500 Words

Story A Day Challenge – Day 12 – The Collection

Nick stood before his art collection discontented. He’d known for a while something was missing but wasn’t sure what he needed. Before today he felt he had a little of everything. At least one piece of art representative of every style he loved. Some he adored so much he would have tattooed them on his own body but he could not tolerate pain. So instead he gathered the artwork of what he truly wanted but couldn’t tolerate and displayed each along his walls.

He realized he needed a masterpiece for a focal point but nothing he had would do. Maybe he could hire someone to draw something special for him after breakfast. It would cost a fortune, probably as much as an actual tattoo, but it would be worth it. Decision made he went to eat.

Sitting in the restaurant enjoying his omelet he noticed someone a few tables over. A guy with no hair sat facing the other way. On his head was the most glorious tattoo Nick had seen yet. He could see the back and tail of a dragon in red, royal blue and purple tones.

When the man turned Nick could see the dragon’s head and upper body started on his forehead and swept back, ending at the base of his neck. Excitement filled Nick. He checked his bag as discreetly as he could to make sure he had what he needed.

He finished his meal quickly and paid the waitress but asked for one more cup of coffee while he waited for the other man to be done as well then followed him outside. Luck was with him as the guy had parked close to Nick’s own vehicle in the back lot.

Approaching as quietly as he could, he closed the distance and jabbed the guy with his syringe. The man dropped to the ground and Nick dragged him to his van. He used duct tape to secure his victim and used another injection to make sure there would be no surprises.

Nick made the short drive back to his home and once inside tied the man to his work table. He again admired the magnificent tattoo. He recognized his favorite artist’s work of course. Most of his collection were by Rodrick at Tattoo-ing’s Palace. He took several pictures of the man’s head before opening his toolbox.

He hoped the bone saw would do the job. Nick had many arms and legs in his collection but he’d never cut off a head before. Skinning the man was out of the question. The scalp was too thin and he couldn’t risk damaging the art. This was so much better than a paper drawing! He couldn’t wait to make it the main attraction; finally his collection would be complete.

I waited most of the day for a prompt for the Story A Day Challenge to be posted but it’s not there yet. I didn’t want to use the prompt being late as an excuse to not write so I decided to just write whatever came to me. I’ve had a lot of ideas for creepy stuff lately so I went with one of those. I had planned to use this particular idea for a longer short story but quite frankly it freaked me out too much to do more with it. This guy is clearly nuts but he is correct in believing that some tattoos are works of art.

Rough draft 462

Sidenote: Whenever the Story A Day prompt is posted I will try to write another story using it and post it next week.

Flash Fiction – Lost Muse

Where was she? Would she ever find her? The muse didn’t have the answers. That morning she appeared on the sidewalk with no memory of who her person was. She knew only, as a muse, she has to find him or her as quickly as possible. They would have no creativity without her.

She roamed the city for a while, eventually finding herself back where she started. As she glanced at the passing strangers she decided it was time to do something. Grabbing the arm of the closest person she whispered in his ear. He stopped, startled, then a bright smile lit his face and he walked away. The muse knew she’d given him inspiration but felt a little strange. He must not be her person.

Disheartened she searched for someone else to help. A nicely dressed woman stood staring into the window of a nearby store, frowning. The muse concentrated on the lady’s thoughts. This place use to have the most beautiful displays, whatever happened?

Thinking maybe this was the one, she brushed a finger against the woman’s hand and sent her magic out. The frown disappeared and the person hurried away.

The odd feeling washed over the muse again. Disappointed she tried again. She spent hours helping everyone who appeared to need it. Each gave her a peculiar sensation. After a while she felt a little faint and realized helping all the wrong people was making her problem worse. She couldn’t quite remember why she was trying so hard.

In desperation she sent a wave of inspiration through the throngs on the sidewalk, hoping her person would be hit by it.

