Sunday, January 31, 2010

FFF #19.... There's No Letting Go

As far as Jack was concerned, even a field of four-leaf clovers couldn’t turn things around. He was convinced that because he was born in a leap year, that he was under a secret thirteenth Zodiac sign and its symbol was a giant screw.

Jack had rolled over to get a drink of water from the nightstand in his hotel room this morning and was surprised to find he was sharing his bed. Not sure what events had unfolded last night other than drinking up a storm, Jack had no clue who this mysterious person was. Quietly he had slipped out of bed, pulled on some shorts, and walked to the door. He opened it and checked to see if he was in the right room and the number outside indicated that he was indeed.

He shuffled back to the bed and stared. The slumbering person stirred, and the comforter shifted showing the face of a woman who had large saggy cheeks, a double chin, and curly brown hair- definitely not his type. What the hell happened last night? Jack racked his brain while backing away from the bed.

He had wandered over to the desk where his wallet was lying and sat down on the hard backed chair. Jack put his head in his hands and rubbed his tired face. Pulling on his chin, he decided he needed an aspirin and a large glass of water to kick his hangover headache. Just as he stood, Jack had looked down and noticed a piece of paper on the table with his name on it. Grabbing a hold of it, he noticed that scrolled across the top read: The State of Nevada. Looking closely, he read:

…This certifies that Jack Randall Picket and Maureen Hicken were married July 5th, 2009…

This has to be a joke! Jack looked at it again and noticed his one of a kind signature pledging that he agreed. He glanced at the bed again. No, no this couldn’t be happening! Why did the worst things always happen to him!

“Morning Handsome.”

Jack jumped and turned around to look at the person who had just spoken. His jaw dropped to the ground when he found that he was looking at a woman who was easily the size of two.

“Uh…uh… eh… um… morning” he squeaked.

“That was some night last night wasn’t it.” She purred walking towards him.

Backing away Jack realized he had put himself in a terrible spot, cornered he looked at her in fear.

“Sh... sh... sure was.” He gulped.

“What’s wrong honey? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” She looked around behind her then back at Jack.

“Did we get m… mar…” he swallowed and tried again, “married?”

“Sure did, and you thought it was so cute when I told you we should have Elvis do it at the Chapel right there on the strip.” She grinned at him, a big toothy smile.

God! She has teeth like a horse! He thought to himself.

“I, I can’t be married to you!” He was reaching for something to say that would help him get out of this mess. Damn that leap year!

“Why not baby.” Her voice got real whiney and she looked all pouty. “Oh, I see, you’re just kidding.”

“No! I’m not! I, I can’t marry you because… because I’m already married!” The thought just jumped into Jack’s head.

“That’s not what you told me last night!”

“I was drunk last night! You can’t hold that against me.”

“Well it doesn’t matter now, you’re mine and I ain’t given you up.”

Jack just knew thanks to that stupid thirteenth zodiac that he was screwed, again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Look at Me! Look at Me!

I was just published in
The 6S Review, Issue 1
(My piece is Featured on Page 40)

Featuring brand-new, cutting edge flash fiction.

For Purchasing Details click here

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Attendance Optional

We met a few years ago, both of us dating other people at the time. We found ourselves seeing each other at events hosted by mutual friends. Each time we would talk a little. Talking turned into emailing. Emailing turned into phone calls, and when we both were free of relationships, phone calls turned into a first date.

Within a short amount of time we found that we were kindred spirits- meant to be together.

Decisions were made, and we moved in together. Two years later, celebrating the anniversary of our first date he broke the news. The light of our kindred spirits, like a beacon shining brightly, was split by a prism called Kim. He had decided that she was his soul mate and left me sitting alone at a candle lit table.

The day he called me, begging me to take him back because Kim had moved on, I laughed at him. His phone records indicated that I was the last one to talk to him before he drove his cobalt blue mustang convertible off the side of the highway and into a large pine tree.

I still can’t bring myself to grieve for him.

I didn’t attend the funeral, although, I probably should have.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Eye for Color

The light bulb swung back and forth sending red and black shadows dancing across the dark room. Reaching up he steadied the bulb then walked to his work table. He set his classic camera on the table and began to disassemble it. Pulling out the roll of film he held the negatives up to the light to see which pictures had come out the best. Today was a good day. Almost every photo he had taken had come out just as he wanted. With his luck this good, he knew he could snap a few more before the real work had to be done. He inserted a new roll of film, snapped the light off, and closed the door behind him.


“Where the hell have you been?”

“I’m sorry Janet. I had to work a double shift.”

“And you couldn’t call? What the hell Scott?”

“We’ve had more reports of that stalker I told you about. We all have to pull double shifts for the next little while.”

“How long Scott? How long is this going to last?”


Her eyes reflected blue in the flash of his camera, that sapphire blue that he had dreamed about since he had seen her two days ago in Marty’s Tavern. Hillary was her name, she lived alone in apartment #25, last one on the left, second floor, a cat her only companion. Her eyes reminded him of Jenika, her blue eyes so dark that they could only be perfectly seen on film. Don’t think about Jenika. He chastised himself while pulling the large print out of the tub. Carefully he hung it then glanced along the line taking in each face as they all seemed to look directly at him.


“We’ve found another one, Scott. That makes the third this week, seven overall in the last two.”

“I know how to count Brett. Maybe we should call in someone higher? I haven’t had to deal with this many homicides in ages.”


That was too close- he barely made it away from the place before it was lit up with flashing red and blue lights. His bad leg didn’t help when time was of the essence. They’re getting faster! He knew it was just a matter of time before they caught up to him, and he still didn’t have an explanation for them.


“Janet, where’s Ronnie? I haven’t seen him around very much lately.”

“He’s been allowed to work longer hours for the newspaper. Not that it matters. You haven’t been home to notice.”

“Janet, I’m sorry, I’ve told you, we’re getting really close to catching him now. I know it.”


No one understood his fascination with photography. They all just thought of him as slow. Well he’d show them. He had an eye for color- something they’d all see in time. He stuck another photo to the corkboard wall.


“Scott, Ronnie’s been picked up by one of your patrol officers again. Can you go see what the deal is? I just can’t leave work right now.”

“Scott, can you believe this? I never expected-”

“Janet, Ronnie’s going to have to stay there for now. I’m going to have to call you back.”

“Is everything okay Scott?”

“I really have to go Janet. Brett, I-”

“Scott, if you need some time, I’ll understand.”

“Brett, I, I had no idea- the whole time! All of this in my basement.”

“No parent expects their child to be a serial killer, Scott.”

“He was handicapped, a mental disability. I just don’t see how it could be possible. Oh God, what’s Janet going to say?”

“Well Scott, one thing’s for sure, a room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Write - Lee Hughes

The Mending of the Broken

Melvin sat beneath his tree and looked at the trees in the book he’d borrowed from the big place where lots of books lived, it was a shame that too many had words in them. The trees in the book were all nice enough, he supposed. But none were quite as splendid as his. A brown leaf tumbled down and landed upon the page of his book. Melvin sighed, stood and reached into the pocket of his dungarees for his sticky tape. He stuck the leaf back where it belonged and smiled at the tree. Melvin looked after the tree most carefully, and had done so for three whole seasons. Three seasons had used up a lot of tape, mind. But he’d done it, he’d mended the broken. He’d mended them all, branches, leaves and even the small bird that had fallen all got mended with tape so they wouldn’t be broken no more. Melvin didn’t like broken things. Mainly because folks said that he was broken too. Melvin hoped someone would mend him soon, he’d even lend them his tape, it’d not cost them nothing.

Melvin picked up the midnight feather. He monitored the sky for its owner. He wondered if it was broken and needed mending.

He put it in the pocket of his dungarees.

"Caw." A bird the colour of Melvin's shadow was up in his tree.

"Hey, you broken?"


Melvin took that for a yes. There were so many things that needed mending, most were missing pieces.

Melvin filled his cheeks with air, exhaled, glanced at the shoebox and reckoned it would be mightily unfair if he were to put the bird to the front of the queue to be mended.

He picked up a stone. People called him dumb, but he could throw.

One shot got the bird down. It struggled as he picked it up.

"It's okay, you're gonna be mended up. But gots to be fair, others been waiting longer."

He sat and opened up the box. He took a few bits of bone and some skull and began taping them together, borrowing bits from the bird he'd stoned.

"I mended you, go fly." He held out his hand but it wouldn't take to the wing.

He sighed.

Maybe it wanted to stay.

He taped it to one of the low branches; the leaves were taped on too.

He smiled.

He put the leftover bits of the bird away. He pulled out a small skull he'd found buried in Mr. Merewether's yard, Melvin reckoned it was from people kind, not animal kind.

"I'll get you mended next."

Lee Hughes is a writer of horror, crime, sci-fi, or whatever passes through the bumble of his brainage. He lives on an island for tax purposes, his writings can be found in both print and smeared about the internet on eZines. You can find out more about him at LeeHughes.Net

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make Me a Sandwich

“Hey, you need a ride?”

“Oh, please! I appreciate the ride, my feet are killing me.”

“You don’t look dressed for walking ma’am if you know what I mean.”

“That rat bastard made me ruin my new heels.”

“I can see that, who’s the rat bastard?”

“My soon to be ex-boyfriend, that’s who. He dropped me off a few miles back and told me to walk home. The asshole, leaves me out in the middle of nowhere, can you believe that?”

“Well that sucks, honey. I’m going to meet a few friends at the diner up the road- is that gonna be okay?”

“Yeah, I have a friend I can call when I get there to pick me up. I’m just so tired and it’s been a long day. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to rest my eyes for a few minutes.”

“Uh… hey… we’re here, let me help you out. You look simply delicious- by the way, I hope you don’t mind me saying.”

“Jimmy, it’s ‘bout time! Well, whadda ya got there?”

“Hey Marcus, go tell the boys to get the grill ready, I picked up a little supper on the way.”

“Ouch! Let me go, you’re hurting me! Don’t touch me there- what do you mean supper?”

“Don’t worry honey, you’re gonna taste mighty fine between two slices of rye, topped with tomato, onion, lettuce and a little bit of spicy mustard.”

A Fear Brought Into Perspective

For those of you who didn't make it over to Clarity of Night to read my entry in the "Silhouette" contest, here it is posted just for you!!!

Entry#124 - A Fear Brought Into Perspective
by: Nicole E. Hirschi

My grandfather told me about the birds who feast on the dead. His fear of crows seemed at most times, extreme. “Don’t look at them, Shalynn, they bring bad luck,” or “Cover your ears otherwise their hideous cries will steal your soul.” Sometimes, he seemed borderline crazy the way he would do anything to avoid where they were. Attending my grandfather’s funeral, we all laughed at his superstition of the black carrion birds mentioned in the eulogy that was given.

Helping clean out his house, I came across some old journals and newspaper clippings in a box under his bed. I took the box outside and sat under the large maple tree in the back yard. Opening a leather journal, I noticed the dates ranging back to late August of 1945 where my grandfather had been a journalist covering events during World War II.

“…today was one of the most horrific I’ve ever seen. I arrived here in Hiroshima last night and didn’t realize how much of a living nightmare it had become. Screams of the unknown filled my ears last night. Today, I arrived where the most destruction had occurred. I was horrified to find that the screams heard last night belong to the thousands of crows feasting on what’s left of the inhabitants…”

I continued to read a few more entries and after finishing the last, in thought, I looked up at the branches and noticed a large crow flying overhead. His fear no longer seemed irrational

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Never Centered

The balance of life teeters back and forth precariously. You know you’ve dipped too far to one side when you are reminded, You don’t realize what you had until you’ve lost it, or too far to the other side when you think, Life can’t get any better than this! How many times have we thought both of those things? We seem to judge ourselves on having the ideal life when we fit in or think we are above those around us. We measure our worth on a brass scale and are upset when we find that we don’t know how to find perfect balance in everyday life. Never give up; for life will continue to give you a handful of good experiences, and a handful of poor ones, it's up to us to find the center.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The look of cold steel shone up at me from her ice blue eyes as I double checked the last leather restraint securing her to the metal frame of the bed. It was my first time unsupervised and I was worried I was going to do something wrong. I put my hand on hers and felt her body shudder in response. “Don’t worry sweetie, I’m only here to help you - you know - find yourself.” After double checking the restraints I pulled the cart over to the side of the bed that contained the drug filled needle; I inserted it into her arm shooting the milky liquid into her body. While watching the cold look turn into one of relief as she became more and more relaxed, I questioned myself, Whatever inspired me to work in a mental institution with schizophrenics?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time Escapes Us

Our past is set in stone. We are told that it is unhealthy to dwell there for too long. We can become lost in our memories, too busy to live in the present because we are reliving the past. In our past, great monsters lurk and if too much time is spent on trying to think of a better way we could have caged them we forget the monsters who might be ready to ambush us in the future. We long for the best when we look for the future, but are scared of what it will bring. The present time escapes us as our time spent is blurred between the lines of past and future where we laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Left Alone

Intriguingly he watched as his pet cat squirmed against the rope that held it stretched out about a foot off the ground. Curiously morbid and no supervision led him to do naughty things. The family cat for instance, Sylvester, had never liked him and often hissed or scratched when he came near calling with his creaky voice, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty…” The smell filled his nostrils and he took delight as it was even grosser than he thought it might be. Kindling from the woodpile, newspaper, and a box of matches lay beside Terrance as he watched Sylvester slowly roast. The singed hair smoked furiously as the flames began to lick higher and higher up Sylvester’s sides. Terrance watched, fascinated with what he saw before him. He put his ear plugs in once Sylvester’s meows became yowls of fear and pain.

Amanda had been gone from home for a little over twenty minutes and hoped that Terrance had managed to stay out of trouble. Probably not, she shuddered at the thought of what she might return home to.