Flash Fiction #56

“You want my memories?” he asked quietly.

“Only the ones of me,” she answered.

“What are you going to do with the rest of them Sadie?”

“Captain wants to sort through them. He thinks you hold the answer to winning the war.”

 

He sat there silently.

 

“M, he is going to get them either way,” Sadie pleaded with him.

“He will only get them if you hand them over. You know that.”

“He has sent another team after you. They won’t ask you like I am.”

“I am not the enemy Sadie. Again, this is something you know.”

 

A tear ran down her cheek and she turned away.

 

“The ropes are beginning to hurt now.”

“If you stop moving, I can get this over with and leave.”

“Don’t do this Sadie. I don’t have what he wants. If you do this, my head will be empty of everything.”

“I have to do this M. It’s for the good of everyone.”

“Is that what he has told you? I don’t have the answer…. You are willing to turn me into a ghost to fulfill the wish of a psychopath.”

 

Sadie began to sweat. She had been following M for a week debating on how to approach him. Earlier this morning she decided to break into his apartment. She attacked him and tied him up. If she tried to talk to him, she did not think she could follow through. This was easier for her. Talking to him would bring back many memories. She had not seen him in a year. Captain told her that M had all the information that they needed. He helped track M to this city about three weeks ago.

 

“Sadie, I am begging you.”

 

Sadie did not have a chance to answer or continue on to the extraction. A blast rang out and threw her against the opposite wall. Pain shot through her and her ears were ringing. Moving slowly, Sadie began to look around and tried to get up. A hole was blown through the door. It swung back and forth. The smoke was thick causing her to cough. M was gone.

 

“Damn it,” Sadie fell back and passed out.

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Flash Fiction #55

“Come here.”

“Why?”

“Just come here.”

“No, you are gonna hit me.”

“No, I’m not. What are you twelve? I just want to show you something.”

“Fine.”

“You are my best friend. Why would I hit you?”

“Well, you used to hit me.”

“Rose, that was a long time ago. Like ten years ago when we were eight.”

“Elizabeth, you have always been a bully.”

“Then why are we still friends?”

That was a question I wasn’t sure I was prepared to answer. Elizabeth and I have lived next door to each other since we were born. Our parents moved in the same week and we were born 5 days apart. We have never really been apart. But Elizabeth has always been in charge and for some reason I never stopped her. I was always ok with playing second fiddle to her. During elementary and middle school, I followed her around like a lost puppy.

Once we got into high school I began to pull away. It wasn’t fun anymore. Elizabeth continued to gain popularity, while I faded more and more into the background. We are due to graduate in a week. I got a text from Elizabeth this morning.

Hey can you come by after work. I have to show you something.

So here I am.

I completely ignore her question, “So what did you need to show me?”

“Look at this box of stuff I found. Its notes, books, and things we made when we were younger.”

It was full of paper, notebooks, Lisa Frank stuff, Nickelodeon stuff, boy bands, and so much more. It was like a pit of the ‘90’s.

“Where did you find it?”

“I was helping my mom clean out the attic. She was looking for stuff to put in the spare room. We came across this. I figured you and I could go through it. If you have time.”

“I have time this weekend. If you do?”

“Sure. I know I haven’t been around much. But I wanted to spend some time with you before I went to New York.”

I am still not sure how I feel about Elizabeth leaving. We haven’t been close in a few years but I have this weird loyalty to her. So, I will come back this weekend and go through things with her.

“Thanks for coming! I really need to spend this weekend going through stuff. I figured you would be the best one to take down memory lane!”

It still did not sound exciting as I wanted it to be. I paused for a minute thinking that this would be the perfect time to tell her how I felt. But I do not because it’s not something I am comfortable doing. Instead I smile and say see ya later. Maybe I can work myself up to it by Saturday.

 

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Flash Fiction #54

“Did you just…agree with me?”

“Oh I wish I could take-“

“Nope! You said it! No take-backs!”

All she could do was roll her eyes at her cousin. They had spent every summer together since they were two. This year had been a bit different. The girls were 15 now. They had entered high school, one of them had a boyfriend, and they just could not relate to each other as much anymore. Alex did not really want to come this year but her mother had pointed out that it was not only her cousin she was spending time with but her grandmother also. So, she packed her bags and got on the bus to go to her grandmother’s house. Now she stood in front of the new releases in Blockbuster.

