Wild Fire and Star Shine (flash fiction) (short story)

WILD FIRE & STAR SHINE

“Where’s Jack,” the little girl asked, finishing off her bowl of oatmeal and looking up at her mother hopefully.

Mother smiled. “He’s outside chopping wood.”

“He hasn’t left?”

Mom tried to muster a smile. “Not yet.”

Her daughter looked up from her breakfast. “But he will?”

“Eventually, I suppose.” She turned from her child to the sink. “They always do.”

The little girl put her spoon down and slid her chair from the table. “I wish one of them would stay. I always miss them when they leave.”

Then she was bounding out the door for the wood pile and the man who waited there.

“I do too, Sophie,” her mother said in her absence. “I do too.”

Sophie ran on ten year old legs around the back of the house where a man stood over a pile of logs he was in the process of splitting. Though it was fall and a little chilly at the base of the mountain, he worked shirtless, his muscles rippling with each swing of the axe.

The child watched him for a moment as he worked on the wood and then said, “I hope I have muscles like yours when I grow up.”

The man smiled as if noticing her for the first time. He looked at her, his sky blue eyes bright in the morning sun. “From what I have seen that would probably make people uncomfortable. Little girls aren’t supposed to dream of being men.”

“Mama says women can do things better than men. And that girls aren’t afraid of com..commi…”

“Commitment?” Jack suggested.

“Yes, commitment.”

Jack lifted his axe and brought it down on a log. “Well, your mom is probably right.”

“Are you afraid of commit..commitment?”

He snorted. “That’s a deep question for a little girl.”

Sophie sat down on one of the logs. “I don’t want you to go.”

“I’m not going anywhere, little one.”

“Mama says you will. She says men don’t like baggage.”

Again, he smiled. “Your mama says a lot.”

Sophie brushed her chestnut colored hair off her face. “She likes you, you know.”

“I like her, too.”

She smiled mischievously. “Are you going to kiss her?”

“Sophie!”

The shout startled the girl, and she turned to see her mom standing there with two coffee mugs in her hand.

“That’s not the way girls talk to grown men,” her mom scolded. “Now go inside and get ready for school.”

“He’s not a grown man.”

“Sophie! Mind your manners and do what I tell you.”

The girl hung her head. “Yes mam.” She looked up at Jack who had a look of amusement on his face. “I’m sorry Mr. Jack. I shouldn’t have said that about grown up.”

The man sat down the axe and walked over to her. He jostled her hair with his hand. “It’s okay, wildfire. Maybe I do have a lot of growing up to do still. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks. Still not used to this air.” He winked and looked to the blue expanse of sky overhead. “I’m so used to cramped spaces and a faster pace of things.” He smiled at her reassuringly. “I’ll get used to it. But right now, you better do what your ma says.”

“Yes, sir,” she replied and headed off to the house.

Jack put his hands on his hips and looked at the girl’s mother. “Is that for me,” he asked, pointing at one of the cups in her hand.

“Um yes, of course,” she replied, trying not to look at his bare chest. She attempted to ignore how the sweat ran in rivulets down to his abs, disappearing into the top of his faded black jeans.

He took the cup she offered and drank from it in spare sips. Some of it missed his lips and ran down his chin, but he seemed not to notice.

“Thanks,” he said. “How do you say it? It hits the spot?”

“Yes, that’s what we say, “ she agreed, hoping he had forgotten the interchange between himself and her precocious daughter. He handed the cup back and picked up the axe again, hefting it over his shoulder to return to the task of woodcutting. “So, what is this thing about kissing?”

She dropped both cups. “Um..I..you have to understand something…about children. Sometimes…they, um, say the craziest things.”

He nodded as if digesting some new kind of information. “Hmmm. And is this something they grow out of?”

“Hopefully so.”

“This kissing thing then?”

“Don’t worry, “ she replied, her voice catching in her throat. “It will pass. Nothing to concern yourself with.”

He could tell she was nervous, that this was an uncomfortable kind of topic for her. He knew enough to change the conversation before it made her even more uneasy..

“How about them Cowboys?”

“Excuse me?” She asked.

“I saw that on the…what do you call it?…television. When you want to avoid a subject?”

“Um..yes, of course. How about them cowboys.”

She tried to muster a confident smile and turned to go back inside. She needed to check on Sophie and drive her to school or they would be late. She took one last look at Jack and almost felt sorry for him. Where he came from, on his planet, kissing must have truly been an alien concept.

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Ghost Boy Blues 9

He is aware of me. He is trying to push me back out of his body, forcing me to be nothing but formless spirit again. But I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be unseen any longer. I want to be somebody. Even when alive, I wished to be be someone else, to stand in someone else’s shoes for awhile. Now fate had granted that to me. Now I would finally live.

I stand my ground against his push and fight back. I catch a thought as it passes by. “What is wrong with me,” it asks. “I don’t feel good.”

“Probably just a virus or something I ate,” I suggest, and he buys it, just as if it is his own mind telling him, instead of an outside entity.

This calms him down, and the sense of alarm he felt dissipates. I sigh. He sighs. We are one. For a moment, I wish to look around, to take in everything and see how others interact or wish to interact. But I realize I am no longer the invisible one. I am in a body. I can be seen. I put a hand to my mouth and cough. It is loud enough to cause several of the students to look in my direction.

A girl in the corner wearing a gray leather trench coat and goth makeup smirks in my direction. Though she’s not the type that normally attracts me, it feels good to be noticed. Even one of the football jocks looks at me. He doesn’t smile the way she does, but he nods his head to acknowledge me, and that kind of recognition is nice as well. I think of coughing again, but change my mind. There has to be other less mundane ways to get myself noticed. Before I know it, I have thrown my arm up in the air and am waving my hand. It’s not me who is doing this though. It is my host.

The teacher notices and stops what he is doing. “Yes, Mr. Mattson. What seems to be the problem?”

“Can I be excused? I’m not feeling well.”

The voice sounds strange. It isn’t mine, that’s for sure. But it comes from within me. I can feel the vibration of sound in my host’s throat as it forms into words. It is a weird feeling, but no less strange than sharing a body.

Joey Mattson, one of the most popular guys in school, was excused with no problem. The popular kids could be excused forty times a day and no one said a thing, but if I’d still been alive and in my own body I’m not sure I would have been allowed to leave.

He grabs his books and stands up. It is kind of jarring, as if I’m being yanked to my feet. Vertigo sets in for a minute and I feel dizzy. It seems to swim over him too and for a moment I think he just might throw up. He turns around to look at the football jock, who now has a worried, sympathetic look on his face. The goth girl looks somewhat amused. My host hurries out of the classroom, taking me with him.

To be continued…

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 6

 

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped) Main Page

Episode 6: Loveless

I ventured downstairs around eight o’clock. Mom had left some meatloaf and potatoes in the microwave for me before heading off to work. How she managed to drink all day and then sober herself up enough to work the night shift at Walmart was beyond me. I heated up the food, but looking at the ketchup on top of the meatloaf turned my stomach. It made me think of the Asian man with the sneer and pointed fangs.

I returned to my room and decided to take a shower before heading next door. I needed something to steady my nerves. Part of me wanted to call Angela and tell her what had happened, but instead I just laid my cell phone on the bed and headed across the hall to the bathroom. I was so freaked out even the running water in the shower seemed menacing and intrusive. After a while, I scared myself into thinking I was being watched. I crossed my arms over my breasts and tried to turn away from the shower door, but I found myself looking over my shoulder, fearing that at any minute the vampire would come lunging through the glass just to get to me. And then I would be like that girl in the puzzle, helpless and hypnotized, a willing victim to the powerful creature of darkness.

I turned off the water, slid open the shower door and grabbed a towel off the rack. If anyone was in the room they were only going to catch a quick glance at me. I have never been self-conscious about my body, but I’m no exhibitionist either. I had worn tight or revealing outfits at times, maybe to go to a show or something, but I had never felt so exposed in all my life. I wrapped the towel around me and dashed into my bedroom. I closed and locked the door. Turning towards the bed, I noticed my cellphone was gone.

I froze to the spot. I knew I had put it on the bed. But now it wasn’t there. My eyes scanned the room. Perhaps my bathroom freakout was warranted after all. Someone had been here watching. And now they had taken my cellphone. I walked over to the window and looked through the blinds at the house next door. There were some lights on and I could see some movement in one of the rooms, but no one was outside. I heard the echoing sound of a tinkling bell from behind me, and I spun to the sound, dropping the towel in the process. Naked, I grabbed up the stake from the vampire kit still on the bed and scanned the room. There was no one there. Again, the bell sounded, soft and distant. It was my cellphone. Sitting on top of my dresser, plugged into the charger.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe I had plugged it in before I headed to the shower and had just forgot about it. I went to the dresser and opened the top drawer. I grabbed some fresh underwear and slipped into them as quick as I could. Next drawer down, dark pants and a black tank top advertising an X-Japan concert my dad had taken me to in New York a couple years back. I turned away to grab my shoes and the bell sounded again. It was a cellphone notification of some kind. I woke up the phone and didn’t see anything to alert me to email or a message or anything. I hit the home button and pulled up the last used applications. The one at the top was the camera. I clicked it and the app opened to my photo gallery which was normal if you had just taken a picture. The top photo in the gallery brought me to a breathless stop. It was the picture of a tattooed moon, encircled by bloody vines, or perhaps veins. Under it were the words “Loveless”.

The first thing I thought was that was the name of my favorite song by Luna Sea, but then came the realization that this tattoo was on a boy’s hairless chest. And I knew for a fact I hadn’t taken it. I pulled up the tag info on the picture. It had been taken only a few short minutes ago, which meant there had been a boy in my room with a loveless tattoo and the balls to let me know he’d been there. But if he had thought to scare me with this, he was mistaken. Now I was pissed. I stuck the stake down the back of my pants and covered it with my shirt. I put the holy water in my front pocket and removed the crucifix from my dad’s vampire kit. looped it around my neck, letting it drop on its chain just out of sight down my shirt. I snatched the cell from the dresser and took one last look at the photo before sliding the phone in pocket. It was time to stake that pervert right through his tattoo.

Keep reading. Continue to Ep. 7

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson.

Waiting For The Cyclone (flash fiction, fan fic)

Another experiment in flash fiction, this little piece started with the first sentence at the starting gate of a timed writing exercise. I just start typing and let it rip. I quickly realized it changed from flash fiction to fan fic about the second sentence in. With that said I guess it can’t truly be flash, as in all fan fic you have some idea about events and characters before you start. Still, I do like what came out of the exercise and so I thought I’d share it. Hope you enjoy 🙂

“Waiting For The Cyclone”

She stands in the middle of the dirt road, the old farmhouse off to the left, the wide expanse of the prairie to her right. A hot afternoon breeze blows through her long brown hair. The hem of her gingham dress swirls around her legs, blown about by the same rhythmic wind that signals the coming cyclone. She has waited for this since childhood, keeping her lonely vigil, hoping the one that swept her away once before will return. They have told she is mad, perhaps “tetched in tha head”, but she knows her own experience as if it were written in a book or seen at the movies. It had swept her away before, far from the dying corn rows and starving animals of her Uncle’s farm. And though that had been years ago in childhood, as a young woman she longs for a similar adventure again, something to make her come alive and feel the impossible possibilities of youth. She has missed her friends from long ago, and has found herself unable to make new ones. She feels as if she is dying here, or will die alone at an old age always dreaming of something better, something more wonderful than any wizard could grant. What she needed was one more wicked witch and one less day of wasting away in her own longings. And so she waits for the cyclone, always on the horizon, yet never arriving, still hoping to find that “no place like home” kind of feeling.

Ghost Boy Blues 8

I approach him with caution, stepping on tip toe as if I’m trying not to be heard or seen. I tend to forget sometimes I am neither. No one notices me as I walk towards his desk, his back turned to me. He doesn’t hear my approach and it feels weird to be moving among a classroom where no one knows you even exist. They didn’t take notice of me when I was alive and they certainly have kept it up now that I’m a spirit.

I am standing at his back, reaching out, my fingers nearly touching his shoulder. For a moment , I am afraid of what will happen if I try to use his body as a host for my spirit. Will my soul be the dominant one and shove his to the side so that I will be in control? Or will I be a helpless observer, a mere presence within him that can’t control any aspect of his physical form? Possibly, we would coexist, but would be be aware of each other, or would our two personalities meld and mesh into one? Heaven forbid, I could even be trapped in that one body forever. Unable to escape and roam free again.

I pull my hand back. Though he seems the perfect boy to be, I’m not sure I want to be perfect forever. I just want to let the girl of my dreams know I adore her and maybe have the chance to have her adore me back. I’ve seen how she admires him. How he makes her smile and laugh. This may be my one and only chance to know firsthand of her affections. I used to sit in my seat dreaming I could kiss a girl like her. Now, here’s my last chance and I’m still too chicken to act.

I take a deep breath. Screw it. I’m not to going to blow this. I thrust my hand towards the boy’s back. I touch his skin, but cannot feel it. I am sinking into him, being pulled now by a force that compels me to become a part of this person. I am passing into him like smoke from a cigarette inhaled into the lungs. For a split second, his body jerks as if it knows an intruder has arrived, but then settles down and lets me in.

Once inside, I attempt to move his frame, and I tell myself to move his hand, but it’s now my hand too, so it obeys my command to scratch the crotch of his (my?) pants. I jerk the hand back quickly. It’s weird to feel his body. It’s like I’m touching someone else and it makes me feel violated somehow. I look around the room and know the head of this body is turning with me.

The other students seem to find this unusual. My host must be a very attentive student and not given n to distractions. Some of them curious looks on their faces. None of the faces belong to the girl I want. She is not in this class. I will have to wait out this period before going in search of her.

It’s then I feel a push, as if someone has just given me a shove in the chest. But its not something physical. This body hasn’t moved. No, this has come from within. The host is fighting back.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 5

 

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5: Puzzle Freak

The first thing I noticed as I stepped from my yard into theirs was the absence of noise. It was like I had stepped into a vacuum, where even sound was afraid of being this close to vampires. I couldn’t hear the light breeze through the trees, though I could see them swaying. No birds, no creature made a sound on this property, and I have to admit it made me a little nervous.

Still, I went up the front porch steps and raised my hand to knock. I hesitated, wondering what I thought I was doing. I had just gotten home from school. What little make up I started the day off with was now gone, my hair was a mess, and I was in jeans and t-shirt; not exactly following the ‘how to meet hot guys’ guidelines. I shrugged and knocked anyway. For a moment it didn’t make a sound, and I thought maybe I should just give this up, but then I heard the noise of my knuckles rapping the door. No matter that it came about thirty seconds after I actually knocked. I listened close, hoping to hear footsteps or a voice telling me, “wait a minute, I’m coming.” Anything to tell me there were no vampires here; that I had been wrong. But no one came. I debated whether to knock louder, and in the end I decided to try the door handle myself.

I put my hand on the door and it was ice cold. Perhaps the AC was running overtime in there, but I didn’t think so. There were no window units and I didn’t see central air units outside anywhere. I tried the knob but it was locked. I decided to go around back, maybe knock there.

The backyard was spacious with a concrete patio and in-ground pool. A row of hedges lined a back fence that separated our properties, but the shrubs were barren, and sure enough I could see mom lying out in her bikini in our back yard. I could tell by the rise and fall of her breasts that she had fallen asleep as usual. Part of me wanted to scream her name just to see how drunk she was, but before I could I saw I wasn’t alone on this side of the hedge. A man was sitting at a glass topped table on the patio working a jigsaw puzzle. A large umbrella was mounted in the center of the table, shielding him from the bulk of the sun’s rays. He didn’t seem to notice me at first, but when he did, his head came up so slow it made me think of those old automaton gypsy fortune telling machines they had at the fair when I was like nine. He stared at me with a curious look, his eyes dark and intense, half hidden by stringy black hair that hung down in his face. He tilted his head one way and then the other, before beckoning me to him. My head was screaming not to do it, but something bolder inside made me approach his table. He held up a puzzle piece and handed it towards me as if he wanted me to place it for him. His smooth pale skin made him seem almost unnatural, and I hesitated. With an impatient jerk of his hand he shoved the piece at me. I took it from him and looked down at the puzzle he was working on.

It was bizarre, like something out of a nightmare. The unfinished image clearly suggested a view of hell, with writhing, tormented bodies, some entwined in reckless abandon, others twisting in the talons of demonic figures. At the center, a tall dark presence drank the blood of several people at once, all of them held fast in his gaze and grip. Where the puzzle piece was missing there was a young girl about the same age as myself . Her body was turned towards the terrifying figure, and she must have been looking up at him rapturously, but she didn’t have a head. It was the missing piece.

I looked in my hand and turned it over. Sure enough, the piece I held was the girl’s head, and looking at it I saw in her eyes a look of adoration and helplessness. I looked at the man behind the card table. His Asian eyes held no malice, but something within told me this guy did not wish good things to befall me. A slight sneer crossed his thin lips. His mouth began to open. He made a sound in his throat but it wasn’t speech. It was a guttural kind of moan and his lips seemed to curl back to show me the only teeth he had were two pairs of fangs. His sneer turned into the scariest smile I had ever seen. I dropped the puzzle piece and bolted.

I ran across the yard and to my front door as if the devil were on my heels. I didn’t even bother with my book bag. I slammed the door behind me and threw the deadlock in place. I kept waiting to hear the man’s body slam into the solid oak of the doorframe, but he never did. I wasn’t even sure if he got up from the table. I didn’t care to look back. I’d been too freaked out.

I went through the dining room towards the back of the house. Looking out onto our patio, I saw mom was still sleeping one off. The guy next door was nowhere to be seen, but his macabre puzzle was still on the table. Thinking he was on his way over, I ran upstairs and locked myself in my room; my dad’s vampire kit laid out and open on the bed. If anyone came through that door they were going to get hit with a one two punch of holy water and wooden stake. But no one came. I sat on the bed as the night began to fall. I heard mom come in and rumble around in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure if she was fixing dinner or a new drink, but I wasn’t about to come out my room to find out. I was waiting for pitch dark so I could go stake that puzzle working, blood sucking freak.

Continue Reading: Episode 6

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D. Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Revamped) Ep. 4

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

Episode 4: Nora’s Rumour

I rode Angela’s bus home. Even after skipping sixth period, she was still pissed about the Trumps, and like always, the conversation was along the lines of “I should have kicked her ass” or “if she does that again, I’m going to stomp her.” Of course, both of us knew that was just big talk. You couldn’t just go up and punch Amanda without fighting the rest of them too. And even if you did manage to take them all on and beat them, your glory wouldn’t last long. In fact, they would do their best to turn it into humiliation. That’s what they did to me earlier in the year when I had a run-in with Chrissy. So I told her on the ride home it was best to leave it alone. Angela may have talked big but she understood.

“Well anyway, thanks for catching me. You’re always there for me.”

I smiled. “You’d do the same thing for me.”

“You never did tell me the anime.”

“What?”

“Your drawing. What anime the guy was from.”

“Oh that,“ I laughed. “You just don’t let it go, do you?”

“Nope.”

“It’s a new one.”

“Okay, so what’s it called?”

I knew I couldn’t keep this up for long. I had no choice. “It’s called, I have a hot new neighbor.”

Her eyes grew wide as saucers. “No shit? You’re kidding me.”

“I just caught a glimpse of him last night. I made up most of the picture because I couldn’t see him very clearly.”

Her eyes got even wider. “Were you peeking in his window, perv?”

“No, he was on the back porch staring up into the sky.”

“Well hell, I’ll come over and keep him grounded if you won’t.”

I laughed, shaking my head. “I bet you would.”

“You going to talk to him?”

“I don’t know,“ I said. “We’ll see.”

“We’ll see? What’s wrong with you? Everybody at school already thinks you’re gay. Get the hook up and prove them wrong.”

Leave it to Angela to downplay her Trumps incident by referring to mine. It was the first party of the school year. Earlier that week I had called Chrissy Trump a skanky bitch after she tripped me up in the cafeteria. A girl at the party that I didn’t even know came up to me to say she thought that was the coolest thing ever and she wanted to talk to me outside. I didn’t think anything of it and went outside with her. Next thing I knew she had shoved me into the pool and dived in after me. As I came up out of the water she threw her arms around my neck and kissed me. It all happened so fast and I was gasping for breath so it was easy for her to take advantage. Before I could get away, The Trumps had appeared with their cell phone cameras going in rapid mode. I shoved the girl away from me but it was too late. Next day it was all over Facebook, Instagram, and twitter; me all wet and wild-eyed with some girl shoving her tongue down my throat.

“You just had to bring that up, didn’t you?” I said to Angela as we got off at her bus stop. “You know that was a set up.”

“Yes I know. But the fact remains everyone thinks you don’t like boys. And you have never had a steady boyfriend, unless you count Charlie Simkins back in the seventh grade.”

“You want to get slugged, don’t you? None of that was my fault.”

“Okay, so prove everyone wrong. Hit on your hot neighbor.”

I knew this was her way of daring me, but knowing Angela, I also knew this was a way for her to position herself if I failed. I wasn’t about to tell her I thought he was a vampire. She’d probably try to bite him back. I sighed. “Look, I’ll introduce myself and we’ll see what happens.”

“What do you mean, see what happens? “

“It means, I’m not going to throw myself at him like some lovesick fool I know.”

“I’m not lovesick, just desperate. Which is what you should be. Tomorrow I’ll be expecting to hear his name. I bet it’s something sexy like Ryan or Tatum. Or better yet Gray. Omg.”

With that she nearly danced up her sidewalk to the front door. “Don’t count on it,” I muttered, wondering what in the hell I’d gotten myself into.

The walk home from Angela’s was about two miles. It usually took about an hour, but this time I went a little slower. I needed to unwind and think things through. To rise to Angela’s challenge would mean it would have to be tonight. If I drug my feet she’d give me hell when I didn’t give her his name next time I saw her. I berated myself for even trying to please her. If I went over to meet this guy it needed to be on my terms not hers. And again, she didn’t suspect what I did. She wouldn’t be the one who would have to kill the bloodsucker. Damn it, why was life so complicated? Why couldn’t I just meet a guy I liked and not have to kill him? I was jumping ahead of myself I knew. Chances are he wouldn’t be friendly, or perhaps he didn’t like girls, or just flat out didn’t like me. By the time I got home, I had already convinced myself my whole life was a disaster and always would be.

The sun was just starting to set as I threw my book bag on the front porch. There was still plenty of light out and if I was going to wait for the boy next door to come outside I might be waiting awhile. I could go inside my house and read my latest Manga acquisition, or perhaps watch some Netflix, or just sit on the porch and wait for the undead. Or I could be bold and go over right now and knock on the door. If he was a vampire, he wouldn’t answer, unless he had one of them human caretakers to protect his resting place in the daylight hours. In that case, I would just have some slobbering Renfield to fend off. If that happened, I could just holler for mom. She was probably sunbathing in the backyard with a vodka in her hand anyway.

I looked over to the house next door. I didn’t detect any movement in the yard or behind its drawn curtains. “Oh to hell with it,“ I mumbled, and headed across the lawn.

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Continue to Episode 5