Flash Fiction Friday

Ok, so today is Flash Fiction Friday, I do have an offering for you all. Firstly, here is a link to the other Forward Motion writers’ blogs, who are participating, here http://fmwriters.com/flash.html. Now, this is actually the followup of the first flash fiction I wrote. #1 is over here. I didn’t realize when I wrote that one, that Rebecca was going to have any more to her story. I don’t know if there will be any more after this.

Flash Fiction Friday

Copyright 2012© Necia Phoenix

Holiday shopping, the deafening din of people buying things for relatives they only saw once a year, was giving me a horrendous headache. I leaned heavily against the crutches, wishing I’d gone ahead and taken the motorized chair. My sister cast worried looks my way, pushing the cart with our purchases through the holiday crowd.

“Are you sure you don’t need to sit down?” She asked. I forced a smile, I hurt, but we were so close to being done I wanted to finish and go home. Curl up on my sofa with the latest book, maybe sip some hot tea.

“Let’s get this done.” I glanced towards the front of the store. The lines stretched into the clothing display. I sighed.

“You go sit in the deli, and order us some drinks.” Susan handed me a twenty and made a shooing motion.

“But,”

“Give me your list, you only have two more things, I’ll grab them, you get off your feet.” She made a shooing motion at me. I nodded, stuffing the twenty into my pocket. “I want a cola!”

“Okay.” I turned slowly, carefully maneuvering around a few children, and a couple talking in loud and angry voices. The way seemed far longer than it looked. I was almost to the deli when the crutch slipped and felt myself falling, too stiff to catch myself. An arm slipped around my waist, holding me up and I found myself looking up at an oddly familiar man. His dark eyes concerned. The clatter of the crutch seemed far away as he helped me upright and then fetched it.

“Are you all right?” He asked. His voice was deep and familiar. For a moment I heard sirens, smelled gasoline.

“I’m just off balance.” I took the crutch, noticed my hands shaking. I finished adjusting the right spot for the crutch and he came around to my other side, offering me his arm. I shook my head. “Thank you, but I’m fine, really. I’m going right over there.” I pointed to the ugly orange booths of the deli.

“Take my arm, Rebecca, and don’t argue with me.”  His voice was very low, almost a whisper.

I stared at him, swallowed, and did as he instructed. I was tempted to swat him with the crutch but I was afraid I’d fall again, my balance was shot. The silence was awkward and I hobbled to the booth. He helped me into the seat, and headed up to the counter. I wanted to protest, but wasn’t fast enough. He came back, set the three cups on the table, and slid into the booth across from me.

“You,” I stared at him. The words stuck, frozen in my throat. It was crazy, unreal. He was far too good looking. He would fit well on the cover of one of the books I had waiting for me at home.

“I called 911.” He said, sipping at his drink. “Are you healing well?”

I leaned back in my seat. This was the wolf? My wolf? A whispered ‘You’re welcome’ echoed in my mind. “The doctors are pleased with my progress.” I said, haltingly unable to look away. He’d saved my life, twice. How did one talk to their rescuer? “What was that thing in the road?”

“Here is not the place to talk about that.” He said. He smiled. “Perhaps we can discuss it another time, in a less crowded place.”

“All right.” I forced myself to sip at my soda, looking towards the table, mind racing. What to say, the questions I had seemed silly to ask. Do you always turn into a wolf? Are there more of you? Stupid. The noise of the holiday shoppers began to seep into the calm. “Are you doing Christmas shopping too?” I was flailing inside, uncomfortable. He was watching me, intensely with those dark eyes.

He laughed, easy going. “My alpha sent us for some more plastic bandages.”

“Us? Bandages?”  Alpha? I bit my lip, holding back the questions. This was not the place to discuss it but I wanted to know. There was another world, within the one I lived in and I had a glimpse of it.

“My brother and I are on pup duty. The pups wanted special bandages.” He lifted up a blue plastic bag filled with several boxes inside, each featuring popular cartoon characters. He leaned forward. “We heal fast. Very fast, but they’re pups and love cartoons, so we thought we’d indulge them.”

I laughed, I couldn’t help it. The idea of little wolf pups with cartoon character bandages on them was too funny. He grinned, sipped at his soda and looked past me. He slid a small scrap of paper across the table.  “I have to go now. Be careful, Rebecca, especially at night.

He slid from the booth, took his cup and squeezed my shoulder. “Go slower on the turns.”

“I don’t plan on driving any time soon.” I said, looking up at him. The easy familiarity confused me. I didn’t know him, yet I was comfortable with the gentle hand on my shoulder. Anyone else I would swat their hand away.

“Don’t give it up, just because of this.” He said. He squeezed my shoulder again and strode away. When I turned I couldn’t see him, the crowd of shoppers too dense. I turned back, looking at the scrap of paper. A phone number was scrawled on it and underneath it, a note;

If you see one of those things again, or hear of one, do not hesitate to call me. Lucien

“Oh why did we decide to shop today?” Susan asked. She sank into the seat across from me and lifted the soda.

“To get it over and done with, so we can sit back and laugh at everyone else who waits till the last minute.” I tucked the paper into my wallet. I wasn’t ready to tell her about Lucien yet. She wouldn’t believe me anyways.

