Unsettled Murmurs- Friday Flash

A Jail Cell at the National Museum of Crime & ...

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UNSETTLED MURMURS

By Melissa L. Webb

The walls are whispering to me again. They know my name. They repeat it over and over, chanting it until my mind comes undone at the seams.

They know who I am. They know what I’ve seen and they won’t let me forget it.

The voices laugh because I am locked in this room. They know there is no escape from their whispered truths. I must suffer the voices again and again.

The people who run this place say I am insane, but I am not. It would be better to know I was crazy. It would ease my pain, knowing that all of this was just a delusional fantasy cleverly crafted in my mind.

But it is not.

That is the thought that shatters my soul every time. I have heard the voices’ true intent. I know what they have planned for us. It won’t be pretty. Domination never is. It will be harsh, cold, and utterly devastating. The things they have planned for us, you can’t even begin to imagine.

It’s already beginning. Just look around you. Signs of what is to come are everywhere. You can’t avoid them. You can’t escape them. The voices know exactly what they are doing. They have been planning this since the beginning of their existence.

They know how truly weak we are. They know just how corruptible we can be. They have already been working on us. Softening us up for the blow.

It’s working too. We are nothing more then cattle, too stupid to see where our future lies. We belong to them now. There is nothing we can do about that. The filth they have spread on us, making us their own, has become too thick to wash away.

As I sit here, pondering all of this, I know there is only one hope for me.

I must take my own life.

I cannot be here when the time comes. Wherever I end up because of this act, I know it will be paradise compared to what the voices have in store.

No matter what you may think of me, I warn you, I am not crazy.

If you were smart, you’d follow in my footsteps. Save yourself from the torment that is coming. For if you don’t, you’ll soon come to know just how sane I truly was.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

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What’s In A Name?- Friday Flash

A Porcelain Doll.

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WHAT‘S IN A NAME ?

By Melissa L. Webb

“I don’t know why your parents left you here with me,” the stern-looking woman spoke as she looked down at the girl in front of her. “I despise children and my sister knows it.”

“I’m sorry, Aunt Emma,” the girl spoke softly.

“Well,” her aunt continued. “Maybe, if you stay out of my way and I never see you, I’ll forget you’re even here.” She turned and started to walk out of the spare bedroom, before turning back around suddenly. “One last thing. I am not a nice person. I have never been. If you make me angry for any reason, any at all, there will be dire consequences.” She stared at her niece. “Do I make myself clear, Susan?”

Susie nodded. “I understand, Aunt Emma.”

The woman stared at her a moment longer. “Good,” she finally spoke, satisfied with the girl’s answer. She turned around and walked hastily out of the room, leaving Susie to herself.

Susie waited a few minutes until she heard her aunt’s footsteps descend down the long staircase. When she was sure she was alone on the second floor, she tiptoed quietly into the hall and looked around.

The hall was long and stark with doors lining either side of it. Susie smiled as she imagined what might lie on the other side of those doors.

She glanced over her shoulder towards the stairs, checking that she was indeed alone. She figured she could explore as long as she kept silent.

Susie tiptoed further down the hall, coming to the first door on the right. She wrapped her fingers around the doorknob and gently pushed the door open.

It swung silently in, allowing Susie to take in the sight that lay before her. There were dolls everywhere. They filled the entire room. Their eyes seemed to watch as she crept forward.

Susie was mesmerized by the sight. She had never seen so many dolls in one place before. It was amazing.

She let out a small cry of joy and rushed forward, examining all the dolls. Susie picked up a few, creating a small pile in the center of the floor. She had found her new friends. They would offer her solace while she was banished to this awful place.

Susie sat down among the dolls she had picked out. She touched them here and there, straightening their hair or smoothing their clothes. Each doll she had picked out reminded her of someone she knew. Having them surround her made her feel not so alone.

Susie picked up one doll in particular off the floor. She didn’t know why she had brought this one; it was just something she felt compelled to do.

“Well, is doesn’t matter,” she spoke softly as she straightened the doll’s dress. “In this room, all of you are my friends.” She smiled as she looked around at the dolls before her.

“Susan,” she heard her aunt’s voice from the hallway. “Where are you, child?”

Susan looked at the doll in her hand. Would her aunt be mad at her for being here? She quickly got to feet, an apology already forming on her lips.

Her aunt stepped through the doorway. “Susan! What are you doing to my dolls!” she screamed, coming towards her in a blur of motion.

Susie flinched, backing up suddenly. She bumped into a chair hard, toppling it over into a display case. The glass shattered instantly, scattering shards all over the carpet.

Her aunt froze, her mouth quivering as her hand went to her chest.

Susie looked at the destruction around her, horrified at what she had done. “I’m so sorry, Aunt Emma,” she said softly, expecting an outburst from her anytime.

Instead, her aunt seemed to collect herself. She turned and looked at the doll in the girl’s hand. “I see you’ve taken a fancy to one of my dolls,” she spoke as she stepped closer to her. “How nice,” she cooed. “I bet you even named it. Tell me, did you name it after someone you know?”

Susie nodded weakly, never taking her eyes of her aunt’s face.

“Isn’t that sweet,” her aunt spoke as she reached out and took the doll from her hands. “You know, child, you should never name something. Especially not something like a doll.”

“Why not, Aunt Emma?” Susie asked, quietly.

Her aunt stared at her a moment. “Because, silly girl, it creates a link between the doll and the person you think it represents,” she told her as he eyes drifted over the doll. “I think it’s time to teach you a lesson, child. A lesson about messing with things that don’t belong to you.”

Susie’s eyes went wide. “What are you going to do?”

Her aunt remained silent as she stared at the doll in her hands. After a few minutes, she looked up at Susie. “I bet you loved whoever this doll represented to you. To bad you’ll never see them again,” she told her coldly as she ripped the dolls head from her shoulders. A smile spread across her lips as she threw the pieces to the ground.

Susie watched the pieces bounce across the floor and then looked up at her aunt, a curious look upon her face. “I don’t love the person I named the doll after,” she said, speaking the words slowly.

Her aunt’s expression changed as she watched Susie face. Her head tipped forward slightly as a frowned formed on her lips. “Susan,” she muttered before her head lolled all the way forward and crashed down upon carpet. Her body stayed up a moment longer before pitching to the side.

Susie stared at the broken pieces of her aunt’s body as they lay next to the doll’s pieces. “I named the doll after you, Aunt Emma.”

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Late Again- Friday Flash

LATE AGAIN

By Melissa L. Webb

Robin stared out of the windshield at the bush in front of her car. It shook violently, dropping leaves around it. Her hand rested hesitantly on the door handle. Did she really want to walk past that?

She looked around at the other bushes. They remained still in the bright morning light. There was absolutely no reason for this shrub to be moving like that.

Robin shook her head. It didn’t matter. She had to be in to work on time. There was no way she could afford to be late again.

She opened the car door and placed a foot on the asphalt below her. The bush suddenly froze. A single leaf fluttered to the ground as she watched in amazement. The shrub was still as she continued to stare.

After a few seconds, Robin let out a slight laugh. She was being silly. There was nothing to fear from a bush. Especially not from one in the store parking lot with the sun shining so brightly down upon it.

She shifted and placed both feet squarely on the ground. A shrub wasn’t going to get her fired from work.

The green hedge shook again, drawing Robin’s eye immediately to it. She shivered as a gap started to form in the middle. A black void seem to stare out at her. Nothing that dark and dense should be in the center of a shrub.

Suddenly Robin’s soul went cold. Red eyes had formed in the center of the darkness. Their gaze locked on hers, drowning her in absolute terror. She wanted to move, but all she could do was stare at the eyes in the bush.

The plant shifted again and something began to emerge. It slid from the darkness like a newborn entering this world. It tumbled to the ground in a pile of bright white flesh.

The entrance of the creature shook Robin out of her shock. She quickly yanked her feet off the ground and slid back into the car, slamming the door behind her. She stared out the windshield as the pile of flesh began to stand.

The marble-white creature flexed its legs and arms as if restarting the circulation in them, before looking around it. Its red eyes seemed to squint in the sunlight as it searched for something.

Robin froze, afraid to even breathe. The humanoid creature standing before her car was too terrifying to comprehend. How could this be possible? Things like this just don’t exist.

The creature shifted slightly as it seemed to taste the air. The sun glinted off its skin at its movement, sending blinding light into the car.

Robin flinched as she tried to quickly shield her eyes.

The movement caught the creature’s attention. It turned its head and stared deep into Robin’s eyes.

A squeak escaped her parted lips as she pressed herself back into the driver’s seat. Her movement had caused the creature to decide. It wanted her and she knew nothing would stop it now.

The creature moved forward, never taking its eyes from hers. Its lips turned up slowly in a predatory smile.

An icy shiver flooded Robin’s body. That was the smile only offered to the damned and she knew it. She fumbled with her purse, searching for the keys she had just tossed in. She had to get out of here. It was her only hope.

The creature leapt forward, landing on the hood of her car. Its child-like body moved quickly as it scampered towards the windshield.

Robin yelped as she dug deeper into her purse. Why couldn’t she find her damn keys?

The creature squatted in front of the windshield, his nose inches from the glass as his eyes roamed over Robin, studying her intently. Suddenly a tongue lashed out between jagged teeth. It licked the glass hungrily as if in anticipation of the meal to come.

Robin shrieked in terror, dumping her purse onto the passenger seat. Its contents scattered everywhere as she dug frantically for her keys.

The creature pulled back from the window as its smile widened even more. The humanoid straightened up slightly, before quickly leaping to the roof of the car. It tapped its fingers against the metal, teasingly.

Robin glanced up, wondering what it would do next. Suddenly the metal split open as if it was made of nothing more then paper. She screamed as she saw long white claws descend towards her, followed by red piecing eyes.

The creature’s eyes held a murderous tint as they locked onto its prey. Saliva dripped from it jaws as it lowered itself down.

Robin watched as the inevitable moved towards her. Well, at least she wouldn’t have to worry about being late to work now.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Seep- Friday Flash

Child enjoys a puddle in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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SEEP

By Melissa L. Webb

There’s a puddle under the bushes at the back of my school. It’s full of water even when it’s not raining. It just sits there, stagnant and thick, like primordial ooze from long ago.

Others walk past it quickly, head down, eyes averted, as if it’s something to be ignored at all costs. Later, they may have even forgotten doing it, but during that one moment, the fear is real.

I see it on their faces as they walk past. I see what they’re experiencing, yet I don’t get any of the same feelings when I walk by. Curiosity is the only thing that burns deep inside of me when I see that puddle.

 I was late to school yesterday. I just stood and stared at that water, mesmerized by the inky darkness it contained. I felt drawn to it in ways I couldn’t explain. I needed to know more about it.

I tossed the banana I had been eating into the puddle. It floated on top for a moment before something seemed to stir below it, causing ripples to form in the murky water.

The banana began to sink as some kind of pulpy flesh began to wrap around it. The flesh squirmed against itself like a mound of worms disturbed. It quivered as it hooked itself deeper into the banana, causing it to disappear.

I stood there, amazed, as the water once again became still. What had I just seen? Something was in that stagnant mess. Something alive.

I was in total awe of the creature that called those dark depths its home. I wanted to see it again. I needed to see it again.

 I reached into my lunch bag and pulled a shiny red apple from it. It glistened in the morning light as I tossed it into the puddle. The apple sat there on top of the water, as if waiting patiently to be devoured.

The water slowly started to churn as the creature below once again began to arise. Its flesh rose up around the red orb. The apple’s skin seemed to melt at the creature’s touch, causing fruity pulp to pool into the water. The creature’s flesh closed up around it, dragging the apple below.

 I smiled to myself. I had a secret and it was the coolest thing ever.

 After school, I checked on my puddle, saddened at the thought of being there empty-handed. But all sadness disappeared as I noticed a bird had somehow fallen in. It thrashed on top of the water, helpless to move. The liquid acted like tar, keeping the tiny bird from escaping.

 I watched it flailing, my excitement rising in anticipation. The creature had waited for me. It had accepted me.

The water churned around the bird, causing it to panic even more. Still, it could not move. It just twisted and convulsed on the water’s surface, sensing its demise was close at hand.

I watched as the pulpy flesh once again rose from the water. It pulsated quickly, excited by the kill as much as I was. The bird squeaked in terror as the flesh adhered itself to it.

The feathers quickly dropped from the bird’s skin, like leaves falling from a tree. It screamed as the creature’s flesh tore into its own. Blood pooled around the creature, turning the puddle to a muted crimson.

I stood, frozen in excitement. My heart beating in sync with each scream. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was life in its most primal form and I was witnessing it. The creature had done this for me.

The bird’s screams died as the flesh completely encased it. The creature lingered on the surface a moment longer and then sank below, back down from where it came from.

I felt drained, as if I had spent all my emotions in the last few minutes. I had experienced so much in such a short time. These were things most people couldn’t even imagine and I was living them.

 That had been the creature’s gift to me. It took me out of society’s comfort zone and let me experience life as it was truly meant to be. It had given me so much; I knew I should give something in return.

 And I know just the perfect gift. Today, I think I’ll shove my little sister in.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb