Mondays Finish the Story – Town Funds

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

“The Mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached.”

The methodology was simple; two people, every year, must die.  One year it would be two lower-class victims.  The next year, one middle-class or rich and one poor.  Then back to two poor.  The cycle continues.  The poor victims served as scapegoats; only killing the rich would make their intentions obvious, and being caught would be more likely.  Once a rich victim was taken, their family would pour all their funds into the town and state governments until they were found.

They were never found.

But the paychecks kept coming.  And the mystery of the disappearances only added to the advertising and tourism revenue.  Mysteriousness sells, even when engulfed in danger.  Everyone benefitted.  Well, except the victims.

The plan would continue on as long as the secret remained.  Few people knew, and it was about to be fewer.  What’s more intriguing than a missing Mayor?


Check out the others here

Friday Fictioneers – Sign of Success

Before my story, I just wanted to apologize for not being around as much (writing, reading others, commenting, etc).  Just got a new job and started summer classes!  Things have been a little hectic!  I’ll be around more when things settle down.  Thanks for everyone who keeps coming by anyway!

© Kent Bonham
© Kent Bonham

It wasn’t luck.

He had spent too many years needled to a hospital bed in debilitating pain; he had spewed too many piles of puke; he had swallowed too many pain pills for it to be luck.

He had spent too many years fighting; he had spent too much time honing his craft; he had spent too many resources in blind hope for it to be luck.

It wasn’t definitive.

It wasn’t complimentary.

It wasn’t devised.

It was a sign.  A sign that didn’t tell him he’d be rich, or appreciated, or loved, but a sign that he would be successful in what mattered.


FFfAW – Boneyard Bustle

 

© Sonya O.
© Sonya O.

Buried beneath a boneyard of battered tombstones lies hordes of insomniacs that clatter through their stretched coracles.  Open eyes and empty mouths remain ingrained to their one-manned vessel while they should be traveling the tributary to hereafter, but inhumane mock mourners fancied Charon’s obol too overpriced to inhume.

I can still hear the hum of hamstrung hopefuls: murmurs of eager souls.  Restlessness resumes even after a formal curtain call if relatives leave residue from roguish relationships unresolved: irresolution to vocalize merciful verbiage in a favorable vein.  Oblivious people speak a hostile vernacular comparable to Narcissus himself, at least until their retributive day.

Speak honestly.

Speak openly.

Few claim to be clairvoyant.


3 Quotes

So I'm completely breaking this challenge.  I apologize for such destruction and delay, but without further to do, here are 3 of my favorite quotes.

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."       - James Branch Cabell


malyPrincHvezdy

“”I myself own a flower,” he continued his conversation with the businessman, “which I water every day. I own three volcanoes, which I clean out every week (for I also clean out the one that is extinct; one never knows). It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them. But you are of no use to the stars.”

– The Little Prince [after talking to a man who collected stars], by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  (My all-time favorite book.  Read it if you haven’t!)


"Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat."       - The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

Friday Ficitoneers – Excusez-moi

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Your business acumen must be quite splendid,” he spoke with a veracious vernacular that was apropos for such a well-heeled man.

“Quite,” I responded with a nod from my outstretched pinky, holding a glass of Chateau Margaux.

“And, if you would be so kind as to remind me of what it is that you do.”  The prodigious curiosity was unbecoming from a man of his stature.  He looked at me inquisitively, eyebrow raised.

I contentiously raised my eyebrow commendably higher than his, lowered my polite pinky, and said, “Secret.”

He tried, and spectacularly failed at raising his eyebrow as high as mine, and when knowingly defeated, responded, “Excusez-moi.”


Mommy Under the Bed

Copied from my post on nosleep.  


Another night of overtime.  This paycheck better be worth it.  It better be worth not seeing my wife, my kid, my home… my TV.

I got home late again.  I try to turn the key and knob so it doesn’t make any noise.  I can feel the deadbolt clunk back, I tiptoe inside, and lock the door behind me.  I quietly slip my shoes off and slink up the stairs.  It was only after I got into the bedroom and undressed that I realized my entire body had been tense since I got to the porch.  Something about being quiet tenses you up.  I slide into bed next to my wife, kiss her on the back of the head, and go to sleep.

“Daddy.”

I squeeze one eye shut and crack the other to see my son is standing next to my bed in his pajamas.  It’s still late, but he had turned the hallway light on.

“Yeah?”

“Mommy is under my bed,” he said.

“There’s a monster under your bed?” I asked, trying to wake my body up enough to be coherent.  Usually I could force some motivation, but I guess these long nights had gotten to me.

“No, Mommy,” he says.

“Mommy’s right here next to me.  Go turn the hallway light off.”

“Bu-“

“Now,” I demanded.  He scampered back out of the room and turned the light off.  As soon as it was dark again, my wife shifted comfortably back into bed.  Now that she was awake, I knew I had to get up to check on him.  I picked myself up on my elbow and sat up.  I felt incredibly weak, but I bent back over and told my wife I’d be right back.  I couldn’t see the bedroom in the dark, so I felt around until I grabbed my robe and walked to the hallway door.  My son was standing there waiting on me.

“Alright buddy, let’s go check it out.”  My eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness of the hallway, and I finally managed some energy.  I guess it was nice to see my son for the first time in a while.

We walked to his bedroom together.  I grabbed his hand, opened the door, and flipped on the lights.  I closed the door behind me to drown out some of the noise for my wife.

“Alright, buddy.  Let’s check this out.”  I knelt on the floor and bent down.  I collapsed.  My wife’s mutilated body laid twisted under the bed, her head snapped towards me and her eyes wide open.  I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t move.  But….

“Buddy, don’t look under here!”  I said, my voice rising and shaking.  I reached for her, every part of her body tense and strict.  Her skin looked dark blue.

“Daddy?!” he whimpered.  Hearing my son made me release some tension, enough for me to hear footsteps coming down the hall.

“Run and lock the door!” I told him.  He ran over and locked it, then we both scooted to the back wall and watched the doorknob jerk.

FFfAW – Goldfish

© Sonya O.
© Sonya O.

How big a goldfish gets depends on the size of its home.  A small goldfish lives in a small bowl.  A big goldfish lives in a pond.

She moved from her small town to a big city.  She thought she could be a star.  But when she arrived, her size stayed the same, and the sharks stayed at the top.

Goldfish don’t come from the wild, they are bred.  Goldfish are designed by man to be used as pets.  Only when a goldfish dies does it float to the top.

She died a goldfish, and her funeral was attended by many.  She had made a splash.  Then they flushed her down the toilet.

R.I.P.  Goldie, the Goldfish.