Some of my flash fiction stories...

qpeedore

SOTM Winner - July 2014
Wild Force
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
Trinidad and Tobago
Okay, so I'm not quite sure, I think there used to be a whole Creative Writing section of this forum, of which Cricket stories was just a part of it...maybe I'm having the Mandela Effect here or maybe I'm not.

Anyways, so I've been getting back into writing flashes recently. What's a flash? Well, people tend to define it as a story under a certain umber of words (usually less than 1000). I define it as any story I write in less than 15 minutes. Might not be a full story, might not give you everything, but as a standalone, it holds up. Think of it as...maybe...the Star Wars movies, maybe? You can watch a single movie by itself and you don't necessarily need to watch the others to make sense of everything, but it helps.

The best flashes are those that tell an entire story in those few words.

I dunno, I had a bit of an internet outage earlier today and for some reason instead of playing offline games or watching regular TV, I felt the need to write. And it reminded me of how I used to write back in the day. Which I totally loved, by the way.

Now these aren't polished products, half the time they're barely even edited. Grammar/tense/spelling/typos might abound. But who cares? It's just random.

Today I wrote an installment for a whole story I've always wanted to get started on about Trinidad folklore and legends. Think something like Men in Black and that Fantastical Beasts Harry Potter movies, but for Trinidad.

"The Soucouyant"

A lot of people don't realise that while watching Sesame Street growing up that they were actually learning a lot of things that would scare even adults today. The Count von Count? Do you know why he enjoyed counting things? It's because of the old eastern European legends of vampires. Throw salt over your shoulder, a vampire must stop to count every grain until either disturbed or they're done. Hence the counting. Makes the "one, one bat...two, two bats," thing a bit creepier, huh?

In Trinidad, we have it worse. I remember the first time I went with uncle Johann for a soucouyant. Now for those of you that don't know, a little backstory...those of you that do know can maybe skip the next few lines.

A soucouyant is both a witch and a vampire all rolled up into one. She's an old maiden (and that being the old English sense of the word, she's never been laid with, in the Biblical sense, her life) and she has sold her soul to the devil in exchange for a lifetime to find her eventual mate (hence the witch). She usually lives in an old shack somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and sucks the blood of livestock to keep living (hence the vampire...Chupacabra has got nothing on Trinidad, although I've dealth with them before...another story, however). The whole salt thing, you're supposed to leave it at a crossroad at night (although anywhere can do in a pinch, get it...a pinch of salt...my attempt at a pun) and then go rub pepper sauce in her skin before she returns. Oh, skin? Yeah...she wears someone else's skin during the day then sheds it before she goes to hunt for men and animals. Makes you wonder if that creepy old lady at the grocery store was really...just a creepy old lady or something more, huh?

Uncle said that...well we have to visit a "sucker" tonight. He wasn't very specific about it, and I'm by now very used to just listening to him and shutting up about it. When I picked him up at his house, his friend Ren put a briefcase in the back seat of the car. I'd been so accustomed to Rennie doing random things like that...I didn't even bother.

Uncle came shortly after. "Damien, my boy," he said, "We're off. Head down the highway south..I'll let you know when you'll turn off." He looked up at the night sky. "We might meet Serah before we're done tonight too."

This time it was my turn to look above at the sky. "The moon isn't that high or that full either," I said..."And with this lockdown she isn't likely to be out so late either."

Uncle grunted. "Heh, boy before this night is up I expect to see Serah, you trust me on that."

I knew better than to mistrust him and I drove. Even with curfew in effect, police vehicles would either seem to actively avoid us, or find someone else to stop. After three hours of driving with Uncle directing me in the last hour over some roads (and some places where the word "road" should never apply) we stopped outside of a small house.

"Quiet now," uncle snarled, "We don't want to scare her, she's not likely to be in a good mood."

Uncle reached in the back and opened the briefcase, pulling out a small bag of salt.

"Listen here and watch me," he said, "Salt is powerful. She HAS to stop to count it, but we don't want her up all night doing so. And you do NOT want the salt to go in a circle. She'll never approach a salt circle. Too iffy for her."

He took, what I swear was about the smallest pinch of salt I've ever seen, and threw it out of the window, grabbed the still open briefcase and hustled out of the car. "Do NOT leave the car, no matter what you see or hear." Those were his last words to me.

I sat there, waiting. I didn't know what to do otherwise. The radio never worked in any car I'd ever owned, so it wasn't like I had any entertainment. Then I saw a light behind me. Approaching fast. Orange, almost like...oh crap it was...a fireball. A literal fireball. And almost as soon as I was about to crouch under the dashboard and hope I die quickly, it stopped. No glow, no nothing.

I looked outside. A sweet little old lady was there, searching on the ground, pecking at it with her fingers. Almost as if her thumb and forefinger was a chicken. And she kept counting.

"One, two...where's...ah, three, four, five...oh, my there's a lot of you here. Six...seven..."

She took no notice of me. I wanted to go tell Uncle. But he said do not leave, and so I sat. Until I saw Uncle coming out of the small house. Suddenly the woman dropped the heap of salt she had by then been collecting and flew at him. The orange glow...no, the orange inferno...began again. I had to shut my eyes, it was that bright. I only heard the car door open and then shut in rapid succession before uncle's voice cut through my blindness.

"DRIVE, BOY!"

I threw the car into reverse. Don't know how the hell I got back to the highway. Probably reversing the car all the way. With shaking hands and white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel so tight, I finally found my voice somewhere around Couva.

"Uncle?"

He smiled and put his hand on my shoulder, which for some reason always had the effect of instantly calming me down.

"Boy that was a blood sucker, a soucouyant, as it were. And she wasn't very friendly. But I think she'll not bother many people after tonight."

I remembered the legends. "Did you," I began, "Did you find her skin and put pepper in it?"

Uncle chuckled.

"No boy, the old lady had her teeth falling out. You try sucking the blood out of a nice cow with no teeth. You'd rip it to pieces with your bare hands just to get to the blood. I left her a new set of dentures and a receipt for two cows at a farm I know of. She's angry, boy, but she ain't exactly without reason. And don't worry, the darling cows are almost done with their natural lives, they're milk cows, not food cows."

Huh. I could only drive further thinking about Count von Count and the cows jumping over the moon on Sesame Street.



That's today. Sorry if any typos/tense changes/etc.

The next one I'd like to share is actually one of my favourites. This one was off of a prompt and the title was "still waters" and you had to base your story on that. It had a word limit, not sure what it was. I never edited my entry, but by eyeballing it again, it has to have been either 150 or 200 words. This is another of my favourite types of flashes. Give you enough of a story to make you wonder. Cliffhangers don't work well in full novels, but they do beautifully in flashes.

"Still Waters"

He opens his eyes and is a bit surprised to find that he can see the night sky again. The moon has reappeared and is shining brightly. He sits up and looks across the surface of the water.

Nothing.

He goes to leave, but something catches his eye. There is something floating on the water in the middle of the lake. He shines his flashlight on it and almost jumps backwards in shock.

He throws the device to the floor. Being sturdy, it does not break or even go out. It rolls and the light again shines across the water’s surface. He wishes that he could not see.

Rather, he wishes that he could see something else. A body, even. Not what is currently there. At least death would give him a definite answer.

Instead, her pink nightgown floats silently in the middle of the lake.


I don't even know if these things are worth views, but I've got a ton more and then more left waiting to come out of me. Wish we did have a creative writing section on here again.
 

qpeedore

SOTM Winner - July 2014
Wild Force
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
Trinidad and Tobago
"Serah"

Uncle was correct. Why did I ever doubt him in the first place? We'd barely cleared Chaguanas before he told me, "Turn off by the hardware."

The hardware in question was Bhagwansingh's Hardware. One of the biggest franchises in Trinidad, even in these Covid-restricted curfew times. My problem was...well...I'd missed the turnoff. The next one was PriceSmart, a good couple of kilometres up the highway.

"TURN OFF NOW, BOY!"

"Uncle, there isn't any -"

I could get no further than that in my statement. Uncle threw himself out of the window. One minute he was in the car, the next he wasn't. I had to look back in my mirrors and I saw him calmly getting to his feet and dusting himself off on the side of the road. I checked the other lanes and pulled to a stop on the shoulder (needless, we were in a curfew and my car was the only one on the road, but I'm a good driver). I looked at the passenger seat, where there was once an Uncle. I could not believe it. I'd definitely seen Uncle Johann throw himself out the window at a decent speed (I was doing the speed limit, but it was still not exactly slow).

Uncle's seatbelt was still buckled and the passenger's door glass was still up. Except he was outside of the car. Huh?

His distant voice, a few hundred metres away, snapped me back to my thoughts. "BOY, the case! Open it, take out the cloth!"

Well, that was a weird request if ever there was one. But I have long since learned never to question uncle and his mysterious ways. Not after the things I'd seen. I opened the case and felt cloth, the likes of which I'd never felt before. I knew that cloth should have a weight and a feel to it, even if it's light. And yet I was holding it in my hands and never felt a thing. It was touching me and I couldn't tell where. It looked like a regular piece of cloth, and yet this was about as far from regular than anything I'd seen in my limited career thus far.

"DAMIEN!"

This was serious. Usually my name is "Boy" to Uncle. He never actually calls me by my actual name. I quickly forgot about the mysterious cloth and (I think?) carried it outside. It's very hard to carry something when you aren't sure whether you're holding it or not. Uncle was somehow right outside the car when I backed out of it, ass first, still wondering whether I was holding the cloth or not. He took it from me about as easily as you'd take...well a regular tablecloth-sized piece of...cloth.

"Some child you are," he muttered under his breath but loud enough for me to hear, "Child they said, look for this one, boy you aren't good for a damn thing. Well you make good coffee. But I'll get you there, fear not."

It was then that I heard singing. A beautiful voice. Wasn't like someone was playing a song loudly over their stereo or anything. This song permeated you, it was a part of you. And it was so beautiful. Think piano and strings and then a sitar with a tabla and flutes...and then the most angelic voice singing something that you can't quite make out because you're too far away, if only you were a little closer you'd hear it better and make out the words. I've never heard anything like it, it was in my very bones. My heart beat along to its rhythm. As I kept walking, I thought I could make out the words clearer. They were saying, "Boy, boy, boy, BOY!"

I shook my head to clear it and looked back at Uncle. I was just walking along a flower-lined path in a garden. Now I was in the tall grass at the side of the Butler Highway. And I'm not sure my shoes, and for that matter, my pants, would survive the calf-deep muck I had currently found myself in. At least it was clean enough muck.

Uncle, far from shaking his head and admonishing me as I thought he would do, actually gave a rare smile and helped me out of the ditch without a word.

He had by then unfurled the cloth and I realised that it was big enough to cover a huge part of the road. The four lanes on our side as well as two of the three on the other side, plus the rather wide patch of grass in between. When I say that it covered it, I don't mean Uncle went about pulling each corner and line just like that. The cloth simply seemed to unravel under his hands. More questions for me that I would probably never get answered in this lifetime. Uncle pulled something out of his pocket and pointed it at me. At first I thought it was a gun, but no, it was just a laser pointer.

"Height?" he asked, while pointing the thing at my forehead.

Huh?

"Height," he repeated, "And your regular height, boy, she's a-hunting tonight. You're lucky she met you. She likes you."

"Who likes me?"

Readers, if you have ever felt the full brunt of an office-sized laser pointer hitting you in the head at about a velocity of a middle-aged man throwing it in annoyance, you'd know what I felt a moment later. If you've never had that opportunity to have such an experience, let me sum it up to in two words: it hurts. I just was happy that someone liked me. Clearly Uncle didn't.

"Five foot ten something, not five eleven but almost." I replied while rubbing my sore head.

Uncle somehow had the pointer in his hand again. He put the dot on a spot in the middle of this piece of cloth across the road (why were there no other cars coming, even during the curfew?) and told me to stand there. He never let that dot move until I stood exactly on top of it.

Readers, you know that when you're holding a pointer, it might shake a little, especially the further away you are from the area you're pointing at? The dot never wavered. But I've been taught never to question Uncle. When I was in the spot, he nodded and went back into the car, pulling out the briefcase. He went around to the far side of the car and I swear, that was the last I saw of him for some time.

It was like he disappeared.


Not the best but I got one like, and one like means one reply. Isn't a "flash" because I did take my time to write it, but say what.

This other one though, is a flash. From my past writings. Think by eyeball the word limit was 100, and the theme was "recall".

Recall

The brilliant flash of light danced in front of his eyes and he hoped the inevitable would not come.

He could already smell the acrid odour, filling his mind. It would definitely come.

His father was out in the back. He let out a cry. He was scared.

He cleared all his books from his bed and lay on his side. He bit his pillow and waited.

When he came to, his father was at his bedside.

“Do you know that you had another seizure, Sam?”

Others kept telling him about his epilepsy. He never recalled any of his seizures.


This one was interesting, because it was one of my first medically-related flashes. And yet it does tell a full story.

BTW, all text copyright me.
 

qpeedore

SOTM Winner - July 2014
Wild Force
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
Trinidad and Tobago
Somehow I just...couldn't leave it at that. I could not.

Serah - Part 2

I kept standing there, the cold wind picking up gusts now and again. But it never rippled the cloth. I looked around. Yes, there was Bhagwansingh's Hardware, Courts Home Furnishing a bit lower down, their garish yellow colour always standing out in the night near the overpass. KFC would be nearby too. I was rather hungry, but the place would be closed. Why didn't I eat before?

The car, my car, remained as it was. Well-lit by the streetlamp, I should have been able to see Uncle's shadow somewhere. But I couldn't. I knew he'd went behind the car, right after he had told me to stand in the middle of this road-straddling piece of cloth. I stooped down to try to get a better view underneath the car, but nothing. Uncle had done some weird things in my presence before, but disappearances weren't exactly on the list thus far.

Then again, I thought back to how he had left the car in the first place. His window was definitely up. We were talking, making nonsense small talk...and then he told me to pull over, but I couldn't and then...he was gone. His seatbelt remained buckled. His glass was still up. What the hell was Uncle not telling me? I'd been in this business for long enough to know a lot of things. While I was no expert and I was still learning new things daily, this effed my mind up so much.

"You'd like to not be confused?"

Huh? Who said that?

"Come, love...I see you looking at me, wondering what's under there...now's your chance."

If you're hacking my narrative thought, you'd better have a good reason.

"I see all, I know all. And I know you want me. Come on, let's make your night special. Giving a bloodsucker a new set of teeth, huh? Must feel nice.

I didn't do anything...

"And yet you saw her."

Well, maybe I did do a little...

"What Uncle doesn't know, it won't hurt. Just one taste. I can sing. Let me play the music."

She started singing again, and with all the music that...okay, just think of the best thing you've ever heard that brought tears to your eyes and multiply it by, I dunno, aplenty. I was a shaking, blubbering mess by the time she'd barely finished even the first song.

"I know you liked it...shh..."

I was still struggling for air amidst all the tears and whatnot when suddenly somewhere in the back of my mind I heard a car engine revving. Wait, not just any car engine, that was my car. I turned around and started to run toward my babygirl that is my car, but suddenly I was enveloped in darkness. And tightness.

What was worse, I was not alone.

"Flying fishing mutherfuc-(redacted)-ing c-(redacted)nt!"

Here's the thing, I actually recognised that voice. That voice belonged to Serah, our secretary. Well, there were worse things than being in a very enclosed environment with your secretary. In fact there are quite a few videos online that end up with both parties being extremely happy with the situation. Serah, on the other hand, was not happy.

"You mother(redacted) (redacted) (redacted) (redacted) Johannes Dimitri Komarov, release me this instant!"

