Friday, January 22, 2010

#fridayflash Unchecked Expansion

This bit o' flash has a purpose. More on Monday...

The sound of breaking glass yanks Curt from his sleep. Bolting upright in bed, he turns to face Gail, her eyes also blown wide with surprise.

"Downstairs," he mutters.

She nods.

"A burglar?"

"Maybe," she whispers. Without taking her eyes from her husband, she fumbles for the cell phone on the nightstand beside her. "911..."

Curt hops out of bed.

"Curt," she pleads.

"I have to check." His scowl says too much: Three tours in Iraq and I come home to some scumbag in my own home. There's your freedom. He ignores her voice chattering into the phone. At the top of the stairs he pauses and listens for another sound. Nothing. The house is cold.

Too cold.

Curt takes the stairs one at a time, his ears ready the whole time. He wishes for the 9mm in his nightstand drawer, the one Gail isn't fond of, especially loaded with a four-year-old in the house.

He hears the other sound when he reaches the first floor. Wind?

The thing is on the kitchen floor, swollen and blue, stretching across the room. The small table they'd inherited from her parents is clearly broken, smashed under the thing's weight. One leg juts out at a strange angle. The kitchen window above the sink is broken, and chill breeze cuts through the opening.

Curt spies a slip of cardboard on the floor, approaches carefully and picks it up. The blue thing undulates like jelly after someone taps the side of the jar. He can almost hear it breathe.

The slip of cardboard is from the package. They'd bought the Magic Growth Sponge at the checkstand earlier that day to keep Sophia quiet. She'd begged; he'd given in. It was supposed to grow into a cow after soaking in water. A fucking cow.

Curt read the label in the dim moonlight: Continuous Growth.

The thing swells...

"Bring the gun, Gail."

26 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

Okay, now you have me wishing for Monday and that is 99 flavors of wrong.

K.C. Shaw said...

lol! I am a little frightened about what you're going to reveal on Monday, but I loved the story. :)

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - You've inspired me to up the Monday morning ante.

K.C. - Don't be scared. It's only a story. You can always look away.

Elana Johnson said...

I can't wait for Monday now! And that, my friend, is a rare gift. :)

livloveslit said...

Those impulse purchases get you every time! Hi, Aaron, welcome to #fridayflash. This was a great story, the timing is just right and the mounting tension is just right. "The blue thing undulates like jelly..." Great line, I can just see it, even if I don't want to! Thanks for sharing it. You've got a really interesting blog. I'm going to go explore now!

Laurita said...

Welcome to #fridayflash. This is quite a debut. Love how you build the suspense, and that ending...:)

My kids have one of those things - an octopus. Forget putting that in water!

Marisa Birns said...

Tense and taut...and scary,

Very good addition to #fridayflash. Welcome!

Draco Torre said...

A fun little blue-jelly-thingy slice. Nice quick intro and in for the kill. May not need "clearly" since "smashed" and "leg juts" covers the wreckage.

A purpose? Selling blue-jelly-thingy dissolver? No? Well, I might need some after reading this. Hope salt works.
-David G Shrock

Karen from Mentor said...

Laughed out loud at "bring the gun"

I was just talking about you in my comment thread yesterday Aaron, were your ears burning?

Welcome to the group. Always LOVE your work.

Karen :0)

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, all. I've been writing flash on Fridays for a few months, but just decided to jump in the fray. Glad I did (I think).

Sulci Collective said...

Respect... and Welcome

Marc Nash

katey said...

Man I used to love those sponges-- the ones in little capsules that just grow and grow. Badass!

Linda said...

Ack! A good one. I've always been suspicious of those spongy things -- and sea monkeys. Welcome to fridayflash -- great debut! Peace, Linda

Laura Eno said...

I was wondering when you'd start listing your stuff with the #fridayflash. Welcome! Can't wait for Monday now...

shannon esposito said...

LOL! I thought this was going to be something like the movie Paramormal..but this is soooo much funnier!!! Maybe just because I can relate.
Thanks for sharing!

mazzz in Leeds said...

Oooh, jelly-like blue thing = mazzz intrigued.
Welcome to #fridayflash!

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

Argh!! This is EXACTLY why I hate those things. Four kids, yea. Bought more than a few of those revolting, slimy, horrid growing sponge pieces of crap in my time.
Now - I love the idea of using my 9mm on them. Hmmmm.
Heh - well done!

Weezel said...

SLAM! Well written! There will always be a place in my heart for the next cool monster and this one was well crafted! Welcome to #fridayflash!

Danielle Ferries said...

Love it - especially the last line.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Delightfully creepy : )

Chrys said...

I always wanted those sea monkey things as a kid but maybe I wasn't really missing out all that much.

Nice twist. Really well-written and vivid. I am looking forward to tomorrow!

And oh yes, welcome to FridayFlash (I feel a bit weird saying that as a newcomer myself, but welcoming you anyway).

Cascade Lily said...

Welcome to #fridayflash. Hmmm a spongy blue cow that keeps on growing. Noice!

petherin said...

It's 'The Blob' for the 2010's! Great! The protangonist should leave it to grow to see how big it gets. Great stuff.

Apart from.... was the paragraph that just says 'Too cold.' meant to be a bit jokey, 'cos it came across as a bit jokey/cheesy?

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks for reading, all. Petherin - "too cold" is just my pulp showing.

Moxie said...

Ooh, I can't wait for the next installment!

Tom Gillespie said...

scary and dark.. but also funny.. a perfect combination for me.. Excellent writing. Thanks for posting+ welcome to #fridayflash