Cormac, the host of Friday Flash Fiction, provided us with the starter sentence this week - "What do you see when you close your eyes?" I did not give this sentence a thought until Friday morning as I headed to the bike shop. An idea popped in when I had no way to record it for later treatment. Usually when this happens, I can never remember the idea later when seated with fingers poised ready to pour it out onto the screen. But damn if I wasn't able to remember 90% of it and that I wanted to do it in 250 words. I'm becoming a big fan of 250 words. Constraining, but not so much you can't make a point. Short enough for the ADD types like me. And it's a hoot to try to do it in 250 words.
I am not sure why it is yet another violent rip and tear piece. Maybe it has to do with the current political atmosphere. Been watching too much of Glenn Beck and Hannity I guess. Anyway, I went where the sentence took me.
Another odd thing about this piece. As usual I wrote it first and then found the image. As well as the image fits, I almost expect Harlan Ellison to knock on my door at any moment with a knife in his hand.
"What do you see when you close your eyes?"
Axle was not even thinking about closing his eyes. Not with that knife in Jack Top’s hand pressed so hard an inch or two under his left ear.
Jack Top grabbed Axle’s hair and roughly tilted his head back. "I said, what do you see when you close your eyes?" Axle knelt whimpering and losing control of his bladder. He looked up into Jack Top's eyes.
Axle had always been slow on the uptake. It took him a second, but he closed his eyes. Some seconds later they fluttered open. "Uh, nothing Jack Top. Don’t see a thing. Black I guess. Why?" Piss began to soak through Axle’s pants and into the carpet.
Jack Top closed his eyes. His free hand gripped Axle’s hair so hard he could feel some of it coming loose at the roots. “I tell you what Axle. When I close my eyes, I see red. Beautiful red everywhere. Nothin but red.” Jack Top then sliced Axle’s throat open from ear to ear.
Jack Top stood staring down at the wet red gash he had created under Axle’s chin. He watched the gushing blood drain the life out of Axle’s eyes. A look of serenity and calm came over Jack Top’s face. He sighed and closed his eyes again. His knife fell to the floor.
Rivet Head whispered, “If he ever asks me that, what do I say?”
Zip looked at him and said, “You say goodbye.”
Image - Acrylic by Joe Machine of the Stuckists
Edited out after David read it the first time - "He stared hard into Axle’s eyes as Axle knelt whimpering and losing control of his bladder."