Friday, April 8, 2016

Flash Fiction Contest #12

Hi guys! The last round of our #OAFlash contest was pre-empted by the life stuff I mentioned in the #OABookClub post on Monday (Did you read Emma? Tell us about it!), but I'm back and ready for another round of flash fiction.

If this is your first time joining us, check out more about the contest here. Gimme anything: sci-fi, contemporary, horror, historical, fantasy, etc. and so forth.

In honor of my book releasing next Tuesday, April 12, I decided to go with this particular prompt.

Flash Fiction Prompt For Friday, April 8, 2016

When posting, remember to include your name and your Twitter handle.

Come back on Sunday night to find out who the winner is!


  1. Abdou rose up from his camel saddle and scratched. “My god that feels good,” he said as he resituated himself. A fly landed among the coarse hairs that made a camel’s ear look like a tan cactus. He wasn’t sure if the ensuing twitch or the smell of the camel caused the fly to seek sweeter delights elsewhere. Sunset’s ocher palette painted the Silk Road in muted browns and reds. Stones along the way cast impossibly long shadows, which pointed at him like a thousand daggers. He shivered. Adjusting his robes, Abdou tap-tapped his whip on the camel’s flank and urged his mount westward.

    How quickly night falls in the desert, he thought to himself. Abdou sought a narrow pass that would lead him into the Valley of Angels. “Allah, why have you forsaken me?” he asked aloud. “I beseech you, help me find this place of rest, or the Hashashin will cut my throat and feed me to the jackals before moonrise.”

    Moments later, a notch opened in the high rock wall to his right. “Allahu Akbar!” Abdou said as he turned the camel and squeezed through.

    “Curse me for a fool,” he complained later that evening. He had no slaves to set up the tent, light the braziers and feed the camel. But he did have something infinitely more valuable. An hour after entering the valley, hidden in the belly of the Alborz Mountains, Abdou removed his stiff leather shoes and ducked inside his shelter. The carpets felt good to his tired feet and he collapsed onto a pile of pillows. He removed his kufiyah and sighed with contentment as hot sweet tea soothed his dry throat.

    “Let’s have a look at you,” he said, loosening the thong that bound the opening of a leather sack. Abdou put his hand inside, then paused and looked around the tent as if expecting the infamous robbers of Alamut to leap out at any moment. He shook his head and pulled out something covered by a sheet of dark silk. When he removed the cloth, shards of rainbow-colored light danced across the tent walls: The Angel of Persia – the emperor’s crown. Rubies and sapphires set the golden cap agleam and the angel on top stared back at him through yellow diamond eyes.

    Dare he put it on?

    Hands trembling, Abdou placed it on his head. He held his breath. It felt much lighter than he expected. With eyes shut, he mentally searched his belongings; did he have a mirror? A sound like the wind rose in his ears. A shamal perhaps? Abdou shrugged. He would remain safe inside and the blowing sand would wipe clean his tracks.

    He opened his eyes, preparing to put the Angel back in its bag, and fell back upon the cushions. Before him stood a black monster – a demon – wings raised in terrible parody of his beautiful prize.

    “Didn’t you know,” the demon said, “before Allah cast us from Dar al-Baqa, we were angels, too.”

    Michael Dunne

  2. The smell of burnt cedar and sweaty armpits wafts up my nose as Dixon grabs me from behind.

    "Look who it is. How you doing, Shallow Throat?" His cronies all laugh. That's it, yuck it up, inhale his obnoxious odor. Six bottles of cologne but not one swipe of antiperspirant. I'm almost glad when he chokes me. Inhaling his scent is the worse assault. Getting lifted by my neck and pinned to the wall is practically salvation.

    I shut my eyes as his taunts continue. Spit from him and his followers mixes with the beads of sweat on my forehead. Pretending to be deaf isn't enough to satisfy today. Dixon drops me, hard. He shoves me down while two of the other boys kick out my legs. I look up in anticipation of what horror will come next. I wonder how much he enjoyed pissing on me yesterday?

