Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

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This month's Song Fic is inspired by "Albatross" by Susan McKeown. Have a listen if you want:

I'm going off the last verse of the song for my fic, which is super super short...

And I told you I would hold you
when my arms were still sore
but it's freezing and the beating of your wings
and I just can't take anymore
I watched the losing in your eyes
and I saw your tear-stained face
like a ghost like a promise

She sat on the edge of the bed, staring straight ahead, refusing to look at me as I packed my bag. Her fingers twisted together, knuckles white, and though the tears had stopped, I could still see the dried tracks they'd left on her pale cheeks. I zipped the bag, cringing at how loud it was and how she flinched at the sound.

Christ. I should have done this when she was at her mom's or sleeping. But I'd told myself that was the coward's way out, and the very least I owed her was to own what I was doing to us. To her.

The last thing I wanted was to cause her any more pain. She'd had her life's share and then some. My leaving? It hurt her, I knew that, but I had no clue how to make it better, because my staying - being here everyday, for the last few months, trapped in this house with its memories and aching emptiness - was hurting her too.

We both needed to be alone to heal. To deal with what we'd lost. That was what I told myself every second, anyway. It was the only way I could walk away from her. Telling myself it was for her as much as for me. And it was. I knew, to her, I was as much a reminder of the tiny life lost as she was to me.

"I'll call," I said quietly, lifting the bag and standing awkwardly, half-wishing she'd look at me but dreading it at the same time.

The moment she did, it was the punch in the gut I'd expected. The pain, the loss, the accusation in her tear-filled blue eyes...

"I'll call," I said again, stepping forward then freezing when she held up a hand.

"Just go."

Her voice, hoarse and ragged, tore at me, and I almost dropped the bag I clutched and went to her. Almost.

"I love you. That..." I swallowed around the massive lump in my throat. "That's as true as it ever was."

The corner of her mouth quirked up the tiniest bit. "I know."

She stared at me, not returning the declaration, though beneath everything else, I could see she still loved me. We loved each other. It just wasn't enough, right now. She nodded toward the door, chest jerking with her hitching breaths. She was trying not to cry... Fuck.

I closed the space between us and dropped a kiss on the top of her head before turning away from her and rushing from the room, from the house, my chest tight and eyes stinging.

Once in the car, I swiped at my eyes as I started the car. I pulled out of the driveway and drove away. The farther I got from the house I got, the lighter I felt, the easier I breathed. And I hated myself for that.

 


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris

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Happy New Year! Here's the very first flash fic of 2017. And I give you a whole lot of fluff, my friends. Because, frankly, I just needed a feel-good story, so that's what you get, too. 🙂

“Fucking gorgeous.”

“Mm hmmm.” Remy agreed with Max’s quiet words, though his gaze, unlike his friend’s, wasn’t fixed on the sky. He should be looking upward, taking in the brilliant display above them—the colors, the pulsing lights dancing through the dark night. But, no. Instead, he couldn’t pull his eyes from Max. An all-too-frequent problem Remy’d dealt with lately.

Who the hell was he kidding? This wasn’t a new thing, something that had recently happened. His feelings for his friend—the instant relentless attraction he’d felt when they’d met years before that had grown exponentially every second he was in the other man’s presence—were his cross to bear. And he did so gladly, even when he thought he’d suffocate under the weight of it, sometimes. He’d rather deal with that than the alternative—no Max in his life.

Maybe Remy was a glutton for punishment—he could own that. But he’d take what he could get, even if that meant he had to witness Max dating people who were so wrong for him, had to listen to every post-breakup analysis and comfort him afterward. Telling his friend, again and again, he’d find the right one, while swallowing down what he really wanted to say.

Me! Dammit, I’m the right one. Why can’t you just see that?

But, unwilling to risk their friendship, Remy kept silent.

And, now, instead of oohing and aahing over the most vivid display of Northern lights, he tried not to drool as he took in the intense look on Max’s face as he took photo after photo and nearly vibrated with excitement.

He’d known, when Max had invited him along for a weekend of camping, it’d be difficult to hide his feelings. More so than usual because there was no one else around acting as a buffer. There was no escape, no place to run to when it got to be too much. He couldn’t excuse himself to get another drink or make a mad dash to the bathroom.

So far, though, he’d managed. Mostly because Max was too distracted to notice Remy staring at him like an idiot. And, really, as hard as he tried, he wasn’t being very subtle. Max’s full lips, parted slightly, damp from a thoroughly arousing swipe of his tongue… Remy shifted as his cock twitched. Fuck, that mouth had starred in more of his fantasies that he could count. He was a fucking whore for that mouth. Or he would be if he thought Max would go for it. If it wouldn’t take him from Remy’s life the second things crashed and burned—like every other relationship either of them had been in.

He dragged his eyes away, only to be caught by another frequent flyer in Remy’s spank bank—Max’s ridiculously gorgeous hands. Long elegant fingers that just begged to be sucked on. Heat curled low in Remy’s belly as he imagined doing just that. Drawing them into his mouth, swirling his tongue around each digit, getting them good and dripping so Max could slide them inside…

“Fuck,” he muttered under his breath, angling his body away and tipping his head up to look at the sky. Willing the images to vacate his head and his body to calm down.

