Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Dinner Guest


by M. J. Joachim

Dark, damp and surrounded by delicious food, Herb made his way to the next pile. “Mmmm….moldy corn cobs, soggy lettuce and smooth avocado pits – perfect for basking in the sun,” he thought, as he slowly crawled onto the mound of coffee grounds, feet sinking deep, as though they were in wet sand.

Steadily, the shadow appeared overhead. At first Herb thought it was a cloud, blocking the sunlight. As it lowered and wavered, Herb knew. Dashing under the avocado pit, he burrowed deep into the rubbish.

Elmer raised the shovel high over his shoulder again. “Blasted cockroach messing around in my kitchen,” he stuttered. “I’ll bust that critter in two yet. Just you wait and see,” he said to his wife.

#####

That’s all for now,
Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Cockroach head, Sharadpunita, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unmarked Graveyard


by M. J. Joachim

The arthritis was more than she could bear. How did it get to be so bad, so terribly fast? Seemed like only yesterday, she was hiking on the mountain and digging in the field. Today she was completely crippled, unable to get out of her own wheel chair, unable to comb her hair or even feed herself.

“It’s okay. My mother will be fine without the extra medication,” she heard Tabitha tell the doctor. “She’ll be in my care the entire time. No need to worry, Doc.”

The thought of Tabitha taking her away frightened her. She’d never been nice to her daughter, the one child who was always so tolerant and submissive to her cruelty.

Upon arriving at the seashore, Tabitha stopped the car on the side of the road, near a familiar, but unmarked graveyard. “Yes, Mom, I know how your arthritis hurts you, and I know why too. We’re probably the only two people in the world who honestly know what happened to our family. And for that, you get to live!”

#####

That’s all for now,
Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Half Moon Bay, Christopher, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 25, 2013

Richly Despised


by M. J. Joachim

“I wonder how the poor people are doing,” she said smugly as she sipped champagne and dined on filet mignon for breakfast. Her contempt for their plight was obvious. She reeked of heavy, expensive perfume. Her hair was coifed high, sprayed at the Royal Salon to achieve daily perfection.

“They deserve their wretchedness,” she proclaimed. “It’s all about choices, after all. They made their beds. Now they must sleep in them.”

Her husband flinched as he heard the words yet again. Her mockery of the poor had always made him sick. He never said a word, at least not until now.

“Get out! Get out you wretched, wicked whore! Here are the clothes you wore when I married you. Take them and leave from my sight forever! You made your choice to mock from where you have come! I’ve made mine to send you back there once and for all!”

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450 – 1516), PD – US            
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Martians in Cyberspace


by M. J. Joachim
It was time. Much work had been completed; still much work needed to be done. All the resources in the world couldn’t prepare them for the task at hand, and yet, there was hope.

Albert, Brendan, Carlisle and Douglas censored the crowds. Ethan, Frances, Garrison and Howard mutated the virus. Imelda, Jack and Kelana worked with Lionel to secure their position. Melissa and Naomi contacted Oprah for publicity, while Peter, Quinn and Riley dominated the main screen.

Secretly, everyone tallied universal variations, wagering against xeroma development in their eyes, yellowed by zigzag stripes from the prevalence of intoxicating poison.

The team worked feverishly, hoping against hope they would not be too late. Martians had already landed in distant areas of cyberspace. If they set up camp, all would be lost, the Internet would disappear.

#####

That’s all for now,

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

This post has been inspired by my recent post on the A – Z blog, where I offer a few suggestions for finding words from A – Z, to those participating in this year’s challenge. I do hope you’ll be among them.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Writing for Cyberspace, Kathy Mackey, Public Domain
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 22, 2013

Daniel’s Escape


by M. J. Joachim

Daniel stopped short, looked up at the clear, dark, isolated sky and screamed, “You’ll never take me alive!” For years, he’d been tormented by the dreams and visions of his youth. Escaping was the easy part. Now he had to remain vigilant, or he’d be held captive once again.

Blood raced through his veins. Stars, hidden from view, made it impossible for Daniel to navigate his journey and reach the final destination. He was scared, but the adrenalin kept him moving forward. Drenched in sweat, he fell to the ground – exhausted and completely out of breath. 

Arms flailing, he fought trying to get away.

“It’s okay, Daniel. We’re not here to hurt you. Just relax and let us do our jobs.”

Once his arms had been secured, the orderlies fastened the straps to the sides of the bed. “We’ve already taken you alive, Daniel. Sanity is not an option here,” they said as they injected him with LSD.

#####

That’s all for now.
Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Intramuscular injection, Psychonaught, Public Domain
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Devoted Wife


by M. J. Joachim

Peering out the window into the shining sun, she smiled. Dinner was almost ready, and Kathryn’s only thought was the scent of manly sweat coming in from a hard day’s work. Captivated by the memories, she slowly walked into the living room, where Alex was eagerly waiting for her.

“There now,” she said in her most sensual voice.

“Ssshhh…don’t say anything. Just enjoy it.”

Alex slowly moved his head to the right, knowing she would notice. Carefully, she set the spoon down and wiped the dribble off his lip.

#####


Thank you for visiting FlashTyme. 
Until next time, I wish you every good thing. 

M. J. 

Photo credit:  Thorma, My Wife’s Portrait, János Thorma – Private Collection, PD – US
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Drink from the Water


by M. J. Joachim

Terrified of disappointing the lady, Bernadette knelt down and started digging in the mud. Before long, a gentle stream bubbled up from which she was summoned to drink. Unashamed, she placed her face within the water for all the onlookers to see. Purposely, she chewed the weeds, grass and mud, drinking from the stream.

Everyone mocked her, calling her crazy and treating her like an outcast. Her own mother soon became embarrassed at the sight of her. Her father waited patiently, believing somehow her faithfulness would yield fruition.

Each day, Bernadette set out to meet the lady, heeding her instructions. Each day, a crowd followed her and watched her every move. Dazed, kneeling and looking up toward the top of the grotto, Bernadette prayed, asking the lady what she wanted.

Finally, quite unexpectedly, the lady answered. “I am the Immaculate Conception. You are to help establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Bernadette 2, Xandar, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Darkest Survival


by M. J. Joachim

“You’ll never get away with it,” Sophia screamed after the attack.

Booking it down the street, all she could see was a blur; still fighting, she got to her feet, peering deep into the darkness.  

Finally, she heard it, those horrifying, treacherous sounds. Sophia smiled, knowing her trap was well laid, listening closely as her plans came to fruition.

Hitler was dead. Though she was blind now, she knew the last of the destructive bombs had fallen during World War II. Her family, scarred and branded, had been spared their tragic destiny, prevented from the ultimate sacrifice, of dying in gas chambers during the holocaust.

#####

As always, thank you for visiting FlashTyme,

M. J.

Photo credit:  Guernica Ruinen (1937), German Federal Archives, Cooperation Project
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 18, 2013

Twitter Fury


by M. J. Joachim

Against his better judgment, Fred signed off Twitter once and for all. The worry and frustration of always being hacked was more than he could deal with on a daily basis.

Tweeting started out innocently enough. He’d tweet a bit here, reply to one of his friends there, retweet an amazing article for others to read. His tweeting habits were about as status quo as they could get.

Meeting Cheryl had certainly changed all that. Cheryl kept tabs on Fred through his daily tweets. She looked forward to knowing who his friends were and what he was reading. She enjoyed sending Fred private messages.

Cheryl never was too concerned that Fred changed his tweeting habits periodically; nor was she distressed when he changed all his privacy settings and password consistently. She knew how to find him, if she needed to.

Signing off completely though – that was the caveat capable of making her take action.

Fred felt uneasy, as he opened the door to his apartment that evening. The room was darker than usual; he could tell something was wrong.

Raising his hands in terror, Fred fell to the ground, hunched beneath dozens of huge, hungry hawks, flying free in his apartment.

“This is what happens when you’re too weak to fly,” she said. “You end up becoming my prey!”

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme,

M. J.

Photo credit:  Hawk eye, Steve Jurvetson, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 15, 2013

Captivity


by M. J. Joachim

The sun was shining brightly as Elsa made her way across the bridge. The river never looked so vibrant, glistening in the moonlight, she thought. Slowly, she reached through the clouds to touch the sea.

Reaching back into the depths of her heart and consciousness, Elsa struggled to remember those moments of being outside.

Pictures were all she had left. Pictures kept hidden from the man who held her captive in this dark, damp and dreary, cement cell.

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Onnenkoski 2009, Kallerna, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Electrifying Blogging (Part 5)


(A – Zing through My Blogs Part 5)

by M. J. Joachim

Teresa considered herself a writer for as long as she could remember. She’d won writing contests and been published in minor publications since she was a child. Starting a blog on the Internet was a no brainer.

Through simple research, Teresa learned it was probably best to use a pen name. Blogging came easy to Teresa. She’d sit for hours at her computer, typing away. That book she’d always wanted to write nagged at her so. Time out…she wrote the book and published it through Smashwords. She had so much fun, she ended up writing a couple more books, including two small ones devoted to flash fiction.

“You will blog! You will blog!” said her computer in a harsh and dismal voice. The screen stared at her, eyes piercing into her face, nostrils flaring, a mouth – smoky and distorted.

“Yes, I will blog,” she fearfully replied, at which point, the electric shock from the keyboard on her computer ceased. From that point on, peacefully, she shared her work with all the world.

#####

This post is Part 5 of A – Zing through My Blogs, where I take you on a virtual tour of each blog I’ve entered in the A – Z Challenge 2013. You’re invited to check out all the other parts of this series listed below.

A – Zing through My Blogs

Monday, February 11, 2013

Escaping the Fire


by M. J. Joachim
Her eyes darted, as she wondered which way to go. The path ahead was dark, the woods treacherous for her bare feet. Cold and frightened, she turned left, toward the sea. Suddenly, she was overwhelmed by heat from the fire.

Racing toward the shoreline, she hoped to reach the water’s edge in time; more heat, this time heading straight for her. “Power struggle be damned!” she screamed, raising her arms mightily toward the sky.

Torrents of rain came down, flooding the land, washing everything in their path away.  Xeros had escaped again; there was nothing the dragons could do about it.

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.
Until next time, I wish you well,

M. J.

Photo credit:  Fire, Marcus Obal, GNU Free Documentation License
©2013 All Rights Reserve

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dumpster Diving


by M. J. Joachim
Hidden beneath the depths of the massive mound of debris, a rusty old ironing board caught his eye. He reached for it, moving some papers and broken dishes aside with his foot. Slowly, he pulled it from the pile, hoisted it up and tossed it over the side.

He maneuvered his way to the other end of the bin, where it looked like someone had tossed away an old lamp. “That could come in handy,” he thought. “Bet she’d like that,” he muttered under his breath.

Olga was thrilled when she saw the treasures Quinn brought home that day. “The ironing board doesn’t raise and collapse at all,” he said, “but I can fix that easily.”
“The lamp only needs a bit of new wiring, another easy fix for your handyman,” he smiled.

“Yes and we really need a new one too,” she said in reply. “I’ve made stew for dinner, with fresh orange juice from those oranges that were spoiling in the neighbor’s front yard. He didn’t mind at all that I cleaned them up for him.”

“It’s a simple life, Olga, but a darned good one,” Quinn said. “We have our health and our garden. We have good neighbors too. And I have the most beautiful, wonderful wife in the world! Not much more a guy could ask for than that!” he said with a smile.

#####

That's all for now. Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J. 

Photo credit:  Dumpster Eagles, Sonya, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Destination: Mars


by M. J. Joachim
Susan and Joey couldn’t have chosen a better day for a picnic. The sun was shining brightly. Spring was in the air. Life was good. Life was really good.

Susan tossed her long, wavy blond head back, smiling, flirting and cherishing the moment. Joey grinned, knowing she was his. He leaned over, gently caressed her succulent breast and tenderly kissed her cherry lips. She embraced him, firmly, securely and without mercy.

Cautiously, Joey tried not to squirm. Though he didn’t understand, he knew death was imminent. Longingly he looked deep within her eyes.

“Why?” he asked. “Who are you?”

Susan’s wicked laugh revealed the final warning. Moments later, Joey landed on Mars.

“Hello Mate,” said one man upon his arrival. “Welcome to your new home.”
Dazed and confused, Joey stammered trying to get the words out. “Where’s Susan?” he asked.

“Oh, don’t you know what’s ‘appened, old fella?” You‘ve been captured by Zeus, 'is Royal ‘ighness, see and he’s decreed that Men are from Mars, women from Venus. That’s where she is, dear fella. Way out there in the universe, sent to live with all the others. You understand now, dontcha?”

“Ah, but don’t get yourself all bunched up and out o’ sorts about it all now,” chimed in another from the crowd. “Venus ain’t liking this at all, not one little bit, see? She’s decided to take revenge on dear old Zeusy, by keeping us all to herself.”

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

Until next time, I wish you well.

M. J.

Photo credit: Mars (taken by Spirit Rover) Public Domain, NASA
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Annabelle’s Uncle


by M. J. Joachim
The room had only been painted a few months before. Annabelle sighed at the thought. Slowly, she backed away, as another cockroach reared its ugly head. Carefully, she laid the bait in the hallway, near the door. The cockroach scurried back inside, never venturing out to taste the temptation.

Walking down the hall, Annabelle could see the light turn on each evening. She heard noises – from the t.v., the window and even the closet. On occasion, her aging uncle would appear. He was a big man, very big!

