What is this crab thinking she wonders? As it is pulled from its watery home and thrust rudely into a bucket with its already incarcerated kin.
She realises that they don’t think – not in a way we would recognise. But still there lingers a doubt, a nagging whisper in her mind that this is wrong. That all the crabs should just be left alone. A cloud passes the sun. For an instant she imagines a vast alien hand reaching down for her, yanking her to a realm beyond her ken.
She doesn’t go crabbing again.
‘With a duly set precedent the administration would be able to act in such a way as is of some benefit to the organisations involved.’
The hosts right eye twitches and he gulps down frustration.
‘Yes or no,’ he repeats.
‘Look the prerequisites…’
‘Yes or no,’ the host roars.
In the gallery the producer’s mouth hangs agape. The view is locked on the host’s snarling face.
‘You ambiguous fucker!’ The host launches himself. Hands outstretched. The camera startles to life and pans away.
‘Yes or no!’
A clarion call to those watching.
The fickle hand of fate cast him off as a patriot and returned him just as confidently in the guise of traitor.
The young boy stares back at him with wide, curious eyes. Oblivious. Innocent.
Then the bell tolls midday, the trap opens and the noose does its short work.
They’re fertiliser. They’re useful. Not like the real fuck ups: the soil. Cheap, plentiful, stood on.
They’re not much better. How much difference is there really between soil and shit at the end of the day?
But required enough that we’ll keep them around. For now.
With no will and no living relatives the house and its contents are up for auction.
The room is a disaster of audio tape cassettes. Most of the boxes seem to have degraded and vomited their contents into a communal chaos. All seem to be unlabelled.
It takes him three hours. He decides to take one; part souvenir, part curiosity.
His old cassette player is in the garage and that’s where he listens to it.
Ten minutes of crackling static. Disappointed, he is just about to give up.
Then the screaming starts.
Human and real.
Far too real.
He tells himself it’s only for a minute.
Just a minute. A minute’s not long. That’s not breaking any rules.
Just one delicious minute.
To chew over and enjoy and feel deep down in the hot, dark places he keeps secret.
Just a minute.
Creeped myself out a little writing this one – random word prompt was ‘minute’.
The chips are down kid. Have you got what it takes?
I didn’t think so. The very essence of you is damp. Limp. Flaccid and worthless. D’ya know that?
Of course you do. You look at it every day. I’d say it oozes out of you but even that is giving you too much credit. You understand? Oozing is too dynamic for you.
Am I surprised?
No. To reiterate it’s writ large on you. A sandwich board floating on the insipid sludge beneath.
Now get the fuck out of here.
The crater was like the shell. The ground torn open to expose her amongst the misery, death and suffering. He found her there, a survivor some how against all the odds. Wrapped in white, innocent and ignorant of all the terrible crimes around her, like the pearl at its heart.
I asked my partner to suggest the word at random, she chose ‘pearl’ and I wrote this.
Another double header of 50 word flash as I ride the twin waves of renewed creativity and free time. The random word generator threw up two everyday objects as subject matter today. Having had the first feature directly I decided that the second would be only be implied – and it’s been interesting to see how that has impacted on the tone. Things that are great about 50 word flash fiction no. 167 – experimentation!
‘What’s in the jug?’ The youngest says. He pulls it over to look inside. Dad is mid-bite, Mum is mid-sibling-fight. It spins about itself tempting anyone to stop it, as if it knows no one can. Then the table; a lake, orange. Sighs then laughter. Lunch over.
Ideology fades, fanaticism abates. He is left with nothing in that final moment. Only then does he wonder what, if anything, he will feel. A woman smiles at him from the opposite side of the bus. She strokes dark hair back from her child’s face.
He feels nothing.
Two for the price of one today as it’s been a while.
By way of explanation: my priorities at the moment are pregnant fiancé, already existing child, preparing for the arrival of the second, finding a new job, cat (he’s very persistent) AND THEN writing.
I have been writing (honest) but its been on a couple of (as yet) private longer form projects and with such limited time to write the blog side of things has been downgraded in priority.
Anyway I’m still here, alive and kicking (and writing and reading).
Until the next time.
(Both stories written from random word prompts).
She just dances. The guitar is staccato, her skirts undulate and flick, fingers snap. He tries to lose himself in the motions but for him each click is that of a clock bringing him closer to oblivion. There is no profit in this course of action. Yet he is stuck.
‘Like a Bomb’
Like a bomb. Incandescent with rage. Wrenching, tearing fury that twists and skitters away, uncontrollably, like the hot innards of a ruined machine, destroying all it touches, spreading flame and discord in its wake.
(A note on the above – I’m normally quite strict in 50 word shorts, in that it must be 50 words exactly, but I really liked this one as is and felt it said exactly what I wanted, so I left it.)