2014 IU Flash Fiction Anthology is out…

The 2014 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology is not only available, it’s free [on Kindle] through May 25th.

AND in it, you’ll find one of my submissions, from the January 11, 2014 contest: Death for Sale.

Here’s the prompt:

Photo by K.S.Brooks ksbooks.com

          Photo by K.S.Brooks
                 ksbooks.com

The car was a 1954 Pontiac. Her first owner was Bill Keenan, a newspaper reporter for the Kansas City Star.

Bill drove the car home and his wife met him out on the front steps and shot him dead. She’d found out about Bill and his secretary.

Now, you can say that didn’t have anything to do with the car, and I guess you’d be right. Still, it seemed to have gotten the car off to a bad start. Over the years, she was owned by 13 people. Every one of those folks was murdered.

I don’t really consider myself to be superstitious, but I don’t see no reason to tempt fate, neither. That’s why I tried to talk Eric out of buying the car. It was useless, of course. He was in love with the thing.

~o~

It took me longer than I expected because I needed to do some research, but the research is a huge part of what I enjoy about putting together a story.  Anyway, below is what I wrote in response to the prompt.  I titled it Bit of a Poke.

This was my response:

“For Christ’s sake, Eric, as if this old heap isn’t bad enough, the steering wheel’s on the wrong side,” Fiona said. “What could possibly have possessed you to buy it?”

“The seller told me a great story.”  Eric smiled the smile, the one that, long ago, had beguiled her into marrying him. “Get this.  All thirteen owners died, uncannie like. Murdered.”

“And dunderheid that you be, you believed him. I dinnae ken what gets into you sometimes.”

“The original awner, a guy named Bill from Kansas, well, his wee wife shot him the day he brung it home. Apparently ol’ Bill was giving his secretary a bit of a poke on the side.”

Fiona felt her face burn.

“The seller swears a brollachan possesses this here motorcar. Swears it pops out every now and again and enters a human’s body. Poor awners always seem to get the warst of it.”

She clenched her fists, digging her nails into her palms. “Really?”

“The second awner, another damn American looking to live in the Highlands, brung it over and, get this, he ended up being kil’t by an axe murderer. In the garage. Right beside it. It’s wickit. A brollachan makes sense.” He smiled again, darker this time. “And the murderers either weren’t caught or convicted.”

“So why the f–  Why would you buy it, you eeejit?”  She watched Eric’s eyes go dark, then glow red.

“Did I forget to tell you, you unfaithful cow, I put the car in your name?”

Flash.Fiction: Snowman (and older entry)

Photo by K.S.Brooks ksbrooks.com

              Photo by K.S.Brooks
                    ksbrooks.com

This is one of my flash fiction entries, an older one, from the Indies Unlimited, February 1, 2014 contest.

The prompt was:

State Trooper Tom Dewitt pulled up on what he thought was a vehicle that had gotten stuck in the snow and abandoned by its occupants. The vehicle was no longer running and he couldn’t see anyone inside.

He didn’t want to stop, fearful that his own car might become stuck as well. He drove slowly by, and craned his neck to look into the other car.

The two occupants were slumped toward each other, and from the blood splattered on the headrests, Tom knew the serial killer they called the Snowman had returned. What Tom did not know was that the Snowman was still there…

And my response:

Tom enjoyed working with his partner Tommy. They seemed to share something, some deeper understanding he’d never had with other partners. Tommy, normally called Tom, went by Tommy on the job so it wouldn’t be so hard for the other officers to differentiate between them.

But even having Tommy in the car with him didn’t make what Tom was seeing any easier. Two bodies bathed in blood and frozen stiff, yet clasping each other as if seeking solace in their final moments, a sight gruesome enough to turn the most seasoned officer’s stomach. The Snowman, that bastard, had claimed two more.

“You okay?” Tommy said.

“Just makes me queasy. They’re the first ones I’ve had to report.”

“You want me to—”

“No. I got it. Thanks.”

Suppressing the urge to puke, Tom called it in. With the knee deep snow, they’d need a truck to haul the car to the station.

“What kind of person could do this, Tommy?”

“Dude, maybe it’s an illness. Like maybe the guy’s a schizophrenic or someth—”

“That’s no excuse. There’s a world of difference between being a psycho and being a monster.”

“I’m just saying. He could be sick, inside. Yet… Yet, look totally normal, like us, on the outside—”

“Give it a rest, alright.”

Tom turned the radio up, and the two waited in silence.

Forty-five intolerable minutes later, Jameson tapped on the window.

“Tom, you okay?”

Tom nodded.

“Man, it must have been creepy sitting here all by yourself.”