Buddy

An explosion shook the ground and dust fell.

“It’ll be okay, Buddy,” I said rubbing his ears and pressing my face to his, trying to convince myself. I wished the gunfire would stop. We were both trained to stay calm under pressure, but it amazed me how in-control a dog could be when I was struggling to keep it together. His confidence reassured me.

We had to wait it out, so I sat down. He lay beside me, head on my knee. I wondered how animals defeated their natural instinct to run from danger.

An explosion shook the ground and dust fell.

I heard a commotion. Buddy stood and began pacing in front of me. He growled a low rumble and took a defensive stance. He barked a deep warning and bared his teeth. We were surrounded.

“Buddy! Zeke! You’re alright!?” Shane exclaimed. I sighed with relief and Buddy heeled not leaving my side. “Come on!” commanded Shane. We fell in line with the team, and he led us away from the chaos.

Buddy and I were gifted another day.

– Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: 57th Challenge. WC 174
Photo prompt provided by Pixabay.com.

Buddy

The Shinigami

I catch sight of the grotesque apple-stuffed smile of a roasted pig.

I hear waves crash beyond my sight. The clouds briefly hide the moonlight darkening my view. I turn toward the luau.

The flickering firelight dances with shadows and illuminates the feast. I catch sight of the grotesque apple-stuffed smile of a roasted pig. It looks guilty. I watch tourists help themselves to the fare.

A familiar, soothing breeze gently envelops me. I hear my name inside my mind, inaudible, it chills and comforts. The hairs on my arms stand up though my body relaxes.

Swirling shadows merge. A dark, faceless being reaches out a shadowy limb and takes my hand. The Shinigami, my love, pulls me deeper into itself.

– Written for Microcosms (11) though I missed the deadline. Prompts were Shinigami/Luau/Romance. WC 109. Photo from Pixabay.com.

The_Shinigami

Meating Ms. Steak

“The apples taunted me.”

“What brings you here, Bernerd?”

He began, “The doctor said I have high cholesterol, could have a heart attack, told me to stop eating meat. I love meat!”

He paused and looked at the group leader. His eyes widened when he saw a T-bone steak sitting across from him.

“Go on, Bernerd,” The steak insisted.

He hesitated. “I’m a cop working security at the Steampunk Fair. I was on break so I decided to bob for apples. The apples taunted me.”

He continued. “I think not eating meat is bad.”

“What do you think?” Ms. Steak asked the group.

The apples surrounding Bernerd bobbed up and down in sympathetic support.

– Written for Microcosms (13). Prompts were Cop/Fair/Steampunk. WC 110
‘Meating Ms. Steak’ was named honorable mention for this contest.

The Caravan

Smog and crowds and laws were claustrophobic.

The caravan pulled over to take a lunch break and to stretch our legs. The commune was still a day’s drive. I would send mom a postcard before we arrived. She worried too much. I was 18 now and perfectly capable of making my own decisions. There was much more to life than rules and societal restrictions. I was determined to be free; to be myself, to love, to enjoy nature and to survive without the city’s oppressive ways. Smog and crowds and laws were claustrophobic. She would do well with a bit of fresh air and free love herself.

– Written for Splickety Publishing Group Bolt Flash Fiction: Strike 37 Photo Prompt. WC 100
Image was provided through Splickety from Creative Commons.

The_Caravan

Today Is A Hot Day But Not Nearly As Hot As Yesterday

Leaves fall and sweet death is beautiful but temporary.

Today is a hot day but not nearly as hot as yesterday. I’m waiting for a cool breeze to signal it’s time to change. Change is easy but not. You have to pay close attention when the wind blows or it’s easy to miss. Leaves fall and sweet death is beautiful but temporary. When they cover the ground like a soft blanket, it is inviting but not so soft. The sun reflects off the windowpane and the glare disrupts my view but it is only temporary. The cloud cover makes it clear and I see a man with an umbrella but there is no rain. He walks, dragging his feet through the various colors but not noticing, nor does he notice my gaze. I wonder what he thinks of the weather today. A rustling in the tree above draws my attention. A bird calls. The sun and the man and the bird do what they do and do not bother to stop because I see. Today is a hot day but not as hot as tomorrow unless it changes.

– WC 179