Perfumes and Lipsticks -friday fiction flash

In most parts of the world, Halloween is celebrated – in some form or another – this weekend. Your challenge this week is to write a horror scene ( or something horrific) using a wet noodle, a styrofoam cup and a feather.

So here's my first go at Fiction Friday- hope its not complete rubbish.
Perfumes and Lipsticks

I ignore the rusty letterbox and grope in my pocket for the keys. As the key is about to turn, my hand falters. Someone’s dropped an empty white cup in front of my door. Rage and buried melancholy fights within me, the rage wins. I crush the cup under my feet and kick it away. I turn the key. Click.

In the kitchen I open the hidden pocket inside my bag and take the knife wrapped in cellophane to the sink. When the last drop of red is gone, I turn off the tap, replace the knife and open the window.

It is getting cold. The wind from the North is dry, slightly chilling, and it brings a strange scent with it- almost imperceptible, but then I always had a good nose. And after so many years, so many girls, I know the perfumes, the cosmetics, the shades and the styles. This scent is familiar, but I can’t place it. It makes me uncomfortable. I go to close the windows again and my eyes fall on the outer sill- a black feather is there, along with a discarded white empty cup. What the hell? I slam the window shut and forage the cupboards for food. I had a good dinner last night, but I suppose the excitement of the job works on your digestive glands a bit quicker than normal.

I grab a packet of Maggi Noodles and wait for the water to boil. As I wait, I remember the white cup, the coffee-stained styrofoam cup she had thrown on the table- on our last date. I remember pleading to her not to leave me, her contemptuous smile, and the sudden rush of anger in my head. I have always served coffee in white styrofoam to all my girls since then.

The water boils, I break the noodle cake into it and stir. When it is done I place the bowl on the counter beside the sink to cool, and go off to wash. I need a bath to wash off last night. The girl had ghastly taste- overdone make-up on a thin famished face, orange lipstick, horrible chunky jewellary and a cheap, nauseating perfume that almost undid the surprisingly good dinner she had worked so hard at. And then she herself hardly ate it- went on and on about how everybody laughed at her and how pleased she was to have someone who understood at last, about her near mastering of the secret arts, her cat, her toads, her darling crow… in the end I had to put an end to it. I wasn’t interested in the conversation, and the perfume was getting to me. But I did feel a little bad; I usually never left my girls hungry. Anyway, what does it matter once you’re dead? I change, brush my hair and saunter back towards the kitchen.

A strong, sickening smell assails my senses as soon as I stepped on the threshold. Hadn’t I shut the windows? I rush inside to find my bowl of noodles fallen into the sink along with the knife. The blade is unwashed, stained, the noodles soggy, bloated and reeking. What? How? But I can’t think any more, the smell overwhelms me, I need fresh air. I push the window open – a blast of cold wind and the smell is suddenly magnified a million times, I almost pass out and there is a piercing scream that freezes my innards. Oh, was it just a startled crow? This smell is really getting to my brain. Stupid crow! But how did the bowl fall into the sink? My eyes turn to the counter where I’d kept it, and there’s the white styrofoam cup, but I’ve no strength left for rage anymore. This time I don’t want to crush it, I don’t even want to touch it, but I can’t take my eyes off the lurid orange lip marks at the rim. The smell is in the room is now claustrophobic, and I finally remember what it is.
©Ruchira Mandal


  1. I think you did very well for your first Fiction Friday. It was very well written and vivid.

  2. Guess he messed with the wrong gal! Have a feeling he'll get what he deserves now :-) Welcome to #fridayflash!

  3. What a meanie! Leaving us hanging on the next paragraph like that - there is the horror! Lol, so many questions posed... but that was the point of course - thanks.

  4. Welcome to Fiction Friday. A great premier piece. It hints to a larger story, but still contains all your reader needs to know in the confines of a flash fiction. Haunting.

  5. welcome to #fictionfriday and nice work. You set a cracking pace and the ending was sufficiently enticing. What is that smell???? My imagination runs wild...
    You can see my contribution here -

  6. Great tension and suspense, with just enough clues to figure out the ending. Welcome to Fiction Friday! I hope to see more of your stories.

  7. Hey- wow! So many comments! Thanks everybody-you made my day! I really did not expect this.

  8. Yes, well done for your first time. Not bad at all.

  9. Welcome to Fiction Friday! I thought you gave out details a little at a time at just the right pace. You described the action in such a way that I could really picture it. Good twist at the end too. Looking forward to more.-Tiffany

  10. Wow, this is really good Ruchira! The bloated noodles and blood...what an image *shivers* creepy...

  11. Nice one Ruchi :)
    I had to go thru it several times to make sense of it...not ur fault though...i hav abandoned d habit of reading long since...:D

    I really pity dat poor guy :p

  12. I think the fact that she had near-mastered the secret arts should have given him a worm of concern, it seems that he's in for a practical demonstration now.

    Nice writing Ruchira.

    Happy New Year, and welcome to #FridayFlash.

  13. I think I missed this the first time around. Nice spooky tale. I like the specific images.

  14. Welcome to Friday Flash! :)

    I agree with two things: 1 - you paint a wonderful (yet scary) picture here and 2 - this could be a longer story for sure!

    Hope to see you writing again.

    Jim Bronayaur (my #fridayflash this week)

  15. NICE Ruchira, as always... I love your nasty edge :) LOL even though I'm sure you're sweet in person

  16. You did a great job in here. Keep it up! :)

    human pheromones


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