Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 39!

Judge This Week: Mars

Word Count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Deadline: Midnight tonight, PDT!

Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories, they're for inspiration (and sometimes our amusement)).

"But the nights belong to me."


  1. Needs Must
    By Daisy Warwick
    297 Words

    But the night belongs to me, I reason, trying not to give in to my violent urges. Sure, this new employment will see my days clogged up with human trivialities, but gone are the days when a vampire could just bunk down undisturbed in a mausoleum. Now I need to pay for a space if I want my coffin to remain private, which means a day job.
    “Let me show you the Dark Room where you’ll work,” said my new ‘boss’, Edward Banks.
    “Please,” I said.
    My skin prickled. I was wearing factor fifty sunscreen, but as the light’s intensity was magnified by the large windows in Reception, I picked up my pace and hoped to get to the safest and darkest room in the building quickly.
    Soon enough we were in my new ‘office’.
    “Let me find the light,” said Edward, fumbling two feet away from where he needed to be.
    His neck was wider than I would’ve liked, but I could see his Carotid Artery pulsing. I wasn’t normally up at that time of the day, so I hadn’t realised I’d be so hungry.
    Control yourself, I thought.
    An offensive brightness spread from humming strip lights.
    “That’s better. Otherwise, you won’t see anything with those sunglasses on,” joked Edward. “Now, how do you feel about working evenings for the first two weeks?”
    “I thought this was a 9-5 position?” I asked.
    “Officially it is, but we’ve got a backlog,” explained Edward.
    “I’m sorry, but I have to keep my evenings free.”
    “I see,” said Edward, looking disappointed.
    That was the last expression he ever pulled, as seconds later I licked his blood off my lips.
    I didn’t work out in that job, but if I remember to eat first next time, I should be fine.

    1. I like how nonchalant your vamp is about eating a potential employer!

    2. I suppose mortal folk can look forward to retirement. Maybe that's why my vamp has an attitude problem, lol

  2. Deceit in the Dark (295 words)
    By Sara Codair

    "But the nights belong to me," whined Count Victoria.

    The knight shrugged. “There is only a one letter difference between knight and night. You pronounce them both the same.”

    The vampiress hissed. “Mortal fool! Challenging me will be your doom!”

    The knight arched one eyebrow. “Perhaps it will be your doom.”

    She screeched, hoping to intimidate him. Her most terrifying, earsplitting howl failed to impress the knight. His eyes and skin were like ice and snow. His was hair weak sunlight glistening on the polar ice. He still had that damned eyebrow raised. It was so unfair that he could arch his right brow so perfectly. She had been practicing for three centuries and had never mastered the trick.

    “You’re a fool, challenging me at night in my own castle. Every man and woman who has tried before you became my breakfast.”

    The knight laughed.

    She rolled her eyes.

    A sharp pain pierced her chest. It was the first pain she had felt since Count Dracul had turned her on her 18th birthday. Looking down, she marveled at the iron stake sticking out of her chest. She watched her skin shrivel and turn to ash. She clung to consciousness long enough to see the knight peel off flesh colored gloves, revealing the green skin of a pixie.

    “Green bastard!” she yelled. She never would have rolled her eyes if she knew he wasn’t a slow mortal.

    “New technology. It lets us blend in with humans and not be burned by iron.”

    Count Victoria wanted to curse him one last time, but her throat was already gone.

    His blonde hair turned black; his face grass green. “I’m no mortal, and certainly no fool.”

    The rot and ash reached the vampiress’ brain, and she was no more.

  3. Tonight We Ride
    By SueAnn Porter

    Back then, most folks rode their horses in the daytime, but the nights belonged to me--until the night that I fell off my horse. It started out as any other night, but then my horse sped up like Secretariat.

    My legs straddled the horse and I desperately grabbed the animal’s neck with both hands as I bobbed up and down awkwardly. Something was missing: there were no reins to hold onto. Pain encroached upon my hips and thighs. My arms stretched from the horse's mane, as I attempted to gain control of the animal's motions. My chest slammed against its neck as I struggled to hold on.

    I ricocheted up; then back down into the saddle. I heard people scream in the distance, as we all rode around the circle faster. I wanted to help them but I passed through the sounds of their screams hanging in the air. I hung tightly to the horse's thick neck, my neck buried in its mane, my chin upon its ear.

    Strange music mocked me as I rode. Suddenly the horse stopped. The last thing I saw as I flew from the horse to the ground below was the carousel operator's toothless grin.

  4. Night Walker

    “But the night belongs to me…”

    “Of course it does, Anthony. And what of the day? Does it belong to you as well?"

    He sits there, a vision in therapeutic white, stroking his bedraggled beard, comfortable in his regurgitated wisdom.

    The beard is such an affectation. If he must have one, he should learn how to trim it. His mustache is stretched along the upper lip much too far. The tips of the creeping, crawling woolly worm almost licks his smooth, hairless earlobes.

    I could work magic with that pseudo Van Dyke. His desk is so tidy. Not a pen, nor a pair of scissors in sight.

    “I asked you whether the day belongs to you as well. Surely that is not a difficult question?”

    I’ll grant him that, I nod. It shouldn’t be a toughie and it isn’t. In truth I have always given little thought to the day. Daytime glimmers, sparkles, burns with its irritatingly ferocious brightness, blinding all of my dark and lonely corridors. Even days cloaked by cloud and storm have a glistening, dewy twinkle to them, the sharp raindrops slicing into the street, my streets.

    Ah, but the night. How I miss the sovereignty of the night. Night is when I come alive. Night shelters me, guides me into the black inferno of its gloom.

    I reign in the night.

    “ANTHONY!” he screams at me. He shakes his head in the same condescending way he always does. “YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEAD, ANTHONY.”

    He vibrates a little, upset with how short he has been with me. His temple veins pulse with his hot and soured blood.

    I smile.

    He hates my smile.

    It is the smile of the victor.

    I have won this duel yet again.

    The night truly belongs to me.

    300 pointless interventions

    1. Oops, typos do distract, don't they...I should have just ignored it...but, no, I had to draw it to your attention. This should read "The tips of the creeping, crawling, woolly worm almost lick his smooth, hairless earlobes."

  5. Inconsequential Details
    Leara Morris-Clark

    But the nights belong to me, I thought.

    “Daniella Lobo?” The doctor called my name.

    “This way,” He motioned at the double doors.

    I anxiously fidgeted on the examining room table. “Doctor, have you read my notes? I have been experiencing some strange…”

    “Ms. Lobo, please, let me explain something to you.” He interrupted.

    “You signed the contract when the medication was administered. It explicitly states that you are to tell no one about the experiment. If word was to become public, our entire program could be jeopardized. Do you understand?” He continued before I could answer.

    “Did you read the possible side effects and the hypothesized results? This is a very serious matter.”

    “Um, I’m sorry, not really. I mentioned it to my roommate. I wasn’t well; she wanted to call the hospital, so I told her some things. Look, honestly, I only signed up because I needed the money.”

    “Well never mind her.” He said. “We have…taken care of the matter.”

    “What!?” I panicked.

    A sharp pain in my ribcage doubled me over. “Ahhhh!”

    “The final phase is nearly complete. Thank you for your commitment to the program, Ms. Lobo.” I barely heard him over my throbbing head.

    I slid to the floor as he slipped out of the room, locking the door behind him.

    My insides were burning and bones breaking. I screamed involuntarily while convulsing. Skin ripped and fingers elongated. My face contorted and lengthened. My cries turned into howls.

    Metamorphosis completed, I jumped onto the table and contemplated my canine-like reflection in the two-way mirror.

    Anger pulsated behind my eyes. I crashed through the glass seeking freedom.

    They didn’t see that coming.

    But the nights belong to me. At least there’s that, I thought, as I noted a satisfying metallic taste still in my mouth.

  6. The Orchard
    T. O. Davis
    276 Words

    “But the nights belong to me,” he whispered to the skull on the center of Sally’s, his ex-wife, coffee table. They had picked it out together before they were married, before they were dating, and in that innocent-just-friends-awkward stage of development where holding hands seemed better than sex. It was one of those stories they told their friends, whom they had over for wine or dinner; a joke, really, because the salesperson thought they were a couple, which was always the punchline: "We were destined to be together," and then the room would erupt with laughter.

    Now Jared was watching The Fifth Element on TBS and conversing with a novelty skull he had acquired via an online auction. He wondered where she was, took a swig of beer, and washed the thought away. He watched Bruce Willis over the round hilltop of his belly and sat the empty bottle next to the skull. The bottles were beginning to form a row like an orchard of brown glass. Jared pushed himself up from the cushions and brushed off his shirt. Sally would be more than livid if she saw the house like this. He leaned back, turned off the TV, and let the darkness sink on him. He could hear the neighborhood as if it were a singular organism, each kid’s squeal or dog’s bark or car’s horn a breath that seemed to have more gravity than the darkness of his living room. Even the chitter of katydids made him feel less alive, as though Sally were an essential part of his existence.

    “What have I done?” Jared asked the darkness, but there was nothing to reply

  7. The Night Porter by Jeff Rowlands
    298 words

    “But the nights belong to me” he protested.

    The manageress smiled “Brian, not getting any younger are you? We have your best interests in mind.” She touched his arm imploringly, trying to convey reassurance.

    He winced watching her flounce across the lobby, off to accomplish her next mission doubtless. Who was going to take over? It was going to be those ever eager, college spun kids from the day shift of course. They could put a positive spin on everything with their blue sky thinking but this hotel needed character and they would never understand that. He sighed. So last night shift tonight.

    People came here for the history and people wanted to hear it. More ways than one to haunt a place. The ‘authentic’ creaking floorboards and ghoulish noises would be gone and the eccentric charm that they paid over the odds for disappeared and all that would be left just a dated old hotel in need of care. Oh well, nothing that could be done about that now. He went off on his rounds, the usual sounds echoed round the building for the last time. He heard mattresses creak and strain as people became restless, tutting instead of his usual chuckling.

    For the last time, he surveyed the sleep interrupted early birds come down for their breakfast, gave a cheery “Good morning. Hope you slept well.” They gave muted smiles back and he laughed inwardly. What was going to amuse him in future?

    The day shift arrived, he headed out into the cold winter air, dawn just broken, headed to the park opposite the hotel. The city getting noisier around him as it slowly woke. Today was going to be a bright day, the sun rose steadily diminishing him and the hotel as daylight overwhelmed them.