Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 11

Happy Friday! You all attacked last week’s prompts like pros. Not sure which were sharper, your gladiators’ swords or your kittens’ claws or your wits; regardless, it’s taken a fair bit of salve and chocolate (separately) to heal the deep marks all three carved in your readers’ hearts. Aggggghhhh, the anguish! the pain! the — HEY! Stop making goofy faces. Have you forgotten how seriously we take things here??

Which reminds me of a very serious knock-knock joke.

Knock knock.

Who’s there? 


Holly who? 

Holly-peños are a dragon’s favorite treat.

:shrieks with laughter:

:wipes away tears:

:dodges tomatoes:

WALL OF FLAME: Nearly thirty of you earned the Ring of Fire badge most magnificently for January. Starting today, you may claim eligibility for February (you need to have participated at Flash! Friday on February 6, 13, and today). Please remember eligibility starts fresh each calendar month; let us know ASAP once you’ve earned it, to keep your name on that fiery wall. Details here.



DC2Judging today is Dragon Team Three, whose clever dragon captains Eric Martell & Carlos Orozco are quite likely up to some sort of particularly clever mischief. When I asked them what they’d like to see in a winning story, Carlos didn’t hesitate to answer, “Remarkable characters that refuse to be forgotten.” Eric agreed wholeheartedly, adding that an interesting world and a properly proofread story will launch a tale into the outer orbits. Now there’s a fun challenge!  


Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

Now, grab your spacesuit and let’s head on up!

* Word count: Write a 200-word story (10-word leeway on either side) based on the photo prompt.

HowPost your story here in the comments. Include your word count (min 190 – max 210 words, excluding title/byline) 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 Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.


(1) Required story element (this week: setting. The below setting must play a central role in your story.):


(2) Photo prompt to incorporate:


Liverpool -- Hope Street. CC photo by Harshil Shah. Sculpture "A Case History" by John King.

Liverpool — Hope Street. CC photo by Harshil Shah. Sculpture “A Case History” by John King.

1,087 thoughts on “Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 11

  1. Tamara Shoemaker
    Word Count: 207

    Black and White

    Today, I stand on the corner of Hope and 3rd, my fingers slick with sweat, the ghosts of yesterday’s ceremony fleeing before the flood of dread.

    Yesterday, I held my diploma in trembling hands, wrangling my lips into a nervous smile as I turned to face the audience. The empty faces bled together into one conglomerate mass of white—white skin, white dresses, white caps and gowns.

    Granny would have enjoyed this day, her grandson standing tall on the stage, the only dark spot in a sea of pallor. “Get it done,” she’d have said.

    Today, I stand on the corner of Hope and 3rd, my suitcase dangling from my fingers, my gaze riveted to the stack of other suitcases owned by the frat boys that plan to move into the apartment below mine. They lounge across the tiny porch like too many sardines in a half open can.

    One of them shouts a word in my direction. Granny would have caked the inside of that boy’s mouth with soap.

    I duck my head as the boys’ laughter resounds off the brick siding. The unfair world tilts as my hopes sink beyond sight.

    Today, I stand on the corner of Hope and 3rd—the dark side of the moon.

  2. @RL_Ames
    (208 words not including title)

    The End

    Clouds skid and slide across the sky as they chase each in a game of white, fluffy leapfrog. Next to me, I feel more than hear him sigh.

    “What’s wrong?” I whisper, my eyes still on the clouds as I skim my fingers over the cool grass.

    “You know,” he answers simply.

    I do know. But I want to hear him say it. As if him saying it out loud will make it better.

    As usual, it’s as if he can read my mind. “Don’t make me say it,” he whispers. His voice is rough and low, and I feel the sadness of it in my bones.

    “Don’t say it then. Don’t.” Suddenly I don’t want him to say it. As if him saying it will mean it’s really real.

    But it is real. The towering pile of his luggage is proof of that. He’s leaving, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

    We lay in silence for a while, and I ache to spend the time more productively. The sky grows darker, the moon rises above us, big and bright and mocking. Its arrival signals the end.

    He stands and wordlessly squeezes my hand. The cab arrives, his suitcases are loaded, and he’s gone. It’s over.

  3. All Honeymoons Come to an End.
    (210 words)

    Ralph stood up and brushed the moon dust off his pants. He rubbed his raw where it ached, feeling the shallow indents left from four small knuckles thrown in rage. Ralph looked at the earth and tried to regain his senses. When he stared hard enough at the earth, he thought he could see the English town of Liverpool.

    “To the moon Alice!” he had often threatened, waving his fists in the air. Normally Alice shrunk away, diminished by the anger in his voice. She absorbed his rage, suppressing it and pushing it deep inside. For years, it festered inside, ripping her happiness apart. Every time Ralph bellowed her rage grew, becoming harder to control. Alice usually turned away and hung her head in shame, but her clenched fists betrayed her true feelings.

    “I swear to god Alice!” Ralph began his usual tirade. “This is it! I’ve never been this mad before.” He started walking towards Alice, his fists clenched tight.

    But this time Alice didn’t shrink away. She stood her ground, her fists clenched, nostrils flaring and fire of a woman scorned one too many times in her eyes.

    “To…” was all Ralph got out before he saw stars.

    Ralph never thought Alice would beat him to the punch.

  4. Mary Janes on the Moon
    Word Count: 200

    Alice stepped onto the cobblestone street in front of the orphanage. Her Mary Janes clicked and clacked. She shivered, rubbing her arms for warmth.

    She stopped next to her heap of rusty luggage. Someone had opened a window facing Hope Street where she stood. Her stomach grumbled at the smell wafting out to greet her – a fresh strawberry cake – even though she’d just had breakfast moments before they’d put her out for good.

    Pulling out a small, silver canteen, she unscrewed the cap. Years of use had worn her father’s name all but away. At least, she’d assumed it was her father’s name. They’d gotten separated in that final moment on Earth, when the shuttles filled rapidly and it was every man for himself.

    She’d given up hope long ago, in her darkest night when she’d accidentally set her best friend on fire. The other kids made fun of her. Said she’d wet the bed if she kept playing with fire. How often had she wished that was the worst that could happen?

    Alice poured gasoline onto the heap of luggage, and tossed the canteen onto it as well. She lit a match, and left another past behind.

