The Wedding Bells – Part 7 (Flash fiction chain # 6 )

img_9020-fileminimizerOnce again, a group of writers from different parts of the globe join forces to create one linear adventure. The theme this time? Love.

The photograph above serves as the inspirational theme for the 6th Flash Fiction Chain hosted by Jithin of ProTraBlogger. Give his beautiful site a visit and feast your eyes on the inspirational photos or read about his exciting adventures.

A comprehensive list of important characters in the story:

(Main)

Anna Brighton- a 32 year old CEO that owns and runs a publishing company

Alex Burns – well established author, Anna’s ex, Toby Blackwell’s cousin

Melissa Doyle – the bride, Anna’s dear friend

Toby Blackwell – co-owns the Blackwell estate, Alexis’ cousin

(Supporting characters)

Jenny- Anna’s secretary

Adam – Owner of Adam and Eve’s

Harrison – Melissa’s fiance.

Percy Tuppence – Owner of the ring shop

I am entrusted to write  Part 7 of the story… To know what has happened already, check out the previous six parts below…

PART 1 by Sona

PART 2 by Yinglan

PART 3 by Priceless Joy

PART 4 by Frenesthetist

PART 5 by Dr Ko

PART 6 by Sweety

Part 7

Alex stared off into the road. His mind was running at a hundred miles an hour while he chewed the inside of his lip; contorting his face in grimace and frown.

What had he hoped for with Anna? He didn’t feel that way any more, did he? They had been good together once, but breaking up had been for the best. Was it pride? She had cut their relationship short claiming she couldn’t stand not being the thing he loved the most in the world. Unusually for him, he’d had no words in response. He’d felt she was right, even if he didn’t like it. But recently…

He felt a gentle tug on his trousers. Looking down he saw the smiling face of a little girl. It was Sara the flower girl. She had a gap toothed smile, resting peacefully under bright eyes.

“Hello little princess,” he said, squatting down to meet her at eye level. “What’s that you got there?” he asked, gesturing to the cone and flowers in her hand.

“Cupid chose me to carry the flowers.”

“The perfect choice,” Alex said, smiling.

“He left the flowers outside my door. Mum says it’s because I have a loving heart, and that my spirit is pure. I think you have a pure spirit too,” she said.

“Thanks very much Sara, it’s nice to know someone does,” he said, mussing her hair and smiling at her.

Sara blushed and looked down, giggling excitedly.

“Now come on, let’s go and find your mother. I reckon she’ll be missing her princess.”

*****
The speedometer revved past 50 and Anna felt a thrill in her stomach; part fear, part ecstasy. She hadn’t had a chance to cut loose and let herself feel out of control for so long. Work, relationships, family, friends; all were tied to a fierce distance she maintained for a feeling of control.
She had memories of the girl she was before the publishing, before the stress and the meetings and the packed schedule. She’d been a dreamer, a free spirit ghosting from place to place in search of feelings and experiences. She would read and learn and chase and dream. She had Alex, and they chased this together.
Somehow it had all changed, suddenly and painfully. He had become a different man, tuned into new feelings that weren’t programmed into her, alien and electronic, foreign and coded. They stayed as robots, connecting in only words – not touch nor soul. She had felt him drift away from her, his touch metallic and slowly his words became so too; the scripted auto cue of embrace left them both unloved and unloving, forging escape plans and exit strategies until the warmth left them both fully, and she closed the door for good.
She’d never imagined they would cross paths again. She definitely didn’t expect it to be this way. He’d taken the words from her, and so she had made her own. Now she had the power to take his words back…
“Are you ok?” asked Toby, changing gear to pull up at a red light. He glanced at her and she felt her body blush. Those dimples.
“Yes, I’m fine. I am enjoying your driving,” she said.
“That’s great darling. Let me know if I am going too fast, I can always go slower,” he said, his voice implying a wink.
“Tobias, you’re so bad,” she said, giggling.
“You don’t know the half of it. Give me a bottle of wine and some massage oil and I’ll show you how bad I can really get,” he said with a smirk as the light changed and he revved off.
They sped down the high street, past the Greenacre pub and the Landsdowne village hall. The sun was shining brightly and Anna was enjoying the feel of the wind in her hair again; had it been so long since she’d felt this?
They pulled up at another traffic light outside a café, and Toby glanced over at her.
“So many red lights. It’s like someone wants us to have a lot of time together,” he said. He was looking at her like she was a lolly on a hot day.
“Or they want to slow us down,” she said, returning the look. His shirt, taught over sinew, was making her heart drum with hunger for an embrace.
“Who would want to slow us down? We need to get that ring or the wedding is ruined. This isn’t some bad romantic comedy,” he said, bellowing a laugh and placing a hand behind her head on the head rest. “Though I guess, if the universe wants it,” he said, leaning in, “we could give it one.”
She felt herself leaning toward him, but as she did she noticed something out of the corner of her eye.
“Wait, is that Harrison?” she said. Toby turned to follow her gaze. Harrison was inside the café holding the hand of a tall, slender and rather beautiful woman.
“What’s he doing here? And who the hell is that?” she asked.
“The bloody blighter’s just having some tea darling, nothing to worry about.”
As Toby said this they both saw Harrison lean in and kiss the woman on the cheek, then mutter something that made both him and the woman laugh.
“That piece of shit,” she yelled.
Toby was staring open-mouthed. “I’m sure there’s an explanation. Harrison is a stand up guy, straight as an arrow that lad, never been the Casanova type” he said.
“Yeah right! It’s so rare to see wealthy men betraying their wives and girlfriends!” she said. Her voice had been raised, and she realised she was letting her passions get the better of her. “I’m going to confront him,” she said, as a car behind them beeped it’s horn. Toby hit the accelerator and sped off down the road before she had a chance to open her door.
“Stop right now, we need to turn around and confront him,” she said.
“Look Anna, right now we need to get that ring. I’m not saying that what we just saw isn’t odd, but there’s got to be an explanation. Harrison just isn’t like that.”
“I don’t care what you say, I know what I saw. We have to got back,” she said.
“Let’s make a deal,” he said, turning to face her. “Once we have the ring we can go back and say whatever you want. I will back you up and support you, no matter what you want to do. We can kill him if you’d like.”
“That’s so sweet of you – wait, kill him?!”
“Yeah, if you want,” he said, his face straight.
“Are you joking?”
“Of course I am,” he said. She let out a huge sigh of relief. “I mean, unless you want to?” he said, smiling at her.
“You’re right, it’s probably nothing,” she admitted finally, as they pulled up outside the ring shop.
“Like I said, let’s focus on getting that ring first and then worry about mysterious women. Now, where were we?” he said, leaning in to kiss her.
She could feel her heart racing again, desperate for his lips. She could smell him as he leant in, a mixture of masculine musk and subtle aftershave. She put her hand up to touch his stubble on his cheek, she could feel his dimples, this was it…

There was a knock on the window. Anna looked out and saw the helpful and pasty face of Percy Tuppence, the ring maker. He didn’t look like he had been aged but rather, had been pickled. His thinning grey hair was gently being lifted by a slight breeze in the air as his tiny eyes tried to focus behind thick glasses. She wound down her window as Toby straightened up in his chair.

“Hello folks, sorry to interrupt. Miss Doyle called ahead and said I should wait outside with the ring for a red Mercedes,” said Percy softly.

“Thanks,” said Toby sarcastically. Even grumpy he was sexy. Anna felt frustrated she had been so close to getting her kiss, she wanted it more than ever now.

“I appreciate it. Can I have it now,” she asked.

“Oh of course, where is my mind,” he said, reaching a hand into his pocket. “It’s right here,” he said, rummaging around. However, when he retrieved his hand there was no ring. “Oh silly me, I’ve left it inside,” he announced in a croaking voice to the street. “Please bear with me one second while I fetch it,” he said before turning and shuffling back into the shop.

“Is he for real?” asked Toby. Anna found Toby’s subtle anger a little exciting. His attitude, she supposed, was not just from the frustration at the ring maker but also from his desperation to kiss her. It felt nice to be wanted, she hadn’t felt it for so long.

Percy appeared in the doorway with a ring box in his hand and was stepping cautiously on the pavement. As he was about two steps from the car a tramp ran over to him, grabbed the box, and pushed him to the floor.

Toby was out of the car in a flash and straight after the tramp. They disappeared down an alley and out of sight. Anna got out of the car to help the fallen Percy.

As she stepped onto the curb her phone began to ring. She answered instinctively, not giving herself time to see who it was.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hi Anna, it’s Mel. Where are you?”

“Just at the ring shop now.”

“Is everything ok? Is it Toby? Has he stolen your heart?” she said.

“Things are definitely getting stolen here.”

“You sound distracted. Are you two planning on running off with the ring?”

“Not both of us…”

“Are you joking?”

“We didn’t plan it…”

“Anna, are you coming back with the ring?”

“Sorry Mel, I can’t hear you, there’s a tunnel, an… rain… engine”.

She crouched down and helped Percy to his feet.

“How easy would it be to replace that ring?” she asked.

“Not very, it’s one of a kind. I had to get stuff specially shipped in.”

“It’s ok, I’ve got a plan.”

