In what felt like seconds, the soothing sounds of a bamboo flute in the key of A somewhere, ushered my mind into blankness and my soul gulped sweet serenity, soothed me before I caught fear of this foreign peace by thinking of my Old Religion.
I rise from my mat.
Then, my meditation-
Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith
*Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you enjoyed this flash fiction. Have an amazing week 🙂
If anyone would have told me I would be stuck in a closet with the hottest zombie ever this side of the Atlantic, “I would have said WTF and get out of here”.
But here I am. In the janitor’s closet of all places.
Stuck with Sindrome. That’s his name for real. A tall, well built zombie who looks down on me now like a tasty snack but because of our current and dire situation, he cannot afford to eat me.
“Explain again what you saw.” He growls, annoyed.
I roll my eyes to him. “I said, I went back to the cafeteria to see if I left my small wallet on the floor by the cashier and I heard the noise and started running. It sounded horrific, like vomiting but, I don’t know.”
I had went into the cafeteria ten minutes earlier to retrieve my pink wallet. I knew better than to go alone.
In my dad’s infinite wisdom, he placed me in a school that was full of dead folks. On the outside everything looks normal and new, and the people look beautiful and normal. Borbon High School is a lie. A fake.
It is a Night School. For zombies.
And guess what? I am not one.
How do I get away with it? My dad, a chemist involved with making popular perfumes for celebrities, made a special perfume for me that repels the dead. Meaning my brain which is capable of a 2.9 GPA at best, will not be morsels to these monsters.
Turns out though that my “Dad” he really wasn’t my dad though. Just a mad scientist who was using me as bait.
He knew my real dad.
Turns out Sindrome is my only ally because he has living human beings he cares for still.
A living, breathing Barbie doll of a girlfriend he wants to save and he knows I have the perfume that will prevent him from wanting to snack on her brains like a burrito.
So anyway, I walk up into the cafeteria as if I am not completely surrounded by zombies. And. No. I do not eat their food. Are you kidding me? I bring my own bag lunch. I purchase their canned drinks though because they are colder and packaged from a local factory.
I had reached down to pick up my purse when I hear the snap of something like a big chicken bone and followed by a loud shriek.
I look over the sneeze guards which previously shielded meatloaf(yeah right) and mac and cheese. Hidden beneath these dishes are brains. Just to let you know. The “real” food is placed on top to make the zombies feel normal as they once did.
But yeah, its brain squash underneath.
Beyond the large sink and stove, I saw movement in the backroom and then a large splash of red hits the window. Blood.
I bucked out of there quick, just as I heard the quick clicking of heels on my tail.
I turn a corner nearly colliding into a locker and that was when I spotted Sindrome smoking a joint -or appears to be smoking…in the janitor’s closet with the door half opened.
“Let me in!” I whisper loudly pushing him inside, not caring if he dropped his cigarillo. I bang the door closed. Confident I left the ghoul or whatever was chasing me.
“Patty,” Sindrome puts both hands on my shoulder. His whole body is ivory and cold to the touch, but it is those eyes that do me in every time. They are- aquamarine?
Damn! I am not falling for no damn dead person. Nope! Not me! His eyes are a dreamy, kind of aqua framed by long lashes that are ebony- ebony like his hair, ebony like me and my hair.
This closet is too tiny for my fro and his body. One of us has to go.
“Keep quiet, Patty.” He says again. “I hear something.”
I scooch my body closer to Sindrome, aware that my ample booty is now pressing against surprisingly rock hard abs.
Yes. I’m officially losing it.
But I nearly lose my cookies when through the slats of the door I see some wolf-beast-dog thing with long, yellow teeth stalking the hall.
It was as big, or almost as high as five Great Danes and the smell of death followed it. Even Sindrome smelled better. Well, Sindorme always smells of water and leaves mostly. Cigar leaves. Perhaps he has a better wash regime than I give him credit for.
“What the hell is that?” He asks me.
“I don’t know?” I whisper back. “I am new here to this state, this city, this school. Virginia is looney tunes!”
The wolf monster thing pauses. I see its high black butt and three tails wagging.
My heart nearly plummets.
If Sindrome is truly evil, he could just push me out the door and be done with me. The wolf thing could then gobble me up and maybe it’ll spit out my fro- just to be nice.
I have all kinds of crazy scenarios playing in my head right now.
Sindrome has cold, dead hands on my shoulder and I am pressed up against him like we’re lovers.
We are so. not. lovers.
He hates my guts because of my “dad” and I hate his because he is dead. He has dead guts.
“I have to alert everyone else somehow.”
“Wait. You’re scared of it too? Aren’t you a zombie?”
“I have a very bad feeling about this.” He pulls out his cell phone but I remain on him, booty and all. I am scared and did I mention the closet is cramped? Full of dirty mops and thousands of chemicals I am unfamiliar with.
He texts someone just as we hear another scream and I hear that bone cracking noise again. I cringe and throw my body harder against Sindrome’s body.
“Huh?” I can’t understand what he is saying.
“I said-” he does something with my hair.
Oh. He pushes it down. I am about to swing on him and knock him out for that alone. Then he growls: “I said your hair is in my mouth.”
“Oh, God. Sorry.”
Sindrome swears under his breath and suddenly my worst nightmare comes true.
I am pushed through the door with my arms out and I stumble into a hallway that is suddenly overcrowded with zombies. Teachers and everybody is scurrying. Blood dripping from hands and faces.
Some are with a gaping hole in their chest to the point I can see the wall clearly though them and the stampede.
I am tossed and thrown about, trying to run for the exit when I am roughly pulled from the melee.
“This way”, he growls low in my ear and before I can protest, I am yanked again through the crowds.
“You have your motorcycle?” He asks.
“We need it.” I pull the keys from my pocket, unsure how this will all play out.
If I’m smart, I could let him get torn to shreds by the Wolf Beast thing.
But who said I was smart?
We are moving too fast down the hall and that is when I hear the worst sound of all.
“The hell?” Sindrome pauses as the top floor, that holds the library and classrooms, suddenly wobbles as if it is made of rubber and I see some plaster fall down.
Three very big, large black Wolf Beasts stands at the top. Red eyes looking right at me and through me.
“Remember, you never knew me. I never woke you up. Promise me!” The gangly kid’s wild eyes shone behind Harry Potter glasses as I tried standing, holding on to my tombstone. My legs wobbled terribly like a baby colt’s.
But my body…
So. Much. Pain.
The young kid shakes his head sadly, then peers back up at me. His black hair is everywhere on his head as he takes his time watching me.
“This fulfills our contract.” He says, just as a fat rain drop hits my face. The nameless boy who called me from my grave shivers visibly.
He pulls a hood over his head, me as he jogs over to his car, snatching his neck around to see me once or twice. My vision is skewed: black and white. Like an old movie but with bad static or something.
He speeds off in his car, kicking dust everywhere. I know I will never see him again.
I am left with gifts by this stranger I hired while alive: a bookbag filled with Slim Jims, knives and my favorite-handcuffs.
I pull the bag over my shoulder. It takes at least a dozen tries. My stomach hurts so bad and my head is splitting…but I make the short trek home.
See. They never know when you’ll pull a stunt like this. When he says my name, he will fall in shock. You can never rid yourself of a good woman…
I knock once. Twice. Three times before a light pops on and blinds me. Now I see a shock of brilliant white.
The pain in my belly increases. Feels like razors on my entrails.
” K-K Karma? Oh God! Karma Lee?”
My lover stands with just his boxers on and a long arm rests on his broad shoulders. He seems to have lost even more color now. The new girl finally peeks over him and she sees me too.
She shrieks. “A ZOMBIE!!!!!”
I slowly step inside my home…
As soon as lightning and thunder cracked the sky I made my decision. With just a single thought, the door slams. Perhaps this is a new power?
Synopsis: Prince Mex falls for the late Medusa’s sister. But her heart is as cold and steely as the armor she wears. Will the pretty faced prince finally melt the heart of a monster known to slay thousands in the blink of an eye?
“You can’t love me.”
“Need I remind you, Pretty Prince. I am Xeria. Medusa’s sister. A gorgon. A warrior. It is not me you want. Why not Ledea? She is wholesome, untouched. A true beauty.” I say referring to my curvier, more luscious sister.
Prince Mex advanced closer, sheathing his sword by his side. His eyes were the color of the beautiful Aegean sea before twilight, his muscles bulged before me as he was topless and I was getting an eyeful. I remained stoic, however difficult that prove to be.
“Because you are the one who caught my eye. There is something about you Xeria I can’t name.” His thumb touches the bottom of my lip, I slap his hand away but he only smiles. Every man in the kingdom wishes to be the one to touch Xeria’s heart.”
“There is nothing special about me. I am a monster. They know that, so do you.”
The human male before me shakes his head once to the right, then the left. “Xeria. You are not like your sister.”
He was referring to Medusa. The one who was used, abused and became famous throughout the land for her cursed power of turning men to stone who looked upon her.
“I am. I have killed thousands. Maybe millions, Mex. I am a hunter, not some twit who wants marriage and children.”
