Fire&Ice: Sol 6/19

§ Rebekah says: Sol 6 marks us as about 1/3 of the way (!) through this Fire&Ice venture, and what an adventure it’s been! We’ve said this a lot, but omgoodness what a joy it is seeing the community explode back into life for this little while. Thank you! -On a personal note, the fires and smoke out this way haven’t yet yielded. Dirt blankets our tomatoes and sidewalks and lungs. How grateful I am to those continuing to battle the flames! There is, as ever, much to pray for in this world—but there’s also much to be grateful for. I can’t wait to read your stories. ♥

§ Foy says: Autumn sneaked in here (now I have frost on my scales AND my basil—note to self: HARVEST!), and with her she brings pies delights and challenges alike. For those of you proximate to the beast called School—attending it, teaching it, or working around it—please know we’re right there with you, juggling and gluing and glittering. One day at a time, no? ♥ Speaking of delights, we’ve gone a little less drakeonian with our short-end word count, so while you’re frying up a bit of sizzling flash, I’m gonna go learn how to dehydrate basil!

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 Betsy Streeter and Karl Russell. Check out their bios on the Fire&Ice Judges page. Stalk their tweets to see what gets their judge hearts pounding 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 6

[–>For those whose phones are cutting off the details below the photo: Word count is 93 exactly; Fire/Ice choice is to include an animal or a plant.]]

Fire & Ice PromptRequired elements:

Fire dragon option: include an animal 

OR

Ice dragon option: include a plant

Today’s word count:  93 exactly 

204 thoughts on “Fire&Ice: Sol 6/19

  1. Rodental Hygiene

    I tell ya, it’s a lot easier now. COVID’s been a blessing. There’s actual space to scuttle in behind all the shoes. I mean, the only reason I ever went uptown before was to go to the Rodentist. Hiram. A specialist. Highly skilled. Knows his teeth. I mean, Holy Mother of Judas, something goes wrong, a cavity, you definitely need a pro.
    I can’t stand pain. Incisor pain. Awful. Way beyond cloves.
    Subway’s been a godsend. My relatives, and brother, do I got relatives, we all use it.
    Otherwise, life’s a rat race.

    @billmelaterplea
    Ice Dragon option: an animal
    93 words

    Liked by 15 people

  2. Beneath

    A tap of a foot, A rock of the car. The turn of a page.

    The pulse of a song. The beat of a drum. A crunch from below.

    They don’t see me. Don’t hear me. Lost in thoughts. Lost in their world.

    Don’t hear me growl. Don’t hear me grow. Tendrils punching through.

    They don’t feel. Can’t feel as I furl around her ankles. Around her size fives.

    A shiver. A shake. A final breath.

    They don’t look as I weave. As I wrap around, hold her close.

    Pull her down

    Beneath.

    bex_spence
    93 words (excluding title Beneath)
    Ice dragon option: include a plant

    Liked by 20 people

  3. I thrill to the danger of a rush hour forage: there will always be someone who has neither phone nor book and so must stare at their shoes instead. At any moment I could be detected and… I kid, of course. There is no danger. When the city descends into daily strife the presence of vermin is unremarkable, and I am the smallest of these people’s concerns. If I take nothing more than crumbs, I am tolerated; envied, even. They share their space, and their hasty breakfasts, and their baleful silence with me.

    @marshawritesit
    word count: 93
    Element: ice

    Liked by 13 people

  4. ~Memory Train~

    She makes it to the station just in time for the last night train. She’ll there for him before dawn. But there seems to be a heaviness in the air tonight. Do the others know something she doesn’t? Seems unlikely. She is the oldest one, she’s seen the others grow from little seedlings to expansive trees, shielding him, hurting him. She’s been fair to him over the years. Has he been hiding things from her? Perhaps today is the day to talk to him, and reassess her place in his garden of memories.

    @ArvindIyer15
    93 Words (excluding title)
    Ice Element – Plant

    Liked by 18 people

  5. A CHANGE OF SCENE

    It was probably not the best idea to run out on my family like that. Of course this hits me as soon as the subway pulls from the station.

