There was a warehouse near the pier that was rumored to be haunted. Mob hits, government testing, secret prisons; the speculations were endless. What everyone could agree on, however, was the constant howling and the shimmering lights, ethereal like ghosts in the dark.
Lydia knew better. She was from the Otherside, after all, and she had seen timespace split like tissue paper many times. The interval between these “hauntings” was too regular to be a fluke. It was up to Menders like her to make sure things stay intact.
She veiled her face, snapped on her gloves, and ventured inside.
There were fresh flowers lying in a tool box in the garage. A note was attached to it. “Happy Mother’s Day,” it said, gold letters embossed on cream eggshell. There was even a pink bow tying the stems together.
They got delivered late due to a scheduling mishap. Rachel was on her way back already from her mother’s wake. They belonged in the trash but pickup wasn’t until next Wednesday, and Denise didn’t want Rachel to see them, even wilting in the bin. So out with the screwdrivers they sat, until she could drive out – alone – and dispose of them.
More of a setting than a story. I kind of cheated the word count with the title, just a little. But I think it plays better this way.
Alone, in the Foreign Quarters of Sutak
The streets of Marlow were always shrouded in a fine, yellow mist. It came from the digsites down river, and the warm southerly wind carried it through the city center like acrid decay. Carts and carriages traveled blindly through at night, and any exposed baked goods tended to come accompanied with a layer of crumbly sand.
Jesef hated it. Hated the duststorm days when he had to plug every seam of his house with wet rags. Hated the tingly faint odor of sulfur that lingered like death. It was odious, and pervasive, and never seemed to dissipate.
I finally got back to this haha. My last one was in February? Wow. I really should fix that.
(I actually was going to write one last week but the picture didn’t inspire me. Also, I found a new band to listen to while writing – Kanute. Too bad they only have two albums so far.)
Now, without further ado, I bring this week’s entry:
Ben drives. The rain clings to the windshield like glue. He doesn’t weave through traffic like he thought he would, after the hospital’s call. What would that accomplish? One accident is enough.
He thinks of Cameron’s face and then stops, because the images from the crash is ghastly. Instead he thinks of Cam’s birthday, two weeks ago, and the sound of his laughter. Of the way he spun drunkenly on the lawn. Of the sloppy kisses he threw Ben’s way.
Ben drives like any other morning. His vision is getting blurry; he curses, softly, and tries to blink it away.
I gotta be honest, this week’s picture just made me feel disturbed and nauseated. So the resulting ficlet is more of a same feel than matching visually. Cheers.
The stink of the gutter wafted to her nose. Kara gagged, turned and faced the bench. No one would mess with her in broad daylight. She’d have to scram in a few hours, but no need to think about it now.
Her stomach hurt as usual but she knew the restaurant across the street always snubbed the law and left unspoiled food in the garbage. It was from acts like these that she still kept her faith. One day she’d get off the streets and be ordinary again. Invisible, but safe.
A bit late to the party, but at least it’s still Friday!
Lightning strikes, just beyond the corridor. The house shakes with the smell of sulfur. Water pours down the rainspouts, a curtain of crystal, dividing the entrance in two.
Yoon sits, prim and proper, in her golden veil. Her face is carefully blank. It will be another half-day before the wedding party arrives, and she has to leave her ancestral home for a foreign moon. She has met the groom once, at least. He seems polite enough. She counts herself lucky.
Yoon waits, patient, serene. As if the next hour will never come, and she will always be of her own.
Roman ran through the empty containers, wary of patrolling guards. It was almost time. “Yitzak!” he shouted, watching his friend’s silhouette diminish in the distance.
They were supposed to leave together. Mama Jones was away and the orphanage, for once, was free from her punish stick. (That was Yitzak’s name for it; Roman would rather forget it existed.) “We’re never gonna get adopted,” Yitzak had said. “Might as well go.”
So they slipped out and now were just a short run from a freight train. Roman paused, caught his breath, and mustered the strength to catch up.