Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:
“Brother, can you spare a dime?”
or use: medicine, urn, vast
or “Where were you when...”
or “But you said...”
or write a modern take on a well-known fairy tale
or use: sushi, hibiscus, kimono.
I’m using “But you said…”
All That He Desires #8
“Are you human? Good or bad? You called yourself a dark lord. Does that mean you’re… bad?”
Anslee shrugged. “I am neither good nor bad. I’m called a dark lord because of my features—my dark hair and skin. I’m not human either, but you already knew that. I am áimear—one of the dark lords of Opportunity, and you are mine.”
* * * *
Jules sputtered as the sports car pulled away from where it was parked. He seriously considered throwing open the door at the next red light and bailing. He wasn’t entirely sure why the hell he’d gotten in the car in the first place.
“Yours? Yours? Just what the hell does that mean?”
“It means I’ve claimed you as mine. I’ve been looking for a mate and I’m attracted to you, as you are to me. When you took the opportunity I presented, you opened yourself up to being claimed by me.” Jules drove through the night as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
“But, but… you just said you weren’t human! Then how can you be with me? Oh my God, what did I just say? This is just nuts! Are you listening to yourself?” Jules was tempted to beat his head against the dash. This was beyond crazy. “You can’t just up and… do whatever with me. I have rights. This is America! Jesus, don’t I have a say in this deal?”
Jules shrugged. “Yes, and you made your choice, remember? It was your choice to take that lotto ticket.”
“But I didn’t know what taking that damn thing meant!” Jules wailed.
“Doesn’t matter. Did you truly believe you’d be getting something for nothing? Really, Jules, did you not think the whole set up was odd? That there wouldn’t be strings attached?” Jules slowed and stopped at a red light. “I don’t understand why you’re so upset over this. I’m giving you a whole new life, will show you things you could only dream of. Human,” Anslee huffed. “You humans make no sense most of the time. Why can’t you be grateful for what I’ve offering you?”
Then the stark realization hit he was talking to a being that was not human. Anslee was not only a nonhuman, he seemed to think what he was forcing on Jules was normal. Did Anslee think every brain cell in his head had shut down and he’d just bob his head happily and go along? He wasn’t some animal to be ordered around. Maybe he should just bark and wag his damn tail. Jules still wasn’t sure what the thing next to him actually was, but his attitude stated clearly how he felt about humans. On the evolutionary chain he was below Anslee.
Yeah, and fuck that.
Jules threw the car door open and bailed. They’d stopped at a red light next to a park on the other end of town. The park had been built years ago and had woods that back up to one side. He’d played there as a kid, then later when he was a teen. The woods were vast, and they gave way to huge tracks of farmland. The good thing was he could use the farmland and woods as cover to circle back around to his apartment.
The annoyance—well, imagine that—in Anslee’s voice, and the screech of tires, had Jules picking up speed as he ran through the kids play area. Nighttime sounds greeted him as he sprinted towards the woods. The moon was out and there were very few clouds in the sky. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Way too much light. Skirting the monkey bars, he headed straight for the tree line and a well-worn path he hoped was still there. When he was a teenager, this was here many of his friends went to make out.
“Still there, thank God,” he panted, following the path. If he remembered correctly, the path didn’t go far. Then he’d have to deal with the overgrowth.
Little silvers of moonlight beamed down through the bare tree limbs giving the woods an eerie cast. An owl hooted in the distance and Jules shivered as he ran. Was Anslee following him? He couldn’t hear anything over the pounding of his own heart. Jules stumbled to a stop, one hand resting against a tree for support, and strained to listen. Nothing. The crickets still chirped as if it was nothing to have a human crashing through their woods.
Every B flick horror movie he’d ever seen raced through his head. Wasn’t this where the actors died a horrible death? Lovely thought. He didn’t think Anslee would kill him, but he was sure not to be happy with the little impromptu jaunt through the woods either.
“Not going there.” Jules pushed the thoughts aside, filled his lungs and took off again.
Maybe Anslee wasn’t following him, but he couldn’t see him giving up so easily. Especially when he had set this whole damn thing in motion. Slowing down a little, he picked his way through some brush. Earlier, in his mad bash, a branch had wacked him across the face. Yeah, once was enough, so he was more careful now. He’d get home and… shit. Get home and what? Pack up a few essentials and take to the road? Empty out his bank account and spend the rest of his life running? Throw away his degree while he hoped that… thing… never found him? Okay, so maybe he hadn’t that this through.
Was he completely nuts?
Jules stopped again. But what was the alternative? Just give in? While lost in his head he’d covered more land than he thought, and now he was coming out of the woods. All he needed to do was get across the farmland and he’d be close to home. This was going to be the hardest part because the lands were bare this time of the year. He’d be exposed.
“Shit.” There was no hope for it. He’d try to stay as close to the tree line as possible and… pray.
TBC! Make sure to visit the other briefers too. J