Dinner last night had been awkward. Alex just wanted to go to theater camp this summer. But that would now have to wait. Jenn wanted to stay up and talk last night. Thankfully Alex was able to avoid it telling her that she was tired from the 10-hour bus ride. Which was half true. She just really did not want to talk. This morning was not as bad. Jenn really wanted to talk about her boyfriend. It should have been easy. They had always gotten along and talked about everything. Since Jenn started dating last summer it made a fissure between the girls. All Jenn wanted to do was talk about her boyfriend. Alex was more focused on school and getting into a decent college for free.

“So now that we know you agree with me on something again, should we pick that movie now?”

“Fine.”

“How about Cool as Ice.”

“No. I saw that one. It was not good.”

“So, do you want to watch My Girl then?”

“Sure. Should we get two?”

“Father of the Bride. This is a good one!”

“Cool.”

——-

“How has school been going?” Jenn asked as they began to walk back to their grandmother’s house.

“Good. I am busy with the play and my AP classes.”

“What else do you do besides go to school and do plays?”

“That is all I do.”

“How boring!”

“Well what do you do with your time?”

“I go to school and hang out with Trent.”

“That sounds boring.”

This made her roll her eyes for the first time. Jenn had never wanted the girls to grow apart. She always loved having Alex to talk to. They called each other every week. But the last year it had dropped every month. She did not quite understand what had happened between them. She wanted their relationship to go back to what it was.

“Are we ever going to be friends again Alex?”

“We are friends Jenn. We are also cousins.”

“You know what I mean.”

There was a long pause. Jenn looked over at Alex who kept looking forward and walking.

“Why are we not talking as much as we used to?”

“I’ve been really busy with school and stuff. You seem to be really busy with Trent. So, it makes sense that we aren’t talking as much anymore.”

“I hope that’s all it is.”

Alex made a sideways glance at her. But for now, they just kept on walking.

 

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Flash Fiction #53

As she sat watching his casket lower into the ground, she could not help but notice that it was only the priest and herself. No one else had come to see him be buried. His parents had passed away a few years back. His siblings would not come.

Alexis and Aaron had been friends their whole life. It was very cliché. They were next door neighbors growing up. They were in every class together from kindergarten through high school. They told each other everything. When they went to college, they kept in close touch. People would comment on how odd it was for a boy and a girl to be so close. Their families always hinted about marriage and settling down. Alexis loved Aaron but he did not love her back. Not in the way she wanted. To ensure they kept their friendship, she did not push a romantic relationship.

After college something in Aaron changed. He became combative and surly. He was very successful. He was able to begin building a real estate empire that would rival the best in the country. Eventually the world. When you become that successful and rich in such a short amount of time, something is bound to change. It was too bad that it was for the worse. He drank himself in to a stupor most nights and went home alone.  He pushed himself away from his friends and then his family.

It was difficult to pin point exactly when the change happened. Alexis saw it first. She tried in vain to keep close to him. It did not work. Alexis met and married a great man named Evan. She was getting her three children ready for school the day she got the call that Aaron had been found in his condo. They had not told the family yet what the cause of death was. Alexis had guessed it likely had something to do with his drinking.

Although she had not spoken to him in over a decade, it broke her heart. She still loved him. Evan was an amazing father and husband. But she had always loved Aaron on some level. It was hard to let it go on all levels.

——-

“How was your trip home?” Evan asked when she walked into the kitchen. He had been very understanding about her going to Aaron’s funeral. He did not know that she loved him, but he knew that they had always been close growing up.

“It was ok. I was able to spend a few nights with my parents while I was down there.”

“I am glad you were able to be there for him.” He kissed her and held her tight.

“I was the only one there. His brothers decided not to come. I thought his sister was going to but she never showed up.”

“This came for you today.”

“What is it?”

“I am not sure. It does not have a return address.”

“Ok. I will look at it later. Let’s have dinner and I want to hear all about your time while I was out.”

———

The envelope sat on her desk for four more days as she slipped back into her regular life. On Thursday she sat down to pay bills, make a shopping list and go through all the mail. When she got to the letter, she now remembered Evan handing it to her earlier in the week.

