FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Scour | #freefiction #flashfiction #100wordchallenge

Scour

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Charred remains are all that is left once they’re gone. The fields are still verdant, the stalks rustling in the wind as smoke carries the scent of burned flesh outward. It was a horrific and swift end to a chance at something better—something good. But they would never have allowed that—only death, destruction, and absolute ruin will reign supreme when they’re done with their mission.

When the Scourers come, there’s no hiding and no escape.

© 2017 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Glacial Fire | #freefiction #flashfiction #pictureprompt

Glacial Fire

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

The surface was like glass above my face—unbroken and serene as I sunk slowly into the depths. A moment before it was riotous with ripples, my hands breaking the surface as my lungs fought the ice forming within. I know it was water, but the glacial chill of it heightened my nerves like fire only in the exact opposite way.

Once my mind was consumed with that singular thought—what does one call an icy coldness that burns with the ferocity of fire—it was over. My limbs cramped, crystals forming along the strands of my muscles. My lungs stopped taking in the bitterly frozen liquid; the lack of precious air stiffening my body further.

But my brain still worked on, its last puzzle the only thing keeping the exploratory fingers of frigidity from taking me completely. Through my eyes I could see the hoarfrost forming on my lashes, the ends of my long hair swirling about me, each strand struggling to maintain fluidity in the sub-zero depths.

In a moment, I stopped moving completely, both in space and time. My brain ceased to think of my question in an instant, the answer coming to me quickly and assuredly, as certainly as my body lay suspended in the freezing combination of liquid and ice. My body so cold, it was on fire…

© 2017 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: The Ultimate Destruction | #flashfiction #freefiction

The Ultimate Destruction

TheUltimateDestructionimage_02He must make a decision even though it is hard. To kill his darlings, the ones he nurtured and brought to their pinnacle, is a task no Creator wants. But sometimes it’s a must.

It seems unnatural these beloveds would be so cruel, but it’s nature of the willful to think themselves invincible. Oh, the havoc they wreak—all of it in wayward ignorance but no less dangerous and damaging to the One who gave them the choice.

Each time He tries to get them right, but every time they fail. Like an ouroborus of creation, the circle remains unbroken. The Ultimate Destruction endures only to destroy through renewal, it’s carnage a regeneration of chance.

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: 3… 2… 1 | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

3… 2… 1

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Your body cringes, like an itch inside your skull. The pain is unwelcome, and though not entirely unpleasant, it’s never ending, unyielding to everything you throw at it. You want to scream but silence is the only result you can safely achieve. A scream would rend the fragile membrane of sanity, dashing the tightly held control you’ve managed to maintain.

Until now.

The dam is about to break, and you sense it. You can feel the waves of pain swell the moment before they come crashing down. As your nerves explode from the overload, you wonder is this the end?

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: The Face on the TV | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

The Face on the TV

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Most people see her first—their attention drawn in by the blurry face, the hands pressed against the glass. It’s a sad image, a scary vision, but what do I know when it comes to the terror of others?

I know a lot actually, but it’s my face no one looks at. My fractured frown beneath vacant eyes that everyone tends to miss, but I hold my own vigil; waiting, watching, always at the ready.

They’re scared at the sight of the woman trapped, but they should be frightened of me as I’m the one who put her there. I’m the Face on the TV and I’m always watching.

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Downhill | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

Downhill

Racing down the hill on waxed strips of fiberglass, the wind is heavy, pounding in my ears. It’s almost disorienting but I’m in control. The snow is both my partner and adversary–loving and hating my skis with each push of my knees.

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

My speed picks up as I descend the massive moguled hill, the pressure of my knees driving into each small ascent of the mounded snow. So easy to make a mistake, my training and practice take over my mind as the frantic rhythm of the cutting snow echoes the melody of Disturbed in my ear buds.

In the briefest of heartbeats, my course changes, driving me faster than I can correct into the trees lining the hill. I make contact, unable to stop myself, The strongly supple branch skewering through my left eye. My breathing slows as I hang there, hoping someone will see me, someone will come to my rescue. I know my brain is dying, bringing my body with it into the great beyond.

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: WasteLands | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

WasteLands

The landscape is cracked, broken. A wasteland.

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

But it wasn’t like this all that long ago…

It used to be verdant grasslands, widespread farmland, places where herds of livestock used to graze for their daily sustenance. It all changed in the breath of a moment. One second there, the next—devastation and desolation.

No one knows exactly what happened; maybe the lungs of the Earth simply stopped breathing. Or maybe it was something more diabolical—like the Wings of War swept in, decimating the countryside to its crust.

It’s uninhabitable but some still try to eke out an existence, living in the WasteLands like refugees of another time and place. Their faces always covered, the harsh sun and winds taking their toll even through the woven fabric; etching the skeleton beneath into the tautly stretched skin. Hollow faces stare back, slack and unforgiving. Specters of their former selves, waiting for death to take them like it has the land.

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Agonizing Decision | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

Agonizing Decision

Hate. Murder. Unspeakable abuse. Neglect. Willful ignorance. Apathy.

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

You run the gamut of these emotions everyday but expect me to be loving, merciful, understanding. I can no longer allow the pain and outright hostility to run rampant among you. I have to take control back, return things back to the beginning; a time when creatures didn’t understand what they could do to one another. I have made my decision, agonized over it as I’ve watched you continue to destroy yourselves and everything I’ve created through your hands. It’s time to take it back to the bedrock and start anew…

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY: Beneath | #flashfiction #freefiction #amwriting

Beneath…

image011It watches from beneath the flowing water, waiting for its moment to attack, tentacles tensed on the ready, coiled rage and frustration burning, blood boiling as it courses through hardened veins. It can see the bodies playing on the idyllic sand, their screams of pleasure knocking loudly at the vestigial auricles, inciting more anger, more hatred. Waiting for that moment when one chances close enough to grab with a strong, suction-cupped arm, it constricts inside with each high pitched squeal. A little white leg dances close enough and in the breadth of a moment, they disappear.

