Saturday, 25 June 2011

Flashers of the World Unite


If you’ve never flashed before, here’s your chance! And no, I’m not talking about DMing me photos of your special bits like that congressman from New York… although, ladies, I promise not to tell anyone if you do! Or you could email them?

I digress…

After suggestions from a few lovely readers, I’m running a Flash Fiction competition on my blog over the next week.

Flash Fiction is the writing of ultra-short stories, using a prompter word or phrase and a very limited word count – of 200 for this competition. As well as being a fun and satisfying exercise, it’s also great writing discipline, in that you have to get the most out of that space by making sure every word counts.

There are a few examples of my own flashing here, if that helps you get a better idea of what I mean.

The competition will run from today until noon next Saturday (BST), after which I’ll post a selection of them in another blog and open a vote to decide a winner.

Although there will be no prize of shiny things, the overall winner will be rewarded with the esteemed title, thus:

Grand Flasher of the Order of Lesism

Right… so… the rules…

You have a word count of 200. If you exceed that, not only will you be disqualified from the competition, but you’ll also be evicted from your home and shunned by all your friends and family… and any pets you may have.

Entries should be posted as a comment on this blog post. If, for some reason, you can’t make a comment on the blog, email the story to me at Lesismblog@gmail.com and I’ll post it there myself.

If you use text-speak, I’m going to call the police and have you charged with mental assault. Please also remember to use spaces between paragraphs, and drop it through a spell-checker if that’s not a strong point of yours?

Please don’t use binary. I am not C3PO.

The competition closes at midday (British Summer Time) on Saturday 2nd July… 2011… AD…

The prompters for this competition are:

Whimsical way of the world.

The postman always rings twice.

Stormy Beach.

We are not alone!


(Big thanks to @Kirie1st, @Flickimp, @Gothiechick and @Kez007, respectively, for those suggestions!)

You can use any one or all three of them, either directly as a quote (for example, in dialogue), or as a theme for the story.

You can submit multiple entries.

Please don’t be disappointed if your story doesn’t make it to the final cut, next week. I don’t think I ever won one and it never did me any harm… not in the long term, anyway… the counsellor was really good.

Looking forward to reading you all!

53 comments:

  1. Gordon, that's brilliant. I really enjoyed reading it... but there's one problem... the word limit is 200, not 300.

    I'm guessing you wrote this for another competition and it obviously fits very well with the prompt, but maybe you can write another one for this comp? That would be wonderful. :-)

    Great story! :-)

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  2. No. Dammit, I misread the number. BLARG. I have got to start wearing my reading glasses. Take it down, I'll fix it, or write another.

    LMAO... actually, this is kind of funny. I WILL NOT GET OLD I WILL NOT GET OLD I WILL NOT GET OLD. Or at least admit it.

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  3. I'll leave it there, if you don't mind? It's a great example (apart from the word count) of what people should be submitting. :-)

    You're an ace writer. :-)

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  4. Oh, boy! A game :) YAY! The Fey Queen loves games and she WILL participate.

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  5. Take two. 200 words this time. And if you tell me I misread it again and it's 100, I'm gonna say some bad words to you.

    cheers,

    Gordon

    *************************

    Skee (short for Pesky, a nickname she’d been given by her brother when she was three) sat on the front lawn, looking up at the stars. She’d only recently been allowed to do this by her parents, but now, with her mom and dad splitting up, her dad moving to Tucson, she doubted they’d have noticed her absence in any case.

    I’m all alone, she thought, without any particular feeling of anger or sadness over it. It simply was. Alone. Everyone else has their stuff to do, and I could fall off the world and no one would notice.

    The cool, humid night air brushed her face, and she lay back, and stuck her feet in the air. The stars glittered between her toes. She thought: If I fell upward, I’d fall forever. And it would just be me and the stars, falling together, nothing to stop us.

