#SwiftFicFriday – Week 15 Vote

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 15 Vote

Another prompt, another round of great responses! Check them out below and vote for your favorite:

Story 1 by Terry Brewer

Bones

Bones. They found bones while demolishing a parking garage to make room for an extension on an office building in Chicago. Google bought the building and the garage and needed room. A backhoe revealed what the crew was pretty sure was a human skull. Suddenly all work stopped and the place was crawling with cops circling an opening in the concrete.

A CSU team was there with the head of the Medical Examiner’s office. Definitely human. Adult male. The surrounding area was excavated carefully, the gathering curious kept behind yellow tape.

At headquarters, a pair of CPD detectives pored over the records for the garage. Built in 1975. The body was found under part of a slab where the cement was poured on August 2 of that year. Forensics couldn’t be certain, but suggested a male, Caucasian, between 50 and 75 years of age. One shot to the back of the skull. A 0.22. That’s pretty much all they knew when the team sat late in the afternoon in a semi-circle at Police Headquarters downtown. Lieutenant Brisco, from the cold-case bureau, was on point. Missing persons contributed several officers, and two homicide detectives sat in the back, listening. The shorter one jumped up, said he was calling Detroit PD, and was gone before his tall partner could ask why.

Three days later, the group reassembled for their daily briefing. They couldn’t really investigate until they could ID the victim and they’d only gone down dead ends. As they were breaking up to continue their needle-in-a-haystack work, a forensics clerk handed Brisco a piece of paper. He, Brisco, told everyone to wait. He turned to the board and with a marker wrote “HOFFA.”

The tall detective looked to his buddy with the friend in Detroit.

“So that’s it then?”

“That’s it.”

Story 2 by Cara Michaels

“I need you to find a child of mine.”

“This child have a name?”

“I assume so, yes.” Time frowned. I wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t know said child’s name or because I thought she might. The old gods weren’t as clear cut in their expectations in modern times. Of course, they used to turn people into swans and spiders and shit just to spite their own siblings. So maybe they were never terribly transparent. Not with the world’s greatest game of one-upmanship perpetually on the line.

“What can you tell me about her, then?” I asked. “She’s a child, you said. Are we talking infant? Toddler? Tween?”

Time scowled at the label assault.

“I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”

“How old is she? Give me something to start working with.”

“Ah.” Time’s gaze rolled up, and I might swear to people other than Time that she used her fingers to calculate. “I believe she is just past her thirtieth birthing day.”

“Th—” The word stuck in my throat and I had to force it free. “Thirty?”

“I might be off by five or ten years. Mortal lifespans are so difficult to track.”

Tacky, but true. Time could blink and the world around her rewrite itself before she reopened her eyes.

“Find the no-name, no-age female of indeterminate origin. So that’s it?”

“Then you bring her to me.”

“Right.” My sarcasm was so thick, I could walk on it. Time might seem kind and wise and shit, but she could write me out of existence in a heartbeat if I didn’t measure up to her nebulous expectations. So I didn’t mention I was being facetious.

Find Time’s descendant.

Rescue the descendant from bad people.

GTFO of Dodge.

Bring the descendant to Time.

“Piece of cake.”

Story 3 by Daelyn Morgana

“So that’s it, then?” Morticia’s voice whispered softly amongst the murmur of souls. “This is how it ends?”

A frown swirled the darkness of Death’s hood, lifting his gaze from staring at her perfect hands. “No. This is not the end.”

“I am dead, though. I am here in the Underworld. There is nothing beyond this for my soul, as strange as the circumstances that led me here. I could not of been buried with rites so quickly, coin not paid to Charon for my ferry.” A dry laugh escaped her lips. “A witch hung would never be given rites upon death.” She looked up and the shaky, confused pain in her gaze stole Death’s breath — if he had any, that is. “How is it I am here? Why do I not remember passing over the rivers? One moment, blackness. The next… I am here.”

Unable to help himself now he reached forward to take Morticia’s hands in his. Bony fingers against delicate ones. He ached deep in his bones to know what that beautiful skin must feel like. How soft or smooth or not. Expectation was only as good as what others had told him.

“I do not know how you have come to be here so quickly, without my hand to guide your soul on. I do not know why you remember not how you reached the Underworld. Unfortunately nor does Hades have an answer. It is…baffling.” Death paused. “But Morticia, I believe the legends. I believe you are my Half Soul. I will not give up on that.”

“What will you do?”

His gaze drew toward a mother and daughter figure, their spirits calm as they watched them. Accepting of Fate’s shears on their threads. “I will not accept your death. I will challenge death.”

Story 4 by Siobhan Muir

“What?” Knickers stared at me blearily.

“Nothin’. Go back to sleep.”

“Who’s Loki?”

“No one. Just someone I used to know.”

“What’s he gonna pay for?”

Damn, apparently the girl had better ears than I gave her credit for. Of course, living on the streets had taught her to be vigilant.

“He’s gonna pay for our room and board.”

“Why?”

I should’ve known she wasn’t going to let this go. “Because he owes me.”

“How come? What’d he do to you?”

You don’t wanna know. What could I tell her? That I was like every other innocent girl throughout history, screwed over by a charming male for nothing other than his own ego boost? Yeah, didn’t seem to be much point in saying it.

“He got away with something and I’m coming to collect on the debt. So that’s it.”

“Then what?”

I blinked. “What do you mean, then what?”

“I mean, then what? You get him to pay you back and…then what’re you gonna do?”

I opened my mouth to answer, but the words wouldn’t come. What would I do once I’d gotten Loki to pay me back for all the suffering I’d endured? Hell, I didn’t know if there was a way he’d be able to make up for any of that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try.

“I’m sure I’ll think of something.”

Knickers groaned and coughed for a good minute or so. “Come on, Dora. I want a place to settle for a short time. You said he’d pay for our room and board. I could definitely go for a comfortable bed I don’t have to stock with cardboard and a good knife.”

I snorted. “You’ll probably still need the knife, but we might be able to stop for a while.”

“Good. Let’s do that.”

Let your voice be heard!