Fast Fiction Friday! I’m continuing the Budgie Barnett Fast Fiction Challenge this week with titles “Cold” and “Touching The Green Sunset”. As I explained last week, I’ll write fast fiction of exactly 200 words using titles from Barnett’s blog. (Click over to last week’s post for a full explanation.)
Flies lazily circled over the stale, rotting food. Apples and such aren’t of much interest when there’s a corpse to feed on. The body was blackened and bloated, long dead by the smell of it. Davies covered his mouth and nose with his coat sleeve but it didn’t help. The smell was in his nostrils, in his brain, in his gut with the cheap egg salad sandwich he had for lunch.
“Two weeks dead, and no one notices?” Gonzales tried to take notes and cover his face at the same time.
“No kids, no family. Wife died more than a decade ago. Friends down at the VFW said he’d been sick. Cancer. Talked about going to that fancy new hospital over in Lakeside. When he didn’t turn up, they figured that’s where he went. The neighbors called when they noticed the smell.”
“Hell of a way to go.”
They stood in the stranger’s living room, trying not to breathe or look too closely at the corpse. Leave that stuff for the detectives.
“I gotta make a call.” Davies stepped outside, took a deep breath of clean air, and dialed the number.
“Hey, Dad. Just calling to check on you.”
It disturbs me a bit that the first place my mind goes when I think ‘cold’ is ‘body’. Probably shouldn’t think about that too hard.
“Storm’s brewing,” he said as she stepped out onto the porch. He rocked slowly on the porch swing, sipping the last cup of decaf, his gaze fixed at some distant point to the west.
“The weather report said it would be clear through Sunday.” She watched the waves crash against the cliffs and imagined she could feel the spray on her face.
“Don’t care what that weatherman says. There’s a storm coming. I can smell it. Look at those clouds and tell me I’m wrong.” He nodded in the direction of the sunset.
“Hmm,” she nodded and sipped her coffee. “Well, it doesn’t matter either way. The boys are done for the season and are headed to the harbor now. They’ll be back before it hits.”
“I hope so. The last sunset I saw like that brought a storm that nearly took out the whole town. Killed half a dozen people. Washed them right out to sea.”
“That was a long time ago, Pop. Now we have radar and computer models and warning systems to tell us what’s coming. Times have changed.”
He sighed, the memory and fear of that terrible night fresh in his mind. “That water don’t change.”
I love seeing different ways writers can take the same few words. Click the title links to see what Barnett did with those titles. I especially like his take on “Touching the Green Sunset”.