“Oh, come now, Emmie,” you say. “Vengeance on a Tuesday? And on your 300th Postday? I think I need a sandwich. Or a single malt.”
Ah, but you don’t know what you’re in for, gentle viewers. You don’t know what glory awaits.
Excuse me while I tap my fingers together and mua ha ha.
We have our first entry in the End of the World Flash Fiction Contest! So because this is my 300th post on this blog, I decided to give the awesome writer a surprise — I made her a badge for launching the first volley at the End of the World.
Kudos to N.E. White for taking point! This badge is all yours to display, to hoard, to lovingly caress in the wee hours of the morning.
Or whatever people normally do with badges.
You can read the story right here. Enjoy — I did.
Oh, what’s that I hear? A call to arms? Get writing, writers.
Denali’s index finger brushes against the call button on her cell phone. She does not hear the rise in the voices around her as they toast her abuser, nor the music from the band they hired to celebrate his retirement.
The hardwood floor of the bar shudders to the beat. She feels it thumping in her chest and head. It jostles the explosives strapped to her midriff. Taped tight to her skin, the adhesive chaffs. Gazing at the crowd through strands of her hair, she supposes raw skin would soon be the least of her worries.
Her stare locks onto her target; a man of middling age with a gut to match his ego. She can see his thick tongue bounce as he laughs. The memory of that tongue forcing its way down her throat makes Denali gag, and tears spring to her eyes. It had found other places to probe on her young body when she had been defenseless, but now she would wipe him from the face of the earth. Along with those around him, she thought. They deserved it, too. Why hadn’t they protected her? Instead they had ignored her pleas as the cries of “the girl who called wolf.”
Her watery gaze looks down at the display on her cell phone. It shows a five-digit number. God’s vengeance, the manual had called it. Pressing the call button would send the numbers to the receiver on her back and all would be over, blessedly over.
She takes in a shuddering breath and positions her finger over the button.
“Denali? Is that you? What are you doing here?”
Someone spins Denali around and she faces her first-grade school teacher. Denali had thought Mrs. Cook ancient back then, but now she sees the lines on her cheeks disappear into a wide grin.
Blinking back tears, Denali stutters a reply.
“I was just walking by. I saw…”
“What?” Mrs. Cook says. She presses one hand over an ear, and raises her voice. “Mr. Peters, you say? Yes, he’s finally decided to retire. You were a student of his, right?”
Denali nods, and moves away, but Mrs. Cook follows with small mincing steps that Denali used to think was cute. Denali mutters under her breath and walks away, but Mrs. Cook continues to follow, a question on her face, her fingers tugging on Denali’s thick sweater . Turning back toward her, Denali shouts, “Stay away from me!” into an unexpected silence.
Blushing, Denali looks around. The band stands mute. The TV over the bar is on. Pictures of battleships positioning over cities around the globe shuffle over the screen. The ships pulse with crackling lightning and Denali knows the instant she sees them that they are alien. The call letters of the station is superimposed on the left-hand corner, but there’s no announcer explaining what is going on.
“Is this the end of the world?” someone asks.
Denali says, “Yes,” and with the frailty of youth sends God’s vengeance.
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