This week we bring you two very different flash fiction tales to sink your monster's teeth into.
Knife Work from Ed Ahern is due to appear in our March 2018 anthology: Fangs and Broken Bones.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had a hundred eighty poems and stories published so far, and three books. His collected fairy and folk tales, The Witch Made Me Do It, a novella The Witches’ Bane, and his collected fantasy stories, Capricious Visions. He works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors.
By Ed Ahern
Coming soon to our March 2018 anthology: Fangs and Broken Bones.
Now enjoy some (pardon the pun) devilish wickedness from Edward Palumbo.
Edward Palumbo is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1982). His fiction, poems, shorts, and journalism have appeared in numerous periodicals, journals, e-journals and anthologies including Rough Places Plain, Flush Fiction, Tertulia Magazine, Epiphany, The Poet’s Page, Reader’s Digest, Baseball Bard and Dark Matter. Ed is a prize-winning poet and playwright. Ed’s literary credo is: if you fall off the horse, get right back on the bicycle.
And Came The Demon
By Edward Palumbo
It was three am and, yet, someone had turned on the master bedroom lights. The room was cool and smelled of damp, old clothes. A creature lay on my bed next to me. Her face was contorted and blood dripped from the corner of her mouth – the right side. It was not Janet, but it was her body, maybe a bit thinner, but her body. My darling wife was possessed. “Kiss me,” said the she-demon, as she opened her blood-red eyes. “Kiss me my darling.” I jumped from the bed and, as I did so, the bedroom door slammed shut. I made every effort to open it, eager to rush to Suzie’s side, as my baby was crying for me from her crib. But the door would not open.
“Don’t leave me, my sweet,” said the creature, “I want to play.” She raised her head from the pillow and eyed me lustfully.
“Let my Janet go,” I screamed.
“Let my Janet go? Who are you, Moses?”
“I’ll Moses you,” said I and, with that, I began searching the bedroom for a candlestick to crack the beast over the head with. I was then struck by the realization that we did not own a candlestick. After a moment, I spied my golf bag next to the closet door. I pulled my two iron from its sleeve and approached the hideous bitch.
“Fore, baby,” I said to the demon.
“Hah,” she replied, “if you hit me with that club, it’ll be the first contact you’ve ever made with a two iron.”
I raised the club over my head, only to be thrown across the room and I slammed against the door. I collapsed to the carpet and I felt ill to my stomach as if concussed. The two iron spun in the air before me and, after a moment, it crashed through the window. Suzie cried from her crib. Arf barked from the kitchen, his water dish, no doubt, empty, again.
“Who are you?” I asked the beast as I rose to my feet.
“Who do you think I am?” she growled, “I am Sondra, you’re one and only love.”
“My wife, Sondra, is dead,” I said, as I approached the bed.
“No,” said the beast, “just relocated.” She gave me an evil smile. “Do you remember the first time we made love, Joseph? We were up at that little cabin in Vermont. Remember the way I pleased you all night with my hot, sensual body?”
“That wasn’t me. I’ve never been north of Boston.”
“Oh, yeah,” she replied. “Hey, are those new pajamas?”
“Yes, you like them?”
“I’d like them off. Come on over here baby, give me a little snoochie-snoochie.”
“I don’t even know if I know how to do that,” I replied.
“Oh, you know how to do it, just not that well.”
“You are a pig!” I told her, as the heat grew inside me. “A worthless pig, go back to hell!” And, with that, she threw me against the door again and I fell in a dizzy heap.
All hope was gone, or so I thought, until I regarded the bookshelf. The last book on the left was the Holy Bible and I took it as my own and flipped through it madly, searching for any help.
It was a very recent edition and the appendix contained a supplement entitled “Demons and Why They Are so Darn Evil and How to Get Rid of Them and Still Have Time for Game of Thrones”. The appendage contained several incantations, all in Latin, but I am pretty good at sounding out the words. The lights failed, just as I began to read and I heard a moan that would have chilled the devil himself.
The room was dark and pungent. I found my keychain and the little flashlight that adorned it. I turned on the tiny light and I returned to the first incantation. I spoke loudly and clearly being sure to round my lips and not stammer. The evil creature laughed at my words, at first, but soon she began writhing, and she wailed in pain.
“Where did you get this mattress?” she cried. “It is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever been on.”
I paused, drawn from the text. “Hey, I got a nice price on that mattress.”
“A nice price?” she asked. “Did you have to break a five?”
I continued reading the Latin and I periodically threw in my own English lines like: “Back to hell, foul demon.” or “Why don’t you go possess your sister’s butt?” or “Have you ever noticed how good Marisa Tomei still looks? I mean, how does she do it? You know? I gotta believe that diet has a lot to do with it – and genes, genes certainly, but also diet.”
Thunder cracked in the evening sky. Rain and wind entered through the broken window. Suzie and Arf cried desperately, as if feeling my peril. And the demon wailed loudly, without pause. At the very last, she rose four feet above the bed and the mattress spun below her, which was fine as I had been meaning to flip it anyway. I finished reading the text and, as I did, calm prevailed, as did quiet. Light graced the room once again. The demon sank slowly to the bed and she lay silently and then I heard it, low at first, then louder, snoring. The wretched demon, that even hell would have turned away, was snoring. I moved closer.
My lovely Janet awoke and smiled. “Morning, honey,” she said. “What do you say I make us some breakfast?”
It was then that realized what a lucky man I was. But I’ll tell you one thing that did not not return to the netherworld, on the fateful occasion, my wife’s morning breath. Sheesh!
Hopefully this duet of sweet and savoury darkness has satisfied monsters great and small. Visit our table again next week for another feeding.
*Knife Work © Ed Ahern
*And Came The Demon © Edward Palumbo