“You okay?”

He closed his eyes as Max’s voice—low and gravelly and oh so fucking sexy—washed over him.

“Yeah,” he managed.

Max hummed in response then, after a few quiet moments, spoke again. “Gotta say, I’m surprised you agreed to come out here with me.”

Remy straightened and turned toward his friend, frowning at the flat tone of the words. “What? Why?”

Max lifted one shoulder then lowered the camera. “Just seems like you’ve done everything you can to avoid being around me lately. Or at least avoiding being alone with me. Just wondered…worried that I’d done something to piss you off.”

Remy’s face heated as he watched Max drop into a crouch to pack his camera in its case. His stomach flipped and his heart raced when he saw Max’s hands trembling.

“No,” he said quickly. “You didn’t do anything. I mean, I’m not pissed off about anything.”

Max pushed back to his feet. “But you are avoiding me?” He closed the distance between them before Remy could respond. “Don’t deny it. I’m not stupid, Rem. Something’s not right, and you need to tell me what the hell it is, because…” He shoved his fingers through his already messy brown curls. “Well, at the risk of going full-on chick-flick here, I can’t lose you. And it really feels like I am.”

“Max…”

“Just tell me. I’d rather get hit with something I don’t like, and fix it, than keep going like this—feeling like I’m losing what we have little by little every day.”

Remy swallowed past the lump in his throat as panic gripped him, an icy sickening hold that tightened every second Max stared him down. He didn’t know what to do, what to say. The risk of losing Max had always kept him silent—he’d never dreamed he’d lose him anyway. And that’s what seemed to be happening. Shit.

“Max,” he said again, eyes stinging. “I never meant… It’s not that I… I just…just…” With a huff of frustration, he spun around and stalked a few paces away, annoyed with his inability to form a complete sentence.

Max sighed loudly then the grass crunched beneath his feet as he moved. Remy turned and watched helplessly as he grabbed his camera bag and walked to the tent.

After opening the flap, Max looked back, shoulders slumped in defeat. “I thought you trusted me, that our friendship was stronger than this.” Another sigh and a shake of his head. “Goodnight, Rem.”

He ducked inside, and the sound of the zipper closing the tent—closing Max off from him—made Remy want to throw up. Seconds later, the tent glowed from the lantern inside, and he could see Max’s silhouette as he got ready for bed. Pressing the heels of his hands to his temples, Remy squeezed his eyes shut and inhaled deeply.

This couldn’t be happening.

No.

He dropped his hands and strode toward the tent. Hell if it was going to go down like this. If he was going to lose the most important person in his life, it sure as fuck wasn’t going to be because he sat by quietly and let it happen.

Fumbling slightly, he managed to get the tent open and nearly tripped over his own feet getting inside. He didn’t look at Max as he closed the tent—taking the moment to steel his nerve.

When he straightened and faced his friend, Max stood closer than he expected—silly since it was a small tent and he should have seen that coming. He could feel Max’s warm breath against his cheek as they stared at each other.

Wetting his lips, Remy met Max’s beautiful green eyes—losing himself in them, as he always did. When one of Max’s brows lifted, he spoke. Blurted out the first words that came to mind.

“I like you.”

Even though he would’ve liked to smack himself for being ten times an idiot, Remy pushed on as Max watched him, bewilderment in his wide eyes.

“I’m not avoiding you…being alone with you because of anything bad. I like you. More than than like you, and I didn’t want to fuck up our friendship. Though seems like I did just that anyway.” He pressed his lips together and drew in a deep breath. “I didn’t want to make things awkward, you know? And what could be more awkward than a friend saying they’re in love with you, for fuck’s sake? I’ll do better, okay? I mean, now that you know, you get that I’m not upset or pissed. I’m just dealing with...with how I feel. Just let me get a handle on it, and things will go back to normal and—”

“You love me?”

Unsure how to interpret the quiet, measured tone, Remy nodded and opened his mouth. But before he could speak again, Max stepped closer and dragged a fingertip over Remy’s lower lip—pulling a ragged groan from Remy.

“How long?” he asked.

“Forever?”

Max gave a choked laugh and closed his eyes briefly. He shook his head and met Remy’s gaze, again.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” He shifted his hand and cupped Remy’s cheek.

Remy shook his head, shoving down the hope that flared inside him.

“I asked you out, Rem. Years ago. You laughed…made a fucking joke.” Max’s voice cracked slightly.

He knew exactly the night Max was talking about and, again, shook his head, a bit more forcefully this time.

“You were drunk off your ass,” he protested. “I thought—You were serious?”

“God, yeah. And I wasn’t that drunk. Just needed the liquid courage to ask out my best friend, who was hot as fuck and so far out of my league...”

“Shit,” he whispered. “I never thought…”

“I’ve wanted you for so long. Been in love with you,” Max’s lips quirked, “forever.”

“I’m an idiot.”

Laughing, Max slid his hand into Remy’s hair as he wrapped his other arm around Remy’s waist. He pulled Remy close and whispered against his lips, “Touch me. I need your hands on me. Dying for it.”

