Black Keys- Friday Flash


Black Keys

By Melissa L. Webb



The typewriter stood silent. Black metal glittering in the harsh florescent light. Ivy stood mesmerized by the way the keys called to her. “Why does it have to stay in that display case, Daddy?” she asked, turning to look at the man behind the desk.

“What was that?” he spoke, barely even glancing up from the laptop in front of him.

“Can’t I just use it once?” she asked, trying to get his full attention.

He looked up at her, his eyes resting on her wrinkled brow and sighed. “I’ve told you before, Ivy. That typewriter means a lot to me. I started my career with that thing.” He glanced over at the display case, a frown tugging at the corner of his mouth. “I’ve created our lives with that. Everything I have, I owe to that hunk of metal. I don’t know what I would do if something happened to it.”

“That typewriter gave you the inspiration to write your first story?” she asked, thrilled by the idea.

Her father nodded. “In a lot of ways, it did, pumpkin. I would never have found the courage to share my words with the world if it hadn’t been for that thing.”

Ivy eyed the typewriter with awe. “I want to be like you, Daddy. I want to share my words with the world too.” She turned and looked at her father, putting on her best pout. “Maybe it can give me courage. Please, Daddy? Please?”

He shook his head as he closed the laptop and stood up. “You don’t need that relic to be a writer, Ivy. You can use the computer downstairs.” He walked around the desk and wrapped an arm around his daughter. “And if you decide you really like writing, I’ll buy you a laptop of your own.”

She looked up at her father and grinned. “Really?”

“Really, pumpkin,” he told her as he led her towards the door. “Now, let’s go downstairs and see what your mother’s making for dinner.”

She let he father lead her out of the room before glancing back at the silent back keys shimmering in the light.





Ivy tiptoed silently down the hall, taking the cold doorknob in her hand. Glancing around her, she opened her father’s office door, quickly slipping in. Reaching blindly, her fingers collided with the plastic switch and the room was bathed in the fluorescent light once again.

She looked around the room, her eyes instantly falling on the display case. All evening her mind kept wandering back to the archaic machine. She had no clue why it fascinated her so much. All she could think of was how wonderful her words would look on a sheet of paper from that typewriter.

She slipped across the room to where the display case rested on a table against the far wall. Her hands slid along the glass as she peered adoringly inside. She wanted to be a real writer like her father. If this was what started his career, it could start hers as well.

Ivy carefully lifted the glass box from the typewriter, setting it to the side. Holding her breath in awe, she brushed her fingers over the sparkly black keys. How exquisite it was compared to the boring, everyday computers which filled the world. She could see herself writing the next great novel with this machine. This was the romance of being an author.

She looked down at the paper still in the paper guide. Curiously, she pried up the paper release and pulled the paper towards her, taking in the typed words. It must be the last thing her father wrote on it. Her eyes fluttered over it, her lips turning down in a frown as she read it.

I will be a famous writer. I will have a wonderful wife and a beautiful daughter named, Ivy. They will both love me very much. I will be happy and have everything I ever wanted. My life will be good.

Ivy stared at the words. Why would her father leave something like this in the typewriter? Her eyes drifted over the words again, when suddenly they began to fade. Lighter and lighter the ink became until it disappeared completely. She gasped in shock, letting the paper fall to the floor.

She looked around her nervously. How had that happened? Words didn’t disappear like that. She stepped back, away from the display case. Something wasn’t right with that typewriter.

Ivy turned towards the door, opening it as she heard her father cry out.

“What did you do, Ivy?” his voice carried down the hall. “What did you do?”

She shook her head as tears formed in her eyes. How could she have known? Things like that weren’t possible. She wanted to scream, to cry out how sorry she was, but she stayed silent as she watched herself fade from reality.


© 2015 Melissa L. Webb


A Heckler’s Tale- Friday Flash


A Heckler’s Tale

By Melissa L. Webb




The mist hung heavily on the field as the spectators watched from the stands. Sarah pulled her jacket tighter and sighed. Her school was losing to the visiting team. What a way to ruin Homecoming.

“Are you cold?” her boyfriend whispered, pulling his arms tighter around her.

She nodded, scooting closer. “Yeah, this is a miserable night, Charlie,” she told him as she wiped the moisture from her cheeks.

“We can leave if you want.”

“No, we promised Joe we’d be here for him.” She frowned down at the players on the field. “After all, his team is getting slaughtered.”

Charlie frowned. “Your brother is going to be unbearable after this.”

It was true. It was going to be a long night.

Sarah let her gaze drift back to the field. She watched as a blanket of fog rolled in, settling over the field. No one could see what was happening down there now.

“Maybe we’ll get lucky,” Charlie whispered, hope clouding his voice. “Maybe they’ll call the game on account of fog.”

She grinned slightly. “I doubt it. Our team couldn’t play any worse even if they were blindfolded.”

A whistle pierced the night as one of the teams scored.

Charlie sighed. “At least we don’t have to watch the bloodshed.”

Sarah smirked and settled back against him, staring at the thick fog swirling in front of the bleachers.

“Hike!” Joe’s voice rang out above the fogbank as the kickoff commenced.

An object shot up in the air and headed for the crowd.

“Look out,” a lady next to Sarah cried. “Ball’s coming.”

Charlie shook his head in exasperation. “Not again.” It flew straight towards him and he caught it on reflex.

“No,” Sarah gasped as she stared at the thing in her boyfriend’s hands.

A head stared back at her, a look of horror permanently etched into its face.

Charlie dropped it as the people around him scattered. “What is that?”

Sarah shook her head as she scanned the field. The fog had cleared, leaving in its wake pure chaos.

Body parts covered the field. Some of her brother’s team was on their hands and knees, feasting on the remains. Others left the field, making their way into the stands, drooling with anticipation.

A cheerleader’s bloodcurdling scream filled the night air as the tight end tore her captain apart.

People shoved their way out of the stands, escaping the oncoming savagery.

“Sarah, we have to go,” Charlie said, trying to pull her with him.

She stayed, frozen with shock. “Charlie. Look.”

Joe made his way up the stairs. His eyes were glazed over and blood dripped from his mouth. “You,” he moaned as he pointed at them. “You laughed at us.”

Charlie looked over at Sarah as the zombie moved closer. “Maybe we should learn to keep our comments to ourselves.”


© 2015 Melissa L. Webb


Hollow as a Jack-O’-Lantern- Friday Flash

Hollow as a Jack-o’-Lantern

By Melissa L. Webb




“I think I’m coming down with a virus, or something,” Tim said to his wife as he walked into the kitchen.

She glanced over at him. “Are you okay?”

He nodded, pulling a chair out from the table. He sat down slowly, his muscles burning from the strain. “I don’t feel well, Mary. I was up all night.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t offer this to you.” she said, sliding a plate of food in front of him.

Tim shoved the plate away as his stomach protested the sight. “I can’t eat it.”

Mary reached out a hand, placing it on his forehead. “You’re burning up. You should stay home today.”

“No,” he said, shrugging off her hand. “I have that meeting. I have to go.” He stood up, giving his wife a week smile. “I’ll see you later.”

Tim sat at his desk, staring blankly at the paperwork in front of him. It was pointless; all his mind would focus on was the gnawing ache in his stomach.

He took a deep breath as pain flowed in waves. “What is wrong with me?” he muttered, mopping sweat from his brow.

He felt something somersault in his gut. His eyes widened in disbelief as it wiggled deep inside of him, causing fire to engulf his abdomen.

He stood up, grabbing his desk for support. Something was wrong. A virus didn’t make you feel like this.

Tim took a deep breath as the pain subsided and grabbed his coat. He needed to see a doctor.

“Tim, buddy, are you going somewhere?”

He turned to see his boss standing in the doorway. “Yeah, Carl. I’m not feeling well,” he told him, scooping up his briefcase and keys. “I think I’m going to head home.”

Carl stepped forward. “You can’t. The meeting’s starting and I need you there.”

“I can’t. I really have to go.”

“Please,” he said, placing a hand on Tim’s arm. “Do this for me. Give me twenty minutes and then you can go. Hell, you can even have tomorrow off. Just don’t bail on me now, okay?”

Tim frowned but set his stuff down. “Okay, twenty minutes. After that, I’m gone.”

A smile spread across Carl’s face. “Thanks, pal. I owe you,” he said, relieved as he turned and walked down the hall.

Tim followed him into the conference room and took a seat. The pain had dwindled into a dull ache and the slithering sensation was gone. Maybe he could wait 20 minutes.

Other people started to trickle in and the meeting got under way. Tim sat there listening to the others as he tried not to focus on his stomach. He knew whatever it was; it was nowhere as bad as what his imagination was trying to tell him. The meeting was the only thing that mattered at the moment.

