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My latest in the Flash! Friday weekly flash fiction contest. You know it: 210 words max in response to the above photo prompt and the word prompt to “include a writer character.” My entry:

Frank had a tendency to pull his hair out. He did that by the fist-full of grey, letting the clumps float to the ground for the cat.

Frank stayed indoors under the comfort of shadows. There was one lamp inside his house and he had gnawed away at the chord. There were no mirrors anymore since his once immaculate black hair had gone grey. The cat, too, stayed away from Frank. It had learned its lesson long ago, when Frank started with its hair.

The empty walls around his studio apartment were bombarded with fist-shaped holes, sometimes head-shaped holes and dried blood. It was a funhouse of descent; the descent everyone goes
through in maturation, but for Frank, nothing lock-stepped with “everyone.”

He had once been something, the kinda something spoken of in past tense because it’s hard to
hold on to, especially when you had Frank’s tendencies. His anger held the strings directing his performance.

Blinking through his darkness was the cursor, awaiting Frank’s version of distilled madness to pour onto its canvas, like something that’d dizzy Pollock.

So, his veins settled and his brain rested in less-turbulent cerebrospinal fluid flows, Frank wrote. He wrote until the black lines put enough slack on the strings for him to sleep.

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