I had intended to keep plugging away at The Dark Calling this week. The story is almost done, and I’m anxious to see it through. However, I wasn’t feeling it today, so I’ve opted for unrelated flash fiction.

The story below started with a he, not a she, but I didn’t like the way it flowed. The unnamed character was menacing, but entirely forgettable and unnecessarily cruel. So I changed him. First it was just the gender pronouns, and then more. Brutal violence became magic. Blood-lust became revenge. I began to like the cadence of it.

It’s fine for a fictional killer to have little-to-no discernible motive. That can actually be quite scary. In this case, however, I like the idea that there’s a reason. I don’t know if it’s justified–if the revenge she seeks is warranted. I don’t know what wrong she feels she endured or how disproportionate her vengeance may have been. I only know she feels good about it, and that’s both intriguing and unsettling.

The prompt comes to us courtesy of The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘aroma’, ‘ice’ and ‘ragged’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.



Ice drops into the tumbler with satisfying clinks, but she’s too tired to care. Ragged, she can barely stand long enough to pour the liquid. It’s her favorite, reserved only for special occasions. And though she’s exhausted, tonight is special.

Her first time.

She sits and sips, ignoring the mess on her fingertips. Crimson smudges on the glass. She closes her eyes and remembers. The way the words flowed. The electric power of the incantation. The look on his face when he realized.

The aroma of his fear.

She smiles.

There won’t be a next time. Not for him.