Archive for flash fiction

St. Evil’s Shameless Halloween Linkie Treats!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by synabetic

Hey folks, it has been a while since I’ve posted– too long, in fact. I’ve been busy with things, some of which I will post here.

Every Halloween, I shamelessly promote myself on my blog, offering links to spooky things I’ve written or am/were a part of. Anyhow, let’s get to it, shall we?

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First, let me link to recent Nerd Titan stuffery in the spirit of the season. I’m Managing Editor over there, which means I get to do a lot of fun activities, one of them is working with frighteningly talented people and all kinds of other cool shit.

Nerd Titan’s 2013 Guide to Halloween Movies
This one I put together with Brendan, another writer with NT, and we had some other contributors. Overall, I like how it turned out, seeing as most lists are either a) same ol’ movies, or b) try to outdo the other lists. We just went with what we liked.

A Grimdark RPG Goodie Bag
I asked nine of my friends to join me in writing up what we thought were good suggestions for tabletop role-play gaming. This was actually a lot more work that I had initially intended, but I am quite pleased with the results.

Hell Comes to Nerd Titantown: An Interview with Rafael Chandler
While I am a professional at what I do and all that acid jazz, I’m still a big fan of those who impress me. Mr. Chandler is one of those people, with me loving his horror gaming output so far. This is my Halloween interview with him.

And now for the usual linking to one of the favorite comics I’ve written, The Secret Cross: Humanity in the Execution. It’s 12 pages and a quick read, but I greatly enjoyed coming up with it and working on it with Stephen Lindsay and Dominic Vivona. By the way, Dom’s art is always impressive. Now, I have always meant to do more with this. I had an entire RPG mapped out, but all of that information is on an old hard drive I need to get around to extracting. Or maybe I’ll just start from scratch. I do have a lot of ideas for that sucker. I say it every year, you know. Maybe this year ’round it will be different?

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The Secret Cross is about a special German unit in World War One that gets into all kinds of hot, bloody messes. Read more on it here.

Next up are all the creepy stories I have written lately. They’re all mercilessly short and, some say, downright freaky. That’s what I like to hear!

The Writing
Worm
Bind
Today
Bruise
Family

Here’s a piece of art my partner in life-crime, Nicole, did for this game thing I’m slowly working on…

Jellymarkersmall

And I’m sure I could flog more things, but this should do for now. Hope you enjoyed your stay!

All art is by Dominic Vivona, Dominic Vivona with Jeff Balke on colors, and Nicole Turner, respectively from top to bottom.

Flasher Fiction: Family

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by synabetic

Here’s a story that’s a part of the exercise that my partner and I are doing. She provides me an image– a photo she has taken, or an original piece of art she has created– and I write up something for it.  This one clocks in at over 2000 words, and is for one of the best pieces of art Nicole has ever done.  Please feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in a print of it.

Family
by Steven G. Saunders

Others have always said that “family is everything” and that “family comes first”, and I am inclined to agree. When the invaders came, I had no choice but to accept our ultimate fates; but I couldn’t allow my kin to perish, either.

I grabbed my brothers and sisters and ran. I ran with them, pushing them on as best I could. The invaders were terribly fast, and they provided no mercy to those of us they encountered. They consumed us whole, they consumed us in pieces, and those of us who were not consumed had something much, much worse in store for them… I don’t even want to think about it.

Many of my brothers and sisters died or were taken. My mother was torn into bits before our very eyes while my father valiantly, but nearly futilely, bought us some time so we could get away. We cried as we ran, our sadness propelling us forward as much as our terror. We ran deeper into the forest, no longer heeding the warnings of our elders because the baleful darkness of the unknown was far more preferable to what the invaders had in store for us.

Even as young ones, we knew that we must run to survive. I became a new elder in short time, indeed. We needed to live. We needed to ensure our family’s survival. We ran and ran and ran. Eventually, I demanded that we must rest; and rest we did.

It wasn’t long before my fellow young ones looked up to me. They were already lost souls left homeless by an incomprehensible evil. They couldn’t wrap their minds around what was necessary to survive. My mother had told me quite often while I was a little one that there are times when one must take charge. Even if they make the wrong decisions, at least they are trying.

