Flash Fiction – "Creation"

It was a game she liked to play.

The steam rose into the air. Jasmine, rose, the caffeine of the black tea all blended together into one. It made the room smell like flowers. From the right corner of her desk the tiny porcelain cup let the steam fly in a steady stream, the tulips painted onto the glass dancing in breeze that wasn’t there. The cup would never cool and in turn, let the room fill with everlasting spring.

The writer looked up from her keyboard to the cup at the corner of her desk. Dew on the grass, fresh air dancing in the sun, bright beautiful flowers all permeating into the essence of the room.

Across the room, a glimmer of steel caught the writer’s sight. Slowly, she watched the shape coalesce before her eyes. The tip appeared first, silver as stars and sharper than a corner, with the body following after. Long, but lean enough to be a comfortable weight when held, and built to move like the wind. It’s handle was wrought in sunlight itself, golden and as shining as the day.

She rose from her desk slowly, letting her fingers linger to tap on the surface. It was right there just waiting for her to take it. Some part of her though still believed she was dreaming. So… she reached for the tea first, because that was more likely to be real. Her hand reached out only to pause before the little porcelain handle. Then gingerly, like petting a strange animal, she let her fingers tap on the surface. Hot to the touch. Then, braver, she reached all the way and nearly burned her hand when the steaming cup was in her palms. When the tea went down, it was like drinking from a meadow. The writer put the cup back on the desk.

One step, then two she crossed the room. The way the sunlight was streaming through the window almost made the sword seem like a mirage. As if when she reached out to touch it all she would find would be the wall. The writer steeled herself, letting her fingers reach… then close… fingertip… by fingertip around the golden handle. Her body was very still. Even after having played this game a few times before, she still could not believe that this was real life. The weight in her hand was not imagination by the way her bicep braced. Cautiously, she pointed the blade at the window.

There were a few other sentences she had written.

Once the sword was in the girl’s hand a shadow appeared as the wind blew east….

Through the open window a gust rocked the hinges of the shutters and sent a chill down her spine.

The strange scent of sugar burned to a crisp pervaded the sweet smell of spring. Magic was afoot…

Her nose crinkled. It wouldn’t be long now.

The shadow moved closer, the shape shifting with the wind, until it wasn’t a shadow but a someone at the window.

A clang rang the air as steel met steel. The someone said “Are you ready?”

Standing sword to sword, the writer answered “Always.” Then she smiled, the girl on the opposite side of the window smiling too.

A grand adventure was waiting just for them to go and meet it.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Flash Fiction – “The Devil”

“You have met with a horrible destiny, haven’t you?”

The devil in the mask held the dagger out, the handle towards me and blood from the blade pooling in its fist. Still as stone, its unmoving eyes bore into mine.

I tried to keep trained on the blade but couldn’t help but let my stare wander back to its face. Not like it had changed the whole time. The same macabre expression of a grin slitted with pointed teeth and a forked tongue hooked out of the right corner of its mouth were still all I could see. Some part of me was trying to see a crack to the monster underneath but masks existed for a reason.

“Horrible destiny….” I laughed, but brokenly. “I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.”

It drummed its claws along the steel, a little ting sounding every time a nail made contact. Then one scratched down a little too far and I flinched, a little too noticeably. So… the devil did it again. And again.

Just to break the cycle I took a step closer, and it mirrored me. When I took one to the left, it took one to its right. Step by step bringing us closer and closer together. Only when I took one back did it not move in turn. It stayed still, that smirk forever painted on its mouth.

It wanted me close. But couldn’t it see that this game was irrelevant? With my posture hunched, and my breathing hitched there was no way it didn’t see how exhausted I was. I didn’t even have my sword anymore. Then there was that dagger… just out for me to take.

If I wanted to survive I needed it. But, the one offering it was someone who wanted to drag me down at the end of all this…. something that would never want to hoist me up.

“All heroes have heard that before.” It bounced the blade in its hand, and the moonlight above glinted off the red steel.

I bit my lip. “I’m not a hero.” Then, I reached out and took the dagger. The devil didn’t let go though as my grip tightened.

It chuckled, low and grating. The sound like nails on a blade. Then it put its free hand to the edge of its mask and tipped it off.

“No, you’re not a hero….” the monster whispered, my own face reflected back at me like a mirror where its own should have been. The expression was familiar but crooked, and hungrily grinning at me underneath the shadow of the mask. “are you?”

I would have taken those pointed teeth and forked tongue for anything now… but they weren’t visible any longer since now I was the one wearing the mask.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash