Edit: If any of my writer friends out there want to collaborate on these experiments, just email me a piece of flash fiction and your paypal code, and I'll add your story to the original post. That way we can have more than one story per piece and we can let the readers decide how to tip.
Here's the first experiment... I started by creating some fractals with Apophysis 2.02 and FLAM3, then ported them into photoshop for painting and textures.
flash fiction by Jason Allard
Shouta checked the bindings on his offering’s wrists and ankles. Black streaks of mascara tracked her fear. She screamed against her ball gag when he patted her cheek.
Shouta pulled a piece of thick chalk from his pocket and inscribed a pair of large concentric circles on the wall. He filled the space between them with the Enochian script, strange sigils, and incantations. The chalk was a bare nub by the time he finished.
Closing his eyes, Shouta, began to hum. He swayed with the rhythm, before opening his eyes to read from his notebook. He’d written the spell out phonetically. As he started, his voice was small and weak. As he reached the end, Shouta was yelling.
The cinderblock wall bulged within his circles. The paint cracked and fell off in chips. The air warmed, and sweat popped out under Shouta’s arms. Suddenly, the inner circle was filled with writhing tendrils of flame. They groped and expanded, finding the chalk boundaries and filling them. Shouta tried not to cough at the taste of sulfur.
A flame reached out, vine-like. It touched the floor, scorching the cement. It detached from the wall, taking the shape of a serpent. It flicked out its forked tongue, blue flame, the same as its eyes.
“I am Ifrit,” it said.
Shouta shook his head. “I didn’t call for you. Go away.”
“You called for my master. I have come in his stead. You will speak your offer, and I will decide if it is worthy of my master, or if you will be consigned to the flames of Jahannam for your impertinence.”
Shouta took a deep breath. “I seek to curse a man and stop his marriage, so that I might have his bride for myself. In return, I offer this young woman.”
Ifrit looked down at the girl. She struggled and tried to scream. The serpent’s tongue flickered over her. Ifrit spoke, but Shouta heard nothing. The girl nodded. The serpent stared into the fire. Shouta thought he could see something, a giant eye perhaps.
Ifrit turned back to him. “My master has chosen to decline your offer. Hers is a better bargain.”
“What?” Shouta paced a few nervous steps. “What offer?” he demanded. “Things don’t work that way. I cast the spell. I inscribed the circle. You are here to do my bidding!”
“You offer a soul for consumption. She offers one for corruption.” Ifrit said. “You offer arrogance. She offers faithful obedience.” A ghost of a smile crossed the fiery serpent’s lips.
Before Shouta could react, a giant tentacle shot from the circle. It wrapped about his waist, searing his flesh. He screamed as he was pulled into Jahannam.
Alice felt the handcuffs pop open. She shook them off, and quickly tore the gag from her mouth. She freed her feet and rose, unsteadily, to her knees. She glanced at Ifrit, then at the eye that looked out at her from the wall. “What is your bidding, my master?”
flash fiction by Aaron Rosenberg
He burned. He felt it, the flames licking around him, the heat scorching his flesh, his extremities curling and withering. And the flames—the flames—
—the flames laughed at him.
They taunted him, dancing just beyond his reach, then darting in to burn him with a fleeting, razor-sharp touch. They swayed to and fro, hypnotizing him, their beauty beguiling him into forgetting the danger. They enticed him, made promises of eternal glory, then blistered him with their sharp retort for daring to believe them sincere.
They watched him. He could feel the eyes upon him as he burned. No, not eyes. Eye. One great, jewel-pupiled eye, lightning flickering deep within it, shadowed beneath a heavy, sloping brow. It watched him. Its gaze seared him as deeply as its flames, which licked about him like tenatacles eager for his flesh.
Perhaps they were tentacles. They were! He could see them now, amid the fire, their mottled red skin camouflaging them. He could feel their touch against him, more biting then the fire itself, more wrenching, more clinging. They writhed within the flames, danced to their own tune, swarmed about him.
And they hungered for him.
There had to be an escape! Any escape! He tossed and turned, twisted and twirled, seeking some way out. But the flames constricted about him, burning the very air until he could breathe only in desperate gasps. The tentacles unfurled about him. The eye’s gaze pierced him, lancing him to that spot. The fire beckoned.
And, with one last, convulsive effort, the dragon awoke.
He no longer burned. The fever had passed. His head had cleared. And as he took to the air, wings unfurling to catch the stiff wind, he summoned the flames, knowing that once more they bowed to his control.
But still, somewhere deep within him, that eye glowered. And waited.
Fully Furnaced by Elizabeth Barrette
Your furnace is possessed,
the repairman said on Monday.
Does that mean you can't fix it?
I said, glancing outside at the snow.
It means I'm never coming back here,
he said, and left.
I sighed and hiked down to the basement.
Hello in there? I said.
The furnace glowed dimly and emitted
a knocking sound but not much heat.
Grumbling, I hiked upstairs for
chalk and salt and asafoetida.
I laid out the circle, drew the sigils,
and checked the furnace again.
Sure enough, there they were: a minor demon,
a tentacled horror, and a medium-size firedrake.
Okay, you guys, I said,
I want to know what's going on here.
Some college student summoned me,
said the horror, and I can't get home.
I used to be in charge of forest fires,
said the firedrake, but somebody clearcut my forest.
I got evicted from my church, the demon said.
Fundamentalists scare me.
They scare me too, I said,
but I need a furnace that works.
The three monsters looked at each other.
Is that all? You're not going to banish us?
Not if you fix this furnace and keep it hot,
They disappeared. The weird sounds stopped.
The furnace purred its way back to normal.
Thanks, guys, I appreciate it,
I said, and swept up the circle.
But I left the jar of hermetic powder in the basement,
so they'd remember that I meant business.
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