Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7, Flash 41, a date which will live *dramatic pause* in infamy.

Un/surprisingly, this week's entry contains neither torpedoes nor dive bombing nor exploding.

Mercy me, no wonder humans are always going to war.

He walked in and slid the photograph across my desk. Silence sweat cool air, a slump & an elongated rustle. I watched him fumble through the hillock of envelopes to grab the letter opener, in the dark a surgeon's blade, ambling over my still warm form to clumsily cut through tough, wooden flesh to get at the punched sunlight within.

Of course the silence was probably split when the lock caromed off my leg & onto the hoary planks. He looked to be gently laughing as he fingered his prize, mock admirably exchanging its gleam for the dull contents of his pocket, a crisp, white handkerchief to calmly wipe his brow. The song of a passing wood thrush, the soporific buzz of the radio I had turned down after he called, his habitually muffled speech as he dialed the third man, nothing, I could hear nothing.

The lamp visibly crackled as he switched it off, continuing with the third man as his feet slipped in glee out into the narrow hall. I tried to follow, the warped frame's unseen gate bidding me stay.

You'd think as a reward for a poisonous betrayal the gods would grant a ghost faculties beyond the sense of sight. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but watching your assassin delicately gloat in the shadows, vital facts forever out of earshot, is colder still. Destined to be imprisoned in the middle of nowhere with your only companion a photograph of your murdered lover, forever, the coldest meal of all.


Beach Bum said...

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but watching your assassin delicately gloat in the shadows, vital facts forever out of earshot, is colder still.

WHOA! Khan Singh would be proud and I cannot imagine a worse hell than to be only partially cut off from the world of the living.

Cormac Brown said...

Wow, that sent a chill down my spine...and thus, made your story summary/teaser that much easier.

Doc said...

I never tire of reading about your hoary planks.

Week after week, you pour out your soul in a voice that no one could imitate and you never, ever lose your punch.

I want you to write my eulogy.


Flannery Alden said...

Well done and spooky!

A very creative use of the starter sentence, though I would expect nothing less from you.

Tom Harper said...

Wait, that's supposed to be a picture of a Kamikaze? Where is it? A kamikaze has vodka, Cointreau and lime juice. I don't see one in the picture anywhere.

Demeur said...

Who needs bombs and bullets and red glare when we have images like this?

Gaye Bear said...

"An elongated rustle" - Hmm, I like that use of words.

S.W. Anderson said...

Interesting piece, but what's with "hoary planks" and a light "visibly crackling"?

Randal Graves said...

BB, dude, it's an unwritten law that when one mentions said character, one must, under penalty of death, scream, or in this case, type,

cormac, you calling war unsexy, peacenik?

doc, fresh! Eulogy? That's quite possibly the highest praise I've ever received. Cash is usually preferred, but you're the gentleman.

flannery, thanks, but it still feels clunky to me. Can't put my finger on it.

tom, if you drink more, you'll see it.

demeur, are you now or have you ever been a pinko?

GB, thanks, language helps mask my aversion to plot.

SWA, ancient Chinese secret.

MRMacrum said...

As cold a piece as I have ever read. Your hero beseeching and hoping for understanding, the reader in me turned a cold shoulder to him.

Nice Randal. Very nice. Way to capture the moment.

Joyce said...

Gave me a chill too and made me take a quick look over my shoulder. Love when a story does that to me. Makes you wonder if there really are desparate, helpless souls wandering out there somewhere. Clever use of the starter--creepy, but clever still. Really enjoyed this!

chad rohrbacher said...

Very well done, Randall. You always do a lot with very tight, concrete language.

Sue H said...

Ah, Randal - so many lovely word combinations! Loved the 'crackling lamp' as well as the 'hillock of envelopes' (have you seen my husband's desk???) and the best of all: the 'soporific buzz' of the radio!

Eloquent, my dear sir, eloquent!