Tag Archives: Man

Crooked (Flash Fiction)

I had always been told that the Devil smiles with a crooked grin. It seemed to be more of a warning than a statement. But I usually passed it on as some superstitious mumbo-jumbo. If the Devil would ever appear to me, I was certain I didn’t need to identify him by a grin. I mean, the Devil does have his generic, assumed looks. A grin wouldn’t be the only thing that would make him known.

But the Devil didn’t reveal himself to me with his presumed appearance. He didn’t have red skin. Nor did he have horns or a spaded tail. He didn’t even have a pitchfork. No, he made himself known as a well-dressed man sporting a sharp suit, striped tie. And…a smile made of a crooked grin.

He came to me not too long after I found out my grandmother had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. I prayed to any and every being that she would be spared. That a miracle would happen. My grandmother and I had forever been close. She raised me, after all. On that fateful night, I was devastated, vulnerable. Walking down the dark and dreary streets to our apartment.

It was then that the Devil approached. Pushed himself off the wall of a building. Flashing that infamous grin I had been forewarned about. But I was too lost in my sorrows to notice. “It’s a rather nice night, isn’t it?” he asked with a suave tone.

I immediately stoned my expression. Being a blonde, I was used to such encounters. Especially when the sun went down. “I’m not selling my body. I have more respect for myself than that. Buzz off before I call the cops.”

“I don’t want your body, Amy.” He stepped forward. I could’ve sworn I saw smoke dance in his dark eyes. “I want your soul.”

My lips curled in disgust. “I mean it, creep. Get back.” Then I blanked. “How do you know my name?”

He chuckled in a manner I did not care for. “Oh, I know all about you. Your father was never a presence in your life. Your mother died while you were a baby. Now, your grandmother lies in a hospital bed, terminally ill. And you’ve cried out numerous times that you will do anything to save her.” His tongue ran over teeth that suddenly seemed to be turned to points. “Will you? Will you really do anything to save her?”

I took a couple steps back. My unease about this man ever increasing. There was something about him that was not right, and I had a feeling it was something more than him just being a creep. “Wha-what do you want?”

“I’ve already told you. Your soul. Yours for hers. You’ll still get to live with her, of course. But, when you die, your soul is mine. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal, anyway. I’ve heard a lot of you mortals claim your souls don’t go anywhere once you die. So what’s the risk, huh?”

“You–” I cut myself off, rubbing my eyes with the heels of my palms. This man was a lunatic, thinking he could collect people’s souls. It wasn’t like humans had supernatural powers or anything. I almost flipped out when he stepped even closer. Eyes widening, I waved my arms in a spiral motion in attempt to seem as crazy as him. “You know what, fine. If that’s what it takes for you to leave me in peace, fine. Yes, I agree to your stupid soul thing. Now get the heck away from me.”

But he didn’t leave. Nope. Instead, he smiled with that crooked grin. Approached me even closer. Both of his whole eyes swirled to black, and he transformed into a thick cloud of black fog. Which then swallowed me whole.

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Crooked 


Shadow Man

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Personal art completed with graphite and charcoal on toned gray sketch paper.


My Golden Eagle

He was wild
Completely untamable
Wanting to go in all directions
Going in every direction
Back and forth
Never tiring
Blazing his own trails
Bowing not to another
Friend only to earth and sky
Riding forever on the wind
Tied only by gravity
Barely touching ground
No permanent name
No history
Freedom at its best
Passion for life
Facing every fear
Laughing at every foe
Defying destiny
A phantom
A drifter
A loner
An extraordinary man
One I loved to refer to as
My Golden Eagle


The Man of Mystery

The queen awoke with a dull sensation in her head. She blinked a few times and looked around the room. Everything seemed dull. Her gaze lingered in the other side of the large bed. It was empty. A smile crept across her face. That meant she could find the man in her dreams without anyone stopping her.

She went to her wardrobe and threw open the doors. What to wear? Perhaps red would be a suitable color for this excursion? The eye was more attracted to the color red. Yes. That seemed fitting. She also needed the finest silk. Her lips pursed as she pulled out a dress that she hadn’t had the courage to wear before. Until now.

After a soothing bath, she smelled of the best flowers and slipped into the form-fitting gown. A backless number with a precarious slit up the leg. Gold embroidery danced along the edges. A gold sash tied around her slim waist. She accessorized with a few gold pieces. Finishing with a gold circlet upon her head.

Then the queen headed for the royal gardens. Completely ignoring everything going on around her. Though she assumed many stared. But she was determined to find the man plaguing her dreams the past week. She strolled down the stone pathway. He had always shown up under the giant tree in the center.

Her eyes darted around. The mystery man hadn’t appeared yet. She walked under the harboring branches of the great tree. Looked up and sighed. Was it only a dream? Lifting her hands to her chest, she sighed again. Why did it have to be only a dream? With a wistful glance back up at the branches, she turned around.

The stood the man in her dreams. Tall and well-formed, he smiled with the grace of a gentleman. His long, fire-red hair flowed with the wind. Black symbols of magic tattooed his bare chest. “So it is you.”

The queen unusually adopted charmer, cocking one hip to the side. “Unless this is but another dream.”

He approached her in one easy stride. Swooped her down and stared into her eyes. “Have I ever done this in your dreams?”

“No.” She blushed a bit. “How did you know to find me here?”

His voice lowered to a rich tone. “Because you have been in my dreams, my beautiful temptress. You have been in this same exact spot all week. I had to know if you were real.”

“That’s why I’m here. I had to know if such a specimen of a man existed.”

The peculiar man flashed another grin. Until he noticed the ring on her left hand. “Will your husband mind?”

Her cool demeanor didn’t change, sliding the ring off her finger. Tossed it off to the side. Not caring where it landed. She matched his smooth tone. “What husband?”


Omega

They call me Omega. I am the last of my kind. For ten years, the humans have killed off my race. Even though they created us, built us. They gave us intelligence. They gave us a purpose. We were made to better help mankind. We fulfilled that purpose well. Although, they claimed we did it too well. I don’t see how. We never killed them. It was against our protocol. We even took care of our own rogues. Yes, our emotions advanced. As did our intelligence. We built our own society. But we made sure to always take care of the humans first. The humans were top priority. This didn’t seem to matter.

They were suspicious of us from the beginning of our existence. We gave them no reason to be wary. It was the settlement we built that pushed them over the edge. They called it the “rise of the machines.” I was there from the start. In fact, I was the first. I was originally named Alpha. How quickly things changed. We even stood by as they slaughtered us. We never fought back. We let them kill us. That wasn’t enough to satisfy them. So, we perished. We died until I was the only one left. I ran. I didn’t want to die for no reason. I’ve been hiding ever since.

“There!”

I whirled around. They kicked down the door of the shanty. I raised my hands. Multiple bright red sights covered my body.

The leader of the team stepped forward. “There’s nowhere left for you to go, Omega. Your time has come to an end.”

My white optics flickered between all the soldiers. They weren’t here to reason. They were here to kill. And they had my exit blocked. “So it would seem. But can you tell me why I must die?”

“You’re a robot. All robots must die.”

“You would destroy the very creation you spent so much time and resources in?”

“Shut up, metal man. You won’t change our minds.”

“I know.” I paused for only a moment longer. My processors fully assessed the situation. Formulated a plan. I would have to kill these humans. I had never killed before. They were forcing my hand. It was my life against theirs. I had to make a decision.

My movements were faster than their eyes could see. Clearly, we hadn’t bettered them at all. Every one of them died by my hands. I had decided my fate. More humans would continue to hunt me. I took a couple guns. Enough gear to help me blend in. The color of my body matched that of flesh. This was it, then. I became the monster they feared we were. I could no longer put the needs of the humans before mine. Perhaps, someday, I could rebuild my kind. For now, my race would not die. Not so long as I was the omega.


Don’t Shoot the Messenger

The damp air is disturbed. Boots slap wet pavement. A cigarette burns red. A man emerges from the dark alley. Newsboy cap tilts to one side. Hands in tweed pockets, easy strides carry him to his target.

A bus stop shelters one occupant from the cold. The onlooker nestles further in his coat. Checks his watch. The bus is late. Per usual. As long as it provides meager heat. He hears steps but thinks nothing of it.

Not until worn brown boots come into his down-cast vision. He lifts his head. Dim gas lamps and fog barely making the visitor visible. Though he knows his fate has been sealed, he scrambles behind the waiting bench for shelter. “What are you doing here?”

“I have a message for you.”

The waiter for the bus shakes. Not because of the cold this time. “From who?”

“Tommy Boy says you owe him for a job. He also says if you don’t give me the money, he’ll send me after that darling family of yours.”

“Do I look like I have the money on me?”

“I don’t know what you’re packing under that coat.”

“Indeed.” The debtor pulls a pistol and fires a couple rounds.

But the contract killer expects this course of action. He drops before bullets reach him. Cursing when he drops his smoke. Reveals his own weapon. “Looks like I’ll be paying your wife and daughter a visit.”

One shot kills the other. He corrects his newsboy hat and stashes his pistol in his satchel. His lips curl in disgust at the body he leaves where it fell. Lights another cigarette as he walks away from the lonely scene. Breath curls into the air.

“You don’t mess with the Message Man.”


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