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  1. Lilly James Haro
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    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

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    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #35 - 'Mirrors in Scarlet'

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest' started by Lilly James Haro, May 24, 2016.

    The theme for Flash Fiction Contest #35 is "Mirrors in Scarlet” which was chosen by previous winner @AdDIct. Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST June 12nd. Make sure to include the number of words and any warnings. You can also make your entry private simply by clicking more functions before posting, and click the box that makes the post viewable by "Members Only."


    Please do not use the same name as another entry as it makes it quite confusing for voting, thank you :)
     
  2. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    First Date
    (273 words)​

    They met at the vernissage of an art installation called “Mirrors in Scarlet”. Supposedly “a three dimensional critique on the use of reflection in The Scarlet Letter”, Dave thought it was actually just a load of bollocks. Red lights, scarlet ribbons dancing in currents of air (produced by two large men dressed as Pilgrim women each pumping a pair of massive bellows), mirrors of various sizes, and shitty atmospherique music, did not make what he considered to be art. There were, of course, the requisite number of beard-stroking hipster types, nodding appreciatively, as they quaffed the free champagne. And some dreary bloke (presumably the “artist”) wanking on about imagery, symbolism and other bullshit to a crowd of sycophantic hangers-on.

    He watched Diane as she contemplated the scene. He couldn’t read her expression: did she actually like this crap? It had been her who had suggested meeting here for their first date: her friend had given her tickets. Dave hoped her friend wasn’t the dreary bloke or one of his simpering groupies. He really liked Diane: online chats, and the five minutes they had spent chatting outside, had shown she was funny, intelligent and cute. But he was fairly sure he would end up insulting someone if they didn’t leave soon.

    Diane mouthed something. Dave raised an eyebrow, not quite sure if he’d understood. She moved close to him, and whispered in his ear.

    “Let’s go to the pub,” she said, her breath tickling his lobe. “Before I end up punching one of these arseholes.”

    Dave smiled, and they linked arms as they left the room. They were going to get on just fine.
     
  3. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    Reflections
    446 words

    Some haunted house, Lexie thought grumpily as she tried to put her feet up on the bar in front of her. The car seat was too small for her, which probably suggested she, her friend and her friend's boyfriend were too old for the ride, but that didn't seem to phase them as they squealed with laughter at every jerking turn and flashing red light.

    All she wanted to do was eat her body weight in churros and not be a third wheel for once.

    The car turned a jaunty angle through some damp material strung up to resemble cobwebs. Lexie brushed her hair, her frown furrowing deeper into her forehead. The ride shook and juddered and then suddenly, stopped.

    A faint sound of whirring lingered in the thin walls and neon style lights flickered overhead.

    “Was that meant to happen?” Emma turned and asked. Lexie shrugged one shoulder in response. Minutes were passing with no sign of anyone or of any further movement. With a grunt she stood and stretched. “What are you doing?” Emma asked.

    “Leaving” she snapped. Her eyes settled on a door behind some dangling plastic skeletons. “Coming?” she asked. Emma looked curiously at her boyfriend but neither moved. Lexie wasn't waiting for her answer or approval so she swung her leg out of the car. “Bye then.”

    “Lex, hang on! It's only broken down!” Emma called but still made no move to follow her.

    Lexie pushed past the blank eyed skeletons and paused by the door. A red glow came from the other side. She pushed her hands against the wood.

    Her body was enveloped in the deep scarlet light as she entered the corridor and found herself starring back a dozen times. A hall of mirrors wasn't what she'd expected, but she wandered down the narrow corridor anyway, feeling her way across the cool red glass.

    After a moment of fumbling, Lexie cursed. Dead end. She turned and made her way back to the door. As she approached she pushed, and pushed, but the door didn't budge.

    Lexie frowned and lent her weight against it, but it still didn't budge. She groaned. Of course. “Emma? You there still? Hellooooo....”

    Her voice echoed, swirling like a gust of wind as it reverberated off the glass. She turned.

    All her faces, trapped behind the glass and bathed in the ethereal scarlet light began to smile one by one until she was surrounded by herself, grinning.

    The ride began to clunk and clatter as the car lurched forward. Emma grabbed her boyfriend. “Do you think Lex is alright?”

    He wrapped his arm tightly around her shoulder. “Yeah, course she is.”
     
  4. B. Steven Young
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    B. Steven Young New Member

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    Cheap Rent
    (369 words)

    The rent is cheap. The walls are naked dun brown except for the mirror. Someone had thrown it out a few weeks ago. My clothes are in a suitcase. There's no dresser. On the wall, the mirror is taped. It looks at me. Everything it tells me is alien. It seems to swear at me.

    “Bum,” it says. “Ugly.” “Old.” “Useless.” “No job!” “Move along.” “Loser!”

    The cardboard box didn't always protect a bum from the elements. It once contained a refrigerator. I'm sure those were prouder days. Ants parade across the floor. They're carrying bits of cockroach from the bathroom which has no running water, no porcelain.

    My clothes are free. Church donations and this and that from here and there.

