Damned Words 4

chemicals

Fillmore Street Park
Dan Dillard

He walked to the old bench at the Fillmore Street Park for his evening think. He’d done it for years. He was loving her that night. He’d done that for years as well. With a groan—his old bones protesting, he sat and smiled, wrinkling an old face. Children played while he slumped, his heart seizing. She came soon after, just to check on him. She had stayed behind to clean the dishes. Same thing every night of their marriage. The poisoned glass was something new. She tossed it in the trash and smiled, knowing it was no longer needed.


Name Your Poison
Blaze McRob

Two measuring beakers wait on the left. The poisons, skull and cross-bones displayed on the bottles, are sitting on the right.

The labels tell a story. Mix them all together and it spells one thing. Doom.

Two parts salt from Sodom, three parts of oil pollution greed, and four parts pain from those persecuted. I mix well and put in a flask.

Pulling my hood down over my face, and grabbing my scythe, I head for the door. The night is Dark; the futures of those I intend to visit is Darker yet.

It is Harvest season. Time to reap…


Marvelous Mel
Tyr Kieran

As the carnival migrated from town to town, so did Marvelous Mel. Riding on their road-dust coattails, he leeched off their attraction—the lights, thrills, and spectacles of Big Top Entertainment. He pedaled his medicinal wares of potions, powders, and poultices in a boisterous bally that fed on the crowd’s fears and doubts. The carnies of Porticelli’s Circus loathed the snake oil salesman and the tarnish his cons inflicted upon their fame. They could not strike a deal to part ways, so, with a simple switch of labels, they turned the barker’s next performance into one their patrons’ll never forget.


Brew
Nina D’Arcangela

The sizzle surrendering to silence, the flare diminishing to nothing more than a ghost upon his eyes, Darius wondered at the concoction brewing this Witch’s eve. An elixir he was charged with dispensing to all sons of Barecrest Village. The cloaked man before him would reveal nothing of its effects, only that he must see it consumed. The apprentice, far too dutiful to question, corked the final vial of odiferous liquor and set about his duty. Task complete, he returned both ashen and quivering to find his Master holding two goblets in hand. “Wizard or Warlock, which shall it be?”


Bane
Joseph A. Pinto

We savored our only connection—these sins corked without repentance before us. I remember when you stole stars from my sky, but you laughed: “you’re so over the moon!” The turpentine an easy liquid to digest then; it kept pretenses stripped clean.

One September, you whispered—”how much lovelier we would be if dead.” So I orchestrated a hymn for our funeral; you fashioned wind chimes for our grave.

Now we dance slowly, the carillons a gentle ringing in our ears. This was the way it should have been for us; that amber reflection in your eye never more beautiful.


Half-Measure
Thomas Brown

Drink deep, and with the mellow taste lingering in your mouth open your eyes and see the world for the first time. Regard the narrow alleys down which lovers satisfy themselves inside each other, the offices where machines sing country songs while men and women queue up to step on their whirring blades, the traffic blowing black fumes in the bright sky: our city where we live, love, scream of life and death even as we walk smiling into those mellifluous meat-grinders and know peace. All this revealed in a half-measure from an old bottle, shining darkly on the shelf.


Pain in the Ass
Hunter Shea

“Shit, did it bite you?” Marlene panted as she fastened the leather straps.

Alice looked down at her hand with frantic eyes.

“No,” she said sighing with relief.

The creature thrashed on the table – a writhing amalgam of fur and teal-tinged flesh, jagged teeth and drying blood, savage lust and certain death.

Alice saw the first drip of blood from her parents’ bodies fall from the basement ceiling.

“Pass me the glasses,” Marlene commanded.

“Which ones?”

“The amber ones, over there. Oh, and the funnel,too.”

Death by poisonous enema was better than it deserved, but it would have to do.


The Classic Signature
Leslie Moon

The bartender knew his craft well.

“This will be my classic Mojito, Miss.”

Her eyes twinkled, “You promised gold flecked ice.

“I understand there is an additional cost that I am more than willing to pay.”

“Yes, the gold flecks will match those in your eyes.

“Also for you an old recipe, my signature concoction infused with mint.”

****

“Specially made in celebration. Here’s to us darling.”

She raised her wine glass.

He smiled as he eyed the gold flecks, savoring the end of his drink.

She eyed him with concern.

Weakly he says, “Love, it seems a bit salty…”


Coffin Hop 2013

The lid cracks open; dust and a foul odor emanate from within. But there is something… something lurking at the bottom. Could it be the Damned prize? Sliding the lid further, dirt rains down upon your unsoiled shoes, you peer deeper into the dim recesses; Damned if you’ll leave here without the treasure, Damned still if you do! The gap opens wider, something from within scuttles across your hand. Is that the echo of menacing laughter you hear?

Comment below ‘tween October 24th and 31st, 2013, and you may be Damned to suffer what the Coffin yields!

…and don’t forget to follow the other Coffin Hoppers here!


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent.
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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52 thoughts on “Damned Words 4

  1. All of the Damned together at once. A delicious sampling of each. However a sampling doesn’t satisfy the desire of being damned.
    Great work guys! Each one was amazing, I wish I could know more about some, they seemed to end way to soon.

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  2. Another superb sampling of horrific treasures, fellow Damnedlings. I nearly busted a gut when Hunter said

    “Death by poisonous enema was better than it deserved, but it would have to do.”

    When I was a child, enemas were the cure all for everything. Hunter took it a step farther. My butt hurts now!

    There wasn’t a story here that didn’t drag me into it with 100 words of beauty.

    Blaze

    Like

  3. What a pleasure to read.

    “One September, you whispered—”how much lovelier we would be if dead.” So I orchestrated a hymn for our funeral; you fashioned wind chimes for our grave.”

    Some beautiful writing to be found here, all the more special for the photograph that has inspired it. A real concoction of poisons, illusions, trickery and truth!

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    1. chimes whispered in the air
      caught before it fled
      the nuance do we dare
      lovelier to be dead
      A hymn and lily there
      there faces were so grave
      no eyes were left to stare
      poisoned all who came

      ~ you do inspire Sir Thomas

      Like

  4. Morbid bunch o’ nutbags?? I do believe that’s the nicest thing we’ve ever been called! Dan, what’s wrong with you? A little mention of poison & you grow all soft lol

    I absolutely love doing these ‘Damned’ flashes – credit Nina, please. From the start, she has said it would become a popular installation for the Damned. It’s a thrill to simply sit down & allow your muse to take command, albeit in a 100 word format. But it truly strengthens your mind, hones your ‘voice.’

    I think every contribution in DAMNED WORDS 4 is stellar; would love to hear from all the Damned as to what went behind their piece, if anything at all 🙂

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    1. Yes, excellent work as always from the Damned! We conjure such a variety of tales from the same image and yet all have a similar taste.

      I love crafting these 100 words flash pieces. It’s such a challenge to cram in everything that makes a story fun in such a small package; it’s a great lesson on efficiency. And, the photos have been fantastic, easily invoking wonderfully dark tales in us all.

      Behind the scenes on Marvelous Mel?
      Well, I’ve always been fascinated by the carnival and it’s sideshows. So when I saw the scenic background and the elixir bottles in the photo (despite the modern plastic caps) I immediately saw a vision of the old-world, traveling Snake Oil Salesmen. Some think they are a dead breed because of Big Business and fast wires of communication, but really, they’re gone because karma caught up to them—you can only scam-and-run so long before someone teaches you a lesson.

      Thanks for reading Damned followers, and thanks for writing Pens!

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  5. The masterful pens of the damned slay me and flay open my veins to bleed out into in chilled awe…
    Great pieces – every single one of them.
    Looking forward to seeing the other posts.
    Happy Hopping!!
    – KimK

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    1. Hey Kim, thank you for the kind words on DAMNED WORDS 4 🙂 We all appreciate it!
      And the fact that we’ve been able to flay some veins in the process…I mean come on, what else could we ask for?? 😉

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  6. Am I actually the last of us to comment on this one??? Yeah, I knew that hole in my head was gonna be a problem one day! My brain sent a postcard from a tropical island where its on hiatus — it says hi!

    Great pieces of flash in this grouping! I loved each and every one. What is the photo of? Glad you asked! What you see displayed on the table are items used to produce an old fashioned photograph. The photographer would shoot his image, then rush it into a light sealed area and mix the chemicals together to expose the image as soon as possible as it would continue to darken the longer he/she waited. Not much different than today, with a few major exceptions: the ‘negatives’ back then were approximately 6″ x 6″ in size and were not contained in light proof canisters, every bit of light that reached them continued to burn the image into the negative; today it’s usually done by an automated, closed machine system that can use and reuse much less toxic agents – ahhh, the smell of R4! The real pleasure of it all, I was at a Victorian festival when I shot this, and a gentleman in late 19th century garb was actually doing portraits and exposing them right there using this method. So we have our words conjuring tales about a picture of what a photographer used to create his own art with the items in the photograph. Pretty friggin’ cool if you ask me!

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