Room 215

There was a reason the Hotel Souriant staff avoided room 215.

It was cold and uncomfortable but it also buzzed with negative energy. It seemed watchful, knowing. Like a fat, greedy spider waiting for prey to get caught in the web.

Five people had disappeared from that room in as many years.

The traveling businessman checked in on Monday. Almost imperceptible, a low groan rumbled through the bones of the old building. Darkness stirred.

By checkout Tuesday, he had vanished… though his belongings still littered the floor of room 215.

The staff swore they heard a satisfied sigh echoing through the hall.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Harold

I started hearing them when I was two.

Mama called it a gift. I always considered it a curse. The dead are noisy and sometimes intrusive. I never had privacy, even in my head.

Harold was the pushiest, most irritating spirit. An attention seeker, he invaded my thoughts regularly. A real pain in my ass.

Until today.

I awoke to his relentless voice, heavy with urgency. “STAY!”

His anxiety flooded my body, making me dizzy.

“Fine, Harold!” Change of plans. Back to bed.

When my 8:15 train slid off the icy tracks, killing fifty…I wasn’t on it. Thanks to Harold.

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Happy Friday! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Femme Fatale

shoes-and-books-by-magaly-guerrero

Roger couldn’t believe it was ending like this.

The night had been going perfectly. When the leggy redhead came on to him at the bar, he was dumbfounded by his good fortune. Drinks flowed and she draped on him like a cheap suit.

When she led him somewhere private, he went willingly.

So how did he end up flat on the ground looking up into the barrel of her pistol, her lace-up high-heel boot grinding into his chest?

He knew there was a price on his head. He just never thought his hit-man would be the woman of his dreams.

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Pizza For One

dale-rogerson-pizza

“Come on, it’s just pizza.”

“I just want to talk.”

“I miss you so much.”

Ella knew that meeting him was not just about pizza. He would try to worm his way back into her life. John would beg for forgiveness. Again.

Yet here she was, standing outside of the cafe deciding whether or not to grant his request.

Maybe I should forgive him. I mean, we had some good times. Before.

Then images paraded through her mind like a bad slideshow. Broken promises. Lies. Disappointment. Fear.

Be smart. Don’t fall for it again.

She walked away.

Pizza for one.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Happy Friday! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Like Riding a Bike

jellico3

 

Dear Diary,

It happened again. I know I said it wouldn’t, but sometimes the shadows stir inside me and I have to feed them.

He had it coming… the lying, cheating bastard. Married men should know better. I did his wife a favor.

I can still see the shocked look on his stupid face as his lifeforce drained out. Swimming in a crimson pool. I cut off his finger – wedding ring and all – and kept it as a souvenir.

It had been so long since the others. I thought it might be difficult. It wasn’t.

Just like riding a bike.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Jellico’s Stationhouse

A nice little macabre story for a Sunday morning, no? This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Adrift

 fatima-fakier-deria1

No man is an island.

Marta’s brain knew this to be true though her heart doubted it.

Things bustled around her, throngs of people coming and going. Her home was an endless parade of mourners trying to buffer her grief with hushed condolences and casseroles. As if “sorry” could soften the blow of unexpectedly losing her love of thirty-two years. She managed robotic hugs and canned responses. Numb.

Maybe she wasn’t an island, but she felt like she was stranded on one. Well, not exactly stranded. Perhaps with a boat, but lacking an oar…the means without the drive.

Adrift.

 

Photo credit: © Fatima Fakier Deria

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed and while the world carries on merrily around you, all you can do is… float? That’s what I’m trying to portray here, not sure if it works. This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Isolated

gateway-jhardy

I once had a family. Once. Those years were full of love and joy. I have been sad and empty since they left.

The beings with me now are different. Cold, despondent, detached. They use me but they couldn’t care less about me. I’m just a shell.

When others come around, I try to make a good impression. It’s hard, though. I’m getting old and I’ve fallen into disrepair. The cold ones don’t take care of me. They also don’t like to share, scaring away anyone who shows an interest in me.

They’ve ran off four realtors this week alone.

