Donna Hole in her Wednesday post on her blog : http://donnahole.blogspot.com/ had a prompt for flash fiction for her guests :
The prompt: Your character has been invited to a party. When you arrive, the house appears empty... What happens next? Do you go away? Do you look in a window? Maybe you turn the knob and the door mysteriously opens! What then?
I've never done flash fiction. I love words too much -- and building up tension and atmosphere. But Donna is a friend, and Samuel McCord is a sucker for any request from a lady -- so I wrote one for her blog.
I have my doubts about it. I think you have to know Sam's history and world for it to work. But fortunately, most of you know that. So here's my first flash fiction. But first a relevant quote from Oscar Wilde for Tessa :
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
Samuel McCord :
The house is dark, its empty windows more like vacant eyes than dirty glass. They give the building the look of some huge, discarded skull of a lost god. I don't like this.
Lt. Trifle (yes, that's her name, and the main reason she got a black belt in Karate) called me out here in the middle of nowhere.
Nowhere being on the outskirts of Metairie -- which is on the outskirts of New Orleans -- which, itself, is on the outskirts of Hell if you listen to some preachers.
She said I was needed out here and then hung up. Or got the phone snatched out of her hand. I came as soon as I could.
Was I in time? Time. I could stop it for awhile -- if I was willing to pay the price.
I was. It hurt like hell. I deserved worse. Ask a thousand widows what Captain Samuel McCord deserved, and they'd tell you the same thing.
The time-snared air felt like heavy invisible water pressing in against me. I endured. It's what I do.
I made my way to the back of the house. I tried to cat-foot in out of instinct. Reality trumped instinct. The weight of frozen time made each step feel as if I were lifting the weight of the world.
Cat-footing was out. Lumbering like a dinosaur with arthritis was all I could manage.
I smiled like the wolf I felt. Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. And time was mine. For as long as I could endure the pain.
The house of shadows was deserted. No furniture. Lots of needles. Lots of spoons. Discarded rubber tubing.
A crack house.
I made it to the front room. It wasn't empty.
A young punk had Trifle dead to rights. Mostly dead if I didn't act fast. How he got the drop on her was obvious. She was cradling a shivering, feverish girl. Trifle's heart had blind-sided her.
I released time. The addict yelped in surprise. He jerked his gun towards me. I smiled and spoke low.
"How young can you die of old age?"
"What the fuck?"
Sad last words. I answered my own question. I sped up time all around him. He squealed, squirmed, shouted, then wheezed into raspy coughing. He aged into an old man in seconds.
As he fell, he crumbled into dust right in front of Trifle. The moon caressed the hot sunset of her hair as she looked down in horror. The mound of dust started to disappear in the faint breath of the stale breeze. She turned hollow eyes to me.
"You're a monster."
What had Oliver Goldsmith written? It came to me : Silence gives consent.
I left without saying a word.
Here are some photos of Sam's and Meilori's last visit to Paris together :
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