FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Bridging | #flashfiction #pictureprompt

Bridging

my eyes linger on the other side,

was it any better over there?

glancing behind me, the pain is still there

it’s hunting for me, not able to sink it’s debilitating teeth into my psyche…

for the moment at least

I want to cross over, to go, to live in another space

a space of light, laughter, love

all I needed to do was run to the other side

cross over the wooden rails marking the trail of redemption

but would my feet carry me, would they fail like everything else?

not knowing the answer, I lunge forward,

taking the first step toward freedom

toward a life of less pain, less misery

the path was clear, open

but the teeth sink in, the pain has me

can I ever break free?

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2020 Julianne Snow

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FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Bacteria | #randomword #flashfiction

Shared from Days with the Undead

Bacteria

The perfect killer. Small, invasive, self-replicating; it needs you, it loves you…

***

“Mommy, I don’t feel very well…” Angie whined as she rubbed a grubby hand across her nose.

Laurie placed the back of her hand on the little girl’s forehead, judging the severity of her illness by temperature. “Is it your tummy honey?”

“No Mommy.”

“What hurts sweetie?” Laurie looked at the pallid complexion of her daughter, beginning to worry at seeing the dark-rimmed eyes and runny nose.

“I just don’t feel we—” Angie barely got the words out before going limp in her mother’s lap.

pseudomonas-aeruginosa-sLaurie shook her daughter, gently at first growing more concerned at her inability to rouse her. Placing her fingers on her neck, she felt for a pulse, growing alarmed at how cool her daughter now felt. “Angie? Angie! ANGIE!!”

Panicked, she laid her daughter on the couch as she grabbed for the phone. Dialing 9-1-1 quickly, she cradled the phone in the crook of her shoulder as she waited for the line to connect. Still she searched for a pulse…

“Police, Fire or Ambulance?”

“Ambulance!”

Laurie waited a few more seconds as the general dispatcher connected her to the correct department, growing agitated at the delay. She stroked her daughter’s face with one hand as she pushed deeper into her daughter’s neck with the other. Why couldn’t she find a pulse?

“Ambulance. What’s your emergency?”

“It’s my daughter. She just fainted and I’m having trouble finding her pulse, can you send an ambulance please?!?”

“Is your daughter breathing?”

“No!”

“Do you know CPR?”

“No!! Oh my God, she’s going to die isn’t she??”

“Ma’am, calm down and do as I say. Can you put the phone on speaker and put it down beside your daughter?”

“Yes, hang on a second…” Noise can be heard in the background of the call as Laurie fumbles with the phone. She comes back a moment later sounding a little farther away. “Okay what do I do?”

“I need to take your finger and scoop out anything that may be in her mouth first.”

“Okay, gimme a second.” More noise can be heard in the background, then a piercing scream echoes over the line.

“Fucking hell! She bit my finger!”

“Ma’am?”

“Angie! Oh thank God you’re awake! I was so worried!”

“Ma’am?”

“Let me get a towel for my finger.” Laurie’s voice seems farther away as she addressed the phone again, “Operator if you’re still there can send help for me? It seems my daughter’s bite reflex was a little stronger than I expected.”

“Your daughter bit you? Is she conscious now?”

“Yes, she seems to be alert, though she’s still very pale and seems confused. Sweetie, stay on the couch I’ll be right back.”

All Rights Reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: #truthordare | #flashfiction #freefiction #original #100words

#truthordare

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Truth.

My choice was easy. I hated choosing dare because they were always so stupid. Who wanted to run around outside in the snow naked or kiss the first stranger they came upon? Not me. Truth was the only game I was ever willing to play but I admit I did love to watch my friends act like complete idiots during their turns.

Their eyes darted to mine, their voices hushed against each others faces. They wanted to ask me something specific; something revealing.

Would they find the courage?

And then the question came…

“Have you ever killed anyone, Marie?”

Copyright © 2020 Julianne Snow. All Rights Reserved

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Van | #undead #zombies #flashfiction #freefiction

Shared from Days with the Undead

VAN

It came out of the darkness, its headlights blinding us for the brief moment it stayed true to our direction. It turned sharply, responding to what it encountered.

The road was full of them and us as we struggled to stay that important step in front of them. We ran past it, not wanting to slow down, not wanting to hope that someone was willing to help us.

“Hey! Stop! What’s going on?”

How could they now know? Didn’t they watch the news? It was everywhere!

The dead had risen and now they were taking over. All you could do was run, try to stay ahead of them. But even then, so many had no idea what to do.

The van pulled up next to us. The driver, a young man with a beard, rolled down the window, “Where are you going? Do you have a plan?”

The panic in his voice was palpable. I didn’t want to stop and I wasn’t sure I wanted to waste precious breath talking to him either. Risking a sideways glance, I stared him full in the face, letting him see the terror, the blood that marred my once porcelain-coloured complexion. “Out.”

“Out? What does that mean?” I could read the confusion and I continued to run, his van keeping pace with us.

“We’re getting out.” I didn’t know why I bothered explaining it to him. It was unlikely he was really going to care.

“Look, get in and we can get out together. Deal?”

I could tell he was nervous, scared to be alone. I also knew there was no way I was going to be able to keep up this pace with a kid on my hip and another tiring at the end of my arm.

“I drive.” It was simple, I’d stated the rules and he acquiesced.

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2014 Julianne Snow

 

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Regret | #viral #zombies #flashfiction

Shared from Days with the Undead

REGRET

She held the vial in her hands carefully, gazing upon it with love. Her finest achievement to date and the surge of pride she felt flushed her face.

This would be her legacy, a lasting contribution to the industry of medicine. Her long days and even longer nights would finally be worth it.

There was only one thing she would regret; not being able to scream her breakthrough to all those who doubted her expertise. Oh, she’d scream, but it would be for a different reason…

As patient zero, she’d scream right before she bit down on your flesh.

Copyright 2014 © Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Odd Woman Out | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

Shared from Days with the Undead

Odd Woman Out

“Shh…” It was a whispered plea that broke quickly through the muted murmurs.

We could hear them outside, banging up against the corrugated aluminum walls, the sound echoing around us. Had the hushed voices called to them, signaled the living were close?

The faces around me where streaked with mud and even worse, the rotting blood of the dead inhabiting this broken world with us. All eyes were wide, startled into quiet submission, waiting for the moment they could let their collective guard down for a moment and breath in a silent sigh of relief.

horror-3690119_640The noise traveled around them as the dead moved past them, their route punctuated by the thudding of dead limbs on the siding. After a few moments of relative silence, the sound around them changed, the knocking louder, accompanied by the sound of panicked words.

“Let me in! They’re coming back!” It was woman, her voice frantic, the words hushed but strident.

A sea of faces turned to me, their eyes searching my face for any clue as to what I was thinking. Would I let her in and risk them all, or would I dub her the newest odd woman out?

© 2019 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: In Hiding | #flashfiction #freefiction

Shared from Days with the Undead

In Hiding

All I can see is the blue sky above me as I lay in hiding. I can hear them all around me, shuffling through the colourful panorama of fallen leaves. I’d been stupid, thinking the gully would keep me safe, hidden. But I began to realize they wouldn’t actively avoid the drop. Instead they’d fall into it, joining me at the bottom should they get too close.

I lay there, hoping to remain hidden. And I’m not above admitting I’ve been praying to any deity listening to keep me safe. I feel hollow, but hopeful.

Until it falls atop me.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2014 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: headSpace | #100wordchallenge #poetry #pictureprompt #unfiltered #mentalillness

 

headSpace

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

thoughts swirl endlessly

playback on repeat

over and over, monotonous worry

clouding everyday thoughts

everyday tasks

everyday

everyGODDAMNday

I want to break free

breathe the silent sigh of placid peacefulness

just for a moment

to know what free feels like

but anxiety wears me down

down, down, down

the constant unnecessary friend

who comes to play

without invitation

unwanted; all-knowing

destructive; deceptive

always niggling the back of my brain

pushing me to selfdoubt

to second guess

to doubt the hype

to lose faith | joy | selflove

worn out, weary and wary of everything

the cycle begins anew

never ending

Copyright © 2019 Julianne Snow

 

 

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: I’ll Do Anything | #flashfiction #pictureprompt #wasters

Shared from Days with the Undead

I’ll Do Anything…

“Let me in! They’re coming!” The teenage boy pleaded with the face on the other side of the sturdy fence.

