Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at:
For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, gather around the circle, it’s story time. Just don’t ask too many questions.
Here’s my contribution:
“Most towns had one, but none like this.” Waldrip mindfully keyed the pipe hollow, tapped out char dispersing black flecks. “This here’s been leanin’ so since maybe seventy years.”
“You still remember ’53?”
“I’m not playin’, son.” Waldrip pressed shreds of tobacco into the bowl, wet his lips and inserted the stem. He struck a wooden stick, sucked, then began to exhale ghosts. “I was eleven, we all were. Two celebrated birthdays later that year, two put to dirt, one—God only knows.”
“Some say you know more.”
“It’s true.” The broken man began…
That’s it. 100 words. However, if you’d like another mouthful….
“I come by here often, ever since then. Over all these years, I come. I listen. I can still hear them, you know. Don’t take me a fool, I know they’re gone. But I still hear them. They’re just talking at first. They sound almost alive; the taunts, the dares. Kid stuff. But then those sickening wet thuds. ” Waldrip paused a moment and rubbed his eyes with the pads of his thumb and forefinger. Then he nodded toward the ramshackle structure and continued. “It’s like they’re still in there, praying Jimmy and me will find help and get back before it all goes wrong. See, we got out. Squeezed through a gap in the wall boards. But I didn’t run, I didn’t go for help. I just stood there and looked back through the gap. Stood there and pissed myself ’cause of those sounds from inside. They were just boys, they were clubbed and then hung up like pigs by hooks and chains. You can still see ’em if you go up there. They look rusty but that’s not rust. And I can smell it. Do you know the smell? There’s a scent that gets inside that upper deepest part of your nose, the part closest to your brain. Gets up in there like a fuckin’ crab in one of them hermit shells and latches on. Uses your skull like a house or some shit.”
“Did Jimmy get help?”
“That he did. He got his father. His mother went for the sheriff and old Mr. Jameson, his farm and all. You know what they found, that’s all part of the public record.”
“Yes, Mr. Waldrip. But what is missing from the record is who done it.”
“Now that there is the question then, ain’t it.”
“Indeed. How about we put this baby to bed?”
“Son, if you were smart as you think you are, you’d let this sleeping dog be.”
“I’m just seeking the truth, Mr. Waldrip.”
“The truth. If you want the truth then why don’t you go on up there and peel back one of them boards. Have a look for yourself.”
“Are you trying to scare me, sir?”
Did you think I’d give you a clean ending?