That First Cuppa Joe
She awoke early, tossing her light quilt aside before slipping on a wadded Nirvana t-shirt. She twirled and hummed her way to the kitchen, flinging back the curtains, remembering to brew the coffee. After the frigid darkness of winter, spring was regenerating.
Shimmying back to the bedroom, she gasped at the sight of Joe, last night's bartender, shriveled with glazed eyes, his mouth agape in horror. Another blackout. She never remembered draining her victims.
She shrugged, returning to fill her BLOSSOM coffee mug, leaving room for a splash of blood from the fresh vial in the refrigerator. Joe was tasty.
(Published Week-14 / April, 2022)
Week-two: Jump Ropes
Spring Special: Lamb Chops
The CrossFit coach was a ballbuster. Jane hung upside-down, her knees clamped tightly to the bar, as she rapid-fired sit-ups to Hungry Like a Wolf.
Dick fiendishly twirled the rope, his jumps timed with the coach's staccato shouts, "MOVE (jump) YOUR (jump) ARSE (jump)!"
Sally cowered in the corner of the makeshift butcher-shop gym. She was no match for the butcher's extreme workout. She knew the consequences of quitting.
The butcher abruptly cut the music. "WORKOUT'S OVER! YOU TWO," pointing at the duo, "LEAVE!" he roared. "Come, little lamb. Let's get you prepared," he whispered.
See Dick and Jane run.
When an Urban Legend is Real
Jules directed the two-man delivery team to an empty corner of her bedroom. They huffed and puffed, situating the saguaro cactus just so on the patchy spot of sunlight streaming through sheer curtains.
Jules named him Spider, providing him with the utmost care, never over or under watering his sandy soil as she waited for his transformation.
Spider thrived. His arms thickened until they began to pulsate and writhe, finally cracking open. Hundreds of desert tarantulas escaped from the confines of the saguaro. Jules doctored Spider’s crevices after boxing up the scattering critters, a surprise gift for her arachnophobe ex-monster-in-law.
How to Handle a Scary Fish
Floating in Lake Macon,
in the sun I’m baking.
Water starts a-quaking;
scared, I start a-shaking.
The wind picks up.
Out of the depths, arose a leviathan.
Swiveling his head, he spied my pool-raft and then,
licked scaly lips, his face broke into a grin,
“I THINK I’LL EAT YOU!”
“Why eat me, sir, when I’m scrawny as a shrimp?
Nothing tastes worse than a terrified cringing wimp.”
I swung a mighty rock, smashing him in his sneering lip.
He bellowed, “OUCH!’ then disappeared.
Morals of the story:
Don’t let a big bully intimidate you and always carry a rock.
Lisa H. Owens
Created for April, 2022 Black Ink Fiction's 100-Word Horror Drabble Challenge
Story Published: That First Cuppa Joe
Created for The First Line Spring Submission: (Write a flash fiction using the first line prompt.)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath. She tossed the wad of towelettes, covered in blackest-black Long Lash Mascara and deepest beige CoverGirl liquid foundation and bronzing powder, into the Hello Kitty trash can alongside the scuffed table that doubled as desk and vanity. She stared with great disdain at the face in the beveled glass mirror. Without the skillful application of foundation and bronzer, her naked face appeared hideously bloated. Father said she was fat; therefore, her face lacked structure. It lacked the stately definition of her mother's strong proud nose and contours of her sharp cheekbones. A face that defined their heritage. Their people.
Father’s surgical tools, tools she’d taken out of his medical kit while he and Mother slept peacefully in the oversized master suite downstairs, were arranged neatly on a stainless-steel tray in descending order, based on the size of each blade. Using the largest scalpel, she cried out, biting down on her bottom lip as she quickly made the first cuts, then turned her head—first left, then right—gauging the depth of the slices to her cheeks. Rayna turned her face forward, frowning with the critical eye of an artist as she judged the scope of the work that would be required. Though she wasn’t a doctor or even Catholic, she crossed herself and prayed for guidance from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of surgeons before proceeding.
She placed the used blade in the sterilization pan then pulled a handful of fluffy cotton balls from the glass canister situated to the right of the pan, plunging them in a vial of alcohol to soak. She would need them later; she couldn’t risk getting an infection.
She had a vision of the girl she would become. A girl with a new face embodying her people, a girl her father would love.
Rayna continued the process, moaning as she sheared away mounds of flesh, one thin layer at a time. She was an artistic genius with the scalpel, shaving and sculpting while whispering through clenched teeth, “No pain; no gain.” Cutting then dabbing with the saturated cotton balls, she scaled down to increasingly smaller blades as the work became more intricate until there was nothing left to carve away.
She laid the final scalpel, a tiny #15 blade, in the pan and used a handful of dry cotton balls to absorb the puddle of blood on the table. She stared at her new face. Father would be so happy. The high prominent cheekbones—a desirable genetic trait of her ancestors and proof of her proud heritage—were finally visible.
She wept at the beauty of the thing she’d become. Rayna’s transformation was complete. She was a masterpiece of destruction. A living sculpture only a father could love. A gloriously structured monster.
Lisa H. Owens
The First Line: Create a story using the first line provided. (below)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath.
Due date: February 1, 2022
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