    “Oh, well,” I think. “She has the kids for company.”

    I blow the hair from my eyes and turn away from the door to find a spot. There are so many people here. This would normally kill me but none are watching.

    “Maybe if I keep my eyes down?”

    Nose to the ground.

    Soon, they scream bloody murder.

    Stupid humans.

    Screaming because they KNOW…

    Fire Dragon: Animal
    93 words
    @storysmithscb

    Liked by 13 people

  6. Inhuman Traffic

    Wind whistling in just brushed manes, they thunder into the dark. Thousands of them, all focused on the task, ignorant of each other. No one an individual. Everyone an individual.

    Sweat rises, fills the air, catches in unmasked nostrils. Bodies strain against bodies, each battling for space. To breathe.

    This train they’re on will never really stop. There might be a pause, a single moment of reflection. Then on they’ll gallop, carried to their fate.

    One turns, ready to leap, to make a run from this beastly, inhuman traffic. She falters. She falls.

    Fire Dragon: Animal
    93 Words (excluding title Inhuman Traffic)
    @rjkinnarney

    Liked by 15 people

  7. Caregiver

    The sun weeps from her court in the sky
    Where the fire falls down.
    Where is my offering? she wails over the world.
    The rains shrug their slick and distant shoulders;
    The soil turns over—empty, cracked.
    The farmer removes his hat
    And the sun glares.

    You gave us light for our rows,
    But the plants are gone.
    When your flames fell too hot,
    You burned their roots
    So they had no place to stand.

    The farmer stills,
    And the sun weeps fire;
    She cannot be who she is not.

    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 93 Exactly
    Ice Dragon Prompt

    Liked by 16 people

  8. The shufflers, the clip-cloppers, the marchers, the hurtlers… daily, they paused collectively on the same platform before settling companionly in, more or less, their usual places.

    Some, still a little reticent, preferred the cross-footed embrace with their partner, but others bared their soles, sharing tribulations of scuffs and wears, their history mapped by pavements, and their dreams by atlases.

    When Old Brogues had been missing for over a week, there was consternation. Nervous toe-tapping.

    Little did they know, the polished shoes were still and cold in the hallway next to a dying begonia.

    @helen_laycock
    Word count: 93
    Ice Prompt: plant

    Liked by 16 people

  9. FIRST VISIT

    She was the only one getting off here. Not many people get off at the cemetery.

    Unless it’s a ghost train, Dad would have said.

    If he was here.

    She walked, arms tightly folded, through the gate and past years of names until she reached a plot, its earth newly broken, like her heart.

    She took a potted plant from her back-pack. A geranium. She knelt and pressed the pot gently into the earth.

    You’ve brought me a present, Dad would have said, in mock surprise. Am I ill?

    If he was here.

    93 words
    Fire prompt

    Liked by 16 people

  10. NADEZHDA

    The heat was stifling, and the fetid stench of moist armpits lingered in the underground carriage. Her reddish-brown coat protected her like a shield.
    Nadezhda hissed when someone nearly trod on one of her delicate feet. Pheromones drove her through the heart of the pathway.
    Carefully she carried her eggs and searched for a secure drop off point. A blue crocodile Hermes stood under a bench. When she reached it, the train halted abruptly, and she skidded towards the exit.
    The doors opened.

    CRACK

    “Oh, yuk! Mommy, I just stepped on a cockroach.”

    * Nadezhda was sent into Space by Russian scientists, during which she mated, and later became the first terrestrial animal to produce offspring that had been conceived in space.

    @esthervdheuvel1
    @Hills1S
    Word Count: 93
    Fire Dragon: Animal

    Liked by 15 people

  11. GOODBYE

    He was surrounded by people who had no clue. They didn’t know he had a note in his pocket. They didn’t know he had hundreds of pills at the ready on the kitchen table. He wanted to scream to get their attention. Look at me, talk to me, help me. He saw a young lady holding a bouquet of irises. He could ask her to save him. Would she be his salvation?

