Tag Archives: Fiction

The Curse of the Timekeeper

Silver Pocket-watchToday’s daily prompt wants us to…

”Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.”

So, three parts in one post? To me, that seems perfect for three pieces of flash fiction, although they might technically be drabbles seeing as they’re going to be 100 words each.

Anyway, I hope you like at least one of them.

Continue reading The Curse of the Timekeeper

Tough Fight

battlefield war explosion gun bombWith yesterdays Daily Prompt under my belt, I can now move on to today’s.

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

Sounds like a flash fiction thing to me.

300 words and go…

‘I thought we’d never come back from that one’ said Luke as he rested heavily on his broken assault rifle.

Matt sat up and looked at his comrade ‘What?’

‘Just sayin’. Tough fight. Didn’t think we were going to make it.’

Matt looked around, the battle was still raging around them but the sound was distorted and muffled, as if the volume had been turned down. Explosions and falling debris fell like feathers. ‘I don’t think we did.’

‘Did what?’

‘For the love of… make it! I don’t think we made it! We’re dead!’

Luke looked around, his brow furrowed in concentration. ‘Oh. Well that would certainly explain the white fatigues. Figured it was just snow camouflage or something. What next? What do we do?’

‘Dunno. I’ve never died before.’

‘Oh yeah. Was it that bomb thing that exploded near us?’

Matt looked at his war buddy with a tired look of exasperation that more than answered his question.

The two comrades sat down on the battlefield together and looked round, with no more urgency than a romantic couple out for a picnic. Minutes passed without either of them being able to grasp just how many.

Those minutes turned into hours then days. The two late solders just sat down and waited for something to happen.

‘Well we can’t wait here any longer. Shouldn’t we head towards a light or something?’ asked Luke.

Matt shrugged. ‘No idea. We have to do something though. Maybe we could be guardian angels and help people through difficulties in their lives. We can help to make the world a better place even though we’re dead.’

‘Yeah I guess’ replied Luke. ‘Or we could go scare the crap out off your ex-wife…’

‘Alright, let’s do that.’

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The Enemy – Page 82

The enemy Charlie Higson bookAnother day and yet even more time for some post writing. Well hurrah for that. Yesterday’s daily post was based around an image; today’s daily post is based on a sentence.

“Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.”

Well, I am currently reading The Enemy, by Charlie Higson, which is about a virus that has destroyed nearly . The remaining children band together to survive the world and the remaining adults, who are now a sort of plague-ridden horde roam the earth. It’s rather good, and has a sort of Lord of the Flies feel to it.

Anyway, the third sentence on page 82 is…

“There was only one thing it could be – a grown up.”

…which after my brief description of the book makes sense.

That is what the children in the book call the mutant  grown-ups. It’s as if the natural underlying fear that most children have towards adults has been entirely justified, they are grown-ups and this is what grown-ups are, so why think of a new name for them. The virus did not touch anyone below the age of 14, so they’re aren’t even any older children.

The grown-ups in the book are cannibals, and although their appearance is certainly less than healthy they are not dead, they can be killed and they’re not zombies so they do not come back to life. These grown-ups are something to fear for anyone especially children.

What i find interesting is that the book draws on the concept that even children have an ability to self-manage and to form communities, in a very similar way that adults do. It could be easy to assume every child is nothing but a child, and that without adults they would simply curl up and starve to death but The Enemy shows that they are just as capable of surviving as adults are.

For example, when we meet the children in the book they are all holed up in an old Morrison’s store (a rival gang is based at Waitrose.) they have created a rudimentary sanitation system, there are warriors who go out and scavenge for supplies. Later on in the book we meet more children who farm, or work as nurses.

It also brings into question what should be considered normal activity in times of survival. Killing a monster who is trying to eat you is a no-brainer, but what happens when children from a rival settlement trespass or accidentally kill someone or something they weren’t suppose to. What happens when the lines get blurred, and judgment calls have to be made?

I am curious to know what will happen to their civilization when a member of their own community commits a crime; will they seek a democratic solution or a brutal more physical punishment? Will children en mass react any differently than adults en mass who let’s be frank have been known to lynch mob and riot in times of heightened emotions.

