Flash Fiction

So here’s my answer to the Author Aerobics: Dialogue Punctuation Exercise. I managed to stick  to the time and word limits this week! Whew. Good thing no 3 act plot structures were required.

by T.S. Bazelli

“He was always a cold-hearted old bastard.” Summer licked a fleck of ruby blood from her lips. Her floral cotton day-dress was streaked with red and her hair had come half undone, but still she smiled.

“That doesn’t mean that this was right,” I said. My hands were clammy with sweat as I gripped the knife. Every hair on my body was standing on end as I stared at the body spread eagle on the ground.

Summer crouched. “The deed’s done. It’s too late now. It was your plan, wasn’t it? Where are we going to hide the body?”

“Let’s just get the old man off the path,” I said with a grimace, “before some idiot jogger comes along.”

We each grabbed hold of a tweed clad arm and dragged. He was heavy. We left a trail of upturned rocks and crushed plants behind us. Summer dropped the old man face down beside a thorny blackberry busy and walked back to the trail.

Dark pools of blood were sticky on the gravel. Summer kicked at the path with her sandals as I scraped up the dirt with a stick. My clothes grew damp with moisture as I hacked at the hard packed earth. Summer whistled a tune, leaving the hard work to me. It had been my plan after all.

An eternity later, the trail lay scarred with freshly overturned soil, but I could still smell the iron in the air.

“Looks good!” Summer plopped down on a mound of moss, and massaged her feet. I couldn’t fathom why she’d dressed so inappropriately for the occasion. Death, I thought, should require gravitas – even if it came down to murder.

My expression did not escape Summer. She patted the mossy mound, inviting me to sit. “Hon, the old man just got what he deserved…”

“But still –“

Summer interrupted. “You’re just bringing karma back into alignment. Old man Winters always gave me the creeps, the way he’d watch everyone with those crazy gray eyes.

“He didn’t care about anyone. You saw what he did to Autumn. He just let her waste away. He didn’t lift a bony old finger to help her.

I interrupted. “I didn’t like him either, but there must have been another way.”

“He was a cold blooded as any murderer.”

I wrapped my arms around my body, concealing the stains that soaked to the skin. Above the trees, clouds billowed, casting shadows and light, sprinkling us with cleansing rain. Summer grimaced. It was not her favorite season.

Out of the corner of my eye I watched her palm the knife. It disappeared into a deep pocket.

She glanced over and wrapped a warm arm around my shoulders. “Let’s get you cleaned up Spring.” Summer smiled, knowing her time would come soon enough.


Flash Fiction

Here’s another short piece of fiction for you. I’m participating in a Writer’s Blog Carnival this week and here’s my contribution. Just a bit of fun!

A New Hobby
By T.S. Bazelli

“Are you not bored, sisters?” Chloe asked.

The triplets sat around the wide table, working away as they’d always done. Asia gently set down a battered pair of shears, a gift from Zeus at her birth. She knew them better than she knew the calluses on her fingers. She pushed the bifocals up her nose and pursed her lips.

Laura draped a length of flexible measuring tape was over her shoulders. Her bob of curly white hair did not move as she whipped her head towards Chloe.  She hadn’t changed her hairstyle since the 50’s.

“Well, spill it. What do you want Clotho?” Laura inquired in her usual tone. No one called her by that name but Laura. “We have serious work to do and you’re holding the fate of some poor schmuck in your hands. I see you’ve left him stuck at a dead-end minimum wage retail job for,” she held out her fingers and eyeballed it, “the next two years. His wife’s not going to be pleased.”

“Oh I know.” Chloe pulled at the thread roughly. Asia and Laura both winced at her carelessness. “But don’t you ever wish we could do things a bit differently?”

“How so?” Asia reached for the navy blue thread in Chloe’s hands. She trimmed it neatly. The snipping made the faint sound of a car crash. That was the end of Mr. Navy Blue.

“We have all this thread lying around. I was thinking we should try doing something with it. I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet,” Chloe said.

Laura and Asia frowned. “Crochet?”

“Well yes! On the bus to work the other day I met this adorable woman wearing this gorgeous scarf. She told me she’d crocheted it herself. I decided to take a quick swing by the library, and picked up a couple of books.” Chloe continued. “Isn’t this all such a waste? All these threads just keep piling up!”

Asia wrinkled her nose. She was the one that always got stuck sweeping it up.

“A scarf seems like the easiest pattern. Don’t you think it’s a good idea Lachesis?” Chloe batted her eyelashes and called Laura by her true name, however dated, her sister enjoyed tradition. She was the one to convince.

Laura frowned, but with another long look at her two smiling siblings, she let out a sigh. Crochet, after all, had already been around for centuries. “Well let’s see. We can try it.”

So the three-fates took up crochet. They practiced tentatively with their endless supply of thread. They worked their way up to from simple doilies to scarves. Soon, they were devouring books at the library, and crocheting stars, circles, flowers… and they had as many colors at their disposal as there were humans in the world.

It was the most fun they’d had in the last millennium.

Around the world something strange began to happen. The constellations began to rearrange spontaneously. Gone were the big dipper and the scorpion. People looked up at the sky and named new ones: the sushi roll, the purple orchid, the spiral. Astrologers reworked their charts. Suddenly human lives began to fall into predictable patterns. The most enterprising made millions, started radio-talk shows, were appointed seats in government.

And when the sisters had accumulated more scarves, berets, doilies, and sweaters, than they could ever use, they wondered what they could do with them. In the end it was Chloe, naturally, that pointed out there was always this thing called the internet, and that they could always set up shop and make a little money on the side too.