Beneath…

© 2018 Julianne Snow

FRIDAY FICTION: The Game | #FreeRead

The Game

Betty raised her arm, brightly coloured ball in hand and hurled it at the stack of cans on the pedestal.

She missed.

“Fuck!” All heads turned in her direction, but Betty didn’t care. She’d been trying to win a silly purple stuffed monkey since earlier in the day. Handing over another wad of cash, she collected her balls from the gap-toothed carney who ran the game.

“Look lady, if you want to keep wasting your money, I’ll keep taking it from you.”

Betty continued to toss the balls at the stack, each time missing the mark. Her exasperation began to show in the way she tossed her hair over her shoulder and the huffing breaths she took every time she missed.

“I’ve got a game you can’t lose at. Do you wanna try that one instead?” The voice was accompanied by a dingy white gloved hand on her shoulder.

Betty looked at the hand and then past it to the crudely painted face of the clown. He smiled, but it didn’t reach his red-rimmed eyes. “You do? Can I still win the purple monkey if I play it?”

“Sure you can win that, but you could win something even better.” The clown laughed, then said, “If you dare.”

Betty studied the face for a moment before turning back to the game she’d been playing. Lobbing all three of her remaining balls in quick succession, she missed each time. “Okay, where’s this game?”

The clown took her hand, tightening his grip as she resisted and led her down the midway to a brightly coloured tent in one of the farthest corners. Pulling back the flap, he led her into the dimly lit interior. Music began to play, a haunting melody that permeated her mind, making Betty feel slightly ill at ease.

“Where’s the game?” Betty looked around the space and couldn’t see anything remotely resembling a game of chance. The only things in the tent were a chair and a table covered with a dark blue piece of cloth.

“Would you care to sit down?” The clown extended a gloved hand in the direction of the chair. “All will be explained in time.”

Betty looked at the chair, then at the clown before sitting down. “Okay…”

“The game is simple, in fact you’ve probably played it with your friends,” the clown paused to take the cloth from the table, letting Betty see its contents. “So what will it be? Truth or Dare?”

The table held two piles of cards, one labelled Truth, the other Dare.

“I don’t understand.” Betty looked from the clown to the pile of cards, confusion evident on her face.

“It’s simple, you pick a card, I read it and your answer or action will determine your prize.” He rested his hands on the table, studying her.

“What’s the catch?”

“There is no catch, my dear. You simply choose a card and we play from there.” For a moment the clown’s exasperation flooded his words, but he quickly hid it away.

“Okay…” She considered the pile before saying, “Dare.”

The clown picked up the top card and carefully turned it over. He smiled before reading it aloud. “Oh this one’s easy. Call the Game Master the worst insult you can think of.”

“Who’s the Game Master?”

“Well I am. So what are you going to hurl at me? And remember, make it good! You’ve got a lot riding on this…”

“A lot riding on it? What do you mean?” Betty shot a confused look at the clown, beginning to wonder what she’d gotten herself into.

“Your purple monkey—don’t you remember?” The clown laughed, as if to reassure her. “So what’s your insult?”

Betty looked at the clown as different insults crossed her mind. She could comment on his appearance, but that seemed too easy. He was a clown and a rather sad excuse for one at that. There was his profession; certainly there was an insult in there somewhere. None of that seemed enough though. In the end she went with something she knew would bother her if someone pointed it out…

“You smell like shit. And I mean you really smell like shit. From your costume to your breath. Actually it’s like shit and death; you know that smell when you find an animal after it’s died? Only worse.”

The clown’s over-exaggerated eyes widened as he laughed, his whole body shaking with mirth. Still chuckling, he responded, “You don’t smell so great yourself, sweetheart. That perfume you’re wearing can’t hide all those years living on the wrong side of the tracks.”

Betty bristled for a moment, drawing her arms close around her in a hug. As her shoulders slumped, she wondered who else could smell it on her…

“That was an excellent round! You definitely took on the dare and won.” He pulled a purple stuffed monkey from beneath the table and sat it on the top between the piles of cards. “Do you want to go for something bigger?”

Betty looked at the toy on the table, all the while wondering if she should continue. Her greed won. “Abso-freaking-lutely! What do I do now? Do I pick another card?”

“No, it’s my turn now.” He said it with such glee it made Betty wonder if she’d made the right decision. She watched as he picked a card from the Dare pile and flipped it over. “Tie your opponent to the chair. Oh, that’s easy enough!”

It took him only a few moments to overpower Betty, tying her to the chair with a nylon rope pulled from underneath the table. While she struggled, there simply was no way for her to have stopped him. She screamed, begged for someone to help her but the music in the tent only got louder, muffling her distress.

“Well that was easy, wasn’t it?”

“Fuck off you stupid asshole! Let me go!” Betty tried in vain to get him to untie her, but the gravity of her situation soon overwhelmed her. With tears streaming down her face she stopped struggling and looked up at the clown who now held her captive.

“That’s better. Now what will it be? Truth or dare?”

“Truth.” Picking a Dare seemed too dangerous to chance.

After picking up the top card, he read, “How scared are you right now?”

She looked at him, mascara tears winding a path over her cheeks and whimpered, “Very.”

The clown smiled in reaction and said, “Excellent! I think I’ll pick another Dare…”

Copyright © 2014 Julianne Snow