Queen of the Cyber Wars – #sixwordstory

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

Her little lie spread like wildfire.

 

 

I was CRAZY busy last weekend but I wanted to write something, since my participation in flash contests has been lacking as of late. So I stopped by The angry Hourglass, only for a moment, and submitted a quick little story. Well, I guess sometimes less is more because I got an honorable mention from our wonderful judge Brett Milam. His comments were very kind and made my day!

Nietzsche said it was his ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. There’s something palpable to brevity when done right, especially in the context of an already limited-word genre, like flash fiction. In this case, you’ve said in six words what others utilized another 354 words to accomplish. But I like it because it’s apropos of the prompt and it says everything in those six words. And now I’ve already gone on over 12 times longer than the story, so I’ll stop.

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Home At Last

Pilgrim’s Progress. “Thus, they got over.” Public domain illustration by Frederick Barnard 1889.

Pilgrim’s Progress. “Thus, they got over.” Public domain illustration by Frederick Barnard 1889.

 

 

I have waited for you.

I have watched you.

I’ve seen your battle with Darkness itself.

I’ve seen you through the waves he crashed upon you.

I’ve held you in those moments you thought I was gone.

I’ve heard your praises.

I’ve heard your doubts.

I’ve seen you laugh…

I’ve seen you cry.

I’ve seen you bear witness, whether it be through words or actions.

Your smile could light up a room and brighten anyone’s day, no matter who they were.

You have traveled the narrow path, difficult as it was.

I welcome you home, my good and faithful servant.

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Submitted for Warmup Wednesday!

This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: include the end of a long journey.

 

Say What?

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

 

“Do you remember that time, Mac?”

“What’s that now?”

“That time…”

“The Time? It’s almost six o’clock.”

“No, Mac, that time back in ’61?”

“61? No I’m 79, same age as you. You gettin’ forgetful, man?”

“No. No. 1961. Being here just reminded me of your 25th birthday. We were on the beach and we saw that shark…”

“Shark? Where? We better go tell that lifeguard over there. Beaches aren’t like they used to be? Ain’t nobody can swim without fear of sharks invadin’…”

“Mac, what are you ranting about? I’m trying to reminisce about that good ol’ days.”

“Old age? Who you callin’ old? Speak for yourself. I still fell like I’m 50!”

“I think you’re going senile.”

“Who you callin’ senile, ya old fart!”

“How did you hear that muttering when you can’t even here when I’m shouting?”

“What? Speak up, I can’t hear ya, Bernie.”

“Oh, never mind. Go on home, Mac.”

“Same time tomorrow?”

“Same time tomorrow, ya crazy loon.”

“Yup, see ya soon.”

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Word Count: 163

This flash fiction story was written for Flash Frenzy Round 74.

Judges Comments: “Great  characters and dialogue in this story.  Love the back-and forth miscommunication and humor. Well done!”

 

 

 

 

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Soon, She Will Leave Him

Joan Crawford & John Gilbert; publicity photo for the film “Four Walls,” 1928. Public domain image in the U.S.

Joan Crawford & John Gilbert; publicity photo for the film “Four Walls,” 1928. Public domain image in the U.S.

 

“There. Beautiful. Now everyone will know you are mine.”

“That’s a silly thing to say, of course I’m yours.”

Sarah ran her finger over the locket, her pale hand shaking as she lifted it to the light. The many stones cast its golden rays, setting her face aglow. Her radiance, in that moment, almost made Brenton believe that. But when she dropped the necklace down to her concave chest the harsh reality practically slapped him.

Her eyes had lost their spark long ago. Nothing he gave her made it come back. He showered her with flowers and fancy date nights, jewelry and even a house to call their own. But every day he saw the signs. Her strength waned, her weight seemed to melt off her.

He was fooling himself. She had not been his for a long time.

She belonged to another.

She belonged to Death.

 

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This flash fiction story was written for Flash! Friday 3-36

Word Count: 147

 

 

 

 

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Debut

 

Photo Credit: Dan Phiffer via CC.

