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Archive for the tag “Cannibalism”

Flash Fiction Friday 146: Colours frozen in time by Chris Farley

My ever present and never diminishing thanks once again to Morgen.
I’m still unsure as to whether I should be disturbed about the fact that I sat in a pub looking at a tattoo and invented this story around it…

Morgen 'with an e' Bailey

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and forty-sixth piece in this series. This week’s is a 436-worder by Christopher Farley.

Colours frozen in time

The tattoo was the first thing I noticed; it was beautiful. She sat opposite her friend drinking Belgian beer from a huge glass and I saw it as I walked past, making my way to the men’s room.

Her thin, white arms poked out from her even whiter t-shirt, then a waterfall of colour burst from the sleeves of the t-shirt. Three lotus flowers, red, green and pink, one on top of the other. But oh, the arm. How could something so pale and delicate suffer so much pain? I returned to the bar and pretended to look at the game on the big screen. Her friend rose from the table and headed for the toilet.

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help…

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The Main Course

He made everyone look up from their meal, both female and male.  He wasn’t good looking; far from it but he had a certain something.  He was dressed in a blue shark-skin suit, and, strangely, a claret shirt.  It wasn’t this sartorial stew that drew attention though.

His face was fairly pointed and his mouth, unsmiling, seemed a little deformed, as if it had little in common with the rest of his face.  Whatever it was, it had an effect.  People stopped eating to watch him walk by; although his walk also was a little unnatural.  He seemed to glide instead of taking steps.  He was sat at a table toward the dimly lit rear of the restaurant.  He scanned the restaurant, his eyes like black marble holding the gaze of the other people till, one by one, they dropped theirs.

The Maître d’ availed himself immediately.  He arrived at the table; flicking a quick hand across the tablecloth and removing two almost invisible specks of something in one go.

“I feel carnivorous this evening”, said the man.  “I think a plate of bresaola will do me for starters.  I’ll make my mind up on the main course as I chew.”  The Maître d’ nodded.

“A bottle of sparkling water also,” he said, “I like the way those bubbles go to my head.”  Once again the Maître d’ nodded and, avoiding the seated man’s eyes, made his way to the kitchen.  He sent a waiter with the bottle of water.

The restaurant noise resumed its previous level.  Couples enjoying a romantic for two, a rose placed between them.  Business associates enjoying heated debates over targets hit and missed.  Ernest salesmen continuing their sales pitch between forkfuls of tagliatelle.

The order arrived.  Placing the plate of cured meat in front of the man, the waiter, no doubt briefed by the Maître d’, asked if he’d considered his main course.

“Still thinking,” said the man.  He hinted at a smile, allowing a glimpse of that strange mouth.  The waiter felt a small shiver run down his back but couldn’t put his finger on why it should be.  Returning a professional smile, honed during 25 years’ service, he made his way from the table.

The discussion at a table of hard-nosed marketing execs started getting heated; a little too much wine or possibly after-dinner cognac getting the better of two of them and the argument promised to get out of hand.

The man polished off the starter in less than a minute, all the while keeping his eye on events in the restaurant.  The Maître d’ was standing at the table, imploring calm with his hands held outwards but to little avail.  The shouting reached a crescendo, one of the men, with a fat sweating face and cheeks flush from the booze, was now on his feet and waving his arms around, occasionally pointing a shaking hand at one of his colleagues; a crew-cut kid with the face and neck of a bulldog.

“You’re just an overblown tele-salesman,” shouted the sweating man.  “You’ve seen nothing!  We’ve been through the mill, busting our ass studying what we do.  You arrive, make 50 phone calls and hit a lucky.  What do you know about market analytics or product lifecycle?  You just kiss the right ass in the right place and think you’re God’s gift.”

Crew-cut raised himself out of his seat and leant over the table.  Then there came the sound of breaking glass.

“Shit!”

Mr. Waving Arms held his hand to his cheek, blood seeping through his fingers.  Grabbing a serviette to hold against the man’s face the Maître d’ led him by the arm, pointing to the men’s service area.  As he quickly returned to the table of still-arguing marketing execs, the man in the shark skin suit, alone in the semi-dark, smiled to himself, revealing a huge set of triangular teeth.  He breathed in the smell of blood, and glided from his chair.

Revenge is a dish best served…alive

My thanks go to Morgen Bailey for giving this story an airing.  It remained at around one hundred words for a month or so then whilst adding, the ending came to me.  Anyway, it’s my first flash fiction piece, I hope you enjoy it.

Chris

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Brian saw the legs first. Two of them. Then there followed another, then another.  He counted eight. He was unsure as to why it had come out from behind the wardrobe only to sit on the floor and gaze at him; at least he believed it was gazing at him.

He heard a crash downstairs, Margie was cooking and swearing all at once, he chuckled to himself as a list of expletives, possibly borrowed from the army parade ground, turned the air blue.  It still looked at him.  Frowning, he reached for the remote control and turned on the news.  News?  Death, starvation, natural disaster, murder.  No news there, he thought.

The spider had moved.  He didn’t know where but it had gone, disappeared, hopefully back to the hole it had crawled out from.  He gave a final sweep of the room and turned over the TV.  More rubbish.  He was convinced that evening’s viewing was programmed by people who do anything but stay at home in the evening. After rigorous use of the remote he found a motoring channel and let the host guide his way through the intricacies of some flash sports car.

“Margie”, he shouted, “bring us up a beer love would you?”  He heard the voice below in the kitchen, mutter something or other, muffled by the distance and the walls.  A few minutes passed and still no ale.  The spider was back.

“Margie!” Louder this time. “Get us that beer love”.  It wasn’t a request.

Again a minute or two passed.

“Margie!!!”

The spider disappeared.  30 seconds later the door opened, two hands holding a can and a glass arrived and handed both to him.

“You took your time love”.  Not even thanks.

Margie looked briefly into his face as she turned and walked from the room, closing the door behind her.

“Did you just look at me?” he called after her.  He heard her footsteps on the landing then the top of the stairs, the way the floorboard creaked between the banister and the bathroom door was a giveaway.  Then she was back in the kitchen.

He poured the beer from the can and let it settle, continuing to top up the glass slowly.  Raising it to his lips he let the first mouthful wash down his throat.  The spider was back.  “What an ugly brute” he thought.  He considered calling Margie to bring the fly-swatter hanging up in the kitchen.  “No,” he said to himself, “let’s see what it does next”.

After a further 5 minutes of motoring TV he realised he was hungry. “Margie,” he yelled, “bring me a sandwich love.” The spider regarded him.  For a second or two Brian considered throwing something at it but the only things to hand were his beer and the remote control, both necessities and not available for launch.  The spider turned and disappeared.  A short while later the sandwich appeared. “Cheese?  “You know I don’t like cheese in a sandwich.”

“It’s all I got in the fridge,” came the reply.

“Where does my housekeeping money go?”

“I haven’t been to the shop, I haven’t felt well, remember?”

“You won’t be feeling well if you talk to me like that again. I’m the man of the house.”

Margie went downstairs.  The spider appeared. Brian heard sobs from the kitchen. “Bloody woman,” he said.

As if in response, the spider raised itself up on the back two sets of legs, looking at him.  It charged, racing across the room.  Brian watched fascinated, even when the spider struck, biting his foot.  He didn’t feel anything, just a strange numbness; which then started up his left leg, reached his thigh then started down the right one.  Brian sat following the spider with his eyes as the strange sensation crept into his abdomen, then his arms. Finally he could no longer move his head.

The spider returned to the wardrobe, going backwards under the door, studying the man in the chair.  It disappeared.

Five minutes later Margie came through the door with an assortment of cutlery.  She closed the door behind her.  Looking at her husband she sat down and took the knife and fork in her hands… and waited.

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