flash fiction, Uncategorized

FlashFictionFridays #5 “Eager”

This was actually supposed to be posted last week…and I only remembered when I woke up Saturday morning. Though it is the first of these for the year, it is an old one, and came from an older (so very old) piece of work that I haven’t finished. It is a little dark.


Shari Paul

This time he knows he has something that Mami will love. And even if she doesn’t love it, at least it would distract her from his “new brother” or whatever she called that boy.

Mami loves pretty things. She told him she chose him because he was the prettiest little boy she had ever seen. He had not liked being called “pretty” but Mami had smiled as she said it and so he had forgiven her, just that once.

His gift to her was also very pretty, perhaps the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and she smelled like the sea, like salt. Mami herself smelled like the river, fresh water and moss-covered pebbles and the tiny river fish she sometimes fed on. He thought his own smell was horrible, dead leaves and stagnant water, but Mami always shook her head and told him it was the smell of little boys.

“One day soon you’re going to be swimming up and down this river with me. All of this is your home now,” Mami says.

She’s whispering to his new brother in their little pool, his head in her lap as she threads her fingers through his hair. His new brother does not smell like either of them, closer to the girl’s sea salt scent, but of dead seaweed and washed-up stale fish. And each day the scent grows stronger, so that even Mami sometimes wrinkles her nose at it.

His new brother does not respond to her words. He’s lost the wide-eyed, frightened one he had at first and no longer tries to leave her pool to “find a way back”. He’s ungrateful still, and shows it in the way that he now no longer even speaks to Mami, instead focusing his attention on the rapidly waxing moon. Maybe if Mami likes her gift enough, she will get rid of this bad new brother. At least the girl smells better.

It was easy enough to get the girl. She had come as part of a group, hiking to the waterfall that he and Mami used to spend all their time in. It was also where she found his brother, with his friends. At first, he had just watched the girl and her friends. They had stuck to the riverbank, taking pictures, and plucking leaves from the trees and grass. But then, as the sun began to drop lower to the horizon, they ventured in. And the moment he tasted her salt scent in the water, he knew he had to have her.

He pulled moisture from the trees to call down the flood that swept her away. Her friends had screamed for her, and she had screamed too, but then she hit her head somewhere and didn’t scream anymore. He thinks she’s still alive, certainly her salt scent hasn’t lessened. And besides, it wasn’t like Mami couldn’t fix her if she needed to.

He dumps the girl into the pool, startling Mami and his brother, who jump a little and turn to him.

“I get you a present!” he declares, smiling cheerily at Mami.

“What?” she asks, glancing at the water. A moment later though, she screams and scrambles backwards away from the pool on her hands.

His new brother though, wades further into the pool and turns over the girl’s limp form. His eyes grow wide and finally, after days of silence, he speaks. “Is she dead?” he asks.

“She’s not for you,” he snaps. “He’s for Mami.”

“What? No! Why did you bring that here? Take it back! Take it back right now!” she screams.

“Why? I brought her for you,” he protests.

His brother, still holding the girl, says, “You can’t keep her. I won’t let you.”

Both he and Mami turn to look at his new brother. And that’s when the girl opens her eyes.

Her scent changes at once, and it’s like standing on the shore on a stormy day, her salt smell cutting through the air like a gust. Mami screams, and now the boy is alarmed. He has never known Mami to be afraid. And if Mami is afraid of the girl, he will get rid of her.

He jumps into the pool, determined to drown her, but then his brother is there, blocking his path.

“Run!” his brother yells. “Get away from here! They’ll kill you!”

The girl does not run. Instead, she pulls the water to her and smacks him right out of the water, throwing him into Mami. They tumble together, Mami screaming again, and when they stop, in a tangle of limbs at the base of a tree, the girl and his new brother are standing on the riverbank.

“Who are you?” Mami demands. “Why are you in my river, salt witch! Get out!”

Instead, the girl looks at his new brother and asks, “I think it have people still looking for you. I see the story on the news. You need to come with me.”

“No!” cries Mami.

“Yes!” cheers the boy.

Mami stands up and says, “He’s mine. You can’t come into my territory and take him.”

“He’s not yours, he’s human,” the girl snaps. “And when I tell them what you doing up here, because I’m sure you thief that little boy same way, you in big trouble.”

The boy’s grin falls away. This was not part of the plan. Mami doesn’t go around the others like her much but he’s seen them, and he knows they can hurt her. He can’t allow it. He has to stop the girl.

He moves to lunge at the girl, when Mami puts a hand on his shoulder and asks, “If I let you go with him, you won’t bring any trouble for me?”

The girl glances at his brother a moment, and replies, “Okay. And you better keep your word or you will have Maman to deal with.”

Mami actually shrinks back at that, and then says, “Just leave my place please. But I hope you know that it have nothing you could do to stop what happening to him. By the time the moon full, he will be mine.”

The girl scoffs and says, “No, he won’t. I sure you can smell the sea salt on him. You better hope Maman can reverse this.”

Mami turns her head away at the second mention of Maman and the boy snarls, “Just get out of here already! And don’t bring him back!”

The girl gives him a soft, sad look, then takes his brother by the arm and walks away. He watches until they are out of sight then turns and wraps his arms around Mami and says, “Don’t worry, I not going nowhere. I will stay here with you forever.”


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