    The man in the mirror: me. I'm something grotesque. How did I get that bad?

    I'm hungry: very hungry. Maybe I'll get in the line to wait for the Salvation Army breakfast. I wonder, will all the bread have mold today? Hopefully I won't get stomach cramps: but stomach cramps from moldy bread is usually better than hunger.

    With my fingers I brush my hair. I have no razor. My beard is only a week old. Looking like I do, how can I possibly get a job interview today? Just the pavement outside the liquor store might get some change in my hat. The guitar has a broken string. The plywood is cracked. But my warbled hymns always manage to earn some change.

    “Why me?” says I to no one. Only my ears can hear.

    It's time to go if I'm going to eat breakfast. I get up to go, but my jacket pocket catches on the corner of the mirror. It pulls hard enough that the tape holding up the mirror gives way. When the mirror hits the ground it cracks. I'm about to shrug my shoulders when I notice something: there's a red crimson oozing from the cracks. The crimson mirror looks back at me, broken now. I try to tape it back, but the tape is useless now, having peeled away the surface layer of the cardboard. I set it against the wall, leaning. Somehow it seems more appropriate. Cracked and useless.
     
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  5. Diane Elgin
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    Diane Elgin Member

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    RED UNDER THE BED (429)

    Colonel Adriano could march men into enemy sights and watch the light leave their eyes as he carved out their throats. It was women who undid him, like the porcelain pixie waiting by the Cassiopeia Bar. Red hair. Red pendant. Red dress cut shy of obscenity. Was she red through and through? The Colonel yearned to discover.

    Medals jangling, he plundered his pockets and stumbled towards her. 'How much for your company?'

    The girl grinned at him and lifted one of his gold decorations. 'For you? Free of charge.'

    His face turning the colour of her, Adriano removed one note from the bundle wedged in his wallet and displayed it to her. 'Then tell me your name. And your poison.'

    'Scarlett. And a Moradita. Please.'

    The Colonel grinned. 'Scarlett by name, Scarlett by nature.' He clicked his fingers at a barman whose expression would've stayed neutral if a bomb crashed through the roof. 'You heard the girl. And a pitcher of Paradiso. Send it to my suite.'

    At the penthouse Scarlett admired herself in the make-up table's mirror, puffing her lips and fluffing her hair, coupe glass rolling in her grip, red waves splashing up the rim. Perched on the bed in boxer shorts Adriano could have been anyone. He leaned forward to watch, sagging gut compressed between his thighs as Scarlett teased a shoulder strap, let it snap back then grinned over her shoulder. 'I'm a little overdressed.'

    Adriano's grin threatened to add scars to his collection. 'I couldn't agree more.'

    Scarlett sauntered to the bathroom door, pushed down the handle, smiled as she slipped inside and closed the door behind her. Glass clinked. Heels clacked. Silk rustled. Then the door opened and Scarlett posed hand on hip, red straps gouging flesh. 'Do you like what you see?'

    Adriano was a bull chained, able only to nod.

    Scarlett strode across the carpet and straddled Adriano, knees brushing sparks against his thighs, and brought the Moradita to his lips. Decades of gunpowder couldn't stop the beet musk, jalapeno tingle and Scarlett's fruit perfume taking him back to the bordellos he enjoyed as a sergeant. He pushed the bottom up, sipped, drained and tossed it at the wall.

    Scarlett gripped handfuls of his damp hair, brushed lips against his neck and eased him to the Egyptian cotton, groaning, his fingers hiking over her hips. Hair like roaring flames hung down. Wet kisses squelched his chest. The Moradita bubbled, scalded, scorched Adriano's throat.

    Each kiss cast her a mile away, outline blurring as Dulce Vida flowed from The Colonel's frozen mouth.
     
  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    To Collect a Holy Soul (450 words)

    Father Stevens was busy working on his sermon when he heard an odd plea echoing in the old cobblestone church. It jarred him and aroused his suspicion as it was the hour of midnight, and the Nuns were surely fast asleep. Surely this racket would wake the whole place, so he left his work in haste to investigate the howling pleas.

    His footsteps echoed off the stone steps as he descended them in the dead of night. His mind a twitter about who or what was making the awful mournful cries that seemed to come from the great hall where mass took place every Sunday in service.

    He entered the great hall and the cries turned to light arid laughter of a feminine voice.

    “Where are you?” Father Stevens shouted into the low light of the candles burning about the large expanse, his aged eyes darting about the shadows hoping to spy the prankster.

    “Over here Padre!” The voice giggled prodding the elder holy man playfully, though he was in a foul mood at being disturbed.

    After a lengthy search for the rhythmic callings of the mysterious woman calling to him through her fits of laughter, he came upon where she was.

    Reflecting back at the old man in the great mirror offset the altar of worship, was a scarlet figure in a dark robe that bounced joyfully once he had found her.

    “There you are Padre. I was meaning to chat with you.” Her face bright and friendly.

    “Oh, holy mother of god.” The old man swallowed shielding himself with the crucifix around his neck.

    “Put that silly thing down, sinner.” She giggled at him.

