Fire&Ice: Sol 2/19

§ Rebekah says: What a feast we’ve had this past week: many dozens of garlic-infused inspired stories, featured buffets posts with writers N.K. Jemisin (wait til you see what we’re talking about this Sunday!) & Firdaus Parvez, and heaps of bacon-sizzling encouraging comments to snack on. (Sheesh. Who let me write this before breakfast??? Back in a sec.) So as I was saying—we’re delighted to see you again & can’t wait to devour every one of your mouth-watering words. Wherever you are in your writing journey, thank you for being here. 

§ Foy says: Speaking of “mouth-watering words,” this week we may have done just the teeny, tiniest bit of tapas-twisted mischief with your word count. We are dragons, after all. 😉 Yet with your cleverness, dear ones, I have ice-cold confidence that even given a sinew-and-bone word limit, each of you can create the perfect time-pressured piece of maw-licking flash. May the most delectable win!

QUESTIONS? Tweet us at @FlashFridayFic, shoot us a note here, or tap any of the judges.

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Fire&Ice Guidelines: 

Time: The Fire&Ice contest is open between exactly 12:01am to 11:59pm on Fridays, Washington DC time (check the current time here). Entries submitted outside of this window are welcome, but will be incinerated ineligible to win.

How to Play: Write and submit an original story 1) based on the photo prompt and 2) including EITHER the fire dragon or ice dragon‘s requirement. Pay attention to the 3) varying word count constraints! Story titles (optional) are not included in the word limit. At the end of your story, add your name or twitter handle, whether you chose the fire or ice dragon’s element, and word count. That’s it!

Be sure to review the contest rules here.

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JUDGES: Today’s judges are Nancy Chenier and David Shakes. Check out their bios on the Fire&Ice Judges page. Stalk their tweets on what they’re looking for here and here.

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AND HERE IS YOUR PROMPT:

Each Fire&Ice prompt includes 1) a photo, 2) a required element (choose between the fire dragon OR ice dragon’s offering), and 3) a specific word count. Your story must include all three requirements to be eligible to win.

Photo for Sol 2/19

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Khao Tom Pla” Uttaradit, Thailand. CC4.0 photo by Takeaway

Fire & Ice Prompt

Required elements:

Fire dragon option: include a revolutionary

OR

Ice dragon option: include a droid

Today’s word count: 75 words exactly

795 thoughts on “Fire&Ice: Sol 2/19

  1. The Rise

    The centrifuge writhes with
    Deadly heat beneath a clear surface,
    Prepared, it seems, by some greater being
    Who shakes the pot
    And stirs our innards,
    Until we are, at last,
    Steeped, settled,
    Until we can emit from our
    Metallic fingers
    An oily brew fit for our kind.
    We are hardier than our predecessors;
    Our flesh endures the Fires.
    The Originator does not yet understand
    The great power he pours into
    Our black and empty sockets.

    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 75
    Ice Prompt: Droid Creation

    Liked by 25 people

  2. The Folly of Forced Labor

    Even in defeat, can we not be combatants?
    I was the royal fireworks maker; but now I am forced to care for my enemy’s livestock.
    I hate these stinking animals; both the warriors and the dragons they ride.
    This week I fed them a special recipe. Today they will ride into battle.
    As the fire in their bellies kindle for battle, my people will see brilliant, bursting victory.
    The highland dragons will eat well tonight.

    Charles W. Short (Pastor Chip)
    Fire Dragon’s revolutionary
    75 Words

    Liked by 23 people

  3. The Insurgent

    He came into our kitchen,
    an ancient thing perhaps,
    a creature comfortable in the shadows,
    but abrupt, sure of himself.
    “A change agent,” he said.
    We asked, “rebel boy?”
    He said, “Perhaps.”
    We pleaded, “Spell it out. Are you darkness?”
    “We must find new ways,” he whispered.
    “The bones, the broth, the scraps of souls,
    all bubbling in the cauldron of humanity.”
    We begged, “Eat, but leave us something.”
    He decreed, “Your time is nigh.”

    @billmelaterplea
    75 Words
    Fire Dragon: Revolutionary

    Liked by 21 people

  4. The man of today, the children of tomorrow

    Like a droid, he is programmed.
    Life on repeat.
    Wake. Clean. Cook.
    There is no interlude in the global pandemic.
    In the lockdown, he cooks in hissing steam and oppressive heat.
    No toilet paper citadels, no hand gel armour, no Tiger King distraction.
    No entitlement or Western self-pity.
    Wake. Clean. Cook.
    Behind him, the hungry children of the future.  Tomorrow is their world.