After raiding the pantry, fridge and booze cupboard, he would stomp back to his room, leaving trails of wrappers, chunks of food, piles of dirty dishes and sweaty, sticky clothes in his wake. Annabelle winced and dutifully cleaned up each mess in turn.

It had been a few weeks now since she’d heard or seen her uncle reappear from the dreaded room. The light burned out the night before. Worried, she reached for the doorknob, slowly turning it, so as not to upset her uncle.

Nothing. No shouts to “Keep out!” No angry words about minding her own business. Not a single sound was heard.

The door…

She couldn’t open it. She couldn’t even turn the handle.

Slowly, she climbed onto the roof and began drilling a hole, so she could see inside. There, beneath the pile of rubble and debris, her uncle had buried himself alive.

#####

That's all for now. 

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme, 

M. J. 

Photo credit: Lots of Garbage, Frugo, Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 Generic
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mother Calls the Game


by M. J. Joachim
It was a game of wits – the kind they both knew how to play. This one was different somehow. Janice felt uneasy, despite the faith she that her sister would never hurt her.

Tit for tat, they challenged each other. Janice had the upper hand when the evening was over. Play would resume again tomorrow. Play always resumed, until Mother called the game, a game that seemed to never end.

Mother was in charge. Her girls had been trained from the time they were babies – groomed for this moment in time, a moment when Mother would accomplish her strange and erratic desires.

Father knew this day was coming. He loved Mother, and chose to give her everything she ever wanted, regardless of what it was. That was his faithful promise to her, so many years ago.

Janice winced, quietly and calmly, as her warm blood slowly drained and soaked into her mattress. She knew at once, Mother had finally called the game.

#####

That’s all for now.
Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J. 


Photo credit:  Sisters, Bertalan Székely (1835 – 1910), Hungarian National Gallery, PD – US
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Charlie’s Ritual


by M. J. Joachim
The water was boiling. It was finally time to clean the floor. Charlie would be home soon; he’d be furious if Emma hadn’t started scrubbing the floors by the time he arrived.

She was pregnant, something that made little difference to Charlie. All he cared about was those stupid floors, and that Emma used boiling water to clean them. He always left very early in the morning. She got up, put on a huge kettle of water, waited for it to boil and poured it all over the floors. Then, naked, she got down on her hands and knees and started scrubbing.

Charlie expected to come home for lunch to find her there, soaking wet from head to toe, naked, sliding all over the place as she worked. He would come in, filthy from the farm, drop his clothes and mount her, “just like animals do in the wild,” he would say. Emma would patiently submit to Charlie’s needs, never offering any hint of displeasure or angst.

As usual, Charlie arrived, stripped and mounted Emma. Suddenly, just as he was ripe and ready to climax, Charlie was thrust backward with a force so strong, he landed on his ass. Dazed, he looked up at Emma. Carefully, she reached over and picked her newborn daughter off the floor.

#####

That's all for now. Thank you for visiting FlashTyme.

M. J. 

Photo credit:  Rudolf Kremlička (1886 – 1932), PD – US
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Antics of Brutus and Omar


by M. J. Joachim
“If I just oots a little closer, she won’t notice what I’m doing.”

“You’ll have to be sly about it, or she’ll hear you and come out here. If she finds out, we’re both bound to get in big trouble.”

“Honestly, I don’t see why she cares so much.”

“I know, right? I mean, if it were that important to her, she wouldn’t leave it out like this!”

“Okay, you stand guard and I’ll stick my nose under the towel.”

“Got it! I’ll meow real loud when she starts coming down the hall.”

“Oh gosh, this smells good. My nose hasn’t sniffed something this good in a long time!”

Brutus’s tail started wagging enough to shake the entire counter. He was a big, black lab, and he was a klutz. Omar the cat wasn’t much better. Always finding ways to eat when he wasn’t supposed to, this monstrosity of a cat could barely squeeze through the doggie door.

As best friends, they understood each other well, and still worked together to minimize the consequences of their rambunctious ways.

“Oh no, she’s coming!”

“I thought you said you were going to meow!”

“I was, but I forgot. Quick! Wait! Give me some!”

“Ouch! What’d ya do that for?! Now the glass is shattered all over the floor, and I just cut my tongue!”

“Brutus! Omar! Aarrrggghhh!!!”

In spite of herself, she smiled. “Guess there won’t be any homemade bread tonight,” she said, as she started cleaning up the floor.

#####

Thank you for visiting FlashTyme,

M. J.

Photo credit:  Stanislav Jelen, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved