Here is an encore of one of my first Friday Flashes. It’s also one of my personal favorites. Enjoy.
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
- Whispered Words From A Candle-Lit Parlor- Friday Flash (melissalwebb.wordpress.com)
- Icy Fingers- Friday Flash (melissalwebb.wordpress.com)
- The Darkness Behind- Friday Flash (melissalwebb.wordpress.com)
- The Condemned- Friday Flash (melissalwebb.wordpress.com)
By Melissa L. Webb
“Mommy, who is Jack Frost?” Abigail asked as she bounced up to her mother.
Her mom glanced down at the six-year old. “What, Honey?”
She stared up at her, hands on hips. “Mommy, I said, ‘who is Jack Frost?’”
Her mother let out a small chuckle. “Why, he’s the one who brings the cold weather.”
Abigail cocked her head slightly and frowned. “He does?”
Her mother nodded sagely. “Yes, he does. When Winter begins to show, you know Jack Frost has been working late at night.”
She thought for a moment. “What exactly does he do, Mommy?”
“Well, when he comes across a lake or a pond, he breathes on it with his icy breath.”
Abigail’s eyes lit up. “That’s what makes the ice we skate on?”
Her mother nodded again. “Yes, and when Jack Frost steps across the ground with his chilly feet, snow appears in his path, turning it into a winter wonderland.”
She laughed in pure delight. “I love the snow, Mommy. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world.”
“I know, Sweetie,” her mother said and leaned down towards her. “But do you know what my favorite thing is? It’s when I get up early in the morning and pull back the curtain. I love the ice that covers the window in beautiful patterns.” Her mother smiled. “Jack Frost painted those pictures.”
Abigail looked at the window behind her, at the morning ice that covered the pane. “He did that?”
“He sure did,” her mother said, straightening up. “Jack knows how much people like it and how much they look forward to it every winter.” She looked down at her daughter’s smiling face. “Do you know what he is most famous for?”
The little girl’s eyes widened. “No. What is it, Mommy?”
Her mother laughed and touched her nose lightly. “You know how some mornings; you wake up and your nose is really really cold?”
“Like it was this morning?”
“Yes, like this morning. When that happens, you know he’s been visiting you.”
Abigail was quiet for a moment. “So he’s good, Mommy?”
Her mother looked down at her daughter. “Yes, Baby. He’s very good,” she reassured her. “He’s a lot like Santa Claus.”
Abigail nodded. “Okay, Mommy. If you say so,” she told her mom as she turned and headed back towards her room. “I guess it’s true,”
Abigail spoke to herself. “Jack Frost must be the man in my room at night with the icy fingers.”
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
So, the last day of my tour is here. I want to say thank you to everyone involved. It’s been a blast.
And thank you to those of you who have followed me along the way. It is for you, readers, that I write.
Here is the last stop. It’s a book promo and review at Book, Books, and More Books.
Thank you again! Later today I will post the cover for the new Maxie Duncan Halloween novelette. It will go on sale next week. 🙂
My new novel is almost here. BELL, BOOK, AND SANDALS is a paranoral Chick-lit romp worthy of some curl-up-on-the-couch time. It arrives at Amazon in Kindle and paperback form on July 31, 2012. Want to know more?
Sometimes life can be a real witch.
Meet Maxie Duncan. Your average 23-year-old blonde. If you can call being wealthy, gorgeous, and knowing what the future holds at times, average.
After her fiancé blindsides her with a breakup at their favorite restaurant, she leaves Maine for a shot at being Hollywood’s new ‘it girl.’ There’s only one problem. She’s never acted a day in her life.
When a big Hollywood director sends her packing, she realizes if she wants to stay in L.A., she may have to be become a normal girl after all. But normal has never been in the cards for her. Strange things keep happening wherever she goes, a red-eyed shadow no one else sees is stalking her, and to top it off, she may be falling in love again, with either the bookish guy next door, or Hollywood’s hottest leading man.
But everything isn’t what it seems. Someone’s keeping secrets from her. Is it her new friends at the apartment building she moved into? Or is it Ryan Everheart, the actor who wants to sweep her off her feet? And why are her feet suddenly floating off the ground?
It’s enough to drive a girl insane. All Maxie wants to do is ride off into the sunset with her one true love and find a killer pair of Manolo Blahniks on the way. But how’s a girl supposed to focus on a love life and shopping when everywhere she turns someone or something is trying to kill her?
Want to know the exact moment it goes on sale? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you the links to buy it the minute it goes live.
Weaver of Darkness is featured today on Literary R&R blog. Stop by and check out the great review.