General

Friday Flash: Magic Spots

The flash is inspired from this image.


The first spot bloomed on her knee. Bright as a rose, it grew to be the size of the giant rainforest flowers. It itched. She scratched until she bled, but to no avail.

The second was on her right palm, small and the color of the sky. The third took root on her right cheek. That one was as black as good, rich soil.

It scared away her man. The villagers thought her cursed and shied away.

They spread over her body with the speed of crawling maggots. Colored maggots.

She walked to the village witch for a cure – and found her man rutting on top of the witch.

Outraged, she beat on him with fists. And raked fingers across the witch’s lying eyes.

She watched, happily, as her face turned blue and died.

He begged her forgiveness, after. Begged on his knees, as was proper, and promised to do anything she wanted, if only she would spare him.

flash friday · Writing

Friday Flash: Respect and Loss

Wooden swords clashed ahead of him. The dull thump of practice weapons and stamp of booted feet was loud in his ears.

He stopped. He reached out his free left hand and touched cold, smooth marble.

All sounds stopped. He walked forward, cane clicking on the salle floor. One step. Two. Three.

Chilly winter air brushed over his bare arms. No doubt the windows were open. Six steps. Seven. Eight.

He reached the slightly raised round platform in the middle of the room when he counted forty steps. He climbed on and started counting again, back from eight hundred. Time for the students, teachers and guests to gather in front of him.

Than he started his speech. A cautionary tale about how a warrior could lose his sight and yet still win.

flash friday · General · science fiction · Writing

Friday Flash: Fourth Birthday Parade

This fridayflash is for the fourth anniversary bloghop at the friday flash website. The idea is to write a story 400 words long about the 4th anniversary/birthday of something. After several false starts, I finally managed. I was inspired by this picture:

A few excerpts from the Annals of Dead or Lost Colonies:

Dear Julie,

The colony has just gotten the order for the hyperspace module. It’s taken a year, but we finally have it. This will be the first of many letters until you can come here.

I have a house. It’s small, but it has a garden. It’s ours, free and clear.

The hypo gardens are not doing well. Except for the lantern cherries. I don’t understand it. There is a group studying the problem.

Yours always,

Ben

 

Dear Julie,

I miss you. Will you come soon? I’ve added two bedrooms to the house for the children. There is plenty of space. Hyperspace travel is very safe, don’t worry.

The colony celebrated our third birthday with a grand parade. I was in the lead float, as the directory of horticulture. It was quite wonderful.

The lantern cherry have become our biggest – our only! – export. They are in demand and tasty. I suppose it’s good they grow bigger here than anywhere else. They look more like giant melons than cherries. But I don’t quite understand why nothing else growing.

Yours always,

Ben

 

Dear Julie,

I’ve been promoted, dear. I am now president of the horticulture department. The last president died quite unexpectedly in the Greenhouse A. Poor Jerry. At least he died at work. Greenhouse A is where we first started the lantern cherries. We have ten, now.

The colony’s fourth birthday is in a month and we are providing cherries for the decoration. The last of the flowers died months ago and we haven’t been successful in growing any others. Not even marigolds. It’s baffling.

I do wish you would come. I know the ships scare you, but hyperspace travel is so fast these days. You wouldn’t have to spend months on a ship in normal space. I dearly want to see the children, dear.

Love yours,

Ben

 

Dear Julie,

Don’t come! Stay away! God, I am glad you never came.

The cherries destroyed the parade. It was mad. They exploded and attacked and will take over the planet shortly.

This will be the last message I send.

I am going to blow up the greenhouses and take as many of the cherries as I can.

This is why nothing else grew. They’ve been devouring them, the murderous, subtle lantern cherries.

I bet they killed poor Jerry.

Yours forever,

Ben

flash friday · General

Friday Flash: Reborn

This flash was inspired from an image on 500px. I cannot find it now, but it was gorgeous. It has 312 words.

A handful of children gathered around the storyteller. The children were sleepy from a rich dinner and the warmth of the fire, but still they clamored for one more story.

“Hush,” she said. “Very well. One last story.” And she began to speak.

Blood seeped across the sky like slow-moving clouds.

She watched and feared.

Around her the villagers paused to watch for only a few wing-beats before hurrying to their homes. They knew what it meant, too. They wanted to be gone before the thrice-cursed priests arrived.

She ignored the pitying glances. Ignored, too, the icy cold and red pellets that fell from the sky and froze in her hair.

She knew her beloved would come back to her; he had promised and he never broke a promise. No matter that the foreign priests turned him and the host he commanded into so much red mist.

The priests, grim in their bright red trousers and robes, did not see her. Fools. Perhaps they thought her a statue.

One pushed past her to the village square she guarded. But the moment his sleeve brushed her arm, he turned to ice. The other priests, seeing this, charged her with knives and scimitars. All of them disintegrated into the cold night.

“And that is why none dare attack us even today,” concluded the storyteller. She smiled and shook her head at the shouts for more. “Off to bed with you now. Go.”

