Tribe at Flashing in the Gutters (RIP) was kind enough to post some of my shortest fiction. Now that the site is down, I thought I repost those stories. They were fun to write, Hell to trim down to Flash size. I cut 196 words from the one I post today. Formatting will probably be screwy until I can figure out how to do that. Here goes:

Family

By

Steven Torres

Viktor Petrenko reminded himself that he did this for a young couple who had spent six days in Hell. He was their hope for deliverance. He touched the photo in his left breast pocket, then he pressed the doorbell. The locks came undone; he inhaled, slowly closed and opened his eyes, and exhaled.

A fist of second knuckles, fast, fierce, stabbed the teen boy who opened the door, and he fell sitting to the floor, clutching his throat, hoping for air.

A large man came from a room lining the hallway. He was shaved bald and muscular; Viktor thought he might be difficult to eliminate. The man raised his fists and moved onto the balls of his feet. He threw a punch and Viktor kicked. The man’s knee twisted to one side and he fell to all fours with a roar. Viktor kicked again and again, smashing the head into the plaster of the wall then into the linoleum tiles of the floor. He used his heel on the back of the man’s head.

In the next room, a man in an open bathrobe, nothing else, was loading a five foot long double barreled shotgun. Viktor, no fan of waiting to get shot, stepped into this room and seized the barrel as the man brought it level. Viktor twisted the gun up and away from himself. The man’s finger caught with the trigger guard. Viktor twisted more, dislocating the finger, snatching the gun away. With the butt end he smashed the man’s nose, lower jaw, forehead and sternum.

Back in the hallway - the large man on the floor, motionless, the young boy still gagging.

Further, the last room, Viktor entered and, a glass ashtray in her right hand above her head, a small woman with smoker’s wrinkles charged at him though he had the shotgun. He had never liked hitting women. He whipped the gun barrel, breaking her hand and the ashtray in it. The woman howled, but she still came at him, though now one hand held the other. He pushed, and she stutter-stepped back into a rocking chair that almost tipped over.

The room had four cribs and a door to another room. He went for the cribs and took the photo from his pocket. He didn’t want to get this wrong, and he didn’t want to come back.

The first two babies didn’t come close to matching. The last two did. Viktor noticed a tiny beauty mark on one child’s left ear, making it the right one. He aimed the shotgun at the woman and picked the child from its crib.

From the further room, another woman emerged.

“Do something!” the first woman yelled to her.

The second woman took in the scene.

“Take me,” she said. Her voice was a whisper. She was young; her hair was tangled; her breasts beneath a dark, milk stained tee-shirt were swollen, huge. She looked to Viktor as though she had suffered much.

“Take me,” she repeated. She lifted her arms as though she wanted to put them around Viktor’s neck and be carried. There was nothing but desolation in her voice, in her look, probably in the very smell of her.

“Follow,” Viktor told her.

“I can’t,” the girl said, and she broke into tears.

In the hallway, the large man was rising.

“Follow,” Viktor said again. He turned from her and went past the man, still on all fours, out of the house, leaving the shotgun with the teenager who was not interested in standing yet.

On the street again, Viktor looked back at the house. The door was open, but no one came out behind him. At the end of the block, the child’s parents couldn’t wait in their car for him as planned. They ran with joy at the sight of the child and took the girl from his arms. They thanked him through tears.

Viktor watched the threshold a few seconds longer and decided to go back in and bring out one more, but an unseen hand shut the door. The slam woke him from the dream of saving everyone.

Views: 8

Comment

You need to be a member of CrimeSpace to add comments!

CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2022   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service