Truth is What We Make it

Court

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

“I swear.”

I mean what would happen if I didn’t. Come on, seriously, who doesn’t swear, whether they are telling the truth or not.

“Where were you on the night in question?”

“I was at home…alone.”

I was standing over a dead man’s body in the middle of some dimly lit street.

“And can anyone testify to that?”

“Only God as my witness.”

He gave up on me a long time ago.

“Did you know the victim?”

“No, never met him.”

Well at least that is true.

“And so, you do not know of any reason why you would attack this man?”

“No sir.”

Simple, I wanted to know what it would feel like.

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WTF!?!?

GunsWhat the fuck! It was the only thing he could think, on a loop. What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck. He could barely see where he was going. the world around him blurred and cloudy. He blinked hard, yet this did nothing to help, only producing a speckle of bright white spots.

He was running: that was one of the two things he was sure about. That and that who he was running from was trying to shoot him. There was shouting from behind him, men yelling incoherently and gun fire. He remembered gun fire. He remembered causing it.

He didn’t want to die. But what did he want? Fuck if he knew. The world around him was still blurred into streaks of light and dark greys as he raced past. The world twisted and caved in on itself like crashing waves. He slammed into a wall, unable to stop in time, his head banged hard against the corner bricks.

A bullet clipped the back of his neck and planted itself in the wall with a phut. He started running again, with blood dripping down his ear.

The world was now darker; a claustrophobic sense fell upon him. It wasn’t until the world brighten again, did he make the realise he had been in an alleyway. He didn’t think he’d been this confused beforehand. But he didn’t remember what had been occurring beforehand. Nothing. He tried to think back, strain and reach back in his mind. The world turned white as he tried to think of anything.

He shook his head. What had happened? Where was he? Who was he? That question scared him more than any other. He should remember who he was, and he knew that at one point he had been someone, he just couldn’t think who he had been. Come on, what the fuck! How could he not know who he was? He was him! Who was him?

He shook his head more violently, the grey world turned ninety degrees and hit him in the chest. His body started flying up the floating pavement, his hair being torn, his palms scraping against it as he tried to cling on as he was taken off his feet. He clung tightly to the floor as he hovered for a few second before the wall righted itself and he slumped ungracefully on the hot tarmac. He closed his eyes, the blankness in his head making the sounds around him ear-achingly loud.

From the sound of people, chatting and yelling, he could tell he was on a crowded street. People muttered as he lay on the ground. This wasn’t normal, he knew that deep inside, they didn’t like what he was doing. He didn’t care, he was too exhausted from- there was no gun fire. He pushed himself up quickly, making a woman behind him shout and swear at him. He turned around, staring up at the sky, but he couldn’t see shit. But he definitely couldn’t hear anything and given how long he’d been staying still they would have shot him by now. So where had they gone? Who the hell had they even been?

“Excuse me?” a sharp voice snapped.

He looked down at the small woman glaring at him. When he didn’t move she pushed past him. He wobbled over to the nearby wall and slid down it, panting. What the fuck! What. The. Fuck. He hugged his knees as he sat on the hot and sticky ground, still trying to catch his breath. They must have stop shooting given the amount of people.

He sat more comfortably on the ground, cross legged. If he stayed here, he’d be safe from them, whoever they were. He rubbed his eyes, pain gathering behind them. Had he hit his head? Was that why he couldn’t remember anything? He couldn’t remember doing that. Well he couldn’t remember anything.

“Excuse me,” this voice was gentler and deeper than the other one. He looked up and blinked, a man wearing thin black glasses was hunched over him. Did he know him? Did he know anyone? He must, it would be silly not to know anyone. And yet…

“You’re bleeding,” the hunched over man said thickly, gesturing to the side of his face where the blood was running down. He touched his cheek with his left hand. It came up wet.

He swallowed finally speaking, “I…I don’t…I don’t know where I am. Who…somethings happened,” he stumbled over his words as if he had not spoken in years. For all he knew that could be the case. The man standing over him straightened up then slowly looked round before nodding. He pulled a large plastic device from his purple suit. He burrowed his eyebrows, purple seemed wrong to wear. How could he remember fashion tips and not his own name? The man was speaking into the device, yes that seemed right, he remembered others doing that. He suddenly felt wary.

