Shadow Duties

Shadow Duties

“Gomen nasai!“ It’s a reflex, really. I shouldn’t have…

I hold out the single warm glove, I pick up. The old lady turns around and stares in many shades of confusion playing around her eyes. I must have spoken Japanese. Her brows shoot up, seeing her glove in my hand.

„Thank you laddie! Bless you.“ I smile and bow slightly. Bright sunshine warms my back. The heavy tarry feeling on my hand stays, like mud on boots. The old lady turns away and hobbles down Park Lane. Her grey tweed jacket flickers with shadow and light, as she passes under the canopy of the trees nearby.

No matter how hard I try, the sadness stings in my throat, burns behind my eyes. I rip my eyes away from her back.

The old lady dies.

Today… Continue reading “Shadow Duties”

the other

the other

there is this house between lime trees

an old man with a black dog lives there

and on the collar it carries a bunch of keys

listen – a distant jingle in the cold night air

One key is black, the other made of silver,

one is of iron, one of wood and quicksilver,

one of rust, one of copper, one made of lies

one is made of sunshine, one of bottle flies

night falls with pallid light and heavy shadows

winter chill  exhaled from the animal’s wet nose

the old man lights a candle and his dog sits

he arranges pebbles, buttons and wooden bits

his dry bony fingers poke at them on the table

trying to pick up a witch stone but unable

he smiles and tugs a key from the collar

the dog howls, saddened with dark dolor

its eyes glow, searching for his master’s face

searching for an impulse in time and space

The old man stands up bent, goes to the door

jams the key into the lock to turn it once more

the entrance door swings open, to let in the dark

the dog follows the living light ignited into spark

Future Graveyard

a Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge (240 w) here

I plucked out a thin thread from the empty space in front of me.

With a gentle pull, I rotated my index around it. Slowly. With elliptical movements, carefully not to rip it. Always the same, always one thread at the time. I tugged at the fabric of destiny, twirled it between my thumb and index, till it became solid. Not one resisted my hands. I made a ball, in the size of my fist.

It looked like hair, made of pure moonlight. I remembered its glow, when I was still able to see, but that was long ago.

Somewhere around me, on the limestone tiles of the room, there must be over ten thousand orbs of glowing silver.

Decades passed, and what I did, I did every day. Since I got blind, I only imagined, when one day began and when it ended. The only constant occurrences were the food. They always send a child with the food, once a day – probably – always a different child.

But that wasn’t my concern.

My duty was to eliminate the uncertain futures, by pulling the alternative destiny patterns out of the tissue of time. I obliterated parallel events out of the myriads of possibilities. The run in the fabric collapsed the unwanted realities on its own. I only hooked the critical event and tugged, till I felt the cold sigh of perishing on my face.

Muddy Stars

a Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge (208 words) here

I sat at my tiny table, a cup of hot green tea in one hand. The table was perched at the northern corner, on my two square meter balcony. Seventeenth story. The wind was icy, but I had great view. A view other people payed for: to my right, the blueish white blotch of  Mount Fuji, to my left, the soft silvern gleaming of the ocean.

Around my apartment building the beads of streetlights and headlights of cars stretched as pulsating arteries of Tokyo. Although it was only about four o’clock pm, it was dark already. The stars and the full moon hid behind thick grey clouds. This January evening  brought the scent of snow.

As the first flakes drifted by, I caught a glimpse of movement. Finally! It was the ghost light of a fox, heading this way. What trouble will you cause, my friend?

As His Majesties first Magician at Court, I had to keep the spiritual peace in the city. A mischievous little fox meant nothing good. They kept sticking their noses into the emperor’s business.

I thought of my tea. Really, it was a sin to let it cool out, but I had work to do.

 

River Mask

a Chuck Wendig prompt (209 w)- here

I pulled the car into a parking lot, and killed the motor. My head was spinning, since I left the highway.

I breathed.

My forehead touched the steering wheel. It’s cool soothed my headache. The long wooden mask, I bought hours ago, sat beside me in the passenger seat. It’s dry hair was made of some kind of weed, smelt of rain and mud.

“Breathe.” The words fell into my lap. I obeyed, slowly forcing the air in and out of my lungs, counting. One. Inhale. Two. Hold air in. One. Exhale. Two. Keep air out. One. Inhale.

I sat up and threw the driver’s door open. My head and stomach felt hot, my hands and feet were icy. I tried to keep the blazing sun out of my eyes, by squeezing them shut. It didn’t help.

The murmur of the river seemed too distant, although I parked directly at the shore.  Steps approached, sloshed through mud.  Something wet touched my cheek. My eyes flew open. A man had his cold hand on my forehead. The bright made it impossible to see his face. I felt better, though.

“Finally. Took you long enough to get here.” I knew that voice. He sounded like me.

 

The BookFeet

a chuck wendig prompt (204 words) - here

I had my notebook and a pencil safely tucked away in my parka. A glance at my wrist showed it was 9:30 pm. Right on time, this time at least… I relied on the weather report, which said no snow, no rain.

Between Houston Street, Canal Street and South Ferry Station was something I dubbed the Triangle of Uncanny. I’ve been down here for nearly a weird week, every night.  I’ve been exploring the streets, the parks towards the Hudson, taking notes. Today was Teardrop Park on schedule.

The triangle… That thing kept spitting out huge dark figures, gestalten, weird shops, I never was able to located during the day. The empty streets were as inviting as ever. That never failed to get the writing juice flowing. I heard the Hudson ahead, licking at the piers and walls of River Terrace.

A young girl, not older than twelve stood at the entrance of the park, waiting for me. Her straight dark  was hair tied back, her bright sand colored eyes beamed at me. “Welcome to the moonlight market, pilgrim. Password. Please.” She smiled a broad, nearly friendly smile.

“Uh…” I said, and remembered what that hobo screamed at me. “Uhm…BookFeet?”

HAUNTED HUNTER

HAUNTED HUNTER
A Chuck Wendig prompt - 2036 words
genre: supernatural horror - found footage

***

With a flicker of blue light, the screen comes to life. It’s evening, the streetlights flare on. The lens zooms in on an old, abandoned looking house, with bashed in windows on ground level. There is a wooden porch with some missing slats.

Someone smokes there. A little red dot gleams lazily just above the handrail.

There they are…“ A male voice whispers to himself. “Showtime.” A bush winks into the field of view. A shadow moves in front of the ember. Suddenly the cameraman shrinks behind the bush.

Click. The frame blacks out. Continue reading “HAUNTED HUNTER”