Mex laughed at me, his eyes twinkled. The most handsome warrior to fight by King Olios’s side wants me? Absurd.
“Take off your helmet.”
“Take. Off. Your. Helmet.” A slow, seductive command I immediately obeyed. Unfair!
I giggle inside. Most men have pursued me and I have given them my time(after they begged for mercy, of course). Mostly because they look at my eyes and my svelte yet busty figure, and think I am too pretty to kill or something, but once I remove my helmet…
I pulled it off and feel the rows of wet serpents sweep my shoulders, they hiss in sorrow and hate for me. Sometimes I hear them in my dreams. Sometimes they bite me. “See.”
Mex snakes out a hand and tries to pat the one lying down on its side, a quiet unmoving one.
“I killed that one. She’ll come back eventually.”
With wide eyes in wonder, Mex touched my snake hair. “Dios! How…”
“I don’t know.” I spoke. I don’t know how Medusa and I received our hair. Other women can use combs, hair brushes and place pretty ornaments on their fine hair. Mine was the definition of unruly and unkempt…alive.
He pauses. Then add, “Tonight, I lose my breath. Gazing upon your beauty.”
I swallow in sadness and passion.”I guess that is my curse then.”
Mex grinned wickedly, looking like his father, the King. Who is part of another secret I must hide from Mex.
He ignores my hissing snakes but I mentally make them lie down as Mex’s beautiful bow shaped lips meet mine and I surrender, melting, sealing my lips upon his very soft ones. He is an expert at this. Just this one kiss is doing damage to all my beliefs and constitution.
He wraps his hands around my hips and brings me closer as his tongue finally meet mine.
I drop my helmet with a loud reverberating clang to the floor.
*Black Wings continues with a slightly longer conclusion. Thanks for reading!
Everything about her is so tiny, so fragile. Her lips are the perfect bow shape-tiny. Her fingers, long and slender-tiny nails. Her face, a small heart shape- tiny eyes the shape of almonds, with milk chocolate irises. Her hair floats behind her like a big cloud, her skin is the color of night without stars, but her small teeth are perfectly white, glitters in her face. And she does not know she has my heart in a vise…
Ricky was about to follow Cara out into the storm when several hands grabbed at him. “You’re going to be crowned the king! Come on!” Several girls pulled on his arm. They were cute girls. Trim girls. Wore the same makeup girls. Plastic girls. Not really mean, just cookie cutter in order to make it.
“I have to find Cara.”
“Who?” asked one them in a huff. “Stop playing around. If Trish sees you out here trying to find another girl, she will dethrone you so quick.” The girl with dark hair snapped her fingers for emphasis.
Ricky pulled away from her. “She and I aren’t dating. We just…I don’t know.” He shook himself. “I gotta go.”
“During prom?” The girls screeched. “This is important, Ricky! Stop playing around!” The blonde one wearing a beautiful sequined dress.
Something tugged at his heart. It was beginning to ache. Cara was out there, probably trying to do something stupid. Here he was arguing about being “king”.
In a split second decision, he decided to go look for Cara. She couldn’t have gone far.
Sprinting across to the EXIT, with several swear words following behind him, he burst through the double doors, still smelling the Sweet Pea lotion Cara wears but the wind and the rain were brutal. The scent was quickly sliced.
Rain came down like small swords. Sluicing and wetting up everything. It sounded like rocks being thrown outside.
He did not care.
Where did she go in this night?
A bright yellow dress shouldn’t be hard to miss.
He crossed the intersection where cars were backed up, horns honked in frustration and the freaking streetlight that never gets fixed, remained on red for a while.
Then he saw the hair, like wings flapping behind her. The yellow dress clinging to her tiny body as her small feet kicked up mud and puddle water.
Without thinking, Ricky chased her. He’ll be damned if…if he see this. Witness this.
Within a few steps he caught up to her. Instead of touching her he raced ahead of her and stopped, turned to face her,causing her to bump into his chest.
“What are you doing?”
“You tell me. What are you thinking running out into the dark like this?”
“I can if I want.” Her lips were wet with kisses from the rain and her small eyes, cat-like eyes he now realized, looked at him with iron anger. “What? Afraid I’ll catch a cold?”
“That and the fact that this part of town is dangerous.”
“So?” Ricky wanted to hug her so bad. Let her know it was alright to be different and that some people were just anus holes. She was the darkest girl in the school but the prettiest. The girls and guys knew that too and would admit it if they weren’t chicken.
“I can’t just let this happen.”
Cara crossed her arms over her, defiant. “I don’t get it. You are the most popular boy in the school about to be crowned. For your beauty. Your talent. They are probably waiting for you right now. You are out here, chasing me. You sure you aren’t on any drugs?”
Ricky laughed. “I am not on drugs and to hell with prom crowning. They can have it.”
“I gotta go,” Cara said resolved, turning from him.
But Ricky couldn’t let her leave. Not like this. Not right now.
“Cara listen to me! I think you are very beautiful! I- I think you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever known and smart too.”
Cara kept walking away but this time he caught up to her, gently pulled her elbow to turn her around and face him. “You don’t have to do what you are trying to do.”
“What is it I am trying to do?”
They both stood there, rain beating their faces and bodies. The wind whipped harder but Ricky put less distance between them, placed his hands on her shoulders. Her scent sweet and bright, like her dress, like her eyes.
“I watched my mom do it. Said she was going to the bathroom and will be right out. Dad and I waited half an hour. Silence, Cara. Silence! Mom never came out. All I remember…” Ricky was glad for the rain to mask his tears. “All I remember was her dark hair disappearing in the bathroom door, a piece of it caught in the doorjamb, but she didn’t know or care. Then the sound of something falling. Life was too much for her. So instead of thinking of me and dad, she thought about herself. Focused inward so much, we became, maybe caricatures to her. Expendables. Our hearts still beating, bleeding for her and we know she’ll never come back.”
Cara was silent. Listening to Ricky was a mistake.
“My essay, Black Wings? From earlier this week was about her, Cara. When I was ten that was all I
remember. Her dark hair, flapping behind her like black wings and disappearing behind a freaking bathroom door. Only to lose her moments later. She flew away from me and dad. I wish I could tell her she was good enough. Better than enough. I wish I could bring her back.” He swiped at his eyes. “She basically killed our soul, Cara. That is what suicide does to those who love you.”
The cars zoomed past them. All it would take is one toe out in the street. A quick dart out and then finally she can be away from this dark world. Maybe in her next life she’ll be light and pretty.
His eyes got to her though. Those kind green eyes held a special sadness. A permanent sadness his mother put there.
“Sorry about that, Ricky.”
Suddenly the rain slowed and Ricky put even less distance between them, his hands slid slowly down Cara’s arm, his forehead touched hers. “I will not let the next person I care about, do the same thing. I don’t like people leaving me, Cara.”
Cara looked up into Ricky’s face. This was wrong. Very wrong.
“You have another life Ricky. Go back to that school!”
“No!” He hissed to her lips. “I am not leaving you out here. We go together to the school or we stay together here. I will not lose anyone else!”
“Please. Let me do this. I know I will be free if I can do this. The one thing I can do right.”
“No.” He tipped her chin up so her eyes could meet his. “I want to tell you something, I’ve been trying to say all year. I couldn’t write it in the card but-”
“Yes,” he smiled and finally ran his hand through her thick, kinky hair. “The cards you’ve been given.”
“You put them cards in my locker?” Her eyes narrowed at him.
“I slip them in there from time to time.”
“You write nothing on them though,” she chuckled. A small smile, a small feat achieved. Her smile literally broke through the storm. He could watch her smile and hear her laugh all day long.
“I am about to, just listen. Please.”
Cara rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t step away from Ricky’s strong touch. Their bodies were now pressed together as if they were two halves of a heart. As if they were lovers.
“Cara, you sit near me every day in English class and never look my way. I don’t think you notice me. You carry yourself around as if your skin is a heavy burden or bricks to be laid down and you sag in your seat, absorbing class material like a computer. Your eyes are never trained on me, the teacher or class and I find myself wondering: Who is this girl that no one matters to her? She walks alone to class and from class. Her head is down sometimes and most days it is up, not in snotty manner but as if she is a Queen and aspires to be so. I could only hope to be the lucky guy on her arm.
I know you feel like an ugly duckling and that the world does not look at you or admire you. But I will let you in on a small secret. When you are not looking, it is your scent that makes a few of us guys sniff the room. It is your smile that causes a small gossip to erupt amongst the jocks, the secret longings of their hearts exposed in closed locker rooms. The girls sometimes look your way and the next day they upgrade their hair and makeup. One girl in particular tried to befriend you the other day in the cafeteria, she heard that you like Star Wars. Instead you nodded politely and went back to eating, regal as can be because who would really want to talk to you?
Everyone, Cara. Everyone wants to talk to you including me. But I want more. I want more than your talk, I want your lips on mine. I want more than for you just to see me, I want you to gaze at me. I want more than just a handshake from you,” he trailed his hand down her arm to her hand. “I want a hug.”
Cara was speechless.
