Friday, November 11, 2011

The Week in #FlashFiction Summary 11-7 thru 11-11

Happy Friday 11-11-11! Do you know the last time this date came around it was 100 years ago? Woo-hoo! Also, Happy Veteran's Day! I had two grandfathers in the military; my dad's dad was a Marine in the First World War and my mom's dad was an Army air corps mechanic on the B-29 Superfortresses in WWII. Blessings to those who have served and those who still do. I greatly appreciate your sacrifices and efforts in serving for your country.

Now, on to the #flashfiction for this week. On Monday, I participated in #MenageMonday where we had 200 words to create a story from the following photo, the phrase "say what you want" and the word "risible", meaning something provoking laughter. Here's my entry inspired by Mr. SM and the movie Hitman, entitled, "Diana".

“Diana” sat at a little wrought iron table, tapping away at her laptop. Evening sunshine burnished the ornate buildings around the square, suffusing the cafĂ© in shadow. She was grateful for the cut in heat.

“Your target is Consuela Aragon, daughter of the Spanish Ambassador,” she typed, knowing her voice would sound smooth, elegant and faintly British to the assassin on the other end. “The client wants her death to be embarrassing to the ambassador as a message to curb his vices. The client wishes for the body to be found in a public place and had some suggestions: a disco, strip club, or brothel. Can you comply?”

She raised her coffee cup to her lips, savoring the lightly sweetened libation as it rolled over her tongue. Say what you want about the Italians, they made a damn good cuppa. She tucked one patent leather heeled foot behind the other under her chair as the words “I can comply” appeared on her screen. She typed, “Confirmed. Transmitting data”, then closed the laptop.

“Hello, Diana. I’ve missed you.”

The visage before her wasn’t risible. “Hello, 47. I trust you’ve been well?”

Her bald companion smiled and sat, adjusting his red tie.

Also on Monday, I was the judge for #MotivationMonday where the writers had 500 words to create a story from the following first line: "Somehow he wasn't surprised that it was snowing in Austin on June 19th." Mine was ineligible, but it's entitled "Temporal Adjustment".

Somehow he wasn't surprised that it was snowing in Austin on June 19th. Not that it looked like Austin, or that calendars had been discovered yet. Wind whistled across the open savannah, driving snow before it like the cottonwood seeds he used to see here. Well, back in his own time. He tightened the bison hide around his shoulders with a sturdy hemp belt and turned his back to the wind, grateful he still had his flannel shirt, fleece gloves, wool hat, and scarf. He’d abandoned the down parka to the Giant Short-Faced Bear he’d encountered two weeks ago. Damn thing though he smelled like chicken!

Hoisting his overnight pack up onto his shoulders, he continued his trek southwest across the brittle plains. When he’d come through the time portal, he hadn’t expected to be thrown into the Ice Age of Austin. He’d expected to land somewhere near the late Pleistocene when things started to warm up and the harsh cold weather was tapering off. The great ice caps were supposed to be retreating northward back to Canada and Alaska, not advancing further south. He grumbled for the millionth time about sloppy calculations and poor research.

Damn graduate students!

The wind howled again, sounding almost like a voice calling him. No, wait, that was a voice!

“Doctor Sterling! Doctor Sterling!”

He looked back over his shoulder to see a figure lumbering toward him in a black parka and large backpack. He recognized both the voice and the shape of his senior grad student Cara Zephyr. What the hell was she doing here?

“It worked, Dr. Sterling! Isn’t it great?!” she crowed as she reached him, grabbing his arms and bouncing up and down like an excited puppy.

“What are you doing here? How did you get here?” he demanded harshly.

“I came to see you in your lab and saw the temporal adjustment machine working so I packed my gear and followed you.” She grinned at him with lips unchapped by the harsh elements. “It really worked!”

“Yes, it worked, but there’s no way to get back. I’ve tried.”

“You’ve tried to get back?” She cocked her head. “What do you mean? How long have you been here?”