Remy dragged his palms up over Max’s chest, stopping to feel the hammering of his friend’s heart.

“Just like that?” He leaned in, a brief press of mouths, still not quite believing this was happening.

Max returned the kiss, slipping his tongue between Remy’s lips. Both men groaned as they tasted each other for the first time. Max tightened his hold and rolled his hips, the hard length of his cock dragging against Remy’s.

“Hardly ‘just like that’. Years,” he ground out. “Years and years. We’re both idiots—could have had this all along. Want it all, everything, with you.”

“Me, too. Fuck,” he moaned as Max ground against him, fingers rough in his hair and on his hip. “God, me, too.”

“Feel so good,” Max murmured, releasing his hold and shoving at Remy’s clothes. “Knew you would, dreamed of this for so long…”

Fumbling, they stripped each other, and finally, finally, they tumbled down onto air mattress. Remy nearly sobbed as Max settled between his thighs, pressed against him hotly, skin to skin. With shaky hands, he framed Max’s face and stared up at him.

“I never actually thought I’d have this. Thought you’d eventually find someone you wanted forever, and I’d just have watch it all play out, always being just the friend, dying inside while trying to be happy for you.”

Max turned to kiss one of Remy’s palms, nuzzling against the sensitive skin. “Oh, Rem. All I’ve ever wanted was you. Just you…my beautiful idiot.”


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

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photoprompt

10-2015 GothCouple

Going to be short and sweet, this month. Still battling jet lag (it's soooooo real, people...*jaw-breaking yawn*) and gearing up for a busy week. So here goes:

Penny winced as she shifted - the movement only making the bone crushing corset all the more uncomfortable. At least the voluminous skirt protected her skin from the rough bark of the fallen tree beneath her. Why had she let Jane talk her into this? Getting into this ridiculous get up, having her face covered in a pound of make up, just to go to a party where she wouldn't know anyone. Which, Jane had said, was exactly the reason why Penny needed to come - to get to know people.

Penny didn't have the heart to tell her sister that she thought it was a waste of time. Everyone one paired off at these things, or huddled together with friends. No one was interested in making new friends. They wanted to drink, dance, and drink some more. Even Jane's friends didn't have an interest in her baby sister who had tagged along.

So, having escaped the chaos inside the house - already loud and rowdy even though the sun hadn't even set yet - Penny sat and pondered how the hell she was going to get home. Though, she shouldn't leave. Jane and her buddies would be in no condition to drive, so Penny would wind up playing sober cab. She sighed and pressed her fingers to her temples. What she wouldn't give to be back at the tiny claustrophobic apartment she shared with his sister, curled up with a good book or marathon watching something on Netflix.

"You look about as thrilled to be here as I do."

Penny jolted and fell backwards, ending up flat on the cold ground, staring up at the sky through the bare branches of the trees. Fuck.

"Oh shit, sorry!"

Large warm hands circled her biceps, and in a blink, she was being hauled to her feet. Her own hands scrambled to get a hold of...well, anything, and she ended up clutching thin meshy fabric covering a wide hard chest.

"Didn't mean to scare ya, Pen."

Narrowing her eyes, she looked up at the face of the guy who'd literally knocked her on her ass, and started laughing.

"Brad... Oh my god. I didn't realize..." She lifted one hand to tug on the blond hair framing his face. "Why?" she gasped between laughs. "That is the most unfortunate wig I've ever seen."

"Blame your sister." He rolled his eyes then grinned down at her. "She outfitted us all."

"And you went along with it?"

"Didn't you?" he shot back.

"Point," she conceded, then, realizing how close she stood, cleared her throat and stepped back.   Her stomach flipped when his hands tightened just a bit on her arms before he released her.

"Want to get out of here?" he said.

"I shouldn't." Penny shrugged. "Jane...and probably the others will need a ride home later."

"So, we'll come back." He grabbed her hand and began to lead her toward where all the cars were parked. "Make sure everyone gets home safely. No point in sitting here bored out of our minds waiting for them to be ready, right? Neither of us want to be here." He glanced at her, lips pursed slightly, as they arrived at his car. "Not that you have to spend the time with me; I could drop you at your place, and come back on my own later. Not my first turn at being the DD."

He opened the door and waited for her to slide in before closing it. Penny stared out the windshield, frowning. When Brad got behind the wheel, she twisted in the seat, grimacing again at the uncomfortable corset pinching her.

Before she could speak, he faced her and smiled - a soft curving of his lips and crinkling of his eyes that stole Penny's breath...even more than torture device she currently wore. And...well...that was new. Not unwelcome, just new.

Of course, she knew he was attractive - she sure as hell wasn't blind and had looked her fill often enough when he'd come over - but the breathlessness, and shit, the pounding heart, and shit, sweaty palms... She swallowed audibly and scrubbed her hands over her thighs.

"So, do you want me to take you home?"

"No...I mean, yes."

His expression dimmed slightly, and clearly forcing a smile, he nodded. "All right.

"No, no, that's not what I meant." Penny took a deep breath and just jumped. Took the chance, because she wanted to see what this new thing was, what it would become. "I want to go home, just so I can change. This," she gestured at herself, "is killing me. Then, we can...do something?"