    Together with the stars; so not alone. A mosquito whined by her ear, and she slapped it away, and thought: I may be alone here, but I’ll always have the stars. Nothing can change that.

    And she got up, and walked back toward her house, smiling for the first time in weeks.

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  6. Oooh, looks like I'll need to do a Postman rings twice one soon :)

    Imran @Flickimp

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  7. Another wonderful story, Gordon. Very wise, too. :-)

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  8. Deathly living silence, broken by occasional pantings and low moans.
    She loved the way he smelt and he loved how she kissed him 'just there'.
    It was dark.
    Two shadowy silhouettes amongst a room filled with brooms and rags which smelt of cleaning product.
    Bleach and human sweat drifting in the joyful gloom.
    And then ..a click of metal and a jangling of keys..the janitor surprised them with a shaft of light ....
    Not to mention a furtive yet embarrassed 'full on' look of knowing surprise.
    We are not alone.....they realised !

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  9. Ha! Great. Thanks, Cliff! :-)

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  10. Les, I'm excited, intrigued, and thoroughly in.

    See you in 200 words from now.

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  11. Failed at the word count limit but wanted to share anyway. Cheers!


    <> <> <>

    “Over there,” he said, pointing.

    His wife Diedre looked up from the ground, one blistered foot in her hand, craning a burned neck, squinting tired eyes against the blazing bulb of the sun. Not a cloud. Not a drop of rain, not a wet patch of weeds. Just this scrub. And that endless horizon of jagged valley peaks.

    “What?” she asked.

    “This dry creek bed we’ve been following. Hon, it starts over there, past that ridge. See?” He let out a breath, not one branded with the exhaustion she felt -- had felt for the last three days and nights with no food, no shelter, no water -- but one of renewed hope. She smiled vaguely at him but he turned to look more intently at his new destination. “We make that ‘fore nightfall and we’ll find your water. Prolly people too.”

    She got up, her knees creaking. At fifty-seven apiece, neither was a spring-chicken. Getting caught out here on their yearly RV trip through the canyons was obviously not part of their summer holiday planning.

    They started walking again. Diedre’s feet ached. His did too. After a time of only the crunching of their shoes in the gravel and dry dirt bed of the long-dead creek, she spoke again.

    “Why are you so intent on getting there? I mean, now? Tonight?”

    He moved in closer. “Hear that?” he asked.

    She stopped. “What?”

    “Don’t turn around.” She listened, her heart rate climbing. It was the only distinct sound she could make out. She did as he said. In twenty-nine years of marriage she’d always done that. Hell, that’s why they were even out here -- because Diedre didn’t question her husband.

    Faintly, she could still hear their footsteps in the gravel and dirt. Was it an echo? Was she so tired, so thirsty she was simply hearing things?

    Then it came to her as he spoke again. “Saw the barrel of a gun in some of the thicker scrub yes’day aft’noon. Those footsteps have been getting closer to the east, right where we came from.

    “Deidre, hon, we are not alone out here.”

    <> <> <>

    j. //

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  12. Ah, great story, Jason - and honoured to have you posting in this blog. I'd have been less impressed if JK Rowling had decided to flash me. :-)

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  13. Haha! You're funny and are trying to swell my head, Les. Seriously, though, I was inspired by the challenge and also your backdrop. Thought I could do it well in 200 words but failed.

    No problem that it won't be in the competition. Fun exercise tho!

    Cheers!
    j. //

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  14. Hehe, cheers Jason. Really pleased you decided to join in. Maybe I should have upped the word count a little... I also forgot to mention it could be less than 200 words, so I hope people aren't trying to get it exact. Ho-hum. :-)

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  15. Here's mine. I combined two of the prompts :). TextMate said 195 words.

    The Postman tightened the silencer on his twenty-two. He had oiled and cleaned and loaded it with the plasma rounds last night. The rounds that conspiracy nuts had never imagined and the government didn't even know existed.

    He put the Postal truck into gear and began his morning run. He first stopped at the Espuna house and dropped off their mail. He wondered how they would be able to control the alien population in the future if there was no more actual mail.

    The final stop - the Rort's. He first dropped the package and rang the doorbell. He waited in the car while the box verified his targets were inside. As expected they were inside but refused to come outside during the day except under duress. He went to the door. He tapped his belt to set off the door bell to ring until the door was opened.

    When Mr. Rort opened the door - the Postman shot him with a twenty-two plasma round.

    The alien's head vaporized into a green-blue mist.

    "The Smith's are next and I think they have a birthday present," the Postman said as he got back into his truck.

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  16. From a short story I am working on:

    Helene's phone showed 3:27 a.m. as she lifted the rickety elevator. It's creaks grew her headache. The door was unlocked. The body of someone she didn't know, blocked full entry into her loft. A guy in his twenties early wearing skinny jeans, eyeliner, and the waft of beer awoke then fell into the pink beanbag.

    Helene stepped over empty pizza boxes and went into her roommate's bathroom medicine cabinet. The broken mirror over the sink revealed dark circles under her eyes and a perpetual frown. She looked for headache relief but found only a newly filled penicillin perscription.

    Her head pulsed as she saw her walked in her room. She turned to lock the door but it was broken.

    "Damn everything!"

    She peeled off her boots and damp socks then fell into bed. As she rolled over his business card rubbed against her waist. He answered on the second ring.

    " It's Helene Troy. You said you're a night owl so is this cool?."

    He laughed and turned down some innocous background pop music.

    "I'm working, Helene. Do you want to come over a make some music?"

    The question seemed unsettling to a normal person. To a starving musician the inquiry fit.

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  17. We are not alone! She was too frightened to turn her head and look or scream. Something, dark like a shadow made of dust sized mites was moving from the corner towards the foot of their bed. She elbowed her sleeping husband. He was already awake. Frozen like she was. Staring at the corner.

    Where had it come from? Was the window open? Had it been there before they moved in? Was it a person? No. The answer to the last question was no. Not a person.

    Light from the earth turning towards the sun turned the room dull dark blue. The light was moving faster then it was. It raised one arm like appendage in a vein attempt to shield where it’s face must be from the light seeping in between the slats of the window blinds.

    “From the other side. Don’t want to go home. Long cold journey.” It didn’t so much speak as buzz this and pointed to a half drunk glass of milk that had gone cold, on her beside table.

    She held out the glass of milk. The specks went into the glass, shimmered white for a second. “thank you.” it said and was gone.

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  18. Here's my entry based on "We're not alone." Enjoy!


    At first, Sam wasn’t completely sure he’d felt it. He was lying on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, and still a bit foggy from just having been awakened. He glanced around then rubbed his eyes a few times trying desperately to shake the fog that seemed to wrap itself around his head so tight his eyes were fuzzy.

    He stiffened suddenly as he felt it again. A light, feathery feeling tracing its way up his spine. His eyes widened, and he swallowed hard. Then, closing his eyes, he managed a, “Who’s there?”

    There came no reply. Sam opened his eyes, then glanced back over his shoulder. There was no reply because there was no one there. The touch disappeared as quickly as it had come. As it did, a picture frame on the end table on the opposite side from Sam tipped over backwards causing Sam to sit bolt upright.

    He stood slowly, walked over to the end table, and looked down at the picture frame. It was the last picture he and his girlfriend, Amy, had ever taken together. They’d been in Paris and were posing from atop the Eiffel Tower. A slow smile spread across Sam’s face.

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  19. Thank you for these last four! I'm thrilled you decided to join in. Apologies for the delay in publishing them last night... I forgot to press the publish button. :-P

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  20. Here's my entry! I went for all the prompts quoted directly into the story. :) Thanks for reading. Word-counter clocked it at 190.

    -------

    Tall Earl Grey tea lattes with soy.

    Barista said he’d never seen two people order identical drinks like that. “It’s the whimsical way of the world,” he said. “Your drinks smell like Froot Loops!”

    I ignored you, but you hovered at the soggy flavor station as I put four honeys into my cup.

    “The postman always rings twice!” you said.

    I scowled at you.

    The blush on your pale cheeks won me over as you shrugged and looked away, “I put four honeys into mine as well.”

    Our first date involved a stormy beach you said would be beautiful, along with a sister you promised was super-friendly. Her mood went from black to greenish, like the clouds, as she sped along the coastline, not speaking, just speeding, and refusing to turn the car, even when you yelled.

    “We are not alone!” you hissed as I wrapped my legs around your waist, and yet you pushed your full weight into me against that wall just outside the party. I stared at the fireflies over your shoulder and you shuddered when my tongue flicked over the mosquito bites on your soft throat.

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  21. Suzanne Lucero27 June 2011 11:43

    Thought I'd give it a try. Here's a little whimsy:

    I love my human. She’s so good to me.

    She always wears toys on her face that I can bat off when I want to play. If she’s lying down, the toys are fair game and we have a fun time playing keep-away. When we’re finished she puts them back on her face for next time.

    Sometimes she puts something new over the high place she sleeps, something that smells like lye and…flowers? Well, whatever it is, I dig my claws into it here and there, pretending there’s a bug on it. She makes a sound in her throat, almost like I do: a low, short chirrup. She can’t purr, though, even when she’s happy. Strange.

    She gives me crunchy things in a bowl to eat, and sometimes she’ll hand me a piece from what she’s eating, just like a mother cat does. Once in a while, after I’ve been outside hunting, I’ll bring her a mouse in return.

    She grooms me with her hand instead of her tongue, and scratches under my chin or between my ears. Then we’ll curl up together, contented, and go to sleep.

    She’s so good to me. I love my human.

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  22. if this isnt right i'll go and hide under the bloody desk and yes i know that punctuation isnt my strong point or spelling but here goes 200 bang on the money.

    She sits upon a large rock hugging her legs to her,her chin resting on her knees and stares out at sea. A gentle breeze teases strands of hair across her face, but she doesn't seem to notice. A single tear falls slowly down her cheek as she closes her eyes.
    From across the sand he see's her, a solitary figure. He smiles as hands in the pockets of his jeans, he makes his way towards her.He knew he would find her here, on her thinking rock.
    Opening her eyes she uncurls her legs and moves the hair from her eyes.She rubs her face and stretches as she turns to look down the beach.
    He see's her watching him , and with a grin waves to her.
    carefully she slides down from the rock as he approaches. He stops in front of her, frowning as he see's that she has been crying. Gently he wipes the wetness from her cheeks and tucks her hair behind her ears.
    "Bad day?"
    She shrugs and pulls a face.
    "Come here." he pulls her into his arms and hold her.
    "Your not alone." he says .

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  23. Came in at 194 and combined all the prompts. This was fun!

    The driving sheets of rain could not stop the waves from crashing forward on the beach. She saw the stinging rain as a wall to pass through as she stepped into the spray, but the world has a whimsical way of flexing its boundaries around interruptions.

    She could no longer hear the horn from the fishing vessel through the pounding rain. The last distress call of two blasts was hours ago, reminding her of the saying, “The postman always rings twice.”

    Plunging into the raging seas, she knew it was a fool’s errand. Yet, he was waiting for her as she had waited for him. Lightning pierced the sky showing her brief glimpses of where her course should be set.

    The sea pulled her under and demanded she give her all. In the next flash of light she saw him.

    Waiting.

    Beckoning.

    Smiling.

    Their fingertips touched and intertwined. He pulled her weightless body close and whispered “We are not alone.” She looked around and saw other members of his crew hovering in the swirling seas. She returned their sad smiles of regret as her heart sung that her own wait on forever was over.

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  24. Whimsical Way of the World on a Stormy Beach

    He described himself as 35, 6’4”, and with kind eyes. That’s all I cared to know. He knew little more of me.

    We’d chatted about so many things, but our physical appearance was not one of them. I had told him from the beginning, “If we are going to connect, it has to be on a deeper level. Take a chance with me, and I’ll do the same with you.”

    And so began our connection to one another. Two months of listening to each other’s stories that included past loves, dreams, and disappointments. Two months of building up affection for one another that was real, stripped of the superficiality often deemed important by modern society.

    And when it came time to finally meet, the anticipation was almost unbearable.

    “How will you find me in such a large crowd?” he asked during our last conversation.

    “I’ll find you when I see you,” I said.

    And on that fateful day, a huge storm hit. The rain broke the surface of the ocean like giant diamonds falling from the sky.

    The beach was empty—except for him.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    eden

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  25. Gosh, thanks for all the entries! They're coming thick and fast! You lot are ace!

    And Eden... *flutters eyelashes*

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  26. Dementia

    The stormy beach which is her fuddled brain locked within a crumbling shell, whips up fragments of memory tossed and scattered by crested waves of nostalgia, pain, sorrow, tangled with glimpses of delight — fragments lit by sudden rays of sunnier days. Salty tang with rotting debris, musty fungi, colliding with sweet rose petals, the joy of love, lavender, baby talc. Sounds rush and collide: screaming winds battle against joyful laughter and peaceful sighs.

    She sees, smells , hears and touches these things. Or, rather they grip her. There is no escape, there is no way out.

    I curl my arm around her shoulders.

    She looks at me, her brow wrinkling.

    “I’m Jenny,” I say, smiling reassurance.

    “Not you’re not, I want Jenny. She never comes to see me.”

    I force back my tears. “I’m here, Mum. I’m your Jenny.”

    “No you’re not.” She points to the television — a mere background noise and moving parts within the dementia ward. “That’s Jenny, getting on that plane. She won’t get far. She stole the Crown Jewels.”

    I kiss her cheek and rise from my chair. “Goodbye, Mum. I’ll come again tomorrow.”

    She clutches at my arm. “Do you know the way out?”

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  27. This is wonderful Gladys - thank you so much for taking part! :-)

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  28. The alley is dark. Why did I turn this way? I run faster until the pathway takes a crooked left and I slam into him. He towers over my fragile form as he mutters something into my ear with vile breath. My scream is muffled by the leather of his oversized glove, and I start to pray that it will be quick. My eyes close, trying to focus on a happy thought during my final breath. I fall to the ground as the concrete leaves me broken.

    This must be Heaven. I cannot move and I cannot see, but I feel like I’m floating. Swaying gently, back and forth.

    He says it’s okay to open my eyes, but I’m scared. Scared of what I will see, or what I will not see. His hand touches my face and instantly I feel the heat, burning my soul. I take a deep breath raise my eyelids slowly, to discover I am not floating. He is carrying me; his slow gait cradling me with safety. I look up to see the electric blues reciprocating my stare. Eyes as breathtaking as the view from a stormy beach.

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  29. Fun!! This will be my first attempt at Flash Fiction... Been wanting to give it a try. :)

    @MichelleSedas

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  30. You all rock! I was only expecting a few entries. :-)

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  31. ClearlyMeLuise28 June 2011 06:24

    196 including title - first attempt ever!

    Whimsical Way of the World

    Every so often my cat, Dorothy, gets a queasy tummy. I try to get info out of her. Did she eat a bad mouse? Was there a bug in the garden that went down the wrong pipe? No. She won’t talk. Dorothy is like that. I buy her squeaky toys and special blend food for the “Elegant Cat,” and then she curls up in a ball, blends into her black velvet pillow and falls asleep without as much as a thank you, or a nod.

    But today was different. Today when I asked if she had a sliver of “Chicken Primavera” stuck in her throat she purred softly, rubbed against my leg and winked. Yes, winked. Before I could gasp with awe, I found myself suddenly 10” tall, a veritable powerhouse of a tiger-striped cat, curiously hungry for trout.

    “Your patience with me has won you the Feline Fancy Award,” I heard Dorothy say. (Her voice raspier than I’d imagined.) “You have the rare honor of being a cat for the entire weekend, and I gotta tell ya, George, it’s a whimsical world over here. I think you’re gonna like it.”

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  32. JACK?

    By John A Silkstone

    “Remember Mary you’ll not be alone out there so be careful.”

    The gas lamps cast eerie golden balls in the thick London fog.

    Mary screamed when colliding into another person. Seeing a woman, she sobbed, "I thought you were Jack the Ripper!"

    "No dear, just Jacqueline; but my friends call me Jack."

    Smiling, Jacqueline withdrew a large knife from her handbag.

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  33. By Jay Archer David

    Fifteen Seconds

    In this heat that’s what stood between life and death.Hunger drove him from the shadows. That and a dull spec protruding from volcanicsand ten yards away. He wasThey starvingfor the same reason the world withered—unparalleled drought.

    Everything came down to calories. In the shade he couldconserve energy. If the glinting object was a harvestable sprout, he’dsurvive for days, perhaps until rain.

    It was an even choice. Motion was a blur as he brushed pasthis mate and bolted into the oven of the earth. One eye searched the searingsky for any sign of death that might descend from above. The other eye was onthe object. Sixty sprints, but erratic so as to make a poor target, and he wasthere.

    Ten fingers dug with blinding speed. Scorching soilimmediately blistered his palms. The object was unearthed. Not trusting hiseyes, his long nose sniffed to make an identification. The alien smell shockedhis senses and he darted back to the hole and his mate.

    Could he read, he’d have read Marlboro on theobject’s burnt end. Had he language, he would have told his mate,“We are not alone!”

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  34. And thanks for these two emailed entries! :-)

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  35. My entry and thanks.

    ****

    Lessons

    “We’re not alone,” the female voice said as I awoke from, not sleep even though everything around me hung pitch black. No. Drugged maybe judging from the pounding aches? I didn’t know with all this static running in my head.

    I thought I recognized the voice. It sounded like my wife but laced with heavy malice distorting her sweet, and grating, sound.

    Then it hit me, not alone? “Who’s with us?” I asked.

    Her laugh bordered on crazy and for once in my life I was afraid.

    “Well, can you consider a dead hit-man as being present among us?” And then that laugh again. “You know, the first lesson is to make sure I’m dead before you celebrate with my money,” she said.

    Lesson learned as I heard the report of a gun and the bullet slicing into my body. And as the blackness became total, I knew the hit-man I hired would not be alone.

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  36. By Louise Willis

    There was a storm brewing...I could feel the tension in the air but tonight was for me this was going to be an evening to remember. My lover would be here in 15 minutes.

    He had asked that I be blindfolded in bed when he arrived so here I was...the anticipation was killing me. Before I knew it he was there…I never heard him arrive…I had never felt him like this, the passion, the heat, he satisfied me like no man ever had…then silence….where was he? Our time was always snatched.

    I lay for a moment reliving the what had just happened. It was so wrong but we were so right together.

    I was falling in love….and after tonight I knew that more than ever.

    In the silence of the night I heard a car pull up…..a door shut…then…what the fuck?

    Two rings. My lover.

    He always rang twice.

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  37. ClearlyMeLuise29 June 2011 01:54

    200 words

    Agnes hadn’t eaten since last night, and now tonight’s usual dinner crowd was at the game. “How can I get any decent leftovers?” she grumbled while rummaging the trashcan.

    Even the slightest vocal produced a hacking cough. She covered her mouth with a dusty worn sleeve. Agnes was a real lady at one point. She still practiced as many formal behaviors as she could remember. But remembering was tough.

    “Agnes!” shouted Harry. “Over here!”

    She looked up and saw a vaguely familiar older man. Harry had arranged a feast on the patio with burgers, fries and hot coffee. She ate and drank quickly.

    “Agnes,” Harry begged, “Come home. We’ve been searching. Ruthie saw you in a news photo and called the McDonald’s pictured. The manager said you’re always here at 5 pm.”

    Ruthie gave her mom a hug. “It’s a miracle I saw your photo. I texted Dad right away.”

    Agnes didn’t recognize them but she’d been praying every night for a miracle. Harry carried her plastic bag while Agnes looked toward the sky as if to see an angel. For one brief moment her gaze was clear and bright.

    “We’re not alone,” she whispered, then climbed into their car.

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  38. From Zongrik:

    “Country music gives me a headache.”

    “You told me that a giga-million times.” He turned right.

    “Why’s this on?”

    “It’s sixties music,” he beat a red light.

    “Now you’re disguising country music as sixties music? Will you stop at nothing to play your out-of-tune country music?” I turned it off, “That, was written in 1972, by the way.”

    “Early seventies is sixties. Look, a dying squirrel.”

    I didn’t fall for it. I checked for his hand moving toward the dial. It hadn’t. I turned around. Being shorter, I saw nothing.

    “No! That wasn’t a dying squirrel. It was a chipmunk eating a squirrel! They don’t do that!”

    I thought about it a moment. “Maybe he was drinking the blood, for liquid.”

    “No. Fluid is supplied to them by local plant life.”

    “It must be a mutated flesh- eating-chipmunk.”

    “Where’d the radiation come from?”

    He turned on the radio. I moved to turn it off, “Wait. It’s news,” he said.

    “It’s not time for news.”

    “Must be a special report.”

    I let it stay on.

    “. . . it was revealed today that two years ago, a local radioactive mortar fire skirmish caused the fatality of three alien invaders.”

    We gasped.

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  39. From W. Willis:

    Stormy Beaches

    We surfaced into the pounding waves; my dive buddy had run out of air. The boat we had been diving from was nowhere in sight. We could see land but the tide was going out and we were being pulled back with it.

    I had lost one fin and was struggling to keep up. We ditched our weight belts and pushed for the shore. Underwater the equipment feels weightless; on the surface it was heavy.I was lagging behind my one sided ability with the solo fin was very limited, I was beginning to panic. I blew the whistle on my flotation vest to attract my buddy but the noise from the crashing waves was too loud.

    I gulped water instead of air and as I was choking I felt a push from behind. Frightened I tried to turn to see what was happening. It was then the ten foot long dolphin swam alongside. I had heard about a large Bottlenose Dolphin who was regularly seen off this coast. He was always alone and sought out company of the small boats or divers.

    I grabbed his fin and he pulled me towards the shore carrying my fin.

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  40. Okay... giving it a go!
    177

    ----

    She whisked in the wind waiting and wondered, when would he die? On this death bed she waited, knowing it would be his wish that she would be there.

    But life threw a different card into the mix. Another night, another day. One would never know, how much there was to say. And yet, she did not cry, nor did he wait. As they dove through the night sky on the wind and her cape.

    He never knew she could sing like that. She never knew he could see like that. It was night. And they would dive. To the depths of the earth and sky. To the depths of her heart.

    Waiting. Knowing. One day they would meet. And so today, like many others. She waits. Knowing. Wanting. Wasting away. As he ponders his mortality, and she waits unending worry.

    Together they will meet. Again, on the clouds, between the sheets.

    And then one day she will know again, the whimsical way of the world she has known was indeed all there was left to living.

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  41. Thank you, Sharon! That's lovely! :-)

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  42. Okay, here's my stab at it - 200 words exactly!

    Waterborne by Kevin G. Bufton
    -----------------------------

    We are not alone.

    Kareem’s voice floated inside Jamie’s head, an exotic mix of second-generation Scouse and his ancestral Middle Eastern lilt. It was the voice that had made him so attractive, that had taken the edge off his craziness.

    He had said it all the time, looking over his shoulder as he inspected the shadows for things that Jamie could not see. He would advise people not to drink the tap water and to keep a watchful eye on their loved ones.

    Curled up in the darkness, Jamie realised that Kareem had been right and that he - fool that he was - had not believed him. There was something inside him, about the size of a cricket ball, getting larger every hour. It was hot and sinuous, roped with muscle, throbbed and trembling in the pit of his stomach.

    It extended a thin tendril, puncturing Jamie’s stomach wall, causing him to heave up a thick puddle of blood and bile. Kareem existing only as a memory, whilst Jamie lay screaming and shuddering as something tore at his insides.

    Kareem had been right. Jamie had drunk the water and now he was paying the price.

    He was not alone…

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  43. TWO from Jet Moona-Lisa:

    Miss Frankenstein

    “You’re so calm” one once said, reactively I fed them the smile. People misconstrue calmness with apathy.

    “How do you cope?” they persisted. I just needed to be an object in a Van Gogh meets Gustav Klimt painting and I did not have to question why. Instead I’m bound to the whimsical way of the world.

    Digging depths deeper down than your soul’s core; scraping, scratching, and clutching...What am I? Delirious off life never-without living out a melancholy ode. Never will I feel the primrose path, pawn for privilege so be it as the whole of me does not acquire nor desire these.

    As a venomous lover bearing aphrodisiac nectar grace was not at a comfortable grasp like the curves of her palms sensuality solely soared fuelling her eccentricity. Ritually slaughtering for the sake of equilibrium and in vain of “working for the man”; when her balance never served an existence so she took a hammer to the walls around and above her. “My mind cradled; crushed at birth I was. They were the sinners and I was the sin.” This cradling mind counting cattle cries crawling. She laid 13.3feet under Göran’s garden, soulfully singing seeking salvation’s scale.

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  44. Second by Jet Moona-Lisa:

    A puppet on a string of lies is a bit like a botoxed seal with dentures. I was force fed fairy tales and I spat the very same out when they deemed me intolerable enough not to look. I would live off comics, art, J.R.R. Tolkien, my imagination and music.

    James Hendrix was supposed to be my grandfather. I don’t know what transpired. Like the ladybird that was supposed to slide down the back of my throat. But the rulers of kindergarten had the final say. They demanded I released my loving hostage, as it flew off my tongue; the answer is blowing in the wind. We are not alone! Washing my face with treasured tears Aphrodite would contemplate.

    A swerve of emotions lets go off the reins gripping my galloping heart. I have an ascending spirit surging aflame. I may deflate as I surely feel this cool pleasant substance patiently run down the corner of my burning lips. Just like that I’m honey dew, bubbling like candy, a pot without a lid. No barriers, no inhibitions like how water cannot be compressed. Glazed eyes and incessant fantasies, you have become the ice cream melting in my rose hip soup.

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  45. From EdJonBus:

    He stood there watching her dance slowly on the hardwood floor. Her bare feet gracefully slid and shuffled as her legs spun her body in pirouettes to the music playing from the old victrola.

    His gaze was fixed hard through the side window of her house. Well hidden from the street and any other nearby homes, he has been coming here for days ritualistically.

    Tonight was the night he wanted to make his move.
    He knew the door wasn't locked and she was the only one there. With a deft chop from the industrial cutters he brought with him, he cut the power line from the bottom half of the power meter at his waist. A loud crack sizzled in his ears as a flash of brilliant light blazed the area around him.

    Inside the house, she screamed...

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  46. *** COMPETITION NOW CLOSED ***

    TRYING to decide on a shortlist. Will post them tomorrow, sometime.

    Huge thanks to everyone who participated. You're all stars! :-)

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