MFtS: The Pizza Delivery

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

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Photo Prompt – copyright Barbara Beacham

The Pizza Delivery

“Pizza anyone?”

Lily scowled as a grinning Bristol climbed into the driver’s seat. His ruse had been her undoing.

Her guard had lowered after months of safety but seeing his face instead of the pizza delivery boy’s had reignited her instincts. She’d slammed the door and thrown the locks. She’d known this day would arrive. Her bag was packed beside the fire escape and she slung it on as she fled.

Avery awaited her at ground level.

She fought, kicking and struggling until a blow sent her reeling. By the time her senses settled she’d been bundled into the car, plastic bindings digging into her wrists.

“I hear your dear sister found a rich husband.” Avery sat close beside her. “How much will she pay for your return, hmm?”

“Ransom?” she scoffed. “The brigadier won’t let her pay anything. You’re wasting your time!”

“I disagree.”

Taking her phone, he dialed Connie’s number.

Word Count: 150


The story is set a little while before the scene in Blameless that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I said then that I’d write more of that story when I found a prompt that would work with my ideas. Well here you go! I’ve never really written any modern thriller type pieces before – the usual genres that inspire me are fantasy and historical – so I’m quite surprised that this story has captured my attention as much as it has. I have lots more ideas for future weeks. I hope you like it.

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To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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Word of the Week (WOW): iridescent

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This post is in response to Heena Rathore P.’s Word of the Week (WOW). This weekly meme is a great way of improving your vocabulary.  If you wish to participate, simply create a post with your word and leave a link in a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

Here’s my WOW for this week:

iridescent

Word
iridescent

Part of Speech
Adjective

Noun – iridescence
Adverb – iridescently

Pronunciation
ir-i-des-cent (ĭr′ĭ-dĕs′ənt)

Meaning 
1) Displaying a spectrum of colours that shimmer and change due to interference and scattering as the observer’s position changes.
2) Brilliant, lustrous, or colorful in effect or appearance.

Synonyms
1) chatoyant, changeable, shot
2) lustrous, opalescent, opaline, pearlescent, pearly, polychromatic, prismatic, nacreous, shimmering

Antonyms
1) colourless
2) drab, dull, insipid

Word Origin
The derivation of the word iridescent is partly from the Greek word  îris (ἶρις) meaning ‘rainbow’, combined with the Latin suffix -escent, meaning ‘having a tendency toward’. The word iris in turn derives from the Greek goddess Iris, a messenger of the gods, who is the personification of the rainbow.

Use in a Sentence
1) The damselfly’s iridescent body shimmered as it flitted with deadly intent beside the stream.

Copyright - Louise Bunting

Copyright – Louise Bunting

2) Gleaming iridescently as the morning sunlight fell upon its surface, the abalone shell fascinated Martha’s grandchildren as it had their parents so many years earlier.

By Kowloonese from Wikipedia.

By Kowloonese from Wikipedia.

If you want to discover more great words then visit Heena’s page Word Treasure.


 

This is the first time I’ve actually managed to use one of my own pictures on a WOW post! As soon as I decided to do the word iridescent this week I just knew I’d have to include one of my damselfly pictures. I hope you like it – and the rest of the post as well, of course!

The Crossing – Part Five

Here’s part five of The Crossing. For those of you who haven’t already read them, or for anyone who wants to refresh their memory of what happened, here are the links to Part OnePart TwoPart Three and Part Four. Enjoy!

forest path3

The Crossing: Part Five
Genre: historical: early C13th England

Part Five

Dair was barely conscious, mumbling unintelligibly as the forester carried him. Lanky as the youth was, he’d not yet gained the bulk of adulthood. His weight was easy to bear. Soon they reached the free-holding, Randel shouting Aislin’s name as they approached.

“Randel? What…?” Her eyes widened as she saw his burden, relief and hope displacing the shadows of grief. “Oh, my boy…” She held the door wide.

“Pull a pallet to the fire,” he instructed, striding towards the central hearth. “We need to warm him. Then he’ll need a drink. Not too hot. Milk with honey would be good.”

“What happened? Where did you find him?”

Randel shook his head as he deposited his charge, piling every fur and blanket available atop the boy before answering. “Found him in the forest and he weren’t exactly talking. He was drenched so I’d say he’s been in the river. Other than that, I’ve no idea.”

Coaxing Dair to full consciousness Aislin encouraged him to drink. Randel watched with a satisfied smile as bruised eyes fluttered open and the realisation that he was home settled over the exhausted youth.

