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Author Topic: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread  (Read 10438 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« on: July 01, 2015, 09:19:55 PM »
Flash fiction!


'Hans Heinrich Brüning' by Miguel Vera León

Postcard Fiction. Short Short Story. Micro Fiction. 500 words or less. That's all you get.

You probably saw it coming after I granted you more words in the last contest. ;)

But don't worry. Just because it's short doesn't mean you need less time writing it. ;D

Wikipedia says that 'flash fiction often contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution.' No idea how you are going to fit all this into the word count but I like to see you try. ;) And there's still the word 'often'. So please be as unconventional as you need to be.
It adds that 'the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten – that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline.' Which sounds quite intriguing and like a very good exercise in writing. :) This of course leaves the story open to a lot of different interpretations, which makes flash fiction so interesting.

For those of you who need a theme to get the creative juices flowing: Secrets

Rules:

1. This must be prose.
2. Must fit the word count. 500 words or less.
3. One story per person (not per account).
4. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
5. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
6. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
7. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
8. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol.

Entry will close August 1st 2015 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:25:24 PM by xiagan »
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 11:53:26 AM »
Well, you did call it Flash fiction. So here it is, before the winner from May is even announced.

Parting Friends. 500 words, including the title.

Spoiler for Hiden:
PARTING FRIENDS

Hours after the battle, they finally found the gnome. The wizard tossed his tangled beard over one shoulder and knelt, glanced up at the prince, then smiled down at their fallen comrade. "Didn't I tell you to stay behind the elves, Prosper? We hired you for your light fingers, not your sword."

Prosper grimaced, showing cracked and bloodied teeth. "I'm sorry. I'm afraid I'm letting you all down."

"Not at all!"

"Yes, you are," broke in the prince. "This charlatan is too cowardly to say it, but we desperately need the Bane. And you lost it for us."

"This is not worthy of you," growled the wizard.

"The gnome can die on his own time. I need to know what happened to Pelnar's Bane. Tell me now, thief, before it's too late." The prince's bleak expression echoed the blasted landscape, where the wreckage of goblins, elves and men was piled around the walls of the ruined castle. "This was just a fraction of the Enemy's strength and already ours is spent."

Prosper shivered with pain. "I'm sorry. I wish I knew. Truly, your great gem wasn't in the throne room. I found your father's... skeleton after I snuck in, and he was holding a great sword, just as you predicted. But the Bane wasn't on the pommel."

"That cannot be all. It cannot."

"It wasn't there."

The prince gave a strangled oath, and shook the gnome by his bloody shirt. "You're lying, thief! What are you hiding?"

"Get hold of yourself!" The wizard pushed the prince away, who half-drew his blade, but then spat in anger. He stood and glared down at them. "I am sorry, Prosper. No death is a good one, but I do not envy you yours."

The wizard watched the prince stalk away, then produced a flask from his sleeve. "This will ease the pain, lad."

"Magic?"

"Only the kind that comes from twenty years in a barrel." For a time, they drank in silence. "Empty, you say?"

"My cup?" The gnome was still joking, even with more blood on the rock beneath him than in his own body.

"The throne room. You saw nothing else?"

"I saw," whispered the gnome. There was sadness and accusation in his eyes. "Footprints in the dust. Boots, with a jagged crack in the left heel."

The wizard winced and sat back on his haunches. "Why didn't you tell the prince, then?" he asked. "He was listening, for a change."

The gnome laughed, then coughed red flecks. "Is it possible to have a friend, to love a friend, even if he isn't as you thought he was?"

"A good question. One for the philosophers you love to read."

The wizard watched until death took his friend and sealed his lips.  He took Pelnar's Bane from his robe and stared into its eerie depths. Ah, Prosper, he thought. My dark master will be pleased with this day, even if a washed-up, sold-out old wizard has very great regrets.



« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 10:19:15 PM by Jmack »
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Offline donalddallan

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 06:24:49 PM »
497 words. http://www.twitter.com/donalddallan

Little Elizabeth

Spoiler for Hiden:
Little Elizabeth clamped a hand over her mouth to smother her burst of laughter. In her other hand the flashlight bounced lighting up her nightgown and the book she had propped up on her bent knees. The duvet that covered her on her bed hid all evidence from parental eyes that she was breaking the rules and staying up well past her bedtime. This thought was what drew the giggle from her. She loved breaking the rules and loved staying up late to read under the covers.

Her mother was getting better at stopping her but she was getting better at recognising when her mother was going to try and catch her nightly reading. Today she had rigged up a rather complex mechanism that would ring a tiny bell hidden between her nightstand and her mammoth Queen-sized bed. A bed for which a little girl of ten years of age could turn into a tableau of amazing adventures.

Under the covers she had travelled the seas as the captain of a pirate ship, she had explored strange alien worlds, and fought dragons and won. But best of all was the escape to the worlds found written on plain paper and bound with exciting and wonderful covers. She wished she could escape forever to these worlds. She wished it with everything she had.

Ding-a-ling!

The little bell beside her bed tinkled and she gasped and shut off the flashlight, stowed it expertly beneath her pillow and collapsed flat in bed. With a tug she lowered the duvet to expose her face to the cool night air and she listened carefully for her door to open. She strained her ears but heard nothing from the door. She cracked one eye open but with the light of her flashlight still sparkling in her eyes she could see nothing. She screwed her eye shut and stopped her breathing and listened again.

Ding-a-ling!

She gave a small cry as the bell rang yet again. She sat up in bed and reached under her pillow and pulled the flashlight free. She snapped it on and turned the beam of light to her door. It stood closed. She followed the line of string along its tracks until she had to lean over the edge of her bed to shine the light on the bell.

Elizabeth blinked. There grasping the string and with its feet on the bell was a little figure no bigger than a moth. It was a little person wearing a tight green dress and wearing a little strange cap. Behind her was a blur of moving wings and the little person smiled up at Elizabeth.

With a blur of motion the little person swooped up into the air, trailing glittering dust, and spun all around Elizabeth faster and faster. The room lit up with a bright flash.

The flashlight landed on the empty bed with a muffled thump and the duvet slowly sank to close the empty spot where Elizabeth once lay.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 12:21:50 AM by donalddallan »
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Offline TOMunro

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 10:42:27 PM »
"Tears"  500 words not including the title.  My twitter handle is @TOMunro

Spoiler for Hiden:
“Did you realise you were going to die today?”

Seorcha stood very still blinking the rain out of her eyes.  She wasn’t dead yet and the swordsman seemed in the mood for conversation.  Keep him talking, that’s what her father would have said.  Words would not come though.  She swallowed. Her skin pricked against the tip of the blade he held to her throat with such still precision.  The sergeant on the ground offered no inspiration.  Fixed eyes stared up at her in a last apology from a blood flecked face. It might not even have been his blood but, like all the guards, he was past such sanguine cares.

“When your maids picked out that fine gown for you, did they know it would be your shroud?”

She forced herself to look at him then. The cowl shadowed half his face, pale skin and a flat mouth all that could be seen of her assassin’s face.

“What, no last words, Princess? No final message to draw tears from your father’s granite visage?”

 She was trembling, eyes full, her voice a whisper as she forced out a single syllable.  “Why?”

“Karina.”

His mouth hardened at her blank expression, his fingers clasped white knuckled around the sword hilt.  “Karina!” He repeated leaning in.  She could not help but step back. He followed blade first. She felt it puncture her skin, a tiny scratch next the wounds of the slain around them, but still enough blood to trickle down and pool in the hollow of her throat.

The injury stunned them both. Words poured from her.  “I’m sorry, I don’t know of whom you speak.”

His sword trembled.  His other hand swept back the hood.  A shock of dark hair hung across an ordinary face, grey eyes as damp as her own.  “Your father doubtless barely read the name on the warrant.  All Karina did was try and stop a tax collector from battering an old man.  Was that a crime to die for?” Anguish clouded his face.

