Flash! Friday # 15

This contest is now closed to entries, but is always open to comments/feedback (in fact we hunger for it!). Thanks to everyone for coming out to play with the monks in the fountain. The decision by judge Jaz Draper will be posted tomorrow (Saturday), assuming y’all haven’t totally scared her to death.

Welcome to Flash! Friday (#FlashFridayFic) Round 15, beloved would-be dragons and friends! (Need rules?) Today’s judgeworkery is provided by oh-so-clever and gardenny SVW member Jaz Draper (thanks, Jaz! great to have you!).

Let’s get right to today’s contest:

Word limit: 150 word story exactly (no grace this week. Be brutal!) based on the photo prompt.

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (which had better be 150 or face the wrath of the Disqualification Dragon) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one.

* Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight

Winners: will post tomorrow (Saturday)

Prize: A most emphatically dragonish e-trophy badge, your own clever winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and UNIVERSAL ADORATION (or as close as we can get you to it). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for inclusion in Monday’s Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/latest dragon fashions (shockingly, silk is OUT once again).  And now for your prompt:

The Monks--Leonora Carrington--photo by Ardelfin

The Monks, sculpture by Leonora Carrington. Photo courtesy of Ardelfin.

WRITE, oh precious dragons, WRITE!


109 thoughts on “Flash! Friday # 15

  1. Stones- 150 words
    Stone guardians, that’s what Luke called them. I, on the other hand, knew better.
    “Trust me, Rache,” Luke said. “Need me to walk you home?”
    “Nah, I’ll be fine. Go on.” I had other things in mind and home wasn’t one of them. I waited for Luke’s form to be swallowed up in the horizon of the setting sun and then glanced around to see if anyone else watched me. Satisfied that the park lay mostly barren, I kneeled in the water below the grey statues. I traced the runic letter M into the water. The letter lit up in a dark blue and sank under the stone. A small opening appeared. I reached my hand in to find the ring I’d been searching for and as soon as my fingers graced the piece, I smiled.
    I slipped on the band; the statues came to life- wraiths at my command.

    My twitter handle @_SummerRoss

  2. “Still, they move”
    Fraser McFraze
    (150 words)

    Only scientists, such as I, can measure it. Some still refuse to believe, but I swear upon St. Francis, they are moving. Every one of them is coming toward us, just slower than we can imagine.

    When they appeared, that first strange night, people said perhaps it was art. Rome is famous for our sculptures, our art, no? But these are so ugly, so brutal. And so many? No artist could place two hundred statues overnight. Nobody, now, can agree where they are from.

    I should be grateful, I know, we have never before seen such budget for research. But this experiment, this boson chain, these particles of time….

    All of them. Every one of them moving toward our buildings. Some are turning toward us, some raise their hands, and one —the Falling One—could he be trying to leap?

    They make me afraid. What are we about to unleash?

    • Interesting read. Imaginative. There is enough mystery in it for me to want to analyze what’s underneath the words like I use to do with Nathaniel Hawthorne. I don’t quite get how your story relates to the monks, but it is definitely thought provoking.

    • I love the title “Still, they move”

      In Larry Niven’s THE DRACO TAVERN there is one kind of very nice alien who moves imperceptible slowly. Other patrons going and coming make note of how close he is to the bar’s entrance each day.

      • Hey, I remember that story! Probably a subconscious influence, I bet.

        I think I left too much unsaid in this story: some sort of time experiment knocks our world out of the stream of time, and these people come back to our time in an attempt to warn us of the results of the experiment… which is nearly 150 characters right there. Thanks for comments!

    • Slowly they crept, inch by inch…. 🙂 Seriously “some sort of time experiment knocks our world out of the stream of time” is very intriguing….

  3. Far from being secluded, the monks had been on a mission. An unspeakably evil woman had, successfully, been practising witchcraft.

    This was not some fanciful tale of flying brooms or wart-nosed hags. This was the real thing and, even though she wasn’t profligate with it, her dark hobby had gotten noticed – especially when local cats and other animals began to disappear.

    Not realising the power she had been able to acquire, the monks met in the park at night and waited to catch her in the act.

    She turned them into stone on the spot.

    Now, more than a hundred years later, visitors to the park simply believe the trio to be only a sculpture by Leonora Carrington. In a way, they are correct, for if they were to investigate further, they would find that Leonora was born two hundred years ago, although she doesn’t look a day over forty.

    150 words

  4. The solemn druids stood still with their stone reflections in the water beneath. The image was disrupted by quick feet, Luke’s boots, splashing the water around in his haste as he threw his arms around the neck of the left-most figure.
    “I’m sorry,” he shouted at the top of his lungs, followed by the muffled cry. “I just want out of here, please!”
    He fell limp against the druid, the wound in his leg making it hard to stand.
    “This wasn’t my idea! I didn’t want to come to these gardens.”
    He pleaded to gods and man, but it was all unheard, except for the stone druids who listen to all who converse with them.
    “I’ll give you what you want, I’m afraid!”
    From the shadows, underneath the glistening pale moon, the dreadful figures of Luke’s fears emerged. They were not convinced of his please, and neither were the druids.

  5. My first ever short story for Flash! Friday – I hope you like it. Let me know!

    Born of Shadows

    Born of shadows, born of night.

    Born of stone, they wait. Patient, eternal.

    “Ugh, those statues are too creepy,” she would whisper each time we walked passed; her eyes would dart, like mad nymphs across the canopy. Looking anywhere but there. “I always feel like they’re watching us. “ Each time I would fling a penny against the cowled masonry, waiting to hear the clink of metal-on-stone followed by its plunk as it sank beneath the water.

    Make a wish.

    Hope it never comes true.

    Every day on my way to work, to the patisserie, to my apartment I would pass them by a dozen times, their cloaks revealing whispers of secrecy, of darkness. Every day another penny.

    “I swear I saw one move…” her voice quavered, fearful.

    I just laughed, flinging another copper disc their way.


    The smell of cold, of rain and decay.

    The penny never plunked.


  6. The soldiers were coming.

    The monks’ hearts were pounding with their feet as they ran through the trees, heading towards the grove; surely it was not too late, surely they still had time before…

    The three figures froze as the roar of a mighty beast shattered the silence of the forest, seeming to come from everywhere at once. It had been awoken already? Did they have the artefact?

    They took up their robes and ran once more, faster this time, for there was now no telling how much time they had before it found them. Their own breathing loud in their ears, faces burning, the monks flew as arrows whistled past, thudding into trees around them.

    At last they reached grove, and stood in the sacred pool at its centre; the entrance to their temple.

    With bowed heads they chanted…finished…

    …then looked up into the eyes of the basilisk.

  7. Hide Me by Delilah E Day

    My hand clasped at my mother blindly amidst the sea of robed figures. Cloth covered my face and body, almost tripping me as we stalked with the pack through the street. To trip is to die, I thought. This path leads to freedom.

    “Make them believe you’re one of them…” Mother breathed. I nodded and tried standing up taller to blend in. I couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe, too much cloth around my face. They didn’t have anything under their hoods – just black, soul-sucking darkness.

    Then mother was gone. I wanted to cry out for her, but I couldn’t make a sound. They would hear.

    When I couldn’t see her hot tears sprung to my eyes. A hand grabbed my wrist and I fell, my hood falling down. The hand holding me tight was cracked and shrivelled, but the golden charm bracelet it wore was identical to my own.


    (150 words) @DelilahEDay

  8. Knights from an unknown realm (149 words)

    I never saw their faces, Father. Nor any hands or feet. It was so cold that morning, that I could see my breath as I spoke. The rocks were hard as I knelt before the figures.

    They kept their limbs hidden underneath those cloaks and I saw little but heard screechy voices.

    I began the prayers they wanted me to say in an uneven voice that sped up as I felt that blade against my neck. I kept using the wrong words and the knife didn’t move, they were not holy men.

    As I said amen, I saw bright green eyes glow. They came to that wood where I tend my flock to steal the Book of Glendalough, didn’t they? I saw your men ended them and their quest, Father Abbot. Now it is my turn, to follow those creatures into the fires of hell, isn’t it? Pray for me.

    http://justmomentarily.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/knights-from-an-unknown-realm/ or @dmcahill

  9. The Vow

    The Darkness had been banished ages ago, its very existence had faded into the mists. There were reminders here and there in a world that had grown and become modern. But few alive understood the significance of those remnants.

    Most people passing the three hooded figures in the park paid them no attention. Those who did saw just another public art installation, and moved on.

    But not you. You saw the figures and you felt the menace emanating from the black holes of their faces. You felt it deep inside your gut. And every time — every single time — you passed them, you stopped and you stared. You stared them down, one at a time, a silent fuck you whispered to each as you named them and made sure that, if they still saw anything, they saw you.

    And that they knew, without doubt, their time would never, ever come again.

    150 words @radmacher

    • Love a writer that isn’t afraid to use ‘fuck’ (we all think it so often!) You captured defiance very well here Dan! Nice.

  10. Lions And Lambs

    The Reapers had been relentlessly pursuing him for weeks before he’d grown too tired to run from them any longer. He supposed he should feel flattered they’d thought it necessary to summon a full-fledged Collector to ensure his compliance.

    While Cade understood the Law requiring euthanasia at age 35 was driven by the need to ration the world’s diminishing resources, there was a vast difference between understanding and acceptance. He’d always known, in his heart of hearts, when his time came he would be incapable of complacently reporting to one of the Centers and surrendering himself to the will of the state.

    Unassailable sadness filled Cade as he realized the somber trio advancing toward him would never understand his defiance of them. Not all men were sheep who went to the slaughter willingly. Amongst the sheep there would always be lions and lions must be hunted before they were taken.

    150 words @klingorengi

  11. No breeze moved; it wouldn’t until the voices returned. The crowd echoed the silence. A few of the bravest dipped their fingers in the pool and touched the water to their lips. A gasp cut through the silence like a thunderclap as one of the crowd saw his own face in the reflection of an empty face. No one took notice of him as he fainted. Every season we waited on the appointed day. Two hundred years had passed since the last chorus. The city had grown around the pool but never touched it. The park was always still. The bells of the new church chimed. The appointed time was ending and the new religion was calling. Faces turned upward toward the sound and people began to reluctantly rise to the new call, only to freeze in place as a faint breeze caressed their cheeks and brought tears of joy.

    150 words @thorns_n_claws

    • “…echoed the silence ” and “saw his own face in the reflection of an empty face” great phrases! What is this new religion….intriguing.

      • Thanks. Meant it to be Christianity was the new religion and these stone figures represented an older religion where profits or spirits would embody the statue every so many years to dispense “wisdom.” I think I really tried to cram way too much into 150 words. lol

  12. Title: Bhí Padraig aon Naomh*

    “But, Mamo, I don’t understand why we have a statue to them. You told me they were bad.”
    “Yes, my darling girl, they were bad. They came and disrupted our way of life. Women were our law-bringers, our judges. Women owned land and cattle. We were equal to our brothers and fathers and husbands. We decided when to marry, whom to marry, and the monks from Rome came with their crosses and their fire and changed that. A sad tale, told many times.”
    “Why don’t they have faces?”
    “Because, mo chara, their minds were empty of reason. They were faceless, guileless men who imposed a distant man’s will on us. That taught us rebellion, and we’ve never given that up. But know this. Those homespun robes they wore, the hair shirts, they burned, too, and they burned well.”
    “Then, why have that scary statue?”
    “A constant reminder. Never again.”

    Word count: 150 words (not counting the title)

    *Translates as “Patrick Was No Saint”

  13. The Million Years’ War

    “Why have we come here?”
    “You must know the story of the fall of our heroes.”
    “To understand the enemy, the better to defeat them. – There they stand.”
    “But they were old.”
    “Old yes. As old as time. But once, the enemy trembled before them and prayed to their Gods for deliverance. Cities fell before them, civilisations toppled. Women wept at their approach, smothering wailing children to spare them. They laid millions in the cold ground. Now they are no more. How the mighty are fallen.”
    “What happened?”
    “They were eradicated after ages of struggle. The enemy covers the land and grows proud. Their scientists plot to end all of us, one by one. They feared us once; and they will again. Despite the fall of our dread brothers Smallpox, Malaria and Typhoid, we continue our sacred mission. You are new and virulent. I have high hopes for you.”
    150 words

  14. The Park

    Emmy won’t go to the park any more. Not since we noticed the statues in the wading pond. She swears up and down that they weren’t there before. I seem to recall that’s right, but another part of my mind tells me that they’ve always been there – gray, weathered and watching.

    We were playing by the pond the day we noticed them; skipping flat rocks to see who could send theirs skipping longest. Emmy was laughing. She looked up to say something to me, but her eyes widened in fear. I looked at her quizzically and she pointed. There they stood.

    Drawn to them despite her fear, we inched over and stared into the empty cowls. I saw nothing, but Emmy….well, she said she could see faces faintly etched into the back and that they were up to no good.

    So…Emmy won’t go to the park any more. I’m alone.

    150 words {without title}

  15. Bridget unclasped the necklace about her throat, and gently placed it at the robes of the three statues in the sacred courtyard. She watched as the pendant on the necklace, a faestone from the forests of Seorsa, began to glow, first gently and then bright as the morning star.
    The water around the statues began to gurgle and shift and the stone began to hum with intensity as its magic was released, beginning to awaken the spirits inside the concrete forms.
    Blue orbs of light filled the seemingly empty voids beneath their monklike hoods. The orbs grew and shifted, forming the faces of the ancient ones Bridget had journeyed so far to see.

    The tallest spoke first. Her voice was soft yet permeated through Bridget’s very being.

    “What is it you seek, my child.”

    Bridget bowed. “Guidance, o great one, to save my people from a fate worse than death.”

  16. The status of the three monks stand in a fountain on the lands of the Mesa Family. If you ask Victor Mesa, the head of the family, about the three monks, he’ll tell you they caught his eye and were just what he needed to complete the fountain. A large concrete cross stands beside the monks. Water cascades down the cross and and flows past the bases of the monks. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Victor calls it his gift to God.

    Victor obtained the monks just three days after the three priests in the local Catholic Diocese vanished. No one expressed concern the three had vanished. Many of us were relieved. It is not a good thing when men of God are accused of sexually abusing young boys.

    We don’t ask where Victor got the monks. We prefer to think of it as a coincidence.

    150 Words

  17. “Here, babe.” He tossed her a quarter. “Make a wish.”

    She fumbled but caught it just before it hit the ground. “What should I wish for?”

    He laughed. He always laughed, it seemed to her, and never once in a way that made her feel like joining in. “Coordination?” he suggested. “Or maybe a smaller ass. That’d be a nice change.” He slapped hers for punctuation.

    She looked at the three statues. What were they? Monks? Ghosts? She couldn’t tell if they were supposed to look frightening or artsy or what. To her, they just looked sad. She closed her eyes and tossed the coin. wishing.

    She waited for the derisive question, but it didn’t come. She opened her eyes and she was alone, her left ring finger bare. She looked at the fountain and the four statues at its center, and she smiled. “Thank you,” she said.

    “And goodbye.”

    150 words

  18. The cold grey casted figures displayed in the town square tell the story of Grandfather, Father and Son, a war baby each one.
    They locked into the lingering visions of constant unrest.
    They locked into the eternal horrors of battlefield slaughters.
    They locked into cut-throat decisions against cousin and friend.
    They had their betrayals.
    Bloodied rivers flowing with mutilated bodies and lopped heads.
    Three ghostly reflections dressed in monk’s robes appear in the river below the green cliffs of Bindon Hill. They say they resemble the cold grey casted figures displayed in the town square.
    Sleeping beneath the ruins of the abbey’s graveyard, a restless twisting, turning only they know.
    Their nightmares with sleepless nights, no promised tranquility, only weariness for tortured souls go on.
    Today they walk together forever over their ancestral lands.
    Said Grandfather, Father and Son, “I did all this for you, my first born Son.”

    • I love this story. So powerful the sacrifice each father made, and so sad the death each son endured, all in war, all unable to have the life that each father died to provide. I would like to know what the fourth son’s life became, though. If only three were honored as statues, did the fourth live? Or was he a traitor not worthy of being honored?

      • Thank you for your kind remarks. The men were Robert (the Grandfather), Roger (the Father) and Robert (the Son). All in the line of the 1st Earl of Warwick. These three retired in their late years as monks. Grandfather is buried at the Abbey of Bec, in Normandy. Father and Son spent their monk years at Bidon Abbey, part of Bidon Hill property on the Frome River in Dorsetshire living at Winfrith Manor. Robert, Roger and Robert went by the name of de Newburgh.

  19. ‘These are the Monks. It’s by a sculptor call-’
    ‘They’re upside down!’ A man’s voice from the back of our tour group, interrupts the young guide.
    ‘I’m sorry?’
    ‘I said, they’re upside down. And they’re not monks, they’re fossilised Golbak mounds.’ His words are projected with a measured authority.
    ‘Golbak what?’ The guide’s expression slides from fixed smile, through confusion, to scorn.
    ‘Golbaks are a vicious subspecies of Madagascan lizard. They make those, hanging from the ceilings of caves, using regurgitated mud and bat droppings. The apertures are traps. Birds fly in to make a nest, then munch, the Golbak living inside, eats them.’
    ‘Thank you, sir, but these are Monks, sculp-’
    ‘Put your hand in then?’
    ‘Into the hole. See if you get bitten.’
    The guide chews the inside of her lip, then decisively, inserts her hand. ‘See! Monks!’
    Her tormentor shrugs. ‘I did say they were fossilised.’

    150 words @Brev_

    • Every time I read this, I want to stop reading, go to the top of the page and turn my head upside down to see what you see….I think I will!

  20. They knew, and it sent chills down Matthew’s spine. Every day as he walked from class to the dormitories he was forced to pass by the stone figures and he felt them casting judgement. They knew about his disbelief. They knew about his inner turmoil and the temptations that wouldn’t leave him. As he passed, they scolded him for taking advantage of other’s generosity. Circumnavigating the campus to avoid them would result in awkward questions from the Sisters who swarmed around the library.

    He had managed to withstand the statues’ gaze for a year, since his silent deconversion. Courses in Psychology were a component of his theology degree. He fully understood that his mind was projecting intention onto the inanimate objects. Nevertheless, he felt their cold gaze daily. He would have to get used to it. There would be no shortage of judgmental statues after he was finished with seminary.

    150 words

  21. Pure. Uncorrupt. Clean.

    If the Monks were after you, you had done something wrong. And you would be caught.

    Pure. Anonymous. Clean.

    The cowls of their robes hid their faces from the world, protected them from dangers seen and unseen. But they did not hide the world from the Monks.

    Clean. Pure. Sterile.

    From the ruins of a great age they came, the scions of the legacy of the great one. After the war, the world became unmoored, and much that had been known became twisted, mutated, new.

    The Monks preached no dogma, except the coming of the one who would right the most grievous wrongs. The one who would protect the innocent and return humanity to a path toward the light.

    Uncorrupt. Pure. Clean.

    For in the coming of the age of the Adrian, all would be seen. All would be known. All would be safe.

    Clean. Sterile. Joyous.

    150 words

    • Prophetic! Adrian…meaning black and dark and yet he’s going to bring light to the world and joy! 🙂 Cool.

  22. Biting my lip, I wondered why I’d picked “dare”? Ky reached out, and held my hand in his strong one.

    “We’re in this together, right?” he asked.

    “I don’t want to do it. This game is stupid.”

    “C’mon, Gail, it’s going to be fine,” he smiled at me, his hazel eyes a mystery of greens and browns, like the forest these very statues were said to protect.

    I took a deep breath, and tried not to blush when I saw Ky noticing how filled out my chest had become. Then, as we held hands, our free ones touched the carved stone.

    In unison, we spoke, “Hail the Monks & all they survey, take of us what we offer today.”


    I sighed with relief but then realized I couldn’t move, “Ky, what’s happening to us?”

    He disappeared into the stone, his words an echo, “I don’t know.”

    150 words

  23. @Angela_Goff
    150 words
    (1st time to do this one – yay!)

    Gray hid in the culvert and drew back against the arched wall, wishing himself into the shadows and shaking off the acrid smell of the marshes. Outside the world dwindled to watery shadows as the fog twisted over the stagnant water. No traffic rattled the bridge overhead. Everything was deathly still.
    One one-thousand, two one-thousand… Gray counted the seconds off in his head. Everything about this place was right: the mist, the silence, even the smell. But where were they? He had to find them first. The others were counting on him and Gray knew they were out of second chances.
    He nearly screamed as something brushed his sleeve. Biting his lip, he shrank flat against the wall and peeked. There they were – walking out from beneath the mountain itself, through the culvert, down to the marshes. Shrouded figures in silent tandem, their faceless hoods turned toward the sleeping village.

  24. “Man, I’m bored.”

    “Me too.”

    “At least it’s a nice day. Somebody will show up.”

    “Maybe they’ll turn the fountain on today.”

    “Yeah, maybe. Here come some kids.”

    “Great. Maybe they’ll come stuff all our faces full of leaves like those teenagers did that one time.”

    “That was a real blast.”

    “Hey remember that time a bird built a nest in your head?”

    “Shut up.”

    “No, it was really funny. You looked great.”

    “And then there were those baby birds in there…”

    “You guys are jerks.”

    “Well it broke up the monotony, that’s for sure.”

    “And the bird poop was lovely. I had to wait two months before the guy came and scrubbed it all off.”

    “What’s that lady doing over there?”

    “Eating her lunch, looks like. Reading a book.”

    “I wish I could read books.”

    “Me too.”

    “I hope they turn on the fountain today.”

    “I am so bored…”

    150 words

  25. Black suit and tie, he strolled to me with his hands in his pocket, his grey eyes glued on me.

    “Thought you didn’t want to see me anymore?”

    He frowned. “Can’t and don’t are two different things.”

    I hugged myself. “So why here? Why by this statue?” We turned to stare at the three hooded figures carved out of stone, darkening the park and the fountain.

    “This is what happens to a Reaper when they blow their cover. We are imprisoned in stone for eternity.” He turned me to him, and my guilt wouldn’t let me look at him. “I can only tell you once, because after this you’ll have no memory of me at all…but I do love you, Shoshanna.”

    I was crying and I hated it. “I love you too.”

    And then he was gone.

    Blinking, I turned to the statues, frowned. Something about them made me sad…

    150 Words

  26. “Why is that old man crying, Mommy?”

    He had not been much older than this child at the time.

    “I don’t know, sweetie, maybe he’s remembering a sad time in his life.”

    He smiled at the mother, and leaned against his cane. The city had not thought benches appropriate for a memorial of martyrdom. Who would care to linger? But linger he did, year after year. At ninety-four he would have liked to sit a spell.

    Nameless figures lacking a face, but he could see them clearly still. As he breathed his last breath they would arrive to guide him. Of this he was certain. It would be soon. He had dreamed often of their reunion.

    Their single act of courage had allowed him life. Hiding beneath their robes he had witnessed their whispered prayers as the bayonets pierced flesh; they fell.

    But their souls, their souls had soared heavenward.

    150 words

  27. “They are not!” Jules said for the fifth time, rolling her eyes at her little brother. Well, younger brother… Edwin hadn’t been her little brother since he turned fifteen.

    “They’re angels… don’t blink!” Edwin insisted, his eyes bulging.

    Jules superimposed herself between her brother and the statues, breaking his line of sight. “You’ve been watching too much Doctor Who.”

    A touch on her shoulder made her jump, and she found herself being sucked back in time. She whirled around to find herself staring into eyes she’d thought she’d never see again.

    Eyes she vowed to never look into again.

    “Hello gorgeous!” Gunter crooned, moving in as if to embrace her. Even worse, he was licking his lips.

    Jules dodged. She stepped back adroitly, and in doing so brought herself firmly into the present. The present she’d designed for herself. The present she had worked so hard to earn.

    “Goodbye Gunter.”

    @USNessie Word Count: 150 exactly
    OMG I got the word count right on the first try for once! It’s a fracking miracle!

    • She whirled around to find herself staring into eyes she’d thought she’d never see again. And then? oh boy

  28. Reboot.

    This playground, in this park, once was part of a monastery dating back to the 17th century. Spanish missionaries set up camp here, north of what they called Hispaniola to bring the legacy of Christ to the unwashed natives. The buildings have been long gone now, replaced by replicas used by Parks and Rec to maintain the park. The statues were placed here in the late 80’s to honor the history of the park.

    Seemed like an appropriate place to release a virus just as destructive as what the Spaniards brought with them. Here, and in dozens of parks across the country, in choreographed unison. The Spanish bastards had no clue what their true legacy was. But this simple act would seal that. They brought smallpox, along with other ‘white man’s’ diseases. We bring a new world weapon, a virus. And perhaps, 300 years from now, we will be statues.

    (150, not counting title. Not bad for a first timer.)

  29. Broken

    Kathy hated that her friendship with Samantha was falling apart, but what else could she do? She had done everything she could to try and console her friend, but the pain and grief of losing a child, what could anyone do?
    Anytime they saw each other, Kathy saw the envy in her eyes, the questioning. And Samantha all but fell apart whenever she saw Timothy.
    It all came down to that one horrible day at the park.
    Timothy and Samantha’s boy, Brad, often played in the park while Kathy and Samantha chatted and gossiped. On that day, the boys were playing around some statues when Timothy came running up to their bench shouting about 3 monsters coming to life and eating Brad. Brad hadn’t been seen since, and Timothy wouldn’t or couldn’t say anything more.
    Nothing out of the ordinary was found, but Timothy never went near those statues again.

    -150 words (Not including title)


    By some quirk of physical laws, Marmorated Halyomorpha and two others grew to hundreds of times their size in an acre of a California Navel orange grove. Probably as a result of gamma rays.

    These bugs had become sentient. Their cortexes, convoluted masses within their micro-craniums, had highly developed olfactory regions allowing them to locate choice oranges for subsequent puncture and gustatory pleasures. From their heavenly grove, they caught a whiff of the scent: an orange perfume so perfect, it beckoned.

    Orange fragrance poured out of a bungalow outside the grove. The bugs donned hanging bed sheets and peered in the first window. A human sat in a chair, leg on bathtub edge. Beside her left elbow on the basin counter were oranges in a bowl. Marmorata streamed inward to the point of their affection.

    Found: just a bowl of oranges and orange body wash.

  31. Untitled

    The cardinals voted, again, and finally elected a new pope. When his name was called, there was a collective intake of breath, followed by murmuring. The new pope was the youngest of the group, and his name had not been in any previous round.

    “Did anyone actually vote for him?” Lorenzo asked Carlos and Gilberto. They shook their heads and Carlos held a finger to his mouth.

    After the new pope was ensconced, he asked Lorenzo, Carlos and Gilberto to meet with him regarding a special assignment.

    That night in a theme park in Florida, a new sculpture appeared.

    “Isn’t that the strangest choice?” a woman said the next morning.

    The three cardinals pooled the last of their energy together and sent up a warning in the sky, a red angel.

    “Look!” a woman shouted. “It’s a miracle! The new pope is blessed!”

    “Did that statute just sigh?” another asked.

    150 words

  32. The Secret

    I stood there staring at the solemn statues. Something about them resonated within me. Their vow of silence paralleled my childhood agreement to keep mother’s secret. Keeping it made me a good person, just like them, because it pleased her so much.

    I let my mind drift to that dreadful night. I remembered the fear on mother’s face as she came in the front door; her dark hair was drenched from the rain and her hands shook. I jumped back from the window, startled and hoped it would appear as though I hadn’t watched, but she knew that I had seen all that had happened. She knelt down, and peered into my eyes. She pleaded with me. I had fearfully agreed to keep her secret.

    I shook my head to throw off the memory. They could not save me anymore that I could save me, but I knew who could.

    150 words, not counting title.

  33. “The Awakening” or “Beware the Ides of March, Indeed.”

    The stone rippled. The monk form writhed and bubbled. Fissures appeared on the stone with a glimpse of a molten core beneath that coalesced into shimmering ruby scales. Flameheart flapped his wings vigorously and shook his long, slender neck. His jaws gaped, showing fierce pointed teeth in a huge yawn that ended when a fly buzzed nearby and was inhaled. The tickle in his throat began a choking fit that ended with a gush of flame. The resulting steam made him sneeze.

    Flameheart curled his talons into a fist and rapped on the other two monks, “Wake up!” he bellowed.

    Soon Morning Star and Ember stood before him, the first scratching her belly against the now-dry fountain and the second hopping with enthusiasm.

    “We waited a thousand years, frozen in stone, while the rest of our kind died. The time foretold has arrived. We must avenge the Great Betrayal! Come.”

    150 words

  34. Elena sat in the park watching the statues. She felt them watching her, but she didn’t care. Her carrot-colored hair blew softly in the wind along with her purple dress that she was wearing.

    “Bastards. They anger me every time I look at them. An eternity trapped in stone may be harsh, but for all the women they murdered 200 years ago, it’s more than punishment enough,” Elena muttered.

    A tall man with spiky black hair came behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She was almost startled until she smelled his ocean breeze aftershave.

    “Hello David,” she said, warmly.

    “Are you ready to go?”

    “I am.”

    “Why do you always want to meet here? Do you like those statues or something?”

    She smiled at him and said, “No reason! Come on. We’re going to be late for the movie!”

    And so they left.


    150 words

  35. For Clattoo it was another day in the park, wasn’t it? The birds were out (there was proof enough for Baratta to see, where the white spatter mark already dried on Clattoo’s head) and a breeze made the summer heat tolerable, though it would have been nice for cooling air to pierce through the iron-clad folds of her cloak.

    People wandered past Clattoo, Baratta, and little Nictto as they always did, never noticing, never caring. The man who sat slumped on the sidewalk across the street from the solitary family drew more notice from passersby. Baratta’s family might as well have been made of stone. And of course most thought they were. Most were wrong.

    They had feelings. They had hearts, and soon, everyone would know — once the water dried up. It happened every summer, didn’t it? The fountain was curse and blessing, but the Reapers would have their reward.

    150 words

  36. Did I make it?

    She had waited for so long.

    It didn’t seem like it could come true. A thousand years ago was but a dream, a wisp of memory that slid from between her fingers as easily and quickly as smoke.

    But she did remember them. The Three.

    They had promised her forever. Eternal life under their wing, always protected, always in power.

    But then they had been cursed by a witch whose rage and sorrow was so strong, it turned them to stone as it turned her to ash. And she was left to wait for the curse to wear off, for just the right moment of weakness to turn that crack of opportunity into a gaping maw that they could escape from.

    She cast the spell even as she prayed, “please.” She spilled the blood, smeared it across each cowl reverently.

    She knelt and darkness swarmed. Their cloaks surrounded her again.


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