Wednesday 15 June 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 254

This week's picture prompt is another picture by Andrew Ferez, a Russian artist illustrator. He calls this one Original. I used a picture of his back in March of 2020, on Week 147, and have accidently picked another by him. But he does have some extraordinary piece, worth checking out on his Deviant Art page where he is 25karitnok.

This story got a way from me a little bit, and despite a hard edit to try and bring it until my own word limit, I haven't managed it. But further cutting is not possible without losing the story. Enjoy. 

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A painting or drawing of a man in a suit with his back to the viewer, looking in a mirror and the image in a mirror is off a long toothed alien beast. There is an orange candelabra on the wall by the the mirror holding 3 lit cancels. By Andrew Ferez

Gentlemen's Club

Patrick straightened his tie in the mirror. This suit would get him into the gentleman’s club this time. Randolf had advised him what to wear, and he’d followed it to the letter. He’d get in and finally be able to lay eyes on those inside.

Despite appearances, the patrons were a reckless lot, although not in the conventional sense, only with money – particularly other people’s. They cared little for the consequences as long as it didn’t impact them. And that’s what had brought Patrick to their door.

They’d taken his name, his business and his reputation. They were only interested in the profits they could make, then they’d move onto their next victim. But he was here to change that; he was here to settle the score.

When he arrived at the exclusive club, secreted away down an alleyway between two grand buildings, the doorman didn’t even glance at him, not now he looked the part. He was guided through the ornate foyer and led through into a series of elaborate rooms. The walls were adorned with beautiful wall hangings and there were groups of high backed leather armchairs strategically placed throughout to allow both privacy and companionship if desired. At the far end there was a bar and food was served on silver platters to those who ordered it. The quiet murmur of conversation filled the air, his arrival not even warranting a glance.

Patrick went to the bar and ordered a whisky, seeking out a single armchair by one of the large, ceiling-high, leaded windows. He moved the chair so that it faced into the room and from his seat, with drink in hand and newspaper on lap, he observed the room.

He saw the men he wanted enter and join a group of armchairs where four people were already seated. He watched them shake hands and laugh. He could almost smell the arrogance from his seat.

He got up and walked over to the bar for a refill, needing to move to release the anger stirring within. It wasn’t time yet, but it would be shortly.

Then a familiar face arrived.

‘Patrick! You made it!’ Randolf extended his hand and Patrick gave it a hearty shake.

‘Yes, I fit the bill this time.’

‘Indeed you do,’ Randolf said looking him up and down. ‘Are they here?’ Randolf turned following Patrick’s nod to the far corner where six men were engaged in a conversation. ‘Ah, yes, there they are, gathered up nicely.’

‘It’s only Romford and Delaney I need.’

‘Oh no, dear fellow, it’s all six of them. You might not recognise the others, but I promise you they were thoroughly involved. In fact the one on the right of Delaney was the one who made the decision to take down your reputation.’

‘Six is too many for me.’

‘But you can manage three? We can take half each.’

Patrick grinned. ‘I didn’t think you wanted to get involved?’

‘Initially I didn’t, but yesterday one of them bought up some shares in one of my companies, so I think it’s only a matter of time.’

‘It’s how it started for me. I welcomed the investment at the beginning, but they soon showed their colours.’

‘Yes, putrid colours they are too.’

They downed the remains of their whiskies, and nodded at each other, turning in unison to join the six men.

‘Gentlemen!’ Randolf approached them in a joyous manner. ‘Sorry to interrupt, but we have an interesting proposition for you all, if you would care to join us in the conference room.’

The men smiled, their eyes sparkling at the idea of a new venture. They collectively rose, happy to follow. They smiled at Patrick as they passed, no recognition, which wasn’t a surprise as he’d only been a name on an acquisition paper.

Randolf led the way, with Patrick at the rear, grateful for his friend’s involvement. They took stairs down to the conference room level, and walked to the end of the corridor to a large, elegant room without windows.

The men filed in and sat round the table, three on each side. Randolf smiled at Patrick as he closed and locked the door behind him. The two then stood at the top of the table and turned their smiles on their guests.

As their teeth showed a second set dropped down from behind, longer and sharper. They opened their jackets, taking them off along with their shirts and ties, the men crying out in shock and terror as their armoured skin was revealed. One even dived for the door, but Patrick grabbed him, his fingers and arms having extended, and his exposed talons reducing the man’s protests to a gurgle as he sliced them across his neck.

The other men cowered at the back of the room as Randolf and Patrick advanced.

‘You take our lives; we’ll take yours, simple,’ Randolf said.


  1. Written by @kizletwiggle on twitter for this #MidWeekFlash

    I was used to it by now; the thing I saw when I looked in the mirror. A repulsive creature, barely recognisable as humanoid, let alone human. I raised a hand to my face, feeling skin under my fingers, but the thing raised a scaled claw to stroke a muzzle which writhed with tentacles. Cold eyes stared back at me, regarding me with complete dispassion.

    It had been going on for months. First, the thing was one of those half-glimpsed shadows which flickered on the edge of vision. Then a smoky illusion, one who solidified day by day by day, until the time came where the thing was all I saw on any reflective surface.

    Enough was enough.

    Heedless of damage or pain, I smashed my fist into the mirror, feeling the fine glass splinter and crack as I did so.




    When I had finished, the thing no longer stared back at me. A few shards still clung within the frame, but I couldn't see a reflection. My hand stung, and I felt the blood dripping from my fingers, heard it plopping onto the floorboards, but the pain was good. I welcomed it.

    Turning from the mirror, I moved towards the door, reaching out with my dominant, damaged hand. Looking down, I froze.

    The skin over my knuckles was torn and bloody, but that wasn't what had grabbed my attention. Beneath the skin, stretched taught and glistening…


  2. Kowrek on Twitter @kowrek. First attempt at this!

    Kowrek on Twitter @kowrek. First attempt at this!

    Flash Fic 21/06/22