Category Archives: The Sirens Call eZine

The Unused Drabble!

Hi Folks! A rarity for me, but I’m gonna offer you background noise on this post.

For the December 2015 Sirens Call eZine, themed ‘Lost Souls’, Julianne Snow and I did a comparative photo-prompt flash. I wrote two candidates for the eZine, and this one ended up an orphan.

After you check out this little ramble, grab a copy of the eZine to read the two interpretive pieces we included. 

 

LonelyRoad1

Glimmer

It’s dark at night, dark and lonely. Occasionally, I see others; catch a glimpse of their shimmer in the headlights that round the bend. I remember driving around the bend, reaching down to grab the map that slipped from my hand, the sound of the impact, the glass shattering as I was hurled through the windshield. At first, they were kind to me, helped me to understand, but then they seemed to drift away – lost to their own thoughts, their own inner worlds. I suppose that’s what we’re meant to do, lose ourselves.

I wonder if others see my glimmer…

 


The image is not mine, I claim no copyright to it, but the words are – small disclaimer free of charge! ;]
© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela.

 

 

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Plunging

Plunging, scooping, the sound of dirt sliding off each shovel with a shoosh as its tossed to the side. Another plunge, another scoop, more shoosh – the pile grows larger, the hole surrounding their boots grows deeper, the men grow more weary. The scent of dry dirt giving way to the earthier aroma of moist, dark soil.

Removing his cap and scratching his head, he asks, “‘Ere, guv, don’t you think this looks more than a bit odd?”

The other spits, digs, then replies, “Blood well is, son.”

Digging deeper, the dirt turning firmer, becoming more dense. Each shovel still plunging, a foot braced on the back lending force to the spade as it slides into hardened ground. Loose dirt scooped upon the belly of the trowel tossed above, to the side with a shoosh as it slips off the metal edge – the hole growing with each effort.

Removing his cap and wiping sweat from his brow, he says “Take a butcher’s. Tell me that ain’t too wide.”

The other spits, digs, then replies, “Blood well is, son.”

Tree roots tangle and snag, yet dig further they are told, so they do. No longer plunging, only scraping a hardened surface painted putrid with residue – ground now removed, the scent is strong, almost fetid, a pungent odor.

Removing his cap and squinting in the dim light, he says, “Weird innit? Strange that there ain’t nothin’ but wooden planks, eh, guv?”

The other spits, swings, then replies, “Blood well is, son.”

Hefting the crimson coated shovel over his shoulder, he glances at the body lying near his feet, takes in the breadth of the pit they’ve dug, then turns to the man standing above.

The other spits, stares, then says, “Ain’t fill in’ ‘er in.”

One pistol shot fired. “No, I believe not.”

~~~

This piece of flash fiction was featured in The Sirens Call eZine, issue 05. Given one photograph, both Kalla and I wrote a 300 word flash piece inspired by that image alone. Thanks to my warm blankie for the spit shine!


Echoing…

Dark halls echo the sounds of the past. I put my hands to my ears, but cannot block them from intruding.

Bloodied and covered in filth, I cower in the murky dankness of my corner. A ray of sunlight leaks in just within sight – yet so far down the hall. Do I dare crawl to it, or will they come for me again? Unsure and frightened for my own safety in this house of illusions, I shiver with indecision as the glow slowly fades away, the hours tick past.

The last vestiges of light receding, my hope of sanity dwindling, I begin to crawl toward the retreating beam of hope. Nearing the doorway, I pause to make sure all is safe; clear for my passage. One splayed hand laid upon the long wooden floor before me, my body follows, curling around the frame as I begin to emerge from the room. My other hand is near to landing upon the hallway floor when I see a figure move through the arc of light.

No! On hands and knees, I quickly scurry back into the corner, but not quickly enough. They know I tried to escape, they know I reached for the brightness; they know my intent was to abandon them.

Enraged by my daring, they begin to assault my every sense as the light is snuffed. It’s always worse at night. Half crazed I scream for leniency, none is granted.

As my eyes adjust to the deeper darkness, I see the black shadows moving about me. “Please,” I beg of them, “please don’t hurt me anymore.” But they only laugh. The nearest whispers a rotted warning in my already damaged ear, as the others close in upon me for yet another night of terror. Cold fingers grasping, my screams echoing…

****

A sneak peek at my comparative flash piece in our August issue of The Sirens Call eZine. 300 words of flash fiction inspired by an image.


The Slip

The texture of the brass dials a thing so fetching, feel them spin, with a tick and a click, tightening ever so slightly as the prize is nearing.

Nimble fingers twist knobs , first left, then right, and back yet again. Feeling for the slightest shift, as slowly they spin.

A tick, a click, the slip. The first dial is set. How these tired tips work at gaining entry, their art lost to time, man’s arrogance a false sentry.

These fingers you see, they are for hire, they spin, they click only for the most discriminate buyer. What lies beyond the beauty of this contraption of brass, these fingers care not – their job only to spin, to click, to find the – slip.

Ah, the slipping of the final pin into place, pride to be had for a task well done. These fingers find no pride being named thief, only in the triumph of yet another breach.

Never touching the treasures concealed inside, the gift is in the spinning, the clicking and the glorious sound of the decisive slipping as the lock disengages, and the tomb readies to release.

The thrill done, the game complete, the mastery of infiltrating the impenetrable is what these tired digits did seek. Their desirous splendor being the one called to task, no other hand as capable on the brass.

These fingers, they are old, and worn with time, slowly they reach out and gentle the slide.

A slight pop, the pressure released, the door opens a mere chink, allowing for those who would have the briefest of peeks.

The thrill these old finger have felt now past, gone on this final releasing of brass. This buyer untrue with intentions corrupt, these fingers have felt for the final time the tick, the click, the magnificent slip!

*****

For those of you who don’t know, in each issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we do a Comparative Flash amongst ourselves with fairly strict guidelines. We choose an image, and each of us writes a flash piece of 300 words – no more, no less – that is inspired by the image itself. We don’t discus the topic each has chosen, nor do we reveal our pieces to each other until everyone participating has completed their flash. Here is the image, and my piece that ran in the June issue – Kalla and I went head to head on this one. I hope you enjoy it! I had a ton of fun writing it… and the picture, what is it exactly? You tell me  ;}


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