“Ma…?”

“You’re home, my boy. You’re safe.”

“And that’s my cue to leave,” Randel informed the pair. “I’ll get Old Hilda to visit to make sure he’s healing.”

“You’re leaving?”

“I’ve a job to do, Aislin. Your husband’s killers won’t catch themselves.”

“The bandits…” Dair jolted up. “They… they…”

“We’ll catch them.”

“No. I… I can help. I know where they make camp.”

Word Count: 250

Friday Fictioneers: Moving On

This is my entry for this week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s picture prompt was provided by David Stewart. The challenge is to write a story within 100 words.

david-stewart

Photo prompt – copyright David Stewart

Moving On

Edward watched enviously from the shadows, listening to the music emanating from the pavilion. The community band had consumed his whole life: every spare minute for years spent arranging music and preparing sets, his whole identity built around his role. Now that had been stripped away. He knew he’d been a hard task-master, organising frequent rehearsals and driving them hard. It was still painful to see them moving on with his youthful replacement.

At least he could still listen to them play. Had the heart attack taken him in any other place he would be unable to do even that.

Word Count: 100

Click the little blue frog to see other entries or to add your own.

FIC

One-Four Challenge: March Week Four

Here’s my week three edit for Robyn’s One-Four Challenge. This challenge asks that you edit the same picture in four ways over four weeks.

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Week Four Edit

For this final edit I opened the original image in Camera Raw where I increased the exposure and clarity mainly, though a few other sliders also shifted slightly. I then moved it into Photoshop Elements where I gave it a tight rectangular crop and brightened the man’s face and top by selecting and adjusting the levels as on previous edits. Once this was done I added a black and white gradient map. Next I opened the picture in PicMonkey were I added a slight dark edge and a touch of infrared to complete the edit.

Now its time to vote for your favourite edit of the month.

Here are all of the images together for comparison:

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Monday’s Finish the Story: Incentive

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

Photo Prompt - copyright Barbara W. Beacham

Photo Prompt – copyright Barbara W. Beacham

Incentive

“When the team heard the dam explode, they knew they had limited time to make it to safety.”

“We’ll need to take the black route,” Charley shouted over the roaring water as she guided the raft. “That’s the only way we’ll make it off the river in time!”

Adrenaline surged as they faced the rapids with fierce determination, hearts pounding as they pirouetted around obstacles and flew over each fall. Speed was their key objective.

Reaching the course’s end they scrambled to safety and waited for the wall of water.

And waited.

As minutes ticked past suspicious eyes turned on their guide.

Charley met their glares with an unruffled grin. She’d known they were capable of the harder route but were unwilling to test their limits – they just needed an added incentive. The speakers hidden along the river bank were rigged to provide a soundtrack of explosion and roaring floodwater to their ride. The thrill was worth the deception.

She shrugged. “Can you say it wasn’t fun?”

Word Count: 150

mondays-finish-the-story

To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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Word of the Week (WOW): histrionic

wow

This post is in response to Heena Rathore P.’s Word of the Week (WOW). This weekly meme is a great way of improving your vocabulary.  If you wish to participate, simply create a post with your word and leave a link in a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

Here’s my WOW for this week:

bailiwick_01

Word
Histrionic

Part of Speech
Adjective

Noun – histrionics
Adverb – histrionically

Pronunciation
his-tri-on-ic (hĭs′trē-ŏn′ĭk)

Meaning 

Adjective
1) Of or relating to actors or acting
2) Deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech.

Noun
1) (plural) melodramatic displays of temperament
2) (Theatre) (plural, functioning as singular) dramatics

Synonyms
actorish, actorly, affected, dramatic, exaggerated, hammy, melodramatic, overacted, overdone, overplayed, stagey, studied, theatric, theatrical, thespian, unnatural
Antonyms
conservative, discreet, inconspicuous, modest, nondramatic, nontheatrical, plain, quiet, simple, unaffected, undramatic, underplayed, unpretentious, muted, restrained, subdued

Word Origin
1640-50 Late Latin histrōnicus of actors, equivalent to histriōn- (stem of histriō) meaning actor (said to be Etruscan) + -icus 

Use in a Sentence
1) Joseph Barclay’s histrionic performance was the biggest disappointment of the night, his overdone portrayal of .
2) After the recent histrionics Jemima was happy to return to a calmer way of life.
3) With Mother screeching histrionically in the upstairs room, Abigail knew she could not stay even a minute longer.

Manager_discovers_great_histrionic_ability_Puck_magazine_cover_1916_Oct_28_cph.3b49316

If you want to discover more great words then visit Heena’s page Word Treasure.

The Crossing – Part Four

Here’s part four of The Crossing. For those of you who haven’t already read them, or for anyone who wants to refresh their memory of what happened, here are the links to Part OnePart Two and Part Three. Enjoy!

forest path3

The Crossing: Part Four
Genre: historical: early C13th England

Move!

Dair’s eyes flashed open and he surged forward in a stumble that sent him to his knees, broken branches scratching numb skin. He shook his head, struggling to order his thoughts.

Running. He’d been running. Why had he been running?

Memories of blows falling, of burning fear, of dead eyes staring… He had to get home!

He forced himself to his feet as a figure loomed into sight.

xXxXx

Despite being lost in thought, Randel’s senses were too finely tuned after years as a forester to be unaware of his surroundings. The sound of breaking branches immediately pulled his attention from the road. Readying his bow he eased through the trees.

The features of the bedraggled boy who scrambled dazedly backwards were instantly recognisable: dark hair and sharp cheekbones so like his mother’s, fair skin worryingly blue with cold.

“Dair,” he called, approaching the lad with cautious steps, his bow slung over his shoulder. “You’re safe. I’m a forester – Randel. Do you remember me?”

“Randel?” Dair slumped and the forester knelt at his side. “So cold…” His eyes drooped, slipping out of focus.

His clothes were sodden, ice forming in the wintry air. Randel had seen too many men die of exposure to hesitate. He quickly removed the wet fabric and wrapped the increasingly unresponsive boy in his cloak, cataloging injuries as he went. A seething anger gained in strength.

First he would get Dair to safety. Then he would find the bastards who did this to him.

Word Count: 250


I think I probably spent more time working on the picture for this part of ‘The Crossing’ than I did on the story! I knew that I couldn’t keep on using Ermelia’s picture prompt forever.

The shot I used began life as a picture of a pleasant spring day in what we call ‘the little wooded area’ in the village. I would have liked to used one that showed more trees but trying to edit them in didn’t work. I did, however, manage to make it look nice and wintry.

Friday Fictioneers: Sanctuary – Raen

This is a companion piece for this week’s Friday Fictioneers entry. If you haven’t already read Sanctuary please follow the link to do so.

Photo prompt: Rachel Bjerke

Photo prompt: Rachel Bjerke

Sanctuary: Raen
Genre: Fantasy

Raen ran, each breath harsh against his burning throat, his limbs leaden. Only fear gave him strength to continue. The baying hounds were growing closer, his pursuers’ shouts echoing through the forest.

Safety was close. He could sense the beacon guiding him.

He constructed the Weaving as he ran, twining threads of energy into an intricate network despite a shaky focus. It was complete barely in time.

He skirted the fountain, trailing his hand through the stagnant water, barely slowing as he approached the wall. With wet fingers he traced the activation sigil upon the stone.

And the world shifted.

Word Count: 100

Click the little blue frog to see other entries or to add your own.

This piece was actually written before yesterday’s but was then abandoned as I’ve written a few stories recently from the viewpoint of a character being chased/running. Because of this I thought I’d flip it around and show the chase from the viewpoint of the chaser, Gaert. After several requests for continuation and/or an explanation of how Raen vanished I thought I may as well share this one with you all as well.

I hope you all like it and would love to know what you think. Which one did you like best?

blue-ceiling-ff

Friday Fictioneers: Sanctuary

This is my entry for this week’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s picture prompt was provided by Rachel Bjerk. The challenge is to write a story within 100 words.

Photo prompt: Rachel Bjerke

Photo prompt: Rachel Bjerke

Sanctuary
Genre: Fantasy

This time they had him.

Gaert grinned. The reward on the sorcerer’s head would be his. Even without the hounds the trail was now easy to follow. After three long days of unrelenting pursuit their prey was tired, his steps stumbling and uneven. He would not outwit them again.

Then they came to the moss-covered wall, the chimney, oven and fountain, and everything changed. The dogs cast for the scent without success, whining their confusion.

“Damn it!” Gaert slammed his fist against stone as a glowing sigil faded from sight.

xXxXx

Within the sanctuary Raen collapsed in exhausted relief. He was safe.

Word Count: 100

Click the little blue frog to see other entries or to add your own.

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