“W-what are you doing?”

“I’m calling you an ambulance, you look hurt,”

No shit. It wasn’t at all like blood was running down his face.

“What’s an ambulance?” he asked, the purple suited man just shook his head, smiling quickly, before continuing to talk to himself.

The ambulance, it turned out, was a van with loud and flashing blue lights that made him jump up in fear until the man told him it was alright. He also had to be assured by the man when two green suited men tried to put him in the van.

He didn’t want to be left alone with them. Still when the doors were shut, and they set off the men did was wipe his face clean and ask him questions. None of them he knew the answer to anyway; What was his name? Where did he live? Did he have any family? Any close friends? He just shook his head to each of the questions.

“Well if you can’t tell us anything then-”

It wasn’t like the other gun shots. It came from under the truck and was louder. It shook the van taking it off their wheels. The equipment littering the shelves above him scattering to the floor but as the van tipped the bottles and bandages floated mid-air along with the two men who had been helping him. As they screamed in terror, he clutched onto the shelf above him as the van continue to spin. He was flung from side to side, his legs being slammed repeated into the side of the bed he had just been sitting on, the men toppling around him their pained moans echoing with the crushing metal as the van fell. Finally, it came to a screeching halt and shook once more making him fall onto his already bruised legs. He bit his lip and looked at the devastated inside of the ambulance. It was smaller now, the walls bent inwards. Bottles of medicines had burst open, the tablets littering the floor and the stench of chemicals filled the air.

The two green suited men were leant up against the walls as he was, only they were covered in a lot more blood. Behind him he heard another gun shot. He sat straighter, though his legs still hurt. They had shot the driver, whoever they were.

He stumbled to his feet as the doors were kicked open. These men were wearing black, just like him, though had a mask covering their faces. The one that stepped through the door looked familiar, despite his face being covered. Though it was hard to trust a man who was holding a gun.

“Help,” one of the ambulance crew said feebly.

For one moment he thought these black masked gun wielding men were here to help. The thought was put to rest when the masked man shot the green suited guy in the head, his chin lolling on his chest with a final groan. The masked man walked over to the other paramedic who was unconscious, blood dripping from his nose pooling as dark red in between his lips. He watched wide eyed as the masked figure shot him as well. He fisted his left hand, slowly standing up.

“Ah so you can walk.”

He froze, pressing his back against the wall, “who are you?”

“A friend.”

He looked down at the bodies.

“Hey if you can walk out of here, then I won’t have to shoot you.”

“Some friend.”

The man just shrugged. He stayed by the wall, some part of him believe that he could easily defeat the man, something told him he knew a bit about fighting. But he couldn’t remember if that was true or not. He was also outnumbered and out gunned three to one. The masked man raised his gun, and he put his hands up to surrender, shuffling as best he could past the bodies. The two men outside also aimed at him, yet when neither of them shot he thought they might be keeping their word.

Why did he always have to be wrong? He felt a sharp pinch in his neck and in panic swung his arm at the man behind him. But he hardly got through the movement before his arm felt twice as heavy and he stumbled to the side under its weight, falling, his bruised knees colliding with the deserted roads. He started panting, the air feeling thicker. The fucker had done something to him, God fucking dammit, what the fuck was going on? He was so tired, but something would happen if he closed his eyes, he had no fucking clue what, but something.

“Wait,” he mumbled his lips feeling numb and thick, “who am I? What are you?”

Their only reply was to tightly grab his aching limbs and practically dragged him away, refusing to answer his persistent, yet quieter questions before he was forced asleep. What dickheads.

Not Exactly Time Travel

clockIt happened when he was sixteen. He was a few days off seventeen, not that meant anything now. They just…stopped.

Every person.

Every animal.

The sea froze mid-motion and the day never became night. He remembered crying out for several hours as he had run from his house screaming for someone, anyone to tell him why his mother wasn’t moving.

He’d cried a lot in those first few weeks. Especially when his seventeenth birthday still came around. He had moved his mother and sister into the living room, not that it mattered, there was no TV to watch, the electricity no longer worked.

He no longer needed to eat. He no longer felt hungry nor thirsty. It was like he had frozen as well. But he was not frozen, as the years waned with no days to count his hair greyed and his skin wrinkled. He had been everywhere in that time, he had walked across oceans and stayed in golden palaces. Though he soon realised what was the point of being the riches man in the world when no one was to see him in his throne.

He lost use of his voice and memories of movement became whispers. He wondered if he had just imagined it.

He returned home to die. He couldn’t remember which had been his house, nor even what his parents had looked like. All of it was gone. But it was still a sunny midday here.

Now old and frail he could no longer move. He remembered long ago, stories about people being eaten alive by wolves and bears. But there was no longer animals to eat him alive, he would not starve, only rot into dust. Perhaps then the world would start revolving again. Just this time without him.

Burning at Dawn

The sounds he made were disgusting even to his own ears. But he couldn’t help himself, the taste was too much. The blood dripped down the man’s side and his tongue chased after it, his claws ripping in deeper into the flesh, holding down the prey as if the man was still moving. He was definitely breathing, his pounding heart bringing fresh warm blood to the vampire’s mouth.

HighwaySuddenly the trees exploded in red and pink. He tore himself away so quickly, a little bit of flesh came up with his teeth. The sun was blooming far off in the horizon. If he still he needed to breathe, it would be getting stuck in his throat.

Terror wasn’t an emotion he was used to, surprisingly there wasn’t much that could scare the undead, not many people carried stakes nowadays. But the sun and its rays of pure light was an ever-present danger.

He stood, letting the half-dead man roll over. He couldn’t care about that right now. He’d chased his game over several acres of farmland, with no shelter in sight. He started to back away. Was he really going to try and outrun the Sun? Looking over his shoulder at the rolling hills he realised yes, yes, he was.

***

No one could work out what had happened. The bodies were far away from each other, though it seemed like the biggest coincidence of the century for them not to be connected. The first man looked like he’d been torn apart by a savage animal and quite a big one at that, which was unlikely in the middle of Coventry. The other…well the other was the real mystery. Spontaneous combustion they called it. And it was apparently a thing. But usually the victim wouldn’t know it was happening until it was too late. And if that was the case, why had the nearby residents heard screams and sobs as he had ran through the fields.

You Only Had to Ask

This Flash Fiction was inspired by Rachel Poli’s Writing Prompt

***

“I thought we agreed no more secrets.”

Michal’s words echoed. The tall sunlit archways of the stone corridor should have made it impossible for such a thing. But in the aching silence left when Evan’s sword had sliced through his chest, the words rang around them.

Michal was looking down at the sword that he was impaled on with raised eyebrows only mildly shocked at the betrayal. Outwardly, he didn’t seem to be affected by it at all, still standing and talking as if going about their normal duties. Yet Evan’s arms were beginning to shake on the sword’s handle as Michal’s legs had given out. Only his old friend’s blade kept him standing.

“If you wanted to kill me, you only had to ask.”

Evan laughed, but it caught in his throat making it sound more like a sob. He’d never cried over any of the people he’d killed. He wished it could have stayed that way. Michal always brought out the worst in him but he supposed that was because Michal was the best out of all of them. Even as Evan murdered him, Michal was only upset that he hadn’t told him of his impending doom prior to that moment.

Evan couldn’t hold him up any longer and wrench the sword from Michal’s chest, the sword grating against the hard gristle that it had pierced. Michal was brought into his arms with the force of the action and Evan held him up even then, with his own legs trembling beneath the dead weight. Blood was not an unusual sight to the old soldier but the feeling of the hot thick blood, seeping through his clothes and soaking his chest filled him with shock and fear. As if he hadn’t realised what his actions would cause. Like Michal would walk away from it, like they both always did.

“Orders,” was all he could say, his guilt threatening to close his windpipe. He’d let it, to pay for what he’d done.

And so he held his breath waiting as Michal’s arms fell limp and his voice grew softer, all the while he kept repeating, “you only had to ask. You only had to ask.”

Unemployed and Bored

If she thought about it, this was like a game, potion making if you will. The constant boil and cooling, making sure everything was at the perfect temperature so it was just right. And with the smell coming from the bubbling pots and pans she could understand why many called cooking an art.

But if she didn’t think about it she realised how shit this was. Four pots covered her stove not to mention the bowl and stacks of jam jars that covered every surface of the kitchen and disgusting gloop seemed to follow them wherever they were sticking to her lovely clean worktops and somehow her ceiling.

Oh well it would give her something to do tomorrow.

She stepped back from the steaming concoction she was making and huffed as if she had been running. Her forehead was certainly sweating, perhaps this was a workout. Though, she was sure there was so much evaporated sugar in the air that it would give her diabetes.

She sighed, there was no turning back now. She wiped her forehead and felt cold jelly stick to it. Shit.

The door opened and shut.

“Honey I’m – oh…”

“Hey dear.”

Dan surveyed the kitchen while she refused to look back.

“So,” he said slowly, “did we have too many strawberries?”

“Yep, and apples and gooseberries.”

“I’m not even sure I know what a gooseberry is.”

She tittered, stirring one of her pots again as Dan backed out.

“You need to get a job!” he called out as he ran up the stairs.

“Are you hiring?” she called back.

Strawberries

The Flash Fiction

So, I need to write another Flash Fiction. Oh dearie, dearie. I do wonder if I’ll run out of ideas: about witty people living peculiar lives or my horrors will lose their edge. Did they ever have one?

Enough that. Time to write.

But what to write about? It has to be something that can keep a reader’s attention, be that by being snappy or funny. And about who? Perhaps a slice of a complicated life that will never be touched again.

Do you ever think about all the stories that you leave unfinished? Those lives put solely in your hands that you forget about so carelessly.

Of course, they mean nothing. They are but words on a page.

Jar

But perhaps that is what I am. Thoughts on a page and a narrator for a story that has an ultimate ending. But as long as I’m thinking, as long as I’m still a running idea and a story worth writing I’m alive. Because I can’t die, I don’t want to die. Does anyone?

So, I beg of you.

Don’t stop reading.

 

The End Xx

Not Going Out

“Hey, I was thinking of going out drinking with the gals. You free?”

She looked to her thick blankets and fluffed up pillow waiting with her woolly pyjamas.

“Afraid not…my sister has just died and I’m still processing it.”

Bed

Art of Small Talk

“Why are you so obsessed with the weather?”

George huffed and fiddled with the newspaper across his lap. Sam had finally agreed to come on holiday. Actually, Sam had agreed for the first time since he had moved in, to go outside.

Sam looked normal. That was all George could say with certainty. He looked like the most generic human out there, and to different people, that could mean different things. He could appear as a kindly old lady or a beret wearing hipster. Sam to George had looked like a red-haired and freckled boy when they first met, sixty years ago. He had kept his red features through their lives, though he had jumped in age and height as George had grown up.

Because Sam wasn’t human. He didn’t really know what Sam was. When Sam had first tried to explain what he was George had assumed that when he said ‘I’m not human’ he had been referring to his homosexuality. That night had involved George hugging him tightly while Sam fumbled through explanations that never went anywhere. After that Sam seemed too embarrassed to try and talk about it again and their lives continued with the knowledge sometimes, Sam ate plastic and random strangers would think they knew him. It was why he preferred to be inside with George, Sam didn’t have to hide in front of him. But the holiday was for George and they, (or maybe just George), weren’t getting any younger.

“People are not obsessed with the weather its just…a conversation starter. You know, everyone knows what the weather is…most of the time.”

Sam slapped George’s thigh.

“Did we ever talk about the weather?”

“No, but we were children, that’s different. Its…small talk.”

“I thought that was whispering.”

“No, no, its what conversation starters are called, asking about the weather or current world events.”

“Ah.” Sam stared across the pool. “LOVELY WEATHER WE’RE HAVING.”

The woman in the deck chair across from them jumped, though George found it surprisingly unsurprising.

“No,” he said quietly, “that’s…not quite right.”

“Why not?”

“Well, you usually ask people who are close by, also you don’t normally ask about the weather…inside.”

“Well what else do you talk about if not the weather. You know I have no idea about the news.”

George sighed and stood up ready to swim.

“Well you usually talk about stuff you have in common. Now,” he kissed Sam’s forehead, “don’t get into trouble.”