The book has raised interesting questions for me, maybe because I haven’t read something where children have been in a survival / no adults situation since I read Lord of the Flies as a child, and all I can remember from that was the conch shell and Piggy having his glasses broken. Wasn’t there also a parachutist stuck in a tree?

Have you read any books recently that have really made you think?

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Flash Fiction : RPG In-Quest

Time to squeeze out some more writing if I can, and this time the words will be liberally flung at the Terribleminds Flash Fiction competition. Each week Mr Wendig sets us a little old challenge and then we all trot off back to our own blogs and create the lexicological wonder that is word-smithy.

This week’s challenge is of Gygaxual proportions, we have to click on this link here, which will generate us a D&D character, and then we write 1000 words. Easy!

I clicked the link and I got…

‘Apathetic Halfling Ranger from a nomad circus who unwittingly misuses words all the bloody time’

… So now I just need those 1000 words.

 RPG In-Quest

‘Please help me, kind sir. Wolves from the local forest have attacked my cattle. Please go into the forest and kill ten of them before my cattle come to any more harm?’

The Ranger considered what the bruised and rather battered farmer standing in front of the Halfling ranger had said. ‘No, thanks. Bye.’

‘Do you understand what I’m saying? They are going to kill my livestock.’

‘Yes, you said. Well good luck with that’ said the ranger as he turned to walk away wondering if there was anywhere he could get some roast chicken.

The farmer caught him by the arm, and spun him round. ‘Don’t you care?’

‘Ummmm not really, no. Though it’s clear you do. You should get started on that whole wolf killing thing.’

The farmer signed and took a deep breath. ‘I’m going to explain to you how this works, you see this glowing exclamation mark above my head? Well that means that I am a quest giver and that means you are supposed to help me. In exchange I will mystically make you a more experienced ranger and give you some gold.’

The ranger stared back with an expressionless face. ‘So you want me to go out into the wilderness, and kill ten wolves from that wolf burrow nearby, because you fear they might attack your cattle? You said that exact same thing to that pleated warrior over there, and god knows how many before it. If every one of us kills ten wolves we’re not talking about a cull you’re talking about mass murder, you’re talking about extinquish. I didn’t leave the circus just to wander about the countryside and slaughter species because a farmer didn’t have the foresight to check the local areas wildlife before setting up his farm.’

The farmer squinted at the ranger unsure as to why he was having so much difficulty when every other adventurer before him had simply accepted his quest.

‘Look, you’re thinking about this too much, and the wolves will breed just as fast as you can kill them so don’t worry about them becoming extinct.’ As soon as the words had passed his lips, the farmer knew they were a mistake.

‘So it actually doesn’t do any bloody difference at all whether I kill them or not? I don’t care who you are, you’re not making any sense and I am not going to waste my time slaughtering the survival equivalent of Duracell bunnies.’

‘Dura-what bunnies?’

‘Ummm not sure, sorry. Anyway it has been an absolute expedience talking to you and good luck with your pointless wolf killing.’

The ranger took a few steps but then turned back to the farmer, something unsettling dawning on him. The exclamation mark above the farmers head glowed again.

‘Please help me kind sir. Wolves from the local forest have attacked my cattle. Please could you go into the forest and kill ten of them, before my cattle come to any more harm?’

‘What? We’ve done that’ said the Ranger.

‘Sorry’ said the farmer, his enthusiasm draining from him by the moment. ’If you’re not going to kill the wolves for me, why are you pestering me?’

‘Is this how my life is going to be now then? In order to become big and strong and save the kingdom from dragons, I’m going to have to wander the land and help people who by rights should be sorted out by natural selection and survival of the fittest.’

‘Well…’ stuttered the farmer.

‘I’m going to have to be every Tom, Dick and Harvey’s bitch for the rest of my life, just so I get the chance to risk my life even more by fighting bigger and more dangerous things?’

‘I think it’s better if you don’t think of it that way…. just kill those wolves for me and you’ll feel better.’

‘Oh, I doubt that. I’m just sorry I wasted all that time in that cockamamie tutorial. At least I realised it now.’

The ranger sheathed his sword and sat down, an exclamation mark appeared above his head, and the rangers new and much easier life began.

Flash Fiction : The Dead Waitress

Blurred FaceTerribleminds? Terribleminds? It rings a bell, but what could it be, the fevered dreams of a lunatic, maybe; a slice of dream that remains in the waking world. Just kidding. Of course I remember TM, though it’s been months since I’ve taken part in one of their Flash Fiction Challenges.

Now is the time to rectify that, and today’s challenge is ‘The random Title Challenge’. There are two lists of 20 words. You generate a random number for each, put the words together and hey presto, there’s your title. Now you just need to write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 1500 words.

I did the deed with this site and I got the numbers 5 and 3, which means that my title is…

…The Dead Waitress

Sounds interesting enough and I have the time and the inclination to be challenged today. So here we go. Continue reading Flash Fiction : The Dead Waitress

Unfinished Hell

demon eyes monster redToday’s daily post, that I am making a concerted effort to find the time to do today is about leftovers or finishing something you started.. I figured the three minutes I had for lunch means I have a further 57 minutes to work on the Daily Post.

“Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!”

Well, I don’t have anything that’s been trimmed off  but this is the first part of a piece of fiction, possible novel that I started writing, but then ultimately ran out of time before I even started it, which so often happens. Well, I didn’t get rid of it so I think it warrants a little more time today.

I can’t promise that it will be a complete flash-fiction as that requires an ending, but I’ll just go with it for a bit and you can let me know if it is worth continuing even further.

The italic bit is the bit I had already…

Continue reading Unfinished Hell

Flash Fiction – The Job

Chicken SandwichToday you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

I think the only response to today’s daily prompt is to write a piece of flash fiction. It’s been a while since I’ve written any. So, I’ll write some flash fiction that includes a…

  • speeding car
  • phone call
  • crisp bright morning.

My propensity is to write about dark, tragic events often with violence or there’s just plain weirdness going on, but risking a teeny-tiny spoiler, I’m going to keep things on the lighter side. That’s right, it’s all going to be hugs and puppies as far as this is concerned.

Ok, so here we go…

 

The sky was a reddish-orange that most people only see in the winter, and the grass dusted with frost. Mike held the hot thermos of coffee in his hands and waited for his lift. John was never on time.

Ten minutes became an hour, the orange of the sky eventually gave way to a pale, morning blue streaked with golden clouds and there was still no sign of Mike. John was Mike’s work colleague and they generally got on well enough, it wasn’t so much that he was late that was bothering him as Mike always planned for things in plenty of time but it was excruciatingly cold. His coffee was now offering little more than slow warmth and he had stopped feeling his toes about fifteen minutes ago, got knows if his fingers could still function at this temperature, though he would find that out later.

Just as Mike started to wonder if he would ever turn up, John’s Audi spun round the corner, and came screeching to a halt next to him.

Subtle, thought Mike as the window rolled down and a warm cloud of cigarette smoke billowed out into the morning that made Mike’s eyes water. All John had to do was drive Mike around, and not stand out. John was a good driver, but blending in was not his forte.

‘Sorry I’m late, chap. Been waiting long?” shouted John over the sound of Wagner.

‘Long enough’ said Mike passively as he got into the passenger seat.

The journey didn’t take long and as John yammered on and on about nothing while spraying most of his chicken sandwich across his lap, Mike remained focused. He looked at the picture on his lap, it was of a man in a dark suit, taking an envelope from another man in a dark suit. Mr Carnascis was no stranger to taking envelopes, and today they were going to finally get him. Two months of planning and it all came down to this, he had one shot. If he blew it his boss would give them hell.

As they pulled up Mike’s phone rang, flipping it open he held it up to his ear and listened without saying a word. After a few seconds he clicked the phone shut again.

John threw the remnants of his chicken sandwich out of the car window and looked at Mike, with the kind of nervous excited look that all new guys had.

Mike smiled.

‘Change of plan…?” said John.

There was a popping sound and John slumped forward in his seat,

Mike, took the revolver out of his pocket, and refilled the chamber, just as Mr Carnascis car pulled into view.

‘Sorry John, this guy’s mine.’

————————————-

Yeah, alright I know I said it wouldn’t get dark… and I tried I really did.