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missing

Georgia curled upon herself in the little river of rainwater, fearful and mysteriously incapable of movement or speech despite the overwhelming sense of familiar dread. She’d tell you she was experiencing an undeniably strong episode of déjà vu if she could.

How did Georgia find herself in such a predicament, frozen yet heart pounding and eyes darting frantically about? She’d been walking when the little newspaper boat floated towards her, going against the current as if it were being steered or operated remotely. It stopped at her feet and she’d pondered how odd the entire scene unfolding before her.

She’d scooped up the little boat and unfolded the newspaper, expecting to find the innerworkings which made it do such crafty maneuvers. What she’d found instead were numerous small pictures of all the children who’d gone missing over the years in her little corner of Maine; the words “You’re next” in weeping red ink written over them.

~c. 2017 Deidre Meyrick

I’m a little behind with contributing for this particular flash, but that’s neither here nor there in the world of writing, right? The image which prompted this little tidbit can be found on the Monday Flash Fic group fb page, along with all of the other flashes which resulted. Of course, I went straight to one of my favorite (and first ever) horror novels, It by Stephen King. Enjoy!

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deatheaters

I reached for them when they came for me and welcomed them home. I knew there was no more I could do to stave off the inevitable. It was my time.

Despite the morbid delights of the beautiful creatures, it was once believed to be a touch from the divine to be graced by the presence of a butterfly alighting upon you. A way for the gods to show favor upon the children of man they prized most, or even as a sign from a loved one of their presence from the beyond. All were blind to the deaths that followed their touch however, choosing only to see the beauty of such delicate life.

It was during the end of the fall, when man had descended upon man in a frenzied feast of flesh, when we did truly understand the enormous prophecy carried on their colorful wings during their great migrations.

And when the kaleidoscope danced around you, you ran.

You ran not away from certain death, but towards the salvation of your loved ones. For it would be a matter of ever shortening time before you became one of the fallen; a beast of decaying flesh whose humanity was stripped away with each whisper of a butterfly’s wings, stealing your breath and eating your soul.

When I felt the first tickle upon my ear, I was alone and brushed it away like a pesky fly, choosing to ignore the sign and instead continued to hope we would finally encounter someone with a cure. The next time there were two, and it was while I was gathering wood for the morning fire. Soon to be surrounded by my chosen family, those  of us left to wander for survival, I believed I would not be able hide what was to come from me any longer.

Not wanting them to bear the burden of ensuring I would never rise a beast, I whispered my goodbyes in the direction of camp and wished the wind to carry my love to them. Then, I fled.

Now, as I lie in this field, my head resting momentarily upon a large sharp stone and the red blood of my life seeping steadily from self-inflicted wounds, I raise my arms and welcome my executioners’ kiss, hoping that once again the touch of a butterfly will be welcomed as a beautiful thing and not a warrant for death.

c.2017 Deidre Meyrick

*This piece was prompted by a photo from the Monday Flash Fic facebook group of which I’m a member. If you’d like to see the photo and read more flashes revolving around this image, please be sure to check out the group page & post for this particular prompt here.

Have a great Monday!


unrequited

“Say that you love me. Go on, I dare you.”

The knifepoint dug a little deeper, hinting at the future meeting between it and my jugular. I swallowed and thought I’d just opened the door for that inevitable kiss and spill of my blood, but I couldn’t help it. Bile was rising and it was that or gag and risk worse.

“Say it.”

What do you so when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place? Come on, you guys, I need to know. Do I say it or not, because right now, it feels like I’m dead either way.

“I lo—“

The giant of a man pulled the knife away but not before nicking my neck. He licked the drop of blood that welled there then kissed me full on the mouth. I could taste the copper of my life on his lips. He pulled back with a grin plastered on his god awful handsome face. “I was just fuckin’ with you, brah. I would’na sliced you like that unless you’d had good reason. And you lovin’ me ain’t reason enough to get blood on my new jacket.”