There was a tearing sound in something, possibly the fabric. All I knew is that I fell (rather painfully) to the asphalt milliseconds later.

"Good," Uncle's voice said, "You're safe. To be honest I was a little worried."

I was still blinking away...well they always say stars in books and stuff. It's not exactly stars. It's a sort of area where you see all three of blue, red, and black right at the same time, while there are random flashes of light. I guess some might say it's stars. For me, it was pain. And I was winded too. You try falling onto a hard surface from however much feet up I fell from and not be winded. I was gasping for air but it just would not enter my lungs. And Uncle said I was safe? To hell with him and back on the damndest rollercoaster ride I could find.

There I was, gasping, and Uncle kept looking up at this...sack? I guess it was a sack. Suspended in the air by means I know not. I couldn't really see too well, remember? He did some sort of thing with his arms and then the sack tightened and just flew. It flew to parts I know not. I was still trying to push myself up to my feet. I was sure I'd chipped a tooth or a few with my landing and, alas, as I ran my tongue over what was left of the jaundiced yellows...yep...there was a dental visit in my immediate future.

"You're fine."

Uncle pulled me up the rest of the way.

"We wait."

I was still breathing hard at this time. Broken ribs? I wasn't sure. Hell, if I'd died it might have hurt less. I just wanted to get to my car, it was just a few feet away. But Uncle, that damn Uncle of mine, stopped me. And put his hand on my shoulder. And even though I was in pain, even though I'd need a new set of chewers soon, I felt fine.

"You just stopped La Diablesse, boy. For one more night, at least."

I was puzzled. La Diablesse is literally the devil in female form. Le Diable...La Diablesse...two in one and one in two. But I was with Serah, wasn't I? I told Uncle this.

"Boy, you never learn do you? Serah...is short for Seraphim, the second highest order of angels. Only four Archangels are higher, Mikkael, Gabriel, Rafael, Uriel..."

I was puzzled.

"Serah is our secretary."

"Only when it pleases her. Have you learned nothing in all the time you've been with me?"

"It's been three days, one loup-garou, Papa Bois and his daughter Dame La Fleur, not to mention the satyrs and centaurs in Greece, a homo sapiens sasquatch, giant boas, sights, sounds, smells, and you still won't tell me how you went out of my car!"

Uncle half smiled.

"Boy, you fought with the devil himself tonight and won. Let me tell you, that was strength. Maybe I'll make something of you after all."

I sneered at him. Not exactly effective, given my broken teeth and all.

"Yeah? And my ribs? My teeth? I can whistle without opening my mouth right now. God, I'd probably shit blood tomorrow with all the injuries I have."

A hand was put on my shoulder. But Uncle was in front of me. Huh? I spun around, only to painfully realise that my knee was probably injured too. I stared up into the face of the giant Rennie.

"Ren?"

He nodded. "This is my name, yes. I am here to serve."

I was bewildered. "Ren how did you get here?"

Rennie pointed behind him where a Venezuelan was behind the wheel of a pickup truck.

"Uber. It extends to Trinidad, you know."

Well, that was it. Too ridiculous. I damn near collapsed and did not remember anything until the next day.


(EDIT: End of this arc for a while. Damien is fine, don't worry. Yes, we do have an influx of people from Venezuela recently, and no they aren't technically supposed to have driver's licenses. Yes Uber apparently does exist down here. La Diablesse is a real folklore tale, albeit very different from what I portrayed her as. Seraphim is real and Lucifer was one, there may be more than four archangels. But it's my story. Plus we have a sasquatch murder to solve andto meet Papa Bois and a re-configured douen. Our local folklore is so ripe for stories.

Damien and Uncle...well, we'll get to that. I know why, you don't. In time.)
 
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qpeedore

SOTM Winner - July 2014
Wild Force
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
Trinidad and Tobago
I've gotten a few likes, but no replies yet. Hope that'll change soon.

Questions for my readers:

Why did I choose those names for my characters? Damien, Johann(es), Ren?

Why did I stray from the typical La Diablesse character stereotype?

What is going on with Uncle?
 

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