Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashy Fiction Friday (Family/ Haunted House/Awkward)

Hey, it's flash fiction Friday! The most beautiful day of the week.

So, this week, Diana got sucked into the writing maelstrom that is Flashy Fiction. Peer pressure is awful--so just give up already and go over there.


Mike raised his glass, "And lastly, I'm thankful for the Witness Protection Program."


It was a shoddy joke and a stupid attempt to ease the atmosphere of meeting his in-laws.

Mike raised his glass. "And lastly, I'm thankful for the Witness Protection Program."

His new father-in-law was the first to break the awkward silence. "What's that supposed to mean?" Don Marcos asked.

"It was a joke," Mike said weakly. He'd eloped with their only daughter, and they hadn't taken that lightly. Apparently, she was to have had a giant, lavish wedding with someone who was "people." Mike was not "people." Whatever that meant.

Don looked around at the others. Maria's brother, Little Don, shrugged and cracked his knuckles. Her father's accountant, Two Thumb Tommy, frowned and eyed Mike before shaking his head.

Maria rolled her eyes and said, "Guys, it was a joke."

Big Don laughed first and the others joined in. Don's wife brought in the turkey and handed Don the largest knife Mike had ever seen.

Standing up, Don said, "This here turkey, Mike--strangled it myself just for looking at me funny." A tense moment went by before Don smiled and said, "That was a joke too."

Everyone but Mike laughed. He was fairly certain it wasn't a joke--he'd seen it happen after all.


All of the lights went out.


"It's simple. I could find my way through blind-folded," I said.

"Idiot," Tina muttered beside me.

My boss, Jack, raised his eyebrows and reached over to the switch. All of the lights went out. The crew groaned, and someone hit me on the back of the head.

"The newbie here brings up a good point. You'll need to know this place in the dark just as well as in the light," Jack said.

"Idiot," Tina muttered again, kicking my leg. "I vote Slim here tries first then."

"Okay," I said--if for no other reason than to get away from Tina--just so I wouldn't accidentally kill her.

I made my way through the house. I was cheating, of course. They couldn't know that I could see in the dark. I kept that secret. It was more comfortable to be in the dark actually. The air seemed cooler and more comfortable. I was anxious for the coming nights when I wouldn't have to venture out during the day. It had been a while since I'd held down an actual job.

The giant spider hung in the air, limp and plastic, and I smacked it as I ducked beneath it. Walking through the indoor graveyard where I'd be "sitting," I skirted all the gravestones. The sacrilege was barely palatable. If only I'd been able to be in one of the dark hallways. Death had my respect. The quasi-mockery of the dearly departed's remains didn't sit well with me. Still, I was the house's vampire, and where else would I be? Besides, this room didn't have those damn strobes. Why haunted houses all had strobes--I had no idea.

In the "killing room" the chainsaw that Tina would be pretending to be "killed" with caught my eye. Tina was so annoying--and yet--tasty. My fangs rubbed against the inside of my mouth--elongating at the thought of her smooth neck, running rich with fragrant blood. She was type A negative, and it was one of the few things I liked about her. She would be the first to disappear into the dark of my own personal haunted house.

I could hear the others stumbling around in the dark behind me. Oh yes. Say what you will about Christmas, but this was the true season of giving in my world. These silly little freaks had so much to give.


"You know, they invented a word for guys like him."


My grandma was chopping carrots as she said, "You know, they invented a word for guys like him." She pointed at me with her knife and added, "And for girls like her too."

"What would that be?" I asked, ignoring the shocked look from some of my cousins. They saw my grandmother rarely and didn't realize how deeply senility had set in.

"Hussy. She wore black nylons to church when she was there for her grandfather's funeral. Then, she married him, and he's no better." Down came the knife--cut, cut, cut.

"No, he isn't," I agreed.

"He's a gold digger. He's after my money, but I'm going to trick them. I'm going to live forever."

"You do that, Grams," I said, pulling out silverware.

"Oh, dear, not that silverware, Sweetie," she said gesturing at what I had. "Put out the stuff with the little flowers on them. I like those better." She called all of us "Sweetie." It was easier that way.

"You don't have any silverware with flowers on it," I said, looking in the drawer.

All eyes swung to me.

"No?" she asked, confused.

No, my gold-digger of a husband had stolen them last year before I'd divorced his sorry butt. That was a year after I'd worn black nylons to my grandfather's funeral. That marriage was a year too long in my opinion. It was strange the things Grams remembered and the things she forgot.

"Whatever is fine, then, Sweetie," she said, going back to cutting. Cut, cut, cut. "You know that Tessa is no better. Why do you remember that one time when she got drunk at the wedding and went home with one of the waiters?"

I smiled at my cousin, Tessa, whose mouth had dropped open in a large "O." Hopefully, there was a word invented for her too. I saw the moment it dawned on her that she couldn't respond.

Yes, sirree, I was thankful for an interesting family at times like this. I half-way wondered if my Grams was faking this just so she could say all of this to our faces and see our reactions. I was going to be just like her when I got old.

"Then, there was that one Thanksgiving when your Uncle Joe told us that he was dreaming of cross-dressing. No, wait. Maybe he just told me...."

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