Monday, October 6, 2014

Two For the Price Of One

by Michael Seese

This weekend I had fun flashing. (In the writing sense. Get your minds out of the gutter!)

I already noted my Flash! Friday entry, "Finding Peace."

On Saturday, Janet Reid surprised us with one of her contests. One hundred words, using


I came up with the disturbing "Big Brother."

"Sorry, cat," I said to the lifeless mass at my feet.

"Mom will be home soon. Get some paper towels."

It was a mess. Lots of blood.

"What are you going to tell her?"

"If we clean up, nothing," David said.

"Can't you tell her the truth? That you heard you could see spirits?"

"Bad idea. You'll understand when you're older."

David was right. There's a lot that's confusing to a six-year-old.

"We're in trouble, aren't we?"

"We'll be fine."

“OK.” Big brothers are magic.

"Hurry. Throw the pants in the fireplace. And her name was Kate, not Cat."

Between the time I wrote and published this blog entry, I learned I was a finalist. The winning entry was very good. Check it out.

Then on Saturday came the Indies Unlimited contest. We had to work off this photo. 

Below is "Canaries."

A mile of curving, cold steel was all that stood between me and liberation. We had made it past the guards and over the razor-wire-topped fence. From here, it should have been easy.

“What are you waiting for?” she whispered.

“I’m thinking,” I answered.

“What’s to think about? Let’s go.”

I wanted to yell, “Wait!” But yelling would have been suicide. So I followed. Carefully.

The tracks were laid specifically for the trains which brought us to the camp. Some of us wondered why they had been left. I assumed there would be more like us coming some day.

She was my best friend. My only friend. When she learned of my plans, she insisted I take her.

“I can help you,” she pleaded. I knew that she would. That’s why I wanted to leave her behind.

She bounded along the railroad ties as if playing hopscotch. Two feet apart, then one in the middle, skip the next… Almost as if she knew. But she didn’t. She was just carefree by nature.

I followed her footsteps precisely.

The end now in sight, she could not contain herself. She sprinted ahead, squealing, her arms spread wide.

“We did it! We’re free! We’re—”

The explosion provided the punctuation for her final sentence. I guess the rumors about landmines were more than just rumors.

The border less than 20 feet away, I walked around the still-smoldering crater and breathed freedom for the first time in years.

Coal miners have canaries. I had her.

I don't need psychological help.... do I?

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