Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday (marbles/gargoyles/code red)

I put Honor's prologue in the blog that I'm using for her. You can access it from the side panel by clicking on the book cover.

Okay... it's flashy fiction time. If you don't already visit Flashy Fiction... you should. http://flashyfiction.blogspot.com/ Seriously, what are you waiting for? Here are the prompts and pieces I wrote this week:


Bad is never good until worse happens. -Danish Proverb


This sucked. This was hell. He felt crowded and filthy. Safety in numbers? What a joke. Later--after they'd passed out supplies, he'd get away from this crowd. All he could smell was sweat and dirt... and people. Too many people.

"Whatcha got there?" the girl asked, sitting down beside Nate. She dropped a backpack at her feet as she leaned against the wall beside him, crowding him. They were all crowding him.

All that remained alive were sitting beside a concrete wall in the dead part of town waiting for the week's distribution of food and water. This was it. Everyone alive was right here... crowding him.

When the entire city fried via the atomic pulse, only the less industrial dead side of town survived. The dead side. It was interesting that the dead side of town survived, in Nate's opinion. Ironic. As if a higher power was laughing at technology. He tossed the super round rock from hand to hand. It looked like a rock carved into a sphere.

"It's a rock, isn't it?" she asked, gesturing. "Did you make it?"

"I found it," Nate said, continuing to toss the rock from hand-to-hand.

"It's weird," the teenage girl beside him said. "It looks like a giant marble." She was his age and, truth to be told, probably cute underneath the grime of two weeks of rubble hell.

"Yeah... there were a bunch of them. Other people found them too. Maybe it's a sign.... or something," Nate said. He didn't really know what he was saying, but her nearness was doing funny things to his stomach. There was the rumble of hunger that was always present... but something else tickled his insides. Anticipation of... what?

Her eyes followed path of the rock. "Do you ever get the feeling that maybe there are bigger forces at work and we're just a game?" She was leaning closer to him, though she probably didn't realize it. Her dirty hand clutched at his soiled sleeve. He didn't mind it so much.

"You're hung up on the marbles thing," Nate said, trying not to smile.

"There are weird things happening out there," she whispered.

Someone walking by quickly snatched the bag from in front of her and took off running with it.

"HEY! My food!" she shouted, trying to get to her feet.

Nate beamed the thief with the rock and he fell in a heap. She retrieved the bag and his rock, leaving the thief where he fell.

"We should stick close together," Nate said to her. "Pool our resources and protect each other." He'd seen one of the bigger guys, glancing her way and checking out her legs. Yeah. She needed him and being needed... sounded pretty damn good. Plus, she had food to share.

She smiled... a flash of white against her dusty skin. Dropping the rock into his hand, she said, "My name's Ali... that sounds good." She sat even closer than before, and Nate glared at the guy checking her out.

"Yeah. Close together," he repeated. He put her backpack beside his and looped his leg through both the shoulder straps. The rock began its arc again.






At the top of the imposing edifice to the age of industrialism sat a curious sight. A gargoyle... hunched over his feet with a scowl so fierce it was at odds with the smooth, cold marble facade of the building that now housed, of all things, law offices. The gargoyle had always been there though no one knew why. It wasn't in the building's plans. It didn't fit.

The building's owner had considered having it removed, but there was something about its sinister expression and the long, sharp claws on its hands and feet. The owner wasn't superstitious. Modern above anything else. Progress was his by-word. The inside of the building had been remodeled time and time again. Yet, the gargoyle remained. Its rough-hewn eyes watched the city below. Waiting. Always waiting.

It was no accident that it had been placed there. No... no accident at all. It's strategic placement, facing the sun just so... as its back welcomed the night was cunning of the one who'd placed it there.

An autumn sunset just as the penthouse's occupant stood after a long day. He stretched his stiff back as his hand flicked a laptop shut. Another day gone.

The gargoyle's leg shifted. A wing twitched. A new time began.


Forgetting something important?

For six months, we'd sat on either side of her... two code monkeys side-by-side with a goddess. During the summer, she had a fan in front of her that would blow her soft honey-colored hair in the air and sometimes... she'd dip forward and pull her shirt away from her skin so the breeze could cool her luscious body too. Usually, we just sat beside her salivating, but once Duane had been walking by in front of her when she'd done this and tripped spilling an entire Code Red on the floor in front of her desk.

Alanna. Even her name was beautiful and slightly elven.

So, it was just after seven p.m. on a Friday and while Alanna had left, Duane and I were still plugging away at our computer. The scent of her hair... which also smelled of honey... was still in the air. Or maybe that was wishful thinking.

I'd been staring at my computer screen for twenty minutes while thinking of her. Duane noticed and threw a Cheeto at me, laughing.

"You should give it up. She doesn't even know your name," he said.

"I'm pretty sure she thinks of you as Code Red guy," I muttered... eating the Cheeto.

There was a loud beep over the speaker system above us, and it was as if we'd summoned her voice directly from the heavens. "Guys, I need to get in for something but I left my card key at home. I hope one of you is there to let me in. If you are... I'll buy you a drink... this is really important." There was a soft purring sigh in her voice... a sadness nearly palpable. She needed me.

I jumped to my feet just as Duane did the same.

"I got this!" I yelled, sprinting for the elevator.

"Like hell you do," he said, running too. We stopped at the elevator, pounding the down button alternately.

"I got this," I said, slapping his hand away.

"Whatever... she doesn't know you exist," he said, shoving me. He was really weak. I barely budged. Alanna deserved better.

"Guys?" her voice said, over the speaker. "Duane? Trenton?"

"Coming!" I shouted.

"We're on the fourth floor, moron," Duane said, shoving me again. "She can't hear you. Geez... the stairs would be faster than this...."

I bolted for the stairs while Duane was still finishing that thought. He caught me one flight down, slamming me into the wall. I tasted blood. He'd pay for that. I jumped over the rail down to the next flight of stairs. It was risky. I have weak ankles, but it put me ahead of him. He caught me again, diving at my mid-section. Wow... weak but fast and wiry. I slid out of the way at the last second, and he hit the wall. I had one flight left, and I shoved through the stairwell door seconds ahead of Duane. Since the stairwell door was in sight of the front door where Alanna stood... I was the victor and Duane hung back swearing and not wanting to appear overly eager.

She was there in a brief red dress that clearly didn't have pockets. In fact, I don't think she was even able to wear underwear underneath. It hugged her curves as if it had been photoshopped on at the last minute. I could barely breathe as I let her in.

"Oh... thank you," she squealed, leaning forward to hug me. She smelled like honey and... Alanna. I choked on my tongue. "I just knew you'd be here, Duane."

"Uhh, Trenton," I said. It was sad that she'd both knew I'd be here and called me by the wrong name, but I was willing to overlook that... especially when she looked at me as if seeing me for the first time.

"Trenton," she repeated, her voice breathy.

I thanked the God of Nerds which occasionally smiled down upon me and let hot girls forget something important.