This week's Flash Fiction challenge is about 5 words... Chuck's got a list at his Terrible Minds blog... I picked out Topaz, Foxglove, Acid, Djinn and Hermit... and look what happened to those words in this story below!
“I don’t remember much, just …” I looked out the window, “…it was complicated.”
The cop opened his notebook, “Try to remember what he looked like.”
I closed my eyes and images of all kinds of things flickered across my vision, making me feel sick and I opened them again, catching my breath, “I’m sorry, I can’t right now.” I took in a deep breath and could have sworn I smelled sewer, and yet I was sitting in a hospital bed.
“Okay, no problems.” He smiled, closed his book and walked out.
I sniffed again and the awful smell of sewage was stronger. I covered my mouth, “Oh, god… that’s awful.” As I blinked, my world flickered and was replaced by a darkened warehouse where I was being held captive by a man. He walked down a hallway near me just out of sight. I remember he had a Topaz ring on his right hand. I swallow thickly, “Help me…” dammit I’m weak!
His tattooed face was in mine as his hand is raised, his voice murmured, “Sleep.”
I’m back at the hospital and it’s morning and the nurses had just brought in breakfast. They are nice and saying I’ll be leaving to go home.
What the hell did I just see? I didn’t say anything about it otherwise they’d keep me here.
When I arrived home, I found Foxgloves in our garden in bloom. They were so pretty. As I walked past them, I stared at them. I never remembered them being grown here… or ever seeing anything like them flower in our garden before.
“Hey, you okay, Symone?” Mum asked from the front door, “They’re just Foxgloves, we’ve had them since you were born.”
I touched the flowers and nodded, but it wasn’t all right, “I’ll be inside in a minute… the hospital gave me cabin fever.”
“Okay.” She smiled taking my bag inside.
I looked across the road and saw a man. He appeared out of place here… as though he knew something about my place here.
That it was wrong.
The moment we made eye contact, I could smell that warehouse again, and I began to walk towards him, as he did toward me. A car went by and he disappeared… and I was left standing looking at nothing on the footpath.
I was in the wrong world… brought on by something creepy. If this was an acid trip, it was a horrible one and I wanted off.
I wanted out and off of this acid trip now.
Somehow I end up places and have no memory of how I get there. One minute I’m at home, the next I’m at uni. Even though I’ve never been to uni – as it was one of my dreams and I never had the scores, I’m there with friends. They’re all laughing and I’m sitting there feeling unusual… and some of them know it.
“Hey, listen, Symone, we know you’ve been out of it, but you’ll be okay.” They keep telling me this. I don’t believe them.
It’s time to find out what the hell’s going on… and who was that man?
Time passes and I’ve noticed that my clothes are never clean. I’m not sure why this is. It just seems that the world is moving on without me and I’m stuck in the same outfit of a pair of jeans, Bruce Springsteen Concert t-shirt and sneakers; which is just getting torn and filthy. And even when my world shifts around and I’ve gone to the library at the university, I have often found myself back at home.
Whatever this thing is doesn’t want me knowing what it is or where I really am.
“You’re Symone, right?” his voice asked.
I look up from the park bench. It’s him – the man I spotted across the road from my house. My voice got stuck for a moment, “Yes.”
“You’re stuck in a place that’s not your own?”
“Who are you?”
He looked around, “I’m trying to remember… but I …” tears fill his eyes, “I only know who you are.”
“You’ve been looking for me, right?”
“Yes.” He nodded.
“Then, help me.” I reached out to him as he did to me, but he flickered and vanished… a whimper escapes my throat, “No… please don’t leave me.”
Robert showed up at the warehouse. Yep, this the was the place his sister vanished after a Bruce Springsteen concert three days ago. He recognised her car not far away.
He walked inside with his silver blade dipped in lamb’s blood at the ready. He had to save his sister and another dude who had been missing for the same length of time as her… actually the other guy was a dude she had begun dating.
He found them both side by side. Hands tied above their heads by the wrists; and IV pushed into their corroded artery. They didn’t look good at all, “Oh fuck.”
Then, he smelled it – Foxgloves. The damned thing was around… and very close.
He spun and caught the Djinn in the chest with the blade, shoving it hard through the ribs, hearing them break and crack as he used his body weight to throw the demon to the floor and watch the icy blueness fade from its eyes and tattoo that had unfurled itself around its arms disappear, as though it had never existed. Robert twisted the knife hard to make sure it was dead, “Now…” he turned as he stood and a hand with a bright blue light engulfed his vision, “What the…”
“Sleep.” A female voice whispered.
Symone sat in the park as Robert approached her and sat next to him, “I tried sis… but they have me too.”
Tears blurred her vision, “We’re just hermits in our own little world then?”
“Yeah… until they kill us,” he looked up at the sky, “, well out in the real world that is. Then, it’s a matter of time before the authorities find our bodies.” He comforted his sister, “Where’s that guy you were dating?”
“I haven’t seen him in a while.” She sniffed against his shoulder, “What does that mean?”
“It means …” he sighed, “He’s dead, sis.”
“But my clothes are clean now.”
He looked at her, “That means you are too.”