Category: Flash! Friday

The Informant

The old beggar in the theater alley saw all. He called himself Shaheed, and in Mac’s line of work, she cared little for the truth of names.

“Ah, coffee and company.” Shaheed’s bones popped as the pile of rags against the brick wall coalesced into something human.

“Maple latte.” Mac handed him the warm cardboard cup.

Shaheed sipped and sighed, sending some centipede-like thing back into the depths of his beard. “Story time, Aadi?”

Not her name or the pseudonym she’d given him. She’d asked what it meant once, but he’d just smiled. She still had nightmares about the man’s teeth. “Tell me what you’ve seen.”

“Yesterday it began.” He chuckled and shook his head. “I am wrong again. The beginning was centuries ago. Yesterday the end began.”

Ugh. One of his crazy days.

“You doubt me, Aadi, but the one you seek changes everything.” He fumbled in his rags, unhousing some kind of mutant roach. “I know it’s here.” The mountains of fabric around him squealed. “Aha. The ticket.”

Mac tried not to touch his fingers as she accepted, and she ignored the warning prickle running up the back of her neck. “He will be there, then.”

“You will find what you need. Now go.”

206 Words
Written for: Flash! Friday
Required story element (this week: character. The below character type must be your story’s central focus):


spy_FF

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Prompt:

The Beggar. CC2.0 photo by Foto_Michel.

The Beggar. CC2.0 photo by Foto_Michel.

 

 

 

Cleansing

“It’s burning!” Sasha’s hood fell as she ran to me, revealing clean skin.

“I see that.”

“What shall we do, Mother?”

“Nothing.”

“They’ll die!”

“That’s the point.”

“But… what… I don’t…”

Idiot. She’d lit the overfilled sconces herself. Enforcing blind obedience had resulted in a dirth of critical thinking.

I watched the flames lick their way up the towers.

“We could have saved them.” Her eyes watered. “Brought them back.”

I slapped her, and she stumbled. “Don’t be daft. You cannot save what has already died once.”

Sasha held her cheek and sniveled. “But Father Henry said –”

I slapped her again. Harder. She yelped, dropping to her knees. “That’s why he’s burning in there, you child.”

“But the baby –”

“Bit him. He should have listened and thrown it in the hearthfire at the start.”

Sasha glared at me, spitting words through her tears. “You are brutal.”

“And alive.”

Flashversary Entry
Word Count Challenge: Exactly 150
Photo Prompt:

Red Sunset. CC2.0 photo by Petteri Sulonen.

Red Sunset. CC2.0 photo by Petteri Sulonen.

The Ceremony

Mother unbuttons my long sheer blouse. It floats to the wet sand, exposing the red garments beneath. The toning of women mixes with the crash of waves.

“Do we really have to do this?” I hiss.

“Yes. You have prepared yourself?”

I roll my eyes. “No shower since yesterday morning, no pads, no tampons, just me. In a red tank top and hot pants.”

“Be respectful.”

I take the red umbrella with a sigh and step into the icy salt water. The female harmony crescendos, and mother’s ceremonial voice carries over it.

“… gift of blood comes from the goddess and returns to the waters of the earth…”

The waves eat my hips.

“… so does this child move from one cycle of her life into the next…”

Her voice fades as I push further into the sea, carrying the red umbrella, bleeding from between my legs. I chuckle. No one will forget this ceremony if I get swallowed by a shark.

Special Mention: Best Last Line

160 words
Written for: Flash! Friday
Required Concept: Coming of Age
Photo Prompt:

Your Hand in Mine/Goodbye. CC2 photo by Tony.

Ringbinder theme by Themocracy