Strawberry Perfume

Hello. 

That’s the only word I can ever manage to say to her, but it never gets a response. She floats by me every single day as if I’m a ghost or something. I know she sees me, but for some odd reason, be it egotism or repulsion, she refuses to even spare a glance my way. I’m not one for love and I’m not the kind of guy to chase women, but I want this one. No, I NEED this one. I utter my “Hello” as usual, but the girl with the blonde hair and strawberry perfume just floats on by.

What the hell, man? Is she a lesbian? Does she have a boyfriend or something? Well today we’re going to find out. I’m not one to chase women, but that’s all about to change. 

She exits through the door and I slither my way through, keeping just enough distance to see her and not be seen myself. The door shuts behind me and I’m outside, surrounded by the thousands of New York City skyscrapers, rude pedestrians, and honking taxis. The girl crosses the street and the crowd swallows her whole. Damn it, I’ve lost her. 

But wait… it’s in the air, I can smell it. That unmistakable scent of strawberries. I follow the scent and make my way across the street as well. I can see the mane of blonde hair flowing down her back and tossing through the crowd. She’s moving quickly, as if she’s afraid of something… or someone. Has she noticed that I’ve been following her all this time? Maybe, but it’s unlikely considering that she seems to be running to a particular place. She zigs and zags through the crowd and makes a sharp right turn through the double glass doors of a building.

Her perfume is my guide as I zig and zag through the crowd. I slam into a photographer and he falls backward into the crowd of people and many of them fall like dominos. Finally, I find the door she went through and push my way through. I’m standing in a lobby and I can see an elevator across the hall that’s just started closing. I can barely see her as the doors close shut. The indicator on top of the doors says that she’s traveling to the fifth floor. 
A security guard near the front door asks if I need help, but just as he utters the word, I spot a door leading to a staircase on a nearby wall. I have no time to waste. I push the door open and storm up the stairs. I’m skipping two, three stairs at a time, and I almost lose my balance, but I keep moving to the fifth floor. I push through the doors just as her elevator opens and she makes her way out and down the hall. She pulls out a key, goes to a door three rooms down, and opens it. Now is my chance. I sprint down the hallway and stick a foot in just as she closes it. I push the door back and step inside. Her face is a mask of surprise. 

“Who are you, and what the hell are you doing here?” She asks. Panic explodes in her eyes. 

“I say hello to you every single fucking day, that’s who I am.” I respond. My voice rises uncontrollably, but I don’t care to adjust it. 

Suddenly, she smiles. A devilish little smile. Behind her lips sit two rows of razor sharp wolf teeth. It all happens so fast. She morphs and her ears become pointed and dog like, and her body grows dramatically. Her clothes shred and fall to the floor, replaced by hulking muscles. 

My eyes grow wide. No, no, please. No! I run for the door, but she knocks me off my feet and pulls me back by my legs. She looks me in my eyes. “Hi.” she says. 

The last things I remember are the scent of strawberry perfume and two rows of sharp teeth coming for my neck. And then everything goes black. 

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Broken Bottles

My head felt like the ocean, like tidal wave after tidal wave was crashing against my skull. My eyes were reluctant doors on rusty hinges, but once they opened, I wish I had kept them closed. There were holes everywhere. Grotesque circles, roughly the size of marbles.  Continue reading

Nobody Hears You Scream

  

She appeared every night. She stood at the foot of his bed and watched him sleep; weekdays, weekends, holidays. No exceptions. He didn’t know her name. She never spoke a word as she glared down at him, unblinking, not moving a muscle. 

On the first night she appeared, Peter had just come home from a night at the movies with some friends, drank a steaming cup of cocoa, kissed his mother good night, and went to bed like he always did. He took off his watch and put it on the dresser, in the same place he always put it. He changed into his pajamas and put his clothes in the hamper the same way he normally would. He wriggled under the blanket and went to sleep immediately, just like always. 

