FFfAW: Promises Broken

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Promises Broken

The day had promised so much.

Bright skies and a clear forecast meant their shift at the lifeguard station should have been pleasant – with only the usual idiots and accidents to worry them. The crystalline sea had lapped at the beach as if no dangers lurked in its depths. It was a postcard perfect scene.

But they shouldn’t have been surprised. They’d known to always expect the unexpected.

Perched in their tower, they’d watched the holiday-makers frolic below, chatting idly to pass the time – conversations that fled from memory soon after the words were spoken. Their hands had occasionally touched, sparks flying. After months of unresolved tension, the words had finally been spoken. Tonight would be the night.

Their shift had been nearing its end when the screams began. They hadn’t hesitated before running to help.

Afterwards, only the memory of blood in the water remained, events blurring into an incomprehensible mass. All she knew was they’d gone into the water together. And now she was alone.

But the day had promised so much.

Word count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by TJ Paris. Thank you, TJ.

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FFfAW: Artistic Representations

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Photo prompt © any1mark66

Artistic Representations

“Will you hold still!”

Pikey scowled. “You try standing still this long and see how well you manage it.” He rolled his shoulders. “How much longer?”

“I’ll be done a lot sooner if you’d just hold still.”

“Fine. Just hurry up, ‘fore I freeze like this forever.”

Squiffle gave him a jaunty grin over the screen behind which he worked. “Great art cannot be rushed.”

“Whatever.”

Several days later – or so it felt – Squiffle finally drew back the screen, revealing his completed artwork with a flourish. “Voila,” he said.

Pikey stared, mouth agape.

“What d’ you think?”

“You’ve made me look like a bloody alien.”

“I have not!”

“Look at the size of them eyes. And my head ain’t that big! All you’d ‘ave to do is paint it green, Squiff.”

Squiffle squinted at his sculpture. “Y’ know, that’s not a bad idea…”

Pikey shook his head in disgust, and stomped away home.

It seemed his mum had been right. An artistic representation would always show his true form – no matter how bad the artist was.

Word count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joys’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. This week’s prompt was provided by any1mark66. Thank you, Mark.

FFfAW: Waiting for the Light

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Photo prompt © Footy and Foody

Waiting for the Light

Tamrir huddled in the darkness, willing the minutes to slow their passage as he awaited the coming dawn. His sister’s weight pressed reassuringly against his side, and he hugged her close.

The night had been long. Ridiculously so.

“Is it time yet?”

He started, not having realised Ameyi was awake. “Nearly,” he said. “See how the sky’s getting lighter. The sun will be here soon.”

“Do you think it’ll have worked, Tammy?”

A wry smile twisted his lips. “I suppose we’ll know, soon enough.”

“I’m scared.”

He wanted to reassure her, to tell her everything would be fine, but that wasn’t the truth. And they’d made a promise to always be truthful with each other.

“I know. Me too,” he said.

The light was growing steadily brighter. Soon they’d find out, one way or another, whether the injected serum had healed them of their vampiric disease. If it hadn’t…

At least the rising sun would be a beautiful sight, even if it was the last thing they’d ever see.

Word count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Footy and Foodie. Thank you!

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FFfAW: Homecoming

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Photo prompt © Majesticgoldenrose

Homecoming

Something was wrong.

Majif  frowned. He’d spent too long evaluating his enemies’ weaknesses to overlook the lack of guards on the gate. He freed his blades, fearing the worst…

Reality outdid expectation.

Within the walls guards and servants alike sprawled in macabre display: blood drenched and staring; throats slashed open. The attack had occurred so swiftly that few weapons had even been drawn.

Caution shifted into desperation. Only a Shadow Warrior could wreak such havoc. And Calina was within. He hurried though the hallways, dread coiling tighter. 

“Majif…” She breathed his name like a prayer. Relief swamped him.

But euphoria shifted to terror as a shadowed figure appeared at her back and a knife pressed against her throat.

“Please, let her go,” he begged. “She’s innocent…”

“So was my family, but you showed them no mercy.”

The blade swiped. Blood gushed, staining his world red as his beloved crumpled. He didn’t see her killer move, but he felt no urge to fight as cold steel touched his throat, biting deep.

Without Calina, life wasn’t worth living.

Word Count: 175 words

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Majesticgoldenrose. Thank you for a great prompt!

 

FFfAW: The Search

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Photo Prompt © Pamela S. Canepa

The Search

“They were around here somewhere. I swear!” Tynen scrambled recklessly over the rocks ahead, peering into each nook and cranny with almost feverish intensity.

Velana followed at a slower pace, choosing each footstep carefully as she climbed the craggy slope. “No one’s found any in years, Ty. Admit it – you imagined ’em.”

Her brother glared. “No. They were here.”

“Well they ain’t here now.”

“They are. We just need t’ keep looking.”

Velana rolled her eyes but followed Tynen further up the craggy slope. Grandma had told her to follow the brat, so follow him she would.

“I dunno why you’re so bloody excited, anyway,” she said. “It’s just a mushroom-”

Tynen turned, waving his arms extravagantly as he teetered on the edge of a rock. “But it’s not ‘just ‘a mushroom’, Vel! It’s the most delicious mushroom ever. You’ve never tasted anything like Grandma’s mushroom soup!” He returned to his hunt.

Velana shook her head and stomped in his wake.” Food!” she said in disgust. “Why’s it always about the bloody food?”

Word Count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Pamela S. Canepa. Thank you, Pamela!

I’ve actually had this written for several days, but I wasn’t sure whether or not to post it. Whilst I like the interplay between the characters (they were very enjoyable to write), I find the story itself just a little ‘blah’. I decided in the end that I may as well post it. I’d love to know what you think.

FFfAW: Waiting for the Returning Tide

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Photo Prompt – © The Storyteller’s Abode

Waiting for the Returning Tide

“Suzy would’ve loved it here,” Janet said, her gaze fixed on the panoply of vessels bobbing idly in their moorings. “She was always fascinated by boats. Do you remember? They filled the bathtub!”

“I remember.”

“She was such a happy child. And that smile was so infectious. But she was always so desperate for adventure.” Janet halted, ‘if-onlys’ running through her mind as she listened to the seagulls cry. She sighed. “I should never have let her learn to sail.”

“I doubt you could have stopped her.”

“I could’ve tried.”

She lapsed into silence. Peter remained, a reassuringly steady presence at her side.

“We should head back,” he finally said. Rising, he offered her a supportive hand. “Visiting hours start again soon.”

“Hmm. We can tell Suzy all about our outing.” She took a last look at the boats before turning away. “Do you think she’ll ever wake up?”

“We can only hope, my dear.” Peter squeezed her hand as they walked back towards the hospital. “Suzy would say that, eventually, every tide has to turn.”

Word Count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by me. It was taken in St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall that I visited last year. If you’d like to know more about St Ives, my mum, Millie Thom, wrote a post about the place that you can find here.

FFfAW: Winter’s Child

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Photo prompt © Ioniangraphics

Winter’s Child

He had to wait for winter to arrive. Or so they told him. The summer, they said, belonged to others. He had to wait for the air to turn chilly and the wind biting; for the frost to form on the trees. Only then would it be his time.

But the summer seemed without end.

He willed the leaves to begin their change – the shift to golden browns would herald the approach of colder days. But disappointment dogged him. No matter how he hoped and wished and prayed, how he yearned for the seasons to shift, the green of summer remained dominant.

All the while, children laughed and played in bright sunshine, while he looked on.

He had to wait for the days when children wore warm coats to play outside, bundled up in hats, scarves and gloves. And when maybe, just maybe, the snow would fall and they’d build snowmen in the park.

First, though, the long summer had to end.

Charlie scowled. It wasn’t fair.

He wanted it to be his birthday now!

Word count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Ioniangraphics. Thank you for the prompt!

I hadn’t intended to post anything this week – mainly because I haven’t managed to respond to any of the comments on my last post yet (sorry) – but the words came into my head last night and wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d written them down. It seemed a shame not to share it.

I hope you like it. And I’ll try to respond to some comments and visit a few blogs this evening!

FFfAW: Greeting the Four

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Photo prompt © Yarnspinner

Greeting the Four

The seats had been placed with utmost precision: north, south, east and west, each one carefully aligned. Veraen nodded in satisfaction.

“Anything else, Sir?” his assistant – Jaeden? Jened? – said, and he gestured in dismissal, shooing the man out of the sacred space. He’d spent too long in preparation to let the bumbling fool ruin things for him.

He alone would greet the Four.

Veraen recited the invocation with practiced ease, excitement growing as power gathered. Figures began to coalesce, unbounded energy taking humanoid form. He fell to his knees as four sets of eyes turned upon him. Four voices spoke in unison.

“How dare you?”

What? No! That wasn’t right! He tried to speak, but no words emerged. He tried to move, but his limbs were weighted, immovable.

“Greetings, Great Ones,” his assistant – Joren, he now recalled – said. “May I approach?”

As Joren strode past he dropped a page before Veraen’s frozen form. Instructions to avoid insulting the Four filled the sheet. The torn edge and Joren’s smirk told him exactly why he’d never seen the page before…

Word count: 175

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

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Yarnspinner. Thank you, Yarnspinner!

It seems like forever since I last wrote a piece of flash fiction – though its actually only a little over a month. That month, however, has been insanely busy. I’m now living in a house in Lincoln (UK) with my sister and my teenage nephew, rather than in the village with my parents. Luckily, for a countryside loving girl like me, we’re right on the edge of a green stretch, with fields and woods only a few minutes walk away, so it doesn’t really feel like I’m in the middle if a city. I’ll try to share some pictures soon!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story. Hopefully it doesn’t feel too rushed – it was originally over 300 words long, so a lot had to be cut out of it! I’d love to know what you think.

FFfAW: Time to Leave

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Photo prompt – The Storyteller’s Abode

Time to Leave

The boats were full, despite the lateness of the day.

Ingrid paused, her foot poised on the gangplank as she looked back at the town. Her throat tightened as tears threatened to fall. How could she leave? The place was central to all of her memories: she’d married Jimmy in the church on the market place; borne her children in the local hospital. She’d walked those streets with steps both weighted with sorrow and made light with joy. Even the thought of leaving chilled her.

“I’m afraid it’s time, dearest,” Jimmy said.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any choice. The town that had been so bright with life would soon be darkened by death. These would be the final boats to leave. On board, men and women clung to each other, their fear and sorrow almost palpable. Despite the exodus having begun days earlier, many had hoped the situation would change. Now, with ash clouds obscuring the sun, all hope was gone.

Ingrid gripped her husband’s hand and stepped on board.

Word Count: 175

If you’d like to read the other entries, click the little blue frog.

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This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by me. The picture was taken in York a couple of years ago, when we visited for the Christmas market. It was an incredibly cold day, and we were amazed to see the boat trips still going on – though at least no one was sitting on the open-air top level.

As always seems to be the case when it’s my own prompt, I found it really hard to write a story this week! Luckily, I did manage to come up with something in the end. This was inspired by a programme about Pompeii I was watching.

I hope you like it.

FFfAW: Unexpected Consequences

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Photo Prompt – Grant-Sud / Flooded Out With Books

Unexpected Consequences

Adrugian gazed wearily over the arid landscape, the insistent beat of the sun sapping energy he could ill afford to lose. He knew the villagers below didn’t understand why he traipsed so often to the heights. He’d seen the looks they exchanged. He’d heard their snide comments. Unfortunately, the truth was something they could never comprehend.

He sighed, tossing a pebble over the edge and listening for its faint spolsh into the distant trickle of water. Sometimes it seemed only yesterday he’d learned to skim stones, standing at that very spot. Back when the river had filled the canyon to brimming. Back when the rains still fell.

They’d been so young, then. So naive. All they’d wanted was to halt the devastation of the spring floods. They hadn’t realised the effect their rituals would have.

Now, only he remained…

Adrugian gasped as sudden pain tore through his chest. He slumped backwards, shadows darkening his gaze. He knew his time had come, but a smile formed as he took in his final sight.

Clouds gathered above.

Word Count: 175


This post is for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. This week’s prompt was provided by Grant from Flooded out with Books.

To read the other entries click the little blue frog.

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I’d like to both thank and apologise to everyone who has visited my blog recently and left either likes or comments. Whilst I’ve been trying to put together posts, I unfortunately haven’t found the time to respond to comments or to visit anyone’s blogs. Sorry! Hopefully, now the kids are all back at school, work will quieten down somewhat and I’ll finally manage to catch up. I have to admit that all ll I’ve wanted to do with my free time over the Christmas holiday is curl up with a book!

Just to warn everyone, though, I am intending to get stuck into editing the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo during January, so my blogging might not be as frequent as it has been in the past.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, whatever festival you were celebrating.

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As it’s nearly midnight here, I’m afraid seeing what everyone else has written will have to wait until tomorrow morning…

Night night. 🙂