Category Archives: Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell’s Flash

Gingerbread by Catherine Russell

Grandma always let me mix the batter. I was at that age when boys were icky and the only males I liked were composed of gingerbread. Daddy didn’t count because he ranked above the others of his sex.

Every so often Grandma would come over to hem and haw over the smoothness of the mixture until the consistency was just right. Then she showed me how to roll the dough onto wax paper with long, smooth strokes of the battered wooden rollingpin. Dented cookie cutters helped me to make shapes – Christmas trees, ornaments, candy canes, circles and stars – but my favorites were always the gingerbread men.

We’d shove them in the oven, and I’d pretend I was the wicked witch trying to bake Hansel and Gretel. When the sweets were done, I’d put them on paper to cool. Later that day, when Mom would get home, we’d sit around the table – three generations of women – and bite their heads off one by one.

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Unintended Consequences by Catherine Russell

Frank drove with seeming carelessness to his job in the big gleaming building downtown. Every time he sat behind the wheel and drove the silver lined streets to his office, he was reminded of how far he’d come. The ghosts of his past were banished to the shadows – places he no longer frequented. Highrises lined the boulevard like silent sentinels.

One day after lunch, filled with benevolence for all beings, he decided to return to work by an alternate route. With the characteristic care and foresight that helped him rise among the ranks of his peers, he placed the extra food he’d ordered on the passenger seat, drove to his former haunt, pulled alongside a vagrant, and offered the crumpled brown bag along with his own wide grin.

Frank noticed only the indigent’s beatific smile as the man descended upon him like the angel of death. When he awoke on the pavement in the pungent clothes of his attacker, he remembered nothing else. Without memories of his former life, without home, without family, he consumed the contents of the crumpled brown bag and wondered where he’d get his next meal.

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Home by Catherine Russell

he kissed the earth,

sweet mother,

to whom all returned

in the end

-dust-

he breathed

Cleopatra’s last breath,

becoming one with

creation

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Frigid by Catherine Russell

He shivered from her icy touch,
pulled away from her cold feet and hands-
her physical body echoing her spirit-
never once asking himself
if her condition was merely
from lacking his warmth

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Naughty by Catherine Russell

The secrecy, the excitement of sneaking behind her husband’s back, gave her a rush like nothing else – especially since she knew full well her lover could kick his ass in a New York minute. But what would be the point? He’d only be accused of picking on a cripple – no matter how resourceful the cripple might be. Besides, divorce was out of the question; Daddy wouldn’t hear of it.

But when loverboy stripped off those fatiques and leather – YUM. She just couldn’t help herself. She loved bad boys, and he’d been very naughty.

That evening, Hephaestus munched popcorn and mulled over suitable punishments as he watched the VHS of his wife’s antics. Oh to hades with it, he thought. He’d had dalliances of his own. Besides, judging from the tape, the love of Ares was punishment enough.

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A Time to Remember by Catherine Russell

The hunter stalked the high school dance like a panther stalked its prey.

Through the foilage, he peered at the festivities within. He brushed aside golden curls and watched the roiling sea of taffeta and tuxedos amid a riot of streamers and tinsel. A lone banner declared it was ‘A Time to Remember.’

On the building’s west side, the social outcasts grouped together, casting furtive glances at the dance floor. Spiked punch did little to alleviate their anxiety. One awkward teen looked especially forlorn as the object of his desire crossed the makeshift stage to accept her crown.

Perfect.

Outside the gym, the camoflauged youth pulled a gleaming silver arrow from his backpack, fitted the deadly instrument into his bow, and waited. The crowned couple descended the stage and danced amid a wide circle of admirers. The King spun his partner westward, and the hunter loosed his arrow – into the heart of the unsuspecting girl. She stumbled, fell from her partner’s grasp, and was caught by her most unlikely suitor.

Amazed, he pushed his horned-rims up the bridge of his nose and helped the girl to her feet. “You fell…”

She looked into his deep brown eyes and smiled. “Yes, I did.”

Then the King pushed the outcast away, grasped the girl once again, and resumed the dance. It was too late. Eros’ shaft had hit its mark.

The god slung his bow over his shoulder, zipped up his hoody, and smiled.

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Inspiration by Catherine Russell

Every writer has his muse, but not all keep them locked in a cage. The creature glared at his jailer from his small prison, knuckles almost white from gripping the bars, though the rest of his skin glowed a healthy, deep emerald – proof to his captor that he took good care of his charge.

“Everyone knows that aliens live much longer in captivity than in the wild,” said Vincent Saint James.

“That’s parrots, you ninny,” said Fremd, blowing back long thin tentacles than had fallen across his eye. “And that’s not proof that enslavement is preferable to freedom-”

“Yeah, yeah, here, Cyclops-”

“The name’s Fremd”

“Whatever. Have another sardine, and tell me what happens in the next scene.”

The alien glowered at him, then took the fish and complied. Until he made it back to his home planet, the New York Times Bestsellers List would have to do. Too bad the idiot couldn’t get his name right. He’d love to see it plastered along bookshelves across this miserable planet.

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