He didn’t dream that night. His sleep was more for rest than entertainment, so only the darkness behind his eyelids greeted him. At least until the middle of the night. 

His eyes popped open, and that was the first sign something was wrong. On this night, his eyes were panicked and paranoid, desperate for an exit.

2:13 AM flashed on his alarm clock. He had gone to bed only three hours ago, so why was he already awake? Something trickled down Peter’s brow and he reached a hand to wipe it. Why was he sweating? He wiped his wet hand on his bed sheets and noticed that there was someone else in the room. 

An old woman with skin like a weathered plastic bag stood at the end of his bed. Her eyes were abysmal, and if you stared too long, they would probably suck you inside, never to be seen again. Her mouth was a violent line and her nose was shaped like a fishing hook. Her moss-like hair hovered just above her bony shoulders. The woman reeked like a New York City dumpster, ammonia, and gasoline. Peter’s body tried to gag, but couldn’t. 

“Who the hell are you!?” He tried to say, but no sound would come from his mouth. His eyes darted, horrified as he tried to repeat the question, but the words died on his lips. The woman and her abysmal eyes stared back, still as a statue. 

“ARRRRRRGGGHHHH!” He tried to scream at the top of his lungs, but his voice box failed him. This was unreal, he had to go get help. Peter tried to sit up, but his body remained pinned to the bed like it was tied with ropes. He tried to swing his legs over the bed, but they wouldn’t budge. Panic set in. He couldn’t leave his room and nobody could hear him scream. His windpipe tightened. It was like someone was choking him; hard enough to watch him suffer, but soft enough to keep him alive.

Who was she? Why was she there? Would she kill him? Sell his organs on the black market? Steal his soul? 

But she just stood there. Blue electricity radiated off her figure and adrenaline vibrated through Peter’s body.

The minutes and hours moved at a snail-like speed until the sun shone through Peter’s window. The incoming sunlight flooded the room and the old woman vanished into thin air. Her disappearance left Peter gasping for breath. He put a hand to his chest and felt his marching band of a heartbeat, relieved that his body could move again. Shaking, Peter swung his legs around the edge of his bed so he was sitting. He collapsed his head into his hands and sobbed.

Of course, his mother didn’t believe him. She said something like “That’s what you get for watching those horror flicks, it’s all in your head,” but he knew the truth. No matter how many times he told her, she wouldn’t understand. He couldn’t tell his friends either; they’d just say he was imagining things and tell him to “Man up, dude.” 

Ever since that first time, Peter awoke every night to the creepy old woman at his bed. He never knew her name. He never knew why he couldn’t breathe or why he couldn’t move. He never knew what she wanted with him. But one day, that woman would speak, and her words would change Peter’s life forever. 

-Daevone Molyneux

Never Sleep Again

  

I can´t remember the last time I slept. I think I live a normal life, like everyone else. I’m a regular woman with regular hair and regular friends. I have a regular job, with a regular car, and a regular apartment. I don’t party often and I live in a quiet neighborhood where police cars are as uncommon as four leaf clovers. But I will never sleep again.

I can’t remember when the nightmares started, but all I know is that they never stopped. My mind loves to torture me with many levels of hell and to sleep is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. I’ve been eaten by goons and goblins. I’ve fallen down an abyss so dark I couldn’t see my flailing arms and legs. Strange creatures break down my door and carry me off to strange lands where I’m forced to forever serve them. I see myself killing without control, for no reason whatsoever, as if I need a fresh coat of blood on my hands like my lungs need oxygen.

I wake up screaming every morning and for the last few days, my nightmares have followed me in my everyday life. I can’t help but check over my shoulder every few seconds for goblins and gargoyles. I don’t eat steak with knives anymore, as I’m afraid I might have murderous thoughts. 

