Category Archives: Picture Fiction




#picturefiction #flashfiction

Abigail strolled through the gardens of her parent’s estate. She loved spring, the trees were filling out with leaves and the flowers were pushing their way through the short grass. Life was returning to the world. At eight, she was old enough to understand the irony of her thoughts on returning life as she approached the reflecting pool that dominated the family plot.
Mother scolded her every time she visited the graves of her ancestors but to Abigail the tiny cemetery behind the gardens was a place of beauty that drew her in a way nowhere else on the property could.
“Hello Grandma Mary,” she said as she passed a headstone. “Happy spring, Great Uncle Ezekiel.”
She felt that it was only proper to greet her family as she passed. Mother said that they looked down on the living from Heaven and Abigail didn’t want them to think she was rude by not saying hello.
Abigail made the rounds of seven generations of her forebears. Each relation, no matter how distant, received a personal greeting. The only grave without a name was a small, unadorned stone that lay flat on the ground. It stood apart from the rest of her relations. The marker was clearly another grave and Abigail wondered if perhaps it was someone unrelated to the others, why else would it be kept apart.
The stone was smooth, not from age, it had been worked to a smooth surface like the other stones but was unmarked by name or date. There was nothing to help her learn who rested beneath the stone. Abigail fought the urge to ask Mother or Father, it was more fun to secretly pour through the genealogies contained in the family bibles and other books in the grand library; she pretended to be a detective trying to solve a mystery.
She had hunted in vain for the last three weeks since she had discovered the nearly invisible stone. It never occurred to her to give up, she was as stubborn as Father.
Abigail’s wanderings brought her to the edge of the circular reflecting pool at the center of the cemetery. Father had said it represented the cycle of life or eternity; Abigail just thought it was pretty. Motion in the water drew her eye. Abigail glanced down thinking that perhaps a bird had landed in the water or perhaps a twig from a tree had disturbed the surface. Nothing moved on the pond. No ripples were evident, only her own reflection with her white dress moving gently in the cool breeze.
Abigail started to turn away and then looked back at the water. Her reflection was there twice. A girlish giggle escaped her lips, she had never seen anything like it. She looked around to make sure that it wasn’t just another person who had snuck up on her but she was alone in the cemetery. Both images were her. Both wore a white dress with knee socks. Both images had the same ribbon adorning a blonde bob. Both images shared dimples and wide blue eyes.

Abigail waved at herself; only the left image waved. She cocked her head in confusion and tried again. Only the left image tilted her head and waved. A small shiver crept up Abigail’s spine and she began to step back. The right image suddenly smiled and waved  enthusiastically stopping Abigail’s flight. A faint sound came from the water. It was high pitched. Abigail saw that the right image’s mouth was moving. Was her other reflection trying to talk to her? The girl with her face motioned her to come closer and after a moments hesitation Abigail knelt beside the pool and brought her face close to the water.
“Hi Abigail,” the girl’s faint voice said. It sounded like she was speaking from far away and her voice wavered as if she were speaking from beneath the water. “I’m Gabrielle”.
“Who are you?”
“I’m your sister.”
Abigail sat back in confusion. She was an only child. She had spent her entire life alone on the estate with only her parents and tutors for company. The only time she had visitors her own age was on her birthday for the formal party.
“I don’t have a sister,” Abigail said.
Gabrielle giggled, it wounded like popping bubbles to Abigail.
“Of course you do silly,” Gabrielle said. “I’m your identical twin.”
“You’re a fibber,” Abigail said in her best stern tone. “I’m an only child. Mother would have told me if I had a sister.”
“Mother wanted to protect you. I went away just after we were born. She didn’t want you to miss me I guess.”
“Where did you go? Why haven’t I ever seen you?”
“Oh Abby,” Gabrielle sighed. “You visit me every day. I’m right over there.”
Gabrielle’s arm pointed across the pond toward the spot where the tiny gravestone lay.
“Are you dead?”
“Yeah. But don’t be afraid, we’re sisters and I was just lonely. Mother hid my grave so you wouldn’t know and then feel bad.”
“I’m not afraid,” Abigail said. “I’m eight and am not afraid of ghosts.”
Abigail squared her shoulders and lifted her chin as she spoke evoking a perfect image of her mother in miniature.
“Good. So sister, will you be my friend?”
Abigail nodded vigorously, her blonde hair flying in her reflection.
“I’d love that. I don’t have any friends but now I have a sister.”
“Great,” Gabrielle said and extended her hand toward Abigail. “Shake on it.”
Without thought, Abigail reached to the surface of the water to shake her sister’s hand. Her hand touched the surface and against all logic she felt her sister’s hand clasp her own.
Abigail’s smile stretched almost ear to ear as Gabrielle shook her hand. Her smile faltered when Gabrielle pulled. Abigail tumbled into the water.
She struggled for a moment and then stopped. The two girls embraced, giggling into each others hair. Gabrielle took Abigail’s hand and the twins skipped away. Their images faded from the pool. Silence covered the graveyard once more, only the silent gravestones looked down on Abigail’s body as it floated across the reflecting pool.


The Arrival


#picturefiction #flashfiction #aliens

When the spaceships entered our atmosphere it was heralded as the greatest moment in human history. Thousands of stately ships floated silently down from space. They were of a uniform type, long cigar shaped vessels hundreds of feet in length. Each had blinking lights that scientists assumed were an attempt at communication but no human could decipher the pattern. The world marveled at the majesty of the fleet as it floated in the sky. We all assumed a new age was coming, contact with aliens would bring new knowledge, prosperity  and take us to the stars.

When the energy beams began lancing down, we knew the only thing the ships heralded was death.

The great cities burned first. London, Paris, Washington, New York all turned to ash beneath the ravening beams of light.  The aliens gave no hint that our pleas for peace were heard. No offers of surrender were accepted, bright death rained down without end.

The great cities died, the smaller suburbs were  razed, the roads and rails were annihilated. It seemed that the world of men was fated to be wiped from the Earth. Then, just as suddenly as it started, the attack ceased. We dared to peek from our caves and ditches to see the great ships sitting above us, silent.

One by one the ships tumbled from the sky. The crashed to earth, colossi hurled from Olympus. The sounds of their crashing was deafening. After a time we crept to examine our attackers.

A door slid open as we approached and a tall grey being, shaped like a man but twice as tall and as thin as a reed, staggered from the opening. We raised our sticks and rocks, the only weapons left to us, and prepared to die fighting.  The creature was covered in boils that erupted with yellow pus as we watched. It clawed at its throat, and toppled to the ground, dead. Others staggered from the wreckage to die similar deaths.

It was like the old story, our bacteria were killing the invaders. We were saved.  A flash of light drew our eye and we saw in the distance a miniature sun erupt and a mushroom cloud clawed at the sky. The rumble of other detonations reached our ears.  All around the horizon, wherever one of the giant ships lay crumpled, explosions tore the earth.  The ship beside us began to emit a beeping sound that rapidly increased in speed.  It seemed even in death the invaders could defeat us.

The white light of the detonation was a swift, merciful end.


#summoning the devil


#summoning the devil

#picturefiction #flashfiction

Betty pulled up the app that George had written for their group on her tablet. George built a backdoor into Twitter with the help of the official API and some code he lifted from a website in the Ukraine. The end result of his hours of programming expertise was a private room within Twitter that Betty and her 12 closest friends could play in with impunity, free from prying eyes.

Betty listened intently. The house was silent, her parents slept two doors down, just past her annoying little brother’s room.  They had gone to bed almost an hour ago; there was little chance she’d be caught.

She  kept her eyes on the clock glowing in the corner of her room until the numbers shifted from 11:59 to 12:00 and then typed on the virtual keyboard.

BetBets @bettyb:  Midnight. Party time. Who’s there?

One by one a dozen replies scrolled across her screen; everyone was in the chat room.

BetBets @bettyb:   What u want do? Game?

Variations of: yes, yeah, yup and other affirmatives filled the screen.

Progman @progman: I can run RPG.

That was George.  His game scenarios were always the best. He spent a lot of  time in his own head or with his nose buried in fantasy books. Not a lot of the other kids would dare be seen with Georgie in public. He was the stereotypical overweight, pimply nerd and it would be social suicide for most to be seen socializing. Betty had taken pity on him one day and it had been the best risk she had ever taken. Her own popularity was secure enough to weather the looks from the ‘it’ crowd. She and her group became instant friends with the burgeoning programmer. He had tutored them through math and science and they had given him an outlet for his creativity and also given him something he had never had, friends.

BetBets @bettyb:  Go for it G-man.

LDonovan @ldonovan: Awesome

Wilywill @wilywill:   Kewl

Gothgal @gothicy:   #vocavivos

Wilywill @wilywill:     What does that mean?

Gothgal @gothicy:   Typo I guess. Dunno. You a grammar Nazi?

Progman @progman: Don’t use hashtags in the  room Lucy. It can kick off other code.

Jennijean @jennijean:  It looks like Latin.

Gothgal @gothicy: Jesus, F off all y’all.

Betty’s tablet face flickered as the snarky banter flowed back and forth. The battery power was topped off. What the hell? The damn thing better not die. She smacked it lightly on the side.

ErnieG @ernieg:   What the hell was that? Did your screens just go nuts?

Positive replies began to flow across the screen which suddenly turned deep red. The lines of text flowed like they were melting and created a vortex of swirling black in the center of the red screen.

Betty dropped her tablet in shock. Had Lucy’s hashtag kicked off some kind of virus George didn’t know about?

A deep laugh issued from the quad speakers at the corners of her tablet. The fine hairs on Betty’s arms stood on end. That wasn’t any of her friends. It  sounded like a bad movie psycho, laughing just before burying an axe in a co-ed’s head.

The screen on Betty’s tablet stretched upward like a sheet of rubber.

What the hell? Betty scrambled to the far side of the bed.

The screen stretched upward again. It warped and conformed to what looked like a hand pressing upward from within.  A second hand began to push against the center of her screen expanding it beyond the edges of the tablet. Why wasn’t it breaking?

Higher and higher it stretched.

“You have summoned me,” the deep, animalistic voice said from the speakers.

“Your souls now belong to me.”

The screen finally broke, It popped like an overinflated balloon. Red light and a sick smell like rotting garbage erupted from the remains of her tablet. Red clawed hands grabbed the sides of the tablet and flexed. Betty saw a pair of horns emerge from the tablet followed by a red skinned head. The creature glared at her with glowing yellow eyes and pushed itself further into the room.

“So young, so tasty,” the demon said around a mouthful of fangs.

Betty screamed. Twelve other voices simultaneously screamed from her tablet’s speakers.