Apple

Full and red and perfect, not waxy or lumpy in the slightest. The inside would be crisp and white and juicy. It was her greatest creation yet, and she had to share it with the world. The single mother down the street—she might appreciate it. She always seemed to buy her seven kids McDonald’s and Kraft Dinner. She might not even have the money for proper fruits and vegetables. She would appreciate it more than anyone. She deserved it more than anyone.

A glance out the window showed a light smattering of rain. Donning her black hooded shawl, the old lady placed the perfect specimen in a cloth-covered basket and left the house. The young mother was home; her rusted minivan was parked on a driveway strewn with broken bicycles and chipped digging toys. Stepping around a jumble of plastic diamonds, the old lady ducked beneath a low porch roof and knocked on the door. The echoing shrieks of so many children echoed from within.

After a long wait, the door opened and the weary eyes of the young mother stared dully at her.

Smiling, the old lady pulled back the cloth. “A gift for you.”

The mother looked in and her face crumpled in a stormy glower. “An apple? A fucking apple? I don’t want your charity, ya old hag, and I seen Snow White!” She spat on the porch at the old lady’s feet and slammed the door.

With a sigh, the old lady set down the basket after removing the perfect apple.

She hoped those vile children got scurvy. It was just an apple.

Actual news?

Not just flash fiction?

Curious.

ahem

PURITY will be released as a print on demand in the near future.

So you’ll be able to hold that sucker in your actual hands.

That is all.

WOO!

Shock

He could hear the taps running, slowly filling the tub with cataracts of steaming heat, and laughter bubbled up his throat like the soap she was surely putting in he water. Soon! So soon! It was going to be a great joke. His best yet. She would love it.

Besides, it had been long day. She could do with laughter.

Within minutes, the pipes shuddered as she turned off the taps.

Gripping his surprise in his palms, he waited until he was certain she was in the tub, then crept up the stairs, slowly so his weight didn’t creak creak creak.

She was humming. The water splashed as she moved, and billows of steam belched from beneath the door.

Carefully gripping his prize, he opened the door.

She looked up and wiped sticky hair form an already sweaty face, and her brow crumpled in a frown. “I told you to leave me alone. I’m in the mood.”

Her eyes narrowed as he turned his back to her to prepare the surprise, then widened in time with her mouth as he turned and tossed the toaster in the tub.

Kneeling on the floor, he cackled and clapped.

“I only wanted to shock you. Get it? Get it?”

Ear

Listen close.
Can you hear it?

Growls of thunder—a thousand soldiers’ feet marching across a slate battlefield, rent by mires of dust and bone.

Use your ears, not your eyes,
For these are not soldiers who can be seen.

Torrential rain, weeping from the battles, a reminder of the loved ones lost and still to leave, faces melted by the poisonous clouds of war.

Fingers of lightning wrenching the sky asunder, jagged, pulling, sudden. The cries of generals; the tattoo of the drums, sharp and bold among the footsteps of thunder, the wail of dearly departed joy.

It’s all among the rain.

A call to arms.
Swords drawn.
March to victory,
Across a sky split by war.
Weeping battlefields.

Can you hear the fearful drums a-beating?
It’s here.
Now—
In the rain.
All you have to do is listen.

Listen close.

Slime

image from http://www.notsocks.co.nz/
image from http://www.notsocks.co.nz/

 

He paused, long fingers drumming on the shaft of his bow. The silence of the forest greeted him—that silence that never was. Shrieks of birds, buzzes of bugs, the crunch of something moving in the windblown trees nearby.

Maybe he imagined it.

Then it came again, dispelling that thought, and he jumped over the fallen log, long legs carrying him through the forest.

A scream. Desperate. Filled with terror—and maybe something else that he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

Bursting through a thicket, an arrow already nocked on his bow, he dropped to one knee, ready to fire—and froze at the sight before him.

In a large, open glade, a mud puddle seemed to be… consuming a young man.

He paused, staring, then fired the arrow. The young man shrieked again, thrashing so huge, thick gobbets of slime flung out of the mud pond and splattered on the grass and bushes. The fletching of the arrow was just visible in the muck, slowly being sucked in with a wet slurp.

Abandoning his bow as a lost cause, he ran over to the edge of the pond of slime and stretched out one arm. “Grab my hand!”

The young man—so liberally covered in goop that he couldn’t even tell what colour his hair was—managed to extricated one arm and reached, fingers trembling.

The mud pulled him in further, grunting and glugging.

Their fingertips grazed each other, then he caught hold and yanked. With a tremendous grunt, he dug in his heels and pulled, gripping the young man’s wrist with both hands. The slime was powerfully strong and seemed reluctant to release its victim, but after several minutes of vein-popping struggle, it relinquished the boy and sent him flying out of the pond. He landed with a thud, and they collapsed together, panting and soaked.

Leto blinked and looked down at the muddy man sprawled atop him. “You aren’t wearing any pants,” he said, surprised.

In the few spots not drenched with mud, the man’s skin flushed deep, violent scarlet. “Crumpets,” he mumbled, burying his head in shame.

Ignoring it, Leto lifted his head and frowned at the pond, burbling in quiet menace. “What was that thing?” he asked, wiping sludge from his lip.

The man scrubbed his face with a mortified groan and rolled off Leto to slump in the long grass, revealing fine blonde hair and embarrassed green eyes. “You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.”

Read more about Elfboy and his misadventures with slime over here!

Balloon

image from http://www.totalmerchandise.co.uk/
image from http://www.totalmerchandise.co.uk/

 

His abdomen was engorged, stretched like a balloon fit to burst. The hairy flesh was stretched taught over the swell, and he was covered in mottled patches of ashen white and flushed scarlet. Though his breaths came quick and short, his ribs creaking with effort, his pulse skipped and fluttered beneath clammy, butterfly skin.

It was only a matter of time now. Soon the screams and groans would stop, the frantic twitching of his eyes would cease, and those heaving ribs would stop straining under taut flesh.

And then… then it would be over.