    “Be gone, in the name of Jesus Christ, back to hell with you!”

    “Well that is not nice, seeing as I just got here.”

    “Then take what ever you want and begone with you she devil!”

    “Funny you should say that, Padre. Because that is what I intend to do.”

    “Well fine, what would you like in spoils?” He lowers the cross and tries to blink her away with his tired eyes.

    “I see the lust you have for the Sisters in your coven.”

    “How dare you accuse a pious man of such sin.”

    “Now, now. I can see it in your very soul Padre.”

    “So you wish to take me, is that it?”

    “Precisely.” Her supple hand passes through the mirror and the holy man takes it reluctantly, and she pulls him through the reflective surface. Hand in hand, he walks in shame.
     
  7. DarkerStix
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    DarkerStix New Member

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    THERAPY
    (441 Words)
    Restlessness.

    If I had a dime for every time my therapist used this word to describe my condition, I'd be able to afford a better therapist. I guess I'm not really giving her enough credit. She isn't wrong. What I feel, from the moment I wake up in the morning until I finally fall asleep at night, is something like restlessness. I remember, during my first session, describing to the good doctor how I always feel like there's something that I've forgotten. Sort of like a weight, but I can't put a finger on the source. From there, we've gone through five months worth of sessions and five months worth of various different anxiety pills. Not much has changed.

    It wasn't until a late night walk I had taken to avoid getting into bed, where I knew I would lie awake for hours, that I discovered where to find effective therapy. I took my usual route. Several miles of twists and turns through the maze-like topography of the downtown city-scape that were typically able to drain my energy.

    Near the end of my charted course, there is a short alleyway. It is poorly lit, narrow, and always abandoned. It wasn't until I had nearly reached the end of the hidden alley that I noticed a sticky wetness under my feet. It hadn't rained in several days and there were no waste bins that might be leaking, so I pulled out my phone and activated the flashlight application.

    I'm not sure how I managed to not scream or drop my phone. Lying on the ground, propped up against one of the buildings, was the body of a young woman. She was in a sitting position with her legs out in front of her at awkward angles. I might have mistaken her for a passed out party girl had it not been for the thick pools of blood that seemed to have originated from her abdomen. I took a quick look around, searching for some idea of what may have happened. That was when I saw. As I was scanning my phone back and forth across the alley, I got a glimpse of myself reflected in the young woman's blood. To my surprise, I found myself smiling.

    I'm not sure why, but from that moment I could tell that this was it. I could smell it in the air, just as sure as I can smell the rain coming before the storm hits. This was my new therapy. There's no way I really see myself with the help of some overpaid PhD. At least, not in the way I saw myself that night.
     
  8. PopSticky
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    PopSticky New Member

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    The Trial
    [449]​

    I approached an intersection, gasping and out of breath. I had just run through several corridors trying to find my way through this god-awful labyrinth. Everything looked the same. The floor, walls, and ceiling an opalescent ivory—shimmering wildly.

    I rounded the corner to my left and stopped, dumbfounded. Ahead of me the scenery was gradually changing into a mirrored finish. The passageway opening into a large torus shaped room.

    “Finally!” I sputtered, realizing I had come to the end of this perpetuitous maze. I didn’t know how long I had been in here, but a full night had passed since I started.

    I walked forward cautiously, my hand reflexively reaching for the dirk that was always at my side. It wasn’t there. No weapons allowed.

    Squaring my back to the outside mirror of the torus I moved slowly, careful not to touch any surface that would mark my presence. My eyes darted around, trying to look in every direction at once.

    The mirrors were disorienting. Every surface reflecting an opposite reflection. It was a dizzying effect, and I struggled to maintain balance.

    Glancing directly at the reflection in the mirrored column I saw that the panel behind me had vanished. I cursed and started to spin. Not fast enough. I heard a roar and a blinding white bolt of pain shot through my ankle.

    Falling backwards I scrambled to get away from the dark cavity that had formed in the wall. A pool of dark blood spread along the floor in front of me.

    “No,” I screamed, realizing with horror what had happened. My Achilles tendon was gone, completely ripped apart, destroying my ability to walk.

    An enormous beast emerged from the cavity, dripping blood from its jowls. I backed away, trying desperately to escape. The beast launched towards me and clamped its gruesome jaws into my side. A quick toss of its head it threw me into the center column of the torus—shattering the mirror and sending fragments everywhere.

    I landed in a heap, stunned. Staring witlessly I noticed another section of mirror had disappeared, revealing an escape.

    No time. The beast was on me again in a flash. Scrambling backwards I flailed my arms, trying to defend myself. Pushing down on the ground to slide away I pierced my hand with a large, jagged piece of mirror. I lunged forward, reflexively, slamming both hand and mirror into the neck of the beast.

    It jumped back—gurgling loudly—throat ripped open from my desperate attack. It tossed its enormous head side to side, spraying the mirrors a glossy scarlet. Finally it collapsed—breathing shallowly.

    Vision swimming I wheezed a small laugh…right before the world went black.
     
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