“Write the Story”: Flash Fiction #2

This story originated in my Write the Story journal, purchased surprisingly intact at my local McKay’s. Each day provides a theme and ten key words that must be included in the post. For these writings, I do no major planning aside from jotting teensy notes by the keywords, suggesting uses for them. Despite these stories being rather unpolished, I’ve had so much fun writing them and wanted to share them here with you. To avoid any copyright issues, I won’t include the themes or keywords here.

I have escaped reality, it seems—or maybe sanity. Of this, will never be certain. But it all feels real. 

For most of my life, I’ve participated as a mere bystander. Last night, though, all my best laid plans burned to ash. 

Like every other night of my adult life, I returned from working overtime and microwaved a TV dinner, with nothing but the ticking grandfather clock to keep me company. I glanced at it to check the time, and all the hands spun out of control, the clanging chimes turning my home into a haunted cathedral. 

Then just as suddenly, it stopped. But that’s when the labored, dragging footsteps began climbing the stairs out of the basement. 

I swallowed with the fork still paused midway to my mouth. My eyes scanned for a weapon. There! I rushed across the kitchen and grabbed the hammer I used to hang that blasted painting earlier today. The shopkeeper’s twinkling—or maybe glinting—eyes made more sense now. She had to know the horrors the paining would bring, and she called it destiny.

I scoffed but quickly sobered when I heard a hissing voice rasp out my name and saw the basement doorknob begin to rattle. Nope. Not today, Satan. I thought. 

Lauuuraaahhhhhh.” It hissed again. 

I gripped my weapon tighter and raced to remove the painting. Maybe if I got rid of it—

The door burst open, and a massive shadowy figure leapt for me, scalding fingers latching onto and singeing my heels as I dove toward the painting. I closed my eyes tightly, expecting to become demon dinner. 

But that’s when I awoke here, greeted by the singing of an old pirate song, sea spray peppering my face and a gentle rocking lulling me into relaxation. Then, it occurred to me. I stood with a gasp, and my jaw dropped open. 

A one-eye pirate, patch and all, stood at the helm before me—a parakeet the same sky blue as his uncovered eye perched on his shoulder. I blinked. Impossible. 

I’ve stumbled inside my painting. Reality or insanity?

“Wh-what is this?” I stutter. 

That eerily calm eye locks on me. “Destiny.” The pirate smiles.

There are ten keywords in this story. How many can you identify? Leave a comment with your responses. 🙂

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