Coffee Date- Friday Flash

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café t...

Roasted coffee beans Español: Granos de café tostado (natural). Bahasa Indonesia: Biji kopi alami yang telah disangrai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COFFEE DATE

By Melissa L. Webb

The coffee canister rocked on the shelf, threatening to topple forward. It swayed near the edge as if in slow motion. Jodie frowned before quickly stopping it from plummeting to its doom. She stared down at the plastic canister in her hands. This wasn’t the one she wanted.

“Wow, awesome catch,” a husky voice whispered from behind her.

She turned slightly and looked behind her. A guy stood there, watching her through shaggy blond bangs. She smiled. “Thanks,” she told him, turning back to her coffee decision.

“That’s an excellent coffee you have there,” he told her, stepping closer.

“I’ve never tried it before. I usually just get the cheap stuff.”

The guy shook his head in mock horror. “That stuff’s not coffee. It’s battery acid.” He reached over and took the canister from her hand. “This is the only way to go,” he said and shook the container slightly.

Jodie sighed. “I don’t know. I don’t even really like coffee. It’s just a habit I can’t seem to shake.”

The guy shook his hair out of his eyes, flashing her a brilliant white smile. “You’d like this. I guarantee it.” He looked down at her with a question in his green eyes. “Especially if I were to make it for you.”

“That’s very kind of you, but I can’t,” she told him, turning around and heading down the aisle.

“Wait,” he called after her. “I’d really like to get to know you. Just one cup of coffee is all I’m asking. We’ll see where it goes from there.”

She looked back over her shoulder. “I’m sorry. I’m not interested in getting involved with someone right now,” she said, turning the corner and heading for the front of the store.

The last thing she needed right now was a new boyfriend. If she got involved, it would end messy. It always did. This was the time for her to focus on herself and figure out where she was heading. She didn’t need a guy to distract her from that.

Jodie hurried to the checkout and got in line. Watching the customer in front of her, she sat her purchases on the conveyer belt.

“Look, I think we got off on the wrong foot.”

She turned around to find the guy behind her once again.

The guy ran a hand through his mane of hair. “I’m Quinn and I think you’re very beautiful.” He smiled down at her. “I would love to have a cup of coffee with you. If you feel uncomfortable about going back to my place, I know this great coffee shop down the street. They only serve the good stuff there.”

Jodie shook her head. “I’m sorry. Like I said before, I’m not interested. Thank you for the offer though. I’m flattered.”

Quinn stood there for a moment. “Are you sure?” he finally asked.

“I’m very sure.”

“Okay. Can’t blame a guy for trying,” he told her with a sheepish smile.

Jodie returned the smile. “No, I guess not.”

“Well, I guess I’ll see you around,” he said, waving slightly before turning.

She watched him walk away before going back to her groceries. She was somewhat sad she had to say no. He had seemed like a nice guy. She would’ve had fun getting to know him. With a sigh, she paid for her groceries and headed out of the store.

She turned and walked around the side of the building, heading back to where she had parked her car. She reached in the pocket of her jeans while shifting the grocery bag to the other arm. Pulling out her keys, she slipped them into the driver’s side door and opened the car. She slipped the groceries over her seat and into the back.

“I can’t believe you don’t want to go out with me.”

She whirled around fast, coming face to face with Quinn. “What do you want from me?” she asked him.

“I want you to say yes!”

Jodie backed up, putting more distance between them. “I told you, Quinn. No, I don’t want to.”

“You’re kidding yourself, sweetheart,” he spoke as he took a step forward, pinning her against the car. “Nobody tell me no. Nobody turns me down.”

Jodie pushed back against him. “Stop it! Please, don’t do this. You don’t want to do this.”

Quinn pushed his body tighter against hers. “Oh, but I do. I want you, baby, and I won’t take no for an answer,” he cooed down at her, his voice as smooth as black oil.

She squirmed against him, trying to push him back. Her hands flew to his face, clawing frantically.

Quinn drew back slightly, pushing her hands out of his face. He looked down at her hands and at the blood that had come off him. “You scratched me. You ruined my face, bitch,” he snarled at her.

Jodie looked down at her hands and then back up at his face, feeling her panic rise. “Please. Don’t. Leave me alone,” she pleaded.

He grinned at her while the blood ran down his face. “You’re going to get it now. You stupid bitch!” he yelled as he slammed her head back against the car.

Jodie’s vision swam as her head bounced back up. She felt the darkness close in on her. “I didn’t want this,” she muttered thickly. “I didn’t want for this to happen. I tried.” She looked up at Quinn. “You should have just stayed away.”

“Well, it’s too late for that, baby,” he said, pinning her body against the car again. “You’re mine now.”

“No,” Jodie said, shaking her head. “You’re mine.” Her eyes turned black as she grabbed him by his collar and pulled him closer.

He screamed as he watched her eyes. “What are you doing?” he whispered.

She looked at him, fire in her dark eyes. “I didn’t want this. I’ve tried to stop, but you brought this on yourself,” she hissed as her fangs grew. “This is better than coffee anyway.” She brought him close and let her fangs sink deep inside his flesh.

 

 © 2010 Melissa L. Webb

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Provenance- Friday Flash

Art gallery of NSW

Art gallery of NSW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PROVENANCE

By Melissa L. Webb

Donatella stood in front of the painting, her lips drawn back in disgust. It was the most hideous thing she had ever seen. How could anybody call that art?

She cringed as her eyes followed the brush strokes in the paint. Why would someone waste such obvious talent on a picture like that? It could only be labeled as an abomination.

The farmhouse that made up the focal point of the painting was slowly burning to the ground. The flames glowed in the darkness of the backdrop as they hugely devoured the structure. Pale wispy shapes seem to swarm the outside of the farmhouse, almost as if they were worshiping the destruction that was taking place.

But the angelic little girl staring out of the farmhouse window was the thing that made Donatella’s blood run cold. The girl seemed to be at peace, almost as if she was oblivious to the events around her.

She could almost believe that if it wasn’t for the smear of crimson paint across the little girl’s mouth. She shivered as she unconsciously took a step back.

“Horrid, isn’t it?”

Donatella looked over at the gallery owner. “Yes, it is, Carol.”

Carol nodded as she stared at the painting. “Most people don’t even look at it this long. They just take one glance and quickly walk away.”

Donatella chuckled softly. “I can see why.”

Carol glanced around quickly and then looked back at her. “They say it’s cursed.”

“Really? What sort of curse?”

“They say that whoever owns the painting will die a horrible death.”

Donatella looked back at the painting. “Very interesting. What’s the provenance on this thing?”

“No one knows where it came from, but everyone who has owned this painting in the last hundred years has died some sort of tragic death.”

Donatella was quiet, contemplating the unnatural painting in front of her.

Carol looked over at her. “I’m sure there’s nothing to that though, just some freak coincidence.”

“Uh, huh. I’m sure you’re right,” she told her, her eyes never leaving the painting. “I’ll take it.”

Carol looked shocked for a moment, and then smiled. “Great. I’ll go get the paperwork,” she told her before hurrying away.

Donatella let her eyes roam over the painting one last time. She was sure the curse was true. Every ounce of her being wanted to flee from the very sight of the painting. There was definitely evil encased in that canvas. She smiled. She had found her husband’s anniversary present.

© 2010 Melissa L. Webb

 

The Grinning- Friday Flash

Face-grin thanks-zh tw

Face-grin thanks-zh tw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE GRINNING

By Melissa L. Webb

Jared crossed the street, watching the dying sunlight as it crept away in favor of the waiting darkness. He knew he had promised his mother he’d be home well before dark, but it was summer now. No school in the morning. It stayed light until after nine. How could he not enjoy a few extra hours of this sunshine? His mom would just have to forgive him.

Walking down the sidewalk, he felt the freedom only a kid can feel at the beginning of summer. No Cares. No Worries. Just the thought of another day in the sun. A day he could repeat over and over again.

The trees stirred next to him as he walked, as if waking from a slumber. He stopped, glancing into them, waiting for some animal to show itself. But nothing did. The trees stopped their movement and everything was still.

He stood there a moment longer and then shrugged. It must have been a bird settling in to its nest. He continued on, his step a little faster now. After all, he really did need to get home before dark.

A scuffling sound echoed behind him, like someone dragging their feet on the cement. He turned around, startled by the sound. The street was empty around him. Nothing stirred. Nothing moved. He was alone.

A chill crept up his spine. He wasn’t really alone. He could feel it. Something was out there, staring at him this very moment. He could feel their eyes probe him as real as any fingers. He needed to get home. Now.

A wind chime swayed in the distance, creating a soft tinkling sound that jarred his nerves worse than any scream could ever have. There was no breeze this evening. Those chimes should not have moved.

The chill was beginning to turn into a full blown panic attack. Jared needed to move. He needed to get home now, where he could be safe from whatever was stalking him. He wished to God his mother had gotten him a cell phone for his birthday like he wanted. He could call her. He could call the police. He could call anyone. He didn’t even care if everyone thought he was a baby. He just needed to be safe.

Something was out there.

Turning around, he ignored the terror brewing inside of him. He just had to keep moving.

”Wait,” a voice called, soft and commanding, wrapping itself around the boy, forcing him to do exactly what it said.

Jared froze, his body turning even as his mind screamed no. He couldn’t help it. He faced what was behind him.

A man stood before him, if you could call him a man. He towered towards the sky. His long lanky body standing over seven feet. His clothes ragged and dirty, far too small for a man of his height. It was as if he had stolen them from someone and slipped them on quickly, not caring whether they ripped or not. His eyes blinked down at the boy. Yellow orbs with vertical pupils taking everything in. Long bony fingers flexed open and closed at his side, nails filed into points crowning each tip.

But worse was his grin. It stretched from ear to ear, exposing rows of white square teeth. It was larger than any mouth had a right to be, taking up his lower face. The man stood there, not moving, just grinning away.

Jared took a step back, swallowing the fear that was thick in his throat. He hadn’t been prepared for this. Who would have been? This man had no place in reality.

“What’s a matter, boy? Scared of something?” he asked, never losing his grin.

Jared took another step back, a whimper escaping from deep within him. The fear this thing generated was suffocating. It was amazing he hadn’t peed his pants at the sight of it talking.

The man moved forward, stepping into the boy’s personal space. He lowered his face closer to him. Staring and grinning. Grinning and staring.

Jared gagged as he looked into the man’s face. The smell coming off him stank like rotten meat. The image of this man laying in a pit somewhere came into his mind suddenly. Laying in a pit, feasting for days at a time, the meat spoiling around him and the man not caring at all. His grinning face still feasting away at the rotten stuff.

Jared couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t move. All he could do was stare at that grinning mouth. The grinning that didn’t stop. That would never stop. Always grinning. Always.

“Come home with me, boy,” the man-thing said in his face. His lips practically not moving. The grin never changing shape. “Come home with me and partake in my secrets. They are such nice secrets. And dinner is approaching so fast.”

Jared’s feet refused to move. They had betrayed him in his greatest hour of need. There was no way he was going to escape this thing. There was nothing he could do. The giant man with the grinning face would take him to a pit somewhere. He would remain there until his flesh spoiled, the man stuffing his face as it did.

A car turned the corner, rolling past them silently. It was enough to break the spell the man had weaved around the boy. Jared took a step back. And another. And another. He had been freed. He could run home to the safety of his mother and whatever punishment she wanted to give him.

The man with the grin turned away, angling his back to the car so it couldn’t see what it really is. The grin still there as he carefully watched the boy out of the corner of his slanted eye. He knew he still had the boy’s attention, if only for a few more seconds. “No worries, boy. I have seen you. I have claimed you. No matter where you hide, I will grin at you another day,” he called to the boy, his grin even larger than before.

© 2012 Melissa L. Webb