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  1. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #67 - Theme: Blood donor

    Discussion in 'Monthly Flash Fiction Contest' started by thirdwind, May 15, 2019.

    The theme for this contest, courtesy of @Scot, is blood donor. You are free to interpret the theme however you wish, but please make sure your story takes the theme into account in some way.

    The entries can be no longer than 500 words. Please post the entries directly in this thread. All entries will automatically be anonymized by the system. The deadline for submission is May 31.

    Good luck to everyone who enters! Hopefully the info above covers everything, but if you have additional questions/comments, please post them here or PM me.
     
  2. Night Herald

    Night Herald Have you seen the Yellow Sign? Supporter Contributor

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    Hark! Hark! Murderer on the loose! (499)

    Warning: Potentially disturbing



    There are ladies who, through inborn beauty or excessive decoration, stand out from the most distinguished crowd. She was not such a one.

    The debutante was an extraordinary jewel, eclipsing even a gathering composed solely of the aforementioned, their splendor the mere backdrop and frame for her graceful activity.

    Her pearlescent dress flattered her pallid complexion, and displayed her feminine attributes without being quite vulgar. It was modest, though not so simple as to invite scorn.

    The young Marquess of Würiken, that infamous connoisseur of womanflesh, watched her throughout the evening. Her neck was easily her finest feature; swanlike, with two closely set beauty marks. It was lust at first sight, and he was seized by a longing he knew would not subside until he had plumbed her mysteries and wrung out every last possible drop of pleasure.

    A fawning viscount had the lady under siege, and assaulted her with platitudes and champagne for a quarter hour. The moment it seemed the battle might start swinging in the viscount's favor, the marquess took it upon himself to stage a rescue.

    Under the pretense of wishing to show her the full moon, he escorted the lady out to a balcony.


    The marquess smoked a cigarillo while studying the cleft of her ample bosom. The faint blue veins in her white breasts made him think of marble.

    “Your city is most handsome,” she said, leaning over the balustrade. “But I heard such terrible things.”

    “Did you?” The marquess leaned in to smell her neck. He felt the heat of her, and heard the surging blood. It drove him mad. There was nothing he despised worse in a woman than life, and heat, and blood.

    “A murderer and worse is at large,” she said, and shuddered. “He waylays poor women in alleyways, to kill and... have his wicked way.”

    “Thrilling, is it not?” The marquess licked her neck. She turned, an act made awkward by his arms fencing her in.

    “My lord, do you aim to start a rumor?”

    “Your skin. So soft. I wish I had riding boots in half so supple leather.”

    There was no alarm in her eyes, though he thought he saw a twinkle of mischief.

    “It is getting late,” she announced. “Would you walk me to my uncle's? He is away, and I have the run of his townhouse.”


    Midway through an obscure alley, the marquess twisted the top off his cane and unsheathed the hidden dagger. He stabbed her twice in the back. She gasped and fell swooning into his arms. He held her as she bled out, his loins aching with the throb.

    He was tearing at her stubborn corset like a starved dog when he felt warm breath upon his cheek. He jerked his head up and found her eyes. They shone like garnets.

    “There you are,” she whispered. In the silver moonlight, her wet fangs gleamed. The marquess shrieked as they sank into his neck.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  3. GrahamLewis

    GrahamLewis Let me chew on your criticism a bit. Contributor

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    Blood Lust (486 words)


    Most of all I remember the belt. Dark brown leather, wide, with a bright brass buckle. It hurt like hell. I imagine that other people remember better things, they think of their father’s twinkling eyes or warm hugs, or even that scary voice when he got angry. At least think of the person.

    I just see the belt.

    He was always mad or ready to be mad, laying out rules only he could see. And when I crossed that imaginary line, accidentally when I was little, intentionally -- more often than not -- when I was older, he would shove me into a room, slowly take off the belt, and tell me to turn around. Once I didn’t and he slapped me across the face with it, so hard it raised a huge welt and he kept me home from school for two weeks till it went down. He didn’t want outsiders to know what he was really like.

    I don’t know what they thought of him or us, only that they stayed away and left us to him. The other part of us is my kid sister. I don’t know exactly what he did to her, because he never did anything while I was around, and she wouldn’t tell me, just got this horrible blank stare and seemed to disappear into her own skin.

    I don’t know exactly what happened to my mother, who died a year after my sister was born, but I know enough. I remember cops, and a kind but clueless lady from Child Protective Service. She was clueless, but I wasn’t -- I remember that night, him yelling, her crying, the screams, the banging, the silence, the sirens. He said if I told anyone it would be even worse for me. I believed him and kept quiet.

    I left when I was 16, and later he got sick, and had to let my sister go into foster care. I hope it wasn’t too late.

    Now I get this call from the hospital. The old man needs major surgery and needs blood. Or he will die.

    Problem is our grandparents emigrated from India, probably the only East Indians in a dozen counties around, maybe in the whole state. Certainly in our little town, and now he and me and my sister are the only ones. Here’s the kicker: our family came from Bombay, and lots of people there have type HH blood, the rarest blood in the world. Our family has it. And type HH people can only accept blood from other type HHs. Sister and I are the only HH people anywhere near; it will take days to get more in, and he doesn’t have days. He has hours.

    I thought about being decent and forgiving. But then I see that belt again. And my sister sees even worse.

    He killed our mother and killed our souls.

    Now we return the favor.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  4. AndyHarris

    AndyHarris New Member Supporter

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    Souls (500 words)

    I am a soul collector: horns, fangs and scaly tail, not to mention pitchfork. I am strolling through the blood-donor ward. And you are thinking why are they not all screaming:

    ‘Soul collector! The cloven hoofs and the horny head! Jesus save me!’

    Well that shows how much you know which is, apparently, slightly less than a gnat’s balls. Only people about to die can see me. Being honest, and when did you ever meet a demon from the fiery pit who was not totally bona fides and fido bones, some people squint out the corner of their eyes and get a teeny glimpse. On their way from the coffee machine and then whammo, there I am for a moment. So, they spin around, covered in foam and macchiato, looking into the corners, saying: ’Whah? Say whah?’. You have to laugh.

    Anyway, I hate these places. I take naughty folk down below to get up front and personal with You-Know-Who. So, what gives these do-gooding, sanctimonious assholes the right to give blood, and save one of my clients? The whole place reeks of smugness. Most soul collectors hang around graveyards, but I think, ‘Come on, those dudes are dead! Where is the sport?’. Here, the blood goes in a bag, the bag goes to some sick schmuck. So, I follow the bag, and hey presto-desto, there is someone desperately waiting for his Type O and possibly breathing his last. I spot a potential front-runner and follow the bag down into Ward 10. But my demonic spidey sense tells me he is an innocent soul. Shit. If I do not catch a break soon, I am heading for the graveyard.

    Just then a Doc wanders in. He glances over his shoulder, reaches into his pocket, and sticks a needle into the schmuck’s drip-feed. I can tell this is not a vitamin supplement, because the schmuck starts thrashing around. And I think:

    ‘Dumb, fucking luck! I got me one of those Munchausen-by-proxy doctor-killer dudes!’

    Doc is watching Mr Schmuck thrash around. I hate to say this, but Doc is getting a hard-on. However, his dick is apparently not the only place his blood is rushing to. He grabs his heart, slumps to the floor. I step over him - he looks up at me. He can see me 20:20, which for him indicates a severe lack of future career options. I pull the needle out of the IV bag. While el-schmucko is recovering, the Doc is having a massive coronary: I love when that happens to doctors with their ‘listen-to-me-the-doctor’ crap about vegetables and wholegrain humous. I lean over him and whisper:

    ‘Physician, heal thyself’.

    When he gets the genuine demon-up-close experience, his bowels evacuate. But that is as far as he gets before he croaks. As I pick him up for transport, I think to myself:

    ‘Don’t worry Doc, where you are going, the smell of shit is going the be the very least of your worries.’
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  5. Volcanic Duck

    Volcanic Duck New Member

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    Blind Faith (461)



    The lovers stumbled upon one another as they drank putrid water from the gutter. They’d been separated for more than a month, blinded, disoriented, emaciated. They’d called for each other every waking moment since the blinding. And then, by complete chance, they were together. Amid the screams and confusion, suffering within the scourge of humanity, they embraced.



    As they held each other tightly, they voiced their stories. They told of the fateful day and asked each other what happened. No one knew. There was speculation about God and terrorists and viruses. Some thought that electronic devices or social media had finally taken over. It seemed not one person had been spared. Rumors circulated that people roamed the streets throughout the world, trying to find their loved ones, their homes, their lives.


    On the day of the blinding, planes fell from the sky, vehicles crashed, and people lurched about, sightless and scared beyond their levels of tolerance. There was a constant din of hysterical voices, crying children and pure panic. Store windows were smashed in the search for food and shelter. People were rendered homeless, unable to gain their bearings. The wounded moaned and begged for help. Dogs growled and tore at the flesh of the dead and sometimes the living. The stench of human waste and blood and decaying bodies was everywhere. People fought viciously over everything of value: food, blankets, clothing, cigarettes, alcohol.


    The lovers found a quiet alcove and huddled together. One had a blanket and they wrapped themselves. She told him she was pregnant, that she had planned on telling him the day they were blinded. He was elated and horrified.


    “Will the baby be blind?” one asked.


    “I don’t know,” was the answer.


    Together they sat, each with thoughts of sightless babies and meager prospects. They wondered if being with each other was enough. But the warmth that was generated between their filthy bodies sparked hope.


    In the morning, they awoke together. Their feelings had changed. The baby would likely be blind. How could it not? And even if it had sight, who would care for it if they couldn’t. He produced a small pocket knife and felt for the pulsing vein in her neck. As her blood flowed between his fingers, he held her until she was still.


    He tried many times to let his own blood flow, but his hands trembled so badly, he couldn’t do it. A time later, as he walked the streets, he heard rumors. The blindness was reversing itself rapidly. He tilted his head skyward and saw the light of the sun, filtered by gauze-like tendrils, but light just the same.


    He found a recessed doorway, saw the glint of the knife blade, and finally managed to slit his own throat.
     
  6. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    DONATION (499)

    Stuart West sat at a table, having juice and cookies at the community centre after giving blood. The blood drive was hosted here every third Saturday of the month and Stuart never missed. Blood donation meant he was giving something back to the NHS. He had a great family, a successful career… none of it would be possible if he hadn’t been nursed through a string of childhood illnesses.

    Nurse Julie walked past and patted him on the shoulder. She smiled at him and he reciprocated. They didn’t need to speak; she’d supervised at least a dozen of these with Stuart. Sunlight streamed in and warmed his face. It was a good day.

    He closed his eyes momentarily. When he opened them, a gentleman in a black suit sat opposite him.

    ‘Can I help you?’

    ‘I certainly hope so, Mr West. My name's Dent.’

    Stuart carried on smiling. Everyone was friendly here. ‘I’ve already given today.’

    ‘Oh, we know. We thank you for it. You’ve been doing this for years, I believe.’ Stuart nodded and finished his juice. ‘So we wondered whether you’d be able to give something else.’

    ‘I already carry an organ donor card.’

    ‘Of course. But this is something we can take from you now.’ He indicated a door off the hall. Nurse Julie was stood there, pointing inside, still smiling. ‘It won’t take long.’

    This seemed irregular, but Stuart trusted Julie. ‘Okay.’

    Dent led the way into the room. There was a small table and two chairs. There was no gurney or equipment, just a blood pressure cuff on the table. ‘I’m not sure I understand.’

    ‘It’s fine, Mr West. Once we fit the cuff, I can explain.’ Nurse Julie assisted and then left.

    Dent operated the pump. Stuart felt the squeeze on his bicep; tight but not uncomfortable.

    ‘You see, harvesting blood is fine, but there is more to care than looking after the physical. We want to assist with the spiritual also.’

    ‘How does this help?’ Stuart stared down at the cuff. It seemed to pulse out of synch with the regular pumping, as if it was flexing a muscle all of its own.

    ‘You’re a happy man, Mr West. Beautiful family, lovely home. A promotion recently, I believe-’

    ‘How do you-’

    ‘It shouldn’t be too much to ask to take a little piece of that from you.’

    A vein appeared on the cuff, throbbing with its own life. Stuart went to tear it off, but unexpected thoughts and memories overtook him.

    His mother – emaciated, bed-ridden, minutes before passing – came into focus; worry about his daughter and her new, older boyfriend; his son and his looming exams; doubts about the expectations the CEO was going to demand in his new role. Stuart felt sick to his stomach. Also, a migraine was coming. Uncertainty flooded his system.

    Dent tore the cuff away. ‘Thank you for donating some of your happiness, Mr West. You’ll start to feel your old cheery self in a few days.’
     
  7. davidm

    davidm Poodle of Guernica

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    Blood Drive (494 words)

    “Honey,” he called to her in the kitchen, as he knotted his tie before leaving for work, “remember: don’t wait up for me tonight.”

    She was putting away the breakfast dishes after washing them. She cocked a brow and said, “Oh?” Then she walked into the living room and met him at the front door.

    “The blood drive’s today,” he reminded her. “I’ll be going to the clinic after work.”

