Gillian Church posts Writing Prompts every Wednesday and I like to take part with a few snippets and pieces of flash fiction.
Where did this gift come from? There’s no tag and it isn’t from one of us. Well, open it so we can see!
‘A cactus?’ Kathy frowned, clearly unimpressed.
‘Yeah!’ I replied. ‘I thought it’d be a quirky little thing you can keep on your desk. Even you can’t kill a cactus.’
‘Thanks…I guess?’ she set the spiky plant aside amidst her other gifts. I knew that she was less-than-impressed by her haul this year; books, DVDs, a CD (who even buys CDs anymore?), socks… I just didn’t know what to buy her any more so just grabbed whatever I could.
Kathy turned back to the tree sullenly and, without much interest or enthusiasm, picked up the last present. It was a cube-shaped box wrapped in glittering gold paper and finished off with a silver bow, and she had definitely saved the best for last. ‘What’s this one?’ she asked with a touch of annoyance. ‘A set of Allen Keys? Maybe a paperweight?’
I chose to remain coy and keep my mouth shut. I uncurled my legs out from under me and felt pins and needles shoot up them. We were sitting on the floor, on the big comfy rug, by the three as we always did on Christmas day. A bag full of torn up wrapping paper sat between us, and I was surrounded by all the gifts she had gotten me. As always, she had gone above and beyond, piling on the presents in a desperate attempt to placate me. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy having some items ticked off my wish list, or that I wouldn’t get a lot of pleasure out of making use of her gifts, but they didn’t come from a place of love or a desire to give.
They came out of guilt.
I winced as I made myself comfortable; my arm still ached and there was a nasty bruise forming on my thigh, but I could smell the turkey and gammon and roast tatties cooking away in the kitchen and I couldn’t help but smile, knowing that I would actually be able to enjoy it this year without fear of having my face scratched off or being attacked by a searing hot saucepan.
‘Just open it,’ I encouraged, giddy with excitement. ‘I put a lot of effort into this one, trust me.’
‘I need something,’, I’d said to the vendor. ‘Something to stop her… to make sure it never happens again’.
‘I think I have just the thing…’ the wizened man had said.
As Kathy apathetically tore at the wrappings and handled the velvet-lined box, I steeled myself, biting my bottom lip with anticipation. A scowl lined her face as she popped the box open, expecting something cliché like earrings, and got a face-full of twisted razor-wire. It exploded out of the box like a loaded spring, slicing and churning into her flesh and silencing her screams by forcing itself down her throat. Her struggles were hopeless as spiked clamps bit into her hands, shredding her skin, and her one eye gawped at me with a pained horror as she felt the chains retract.
I simply sat and watched, shivering with delight as Kathy was wrenched towards the open box, her skin bloody ribbons and her other eye little more than a gooey mess. ‘Glhelp…’ she choked pitifully, and then the chains full retracted and, with a meaty rip, tore the remains of her face off. Kathy’s gory visage wore a startled expression as she collapsed to the rug, slimy blood pooling from her exposed tendons, and the box snapped shut and tumbled to the floor.
‘Just the thing indeed,’ I smiled and then heard a ping from the kitchen.
Dinner was ready.
What did you think to this week’s writing prompt? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Wednesday Writing Prompt challenge.