“Is that why you’re going to kill me?”  The deadpan words defied her frantic heart.

“There is no other way to hurt him.  To hurt him as he hurt me.”

“You loved her? This Karina?”

“This is not how I was, not who I was, not while I was with her.  She saved me.  She made me better than I thought I could ever be. Your father took her from me and he will see what a monster I am, what a monster Karina kept from all of you.”  He glanced at the fallen, lying in careless tangles of limbs around the royal coach. “Be grateful, princess, that I grant you a more merciful ending than he gave her.”

“I’m sorry.”  She shut her eyes.  The wait for death was an eternity itself.  Would he never strike? 

There was a sob, a rush of wind beside her, and then nothing.  She opened her eyes.  She was alone with the dead. And still it rained. 

Offline Lejays17

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 08:35:21 AM »
New Girl - 325 words excluding title.

Spoiler for Hiden:
“Psst!  Check out the new girl.”

“What new girl?  I’ve been out for a bit and haven’t seen anyone new.”

“Pink-and-Grey Stone face with wings, over by the table.  She arrived the other day, I heard round the place she’s from the same school as Little Miss Unrequited Love, but they weren’t there at the same time.  Leastways, they don’t seem to know each other.”

“She’s looking a bit sad.  Should we go talk to her?”

“Why not?  It’s nice to chat to someone new.  Oh, too late, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is heading her way, teapot in hand.  Hope she likes tea.”

“Ah, we won’t find out about that now.  Stone girl’s been distracted by the cutesy-overload of Crunchy Granola Girl and Broody Nature Guy pretending that they aren’t dating.  They couldn’t be more obvious about trying to hide it, really.”

“At least they are actually dating, not like Perky Purple Goth Girl and Cute but Nerdy Boy.  I just want to lock the two of them up together until they actually talk to each other about it!  It’s exhausting watching them tiptoe around each other.”

“Speaking of exhausting things, Princess Pink-and-Fearless is organising the rest of the class to jump off the highest tower for fun next weekend!  She’s so determined not to miss out on anything before her destined Big Sleep.”

“Look over there!  I can’t believe she’s fallen asleep in the middle of the room, she really can fall asleep anywhere, can’t she?  If the new girl doesn’t look out, she’s going to trip over her legs.”

“And there she goes!  Straight over the legs and into the table.  I think she may have broken something.  That’s not a good start to the school year for her, although it can only improve from here.”

***

“Mummy!  Tell Mandy she’s not allowed to touch my dollies!  She’s changed them all around, and I think she’s broken the wing of my new one!”
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

"It's not destiny!  It's a crazy scientist with a giant snake!" Sinbad - For Whom the Egg Shatters

Offline Raptori

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 01:22:25 PM »
The Hero (142 words)

Spoiler for The Hero:
Vicious trolls and evil hordes infest the land, turning our bright and hopeful world into something dark and twisted. The people have lost hope, and even those who still fight against the corruption spend their time bickering and battling amongst themselves. The forces of good are dwindling, but it is time for the tide to turn. It is time for me to step into the fray.

I will spend my days fighting for good. I have been training, biding my time, learning secrets that have shaped me into greatest hero of them all. I shall not give in to temptation, and I shall walk through the flames and emerge victorious.

Some might argue that this is not my fight, but I will not be dissuaded from my quest. The fate of the world is at risk.

Somebody is wrong on the internet.

I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline NightWrite

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 03:04:11 PM »
At 202 words here's my story Burn it All Down.

Spoiler for Burn it All Down:
The oil felt slick between her fingers. It twisted and swirled with the dried blood on the floor. What memories hadn't been tarnished by the raid were stained with its slick sheen. What life the fire and smoke hadn't choked out became smothered by its clawing embrace.

Pain pulsed throughout her body like lightning, each sob wracking her body further. Emotions became quick and raw, laid out bare before the world. She thirsted for blood, for pain, for revenge. She craved it like nothing else.

Revenge for the family she would have to bury long before their time. Revenge for her youngest children, taken by bandits as they fled. Revenge for the quiet life stolen from them, shattered and buried in the skeletal ruins of their homestead.

She would reunite with her family; she would have her revenge. No matter how long it took to find them they would feel her pain, and her fury. With a final promise, she turned away from the burnt out ruins. It was a funeral pyre for her old life, and a foretelling omen for the future. They too would burn, by the cold fury of the Silent One she would see them all burn down.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 05:46:59 PM by NightWrite »

Offline RussetDivinity

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2015, 04:07:30 AM »
I thought I'd have a really hard time keeping this below 500 words, but I managed (somehow). Here, at 474 words, is "Space for a Breath".

Spoiler for Hiden:
In. Out.

Her breath came quick but steady, chest rising and falling beneath his hand. It was just like the doctor had told them it would be. Nothing would be strange. Nothing would be changed.

In. Out.

He could feel her heartbeat under her skin. It was pounding fast, too fast, but her face was calm. Too calm. It was for him, he realized a second later. She didn’t want him to worry about her. It was too late for that, but he tried to smile so she wouldn’t be discouraged. He needed her to keep hoping.

In. Out.

“It won’t be long now,” he said. “You’re at nine centimeters.” She nodded, head tilted back to look up at the stars. His hand moved slightly, from her chest to her rounded belly, but then back so he could catch her next breath.

In. Out.

“Mom never said how much contractions hurt,” she said.

In. Out.

“Your mom got to have an epidural,” he said. “I understand they make all the difference.”

In. Out.

“Mom wasn’t giving birth to the supposed savior, either,” she said with a grimace. “I bet that makes a bit of a difference, too.”

In. Out.

He nodded, but he didn’t say whether he disagreed. He only sat still, resting on hand on her chest, the other on her palm. Her hand had gripped his tightly with each contraction, and he did his best not to show any pain. He wasn’t the one shoving some promised child out between his legs. If she broke one of the bones in his hand, well, he would just have to live with it.

In. Out.

“We never talked baby names,” he said suddenly. “Not since the prophecy, anyway.” It was rather hard to focus on what to name a child when you knew it was going to save the world and die doing so. “I’d suggest Jesus, but I think it’s been done.”

In. Out.

She laughed then, sudden and sharp and filled with pain. “Let’s stick with the original plan. We’re naming him William, after your dad.”

In. Out.

“William,” he repeated. “William Winston.”

In. Out.

She nearly laughed at that. “William Peter. No child of mine will be called William Winston.”

In. Out.

Another contraction, and she winced, closing her hand tightly around his. “Hold on,” he said. “Not much longer, and then we’ll have pastries or something. Those things you liked from Michigan.” He had just enough time to see her nod, and then

In.

Out.

In.

Flash.

In.

A baby’s cry.

Nothing.

He drew his hand from his wife’s still chest and dared to look at the child lying on the floor. The child that would bring about the salvation of the world or its end. The fabled second son of the prophecy.

What he saw was a little girl.

Offline m3mnoch

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 01:44:43 AM »
500 words.  not counting the title.  twitter username is also m3mnoch.

Strength
Spoiler for Hiden:
He crashed through the skins covering the door to the birthing tent. Joachim was out riding, chasing game on the steppes. He smelled of leather and horse. She loved that.

"They've taken our boy for the test. With how he wrestled me, he will surely be strong," she said, laying on her back.

Joachim knelt by his wife. He stroked her eyebrow before gripping her hand. Smiling down at her, his eyes overflowed with pride.

"No one knows the strength of our son better than you, Light of my Stars, for no woman is stronger than you," he whispered.

She smiled back. There were more miscarriages over the past years than she'd wanted to remember. Some of them had been harder than others, but this was the final one.

She was dying.

Something tore with her last push and there was too much blood. As a midwife herself, she knew something was wrong. She would not see the boy grow up and couldn't bear to tell Joachim.

Her friend and fellow midwife pushed through the flaps and padded over to the couple, wringing her hands.