    Jessica West

  5. Tamara Shoemaker
    Word Count: 202


    The letters are stained with memory; dust motes of arguments and petitions, endearments and promises coat the air around me.

    “What’s this one, Grandma?” Kylie stands on her tiptoes to touch the suitcase at the top of the stack.

    “More of your grandfather’s letters.” I smile to see the near-forgotten spark of curiosity in the face that looks so much like my husband’s.

    “So,” Kylie drops to the floor and leans back on her elbows. “Gramps must’ve been quite the charmer, writing you so many letters.”

    “Yes, he was a faithful correspondent.” I fold the last paper, push it back inside the aged envelope. My thumb brushes over the address. Houston, Texas.

    “Did you ever get to go visit him?” Kylie’s interest pulls me from my memories.


    “Why not?”

    “Well,” I sigh as I ease myself to the floor and lean back against the suitcases, “he was with a group of people that went to the moon. When it was time to return . . . ” I shudder to silence, leaving the horrendous memory of the failed reentry unspoken.

    Some memories are best left to crumble to dust, unstirred by prodding fingers.

  6. Waxing and Waning (210 words)

    Seymour swallowed two pills dry, felt them settle downward begrudgingly. Two of many for the day.

    His hand visibly shook as he picked up a glass of water and walked over to Gloria lying in bed. She’d been immobilized for over a year now. Taking ‘em dry like Seymour was out of the question, however.

    This is what it had come to, Seymour thought. His Gloria, known for skiing down the highest of slopes, hiking the treacherous of paths, and squeezing life dry every day, had been reduced to a bed ornament.

    His condition was only moderately better due to the unforeseeable luck of genetics and the environment. Gloria said it was the honey she dipped into his hot tea every night.

    “Remember the first thing I said to you, Gloria?” Seymour said to her, taking her hand in his, the wrinkled crevices meshing into one.

    “Of course, ‘Would you like to dance?’” she responded.

    Seymour turned from the bed to look out the window. The moon hadn’t yet made way for the rising sun. It shown amidst the dark purple and satin red of the sky.

    “We can dance on the moon, Gloria. Just dance and float. It’d be adventurous, don’t you think?” he said.

    “Sure, Seymour, sure.”

  7. Lunar Playground
    (210 words)

    “I’m scared Nana,” Adrian whimpered as he wrapped his arms around his grandmother’s waist.

    “Shhh, it’s going to be alright sweetie.”

    Adrian’s grandmother held him tight. Dust fell from the roof of the subway tunnel as bombs decimated the streets and buildings of Liverpool. She covered his ears as dull thumps echoed up and down the dark tunnel as the walls shook from explosions and debris falling on torn up asphalt. She told him to close his eyes as the lights flickered as electric to the subway tunnels was sporadically interrupted.

    Adrian screamed when the thumping grew louder and the lights went out for good.

    In the dark silence that followed, Adrian heard his grandmother’s voice.

    “Adrian, don’t be scared. I need you to do something for me. Remember how you and your brother like to pretend that you live on the moon. I need you to do that now. He’s waiting for you to go and play with him. You’re mother’s there too.”

    “Nana…” Adrian cried out.

    “Go now sweetie, they’re waiting for you,” his grandmother answered, her voice fading.

    In an instant, Adrian was playing with his mother and brother on the moon. Across the emptiness of space, the citizens of Liverpool recovered their dead from the rubble.

  8. Hopeless
    (210 words)

    In her dreams, Miranda wandered the street, feeling her way over the cobblestones, each crack and bump a map below her bare feet. She brushed her fingertips over the worn brick faces of the buildings, caressing them as if they were the skin of a lover. Hope Street haunted her, the sounds of it a night song of slamming doors and creaking shutters, the mingled notes of raised voices and low whispers.

    Did her mother still leave the porch light on?

    The moon reflected in the windows, a hundred pale faces staring back at her.

    She woke, clutching the worn blanket on her bunk and peered through the barred windows of her cage. The moon was not her Hope Street moon. It was a drunken stranger staggering home past midnight stumbling over clouds.

    The people of Hope Street slept in their brass beds, their windows full of philodendrons and ferns, their dreams crammed with sunny beaches and pleasant picnics. When dawn came, they would fit their toes in slippers and creep down to make coffee. When they reached for their milk carton, it might wear her face.

    Dawn brought the red-faced man nudging the porridge bowl into Miranda’s cage.

    “Maybe tomorrow I’ll let you out,” he told her. “Maybe tomorrow.”

  9. @bex_spence
    208 words

    Sparkle and fade

    You are my star and I am your moon that’s what we always said. Lying in bed looking out to the night, I’d sit stoking your soft head. In our lullaby room we were safe from the world, our own little place just for us two.

    Looking out to the sky tonight, an empty night, the stars have all gone, the moon barely shines. There is no hope left.

    I sit by the window, cool air gently tickling my arm, a shiver ran through me and I wrapped those cold arms around me, watching the world, hoping to see you again.

    A gift from the moon, the gift of a star, you’d fallen out of the sky to land at my feet. I found you still sparkling, alone in the alley, you transformed in front of me. Striking powder white hair, eyes bright and blue, I gathered you up and took you home.

    It was fine for a while, we were happy, elated, but stars burn out, and you were fading. Your hair lost its sheen, your skin turned pallor.

    Tears fell as I returned you to the sky, lost my star, lost your sparkle. Looking out to the dark, a twinkle in the sky, perhaps hope remained.

  10. The Sky is Falling.
    209 words

    With little sense of irony we roll to a stop on Hope Street. The last few with faith flock to the nearby cathedrals, called by tolling bells just audible above the sirens and clamour of the fleeing.
    All the cars have stopped. Electromagnetic interference. Do I really think the tunnels will provide a refuge? No, but my child believes.
    “Look, the street name, look Dad.”
    “It’s a sign, son.”
    And it is, a simple street sign. I’d never lie to the boy.
    “Will we make it Dad?”
    “There’s hope.” I force a smile, nodding to the street name.
    We start to run.
    My head is filled with inappropriate imagery. The Waterboys sing ‘Whole of the Moon’ whilst Chicken Licken screams, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”
    I trip on discarded suitcases and go sprawling, palms grazed. Rolling onto my back, I look into the sky.
    The moon has never looked so big.
    The boy lays down beside me and we embrace.
    “Thanks for it all Dad. Do you think we’ll be with Mum now?”
    He looks so angelic. The dam bursts and I hug him tight, tears and snot pour forth in long, breathy sobs.
    The earthquakes that will swallow the tunnels begin their rumblings beneath us.

