Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #17: Incendiary ( #flashfiction )


Everyone kept a safe distance from the flames, their faces illuminated in an orange-yellow light.    The jet burst ahead fifty feet and set up billows of black and gray smoke in its wake.     Yvette Barboza, dressed in her green striped night gown, light blue house slippers, and cold cream still on her face, clicked the trigger with strong fingers.   When all quieted and only the half moon lit the night, she stood there still staring at three ruined, and charred bodies and the mangled corpse of Mr. Wells.

We all stood there shivering and in shock, though a few had managed to record the event on their phones.   A few more and we could have had a fine block party.   “Where the hell did the old lady get a flame thrower?”  Len, my neighbor, asked a little to close to my ear.    By the stench on his breath, he should have still been enjoying his buzz sitting in front of his TV in his underwear.   Len, didn’t own curtains.

The cold reminded me that I was only wearing a bra under my wool cardigan.   I tightened it closer to my body and pointed my chin towards the carnage. “Internet.  It was a present from Jonas.”

“Whose Jonas?”

“Mr. Wells.  Yellow house with the big camper.”

“Who the hell buys a flamethrower for their neighbor!?”

“They were dating and he’s a prepper.”

“Who was dating?”   Janet asked peering from the depths of a blanket, her hair askew.  Her bed-friend I could see standing on the farthest side of the group behind his wife.

“Yvette and Jonas.   Don’t you people ever talk to each other?”

I had just bought the little blue cape a month ago, and it seemed I knew more about the happenings in the cul-de-sac than anyone now that Mr. Wells had been killed.   Not by Yvette though.   Those things did.   I never expected to hear the frantic, high-pitched screams of someone being eaten alive.   I’m not likely to forget it.

“Did someone call the police?”  A voice wavered in the  night.

“Line’s busy.”  I said, “I’ve tried to call a dozen times.  Emergency and the direct police line–”

“How can 911 be busy!?”

Yvette stood in a protective stance over Jonas’ body.  Her salt and pepper pixie cut still looked neat and tidy somehow.  People began to emerge from wherever their minds had taken them, and a hushed, confused murmur passed from one to another.   The rising stench caused wrinkled noses, hands to mouths, and dry retches.

“Who are they?”  Janet called out first, as if expecting Yvette to know.

“Satanists!”   Vincent breathed.  He stood now a little taller with his arms out to shield his wife and twelve year old daughter.   Sue likely hadn’t noticed he’d come out of Janet’s house and not theirs.

Raquel spoke next — the only one still dressed though her blouse and skirt were soiled from where she’d hidden between bushes.   “They aren’t human.  I saw them.  They had huge mouths on their chests!”

“Well, that’s stupid,” Vincent snapped.

“We all saw them eating him!”

The murmurs turned to bickering and I walked off to join Yvette and put my hand tentatively on her shoulder. “I’m sorry about Jonas.”    She nodded, but didn’t look at me.    Raquel and her brother Evan weren’t far behind.   We shared a simultaneous moment of mourning Jonas and scanning the creatures’ remains.    Long, muscular spider-like arms on knobby shoulders, a concave indentation where a head should have been, and a gaping mouth full of razor sharp teeth on the torso.   The legs were long and robust, too.   Their black, talon-like claws on five-digit fingers were untouched by the fire.

“There’s probably more of them.  We should arm ourselves.   Jonas has more flamethrowers and other weapons,” I said.   I hadn’t seen them, but Jonas was not a man who did things half way.

Yvette finally spoke as Evan covered the face of her lover with the old man’s robe that had been flung aside as he’d been dragged to the middle of the street.   “I have a key.”   She wiped the tears from her eyes and patted my face.  I felt the strength in them.  “He liked you.   Had you on his keeper list.”

We heard a distant blast of the emergency city siren.




14 comments on “Yeah Write #17: Incendiary ( #flashfiction )

  1. d3athlily
    January 13, 2016

    Wow. So much to take in in a short space. The scene unfolds nicely, and I loved the effort taken on all of the characters. Sounds like an interesting neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 13, 2016

      Thank you! I wasn’t even in the mood to write today. The children were trying to crawl back into the uterus, but writing helped me not to hang them by their toes…so…:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • d3athlily
        January 13, 2016

        Win-win it sounds like! Hehe always enjoy your stories!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ShortStories&Scribbles
    January 13, 2016

    Loved this, want to read more and know how this happened and what happens next! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 13, 2016

      Thank you very much for your comment! I’m tickled that it made you want to know more!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ShortStories&Scribbles
        January 13, 2016

        Should follow it on someday 🙂


  3. Shayna
    January 13, 2016

    I really enjoyed this story. I like all the details and how I was left wondering to the end what was going on (without ever being confused). Very engaging. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 14, 2016

      I appreciate the comment! I took a big risk with the number of characters, but I am glad I managed to not lose you and you kept reading. Hah! 🙂


  4. blackcherriess
    January 14, 2016

    thank you for sharing this lovely piece(: i enjoyed it a lot ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      January 14, 2016

      Glad you stopped by. 🙂 The first line is a prompt and it inspired me. Don’t know why my mind went immediately to flamethrower. 🙂


  5. innatejames
    January 14, 2016

    I like how the characters were just as confused about their relationships as I was; it added to the chaos of the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael
    January 14, 2016

    I see where dating a prepper could come in handy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2016 by in fiction, writing, Yeah Write and tagged , , , , , , , .

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