The City of Hope

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Hope, they call it, the fortress city behind the wall. Impenetrable unless they let you through the checkpoint. Lines of cars have been sitting there for as long as I can remember, but they haven’t moved in months. Occasionally, the guards still let a few people in, but not as often as before. I was one of the few to make it through the gates shortly after the Scourge. Once I learned what they do with outsiders, I hid. I’ve been trying to find a way back out ever since. Hope is the last thing they should call this place.

The grass is always greener on the other side. And then you make the mistake of going to the other side.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Click here for stories from the other Fictioneers.


The Seamstress

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

She sat quietly, stitching the final stitches in the glow of a dying candle. Months had passed since she’d begun the arduous task, but she was finally finished. Time and time again, unhappy with her work, she’d ripped portions out and re-stitched them. The quilt needed to be perfect.

Her fingertips caressed the beautiful creation. The hint of a smile curled the corners of her mouth. With her new blanket–one side a patchwork of varies pigments of human skin, the other an amalgamation of the scalps of her victims–wrapped around her shoulders, she stepped out onto the balcony.

When I first looked at this photo, I thought of a woman being stalked by a man, but the woman turns out actually be hunting the unsuspecting man. I’ve written that story before, probably several times, so I moved on. Next I thought of werewolves, but didn’t have any idea of where to go with that. So I moved on to my next thought: Frankenstein. But I wanted to go a different route than the traditional monster stitched together from corpse pieces, and thus the Frankenquilt was born.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Click here to read the stories from the other Fictioneers.


Broken

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PHOTO PROMPT Sarah Potter

She stood at the sink, looking out the window, dreaming of better times and beautiful things long since gone away. The thought of him with that harlot made her skin crawl. How could he have been so heartless? She so blind?

Her chin dipped toward the forgotten dishes piled in the cool water. A tear traced a path to the edge of her nose, where it clung for a moment before plunging into the basin.

She steadied her trembling shoulders and returned her gaze outside, dreaming of better times and beautiful things long since gone away.

No horror today, only the sadness of a fictional woman. This one is actually a few words shy of 100 due to a last minute edit that I think makes it flow better. I usually strive to hit 100 words exactly, but I’ll make an exception this time.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Click here for stories from the other Fictioneers.


She Lied To Me

Crystal lied to me. I know she did. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do. I don’t actually have proof that she lied, but I know she did. It’s one of those things you just know. You can feel it through your entire body. Even the marrow in my bones knows she lied to me. It’s pretty sure anyway. At least eighty percent sure. That’s good enough when it comes to lying. That’s what my mother always used to say. That’s why I got a wooden spoon across my backside so often. God, I hated that spoon.

Thing is she was wrong more than she was right. At least in the beginning. By the time it ended, I knew she wouldn’t believe me anyway, so I lied out my ass. Each one was larger and more elaborate than the last. They were the kinds of stories that could only be lies, but if I was going to get hit anyway why not make it interesting, right?

That’s how it was with Crystal. She had to be lying. At least I think so. I’m at least sixty percent sure she was lying. There’s no other explanation, really. She had to be lying.
Her story just didn’t jibe with reality. That’s how you get caught. That’s what
my mother always said. Thing is, my stories jibed perfectly in the beginning.
How couldn’t they have? I was telling the truth.

Crystal had to be lying. She knew that guy and something was definitely weird with their dynamic. I’m at least forty percent sure she was lying. There’s no way that was the first time they’d ever met. They knew each other. They got what they deserved.

But what if she didn’t know him? What if she wasn’t lying? No. She was lying. I’m at least twenty percent sure, and twenty percent is good enough, right?

I probably should have given her the benefit of the doubt. I should give her a call. I want to. I want her back. I shouldn’t have snapped like that.

I can’t call her though. She wouldn’t answer. How could she? She’s at the bottom of a lake with that piece of shit who tried to take her from me. Besides, she lied to me. I’m at least eighty percent sure. I think.

Just a quick, barely edited story for you today. What say you, Minion?

Also, If you aren’t aware: the newest volume of 100 Tiny Tales of Terror, Rotten Little Things, just hit the digital shelves. You should pick up a copy. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

US: http://a.co/9SGoWlq

UK: http://amzn.eu/7UrzDNi


New Release: ROTTEN LITTLE THINGS

Welcome back, Minions.

I have some spectacular news for you! As I’d announced recently, Rotten Little Things (100 Tiny tales of terror, volume 4) was on its way.

And now it’s not.

Because it’s here!

Go forth and do that reading thing you do so well. Then leave a couple words encouraging others to do the same (assuming you enjoyed the twisty words the fell from my brain onto the pages, of course).

Thanks!

You guys (and gals) are the best!

US: Buy now!

UK: Buy now!

100-volume4-ebook