    “Oh, right,” she said. “I almost forgot. No need to delay dinner, then. I’ll just serve me and the kids.” They pecked on the lips.

    “One of the days you should give blood, too,” he encouraged her. “And the kids. They’re old enough.”

    “Next month’s drive, I think. Have a nice day, dear.” They pecked again, and then he was out the door.

    It was early, before rush hour, and traffic on the freeway downtown was relatively light. He saw the distant skyscrapers rising into view, but they were in precincts zoned away from the old temple, triangular and imposing with its setbacks. It still dominated the center of the city. Some years ago it had been converted to condominiums, but the old traditions that it represented continued, albeit somewhat covertly, even euphemistically.

    He parked as usual in the car tower next to the sleek, ultramodern office building where he worked. He glanced down at a news rack and saw the headline in red ink above the paper’s nameplate: Blood Drive Today. Don’t Forget to Donate.

    For the next eight hours he sold life insurance policies. Although strictly against the firm’s rules, he couldn’t resist, after selling a policy, encouraging his clients to donate blood.

    He had a light lunch, and when his shift ended, knowing he would not be home for dinner, he grabbed a small cardboard container of grasshoppers, worms and maize from a sidewalk food vendor.

    Cruising to the clinic, he listened again, as he so often did, to an audiotape recounting the history of the defeat of the Spanish conquistadors.

    The clinic was on the fifth floor of a nondescript building not far from the temple. He was gratified to observe that a plate-glass window afforded a breathtaking view of Huēyi Teōcalli, but discouraged to recall that it had been converted to condos. He had always believed that the rising generations were insufficiently pious.

    A nurse asked: “Would you like an anesthetic?” His shirt was off.

    “No,” he said. “Let’s do it the traditional way.” They exchanged small talk in Nahuatl.

    Moments later the priest walked in and wasted no time. He made the cut in the abdomen, and then through the diaphragm. He then removed the heart, and deposited it in a bowl held by a stone sculpture of Quetzalcóatl. They then kicked his carcass down the five flights of stairs, and later, after harvesting them, they fed his entrails to the animals in the new, modern Tenochtitlán Zoo, where the residents were well fed and treated humanely.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  8. GB reader

    GB reader Senior Member

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    Ponytail (500)

    She was in front of him in the queue to the information desk at the University Library. He felt like seven years old again and fought that childish impulse to tug her ponytail.

    She sniffed the air before turning towards him. Did I forget my deo? But as he saw her face, he lost every thought. Her lips, her cheekbones, her eyes.

    A tormented, “eh,” came from his throat. A direct hit of lighting wouldn't have affected him more.

    “Is something wrong?” she smiled.

    He shook his head, “no.”

    His conscious brain had shut down. Only instincts made him act.

    “Will you have coffee with me?” he managed to say.

    Her eyes twinkled.

    “Will you help science? We are looking for blood donors. It's a medical research project.”

    “My body is yours,” he said.

    They agreed on tomorrow, at noon, floor 7, room 713.

    *

    “Follow me,” she led him through the lab.

    Her ponytail wagged in front of him, but he wasn't seven anymore so he was more interested in her swinging hips.

    There was a handwritten sign on the door.

    Mosquito Lab.

    They entered a darkened room with several large boxes on shelves all around the walls. They looked like aquariums but had access openings covered with something resembling shower caps.

    She grabbed his shoulder and guided him firmly towards a box. He felt as if handled by a warder. She must be very strong.

    “Roll up your sleeve, and insert your arm all the way to the elbow,” she commanded.

    Her vicing grip on his shoulder loosened as he obeyed.

    “I'll be back in ten minutes.”

    The room was dark and quiet. The boxes were labeled, his was C2, and the mosquitos fed. He was in love.

    Afterwards, they sat in the corner of the coffee shop.

    “Show me your arm!”

    Her finger touched the small bumps counting, “one, two ...”

    Her nails were red, and her lips articulated the numbers. I want to kiss her.

    “Eleven, no one has gotten that many before.”

    Her sparkling eyes looked straight at him.

    “We are studying how diseases are transferred from the female mosquitos to their offspring.”

    She bent down and kissed the bumps.

    “You may ask me out for dinner, but we'll split the check.”

    They went to a small Italian restaurant and shared a bottle of wine. She didn’t want coffee or dessert but invited him home.

