Flash Fiction Friday: Story #8

Flash Fiction Friday # 8 prompt:

This week’s Flash Fiction prompt is brought to you by crazy Matt D of Fireflies in the Clouds fame.

99 Word Horror Contest sponsored by Matt D

Write 99 words on Halloween or Horror. Not 98, not 100, and the title doesn’t count.

“A Binding Ceremony”

Jack fought the urge to scratch his neck. He could barely breathe through the mask, but Layla had insisted he wear it for the ceremony – her family’s tradition.

Then he heard the priest say, “… pronounce you husband and wife.” Relief. Finally, he could take the mask off and kiss his bride.

Jack gave a tug. Nothing. He moved his fingers to the edges. Nothing!

His panicked feeling grew. Where was the seam!

Someone brushed his shoulder. He turned around. His new mother-in-law smiled at him, her mouth full of razor-sharp teeth.

“Welcome to the family,” she growled.

(This is 99 words according to Word 2003.)

require(“http://www.lmashton.com/fff/fff8.php”);

Flash Fiction Friday: Story #7

The future home of Story #7 in which a romantic story revolves around an alien, parasitic, first love triangle and cooties. Yes, that’s right. Cooties. Let’s call it an Intergalactic Romantic Comedy.

This week’s Flash Fiction Story #7

Well, this week’s flash fiction story is supposed to be a romantic science fiction story. WHAT! Yes. This, and many other words I can’t use here, went through my head as well. Now, I do plan to write a story for this week’s challenge, but it will not be in by the midnight deadline.

To be honest, this one scares me more than last week’s fanfiction challenge. Why might you ask? Well, it could be that it involves romance. I just never could get into that whole genre. Or, it could be the science fiction. Not counting the pieces I’ve written for these challenges, it has been a very long time since I’ve written an actual science fiction story. I am wondering if I can even remember how. What I mean is that up until 6 weeks ago I had given up on my writing. I have drafts of posts about me giving up on writing. (I think I may have even lost a friend because of my depression on not writing.)

Now, here I am with five stories posted and one story still in draft. Yes, they are short, but they are stories. I even have an idea for the romance/science fiction story believe it or not. (Last minute inspiration.) It’s kind of a weird sensation. (I think I’ve said that before, but it’s true.)

Lest I become a broken record. (Too late.) I’ll just be back to writing now… again.

Oh, I so suck at deadlines.

Flash Fiction Friday: Story #6

Flash Fiction Friday # 6 prompt:

Write a story between 400 – 500 words based in the most famous television series that never was… Hiatus.

I am so excited about this challenge. I can’t believe I get to write fanfiction about my favorite show of all time. As some of you might or might not know, I am the biggest Hiatus fan ever. Well… okay… not as big as the nu… er… guy who started the Save Hiatus website, but I’ve loved every episode that was ever aired, and I even have some of the non-aired episodes downloaded on to my computer. That’s right. Eat your heart out. I have the ones about the Zombie Wars that forced the first crew of the A.D. Venture to head off into space. I am so cool. Anyways, that’s what my fanfiction is all about. Hope you like it. Save Hiatus!

(And yes, I suck. This is much longer than 500 words, but I just couldn’t cut anymore.)

“In Space, Women Are More Dangerous Than Guns”

LeAnne Wilkes had spent most of the morning sleeping in and then watching her favorite series on the Net when the first reports of the zombie attacks began streaming into the small embedded chip behind her left ear and into her neural link. At first, she hadn’t believed any of it. One of her colleagues from the Space Corp Recruitment Office had to be playing a trick on her. Or, perhaps it had been one of the new “Scrots”, Space Corp Trainees, messing with her transmitter. She had quickly flipped to the News Net to find more information. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. People being torn a part and running every which way, trying to get away from the walking dead. LeAnne had seen enough late night horror movies to know what she needed to do. Without changing out of her sheer, almost see-through nightgown, she grabbed her boots and the baseball bat her younger brother had once jokingly said would save her life and headed out the door to the one place she figured would be safe — Space Corps Headquarters.

Now, LeAnne found herself huddled among a rag-tag band group on board the spaceship “A.D. Venture” barrelling away from the only home they had ever known – Earth. What worried LeAnne now wasn’t the fact that they had no idea where they were heading or that the man who seemed to be leading them would have been tagged as “unfit” to join the Corp, but that she could have sworn she’d seen a young boy with a bite wound on his neck come aboard while everyone else had rushed through the bulkhead doors.

Clutching her prized bat close to her chest, she pushed her way through the throng toward the outskirts. She didn’t want to be caught in the crowd with the boy. Twice she felt hands grope her chest and butt and twice she pushed her bat into a few crotches. “Glad to know we still got our priorities,” she muttered under her breath.

As she emerged from the crowd, she looked for signs of the boy. Nothing. All she saw were the scared faces of her fellow passengers. “But where were the two men who had lead them inside the ship,” she wondered. She headed back down the hallway they had all just come. She hoped the two were down there and still alive.

LeAnne hadn’t gotten far when she heard the muffled screams and rushed toward the sounds brandishing her bat. She turned the corner and beaned one of the two men. She could see the other struggling for his life with a small figure. The boy was no longer human; he had turned.

“What the hell! Huh.” said the man she just knocked down.

She looked at him as he rubbed the growing bump on his head and looked up at her. It was a look she’d seen a thousand times before. The look of someone in love.

“Herschel, this is no time to be getting some tail. Help me. The kid’s a freakin’ vampire” screamed the other man.

“Oh right, huh.” Herschel said as he turned his attentions back to his friend.

LeAnne watched in amazement as Herschel stood up and pulled out a gun from his waistband. He aimed it at the small figure, ready to fire.

“Was he an idiot?” she thought. Bringing a gun on a spaceship. LeAnne knocked him to the ground once again and swung her bat at the boy’s body. Its small zombie body slammed against the outer bulkhead doors.

For a moment, she thought she had killed it, but she watched in horror as it shook its head and sprung at her. She swung the bat again, this time hitting the head. She kept swinging until its head was a bloody mass. She could feel the breakfast she had eating just that morning rise in her throat, but she forced it back down. She turned and faced the two stunned men.

“Why the hell did you knock me down? I could have shot it in the head. Huh.”

“Huh?” LeAnne replied dumbfounded. Didn’t the idiot realize shooting a gun on a spaceship was dangerous.

“Are you stupid? Huh.” asked Herschel, not so sure that the vision he saw in front of him was smart.

“Don’t worry. That’s just how he talks. My name is Motorhead, and he’s Herschel Jackson,” said the man she had just saved. He slowly stood up and took her free hand.

“Thanks for saving my ass.” He shook it vigorously, and LeAnne couldn’t help, but think he was doing it to see her chest shake a bit.

“Sure. No problem.”

“Why did you knock him down?” he asked as he checked his neck.

“You can’t just go shooting a gun on a spaceship. A bullet goes through the hull, and blam, we’d all be dead.”

“Ah, yeah. Good thinking then. Huh.” Herschel said sheepishly. Maybe she wasn’t so dumb after all.

“Yeah. Good thinking.” LeAnne took a better look at the man she had dubbed an idiot. It dawned on her where she had seen him before. He and Motorhead had been the ones she had seen outside the Space Corps Headquarters when she had heard the gunshot. They were also the ones who had gotten them inside the spaceship.

“My name is LeAnne,” she held out her hand to shake Herschel’s hand. Herschel took it and shook it vigorously, his eyes staring straight down.

LeAnne frowned. Now that the present danger had passed, she needed to find a better outfit to wear, preferably one that covered her better. LeAnne pulled her nightgown tight over her chest and adjusted the bat in her hand.

“Well boys, I am gonna find me some decent clothes and checkout the Flight Nav.”

“The Flight Nav? Huh.” LeAnne could see that Herschel looked a bit confused. This wasn’t boding well for the rest of the people on board.

“Yeah, the place where the automatic flight sequencer is. We have no idea where this bucket of bolts is taking us. And, I for one would like to find out.”

“That sounds like a pretty good idea. I could help you out with that,” said Motorhead. Suddenly, he teetered forward right into LeAnne’s chest. He quickly pushed himself off. Smack. LeAnne hit him with her hand holding the bat. He went teetering the other way and slid down the wall, unconscious.

“Hey. What the hell is that? Huh.” said Herschel as he kneeled down to check on Motorhead.

“That was my reaction to someone gettin’ fresh…”

“No… no. The ship’s rocking back and forth. Huh.” LeAnne watched Herschel steady himself. It dawned on her that Motorhead might not have meant to fall face first into her chest.

“Why ain’t you shakin’? Well, much anyways. Huh.” LeAnne could see the growing smirk cover Herschel’s face as he eyed her chest. She pulled her nightgown even tighter.

“I’m used to all this. I was getting ready to head into space in one of these in a few months. Guess I got the early pass. ” LeAnne chuckled and tapped one of the pipes that jutted out of the wall.

“We practiced in simulators all the time.”

“Really. So you know what’s happening then?” asked Motorhead, who was just waking up from her smack.

“Well…” for the first time LeAnne was at a loss. “I think. I think it might be…” She wracked her brain for an answer. She was sure she’d been through a simulation like this before.

“Well hurry up and figure it out. I think I am gonna be sick.” LeAnne could see Motorhead turning green. Suddenly, she knew what was happening. She dropped her bat and began running for the Flight Nav.

“Where the hell are you going? Huh.” Herschel yelled at her. She could hear both of them scrambling to keep up with her. She passed the huddled masses and rounded the corner to where the ship’s crew would have steered the ship. She quickly surveyed the Comm area and sat in the Nav seat. She ran her fingertips across the panel and the ship’s viewing screen flashed to life.

She pointed to the screen. “It’s an ion storm, boys. Hang on. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.”

require(“http://www.lmashton.com/fff/fff6.php”);

Flash Fiction Friday: Story #5

Flash Fiction Friday # 5 prompt:

Write a story less than 1,000 words based on the picture below:

Flash Fiction #5 Prompt - Snake Mask Picture

“Medusa’s Child”

Ellie sat in front of her computer terminal, her eyes watered from her unblinking gaze. The code on the screen listed endlessly as she slowly scrolled through it searching for the failing section. It was her needle in the proverbial haystack.

“Almost got it,” she said to no one as she leaned back and rubbed her eyes. She had been alone in the lab for awhile, but she hadn’t noticed up until a few hours before when hunger pains had finally forced her to retreat from the glow of the screen. Her dinner had been a bag of stale pretzels she was sure had not seen natural light since the early days of C and a cup of hot tea from the student lounge down the hall. Let the others rot their brains with soda and potato chips.

It had pained her to leave even for those few moments; the program was her life – her academic life. Yet, she had hoped that the few moments staring at something other than her code would bring new focus. But, there had been nothing. No eureka moment. No flashes of light other than the incessant flickering of the fluorescent ones above. There had to be something she wasn’t seeing.

Ellie hunched forward again to pick through the code in front of her. She could hear her mother’s voice telling her she needed to sit up straight and, while she was at it, brush her hair. She unconsciously ran her free hand through the matted mess. Suddenly, she saw it and a twinge of understanding lit her eyes. Her fingers began typing furiously, every now and then hitting two keys simultaneously, insuring nothing would be lost. She could not afford to lose it, not like the last time.

Hours passed before Ellie finally pushed her chair away from the terminal in triumph. She stroked the keyboard one last time to save it. This time she was done and all her work would pay off. Had to pay off. No one believed that mixing artificial intelligence, aspects of virtual reality and game theory, and above all mythology was worthy of her time, especially not the professors who had seen her brilliance in her freshman year. They called it “a game”, but she knew it was more than just game.

The title on the screen stared back at her. Medusa’s Child. She smiled to herself. It was silly, but the idea of naming her pride and joy after one of her favorite myths was just too delicious to pass up. She thought it was a fitting name since her program’s inaugural debut was the myth about Medusa and Perseus. However, it wasn’t Perseus and his gods that interested her. It was Medusa and her sister Gorgons.

“Now she would give the myth a better ending,” she thought.

Ellie got up and stretched her legs. She turned to the row of locked cabinets on the opposite side of the lab. The program was ready. She was ready. Why not.

She walked toward her marked cabinet and pulled out the painted key she kept around her neck on a silver chain. She inserted it and heard the small click. Opening the door, she saw the shadow of a nondescript thing – a burlap sack. Ellie pulled it out and placed it on the counter before her. She looked around the room. For some odd reason, she felt someone watching her, but dismissed it as nerves.

“I’m alone. No one can stop me. I’ll be fine.” She couldn’t help, but repeat the words over and over to herself as she lifted the object out of the sack, using it as a cushion. In front of her, was the ugliest mask she had ever seen. She had thought it a novelty item when she had bought it in the Greek Isles so long ago. The vacation had been her mother’s present to her for finishing her first year of college; something she had not been able to accomplish due to Ellie’s birth. But, since then, Ellie had discovered the mask held secrets.

Ellie looked over the mask. The jumble of snakes that jutted out of the green-tinged head stared at her. She carefully examined a small pack of electronics she had attached to the mask’s backside, making sure it was secure. She picked up the mask and stared into the large, bottomless eyes in the front. She stuck out her tongue, mimicking its facial expression as she carried it over to her terminal.

Balancing the mask in one arm, she reached around the terminal to the jumble of wires at the back. She couldn’t help, but notice the similarities between her terminal and the mask. She had hid behind the machine for most of her time at the college, never allowing others get close. The mask acted in the same way.

She hooked the wires to the electronic interface and punched a couple of keys. She waited for the last dialogue box to appear before placing the mask over her head. She felt her hair catch in the back, but with one good tug, it was on. She winced as some them were pulled out.

At first, Ellie panicked. She hadn’t thought about the lack of eye holes. “Thank goodness there was a hole for breathing,” she thought, but she could feel the claustrophobia setting in. She awkwardly searched her keyboard with one hand while the other balanced the mask on her shoulders. It wasn’t a heavy thing, but the halo of snakes made it cumbersome. She felt for the “Enter” key and took a deep breath. “Here goes everything.”

Ellie pushed the button.

The next morning the cleaning crew found Ellie slumped over the terminal unconscious and barely breathing. The mask had falling unto the floor opposite the monitor. Small scratch marks were found along its bottom edge. They called for an ambulance, and as the EMTs worked on her, they discovered small bite marks all around her neck.

require(“http://www.lmashton.com/fff/fff5.php”);

Flash Fiction Friday: Story #4 (Coming Soon)

This will remain blank for now. Story coming soon.

I’ve never been on time for anything… really

Well, I am going to be late with my Flash Fiction Friday #4 entry, but this time it will be due to my lack of internet access. I will be out of town for the week, and will be lucky if I can connect with the dreaded…. dialup. (I may faint right here and now.)  However, I do have an idea, and get this, and outline. (Yeah… no kidding.)  So, I should be able to at least write it.

I’ll submit it when I get back to civilization.

I cheated…

Yes, that’s right. I admit it. I am a cheater. I submitted my entry for Flash Fiction #3 after the deadline. I really have no excuse. Procrastination reared its ugly head, and I kept putting it off. And really, what a time to put something off. I mean, all I had to do was write a bad story. I do that practically everyday in my head, and yet I couldn’t sit down and write a bloody horrible story until an hour before it was due. I finished the story about 30 minutes after 12 midnight, but it took a bit longer to trim the fat (i.e. the word count).

I don’t even know if it is sufficiently bad. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. In intending to write a bad story, I write a half-way decent one. Sad. Sad. Sad.