Foreign Furlough

“I told you we took a wrong turn after the Kuiper Belt.”

“You only said we might want to take a left.” Albert twisted around. “You should have been more specific.”

A scuffle was heard from the back seat. “I’m older so I get to ride Saturn’s rings first!”

“I’ll blow you out the air lock!”

Hortense shot her best evil eye at the two boys then scratched her ear instead of smacking the back of her husband’s head. “I was very specific. I wanted a nice, quiet vacation in the Andromeda galaxy. You were the one who insisted we come here.”

“Mom! Walter keeps poking me and I gotta go!” Ernest was doing his best imitation of the potty dance while still strapped into his seat.

Hortence glared. “And we have yet to see a single bathroom.”

Albert had had enough. “That’s it!” His face contorted. “Boys, don’t make me pull this spaceship over.” He swiveled to face his wife. “Fine. Next time, we are having a stay-cation.”

LKT © 2015

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge. To view other entries in the challenge click here.

FFfAW image 11.24.15

Photo prompt © Etol Bagam.

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Shamayim

In the third tier of the firmament, we journeyed one hundred eighty-five days across the plains. Barren and sightless, the torment was regurgitated upon the wicked who had come there to wait.

“What are they waiting for?” I asked.

Hanael waved his right hand and we stopped to rest under the shade of the lone tree. “This is a terrible place. It was made for those who boast in their wickedness. You are here as witness.” He pointed to the sinners nearest the tree. “It has already begun.”

With ashen robes and hoary wings, angels descended, their blood-spears wielding catechism and nightmares. The sinners’ mouths opened into muted voids—the pain so great even their screams were consumed.

Anticipating my question, Hanael responded, “They are not Abaddon. They do not destroy the sinners. They are merely preparing them.”

My next question remained unanswered as thunder boxed my ears and rippled through the ground. The air, thick with heat and smoke, became tangible on my skin. Sulfur filled my nostrils and choked the air in my throat.

Wings with a two hundred meter span, pulled on the sky, beating it into submission. The Dragon circled above in a danse macabre before alighting. Hanael nodded politely, as if welcoming an honored guest.

Some of the sinners made half-hearted attempts at balking, but the death-spears prodded them forward. The Dragon’s upper lip curved—almost a grin if you twisted your head sideways. At least he gave them a quick end, his serpent tongue relishing each one.

Hanael turned to me. “The Dragon’s name is Heaven. He prefers the taste of bone and sinew, but souls satisfy his cravings just as well.”

LKT © 2015

magma_by_gotgituey-d47kahm

Image via NeoArtCorE.

Bucolic Discord

tails wriggle and rabbits proliferate
deer bow their heads at the stream
humans are scarce and the sky is blue
clean air and lungs, enjoy the breeze
fire blames the sin of man
and scars the ground with passion
no reservation, we kill and hate
this destiny leaves only ashes

LKT © 2015

Fault Lines

Tera condemned her scream to a whimper when the dissection began. They could have dulled the pain, but that would have turned the seasons into unending paradoxes. She couldn’t quite hold it in, however. Opposite, in a place they couldn’t see, a rupture of steam and ash spilled a liquid holocaust into the valley below.

She wasn’t nervous, but was certain the tiny creatures inhabiting the area were horrified when a large swath broke away and was swept into the sea. Kym reassured Tera this was for the best and not a single being would be harmed.

LKT © 2015

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt.

An InLinkz Link-up

Fri Fic Image 11.27.15

Photo prompt © Sandra Crook

Burning Bridges

It wasn’t unusual for Mrs. Brockwood to release the staff early most days. As long as their duties were completed, she didn’t seem to mind paying them full salary if they left an hour or two before the end of the day. In fact, she often encouraged it. The only surprise about today’s dismissal had been the timing of it—before noon. None of the day’s work was finished, but Mrs. Brockwood assured them they would all be paid in full, so most left immediately.

Magda, however, couldn’t leave a chore undone. It was only after she prepped the chicken and made sure the delayed timer on the oven was set properly that she picked up her purse and exited the servant’s door.

Mrs. Brockwood’s gardens were so beautiful in this time of year. Magda loved the hydrangea best. Mrs. Brockwood had worked with the gardener for nearly a year to get the soil just right in each section so the hydrangea would range in color from pink to blue. Despite her attention to the hydrangea, Mrs. Brockwood had always seemed to prefer her daisies. They were planted in every spot of dirt in which they would grow. The hydrangea, lilacs and lilies were intoxicating, but the daisies were fresh, clean and smelled like sunbeams.

But sunlight wasn’t the aroma wafting over the flagstone. Magda determined across the path to reprimand the gardener. The only person allowed to smoke on the patio was Mr. Brockwood with his Bolivars. The housekeeper stopped short at the corner of the house, her mouth half open in preparation to scold.

Poised at the arched part of the path that crossed a small stream underneath, Mrs. Brockwood stood as if she had five encyclopedias balanced on her head, cigarette tucked between two fingers, a plume of smoke curling from her pursed lips, weaving its way across the flowers. Magda’s eyes grew.

As the ash reached the filter, Mrs. Brockwood tossed the butt under the nearest daisy, turned back and strode towards the house without looking in the housekeeper’s direction.

“Goodbye, Magda.”

(Other segments in the Kerrington short story series can be found here).

LKT © 2015

Rage

Hurricane winds shouted
in my face, my hair
wild and feverish, I stood
defiant on the seashore
waiting for God or the gods
to strike me, debase me.
Across the waves
lightning casts
a scene of violence
paralleled in my chest.
The bloody organ there
strokes the rhythm of thunder’s
bellow, screaming
for days and weeks.
I am undone.

LKT © 2015

Uncharted Territory

Behind my sunglasses, I blinked and the sweat on my lashes swam into the groove between my nose and cheek. Heat lifted a heavy film of perspiration from my skin. I watched the pavement roll like summer whitecaps under the line of sneakers and flip flops in front of me. Weight shifted as heels sank into viscous soles.

Up front, a stirring. Heads lifted and we moved like a snail’s wave forward the span of sixteen people then stopped. This occurred at regular two minute intervals.

Three quarters of an hour later, there were only fourteen people in front of me. Green eyes to my right were full of liquid fear. The French manicure to my left played disconnected notes on the metal bar between us. Nervous murmurs behind me were elicited from polished red lips underneath peppered brown hair.

My heart was beating in time to the irregular staccato of the nails. Not out of fear or trepidation. No, I was piqued and tumultuous—ecstatic with anticipation.

The horn signaled the next group forward. I moved into the car perched on the tracks, secured by sets of only three pairs of wheels. Blue eyes sat next to me, but as the attendant came by to check our security braces, she panicked and ran under the blinking sign. I shook my head at the assistant’s quirked brow. He winked and secured my harness.

The horn sounded again. We were off. Into the strange twists, unexplored turns, obscure g-forces of circular unreasonableness.

LKT © 2015