 

Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll

This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Yellow Death

yellow-bug-shaktiki

Day One: Sore throat, malaise

Day Two: Fever, vomiting

Day Three: Headache, muscle weakness

Day Four: Severe dehydration

Day Five: Delirious, organ failure

Most people were dead by day six. Doctor Steven Ford was on day four.

The Yellow Death – named for the beautiful, colorful insect that he engineered to carry the virus – moved swiftly and mercilessly. He had performed his job well… but he made just one mistake.

In his final lucid moments, he wondered where he went wrong. His one regret? Not the covert meetings nor the dirty money. It was not making sure that he wasn’t resistant to the antidote.

 

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Photo credit: Shaktiki Sharma

It has been a long time since I participated in Friday Fictioneers! Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

First Light

She glanced at the three men sitting around the campfire and pulled her blanket tighter across her shoulders, blocking the chill of the night air.

Her brother, Murdoch (or Doc, as she had called him since their childhood), stared into the flames with intense focus. The dancing shadows and the weight of their situation aged his young face. Seamus, a hulking figure with a shock of red hair, stewed quietly chewing on sunflower seeds. Haemon was next to her, shoulders slumped and staring at the ground. It had been stone silence since the decision was made.

Doc cleared his throat. “Alright then, we will leave for the castle at first light. We should make it to the kingdom walls by next nightfall.”

Seamus nodded and spit another seed toward the fire. Haemon didn’t move.

“Doc, I -” she began.

“Moira,” he said softly, “you are not going with us. I need you to stay here and defend the other women and children until we return.”

She felt the anger rise into her chest but tried to keep her voice steady. “This camp is enchanted. My protective services are not needed here.”

Seamus interjected gruffly. “You are not going, woman, because this battle is too dangerous. You will be a liability and a distraction.”

“A liability?!” she yelled, “I saved your sorry life just a week ago, Seamus! Have you already forgotten?”

Seamus huffed and turned his attention back to the fire.

She turned to the kind and doting man at her side. “Haemon, you believe that I can do it, don’t you?” From the corner of her eye, she saw Seamus roll his eyes.

Haemon slowly looked at her and gave her a small, sweet smile. “Dear Moira, I do not doubt your abilities. Your skills with the sword are unparalleled…” his voice trailed off and his eyes went back to the ground.

“Go on, tell her,” Seamus insisted.

Haemon winced. “Your… obsession… can make you reckless. I would worry about your safety.”

She recoiled, stung by his betrayal.

“Like I said, a distraction.” Seamus muttered.

“Enough.” Doc finally spoke. “Moira, you are staying here because you are the only family I have left. If anything happened to you I would never forgive myself.”

The group fell silent once more. She fought to keep control of her emotions. Crying or raging would not help her case.

“Doc,” she breathed, “my fate is not your burden to carry.”

Doc put his face in his hands, distressed.

She stood and faced her brother. “This war has taken everything from me. The king… his soul is filthy,  stained with the blood of all his victims… our parents, our brother, my fiance. His head is mine and I will  take it. There is nothing any of you can do to stop me. I either go with you or I go on my own.”

She waited for his response, the only sounds the crackle of the fire and Seamus spitting seeds. She stole a glance at Haemon but he was still studying the patch of dirt at his feet. She knew that Doc was trying to protect her and that Seamus would never consider her an equal. Haemon, however, was supposed to be supportive. He was supposed to be her friend. His actions hurt her more than those of the others.

Several minutes passed and Doc finally let out a heavy sigh. She reflexively held her breath. “We leave tomorrow at first light.” He flicked his eyes to Moira and added, “all of us.”

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Sharing fiction always makes me nervous, but I just thought I would give you a peek at some of the characters from my WIP. They have been sharing my headspace lately.

Secret

Deep in the recesses of the forgotten, she locked it away. Afraid it would escape, she buried it. Instead of starving and dying in the dark, it lived and grew. It existed despite her best efforts. It fought, scraping and clawing. Bloody and filthy, it broke through her obstacles. She could feel its poison consuming her. It didn’t just resurface, it ravaged.