Thursday, August 7, 2014

Flash Challenge (Part One)

For the corporate post this week, we each wrote a flash story from a villain's point of view with a target of ~500 words. Some of them ran long, so we've decided to split up the stories into two posts. Here are the first four! A couple of them might be NSFW. Enjoy.

First, from S.J. Delos:

The Bargain

“Sir?” Miss Winter’s voice was sensuous, like a slowly removed silk stocking. “Your two o’clock is here.”

Seven minutes and eighteen seconds early. Of course, better early than late. I pressed the button on the intercom. “Show him to the library and make him comfortable. Oh, and this will be a brief meeting, Miss Winters. So keep your libido contained.”

“Yes, sir.” Disappointment filled her response.

Exactly seven minutes later, I rose from behind the black marble desk and crossed to the door, ash-carved cane in hand. The wood was infused with blood spilled at Golgotha and protested being in my grip.

The Fae sat on a leather sofa, trying to ignore the raven-haired beauty standing nearby. His thoughts wandered back to the way the tight charcoal skirt showed off her curves and legs.

I dismissed her with a curt nod and she departed in an angry click-clack of stilettos, closing the door behind her loudly.

Having a succubus for a secretary had its tribulations.

The man stood, hands out in supplication. “Mr. Valak, I know we had a deal—”

“Just Valak.” I smiled, lips remaining together.

He nodded in a jerky motion that threatened to pop his head off his shoulders. “Okay… Valak.”

I held up a finger. “You agreed to provide me a vessel in exchange for curing you. In fact, you ~promised~.”

His eyes widened. “You can’t seriously expect me to do this.”

I sighed. Silly Fae. Always trying to renegotiate. Not their fault, I suppose, considering what passes as leadership among them.

“Mr. Michaels, I negotiated in good faith. However, since I am nothing if not fair, you have a choice.” I smiled with a mouth full of serrated teeth and pulled a black leather choker from my pocket. The dark ruby pendant greedily absorbed the light. I let my gaze linger for just a moment on the stone before holding it to him.

“What is that?” The tremble in his voice tickled my ear.

“A trinket. A trifle. Nothing of concern.” I returned my hard gaze on him.

“Put this around your daughter’s neck tonight before her First Change.”

I tingled with glee as he pleaded. “She’s only fifteen. Don’t ask—“

“I am not asking. Refuse and ogres will repeatedly rape your precious girl in front of you until she dies. I promise you.”

His hands shook with desire for violence. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the Fae hesitantly took the choker. “Will it hurt her?” Ah, parental concern. It will make one irrational.

“No, but my associates certainly will.” The door opened to reveal Miss Winters. “One little thing, Mr. Michaels, and your debt is settled. Good day.”

Later, as I was reviewing other contracts, Miss Winter’s voice came through the intercom. “Watchers say the girl is wearing the pendant, sir.”

“Excellent. Kill the father tomorrow and bring her here.”

“Yes, sir.”

I glanced over and touched the smoky glass orb sitting on the desk. “Soon, dearest. You will have a new home.”

Next, from Jen Ponce:


The magic was wild inside him. Made him have to concentrate mighty hard to remember why he was in his tent in the middle of the day and why Inna was on her knees in the dirt in front of him.

“I’m sorry, Leon. Please don’t hurt me.”

Her whimpering was getting on his nerves. “When have I hurt you where you didn’t deserve it, little girl?” The buzz and itch of magic swelled until his eyes watered from the pressure. Then her face swam into view. The virgie bitch who swaggered around his Carnicus, poking her fucking nose where it didn’t belong. “You’re mine, Inna. Won’t tolerate any talk about that goddess. Won’t tolerate you thinking you can disobey me just because that stranger don’t know her place.” He reached out and stroked her hair, enjoying how she trembled at his touch.

“I just got carried away. I wanted to impress—”

Her snagged her chin, viper-quick, and pinched her ‘til she squealed.
“She ain’t nobody you need to impress.” He waited until she nodded before releasing her. “I don’t know what she’s up to or even what she is, but you stay clear of her from now on. I’ll deal with her, when the time is right.”

“Of course.” She lifted her gaze to him, peeping at him from under her lashes. “Can I go?”

He didn’t answer. Surely she knew nothing was that easy. If he let her go now, the whole camp would think he was going soft. Instead he shifted, leaning back, spreading his legs so even the dumbest of his crew could have understood what was expected of them.

She dared shake her head. “I can get Amani—”

“Oh no. Amani didn’t break the rules. Amani didn’t disrespect me in front of my people.” Energy crackled over his skin, eating at his pores like worms digging through the soil. It made him itch and he knew his sister had roamed too far away from him. He’d have to have a little talk with her, too. But first. “Maybe I should tell you a little story, Inna. A story about a young witch boy taken out into the Anwar to die. I bet you didn’t know there are Wydlings out there that like to break witches, like to watch us bleed, like to say it’s in revenge for what we done to them. You know what it takes to break a witch’s magic? Pain. Fear. And lots of it. It ain’t a kind way to kill a boy. And Inna?”

Her eyes were wet as she gazed at him and he liked the look of fear swimming in her tears.

“I ain’t dead.”

One sob, tightly reined in. She knew he didn’t like it when she cried. Knew it like she knew she’d better swallow her punishment like a good little girl. She fumbled about a bit, but when she settled in, he closed his eyes and smiled.

From M.A. Ray:

When I Was a Child

“So no shit, there I was, in front of this huge friggin guy. I mean, he’s big, he’s tall, he’s broader than an ox, and he’s got this red hair sprouting out of his head and ears, I mean, I swear he must’ve been half troll.” Arkady wet his whistle with the mug of small beer, ridiculous that was all Ryan’d allow him at his age. He was a damn man, never mind he hadn’t won his leaf. “So he says to me, like grunts at me, ‘You better not talk to my sister.’ And I says to him, ‘I didn’t know she was your sister, I thought she was your girl.’ If I’d known she was related to this guy I wouldn’t’ve had a thing to do with her, I mean, what’d the babies look like?”

The bartender shook his head. “Kid, you’re not selling it to me.”

“No, look!” Arkady pointed at the scratches on the side of his face, which he’d actually picked up tripping into the bramble patch yesterday, but so what? “He rubbed me along the ground for fifty yards and busted my leg like kindling. I swear on my sweet mother’s grave it’s nothing but the truth.”

“Okay, Arkady,” said Ryan, “why don’t you let me have a try?” His mouth kept twitching at the corners, which Arkady couldn’t like by half. He patted Arkady’s ankle where it rested, in its cast, on the stool between them.

“Ow,” said Arkady, out of habit more than anything else.

Ryan ignored him. “Once upon a time—”

“Ow!” he said, louder.

Ryan sighed. “Sorry, Arkady,” he said, out of habit. “Once upon a time, there was a prince who lived in a tower, and he’d never been out. His father the king was so afraid for the prince’s safety that he kept the young man locked away …”
And on and on in the warm voice, telling the very same story that had charmed Arkady out of cozy Castle Markov in the first place, with promises of fairy bears with beautiful women under their skins and butterflies that might actually be vampir. It had all sounded so exciting! Well, he could live with the monsters being only in stories, and after all Ryan hadn’t promised those things would be real.

But this. No, not this. Arkady swung his leg—almost healed, really—off the stool and took the crutches from each side. He made sure to land on the good foot; Ryan glanced over at him, but kept telling, and Arkady heard him all the way up to lie on the bed. He blew out the candle.

Later Ryan came up and stood highlighted in the door, a solid round shape. “I’m sorry, Arkady,” Ryan repeated, like he always did. “I thought you’d like to hear your favorite.”

Arkady pretended to be asleep, pretended not to hear, and Ryan didn’t wait long for a response. He left, closing Arkady into the dark behind him.

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