When Luthien woke his skin was the color of flat sand on a starless evening. What the hell happened last night? He sees a sky not quite black. The moon, a shredded toenail hanging on a milky weave. Leftover sensations of tepid glass–thick tumbler, lazy ice.
Last evening he stopped on his way home. Between shots of Jack Daniels, Luthien remembers a powerful mouth. In the small bar–a big woman whose billowing lips could suck the enamel off teeth. What did he do? Did that insane mouth hoover the color from his body? Luthien’s fair skin that goes lobster belly pink on the beach is now dull grey. Was he vacuumed dry? Luthien hopes he’ll wake and find his skin its proper shade. But Luthien you are grey. Too bad.
Nervously he squeezes his eyelids shut. Shelby and her tears. She’d found him and Cassandra porn-style in ‘their’ bed. So what if he and Shelby picked out the duvet with coordinating sheets. The woman in the bar had lips like clamps–tight and hot. Big, deep red wet lips. Did he hear a name from that strange sucking mouth? Martianna, Maliana, Marvianna? A sentence slithers into his ear. A velvet tongue like he’s never tasted in thirty-eight years. Translucent hands pulling his hair so hard his head whacks the bar wall and he doesn’t give a shit. Her surreal mouth, a serpentine force plundering his desperate throat. Did that burgundy wet nurse utter something to his bourboned-out body?
Think Luthien. You almost talked Shelby out of leaving post-Cassandra fuck. The name. It will be important. Take a moment. Go through the minutes after her lips sucked your dick through your throat. Those red lips whispered something.
“When a heart is shattered, its pieces fall to earth. Tears of pain water and grows the blood rose that springs forth the serpent that feeds on the rat.”
The bedroom clock screams. Luthien wakes to the sun’s rays slithering past his silk curtains. His mane of hair, dripping sweat, soaking the grey cotton sheets. Saturday morning. Shelby would have slapped the alarm off then woken him with a tender kiss. They used to make love on Saturdays.
Love writing flash fiction, especially monster-themed. I let loose a bit more when invoking character voices. Hope you enjoy, leftover sensations, as much as I enjoyed writing it 😘
As the writing gods sometimes align themselves, my dear, faraway writing friend, DS Levy also in this issue with a masterful short, Pit Viper.
adore this cover art by Aisha Ali!
Quiet and low
Steel eyes trapped behind metal car door
Glass window mocking
No view to the street
A world crisscrossed with yes and no
violence and peace
He lies there
On his back
Thinking about his family, his life, his choices
Circling to this moment
In an unmarked car
Followed from the crime scene
An old-school mafia hit
From another time
Only one commonality
The dark looks that placed him in harms way
His wife, his children
Clinging to a backseat
A tale papa may one day tell his grandkids
His ears are his eyes
The men are closing in on the car
He steadies his service weapon
What story will this be
this is a work of factual fiction
A leisurely stroll on a cool morning. Anastasia Lane is tree-lined with bodacious curves like his wife’s. He is not quite sure where the road will take him. This is a new neighborhood. His heavy patrician brows, salt and peppered over time speak to old-school character. Harder working, forthright decades. Maybe. Broad shoulders once home to a leather holster a bit concave now. With a surgically fixed hip, he perseveres upright and true. A firmness beneath those size fourteens beats the pavement, nothing aged in that step. He’s thinking about life. He’s a thinker. His brain will never stop cycling. Unlike the right arm that sometimes gives him bother.
He is passing a grand home on Anastasia Lane, a compound with ornate gates around its perimeter. Behind the black iron rods–in stark contrast–a large, white German Shepherd paces. The walking man’s flecked grey eyes shift. Having owned several of the black and tan variety, he admires the GSD a moment then continues on. His mind wanders back in time–a bleaker part of NYC. Two murderers hiding out on the ninth floor. Blocking the hall’s entrance, a hulking Shepherd with raised fur and glistening canines. In the stairwell, two agents plan a regroup, when the grey-eyed agent comes up from behind. He moves to the front and simply growls more loudly than the dog. The next moments complete another story–one that becomes legendary at retiree gatherings.
Continuing along Anastasia, the grey-eyed man is passing the expansive lawn’s last wrought iron post when from behind, silent teeth sink into his upper thigh. He reacts immediately whacking the white GSD’s head with his good arm and his large hand. His trousers are torn and blood is trickling down the back of his leg. Charging across the monstrous lawn, the GSD’s owner bellows, “RELEASE, RELEASE!” The dog owner’s voice quickly turns contrite. Sweat trickles down his ample exposed chest onto his jogging suit. His combed back hair is shoe-polish black and his endlessly dark, Sicilian eyes remind the old agent of someone.
The bite only broke surface skin. Within minutes the two are sipping Sambuca together in a flamboyant Mediterranean room. Above the gilded mantel, looming larger than life hangs an oil portrait. The old agent stares through the intense frozen eyes. He’d remember that gaze anywhere. Decades ago, Enzo Rozzoni was painted into a nice jail cell with canvas bedding. The grey-eyed man helped put him there.
The old agent and the Sicilian empty their shot glasses. Then the grey-eyed man points to himself and states with a grin, “Franco Rozzoni, I knew your father. FBI–”
Smiling equally as wide, Franco Rozzoni parlays, “No wonder my dog bit you in the ass.”
The old world neighbors share a laugh over another round of Sambuca.
I’d like to extend a very Happy Birthday to my father, Vito, newly minted 85 today and by far, still the most intimidating man I’ve ever met.
In the photo above he was just entering the FBI.
a car flies down the road though how could it
there are no feathers only heavy metal and fumes
anchoring its chassis to earth
a fly buzzes around the fruit bowl
as if it has something to say about the arrangement
you go to close the kitchen window where the fumes and the fly entered
up there in the sky, a cloud shaped like Uncle Stan
you haven’t called him in awhile
not since he went to the rest home, the one that doesn’t smell so funky
the car, the fly, and the cloud aren’t in possession of anything mystical
the car doesn’t have wings
though the fly does
the car, the fly and the cloud move fast
some believe cars have spirits
otherwise car names are pointless
even if the headlights resemble eyeballs
and a fly who doesn’t like the fruit arrangement
without elevated thought
would just be annoying
so leave the window open and let the car fumes pass
the fly will have an exit for making its escape
and for the love of Aunt Lucy, gone these seven years
please don’t forget to call Uncle Stan
this graphic created in 2014 makes me happy – she’s just silly
walking through the old Parisian market
it’s a bit warm
but the wide-brimmed hat cools
spent your take home pay on couture
wearing a hand-colored print
most of your life has been devoted to
searching for him
among throngs of meandering shoppers
your hands busied
squeezing Mirabelle plums
as if they know how to select fruit
the few dollars in your purse
not enough to buy food for the week
still there is the desire
of sweet and ripe and perfect
the late noon sun lowers
evening clouds come calling
you reach to shut the light
there will be another day for hope
and sipping to lost love
another night forgetting
there is no market
never a man
only turning pages
beneath an antique reading lamp
beyond the words
into a rhythmic breathing
it must be hat week for me 😉
art previously published