Flash Fiction (21) – Faeries

I heard it too

Check out Quill Shiv to find other stories from this prompt.

Faeries

The girls sat at the table; their feet, unable to reach the floor, swung in rhythm.  They began telling their parents about the fairies they had met in the garden.  Mr and Mrs Freemont exchanged an exasperated glance; this was not a new tale.

“And then Mrs Piddleton.”

“She’s the blue faery,” Carol, the younger one chirped in.

“They already know she’s the blue faery.  Mrs. Piddleton, the blue fairy, told us that we were faeries too.  Only the faeries traded us when we were just wee babies.  They took your real kids and left us in their place.  And Mrs. Havershank,”

“She’s the red one,” another interruption.

Suzie kept going, “Mrs. Havershank, the red faery, said that if we wanted they would come and steal us away.  We could spend the rest of forever dancing in pretty dresses and drinking honey all day and talking to the birds and butterflies, but not the dragonflies because they’re ornery.”

“Then Anna came into the garden.”

“So Mr. Wembledon,” Suzie continued the story, “the green faery, tipped his hat at us and they all disappeared.  But first Mrs. Piddleton winked at us.  Anna wanted to know what we were doing, so we said we were playing cat’s cradle.”

“But you can only play with two people.”

“So she had to leave or someone would be left out and she didn’t want to go but if she had stayed the faeries wouldn’t have come back.  So we made her leave.”

Mrs Freemont interrupted the story right then, “You were mean to Anna?  Tomorrow you two will go straight over to her house and invite her to play.  And you are not to be mean to her again, especially for your pretend games.”

“But mamma, they’re not pretend.  Zecelia said, she’s the pink one and she’s in charge, and she came back after Anna left, and she said that they would come for us tonight, then she kissed our thumbs.  She said it was to mark us so the hobgobs…”

“Hobgoblins,” Suzie corrected her sister.

“What?”

“Hobgoblins, that’s what she called them.”

“Oh, she kissed us so the hob…”

“Goblins.”

“Would know who to grab.”

“Otherwise they might grab Anna instead!”

“And if you look at our thumbs there’s now a little tiny mark on them.”

“Right where she kissed us.”

“And it looks like a strawberry.”

Mr. and Mrs. Freemont had heard quite enough of these fairies.  The girls had been talking nonstop about them for weeks.  They had blamed the fairies for any disobedience, this being mean to Anna was only the latest in a string of incidences where the girls had been rude, unthoughtful, mean, or sneaky.

After dinner and baths and quick goodnight kisses the girls were in bed and the parents were downstairs cleaning up dinner.

Mr. and Mrs. Freemont could hear the girls up in their room.  Between cracks of thunder their peals of giggles wound down the stairs and tickled the parents ears.

There was a particularly large clap of thunder and the neighborhood dogs started barking.  The dogs stopped barking, the storm instantly died, and the girls were utterly quiet.  Mrs. Freemont was the first to notice the complete silence.  She looked at her husband, his voice broke through the silence, “I hear it too.”

It was foolish, both Mr. and Mrs. Freemont knew their girls were upstairs, they probably fell silent because they fell asleep.  But the parents needed to see their baby girls just to release the foreboding feeling that pressed down on their chests.  They swiftly went up the stairs and quietly pushed the bedroom door open.

The girls’ beds were empty, the sheets tossed about the room.  The window was open and the curtains rippled in a soft breeze.  There were two tiny strawberries on the window sill.

Flash Fiction (19) – Mirror Pond

flash fiction, swamp, trees, green

Prompt from Quill Shiv, go check out the comments to find more takes on this particular prompt.

Mirror Pond

He watched.

She stepped barefoot into the calm water.

He imagined snakes, alligators, and demons unknown swimming up from the depth to ensnare her.

She giggled upon noticing his fear, his hesitation.  She beckoned him with a slow movement of one finger as she stepped further into the water.  The ripples spread from her body and the reflections, so perfectly captured, were shaken and disappeared.

