Brother

I’m in a void.
A never ending void that has consumed everything and left me numb. Suspended in nothingness.

I see the mourners, the protestors, their tears, their cries. Their grief, disbelief, anger. Yet my mind, my soul, are cold and silent, like a grave. Nothing. Like the dead looking upon the living with no comprehension.

I still hear the voice asking mother to leave the door a wee bit open. I see the boy, hair blowing in the wind, face flushed, as we race. The man who stood at my wedding.
The man on the news, is not him. He cannot be. Could he?
What happened? Where did my brother go?

I want to tell them I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I did not know. Perhaps if I was less wrapped up in my own life I might have seen the signs. Perhaps I could have stopped him.
I’m sorry.
I want to tell them that we are all in the same hell; just dealing with different devils.


In response to the 135th challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.
Photo prompt provided by Elaine Farrington Johnson.

The dude

He was The Man.

He was the fun dude, every body’s ‘bro.

The guy who could charm a client into increasing the project budget and the boss into increasing the entertainment budget, the guy who could diffuse a tense atmosphere with his witty jokes and dry one-liners, the first guy to shout ‘party’ every Friday, well almost any day. Everybody was the target of his remarks, yet being the subject of his chiding made you feel like one of the gang. At the last annual office party he got all of us to dress like The Avengers and gift the boss an eyepatch! Took the boss all of three minutes to break down laughing.

This right here, the bespectacled mug, was a perfect example of his mirth. Mr. Life-of-the-party.

Yet we who revelled in his light, were totally oblivious of the darkness that plagued him. We met the man; we never knew the person.
Yesterday he turned the lights out.
As I clear out his desk I realise that the show may go on, but a star is lost.


In response to the 134th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.
Photo prompt credited to Shivamt25

Dropped

Inspector Justin’s eyes automatically go to the gorgeous blond stepping out of the hotel. Tall, slim, with legs that seemed to go on for ever under that little black dress. Suddenly she trips, dropping her clutch. In a flash two young men rush to assist. Tossing her hair, she pats down her dress, giggling at the men admiring her perfect derrière.
O to be young and single again.

Something catches his eye. “Lady. Stop.” he shouts out.

She looks back at him. Takes in his uniform. Hazel eyes dilate. Before he can say anything, she turns and bolts across the road into the darkness, oblivious of the traffic screeching, swerving and honking around her. Amidst that melee he hears the distinct sound of impact, of a body flying through air and landing with a thud, of bones being crunched. Everything freezes except for the piercing wail of a jammed horn.

Justin breaks out of his shock, radioing in for an ambulance.

Her lipstick, still in his hand, is long forgotten.


In response to 133rd Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer’s challenge based on a photo by Pamela S Canepa.

The circle of life

I am a man of the soil, a farmer.
Wide open fields of lush green or honey brown, paths of mud and stiles, trees, grass, the song of birds and the gurgle of the stream, this is my world. Waking up to greet the dawn, toiling all day until I earn my rest, and then finally relaxing to the music of the insects as they dance with the winds. This is my day.

Not for me are the constraints and confines of city housing.

Yet I sit here today, in a compact apartment, overlooking another apartment, my closest link to the earth being a few potted plants, with a content smile on my lips.

It is the way of nature…

A man feels great satisfaction the day he builds his own home, but he feels even greater pride the day he steps into his son’s home.


Photo by Shivamt25

In response to the 132nd Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.

Familiar

He holds her hand in his.

For no obvious reason she reminds him of his wife. They feel familiar, like a memory just out of reach, like a tune whose lyrics escape you.

Perhaps it was the nails. Thick, hardened nails that always seemed at odds with her slender manicured fingers. His people traditionally wore yellow gold, but she had insisted on white. There was no need to highlight those hands, she had insisted. He had laughingly obliged her grumpy vanity. His mother was miffed, but he had not care. It had been worth it just to see her face light up with that beautiful smile.

Her hands are more rough, not hands that had done hard labour, probably hands that had once been cared for, but definitely exposed to chemicals now. Too soft to be bleach or acids. Cheap detergents perhaps. As he takes her hand gently in his, he cannot help but notice that they are quite large for a woman of her height. Turning them around he takes a sample of what lies under her nails.

Sometimes the smallest piece of evidence speaks the loudest.


In response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer’s 131st challenge based on a photo by artycaptures.wordpress.com

A mind of its own

“I cant stop it,” he screams in a panic, “it has a mind of its own. What it wants it wants.”

“O ya, but it doesn’t have to get everything it wants.” She has returned with the axe. One swift strike and the possessed appendage is off.

With a thud it falls to the ground spurting a crimson shower.

We stand there, staring, sweat dripping down our bodies. Pills lie cluttered all around. Rheumatoid arthritis had been the consensus. That’s what was causing the excruciating pain and deformation. But then it started. The uncontrollable urge. Until she woke up with a thumb attempting to gouge her eye out. Gouge… pop… devour…

Well, it’s finally over.

And then suddenly…

Suddenly the mutilated appendage starts quivering, turning towards us, crawling, leaving in its wake a trail of blood and slime.

“Run,” I scream. Our feet skid on my blood, but we don’t stop. We wont stop.

Down the stairs, out of the house. We bang the door shut wondering what to do next. Shit, the car keys are still inside.

That’s when we hear it – The door knob turning.


In response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer’s 131st challenge based on a photo by artycaptures.wordpress.com

The shop at Columbus Circle

“I’ll take it,” she announced, walking on with a nonchalance that belied the fact that she was about to spend almost the GDP of a small country.

She did not understand art. She did not really care. All she knew was that this was the place to buy, and anything that had such an outrageous tag on it would make for great conversation.

That particular piece was going in his study. Being a man of simple minimalistic taste he would hate it. But she didn’t care. He would simply shut up and endure. He always did.

According to her psychologist she was pushing him to a breaking point because subconsciously she felt unworthy of him. Whatever. It wasn’t as if that woman came cheap either.

“I’m sorry madam,” interrupted the cashier, “it appears that all your cards have been cancelled.”


In response to the 130th challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers based on a photo by Jade M Wong.

The offering

You can not start cooking right outside the National Museum, even if they are religious offerings, and expect not to be arrested. Especially not today!
The Prime Minister was coming to inaugurate the new stone idols gallery.
After all the ancient artefacts had been sourced from the remotest corners of the country.

The smell of kerosene and lentils permeated the air as the city officials and crowd watched the police van pull away, yet no one moved. They knew better than to interrupt the ritual.

Meanwhile three thousand miles away, in a small unknown and neglected village, men, woman and children danced on the streets. Their offering was being accepted. The rain gods were smiling.

In response to the 129th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge, based on a photo by Yarnspinnerr.

The ocean welcomes all

An island honeymoon. Especially one that is sponsored by your father-in-law. It doesn’t get better than that.

It was a marriage of convenience. He needed an investor for his new venture. Her father needed a socially acceptable groom for his daughter.

Did he feel guilty? Hell no! A man willing to practically sell off his daughter deserved no mercy. As for the girl, well he was probably doing the compassionate thing.

He was an expert at kayaking and was as much at home out on the ocean as on land.

The foolish girl was rather excited. “I don’t know to swim,” she had confessed.

“I do,” he had replied.

In his defense, he had never promised to rescue her.

 


In response to the 126th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge based on a photo by TJ Paris.

No good deed

Sam was frustrated, irritated, bored even, but not surprised.

Don’t try to be a hero, just take your cut and look the other way, he had been warned. But Sam’s conscience would not permit him, even though he knew that exposing corruption in the system was akin to snitching, and snitches are always put out to pasture.
Yes Sir. No good deed goes unpunished.

So here he was, patrolling the one place where no one ever came. Just him, the rocks, and moss. The only narco here was sea-weed, and unless those damn rocks were potentially a dealer in disguise, he had no idea why he was even approaching that barking dog.
Yet his gut told him to look, and Sam ignored neither his conscience nor his gut.

And suddenly he wasn’t bored anymore…
The face was bashed beyond recognition, but the neck bore the distinct tattoo of the Colombian cartel.


In response to the 125th Challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring WritersFlash Fiction for Aspiring Writers based on a photo provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode.