Tag Archives: flash fiction

Clouded #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is a continuation of a story I wrote last year, Rift.

Everything had seemed so simple!  Jeg had received word from Ashna herself, queen of the godlike Atonee, that he was the key.  All he had to do was go back and mend the rift with Dalph and all would be good between their peoples.

Well, she didn’t say it quite like that.  And healing the wounds between himself and the beautiful Iniyan princess would not be easy by any stretch.  And that was the least of his worries.

Jeg’s mind clouded over. Continue reading

Human or…

Really-changed

A woman jostled Conner as she pushed her way past him.

He swore under his breath.

It wasn’t as if he was going slow.  In fact, he was at almost a jog as he headed for the security line.

He hated air travel, and being late for his flight made it even worse.

The line for security stretched forever.  Obviously people were back to flying after the latest scare.

He joined the line, just two back from the woman who had pushed him.  Animal.  He took out his phone, double-checked his ticket, then looked at the time. Continue reading

Fantasy #writephoto

fantasy

Photo by Sue Vincent

“How have you been doing during the lockdown?”

“Not bad, not bad.  It’s a good thing we are all readers!”

“Even Chad?  I can’t picture a 17-year-old being content to reading all day.”

“Oh, yes, he happily stays locked in his room, book in hand.”

“Really.  What does he read?”

“Fantasy, I think.”

“Fantasy? A modern 17-year-old boy?”

“Yes.  When I was a kid, I couldn’t put down a book if there were dwarves or elves in it.  Anything even slightly medieval and magical, from Merlin’s Britain to Prydain to Middle Earth to Earthsea, I read them all.  I think Chad is really into it, which is great, though I have to say, I haven’t heard of any of these modern authors.”

“Hmmm.  Have you read any of the books, these so called fantasies of his?”

“Well, no, but I’m sure he said ‘Fantasy’, so I know I’m safe. Here, he accidentally left this downstairs.  I’ll open it randomly and show you by reading a few lines.”

“Fine.”

“Let’s see, page 82, ‘Claudio continued to climb the steps of the castle’s tower, gaining strength with each footfall. He could make out the lush, fertile valley through the occasional window, the moist dew dripping off of the wine-yielding grape vines, and the rounded, forest covered hills just a little farther from the little villa. A mist played over the forbidding lake, though not enough to cover the sensual curve of  Maiden’s Isle.’  Sounds right.  I like the name Claudio.”

“It sounds Italian, not Middle Earth… And some of the language, uhm.  Continue reading.”

“OK, where was I?  ‘Heart pounding in his chest like a war drum, Claudio finally arrived on the top floor. A window stood open allowing the fragrant breeze to tousle his long, chestnut hair, though it did little to cool his sinewy, pulsating muscles. The one door at the top of the tower was closed. Claudio took a confident step towards the closed door, walking like a well oiled machine. It was locked.  He flung himself into it, shoulder first. Nothing.  He took two more steps back, and readied himself for the onslaught, every muscle of his strong, masculine body tensing. But then, a soft word was heard from within, and the door silently slid open with a whiff of perfume.  He didn’t know what destiny had in store for him, yet the feminine scent portended good fortune.  He stopped just inside of the doorway, his rock-hard muscles glistening in the sweat of his effort. Princess Morgan was on the bed, covered only in a translucent silk. He could see the naked form of her body, guess at the treasures hidden beneath. Princess Morgan waved a hand, inviting the daring knight forward. Her hungry eyes devoured him. “Quick, Claudio, before they find you,” she said in a husky voice. He took three large steps towards the bed, shedding his leather armor and armament as he strode towards the princess.  “Yes, my lady.” She smiled and threw the sheet off, revealing her ivory skin.  Claudio feasted his eyes in delight on the soft curves. He raised his weapon of love as his gaze landed on her uncovered…’ Chad! Get you butt down here now!! And I mean now, Mister! Move it!”

“Yep, just what I thought, a fantasy.  Got to go. Bye!”

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge.  The photo at the top is Sue’s and she gave a key word, Fantasy.

Social Distancing Strictly Enforced!

Photo by Shari Marshall

It was so great to finally be out of quarantine and able to visit the tropical paradise that I had spent so much money to go see.  I had been going bonkers, particularly since there was no Internet access and the phones were out of service.  I know it was part of the back to nature appeal, but when sequestered to your room for two weeks, it was terrible!

It didn’t take me long to find my best friend, Mort.  He had arrived with his wife, Peg, and my girlfriend, Cheryl, almost a full week before I did, so was already nicely tanned.  Me?  If I was pale when I reached the island, I was absolutely pasty after 14 days locked inside.

Our initial greeting surprisingly cold and formal, I asked Mort about Peg and Cheryl.  He stared at me for a minute before saying, “Uhm, yeah, well, we’ll see them soon enough…” Continue reading

Worn #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Through the stiff rhythms and the sprinkling of wrong notes, the tune stood out.  It wasn’t quite right, but it was very recognizable.

But then that last chord, F-A-B, instead of F-A-C, rung out in all of its wrongness.

Timmy slammed his fists down on the keyboard.

“I hate playing the piano!  I’m no good and never will be! I hate it!”

He scrunched over, his arms crossed, his lemon-kissed face showing its displeasure.

Mt. Roberts shook his head.

“Well, Timmy, with that attitude maybe you won’t, yet I can hear a subtle improvement since last time I was here.  You need to try again.”

“Don’t want to.”

“Why not?” Continue reading

Darkness #writephoto

dark-clouds-on-a-sunny-day-darkness

Photo by Sue Vincent

A cosmic switch went from “on” to “off” and the darkness followed.

Of course it didn’t feel that way to the people living at the time.  To them, the race to the end was an imperceptible crawl. The Final Event, the “switch”, had been decades in the making and many years in the execution.  Even after the “switch”, the light still hung on for decades and the people were deluded into thinking all was fine as they slowly died out.

But to the planet Earth itself, the span of a few human lifetimes was as nothing, less than a cosmic blink of the eye.

The remaining crew of the spaceship Endeavor, having aged less than five years in the over three centuries of travel at close to the speed of light, looked over the barren landscape of what was once home. Continue reading

Shimmer #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Spiff watched the clock-slaved workings of the tides.  He stared fascinated as the shimmering water rushed over the land.  He had seen it all before, but the speed still took him by surprise.

Once again, as it had every other day, a strangely shaped figure approached just in front of the water’s edge.  He waved as always, but the figure ignored him.

Ignoring the figure in turn, Spiff set his focus past where the tides had shredded his ship as it pushed it against the rocks, and out towards the horizon.

The sky began to shimmer orange and yellow.  It wasn’t a strong effect, more like a mist, at least at first.

But then, as the star left full noon and began to set in the west, the form of the gas giant, filling the entire east side of the sky was visible beyond the blue atmosphere.

After watching the huge planet grow more distinct for a few minutes, Spiff turned to go back to his makeshift camp.  He had to hurry to beat the water, which, pulled by the immense planet, rose over a hundred meters at every tide, before receding back down, many, many kilometers away.

“Wait!”

The odd figure advanced past the onrushing water and strode up to Spiff.

“Perhaps I can help get you home.”

The sea shimmered read and gold as Spiff’s starship rose above the surging ocean.

Spiff climbed up the ramp just as the water reached him.

As the door closed, he heard the creature say, “Next time you stop for a visit, be more careful where you park!”

***

If Spaceman Spiff” doesn’t sound familiar, maybe it should…  It was Calvin’s alter-ego in some of his best fantasies (comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)  Spaceman Spiff was either crashing his spaceship on distant exotic worlds or being captured by aliens.  Occasionally, the alien would turn out to be his mom, and actually help him (it was humiliating enough to be rescued by the alien without that kiss on the cheek!)   For some reason, every time I looked at the photo, I saw the huge gas giant in the sky, back beyond the clouds, and can hardly believe it isn’t there!  So I wrote it in…

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto weekly challenge.  She provided the photo at the top, as well as the key word, “shimmer”.

Dream #writephoto

dream

Photo by Sue Vincent

I walk down the lavender path
Under rose petal skies
Scents of lilac and cinnamon
Permeate the clear ether
Each step in the heather
A
nd the heath
Peels away a century

Each step reawakens a memory
Present and past collide with…

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“You asked me about my dream, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, but this sounds like an acid trip turned to song. “Picture yourself in a boat” and all…”

“Well, perhaps an acid trip is a type of waking dream.”

“Right.”

“Anyway, the dream is simple.  Everything is vibrating, from the quarks and leptons to galaxy clusters.  We all have our own frequency with our own harmonic spectrum above it.  Sometimes we find ourselves in harmony with someone else.  Love. Or something else. Belonging. Or sometime else…”

“I was right, an acid trip.”

“A dream. And I found my harmony as I walked down the lavender path under the rose petal skies.  The scents of lilac and cinnamon permeated the clear ether.  Each step…”

“Oh, never mind.”

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge.  The photo at the top was taken and provided by Sue, as was the key word, “Dream“.

Secret #writephoto

secret

Photo by Sue Vincent

“I have tried to understand…” There were tears at the edge of his eyes.

She kept her face as impassive as possible, still as stone.  “Have you?”  She crossed her arms.

“If you ask, perhaps not.  My failing.  I just thought… I felt… You…” His head dropped; he broke the eye contact.

“I assume you are moving on then?”

He raised his glaze, locked his eyes on hers once again.

“That seems to be your wish.”

She nodded once.

He shook his head.  “If only you would show some emotion, anything; anger, sadness, joy that I’m leaving; anything.”

She just stared, her face as emotionless as the door.

“Fine.  Goodbye.”  He turned, looked at the door for a second, and then left.

It was a relief when door closed.  He was close to discovering her secret.

She had long ago closed her heart, locked it up and threw away the key.  He thought that he could reach her, find her, but the days for that were over long ago, when…

She regained her composure, her secret safe once again. She grabbed her jacket and headed for the door.

Dinner out was in order.

She checked that thought and smiled.

Dinner out alone was in order.

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge.  The photo at the top is Sue’s and she also provided the key word “Secret”.

The Guardian #writephoto

Guardian

Photo by Sue Vincent

Stan stopped the little procession at the observation point. From here the sea could be seen stretching to the horizon, but it was the cliffs that caught his attention.

A few faces of rock stared with menace at the sea, the Guardians.  He set off towards those faces, towards the cliffs, without saying a word.

Most would stay at the observation point.  Only two guards followed, two guards and her.

Her presence, a warm welcoming feel, like a fire on a cold night, made Stan frown as he picked his way through the flowers across the steep, path.

Why couldn’t she stay here, a flower amongst other flowers? Continue reading