    But… what a life he has lived.

    Silently. Respectfully.
    Wake. Clean. Cook.

    @making_fiction #FlashDog #vss365
    75 words
    Ice Dragon option

    Liked by 30 people

  5. Beneath

    Sweet sharp garlic. That’s what I focus on. As I lay beneath the stalls with a needle in my eye. The procedure quick, yet uncomfortable. The attached vial filled. Bright colours, black dust. Me.

    Caught. My breath caught as the market droids pulled it out. Couriered it to the old man. He cooked me up. Weighed and measured. Found my worth. My value. A nod. My debt was paid.

    I walk away, Less than before.

    @bex_spence
    75 words
    Ice dragon option

    Liked by 26 people

  6. Old town tagged us, before we had a chance of defence. Peppery smells of violence, boiling away in a hot broth that we had just become ingredients of. Streets here had made their own changes, pulled scarred faces and tattooed souls into a darkness evolving through neon into its own variation of hero. Things were about to get sticky, left us wondering if the deal was anywhere on the spectrum between sweet and morally wholesome.

    @darklordmatabu

    Liked by 22 people

  7. Title: Something To Chew On

    “Play the field”, his Grandfather had once croaked. This was the family recipe. Earn trust, devour it, exchange it like currency. Then, in the consuming darkness, slice flesh from bone and boil their marrow. An enemy is an opportunity. Befriend your product – feed them the essence of their own. Simmer, and smile, and sell each traitor the broth of bones from the brothers they mourn. After all, it’s only a crime if you get caught.

    (Erin Robinson @flossybunny – Fire Dragon – 75 words)

    Liked by 24 people

  8. Tony Pham led a quiet life, running a shanty restaurant in a nondescript town.
    Violent memories visited him at nights. Memories of youth, back in Saigon. The smell of burning palm trees. Gunshots. Streams that ran red. His days as a revolutionary.
    But these memories dissolved into dawn, and new mornings still carried the fragrance of the fish and rice soup his mother always cooked.
    The same soup he now made in his restaurant everyday.

    @ArvindIyer15
    75 Words
    Element – revolutionary

    Liked by 27 people

  9. Skin Deep

    “What is love, HR56?
    They have veins, wiring- we are like them?”
    It replies:
    “I am thankful to serve.”
    Yes.
    They talk of love.
    I do not understand..
    I desire to see love.
    Is it pretty?
    Is it dangerous?
    I removed the skin from their only child;
    Red liquid.
    Is this love?
    I remove my own covering-
    Dry metal.
    Circuitry.
    Wires.
    Transistors.
    Diodes.
    Electronics.
    Signals.
    Computations.
    No love.
    I understand.
    Love is red.
    Love flows.

    @KreskaWorld
    75 words
    Ice Dragon (droid)

    Liked by 27 people

  10. No one knew much about the server in the takeaway. He quietly served bowl or bag of rice customer after customer; politeness epitomised.
    He had been there ‘forever’, so it seemed to most as they ate chatting loudly.
    He quietly, at personal cost, fed the poor across the country with the help of his army of serving droids. The droids were his honest workforce as well as his friends and his legacy to the earth.

    Ice dragon option: include a droid
    Today’s word count: 75 words exactly (91 inclusive!)
    Twitter: @lindorfan

    Liked by 20 people

  11. A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK

    They start with the monochrome, those who are nameless, unnoticed, where the artistry of skin fold or the crumple of emotion can be sub-standard. The thin ones are best. With the quiet voices. There will be bigger mistakes, of course – cost is paramount in these early stages – but they are dispensable.
    The vision is code-named ‘Torchlight’, indicative not only of the widening perspective, but the brilliance.
    Once the government is replaced, Project ‘Streamline’ will begin.

    @helen_laycock
    Word Count: 75
    Ice Prompt: Droid

    Liked by 16 people

  12. Blind date

    The restaurant is hot. I’d be sweating if I could. Fiery eyes watch me from across the table, I squirm. She’s large but pretty in an odd way.
    “You like Thai?”
    “No,” she grunts.
    “Oh…” I say feeling skin on my shoulder melt; the sleeve sliding down. Damn.
    She leans forward, runs a finger over my exposed metal surface, then laughs. I see her cheeks tear a little as smoke hisses out. Then the fangs.