    He focused on those bright, colorful flowers. The opposite of his life and mind. The opposite of everything he’s ever known.

    Chris Milam
    @Blukris
    Ice element
    93 words

    Liked by 19 people

  12. The Driver | The Loop

    As a driver, she always faces the dark.
    Her train line is a loop.

    L

    p o

    o

    A snake eating its tail.
    In the sparks and the hissing, this subterranean world is alive.
    She hurtles through the belly of the snake.
    Who sits behind her steel driver’s cabin?
    Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cheats, rich, poor, young and old?
    Killers and victims?
    Strangers and secrets?
    Her thoughts
    t
    u
    m
    b
    l
    e
    in the darkness.
    She is lost, so lost, that this endless loop is comfort to her.
    But… with every loop, there is a chance of a new beginning.

    ______________________
    @making_fiction
    93 very carefully, manually counted, words
    Fire Dragon

    Liked by 16 people

  13. Eyes down as they stare at their devices, they’re oblivious to each other and us. The only sound reaching them, the voice information service.

    “Why do they not talk?”
    “I don’t believe they can without those devices, there was one who spoke into one once.”
    “You heard them?”

    “No, the 420-protector told me. Now repeat the drill again in case of the ‘tiger’ appears?
    Honestly, this invisibility potion isn’t needed for I believe I could curl up by their feet unnoticed. I am their invisible protecting wolf and I know the drill.

    Ice element: an animal, 93 words, @lindorfan

    Liked by 13 people

  14. Rush Hour Afternoon

    Summer in the city, years ago. Rush hour afternoon. We were packed in like sardines on the Red Line. A girl across from me was holding a small potted palm on her lap.

    Next stop, a man gets on carrying a box. It’s moving. I get up to offer him my seat.

    I’m holding onto the pole. I study chipped fingernail polish. The train screeches around a curve, and everyone grabs their bags and babies. What happened? There are two girls now. Two potted palms. A lobster claw pokes out of the box.

    @voimaoy
    93 words
    plant and animal

    Liked by 21 people

  15. He’d never dreamed the search for extra-terrestrial life would be so dull. Monotonous, like his daily subway trips. Repeating algorithms, fixing errors, searching hard-won absorption spectra to find someone else had taken his seat. Meeting aliens? He’d be lucky to find traces of hints of primordial bacteria, aeons away.

    He’d taken to staring at the subway floor. So he noticed the black gunk.

    Odd.

    He nearly took a sample; thought better of it.

    The gunk travelled on shoes, tracked across pavements, into homes. First contact, passing unnoticed in the trample of human feet.

    @nicola_liu_
    Animal … or is it plant?
    93 words

    Liked by 19 people

    • I love the idea of a humble first contact when all our movies portray this global-scale event. Probably yours is much closer to what it will be like. Nicely done!

      Like

      • Thanks Deborah! I wanted to show how something extraordinary can seem mundane at the same time, so we don’t notice the extraordinary thing because it’s not what we think we’re looking for. (A lot of science is enormous hours of hard work for amazing results that don’t look exciting to anyone except the researchers.) I’m glad you enjoyed it!

        Like

  16. “Test subjects are always chosen at random.”

    The last Metro carriage disengages and disappears into the Cimmerian tunnel.

    “Note the docile nature of the animals, conditioned by routine.”

    Some people look at their watches and frown.

    “Phase One: Time.”

    People ask each other what the last stop was.

    “Phase Two: Communication.”

    People stand up, faces close to the windows, puzzled.

    “Phase Three: Confusion.”

    Someone shouts that there are no other carriages.

    “Phase Four: Revelation. This is closely followed by Phase Five: Fear.”

    People panic and try to break out.

    “Open all the doors!”