"Yeah," he said quickly. "For sure."

"And you can get that off." She pointed at the wig.

He laughed as he yanked it off then tossed it into the back seat. His short dark brown hair was slightly matted down, and Penny, without thinking, reached over and ran her fingers through the surprisingly soft strands, mussing it up.

Brad's eyes closed and he inhaled deeply before catching her hand in his. Instead of letting go as she expected, he brought them to his mouth and pressed a kiss against her palm.

"I've been waiting a long time for this, Pen," he murmured.

"Me, too," she whispered. "I just didn't know it."


Bronwyn Green

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photopromptHappy August!

For this month's photo prompt, I went back to my serial, Your Lies (which I will be posting more of soon!) This is kind of a continuation of the scene in my June Song Fic.

Enjoy!


08-2016 BenchGirl

God, what was I doing?

I sat heavily on the bench, cigarette dangling from my fingers. I huffed a laugh—I didn’t even smoke. Well, aside from the couple times, years ago, when Kyle and I had swiped his dad’s pack from his car and lit up in the woods… Hell, we didn’t even really inhale. Or at least I didn’t.

Bumming a cigarette from the group of students outside the café… I couldn’t even say why I’d done it. I was supposed to be with Maddock on our date. But instead of meeting him in front of his building, I’d taken off the other way—the phone conversation I’d had earlier with Kyle filling my head. Increasing every doubt I had about Maddock and dating him. As I’d passed the hazy cloud the kids stood in, something inside me had snapped and I’d asked if I could have one. A cute blond had grinned at me, handed me a cigarette and lit it up.

I licked my lips, grimacing at the taste clinging. Yeah, stupid move all around. Stupid and childish. So what was I doing? Apparently, proving my mother right.

And that sure as hell didn’t make me any less angry. At her. At myself. At the whole fucked up situation. I wanted to be with Maddock. I like him, so much, but as much as I hated to admit it, Kyle was right. It was dangerous—dangerous to be around Maddock, dangerous to date him, dangerous to fall for him.

I pressed a hand to my stomach and inhaled shakily. And I was. I was falling so hard for him. Hard and fast. Maybe that—more than what Mom did, more than Kyle’s accusations and warnings—was what had me running scared. I sighed and let the cigarette fall from my fingertips. As I crushed it beneath my boot, someone sat beside me. I didn’t have to even look to know who it was. My magic buzzing beneath my skin told me all I needed to know.

Maddock.

He didn’t say anything at first, just leaned back, his knee pressing against my ever so slightly. And my magic sure liked that. It liked everything about him. I’ve never had a reaction like this to anyone; never had the secret I kept locked away inside me reach out for someone before. I drew in breath after breath, trying to push it down, keep it inside and safe.

“I almost didn’t come over,” he said quietly after a few minutes. “Figured you not showing might be your way of letting me down easy.”

I shook my head, almost violently, turning toward him finally. His lips quirked just a bit, and his green eyes were so damned sad as he met my gaze. I felt my own eyes burn with tears and blinked rapidly.

“I walked around for a while, wondering what the hell I’d done wrong.”

“Nothing. God, Maddock…” I sniffed. “It’s not anything you did. It’s just…”

“Just what?”

I shook my head again, slowly this time. He lifted a hand, stopping the movement, and cupped my face. I closed my eyes a moment and leaned into the touch, shivering as his thumb swept back and forth over my cheekbone. When I didn’t answer, he spoke again.

“You can talk to me, you know? I don’t know if you noticed,” he leaned forward, brought his lips close to my ear, “but I like you, Delia—more than just like, really—and I don’t think there’s anything you can say to me that will change that.”

Oh, if only that were true. I frowned slightly at the negative thought. What was I doing? I was doing exactly what Mom and Kyle were—assuming things about Maddock with nothing to back it up. I believed what I’d said to both of them. Maddock wasn’t as anti-magic as he’d seemed at first. He was listening; he was willing to hear our side of things, to consider that what he’d grown up hearing was wrong. I may not be ready to tell him about my magic, but I did trust him, and I wanted tell him…at some point. And wasn’t that a terrifying thought?

“I’m…” I opened my eyes, met his gaze fully. “I’m fighting with my mom right now.”

“The phone call the other day?” He turned, angling his body toward me.

I nodded. “She got on my case about…”

“About me?”

“What?” I pulled back, and his hand dropped into his lap. “No, of course not.”

“Oh, Delia. You need to work on your lying skills.” He reached out and twined our fingers together. “So, is it having a boyfriend in general, or me specifically?”

“Boyfriend?” I gasped. “Is that… Are we…”

He cocked his head to the side, and I had the overwhelming urge to kiss the smirk off his lips.

“Aren’t we? I thought we were. But maybe I shouldn’t have assumed.” His grip tightened and his smirk blossomed into that wide smile that made my stomach jump and my magic pulse. “You wanna be my girlfriend, Delia? ‘Cause that’s what I want, in case that wasn’t clear.”

“Yeah,” I breathed. “I really, really do.”

“Thank God for that,” he murmured. “So, your mom? Is it me she has a problem with or would she have a problem with any guy?”

“You’re not going to let this go, are you?” I couldn’t help but smile at the concern on his face.

