Thursday, April 12, 2018

A to Z: K - Key & Kill

My A to Z Challenge: Flash fiction written using two words and a photo for inspiration. How did I chose the words? First I brought up a noun list for each letter, then averted my eyes, scrolled the mouse down, stopped and double-clicked. That was the word! The second word was chosen the same way but from a dictionary list of words.
NOTE: Photos are from free to use photo sites such as and No attribution necessary.

He shook the rusted padlock a couple of times and it fell into his hand. That's good, since I don't have the key. He tossed it aside and tugged at the heavy wooden door. Although in a state of disrepair, it was quite heavy. He paused and pulled again, the hinges screaming in protest. Sunlight shot through the holes in the roof giving the interior a polkadot look.

Stepping inside, the coppery smell of fresh blood permeated his nostrils causing him to briefly hold his breath. He pulled a ragged bandana out of his back pocket and covered his mouth and nose. Each step he took deeper into the recesses of the darkened building, brought a fresh wave of the smell of death.

He knew where the smell was coming from, a fresh kill in the furthest corner of the barn from the front. That's where the slaying was done. Ritualistic, gritty and sometimes surreal. He had attended several of the slayings and knew it was part of their way of life, but he didn't enjoy it. He usually tried to find other things to do, other places to be.

But now he had to find the tool he'd been sent to find. Clouds obscured the sunlight for a moment, blanketing him in darkness and he paused. This was not a place to wander about willy-nilly. The cloud moved and the sunlight shifted the interior into view. The sounds of two conflicting voices drifted into range. He resumed his search, knowing he didn't have much time.

Finally, he spotted what he needed. It was half hidden behind the pile of empty grain sacks. He kicked the bags out of the way and hauled out the long-handled implement. It was almost as big as he was and failing to heft it over his shoulder as he had seen the others do, he settled for pulling it behind him.

He squeezed through the narrow opening, the tool catching. He twisted it, not wanting the men to see him struggling. He freed it and dragged the requested implement to where the men were leaning against the fence, chatting.

"Here, let me get that," said the older one.

The younger man ruffled his hair. "Thanks, son. You saved me a world of time hunting that thing down."

He hung his head and scuffed his foot in the dirt. "It was nuthin." He looked up and asked, "What did you say the real name is? Of that thing, I know it's not a machete but I always forget."

"It's a scythe," his grandfather replied.

He repeated the word and nodded.

"I'll go whack down that patch before the hogs get in there. You and the Roy wanna go slaughter the chickens we picked out this morning?"

Roy shuddered. Another ritualistic slaying with his grandfather. No thank you. "Pop, can't I come with you to see how you work the sshy...scyt...machete?"

The two men laughed and his father winked at his grandfather. "Sure thing, let's go." 

Stay Calm and Read Flash Fiction!



  1. Great twist of the scythe. Was expecting dismal.

    1. Thanks...I worked a bit to come up with a twist at the end that people wouldn't expect.

  2. That could have been such a dark story! Glad it was not.

    Janet’s Smiles

  3. Ah the scythe, once the symbol of the literal harvest it has now become a symbol of human harvest. Since we don't use it to cut the grass anymore (thanks Edwin Beard Budding) it has grown into a more macabre image. I like the way this plays with that and juxtaposes it with the slaughtering.

    1. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Much appreciated!

  4. Writing a blog has surely enhanced your flash fiction. Learning to select the right world, keeping things concise, telling a story in a few words. Congratulations on another successful piece to your theme for the #Challenge.

    1. Thank you, Stepheny (and I love the spelling of your name - saving that for a future character).

  5. Thank you for the twist, Donna! I was dreading where it was going and what was about to happen to the person who found the machete / scythe.

    Emily In Ecuador

    1. I really struggled with this one and was SOOOO happy when I figured out the ending.