    "You know, I bet I can guess what Shallow Throat would like." He sneers. His friends chuckle, eager for the joke. Dixon turns around. His friends hold me in place. "A tasty treat for you." He farts in my face.

    There is a smell worse than his cologne and armpit stink. I'm not crying. I'm not. But my eyes are cracks in the dam. They celebrate the victory and play rock-paper-scissors to determine who will feed me a fart next.

    "What's going on here?" I hear his voice. The tears turn from leaks to a stream. I don't want him to see me like this. For the first time in months, I struggle against the bullies' hold.

    "Just feeding farts to Shallow Throat. Care to join?" Dixon smiles at him. A second later, Dixon's face explodes in agony.

    Heath lifts the bully. There's no need for a wall. Rippling muscles that no fifteen-year-old should have easily hold Dixon in mid-air.

    "You all right, Caleb?" He knows my name. I don't answer at first. I just want to hear him say it again. He offers me his other hand. My little mitt disappears in his great paw as he helps me to my feet. Heath runs his fingers through my hair, stopping my heart.

    Dixon's friends whisper. Heath glares at them and snarls. Did I imagine that? He's showing his teeth. It's raw, it's uncivilized... it's breaking the zipper in my pants. He throws Dixon into them.

    "You're gay!" Dixon shouts as he rubs his throat.

    Heath's left cheek lifts, a sexy half smile forming. "Gay. And I stole two of your girlfriends. In fact, I was just on my way to pick Miranda up. I'll tell her you said hi."

    No one knows what to say to this. It's nice to see the bullies silent.

    I wish I knew what to say. Maybe if he hadn't seen me on my knees eating farts...

    Dixon curses at Heath and threatens me.

    "I'm Caleb's guardian angel now. Whatever you do to him, I'll do ten times worse to you."

    By J Lenni Dorner

    (If this broke rule 4, please delete. To my character Caleb, getting saved from bullies makes Heath an angel. Hearing him call himself that is just icing on the cake. But there is violence and homophobia in this, because that's what the character went through. As I said, delete it if it breaks the rule, with my apologies.)

  3. My mother spent every day of my life trying to teach me that there was more to life than what I made of it. She told me that my choices had consequences and that I should live in such a way that would make the divine proud of me; that if I did right by others, someone would always be there to watch over me. Despite her efforts, I chose not to believe her.
    When I met Ashley it was never my intention to fall in love. Truth is, I had been so far away from it that I wasn’t sure if I did love her. All I knew is that as soon as she came into my life I wasn’t the same. From that moment when I first saw her, she was always in my thoughts. I could always picture her smile, remember the way her lips felt on mine. Whenever I was with her I could almost forget who I was before.
    She had grown up in the life that no one wishes they were born into. Her father died shortly after she was born and her mother did the best she could. Ashley grew up knowing how to survive, even if she had to make choices that others wouldn’t be proud of.
    The man she had been with before had given her a home and a lot of pain. When I met her she tried hard to hide it. She fooled just about everyone with her kindness and the smile that she wore. Not me. I could see right through her and it made me fall for her instantly.
    I convinced her to leave with me. We were both still young and foolish but we didn’t care. We got married and built ourselves a home. At first it seemed as though I had rescued her; taken her from a poor life and given her a chance to be happy.
    Then my choices caught up with me. Because I owed a debt I soon found myself outgunned, surrounded by four men ready to kill me. First they let their fists do the talking; dragged me into a stable and beat me senseless then pulled me up from the ground and made me kneel in front of them. I heard the sound of their guns sliding against their holsters, the click of the hammers being pulled back.
    The door behind them burst open, the light blinded me and the shots filled my ears. I heard yelling, screaming, and an instant later it was over.
    I looked up, saw the men were gone and Ashley standing in front of me, that pretty smile on her lips, two smoking guns in her hands. The look in her eyes was not the disappointment I expected, it was acceptance. She could have left me, let me die for the things I’d done. Instead, she had saved me from a fate I deserved. She was the angel that I was promised.

    By Xavier Flint


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