“If it’s bothering you this much, not a chance,” he confirmed.

I nodded, warmth spreading through me despite the chill in the air, and decided to give him a fraction of the truth. Even if I couldn’t give everything, he deserved it.

“My mom—” My voice cracked, and I had to clear my tight throat. Maddock just scooted closer and waited patiently. “She’s always been supportive of magic users and their rights.”

“Ah, so you come by it honestly.” His smile faded, and he slumped slightly. “And she’s heard of my family and…their stance on magic.”

I didn’t think he even noticed his wording—“their stance”—but I sure did, and it made me fall a little more. Okay, a lot more.

“Yeah.” I shrugged. “But it doesn’t matter. I—”

“Of course it matters,” he said abruptly, though his tone was flat, sad. “She’s your mother.”

“True. But she doesn’t control who I’m with or how I feel. Your parents probably want you to be with someone…someone like them, right? Who thinks like them? Does that change your wanting to be my...my boyfriend?”

“No, not a bit.” He straightened and after a moment he nodded. “I guess I’ll just have to win her over, won’t I?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at his determined expression. “If anyone could do it… But I don’t want to think about her, right now. Or even anytime soon.” I sobered and placed a hand on his biceps. “I’m sorry I ruined our date.”

“Eh,” he shrugged, “not ruined at all. I’m with you.”

“Yes, you are.” I caught my lower lip between my teeth as my stomach clenched and my magic skittered through me.

He dragged his thumb along my mouth, pulling my lip free as he leaned in. Moving my hand to his chest, I stopped him before he could kiss me.

“Let me get some gum, a breath mint, go brush my teeth,” I said a bit desperately. “I may not have smoked the whole thing but not at my best here, Maddock.”

He hummed, but didn’t pull away. In fact, he pushed forward, whispering against my mouth, “I don’t much care, sweetheart. Just want to kiss my girlfriend,” before settling his lips over mine.

I lost track of time, forgot all my objections as he pulled me closer and delved inside, licking, nipping, driving me mad.

When he pulled away, gasping, he rested my forehead against mine. “Come back to my place?”

My trust in him, my magic clearly approving as it danced along my nerves, everything I felt for him overrode the doubts—mine, Mom’s, Kyle’s—and I nodded. Grinning, he stood and helped me up. His arm wrapped tightly around me, we headed toward his building. The fear was still there, simmering beneath everything else. Only because I knew, I just knew, this man had the power to hurt me. And it had nothing to do with whether or not he found out about my magic. He had the power to completely destroy me…because I loved him.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

4 Comments

***Apologies for being late on this. Was having technical difficulties, and I'm no good when that happens!***

songprompt2

 

This week's song is "Pinch Me" by the Barenaked Ladies. Here's a link if you want to have a listen:

For this prompt, I revisited some characters from an earlier flash fiction peice (one of the photo prompts). Here is that one if you'd like to read it first.

Always Watching


And now for this week's peice....

My head pounded, and my stomach heaved and roiled with every tiny movement I made. Which was just shitty, really. If I was going to be stuck feeling like I’d been chewed up and spit out, like I had the hangover of the century, I’d have at least liked to have enjoyed the night before. Hell, I’d had one damned drink. One. Couldn’t exactly blame feeling like ass on that. No, this was all because of my stupidity—acting without thinking, giving in to something I wanted with no thought to the consequences.

It’d been a kiss—well, technically, two—and that alone shouldn’t be enough to pitch me over the edge. Shouldn’t have me panicking and feeling sick. Yet, here I was. Ready to upchuck all over the bed at the thought of what I’d done, what I’d potentially ruined.

So many things fought for dominance inside me—embarrassment, anger, fear. And beneath it all—fuck me—yearning. As powerful as all of those other emotions were, I wanted more. Now that I knew how his lips felt, how he tasted, how perfectly he fit against me, going back behind the façade was going to be even harder.

I should be used to it. This wasn’t something new. I’d accepted this, hiding what I really wanted, being who and what everyone else wanted me to be. And it hadn’t been bad. It wasn’t as though I was suffering—at least I’d convinced myself I wasn’t. Until I met him.

Trevor.

I cursed and sat up, swinging my legs over the edge of the bed. Feet sinking into the plush rug—and only Dad would have a fucking rug like this in what was supposed to be rustic cabin—I leaned over and rested my head in my hands.

Pushing aside the selfish want, the desire I felt for Trevor, I focused on the worry. The fear that I’d screwed up the friendship we had. Not that we were necessarily close or anything. More friends of friends, really. A start to something more, maybe. But last night could have ruined all of that. What if he didn’t want anything to do with me, anymore? He’d practically shoved me away before leaving.

Not before laying the best kiss you’d ever had on you. One that blew away even those you’d secretly fantasized about for as long as you can remember.

I reached out, blindly feeling along the bedside table for my phone. Bringing it in front of me, I entered the passcode and immediately went into my contacts. I’d had his number since the day we’d met, but had never called or texted him, leaving that for the others in our group. Even now, I hesitated to hit “send a message”, debating with myself. Finally, I opened a new message, because the least I could do was smooth this over, so that things weren’t awkward between us. That wouldn’t be fair to him or any of our other friends. I’d make him understand it was a mistake and I hadn’t meant anything by it—basically, I was going to lie, like I always did—and if I had to, I’d beg him not to hold it against me. Not because it’d kill me not to see him practically every day, but for the good of our group of friends.