He fumbled to pull his boots off, then his jeans and his shirt.  She had made it look so easy.  She had glided across the downed trees and over the damp holes and looked like a dancer while doing it.  He stumbled after her, not wanting her to think he was weak.

She slid into the water and took a few strong strokes towards the other side of the pond.  The water, softer than any other water, caressed her skin.  She looked back; he was so awkward with his boxers stuck to his legs and his feet getting tangled in everything.  A soft sigh, unnoticed by him, passed her lips and she swam back to him.

He stopped at the water’s edge.  He could still see any number of monsters coming up from the depth.  But the image of her, her real self, was stronger than any imagined demons.  He plunged, all splashes and shrieks, into the water after her.

She dove below him, capturing his feet, and dunked him.  He came up sputtering but he was already caught in her arms.  She gave him a quick kiss and then slipped away but he was already in hot pursuit.

Flash Fiction (17) – Music in Her Ears

Prompt from Quill Shiv, go check it out to read other takes on this prompt.

Music in Her Ears

They haunted her, the echoes of refrains long since silenced.  Any quick turn of her head let her capture the faintest glimmer of light but then it was gone.  The music, the conversation, the glow, and the luster eluded her.

She was trapped in a cocoon of quiet, a world of grays.  She held on to her memories of vivid colors and bright sounds.  But even so, they slipped away.  She reached out, grasping, yearning.  She kicked and fought.  She shouted her defiance.  But it was muffled and choked out by silence.

Unable to remember what she was fighting for, what she was holding on to, she relaxed.  She slipped into the warm comfort of stillness.  Of sameness.

Flash Fiction (15) – The Invasion

spiders, soldiers, flash fiction, tree

This prompt is from Quill Shiv.  Here’s his take on the prompt and check out the comments for other people’s take on the prompt.

The Invasion

Grandma saw a spider.  It was a normal spider, not big, not scary, just normal, but it terrified her.

“They came in the summer.  The spiders did.  They were everywhere; they covered everything.  If you stood still for too long, they covered you.

“And they yelled, they yelled all the time.  In that thick tongue of theirs.  It sounded like demons had overtaken the town.  They didn’t even bother learning Bengali.  They shouted at us, poked us with sticks, beat us, and laughed at us.  But we never knew what they wanted!  If only they spoke Bengali, if only we knew, we would have done it.  But we never knew.

“They put me and my parents in the ghettos.  That’s where we had to live; we weren’t allowed to stay at home.   And they didn’t give us netting.  So when we tried to sleep the spiders would come.  So everybody took turns watching for the spiders and shooing them away.  Because if they came they would wrap you up in their webbing.  And the spiders were everywhere.  They came in the summer and they never left.

“The soldiers stayed, they stayed for so long.  In the ghetto we were split into teams.  Each team had a job.  I was on a good team, with a good job.  They said it was because I was pretty and young so they gave me the good job.  Me and the rest of my team would go to the garbages.  Not the garbages from the ghetto, we didn’t have enough to throw anything away.  The garbages from the city, that’s where we went.  And we dug, and sorted, and stacked, and piled until everything that might have any value was set aside.  Then the soldiers would come.  We loaded everything into trucks.  Then the soldiers loaded us into trucks.  Apparently we had some value, not much, but enough to warrant being loaded into trucks.

“The trucks were too small for all us.  But the soldiers didn’t care, they used their sticks to force more and more of us in.  I couldn’t breath.  I was supposed to be on watch, but I had fallen asleep and the spiders had found me.  Their webbing stretched across my face, every time I tried to inhale the sticky strings tickled the back of my throat and I started coughing.  Those damn webs.

“Kill it.  Kill the spider, Amar Baca.  I’m going to grab a shawl; I’m cold.”

So I killed it.  I didn’t want it to upset my mother any more, normally I would’ve just put it outside, it was such a little spider.