And so it fell upon me to make all the choices for our group of runners to survive. I organized small parties of us to forage for food while we still moved onward into the forest as a group. Soon we had other attackers aside from the pursuing invaders. They would swoop down from the obscured sky or pounce on us from trees. But what they weren’t expecting was for us to fight back.

My father was a fighter. He taught me that our kind need not just hold still and wait for the end to come. We must fight for our families and protect our kin to our last breaths. I would love to say we gave the invaders a good fight, but they were too fast, too quick, too devious.

We had already invited them into our homeland, with their assurances that they would help us to protect ourselves. They had a reputation for being kind, generous, and almost silly. How were we to know they were about to change as a species? We cannot know these sorts of things. We cannot be expected to expect savage betrayal.

The invaders never gave us time to defend ourselves properly, let alone plan a counterattack. We had changed as a species, too, and we were still new at the idea of actually attacking others in a planned and coordinated manner.

Thankfully, we knew enough to surprise others who would dine on our dead or still living flesh.

On the second day into our exodus into the forest, a large swooper came at us as night fell. Its first pass was just a probing measure, and, as my father had taught me, this was where we also got to probe him. I quickly assembled my best youngling brethren and had two of them mill about a nearby clearing. The swooper took the bait, and as he swooped, the youngling-bait ran towards a large group of us where we were lying in wait with sticks we had sharpened with our teeth and fear-honed anger in our hearts.

The swooper was totally confused by our action and I yelled to my comrades to commit fully to their survival. As I stabbed into the swoopers feathery shell, I went with my blood and leapt up onto its back, thrusting my stick into its neck. It never had a chance to make any of its typical sounds. The swooper just simply gurgled as it desperately tried to get away, then fell down and died.

We relished our first victory together. One of my sisters suggested we consume the swooper as swoopers consume us and I thought about it briefly. I knew we didn’t have much time, and I also knew that the foraging for berries and other quick foods wasn’t enough to keep us going. We were also thirsty, haggard, and our morale had been sapped by our kin’s annihilation.

I could feel the spirit of the warrior inside of me. Until my father told me of it, I didn’t even know what a warrior was. One of us who fights, he had told me. He died a warrior, screaming into the face of the enemy, challenging his powerful invader foe to take him on. Their chittering noises sounded like laughter as they tore him apart.

I felt the calm. I felt my fear turn into hate. I felt my fate quickly turn into determination. I looked to the swoopers blood that covered me and I climbed onto its corpse. I addressed my kin in a low tone, one that is often used for mating purposes, and I didn’t ask them to eat the swooper. I called their loyalty, bravery, and resolution into question. I asked if they were going to die starving cowards, or would they meet their fates as warriors with full bellies.

My family cheered. They were all my family now, not just members of my family’s community.

The swooper was ravaged swiftly, consumed by all. We took its feathers and fashioned protective garb for ourselves. I wore its beak on my face, to show everyone I was leader. I was the prime warrior.

I was death incarnate for those who opposed us.

And so it was. We encountered more and more attackers and overcame them. Those of us who died honorable were given our total respect and our assurances we would name our new kin after them. We began attaching insulting terms to our enemies. The stalking bandits who killed and ate us were “Furry Stripe Corpsers”. Swoopers became “Hooting Victims”. The larger creatures who were like brutish, more intimidating versions of us, became “Big Toothed Dead”.

And so it was.

Time passed and we stopped running. Now we hunted. The Big Toothed Dead never knew what hit them, as we proved smarter and more cunning than them. We relied on their own overconfidence in their primitive martial abilities in order to properly suppress them and their communities. Before long, we were invading their nests and destroying their young. We would sometimes leave a younger one of them alive to warn others like them, making sure to eat the hearts of their kin before their very eyes.

We knew what we were doing. My father would have approved. My mother spoke to me in my dreams. She was there with me when I killed that first swooper. I could feel her with me always. I could feel my father and my dead siblings in my instruments of death.

The hunted became the hunters.

And so it was.