One of the Senior VP’s turned and looked at Tim. “So, Tim, tell me, where do we stand with the Honeycutt account?”

He took a deep breath and looked around the room. “Well, I believe we’re looking good on it. The figures are close to what we projected and I don’t think….” His words cut off as another spasm rocked his abdomen. His hand flew to his mouth as he tried to catch his breath.

“Tim, are you okay?” Carl asked, concerned.

He couldn’t respond. He couldn’t do anything. It felt as if his whole body was frozen.

“Is that blood?” someone screamed from across the room.

“It is,” Carl gasped, standing up. “Tim, are you okay?”

Tim’s body relaxed and he could breathe once more. He brought his hand away from his mouth and gasped in horror. His palm was covered in blood.

“It’s dripping from your eyes and nose too,” a man on Tim’s left spoke softly.

“Someone call 911,” Carl shouted, finally coming out of his shock.

“No, no,” Tim said, jumping from his chair. “I need to go.” He sprinted out of the room and down the hall.

He sat on the bathroom floor of his house, a bottle of water in his hands. He’d cleaned up and the pain was back down to a slight ache. He was waiting for Mary to come home from work. She would know what to do. She always did.

He brought the water to his lips, but before he could draw the water into his mouth, the twisting pain in his gut took hold once more. His stomach slithered upward and he leaned over, retching into the ceramic bowl.

Blackish bile poured from him violently. The oily substance kept coming until he was sure every last bit of him was now in the toilet.

He fell backwards as pain seized control of his body. It twisted and danced on its own as if he was in some deep stage of a seizure. His limbs flailed around him, contorting in ways that seemed humanly impossible.

His fingers bent backwards, twisting like snakes and started pulling at his skin. It was as if the bones themselves wanted out of their fleshy prison.

Tim screamed as his legs bent backwards, his feet kicking out at his tormented stomach.

“No, please. Stop,” he screamed, his voice growing horse. He kept on screaming until the world faded to black around him.

“Tim, wake up. What are you doing on the floor?”

He raised his head from the cold tile, his cheek sticking where saliva pooled. He stared up into worried eyes. “Mary?”

“Are you all right?” she asked, grabbing his arm.

He let her help him to his feet and looked down at himself. He looked okay. Nothing was bent in some unnatural way. “I…think so.”

“What were you doing on the floor?” Mary asked, concern still clouding her eyes.

“I don’t feel good, Mary.”

She took his arm and led him into the bedroom. “Let’s get you into bed. You need rest.”

He didn’t have any strength left to fight her.

She pulled the covers around him as she felt his forehead. “You’re burning up. I’ll get you a cold wash cloth.” She leaned down and kissed his forehead. “Don’t worry. Just sleep, my love.”

“Okay,” Tim muttered. Maybe everything in the bathroom was only a fever dream. He’d sleep for a day and then be back to his old self.

She leaned back, staring down at her husband. Her eyes widened in shock.

“What is it, Mary?”

She shook her head. “Nothing,” she told him, heading for the door. “I must be coming down with a fever too.” She let out a little laugh as she went through the door. “For a second, I could have sworn there was a pair of red eyes looking at me from the back of your throat.”

Tim awoke to a light pain in his stomach. He looked around at the darkness in the room. Faintly, he could see Mary asleep in the bed next to him. He didn’t want to wake her over nothing.

He got up slowly from the bed and headed out of the room. The pain was so slight he figured he could walk it out this time.

He headed downstairs to the kitchen, realizing he hadn’t eaten anything in the past twenty-four hours. It was nothing more than hunger and a little milk might do the trick.

He reached for the refrigerator door. As he did, his hand bent backwards and pulled at his shirt, ripping material from his body.

Tim clawed frantically at it with his other hand, but it was useless. He lost control and found himself lying on the kitchen floor, his body contorting uncontrollably as the pain tore through him. His organs jerked against his skin.

The pain swelled like the last few bars of a symphony. His body twisted and contorted until he thought he’d die right there or succumb to the insanity of the situation.

The fire inside him ripped through his guts, causing an intense urge to vomit.

He crawled to his knees as best as he could and heaved, more black sludge pouring from him. It pooled around his body as it kept coming.

Something caught in Tim’s throat. It felt as solid as a cement block. He couldn’t breathe. Whatever it was, it was going to kill him.

He clawed at his throat, his nails leaving bloody gouges along his already tender skin. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t dislodge it.

His vision swam before him as the lack of oxygen reached his brain. Darkness crept in from the edge of his vision. He was going to pass out and die in a puddle of his own vomit.

The blockage squirmed, pulling itself up.

A soft popping sound came from inside his throat  causing him to breathe again. He sucked in air even as the thing crawled higher. As it did, it triggered his gag reflex. He vomited out a squishy pink mass of flesh.

He didn’t care what it was as long as it was out of him. Air slipped back in his lungs as he realized he was pain free, but as he lay on the cool kitchen floor, he realized he felt empty. His insides felt as hollow as a jack-o’-lantern’s, scooped out and tossed aside.

There was a crunching noise in front of him, like bones snapping.

Tim opened his eyes and stared in horror as the mass pulsated and grew. It rose up on two legs off the floor and turned to look at him, his own face staring back at him.

“Thank you for hosting me,” the creature who looked like Tim said.

“Thanks? You were inside me. You used my body as your own,” he cried in shock at the reality of what happened.

It blinked as it looked down at him. “Births are often a painful transition.”

Tim felt tears in his eyes. “What are you?”

It tilted its head as it knelt in front of him. “I am the future and we are more common than you think,” it said, eyes flashing red. Slowly it smiled, showing jagged teeth. “Now, I must feed.”

He didn’t even have time to scream as his doppelganger ripped into his ruined flesh.


© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Ink Stains- Friday Flash


By Melissa L. Webb


She opened the worn leather book , its over-sized pages cracking with age.  She sneezed as the movement stirred the dust clinging to it as she turned to the last page. Her eyes drifted to the last bit of blank space left in the book.  How quickly time passed.  She’d written the first prophecy before time even started.  Now here she was, pen poised to document the Last Prophecy.  The one that would change everything.

She stared at her hands as she wrote, worn and wrinkled as the leather book.  The prophecies were her burden to carry; and she had for so long.  The words burned into her mind with such intensity they had to be bled onto the paper; either that or she would surely combust from within for containing such knowledge.

They weren’t hers to keep.  She was the messenger; only a slave to the paper and ink.  Yet…it was changing.   This was the last.  They were letting her go because there was nothing else to write.

Laying the pen aside, she stared at the words, weariness building in her like a wave.  Why was there only one left?

Leaning closer to the page, she blew, letting her dry, old breath seal in the ink, forging it there forever.  Her eyes drank in the words one last time, trying to release them from her mind.  Two lives separated must now become one.  The changing world must be undone.  The light in the darkness needs protected at all cost.  If it should fail, then all is lost.

She pushed the curiosity from her mind as she closed the old book, placing it on a shelf.  It blended in with the other books around it.  Now obsolete in this time of transition.

She walked away, her old bones creaking as she went.  The prophecy was no longer her burden.  It sat upon the shoulders of the oracles in the world below her.  Let them worry and fret, making sense from the words her mind bore.

It didn’t matter what it meant.  Only that it was the last.  She could move on, no more words and ink stains.  No more messages being forced into her mind.  She was free.

© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Secret Admirer- Friday Flash


By Melissa L. Webb


I sit and watch you.  You are beauty personified.  The way your brow creases when you’re concentrating.  The way you throw your head back when you laugh.  The way you smile, genuine and pure, like the heart of a newborn.  I adore these things and more.

There is so much to you.  So much that other people can’t even see.  I do.  I see it all and I can’t get enough.  The way you make me feel is exhilarating.  I feel I could do anything because you exist in the world.  You are all I think about.  Day.  Night.  It’s always you.

You are my everything.  I breathe because you breathe.  My heart beats only to sync with yours.  I am your slave, chained to you by these unseen ropes of devotion.

I watch you at work.  I watch you with your friends and family.  I watch you out in public.  The times I can’t watch you I ache so deeply I think my soul might rip in two.  My eyes were meant to take you in; it’s pure torment when they can’t do what they were created for.

I stand in your room at night, watching you sleep.  I hear the soft sounds of breath your body takes in while you dream, and it makes my knees weak.  The feel of your skin excites me to no end.  These stolen moments, when I am this close, is pure paradise to me.   I long to climb into bed and put my arms around you, holding you until the morning light comes, but I never do.  I know it’s not time.  I’m not ready to risk my heart.

But, soon, I will be.

I have been hurt before.  That’s what has made me so cautious.  There have been others I’ve wanted.  They didn’t understand what I felt for them.  They couldn’t see what I had to offer.  We could have been perfection.  They were blind, so bad things happened.

I don’t want that to happen with you.  It would hurt too much to do the bad things to you.  You are my everything.  My whole life has become you.

I know I don’t have to worry about that.  I can see who you are inside.  You’ll know true love when you see it.  You won’t be blind like the others.  I’m sure of that because you are perfection.  I know I can trust you with my heart.

So, soon, my love.  We will be together.


© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Storm Front- Friday Flash


By Melissa L. Webb


Joy Westcott stood at the window. Streaks of light danced across the sky, heralding in a dark bank of clouds.  She shivered as the first rain drops struck the glass. They beat out a hypnotic rhythm, lulling her into false tranquility.

She breathed; condensation coating the glass where her foggy exhale touched it.  Stepping back, she checked the thermostat on the wall.  70 degrees and holding.  She tapped at it, convinced it was broken.

“It’s so cold,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around herself as her teeth chattered.  She moved back to the window, the lightning mesmerizing her as it tore apart the sky.

Thunder boomed overhead and the floor shook, quivering like a frightened child.  She glanced around as confusion fogged her mind.  When did the ground ever react to the sky?  The tremor grew stronger, then stopped, falling silent before the storm.

Joy gasped as the air chilled even more.  It felt as if she was on a tundra, exposed to the harsh elements instead of tucked away in her own home.

The lights flickered, then went out as another rumble split the sky.  She glanced at the emergency candles glowing in the gloom.  Thank goodness, she’d thought ahead.  Tonight wasn’t a night to be in the dark.  It wasn’t safe.

That thought surprised her. This was her home.  Her haven.  She’d always been safe here.  Why would one little storm change all that?

But, as she watched the clouds drawing closer, she realized it was true.  A prophetic shudder crept up her shoulders.  It weighed upon her as much as anything alive would.  It might be the last night of her life.  It might also be the end of every life in the world.

She pressed her face closer to the glass.  Lightning flared, turning the large bay window into a mirror.  Immediately her eyes moved to the reflected candlelight burning behind her.  In that instant, a figure moved, blocking one of the candles from view.

Joy gasped as the lightning died, once again gazing out onto her neighborhood.  Fear flooded through her, fast and hard, cementing her to that spot.  Something was behind her.

That was absurd.  She was alone.  All the doors were locked.  There couldn’t be anyone behind her.  Yet…she knew there was.  She’d seen it move.

A jagged gasp emitted from her throat as a slithering occurred behind her.  She wanted to turn, to see what lay in wait for her, but fear held her body tight.  It constricted around her as real as any solid bands.  She was helpless, nothing more than prey for whatever lurked behind.

Hearing a sharp hiss of breath, the room filled with darkness.  A scream ripped from Joy’s throat, terror crushing the sound into nothing more than a gurgle.  This was it.  She was going to die and she wouldn’t even see it coming.  Her mind raced.  Why her?  Why now?  If her life was going to end tonight, shouldn’t she at least be given that much?

Opening her mouth, she tried to force actual words past her lips.  “Did you blow out the candles?”

The slithering sounded again, moving closer.  “Yes,” a voice answered, barely more human than a garbage disposal.  “After all, it is my birthday.”

Joy cringed at its choice of words.  Something had been born into the world.  Something dark and sinister.  Something that shouldn’t be.  “What are you?” she asked.

“Hungry,” it hissed, moving close behind her.

Closing her eyes, she shook in despair, waiting for her demise as the storm raged on.

© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Beside You- Friday Flash


By Melissa L. Webb

ghost candle

“You can’t hide from us,” a voice whispered in my ear; an icy chill coating my neck as it did.

I turned, looking around me. I was alone. No one else occupied the dark street. It had been like that for the last week. Ever since that day.

The day I died.

People say when you have a near death experience you come back with something. I always thought that was absurd. How could your body gain anything as your cells shut down one by one? If anything, you should come back with less than what you had to start with.

Death is a decaying process. It strips you down until there’s nothing left but dust and bones. No more than nutrients for the ground below. It doesn’t add layers. It doesn’t bestow anything.

I continued on, trying quickly to regain the composure I needed to get on with my life. I needed to put the whole damn mess behind me.

If only I could be so lucky.

“We will never leave,” a hollow disembodied voice informed me; a smile coating every word. “We will always walk beside you.”

Grimacing, I pushed open my door, trying to hide in the confines of my home. It was pointless; the voices followed me as if I was a beacon of light.

It didn’t matter where I went. They were right. They’d always find me. I was the flame to those voices, they fluttered around me, drawn for reasons I will never understand.

When I died, I wasn’t given anything. Instead, I had things taken from me. My life, my sanity, taken from me in a blink of an eye. I wasn’t given any special gifts.

I can’t see the dead, but now they can see me.

© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Home- Friday Flash

By Melissa L. Webb


Owen sat up as bright beams of light shot through his bedroom window. He wiped at his eyes, trying to decide if he was awake.

The lights hummed as they pulsed, scanning the small room. Toys turned on as the lights touched them, turning the bedroom into a strange rave of flashes and sounds.

The German Shepherd at the foot of the bed raised his head, a deep growl rumbling his throat.

“What is it, Frankie?” the boy asked, fear coating the words.

The dog stood up, his growls drowning out the electronic noise.

Frankie’s reaction scared Owen more than the strange lights and the phantom toys. He was a gentle dog. The boy didn’t think he’d ever heard him growl once in his life.

The boy pushed back the covers and swung his legs over the edge of the bed as the light beams danced around the room. His body trembled as he thought about running for the door. He was too old to cry out for his mommy. Ten-year-olds didn’t do that sort of thing. What would people say about him?

But…something was wrong. Toys didn’t turn on by themselves and lights definitely didn’t appear in the sky. He was in danger. He needed his parents to make it all right.

Frankie jumped off the bed and glared at the door, his growls becoming deeper.

The doorknob rattled as someone turned it.

Owen swung his legs back in bed and wrapped the blankets around himself. Fear swam through his veins as he pictured what might be out there. Maybe it was only his parents, coming to see what the noise was, but he didn’t think so. Not the way Frankie was acting.

The door pushed open and darkness from the hallway loomed like a living thing in the threshold.

Frankie bared his teeth, lowering his head as he readied himself for an attack.

Movement stirred in the darkness and a small shape stepped forward, coming into the room. It was completely grey, devoid of any hair or clothing. Two almond shape eyes stared out of an oversized head. They were like blank TV screens blinking up at the boy.

Owen whimpered as he scooted away from the edge of the bed, drawing the blankets even tighter around him. The creature looked like those things in the Sci-Fi movies his father liked to watch. It was one of those creatures who did strange experiments on humans.

It was a space alien.

Owen tried to scream, but no sounds came out. His fear constricted his throat too tightly.

The alien stepped towards the bed, its arms and legs moving with a fluidity that reminded the child of Olympic swimmers.

Frankie lowered his head even more, letting the creature pass him.

The alien reached a hand out and petted the dog’s head. “Good boy, Frankie,” it spoke, sounding like a human.

The dog turned, following the creature with his eyes, a huge doggy grin on his face. He sniffed the air and then hunched over. The dog whined as his fur split open along his back.

Long spider-like legs sprouted from the opening as the dog’s muzzle grew and spread, turning into a wide slobbery grin.

Frankie scurried over to the bed, his new legs hauling him up as he bounced on the end of it. His long, swollen tongue grazed the bedspread as he panted happily.

Anger replaced fear as Owen stared at Frankie. The alien had turned his best friend into a monster. He threw off the blankets and glared at the small creature standing next to his bed.

“You hurt my dog!” he screamed at it. He would make it pay for that no matter what it cost him.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Owen. Frankie’s fine,” the alien said, chastising the boy for his anger.

Owen blinked, confusion fogging his brain. “Mom?”

“Yes, dear,” the creature said, sitting down on the edge of the bed next to him. “It’s me.”

“I don’t understand,” he said, shaking his head. “What’s going on?”

“We don’t belong here, Owen. Your grandma and grandpa have come to take us home.”

Owen glanced over at the window. “They’re the lights?”

“Yes,” the alien said, placing a gentle hand over his. “Our time here is over.”

He looked down at the small grey hand covering his. He could feel his mother in the touch. “How? How is this possible?”

“Our people sent your father and I here when I was pregnant with you. We brought Frankie with us to watch over you when you were born. We have spent the last ten years studying the human race. In that time, we have learned all we can. There’s nothing more to do.”

“I’m an alien too?” he asked, staring at his human hands.

“We aren’t the aliens, Owen. The people on this planet are. We’re going home to our own kind.”

She got up off the bed and headed for the door. “Your father is helping Grandpa load everything on the ship. You have a few minutes to say goodbye to everything here.”

He looked around the room, feeling a bit teary-eyed. What were they doing to him? Didn’t they know life was hard enough for a ten-year-old? Why did they have to spring this on him as well?

“Do we have to go, Mom?”

She stopped in the doorway. “Yes, Owen. We do. This isn’t our home, it was only an assignment. Don’t worry, we have a lot of friends and family waiting for us. You won’t even miss this place. I’ll be back in ten minutes for you and Frankie. We’ll do your form change before we leave.”

Owen sat there, tears running down his cheeks as he watched the slobbering monster at the foot of his bed. They were a family of monsters. They were what children feared.

“It’ll be okay, sweetheart,” his mom said, taking in the boy’s sadness. “Think of it as an adventure. You love adventures.” She disappeared through the doorway into the darkness.

Owen got out of bed, fending of slobbery kisses from the thing that used to be Frankie. He looked around the room, his heart filling with sadness. What did a boy take with him to a new planet?

© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

Pieces of Her- Friday Flash

Pieces of Her

By Melissa L. Webb



She pulled her fingernails off one by one, the flesh tearing as she pried them loose. She flicked them into the empty ashtray as she went. They clicked against the glass, hard, before setting at the bottom. The sound cut through the silence that hung heavily in the cheap motel room.

Her heart broke as she stared at the black painted pieces in the ashtray. They were no longer a part of her. It wasn’t fair; she had given up everything for him.

That wasn’t enough.

She still had to give more.

Teardrops fell from her eyes and she wiped them, leaving bloody smears in their place.

She sighed as she ripped the last nail free. She was doing the right thing. They couldn’t find his blood under her nails if she didn’t have them anymore.

© 2015 Melissa L. Webb

A Friend Indeed- Friday Flash

A Friend Indeed

By Melissa L. Webb





“It’s only a field,” Lucy muttered to herself as she stared into the night, her eyes searching for the well-worn path in the overgrown grass.

“You don’t have to do it,” Kyle said from beside her. “You can take the chicken way out.”

Lucy rolled her eyes. They were in high school. They were too old for name calling. “Why don’t Shawn and Beth have to do it?” she asked, motioning to the other side of the field. Two more of their friends stood there, their flashlight beams bouncing around the grass.

“They’ve already done this,” Lisa said, banging her flashlight against her leg. “It’s our turn to prove ourselves.”

“This is dumb,” Lucy said, her heart hammering away in her chest. “Everybody in the neighborhood plays in this field. There’s nothing out here but weeds and trash.”

“Then why are you so afraid?” Kyle snickered. “You know as well as anyone there’s something wrong with this place.”

She did know. People walked through the field all the time. Kids spent long summer hours on their own out here, yet the field had a strange vibe to it. Something was off. That never left anyone’s mind as they used the place.

And no one dared entered it after dark.

No one except them.

“Come on,” Lisa snapped. “It’s not difficult. Just walk across the field. That’s all you have to do.”

Kyle nodded. “As long as you don’t look back you’ll be fine. That’s all there is to it. It’s a piece of cake.”

A shiver ran down Lucy’s spine. “What happens if you look back?”

Kyle shrugged. “No one knows. Either no one has, or….”

“No ones’s lived to tell about it,” Lisa added evilly.

“Only the brave walk across this place at night,” Kyle said, handing Lucy a flashlight. “Are you ready to be brave?”

Her eyes drifted back to the field, trying to see through the darkness coating it like a blanket. Anything could be out there. How could she be brave when anything could happen?

“Oh, please,” Lisa said, pushing past her. “I’ll go first. I don’t want to wait all night for a scared, little baby to take her first step.” She looked Lucy dead in the eyes. “You need to grow up if you want to continue to hang out with us. We don’t socialize with losers.” With that she stepped onto the path, her flashlight beam sweeping back and forth with each determined step.

Lucy watched, her breath caught in her throat. How could anyone think this was a good idea? The night paused, like a thousand eyes fixed on them, waiting for one wrong step.

“Hey, Lisa!” Kyle yelled, startling Lucy out of her thoughts. “Don’t look behind you!”

“Very funny, Kyle,” she called with a laugh.

Lucy couldn’t believe it. “She’s not afraid.”

“Of course not,” Kyle said. “She’s not a coward.”

Lucy glared at him, but held her tongue. What happened to her friends? They use to be fun. Now all they did was put her down.

