Flash Fiction Extra: Photograph

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece about the twins is not part of the novel. This is also a Three Word Wednesday post. Please to go the Three Word Wednesday for more fun stuff!

Danny moved the rifle into position, tracked his target until he had it in the cross-hairs and squeezed the trigger. Three stories below the dog yelped and took off running.

“Damn.” He set the rifle aside and stretched his arms overhead. He had hoped to get a little fresh meat for dinner, but it was getting late in the day and he would have to modify his plans. Luckily he and Danica still had some MREs and canned goods.

He looked around the cluttered living room, noticing for the first time that he was alone. Odd. With furtive steps he went into the hall and heard the faint sound of sniffles from behind a closed door.

There was no need to knock, since that had never been their way. He opened the door and walked in.

From a mattress on the floor, Danica looked up, startled, and shoved something under a pillow.

“What was that, love?”

She swiped her nose in answer and turned away with a veiled, secretive look in her eyes.

“You’re doing it again, aren’t you?”

“I was just resting. And thinking.”

Danny crouched beside her and took her chin in his hand. “Liar.” He brushed his lips over hers. Getting no response, he leaned in harder, nearly bruising her lips with his. But when he tried to slip his tongue in her mouth, she pushed him away.


“Why? The only time you ever feel weird about it is after…”

“I know.” Danica hung her head and picked at a cuticle. “It’s just that it doesn’t seem right to forget.”

For a long moment neither spoke, frozen in a lifetime of shared memories and now mutual guilt. “You do the same thing,” she added. “You think I don't notice, but I do.”

Danny stretched out on the mattress and pulled her to him. “You’re right. But we both need to quit that. They told us to stick together and look out for each other.”

“Not like this.”

“Let them take it up with us in Hell. We're all dying, so we’ll be there before long.” He kissed her softly and began unbuttoning her shirt. “The only thing that matters is now. And us.”

Danica sighed with pleasure at his touch. Obedient to his wishes and the desires of her own body, she shrugged out of her shirt and let him press her back against the mattress.

Beneath the pillow, the family photograph crumpled. Time creased, became warped, and faded into banished memory.


Thomma Lyn said...

Outstanding, my friend. Sad and gritty and filled with these young people's desire to find comfort in the past while moving forward in a frightfully-changed world.

Stan Ski said...

A post-apocolyptic feel to this.

susan said...

Not many writers address incest and rarely when it's siblings in love.

I've read one other by Octavia E. Butler and it, too, felt tender. Talk about conflicting emotions.

Thanks for the read.

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

Wow, took a turn there. Still gritty, but still very accessible.

Tumblewords: said...

Outstanding read!

Dee Martin said...

You handled this very well. It's a difficult subject but it's very readable and loving.
Just curious, was it hard to write this?

Alice Audrey said...

Yep. Those two are such twisted puppies.