Dec 26, 2011

Cider, Sage and Dark Alley Taboos: The Flash Fiction of Jessica McHugh and Brad Holland

On November 3, I issued a challenge. A flash fiction challenge. It was seriously difficult to pick a single winner, so I went with two. Their stories are here.

Today it's time for the Honorable MentionsBrad Holland and Jessica McHugh. Curiously enough, both deal with doomed love affairs. Read on.

Jessica's story:
Model Citizen

No one smelled quite like Jasmine, but he could never define her aroma. The challenge made him sigh joyfully as he swept the backstage floor of the fashion show. 

The challenge to win Jasmine herself was a different story; there was no joy in it. 

As the stucco barriers were disassembled and the catwalk packed away, Frank pleaded for Jasmine to see him just once; to ignore the ogling world, to ignore the shoes and nightgowns and bikinis (Oh God, the bikinis...) and assuage his desire to be loved by her. By only her. 

His eyes pleaded for her, but she never even saw his shadow. He trembled, fearing his feckless existence wouldn't meet her standards. That's when he realized he didn't have to meet her standards. He may not have been confident, but he was strong. He could hold more than a broom. He could and he would hold Jasmine.

Her reaction to his proposal was expected: cold. But her icy disposition didn't make him any less hot for her... or strong. As it turned out, Jasmine smelled nothing like flowers. Her scent was cider and sage, and it lasted long after her body temperature matched her disposition.


Brad's story:
Beyond the Pale

Ashe’s cynical distrust was disgorged all over her nightgown. His misogyny, molded from years of accumulated bitterness over failed relationships, imbued the air with mephitic contempt. There was one woman however, Jasmine, who never soured his lust. Whom he vowed to assuage his love for by abducting her psyche.
He put up a façade, as though he would fight to the death for her favor. His will was weak like a stucco wall. Attempts to shoplift his prize would only be met by zaps of foul language.

She loved him knowing the world’s lurking eyes ogled her from every direction, frowning with disgust, stopping at nothing to silence her tryst with Ashe.

She couldn’t stop though and trembled as if incurring a thousand deaths at the mere thought of losing him. She was a concubine of dark alley taboos; too beautiful to shun and too pugnacious to challenge.  

As the two were engaged in carnal melee, her instincts proved correct when she peered over and saw a tiny hole in the painting on her wall. Ceasing their match, they perambulated toward the painting with curious caution.

Looking at each other in shame, they knew who the voyeur was in their father’s room.

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