Inside my head I was screaming out you motherfucking asshole shit for brains what the actual fuck were you thinking putting a knife to my neck you could’ve killed me but I took a deep shuddering breath, told my bladder it could hold it once more, and held my hands up in supplication. “You got me, again, Sal. You always do. Always have. What d’ya need today?” Rubbing my hands along my pants legs to dry the clamminess, I shuffled a step in the opposite direction, putting as much space as possible between myself and Sal without him thinking I was running. I didn’t want him thinking I was prey.

“Well, you see, I got this idea in my head and it wouldn’t go away. So I came to the one person who I thought could help me out with it, and voila, here I am.”

Watching Sal flip his big ass knife between hilt and blade one-handed, I was mesmerized and didn’t really catch what he was saying. Or the glint in his eye as he was saying it.

“mmmhmm”

“I said to myself, Sal, you’ve known each other for over twenty years now and he’s always been there for you. Every day. Even when he was sick or working or whatever.”

Flip-Flip-Flip of the knife.

“Ye—yeah Sal, always been there.”

Flip-Flip-Flip of the knife.

Sal stepped closer to me yet I stayed rooted to the floor. “You know, I don’t think you’re payin’ any attention to me.”

Flip-Flip-Flip of the knife.

“Yeah Sal. Whatever you say, I’m with you.” The knife flips had me entranced. Who am I kidding here, fear has me paralyzed and I’m afraid I’ll either piss my pants or vomit if I unclench my core muscles.

Sal stepped closer until I could feel the brush of the outrageously fluffy faux fur trim of his jacket against my chest. “In fact, I think you were going to lie to me earlier when you were gonna say that you loved me.”

Yeah, I stopped breathing. And Sal had stopped flipping his knife.

Sal leaned down just enough so I could feel the breath of his words across my cheek as much as I heard them. “I don’t think you’ve ever loved me like I loved you and that, brah, that kind of betrayal is not something I can let you live with. So I’m gonna help you out with your problem. Ease your mind of your troubles. No worries, alright? I got your back.”

And with that, I was caught between a rock and a hard place, between Sal and his knife sliding deep in my back and then across my neck.

No, I never loved him. Who loves their life-long tormentor?

 

c.2017 Deidre Meyrick


dinner at grandmother’s

“Go on downstairs and wash up for dinner, baby girl.”

I was four, maybe, the night of my first real memory. The night when unspeakable horror in a child’s eyes were merely games to be played in the shadows of man.

Grandmother had urged me to the bathroom in the basement to get cleaned up like she did all the kids before eating. I wanted to be the brave girl, all grown up, so I started walking down the stairs without turning on the light beforehand. It wasn’t too dark, as the bright fluorescent kitchen light flickered on and filtered down the open stairwell to barely illuminate the bathroom door.

I made it halfway down the stairs, my small hand tightening my hold the railing, before I stopped. I stopped, and stared. I was frozen in a bewildered manner, trying to make sense of what was happening before me. I couldn’t. I had no frame of reference for what I saw. I remember tilting my head to the side, like you see now in those cute malamute puppy videos, but it didn’t help me make sense of it.

“Go on down now, pumpkin. Your dinner’s gonna get cold.” Cabinets opened and shut. Plates were placed on the table. I didn’t want my favorite take out to get cold. Tater tots never tasted as good when they cooled and lost their crispiness.

I remember her urging, her need for me to rush there and back, making a race of it like she always did because she knew how much I didn’t like going down to the basement at night alone. Why couldn’t she have just let me use the kitchen sink. Just this once.

I didn’t want to know what lurked in the shadows. A child should never know.

I stood immobile for what seemed an eternity, especially given what I involuntarily bore witness to, but in my grandmother’s reality only seconds had passed. Ice clinked into glasses and grape koolaid was poured. I knew it was grape koolaid because when she’d set the pitcher down, it was a nearly silent thud of the plastic container reserved for my sugary concoction, and not the heavy glass sun-tea jar. And grape was my favorite.