She opened it cautiously. As she pulled out the paper inside a photo fell out of it. Her breath caught in her throat. It was Aaron and her at their senior prom. She had the best up-do with a maroon floor length dress. Aaron wore a black tuxedo with a matching maroon vest. Tears then began to fall. It came on so suddenly. All she could do was stare at it. After some time, she turned her attention to the letter. Before she saw who had signed it, she knew it was from him. His hand writing had not changed in all of these years.

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Flash Fiction #52

This is the first store Kay had run into in a while. She has to be somewhere near Casa Grande. She had worked her way up from Tucson. This was also where she lost the last of her party. It had been difficult to keep a group together since the virus broke out. This was the fourth that had fallen apart since it all started.

Kay goes up and down every aisle in the store hoping that she can find anything to being with her. Ultimately, she is heading up toward Canada where it is cooler. The desert has been brutal and she cannot take it anymore. Toward the back of the store she still had not found anything. Time to move on.

——

Six days later, Kay makes it to Flagstaff. The leaves are beginning to turn. It must be early fall. Time had passed without her knowing the date or time. As she enters the city she sees a small convenience store that looks like it still has stuff in it.

There is a bell that dings as she pushes open the door. It sounds loud since there is no other noise. There are a few cans of food on one of the shelves. There aren’t any labels on them left, but she takes them and puts them in her bag. She moves through the store grabbing anything and everything she can carry. As she stuffs her bag she thinks about staying here for the night. Looking around for a place to bed down for the night, a crash comes from the back of the store. Kay freezes with fear.  It has been weeks since she has seen another person. Slowly she moves toward the sound. As she rounds the corner to look into the hall, she only sees a cat and boxes that have fallen.

When the sun sets she eats two of the cans of food. One was Lima beans and the other peaches. They tasted better than she thought they would. As she began to lay down, the front door of the store opens and Kay lays very still.

 

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Flash Fiction #51

I have an appointment today to choose who I will be when I am reincarnated. Since my father is the governor, we have the means to choose who we will come back to earth as. Four months ago I filled out a lengthy questionnaire for my ideal candidate. When I go to the offices of Reincarnation, Inc. today, they will give me a list of 50 people to choose from. I will have one month to narrow down my choices to ten. After that, I will have another month to make it one. For those who are not well off they come back as whoever or whatever is given to them. You are often put back into the same situation you were in before your death. There are 100 recipients every decade that win a lottery to pick their new life.

“Taylor, are you ready to leave darling?”

“Yes mother. I will be right down.”

—————-

The office that they put me in is large, cozy, and warm. When we first arrived, we had a meeting as a family. We have to go through our options independently. My case worker comes into the room holding a binder full of information. It’s black with gold writing. I suppose they are trying to make it look appealing. I hadn’t thought about what this meeting would entail but now that I see the binder the nerves begin to creep in.

“Miss Hope. How are you this morning?”

“I am well. Thank you.”

“We carefully considered everything from your questionnaire and put together this list for you.”

The binder felt heavier than I thought it would.

“Thank you for taking the time to put this together for me.”

“You are welcome. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.  For right now we can glance over your choices.”

Opening the binder, I can see that it is split between males and females. Looking through my female choices first I notice that I am not in here.

“Can I not come back as myself?”

“No miss.”

“Oh.”

I am not sure why I asked or why I even wondered. Of course, I cannot come back as myself.

“How do you pick my choices? Are these candidates already deceased or are any still living?”

“All of theses candidates are deceased. We do that in case you meet your death early miss.”

I have not thought much about dying until recently. But I guess it could happen at any moment. I continue to work my way through the females and my case worker clears her throat until I look up.

“That is all for today. As I said before, if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.”

“Alright. Thank you again.”

My case worker walks me out into the hallway at this point. Coming out of the room across from me is a picture of the first female on my list.

 

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Flash Fiction #50

I just wanted to take a minute to say how thankful I am to those who read my flash fiction. This is my 50th one that I have written. I am very close at this point to 100 posts on my blog. I hope everyone has enjoyed my writing. Again, I appreciate the support.

 


 

“We need your decision now Emma.”

“Those are my only two options?”

“Yes.”

“If I choose option B, what happens when they die?”