One day, I was no longer a young one. I had become fully grown. My family had never forgotten the horrors visited upon us by the invaders. How they betrayed us. How they destroyed us.

Or how they thought they had destroyed us.

I had always pondered on the thoughts of why the invaders hadn’t fully pursued us. They seemed to have gotten what they wanted, assuming we would die in the forest. They most certainly had thought we would all become food for predators. And yet, against all odds, we became the predators.

One day, I was dispatching yet another large Whiskered Death Dealer, honoring its grandness with prayers to the warrior spirits who guided us all, and it occurred to me that the time had come. I climbed atop the Whiskered Death Dealer’s head, first accepting it’s claws as my due as Honored Leader, and I addressed my family.

I told them we must no longer fear the invader. We had spent many days and nights training for revenge. We had no illusions of victory. We simply wanted to destroy the invader as much as possible. If but one of them is killed, we had achieved glory as far as we were concerned.

Some of the Furry Stripe Corpsers had joined us. We even had a few swoopers working with us. The Big Toothed Dead were servants to do as we pleased. We set forth with an army to strike down as many of the invaders as possible.

My heart soared as I rode along the back of my Furry Stripe Corpser I called Bandit. As we got closer and closer to my old homeland, I could feel the resolve in my soul. I took in all that had changed. We were no longer weak creatures who frolicked in the sun and ate little bugs and berries. We had become death, covered in the remains of our enemies, all of whom we had turned into food, weapons, and armor. My family called me Bone Lord and I welcomed the title with fondness.

It was hard to believe that at one time I was meek and timid.

The community of the invaders came into view. They still clustered openly in something they called a “village”. From my younger, peaceful days, I remembered the layout of their villages well. Their past friendliness was now their undoing, as their kindness had become our army’s intelligence.

I knew they had a leader. An elder they venerated. We knew that if we attacked him first, then the rest would be disorganized and we could pick them off more easily. One of the Big Toothed Dead had been keeping a flame alive since it struck from the sky days ago. This flame would be greatly beneficial in creating the havoc we needed in order to commit proper war.

We struck just before dawn; as the invaders were sleeping. For some unknown reason, they had none of the weapons they did before, and as I laid my bone-blade into their shrieking elder, I began to feel the familiar relation of possible victory.

So did the rest of my family. The invader’s village was an orgy of violence and retribution before we knew it. I then received word from a swooper that another village was organizing a defense. As the invader village burned, we regrouped and pushed into the invader’s territory.

Much time passed and I had become weary. Our family’s army had destroyed five of the invaders’ villages and we were working on two more when my rage ran out and fatigue overcame me.

I fell off of Bandit and I understand that she gave her life defending me from one of the hold-out pockets of invaders. She was a good mount and a dear companion in arms. She will be missed.

The invaders took to the forest just as we had long before, and after some time, they sent out an emissary in order to come to an accord. They wanted peace. They tried to explain the previous destruction of my family as some sort of bizarre fluke. Something that would never happen again. I was unconvinced. But my family wanted peace, as they had tired from a lifetime of conflict and bloodshed.

I was strangely agreeable with this notion, too. We must have hit a wall spiritually; and having had our revenge, our warrior spirits were trying to tell us something. We were weary of everything that had transpired, and so we readily agreed to co-exist with the invaders in the forest. They were very pleased with this outcome, and before long we were living together.

It’s hard to imagine my life as a warrior. As the Bone Lord. As a distributor of death, destruction, and righteous vengeance. But there I was, retired from the life of killing. The other ones who had helped us were released from their obligations, and their own families were greatly compensated. Many of them went on their own paths, but a few of them still stop by to say hello occasionally.

I now happily pick berries and explore the nicer parts of the forest, with its colorful beauty and pleasant meadows that border it. As time passes, I feel more and more elated with my new life, not caring as much about my warrior past, nor do I feel weak and worthless like I did when I thought of my first life with my family.

In the end, the invaders joined us and we think of them less and less as a conquered people and less and less as invaders as the days pass. By some miracle of fate, we have learned to accept each other and I couldn’t be more overjoyed by this prospect. They have become family.

Family is everything.

