Author Catherine Russell shares her life with her high school sweetheart, their son, and two ferocious puppies in the Wilds of Ohio while writing short stories, editing her novel, and learning more about the craft every day. Her work has been published in Flash Me magazine, Metro Fiction, Beyond Centauri, and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume One‘ and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two‘ anthologies.
Idyllic farmhouse? Well, appearances can be deceiving, I suppose. If the For Sale sign in front had said, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here," we might have been more wary. As things stood,, when we signed on the dotted line we had no idea what we were really buying into... or signing away. The funny thing about souls, you don't really notice them until they're gone.
The idea that bad luck happens when a black cat crosses your path is completely ridiculous. Maybe if the creature trips you up while you walk, but certainly not in any superstitious way. There are no gods or demons that control our destiny, and carrying a packet of salt to throw over your shoulder as a ward against bad luck is absurd.
Yes, yes, that kitten is adorable. No, I don't want to pet her.
However, didn't we pass a trashcan back there? I did take too many salt packets for my fries. I'll just toss out the extras.
That was the secret, wasn't it? Build up their trust or indifference, either one would do, like in that fable about the mouse and the lion. First it was hello over the mail as they each made their way back to their separate apartments, next? Why, after months of chit chat, it was coffee shared in the buildings laundrymat. More chance meetings, more talk about incidentals, info on her fake bio. There was no need for him to learn of her unpleasant past. He would only get the wrong idea.
It wasn't really lying, not when she was honest...
"Don't you realize you can make a cake WITHOUT any the products of my femininity?" asked the chicken. She fluffed her feathers defiantly, shouting over the cars that zoomed mere inches from where she had taken her stance. "That is that last time anyone takes my eggs! I will NOT provide my children for your tasty treats!" She glared at the little girl.
Darla stared at the hefty bird. She adjusted her apron, dusting off some flour with one gloved hand. "I needed eggs for my mother's birthday cake!" she protested. Darting a glance at the heavy traffic, she...
Crap, the cafeteria was full again, so full that every table hosted several people sporting laptops and folders busting with papers that spilled out onto each plastic tabletop. Jenny held her tray of food in both hands and sighed heavily. Not a single goddamned place to sit and eat her lunch in peace.
Briefly, she contemplated going to the park bench outside, but the thought of November's chill made her reconsider. The smell of fresh sweet potato fries tickled her nose and made her mouth water. Annoyed but starving, she swallowed her pride and sat cross-legged on the floor against...
All he had to his name was this park bench, and not even that.
As he sat and gazed off into the distance, he contemplated his fate. He'd lost his job, then his home, then his family. Nothing was left to him, not even his body that lay six feet under rotting in a pauper's grave. His spirit sat on the bench that the shelter had dedicated to his memory. Suicide had not ended his suffering. Dispossessed of everything he had held dear, he contemplated getting his life back.
His ex-wife stood looking at the bench, at his name...
The gods used the lake as their mirror, reflecting their beauty along its still waters, awash with azure skies and billowing clouds of purest white. The earth goddess tolerated their use of her lake, because it suited her. The heavenly colors complimented her own, golden shores and the brown shining mountains that surrounded the blue waters. If only the heavens could grant her wish, she would trade places with the gods of the sky and walk upon her own shores. As maudlin thoughts filled her like the waters of that same lake, she changed her mind and only wished to...
Jason could barely make out the piece of ocean where she had sunk beneath the waves.
Bitter tears coated his cheeks and he tasted salt as he gazed across the water to where he had last seen his dearest love. He had taken her for granted. He realized that now. He had never given her the attention she needed and deserved, and now he had lost her forever. He wiped his reddened eyes and pointed to the approximate spot of water where he'd last seen his beloved classic red Camaro. "That's where she sank," he told the insurance adjuster, sniffling...
A Time to grow
And a Time to grow old
A Time to learn
And a Time to teach
A Time to receive
And a Time to give
A Time to look forward
And a Time to look back
A Time to face a new day
And a time to lay down your burdens and rest
As that new day shines on the newer life ready to meet it.
As the sun sets on one life,
It rises on another
And all is right with the world.
Plain Jane never shone so brightly as when she held a pair of knitting needles in her long slender hands.
Her aunt had taught her the craft, hoping to initiate her into the family business, but eons later Jane still only filled in when the older woman was forced to take a few days off. Jane couldn't blame her. Holding that much power in your hands was intoxicating. No wonder she never wanted to retire.
Still, progress and time marched on, the strong became weaker, and the elderly were superceded by their more youthful contemporaries. When Jane suggested destinies be...