“Two weeks!”

Her eyebrows disappeared under the brim of her fleece hat. “Really? Wow!” He wanted to shake her out of her enthusiasm. “Did you forget your return transponder?”

“My what?”

“Didn’t you read Tom’s notes?” Cara dug around in one of her voluminous pockets, withdrawing a small steel pocket watch. “Tom said he’d found that something could go through the worm hole made by the Temporal Adjustment Machine, but couldn’t come back unless there was a transponder attached to the item set to the frequency of our own time.”

She held up the open-faced watch. A digital read-out showed June 19th 2011, 09:34 LAT 30˚ 17’ N, LON 97˚44’ W.

Maybe his grad students weren’t so sloppy after all.

“Let’s go home.”

“But I just got here!”

"We can always come back, Cara. You just proved it." He took her arm, leading the way.

Great thanks to Cara Michaels, Sterling Priest, and Tom Keller for starring in my little play in words. ;)

On Wednesday, I participated in the #HumpDayChallenge where we had 100 words to make a story with the five word prompts of "emaciated", "stomp", "veil", "tar", and "miraculous". I'd been discussing novel first lines with a friend and wrote the following first line to make her smile. Then I used it to start this little story entitled "No Trespassing".

The sign said 'No Trespassing', but the oozing lines of blood marring the words suggested someone had ignored the warning. An emaciated padlock dangled unharmed from the gate beside the chain link fence torn open like tissue paper. The Druid Priest stomped his feet and chanted in hopes of calling upon the Fae across the Veil for some sort of miraculous response to save us and the town.

“This ain’t gonna work,” Thompson growled. “That thing’s gonna beat the tar outta us, we go in there.”

“Shut up. You got any better ideas?” I retorted.

“Nah. Just sayin’ is all.”

Today, I wrote 100 words for the #FridayFictioneers using the following photo prompt. I've entitled it "Piper's Dawn".

The third night Suriya heard the pipes on the wind, she resolved to find them. Legend had it the Pipers only came out at dusk and dawn; the first to send the sun to bed and the second to bid it rise.

Bedding down in the crackling leaves at the edge of the sleeping autumn forest, Suriya waited for dawn with anticipation firing her blood. The silvery sound of the pipes built around her just as the sun’s light crested the ridge. Tiny Pipers danced around her, luminescent in the glorious sunrise, and winked in acknowledgement of her marveling presence. 

Also today, I wrote 100 words for #FridayPictureShow using the following photo prompt. It's entitled, "Lost Carnival".

The old coaster stands derelict now, rust corroding the rails, support ties lying in crumbling disarray; but I’ve heard the hoots of a pipe organ playing carnival tunes at night and smelled the scents of popcorn and cotton candy in the breeze.

I’ve seen sparkling lights beckoning from the overgrown fairgrounds, but I’ve never found anything other than an old brass game token, the kind they used to give out to revelers for the rides.

Just last night I heard the clackity-clack of the coaster’s wheels and the joyful screams of the riders. Tonight I’ll be there with my camera.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've enjoyed the summary and you're more than welcome to stop by this Sunday for Six Sentence Sunday, a snippet of my WIP entitled The Goblin King. Happy reading! :)


  1. Hi! I read your Piper's Dawn piece and thought it was a fasciniating take on the picture inspiration. You've taken the idea and run with it - I can imagein a whole story coming out of the introduction you have here!
    Feel free to take a look at mine, at

  2. I like your delightful little ditty on the pipe shaped flower. Very festive in mood and delivery.

  3. I want to come back and read the other stories you've written this week but had to read just the "Piper's Dawn" for now. That was creative and refreshing, without even a trace of malice or darkness and I loved it.

    Thanks for running with the FridayFictioneers today :)

  4. Piper's Dawn was a favorite of mine. Creative and well rendered. I was there. Nothing more says it better.



  5. I especially love the last sentence of "Piper's Dawn." Very nice!

  6. Love the scale of this piece, how it changes, Robin


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