He dived in and did about two lengths before there was a loud scream and a splash. A woman was now flailing fully-clothed in the pool. He swam over as fast as he could.

“Are you alright?” he said, hooking his arms under hers.

The spluttering woman gladly accepted his help as he swam her to the edge of the pool. But his heart sunk as he realised Sam was crouched where the woman had fallen in.

‘Pushed,’ he corrected himself, ‘pushed.’

“You and my husband are both soaked in water, how do you feel about that?”

George definitely deserved a spa weekend alone.

Beach

My Lovely but Dangerously Flirty Wife

SniperIt’s grey overhead and up here the wind is strong and howling, making the building move beneath me. The cold has turned my face red and raw. The one thing you learn in this profession is that thick clothes are everything.

Looking through a scope for hours requires a level of comfort. Both the comfort of three million pounds if I just lie fucking still, but also the comfort of padded knees. I’ve been here for four hours going on five, but I’ve waited longer.

It doesn’t take long, all I know about my target is that they are meeting with my client’s wife today. She’s meant to be left unharmed, (hopefully having learnt her lesson). She comes out of the fancy restaurant across the street, wearing a wide brim hat and sunglasses despite the overcast day.

The target has an arm over her shoulders and a smile dripping with poison as the wife laughs at whatever the target has just said. I know its probably funny as I’ve heard enough dry wit from that mouth. It’s my wife.

“Shit,” I mutter. I still look through the scope at them, but my hand is far from the trigger.

Well. This is going to be an interesting conversation with May when I get home.

My window of opportunity closes quickly, though the five seconds for them to cross the road would have been plenty of time to take a shot. When they are almost directly beneath me, I look away from the scope, taking a shaky sigh. I have to get down there to warn her. I begin to dismantle my gun when something catches my eye.

There’s a glint from the roof of the building across. Shit. People just don’t put enough trust in hired assassins these days. It was a two-storey building, hardly worth the sniper rifle they have, but who am I to talk on my three-storey building. They have a clear shot and could be lining up sights as I randomly narrate this to myself. I settle back down, fumbling to reassemble the gun but my fingers shake, and I swear so loudly that it echoes into the leaden clouds. Not enough time. Well fuck, sometimes we have to take risks for love.

I draw my handgun from my belt and shoot down at the roof. The people on the street began to scream and the sniper on the opposite building rolls over, hiding as best he could. But of course, the bullets were coming from above not below. My handgun’s accuracy is shit and it takes the full round to get a hit to down him. It’s no double tap, but he ain’t pulling any triggers with a hand half blown off. He’s screaming and so are the people below. I lean over, May is still there, sheltering her lady-friend beside a van.

I throw the gun away, it’s useless now anyway. Six finger Harry (named before he lost three more fingers) hated working with partners. “When there’s two of you, there’s just enough people to shoot you both dead. Best to go with three.”

Perhaps the client had the same idea.

I looked down the street carefully and then I lean down again to check over the edge. Everyone on the street is either running away or hiding. Except for one man. Speak of the devil: Six Finger Harry is coming to kill my wife.

“Shit,” I say again because I know what I have to do.

I swing my legs over the edge and jump down as Six Finger Harry runs underneath. I land with a crunch. At first, I think it’s my leg as pain shoots through it from the bad landing. But then I realise it’s Six Fingers Harry from the way his spine is bent backwards.

May opens and closes her mouth in shock as I wiggle a finger in her face.

“We’re going to talk about this later.”

I take out my phone and walk away as it rings.

“Hello?”

“The targets down, I’m coming for my money.”

***

I step into the car, my client isn’t even looking at me, instead out the window, a suitcase across his lap.

“Is she dead?”

“My target? He’s about to be.”

My handgun is out and pressed against the client’s head before he realises. In fact, he even jumps a second later. Frankly I am doing the client a favour if his reflexes are that bad.

“Please! No, no, please! I’ll give you anything!”

“You sent me to murder my fiancée. Bad idea.”

“She fucked my wife.”

“So? I’m sure your wife enjoyed it, she’s a lovely woman!”

“You’re insane.”

“Maybe.”

He pulled the trigger and brain matter splattered across the windscreen. I sigh and get back out of the car. I pause and pull the door back open taking the suitcase with me.