Flash Fiction Monday – Hammock

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Hammock

Emily stopped in her tracks, her lips curving up in a small, wry smile as she caught sight of the pair in the hammock.  Adam had promised to start dinner, but the campfire was cold and the pan that was supposed to be bubbling with stew was empty.  She’d been gone for hours—lost in the sight of the Colorado wilderness through the lens of her camera—and her stomach rumbled hungrily at the thought of the venison and mushroom stew planned.  If only her boyfriend weren’t snoozing with Max–the gorgeous, grey and white half-wolf, half-Alaskan malamute who had been a part of their lives for the last few years.

Carefully stashing her camera in the padded backpack she carried, Emily dug through the outer pocket for an energy bar.  Dinner was at least an hour off, even if she did wake up Adam now, and she didn’t have the heart to disturb him.  Adam was a researcher at the University of Colorado biology program and had been working his ass off lately to finish a major project.  Right now, he needed the sleep.  And clearly, so did Max.  She tore open the peanut butter bar and took a bite as she studied the two of them.  Damn they were cute together.  Adam was sprawled on his back, one arm hanging over the edge of the hammock, with Max curled on his side. His head rested on Adam’s chest and his legs and huge, fluffy tail draped over the length of Adam’s body.  They slept like that often, and the sight never failed to make her smile.

Emily hummed quietly under her breath as she lit the fire and prepared the stew.  It wasn’t until the scent of it wafted through the air that Adam stirred.

“Hey,” he said, his voice raspy.  Emily glanced up from the pot she’d been stirring as he ran a hand across his reddish-brown beard and straightened the knit cap on his head. “Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to sleep so long and neglect dinner.”

“No worries.” Emily smiled and flipped her blonde ponytail over her shoulder as she stood from the crouch she’d been in. “You two looked cozy.”

Adam smiled as he glanced down at Max, who was still out cold. “You know it. Max always keeps me warm.”

“He keeps both of us warm,” she said dryly as she crossed the distance between the campfire and the hammock.  Adam reached out for her, drawing her in for a brief but thorough kiss.

“Adam lies,” a low voice rumbled, and Emily glanced over at Max, who had shifted into a naked, handsome man with grey-streaked dark hair.  “You know he’s the hot one. And where’s my kiss?”

Emily chuckled and leaned in to kiss her other partner.  “Right here. You know I’m never stingy.”

Max stretched, his lean muscles rippling, and Emily watched Adam’s gaze track the movement, his gaze heating.  “Come join us,” Max coaxed.

Emily shook her head, laughing. “I remember the last time three of us tried to fit in a hammock.  My tailbone was bruised for weeks. I love you both, but no. Come on, dinner’s nearly ready anyway. I’m going to drop some biscuit dough on top and it’ll be ready shortly.”

Max let out a whine that was distinctly canine, despite his human form at the moment. “I told you I reinforced the anchors this time.”

With a skeptical look, she turned back toward the fire. “I think I’ll skip it all the same.” A warm, callused hand grasped hers and she turned back, surprised to see it was Adam and not Max who had stopped her.

“You’re not mad at us for slacking, right?”

“Never. I know you’re both exhausted.  That’s a huge project you’ve been working on.”  She smiled at the two men she loved dearly. “Besides, you two can do the dishes and make breakfast tomorrow to make up for it while I sleep in.”

Max’s laugh was closer to a bark. She loved how free he was to not hide his nature when they were out in the wilderness.  “Sounds fair.”

She leaned in and gave each of them another quick kiss before finally extricating herself and heading toward the fire.  Life was certainly interesting being in poly relationship with a human and a shifter, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.  The muddy dog prints on the floors of their condo  … well, they were still working on that.


I wrote this one almost immediately after Helena and I posted the prompt.  Going with a shifter for the dog was pretty obvious, but hopefully you enjoyed the little twist to it.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! We have lots of new people joining us!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Spices and Tears

Life is weird when you’re going through a divorce.  You break down crying over random receipts, anniversary cards you’ve saved make you inexplicably angry, and as you sort through the spices you’ve meticulously put into nice jars and labeled, you think, “fuck you, I’m keeping the fleur de sel we bought on our honeymoon in Paris”.

Spices shouldn’t be one of the hardest parts of this, but somehow they are.  You both love cooking and for years you did it together.  You remember last fall when you decided to divide up the chores—thinking that would relieve some of the stress of you always getting annoyed with each other over when dinner should be made and that you are always so busy writing—you wonder if his comment about there not being enough room in the (admittedly small) kitchen for two cooks meant a hell of lot more than you thought at the time.  Was that when it fell apart?

The lack of answers in the most maddening part.

And now you’re sorting spices and bagging up half of them for him—because damn it, you’re keeping the nice jars you bought and labeled, but you want to be fair and not leave him with bare cupboards—crying because there are so many more good memories than bad.

Your second date, when he made you roast Cornish game hens, cheesy mashed potatoes, and green beans. The first time you made him a pot pie; his favorite meal. The way he was the only one who could cook bell peppers so you actually enjoyed eating them.  The number of Earl Grey desserts you made over the years because it was his favorite tea.  The way he always made the plate look so pretty when he handed you dinner, even right up until the end, when it was clear things were falling apart.

And you sit in your torn-apart dining room—the scent of spices all around you—and sob so hard you can hardly see the keyboard—and wonder how you got it so wrong.

There will be other people to love and probably even ones you will cook with.  Love and great food aren’t over at thirty-three, but what you wouldn’t give for just one more dinner, sitting across the table from him and knowing he still loved you.

You’d eat all the raw green peppers in the world just to have that.

Flash Fic Monday – Can So

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Can So

Jose choked on his beer.  Once he stopped sputtering and coughing, he managed to gasp out a few words. “Roland, you’re nuts. On a good day, you look like The Rock.  It would be like putting lipstick on a pig.”

Roland glared. “Is that a cop joke?”

Jose choked again and let out a loud, barking cough to clear his lungs.  “No! I’m just saying that I don’t care how goddamn great your body is or that you have the fucking prettiest long black hair I’ve ever seen on a man or woman.  You can’t pull off thigh high PVC stilettos and leather briefs.”

Roland crossed his arms, his biceps bulging under the sleeves of his thin blue T-shirt. “Says who?”

“Says your best friend! And probably the rest of the world!”

Scowling, Roland let out an annoyed sounding, “hmmph”. “Can so.”

“Can not.” Jesus, it was like the arguments he used to have with his brothers growing up.

“I think you lack imagination.”

Jose rolled his eyes and turned to the table behind him, raising his voice.  “Would any of you want to see that fucker—” he jerked his thumb toward Roland “—in thigh high PVC stilettos and leather briefs?”

Considering the fact that they were in your average bar and not a gay bar, Jose was surprised when a few people gave Roland an appraising glance.  Maybe they just didn’t want to offend the 6’3” beast of a man.

“I would!” a skinny guy in the back piped up and Roland snickered and gave the guy a wink. Jose turned back to his friend and took a long drag on his beer bottle.

“What do I get if I pull it off?” Roland asked.

Jose shrugged, not believing for a moment that Roland would.  Oh, he’d dress up—the undercover narcotics cop was a crazy-ass motherfucker—but he’d look ridiculous doing it.  Money didn’t mean much to either of them, he wanted something a little more personal. “How about my bike? It’ll be yours for a month.”

He owned a fully-restored 1980 Harley-Davidson FXB and it was his pride and joy. If he thought it was in any real danger, he’d never wager it.

“Done.” Roland stuck out a beefy hand and Jose felt a flash of anxiety course through him as he shook.  He really loved that bike.

Roland stood and reached for his canvas duffle with a smirk.  “Get those keys ready,” he said as he turned and left the table.

Twenty minutes later, as Jose stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the crowd from the bar and watched Roland strut his stuff, he shook his head in amused disgust.

Roland glanced over his shoulder and winked at Jose.  “I want the bike clean and with a full tank of gas.”

Jose scowled. The man had pulled it off.

And damn it, he looked good doing it.


I wasn’t sure if I was going to have anything for this prompt but this idea popped in my head this morning and I’m pretty pleased with it.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! We have lots of new people joining us!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fic Monday – Trunk

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Trunk

Daniel jabbed at the button for the first floor, then leaned back against the wall of the elevator.  Tired-looking employees shuffled in after him, scrubs creased and dirtied, dark circles ringing their eyes.  He rested his head against the dull metal wall, his eyelids drooping as he waited for everyone to get situated.  Normally, he liked night shifts at the hospital, but this one had really taken it out of him. Scientists swore the full moon had no effect on people, but Daniel had years of experience that told him otherwise. He’d be lucky if he had the energy to strip out of his scrubs before he collapsed in bed.

“Hey, how’s it going, Daniel?”

Blinking, Daniel focused on the man starting at him with an expectant expression.  His gaze swept over him, taking in the handsome face, snug white T-shirt, and jeans that molded to his lower half. Damn. Gorgeous, but he had no idea who he was.

“Jacob McGowan?” The man let out a tight, awkward sounding laugh. “I’m a respiratory therapist.  I come up to your floor occasionally.”

The name, face, and occupation finally came together and Daniel shook his head.  “Oh, yeah, of course. Sorry. Long night.” He let out a self-deprecating laugh. “Plus, I’m not used to see you in your clothes.”

Jacob’s face went oddly blank and Daniel backpedaled immediately. “Oh, God, sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” Someone behind him snickered. “ I’m used to seeing you in scrubs is all.”

Jacob’s full lips twisted up at the corner.  “Yeah, I knew what you meant. I have errands to run after work, so I figured I’d change before I leave.”

“Makes sense.”  The elevator reached the first floor “I’m ready to crash.”

“You look pretty wiped out.” Jacob frowned. “Err, that didn’t come out quite right.”

“Now we’re even,” Daniel said lightly, smiling at him. He’d noticed the respiratory therapist a few times around the hospital, but he was pretty sure he normally worked days. Or at least he had before. People changed shifts all the time.  They hadn’t interacted much, but Daniel was starting to regret it. “So, you working nights now?”

“Yeah, although it’s not a permanent thing. Just filling in.” The elevator dinged and the doors slid open.  They fell into step as they walked through the lobby, making small talk about their jobs.  Daniel kept sneaking glances at the veins in Jacob’s forearms.

“You in the parking deck?”

Daniel shook his head. “Nah, all the nurses got kicked out to the shuttle lot.  There wasn’t enough parking, so I’m heading back to the shuttle pick up.”

“Oh. Well, I’m here in the deck. I could drive you to your car, if you don’t feel like waiting for the next shuttle run.”

Daniel weighed his options.  The shuttle ran every fifteen minutes so it wasn’t much of a wait, but as tired as he was, he was interested in getting to know Jacob a bit better. “Sure.”

“Great. Follow me.” The intensity of Jacob’s gaze sent a little shudder through Daniel.

Another set of elevators led out into the parking deck, and they rode it to the top floor as they discussed how their nights had gone.  When they arrived, Jacob held the door to the glass vestibule open for him, and Daniel shivered as the cool wind whipped across the parking deck. The cloud cover was heavy, but there was a white intensity to the light that made Daniel squint and wish his sunglasses weren’t in his car.

The entire floor was nearly empty, just a few dozen cars parked here and there, and he wondered why Jacob had parked there when moving the employee parking had clearly opened up more spots.  It had been tight before, but the new system had drastically helped, even if Daniel did hate having to be shuttled in every day.

“How’d you manage to get a spot in the deck anyway?” Daniel asked as Jacob walked toward a small, silver car.  Newish, but nothing remarkable.

“Oh, I know someone in security.  He hooked me up.”

“Nice.”  Daniel shivered again as the wind whipped his scrubs against his body and he wished he had a sweatshirt or a jacket with him.

“Shit.” A few feet from the car, Jacob came to a stop, frowning at it.

“What?”

“Look, flat tire.”  He pointed at the driver’s side rear tire, which was no longer inflated.

“Damn, that sucks.” Daniel tried to hide his annoyance.  He just wanted to go home and now he was going to have to wait for Jacob to change the tire before they could go anywhere.  He should have just taken the damn shuttle.

With his key fob, Jacob popped the trunk. “Could you grab the jack and the tire iron for me while I take a look?”

“Sure.” Anything to get out of there faster.  The trunk was clean and otherwise empty.  He folded back the cover and reached down for the tire iron and jack.  He handed them to Jacob who squatted down beside the flat, scowling at it.

“And the spare?” he asked.

“Yep.” Daniel leaned forward, frowning when he realized there was no spare. “Hey, I think your spare is miss—“ Pain exploded through the back of his skull, making the world go white at the edges. He heard a gasp and realized he was the one making the sound, but the agony battered at his brain as he fought to stay upright.  Groggy and disoriented, he reached up, feeling the sticky wet spot on the back of his head.  “What the  …”

The world went dark.

Daniel awoke slowly, squinting at the sight of the handsome respiratory therapist silhouetted against the sky.

“Whaa …? He muttered, confused by the sight as he tried to put together the pieces of what had happened. His head throbbed and his stomach felt like it was about to turn inside out.

An odd, blank look crossed Jacob’s face before he spoke. “Good, you’re still alive.  I hoped you would be.  I didn’t want to kill you.” For a few heartbeats, hope took up space in Daniel’s chest. “Yet.”

The words registered at the same time the trunk lid slammed closed and Daniel’s scream echoed in the tiny space.


This is a very late entry, but I hope you enjoyed it. I definitely went over the word count but it was difficult to go this direction without a little more buildup.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! We have lots of new people joining us!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!