Lisa reached the other side and waved her flashlight proudly.

Kyle waved his back, then turned to Lucy. “Are you ready?”

“I…,” she started, looking back into the dark field. “I don’t know.”

“Fine. I’ll go next,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Maybe once you’re left all alone you’ll be more eager to cross.” He stepped into the field. “See you on the other side.”

Lucy watched him go, dread building with every step he took away from her. Why were they so eager to humiliate her? Was this the only excuse they could find to ditch her? She knew she would never be one of the cool kids. She was too unsure of everything. She didn’t have the confidence the others had.

Sadness crept over her as she realized the truth. They did want to move on. They wanted to shame her into giving them an out.

Well, no way. If they wanted to stop being friends they’d have to tell her to her face. She wouldn’t let them use her fear of the field as an excuse.

She waited as Kyle triumphantly stepped on the opposite sidewalk, flashlights spinning like mad in celebration. Someone shone one in her direction, clicking the light off and on in three rapid burst.

It was now or never.

Lucy took a deep breath and pointed her flashlight on the path ahead. She could do this. All she needed to do was walk.

She took one step into the field and then another. She could imagine the look on her friends’ faces as she drew near. She refused to hand them a excuse for destroying their friendship. Let them be the bad guys.

A rustling stirred the grass behind her even though no breeze touched her skin. The night was calm. There wasn’t any reason for the sound.

Lucy’s eyes locked onto the flashlights in front of her. She didn’t know what was behind her but she refused to turn around. Kyle said she’d be fine if she didn’t look back. She didn’t know if they’d been teasing her or not, but she didn’t dare risk it. It wasn’t like the field was a normal place.

She reached the center and took a deep breath. She could see her friends clearly. She was all most there.

“What is that behind you?” Shawn yelled, pointing with his flashlight.

Lucy started to turn, then caught herself. “Knock it off,” she yelled through clenched teeth. “It’s not funny.”

“Yes, it is,” Lisa called back. “You should see how funny you look standing there with your eyes about to pop out.”

“Why did you stop?” Beth asked. “Did the little baby pee her pants?”

“Aw, do you need a diaper change?” Kyle said with a laugh.

Lucy felt tears sting her eyes. When had her friends become such monsters? High school changed them and the thought sickened her heart.

She had half a mind to turn around and leave them where they stood. Who needed friends like these? She certainly didn’t. She could make new friends. Friends who didn’t treat her like dirt.

Lucy started to turn when she heard footsteps on the path behind her. She froze as ice settled into her veins. She was no longer alone.

“Who’s behind me?” she called, the shakiness of her voice betraying her fear.

“No one’s behind you,” Kyle called impatiently. “Stop being a baby and get over here. You’re almost done.”

“No, someone’s behind me,” Lucy insisted. “I hear them.”

“We’ll leave you here, Lucy,” Lisa snapped. “Is that what you want? Take a few more steps to prove yourself or we’ll leave you alone like the baby you are.”

Terror wrapped around Lucy as the footsteps stopped behind her. Something was there and her friends weren’t going to do anything about it. She tried to take a step forward but fear turned her legs to cement.

A strangled cry escaped her lips as she felt a warm breath drift over the back of her neck. “Help,” she managed to squeak out.

“This is lame, you guys,” Lisa said. “Let’s go. I’m done with this loser.”

They turned and walked away, heading away from Lucy when she needed them the most. She stood there, tears falling from her eyes, as despair fought the fear for control.

They abandoned her.

Fingers curled around Lucy’s shoulder as a voice whispered her name in her ear.

She spun around, pulling away from whatever it was. As her eyes swept over the path, the landscape changed around her.

Flames rolled across the field, churning in delight as ashes fell like snowflakes against her skin. Moans rose from the sea of fire as a chorus of screams tore through the night.

Black eyes stared out of a twisted white face as the creature who touched her drew its hand back. Its body was nothing more than shriveled flesh under the black leather it wore. It towered over her as it grinned down with a blood red slash full of teeth.

“Hello, Lucy,” it spoke. “I see you’re in need of some new companions.”

“Um,” was all she could manage to get out as the fire raged around them.

“Don’t worry. You and I will have lots of fun. We can even teach those losers a thing or two.”

A smile spread across Lucy’s lips as she felt her sanity slip away. She dropped to her knees, staring up at the monstrosity. “Hello, friend.”


© 2015 Melissa L. Webb