The Prayer

church

© KayllistisQuill.com

Gary was the only one in church. Everyone else was dead or changed. He was temporarily safe. They dared not enter a Holy place. But soon hunger and thirst would force him outside to forage. If he prayed hard enough, maybe God would have mercy. His wife and children were killed in the first attack, but his little granddaughter Lisa was changed and part of the Zombie horde. “Please save her, God.”

A voice whispered, “He did, Papa. That’s just my body, not me.” Gary wept as his family in Heaven reassured him they were safe and waiting for him.

I didn’t find any flash fiction writing prompts in my email inbox this morning, so I decided to go looking for some. I found three at KayllistisQuill.com. The instructions say to pick one of the three photos and write a 15-minute story. I decided to change things slightly and do the usual “100 words” limitation. I also decided to write three different stories based on the three photos presented. This is number one.

This story is exactly 100 words long.

The next story in today’s series is Over the Edge.

You Can Never Go Home, Especially If You’re A Vampire

neighborhood

Image: University of Dayton

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

Can a vampire still love? I know that’s probably a hard question to answer. I feel the same way for my wife Janet as always. I feel the same love for my children as I did before I died. Perhaps that’s what’s driven me back home…to see them again.

I know it’s crazy. If I’m seen by my family or anyone I used to know, they’ll recognize me and I have no explanation for how I can be here, well, no sane explanation.

Can you imagine me saying, “It’s okay. It’s me, Sean Becker. Yes, I died, but you see, I was killed by a vampire, so guess what I woke up as three days after you buried me?”

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Prey and Prayers in the Night

alley

From the film “Red Fog” (2013)

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

Heaven help me, my name is Sean Becker and I’m a vampire. I figured I’d better write all this down. Maybe it’ll help someone else facing the life or non-life I have now. Maybe it’ll just help normal people understand that we’re not all monsters.

I’d been casing the Red Cross blood bank for days. I figured out their schedule. They ship blood out by all kinds of methods including car, bus, and plane depending on the need and the distance it has to go. Blood shipments are sent day and night. It was the night I was interested in.

But in the end, I couldn’t go through with it. Sure, stealing from a blood bank means I don’t have to attack anyone. It would be a victimless crime, right?

Wrong.

Blood being shipped somewhere means a hospital or other medical facility has requested it. If it didn’t arrive, it would mean I’d taken blood that was meant for someone else, someone who could die without it.

Attacking people for their blood is reprehensible, but I don’t kill for it. But I hate preying on the innocent.

So I’ll prey on the guilty.

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When the King of Israel Rules

war

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan (Credit: Reuters/Parwiz Parwiz) Reuters/Parwiz Parwiz

“We are all Israelis.” The phrase kept repeating itself in Steve’s head as he huddled in the makeshift bomb shelter in the basement of his house. He never thought this day would come. At least he sent Nancy and the kids away from the city to her uncle’s farm in Idaho. They’ll stay safer there.

He could hear the explosions getting closer. After the bombardment was over, the ground troops would move in. Steve still couldn’t believe that this great nation was being attacked by a country the size of a postage stamp. Where did they get that kind of power?

The enemy freely answered that question, but it was patently insane to Steve. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a believer. He had been a born again Christian most of his adult life. But he’d also been told that God was on the side of the Church and of America. How could things have gone so wrong?

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Ed Meets God in Church

church

Image: Clipart Panda

This is a continuation of the original short story First Encounter where Ed and Phil are introduced.

Ed Tillman crept into the worship hall like a thief.

He hated being greeted at the door of the church, he hated walking through the crowd of parishioners as they chit-chatted with each other while finishing off their coffee, and he hated the idea of sitting too close to other people in a pew.

So why was he going to Sunday services again?

Oh yeah, to have an encounter with God. It wasn’t going to be easy.

Ed was an introvert by nature and preferred to live alone. He got his wish when Cynthia, his ex, asked for a divorce. He missed his family, especially his two kids, but he didn’t mind being alone, strange as that might sound.

He found an empty place in one of the pews in back.

It wouldn’t be so bad if he could sit next to his friend Mark and his family, but they were on vacation visiting Mark’s in-laws. Ed hadn’t made any other friends at church so he was sitting in a large room with people who were pretty much strangers.

The rest of the church people were filtering in now. The service was supposed to begin in a minute or two. Ed didn’t look forward to the music, which he didn’t relate to. He definitely didn’t look forward to having to stand and pretend to be interested in shaking hands with his “neighbors”.

In fact, about the only thing he liked about going to church was the sermon. He always brought a pen along with his Bible so he could take notes. Maybe that was the closest he was ever going to come to meeting up with God at church.

“Hi there.”

A body dropped heavily into the pew right beside him.

“Phil?”

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First Encounter

liquor

Image: theguardian.pe.ca

Ed left church just as the service ended and headed to the nearest liquor store. He didn’t wait until the ushers came along to release people row by row. He didn’t wait until the Pastor was ready at the door to shake hands with each parishioner as they left. He just left. He needed a drink.

Ed Tillman, 44 years old, divorced, behind in his child support, absentee Daddy to 16-year-old Tiffany and 12-year-old Johnny. Yeah, his life was messy, really messy. One of the other Postal Carriers he worked with said he needed to find God. His friend Mark told him God could be found in church.

Ed was desperate enough and dumb enough to believe him.

As Ed pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall off of Meridian Road, he was still trying to figure out if God ever went to that church.

Oh, the people were polite, they were descent, they all got along. They went to the same picnics, attended the same Wednesday night Bible studies, and some even went on vacations together.

They were all so nice and squeaky clean. Ed wasn’t anything close to that. If God requires that you put on a suit, shake hands and introduce yourself to the people around you in your pew, and sing a bunch of really boring songs, then maybe God didn’t want Ed to find Him.

Standing in front of the display of the different brands of Vodka, Ed opened his wallet and checked how much cash he had left. Just barely enough. He’d memorized the price of a cheap 750 millimeter bottle including sales tax.

“How’s it going, buddy.” The guy behind the counter must have been about Ed’s age, maybe a little older. Long, dirty blond hair, ragged beard, tattoos on both forearms disappearing under his shirt sleeves, definitely not squeaky clean.

“Not bad.” Ed looked around. “Business is slow.”

“Yeah, no shit. You’re my first customer.”

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