Nothing comes before family.

family_fiction_nicole

Original image courtesy of Nicole Turner

Read Some of What I’m Writing Lately, Maybe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by synabetic

Here’s a quick post to links of the flash fiction shorts (stories clocking in between 1200-1700 words) I have written as of late. They’re simple, I feel, and a little creepy. Or so some folks tell me. Okay, maybe a lot creepy.

The Writing
Worm
Bind
Today
Bruise
Family

Let me know what you think with a comment or something.

If you are super bored, I posted up the first three parts of The Rage of Ognark, a terrible bizarroesque story I’ve been writing.

And there you have it. I should have some more stories up soon.

Flasher Fiction: Worm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2013 by synabetic

Buckle up, kids, it’s story time. Enjoy!
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Worm
by Steven G. Saunders

Hey.

Hey, I know you’re listening.

You can’t help it. You have nothing to do but hear what I have to say.

Make yourself comfortable, because you are going to be here for a long, long time.

First things first… You probably wonder why you’re here. With me. Unable to get away. Hey, I get it. You’re scared. I’d be scared, too, if I were in your position. I get scared just imagining myself in your spot. And that’s tough for me, because imagination doesn’t come easily to my kind.

A lot of things are tough for me; things you can easily do without any difficulty. Yet, here you are. Listening to what I have to say. What I have to think. It’s more about what I think that what I say, if you know what I mean. And how I feel? That’s very easy for me to convey:

I am hungry.

Do you know what my kind calls you? Worms. It’s pretty funny, isn’t it? I don’t mean that thing you do with your meat parts that evinces mirth. I mean funny as in queer, weird, strange, unusual. Eldritch.

Now, there’s a word in your language I very much enjoy: Eldritch. I wonder if you would describe me as such.

It’s funny we call you worms because it is beyond the scope of the words you creatures would use to describe yourselves. Worms.

There was an acquaintance of mine from long, long ago who had a great term for encountering your kind. They called it “worm sign”, which if you knew what I know about life, the universes, and everything else that all souls, spirits, and brain functions process, you would laugh, too.

See, this is laughing. I’ll wager a great sum of wealth you had no idea I am laughing right now.

I believe what you are doing is… crying? Yes? Weeping? Sobbing?

And the begging begins. I have always wanted to be able to elicit a sound emission from myself that resembles in some way one of your sighs. But if you can imagine me sighing, that is what I’m doing… well, within the emotional context of a creature such as you.

You must accept your fate. Begging only ruins the time you have left. My sincere, kind advice is to just listen to what I have to say, and silently hope that I communicate with you for a long while.

I will admit I get very lonely. Being something like me is a lot where you either accept your role in the multiverse, or you let yourself waste away and perish. I do not wish to perish. Just as you, I wish to exist with the sheer, determined will that recognizes my unhindered and unburdened existence for as long as all the possibilities will allow.

Oh, dear, I have upset you.

I can understand how this is upsetting. I cannot relate, so you will have to find it within yourself to forgive me somehow. Though I doubt you will ever forgive me. You will not be able to. You will be incapable of doing anything but become a part of me, for just a little while, and then you shall be expelled… but you won’t be able to know about it. You will already be gone.

As I have said, I am quite lonely. My kind do not relate well with each other. We live, by your reckoning, anyway, for an incredibly long time. Not years; not decades; not centuries. But epochs. We exist for periods of times that span the length of several of your civilizations, and we’ve even figured out how to leave whole worlds in wholly different universes for ones beginning anew elsewhere. You will look at what you call worms on your world, and you will sometimes dig into the earth and look at them; feeling godlike, perhaps. Then you will rid yourselves of them. Perhaps in your mobile larval state you will eat them. Any way any of it is cut, you are still bound to that world. Or perhaps you are bound to travelling to several worlds. We still see you as you see those worms.

You are but worms to us.

You can be destructive worms, too. You squabble amongst each other as frequently as I would have passing thoughts on the millions of colors I am able to feel. You call them wars, combats, fights, struggles, revolutions, brawls. You come up with all kinds of reasons to justify violent, aggressive engagement. Did I aggressively engage you? No.