"It does not look good, Sheeba," she said, nearly weeping. "From where I was standing, the Great Mother appeared saddened as she handed the babe to Elder Hammn."

Joachim stiffened. He glanced down at Sheeba and then to the tent opening. She saw something harden in his face. After years, she knew by the way his eyes and jawline were set, he was about to make a poor decision.

"Joachim, wait," she said, holding his arm with both hands.

"Do not worry, Light of my Stars. I will return shortly," he said as he pressed his lips to her forehead. He snapped to his feet and was out of the tent.

"There's too much blood," Sheeba said as she looked over to her friend. They were alone now.

The midwife hurried to where Sheeba was laying and pulled back a pile of blankets. There was blood. Far too much blood.

"This is not good, Sheeba."

The skins parted again and Sheeba's heart leapt to talk to Joachim. She needed to tell him how much he'd meant to her. She needed to tell him that their son would grow big and strong just like him. There were so many things she needed to say.

It was Elder Hammn.

"The Great Mother has pronounced that your son is not strong enough to survive the upcoming winter. His heart is weak," the village elder said, his voice heavy with sadness. "He must be cast into the Chasm of Judgement."

"Oh Joachim," she whispered. She died.

***

Elder Hammn stood stiff at the edge of the chasm, heartbroken sobs echoing around him. He dropped the child out over the yawning edge into the darkness and cried.

No one saw the outstretched arm barely snatch the child because it was impossible to climb down beneath the incline.

"You will be strong," came a whisper, cracked with lost love and newfound fury.

Offline wakarimasen

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 02:43:22 PM »
500 words... enjoy

"For Evil to Triumph"

Spoiler for Hiden:
He pulled the child tighter under his cloak, as if it could protect her from the heat. Incandescent motes swirled about them on air maddened by the strength of the fire. For years he had watched mutely alongside the other townsfolk at every Purge; conspirators in their silence as the damned were jabbed into the burning maze. Finally, he had found his voice. Finally a whisper of wounded justice had found its release. That release had condemned him as surely as this child he had tried to save. Now he looked down into wide eyes, wet with terror, and felt a renewed certainty.

“Can you conjur with the earth?”

The child shook her head, the tears falling free. He clasped her shoulder. Of course she couldn’t. They were burnt young so they would never grow to learn. Purged as soon as the birds came. It might have been a simple roosting of sparrows or a circling of crows. Something that would delight any child and drive anguish into the heart of every parent.

“I can call water.” The child croaked, barely audible over a crashing maze wall, which threw up a burning constellation. “But not enough.”

“It may be this time. It may be.” He reached into the sickening past. There he found all the years he had watched the others die. He felt the fear in his chest, the sucking black that had kept him from acting. The same fear that had ruled his days. It had made him weak. Unremarkable. Safe.

He delved deeper. Using the fear, crafting it. No one had seen the birds when he had been young. No one had been looking for them. Ever since, he had hidden. Unwilling to sacrifice himself for another. But that was gone now, like the fear. He unlocked that ignored power and, magnified by years of suppression, it channelled into the child.

“Now. Call the water.”

Eyes screwed tight, the girl muttered into his tunic. Her conjuring was instant, it would have been a trickle, perhaps a stream but empowered by his years of guilt it became a spiralling torrent, a screaming tumult. It smashed fire into steam and tore the roof from the maze. It was greater than a waterspout born of the fiercest sea under an implacable storm.

The conjuring chased flames further and further, revealing the charred shell of the maze and the other children’s corpses. Soon a fine rain spattered all the remains. He unwrapped the cloak. Together they looked up at the crater's rim.

Horror and hope mixed equally on the faces of the townsfolk lining the edge. The arch-deacon glared down, imperious and vengeful. It would have been a sight to cower any god fearing parishioner but neither man nor child buckled. They were done with fear. Sweeping in behind it was anger.

“Again.” The man said quietly, his eyes fixed above. “And this time I shall show you how to make blades of ice.”
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 10:59:13 PM by wakarimasen »

Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 05:02:45 PM »
382 words, not including  the title. Hope you like!