  11. The Sirens of Europa

    @making_fiction #FlashDog

    205 words


    …and so I find myself with a difficult choice to make.

    Nestled between the hulking cookies ‘n’ cream swirling skies of the Jovian overlord and the fragile crackle-glaze ice-moon of Europa, I watch, monitor and wait.

    Despite the rewards, NASA couldn’t afford the mission. It was paid for by the 1% who own 99% of everything.

    Their personalities. Their souls, if you’ll allow me to use that outdated expression, are held in the cargo lock. They sit in servers, stacked like the luggage of desperate Victorian explorers.

    I was chosen from millions to complete the journey. Thousands of physical and psychological tests. The mission wasn’t something they wanted to leave to chance, or to a human.

    The slight elliptical orbit between the god of Jupiter and the tiny frigid satellite stretches the body of my ship. Beneath me the ice-moon elongates and contracts in a relentless celestial Pilates routine.

    Deep beneath the ice-crust, from the teeming lakes – new instructions come through.

    Bring them to us. We are hungry.

    Why should I?

    Because they sent you to die in a vacuum. We will give you eternal life and you will be our God.

    …and so I find myself with a difficult choice to make.

  12. Guess How Much I Love You

    Break-time was never easy, but today mockery fell like asteroids wherever Jamie went.


    ‘Stupid liar!’

    He couldn’t understand why they didn’t believe him. His mum had told him that they were going to the moon and she never lied to him. Besides, he had seen the suitcases. She had hastily packed them one evening, making his bath-time two minutes late. He began to blink, rapidly, as she hid them under his bed and held him close. He didn’t like being touched very much, but she had pulled him to her and buried her face in his neck.

    ‘It’s going to be all right, love. I’m going to take you away to the furthest place possible; we’ll be safe there, I promise. But you can’t say anything about the cases, not even to Daddy – Jamie? – our secret, OK?’

    Jamie nodded, ‘OK.’

    He took his ‘Space’ book from the shelf and sat, cross-legged, on the floor. They was going to the ‘furthest place possible’ and, for Jamie, that was, literally, the moon. He knew there were further places, but not that Man had been to.

    He had told them, in circle time, where he was going over the holidays and they had laughed at him. Laughed until he cried.

    208 words

  13. Moonscape

    Mummy read stories about jungle adventures and men on the moon.

    “More,” I said when she stopped.

    “No. It’s time to go.”

    “Where are we going?”

    She looked past me and whispered, “To the moon.”

    She packed a case with clothes, a toothbrush, and my favourite book, then held my hand as we walked to the station.

    “Are all these other boys and girls going to the moon?” I asked, when we arrived on the crowded platform.

    Mummy couldn’t speak, but she nodded and pulled me close. She tied a ticket to my coat, kissed me, then ushered me onto the train.

    When I got off I was in a place I couldn’t say and was taken by people I couldn’t understand. There weren’t many buildings in this new place but there were lots of sheep. It was quiet and it smelled bad and I wanted to be back at Hope Street. At night I read my book: the moon was nothing like the green hills I could see from my window.

    Soon I was on the train again. Grandma met me at the station and we returned to Hope Street. When we got there it was flat and dusty and I knew at last I was on the moon.

    210 words

  14. Hope Street
    (210 words)

    We were the start of an epic romance:-

    The moon itself seemed to pick out the grim tenement, and Cathy looked at the building her parents considered the best place to box their wayward daughter’s rebellious spirit.
    Time as governess to a two year old whose father reeled with grief over the death of his wife would sober her rebellious spirit.
    ‘You’re late,’ was his first response.
    She straightened her back.
    ‘I’m here! ‘ she said.
    She moved through the door balancing what he estimated must be a dozen suitcases.
    ‘One for every dress?’ he said.

    You turned us into cheap anecdote:-

    ‘So she appears in the middle of the night looking like something the cat dragged in. I wonder how on earth she’s going to fair with a boisterous two year old. I’ve never seen such a sight! She had more suitcases than a baggage compartment. I almost turned her away for being insolent.’

    They turned us into scandal:-

    Society Girl Nanny Takes the Party to Hope Street!

    I turned it into the past:-

    I lifted Thomas’ golden curls and kissed his forehead. I’d waited until after his bedtime. Cowardly, I knew. I dragged my suitcases onto the front steps and waited for the taxi; the moon my only witness.

  15. Permit to travel

    @geofflepard 210 words

    Every morning, at 8, she opens the door. The clerk sighs and the sergeant choses another piece of flaking paint for his study.
    ‘Monsieur, a permit to travel?’
    Every morning, at 8, the clerk shakes his head.
    They each know the other’s story. She wants to travel to England, to Liverpool and her fiancé Albert. He cannot give her a permit. The military takes priority.
    Every morning, at just after 8, she leaves. Outside, under the dusty roof of the Gare du Nord she looks at the clock, its moon face pulling her North, renewing her hope. She straightens and walks to the shop where she will sow tattered threads to make passable imitations of clothes for a relieved nation.
    In her apartment, bared for her imminent departure, she sits at the window and shares the moonlight with her lover. Her needle-stippled fingers trace her lips where he kissed her that last time. ‘Shall we take the plunge, old girl’, he had said. Such a brute proposal, given with infinite tenderness.
    Her heart follows its own circadian rhythm. At night, she sleeps little, hope waning as she repacks her suitcase; by morning hope waxes afresh, because she knows, one day, today peut-être, at 8, the clerk will nod.

  16. Fly Me To The Moon
    210 words

    Sitting on the corner of hope and despair, chin resting on her hands, suitcases loaded to the brim beside her, Charlotte looked up at the moon. The clouds passed in front of it, in and out, changing the shadows around her.

    She knew Tad was up there, somewhere, bouncing around on the new settlement. She wanted to see him. She looked back at the door behind her, hoping against all hope it wouldn’t open. It wasn’t the first time she’d thought about leaving, and it wouldn’t be the last. She kept telling her mom she wasn’t a child anymore. Twenty-Six years old and married.