-Hey. Look, I’m really sorry about last night. I don’t know what I was thinking…Obviously, I wasn’t. Hope everything is all right between us. Friends, still?

I hit send before I could second-guess myself, and a strong wave of nausea rolled over me. The phone wobbled in my trembling hands. I tightened my grip and waited. And waited. Just as I was about to give up, that damned ellipsis bubble popped up, telling me he was responding.

-Shuda nown u wr d typ 2 txt w/propr gram & pnktu8n. 🙂

Laughing and shaking my head, I typed quickly as I could to respond.

-WTF, Trev? It shouldn’t take me that long to figure out what a text says.

I waited a moment after sending that to peck out another message.

-So? Are we all right?

-1, u typd WTF so still hope 4U.

I snorted, then sighed in relief when I read his next words—if they could be called words.

-2, yah, wer gud. Wld take more thn sumthin lk tht 2 ruin fship.

Clearly, the kiss had meant more to me than it had to him. And that was a good thing. It really was, but I couldn’t help but feel some disappointment that what had been so huge and, beneath all the other shit, wonderful for me had been so trivial to him.

-I’m glad. I shouldn’t have done that, no matter how much I wanted…

I shook my head and shifted my finger to delete the second sentence. No use in admitting anything to him and—

“Oh fuck! No, no, no… Fuck!”

The message sent. I’d hit the motherfucking send key instead of the delete. And even though it wasn’t complete, that message had the power to make things much worse than a spur-of-the-moment kiss did.

Shakily, I typed again, hoping I could smooth it all over. Maybe Trevor was having a good laugh at my expense. Not ideal, but preferable to him being upset with me, I guess.

-As a friend, could you just ignore that last message? Fucking clumsy fingers got away from me there. I just want things to go back to the way they were, yeah? Friends and hanging out and all of that. Nothing more. Can we do that?

When there was no response, no ellipsis bubble, panic choked me. I sent one more word. Just one, and prayed he’d understand.

-Please?

“Hey, Eli?”

I jumped at the sound of Oliva’s voice, dropping the phone on the floor as I spun around. She smiled apologetically.

“Sorry. Just wanted to let you know we should get going if we’re going to make it in time for lunch at your parents’.” The apology in her expression shifted to amused indulgence. “You forgot didn’t you? Well, get ready. Everyone’s gone, and we need to head out.”

“Sam?” I forced out, wondering if everyone included my roommate.

“Yeah, he had to study for a test, but he’s meeting us back here later. If that’s all right with you?” She lifted a brow.

“You know it is.” I stooped down and grabbed my phone. “Just need to change. Want to warm up the car?”

“Sure.” She hesitated a moment. “Are you okay?”

“Of course,” I said cheerfully, even though I knew she’d hear the lie beneath the words. She always did—a result of knowing each other since we were in diapers—but at least she’d get the message that I didn’t want to talk about it, now.

She sighed but nodded before slipping out of the room. I glanced at the phone—still no response from Trevor—then tossed it on the bed before going through the motions of washing up and getting dressed.

The entire drive to my parents, I waited for the ding of my phone to tell me I’d received a text and nothing. My stomach was in knots as I pulled into the drive—more so than it normally when my presence, along with that of my parent-approved girl, was required. It really was sickening, I thought as we walked up to the front door. Staring at the solid wood in front of me, I railed against myself for being such a coward, for not being me. But, I realized, that wasn’t an option. Growing up in this house, sometimes, it was hard to tell if I even existed.

I didn’t, not really. Here, I had to be the perfect son, the excellent student, and basically whatever they expected of me. The roles I filled, or failed to fill, were the only things they saw. Me? The real me didn’t exist in their world. And I'd made sure that person didn't exist anywhere else, either. That no one saw him. Until last night.

How fucking pathetic was that?

“Come on,” Olivia murmured, catching my hand in hers. “We’ll stay an hour then I’ll say I have to study or something, so we can get the hell outta here, okay?”

I gave a jerky nod, and together, as always, we went inside to face my parents. It wasn’t until we were seated at the dining room table, starting to eat—with Dad beginning his interrogation on all that was happening in my life—that the ding of my phone sounded. Twice in rapid succession.

Mom frowned at me as I pulled it out of my pocket.

“Sorry,” I said quickly, knowing how much she hated any technology around when it was supposed to be family time. “Just going to turn it off.”

She nodded approvingly and turned back to her soup. I glanced at the screen as I flicked the device to silent, and my heart stopped. Stopped dead before pumping wildly, painfully, taking my breath away.

-Eli…

-We nd 2 tlk


Check out the other flash fiction pieces inspired by "Pinch Me"!
Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

 

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photoprompt

For this prompt, I visited my serial heroine's past again. If you'd like to read the other flash fiction bits, you can find them here:

The Lies Begin
Lying in Wait

And if those and this spark your interest, and you want to jump into Your Lies, you can find all the chapters that have been posted here.