I do believe you engaged me while I was napping. I tried to escape as I was not hungry, but, alas, you persisted. I was forced to engage, terminate, and consume your companions; and now I need live sustenance. This is why I saved you for last.

Think of this like it’s the only survival you have left. Enjoy it while you can.

One time, many eons ago when I was young, I existed in a different world, a different place. Being a young being of my sort as I was, there were many sensations which were new and wonderful to me. One such sensation was music. I had never heard it before, having lived where I had lived. Then came a moment when I encountered someone much like you, someone determined to make a point of some sort by ending my existence. It is unknown to me if that creature like you had any reason other than to demonstrate some sort of prowess for others of its kind, but it… it sang– yes, I have learned what singing is since– as it attempted to lodge implements crafted from ores and patience into me. Most of your kind across the multiverse who I have encountered or have heard of believe in something called “luck”, and  “luck” was not with the Singing Bother at that particular moment in time. It slipped because it was weighted by more ore and patience, and lost its balance, fell down, and not seeing its worth– for I was young and impatient– I quickly dispatched it and consumed it as quickly as possibly. At the time, I could not have told you the difference between your kind’s “screaming” and “singing”.

They were all strange sounds to me back then.

Eventually, as I grew larger and wiser, feasting mostly on creatures you consider to be lower lifeforms– much as I consider you to be; no offence meant– I encountered more beings akin to you. All of them had emotional investments pertaining to my demise and to all the worthless scraps and junk that had accumulated around me over the years. As I grew even wiser as the centuries passed, I also became clever. By your standards, I am quite clever.

I succeeded in tricking you, didn’t I? I am quite the clever soul now. Not to make you feel bad, but it was all too easy.

It always amazes me how your kind is so simple to trick into finding me, falling into the traps I have set, and becoming my nutritious sustenance all because you cannot resist looking for objects you have attached “worth” to. And because I bring many of these objects with me from realm to realm with me these days, it is even easier to invite you into my domain, with all sorts of creatures who consider themselves to be “intelligent” becoming lovely short-term companions, and, in short time, food.

Ah, you are trying to reason with me. I can appreciate that. If you must know, there are those who hate your kind who live near me and they are the ones who inform others of your kind who wish to accumulate wealth in their betrayal of their species by creating stories which, in turn, lure you here for your ultimate fate.

Thank you, nonetheless. I do not fault you for enquiring. I believe what you are feeling right now is the part of fear where you can begin to rationally think your way through to a possible solution.

The only solution you are going to reach here is as a waste product.

How did I do? I have been working for many decades on crafting jokes. I feel it lessens the impact of your demise.

I can tell you more if it makes you feel more comfortable. Oh, I know. Here. How does that feel? Numbing quickly? Feel a little giddy. Yeah, these barbs are something I worked on for three hundred of your years. I am not a cruel person, you see. I am merely hungry.

We are all slaves to our biology. I suppose I should thank my lucky feelers that I am not enticed by shiny objects. Too bad, too, as shiny things are much more shiny for me, as I have more optical receptors and external optical processing orbs.

Are you ready? Of course you are. You have no choice. I have delighted in getting to know you as we have talked. While you begged, sobbed, pleased, bargained, and tried to think your way out of this, I have already entered your physically being and have begun feasting on who and what you are, exactly. I am already fond of you. You are– soon to be “were”– a kind soul, just looking to help your home village from a calamity. You were a hero. Your larvae looked up to you. You had few peers. You must be terribly shocked that a person such has me has ended you for supper-time purposes. But, as your life ends, don’t fret over any of the grovelling. I won’t tell anyone. I won’t even mention that you offered up all of the creatures you intended to save.

I should apologize to you. I said this would be a long, long time. And it has been a long, long time… it just doesn’t seem like that to you anymore. Time as you currently know it has absolutely no meaning.

Now. Ready?

As I have said…

I am not a cruel person.

Goodbye.

worm_reaper


Great Worm image property of Reaper Miniatures, used without permission. No infringement on trademark or IP is intended. Honestly, the image is just a placeholder until original art is done, to which I’ll remind folks to read the story again and look at the pretty picture.

