Sunday, 27 August 2017

Always On the Run

We haven't done any flash fictions lately - only on Chuck's site. He's got something great planned for us... and I like to keep people reading on my blog. So, I dug up one of his old Flash Fiction Friday emails and jumped in... and anyone who loves 'Supernatural' will probably pick out who this is, but I've put my own twist on it. And yeah, I've been binge-watching the show until it comes back onto our screens. 


My room is the nicest one in the place. It’s filled with everything I could ever wish for; and some things I really don’t need. I mean, why would a seventeen year old have a Raggedy Anne Doll? I may have wanted it when I was around seven, but not now.
“Michelle, you ready?” Randy tapped on my door.
I turned from the setting sun, and the doll, “Yeah, I guess.”
“It’s time.” His muffled voice said through the wood.
I grabbed my jacket off the bed, pulled it on and opened the door, “I can take you to the bus station, but that’s it.”
“You can’t take anything but your school bag with you.”
 I shouldered my bag nodding, “You covered this.”
We left the house and walked to the bus station in silence. Randy – Randall – was the nicest one out of my ‘family’. He never wanted to hurt me, but the rest were rough; even Mother. If I resisted or fought back, even a little, I was belted around until I submitted.
Randy often saved me from being killed by them.
I was their food when things got lean... when ... tears blurred my vision as we walked through the doors of the gate to the bus – my bus.
He gave me my ticket to the biggest city he could afford and held me close, “Take care of yourself, little sister. Oh... money.” He pulled out his wallet and handed me a large wad of cash, “Pay in cash where you can and get your wounds looked at too... and here’s your new I.D. A friend f mine made it for me from your school I.D.”
I felt uncomfortable in his clothes, but we didn’t have a choice, “Thank you, big brother.”
“Get on the bus.”

His figure disappeared inside the building as I took my seat.
As the bus cleared the limits of the town, and turned onto the interstate, I felt a weight lift from me.

I was free!

New York City was massive!

I’d been here before, but not for a long time... not since I was little.
I found the nearest hospital and got my wounds cared for. They wanted to call the police. I said no – I begged them not to – and they complied reluctantly. I asked if there were any shelters I could go to, but they didn’t like it that I was a teen alone in the big city, so they sent me to a kid’s shelter nearby.

It was good on the first few nights.

Within the first month, I was attending a new school. I had ditched Randy’s clothes, opened my own bank account and started part-time work at the corner store around the corner from the shelter on the weekends.

I could feel my life changing for the better.

My wounds were healing really well; as the doctor from the hospital came around the shelter and took out the stitches for me.

Three months passed by. I had enough money to buy new clothes, get a haircut and... well, what can I say? I changed my name so I could get the life I wanted. I changed it from Michelle to Lisa. I’ve always loved that name; it’s always sounded so pretty and butterfly-like to me.

One day, just as Winter was beginning to show itself in the city, I had walked into the store and pulled on the smock to start my shift, when I heard the doors open and a group of people shuffle in out of the cold.
“Well, are you sure it’s this one Peter, my boy.” A very familiar voice drawled across the aisles as I stood in the back of the place.

How in the fuck did they find me?

“Yep, I’m sure. I saw her here. She smelled the same too.” His dumb, low voice replied.
“Michelle! You here honey? It’s Mother and your brothers. We’re here to take you home.” She called out. Some of the customers turned and stared as she crowed that statement across the store as though she owned the place, but she ignored them, as she continued on, “Get your skinny slut ass out here! We’re gonna take it home!”
I walked out there, tugging on my smock and looking at them, “How can I help you?”
Mother smiled her rotten teeth gritting up her face, “Michelle, honey, it’s time to come home. You’re finished here, playing house and all.”
“My name is Lisa.” I said, “Who’s Michelle?”
Her look faltered, frowning at me as she reached over the counter to grab at my hair, but I moved back, “Lemmee look at your neck!”
“You’ve got a scar there.”
“From when a dog bit me a few years back.” I replied, ready with this lie when somebody asked me why I had this kind of scar right there, “You’re scaring the customers. Can you please leave.”
“We’ll be back for you, Michelle.” Peter smirked, his murderous black eyes glaring at me as Mother walked out with the other three of them following her like lost children.
I noticed Randy wasn’t with them.
The next customer came up the counter, “Fuckin’ weirdos, I tell ya.”
I smiled, “Well, it’s all mistaken identity. How can I help you?”
“Well, it’s a matter of how I can help you.” He smiled, “I’m a hunter and know some guys who can help you with those people.” He slid a card across the counter with his money, “Find your way to the bunker, and they’ll protect you.”

It was 1am before my shift finished and the city sounded as though it was still 6pm when I started. Yep, this city never sleeps. I pulled my coat around me with my gloved hands and started walking home to the shelter.
“Michelle, honey, you can stop playing around now.” Mother’s voice called out from across the road, but I ignored her and kept walking towards where I lived, “They’re all dead, those people in the shelter. We got them all.”
My gut cooled, but I didn’t stop until I got to the end of the block, crossed the road and kept walking towards the train station up the road. I needed out of here, and seeing I never left any money in my room, and always took my bag with me everywhere, I kept my new life with me all the time.

But they would follow me to the ends of the Earth... no matter where I would go, they’d be there nagging me. 

This time, I had a place to go. 

That place was in Lebanon, Kansas.  

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Hypnotising Watermelon

Chuck has gotten us to look at this Twitter Feed this week; and pick one of the Tweets to write about. I picked: 'A watermelon starts talking to you. It says: 'Look for the sign of the silver owl.' How could I pass that one up?


It was crowded at the market that morning; and I found it hard to park the car with all the tow trucks in the way. They were heavy with their loads of cars – and yet I wondered why they were towing cars from here.

Never mind.  I was here to buy my groceries and get home.

The watermelons were cheap and large and beautiful – and seedless! Wonderful! My favourite kind. I hauled one into the trolley carefully and did the rounds of the aisles picking out my food as I did. Grapes, spinach, apples, bananas, mushrooms and other great foods I loved to eat and cook with.
Then, onto the dairy and breads: the milk, butter, cream and my one luxury of a large ice coffee made by Norco! A great milk company here in Australia – a famous one too.

I paid for the goodies and pushed the trolley out to the car, popped the boot and heaved the heavy box into the empty boot. It was then I heard a whisper: ‘Look for the sign of the silver owl’.

I spun!

Nobody was behind me.

Was I hearing voices?

I hoped not...

“Take your trolley, miss?” a man asked to my left.
I look at him, “Oh yes, please.” I smiled, “Thank you.” I still had one more stop to make before I headed home to buy house hold goods, then petrol for the car. After that, I’d be able to relax.

The watermelon was for the barbeque this weekend. So, I had it out on the counter with my large knife in hand, ready to cut into it.
‘The Silver owl...’ I heard the whispering again as I raised my knife high.

I hesitated.

Did I just hear a watermelon speak to me?

I blinked, “I’m goin’ bonkers.”

I cut the watermelon in half and began making it into a design on a plate using smaller knives, surrounding it with tiny wedges. After my masterpiece was finished, I carefully covered it over with Glad Wrap and put it into the fridge out the back where all my food designs go.

2am: I find myself sitting at the open door of the fridge out on the back landing eating the watermelon. I’m covered in the delicious, watery juices of the large fruit... looking like I’ve just dropped pink lemonade down my pyjamas.
“How in the hell did this happen?” I whisper to myself.
‘Look for the sign of the silver owl.’ Came the whisper again; this time it was from inside my head.
“Oh jeez!” I looked at the remainder of the watermelon sitting on the large plate in the fridge, “It was...” I didn’t want to personalise the fruit by calling a ‘you’ but it... was... , “Oh crap!”

‘The silver owl.’

The watermelon I had in my hands splattered to the floor as I scramble away from the fridge and the door closed, turning off the light, leaving me in the darkness of my back room.
I started to shiver in the cold darkness of the early morning.

What was I going to do?

‘The silver owl...’ the voice kept whispering in my head.

Yes it was there now I had consumed the watermelon.

Tears welled in my eyes, blurred my vision.

This damned thing wasn’t going to leave me alone, not until I found out what the silver owl was.

When I showered in the morning, and ate breakfast, drank my coffee and looked around for the receipt for my shopping, I found that right at the top of it was an emblem, and the name of my market.
It was something I hadn’t noticed before: a name change.
‘The Silver Owl Fruit’n’Veggie Market – Open 24 Hours’.
“Oh... I’m fucked.” Picking up the phone, I called my doctor for an appointment, and he said he could see me in a week, “I don’t think I’ll last that long.”
‘The silver owl. Search for the sign of the Silver owl.’
I could just barely hear the time of the appointment he told he was free for as I wrote it down, “Listen, if I don’t show... jeez, this gonna sound bonkers... I’m going to be at The Silver Owl Fruit’n’Veggie Market’ at Rochedale, okay? Don’t buy anything there. The watermelon is cursed... it’s been talking to me.”
He went silent for a moment, “Listen, Bailey, pack a bag. I’ve had this conversation with four other patients before. Tell me, did you eat any of the watermelon?”
“Yes. But I found myself at the fridge at 2am this morning, it wasn’t on purpose.”
“I’ll send somebody over right away.”

The locked ward wasn’t something I’d recommend for anyone. But it’s so much better than being one of those lost souls standing out on the footpath I’d seen looking up at that stupid silver owl sign outside the fruit’n’veggie market. I’m going to be here for a while – until this curse is out of my bloodstream.

How long that is?

I’m not sure.