Flash Fiction by P. McCarthy
P. McCarthy is a Breaking Rules Publishing writer and Seeing Eye Editing Services editor. She has two books in the BRP bookstore - Grave and Reflection - if you like the stories below, we would suggest checking out her two books - the links are below.
Gemma invited Joe to a fancy French Restaurant, Appétit Inhabituelle to celebrate their anniversary. “They’re known for their ambience and unusual delicacies!”
“Whatever,” he mumbled. Apathetic as always; no excitement, no appreciation. Begrudgingly, he dressed for the occasion.
Sneering behind him as they entered the darkly lit establishment; she brightened to a smile when he turned to her. Abused women react this way. He appeared confused, eyes wide looking around and questioned why there were mostly women seated, hardly any men, but for a handful, although he loudly commented over the heady violins on the delicious fragrances of food wafting throughout the room. She thought she heard his stomach growling and smiled demurely.
The Host appeared seating Gemma by candlelight. He filled her Champagne flute sparkling in the candle’s glow, and escorted Joe elsewhere. Confusion plastered itself on her husband’s scowling face as the host led him away. She raised her flute to him and nodded her head ever so slight. Moments later, she heard squealing over the violins, then nothing more.
Some time passed as she sat entertained by the violinists and her Champagne, her entreé finally arrived. “Bon Appétit!” The Host smiled as he set a gleaming silver tray on the red silk cloth before her.
Her eyes widened in anticipation as the Host lifted Joe’s scalp by the hair, puffs of steam curled out. Inhaling, he smelled delicious. She dipped her spoon into the softened matter, sipping a soupçon of his brains, smiling, but his terrified stilled eyes were the real treat. They tasted très bien!
An Age of Decadence and Decay
January 1, 1890:
It is the first day of the New Year and this great city of London is enshrouded in an eerie fog. It’s been months and when it will clear our West and East End streets is a mystery. Still greater, is whence it came, for no one has an idea.
I find myself lonely without my Henry by my side. My delicate, decadent teacup bearing an impression of an Indigo Bunting near to me, my sole companion these days, filled with the last of the fragrant tea imported from America. Constant Comment, the tea is called, a blend of citrus and aromatics that cause even the gloomiest days to brighten. Sugar is precious these days and so I sparingly use just one cube, so that it may stretch further. It is a torment to my soul to be so frugal, but I must retain somewhat of the life I had before Henry passed on. After that, I shall have no more reserve and will find myself wanting, lackluster.
Life was so different all these years before, my Lord Henry an affluent man, a Barrister, and he, so happy to have I escort him. Then, life was vibrant. Life was grand with social callings and functions. Last year alone, he and I attended two new plays; one was Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, ‘The Pirates of Penzance,’ and the other, ‘The Pillars of Society.’ That was we then, pillars of society. The grandest Balls, black tie affairs, hosted by London’s most affluent in the West End.
The day after Henry died, killed by a runaway carriage, an unsavory woman paid me a visit, she, from the East End, society of the Rookery. She insisted I pay her to stay quiet, as my Mr. Henry visited her often when stating he was off to the Gentlemen’s Club. I fear he was a liar!
I have nothing of my own since his passing, my life sold to decay as I sit, bound and alone in a wheelchair, a victim in the carnage of the carriage that killed Henry, staring out my East End window, I’ve fallen into decay.
Some Other Time
Gun totin’, cigarette smokin’, pot tokin’, alcohol induced, ignorant peeps. Nope. It ain’t because they tote guns; I’m favorable. En, it ain’t cause of ciggs and pot smokin’, and it definitely ain’t the drinkin’ either, I’m favorable there too. Nope, I say, it’s the ignorance. That’s what gets me. Outright ‘ignorance.’ It’s the blind eye an all that. That’s why our planet died.
You’d think in 3054 we’d be smarter. I come from an era where choosin’ right from wrong was important. Guess we thunk Earth would take care of ʼerself. We thunk we’d be wearin’ cool plastic clothes by now and we thought, well, we thought this future of ours would resemble that ancient movie, ‘Back to the Future,’ or some shit. What? I remember that movie. They run em’ here all the time on TCM. Yup, Turner television’s here too. Full frontal nudity is commonplace prime time. My Evelyn’s prolly rolling in er grave back home.
We should’a taken better care of that planet. I miss it damnit. Now, I’m stuck here on this dumbass dull sphere with no colors and all these ignorant people that shipped here with me. You believe the powers that be, biggest dumbasses of all, asked me ta give up ma suspenders when I got here? They said I needed ta try an fit in. Why for fuck sake? I don’t give a good Gd, if you’ll ignore my French. I ain’t gonna walk around in no Disposies, as they call’em. They’re not plastic, but GD, they look stupid as shit! Look like diapers, and you know, I’m not apposed to be swearin’ either, it’s illegal, another GD.
Who cares about all that BS when those same dumbasses are workin’ on destroyin’ this planet! Pretty good start too. We piled so much trash on Earth that it moved out of its gravity a millionth of an inch. One more rocket load-full, Earth’s gonna fall on us, so we ain’t got no choice but to rubbish up this planet an, it’s dyin’ already. It’s GD corrupt; people are corrupt, ta Government’s corrupt. Thank God we got ciggs, pot and booze; makes it GD tolerable.
Judge, F.E. Clark comments:
Pattyann McCarthy with Some Other Time
Cynical, cantankerous, fab character, made me smile despite dire circumstances – YES for this voice.
Congratulations, Pattyann! Your story will be featured as Wednesday’s HumpDay Quickie! Please contact me here with any bio information, publications, links to personal sites, or any other information you would like to appear on your winner’s page.
I’m still recruiting judges for July, so depending on my success, next week will either continue as scheduled with a new photo prompt, or there will be a Flash Master Face Off. Tune in next Saturday to see.
Almost the Wiccae Way
‘Merry meet,’ the first words I spoke to Ian. The second were, ‘I’m a Wiccan. If you can live with that, we’re golden.’
He must’ve been okay with it; he asked me out! He was bea-u-ti-ful and had such a colorful personality. He asked many questions about my culture so I recited The Wiccae Rede, ‘And harm none, do as you will . . .’ that seemed to relax him.
What I didn’t say was, I’ve hated men since my attack and mutilation, and want every one of the bastards to suffer, and suffer he did. I also didn’t say, ‘I almost live the Wiccae way.’ I’ve always been a prankster.
Places I've Seen
Once in every lifetime, a body ought to travel.
Fortune greatly smiled upon me. I’ve slogged through soupy rain forests, swam the English Channel, jostled on camelback across arid desert dunes, and tripped through barren outer space. I’ve sailed upon oceans, my favorite pastime, and kissed the faces of Queens. I’ve touched Pyramids and met with Pharaohs.
While awake, alive, I travel as often as I can. I spare no seconds on moments that do not enrich. I travel ceaselessly while others busy themselves. Though I’ve never left my bed—born with no limbs—I travel, reading books to live.