Flashes of Sanity #144: Sloppy Skin

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Sloppy Skin

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”That hat is one bad fashion choice,” Carl Messinger told Aresh.
Aresh laughed. Kara felt a laugh gurgle in her throat too. She stopped it. This was not the time.
They already look at me too much anyway.
She corrected the skin of her jaw. It still had her mouth open at all times showing her flesh under what was the real her. No one saw the real Kara anymore. They only saw wrinkled skin hanging on what once was human.
“You are right,” Dale Riderstorm said. “It is a terrible fashion choice.”
The man who had mocked the police for years smiled. He glanced at Kara. In contrast to everyone else he did not look away when she noticed him. He excused himself from the discussion and walked towards her.
He thinks I am a monster, Kara thought.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” Dale asked.
Kara didn’t answer him and Dale took that as she didn’t mind.
Here it comes, she thought.
“I am curious of what happened to you,” Dale said. “If you feel like telling me of course.”
The question hit Kara through the chest in a sharp spear. Her heart stopped. Then it broke when she realized someone could actually go past the horridness. Then she realized that he was the Reviewer, and the cold spear turned burning within her.
What was the catch?
“I am not comfortable telling you that,” she said.
Dale nodded. He turned and put his focus on Mr. Diamond and a teenage girl.
“People think they are so good at hiding secrets,” he said. “The truth is none of them are. Everything leaks out. The truth is there for those who are willing to find it. Not that long ago there was a rumor of a man walking in other men’s skin. The rumor began when a man named Bill went from Billionaire to church rat because he suddenly couldn’t handle the economics anymore. Then it spread as a house fell apart because of a faulty carpenter known for his attention to detail. I have studied you, Kara. Just as I keep tabs on every officer in our beloved country. Lately, you have lost touch with your own passion. To me this is the closest you have been to the real Kara for several months.”
Kara’s lips tasted salt as small droplets walked under her skin. The spear turned comforting within her chest.
“Really?”
“Yes, if you need someone to talk to, you know where I am. If you know others who could need the same favor show them to me.”
Dale arose. He walked to the teenage girl and Mr. Diamond. He talked to them like nothing had happened.
But everything happened.
Kara used the inside of her skin to dry the tears and corrected the skin of her jaw again.
Further into the sewers, she heard the same devilish laughter she drowned not that long ago.

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Flashes of Sanity #140: Red Chaser

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Red Chaser

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”So this is where you met him?” Sam looked out through the broken window. Donald had had a full view of the city and all the movements on the street and in the air.
Clever, as usual, Sam thought. What did you drink to come up with that?
Probably coffee, Sam recalled. The one who needed alcohol for his ideas to flow turned to coffee after more ideas proved unnecessary. The fun guy turned dull awfully fast after that.
“Yes,” Kyle said. “I promise this is where I met him. He must have moved after you came.”
“Then this one is useless,” An elf said. “I think we should eat him just like we did to his friends.”
“Yes, I love the way they scream in my inside.”
The two elves inhaled Kyle’s legs. The pathetic example for a man shivered.
“Kyle,” Sam said. “Were there others here with your father?”
Kyle hesitated. “No.”
Sam felt warm all the way to his core. There is still hope in finding you old friend, he thought.
“Then he is yours my dear friends?”
The elves giggled. One put his teeth against Kyle’s legs. The other licked his hands. The panic in Kyle’s eye was something Sam would cherish for long.
“Wait!”
“What Kyle?”
“It was someone here with him. The Reviewer they call him.”
“The Reviewer.” Sam took another look out the window as he let the name rest on his thoughts.
They saw us on the streets and in the air, he thought. Then he smiled.
“Right where I want you.”
“Kyle, I would run if I were you,” he continued.
Kyle stared at Sam. Still paralyzed in his boots.
“I will give you a ten seconds head start before I release my two friends here.”
That snapped Kyle out of his state. He ran.
After five seconds Sam released the elvess. Then he touched his red crown.
“Go to the sewers,” he said. “And if you see my son, tell him we are winning.”

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Flashes of Sanity #137: Getaway pipe

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Getaway pipe

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”This reminds me of that time we chased Don Golga.” Brutal Joe pulled his foot out from a pool of slimy water. ”And when we caught Don Golga.”
To be honest, Donny thought this reminded him of that customer that got them to close the store due to sanitary issues. Slime, piss and shit. That felt just like him.
“Who was Don Golga? Donna asked. Her interest in the two brutes had spiked since they told her they had been in the underworld longer than most.
“Someone who ended up on the wrong side of the reaper,” Cat-Scratch said.
“Yes, snitches always end up dead.”
“Snitches always end up dead,” Donna mumbled. “How many snitches have you killed?”
“More than I can count,” Cat-Scratch said.
“Well, ten is not that big of a number.”
They seemed to have moved on so quickly after Bella died. Did they even care? Donny’s thoughts flooded with Bella in a spandex suit. Her smile always shone bright.
The group halted so fast Donny walked into Donna. He looked up from the ground and saw Dale lifting his hand.
“Did you hear something?” Cat-Scratch asked.
A sharp look from Dale made him shut up immediately.
“We have a group of ten in front of us,” Dale whispered. “Sounds nothing like the elves.”
Donny sharpened his ears, and yes, voices echoed further down the tunnels.
“Should we hide?” Mitch asked.
“Where do you want us to hide?”
Mitch looked around just to realize how stupid his question was.
“What do we do then?”
“We wait and prepare for the worst.”
Donald pulled his backpack of his back. “Okay, guns. You have bullets in your backpacks. Unsecure the weapons and be ready. And remember it will only hurt them.”
Donny dug through his backpack and found one of the clips. He pushed it into his gun. His heart was beating out of his chest.
“Keep the guns hidden,” Dale said still with his hand in the air and his ears listening at the conversation further into the tunnel.. “They are cops. We do not want to seem threatening.”
“Doesn’t that mean they could be killable?” Donna asked. When it came from her it always seemed to be with a gruesome thought in mind.
“The battle should have killed those cops right away,” Dale said. “Just be ready, okay?”

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Flashes of Sanity #136: Protect the Sewers

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Protect the sewers

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”I thought I heard someone breathing,” a voice said from above. Then the little goblin giggled as it threw itself at Cassandra.
Cassandra drew her gun before she thought. She fired at the approaching creature as her brain processed what her eyes and ears told her. Her bullets were joined by countless more as her squad emptied their guns into the being.
“What was that?” Aresh asked.
“I don’t know.” Cassandra stepped closer to the goblin. She reloaded. The goblin had bells on its feet, still it snuck up on them so easily.
Wonder how many more now sneaking up on them after hearing the gun shoots?
The mouth moved on the lump of blood, and Cassandra fired again as it threw itself at her. It grabbed her face.
“Merry Christmas!” It said and gnawed on her ear. It pulled her ear away.
Cassandra screamed. She pulled at the monster. The others did to, but it never came loose. It swallowed her ear. Then it went for her face again.
“Move!” Cassandra heard Kara scream.
The monster looked up just to see a pipe fall onto its head. The monster crashed to the sewer floor. Kara continued to hammer it all while the goblin laughed.
“You are not safe here. Santa is coming for you.” It stretched for Cassandra’s feet but another hit flung it further away.
“Don’t just stand there,” Kara said. “Hold it down. Tie it up.”
Cassandra watched as her crew threw themselves at the goblin. Some held the head in place, others focused on the arms and the legs. Cassandra considered gutting it to get her ear back.
Kara threw the pipe to the ground, and she cuffed the monster. Saliva got stuck on her loose lip.
Just to be sure they tied the blood lump up so it couldn’t move. The monster didn’t seem to mind.
“Merry, merry Christmas,” it sang. “We will kill you all.”
Cassandra tore off the arm of her uniform and pushed it against her ear. With the few sparks still capable of thinking, she made a decision. They would leave the safe place they had been the last few days. To where she didn’t know.
“Pack everything, we are moving. And throw the goblin in the water, that way no one can hear it at least.”

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Flashes of Sanity #134: Kyle the Survivor

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Today’s entry:

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Kyle Rose had seen much. A rich life, a downfall, a failed revenge, and surviving a massacre by brain washed soldiers.
Going into hiding afterwards had been somewhat weird. Seeing your dead father appearing on the screen was weirder. Meeting said dead father also made quite the story. Seeing the one who took all your riches away being his right hand stung. Having your dead father make you head of his militia topped it all.
Kyle took his time and looked at each and everyone. His old friends. His dead friends. His new friends. And those he did not know where they stood.
“We are facing something neither of us have ever seen before,” he said.
Murderous elves was what he meant. There was no meaning in telling the soldiers. They were all too aware.
“But we are immortal, remember that! They can harm us, but they can never kill us! And you know what? Santa’s elves. That sounds like saints to me. Doesn’t it?”
He got a few nods in answer. Whether they truly believed him didn’t matter.
“We will kill them!”
Some repeated his words. Simon was one of them. That was always a good thing.
“We will kill them!” Kyle screamed it again.
He punched the silent on the shoulder. A few screams more and they were all shouting in adrenaline fueled rage.
Even Kyle believed his words now.
“Charge!” Kyle opened the door. The soldiers poured out on the street. Kyle joined them. Shouts of rage turned into screams of pain the second they walked out. Fire rained from the sleigh above. Teeth pierced their skin. Simon lost his head.
Kyle fired bullet after bullet as he saw his men fall to elves who cheerfully gnawed their skin away.
“Hi, Kyle,” a man said from above.
Kyle didn’t need to look up. He already saw the red hat on the face that once belonged to his father’s best friend. He tightened his hand around a grenade. He pulled the pin.
“I want you to tell me where your father is,” Sam wheezed in Kyle’s ear.
“Make me.”
Kyle dropped the grenade and held his breath.

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Flashes of Sanity #133: Among dumpsters

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Among Dumpsters

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“So sweet dreams.” The taller elf said and leaned closer to Dina. “They are so bright.”
“So warm.” His friend filled in.
Susanne shivered still regretting she asked for their help. The blood red smiles on the two from the sleigh still burned bright in her mind.
“Anymore news from the other side?” She asked Marge.
“Not much, Gool has told the world not to worry. He is in a safe space where no one can reach him. Not even aliens and their weapons of mass destruction if that was the case.”
“Do you know where that is?” Susanne flinched as the tall elf pushed his head against Dina’s hair. “Hey, she is just a child!”
The elf looked at her. He didn’t move away from her daughter.
“Yes, she is,” he said. “But her dreams tell me you already have shown her darkness.”
Within Susanne’s throat, a explosion of sour nausea surfaced. She halted.
“Can you see that?”
“Yes, and so much more. She dreams of knives in backs. And she is happy. So, warm and happy.”
The elf and Susanne stared at each other for an eternity. The elf took Dina’s hair and smelt it. Susanne took one step forward.
If you even think of smelling her again, I will kill you, she thought.
“Ignore him,” Marge pulled Susanne’s arm just as Susanne raised it in preparation for beating the elf into a pulp. “They are creatures of war, remember? They do anything to start a fight.”
“We need to get to the sewers,” Marge continued when she caught Susanne’s attention. “From there we need to get to the President’s quarters.”
“You mean what was the President’s quarters,” Mart said with a sly smile.
“No, I mean the President’s quarters. Most of it is below ground and should be intact.”
“Clever.” Susanne glared at the two elves again. They were completely high from Dina’s dreams. “Where will you go Mart?”
“I will take the sewers too, but to the city. Half of my men will join you at the President’s quarters. The other half will follow me to Mr. Diamond.”
“Can you shoot him one extra time from me?” Susanne asked. They pulled a man hole cover away.
“I will do so much more than shooting him Mrs. Queen.”
The three jumped down the sewer, and shortly after the two elves lowered a sleeping Dina.
Above them Sam flew on his sleigh. He fired at buildings and pulled all the attention to himself.