When they were all safely asleep and the room rang with silence, she rose and went to look out the window. There, the same bit of land she had defended so many centuries before. Others had built a white marble statue of her there, but glorified the details of her face.

Still her beloved had not come. But she would abide until he was reborn as the man he was meant to be.

fantasy · flash friday · General · Writing

Friday Flash: Without Me

This Friday flash is inspired by this image from Wiki Commons:

A soft, warm wind stirred his hair and he looked around, grateful anew for his luck. Lush green growth provided fresh food all year around. He would not leave it.

His brother cleared his throat and he turned toward the canal. His brother, poor sod, wore a fine woolen tunic. The boy was too proud to wear more appropriate clothing.

“The first summer caravan leaves in the morning. You’ll go with it.”

“Father said -”

“I don’t care what Father says. If you want to live, you won’t either.”

The boy shook his long, blond hair. Northern men didn’t cut their hair. Another tradition he’d broken.

“I won’t leave without you.” Stubborn conviction rang in his voice, as hard the mountains buried under mounds of snow ever year.

“Father is murdering, conniving coward. He killed our mother. I won’t ever serve him, brother.”

“Not him. The village, the reason our mother sacrificed herself. The omens -”

“-are wrong.”

No belief in the boy’s eyes. He only stared like a wolf with his prey in sight.

Shivering at the image, he turned and walked to the house. “You leave tomorrow. Without me.”

flash friday · Short Story

Friday Flash: Storm

This flash was inspired by memories of a recent storm. Wind, hail, rain. Watching it was pretty damn glorious.

A storm raged through the mountains, slashing at the lone peaks like a claws slashed at flesh.

The god was upset. She stood under the open skies, soaked to the bone, hair clinging to her skull and crowed.

She’d told him, hadn’t she? She’d told him.

Disobeying the god did no good. Even if the rules were wrong, unjust and hateful. Opposing him was like carrying water in cupped hands. Impossible.

Her brother was stupid stubborn. He wanted to protect his daughter. It wasn’t her fault the boy died, he said. She had to defend herself.

They’d both die now.

General

Friday Flash: Ivory Ring

 This story was inspired by a wiki commons picture.

This school field trip would be the very definition of tedium but for one thing. He scanned the ground, fingers clenched around his sister’s precious elephant bone ring. Poor thing. So sick, she couldn’t come down to view this planet’s marvelous flora.

The teacher droned on ahead of them. “Look. The fel flower devours flesh and bones.”

Enclosed by meter of wide mesh wiring, there was a bright red plant. It looked like his sister’s red-lipsticked mouth. He smiled at the memory of it.

“The gale here – ”

He ignored the teacher. Instead he slipped the ring through the exhibit’s mesh cage. It fell directly inside flower’s mouth. He watched it digest the ring.

The last trace of his sister. Gone.

He followed his class to the next exhibit with a spring in his step. Marvelous flora indeed.

General

Friday Flash: Food

I got a Friday flash! This one was inspired by Madison’s image prompt:

She stared at the copse of dead trees and the single raven perched on blackened branches.

The spell was supposed to bring her food. Despairing, she gazed down at the yellowed paper. The master had written Food Spell in his typical, cramped writing across the top of the page.

She sighed, gathered her empty satchel and scrambled over the hot sands to rest against the tree bark.

The raven made an odd sound above her. She looked up. It opened its beak, dropping a mouse into her lap.

She yelped. The mouse ran, probably soon to die in the desert.

General

Friday Flash: Trapped

A new friday flash! This one is 169 words. It was inspired by this photo at wiki commons.

Daybreak turned the sky a beautiful, harsh orange. The bright color hurt her eyes and she slipped the special dark goggles over her eyes.

Why had he come here? Even for a hunter such as her brother, survival would be difficult here. Too much sun. No red lakes to feed on. No decent winds to ride.

A sharp roar tore through the air. She whirled around, saw the all surface truck rise through the air. She ran; her bodyguard sprinted ahead and shot at it. But it rose too fast and was soon too far away to even see.

The truck left behind a small pile of dirt. A small furry animal poked its head out of the ground.

She raised her weapon and shot it. It was a neat shot; only a little bit of blood stained the ground. She picked it, put her mouth to the wound and sucked out its sweet red blood.

“We’ll find more,” she said to the guard. “We’ll rebuild and take revenge.”

fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Dust Devil

Not entirely sure about this one, but here we go. 😉

The dust devil rose on the horizon, where the lake met the river. It wound lazily among the clouds.

She gaped at it for a heartbeat, than snatched the basket of clothes and ran back to the house. Bare feet slid in the mud, but she didn’t dare slow down.

She looked back only once. All the fishing boats were coming in.

Her mother and aunts were in the front yard, shelling peas and laughing.

“It’s coming!” she gasped. “The dust devil. Over the lake.”

Her mother frowned. “Are you sure – you must be. Give me that. Get the children.”