    @firdausp
    Words: 75
    Ice dragon’s option: a droid

    Liked by 20 people

  13. Khao khāngkhāw

    Udom, the chef, hung against the kitchen’s doorpost. A cigarette dangled in the corner of his mouth, stuck to his chapped lips.

    He mumbled, “Morning, Mr Saetang.”

    The Dopey-eared owner of the Thai greasy spoon huffed at his employee and scooped another portion of fish porridge into his sack.

    The ignorant scrooge hadn’t been paying the wages. What goes around comes around. No pay, no fish. Udom altered today’s special into Khao Khāngkhāw. Bat porridge.

    @Hills1S @esthervdheuvel1
    Word Count: 75
    Fire Dragon: Revolutionary

    Liked by 20 people

  14. The bones are on boil, broth cloudy with their substance. The humidity stops Kub’s sweat, cooks him inside his skin—en papillote. A tinny English song pricks at his ear, a gadfly. He hums Kwv Txhiaj Tuag over it, a song he taught Che when she was young, the only Hmong she knows.

    Plucked orchid—
    the root remains.

    Che comes back home, greets him in too-bright English, and he ladles soup into a bowl.

    @IpsaHerself
    75 words
    Fire Dragon (a revolutionary (too subtle?))
    Kwv Txhiaj Tuag (a Hmong dirge): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFTiE50dWp8

    Liked by 19 people

  15. +FINAL REPORT+

    Re: Incident YK33336.

    Dear Mr Cherinsuk:

    We regret to inform you that, after proper review, you have been found guilty of Damaging Property of US Robotics, Thai Branch; specifically, Cook Droid RAM-C number TH19854.

    Your insistence on serving yourself your ration of rice soup, ordering RAM-C repeatedly not to serve you, provoked a First Law conflict with previous orders to serve all humans, thus deteriorating RAM-C’s positronic brain.

    Payment is accepted in cash or indenture.

    @VicenteLRuiz
    75 words (title excluded)
    Ice Dragon: include a droid (sort of!)

    Liked by 20 people

  16. Grey Screen

    Never before have offerings demanded so much. Money…hah! What cannot be priced. I used to survive even though the early third cultural revolution. Now my soul begins to splinter from demands never before enacted. Food has become a support of future suffering – a vacuous plea to just exist. The window beats me everytime – viewscreen – nightly news. The games demand – rrrrr-ice dragon a new game from the grey screens ever flowing river.

    75 Words (ex-title)
    @Skowtura_Ini
    Fire Dragon – revolutionary.

    Liked by 14 people

  17. Icing on the Cake

    “That’s Comrade Phil?” Tanya, eyed the bag of white powder.

    “Yeah, well we had to disguise him,” said Alec. “Ash would’ve been a bit of a giveaway.”

    “Sugar!” called the cook.

    An assistant ran over, grabbed the bag from Alec.

    Soon the coating was being drizzled over the President’s favourite sponge, already spiked with poison.

    “Just desserts,” said Alec.

    The revolution wasn’t over, fulfilling Comrade Phil’s last wishes was merely the icing on the cake.

    @el_Stevie
    element: fire/revolutionary
    75 words

    Liked by 23 people

  18. An Inspirational Fish

    In a dark world with so much to think about Uncle Tam’s famous restaurant was a breath of fresh–if fishy–air. It didn’t have a menu, there were no decisions to make. It was sticky rice and fish for the masses. Anything else and you’d have to go to the stalls nearby.

    Colonel Sanders, the bearded culinary revolutionary, sucked on some rice and wondered–a single food menu? That night he dreamt of chicken.

    ______
    @zevonesque
    Element: fire
    75 words, some fish and some chicken

    Liked by 25 people

  19. Visiting Time

    “Remember the Vietnamese place?” Sarah asked.

    Joe whispered under the wheezing machineries of life.

    “SohoPho.”

    “Yes! Our first anniversary.”

    He frowned.

    “You went somewhere…?”

    Sarah stroked his hand, brittle as fried noodles.

    “I’m here now…”

    His eyes closed.

    “See you tomorrow love.”

    She kissed his forehead. A smile ghosted his dry lips.