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Flash Fiction Friday

So there is a group of us, from Forward Motion who are part of a Flash Fiction Friday thingy over here. It’s challenging, and a way to work on tightening up writing and having fun. So today I put Bastard Prince aside and played with this…thing.

 

 Flash Fiction #1

A steady drip, the smell of gasoline. I woke slowly, though I didn’t remember going to sleep. I became aware of other sounds, crinkling sounds, the falling of glass. Something pressed over my eyes and forehead, blocking my vision. Airbag, maybe? I tried to move. Pain exploded through me, yet some of it was suspiciously numb.  I was pinned, my arms trapped against my body.

Around the curves, a bit faster than I should have, but this car was made for speed. Something in the road. Something that shouldn’t be there. A jerk of the steering wheel, then…nothing.

I tried to move my head, pain shot from shoulders to fingertips, throbbing down my back. I tried blinking, but whatever was covering my face wouldn’t move. The smell of gasoline was so strong! I swallowed, afraid.  I smelled smoke. Trapped, I couldn’t get out. No one knew I took dad’s car, that I was going for a drive. My cell phone was sitting on my bed. Gravel crunched, footfalls neared. Fear battled desperation. Red eyes. The thing in the road had red eyes. What if it was out there?

“Help me!” My voice was little more than a whisper. I felt tears on my cheeks. Dear god, I was going to die. Glass broke, and I felt heat. The car was on fire and something was crunching over glass and gravel.

Metal groaned and whatever covered my face was pulled aside. I saw a blur of motion, felt something grip my arms. I was being dragged from the car. I passed out before I was completely freed.

When I opened my eyes, I could see a figure crouched beside the burning wreck. I couldn’t move, I could barely breathe. I heard a scraping sound and turned my head.

Red eyes, glowing in the dark, were creeping towards me. I tried to scream, but my voice was gone. The car exploded. Light illuminated the creature towering over me. Pale dead skin with stringy hair. Glowing eyes and fangs. Long, piercing fangs. Its hands reached out, claw-like brown-stained nails at the end of boney fingers, twitched, grasping. I knew it was going to eat me.

It rushed towards me, mouth agape, and there was a confusing blur of growls and snarls. Something jumped between it and me, and the two things crashed together. I saw fur, and blood, lots of blood. The red-eyed monster fled with a howl and my savior, twice over, knelt beside me. I tried to scoot backwards, but my arms wouldn’t obey.

An elongated, misshapen  jaw with outjutting canines and lower tusks, was the prominent features on this part man, part beast. He wore only pants, ripped and torn. His feet also misshapen and had long claws. His body was covered in a dark fur, his chest marred by eight long scratches that seeped blood. He studied me, dark eyes set deep beneath heavy brows. He reached a clawed hand towards me, I tried to pull away. He smiled at me, his jaw not made for it, the soft fur on his hand brushing my cheek; wiping away my tears.

“It won’t come back.” His voice was deep, the words mushed from the misshapen face. “An ambulance is on its way.”

“Don’t leave yet.” The words were hollow to my ears.

“I’ll stay.” His body began to shift, contort. I heard the crackling of bones, the slithering sound of skin and tissue adjusting to a new form. The large, dark, wolf lay beside me, in the flickering light of the burning car. He licked my face as we waited.

The sirens, and flashing lights woke me. The EMTs questions confused me and I reached for the wolf and almost cried. He was gone. They lifted me onto a stretcher, reassuring me, talking to me. I looked towards the trees and saw him, just sitting, watching. Then I was in the ambulance and we were whizzing to the hospital in the nearest town. I tried to answer the EMT who kept asking questions, but found myself drifting back to sleep. In the moment between awake and unconsciousness,  I felt his fur brushing my cheek.

~*~

The sky was a perfect shade of blue. The forest a rich green. Yet at this same spot, just a few months before, I almost died. I leaned on the crutches, staring at the tree-line, the darkened gravel. I almost died here. The words ran in circles through my head. The doctor said an anonymous caller phoned in the wreak. Dispatch walked him through some basic first aid to stop the bleeding. I couldn’t remember it. When the EMTs got there I had rough bandages on me, and the caller was gone.

No one saw a wolf that night, except for me. I stared towards the trees. He was right there, watching them load me up.  I slowly made my way towards the trees, hating the crutches and the casts. I stopped, near where I thought I last saw him. The forest smells wafted my way, rich soil, moist air, and the sound of birds. But no large dark canine with laughing eyes. No red-eyed creature either.

Why was I here? Did I expect him to be there? He was probably long gone, if he was even real. “Thank you.” I whispered the words, hoping that he might be there, hiding in the underbrush, listening.

“Rebecca! Come on!” My sister, Susan, who had brought me out here, leaned against her car, watching me with worried eyes.

“I’m coming!” I made my way back, slow, halting. Crutches in gravel, tended to slip. I was almost to the car door when I heard a whisper behind me.

“You’re welcome.”

By the time I got turned around, I thought I saw in the shadow of the forest, the shape of a large wolf, sitting, watching. I smiled, turned, and made my way back to the car, crunching over glass and gravel.

The End.

 

word count, according to Word, is 996

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