Two pieces for you from recent times, a drabble from Janet Reid's competition and my latest Microcosms entry, Dead to the World. Whilst the latter did not get placed, my week was made by getting a comment from Janet for the drabble - something a lot of us aim for and I rarely achieve. I've managed it only once before and successfully 'creeped her out'. This time her comment was 'Not quite a story but egad, what great imagery' (I hope you feel the same!). Responses like these make me happy and keep me writing.
Requirement: incorporate snap, gator, tie, ask, iron.
Helen picked up the iron. Steam hissed satisfyingly from its base. Normally she disliked this particular task but sometimes life gave you wrinkles which needed to be smoothed out.
The offending item, the instigator of her current mood, lay tied up in front of her. He eyed the iron anxiously. “When you said you wouldn’t mind a bit of experimentation, this wasn’t what I had in mind.”
“You mean like this?” She held the Snapchat image in front of him. He looked away.
So wrinkled, so … shrivelled, so much to iron out. Time was pressing - and so was she.
Dead to the World
Elements included: Flat/Apartment; Horror
The bed had refused to move. So it had been left behind, stained mattress, corroded metalwork and all.
“Ugh,” said Diane. “It can’t stay here. God knows what’s living inside it.”
Gregg sighed. It would be up to him to start shifting the thing. But he couldn’t moan too much: the flat had been a bargain, despite the junk left by the previous tenants.
“Just vanished,” said the landlord, with a shrug. “Not even behind with the rent.”
Their neighbour hovered in the doorway. “I give you a month,” he said, as they moved in. “Then you’ll disappear, just like everyone else.”
Gregg ignored him. The flat was a dream come true … apart from the bed. He looked at it and yawned.
“No,” said Diane. But her tone was uncertain, her eyelids fighting to stay open.
The couple stared at the mattress, becoming oblivious to its filth, seeing only its invitation. Without further argument, they threw a blanket on the bed and lay down, not feeling the bones rattling beneath them.
The children were awake.
“They seem nice. Can we keep them, Bobby? I’d like to have a mummy and daddy again. I always sleep better with someone to cuddle.”
“Okay, Tilly. But don’t get too attached. You know they don’t last long.”
The blanket rippled in the moonlight as small arms pushed up through the mattress, wrapped themselves tightly around the bodies.
“It’s going to be different this time,” said Tilly, pulling them down through the foam, the coils snaring their flesh as she did so. “I’m never going to let go. Little children should never be left on their own.”
Steel pierced skin and new stains formed on the mattress. It had been a long day and both Gregg and Diane were dead to the world.
A writer - I think that says it all.