Help Wanted- Friday Flash

BA Classroom

Image via Wikipedia

 

HELP WANTED

By Melissa L. Webb

The chair squeaked slightly as the applicant shifted her weight. Her eyes quickly moved to her hands, where her fingers played with the bracelet hung around her wrist.

Professor Dawson chuckled slightly as he leaned forward, his hands folded on his desk. “Relax, Ms. Edmond. This interview is just a formality. I’m very impressed by your application,” he said as he glanced down at the paper on his desk.

The girl glanced up at him. “But I’m not qualified for this job. I don’t have any experience in this kind of setting.”

The professor shrugged. “Sometimes experience isn’t all that’s important to me. You’re a very bright young woman. And you’re very eager. I like that.” He shook his head. “Honestly, I want someone who truly wants to be here and I can teach you everything you need to know.” Professor Dawson smiled at her. “It’s really simple. I basically need an extra body in my classroom. You’ll be giving my students the extra help they need. So, Ms. Edmond, are you interested?”

The girl nodded her head quickly. “Yes, I would love to be your teaching assistant. And please, call me Jenny.”

“Okay, Jenny,” Professor Dawson said with a smile. “I just need to know one more thing. I may need a lot of hours from you. There is always so much work to be done in my classroom. Do you think you can spare the extra hours working for me?”

Jenny nodded again. “Yes, that won’t be a problem at all.”

The professor thought for a moment. “There’s no one who will be mad if I monopolize all your free time?”

Jenny shook her head. “No, not at all. My family lives back east. I’ve only been here for a short while, so I really don’t have any close friends. My free time is usually spent studying.”

Professor Dawson nodded. “Well, I think this will work out just fine then.” He stood up offering his hand to Jenny, who also rose. “It was a pleasure, Jenny. I look forward to working with you,” he said as he shook her hand.

“Thank you, Professor,” Jenny said as she returned the handshake. “I look forward to working with you as well.”

“Now,” he began as he led her to his classroom door. “You won’t be actually helping in the classroom for a while, but you’ll need to start prepping right away. Would you mind meeting me here tomorrow night so we can get started?”

Jenny smiled. “Sure, that would be great.” She started to leave and then turned back to him. “Thank you, Professor, for giving me this chance. I really need this job.”

Professor Dawson smiled at her. “I should be the one thanking you, Jenny. You’re the one who’s doing me a huge favor. It gets harder and harder to find the help students need nowadays. What with budget cuts and all.” He watched as she headed out of his classroom with a little wave. Jenny was indeed a godsend.

***

Professor Dawson stood in front of his class. “I know it’s been hard to get the things we need around here. It’s difficult to show you students how to do something without a proper example. But I’ve decided to get the help you need, no matter what the school board says.” He looked around at his students. “How else can you call yourselves pre-med students, if you’re not learning anything useful? Right?”

His class nodded in agreement.

“So,” he said with a smile. “On to the study of human biology.” He disappeared into the back room and wheeled out a gurney covered with a white sheet. “Everyone meet our new medical cadaver. Her name’s Jenny,” he told them as he removed the sheet. The professor smiled as he watched their eyes fill with excitement. Yes, Jenny was indeed the best teaching assistant he ever had.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

 
 

 

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Darkest Secrets Anthology On Sale!

Darkest Secrets anthology is now on sale at Amazon.com.  It has 26 dark short stories all involving a secret of some kind.  It includes my brand new short story, “Provenance”.   

Pick up a copy HERE, but don’t blame me if you have to leave the light on after reading this book. 🙂

Chasing Rabbits- Friday Flash

A pocket watch with an attached compass.

Image via Wikipedia

Chasing Rabbits

By Melissa L. Webb

 

 

The girl stood with her hands on her hips, staring at the doors that surrounded her. Tilting her head sideways, she shook her long blond tresses out of her eyes and frowned.

“He must have come this way,” she muttered to herself. She may have followed him to this point, but this was as far as she could go. All of the doors were locked.

She tapped her foot in frustration, the hem of her light blue dress swaying slightly. How fair was this? Her first real adventure and it was over before it had actually begun.

The girl spun on her heel and started to head back down the hall, when something shiny caught her eye. It glistened brightly on the small table in the center of the room.

She walked over and looked down at the small golden key. She glanced around the room quickly, before picking it up. “This wasn’t here before.” She turned the key over in her palm. “Now, which door do you open?”

The girl turned around and looked at the doors once again. She blinked in surprise.

A tiny door had appeared in the wall between two of the others.

Her lips tugged into a frown at the sight of the new door. “Now, I definitely know you weren’t there before.”

Walking over, the girl gently knelt in front of the door. She slipped the key into the lock and turned it. The door clicked softly and popped open. She swung the door opened and leaned down, trying to peer out of the small opening. She managed to get part of her head in the doorway and gasped in disbelief.

A beautiful garden stretched out beyond the tiny door. Flowers bloomed everywhere she looked. Some were colors she had never even dreamed of before. All of them seemed to smile at her, beckoning the girl to join them in this magical new world.

The girl leaned back and stared at the small door. How was she ever going to fit through that tiny of a space?

She stood up and brushed off her dress. She would just have to find another way out there. That’s all there was to it.

Dropping the key into a pocket at her waist, the girl turned and started to head back towards the hallway. She stopped suddenly as a gasp escaped past her parted lips.

Sitting in the middle of the table that had been empty only minutes before, was a small glass bottle. Bright purple liquid shone from inside.

“What is going on?” the girl pondered as she closed the distance between her and the table. She lifted the bottle up and stared, mesmerized, by the sparkling liquid before her eyes.

Paper fluttered against her fingers, catching her attention. The girl looked at the words there, written in elegant script.

“Drink me,” she read, tracing the words lightly with her finger. She glanced at the liquid once again. What would this beautiful potion do? How would this enchanting concoction unlock the next puzzle piece for her?

The girl uncorked the stopper and brought the bottle to her lips with a smile. What ever was in this bottle would bring her closer to the one she had been chasing. She was sure of it. How could it not? Something this wonderful, this magical, had to result in something as wonderful and magical in return.

Taking a deep breath, the girl parted her lips and downed the liquid. She then sat the bottle back on the table and waited.

She stood there and tapped her foot impatiently, wanting some kind of change to come.

The girl’s eyes suddenly widened as her hands went to her throat. Something was wrong. Her fingers clawed against her skin as her eyes rolled back into her head. She swayed slightly on her feet before she pitched over sideways, falling lifelessly to the ground.

There was a soft click from the other side of the room as one of the doors opened slightly.

Red eyes peered out of the darkness, dancing at the sight of the downed blond.

The door opened wider as the owner of the eyes stepped forward. Nose twitching, a tall white rabbit made his way towards the body.

Flicking his ears out of the way, the rabbit leaned over and wrapped the girl’s hair in his paw. A chuckle escaped past his bucked teeth, as he began to drag the body back towards the open door.

The tapping of claws on tile was the only sound as the rabbit slipped a pocket watch from his waistcoat pocket. He had plenty of time. He would draw this out. She would be different from the others he had drawn down here before, better then those too, who had been dumb enough to drink the strange liquid he had placed before them.

This girl was special. Her body would offer more then the others stacked in the room before him had. The white rabbit’s nose twitched again as the madness consumed his eyes. Saliva dripped from his teeth in anticipation. The fun was about to begin.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

From The Murky Depths- Friday Flash

PIRATES

Image via Wikipedia

 

FROM THE MURKY DEPTHS

By Melissa L. Webb

The fog hung heavily around the ship, cutting it off from the ocean beyond. The sound of water lapping lazily against the hull was the only thing that could be heard.

Johnny sighed as he laid the mop aside and moved further down the aft, eyeing the swirling wall of haze before him. The time was right. If he was ever going to do this, it had to be now.

He turned and scanned the ship behind him. Johnny had to be sure he was alone. The rest of the crew was sleeping off last night festivities. He should have some time before anyone awoke.

He pulled several black candles from his pocket and fixed them to the rail in front of him. He quickly created a spark, bringing the candles to life. Their flames danced brightly in the cool morning light.

Johnny glanced quickly over his shoulder again. He had to make this fast. He couldn’t risk his shipmates finding him. No one could ever know about this.

He sighed again. It had to be done. Johnny knew that. Someone had to put an end to Captain Read’s tyranny. How many shipmates had been lost to the Captain’s greed? It couldn’t go on. He had to be stopped.

Johnny trembled slightly as he watched the fog dance around the ship. He had to get control of himself. He could do this. His mother had taught him well. Bringing his dagger forward, he leaned over the ship and stared down at the water below him.

Johnny closed his eyes, trying to find the courage inside him. He had to do this. He would make a better captain then Read. The men liked him. He could lead them to their destiny without anymore unnecessary bloodshed.

He took a deep breath and slid the blade across his palm. Blood welled up in its wake, turning the palm a deep crimson. Johnny grimaced slightly as he squeezed his hand into a fist, causing his blood to pool on top of the water and then sink below.

He stepped back quickly and pressed a stained rag to the cut. With a deep breath, Johnny cast his eyes once again to the fog and pulled at the energy radiating deep inside of him.

The fog shimmered before evaporating slightly, revealing more of the ocean around him. Johnny closed his eyes and stood tall, letting the energy surge through him. “Aye, come forth mighty Le’iathan. I summon you,” he spoke firmly, his voice dripping with power. “Arrr, prince o’ Hell. Me command you t’ do my biddin’.”

Johnny took a step back as the boat rocked suddenly. The water churned loudly as a shape rose up before him.

It was all black shadows with a hint of darker things behind. Johnny averted his eyes quickly, fearing what he might see take shape in that blackness.

“Why have you disturbed me, mortal?” A deep voice growled, causing the ship to shudder slightly.

Johnny took another step back. “You gi’e aid t’ those who be powerful enough t’ deser’e it. I am in need o’ such help now.”

Dark red eyes formed in the inky black of the shape. “That is true. I do give aid to those whose power calls to me.” The eyes blinked slowly. “You think you are such a person?”

Johnny nodded. “Aye. I do.” A deep rich laugh sounded from behind him. He had no time to turn around as a black shadowed tentacle snaked around his body and lifted him into the air.

Leviathan looked down at Johnny as he thrashed in his grip, his eyes burning brightly. “I do not answer to you, mortal.”

Footsteps sounded loudly on the deck, causing Johnny to look down. The Captain stood there, smiling up at him.

“Aye, nice try, Johnny me boy, but the Le’iathan answers t’ no one but me,” Captain Read told him, his voice thick with amusement. “Arrr, how else do you think I became Captain in the first place?”

The Captain’s laugh rang out, loud and clear in the fresh morning air as Leviathan disappeared, dragging Johnny to his watery grave below.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Oh, The Horror…

My short story, “Coffee Date”,  has just been accepted in a new anthology by Static Movement called “Oh, The Horror.”

Check out the cover!

It has a lot of great writers in it.   I’ll keep you updated about its release.

Mikey- Friday Flash

MIKEY

By Melissa L. Webb

Peggy tilted her head and frowned at the little boy in front of her.

“Please, Mommy. Please?” he whined as he tugged on the leg of her pants.

“Mikey, stop it.”

“But, Mommy,” Michael pleaded. “I want to ride on the carrousel.”

Peggy sighed as she eyed the mechanical ride in front of the store. One of the tiny horses seemed to sneer in her direction. Maybe he’d be in a better mood if she let him ride it. She looked back down at her son. “Will you start minding me if I give you a quarter?”

Michael looked up at his mother and batted his eyelashes innocently. “Yes, Mommy. I’ll be a good boy.”

Peggy reached into her pocket as she felt herself give in. “Okay, but just one ride. That’s all we have time for.”

A huge smile broke out across his face. “Okay, Mommy.”

Peggy handed him the quarter from her pocket. “Just one.”

Michael grinned as he yanked the quarter from her hand and ran to the small mechanical carrousel. He quickly mounted a blue horse and leaning over, dropped the quarter in the slot.

The ride quickly sprung to life and began to rotate.

Peggy watched as the three horses paraded around, taking her son with them.

Michael smiled as he went, enjoying the ride.

Peggy leaned back against one of the support columns for the building, shifting her shopping bag to the other hand. Leaning her head back, she watched Michael as he laughed. He would ride past her, smiling and waving, before disappearing around the backside, only to reemerge waving once again.

Round and round she watched him go, until the small carrousel began to slow.

“I hope you enjoyed your ride, little man,” Peggy said as she straightened back up. “This is the only one you get.”

She moved closer as she watched Michael disappear around the back. The ride came to a stop, the gears inside clanking as the brakes engaged.

“Okay, time to go,” Peggy called, looking down at her watch. “Daddy will be home soon.”

Only silence greeted her from the ride.

“Mikey, you promised,” Peggy warned as she walked to the back of the ride. “Now, no more games.” She stopped in shock as her eyes drifted over the empty blue plastic horse. “Mikey?”

She glanced quickly around her. “Michael Foster, this is not funny. You come here right this minute, young man,” Peggy demanded as she waited for her little boy to come running with that angelic look on his face.

Nothing stirred around her. Peggy was alone.

She stepped forward as panic seized her heart. “Michael!” Peggy called, her feet moving forward towards the parking lot as her eyes scanned over the rows of parked cars. “Michael!” she yelled, hoping to hear his voice.

A few people turned their heads to look at her, but her son wasn’t among them. He was nowhere to be seen.

Turning on her heel, she made her way back to the entrance of the store. He had to be inside. It was the only hope she had left.

“Mikey, where are you, baby?” she asked as she hurriedly made her way towards the door.

“I’m right here, Mommy,” a voice called from behind her.

Peggy turned quickly, the breath stopping in her throat. Her eyes quickly fell on the boy in front of her, sitting on the blue carrousel horse.

“Oh, thank god,” she whispered, the breath rushing back out as Peggy closed the distance between them. “Where were you?” she asked as she hugged him hard.

“I was right here, Mommy, waiting for you.”

Peggy pulled back and looked at him. “No, you weren’t. I couldn’t find…,” she stopped, the words dying on her lips. Something wasn’t quite right with the boy in front of her.

“What’s a matter, Mommy?” Michael asked, staring up at his mother.

Peggy took a step back. The boy’s smile was a little wider. His eyes were a little too dark. This wasn’t the Michael she had put on the ride. “You’re not my son,” she whispered.

The little boy climbed down from the horse and looked up at her. “Yes I am, Mommy.”

Peggy shook her head. “No, you’re not. You are not my Mikey.”

The child sighed. “No, I am not the Mikey you knew. I am the Mikey you deserve to have.” He stepped closer to Peggy, looking up at her sweetly. “I am the well behaved, gentle Mikey. The one who will grow up to make you proud.”

Peggy looked down at the boy in front of her and sighed too. It would be nice to have some peace for a change. After all, she did deserve it.

Peggy reached out and took the little boy’s hand. “Come on, Mikey, we’re late. Daddy will be waiting for us,” she told him as they hurried to the car.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

 

The Day Bringer- Friday Flash

 

THE DAY BRINGER

By Melissa L. Webb

Gary looked in the mirror and frowned at the wrinkles which now lined his once youthful face. Sighing, he ran a hand through his grey hair and quickly turned away.

Gary hated what he had become. He was only a worn out shell of what he used to be. His life had been stripped away from him, just because he had to prove he was right.

He turned and shuffled down the hallway, his aching back protesting as he went. Now at least, Gary knew he was right. His fear of the night had indeed proven true.

Gary stopped as he reached the living room and glanced out the front window at the darkness beyond. How could the rest of the world sleep so peacefully when the truth was all around them?

Gary had tried to make them listen. He had tried to explain how dangerous the night could be, but no one ever takes a nine-year old seriously.

But he had known the truth. Deep down Gary knew he had to sleep before morning would come.

His mother had laughed at him. She told him how silly he was being, that a lot of people stay up all night and morning always came.

Gary shook his head at that memory. Those people weren’t him. He was the one who had to fall asleep to bring the day. It was just that simple.

That final laugh from his mother had been what made him decide to try it. Gary would show them. He would prove it was all true. He would show the world he was the Day Bringer.

Gary had stayed awake all night, watching the night through the window in his room. Just before sunrise, time had frozen.

The world had come to a complete stand still because Gary had stayed awake. He had been right all along. He was the one who controlled it.

Pleased with himself, nine-year-old Gary climbed into bed and tried to drift off to sleep, hoping to bring the day back to the world. But sleep would not come.

It hadn’t come then, and it still wouldn’t come now. Gary wiped away a tear as he turned and shuffled back down the hall. He had broken the balance just because he wanted to prove he was right.

The world stayed frozen around him while he had grown to be a bitter old man just because he didn’t like to be laughed at.

Gary knew he had to do something to make up for it. The balance had to be restored.

He carefully made his way into his parents’ room and stared down at their sleeping forms. “I’m sorry, Mommy,” Gary whispered as he brushed the cobwebs from her face. “I’m going to fix this, I swear.”

He let his fingers linger in her hair before turning and shuffling from the bed. He slowly entered his parents’ walk-in closet.

Groaning slightly, he straightened up and pulled a metal lockbox from the top shelf. Gary lifted the lid and stared down at the shiny metal inside.

He grabbed the box of bullets lying next to the weapon and gave it a gentle shake. The rattling inside brought a small smile of relief to his lips.

Gary turned around, watching his parents sleep one last time before giving a final nod. “Maybe my eternal slumber will be enough to wake the world.”

©2010 Melissa L. Webb