Flash Fiction

3 December 2018

Prompt: Hoopers Island Sunset

Linda Weller grabbed a wrap from a rack as she walked out the door, hissing when her cocktail spilled onto her hand. The air outside was still warm, but the temperature would drop quickly once the sun set.

She walked across the tiny putting green, past the pool and headed for the tiki hut that looked over the beach. For everyone in the neighborhood, this was the place to watch sunset.

Today there was only one occupant. Linda rolled her eyes.

Of course. It was the end of the world, so the only person here was the one she couldn’t stand.

“Hi, Linda!”

“Keri,” Linda said, schooling her voice to politeness.

As was the custom, they sipped their cocktails and didn’t speak as the sun crawled toward the horizon. Sunsets here were always spectacular, but today was glorious.

Linda was glad that the last sunset she’d ever see was such a memorable one, then winced at the irony.

“What time’s it supposed to hit?” Keri asked.

Linda tried not to sound annoyed. “3:22am local time.” As if Keri didn’t know that. Every news station on the planet had broadcast the exact time the asteroid would hit.

“Well, I’m taking extra sleeping pills tonight,” Keri said, then laughed.

Linda realized that Keri was brighter than she’d thought. While the rest of the world went mad staring in the face of its own demise, Keri had – like Linda – decided to spend it watching one last day come to an end.


Halloween, 2018

Prompt: A dark photo of a smiling jack-o-lantern on a porch. 250w limit. 

Garrett shut the front door with a gentle click and stepped forward to lean against the front porch column. The cold autumn air felt foreign against his freshly shorn scalp, but he didn’t plan to be out here long enough to need a hat.

The street was empty, as usual. The few cars that remained on the block hadn’t moved in months, and his house was the only one with its lights on. The streetlight half a block down flickered, and Garrett could hear the whine of its lamp from where he stood.

Quiet. Always quiet.

He looked down at the pumpkin near his feet, pulled the old Zippo lighter from his pocket and leaned over to lift the carved top from the base. With a flick of his fingers, the jack-o-lantern cast a weak shadow across the stairs.

Garrett put the lid back.

Rhythmic steps echoed down the street. Garrett looked up, but he knew who it was. There were only three of them left in the neighborhood, and Mrs. Tolliver wouldn’t come out after sundown. Everyone else was dead, gone, or…something else entirely.

“Hi, Rhett,” Garrett said.

“Hey, Garrett.” Rhett looked at the pumpkin. “You expecting trick-or-treaters?”

Garrett sighed. “No candy.”

Rhett looked at him, then walked up the driveway and sat down on the steps. “You’re in luck.” He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out two small chocolate candies.

They sat on the stairs without saying another word until the candle flickered and died.