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Flash Fantastic!

No. 13November 2004

By Michael Bracken

I sat on the bed, resting against the head board, and watched Gloria examine herself in the mirror.

"You think they're too big?"

"I think they were fine before the surgery."

"Still, I caught you staring at some of the others."

I shrugged.

"You said you liked Amy's." "I do like Amy's," I said. "On Amy."


"But she was born with them," I said. "She didn't do anything to enhance herself."

"So you don't like them?"

"I didn't say that."

"What did you say?"

"I said I liked Amy's. On Amy."

Gloria turned to face me.

The light caught in her large, multi-faceted eyes and I saw my reflections stare back at me.

by Vin Blesi

In the morning I’ll wipe up the blood. The stains on the newly imported ceramic tile can wait. The smeared streaks on the newly laid white carpet can wait for the steam cleaner. The chef’s knife that was my birthday present can wait for the dishwasher. The blood splattered on the wall can wait for a new coat of paint. The blood stained t-shirt can wait for some laundry detergent.

Laying here on the cold ceramic floor (which was her idea to install) I can no longer feel my hands and I can’t tell if the blood I see is my own or hers. She is lying next to me with the large cutting utensil, so bright red, like it was covered in Valentine roses, limply hanging from her left hand. Her small lap dog (and that is not me I am referring to) is yapping in the corner of the room, which seems miles away, yet I am unable to silence the pitiful creature. I take a closer look and see it’s snow-white coat splattered red as well; that can wait for the dog groomer.

The white popcorn ceiling rains down on me like some cliché from a movie. I glance over to the television set long enough to catch the end of “Lady from Shanghai”, its black and white picture oddly marked by red blotches on the screen like some modern piece of artwork. I can clean the screen the later.

I try to rise off the hard floor but am only met with pain. I realize I can’t stay here on her ceramic tile any longer. The blood can wait but I must move on.

By Beverley Brackett

"Hey, Jimmy, come look at this!"

Jimmy eased himself out of the police cruiser and sauntered over to the driver's side of the blue Chevy where his partner stood.

"Whut you got?"

His older partner nodded toward the driver, sprawled sideways in the seat, a trickle of spit sliding down his cheek. "Ain't this a shame! Seven in the morning and this ol' boy's plastered. Jeez, some folks got no decency."

Jimmy studied the empty can of Pabst that had fallen from the driver's hand. The beer had spilled in his lap, wetting his pants. On the passenger seat sat the other five cans, unopened, hitched together with a plastic yoke like a team of horses.

"You sure he's drunk, Lonnie?" he asked. "I don't see but one open beer..."

"Yeah, I reckon I know plastered when I see it. Call the wagon. Coupla hours in the tank'll sober him up."

As Lonnie turned away, the driver lifted his head slightly, and tried to speak, but his words came out as incoherent jabbering. "There, you see" Lonnie said. "This fella is past the limit. Now, git the wagon."

But the driver began to holler, and Lonnie turned back to him, his patience wearing thin. "Hey, you behave! Don't make us hafta deal with you."


From the moment he'd seen him, Jimmy had had an odd feeling about the middle-aged driver. Two hours later, he decided to go in and check on their drunk driver. What he saw was disturbing.

The man was still on his side in the bunk, a pleading look in his eyes. And there was something unnatural about the way the right side of his face sagged. It was time for an ambulance.

What a relief to be in the hospital! They'd fix him up and he'd be back home in no time. The driver let his head rest on the pillow and stared at the recessed lighting in the emergency room's ceiling. He noticed that the lights seemed to be getting brighter. He closed his eyes, but the brightness increased.

Then, out of nowhere, she appeared. Tall, beautiful, and wrapped in a sheet of gossamer, like a shroud. She wanted him. Strangely, he felt no desire, just peace.

She smiled and held out her hand, beckoning. "Come with me."

He heard a high pitched whine, smiled back at her, took her hand. And was gone.


The doctor shook his head and flicked off the heart monitor. Glancing at the wall clock, he spoke to the nurse. "Time of death, ten eighteen."

He sighed and turned to Lonnie and Jimmy. "We might have saved him if you'd brought him in when you first found him. Why on earth did you stick a stroke victim in the drunk tank?"

Lonnie turned to Jimmy and struck him lightly in the chest with the back of his hand. "See, I told you he wasn't drunk! Next time, you better listen to me!"

THIS ISSUE OF FLASH FANTASTIC -- "Eye of the Beholder" is ©2004 by Michael Bracken.  "Blood Can Wait" is ©2004 by Vin Blesi.  "Theda" is ©2004 by Beverley Brackett.  All contents of Flash Fantastic edited by Patty G. Henderson.  Final formatting and additional graphics by Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Crazed Fanboy dotcom and Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.

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