    In her hallway, she pulled off his sweater and pushed him up against the wall. She kissed him hard, and a sharp nail made a shallow cut to his throat above his collarbone. A whimpered sound came through his nose but he was transfixed by her intensity. She dragged her lips to the wound where she sucked the cut into her mouth. When she kissed him again, her tongue invaded him, and he felt the taste of blood, his blood. She led him towards the bedroom.

    “I have the same taste in men as the population in C2,” she said.
     
  9. Anna100

    Anna100 Active Member

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    The island (496)

    "We're happy you're here,» he said and helped her off the boat. «She's in a strange state right now.»
    Lisa followed him up the concrete pier and up the slope. They reached a white, old shed under a big hanging tree.
    The man opened the door. No lights were on inside. Clutter filled tall shelves on all walls and books lay scattered on the cement floor.
    «She's not getting any better?» Lisa asked and looked at the girl sitting slouched on some blankets in the corner. Her face was hidden by an old baseball cap.
    «Hey, Crystal.» Lisa said and sat down beside her. «Are you there?»
    Crystal didn't respond.
    «She's just been sitting there making bird noises for three days. That's not normal.»
    Lisa touched her limp hand. «Would it help with more blood?»
    He looked at her with dark eyes, unblinking. «Just a little bit, or you might faint. You look pale.»
    He found the needle from the drawer and tied a cloth around her arm. After draining the blood, he poured it into a cup.
    Lisa held the cup up to Crystal's lips, her heavy eyelids blinking slowly. When she wouldn't drink the blood at her own will, Lisa tried forcing it in. She spat it out and made a gurgling sound. «She won't even eat flies?»
    «No. Not even flies. If only I could take her home.»
    Lisa tried again, but Crystal refused. «I don't know what to do.» She stood up and looked out the narrow window. Mist gathered in the lush mountains.
    He stared at her.

    Lisa laid on a mattress on the floor in an adjacent shed, listening to the rain hitting the tin roof. A loud bird kept repeating the same monotone song from the deep forest. She couldn't sleep so she got up and sat on the stairs outside. She looked at her wristwatch; it was almost morning.
    He came out of the murky forest and waded through the wet grass towards her.
    «Crystal died not long after you fell asleep.» His eyes were blacker than before.
    She massaged her hands. «Will you stay here?»
    «I'd like to go home,» he said.
    «I know, but you've been trying that for the past ... seven years. How will you find it?»
    He scratched his head. «You can't give me more blood. I need to find another way.»
    «I'll come back when you need it,» she said.

    When Lisa approached the pier two weeks later, no-one was there to greet her. The rain drizzled, as usual, from the heavy sky. She checked both sheds, but he wasn't there. She found a written note on the inside of the door: «Thank you for all the blood. I now think I've found a way to get back home.» She took the note down and put it in her pocket, walked out and stood in the grass, gazing at the mountains. She heard the same bird singing the same, monotone song.
     
  10. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    The Meal [375 words]

    Drip, drip, drip the blood fell down the sewer hole, flowing from the gash in the outstretched arm of the poor, dying sole. Only a few seconds of life remained in him, he was too weak to move, to resist, to back away from the figure crouching over him. Their face was distorted in his fading vision, a shapeless thing in the darkness. Their other hand held a silver knife speckled with red.

    The figure mumbled something unintelligible. The dying man squinted up at them, trying to discern what they were saying. The knife rose in the air and came down hard and the man felt nothing more.

    The figure stood up and regarded the dead man. Their eyes following the trail of blood. It was a shame. Good, fresh blood wasted like that. Nothing to be done about it of course, there was always wastage with food. Right. They took a white handkerchief out of a coat pocket, cleaned the knife, then put both away. Then, slowly, meticulously, They set to divesting the dead man of his clothes. Bare and pale under the moonlight the dead man lay and the Creature smiled in satisfaction. They arranged the corpse in a sitting position and knelt down on one knee. Then they opened their mouth.

    If someone were to peer down that dark, dingy alley at that moment, they would have witnessed a sight that would hunt them the rest f their life. A mouth, gaping and shapeless and impossible, big enough to swallow a small boat whole, gulping down a naked man.

    The creature chewed and flesh and bone broke. They savoured the meal, took their time to digest. It would not do to hasten a meal, one must afford it the proper attention. It was an art of a sort, an intimate experience. when they were done, the Creature stood there a moment, head bowed in reverence. The trail of blood was all that remained of their food, still dripping slowly into the darkness of the sewers.

    Who knew, thought the Creature as they left the alley and stepped out in the streets, maybe something down there would lick off the blood. It really would be a shame for it to go to waste.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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