A self-professed “Renaissance woman,” Linda Nygard loves to write, paint, craft jewelry, and perform improv. Between writing children’s fantasy, working on a collection of adult stories about the circus, and popping into open mics and lit nights to read her short stories and poetry to live audiences, Linda teaches art to children and adults. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, loves to bike around her island city, and hosts the Wednesday Write Along and Proof of Write for our writing community, To Live & Write … Wherever You Are. Visit her stories and photography at No Failure In Art.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #2:
I’m silencing the lambs
A mutiny in my head
It’s war and hell up here
Instilling in me dread
Pierce the onions fragile veil
A tourniquet twists tight
I cry, I plead, I scream
Loudly throughout the night
Beauty of this madness
Creates beneath its lid
Bubble, foam and splatter
This pain I wish to rid
Cuts and blood don’t matter
The flesh it cannot feel
Barbs and shards, a wet thorn
Strong sutures will not seal
Origin of vision
Is mixed in matter grey
Nonsensical I play
With words and noise I craft
Some sense of what I see
Mirror can reflect light
To magnify what’s me
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #3:
Fire licks the gates of hell I proceed, turn and walk away. No such thing in my book There is no hell I say. Contrary to the men pacing the vestibules of the sacred churches Flinging Holy water At the feet of the parishioners that kneel attempting to blot the precious fluid. Begging to be saved from their sins. No such thing in my book There is no sin I say. Original Sin But a joke. A crime to bestow that weight on the infant. Just because of the journey through the birth canal. No such thing in my book No original sin I say. Faith controls the masses Blindly Attending mass. Dutifully receiving the host. Keep them in line They try. No such thing in my book Control me not I say.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #8:
The creature slithered up on to the shore, it’s blue carcass glistening from slime. Breathing above water was labored but not impossible. A slurping sound emitted from a pinhole sized nostril. Oozing out of the eyes, a green mucus would stick to nearby objects. Occasionally pulling along small objects that happened to be in the way.
Stunted appendages sprouted from the upper portion of the misshapen organism; finger-like tendrils sedately writhing off of the tips.
This monster had no name, nor a listing in the annuals of science. Its’ presence on planet earth was birthed on the ocean floor. Bubbling up from a sliver of a crevice, it split open the fissure and emerged from the depths. It pulled with it a pod filled with miniatures suspended in an embryonic state.
Leaving the pod on the seabed it floated to the surface of its new surroundings.
Cleo dozed off on her pink beach towel, droplets of seawater shimmered in the midday sun; the saline leaving spots of salt on her skin.
The brute sensed a being off in the distance. Turning towards the unsuspecting woman, the snake like movements slowly carried it across the beach. It was imperative that it keep one tendril in the water, as to not break the connection the oceanwater created. Without it the carcass would render itself lifeless.
Unknowing what was transpiring down the shoreline the woman rolled on to her stomach, absorbing the warm rays. The empty beach was a picture of solitude, bringing her great satisfaction.
Some time had passed before the creature was in the vicinity of the sleeping female. Her distance from the waterline was greater than the length of the slimy mass, which was now punctuated with bits of shells and rocks, its underside caked with sand. In order to reach its’ prey, while remaining attached to its’ briny sustenance, the lower half of the creature began to lengthen, creeping its tendrils closer to the towel.
Once the expansion was complete, it moved in closer to hover over the body, suspending the nostril over her face.
Cleo rolled over on to her back. Shade blocked her sun as if clouds were passing overhead. As the woman began to wake, she heard slow labored slurping sounds. A blob of slime landed on her stomach.
Fearing she was the target of a seagull overhead; she touched her belly.
Then she opened her eyes.
June 2021 | Flash Lit Collective | Prompt #10:
Artist: Edna Cabcabin Moran
The almond shaped door began to vibrate. It hovered above a comatose body that twitched uncontrollably, as if it was being prodded with a hot poker. Slowly the body’s eyes began to open; its lids stopped halfway and began to flutter, the eyeballs watered and created tears that ran into the ears.
She. The body. A she. Female and the correct specimen to observe. Once the female’s eyes fully opened, she emitted a silent scream into the void. A large ball was inserted into her mouth, and a gag reflex overcame the she-human. A metal clad arm retracted back into nothingness.
The almond door was open, and behind it resided a large human-like eyeball, which stared down at the terrified female.
The eye looked up and down its’ prey and object of desire. Desire to inspect the catch, then release. If it survived. The almond eye blinked and observed the squirming specimen.
Her appendages were magnetically affixed to the surface the body was forced to rest upon. However, there was no rest for this vessel.
From within the void appeared another arm, wrapped in a gauze like material, that pushed its’ one finger into the female’s belly. She retched and writhed with pain so excruciating that tears poured from her eyes and her body became racked with sobs. Through the watery haze she saw the eye blink, ever so slowly. Once open, the eyeball turned a red shade of anger.
The eyes’ gaze penetrated the females head and took control of her thoughts and actions.
No longer in control, her movements dictated by the power that overcame her. Erased of all thought, she existed in a vegetive state. Fear disappeared, along with all traces of memory and incentive. The female stared into nothingness.
Once the outside source consumed and observed the contents of the grey matter, it forced the disappointing slime back into the shell of her head.
Fear again overtook the female. Her thoughts now jumbled and confused. All she felt were primal instincts. Ameoba-like her brain pulsated within her skull, seeking pleasure, or any feeling other than fear.
The door to the almond eye now knew disappointment, a feeling that it absorbed from the females’ thoughts, and understood that the small orb attached to the womans’ body was what stimulated the she-being. Without it, the human would perish.
The eye spat out the disappointment and released the humans’ bondage, leaving the female to move about worm-like. With the experiment now over, the almond eye retreated back into the void.