I’ve thought of getting help and seeing a psychiatrist so I could get some peace of mind and some shuteye, but that would do more harm than good. They’d think, no, they’d know I’m crazy and they’d send me to live in some nuthouse in the middle of nowhere. I can already feel my neighbors’ ridicule. “You remember Janice down the road? Well she went mad and claims that ax murderers had been stalking her. I always knew that owning so many damn cats was bad for your health.”

The best thing to do is stay awake. The nightmares have started to creep into my day, but that’s nothing compared to what I go through when I close my eyes. For now, I have a cup of coffee and a three month bulk supply of 5 Hour Energy. 

I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I never sleep again. If that even means cheating death, so be it. 

Secrets

  

The following story is inspired by this poem by Markus Røe:

  

Life is a funny device, the way a simple action can complicate everything.

There was a clown living in my closet. A clown, a real clown. It walked and talked, hell, it even breathed.

I always slept with my back to the closet, but ignoring the clown only served to make things worse. 

The skeleton under my bed groaned and rattled its shattered bones, screaming and begging for mercy like the day I took its life. 

Weeks prior, I sat in a dark room, tears staining my shirt. The light bill wasn’t paid and I had to carry a candle everywhere. I drowned in debt, and the danger of eviction hung over my head. The landlord pounded on the door like a one man SWAT team. I didn’t have the money, and asked him to give this starving artist some more time while my paintings sold. He stormed his way into the apartment, raising his voice and making threats. After that, I just… lost it. 

I googled “How to get away with murder” and did what the helpful articles instructed. And that’s how I wound up with a skeleton in my bedroom. 
The clown in my closet might have been a sign I was crazy, or a slice of karma there to bite me in the ass.

Although the landlord was no more, his skeleton was very much alive. It taunted me through the day, but that was nothing compared to my trouble at night. When I tried to sleep, the moans and groans grew louder, even louder than the day I killed him.

To achieve sleep was to win the lottery, but I never escaped the nightmares. Blood blinded my vision while bloodcurdling screams of loved ones deafened my ears; Family, friends, and children alike. Unbridled rage consumed me and I killed them all. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. I awoke the same way every time, my bed a swimming pool of sweat and the skeleton rattling with laughter. 

And then one night I couldn’t take it any more. I shot out of bed, the floorboards squeaking as I approached the window at the far wall.


I kicked through the window and peered to the New York City lights below me. The wind violated my clothes as I jumped off the ledge.

My body was a potato splattered on the concrete, awaiting the flood of news cameras and police tape that were sure to follow. 

Saltwater Sorrows

  

There’s a boy in my village who behaves like an old man. He sits, silent and reserved in a corner, looking toward the village gates while other children run and play, causing mischief.

I do not know his name, nor do I believe he has one. I have never spoken a word to him, and I doubt he even knows who I am. I watch him twice each day as he goes to the beach and stares out to the ocean for two hours and returns to the village with his head down.

He does this when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down, every day without fail, rain or shine. He stares at the waters as if waiting for something – or someone. 

I watch as he removes a golden locket from his neck and stares into it, tears flowing into the sand. Even a hardened old bag of a man like me gets choked up from the sight, especially since I’m the cause of the boy’s pain.

You see, normal people walk by and think nothing of the boy with the locket, but they don’t know his story. Not like I do. 

I am not proud of my past. I was the saltiest pirate of them all, or at least I wanted to be. Since I was a child, I admired a band of pirates in the village. When I was 30 something years old, I worked up the courage to approach them. I can still feel my nervous knees shaking from that day. They were a rowdy bunch who never smiled and looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. But the captain was different. 

He put an arm around my shoulder and blew cigar smoke in my face. I choked and fought every urge to cough the smog from the lungs. He told me I could join his crew, but I had to go through an initiation. 

We sailed out that same night. We anchored behind a boulder and watched as a young couple said goodbye to their son on the shore, likely promising him they would return in a few hours. They sailed off. We followed. 

The captain handed me a knife and jerked his head toward the ship. His desires didn’t need explanation.

I dove into those waters, invaded the boat, and climbed back on our ship, covered in blood that wasn’t my own. The men slapped my back and cheered. We celebrated and I ate more that night than I have in my life. 

The happiness faded when I returned home and saw the boy. He seems to appear wherever I am, as if by chance. My heart drops whenever I see him. He never speaks to anyone, and only indicated his desires with hand movements and shakes of the head. I can never stand to be in the same room with him. I watch him from afar instead and although it was so long ago, I still feel the weight of his parents’ blood on my hands. 

I’ve thought of approaching him on the beach to tell him that his parents would never return as they promised, but I can never bring myself to do it. I’m afraid of something that I can’t identify. Is it the ghosts of his parents or is it the little boy himself?

My past haunts me in my nightmares, and when my eyes are open. No matter what, I see the boy who waits and wishes for a dream that will never come true. 

A New Direction

 

I would like to thank you for all the wonderful comments and support. You are limitlessly fantastic and I hope you know how much you’ve made me laugh, smile, and beam with pride from your wonderful words.

I’ve gotten requests to write more short stories here on this blog and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to post much more frequently throughout the week with new flash fiction pieces. I’ll still blog a few rants and observations about life, reading, and writing, but this blog will now feature more stories than ever before. 

If there’s anything you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your opinion. 

There will be a brand new flash fiction piece tomorrow, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before, so I’d love to know what you think of it.

Once again, thank you for being the supportive fantastic creature you are. I’m amazed at how far a few words can travel across the world and reach us all. Stay tuned, we’re about to have all kinds of fun. I hope you’re having a fantastic day. 

Old Man In The Park – A Short Story

  

There’s a guy sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper…

I’ve lost track of how many days and weeks I’ve followed him. At first glance he looks like an ordinary gentleman – bowler hat with a feather sticking out, glasses pushed to the tip of his nose, and a wrinkled face like an antique leather sofa. I watch his eyes scan the paper; he occasionally raises his eyebrows before flipping to the next page. He seems so innocent and elderly, but things usually aren’t as they seem.
My photography background for The Daily News has taught me the best positions in which to stay hidden from a person. My lens is trained, taking in his every move. He can’t even rub his eyes without my notice. I refuse to let him out of my sight. I’ve spent time in his garbage can, peering through his curtains, following him to his job on the subway, and even joining him for prayer at his neighborhood synagogue. Wherever he goes, my camera and I follow. 
 Now, you probably think I’m mad or something, but let me explain. I’ve seen some… things this guy can do. The first time I laid eyes on him, he was crossing the street when a car ran a red light and missed him by a few inches. The driver never stopped and kept speeding, but something strange happened. The old man gave him the middle finger and BOOM the car burst into flames. 
Since that moment, I’ve followed. I’ve seen him heat a pot and cook a warm meal with his bare hands while his electricity didn’t work. He walked into a bank one rainy April morning, strolled to the back and emptied drawers of money without using a key and no one noticed as if he wasn’t there! I swear, one time he vanished out of thin air, only to appear on a rooftop above me. I’ve observed him in a restaurant, ordering a glass of water, and then whispering to it and it turned into wine. 
Every time I capture one of those moments with my camera, something mysterious occurs. Exactly one hour after the picture is taken, it disappears like it was never there. 
I do not know his name, or if he’s even human. All I know is that one day, one of these photos has to stick. One day, this stranger will make me rich. I won’t take my eyes off him until he does. 

Raccoon Revenge

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Noah and Terri bobbed their heads while the wub-wub-wub-wub of dubstep from the stereo shook the car with each thunderous wave. The picnic basket for the day’s festivities sat between them. They had been driving for what seemed like forever; Terri kicked off her sandals long ago and had her freshly manicured feet protruding from the opened window. After a week of her boss’s bullshit, she needed this little vacation and had to practically beg Noah to take her out on a picnic. And now here they were, not a care in the world, due for a day of fun and relaxation.

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