So I was on Terribleminds the other day, and, yet again, got inspired by Chuck's Flash Fiction Challenge: to write a story in five sentences. I entered his contest but, unfortunately, thought of a better entry after I'd already submitted one. So here's the better one.
She was walking away for good. And it was the best part of
I crumpled the eleventh beer can of the past two hours, my
head beginning to turn without moving, my thoughts like a flood, uncontainable,
going wherever they wanted, free range chickens pecking at my brain.
As I halfway fell onto my bed, my knees on the steady floor,
I clutched the sheets that still held her scent, like I was ivy clinging to a
wall, unable to stand on its own; and I watered my handholds silently.
It was the best day.
And then there's the other version...:
She was walking away, and it was the best thing that had happened all day. The best thing.
He was sure of it as he haphazardly crinkled the eleventh emptied beer can of the past hour or so.
The best, most amazing thing.
He was positively ecstatic as he tumbled halfway onto his bed, his
knees on the ground, his hands clutching the bedsheets like ivy clamped
onto a wall, too weak to stand on its own; and his eyes watered them
Feel free to tell me which you prefer in the comments, because I'm stumped.
I haven't written a story in forever. This post fixes that. I was over on terribleminds.com, and I saw Chuck's Flash Fiction Challenge, and I got inspired. So I wrote a response. And here it is! (If you wanna see the post that inspired this post, see here.) Only problem is that I'm still not sure what to call it. Well, that and I don't think it's done yet. But hey, it's a start. Enjoy!
There are some days when you just can’t win. Like those mornings you
wake up and see the blinking face of your alarm clock silently telling you
that the power went out last night, and your stomach suddenly remembers that
it’s the not-so-distant cousin of a Black Hole as you realize just how late you
are for work.
Well today was just that sort of day for Hunter and his big sister, Scarlett.
Except replace the power outage with a werewolf invasion, and up the
dread-factor to about 157%.
“Hunter, Scarlett! Get back inside, right now.”
“Dad, we can help!” Scar insisted, her father’s spare axe hanging from
her hand like a broken branch.
“We don’t know that, and I need you kids safe. Now get inside.”
Hunter was already there, obediently opening the trapdoor leading down
to the cellar. Howls and grunting screams seeped through the walls. Scar could
see the worry in her father’s eyes, the tension in his jaw. There was blood
spattered on his shirt. “They got through the wall?” she asked quietly. He
didn’t answer. That meant yes.
“Stay down there until me or your Uncle Logan comes and gets you,
alright?” He kissed them each on the head. “And bolt that damn hatch.”
He didn’t look back as he hurried out the door.
“Scar, close it,” Hunter said. The noises were getting louder, or maybe
the walls were just getting thinner. “Just close it.”
“But…we can help.
I can help. If we just….”
“Dad said; just close it!”
The hatch came down forcefully, Scar’s arms unable to resist the sudden
Scar whirled and faced her brother. “Damn it Hunter! Don’t you see? You
could help out there!”
“You know I can’t control it like that,” he said, his breathing shallow.
Scar’s face went expressionless, her eyes roiling with intensity. “You
seemed to control it pretty well on that,” she said, indicating the closed and
bolted trap door.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Hunter appealed. “You don’t know what might
“Hunter, you need to be dangerous. We need you. You need to let it out.”
A scream from outside pierced through their containment, followed by an
inhuman roar like a monstrous semi hurtling down a highway.
Hunter looked up at her, his wide green eyes glassy and unknowing. “I
can’t,” he said, barely audible.
“I can’t,” he said, barely audible.
“Well I can,” she answered, her eyes hardened and glowering, “and you're coming with me. I'm not gonna let dad die just 'cause you won't let it out."
She unbolted the latch, tossed the axe out onto the floor, then climbed
the ladder, Hunter’s shirt firmly clutched in her hand. He whimpered a little,
but didn’t put up much of a fight. Her face was blank. Dropping him on the floor,
she turned back and shut the trap door, swiping up the axe in the same motion.
Hunter looked up at her, his face pale, lips trembling slightly. “Let’s go,
little brother.” His eyes got watery. She paused.
“Logan! Logan, look out!”
their father’s voice cried. A roar; a snap, a crunch; a scream cut off at its
crescendo, as if a doomsday symphony’s conductor had suddenly dropped dead on
his podium, announcing the arrival of the apocalypse.
Everything stopped for a second, and then it moved in freeze-frame fast
forward. Hauling Hunter from the floor, open door, step outside and push him
forward; he stumbles and falls on the torn-up grass; she takes in the sight of
half of her uncle’s face, the only part of him still recognizable in the slimy
mass of pink and red, white bones poking out like fresh kindling, her father,
blood-drenched, emerging from behind the corpse of a hulking dead wolf. Hunter
sobbing, his hands bloody, his face contorted like paper crumpling in a fire.
And then time snapped back.
“Dad, behind you!” she screamed. He ducked and rolled to the side,
rising to a crouch, face to face with another wolf. She tried to throw her axe
at its head, but her arm refused. A growl and hot breath came from behind her.
She fell to the ground; the axe fell from her hand. Backing away, backing away,
those snarling, saliva-dripping fangs approaching steadily. From behind her,
her father’s grunts let her know he was still alive; who knew for how long. Unexpectedly,
an arm was under her hands. Hunter. He’d passed out. “Hunter! Hunter!” she yelled. She slapped him
across the face. She shook him. She dragged him behind her, unable to stand in
the face of those fangs, still approaching, unrelenting; grinning. “I won’t go
out like this,” she said, her teeth gritted together like a bear trap. The
teeth were almost upon them. “Hunter!”
His eyes snapped open. They were red. They were fire. They weren’t
He stood in front of her, facing the wolf, confident. He smirked. “Come
on, little bitch. Let’s see who’s an Alpha.”