Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #45: Incendiary (Revised) ( #flashfiction )


A crowd gathered.

Everyone kept a safe distance from the flames, their faces illuminated in an orange-yellow light.    The fire jet burst ahead fifty feet and sent 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 still and stared at three ruined, charred bodies and the mangled corpse of Mr. Wells.

Shivering and in shock, we all gaped though some had managed to record the event on their phones.   A few more bodies 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 too close to my ear.    By the stench on his breath, he should have still been enjoying his buzz sitting in his Hanes in  front of the TV.

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, bug-out camper.”

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

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

“Who was dating?”   Someone asked from behind me.

“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 –”

“How the fuck can 911 be busy!?”

I watched Yvette as she 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.

For some reason, I expected things to smell more like an autumn barbecue.

“Who are they?”  Someone yelled as if expecting Yvette to know.

“Satanists!”   Mr. Vincent said with smug finality.  I wondered if his wife noticed he’d come out of the wrong house with his shirt buttoned wrong. The murmurs turned to high-pitched bickering

“They aren’t human.  I saw them.  They had huge mouths on their chests!”

“Well, that’s stupid…”

“We all saw them eating him!”

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.    We shared a simultaneous moment  mourning for Jonas while we scanned the creatures’ remains.   They had 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 sinewy legs were lanky and robust.   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 he was a paranoid man who did not do things half way.

Yvette finally spoke as I covered the face of her lover with the old man’s robe (it had been flung aside when 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.”

People huddled in small clusters around the blue-green glow of anyone with a cellphone trying to catch any news or get through to paramedics, the fire station, or police.

We heard a distant blast of the emergency city siren.










13 comments on “Yeah Write #45: Incendiary (Revised) ( #flashfiction )

  1. ellenbehm
    September 29, 2016

    I love the calm, matter of fact tone of the narrator. It was such an excellent contrast to the scene, and the description of the creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      September 29, 2016

      I don’t know why, but the character in my head just kept making wry observations. Lol. Maybe it was the pie I ate.


  2. oldendaysk
    September 29, 2016

    Amazing imagination! i love the image of the lady with the pixie cut using a flame thrower! Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      September 29, 2016

      As weird as it is, I see my 90 something grandmothers stature and haircut, though her personality is nothing like Yvette.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. saroful
    September 29, 2016

    This is a much cleaner, smoother read than the first time through. I love the adjustments you’ve made and your attention to which details advance the story (even by setting the scene) and which details in the original bogged the work down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      September 29, 2016

      Thanks, I am glad the changes worked. The original was a writing experiment, I wanted to play with characters to see who popped up in the story and made the most noise.


  4. Anonymous
    September 29, 2016

    I remember this from NYC Midnight last year, I think it was! Such an incredible story! You gave so much information without it feeling overwhelming. Wonderful work, Tara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      September 29, 2016

      This wasn’t in NYC just on my website. It was an experimental story that hasn’t made the yeahwrite grids. I broke a lot if writing rules. Hehehe.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      September 29, 2016

      Thank you, Mel . I am happy that you like it! I know that sometimes my horror can be a bit cringe inducing. Lol. It was time to polish it and see if others seeb what I see. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. d3athlily
    September 29, 2016

    Btw the previous comment was Mel. For some reason it made me anonymous! Weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. transcribingmemory
    September 30, 2016

    Oh wow. This story was not messing around and terrifying! What great creatures!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rubybastille
    September 30, 2016

    I remember this from the first time around! It’s still very creepy, particularly because of what the neighbors seem to react to, and how. The accusation of Satanism, somebody writing off the possibility of monsters as “stupid”…it kinda felt like an episode of Twin Peaks! And I love this line in particular: “Had you on his keeper list.”


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This entry was posted on September 26, 2016 by in fiction, writing, Yeah Write and tagged , , , , , , , .

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