Jenn looked over at her compadre on watch and said, “What do you think, Fred? Should we do the Catholic thing?”

Fred laughed, his beard bouncing up and down on his round belly. “Catholic? That’s a good one!” he said. “There ain’t no Catholics here.”

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Again, the pubescent voice begged, “I don’t want to die! Please let me in! I’ll do anything!”

Jenn laughed again, her voice taking on a mocking lilt, “Listen to that Fred! He’ll do anything.”

“Listen you little shit; I’ve never seen a filthier outcast than you.” The venom in her voice palpable, vicious. “We’re not letting you in, so you’d better stay ahead of them.”

Her gaze shifted to the shambling Wasters coming up slowly behind the young man. Grabbing the thin hand that had stretched through the gate to add to his plea, Jann held on tightly, her mirth brimming over. “This’ll teach you not to ask for what’s not yours!”

Fred looked on as the Wasters caught up to the young boy, watching as Jenn snapped her hand back just in time. In mere moments, the frail body was torn apart, blood splattering everything within reach.

Dirty hands ending in broken and dirty fingernails snaked through the open areas of the gate. Jenn smiled over at Fred, raising her gun slightly in response. She wouldn’t shoot though—the Wasters would move on eventually… They always did.

Copyright © 2019 Julianne Snow

 

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Apocalyptic Toffee | #trickortreat #sweets #notsosweet #zombies

Shared from Days with the Undead

Apocalyptic Toffee

Hallowe’en Night – 7:30PM

tofee

The first to be infected sat in a circle in the basement rec room of the parent who’d been sucked into the duty of trick-or-treating that year. There were superheroes, a princess, a witch, and even a cat, all of them devouring the small morsels of candy in their bags with reckless abandon. Mixed into the bounty were the small toffee tidbits lovingly handcrafted by the diminutive, elder woman who lived at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Each year the kids would run up the patio-stone walkway to knock loudly on her front door. And she would come out, her white hair always swept up into a tight bun, her arms bearing the bowl with her special treats. Each one would be greeted by name and a special remark made about their chosen costume for the year. Her house was always their favourite stop, and her toffee was the treat many of them saved for last.

But this year, the toffee was a little different. An ingredient had been tainted before it reached the small woman in her sunny kitchen. With each swirl of the wooden spoon around the saucepan, she mixed death into her sweets this year. And the neighbourhood would never be the same again.

It started with a quickening of the pulse, a flush coming over the children as they sat eating too much of their collected candy for one sitting. The stomach pains crept over them next, twisting cramps that doubled them over as they tried to climb the stairs in search of help. None of them made it past the wooden barrier before the change.

Hallowe’en Night – 8:33PM

“Kids! Your parents are here to pick you up!” The voice called from the front door, falling on deafened ears. Thinking the children were playing in the basement, or perhaps gorging themselves on all their candy, the brown-haired mother made a sweeping gesture to the congregated parents, inviting them in before moving down the hall. Her hand touched the gleaming doorknob and turned it, released the little monsters that waited for her.

They erupted from the basement, their bodies hungry for more than candy now. In a frenzy, amid the panicked screams, they ripped her apart, her blood mingling with the smears of chocolate already on their faces. It didn’t take them long to decimate her body, to infect her with their toffee sickness, her body rising in turn as the other parents came to investigate the source of the screams.

Hallowe’en Night – 11:18PM

The police couldn’t contain them and wound up succumbing like all the rest who’d had the misfortune of crossing their paths. It spread outward from the epicenter of the dead-ended street, a ballooning of bloody corpses in search of the uninfected. It was the start of something big, something that wouldn’t be stopped.

And at the centre of it all, a little old woman sat, scared and alone; unaware of the part she’d played in the end of the world.

All rights reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow