. . .

Expert Professor François Truffelle has died today, during interview, live on TV, after the bookcase situated in the background collapsed on top of him. Paramedics arrived, shortly after the newscaster leading the questions, contacted emergency services. Professor Truffelle was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, with Victor Hugo’s expansive classic Les Misérables, cited as the most likely cause of death: by crushed skull.
Ralph (7 1/2), the professor’s Vizsla dog, commented, “It was either that, or War and Peace. I’d warned him about the perils associated with pulling books halfway out of a shelf, just to show-off and infer a level of culture assumed as missing from the masses. In this case, the viewers.”

By all accounts, it seems unwittingly, the professor destabilised the book shelf and brought about his own downfall. The fashionably attired Parisian city police are treating the incident as highly non-suspicious, closing the case a few minutes ago. Asked to quote, Police Commissionaire Clément Culottes said, “We’ll suggest a minor, heavily-localised and concentrated earthquake as likely cause of death, to spare the feelings of his family and friends you understand? Naturally, do not quote me on that.”

Me, Zombie. (flash fiction)

Short or long, no concept of time passing exists. My clothes hang in rags, torn and bloodied, dragged across the ground as I shuffle, limbs jerking.

Oh! How my stomach aches, with no sight of food for days now. I am driven by an insatiable hunger.

Eyes bulge with fear, people turn, run. I call after them with a rasping groan caught in my throat. Despite how hard I try, words fail me.

Who approaches? I lunge forward, grasp and miss. I see a baseball bat cut through the air. Time momentarily returns, as the strike makes contact with my head.

Vampire Girlfiend

It’s as good as it gets.
Smiling?
Because your imagining of Stella is exactly right.
I reckon she’s cool.
Right now, she’s runnin’ and gunnin’ on multiplayer, totally destroying the opposition.
Her fingers blur, changing between weapons, calling on air cover and tossing grenades, all at staggering speed.
She looks over to me like she’s driving a car and I’m in the passenger seat.
Waiting for the next match to start, she leans across, kisses my neck, takes a little … refreshment.
“You stay strong for me,” Stella whispers, “and I’ll stay strong for you.”
Neither of us desire a complex relationship.

©Brinkinfield all rights reserved 2020
101 word flash fiction

Water

Returning the handheld medical instrument to a shallow metal dish, the doctor explained my affliction as ‘classic water on the brain’.
“While in the shower, you have this habit of turning your head over onto one side during the morning washing routine.” She said, her voice inflected with a pleasing, Low German accent. “That’s how it happened.”
Earlier, I had included in my explanation to the doctor, exactly how much I enjoyed the sensation created by allowing hot water to stream into my ears. Also, how I would adjust the tilt of my head, judging carefully, until locked on target and able to direct the water into my actual ear hole.
“I like the sound.” I had told her. “I find it comforting and with the door to the bathroom closed shut, steam accumulates abundant and I feel warm. The only impossible improvement would be if I were suspended freely in mid air.”
“Ja, you like the sound.” She sighed and sat down heavily in a chair. Removing her glasses from the contour of her nose, the doctor wiped the lenses with the sleeve of her cardigan. “You like the warmth and whatever, but you dislike the significant side-effects you feel afterwards?”
“Yes, correct.” This happened to be the truth. Outside of cleansing rituals and the needs of my body’s rehydration, water and I were not friends. Stemming from childhood, never taught how to swim and with the passing of time, I had come to view H2O with a consistently high-level of suspicion and mistrust.
“Okay, well, the decision is yours, stop your habits, just use a dampened flannel to clean your ears like everyone else. Or, these unwanted watery themed events you report, they will continue in your life, on repeat.” The doctor gave me a serious look and briefly pursed her lips together.

The Marshland Influencer

1.
Late evening, on the edge of a remote field located in Middle-England, three score and ten years forward of this day, two romantics made preparation for a starkly different kind of date, to the usual.
Charlotte lifted out a fat gun from a portable case they’d brought along with them and handed it to her lover.
“Actually, it’s not as heavy as it looks!” Chris said.
“That’s right, it’s mostly hollow in construction.” Charlotte replied, knowledgeably. “Here, let me help with the cartridge, then you can do the honours.”
The crescent moon and clustering Milky Way stars spread across the cloudless night sky, providing adequate light to assist with prompt loading of the firearm.
There,” she said, cocking the mechanism, “you’re good-to-go.”
“Are you sure it’s safe?” Chris tested the weight with a loose grip, peering at the gun inquisitively. As he rolled it back and forth through a one-hundred-and-eighty degree arc, Charlotte studied Chris, unsure if his question had been a serious one or not.
“Yes darling,” she said, taking a firm hold of his arm, “especially if you point like so, up in this direction.” From her pockets, she produced four foam earplugs and gently inserted them, first in Chris’s and then her own ears.
“It doesn’t make too loud a bang,” she said, her voice raised by five decibels, “it’s not like a starter’s pistol. But, safety-first, just in case. We don’t want to go down in history as the first couple to lose our hearing, in such a manner.”
“In case of a malfunction, you mean?” Chris asked.
“Exactly so.”

Continue reading The Marshland Influencer

Buses For Women, By Women.

We’re women and we’re bus drivin’,
around your neighbourhood.
We only take aboard women (and girls),
is that clearly understood?

If you’re a man looking,
hoped to catch a jolly ride,
know we’re pleased to taser,
should you try an’ get inside.

We’re out to guard against,
malevolence, attack and rape.
Not only here in London,
we’ve spread o’er new landscape.

And, it’s not just in England,
we’re needed everywhere.
Depots soon w’ be common,
through donations and ticket fares.

Opening up across the world,
like a new found faith.
While culture learns to civilise,
women will feel safe.

© Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (poem inspired by a collage)