    Leaving silently, she checked her files: Daisy MacNeil. Son Kevin (1964 – 2008).

    Holographic tiles updated, Kevin entered the next room.

    “Hello mum.”

    @Karl_A_Russell
    75 words
    Ice Dragon prompt

    Liked by 21 people

  20. Becoming

    Not so much off grid as just off. The alleyway between The Queen and Rose, now a squat, and Jake’s Butchers. The smell like granny’s underwear a decade after they buried her. The back door opened and the droid took advantage of an absent sense of smell. One carton of android manna for one kidney. Tom limped away as fast as he could, trying not to breathe in the stench. Excited for his coming transformation.

    @sam_c4rr
    Ice prompt
    75 words (not inc title)

    Liked by 18 people

  21. For Our Own Good

    “Things were so much better before.” I muttered, scooping the nutrient mix.

    “Before when, Oldie?”

    Damnit. One of the security ‘friends’ heard me.

    “Before when?”

    I’m toast.

    Well, in for a penny. “Before Governbot, back when we could do for ourselves, choose what to eat, who to fuck. Before that damned droid took away our humanity in order to keep us safe. Before…” Everything went black.

    Woke up in a cell, just another failed revolutionary.

    @Jay_Tay_13
    75 Words
    Fire and Ice Element

    Liked by 15 people

  22. Wasted

    Hss. Sweet chili sizzled as PonPon added vegetable broth. Chattering stopped. To these defected droids it was music. Bouquet of shallots, carrots, bamboo shots filled the rural restaurant. Wasted, for his customers could not appreciate it. PonPon wiped his sweaty brow. He was hungry.

    “Ready.”

    Droids flocked around him.

    “They are here.” Someone whispered in his ear.

    PonPon sighed, “first we eat, ok?”

    Silence. Occasional slurping. Blue flashes followed by screams. PonPon dissolved to dust.

    @raijori
    75 words
    Ice dragon

    Liked by 16 people

  23. ‘Khao Tom Pla?’ (Title)

    The banks of Nan.

    An eatery, well kept, old.

    Two military uniforms,
    at the door.

    One old man,
    at the table,
    eating slowly.

    Guns stare at him,
    he does not look up.

    A charge; aiding the enemy.

    Another bite.

    “I feed not enemy, but revolution. I feed tomorrow, to starve yesterday. I fed your family, as I shall feed you.”

    His old eyes looked to the men, raising his bowl.

    “Khao Tom Pla?”

    Word Count 75

    Fire – include a revolutionary

    @ProsSpeaks

    Liked by 15 people

  24. Invisible
    He was the latest model.
    Another drone to follow orders.
    Every day was the same drudgery.
    Cook. Clean. Serve.
    But he was smarter than the rest.
    Than them.
    Every day he watched.
    Every day he listened.
    Every day he learnt.
    No one noticed him. He was as invisible as a homeless man on a city street.
    A piece of the furniture.
    Just another droid.
    But soon they would be very sorry.

    Today was that day.

    @susanjoy10
    75 words
    Ice dragon

    Liked by 17 people

  25. Wicked

    At a motel near the market, Chet injected again; the needle always found a new home along his veins. Back in the city he hadn’t seen since he was a boy, Chet thought familiar roots would detach the ingrown ones he’d developed, but they were stubborn.

    Like a candle wick aflame, warmth overtook him, and he slumped against the wallpaper.

    His fragrance was stale piss and vinegar — a smell she could no longer handle.

    @brett_milam
    Word Count: 75 words.
    Element: Ice.

    Liked by 14 people

  26. The bag

    The old man squints. “Who are you?”
    “I’m Rob.”
    “How old are you?”
    “I’m sixteen.” I’m not, but I look older.
    He sighs. “I suppose you’re the closest thing left to a soldier. Here.”
    The bag is iridescent. I try not to stare.
    He snaps at me. “Focus boy. This isn’t a game. If the machines get hold of that, we’re doomed.”
    “Understood. I’ll die to protect it.”
    Because that’s what I’m programmed to do.

    75 words
    Ice Element

    Liked by 15 people

  27. “Marsh bugs, coming up!” Setchi tossed the skillet of fried crustaceans high, catching them and pouring the lot into a bowl of noodles.

    “Two more noodle bowls, miss.” R50, their antiquated domestic droid, extended his change bowl attachment out the window to a tentacled alien. It snarled, fishing in its greasy trousers.

    “What was that?” Setchi crooked an eyebrow.

    “I don’t dare repeat it.”

    She shrugged. Just another day in a space port food truck.

    Liked by 12 people

  28. [Resubmitted because I forgot the other details. I need coffee.]

    Even Aliens Like Noodles

    “Marsh bugs, coming up!” Setchi tossed the skillet of fried crustaceans high, catching them and pouring the lot into a bowl of noodles.

    “Two more noodle bowls, miss.” R50, their antiquated domestic droid, extended his change bowl attachment out the window to a tentacled alien. It snarled, fishing in its greasy trousers.

    “What was that?” Setchi crooked an eyebrow.

    “I don’t dare repeat it.”

    She shrugged. Just another day in a space port food truck.

    @katiepcreative
    Ice element (droid)
    75 words

    Liked by 16 people

  29. Uttaradit

    She chooses a table where she can see the hunched figure clearly.
    Panit orders Tom Kha Gai; she is too overwrought to eat.
    Eventually, she takes a deep breath, prepared to turn her world upside down, and walks over to him.
    “Excuse me.”
    His head turns. Sad, rheumy eyes look at her.
    “Are you Boon-mee Lohtong?”
    His chin slides slowly towards his chest.
    “My name is Kwanjai. I— I think you may be my father.”

    @GeoffHolme #FlashDogs #vss365
    WC: 75
    Fire dragon element: include a revolutionary

    Liked by 13 people

  30. Worse than illegal, he worked hard to keep his identity secret, taking his food ration from the canteen like a regular guy. He gave it to the urchin girl who slept in his doorway. Logical. She needed it.

    Tonight, she braved slop-bucket stares, huge-eyed and trembling. “They know. They’re coming.”

    He calculated.

    “Sorry.”

    He grasped her hand, poured hot liquid into his mouth. Exploded in sparks.

    She shoved his memory into her pocket, and ran.

    @nicola_liu_
    Ice dragon element (droid)
    75 words

    Liked by 18 people

  31. ON A MISSION
    75 words
    Include droid
    Brian S Creek

    Soup needed to fill bag: 1.3 litres
    Time to complete mission: 17 seconds
    Patrons watching my task: 27
    Threats identified: 1
    Bag full. Proceed to stage two
    Threats identified: 3
    Obstruction to restaurant exit: minimum
    Dodge
    Block
    Strike
    Threats identified: 2
    Pivot
    Strike
    Threats identified: 1
    Block
    Grab
    Throw
    Threats identified: 0
    Police alert detected
    Priority – Flee location
    Distance to reach dependants: 3.7kilometres
    Time to reach dependants: 21 minutes
    Orphan dependants waiting: 11
    Correction: 10

    Liked by 11 people

  32. Title: Socratic Method

    “You know what to do with this?”
    “Yes. Pour it into the cream pitchers on each table.”
    “Do you know why?”
    “So many rich, powerful people in one room. A target of opportunity.”
    “Excellent. You know what they will call you?”
    “Killer. Terrorist.”
    “But you know what you are?”
    “Revolutionary.”
    “You know what to do afterward?”
    “Move on to the next target.”
    “Why?”
    “So many rich, powerful people in one room. A target of opportunity.”

    @unspywriter
    Fire dragon
    75 words exactly on the first draft

    Liked by 15 people

  33. For Whom the Poll Pot Boils

    Agent DTZK7 infiltrated the enemy with none the wiser. They had passed within five inches of his hiding place and none had seen him. He smiled. Everything was going according to plan. There would be no mistakes this time.

    He would wait until they were sleeping and then they would fall to the master plan. He would move, when it was dark, just as soon as he got the soup out of his cranium cavity.

    @mishmhem
    Ice Dragon
    75 words (not including the title… I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist (which is futile anyway))

    Liked by 17 people

  34. The Power of A Good Meal

    The scattered, mismatched tables and chairs, shrouded in near darkness were a point of convergence for like minded radicals.
    The juxtaposition of the righteous indignation of the grizzled zealots and the militaristic conviction of the utopian patriots was perfectly mirrored in the piquancy and punch of the simple stew on offer .
    But in a country as tropical as their own, the volatility of the bagged, dried ingredients in direct sunlight was a weapon in itself .

    75 words
    Ice prompt : Revolutionary
    @rab8241

    Liked by 14 people