Here is a selection of super-short stories I have written. Musings, if you will. I’m not sure how coherent they are in terms of story arcs and character development, but I sure had fun writing them.
He stood amidst the dolorous multitude, viewing the horror with equity. Blue caps spinning their golden webs, cocooning evidence for later consumption. The bloodied black stiletto. The hooker with her head caved in.
It was my fault of course. Mother said I would never amount to anything. I considered running away, but where would I go? These streets, once familiar, were strangers to me now. These faces were denizens of another time.
Then there was the shadow man. He detached himself from the disbanding congregation, offering me a pale hand, and I hobbled across the street to meet him.
Like the light, Ysabel is fading.
Memories ghost through the pines, luring her deeper into winter’s labyrinth. A pallid sun lingers at its zenith; cheerless sentinel dying before the night. Ysabel cannot remember the last time she felt a summer’s warmth or tasted an autumn’s bounty. Nor can she recall the faces of her children, long lost but not yet forgotten.
She retraces the compacted routes of her youth, round and round and round in ever-decreasing circles. What will happen, she wonders, when the circles stop circling?
A child’s voice echoes from a time before hearing.
Ysabel smiles and trudges on.
Tick tock, Mr Sinclair. Tick tock.
Rowena drags a russet smear across her lips and puckers at her reflection. “You are relucent, Miss Rivers,” she purrs, tousling her golden hair. “Why, you’re positively glowing.”
She opens the bathroom door to find Mark Sinclair leering at her.
“I call it a filthy honour when a client invites me back to her place,” he says.
Rowena pouts. “I don’t normally do this, you know.”
She sashays into the kitchen and pours two glasses of chardonnay while Mark ruminates about well-heeled cougars and their wandering husbands. Present company excluded, of course.
“I just can’t believe you’re single.” Green eyes bore holes in her dress.
Rowena sips her wine. “I have… particular requirements.”
Mark leans close. He reeks of cigarettes and cheap cologne. “And what might those be?”
Hearts tock with the ticking of the clock.
Rowena smashes her lips against his and wrestles him to the floor, knocking over her favourite Tiffany lamp. The bulb pops and the shade shatters, showering glass all over her new sheepskin rug.
Darkness crashes over them in waves.
Mark stiffens, “What the..?”
Rowena bears down, pinning him in place like a stag beetle on a taxidermist’s drying board. Mark bucks beneath her and she releases him. “What is it?”
He stumbles to his feet and points at the mirror above Rowena’s mantle. “Look!”
She sees Mark’s reflection; sun-darkened with dirty green eyes and abdominals she could grate cheese on. Beside him she sees herself, skin pulsing with lambent light.
She shrugs. “What’s the problem?”
His eyes are wild. “You’re glowing!”
“Why, thank you,” Rowena simpers.
“What the Hell..?” He grabs his jacket and marches to the door. “I’m outta here.”
The smile slides from Rowena’s face. She stalks after him. “I’m afraid you can’t leave, Mr Sinclair. I won’t let you.”
“You won’t let me? Honey, you can’t stop me.” Mark yanks the handle but the door holds fast. “You locked it?” He rattles the handle again.
“Of course.” Rowen won’t make that mistake again. She waves the key at him. “Like I said. You’re. Not. Leaving.”
Mark snatches at the fob, but Rowena is quicker.
She’s always quicker.
The fool doesn’t even see it coming.
They never do.
Mark crumples to the floor, blood oozing from a jagged crack in his skull. Rowena skirts the burgeoning puddle, careful not to ruin her Jimmy Choo’s. She pulls up a chair and sits, picking at a gobbet of brain matter wedged beneath a fingernail.
Tick tock, Mr Sinclair.
Bone fragments skate across the viscous pool. Shadows shrink as light spills from Mark’s naval. The blending of effulgence and gore is like cream through raspberry coulis. Rowena licks her lips and turns to regard her mirror.
The flaxen-haired reflection is gone. Now stands an ageless bête noire, glorious with the light of ten thousand souls. Soon to be ten thousand and one.
“You are relucent, Miss Rivers,” she says.
“Positively glowing,” her reflection sneers.