Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Retribution (435 words)

Alex did not consider himself a particularly panicky person.

Honestly, he was the kind of person who drove his gas tank down to fumes, and ate pork after the sell-by date on a regular basis. He took police sirens behind him in stride because, yeah, he had been speeding. He woke up late and still ate a full breakfast. He heard strange noises outside his window at night and assumed it was a stray cat before burglars or ghosts even crossed his mind. He understood that when his mother called him three times in the space of an hour, she probably was not calling to tell him about a funeral. He was, he thought, very close to unflappable.

But he still froze when the bathroom door squeaked open while he was in the middle of his shower. The water continued streaming down from the showerhead, noisy, and almost instantly unwelcome as he heard one sharp footstep on the tile, and a few muffled ones on the bathroom rug.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Echoes (524 words)

It was getting irritating, listening to well-meaning statements about what was and was not possible. Lowri read it in Braelyn’s face while her little ring of advisor’s alternately offered their advice and slapped it into the dim, echoing hall. She listened to all of it in the same diplomatic silence, hands folded, back elegantly straight. But one corner of her mouth was tilting up, moment by moment, sharpening a crooked smile that Lowri loved and hated.

Continue reading

Does This Engagement Ring Make Me Look Fat?

26177790_10101671733060479_1001950766_oHello, world. My name is Gwendolyn and I have been engaged for almost two months. I like the feeling, waking up every morning with a ring on my finger and knowing that I get to spend an uncounted number of days with a man who loves me, respects me, fights for me, laughs with me, and wants to make a promise to never leave me. This is a beautiful reality.

In the last sixty days, however, I’ve learned that being engaged can lead to peculiar questions from complete strangers. And I always come up with better* answers an hour later:

“Are you mad he didn’t buy you a diamond?”

The answer I gave: “No. We picked the ring out together, actually. It was a fun day.”

The answer I wish I gave: “Do you see this sparkly ring on my finger, with its tear-drop sapphire, and shiny-brilliant halo, looks like he cut me out a piece of the starry, night sky? I love it. The old lady from the Titanic walked past me yesterday and had a heart attack because she swore she threw it in the ocean already.”

What I said to my fiancé later: “We did good.” Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Long Day (654 words)

He capered across the wall, and those rising to start their tasks looked away from him. He cracked a grin at the back of their heads. It always pleased Omri immensely to watch his little magicks work on them. Dressed in a bright yellow coat that caught the sun and made it jealous, in blue and purple pants, in boots almost too white to exist, they were still compelled not to notice. It was freedom in every magnitude, and Omri loved it.

He landed on the ground with a thud that should have halted their work, and they ignored him. He sauntered across the manor’s overgrown lawn, pants and long grass hissing and hushing. He whistled a little. No one cared, but when he passed just behind a boy bent double to rip weeds from the edge of the path, there was a small shudder in the boy’s spine.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Rush (974 words)

Once, when Karleigh was younger, a boy had climbed the elegant façade of her uncle’s house to tap on her bedroom window. It had been a deeply moonlit night, so she had caught his shadow across the glass before he knocked for her, and his hair had a silver sheen like something precious, and her stomach had gotten butterflies just from the storybook timing.

A year later, she realized it wasn’t romance in the stories. It was just practicality. Dashing young men who tried to climb on darker nights, probably fell and broke their backs. Even if the pretty girl was only on the second story.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Good Morning (868 words)

She almost didn’t answer the call. Miracles happened, of course – lepers were healed, blind men were given back their sight, the dead were raised – but they were usually things more easily accomplished than waking Avery before noon.

In her dream, she was driving a fast car on a cool, sunbright road when a passenger appeared in the seat next to her singing robotically. It was annoying, but familiar. She had the vague notion that it would stop soon, and she was delightfully unbound from physics on this snake-back road.

The pavement was smooth as ice and every turn was a breeze and a thrill. The singing would stop. It only occurred to her after burning rubber smelled sweet, like a marshmallow lit on fire, that none of this was real. Except the tinny repetition of her ringtone.

Avery rolled over, caught her phone on the last few seconds of the song, and put it to her ear before she opened her eyes.

“Good morning,” she said. Because it was morning, and even half-asleep she knew it was a rare opportunity to give the greeting correctly. It was only half intended to chastise the caller.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Innocent (765 words)

Sunrise was an acquired taste. A bitter wash of gray on the horizon, scrubbing away the heavy night sky. A light brush of pink, and purple, and yellow, sweet almost to the point of cloying after the weight of the scouring that came before. A following brightness, fading through the last of the stars. Light that sept gently into blood and bone and breath, bright as mint. All of it drawn out, one insistent moment after another, to make it palatable.

Brance blinked into the growing light. He yawned. His tongue felt thick in his mouth, and his shoulders ached dully. Every thought was slow and flighty as a breeze, and constantly interrupted by the notion that shutting his eyes would be very comfortable. Laying down would be pleasant as well, but not necessary. He could sleep just where he was. And yet, after drinking in too many dawns, one more was hard to turn down.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Prepared (575 words)

There was no hiding from sleep. Hushed, it crept through doors or windows, with all the familiarity of a cat too comfortable in its own domain to announce itself at the door. On padded feet, it might climb the stairs, ease itself into a room. On the space of a blink, it slipped in a shadow, then seated itself boldly in the corner. Not there, and then there all at once, calm and unsurprising. It was always there, prepared.

But Nesha could run from sleep. She drank her hot drinks, kept her hands busy, kept her feet moving. There were always small stacks of things to do and always thoughts to chase around her head. It didn’t matter that sleep was a quick-sand thing, gripping her all the firmer for how hard she kicked against it. Tugging her down  more forcefully after each attempt to push it away. She tipped her head back to drag in waking air and ignored the way it pulled at her ankles.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: One (847 words)

He was not an innocent man. He didn’t have to be. It had been half a decade since he had taken law or morality into consideration. Maybe longer. Maybe much longer. It was hard to remember exactly when those hard edges had stopped eating into him, worrying him out of sleep, hedging him in.

Continue reading