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Flashes of Sanity #132: Corporate meeting

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: corporate meeting

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”What do you take away from all this?” Donald said as he scanned the city from their new abandoned apartment. What once had been a rooftop suite had become four walls barely holding together.
Outside, the streets were on fire. A city screamed in terror and pain, and above it all a man flew around on a sleigh.
“May I first ask if you truly believe it is him?” The Reviewer walked up beside Donald, his apprentice came close after.
“I am sure it is Sam.”
The Reviewer looked out through the once-a-mirror in silence. The man in the sleigh shot fire onto a building creating a sentence in hell fire.
‘WHERE ARE YOU DONALD?’
“He is still angry with you.”
“That much I figured out for myself. Anything else.”
“The fact that he dresses like Santa and flies around on a sleigh pulled by reindeers forces me to questions what I thought was facts.”
“Yes, but how do we take him down?”
“We have a rocket launcher. But that would give them our position. We could fight them from the streets, but the most probable conclusion is that,” the Reviewer looked down at the streets screaming, “he has people there too.”
Donald thought about the two dead ends. He sipped his coffee.
“That leaves below ground to be explored. This hotel has a path through the cellar to the sewer if I remember it correct. Should that be a path worth considering?”
The Reviewer turned to his apprentice. “What do you think?”
The apprentice flinched as if they thrown their fists at his face.
“What I think?” The apprentice gathered himself and corrected his suit.
Probably something The Reviewer taught him.
“Do we have to exit our place of safety?”
“Yes,” Donald said. “They will find us anyway. It is better we take the battle in our hands.”
Donald thought about his people on the street. Not an army, but a resistance. It was only a matter of time before the wrong person decided that the pain wasn’t worth it.
“Then it is decided,” the reviewer said. “Well done, Mitch. Mr. Diamond, should we inform the others?”
“Yes.” Donald continued to look out the window as the two reviewers backed from the window. Partly, he wanted Sam to see him. Get the battle over with. But face-off would guarantee failure.
Donald didn’t want to fail. Especially not when Sam was holding the other gun.
“Just one more question if you don’t mind?” The Reviewer asked. “Sarah, the one who built SurgeRay with you and Sam, you haven’t heard from her?”
“No, I haven’t,” Donald answered. “And I probably won’t.”

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Flashes of Sanity #131: Red War

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Red War

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The two elves returned to the sleigh. Still laughing.
“Did you get him?” Sam asked.
“No, he got away.”
“So why the blood around your mouth?”
The elves giggled. ”We found another one.”
“Brilliant.” Sam turned to his human passengers in the back of the sleigh. “I will lead these haters into war. Where do you want me to drop you off?”
“Anywhere?” Mart said. He glanced at his co-passengers.
“Anywhere will be good.” Susanne said. The little girl in her arms had been drugged for her own safety. Considering that the two elves still licked blood of their teeth, for her sanity too. “Just leave a couple of elves with us to carry Dina.”
“Anyone who wants to carry a little girl?”
Every elf on the sleigh raised their hand.
“Why are they so eager to take care of a child?” Marge asked. Probably with the blood lickers on her mind.
“Children are like nicotine for them,” Sam said and pointed at two elves with no blood on their mouth. “You and you. Happiness leaks out through a child’s pores and the elves breathe it in. Christmas is built on that reward system.”
“Do you need to rehearse the plan?” He continued.
A choir of nos answered him. He raised his hand, and the sleigh slowed down. Within a minute, they were on the ground. Within another minute, they were back in the air. The little group disappeared into one of the alleys.
Sam smiled.
“It is time, boys and girls!” He raised his arms. “It is war!”
Thousands of arms joined his on the flying sleighs. They all cheered.
“Show man why you once were the most feared people on the earth!”
All the sleighs scattered. And soon screams joined the cheers.
Sam pushed his sleigh forward.
It was time for phase two.

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Flashes of Sanity #125: Frozen Promises

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Frozen Promises

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The snow was everywhere. On the ground, in her shoes, in her eye, and under Dina’s coat. Susanne made another attempt at getting the white away from Dina’s neck.
“Mart, how much longer do we have to go?”
“Just a little longer!” The snow storm muffled Mart’s voice. “We will see a door anytime now.”
A door in the middle of nowhere, that’s about he most stupid thing Susanne ever heard. She believed it anyway. At this time, she had no choice.
“Mom, I don’t think I want to meet Santa anymore.”
“Just hang on, honey. Just a little more.”
Dina closed her eyes and hugged herself. Susanne leaned in and hugged her daughter.
“That was just perfect…” Marge said beside them.
“What?”
“Charles Gool just declared himself president.”
“Gool? Didn’t he resign? Wait how did you know that?”
“He resigned, yes. Maybe not voluntarily.” Marge turned to Susanne. “And I was working with the presidents for decades. I got ways to get information anywhere. Even the North pole.”
“Here!” The shout came from what was Mart’s shadow that should only be 50 meters ahead, but looked like a distance too far away to walk.
Susanne picked up Dina. “I will carry you the last part,” she whispered. “I promise, I will carry you all the way.”
The door was big. Way too big to be missed. Susanne still didn’t see it until she crashed into its wooden frame. She looked at the massive open door planted in the middle of a snowy desert. Warmth radiated from the room on the other side. She resisted the wind and forced herself in. The storm subsided immediately. Her frozen spine could finally move again. And Dina opened her beautiful eyes.
“We made it,” Susanne whispered. “We are at Santa’s home.”
“We are?”
“Yes, you are!” A steady voice grumbled from some stairs. “Welcome to my sweet home.”
Susanne glanced at up the stairs and the man with the red hat. The skinny man with more holes than skin.
“Don’t look at him, Dina!”
Dina struggled in Susanne’s arms. “But I want to meet Santa.”
“Do you know what happens when a child sees Santa before Christmas?” The child stopped and looked at Susanne with big eyes.
“He disappears. Just like that. We don’t want that, right?”
Dina shook her head. “Can I look at the elves instead?”
In Susanne’s periphery, the corpse shrugged his shoulders and opened a door full of machines. An elf stood on the other side. His crocked back, long fingers and sly smile would break Dina’s heart.
The corpse whispered something in the elf’s ear. The back instantly straightened. The smile got kind.
“Is it right? Why don’t you show me to her right away!”
Dina turned towards the friendly voice, and the sparkle in her eyes would melt any heart. The corpse was gone, for now.
“Mom, it is an elf!”
“Yes, hon’,” Susanne said. “Let’s see if he can show us the toy factory.”

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Flashes of Sanity #104: Snow Shoes

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Snow Shoes

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Each stride his chilled his feet further. They were nothing but ice on bones at this point.
Who cared? When you had been dead, is it really important?
A large wooden door arose in the storm. It radiated warmth in a world of snow. He knocked with a hand shattering with each punch.
”Yes…” the elf fell silent as he saw the frozen man on the other side. ”Who are you?”
”I am a lost man of the woods. I seek the aid from the north pole.”
The elf hesitated, then he opened the door.
”Come in, come in,” the elf said.
The man smiled as he walked in. The north polers never could say no to a lost soul. It had been part of their tribe for hundreds of years. One of tye many traits tgey could not control.
It could so easily be used. The elves knew that too.
”What brings a man from the woods to our humble quarters.”
An army, the man thought.
”Safety,” he said.
Inside, fire warmed a room so big it could house hundreds. Yet it was empty.
“I am sorry,” the elf said. “Our master is occupied elsewhere.”
“Isn’t he always?”
The elf smiled, a hesitant but still warm smile.
“Yes, he always is.” The elf scanned the thick robe on the man’s body. “Why does a man of the woods need the north pole’s safety?”
“The woods want to kill me,” the man said. “They have already succeeded once.”
The elf froze by the fire place. Yet his hospitality forced him to continue the discussion.
“What have you done to the woods?”
The man walked up to the elf. He let his robe fall to the floor showing all the holes the roots and the bugs had carved through him. His eyes were long gone. His teeth too. His skin was mold on rotten muscles.
“I killed my tribe.” His breath hit the elf in the face one rotten wind at the time. “And now I want to kill every one.”
Outside a sleigh landed on the snow. The hit thundered through the door.
“Ho, ho, ho.”
“And you will help me.”
As the door opened again, the man hit the bearded house lord and the red mass fell to the floor.
“Do you hear me, little elf? You will help me whether you like it or not.”
“Please,” the elf cried. “We want peace.”
Sam laughed. “It is too late for that!”

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