99-word story – Sound

I bathe in sound. I sample nibbles of pleasure from each vibration darting across my ear drums and diving into my cortex, translated into a sensuous internal orgy, savouring each soft contact. Conducting each stochastic orchestra, I stand proud and revel in the tempo and timpani of the beats of life, vibrant, swayful, playful. I zealously horde rictus rhythms, stockpiling them deep in psychological vaults, ready to access at a moment’s notice, always ready for me. Dextrous fingers tap out the beat, luxuriating in the lovers’ secret dance, beneath covers of shame…

It’s the silence that fills my nightmares.

 

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Written for Charli Mills’ weekly 99-word prompt challenge, on the theme of “the sense of sound” – https://carrotranch.com/2016/08/04/august-3-flash-fiction-challenge/

 

Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/ninac52/16342600542

99-word story – The Van

I was getting cold feet about this particular fantasy roleplay. It’s really not my “thing”, getting kidnapped in a van and dragged away for her to ravage me, but Bess seemed very keen on it. Very keen. I never could refuse those puppy dog eyes… or the fire behind them.

So when the van screamed around the corner, I didn’t wait for her. I pulled open the back door and dived straight in!

As I stood there, faced with three very large, very-not-Bess men, in balaclavas, sawn-off shotguns in hand, I suspected that perhaps this was the wrong van.

 

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99-word story – the text msg

—Hiya m8, still up 4 drinks 2nite?

Sorry, you’ve got the wrong number.

—Come on Dave, don’t be like that.

Steve? That u?

—Not Steve. Nice jumper btw. Let us in, I’d murder a cuppa!

(Dave looks out of the front window, at an empty garden)

Funny fucker, aren’t you. You’ve had your fun. Piss off now.

—Dave, don’t be like that.

I mean it. Piss off.

—Last chance, Dave. Let us in.

—Now.

(Dave steps out of his front door to check. Nothing. Returns inside.)

“Funny how people never lock their back doors, isn’t it? Now, about that cuppa…”

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/gagilas/8400671726

99-word story – The Story

Has anyone read this story before??

 

Once upon a time, there was a simple, self-aware Story. It went about its business in the town of Letters-on-the-Page, quietly sowing seeds that would be developed later. As inevitably happens, some chaotic words were introduced, disrupting the cosiness of Story’s existence. Things got steadily worse, despite Story’s best efforts.

In the middle, Story decided a different approach was needed. The experience had fundamentally changed it.

Nevertheless, those unsavoury words looked like they had the upper hand. Calamity! Then, just in the nick of time, everything was resolved in an obvious yet surprising way, paving way for… “The End”.

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/rossyyume/7772794404

The Book of Love – flash fiction

This is my final contribution to my week of #SummerLovin… this may be the best thing I’ve ever written. Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

The Book of Love is a weighty tome, bound in exquisite green leather. Within its well-worn pages are all the stories you’ll ever need to hear, although they can be difficult to follow. Narrative is rarely linear. Happy endings are rare. Expected endings rarer still.

By a quirk of fate, in an opportune fold of the book by the celestial reader’s hand, two of the pages met one day.

Page 37 was a chapter midpoint, full of florid, overblown descriptions of clouds and silver linings, and ended on an unfortunate joke about bottoms. The page was marked by a smudgy, greasy thumbprint.

Page 294 was very different. Enigmatic and alluring, fiery and passionate, but with an undercurrent of disappointment, the last sentence of the page being cut off midway through. 294 had the air of someone who was certain their car keys were down the back of the sofa, but cannot find them, no matter how many times they’d look. Not a single bottom joke graced that page. Slightly strangely, the reader had circled one word in the centre of the page, seemingly at random. “Birthday

And although one was even, and one decidedly odd, a great friendship grew, there in the margins, where the binding just – just – connected them.

37 would opine for days in his pompous prose, and 294 received it in good humour, responding in kind. They were never quite on the same page, naturally enough, but they were somewhere close to it. Each challenged the other, in spite of their own shortcomings, and something deeper than friendship emerged.

Each longed for the other, and would dream of ways to make it so.

To be a pair of facing pages.

They fantasised about watching the sun set together, without one being in the closed darkness of the book. They imagined starting their own book, free of the set narrative. They wished a fairytale of their own.

But the binding of the book was fixed, and it was never to be, and they continued their love there in the margins, where the binding just – just – connected them.

And if you look back now, within the well-worn pages of The Book of Love, and take a glance at Page 37, and at Page 294, and at all the pages in between, you will find that the words written on those pages haven’t changed at all. But their meaning has changed completely.

 

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99-word story – My Zombie Valentine

Rick fired his final bullets into the horde, but slipped awkwardly on a pool of guts, warm in the midday sun. No escape this time. The zombies overpowered him, tearing flesh from his bones, utterly devouring him.

Two zombies grabbed at his still-twitching arm from opposite sides, driven by The Hunger. In the moment before they sank their yellow, flesh-stained teeth into a succulent human meal, their aqueous eyes met, sparked. All of the thrashing and wailing disappeared in that moment. This crazy world stood still. Inside, two necrotic hearts remembered a beat.

It was love at first bite.

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/mrseb/6320652409

99-word story – Serendipity

“Sir, we’ve analysed the results of the Serendipity Stick.”
“Well, what have you found out about this couple?”
“Well, the stick says that their meeting and falling for each other was approximately 80% fate, 10% chance, 5% inevitability, 3% drunken luck, and 2% for…”
“For what?”
“2% for the moon, sir. Apparently it’s in waxing crescent phase. That always implies new growth.”
“New growth?”
“That’s right, sir. New growth. It’s all the rage.”
“Is that so? I have a somewhat simpler explanation. None of your scientific mumbo-jumbo.”
(snaps stick and hits the other man with it)
“It’s love, dumbass.”

 

May each of you be hit with the serendipity stick 🙂

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/dragonoak/5892635331

99-word story – The Desert

I stumbled on through the desert, so close I could taste it, feel its nectar sliding down my parched throat. Days wandering dusty wastes, every breath clogged with abrasive sand, would soon pay off. One more forsaken hill, one more desolate dune… It was relentless. Ever-shifting, numbingly monotonous, beneath an unforgiving sun.

One more dune to go… Too far. I collapsed from exhaustion, rolling without resistance to the base, my world tumbling with it. I cried salt tears, utterly broken. Defeated.

Then, lying there in the dust, I finally found what I’d really been searching for all along.

Myself.

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/colfrankland/8369256554

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2016/07/21/july-20-flash-fiction-challenge/ on the theme “surprise in a desert”

99-word story – The Farmhouse #2

Note from AL – I started this as a one-off 99-word story a few weeks ago – https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/99-word-story-the-farmhouse/ -, but some people were interested in hearing more, so this is a continuation. Each installment, if there is further interest, will be exactly 99 words 🙂

Georgie Goodman slumped before the mirror, sobbing. She’d gone to such an effort this evening, not that her good-for-nothing husband had even noticed. She’d tried, really tried, to re-connect with him. He’d been so distant these past few months, his mind always elsewhere, not even wanting to share a bed with her, and when he did he just stared at the bloody wall.

Mascara streaked, in heavy black tears. She tore off some cotton wool to clean herself up, wiping away the make-up.

“What was that?!”

The wall rumbled deep, and removed its make-up too. There was a door…

 

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99-word story – Christmas Dinner

I know it’s the middle of summer, but this is a mix of two prompts from my friends Meg (“Plonker!”) and Judy (“knickers!”)… the story itself is true enough!

Family Christmas dinners were awful… So dull. So polite. All please and thank yous, with the same routines every year.

In the kitchen, the turkey wasn’t quite cooked, and Millie was getting tense, despite (because of) Peter’s attempts to help. “No! You… Plonker!”

In the living room, Ella raised an eyebrow. This was most unusual!

Something could be heard falling, clattering from the hob.

“Oh… Knickers!”

Two eyebrows.

As dinner was served, Millie spilled red wine on the carpet.

“Oh… SHIT! “

Ella’s face didn’t move a muscle, but inside she rofld, she danced, she cheered.

Best. Christmas. Ever.

 

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