The Clown Murderer – an Origins Story

In a dark corner
of an equally dark mansion
swung a framed portrait
of a clown.

No one could recall
when it arrived in the corner
but it smacked mistress
and she died.

After that we knew
of the framed clown that swung at will.
Our house versus the clown,
a battle.

Soon, it turned bloody
the clown killed the heir and the spare
and then the butler.
We brought fire.

Oh, how the clown screamed
trapped in his frame, as he melted
and we did not laugh,
at this clown.

But then the next day,
in the same spot, a frame swinging
and a new clown face
murderous.

We blocked the corner
kept away the remaining child
who laughed at the clowns
with intent.

Who placed this mansion
under such a malicious curse?
We would never know.
The child grew
as most children do,
yet, he had vengeance in his heart
for he’d decided,
kill them all.
All clowns, even those
who did not swing from frames at will.

Perfectly Bowed

Her sister wrapped all the Christmas presents, every year, forever. Even if Nina tried to help, her mother would swat her hands with a rolled up newspaper.

“Don’t you touch your sister’s perfect bows,” their mother would say.

It wasn’t fair. Just because Carla could bend the ribbons with delicate precision, didn’t mean she was Santa’s Freaking Helper. How would Nina learn, if no one let her practice?

With a pile of wrapping paper covering her lap, Carla asked her little sister to pass the tape. Nina threw it. It hits Carla’s knee and ruined her meticulously constructed bow.

“I thought you wanted to help!” Carla snapped.

Nina surveyed the wrapped boxes in the corner – not a single crease.  She wanted to kick and stomp on them, do things that would definitely put her on Santa’s naughty list. Instead, she picked up the tape and handed it to her sister.

Prime Ape

The apes part as he walks through the Valley (or, what passed as a valley in this shit-hole of a zoo.) Once, he had a pack of thousands. Now, he had five idiots and a two-way mirror. “They” didn’t think he’d notice the people on the other side. “They” were idiots.

Ugh, people; smelly, fleshy, people. The humans no longer threw peanuts as tokens of admiration in this new cage-like Valley. It had been a weak token, but it was something.

He sits on his boulder and waits; no tokens, no gifts. Just his youngest descendant coming forward to pick fleas out of his hair. At least someone knew their place.

The Horror!

“You saved my life!” The sheets shriek when Ana pulls at the pile to reveal the flushed face of her little sister.

“It was an accident, I assure you.” She drawls, dropping the sheet to cover the face again. “What are you even doing?”

The pile moves into a seated position, shifting until her little sister’s head emerges from its depths. “It’s fort time! We’re working on the blue prints. The engineering held strong until you switched on the ceiling fan and then it all came tumbling down. Bear lost a leg and Suzie may never recover but I’ve escaped unscratched and ready to build another day.”

“Right,” Ana says then starts pulling at one sheet then another, bunching them up into separate piles.

“What are you doing?” Her sister screams. She grabs at one sheet and then another, all slip through her tiny fingers. “You’re destroying my world! That’s the draw bridge – no, not the kitchens. You save my life only to take it all away. You monster! The horror! Not Bear’s tower, Bear needs his tower. All see, Ana the Horrific!”

Ana snorts and reaches for the sheet, beginning to fold. Her little sister stomps over until her feet hit Ana’s knees.

“We will avenge our lands, Ana the Horrific.” She bends low and tries to meet Ana’s eyes. “Of this we swear it.”

A head appears in the doorframe to their right; their mother’s smile is tired but still reaches her eyes. “Everything all right in here?”

Her little sister snarls and throws herself onto the carpet. “Ana the Horrific!”

“Yup,” Ana replies, meeting her mother’s eye as they both pointedly ignore her little sister. “Almost done with the laundry.”


 

Inspired by:  Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 27

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

“I’d like a wife,” her noon appointment explained from across the desk. His hand already held his check book. “Do you have a pen? I’d like to get this started sooner than later. I’m a very busy man.”

“I’d like a husband,” her one o’clock appointment explained from across the desk. She reached for the tissues as her eyes teared up. “I’m almost thirty, still a virgin and –.” The rest of her sentence disappeared in a mess of sobs.

“My mother says it’s time for a wife, so I came here,” her two o’clock appointment explained from across the desk. His eyes remained glued to his cellphone, his finger kept swiping left, right, left. When he looked up and saw her raised eyebrow, a sheepish smile formed on his face. “What? I’m lining up my tinder-mistresses.”

“I need to find a husband for my daughter,” her three o’clock appointment explained from across the desk, eyes wide with panic. “She’s hopeless, almost in her mid-twenties and her longest relationship was with the Harry Potter series. Help!”

She took a late lunch in the garden and tried not to reevaluate her decision to become a Professional Matchmaker.

Written for: Flash Friday

Theme: Marriage // Characters: mother desperate to marry off her daughter; a handsome, slightly snobbish landowner; a cad;

Perfect Penelope’s Pressure

“Perfect,” she sneers. “How is anyone supposed to live up to that?”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“I don’t know why they have to build me up, put my face on the side of a building, on the taxi cabs, on buses. I don’t know why they need to tie that word to me, just because my name is Penelope!”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“They can’t think of anything more creative so they go with the easy alliteration.”
A knock on the door breaks her focus. “We need for a sound check, time to find perfect Penelope’s perfect pitch.”


Written for: Micro Bookends

X-Games

“X-rated,” Kyle said through a smile.

“And you found it here in the park?” Carla asked, head poking out from behind her longboard to glance at the naked curves.

“Well,” Kyle began slowly. “I may have brought it from home.”

“Gross! Why?”

“I wanted to show you?”

“Why, in everything that is holy, did that seem like a good idea?” Carla dropped the longboard and skated down the pipe.

“Crap.” Kyle followed. When he reached the other side of the half pipe, he had enough self-preservation to look ashamed.

“You told me you were curious about ladies…maybe.”

Carla sighed. “That was a secret! My sexuality isn’t one of your games!”

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

A Microbookends Tale


Judges Thoughts:

4th Place

A rite of passage story given a thoroughly modern makeover.

At the core of this story is a friendship between Carla and Kyle, both coming terms with the inevitable changes of adolescence.

There is an honesty and openness in their relationship that shines through the tricky subject matter.

Kyle’s curious to know more. Carla’s secure enough to start coming to terms with who she might be: strong enough to do so on her terms, rather than Kyle’s, but forgiving enough not to completely cut him out when he realises the mistake he’s made.

Carla’s a great character – I’d like to know more about her.

In today’s age, where x-rated material is so freely available to skew impressionable minds, it was reassuring to read a story that touches on this subject matter, but ultimately is about a boy and a girl getting to know each other as friends, rather than objects.

So while this piece of flash fiction stands by itself, it has the potential to withstand being fleshed out into something more substantial and longer. That’s why it made my top four.

Best Practices

The detective cleared his throat. “I am the Great –”

“We know who you are.” The Master of the House interrupted.

“That’s why we invited you to sit on our couch.” The Lady supplied.

The detective’s hands tightened around his tools of deduction. “You must let me finish my introduction.”

The Lady’s eyes slipped into slits of displeasure. “We must do no such thing.”

“We called you here to solve a murder, not stroke your ego.” The Master stood.

“We will proceed immediately to the scene of the crime.”

“But you do not understand, my introduction incites fear in the spirits.”

The Lady looked to her husband. “You said he was sane.”

The Master flushed. “All detectives are eccentric.”

The detective continued murmuring his introduction as he followed the Master towards the kitchen, where remnants of murder remained untouched.

“What did you say, lad?” The Master asked.

“I am beginning my investigation. Continue onwards.”

The Master detested anyone ordering him around his own house. But, with his wife waiting in the sitting room, he did not feel the need to exert his superiority. Instead, he watched the detective crouch to his knees and investigate the carcass.

It all seemed above-board until the detective removed a straw from his pocket and began slurping the blood.

“Now, what is this?” The Master demanded.

“You want me to solve your murder?”

“Of course. But surely –“

“I am the Great –”

“I’ll just return to the sitting room,” the Master interrupted again.

He suddenly felt defeated in his very own kitchen.


A Flash!Friday Tale: Conflict: man vs man; Character (choose one): arrogant detective