“Whatsa the matter, girl? There ain’t nothing down there to be afraid of, you know that. Quick as those race car drivers you wanna be like when you grow up, get there and back.” Another drink poured and this time the tea pitcher was put back in the fridge. Grandmother never had more than one glass at dinner.

I took one more tentative step down then my nightmares were made manifest.

Shadows which had lurked in the deepest recesses of the basement flew from their previously unseen hiding spots. They escaped through the cavernous cellar door, the old screen left to hang from rusted hinges behind them.

At that, I calmly turned and walked back up the stairs, and told grandmother what I’d seen.

It was over. Or so I’d thought.

c. 2016 Deidre Meyrick

 

 


bliss

he haunts my dreams when I least expect him to arrive
though it’s been ages since I laid eyes upon his face
felt his touch
the heat of his graze across my cheek

merely a finger was used to convey such intimacy once
a look corresponding
he secretly smiled under long lashes
just for me

a visit from a life long since passed
our paths no longer cross
yet love remains in dreams where the void is crossed
where doubts and constraints are shed
when cloaks of propriety are no more
and the dance between us is visceral once again

my heart rushes in desire
constricts with an ache in the knowledge
i am awake and he is a ghost once more

c. 2016 Deidre Meyrick


and… scene

a call comes ’round
midday sun and moonshine dark
the howling
an unanswered bay

nothing left
chalk dust fog for breath
no captured prey escaped

slipped through the fingers of a ghost
and on the way

the hunter refused the chase

c. 2016 Deidre Meyrick


fireflies

unfettered in their fall
black drops stain the cloth
as fetid tears from rusted eyes
weep from the poor disguise

cleaved in two and cleaved again
rib from rib
and sin from sin
microscopic light bursts forth with a resounding

POP

only to dissipate in a blink
and once again the knife-wielder sings

with blade so dark
and pretty arc
we’ll catch a soul spark
in our jar

c.2016 Deidre Meyrick


independence

The parade had just passed by our area before the heavy yet brief rain fell. Despite the light skies, there were a few warning drops as the last of the marchers turned the corner which merely teased at the downpour to come. Those initial drops drove the remaining revelers from their loitering celebrations and back indoors, or off to complete errands previously put off. But not me and Sal.

Just this morning, we stood with and before a crowd of many as we recited an oath and a pledge to our new home, officially citizens of a land where we no longer had to remain silent or covered or apart. We were free to be together, to be ourselves, even if we did appear only as best friends or sisters in the eyes of the few unenlightened.

As the warm rains fell, we ran as schoolgirls away from our oppressive past and toward a future we had once only dreamed.

c.2016 Deidre Meyrick

*it’s been a long while since I’ve contributed to the Monday flashes, but here I am. It’s lighter yet still weighted in context with its message and intent. A hope for a future. I’m not referencing any country or any independence in particular, but merely of a time and place where two people are welcomed by the majority with open arms as intolerance fades away into obscurity. As always, there are other flashes found on the Monday Flash page on facebook (<—clickety-click the linkity-link), where you’ll also find the inspiration picture for this small piece. I hope you take a look at those for this week, as well as any previous weeks. Have a wonderful holiday today!*


tick…tick…tick…

the heat curdles in the pit of its stomach

even as ice crystals form 

frozen extremities yet heated head

tossing and turning in its bed

of nails as anxiety eats away all hope

for sleep

for dreams

for peace of mind and slivers of sanity 

one foot in front of the other it moves

in a dazed coma of outward appearance 

yet inside the heat curdles in the pit of its stomach

expanding molecules vibrating at such intensity until…

c. 2016 Deidre Meyrick


photographs

scheming dreams
behind the clouded veil
kiss and tell

swell your breath upon skin again

heart sheath sliced
and soldered off-kilter
a doubled exposure

death filter

c.2016 Deidre Meyrick


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