This was a shorter story, but I guess that’s bound to happen when you’re doing 31 flash fiction pieces! The prompt for this was Absorb and it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to tackle with this one because the word can take on so many different meanings. In the end I went with something a little abstract and a little disturbing.
This is part of the 31 Days of Art Challenge [#31DaysOfArt2020]. Go check out the tag on Instagram to see all the amazing art being made!
For today I wrote a flash piece titled Control. Check it out below!
The old-fashioned speaker played the tinny music that she had listened to for hours on end. The brass notes made her teeth rattle, and she broke out in a cold sweat.
“You like this song, don’t you?” The older woman asked with vitriol in her voice.
Trying not to let her nerves show, the young recruit nodded. She didn’t trust her voice.
“Excuse me?” The older woman asked with a flicker of a smile at the corner of her lips. “I’m afraid I didn’t catch that.”
The recruit smiled a grimace and nodded slowly. The muscles in her neck strained.
She winced as the leather struck her knuckles, making her turn in on herself again.
“No, don’t shut me out.” A gloved hand wrapped around her chin as the woman forced her to turn her head. “Open your eyes. Don’t you dare hide from me.”
With a force of will, the recruit opened her eyes, meeting the woman’s bloodshot gaze.
“Do you like the song or don’t you?”
The recruit fought back the sob that threatened to overwhelm her, but she couldn’t stop the tears that slid down her cheeks.
“I hate it,” she admitted. “I hate it so much I can’t stand it.”
The woman’s eyes grew soft, almost pitying. “Good. You must acknowledge your weaknesses if you ever hope to defeat them.”
“How?” She demanded, the sob finally rearing forward. “How can I ever defeat them if I can’t even listen to the damn music without wanting to punch someone?”
“Give it time. With enough practice, you’ll be surprised at what you can do.”
The woman released her and turned away. For just a moment, the recruit could have sworn she saw through the tough façade to a woman also struggling to control her emotions. But then she was once again poised, controlled, and together again. The song had that effect those who had been tortured listening to it repeated for hours on end. Could she have once been a prisoner as well?
She was truly the master, as the others had said, and taking a deep breath, the recruit promised herself that she would learn all she could from the woman. It didn’t matter how long it took, she had to learn and stop them.
“Alright, let’s restart the music and try again. Practice makes perfect.”
I hope you enjoyed Control!
I’ve also got a YA Horror novel coming out at the end of this month called The Seeking that’s been called “a dystopian science fiction masterpiece”. I also have a pre-order giveaway going along with it!