New Flash Piece: “Crust”

Today is Pi Day! In honor of the tastiest, most mathematical day, I wrote a flash piece. It’s about dessert pie, perfection, and baking. I hope you enjoy a little fusion of creepiness into your morning. Happy 3.14, everyone!

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Crust

The crust was her least favorite part to make. Millie sighed as she ran her rolling pin over the stiff disk of dough. It needed to be cold for the butter to make it flaky, But it needed to be warmer in order to be rolled out. But not rolled out too thin, or else the crust would tear. And not too thick, or else it wouldn’t be a crust at all.

Millie hated making her own crust, but it was the way her mother liked it. Homemade, nothing from a can or freezer. “You can’t make everything easily,” her mother would say as she spit a piece of pie into her napkin, Millie’s latest effort publicly shown as a failure. “You’re spoiled, and that spoils your food.”

Millie would swallow back her tears — “Tears just show how much you think you deserve sympathy,” her mother would say, “and sympathy is earned” — and try again another week. She’d try and try, stirring the blueberries into a perfect compote, baking the apples in sugar until they became thick and soft, baking the pumpkin puree until it formed into a perfect, stable custard that didn’t fall or seep, just wiggle a little. Millie was excellent at filling. It was just the damn crust.

She thrust the rolling pin too hard as she rolled, and tore the crust. “Dammit!” she yelled as she pressed the dough back together. She felt it warm beneath her fingers, felt the butter melt inside the flour before it had a chance to do so in the oven. It’d be less flaky now. It wouldn’t be perfect. Millie threw the crust away, then turned to face her mother at the table.

“I won’t make it if it isn’t perfect!” she said as she blinked back tears. “I’ll start over. Is that good enough for you?”

Her mother didn’t reply. Her mother hadn’t said a word for weeks, not since she’d died at the table while finishing her dinner. Millie found her after placing another pie in the oven, sitting still, her mouth hanging open and her eyes vacant yet narrow.

She still sat there, her body crumbling like an oat topping, her skin wrinkled like an apple perfect for filling. Her eyes were dark and rotted, but Millie could still see the judgment within them. Eternally in disapproval, even though she couldn’t voice it.

Millie could hear it in her head, though — and until she didn’t hear it, she would try and try again to make the perfect pie. “I’ll make it better,” she said as she turned to the fridge to get some butter. “I’ll make it perfect.”

New Flash Fiction: “Where We Used to Play” [reblog]

I have a new flash piece up on Spreading the Writer’s Word for the Ladies of Horror Flash Picture Prompt Challenge. Check out “Where We Used to Play” at the link below! Thanks for reading.

Spreading the Writer's Word

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Where We Used to Play
by Sonora Taylor

Do you remember where we used to play? I do. I think about it every day, that abandoned building that we never quite knew what to call. I said it was a hospital. You said it was a fort. We both agreed it was the perfect place to play.
I still see its walls, smell the earth and mold that I imagined was the smell of bones. I see the gaps that once were windows, light spilling in and turning to shadows the minute it entered the room. I remember seeing you in the light, surrounded by dust that danced in the air as you sketched in your notebook. I looked over your shoulder and saw a creepy, crazy scene of a spaceship, two aliens, and a girl who was all tied up. The aliens had…

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Two Stories in the Latest Issue of “The Sirens Call”

I’m happy and proud to announce that I have two new stories included in the latest issue of The Sirens Call! Issue 42: The Bitter End features short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and artwork around the one fate we’ll all meet eventually: death.

I have two short stories included: “Death is a Hunter” and “Dead End.” “Dead End” is an extra special treat, as it’s the first chapter of my upcoming novel, Without Condition. The novel will be out on February 12, 2019.

In the meantime, you can read “Dead End,” along with over 100 other creepy works, for free in the latest issue of The Sirens Call. Let me know what you think of the stories!

Happy New Year, everyone.

New Flash Piece: “A Part of You” [reblog]

My contribution for this month’s Ladies of Horror Flash Picture Challenge is now live! Check out my flash piece, “A Part of You,” on Spreading the Writer’s Word.

Spreading the Writer's Word

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

A Part of You
by Sonora Taylor

Travis and Tristan looked at their mother, who lay dead on the floor. They smiled at each other, each looking into a reflection of the other as they grinned at their twin.
“That was easy,” Travis said.
“Dad’ll be thrilled,” Tristan added. “He was right – the tea got her in just one sip.”
“Let’s go tell him. He’ll be proud of us for –”
Travis stopped and stared at Tristan. Tristan stood frozen except for the blood trickling from his eyes. They looked like single threads spooling from each iris. Tristan’s mouth fell open, and a waterfall of blood joined the streams from his eyes.
Travis began to scream, then felt a burst in his stomach. He gripped his sides, but instead of flesh, he grabbed bone. He looked down and saw two skeleton arms shoot…

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New Flash Piece: “Hollow” [reblog]

Check out my latest flash piece, “Hollow,” as part of the Ladies of Horror flash picture challenge. Thanks for reading!

Spreading the Writer's Word

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Hollow
by Sonora Taylor

Mrs. Sassafras was Lindsay’s favorite doll. Lindsay spotted Mrs. Sassafras at the church rummage sale, her porcelain cheeks dull and her linen dress yellowed. But it was her eyes that drew Lindsay in. Their irises were gone, perhaps faded with time. Wherever they’d gone, Lindsay didn’t care. She wanted the doll, and once her mother bought it, it became her favorite.
Lindsay liked that Mrs. Sassafras couldn’t look at her. Her mother often looked at her with a sigh, her teachers with frustration as she answered questions wrong, her classmates with mocking and laughter as they asked why she was so quiet. Her cousin Bethany, who was her age and also in her class, was the worst. She always picked on her, both at home and at school. She pretended she wasn’t Lindsay’s cousin when she was around her friends…

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New eZine: Check Out Two Flash Pieces From Me in “The Sirens Call”

I’m happy to announce that I have two flash pieces in the latest issue of The Sirens Call, a horror ezine which you can read for FREE online!

The two stories included are “I Never Knew Your Name” — which first appeared in The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales — and “The Note on the Door,” a new story I wrote this past summer. Both stories were inspired by my morning walk to work. I wonder if I can dedicate a story to a neighborhood block, what with all the inspiration its given me.

I’m proud to share space with several writers in this month’s issue. The Sirens Call: Halloween Screams and Other Dark Things will keep the spirit of the Halloween season going for weeks to come.

Check out Issue 41 of The Sirens Call for FREE right here — and let me know what you think!

New Story: “Death is a Hunter” [reblog]

I have a new story up as part of the Ladies of Horror Flash Project. Check out my flash piece, “Death is a Hunter,” on Spreading the Writer’s Word.

Spreading the Writer's Word

The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!

Death is a Hunter
by Sonora Taylor

Maddie sighed as she walked through a field. “How long until we get there?” she asked.
“Soon,” Dylan replied.
Maddie pouted. She’d lived next door to Dylan her whole life, and until today, he’d never wanted to play with her. He never showed interest, probably because he was a boy and because he was five years older than her.
But Dylan came to her today, and asked if she wanted to play in the woods. Maddie loved the woods. She played there almost every day. Dylan had insisted they cut through the field, and because he was fifteen – almost a man – Maddie had listened.
After a long time walking, though, she began to regret listening to him. “Why doesn’t the field have a path?” she asked. She thought of the paths in the woods that…

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