#SwiftFicFriday W85 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W85 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!

The Deceased

I was surprised to get the invite. Said so. Louise got back and clarified that Covid limited a number of close friends and family from attending. So, there was space for me.
“Good to know,” I said.
And being only two towns over, it was a breeze to get there. Once at the cemetery, I stood somewhat back from the proceedings, listened, remembered, wondered, and even enjoyed the bon voyage of an old friend, someone once much more than just an old friend.
Louise spotted me and drifted back to where I was under the giant oak.
“Back of the class as always, I see,” she said. “You could join us. The dead don’t bite.”
“Ah,” I said, “but the living might.”
That garnered a light shoulder tap.
Deservedly so.
“You don’t lose anything by crying, Paul,” she said. “It’s not a sign of…”
“Weakness? I know that. I’m close to it maybe, the tears…all of it…”
“Hard to tell with you. When we talked about you…and don’t get a fat head but we did…usually after a few glasses of wine…I would ramble on about what a tight ship you were.”
“Tight ship?”
“Maybe I was a bit more descriptive. Anyways, she would always defend you, blame your genes…make excuses. Point is, she did it lovingly…”
“Ex…E X…marks the spot, eh!”
“Maybe. You two couldn’t live together but she loved you. In that post-coital way people do. Even when I tried to emphasize your…your deficits. Not that I did that all that often.”
“Hey, Lou,” I smiled, “I understand. Old lovers are handy playthings. Glad I could bring the two of you some laughs.”
We hugged then.
Breaching a Covid rule.
Seemed worth the risk.
Didn’t stay for the sandwiches.
Should have, I suppose.
My duty was done.

300 words, by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)

“Hey! Daijoubu ka ne?!”

Hazuki Akiyama dropped from the rooftop to the side of the prone woman in the narrow alley. Even unconscious behind a dumpster, the dark-haired woman was gorgeous in her red silk dress. Laying one hand gently on the woman’s shoulder, Hazuki checked the woman’s pulse with her other hand. The woman stirred with a groan. Suddenly she sat up and shoved Hazuki away, covering her face with her other arm!

“Don’t! Don’t look at me!”

Hazuki raised her hands placatingly, remaining crouched at the woman’s level.

“I’m here to help! Are you okay?”

The woman covered her face with both hands and growled, radiating pain.

“Leave me alone!”

Hazuki walked swiftly and smoothly on her knees back to the woman’s side.

“Are you hurt? Let me see, please.”

For a moment Hazuki thought the woman would attack. Instead, she lowered her hands and looked into Hazuki’s eyes. The young champion of justice recoiled with a gasp! Could something so cruel have happened on her watch?

“Did, did the demons do that to your face?”

“Not these ones.”

The woman lowered her gaze to the ground between them. The scars were too old to be from the demons Hazuki just dispatched. Something was familiar about this woman.

“Shizuka senpai?”

Mifuyu Shizuka returned her eyes to Hazuki’s.

“Do I know you?”

Hazuki shook her head.

“You were a couple of classes ahead of me. But everyone knows you! What happened?”

A borborygmus burbling expanded from a nearby storm drain with a great green slime before Mifuyu could answer. Hazuki leapt to her feet. Her powers hadn’t replenished from her last fight yet.

“Shimatta! I can’t summon my weapons!”

“Then leave this one to me.”

Mifuyu stood, a giant hammer identical to Hazuki’s materializing in her hands.

298 words, by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)

“What’s he up to, Harley?” I narrowed my eyes as I glanced toward the front porch.

I moved back to the little side window and found Trigger with his head down and his arms braced against the door frame. I couldn’t hear him, but he seemed to be arguing with himself.

After a few moments, his shoulders heaved as he sighed and he lifted one had to knock on the door.

“Aeryn, can we please talk? I really need to clear the air with you.”

I glanced down at Harley in time for her to gurgle and stuff a hand into her mouth.

“You think I should talk to him?” I tilted my head and she cooed with a trusting look. I snorted and shook my head as a smile curled my lips. “Okay, but only because you said so.”

I unlatched all the locks except the chain and opened it as much as it would allow. “I’m here, so talk.”

“May I please come in?” He looked tired and stressed, more so than I ever remembered.

“Talk first then I’ll decide if you’re welcome inside. Neither Harley nor I need a man to tell us what to do.” I lifted my chin.

He sighed again and stood up, nodding. “I wasn’t kidding. Neo really did send me, though I admit I might’ve twisted his arm just a bit. But I do want to help and I know there might be a killer nearby. I also know what it’s like to be a new parent.”

My brows came down. “Are you telling me you have kids and you’re fucking around in a motorcycle club? That’s low, Three Lines.”

He blinked. “Wow, no one’s called me Three Lines in more than thirty years.” The warm smile totally transformed his face.

299 words, by Siobhan Muir (@SiobhanMuir)

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