Flasher Fiction: Bruise

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by synabetic

And here’s another. Might as well get them all up here for people to see… not a bad haul for one day. Right? Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this one.

Bruise
by Steven G. Saunders

Can’t figure out where this bruise came from.

It’s on my arm and looks like something has gripped it tight. It’s not from an injection or bug bite. I know what those look like. No, this is a strange bruise… no idea where it came from.

Yesterday was like any other and today seems like more of the same, although it’s only morning and it’s tough to say how my day will pan out.

Probably like every other day.

The bruise hurts. But it doesn’t hurt like a normal, sort of dark bruise does. I can feeling it going deep. And every time I look at it I feel sick to my stomach. What kind of bruise does that? I don’t know. This bruise, I guess.

I don’t think I’ve put this much thought into one largish bruise since I was little.

Back when I was a kid, I would get into all kinds of trouble messing around. If there was a fence needing someone to pee on it, I was your guy. If there was a roof to jump off of with only a terribly knotted sheet to save you, I was the kid you gave some M&Ms to and off I went. I jumped off of bridges into streams, crashed my bike into parked cars; I even accidently set a neighbor’s shed on fire because I accidently built a bomb out of spraypaint, cans, and matches. Oh, and sheer little-kid determination. I was the freaky terror of the cul-de-sac. I was the kid who chanted nonsense as I tied your kids up with jump ropes to telephone poles and later explained it as a “simple Satanic ritual”.

Yeah, that kid.

One day, I was grabbed by one of the neighbor dads. Floyd’s dad. I remember him clearly. He was an odd sort of father for the timer, with visible tattoos and longish curly hair. He also had one of those horrible bushy moustaches. I don’t know what he did for a living, but he liked to walk around his home in old jeans, shirtless, and in his bare feet. On the day he grabbed me, I had explained to Floyd that the glue I was using on his dog was perfectly safe, and Shemp should be okay… but maybe it would protect him from cosmic rays. When Floyd’s father showed up from inside the house, garbed in his usual at-home “attire”, Floyd cheerfully explained to him what we were doing.

Look, I didn’t want to hurt the dog, okay? I had other ideas. Hurting animals for no good reason is fucking unforgivable.

flasher_fiction_bruise

My arm was grabbed, and a bruise was left. Now, I had all sorts of background in excitement and daredevilry by that young age, but this new form of excitement was different. I was never afraid of my parents, and I knew they loved me. Floyd’s dad openly referred to me as a “freak” and never hid his contempt. He grabbed me and yelled at me and soon after I could hear my mother calling for my father on that nice summer day in the American South. My father stormed over and gave Floyd’s dad a talking to. My father, while accepting, had little patience for what he was calling a “goddamned piece of shit hippie burnout”. And he led me away…

Soon after, Floyd and his family moved away.

While I silently watched out of my front window as they loaded the moving truck, I occasionally looked down at the bruise Floyd’s dad had left on my arm. It was darker than other bruises, and it was obvious he had grabbed me too hard. My arm ached, and my mom sprayed Bactine on it because she thought it would help me “make it feel better”. I knew Bactine should burn, especially in the eyes (as Tom found out), but I let her think she was helping. I took some Aspirin to make her happy, too. The pain didn’t bother. Floyd moving away didn’t bother me, either.

Not much bothered me, actually.

The bruise did trouble me a little, though. I kept looking at it. It was slow to heal. A couple of nights later, I woke up at around 3AM and looked at it some more with my camping flashlight while under the covers. This wasn’t too unusual as I tended to wake up late at night in the hopes of catching ghosts going about their daily business, pray for demons, look under the bed for monsters I could keep as pets, or just mentally shout out for space aliens to hear my thoughts.

I really enjoyed being a little kid.

The bruise eventually healed and I went on with my life, growing up, becoming more confident in the world around me and how to best interact with it. But I could never stop thinking about it.

The bruise. It was a lot like this one which has appeared on my arm. Same place, even.

It’s cold to the touch. Like a chilled ice cube tray. Bruises aren’t supposed to be cold, I know that. Bruises are supposed to hurt, feel like the spirit under the skin is encased in styrofoam. Feel like broken vessels in the greater vessel of the Whole. You know?