The muse fell to the ground exhausted. She couldn’t see the crowds anymore. Her person must be gone. Lying there she held up her hands and could see through them. She was losing herself and didn’t know how to stop it, or if she should even try.

From inside the store with the less than attractive window display, she heard Jessica scrutinizing her work with dismay. This looks terrible! When did I stop trying? Surely I can come up with something more creative? She began changing the mannequins.
Outside, the muse stood, relieved to be whole again. She brushed herself off and walked to the window. She watched as her person rearranged furniture and redressed the forms. Maybe we should use the red dress, she whispered.

Jessica tilted her head in contemplation then grabbed the red dress for the centerpiece of the new display.

This piece was the first of five I wrote using Holly Lisle’s method. It is also the only one under 500 words. Flash fiction is hard to write but staying under five hundred is particularly difficult for me. You have to leave out so much for the sake of a word count. After writing this one and worrying so much about that I decided that I wasn’t going to be upset if any of the others ended up longer, and they each did lol.

There is only minimal editing on this one because I was afraid I would revise forever and not end up posting anything. I don’t know which of the others I will post next but I felt like each one got better than the one before it so maybe I’ll post the actual last one I finished. We’ll see.

Flash Fiction – On Becoming A Monster

Everyone knew the stone creature was alive, though it never moved, because of its living eyes. Once, perhaps, it was a dragon. For ages it stood in the middle of town, as a reminder it was said, though no one knew what they were supposed to remember.

No one looked it in its eye, at least not the left eye. That eye was the most beautiful eye in creation. Multifaceted and gleaming, it was an artist’s dream. But it could only see the bad. The tales told of people turned to stone themselves or they became hideous monsters. The tales grew as the years went on. No one appreciated the magnificence of that orb.

The other eye was not so lovely. Surrounded by scarred skin, broken scales and bulging sores, nothing about it was attractive. But it could only see the good. Everyone was willing to look into that eye for they could see their inner beauty reflected back at them. One went away feeling confident, worthy, and perfect.

This continued for years until a small child with a misshapen body dared to look into both eyes. Limping up to the statue she stared for several moments then fell to the ground in tears. Other townsfolk watched in horror, waiting to see her punishment, not daring to help her. The girl only stopped crying when she heard gasps and screams from the people as they fled.

“Why do you weep?” asked a raspy voice.

The child sat up and found the statue towering over her. “You’re like me. Everyone pretends only part of you exists. They are only interested in what you can do for them.”

“And you are not?”

The girl wiped her nose on her sleeve and shook her head. “I think you’re beautiful. May I just sit here and look at you for a while before you kill me?”


So she peered deep into the creature’s eyes. It stared back. As they watched each other a transformation began. Pieces of stone flaked, shriveled and fell from the statue’s body. The scales underneath were the color of the vanishing stone, only brighter, full of life. The eyes didn’t change. When the shedding was complete the dragon shook out his wings and stood tall and proud.

He gazed down at the girl. “Only you truly saw me, allowing me to evolve. For that, I will grant you one wish. Would you like me to fix your body?”

The child shook her head. “No, I like me, just the way I am. Would you let me ride you instead? Just once.”

“Yes.” He stayed, working as the girl’s trusty steed until she was too old to ride.

Just before death she made one final request. The shocked dragon granted the wish. He stared deep into her eyes as the metamorphosis occurred. When it finished, he lovingly carried her to the town square. To this day when people see the dragon statue there, they only look into its right eye.

This piece was inspired by a writing prompt I came across from talyabeyers. I was going to use my prompt about rain, and I still will, but this one really caught my attention so I went with it first. I haven’t written much flash fiction lately so it’s a bit rough. I planned on it being only 100 words but it kept growing and I had to spend a ridiculous amount of time paring it down to 500. Does that sound like complaining? I had a wonderful time writing and tweaking it! I’ve missed this, which I’ll remind myself of when I revise at a later date.

I was going to wait until Friday to post it but this one is a bonus for me and I plan to write more flash this week.