Today's post is in response to Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge. We had to use a random sentence generator and then build a story around the sentence we received.
I got: "The flaw requests a forum."
Here's my story:
Their plan had been fool proof, but unfortunately did not hold up as well against ignorance.
But if Deena hadn’t known she was being hunted by an angry specter, how would I? It’s not like that’s a normal assumption to make about someone.
Why, hello. Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone whose whole blood line was wiped out by a pissed off ghost with a penchant for possessing folks?
Don’t think so.
I will cop to the whole “blood sisters” thing being my idea. Deena wasn’t on board. So, I chanted “Deenie is a weenie” until she had to say yes to save face. And with a small Swiss Army knife, I ruined my life.
But, I was thirteen. No one should be held responsible for what they did when they were thirteen. In fact, I’d love it if that entire year disappeared from my life. Then no one would remember those highlights. Or my mild A-Teens obsession.
Okay, looking at the situation objectively, I can see how I might have been the flaw in the grand plan of keeping Deena safe. Not that I really appreciated her guardian declaring that my new nickname.
But at least it makes for easy code: The Flaw requests a forum.
The Flaw better have a good reason. His response to my text is almost immediate. Poor guy needs a life.
I make my way to the third floor of the abandoned MacArthur building, our designated meeting spot. It takes him about twenty minutes to show up, plenty of time to set up the equipment.
He looks a lot more worn out that he used to. “What do you want?”
“And hello to you, Carl.”
“Libby.” Sounds worn out too.
“She’s fine. Why am I here?”
“I’m working as an EMT.”
“Ned mentioned that in his report.”
I roll my eyes. “Of course. Thanks for him, by the way. Charmer.”
“This is why you called me? To discuss your new job.”
“And to see your sparkling smile.” Ass. He’s gonna wish that’s why we’re here. “The specter will not be torn from this reality until every heart containing even a drop of Wickham blood ceases to pump. That’s it, right?”
I, of course, already know the answer to this. Not really something I could forget.
The ghost has done a hell of a job so far. He’s gotten to all the Wickham’s but Deena. But then, none of the others had Carl and Ned. A couple of Iron Souls, – the small minority of humans who were impervious to possession – they might not be able to exterminate the ghost, but they could sure as hell hold back whatever body the spook decided to try on.
They’d been watching over her since the murder of her mother. And me for almost as long. Because of the whole blood sharing fiasco. Still pleading thirteen year old idiot on that.
Of course, considering my current plan, probably shouldn’t act like I’ve grown out of that state. “I want to stop my heart.”
“You want to die?”
“Not if it can be helped. But what if stopping my heart is enough to get me off his radar? If it works for me, then it might work for Deena. Which means he goes away forever, right? Make the blood stop pumping, he goes poof.”
Not so stoic now. “Absolutely not. What is wrong with you?”
My laughter sounds wrong, but I can’t fix it. “It’s been nine years since I’ve actually seen my best friend. Can’t be in the same place because the concentration of our blood together sends a cosmic evite to a homicidal ghost. My mother tried to slit my throat once and couldn’t remember it after. Didn’t know why I jumped every time she went to cut a bagel. And now she and my dad both wonder when exactly I stopped loving them because I can’t tell them that the reason I won’t be anywhere near them is because I don’t want them to kill me while possessed.
Exorcisms haven’t worked. My attempts at making a proton pack? Also failures, or believe me, I’d be crossing the shit out of those streams right now. So, unless you’ve got a better idea, I’m going with this one.”
“And if in the middle he possesses the doctor? You’re not waking up again.”
“That’s why I’m not going to a doctor.”
I can almost hear it click in his head. “I’m not going to kill you.”
“I’m not asking you to kill me. I’m asking you to save me. Or let Ned. He won’t do it without your say so. Hell, I’ll stop it myself. All you have to do is try and start it again. Within five minutes would be best. I’d like to avoid brain damage if possible.”
“It appears to be too late on that front.”
“Fair enough. But if you were in my position, or Deena’s, wouldn’t you do just about anything to get your life back?”
He stares at me for a moment. “You have the equipment here already, don’t you?”
“No time like the present.”
He shakes his head when I show him the set up in the back room. “I’m assuming the hospital didn’t authorize your borrowing of the crash cart.”
“Yeah, I probably should start polishing off the old resume. Now, I’ve left instructions next to everything, so hopefully it should all go fine. There’s a letter on the windowsill for Deena if it doesn’t.”
Carl nods shortly. “I’ll make sure she gets it.”
“Thank you.” I take his hand. We’re not usually those kinds of people, but the occasion demands. “Very seriously, thank you.” I hop up on the table and lay back, opening my shirt, as it would be awesome if my clothes didn’t catch fire. Heart stopping, fine. Burning to death, no thanks.
I can’t help smiling as Carl lowers the paddles.
Live or die, at least I’m not just waiting around anymore.