Flash Fiction #37

Everyone is born with a mark on their bicep. Sometimes its dots, a number or symbol. Mine is an infinity symbol. I can never reveal to anyone what my mark looks like. I have never seen one that looks like mine. The highest I have seen is 30. There is a club for those that reach 20, then 50, and there is an exclusive club for those few in the city that have reached 100.

I can only remember the last 10 lives that I have lived, so I am unsure at how many I have actually lived before that.  Sometimes you bring all of the memories forward with you. The last time I died I only brought with me the memory of my mother and father and the day that I died.

I can only assume that they were the reason I was in the institution to begin with.  They had come to visit me that day. It seems like it had been weeks since I had seen them. Honestly, I cannot remember all of the details. My mother looked withdrawn and tired. My father looked disheveled and unshaven. I thought we were going to sit down to have lunch like I remembered doing several times before but they stopped my nurse before we could make it that far.

“We aren’t here to have lunch today. We have come to say goodbye.” My father spoke so soft I could hardly hear him.

“Why?” I whispered back.

“It has become too much for us to be here. Your mother and I have to travel almost 100 miles round trip.”

“Cecilia, Are you ok?”

My head began to spin and my breathing became labored.

“Cecilia? Mr. and Mrs. Dirk, I am going to have to ask you to leave. Cecilia needs to lay down now.”

“Goodbye Cecilia.”

As my parents turned to leave I let out a sound that I had never heard before. It felt like my body was breaking. They moved as quickly as they could. As they reached the door I went barreling after them. They were able to make it across the street and as soon as my foot hit the asphalt I was hit by a car.

 

This scenario now plays through my head daily. Walking down the street I am always extra cautious of the cars and buses as they drive by. Today I am headed to my first day of college. It seems like I have waited years for this moment in this lifetime. As I round the corner I bump full on into a couple. As we look at each other it registers that we know one another. They see it to. My old parent stand a few feet in front of me.

“Cecilia!”

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Flash Fiction #36

The Chinese space station landed in the ocean like it was supposed to. No one was injured from the re-entry. No one was really around to see it fall. It had only been in space for a handful of years but this was long enough for it to bring something back to earth.

Not long after it had landed the Chinese brought the station back to a facility in the middle of the country. Everything began slowly after that. A neon pink cloud formed around the crashed station 6 weeks after it had been moved. At first it grew by only a millimeter in diameter a day. As it grew it became charged. Electricity would shoot through it. At first the effects of the cloud and electricity could not be seen. When they were visible it was devastating. Once you could see the effects, they spread rapidly. Once it spread all over China it went from country to country until the whole world was infected on some level. Animals and plants started to mutate. Aggressive animals at the top of the food chain became even more deadly. Plants that contained poisons were more lethal. As people began to change, the world did as well. Riots broke out in the streets as tensions ran high. Not all animals, plants, and humans were affected.

Those of us who were not changed had to go into hiding. It was scary and dangerous. My whole family had been eradicated and so I went off on my own to the middle of the US. I traveled by foot and went as far as I could every day. I have been in Montana now for two weeks. I have not seen very many people in these parts. I am going to be heading now into Canada. There has been talk of more space up there for those who have not been turned in any way.

 

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Flash Fiction #35

As I sit on my throne and look at all who I have turned to stone, I think of the one I loved. The god of the sea. It was my love for Poseidon and my carelessness for my vows that made me into the monster I am today. No man may look at me now and live to tell the tale. They all sit around me staring without being able to see me or the world around them. My palace has begun to crumble around me and my collection. I used to leave in the dead of night to see the world. But the world has changed and I can no longer move without being seen. So I sit and I wait for my palace to crumble or to add to my collection.

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Flash Fiction #34

They began to show up five days before my 18th birthday. The first tattoo showed up on my chest right where my heart would be. It began to appear while I was showering the morning of my birthday. My skin began to burn and right before my eyes a circle with a flower came through. It was terrifying. I grabbed a towel and ran out of the shower screaming for my grandmother.

“Grandma! There is something happening to my skin!”

As soon as she looked at my new tattoo she gave me a look that encompassed shock, sadness, and disbelief.

“Anna, calm down. Calm down. Come sit with me so I can talk to you.”

Now I was doubly confused. Not only was I getting spontaneous magic tattoos but my grandmother seemed to know what was happening.

“Anna, I think it is time you were told more about our family, your mother, and her death.”

“You told me she died in a boating accident. And what does that have to do with these tattoos and our family?”

“Everything. Our family comes from a long line of witches. The power is passed down from mother to daughter.”

What? A witch? Are witches even real? WHAT?

“Ok. So, you, my mom, and I are all witches? Like casting spells and riding broom witches?”

She laughed a little at that one.

“I don’t understand what is funny right now? First, I didn’t know witches were a real. Second, this is all so confusing. Third, I’m allowed to ask stupid questions.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“So, why tattoos?”

“They are the mark of a witch. As you grow and learn you will obtain more.”

“Will they all hurt like this one did?”

“Some of them will. It depends on how you get them and what they are for.”

“Alright. This is going to take some time to sort through everything I am feeling. I’m going to go and get dressed first.”

Tattoos? Spells? This is all so confusing. But before I could make it all the way to my bedroom I turn back to my grandmother.

“You said you had something to tell me about my mother.”

“Not right now Anna. Let’s have breakfast first.”

Her face was holding a secret. I could see it now. It was a look I had seen before. She got this look when she was worried about the outcome.

Flash Fiction #33

“Sir, it looks like the unit we were waiting for but I can’t be sure.”

“How far out are they?”

“Maybe five miles.”

This war had been long and drawn out. We had been at this post for two weeks now waiting for reinforcements before moving on.

“I hope it is them. We need to leave this post by the end of the month. Sooner if we can.”

“Are there more coming?”

“No. It’s us and this unit.”

“Do you know what’s waiting for us at the next post?”

“Three more units are supposed to be there. But I haven’t heard in a while.”

I hope the other units made it. I had heard that two or three units had been ambushed on their way. Communication has been sparse and infrequent.

“It seems to be the unit.” Sanders snaps me out of my thoughts.

“Well we should still be cautious. So ready your weapon.”

“Yes sir.”

Without binoculars I could see the caravan clearly now. They flew the right flag but these days it didn’t matter. You flew the flag you needed to get where you wanted. There were only three vehicles, which is half of what it should be.

“They look hurt.”

Damn. They likely got hit on the way. As they pulled up slowly I recognized the driver as Second Lieutenant Jones. He and what men I could see did look hurt. They were alert and it’s obvious they trusted us as much as we trust them.

“Are you Captain Tristan and Private Sanders?”

“Yes. You are?”

“Second Lieutenant Jones.”

“How many are with you?”

“Fifteen. We lost the rest in a few different raids.”

“Get them in. Get them fed, showered, and some sleep. We leave in four days.”

“Yes sir.”

“Sir, should I send the drone to the post to check out the path?”

“Yes Sanders. We will need to check everyday until we leave.”

“Yes sir.”

——-

“Sir, we are 2 minutes out from the post. I’ve seen a few signs that there has been activity on the road but I didn’t see anyone.”

“Thats great news. Let’s hope it stays that way.”

The drone began to slow and as the post came into view it was clear that the men there were not our own. There were at least five units there waiting for us.

“What are we going to do?”

“We are going to go around to the next post.”

“What if that one is occupied also?”

“Then we figure it out once we get there. What other choice do we have? We can’t go back.”

———-

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Flash Fiction #32

As I wait in line to go into the underworld, I hold my dearest possessions. A photo of my family, my grandmothers ring and my fathers watch. The line is moving at an agonizing pace. Before you can cross the threshold, you must give up the possession you want most. Had I not killed that man I would have been going to the gates above the clouds.

50 spots back from the front.

It looks like I still have several hours until I reach the front. My father had given my this watch the day before he passed. He wore it everyday and it looks odd in my hands. My grandmother gave me her ring on my 16th birthday. It was given to her for her wedding from her aunt. The photo is my mother, father, two sisters, myself and my grandmother.

40 spots back from the front.

I can’t seem to decide who I will cast aside when the time comes. It seems logical that I would keep the picture since I could then look at everyone for eternity. But would that make it my most prized possession? The ring and the watch mean the most to me. If I kept the picture would it let me cross?

30 spots back from the front.

Would my grandmother feel anything if I gave her ring away? Same with my father? Do they see me from the clouds as I descend into the underworld? Would the rest of my family feel the betrayal as I choose the ring or watch over the photo?

20 spots back from the front.

In a flash I am at the threshold.

“#3698, what is your most prized possession?”

I stare at him and my heads swims as I think of what I need to keep. The fire pit to my left looms large and uninviting. The flames shoot out of the opening licking my feet.

“Now #3698.”

Before I walk into the underworld I toss it all in the fire knowing that I don’t need objects to remember them.

Flash Fiction #31

10 days. 10 days.

“Mom.”

10 days….

“Yes Sophie.”

“Can I have a pony?”

“A pony?”

“Yes. A pony. Please.”

“Where are we going to keep a pony?”

“In the backyard. Or in my room.”

“That’s not going to work. Even if we had a place to put a pony, they are a lot of work. You have to feed them, clean them and pick up their poop.”

“I will do it ALL!”

“Seriously Soph.”

“Come on mom.”

Am I standing here going back and forth with my 5-year-old for a reason? This is ridiculous.

“Did you ask your father?”

“He told me to ask you.”

Of course he did.

“I have a great idea. Why don’t you write another letter to Santa to ask him for one?”

“Sure. Seems like something he could do.”

“I am going to do that right now!”

“Fantastic.”

“Sophie, are you ready to get grandma from the airport?”

As I was standing looking at my list of things to complete Sophie comes running in and shoves a letter in my hand.

“What’s this?”

“My letter to Santa.”

“Wow! There are only five days until Christmas. Are you sure it’s enough time?”

“Mom, its Santa. He’s magic. Remember?”

“Right. How could I forget?”

“I hope I get my pony tomorrow.”

“Well if you don’t you can always try again next year.”

“I know” she said with a sigh.

Tomorrow I am going to have a disappointed little girl. I hope she will be distracted by the excitement of the morning.

“MOM!!” Sophie yelled.

“What?!” I shot awake. “Is something wrong?”

“No. Its Christmas morning! I got a PONY!!”

“Ugh. Don’t yell at me to wake me please unless something is wrong.”

It then registered what she had yelled at me.

“What?!” I jumped out of bed.

“SANTA GOT ME A PONY!!” she ran downstairs.

“Jeff! Did you get her a pony?”

“Of course not.”

I hurried after her as quickly as I could. She was standing in the foyer with the front door open looking outside with a stupid grin on her face.

The pony stood in the front yard just beyond the porch. Its beautiful with chocolate hair and a tan mane.

“Sophie, stay right here. I am going to see who brought it for you.”

“It was SANTA!” she began to run forward.

“Sophie! Please stay right here.”

As I was walking toward the pony it began to act agitated. I moved as slowly as I could. Just as I was about to scoot off the porch my foot hit a box. Inside was an envelope.

 

To Sophie

It was written in the most beautiful script. Jeff showed up beside me then.

“That looks handwritten.” Jeff stated.

“It does. Who the hell got her a pony?”

“I don’t know. Open the envelope.”

Sophie,

You wrote me the sweetest letter. Here is the pony you asked for. Her name is Medusa. I hope you like her.

Satan

 

Jeff and I looked at each other horrified. As we turned to look at Medusa, she opened her mouth and out came a fireball.

“That is so awesome! A FIRE BREATHING PONY!” Sophie squealed.


 

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