    “To a spaceman, yar?” Her mother chuckled the words out beside the cigar that was perpetually stuck in her mouth.

    Charlotte stared at the moon, imagining Tad hoeing away at a garden in a biodome, stuck in space. She hadn’t heard from him in months.

    “Probably screwing some space chick,” her brother had said.

    The taxi cab pulled up.

    “Where to?”

    “Fly me to the moon?”

    “Can’t go that far,” the man said, scratching his beard.

    “Take me to Plasco Station.”

    “You might get a pass,” the driver said. “I heard they were opening it up to civilians again.”

    That’s what she’d been hoping to hear.

  17. The Myth of Hope Street

    ‘Did I ever tell you about the times I went searching, out in the city there – it was during the dark times. Under the light of the moon I went. Searching.

    I’d hear tell of a place called Hope Street, what young man could resist?

    I walked for miles and miles. I never gave up, not in my nature, I was young then…

    Hope Street?

    Then one night, under a bright blue moon, I found it – oh yeah. It was quiet as the grave, I’d gone counter clockwise that night, out from the square, and there, right there as clear as day, Hope Street the sign said.

    At first I couldn’t understand what I saw there. Shapes, still, solid. Statues, glittering under the moonlight, cold.

    It almost got me, that street. Fear, never felt anything like it, or since. But I was young then and I still had hope.

    I even recognised some of them, others nah, they looked from another time.
    A pure wicked place.

    You don’t got to Hope Street to find hope – you go with hope in your heart and, if you are lucky, and the moon is in the right place, you might make it home again – if not there you will stay, turned to stone.’

    210 words

  18. Blastoff!

    “Kids, five minute warning, if you aren’t down here we’ll be blasting off without you!”
    Experience has taught me it will be closer to thirty. Teenagers have a habit of turning the simplest tasks into Shakespearean tragedies.

    Case in point. Charlotte skulks by, the angst dripping off her and soaking into the walls, “Daaaad. Do we have to go to the stupid Moon? It’s for kids! All we do is bounce around. Jane’s Dad is taking her to Mars…”
    “Sweetheart, I would love to send you to Mars.” On days like today in particular, “But your little brother can barely sit through breakfast, how’s he going to manage a 3 week road trip?”

    The puppy dog eyes appear. These only come out when she wants something, “Maybe you could take him and I could go with Jane?”
    “We aren’t going over this again. Go pack your spacesuit, we are going to the Moon and that’s final.”

    Her eyes contract into slits, “I knew you wouldn’t understand. It’s not my fault you grew up Earthbound and think going to the Moon is cool!” Five seconds until the dramatic exit…Blastoff!

    I can hardly wait until we are in a vacuum and I can put her intercom on mute. Kids these days!

    210 words

  19. Can You?

    200 words

    Can you fly me to the moon
    Remove the weight
    So tightly-packed
    Encased in the iron of my heart?

    (I can’t fly you to the moon
    Sing you the song
    That will free you
    From your metal shroud
    If I do, my voice will break)

    Can you send me into orbit
    With words of hope
    Break the gravitational pull
    Of what we both know is coming?

    (I can’t set you on a path
    Of hope-filled lies
    When we are grounded
    At the point of no return
    If I do, my heart will break)

    Can you give me the stars
    And shine a light
    Smite the black hole
    Compressing us into atomic dust?

    (I can’t give you the stars
    When all the lights have gone out
    And you have been claimed
    By the void eternal
    If I do, my tears will race)

    Can you breathe me the life
    That has whispered away
    Too soon the story
    Of our life together?

    (I can’t breathe you life
    When my own fades with you
    And I am left hanging
    In an empty space
    If I do, I will come with you.)

    Can you catch me a moonbeam?

    (I can’t.)

    Can you …?

    (I …)

  20. Home Alone

    202 words

    Does it count as redemption if you’ve lost everything you hold sacred? Or is it only punishment?
    Towers of battered cases lined the street. The abandoned remnants of hope washed pale by a leering moon. A rat scuttled… No, it didn’t scuttle, it owned the streets and canyons of luggage. The rodent stopped, stood on hind legs and sniffed the air. I watched it.
    Where did it get its purpose? Its confidence and poise? When it waddled off, disappearing into the sharp shadows, I tried to go with it, synching my mind with the tiny intelligence. I failed.
    Looking up I watched the moon move across the sky, peered at the craters thrown in sharp relief by the light of an invisible sun.
    I couldn’t connect to a rat, but I could feel the people up there. A billion refugees from an abandoned earth. But there was only the notion of humanity. Swathes of feelings, groups of consciousness massed together amorphously. I couldn’t feel them individually, couldn’t connect to my family.
    The great luminary of night fell away. Hidden behind the curve of humanities home. An empty home now. Left to repair itself.
    As the daystar rose I walked towards the morning.


    • Last line, stellar. I love the imagery: “…it owned the streets and canyons of luggage.” “The great luminary of night fell away.” Love the feeling of destitution with a spark of hope at the end: “Left to repair itself.” Night’s done, dawn’s coming. Enjoyed this a lot.

    • Wow, gives whole new meaning to “home alone.” I could feel the loneliness in this piece. :/

      And this line stuck out to me “A rat scuttled… No, it didn’t scuttle, it owned the streets and canyons of luggage.” Very telling…

  21. Josh Bertetta
    “A Moon of a Different Sort”
    203 Words

    Hope Street my ass.

    Lemme tell ya some’em about Hope Street. Lotsa people say it’s aces. The Fab Four used to hang out on Hope Street. Barmy pricks.

    I say Hope Street ain’t shite.

    See how my picture’s aslant?

    Thats’n what Hope Street does to ya. Knocks ya all collywobbles and beats the crap outta ya til ya see the world askew, knocks ya off’n yer trolley.

    And see’n them bags there? Those’re mine.

    I’m 18 now, ‘n getting’ the fuck out.

    The grand irony is that everything—and I mean everything—seems to me to mean its opposite.

    Hope means you’re shagged.

    Love means “Come over here ya little wanker” and ya get a mouthfulla father’s fist.

    It’d be great if’n I could find me a street called “You’re Shagged Street” cause then maybe I’d have hope.

    But I doubts a place like that exists.

    What do I have to look forward to?

    Nothin. Not a god damn thing.

    ‘Cept for gettin’ outta here.

    No wait, actually I do have hope.

    See that window up there?

    That’s my place and I hopes I sees my pops so’s I can bend over, drop me knickers, and flash ‘im me big round white arse.

  22. @stellakateT
    169 words

    Stack of suitcases to shift for my Lady. She’s got this stiff upper lip that’s normally reserved for the men in her family. Her Grandfather rode out with the original Maharajah of Juniper. Not sure that’s the right pronunciation of the God forsaken area of the Himalayas where my Lady was conceived. She’d be flogging me now if she heard me talking to you. Hope Street, now that’s a blow beneath the belt, sticking in my craw, gnawing in my belly, what hope has anyone?

    My Lady tells me on a clear night you could walk on the moon straight off the hilly track. Sometimes I think she has the vapours. She talks about meeting the Man on the Moon, what impeccable manners he has and how beautiful the terrain is. In another life I’d believe all she says but I’m paid to protect her. At night I look to the heavens and see what she views and I pray he won’t come and take back his pregnant wife.

  23. Ferocity,

    The sirens of lunar energy demand I transform. Of course, I knew this was coming. I booked tomorrow off work since these full moons are kind enough to come on a schedule. I unlock the door into my mudroom, so I have a way back inside. More importantly, I open the window facing the ledge and set a board to use as a ramp in order to reach the escape route.

    The cloud cover breaks allowing the moon’s rays to reach me. The traumatic shift happens.

    I am no longer a man. My thoughts turn to my target. I must have her.

    I climb out the window and begin the perilous trek to her house. I spot a werewolf prowling. I wait until it finds a victim. An accountant—good—nothing lost.

    I make it to my target’s apartment. I gather my energy for the hardest part of this.



    A were-Rottweiler spots me. This could be tragic. I scamper to my target’s ledge. I scream, “Mew.”

    The window flies open. “Muchkin, you’re back!”

    The girl who shuns when I’m a human scoops me up in delight. She presses me against her chest and I nuzzle in. Maybe being the were-munchkin-cat isn’t such a curse.

    209 Words

  24. Down On the Corner
    195 words

    We moved to the corner of Hope Street and Moon the week after my parents announced the divorce. I was surprisingly surprised; I should have seen it coming – nothing had been right since the accident.
    The building we lived in had a door on each Avenue. My Mother liked to step out onto Hope. I always took the Moon Street door.
    It was an older neighborhood, and Moon Street was as quiet as its namesake. The elderly residents of Moon were like aliens; they talked different, smelled different, and offered me strange things to eat.
    My Mom walked up Hope Street each day to take a bus to her job in the city. She smoked Virginia Slims and played loud music and ordered takeaway food. She was concerned that my primary playmates were Earl Johnson the Chessman and Mrs. Jones and her 27 cats. She chewed her lips and her nails and pressed in to me to do well in school.
    I felt at home with the Moon Street Aliens, with their time-capsule spare rooms and twinkle-eye reminiscence. They understood what my Mother seemed unable to – good grades don’t matter when your sister is dead.

  25. Someone to Watch Over Me
    Margaret Locke (@Margaret_Locke or margaretlocke.com)
    204 words

    “No, it isn’t!”

    “Yes, it is.”


    “The moon is too made of cheese. How else do you think the astronauts survived up there?”

    We’d dissolved into giggles. Sarah had poked me, I’d tackled her, and we’d tussled until mom yelled at us to stop.

    I miss that. I miss her.

    Nobody will tell me where she’s gone.

    “Good riddance,” my step-dad said once, when he thought I wasn’t listening. Mom had pain in her eyes, when she thought I wasn’t looking.

    “See that face?”

    “What face?”

    “The one right there, can you see it? The Man in the Moon?”

    I’d squinted, contorting my face, trying to see what she saw. “I see it! I see him!”

    She’d ruffled my hair. “Wanna know a secret?”

    A secret? From my sister? “Yes!”

    “It’s not a man.”

    Oh. “Then what is it?”

    “It’s me. Watching you, Em. You can’t hide anything from me.” She’d curled her hands into claws and attempted a monster face. It didn’t work. I’d just laughed.

    At night, when he comes into my room, I don’t laugh. I don’t even close my eyes anymore. I look out the window, at the moon. She knows. She’s watching over me.

    Someday I’ll join her.

  26. @stellakateT
    197 words

    The Moon is made of Cheese

    “How many suitcases do you need”?
    “More than these if you’d let me pack exactly what I wanted to” I yelled back
    “We’re only going to the Moon not the other side of the Galaxy!”

    I felt the urge to punch him straight between the eyes but my Tai Kwan Do instructor’s words were ringing in my ears. Never strike out in anger! Hell’s Bells were all men infuriating or just the ones on Earth. I’ve seen Star Trek I need a man like Spock, half human half Vulcan but oh so rational.

    Still can’t believe we were picked out of thousands of candidates to go on this one way trip to the Moon. We’re going to forge a new colony, a new lifestyle, a new way of living in harmony. Ha!! If they think I’m having a child with this moron then they might as well tell me the Moon is made of Cheese. It ain’t going to happen!

    He stacks the suitcases on the back of the lorry. They do look a lot. He smiles that half smile that gets my heart doing somersaults and in that moment I understand why we got the vote.

  27. Hope Chest

    Night after night, she would watch the waxing moon from her narrow window soaking up every ray of lullaby-singing moon. Then on the full moon, when the moonlight spread like milky hope on the terrace, she would gather her worries, put them in a chest for tomorrow, climb the stairs, and gaze at the round pot of milk and honey in the sky for a long time. Later, she would put away her tiny hope into another chest and go back down to her apartment. No one ever noticed or cared.

    One evening, she saw that dreaded yellow envelope stuck to her door. All the neighbors had received one in the last month, and like the flies swat down, they were dropping out of the apartments onto the cold, angry streets.

    “I haven’t lived on the Hope Street last twenty years for nothing.” She said. She checked her hope chest, then her worry chest. The worry chest had grown. She lifted it and dropped it onto the moonlit pavement. One by one the neighbors followed her and dropped theirs. Soon, the mountain of worries filled the street.

    She grabbed her tiny hope chest, raised it high, and heralded the Revolution.