 

Stay tuned – part 8 coming next from Ruth

Part 9 by Austin

Part 10 by Rashmi

Part 11 by Phaena

Part 12 by Manvi

Part 13 by Sona

Part 14 by Yinglan

Part 15 by Yinglan

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The Tiny Soldier, part 7 (Flash Fiction chain #5)

flash fiction monkey

This is part 7 of  flash fiction chain #5 hosted by photrablogger and inspired by the amazing picture above.  First time doing this, please be nice and kind.
To get the context of the story, please read the first five parts
Part 1by Abirami
Part 2 by Sona
Part 3 by Yinglan
Part 4 by Dr. KO
Part 5 by Austin

Part 6 by Phaena

Character List:
Rick-10yrs Old
Jenna-Rick’s Social Worker
Mrs. Montgomery
Jake- Mrs. Montgomery’s son
Sun- The Monkey
***Elaborated Characters*** (The Other
Kids Sorted By Tables)
Table 1-
Mesa-Boy, 14 yrs old
Toro-Boy, 12 yrs old
Wheeze-Boy, 8 yrs old
Table 2-
Danus-Boy, 11 yrs old
Makaya & Kumba-Boys, Twins, 7 yrs old
Table 3-
Marilyn-Girl, 11 yrs old
Britney-Girl, 8 yrs old
Kanya-Girl, 6 yrs old

 

Mesa put a finger to his lips, gesturing a hush to Toro. They had followed the trail of eggs and food parts, and now they could hear voices ahead. The bush was thicker here, overbearing, and both boys were anxious to see what lay ahead. They turned a corner and saw the backs of Moses, Rick and Danus. All three were silent, staring up at a figure in a tree. The sunlight was struggling to break the canopy above, and visibility was poor.

Mesa looked at Toro and they exchanged shrugs.

Rick was the first to move, yelling “I don’t understand… What do you mean I will?”

Moses and Danus turned to stare at Rick.

Mesa, wiping food from his hair, disturbed a branch and a snap echoed across the clearing. The three boys turned to look for the source of the sound. It was then that Toro saw the eyes in the tree above. They were red, almost glowing, scowling and conveying messages that Toro couldn’t fathom. He was gripped, by fear and by fascination.

Someone shouted run, and soon the eyes in the tree had vanished, along with the three boys. Mesa was about to give chase when Toro grabbed his arm.

“I know those eyes,” he said.

“What eyes,” said Mesa, clearly oblivious to what Toro had seen.

“Years ago, on the street, I heard about it. All the vagrant kids told stories about it. They said it was a monkey, and only its victims could see it. They called it Sunne and said it tricks children into doing its bidding, bewitching them into its army. They harvest souls for their master, so that it might live forever.

“I had a friend, Jonah, who believed he saw his father returning to take him away from the streets. We were all so jealous, thinking that one of us was going to escape the street life. But that night, when we returned to our shelter down by the river, we saw Jonah there, but he was different. He looked into my eyes and I saw it – the evil. Seeing that… it’s the reason I found my way off the street. I’ve been trying to forget it, ever since I saw it. Please, Mesa… don’t follow it,” said Toro.

Mesa stared at the ground, his lips twisting and brow furrowed in deep thought.

“I’m sorry, but if this thing is a danger, we must stop it before it does something to Rick,” said Mesa.

Toro’s heart sank. He knew Mesa was too kind, too weak. Toro had lived a life no child should ever face, and knew the importance of thinking only for yourself. He wished so painfully that his friend could be the same.

“My greatest friend, I have no choice but to follow Rick and the boys. I will do it, with or without you,” he said.

“Then if that is your choice, I am sorry but you must go alone. I cannot take that risk. Who are we to face something like this?” he asked.

“If this is how it must be…” said Mesa, letting the words hang as he turned to follow the boys.

Toro slumped against the tree. He had lost so many friends over the years, the harshness of existence no stranger to him. Mesa was his first true friend in a long time. How could he let this friend march on to his death?

“Wait,” cried Toro. “I can’t let you go alone. If we are going after Sunne, we need to make sure we have a plan,” he said, sprinting after Mesa.

“If we can trick it by manipulating what it thinks is out deepest desire, we might be able to defeat it” he called as he gained on Mesa.

*******

Jenna took her time pacing again around the Post Office, this time looking even harder, checking the silly places we always look the second time around; under chairs, behind baskets. Had she missed her? There was absolutely no sign of ma. She asked the clerk at the counter, but he was adamant he hadn’t seen her all day.

Jenna went back to her car and sat there staring at her steering wheel. Where was ma? Why had she lied about going to the post office? Had the kids lied about her whereabouts?

She felt her gut twinge, some primal instinct sounding a warning. Without wasting another moment, Jenna made the decision to return to the house. She sped all the way, worried about the mysterious happenings, and feeling overcome with concern at leaving those children unattended.

As she pulled up outside the house, she twisted out of her seatbelt and ran up the front path. She called around the house, but nobody answered. She checked the garden, the kitchen, the bedrooms… nobody. She cried out, again and again. Her heartbeat was a drumroll, so intense she could taste the iron of her blood in her throat. Her eyes were hurting with fear. Why did she leave them?

She stepped into the dining room, the detritus from the morning’s fight still evident. There, amongst the eggs and biscuits she saw it; a half-eaten banana.

She took out her phone and called a number on speed-dial.

The phone answered with a click. It was a man’s voice on the other end.

“Jack, it’s happening.”

 

Up next, part 8 by Priceless Joy

Part 9 by Rashmi

Part 10 by Manvi

Part 11 by Sweety