All posts tagged: story

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 …

In Quest Of An Answer #WeekendWritingPrompt

‘Well it’s certainly…’ Amanda trailed off. ‘I know right,’ said Thomas. He rocked back on his heels and grinned at the stack of chairs teetering upwards to beyond the cloud-line. ‘I had to impress you otherwise how would I get you to say yes.’ ‘Yes?’ Amanda squeaked. ‘Yes to what?’ Thomas’ turned his grin on her. ‘Oh you know.’ Amanda swallowed. ‘So,’ said Thomas. ‘What do you say?’ ‘I…’ She stepped away, stumbled. Her hand caught the stack.’ ‘No!’ Thomas leapt past her, the tower already teetering. It went down. ‘No,’ said Amanda, examining Thomas’ limp hand beneath the rubble. ‘It was always no.’

Gathering Of The Equinox #WeekendWritingPrompt

Someone had strung lights from the trees, making up for the clouds creeping across the moon’s face. They drenched the clearing white, bright enough to illuminate the flakes of bark littering the feast table and the bad icing job on Elizabeth’s cupcakes. ‘There were more of us last year,’ Malvoc commented, hand hovering over a plate of pink wafers. ‘You always say that,’ replied Grot. He was perched, his feet hanging an inch above the ground. ‘It makes no difference, we’re still enough.’

No Light By This Moon #FlashFiction #MarchSpeculativeFiction

The settee springs had burst through the cushion and what little stuffing there had been was gone. The remaining fabric sagged or clung to the rusted springs, much like the building around it, and the skeletons beyond it. Eddie gripped one of the springs near the base and tested it. He sneezed as the cloth attached crumbled to dust. The coil snapped free of its anchor, surprising him and opening a line of crimson across his other hand. He cursed and pressed the cut to his mouth. The taste made him gag, as if the pollution in the atmosphere had changed even his blood. He tore a strip from his sleeve and used his teeth to tighten a knot in the bandage. It would have to do, much like everything else he had done for the past six days. Desperation was a great provider of inspiration he had discovered, but he didn’t hold much hope that it would see him through. Asides from the settee there was no other furniture in the room he’d settled …

Loose End – #FlashFiction #writephoto

‘Do you think there’s a body in there?’ Baz asked. He held his pocket knife with both hand, blade pointed downwards as he scratched ‘Baz woz ere’ into the breast plate of the knight carved onto the tomb. Goria pursed her lips and swung her legs. From her perch on the railings around the pulpit she had a pretty good view of both the knight and the top of Baz’s head. She considered spitting on it. ‘Don’t know,’ she shrugged, feet thudding against the wood. ‘Suppose she’d be all dust by now anyway.’ ‘She?’ snorted Baz. ‘Knights ain’t girls Gor. You gotta be a man for that sort of thing.’ ‘She so is a girl, look! You’re leaning on her f’ing boob you moron.’ Baz paused and pulled away. ‘Huh, guess you right. She is a chick.’ Gloria sighed and hauled her legs up to her chest. ‘Hurry up and let’s go,’ she said, turning around so she could climb back out of the pulpit. ‘Your mum might realize you’ve got her key.’ ‘Not likely, …

Back To Ground Level

They put the footings in to retain the planning permissions. Susan booked the day off to watch. Invited him as well, suggested they take sandwiches and tea, to watch the first part of their house take shape. Afterall, they’d spent eight years fighting the council for the go-ahead. They might not have the funds to build the entire thing yet, but they could celebrate starting. Then there were doctors, hospitals, a man in a grey suit with a sombre face. Susan’s brother giving a reading. All that was left were foundations.

Uneasy Footing – #FridayFictioneers

The jetty had rotten clean through in places, creating a hopscotch of holes almost impossible to see in the dark. Gritting her teeth, Emile slid one foot in front of the other and eased her weight onto it. At the end of the jetty a light flickered and went off. She paused and steadied her breath. Patience, she reminded herself. She’d waited fifteen years, she could afford fifteen minutes to get across this dock unscathed. She ran a hand across the outline of the pistol inside her jacket. Fifteen minutes, she promised herself. That’s all she needed.

Case One: The Missing Boy

Gates called the flat opened planned, Felhorn called it a dump. It occupied the top floor of a condemned building where demolition had ceased halfway through, leaving only front half standing and the rest as rubble. At night Felhorn would dream of the floor suddenly collapsing beneath her bed, the chipboard walls they’d thrown up as protection from the elements tumbling with her for the sixteen floor drop, before waking soaked in sweat in the very sheets she’d just been clinging to, her throat alight and aching. Gates didn’t help much. After six hundred years of not needing to sleep he’d forgotten what it was like to have nightmares and couldn’t understand why she didn’t just change the story if it wasn’t going the way she wanted. Finding him standing above her with that frown on his face when she woke often ended with her sending him sprawling across the flat, magic burning in her veins as it jumped to the surface before she could quench it. It didn’t teach him, he still came whenever …

Not Quite Prince Charming

Even ice has the decency to creak before it plunges you into frozen waters. Really, you should have started with ‘once upon a time’ rather than ‘Hi, my name’s Michael, I’ve just moved it across the hall, could I borrow your phone book?’ That introduction didn’t indicate the shit storm biting at your heels or the chaos coming my way after I decided that for once I was going to be a grown up and actually answer the door rather than hiding until the person on the other side went away. Fairy-tales are supposed to end with happy ever after. Daily Prompt: Suddenly I’ve just finished reading The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert so I decided to go with a hundred word, fairy-tale themed flash fiction for today’s daily prompt. If you want to read a longer piece then just click on the Long Reads option in the menu above.

Off The Edge Of The Map

‘Leave me alone ya bastard!’ Henry’s words bounced off the cave walls harmlessly, much like the driftwood had, and the empty whisky bottle had months before. Despite the projectiles, his reflection continued staring up from the shallow pool at his feet. Slightly warped and vaguely true to likeness. ‘You’re the one who wanted to chase after princesses,’ it pointed out. ‘I was quite happy on a street corner with my lute.’ ‘You and your lute were shite,’ Henry spat. ‘We barely made a crown a day.’ ‘Perhaps,’ shrugged the reflection, ‘I wasn’t stuck on an island alone though. I could take a break whenever I wanted, speak to whoever I wanted.’ ‘But you didn’t.’ ‘But I could have.’ ‘But you didn’t.’ ‘I almost did once.’ ‘No you didn’t!’ Henry spat in the pool and sat down beside it. ‘Happy, fucking, ever after,’ he muttered. ‘Still blaming you,’ the reflection replied. Writing Prompt From The Story Shack If you’d like to read something a little longer I’m working on redrafting my Safe Haven series. In the …