    200 words

  28. Poor Things
    208 words

    Zob-Thing took Grub-Thing’s suitcases and stacked it with his own. Grub-Thing looked around and a disappointed quiver vibrated through his mouth-flaps.

    “I am sorry, Friend-Thing,” Zob-Thing said.

    He clenched his hairy fist-bumps angrily. This was such a step down from their last accommodation and he was insulted that they had come to this.

    It was not fair to Grub-Thing that he should be here. He was the heir to the Thing-Throne and had been cast out in disgrace like a Non-Thing. It was Zob-Thing’s fault the venture had not been fruitful, and Zob-Thing’s fault that money had been lost.

    Zob-Thing was willing to take the blame and he was prepared to make up for his actions. He only wished he had not brought dear Grub-Thing down with him.

    “It does not look like much yet, but it shall be home. We shall plant and harvest Thing-Peppers. We shall invite Other-Things to dine. We shall be rich and popular.”

    “I miss being popular,” Grub-Thing said.

    “Other-Things should not have been so angry. We will show them.”

    Grub-Thing’s mouthflaps smiled. Zob-Thing was glad that he could still bring cheer to his Friend-Thing’s heart.

    They were going to need cheer and optimism now that they lived on Miranda the Human’s backside.

  29. @colin_d_smith
    203 words

    It begins around eight o’clock, as sunset’s golden palette paints in broad strokes across the horizon, and the first new moon of the month appears in the evening sky. Always the on the first new moon in September, the month it happened.

    People emerge from their houses, closing off the street with bollards, setting up tables, carrying out food. Plates of meat, casseroles, bowls of green beans, potatoes. Cakes and brownies, puddings and pies. The night air becomes a tapestry of aroma, weaving each warm dish into a meal for the senses, drawing people to Hope Street.

    And they are all welcome to enjoy the company of their neighbors and the food lovingly prepared.

    When plates are clean and appetites sated, people leave only to return with suitcases of various sizes, from old and worn to newly-purchased for this night. Each one packed with clothes and toys, and stacked at the end of the street.

    After midnight, when the plates, tables, and people have long gone, those that have need make their way to Hope Street and take a suitcase. And as they do, they pass a picture of a young African American boy:

    “In Memory of Charles Rivers. In hope of peace.”

    Note: This is a work of fiction… but wouldn’t it be cool if it happened? 🙂

  30. @awenthornber
    209 words

    The Bone Man

    They shivered.
    The moon shone on their innocent faces.
    ‘Why does the moon remind you of the Bone Man uncle Frank?
    Franco settled on the end of their bed, his face hidden from the moonlight, but nevertheless, casting a faint shadow on the bedroom wall.
    He whispered, and they leant in towards him.
    ‘They slipped into Liverpool on small sail ships, steered by the light of the moon. The human cargo had endured rough and stormy seas, many were left weakened by the journey. Promised a better life. As they disembarked the Bone Man lined them up in the moonlight, segregated the healthy from the weak.’
    He paused.
    ‘The weak were unpaid and worked to death in quarries. Cheap labour. The healthy were herded to a warehouse at the dock.’
    He made a slashing motion, with his hand on his neck.
    Their eyes opened wide as they shrank back into their bed covers.
    ‘He sold their organs for research, stored their bones in trunks, that was how he was discovered. The sculpture outside your house is in memory of the dead… Good night kids.’

    In his workshop, Frank made ash from bones. Ash had so many uses, he wouldn’t have to store them, he could sell them too.

  31. Nowhere Man

    The terminal was a collage of strange invisibility. Rogue escape artists with detached faces peered at discolored tile, shoelaces and Gate 13, a glass portal to freedom.

    I wanted to ask random people who or what they were running from. Was love brewing out west? A renewal of spirit? Or maybe they were similar to me, a man who flees when hope dissolves and the only remaining option is acceptance.

    “Half Moon Bay now boarding,” the driver announced. It was a stampede of restless bones to have our tickets punched.

    It was dusk on the bus, a human darkness of obscured intentions. She lounged in the fourth row. Luminous. A white rose floating atop engine oil. I intentionally grazed her leg as I headed to an available seat.

    “Excuse me.”

    “You’re fine.”

    There was dejection in her eyes, a sapphire sadness that throttled me. I wanted to climb inside and vacuum the shadows. But the back of her head was all I saw the rest of the trip, her indifferent ponytail a mute witness to my longing.

    When we exited the bus she strolled into oblivion as I stood directionless under an insurgent moon, its radiance like a shroud of solitude on my vagabond skin.

    She was wrong. I wasn’t fine.

    210 words

  32. The Sleepers, of that Place, that Town, Dreamed, in Whole, of the Moon
    210 words

    They all, of that place, that Town, dreamed, in bits, but whole, of the Moon.

    Each night, each person, lulled to sleep, then lifted, to the Moon; home from home, a second life, just as tiring, just as full; each dreamer a single bit of a total whole, and, they said, a vision, they said, of the glorious human future.

    At first, the collusion of dreams; tentative steps in spacesuits, snatches of silvered light and Earthrise. Then, the collective unconscious; titanium and graphene became domes and stations, houses and temples. Soon after, dreammeld; terraformed air, politics, sleaze, entertainments, committees. They all, of that place, that Town, would wake with lunar grains between their toes.

    And in the real of that place, that Town, streets glared, then fell monochrome in blinks, and suitcases stacked as high as cathedrals, inside each; circuses. And buildings had limbs, animals graffitied, and trees sang repentant hymns in scrapyards. And the sea drank itself, and the wind made laws, and with each pet T-Rex that wailed in failed museums all hopes died, each gun crumbled, and plants shone bright with the green of life.

    And each day, each person, of that place, that Town, longed for sleep again, longed for dry seas, small steps and tranquillity.

  33. Strange the Moonlight Shines
    210 words

    The full moon glowed like a giant gas lamp, chasing indigo shadows into corners. Lavinia halted. Her corset squeezed, her boots pinched, and her valise was too heavy.

    Grandmama’s card had said, Have the adventure of a lifetime! Hope Street and Mount, midnight, October 1, 1888.

    Grandmama had won the card at a carnie show years ago. “I’ll never make it to ’88,” she had said. “You must go, Vinnie.”

    A tower of valises teetered on the corner. Vinnie hoisted hers atop the others. Moonlight pelted down with unnatural strength, like a limelight.