This bruise is different. I think it’s trying to tell me something.

It’s odd to think that Floyd’s dad could stay with me for over thirty years. If there is any being who has haunted me, it is him. He might be the only thing I have ever been scared of. When I was little, I imaged him as the spectre of death. When Floyd moved, I felt nothing. But as I got older, I began to appreciate his father had moved away and it was unlikely we would ever meet again.

I could never shake it. So, one day, I hired someone to track him down based on the information I remembered. It turns out that Floyd and his entire family died in a terrible accident two states away and my fears of his father were just plain stupid.

My friend was dead, sure, but his dad was dead and that’s all that mattered to me.

I then led my life fear free… until now. With this bruise.

Where did it come from? Why is it here?

My fear free life is marvelous. Nothing holds me back. I do what I want. I need to be cautious, of course, but I can pretty much do as I please because I am very likable and eager to please people.

Everyone likes a people pleaser.

The bruise feels colder now. As if it has gone deeper. I don’t understand it, so I will take into account what I am doing right now.

I am not at home, like I was thinking. It isn’t morning. The day hasn’t changed. I am very cold. Something has gone wrong. But what? All I can feel is that bruise.

Floyd’s dad begins to haunt me again; right here, right now. Everything was exact. There was no room for error because I left no room for error.

Dammit. Some people just get lucky, I suppose. Even alcoholic home healthcare workers all alone on a Saturday night watching Friends reruns.

The bruise. It’s trying to tell me something. I have a hard time hearing what it has to say over the ringing. All I can hear is Floyd’s dad yelling at me. Screaming. Shrieking. I don’t… I don’t even know anymore.

Did I ever leave that instance in time?

Am I still there?

The bruise is done speaking.

It is time for the bruise to take me.

Flasher Fiction: Today

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by synabetic

Sometimes I write things on a whim, edit them a little, bounce them off of a couple of people, edit them a little more, and then just release those writings into the wilds. I want to do more with essays and flash fiction, so here we go. Feedback is always welcome, and while I hope you like it, if you don’t like it, well, free free to speak up. I don’t judge. Anyhow, big thanks to Nicole and Seith for their feedback on this one.

Today
by Steven G. Saunders

Today I came to a realization.

I mean, that’s the way it always goes, right? You wake up, urinate, think about food, maybe, or maybe you take a shower. I usually take a shower. It helps wake me up. Sometimes I even start my coffee maker before I get into the shower.

When I’m in the shower, letting the warm awakening wash over me, I think. My thoughts flood my brain like some sort of relaxing storm. Sometimes these storms focus on one thing that’s been bugging me.

That particular sometime is today.

Because today I came to a realization.

Later, and it’s always later, I drink my coffee whilst checking emails and glibly wondering if I’m anything like my parents who used to always start their days reading a newspaper. Then, and it’s always then, it hits me and I must go back to the bathroom and endure a violent bowel movement. You’d think that I would do this before I shower, as, well, you know how it goes. Or might go. There’s no need for you to imagine me shitting.

But during these shittings I think. Again. Always with the thinking, I am. Heck, I’m thinking right now. While I think, sometimes I circle back to what’s bugging me. It’s some sort of loop that carries on from the shower. And sometimes within these sometimes, I can work it all together like a seamless Mobius strip with my thoughts running along it as if it were all perfect bio-circuitry

As I have said, today I have come to a realization.

By this point, I am making some breakfast. It’s usually toast with butter, but sometimes I decide I should cook up some bacon or eggs. It all depends on time. I prefer to have a job to physically go to, as it forces me into a schedule. A routine. I need routine, you see. Without it I am lost and my thoughts, while still perfect, begin to wander into territories that would make my normally bland life more complicated. Well, sometimes, anyway. I couldn’t be complicated all of the time. That would be a chore. A complex, yet mundane, chore. It would be like building this amazing robot thing and leaving it in some dull gray primer color.

Yes. I enjoy robot things. Who doesn’t?

While I go through my routines, I will let my mind wander. Which is what I was trying to stop in the first place, but I’ve had no need to go into a work place as of late, so my wandering mind just wanders as it pleases.

It tells me I have come to a realization.

Maybe I need another shower. I think more clearly in the shower. There I can — Wait — No, I should see if I need to shit first. Perhaps I need more food. Ugh. Dammit.

I will drink some water and see if anything changes.

A doctor once told me that there are these pills which would help keep my mind from wandering. Something to do with ADHD or something. Sadly, I could never tell any doctor everything, but I assume this one was close to some kind of mark by telling me about some pills. Or something.

Did you hear that? Huh.

What was I talking about? Oh, yes, so my mind wanders… I distract easily. You understand, right? Everyone gets distracted. But does everyone really get all concerned over whether they should shit or shower first? Have you ever shit in the shower? I have. I was really sick. And I suppose it was embarrassing. No one saw anything, though, and I never told anyone about it. Until now. And I don’t even know if I should be ashamed. People’s bodies do all kinds of things.

I always go back to my coffee. I pretend to do my work assignments at a normal pace, as if I completed them the way I normally do in an official manner, suspicion would be raised. Do you know what I mean? If people think I’m very smart and efficient, they will expect more of me, as if my job and what I do for money is even of any consequence. It all means nothing. I mean nothing.

You mean nothing.

But, hey, the bills being paid leaves me for more time to myself. For my mind to wonder.

For me to come to realizations.

Like the realization I had today.

Everyone says that everyone must have a purpose. What purpose would that be beyond finding food and someone to couple with? Have children and raise them so they too can learn how to find food and couple with someone when they are older. Or perhaps when they are younger, but I find those kinds of thoughts disturbing. And unnecessary. Plus, when I do think about that sort of thing all I can think of are people who, for some reason, have an unstoppable desire to throw their wooden shoes into the giant wooden gears of life and then they always — ALWAYS — seem to regret their choices. Oh, but they don’t actually regret anything. They use regret as a cloak so they can find more little wooden shoes and giant wooden gears to fuck up. It’s insane, really.

I would love to say I love insanity, but, honestly, it’s all very tiresome.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m driving myself crazy with this realization thing I’m talking about. I keep mentioning it so you feel an air of mystery blowing over, maybe even making your nipples hard.

Really? Did it? I was just talking about child molesters and now you’re saying that you’re thinking of someone blowing on your nipples? That is truly fucked up. Truly.

But what am I realizing here? What am I doing? You keep asking me that. You also keep asking me who I am, which is completely fair.

My realization is exactly who I am. This is why you are here. Do you understand, now?

Now, my mind wanders no more. Now, my mind is focused. I have to have a purpose other than eating, shitting, pissing, fucking, and finding methods to pay for all of that stuff, including the pipes in which all my piss, shit, and used condoms goes down.

But, really…

Really, I needed money for this. You see it? It’s nice, isn’t it? Yeah, it took awhile to find but the devil is always in the details. Always! It’s nuts to think that while you’re trying to get your mind focused your mind begins to wander, turning in on itself, opening a whole new Mobius strip of dimensions and possibilities.

My realization is a universe within universes.

I can see it now. I see you now. I see you asking me over, and over, and over. I see your lips moving, but all I hear are shaped jets of air trying to tell me something I will never, ever consider. It is this realization that has you here now. Watching. Waiting. Needing explanation.

Today I came to a realization.

I feel better now. Better than I have ever felt. It’s warm, this calm. Like the shower. It’s a shower I can always take, whether I am shitting or not. Whether I am reading the newspaper or eating or checking my email. It’s all over me. It’s all over my clothes. On my breath. In my soul.

I want you to think of this as I push this in. I only hurts for one monument of a moment in time. Which means nothing. Just like you mean nothing. Just as I mean nothing.

I looked so hard for it. This painful, but quick, nothing. I wanted it to be just right. For you. To perfectly fit you. Honed for you. My thoughts of you driven into it as I will drive it into you. Honed to perfection. To perfectly fit perfection.

You are perfect just the way you are. Now I have you for me, and only me, and I have made you so you will be perfect…

Forever.