“You will come back to me for another assignment or to go to hell.”

“Right.”

I died three days ago and it has taken my this long to make it to the undertaker’s office. It felt like an eternity. Once I got up here they made me fill out paperwork like I was at a doctor’s office. It took me hours. I had to answer things like, what did you do while you were alive? What kind of person were you? Do you regret anything that happened in your life? Its all ridiculous and comical. I didn’t realize that when I died I would have to do paperwork but here we are.

After I took all of the time filling out the questionnaires they laid out my two option for me for the afterlife. Now I was not the best person in life. I stole, lied, fought, and made peoples lives awful. It is now coming back to bite me in the ass. I guess I should have listened to my mother and the church when I was younger.

Option A- Move on to the gates of hell. They would not tell me what awaited me beyond them. I am assuming it is not great. I would expect torture and discomfort for all time.

Option B- I choose a living human and follow them around for the rest of their natural life.

This could be a really good option for me. I could pick a kid so that I would not have to come back up here so soon. Honestly, I don’t think I’m ready to go to hell yet. Although following a kid around and watching them grow up could be like living in hell. I could do this for 80 years or so and see where it goes.

“I choose option B.”

“Are you certain? Once you have chosen this you are stuck with it for the remainder of the person’s life.”

“I am certain.”

“Who do you choose?”

“Just describe someone?”

“Yes. Your ideal candidate. Someone you could spend years with.”

“OK. A female, 10 years old.”

“Done.”

He pushes a green button and I fall through the floor.

 

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Flash Fiction #49

Now that I have spent 4 hours cleaning out my parent’s attic I need to sit. While up there I found a box of videos and pictures from when my sisters and I were growing up. There are a dozen or so VHS tapes. Luckily not far from the box I was able to find my parents old tape player. My mom kept EVERYTHING.

Jenna, Lucy, and I grew up in a small town in California. We spent our summers outside as long as we could. My dad always followed us around with a camcorder, while my mom followed with a camera. There looks to be hundreds of pictures. I am not sure that I ever looked though them. When I told Jenna and Lucy they told me they did not even know about them. So now I am going to spend the rest of my afternoon getting through what I can.

Putting in the first tape and listening to it rewind brings back memories. The sound and the smell of my parent’s house transports me back to this room sitting on the couch with my sisters. Jenna always sat on the left because it irritated Lucy. Lucy sat in the middle so she could pester Jenna. I sat wherever I could. I am the baby of the family. My life consisted of trying to be like my sisters whenever I could. So, I would sit where I was not in the way of them in hopes that they wouldn’t run me off. They would watch MTV late into the night and dance along with the videos.

As the picture comes to life on the tv I see Jenna with her blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes. She was always in dresses. Lucy had strawberry blonde hair that hung straight down her back. She hated wearing dresses. I remember them butting heads as often as they could. I have relationships with my sisters on our own terms. They are both so different and I fall somewhere in the middle.

It is cool to look back and see us as kids. I remember this day. Jenna and Lucy were riding their bikes while I tried out my new set of rollerblades. This had to have been my ninth birthday. Jenna was wearing her favorite dress, blue with white polka dots. Lucy had her hair up and wore jean shorts with a red top. I only remember in so much detail because later that afternoon I fell and broke my arm. It was the only time I went to the emergency room as a child.

Something in the video shifts slightly. I can’t tell what it is. My sisters now seem off. It is hard to place what as happened. I pause the video and study every inch of the screen. Then I see it. On the right side of the screen I see two faces that looks very familiar. At the edge of the bushes, Jenna and I are looking on. We are adults though. We are looking at ourselves as children.  I run to get my phone. When I get back the frame is still the same. Jenna and I standing behind a bush looking at ourselves as children. I dial Jenna.

“Jenna, I need you to come over to mom and dad’s right now.”

“What’s going on T?”

“I need to show you something. Please!”

“OK, I’m on my way.”

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Flash Fiction #48

I have been here for 365 days now. The day I washed ashore I began to count. A week after I got to the island I was able to find enough to build a makeshift fort. I found a few planks, some rope, and some crates from an old shipwreck. Unfortunately, there was nothing in them but I did use a few of the planks to mark the days.

Over the past year I have fished, explored, and foraged the whole island. The water is clear here and the fish are plenty. I have not been successful catching any other animal. The birds are too high and all of the other animals are too smart for me. Of course, I had never hunted or fished before I was stranded here. I try and explore every day. From what I can tell, there are not other islands within swimming distance. I have never seen a boat go by or a plane. Its like once I got stranded here everything else disappeared. Or I am literally in the middle of the ocean. Probably the Pacific, but I do not remember where I was headed. I only remember my name, how old I am, and landing on the island. The rest is coming back very slowly.

About 3 months ago, a suitcase washed ashore. Nobody or nothing else came with it. It was strange but nothing else out of the ordinary has happened. I just go through the same routine daily. There was a journal in the suitcase and I began to write my story. I wanted to write it down before I forgot.  Maybe someone will find it one day or I’ll send it back into the ocean.

My name is Katrina and I am 35 years old. I have been on this island now for 9 months. I have learned how to fish, hunt, and become rather self-sufficient. The air is clear. It is beautiful here but lonely. Doing the same thing gets boring. I have mapped out the island and given a star to the places I like the most. It is hard to tell exactly how big the island is. I try to take different routes all of the time but I have a few that I use often.

———

The storm that rolled in early this morning woke me. Its been a while since one has come through. 84 days to be exact. Before the humidity really kicks in I think I will check my traps.

It looks like the storm broke quite a few branches and there is debris all over one of my main walking paths. I see the trap ahead but it looks empty. It also looks like someone has opened it. Getting closer I could see a fresh boot print around it. This is beyond strange because I did not come with shoes. I have always been barefoot. But the storm would have washed away any prints anyway. Behind me I hear a twig snap.

 

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Flash Fiction #47

Everyone has a streak of hair that matches their soulmate. Just one streak that matches their color and texture. My father has red hair that is frizzy and is uncontrollable. My mother shares this same streak of hair. When you begin to go through puberty is when your soulmates hair streak begins to grow through your hair. My brother, Sven, now has his full streak. His began at the age of 12. Now at the age of 16, he recently found his soulmate. She is a 16-year-old with black, straight hair. His streak really stuck out because he has blonde hair.

I turned 12 last year and my streak started to come in. I am not happy about it at all. My streak is blue and it floats. I cannot get it to do anything. IT FLOATS! Who has hair that floats? I have been looking around for a year now. No one in my city has blue, floating hair. I know that my city has a ton of people but Sven was able to find his soulmate. I also realize that it hasn’t been four years like it was for him. But you would think that if my soulmate were close I would be able to easily find someone with blue, floating hair.  My best friend Trina has been helping me look also. I am hoping we can find this guy. Really for no other reason than to see who he is. I also want to know why his hair floats. Its so weird.

Trina got a really easy streak that she can incorporate into her hair. Hers just seamlessly blends it. I am very jealous of how easy it has been for her.

 

-3 years later-

Trina met her soulmate on vacation this summer. His name is Carl. He lives in Orlando. Apparently, his family is moving to our state next year. It was weird for her. She said as soon as she saw him she knew. Of course, for me it won’t be that hard to figure out. I am sure once I see my soulmate I will know before our eyes even meet.

 

-6 years later-

It is my last year in school before I go onto job training. Trina and I are on our way to the first class of the day.

“Are you looking forward to this last year?” Trina asks right as we get to our class.

“I am. I hope it goes by fast.”

“It will.” She smiles at me as we take our seats and the instructor walks in. I notice that she has a student with her. He is tall and athletic looking. Trina and I sit there staring at this kid because under the edge of his hat there is a hint of blue hair. He is looking down at his feet but when he finally does look up it is undeniable that his hair is blue. I can now fully see the ring of blue around his head. When our eyes meet, he looks at me stunned. It is clear that he recognizes the blue streak in my hair. I have been years looking for this guy and he walks into my school. This must be a sign from the universe or some cosmic joke.

“Good morning everyone. This is Everett. He has just moved here from Washington. Please give him a warm welcome to our little corner of the desert.”

As he passes me I can’t help but notice how good he smells. Like fresh air and something else I can’t quite figure out. I haven’t looked at anyone else but when I have a little focus back I look at Trina. She is looking at me with the biggest smile on her face.

 

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