Howdy, folks, and welcome back to another rip-roaring, fresh-outta-the-box Flash! Friday! And speaking of out of the box, it’s my sincere hope that y’all will gnash your teeth at me over today’s totally cliched prompt. And then write about something else altogether. More than one judge has commented in recent weeks on their attention being consistently drawn by the stories that “stand out” from the pack. So I dare you to look past the surface, past the obvious, and write the story lurking offstage.
It’s a real pleasure to introduce you to the magnificent castle in Syria known as the Krak de Chevaliers (Qalat al-Hosn). This place is something else. Built into its present form around 1200AD it’s, yes, a Crusader castle, and invaders simply could not bust their way into this place (take a look at its walls!). And now, you are saying, please explain how you arrived at this glorious castle On This Day In History. –Well, I’m so glad you asked! On this day precisely 80 years ago, Bruno Hauptman was arrested in New York for the murder of Charles Lindbergh’s little boy. And that put me in mind of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (have you read that? love it), and suddenly I found myself in Aleppo at the Baron Hotel, where she wrote part of that disturbing tale (I’ll have thirteen orders of justice for takeaway, please). And now you have arrived with me at the Krak, where I will watch safely hidden in the curtains as you wend your mysterious way onward.
Wending her way onward on a daily (offbeat) basis, because that’s how she rolls, is returning judge Betsy Streeter. Excellent flash, she says, is all about economy and detail. Read the translation of that curious phrase here.
Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays. I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Now, grab a battering ram and let’s get to it!
* Word limit: 150 word story (10-word leeway) based on the photo prompt.
* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (140 – 160 words, exclusive of title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget to check the contest guidelines.
* Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)
* Winners: will post Monday.
* Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Wednesday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.
***Today’s Dragon’s Bidding (required element to incorporate somewhere in your story; does not need to be the exact word(s) unless instructed to do so, e.g. “include the name “Lawrence of Arabia'”):