, to the portal to the world that was both his old world and his new one somehow. Instinctively he knew that this jungle was his original home, that this is where he belonged.

He waved his hand and watched the door to his living room close then he turned and stepped into the clearing.

 

Authors note: Thanks to Little Fears for the prompt.