So this month's photo is...
06-2015 - PaperHeartThe Lies We Tell

The piece of paper floating in the air burst into flames. My stomach lurched sickly as the bright light faded and ash fell to the wooden floor.

“Damn it, Dee! Focus. You need to focus. It’s not about throwing your power at it. You need to control it.”

Kyle waved his hand and another sheet of paper lifted from the stack that rested on the rickety table—the only piece of furniture in the old barn on his property where we met. It drifted until it hovered in the center of the room between us.

“Don’t just think of it burning,” he said slowly as lines began to blacken on the white page. “Visualize what you want. See it and then use your power to make it happen. It’s a part of you, but it’s also a tool, Dee. A tool you control. Something you can wield and make do what you want. Always remember that.”

Even though frustration bubbled inside me, I smiled when I saw my name burned into the paper before it fluttered to the ground.

“Easy for you,” I said, narrowing my eyes to lift my own page up into the air. “You can practice any time you want. You don’t have to shove it all down and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

Sweat slid along my temples. I tried to focus and direct my magic to do what I wanted. Just like Kyle had been showing me for months—or at least attempting to. If it had been anyone but him, they would have given up long ago. Out of patience with my bumbling and failure to be able to do the simplest of things.

“Don’t blame your mom,” he said, leaning against the table—something I wouldn’t recommend given the state of it, but he managed to stay upright. “After what happened to your dad, she’s scared. And she should be.”

“Your dad…” I swallowed heavily, unwilling to say it. Even after three years, I just couldn’t. Not when it came to Dad. “He disappeared, too, and your mom’s not trying to make you something you’re not.”

The furl of smoke danced up toward the ceiling from the singed edge of paper. I bit my bottom lip and worked to pull the burn downward, just a bit.

“It’s not the same. My mom has magic; yours doesn’t. She doesn’t understand how impossible it is to ignore, how it claws at you and wants to be out. To be used.”

My eyes stung. My dad had understood. He’d been just like me—filled with power and needing to wield it. He’d known how suffocating, how painful it was to pretend to be “normal”.

“When do you leave?” Kyle asked abruptly.

“This would be much easier,” I ground out, “if you didn’t talk and distract me.”

“Do you really think you’re always going to have silence and all the time in the world when it comes to using your magic? You need to be able to do this with distractions, Dee.”

I curled my lip, sparing him a quick glance before looking back at what I was doing. “Next weekend.” College. The next big step. The next frightening step.

“You still need to be careful. Keep it secret.”

“I know!” I snapped. A small flame flared, but I was able to smother it quickly. Though the black mark snaking towards the center made me frown. “I’m not stupid, Kyle. I’m well aware of the risks. Have been for a long time with everyone shoving them down my throat.”

“Delia,” he murmured.

“Shut up,” I said, with little heat. The anger I felt wasn’t directed at him. Hell, it wasn’t even directed at my mom. Or anyone. It was just…everything. The fact I was born like this, had no control over what I was, and that I could be killed. Just for existing.

“I worry about you.”

“You don’t need to. I’ve held it together this long, right?”

I trembled as I tried to keep at my task, pay attention to what he was saying, and fight the overwhelming inevitability of being on my own. Kyle was a year older than me, but had decided to stay while I finished high school. Now, as I was moving closer to the city to attend college, he was going off on his own, too. It was the first time in my life he wouldn’t be there.

“I’m scared,” I admitted in a whisper. “Not of being found out. I can handle that.” I thought I managed to say that convincingly despite all my doubts. “But I’m going to be alone. Especially with you off doing who knows what, who knows where.”

And I was worried about him, too. Though I wouldn’t say that out loud. I knew more about what he was planning to do than he realized I did. Because, damn it, I wasn’t stupid.

Our fathers had been taken when they were investigating the disappearance of other magic users. I didn’t know everything they discovered, but I knew it wasn’t good. And I definitely knew that Kyle hadn’t shared everything about that night three years ago. Not even close. And, now, he was going to follow in their footsteps, continue the secret, and dangerous, work they’d been doing.

“You could always stay here,” he reminded me.

“Not a chance.” I laughed. “Besides, you’re still leaving.”

“Yeah.”

“Off on your world travels.” I threw his lie at him. “Your grand adventure.”

“College isn’t for me,” he said smoothly.

A part of me wanted to call him out on it, to tell him I knew he was lying to me and had been for a long time. I didn’t, though, because I knew he was trying to protect me, and I loved him for that, no matter how unnecessary. It was the story of my life—lies kept us safe. Kept those we cared about safe.

“I know.”

I sighed and, with a wave of the hand, sent what was left of the paper toward him. He plucked it out of the air and his laugh echoed around us. Holding it up, he met my gaze. “You giving me your heart, Dee?”

I returned his smile. The heart was rough, but definitely recognizable as such. “I gave it to you a long time ago.” My face flushed when I realized how it sounded. “Not like that! Just…I love you. You’re my family, and I’m going to miss you.”

He strode across the room and yanked me into his embrace. “I love you, too. And one day I’m going to have to see fall for some twat, and then he’ll have your heart. So, for now,” he drew back and murmured a few words that resulted in the burnt paper glowing for a moment, “I’ll hold on to this and enjoy being the only one.”

