All posts tagged: Short story

February Speculative Fiction Prompt

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best. Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica) The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month. Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer. I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can. As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and …

After The Lights Go Out #FridayFlashFiction

‘The council started turning the light off after twelve,’ she tells me, head tipped back as she squints towards the spot above us where a bulb should be blazing. The dark means we can’t see chewing gum stuck to the pavement beneath us, or worse the dog shit stains clinging to the concrete slabs. She’s continues staring upwards, but tips her head to the leg slightly, angling herself my way. ‘He’s dating again. Met her at the village green when he went to try his hand at bowls. He’s crap, but on Wednesdays she’s always there to make him a cup of tea and sneak him a bourbon from the club tin.’ The street light splutters into life and we both frown. ‘Strange…’ she hums. ‘I was sure the papers said… oh well never mind.’ She drops her head and her neat, grey perm stays exactly as it should. ‘Are you busy these days?’ ‘Busy?’ I repeat. I think about it for a moment, then shrug. ‘I suppose I’m busier than I was, but I’ve …

October Speculative Fiction Prompt

Well September is over and October is here in full force. Leaves are on the turn, England has turned grey and rainy (well even more so than usually) and everywhere you look people are prepping for Halloween (or in some cases Christmas). This is the second month that I’ve had the honour of hosting the Speculative Fiction Prompt  and hopefully this month’s image inspires as much as last month’s. If you want to read the stories for last month then you can check them out at the September Speculative Fiction Prompt. The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and …

Heart Of The Dead #FlashFiction #SeptemberSpeculativeFictionPrompt

When the bodies washed ashore, the novices were there to pluck them from the mud. It wasn’t pleasant work. It was a short trip from the edge of the city to the bend in the river. The unfortunates who made it, came out of the silt choked waters heavy and stinking, muscles still locked up by rigour mortise. ‘Another one!’ The cry went up from lower down the bank, further along than the bodies usually travelled. Flexing her fingers to work some of the feeling back into them, Maradine followed the other novices to the cry and tried to avoid looking as if she was dawdling. She let herself breath when she saw the child, eyes huge and bug like, withered limbs half buried in the mud. It was small, small enough for two of the novices to manhandle inside the temple doors without need of her help. She didn’t try to work out how this one had found its way to them. The monks frowned on questions regarding the vessels. ‘Jamie, Galeth, you take …

Power And Glory – #FlashFiction

When the coffee runs out, she drinks tea instead. It’s bad, overly floral and cloying. She drinks it anyway, hips bumping up against the chipboard kitchen counters, sink at her back, eyes on the peeling desk on the other side of the cabin. Downloading… 65% The screen on the computer flickers for a second before steadying. Downloading… 66% She sips the tea, holds the liquid in her mouth and grimaces when she swallows. Downloading… 66% It will be another hour at least before the system is up and running. Until then she will have to be patient. The screen flickers again, blanks out temporarily. She holds her breath. Downloading… 67% She keeps the breath in her lung, feels it burn. Downloading… 67% She exhales slowly, carefully, almost as if she will break the fragile internet connection with just that. The screen stays clear and her shoulders drop. It would be easier if she could go outside, leave the system to do its thing and come back when the download completes. Outside is not an option …

Upon A Crossroads – #DVerse #Prosery

Anya stared until the black whorls on her arms blurred together. Then she blinked and they were just as clear as ever. ‘Removing them won’t help,’ said Rowen. He dropped his weight beside her and slung his arms across the back of the park bench. She felt him run his thumb across her shoulder. ‘You can’t change the past Anya.’ She swallowed around the anger rising in her throat. Some days it filled her so full it was as if she would explode and take the whole world with her. Some days that seemed like a good idea. ‘Then what am I meant to do?’ Rowen shrugged. ‘You will learn to love again the stranger who was yourself,’ he said. Anya’s knuckles whitened. ‘And what does that mean?’ He shrugged again. ‘It means we all change kiddo, accept it and learn to love it.’ Written for DVersePoets Prosery prompt. 144 word flash fiction story, incorporating the line ‘You will learn to love again the stranger who was yourself’ by poet Derek Walcott.

Some Non-Specific Voodoo – #FlashFiction

‘Take a ticket,’ said the man behind the scratched perspex glass. ‘It’s empty,’ said James, glancing at the busted plastic dispenser. ‘Huh?’ The man looked up. ‘Oh, so it is. Well, take a seat to wait and we’ll be right with you.’ ‘We?’ asked James. The man didn’t answer. Turning, James shuddered and stumbled as the room stretched like elastic. ‘Careful there.’ A set of hands steadied him. ‘The voodoo throws you at first. It’s how they fit us all in.’ ‘Us all?’ James asked. ‘Yeah, all the demons,’ said the voice. ‘Sorry mate, looks like you got busted.’   With all the poetry I’ve been writing for ‘It’s All In The Blood’ I’m in need of a bit of fiction in my life tonight. It’s amazing how much focus it gives you to have a set word limit on a piece of writing. It makes you go back and think about each individual word. A very useful skill that transfers well into poetry.  

Pass Or Play – #DVersePoets #Prosery

When far away, an interrupted cry is not something you need concern yourself with. Catherine repeated her grandmother’s words softly enough that the room wouldn’t hear them. ‘Pah!’ Her father threw his cards on the coffee table. ‘You cheated!’ He jabbed a fat finger towards his wife. She shrugged and gathered his cards in again. Outside the cry echoed. ‘Catherine! You play the witch, God knows she already has all my money.’ Catherine nodded and slid from the widow seat. It doesn’t do to dwell on lost souls. Her grandmother had said that too. The cards were split and dealt. Two queens and a knave. A house leaking secrets. Another cry. Closer. Louder. ‘Pass or play?’ Catherine shook her head. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. Shadows gathered by the fireplace. She could ignore them, but the play would continue. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. But ghosts never listen. If you would like to join in the dVerse Poets Pub new link up ‘Prosery’ then click the badge above to visit their site. The challenge is to write a piece …

NYC Flash Fiction Challenge 2018 – Stolen Silence

Last year I took part in the NYC Flash Fiction Challenge and came tenth (I think it was) in my group overall. Unfortunately this didn’t get me through to the second round, but for a first try I was pretty happy with that result and it was a valuable learning experience. Today I signed up for the 2019 challenge and though I have another look at the second of my flash fiction submissions from last year. If I remember correctly, my group was given the genre of drama, our object was salami, and our setting was possibly circus but I could be making that up. Since I was no longer focused on writing a piece of flash to fit with the prescribed prompts, I decided to focused solely on ensuring the piece stayed under 1,000 words without losing the original plot. Fair warning, it’s somewhat dark. Stolen Silence The circus crowds poured out in waves of warmth and laughter, ushered past the gates by stout men in dark jackets. Tucked inside the shadows beyond the …