1. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas

    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #28 - 'The Lost Property Box'

    Discussion in 'Monthly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lilly James Haro, Nov 30, 2015.

    The theme for Flash Fiction Contest #28 is "The Lost Property Box” which was chosen by previous winner @bumble bee . Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST December 20th. 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."
  2. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

    Jan 1, 2011
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    Manchester UK
    The Lost Property Box (319 words)

    Can boxes be round? Course they can. I’m sure I’m holding a ration tin; it’s vintage WWII if I could put any detail to my assumption. 'Property of’ it reads on one side, the words protruding under the green paint that covers them. Property of what? I flip it over to read the rest but the old man’s stirring gives me a start. So I slot the box quickly into my knapsack.
    He’s supposed to be dead, damn him—an hour now since his pulse has been zero. I didn’t kill him; no, natural causes took this cantankerous old fool. If anything, I prolonged his life; doing my duty in the face of his verbal abuse. My nursing skills are much appreciated in this low-paid industry. As such, I always pay myself a little bonus when these folk pass to the other side. They’ve no use for their knick knacks and the relatives who cast their elders here are so undeserving.
    Ahh, one of those last gasps, corpses have a life of their own you know, and lots of gas! Yes, his pulse is still zero. Anyway, the doctor is here now. The death certificate will be issued, he’ll be wheeled out all flat like and neath the blanket of dignity. And I’ll be off home, my shift’s over. I’m going to let my curiosity get the better of me before I turn in. I'll open the tin by way of its shiny button, heck if the insides are worthy I’ll stay up late and list them online.

    "We’ve got a dead nurse," the police sergeant told his inspector as he proffered the evidence bag. “Tin coleslaw in here, shrapnel to use the right word. I’ve done some of your work for you sir; look. ‘Braithwaite Landmines, Property of the Ministry of Defence’."
  3. Blighters

    Blighters Member

    Apr 3, 2015
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    Warning: potentially triggering

    Lost Innocence [471 Words]

    The office was empty and unpleasantly quiet, everyone long since packed up and scurried home. Which left just me, thankfully alone, sat at my desk under the somewhat seedy orange glow of a streetlamp outside.

    A box sat in front of me; brown, battered and so old the ‘Lost Property‘ scrawled on top was fading into the illegible. A thick layer of dust coated the lid.

    My perfect hiding place.

    I take a deep breath and lift the lid slowly, placing it down next to the box completely silently. My face remains heroically stoic, unmoving like granite. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t give him that final victory. Easy in theory.

    Finally, nerves clad in iron will manacles, I reach down and snake a hand into my satchel, propped in it’s usual position against the leg of my desk. My fingers instantly locate what they’re looking for, unsurprising really, carrying it around over the last week had been like carrying an anchor. I pull it out and lay it on the desk in front of me, staring down at it sadly.

    My insurance policy.
    My last resort.

    There’s not much to see, considering it’s significance. An old dirty scarf wrapped up in a tight ball. I’d chosen the scarf deliberately. It was disgusting. No one would see it and be tempted to take it for themselves. Not that I really cared about the scarf. That was the point. The scarf wasn’t important.

    What was rolled up in the scarf however could be the difference between life and death...

    My favourite panties, white and frilly, but torn now and fraying. The evidence of what he’d done to me soaked into the very stitches. Dry now but there. And the knife. Short, thick and ugly, with thin lines of brown running down the blade like veins.

    I pick up the scarf and place it in the box, careful not to disturb it’s precious contents. As I place the lid back on top it’s as if someone’s had a garrote around my neck the entire day and finally loosened it. I can breathe again! Deep breaths of beautiful air without the taste of his fetid breath clogging my throat!

    I pick the box up and shove it back onto it’s shelf, suddenly keen to to distance myself from it. It’s done now. I hope I never have to see that box again.

    Later, as I switch off the lights and hear the click of the door locking behind me a thought occurs to me, fleeting but brilliant, and I manage a small smile for the first time in two weeks.

    I might have lost my virginity. My innocence. My very personality.

    But over time I could learn how to live with my rape.

    He’d never learn how to live without a pulse.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2016

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