Before she could say anything, Ricky put his lips on hers, startling her. He kissed her with the feather light touch of a painter’s brush, or the kiss of sun after a stormy, rainy day. A hint of heat and softness.
Ricky knew this wasn’t enough to stop someone from disappearing. What if one day Cara was no longer enough for him? Will she pick up where they left off? Somehow, he knew she’d be in his life forever. She was a treasure to him. Confessing his heart was all he could do. To save her.
**Author note: I truly hope you enjoyed this story. It dropped in my mind one day as I was waking up. I thought, “Hmmm, what if a girl who felt un-pretty met a very beautiful boy who sent her blank greeting cards?”
***This story involves a sensitive issue that some people may face and does not in any way make light of the situation. The goal is to enjoy the story and think on it. Ultimately I hope you enjoy it, Reader!
Once again her tears were real. She dropped her black purse her mom gave her and slammed herself against the locker before sliding down to the cool floor. Not caring if her legs were splayed open beneath her sun yellow dress and not caring that her new upswept hairdo was now smashed against the locker. Who cares.
The music pumped from the gym out to the hallway. The person handling the tickets behind the foldable table was now folding it up and collecting her things. She did not see Cara.
Who ever sees Cara?
With her nails she drew long marks along obsidian skin. There. White streaks. Now if only she could see the white meat. If only she had something to flay that dark meat open.
Shaking her head and covering her face, she bawled. Right there on the floor.
Music drifted to her. Something by…? Who knows. It sounded like racket now.
But she knew everyone wore a smile and had a date. She could only dream of a date. That was why she read sappy teen novels. The closest she’s ever been to a guy was between the pages and not the sheets.
“To hell with everyone!” She yelled, then picked up her purse. She will leave.
She will leave. Why stay somewhere she can’t even leave a mark?
“Wait,” she heard someone say as she walked along the wall, hung on the wall for support as she slowly, cryptically made her way to the EXIT. Why was she moving so slothful? Didn’t freedom await her?
She kept moving. Whoever it was should leave her alone. She was finally leaving this forsaken place.
School was not for dark girls.
Why’d her mother move anyway? Because of a divorce? Who cares?
The stranger touched her elbow. “You left this.”
Cara slowly let her eyes take in her long, teal jacket. Made for Spring weather or impending rain.
She heard the quick pellets of rain hitting the rooftop.
“Don’t need it,” her eyes followed the tanned arm and she looked into kind green eyes. “I’m leaving.”
His lips smiled. “Of course but you need this. Don’t you?”
For what she was about to do, it did not matter. “No.” She bit her lower lip hard until she tasted blood. She sucked on it and kept moving.
Her hands touched the rusted handle of the door. The handle the janitor kept polishing anyway, so now some parts not flecked off shone brilliantly under the fluorescent lights while the reddish brown part created an ugly contrast.
“I just thought you might not want to catch a cold.”
Cara thought about her purse. No need for this either. Her ID, keys all of that. She whirled around and fled to her locker, quickly twisted the dial and popped it open. A few blank greeting cards flew out and landed by the guy’s feet.
“You have plenty of greeting cards. Planning on writing them all out later?” She stashed her purse into the locker and looked at the stranger closer. He was in her English class. He opened a card and smiled again. A small dimple formed in his right cheek. A deep, dimple.
“No. I found those. You can have ‘em.”
The boy blinked as she took her jacket from him. “Thanks.”
“I just have to know, Cara. Why aren’t you dancing?”
Was he for real?
“The glitter, the lights and the girls…not for me.”
“Yeah,” he stepped closer to her but she took two steps back. “I saw them. So what?”
“That’s my point. This is my senior year!” Her eyes watered. “I can’t even get a partner to dance with me because my skin swallows light. It isn’t fair!”
Understanding seemed to dawn on him. “Patty and Rochelle have no dance partner. They look nice. But not as nice as-”
Cara held up her hand. Ricky smelled the Sweet Pea lotion on her and it was the same scent that wafted into the gym doors earlier. The same bright fragrance from English class in the morning. It reminded him of sweet flowers facing the sun and days of learning to ride his bike. His mother…
“I hate this school anyway. It’s prejudice leaks through the walls. Smell it?”
She huffed and marched away from Ricky and flew open the doors letting in a powerful gust of wind and rain.
Her hair, no longer pinned, cascaded down and flapped about her like black wings.
There is no way this guy was going to be bring her back.
Back from the will to die.
Note from author: I hope you enjoyed this short piece. Stay tuned for the next part sometime this week! If you like the stories, please share and subscribe to my blog! (You may have to scroll down to subscribe)