FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE #9

Welcome to this week’s blog. I am happy to see you here and I hope that you are doing well. Author Suzanne Burke has presented another photo prompt to stimulate a poem, Haiku, or short story. Everyone is welcome to enter the challenge.

MATT’S TREEHOUSE

Matt had all the money one person could ever want or need. He inherited his parent’s fortune and estate where he lived alone in the 5-bedroom, 6-bath home complete with a swimming pool, putting green, and tennis court on forty acres of woods.

He wore gold necklaces, a Rolex watch, and a gold bracelet. His hair was always perfectly cut, he wore the finest designer clothes and drove the latest Porsche model. All the gold could not buy Matt’s happiness. He was too much like his father who treated Matt’s mother cruelly and lived by his version of the Golden Rule: he who has the gold rules.

One evening, Matt and his father were driving the windy road leading to the estate. They both were drunk and were going too fast. Matt lost control of the car, went down a 50-foot embankment, and crashed into a large pine tree. Matt was thrown from the car but his father was trapped and died in the burning car.

Matt was haunted by nightmares and blamed himself for the accident. His only way of coping was to lash out even more at others, especially women. His sadistic actions often left the women with bruises. He would charm them at first flashing his money and buying them expensive gifts. However, when he made sexual demands on them that they did not agree to, he lashed out with intense anger.

Deep in the pine forest of his estate, he had a treehouse built. It was charming and comfortable though not large or ostentatious. Many were the nights that women screamed from pain or ran down the swinging bridge to escape Matt’s anger. 

One stormy night, one young woman ran screaming from the treehouse. Matt laughed at her as he watched her scramble through the forest half-naked. “Good riddance,” he yelled from the small balcony.

When he went back into the treehouse, he began to hear the sounds of many women and his father screaming, “help me.” He looked around the room, but no one was there. The screams grew louder.

Matt ran to the door but it was locked and there was no escaping the living nightmare. He covered his ears and ran into the bedroom, but the screams could not be stopped. The wind howled and the tree branches tore at the little cabin. Like giant hands, they pushed and pulled until the tree house crumbled and fell to the ground. Matt was trapped under the timbers and could not move. His cries for help went unheard. For days and nights, he laid there, suffering from physical pain and hearing the non-stop screams.

He died alone with only his gold necklace around his neck which now brought him no comfort or joy.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
If you are interested in participating in any of Ms. Burke’s challenges, go to her website at
https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

QUOTES TO LIVE BY

For those of us who have lived or are currently living with the challenge of cancer, you might find inspiration from these quotes:

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t. (Thomas Edison)

When it rains, look for rainbows When it’s dark, look for stars. (I Had Cancer)

It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars. (I Had Cancer)

Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does. (Unknown)

Many people are suffering from abuse, poverty, addiction, and other social issues. I encourage everyone to find strength, guidance, and peace with these quotes:

Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day. Bernie Siegel


Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Helen Keller

It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again. Vince Lombardi 

One of the things I love about books, is what I learn from them. There is always a lesson even if it is a mystery, paranormal, erotica, or other genre. Here are quotes from my book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worse that you musn’t quit. (Joe O’Keefe)

The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate. (Oprah Winfrey)

There is an answer to the suffering you see, and though it isn’t easy, it’s still as simple as you and me.” (Author Unknown)

Thank you for reading this blog. I welcome your comments. Perhaps there is a quote that has inspired you. If so, please share it.