Spoiler for Homecoming:
Homecoming



You should not be here, no sir. You are not welcome. Yet here you are, visit overdue. You do not care. Not since your self-imposed exile, and besides, this is your home. What will they do? So with a mad cackle on the lips and reckless abandon in the hips, you dart through the passageway. The hinges squeak.

You continue down the hall. Yet you are crafty. You are driven. You are careful most of all. Guarded, especially here, which is why you spy the guard first. Doing the rounds. Checking the windows. You count. Ten. Twenty. A hundred.

She leaves, and you race up the stairs. She will not be back.

It does not take long for you to find the door. It is locked of course. It has always been. It always will be. But you came prepared. You have a pick and a torque at the ready. You want this done quick.

The Almighty has other plans.

A voice cuts the tip-toes. It is sharper than your instrument.

“Welcome home, child.”

Your blood bubbles. “Hello, Father.” You stand.

“Why are you here?” His face tilts an accusation.

“I am here for my birthright.”

“Then you should continue elsewhere, for I see no child of mine.” His eyes are cold. You can be colder.

“Yet is this a dagger I see before me?” You withdraw the blade, hold it aloft. “You see it plain as day?”

His smile withers. He backs away. He knows how far you can go. You lack no pretense. It finds and he falls and the key comes quick. Blood pools at his side. He moans a dying wish. You leave the body for the servants. For tomorrow. Today is calling. Now.

His bedroom opens silent. You do not take a chance to peruse his inner sanctum. You know where he hides the prize. In the closet you head, straight as an arrow and eager as a starving man. It is tucked underneath piles of vestments, however, not enough to keep you from it, no. The trunk is locked, but another key on the ring throws away that worry.

What could it be? You wonder.

The key spins.

What might it be?

The top comes off.

Oh how could it be?

Gone.

Gone like his whisper.
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline Henry Dale

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 05:08:03 PM »
Some idea I was playing with. Hope it's received well enough.  ???

480 words

the title is: Check

Spoiler for Hiden:
Mancala carefully placed the white wooden staunton chess pieces he'd inherited on the game board. Then he sat back on the stool and waited for his opponent to finish doing the same. He was one of the last "traditional" chess players left. In the game of spirit chess this meant a full set of one king, one queen, two rooks and so on.

The veil that separated him from his opponent dropped revealing the set-up he was playing against. His opponent, a young girl, seventeen years old maybe, flashed him a devious smile. The wrinkles in his forehead deepened. 'On the left side, a traditional play enchanted white staunton, on the right twelve knights, a king, a queen and two sorcerers.' the announcer blared. The moment he saw his opponent's setup he devised a strategy. There was a good reason he was still running in the top tier with a traditional set. His enemy tried to gamble on mobility, she'd try to flank him while picking him off from the distance with sorcery. So he'd have to cut off the movement somehow. He'd have to send the bulk of his army into danger but could take out the sorcerers and queen then by simply running his bishops between the ranks. His mind jumped from one possible scenario to the next, then he made the first move. The girl he was playing against smiled again. Was this a mistake? Her golden armored knights shone bright. Their horses breathed clouds and battered the board.


The knight looked up at the faceless queen piece towering over him. He raised his shield to deflect her incoming blow. His arm bent down and his horse staggered. Blood sprayed across the black and white board. He prayed to his goddess that his demise would be swift. The clouds opened and a lightning bolt fell down upon the queen, destroying her. The knight tried to stopper the bleeding from his broken shoulder, his mail had torn open the flesh there. A shadow fell over him, the emotionless bishop piece came down on him.Forgive me, my king.
A voice boomed in the sky
Check.


Mancala looked up at the girl to see what her response would be at his aggressive move. She was unphased however and the battle had only just begun. 'Check' the announcer said again. The girl had rushed one of her knights forward to get back at him. Another wink at him to try to throw him off guard. She was unaware of the trap she had just run into. Time for a checkmate.


A blood-covered battlefield, the wails of his dying men, smoke rising from the ruptures in the black and white tiles. The king turned around as the enemies closed in on him. His trembling hands held up the sword. A drop of sweat ran across his cheek. There were too many. Checkmate.

Offline thelonelypubman

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 02:23:55 PM »
First entry in one of these. Twitter handle is @thelonelypubman. Story is called Daughter. EDIT: 487 words not including title.
Spoiler for Hiden:
They burned in her, trying to force their way through her gut and out her mouth. Sins. Secrets.
“Born with a gift.” he had said. Before he took me to the Holy City. The memories that coursed through her blood shrivelled her heart into a cold, dead thing. “Eat it. Please.” The woman had said, shying from the bowl, its contents like poison. “You know what he’ll. . .” Syrah silenced her with a look and placed the skin into her mouth.
   
Agony filled her. Doubled over, cramping, her breath escaped completely. Pressure built inside her until it became unbearable, images flashing through her minds eye: stumbling to his daughters room, drunk and drunk with lust. Angry fists beating down his wife because she dared speak out of turn, or because he felt like it. Hooking friends and enemies alike with barbed insults, then laughing it off. Hot eyes on his. . .

She vomited black bile on to the floor, breathing in ragged gasps. Her eyes held the question: why would you absolve him of all this? The woman rose, slinging the antique rifle over her shoulder, mask in hand.
“I have faith.” She knelt before the shadows gathered beyond the door, and fled.

Syrah had listened to the sounds of the night, then. Candlelight casting flickering shapes about the room. Maniac laughter arose outside The Citadel walls; sobbing; a terrified shriek. The Holy Man watched her, just out of sight, coins catching the light as they walked up and down his knuckles.
"Quite a gift."
He faded into the darkness.
   ~
Hundreds of the devoted made the pilgrimage. The dust turned emaciated flesh the colour of rust. Bug-like breather masks sat atop hunched, withered shoulders. So many insect eyes stared up at her. The slight intake of breath from Bishop Artez the only sound behind the shield. Syrah raised her arm above her shoulder, palm facing outward. Countless stick-armed faithful did the same. As if I am the daughter of god.

 “When will you release my fa-” The Bishop stood, shouting for Skinners. The crowd below turned a seething mass of bodies, each trying to flee from the one who had died. Cries and wailing from Outside sent a trickle of fear down her spine. They call one of their own.

“I will not eat.” Her chin raised in defiance. A flick of his wrist and screams rose from a closed doorway, her name torn from her Mothers throat. Over and over, but not as Syrah remembered it.
She ate.
   ~
The fall was not far enough to kill her. The scuttling of dead things hovered at the edge of hearing; rancid, once-human breath caressing her cheek. The Bishop never considered the possibility she would take her own life. Her tears fell to the earth and she stared up at the brilliant night sky, breath failing. I wonder if anyone notices how beautiful the stars are any more?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 11:04:28 AM by thelonelypubman »

Offline Saraband

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2015, 11:27:21 AM »
At 489 words, here's my entry  :)


The Pale Prince

Spoiler for Hiden:
“I think I did well, considering everyone’s expectations,” Durkam said. “Don’t you agree, father?”

King Baal was too distracted by the sword piercing his belly to even notice his son’s question. Smoke, coming from the palace’s windows, clawed at his nostrils. All around him, the echoes of a city coming together to scream in the horror of its demise filled the grand halls built by his forefathers.

“On my way here, I even found the same priest who witnessed my birth,” Durkam continued. “Aren’t the Gods keen on irony? At least the old man was true to his beliefs until the very end. As I drew my bow, he kept repeating the same prophecy from the Axamartis over and over.”

King Baal coughed, spitting a mouthful of blood. Finally, his body was reacting appropriately to the situation.
And when the crowned shepherd turned from the light, he was met with retribution, for the Pale Prince came with his will tempered by the fires of vengeance, and he brought down all the lies built by the hands of Men,” Baal said, wiping his bloody lips with the back of his hand. “I should never have allowed the world to suffer you. If it wasn’t for your mother…” He spat another mouthful of blood. “I would have let the priests drown you, demon.”

“It’s comforting to know that this impulse towards kinslaying runs in the family,” Durkam said, letting out a forced laugh. And while he kept a firm grasp on his sword’s hilt with one hand, he unwrapped the black turban covering his face with the other.

Baal had not looked upon his son ever since he disappeared on the night of his seventh spring. He felt an urge to deny that this creature spawned partly from him, but the traces were too evident. Those red eyes were almond-shaped like his mother’s, and his nose was bent like that of Baal himself. For all the taint that Baal’s soul carried, his own son was born without any colour himself.

“Why?” King Baal asked. “Why did you choose to come back?”

“It wasn’t my choice,” Durkam said in a heavier tone. “I had a prophecy to fulfil, a prophecy that everyone around me kept repeating from the moment I was born.” He forced another smile. “But here I am, for one last family reunion.”

“Why?” Baal repeated. “I still don’t understand.”

“That’s the problem, father. You never tried to understand me.” Durkam let his head fall back, closing his eyes and murmuring something. “It doesn’t matter. When I pull this sword, I become king, and then it’s time for me to settle things with the Gods themselves.”

“I am sorry, son. So so— ugh…”

Durkam did not bother to wipe the blade after pulling it out. “Too late for regrets,” he said, turning away. “The Pale Prince has a prophecy to realise. One with dead Gods at the end of it.”
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Offline Elfy

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Re: [Jul 2015] - Flash Fiction! - Submission Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2015, 02:03:26 AM »
Despite not being known for my brevity when it comes to writing I managed to get this done in 437 words. It's called You Were Warned and I seem to have covered a number of styles of writing in the doing of it.

Spoiler for Hiden:
One Night ONLY!

The AMAZING Rojouli! Following a WHIRLWIND tour of the continent where his feats of prestidigitation, wizardry and escapology STUNNED and DELIGHTED the CROWNED heads of Europe, amongst them the PRINCE and PRINCESS of LICHTENSTEIN and the KING of MONACO.

This is his FIRST RETURN performance and something that is not to be MISSED!


                                                                 ****

“That should bring the crowds in!” the tall, thin man in the immaculate evening suit exclaimed, as he looked over the lavishly written press release advertising his show later in the evening.

“Even though it is a pack of lies,” a sullen voice remarked from a dark corner of the pokey dressing room.

“I didn’t ask for your comment,” the man addressed his sharp rebuke to the occupant of a small cage perched on a corner table.

The demon crouched in the cage. It was too cramped for him to even stretch his batlike wings out. He glared at the magician with hot eyes.

“Without me you’d still be doing card tricks in whorehouses and playing three card monte on street corners…”

“Shut up!” Rojouli screamed at the caged creature. “You just do what you’re told. I’m sure I can find a smaller cage.”

“Don’t say you weren’t warned,” the demon muttered, as Rojouli stormed out of the room to shout at one of the stagehands because something wasn’t exactly how he wanted it for the advertised performance.

                                                            ****

I should never have answered his summons that night, the imp mused to itself forlornly. There was a call to go to the crossroads, some blues musician, who wanted to be the best guitarist in the history. I wonder what ever happened to him?

I’ll get out of this cage one day, I swear it. When I do he had just better watch out. If I’m not there to make sure he escapes from that tank of water, he’ll drown. I made him, I can just as easy unmake him and go with someone else who will appreciate me and what I do.


                                                              ****

In front of a group of horrified onlookers The Amazing Rojouli drowned while performing his famous Water Torture Cell escape. Rojouli (real name Dean Brown) had performed the escape many times in the past without mishap. Authorities are not sure what went wrong this time, but have ruled out foul play. For some reason the magician’s apparatus failed to work. The tattoo reading You Were Warned emblazoned in fiery letters across his chest, only adds to the mystery surrounding the man and his act.
Press Release following the onstage death of The Amazing Rojouli

                                                               


I will expand your TBR pile.

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