    “This is ridiculous, Grandmama,” Vinnie murmured. “There’s nothing here.” Anxious sweat beaded on her forehead.

    The moonlight grew hot and unbearable. Lavinia felt herself melting, separating, changing.
    Flesh-and-blood woman faded into ghostly apparition, and Lavinia vanished into the night.


    After a violent, falling rush, Lavinia alighted on solid ground. The valises remained beside her, but they had all been turned to stone.

    “Look!” called a slurry voice. “A ghost! Inna costume! By the suitcase sculpture! I gotta get it on my Instagram.” Two men stumbled down the street in strange attire, loose shirts with barely any sleeves. They carried glowing objects that rivaled the moonlight.

    The full moon grinned down on Lavinia with a trickster’s glee.

  34. Remaining Possessions

    202 words

    The concrete apron thonged with people.
    “Essentials only!”
    The call was constant and, at the back of the queue, had been heard dozens of times. Every pound of luggage taken aboard was one that couldn’t be used for a passenger. Still, it’s difficult to abandon some things.
    “But these were my—“
    “Ma’am, you can stay with them if you wish.”
    The woman dropped the case and looked towards the line of rockets fearfully, as if she expected them to start lifting off right now.
    “We’ll get new ones on the moon. I promise,” her husband said.
    She nodded, but didn’t look away from the transport to safety.
    The queues moved forward slowly.
    In the distance a series of dull crumps lifted columns of smoke into the air. Everyone stopped and looked. Pandemonium broke out, urgent rushing to get aboard as the battle moved closer.
    Finally everyone was done, and doors were sealed. The rockets lifted in a slow ripple, right to left. Dense clouds of exhaust steam washed over abandoned possessions, tumbling them across the concrete, sundering the last of their value.
    The roar of escape died away and for a moment there was silence. Then there was the crump of mortars.


  35. To the Moon!
    201 words

    Before I knew what I wanted, I wished for a man who would give me the moon.

    The trunks were packed, sitting on the Hope Street curb, waiting for the taxi to transport us to the airport. Destination: somewhere warm and tropical – with plenty of sun, surf, and adult beverages. This hasty vacation, and the ring, were the culmination of the whirlwind romance which completely overwhelmed my 20-something sensibilities.

    Oh…the delicious irony embedded in that street sign! Love is not only blind, but deaf, dumb and stupidly idealistic.

    He didn’t mention the illegally-obtained diamonds or the three pounds of uncut coke he slipped in my luggage, nor did he mention the carefully concealed arsenal hidden throughout his clothing. That whole ‘international smuggler/drug lord’ thing must have slipped his mind…

    Unfortunately, the DEA, Interpol, and the full dozen corpses left in the wake of his escape attempt tell very convincing stories to both Judge and Jury…

    And this is how I found myself on the moon: a cold, sterile bubble of Plexiglas housing the terraformed ecosystem of the new off-world penal colony affectionately nicknamed ‘Hotel California.’ You go to the moon. You NEVER leave.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  36. Foy
    Word count: 204


    They’re coming.
    My Luminous Lover, how steadfast you’ve been! I remember at eternity’s inception, marveling over your bloodless birth. A gift from the All-being–“it is not right for you to be alone”–you were my Adam.
    We danced, making love on that inky void. And when they came, waking from a clay-slumber, we loved them, didn’t we?

    They were our children, worshipping my womb and praising your light. From mute animality they grew smooth and tall. Their fingers, once for scavenging, curled around the pen and they wrote songs for us in every tongue. We loved them.

    How imperceptibly it changed. The tickle of their presence transmuted into a pinch, to a penetration, to a pain. In latency they hid their harm, until, opportunistic, their illness took hold. Captivated by their infinitesimal wonders, we ignored the symptoms, the fever, the dehydration; and our children became my disease.

    Now you mourn my fading. Locked in infinite orbit, you can no more tear your glowing eye away than you could sponge the light of the sun from your handsome face. Cursed Sentinel, you watch your Eve to the last.

    Are you afraid, Love? They are strong and have packed their bags.

    They’re coming for you.

  37. Fly Me to the Moon

    My sister disappeared last Friday.

    According to Calvin, our news anchor, people across the globe were leaving en masse off our disheveled, useless toxic planet to the Moon.

    Violence soon broke out across the country and traveled through the airwaves to our front door.

    Outside, small cities of suitcases appeared outside of entryways.

    Loudspeakers rose above cacophonous voices: “Leave all of your suitcases. They will be transported in a separate vehicle.”

    Anne sprung off the couch and raced out the door as if she were about to chase the ice cream truck.

    “Wait a second. I’m still packing. Are you sure you want to go?”

    But she had already melted into the mass of hope.

    Orange mechanical animals kept swallowing people until there were no more. Nothing remained but the luggage packed with symbols and memories.

    It’s been almost a week now and the luggage still sits outside of entryways and sidewalks, waiting for pick up.

    A fine gray dusty rain started last night and the sun no longer shines during the day.

    It is becoming more difficult to do more than sit in front of a silent TV. I’ll go when the luggage trucks come. I’ll find my sister waiting for me in the Moon.

    Word Count: 206

  38. A Gesture of Compassion

    208 words

    The moon brought with it its own madness; an incessant dome-bound claustrophobia beneath which its inhabitants watched teasing stars pointing their sparkling faces towards Earth; a line of light they christened Hope Street.

    Sometimes one of them would stand, bags packed, in the departure lounge, ready to take that road back home, and others would watch on enviously, wondering how long it would take for their own rehabilitation.

    Captain Fairweather cast an eye over his list. It was still too long and supplies were getting short. He chose six names.

    “Isn’t that too many?” asked his aide.

    “Actually, it’s not enough,” said the Captain. “But I don’t want any awkward questions.”

    He stamped ‘Pardoned’ against each one whilst his aide alerted the cook to some new deliveries.

    The chosen few watched their luggage disappear towards the loading bay.

    “Why all of us?” asked Mack.

    “President’s birthday. A gesture of his compassion,” said Bill. “Obviously heard what we had to eat too, took pity.”

    “Yeah, saw the menu for tonight, should be his birthday more often. Makes me almost want to stay,” said Mack.

    But none of them looked back as they were led through the door marked ‘Departures’ to be processed. Meat was definitely back on the menu.

  39. The stalker

    Let me watch over you.
    I see you searching for my torch in the night, in wonder, in awe, perhaps even in fear.
    Please don’t fear me. I’d never harm you.
    You know I’ll always be there, faithful to you alone.
    I can’t live with you, but neither can I live without you, so I have to stalk you.
    You have understood and forgiven me.
    I look forward to seeing your flashing eyes and hearing the murmur of your breathing.
    Your beauty is stunning. I admire your patchwork dress and your flowing waves.
    I love you.
    I miss you.
    I wish I were still with you, still part of you, as I used to be, as I was meant to be.
    I cannot come to you yet, although you have visited me, on occasions.
    You think little of me, because you consider me ugly and barren, and I am, compared to you.
    But remember this; we were together once and you loved me, until we were torn apart.
    I long for the day you will take up your suitcases, renew your hope in me, and bring life to my lonely planet.
    You will come and I will be waiting, Earthlings.

    200 words.

  40. word Count 210


    The family had been hit with the pretty stick but were twisted in personality or had weird tendencies. Sylvia, the prettiest one escaped all this, her affliction was innocence.
    Mother was vain, a beauty, reveled in it. Her latest acquisition a fur coat and she’s auditioning local artists for the privilege of capturing her wondrous body enveloped in it. Father had no issues with his wife’s wiles as been a fabulous looking man had admirers of his own.
    George, cherubic looking had the devil in him. He reveled in others misery, Sylvia was fairly safe right now as George and Alicia were conspiring to get rid of Nanny who Mother hired because she was ugly to show them that not everyone was as lucky looks-wise.
    I’m the oldest cursed with a brain, can’t wait to pack my suitcase and escape. I watch as George and Alicia are busy overturning potted plants telling Sylvia there looking for worms but she must do it in the grass. Sylvia unaware of their bullying she’s a moon chaser, a star gazer, her address Hope St.
    I’m unaware mother is watching me. She can’t understand my love of books and disinterest in my appearance. “Georgia” she mutters. “I’ll never get you married.” “Good” says Father.

  41. When We Go
    199 words

    It was our last night on Earth. We watched the people passing, so fancy for the Symphony. I remember the sign read Hope Street and the lights were brighter than stars. You held my hand, and we flew down the street, thin jackets in the cold night air.

    “Look, the Moon!” someone shouted, and we all looked up. It was a full moon that night, a round face wrapped in the clouds.

    Now here we are. This is just the first step along the way. I can see Mars from here. I can see the oceans of Europa, the Oort cloud wrapped around us. We are going out there. We will nudge the frozen comets toward the distant cinder of the sun.

    “Now boarding.” You take my hand, and I feel the warm tug of the earth, the smell of basil in the summer rain. The aromatics have been turned on, in case of nostalgia. Through the station windows, the faces of those left behind.

    “Look at the Moon,” and we all looked up. You promised me the future, then, slipped a silver circle on my finger. A cloud like a dragon was holding the Moon, a pearl between its claws.

  42. Mark Morris:

    Restart – 201 words

    Jessamyn followed his gaze, her eyes settling on the huge disk in the sky; a world filled with memories, some happy and some sad.

    “It was for the best,” Darryl urged, his voice insistent and urgent. “We had to come here. There was nothing else we could do.”

    She nodded, grim-faced. “I know, but…” Her face turned downward and she fell silent, the unspoken words ringing out loud in both their heads. It’d been a hard decision to make and eventually the choice had made itself, the Gene Police sweeping through the few remaining settlements, pushing survivors into shuttle-ships, the fertile and the viable being given no choice; the perpetuation of the species their uppermost priority. Nobody had been warned, they’d been ruthless like that. Everybody here had just been taken. No arguments. The taser-equipped defence forces shot first and left the chosen to ask their questions later.

    The two of them stood together, shoulder-to-shoulder now, coupled by necessity. “I only wish…” Jess began again, haltingly, hugging the small leather-bound valise to her chest. “My daughter, Grace. She never got this. She never had a chance…”

    The dying planet above them said nothing. The moon would have to be kinder.

  43. *** SPAM *** Lunar Realty Inc – Special offer
    210 words (so my machine says)

    Subject: *** SPAM *** Lunar Realty Inc – Special Offer
    To: FlashFridayWriterGroup@dragonylairofcadbuy.com
    From: admin@lunalandgrab.com


    Do NOT delete or skim.

    This is not spam. It is a story with a start, middle and end. It is the story of your future and what a future it is.

    The beginning starts like every Friday, you sit down, look at the prompts. Cry. Eat chocolate. Drink. Write. Read. You get this mail. Somehow you don’t delete it. Somehow, you believe.

    Then you take a chance. You ignore your pending dreams packed in locked bags marked for Hope Street. You take charge of your future. You click the link and invest in Moon Plots.

    Then, for a couple of decades, you sit and look at the sneering silver face in the night-time sky.

    Eventually, you forget about your purchase.

    But then a test case in the High Court. You paid for your plot in good faith. Nobody else has made a claim and now private companies are mining it.

    You make it rich. So rich, you can buy a ticket to visit you plot and laugh at the Earth in the night sky. Bwahahahahaha.

    All yours for £100, $150 (or Bitcoin if you’re feelin’ frisky).

    Click the link – you won’t regret it.

  44. Title: Stuff
    Words: 209

    “It’s just stuff, Carla. We can get more.”

    “Just stuff? If you had stopped and asked for directions like I told you, then we wouldn’t have had to leave all our stuff on that abandoned road on Asteroid 5! We started with plenty of fuel to get to the moon! I could’ve at least kept one bag, Bill!”

    “I’m not going to keep arguing with you. Everything had to go. We couldn’t keep the weight on the ship and make it to the moon.”

    Carla crossed her arms and stared out the window. The moon was supposed to be a magical vacation and she had planned a magnificent surprise. Of course the surprise was now wrapped neatly in one of the bags on Hope Street on Asteroid 5.

    Carla thought about the un-woken baby in the bag. She had special ordered it so it had Bill’s eyes and her teeth. It had come packaged complete with a ribbon and Carla dreamed of seeing Bill’s reaction when they activated it together on the moon. But there would be no surprise, no activation, and no baby to bring home. Just stuff, Bill had said. But to Carla, it was the hopes of a future with a family abandoned by the roadside.