Category Archives: Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell’s Flash

SHELL by Catherine Russell

The girl ran inside, the rain drops spattering her coat where they missed her bright red umbrella. She retracted the canvas, shaking off the excess, before placing it in the stand near the door. Approaching the tiny window, she signed her name and took her seat.

Within minutes, she was called and shown to her room, a lone cubicle of bare white walls. Soon only a thin sheet of paper shielded her from the cool vinyl bed of the exam table. Upon the doctor’s appearance, she bared her body and soul, her tears falling like the rain outside the window.

The probing instruments and cold steel exposed her, transported her to a different place, a different time. The thin shell of her life shattered with the memory.

The exam over, she covered herself with cotton garments, dried her face, and walked outside.

As she walked, the sun played upon her flushed face and swollen eyes. A passing motorist noticed and thought her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

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Conformity by Catherine Russell

lost in the herd
just one of the crowd
so the pack
doesn’t prey upon
the one that stands out

For good or ill
-exceptional strength
as well as
weakness-
The one who stands out
attracts predators
In conventionality lies safety

Even the rebels
the loners
the socially inept
seek out their own kind
for safety lies in numbers

Most stay with the herd

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Core by Catherine Russell

The team fought to make their way to the city’s core – the urban center from which youth, poverty, and violence radiated outwards, burning the denizens of the burgeoning metropolis. The city elders had hired the special squad as fumigators to rid the city of its pestilence. This new ‘cure’ only fueled the already disquiet and discontent masses. Not satisfied, never satisfied, the elite could never quite control the lower classes. Like vermin, they survived, mutated, took on new forms to rise again and strike back against their oppressors.

.

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The Ties that Bind by Catherine Russell

The love of Pharaoh’s daughter demanded a heavy price. He struggled to breathe, but the tight wrappings constrained his chest, sealed shut his eyes, and stopped his mouth – the scream from deep within his soul would never escape.

Her name echoed in his mind. She had condemned him – as she had her other lovers. The daughter of Pharaoh preyed on men, lured them with her charms, and bound them with her beauty. Those foolish enough to love her always paid with their lives.

If he could have moved his lips, he would have smiled. Even now, he suspected his lover planned her father’s demise. With marriage and the Pharoah’s death, she would have all she desired. The loose ends of her past would be tidied away, under wraps, where they could not rise to haunt her bright new future.

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Dice by Catherine Russell

text upon a screen
fingers hitting keys
hairless apes
commonly descended
from ancestors
evolved from life
begun at the single cell level

the oceans
the plants
the sun hitting the atmosphere
the planet orbiting the sun
at just over 67,000 miles per hour

The moon
stars
galaxies
a cosmic coincidence
just right to form the life
sitting here questioning its meaning

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Crash by Catherine Russell

Standing on the precipice between life and death, the man remembered – kissing his wife, holding his son, everything that made life worth living. The Market crashed, and he’d lost it all. After the house was taken from him, his wife and son soon followed.

Each step that led to this moment had seemed so inconsequential – until the last. It was true. Your life passed before your eyes.

He closed them now, felt the wind catch within the folds of his jacket like wings – an angel in flight.

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Safe Room by Catherine Russell

The woman huddled in the corner of her ornately furnished Safe Room, her arms wrapped arout her shoulders, hugging herself. After a lifetime spent seeking fame and fortune, she wished to God she’d settled for fortune alone. Wealth had provided her with the safe room discreetly hidden behind a false wall, alarms, monitors, and security cameras discreetly hidden in every room.

Fame inflicted her with the home invaders that now rendered her security useless. Through the monitors and impregnable steel walls, she viewed the intruders – faces hidden by ski masks, guns at the ready. They methodically searched the house, until they stood outside her little boy’s room where Dylan cowered beneath his bed.

Clutching his teddy in her hands, she reached out and typed the password that would take her to her son.

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