Photo Credit: Dan Phiffer via CC.

 

“Stage?”

“Isn’t he beautiful?”

“Odd name don’t you think?”

“These are odds times, Hector. It suits him.” Tereasa wrapped her newborn tightly in the threadbare blanket. She looked out at the vacant auditorium, the shadows of people past still lingered in the seats.

Wincing, she tried to get up.

“What are you doing?”

“We have to keep moving. They’ll find us.”

“They’ll be sure to find us if you pass out in the snowy street. Lay down.”

Hector took his son in his arms and looked at his wife on the hard, dusty floor.

“Stage, huh? Well, I guess it’s as good as any name.”

 

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Written for Micro Bookends 1.40

Our bookends were STAGE and NAME.

 

 

Extinguish the Fury

Photo Credit: Tekniska museet via CC.

Photo Credit: Tekniska museet via CC.

 

“Six times, Kaitie! We can’t keep wiping everyone’s memory. Soon long-term brain damage can occur.

“I know, Mom. But I couldn’t take it anymore. Brad had it coming, constantly taunting me. He needed to know who really has the power.”

“You set his hair on fire!”

Katie bowed her head. She wasn’t sorry but she tried to look it.

“I get called out of work so often the girls in the office think I’m unreliable.”

Kaitie’s hands began to smolder. She hated having to hide who she was.

“Go take a cold shower,” her mother’s gaze falling on Kaitie’s hands, “cool those hands down a few degrees.”

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This story was in response to Micro Bookends 1.39. Our Bookends were SIX and DEGREES.

This story was a continuation of Brother Knows Best. Click here to read it.

Summer Quest

This story got an Honorable Mention over at The Angry Hourglass. The picture below was our inspiration. Scroll to the bottom to see what our judge, Brian S Creek, had to say.

 

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

Dear Mom,

I feel trapped in a box here. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. I need some time away. So, I’ve joined a carnival to be the Tea Cup Ride attendant. I know what you’re thinking. “How can you find yourself, chained to a ride in the hot sun?” But I need a change of scenery. I’ve told you I want to travel. Twelve cities in three months! I need variety and this town, population 1200, just isn’t cutting it. I will be back in time for school. That is unless I meet a cute guy and elope.

Chill Mom, that was a joke.

I love you.

See you in September.

Love, Joni

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Judges thoughts: “Caitlin played with the format and only used one third of the allowed word count but it all works brilliantly. My favourite thing was the outside-the-box take on the prompt, using the cup to represent the carnival ride.”

Fictitious Reality

*Author’s note: This story is a part-two. If you would like to read part-one click here.

 

Stumbling out the door, he noticed blearily, that he was missing his pen. Slamming the door shut Robbie stepped back, waiting. Shrieks filled the night from behind the door. He glanced over at Mike holding up his empty hands.

“Run!” Mike shouted, knowing that without a pen they had no power against the beast. Robbie tried to protest but his tongue, a salty toad, felt too large in his mouth to form any words. He let out a sigh and trudged behind Mike, barely keeping up.

“Where are we?” Mike shouted back at Robbie.

“I have no idea.” he managed to choke out. That was a lie. He knew where they were, at least he was pretty sure. When he had written “AND THEN A DOOR APPEARED” on the wall in the hallway, a picture of his fictitious world flashed in his mind. Mike was not going to be happy. Robbie continued to run several legs behind his friend as they weaved in and out of the trees. He could barely see, the thick canopy hardly letting any moon light through. Robbie, thoughts racing, tried to pinpoint where they were. Nothing looked familiar, and why would it? He had never seen the place before, only in his mind’s eye. But this was his world, only existing because he wrote it into being. Robbie stopped, his mouth dry, he needed water.

“Why are you stopping?” Mike jogged over to where Robbie was now leaning against a tree, supporting his heavy body.

“Listen.”

Mike shut his eyes. There was no more shrieking. Nothing but the distant trickling of water punctured the silent darkness.

“A creek.” Robbie pushed off the tree, forcing himself to move toward the noise. The Creek of the Silver Trees. If they could follow it north they would find refuge. Mike trailed behind now, letting Robbie lead.  As they got closer the trees started to thin, allowing more light to seep though. 20 paces ahead lay a stream, bubbling loudly now. The boys quickened their stride, falling on their knees at the grassy creek-side. Mike plunged his head right in, taking large dregs of the cold liquid. Robbie drank from his hand, eyes searching the trees. The Silver Trees was a fairly peaceful forest but there was always reason to stay alert.

“We should rest here. It will be light soon,” Robbie said matter-of-factually. Mike nodded. He was glad Mike trusted him, no questions. They both picked trees and sat back. Robbie let Mike sleep, even though he felt like dropping dead himself but only he knew what to look out for.

As the sun rose Robbie sucked in air sharply,  stunned by the sight.  The sun’s rays bounced off the leaves of the trees, bright silver reflections cascaded through the forest as if it were filled with thousands of tiny mirrors. Mike awoke, light shining in his face.

“Dude, where are we?”

“Mike, welcome to Erdő.”

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Submitted for Finish that Thought #3-1

Our Prompt: (anything in brackets can be changed)

Stumbling out of the [pub/concert/etc], [s]he noticed blearily that [s]he was missing [at least one shoe/her(his) favorite hat/an arm etc].

SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:
Include any of the following words: toad, The Sopranos, fish tank, salt, supernatural. Bonus points if you manage to use ’em all! 🙂

I didn’t place but the judge did have some nice words to say.

I gotta say, this is the first time I’ve ever read a tongue being described as a salty toad – bravo! Very nice SCiFi/Fantasy type story, with brilliant descriptions. I love the idea of someone’s written word becoming a reality. Still wondering what the pen was used against – I want to know!!” — Sheba AJ

 

Twitter!

So I now have a Twitter Account for the blog. Gasp! I know. It’s been a long time coming. I didn’t really want to jump on that band wagon, but here I am ridding away. So if you want to keep updated please follow me @RealMommaRamble. Also, don’t forget I have a Facebook page as well. You can LIKE and FOLLOW me over on the right hand side of the page.

I would like to thank all my readers and followers. You have made having this blog enjoyable. I have developed some great relationships in this wonderful online community.

 

Have a Great Day!

–RMR

Lively Imagination

This story earned a special mention “For use of dialogue to tell an amusing story”  in Flash! Friday 3-29.  I am pretty excited that my story got any mention at all, as Flash! Friday is a very popular contest with SO many amazing entries. A BIG THANKS goes out to the wonderful judges over at Luminous Creatures Press!

The prompt for this challenge was to use the photo prompt as inspiration as well as include a main character that is a writer.

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Studio promotional still photo 1936, public domain.

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Studio promotional still photo 1936, public domain.

Lively Imagination

 

“Keep running!”

“What is that thing?”

“I’m not sure,” Robbie panted, his plump stomach in knots. He glanced back, they had a small lead on the hideous beast.

“I didn’t think three headed monsters existed!”

“They don’t,” Robbie huffed, chubby fingers pushing up his glasses, “at least not in real life.”

“This is real life. Explain that.” Mike was a few feet ahead, holding back as to not lose Robbie.

“Well,” Robbie gasped for breath, lungs burning, ” I think… I created it.”

“What?”

“You know that story I wrote last night?”

“Yeah.”

“It was about a beast with three heads, eyes like molten lava, big cavernous nostrils. Sound familiar?” Robbie stopped short, hands on his knees, gasping for air. Mike stopped and doubled back.

“You’re telling me that you somehow made it come alive?”

“Well… yeah. It’s sorta happened before, just never with something so obvious.” Their heads jerked back as a shrill screech filled the halls.

“It sees us!” Mike pulled Robbie up forcing him to run once more. “If we can get around that corner we might lose it again. What happens in your story?”

“Well,” Robbie hesitated as they turned the corner. A wall. “he chased his prey to a dead end…”

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Click here to read the second installment in Robbie and Mike’s adventure.