He pulled out his wallet and tucked the heart inside—the edges not crumbling at all. A protective spell, then.

“And,” he continued, “don’t be scared about being alone. Because you’re not. I’m always here. You need anything—anything—you call me. I’ll be there in a blink.”

I laughed and went up on my toes to kiss his cheek. “You’ll want to, but even you can’t be halfway around the world ‘in a blink’,” I teased, still going along with it. Pretending I didn’t know he’d be close, likely in the city. Hell, he be nearer to me than if he stayed here.

He gave a lazy shrug and grinned. I narrowed my gaze. “You can’t…can you? Kyle! You’re telling me you can teleport?” That was a rare as fuck talent, and only the most powerful of magic users could do it—while expending enormous energy.

“I’m not telling you anything.” He tapped my nose and stepped back. “Now…again.”

I cursed as several sheets of paper rustled and travelled toward me. Showoff—he hadn’t gestured or even looked away from me.

“Fine, but one day,” I pointed at him, “one day, you’re showing me how to do that.”

“Maybe.”

I made one of the papers flame wildly, just to hear him laugh, the sound washing away some of the dread and fear that still lingered. Even though I knew it’d only last a little while, I’d take it.


Be sure to check out the other peices inspired by this month’s photo!
Bronwyn GreenJessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones | | Kellie St. JamesKris Norris

 

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songprompt5It's time for another song fic, and I've gone back to my boys, Michael and Aric. I missed them. 🙂

This month's song is "Family" by Noah Gundersen. You can have a listen here:

I actually really liked this song, though I don't know how closely this bit of flash fiction fits the song exactly. The song did inspire the peice, mostly because I was thinking about family and how that has played such a big part in Michael and Aric's current situation. So, I went with it.

There are 2 peices leading up to this point - PART ONE & PART TWO - if you want to read those first. 🙂


 

I never stopped looking back, sweetheart. You just weren’t paying attention.

Michael closed his eyes as Aric’s words washed over him and just took a fucking minute to feel the warmth of Aric’s hand against his face. He’d missed him so much, his voice, his touch, just him.

“I’m—” He cleared his throat, swallowed around the lump lodged there. “I’m fine. Really.”

Aric let out a short, quiet laugh. “I think we’ve established you’re not.” Before Michael could protest, he continued, “Go, take a shower, and I’ll make you something to eat. No arguing, okay? Should’ve done this a long time ago. I’m your family, remember? You’re mine. I think we both forgot that for a while, didn’t we?”

He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Michael’s. A firm, closed mouth kiss that was over too quickly. Aric released him and walked out of the room, leaving Michael staring after him. After a moment, he shook his head and headed into the bathroom. As he stripped and got under the hot-as-he-could-stand-it spray of water, he couldn’t help but think of the first time Aric has said those words to him.

They’d been at a party at Trina’s, and Michael’s father had cornered him. Being his usual dickish self. Starting the same argument they’d had since Michael had come out when he was eighteen. He’d had been handling it just fine until the older man had brought Aric into the argument. Accusing him of corrupting Michael, turning him away from his family and saying he deserved to hurt for what he’d done to their family. Michael had snapped back that Aric was more of a man, more supportive and loving then his father could ever be. And if Michael had to make a choice, he would choose Aric every time.

Leaning heavily against the tiled wall of the shower, Michael squeezed his eyes closed. He remembered the shock that had coursed though him sickly when his father had backhanded him. The way blood had filled his mouth, and tears had blinded him. After spitting the disgusting mess to the side, he’d told his father he had made his choice easier than ever. And Michael had walked away. Hurting, but confident he was on the right path. After all, he had Aric.

He’d had to drag Aric from the party—the other man ready to knock down anyone who dared touch his partner. When they arrived home, he’d cleaned Michael up—in this very bathroom—eyes sad and hands shaking.

“The kitchen’s a disgrace.” Aric’s voice echoed over the sound of the shower. “When’s the last time you actually bought something to eat that wasn’t frozen?”

Michael scrubbed a hand over his face and tried to find his own voice.

“Well, at least you had eggs; that’s something. Get a move on,” he ordered, words coming quieter—he must have been walking back toward the kitchen. “No one wants cold eggs, M.”

How long was this going to last? Aric pushing in and taking care of him, like Michael hadn’t ruined everything between them. Getting his hopes up, thinking they had a chance to fix things wasn’t a smart move. He didn’t know if he could deal with losing Aric again. He snorted as he turned off the water. It wasn’t as if he was dealing with the first time all that well.

He grabbed a towel then looked at his distorted reflection in the mirror, his mind back to that night, when he’d stood in this tiny room, in Aric’s arms, after making his choice.

Aric had held him tightly and whispered, “You’re not his anymore. He has no claim on you. You’re mine. I’m your family, now. Always.”

What would Aric would think if he knew what was really going on in Michael’s head? Would he be so eager to stay if he knew how much Michael had changed? Would he be so quick to call Michael his? Would his words, his claiming Michael, hold up if the truth came out?


 

Head on over and see what else this song inspired!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris