Tuesday, July 11, 2017

RustCity Flash Fiction: Jillian David

Today on the blog, I want to welcome Jillian David for the first time!  Based on our correspondence, I'd say that a) Jillian has a bit of a mean streak, and b) we're going to get along famously at the conference.  What do you think of the game so far, Jillian?

Well, Nicola, I got handed some pretty amazing words to work with... I hope that the ones I'm passing along the next player will be equally as horrible... I mean, as, um... amazing, yeah, did I already say that? Amazing. Yes. That's the word.

I see... well OK then!

Also, I like cats and damaged alpha heroes who are far from perfect. 

Well, I completely agree that perfect heroes are no fun at all.  As for cats, I like them when they belong to other people, since they sadly make me sneeze.  So... moving on to this amazing story: Jillian's challenge words from AJ are: obedient, evanescent, itchy, jellyfish, trick

(The don't seem so bad to me... I mean, I've seen worse, am I right??)

The Hunters

Part 1, by Stacy McKitrick
Part 2, by Suzanne Sabol
Part 3, by AJ Norris

Part 4:

Too many worms, not enough time. Story of Rick’s endless existence.

Actually, he had tons of time. Oodles of time. One of the perks of being immortal, thanks to his curse.

But Suzie, with her stiff upper lip and determined set of her shoulders? Still mortal. Fragile. He clamped his teeth together until his jaw creaked. Damn it all. For the first time after all those years of isolation, he finally cared about another human. That simple fact made his gut churn like a mass of jellyfish. Sad to say, but this cemetery was as close as he and Suzie would ever get to “date night”. And that fact pissed him off even more than the impending danger.

“Get ready,” she hissed, pointing toward a grassy section of the cemetery.

The earth shifted and rolled, transforming the ground into a living, hellish rollercoaster. Then Snatcher 2.0 emerged with a pop and a howl that made Rick’s skin itchy, like a thousand fire ants marched up and down his body.

Damn her brave soul, but Suzie waved her arms and danced around like a deranged bullfighter, trying to trick the nasty beast into charging. Rick spied the thing’s movement, evanescent in the moonless night, as the Snatcher opened its hideous, dripping maw. Then the creature eyed its wide-eyed snack: Suzie.

“Run this way!” Rick hollered, resetting his grip on the stake as he dropped into a defensive crouch.

In the darkness and thick fog, though, Suzie raced the wrong direction, abruptly dropping out of sight. A thud and an oof followed her disappearance. For the love of Pete, would it be too much for her to be obedient when he gave directions?

No time to formulate an answer.

The Snatcher loomed in front of Rick. The whiff of festering carcass clogged Rick’s nose, but he didn’t care. That creature stood in the way of Rick’s goal of checking on Suzie. Ok, maybe making a move on her, although that dream just wasn’t materializing this evening. A cursed immortal could always hope.

Damn this life. Sick of prancing around the wriggling Snatcher, Rick’s strength and reflexes ratcheted up to another gear as he leapt onto the back of the worm. A growl of rage ripped from his gut and filled the foggy night. With a shoulder-burning plunge of the stake, Rick silenced the creature for eternity.

A splash of gas and a flick of a match was all it took to finish the task at hand. He stood over the smoldering bastard. Air raked in and out of Rick’s lungs.

Silence permeated every inch of the still cemetery.

He wiped his worm-slimed palms on his jeans, spun on his heel, and rushed to the open grave.


“Yes. What?” Her voice, muffled and low, drifted up to him. He pictured her with a pouting lip and with her arms crossed over her chest. Classic Suzie pose when things didn’t go her way.

Rick eased down into the pitch-dark subterranean space and held his arms up until he encountered her warm frame. He ran his hands over her – only to make sure she wasn’t injured, of course. “Anything hurt?”

“Only my pride.”

“It’ll get easier one day.”

“But will my life get easier?”

His only answer was to pull her flush to his chest and wrap his arms around her, like that simple move could somehow keep all the bumps-in-the-night at bay. Like he could keep her from one day becoming exactly like Rick.

With a sigh, she relaxed into him, her head drifting to his shoulder.

He eyed the black, moonless sky and inhaled the floral and very human scent of her shampoo. As date nights went for cursed immortals, maybe this venue wouldn’t be the worst.

Seriously. It’d be a shame to let the semi-private fresh grave go to waste.
I think I see where you're going with this, Jillian, and I like the cut of your jib. But will our next player follow your cues? or swerve down another sidestreet... er, gravesite? Or produce an even more mixed-up metaphor? Stay tuned to find out!
For more of Jillian's writing, check out her website or come meet us all at the conference!

Con Information:

Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City!
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