    @Giacomin_Mark13
    Animal
    93

    Liked by 16 people

  17. Essential?

    I’m not learning to crotchet. No meditation, fun, or boredom for me or anyone at the poultry plant. America needs its turkey.
    We are essential. We don’t rest. We wear our yellow rubber boots, our masks. We kill, slice, process.
    The company’s doctor quarantines us for a day or two. No tests for us. America needs its turkey. We mask up. Drop our kids at day care for virtual school.
    Everything is fine.
    Just take the train. Go to work. Wear your masks. Shut your mouth. Don’t stop moving. America needs its turkey.

    @athewriter
    93 words, element: both animal and a “plant”

    Liked by 14 people

  18. Riding the Red Line into Heaven

    The sky was dreary and the workday had been drearier. Lisa grimaced as she thought of what the salty slush was going to do to her boots, but as she looked around the train, she knew she was far from alone there. Her stop approached, and she braced herself for the chill and the gloom, trudging – there was no other word for it this time of year – the three block walk to her building, through the broken front door and up the stairs. Then she heard the barking, and the sun came out.

    93 words
    @drmag00
    Animal

    Liked by 15 people

  19. Pingback: #FireIceFlash, week 6 – Project Gemini

  20. Our lives, are measured, in clicks.

    ClickClick…clack. ClickClick…clack. Staccato heartbeat of the train.

    Click…click…click…click. “What’s for dinner?” “IDK, Mexican?” “Thumbs up emoji.”

    Click. ClickClickClick. Click…fwoop…click. “I swear, these PEOPLE.”

    Snap. Fwoop. Click..clickClick……click..click..click. Fwoop. “Found this cute rubber duck on the train. r/hiddenducks #awesome #HideandSeek”

    ClickClickClick. Click. Click. Loud sniff. Click. “OMG, I can’t believe…with HER???” “How?” “You bastard, it’s OVER!”

    Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. ClickClick…clack. ClickClick…clack. Click. “As our needs have not been met, and our voices go unheard, perhaps now they will listen. This blood is on your hands, President.”

    BOOM.

    /endrant

    @p_stueber
    93 words
    Fire Dragon option (a rubber duck is animal-ish, after all)

    Liked by 11 people

  21. Picture Past

    ‘What’s that dad?’ asked little roach as he leafed through old photo albums. His sticky antennae leaving green slimy traces.
    Daddy roach tapped a leg, gesturing for the kid to hop on, ‘These are humans son. I remember your mum took this one when we first started dating.’ He looked wistfully out of the window. ‘They used these huge carts to cram together from here to there were they worked like ants.’
    Kid roach pulled a face, ‘But why dad?’
    Dad shook his head, ‘We’ll never know son. There’s none left. Not one’

    Fire element. 93 words
    @sam_c4rr

    Liked by 12 people

  22. Retribution

    Red Dragon’s fire licked and flicked at the torn edges of his conscience—as rhythmic steel chanted.

    Re-mem-ber. Re-mem-ber.

    In his pocket, the memory smouldered.
    Red dragon taunting ‘Do you think of them?’
    How could he not? Their faces burning through his shirt—charcoal fingers clawing at the fabric.
    Red Dragon mocking ‘You’ll never be free.’
    Eyes leaking embers he shrank into his seat, drawing in his limbs, wrapping his coat tightly around him.

    Smothering them.

    Red Dragon’s blistering laugh—echoing.
    ‘I will devour you—as you devoured them.’

    @brittlewindowz
    Word Count: 93
    Fire Dragon: Animal

    Liked by 15 people

  23. Bea Yourself

    “One, two . . .”

    “Bea, sit down.”

    “. . . buckle my shoe.”

    “I said sit down.”

    “Three, four . . .”

    “Bea, I swear to God . . .”

    “. . . shut the door.”

    “You are stepping on these people’s toes! Sit down!”

    “Five, six . . .”

    “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. BEA!”

    ” . . . pick up sticks.”

    “Now look what you did! Put those apples back in that man’s bag and sit down!”

    “Oooh, a puppy! Mommy, there’s a puppy! Can I have a puppy?”

    “No.”

    “One, two . . .”

    “BEATRICE!”

    “ . . . buckle my shoe.”

    @UK_MJ
    Fire Dragon: Include an animal
    93 words

    Liked by 12 people

  24. Promotion Chances

    It was a simple instruction. Keep your feet on the ground at all times. Do that and you were a shoe-in for promotion. Jimmy Choos, dreamed Gaby. It was in the bag. Gucci. She had expensive tastes.

    “How can this be an endurance test?” she asked.

    “Enclosed space,” said Colin. “After lunch. Ben’s had beans, Carrie had that tuna.”

    “Nah, that’s not it,” said Gaby. “We’ve worked together long enough, got herd immunity.”

    She saw a scuttling movement at the door. Large. Six legs. Eight eyes. Furry. She screamed. Nothing wrong with Primark.

    @el_Stevie
    fire: animal
    93 words

    Liked by 13 people

  25. First death

    The train wobbled. Passengers chuckled to hide their fears. No one wanted to be the first one to break. It wobbled again. Stopped. That was not the deal. The train was supposed to move for two more weeks. Windows were dark. Part of the game to keep players confused. Screams echoed from the caboose behind. Something was ripping steal like a paper. Train wobbled. Heavy steps walked on the roof. A sniffing sound. A tapping sound in cabin. Someone was destined to be the first. Train wobbled. The steps were gone.

    Who died?

    @raijori
    93 words
    Fire dragon

    Liked by 12 people

  26. Swallow

    I’ve swallowed these people whole. They’ve willingly shuffled into my innards as I snake beneath their city – soaking up the scent of their sweaty existence, digesting their disjointed thoughts.
    I’ve swallowed these people whole, and I’ll shit them out whole too. They’ll scurry back to their cramped apartments thinking they’re drained from work. They’ll snuggle on their sofas – fill their minds with neon and their bellies with booze.
    I’ve swallowed these people whole. Their psyches feed me and I feed the city.
    Oh, no…wait.
    This city has swallowed me whole – hasn’t it?

    David Shakes
    @TheShakes72
    93 words
    Fire Dragon – Animal

    Liked by 16 people

  27. Rerouted

    His words were like the breeze at their necks swept in from the tunnel; there, but another part of the daily hustle not reckoned with.

    In and out as an automatic assembly color-coded line, with Charlie a station appendage. Like he was a mop bucket meant to be there people stepped around. His coin cup was its own caution sign.

    Their phones gave them an out from his words, swallowed up by the glow of importance somewhere else.

    His stomach rumbles synced with the inbound and outbound trains, lost to the dark tunnels.

    @brett_milam
    Word count: 93 words
    Element: Ice.

    Liked by 13 people

  28. Title: The Edge of Brittleness

    The train lurched to a halt, and masked men in black uniforms marched into our car. The zoocops stopped before me.
    “73972? And your offspring, 73973?”
    “Yes.”
    “Your offspring violated Statute 1-1, Unauthorized Removal of a Specimen. 73973, empty your pockets.”
    There, in my child’s palm the tiniest of leaves, on the edge of brittleness.
    “Sentence: composting. Execution: immediate,” said the zoocop.
    “Take me,” I said.
    I took the crumbling leaf and handed my child to a stranger.
    I prayed, “From compost we rise; to compost we…”
    I never made it to “return.”

    @unspywriter
    Plant element
    93 words

    Liked by 10 people

    • Dark & terrifying–at the same time I want to know a lot more about zoocops!!! I love the worldbuilding w/ the characters’ numbered names set against the speaker’s very human voice, in this starkly painted world. What compels me most, perhaps, though, is the ending. How is the speaker telling this story??? Now I have all the questions…

      Like

  29. The Last Earth-Flower

    The third-class compartment was boiling. With hands clammy from sanitiser, I took out Grammy’s recipe book.
    Eyes glanced at me, glanced away. We weren’t supposed to use old technology. I probably should’ve have burned the book when I found it in the hospice drawer.
    Lifting the book to my nose, I inhaled. Old paper and kitchen spices mixed with the sanitiser’s alcohol remnants.
    A sprig of dried lavender was stuck between two pages when I opened the book.
    I blinked away burning tears.
    She’d brought two things here from Earth after all.

    Element: Ice – a plant
    Words: 93
    @CarinMarais

    Liked by 12 people

  30. Blind To Tragedy

    They all saw the dog. Black, shaggy, watchful.
    The suit said he couldn’t have known, not his fault. I think he blames the student for bumping into the guy. She’d have been watching the dog, too. At least the dude’s on it, holding the dog. Everyone’s worried about the dog.
    I called a handler, just in case he bites. Standard procedure, when paramedics come. Now that’s sorted they all want away. No one’s asked about the guy, have they?
    No one sees a stiff, not when there’s a dog to keep them distracted.

    93 words
    @geofflepard
    Fire dragon option: animal

    Liked by 10 people

  31. Her green fingers wound themselves tightly round the handrails, her arms, strong from digging, stretched like branches in opposite directions. A fresh flower in her button hole. Like always. Travelling light. Lighter than she should have been.
    The other passengers looked at their books and magazines, unaware of the part they played in her getaway. Unaware
    clean air and screams hung on her clothes down, down here buried like them below the streets. Unaware of Maisy, Marco and the Chrysanthemums she had committed to the ground four stops and a bus ride ago.

    @elaine173marie
    Plant
    93words.

    Liked by 11 people

  32. Transportation

    We are but a stream of faces,
    a steel tube bloated with flesh and bone and tears.
    A family,
    constructed,
    dysfunctional in every sense.

    A scream rips through me – no one else notices,
    or perhaps they pretend,
    my sisters,
    my brothers.

    Sunset slips past – a pickpocket – hope’s thief.
    Shadows sharpen and strip lights flicker.

    Screeching brakes.
    Strained silence.
    Eyes to the ground.
    Doors part with a cruel hiss,
    prison guards herding us like cattle.

    I am NOT cattle.

    The beast within me screams again,
    and it refuses to be caged.

    Word Count: 93
    Prompt: Fire Dragon
    @WeymanWrites

    Liked by 13 people

  33. ESCAPE ROUTE

    “Goddamn Lyle!” Sophie screams. Not one bothers looking up from their precious phones.

    It sounds like a ghost town waiting for the company of tumbleweeds when she says more quietly, “Imagine that disaster if I could rid the world of these.”

    She had parked herself at the entrance upon spotting Lyle’s aviator sunglasses, right before the scream.

    Everyone’s attention being on their phones winds up working out. No one notices the black and white checkered backpack or printed jumper crumple or the dove fly out as soon as the doors had drifted apart.

    Fire element: animal
    93 words
    @storysmithscb

    Liked by 9 people

    • I wonder just how many adventures we miss because our attention was focused elsewhere? In this case rapt attention saved lives! Love the use of detail here, the ghost town and the aviator glasses, combined with tiny details from the photo itself (like the checkered backpack!), adding such a vivid flair.

      Like

  34. Limbo Loophole

    What the hell am I this time? Fuzzy. Belly rubbing tacky linoleum. Christ, I’m an emotional support dog.

    I scamper up the aisle of doomed schmucks. Their fingers ghost on smartphones that aren’t there. I’ve done this 123 times. Strangulation, bashed skulls, several stabbings. This time I have built-in murder weapons. My schmuck’s in car 2: me, first trip.

    I lunge for his throat.

    His shock drains as understanding oozes in. He gurgles around his mangled esophagus. Thank… you.

    Yeah, getting suicided 124 times on infernal transit’s WAY better than reaching the terminus.

    @ncscrawls
    93 words
    Fire element: animal

    Liked by 14 people

  35. Root and Thread

    Underground, the mycorrhizal network carries the soil-rooted messages of trees, in exchange for carbon:

    –I smell rain.
    –Optimal sunlight at a 40° tilt Northeast.
    –My leaves have been bitten into lace.

    The networking spores offer a discount to a mother tree, as she is already diverting nutrients and sugar to her suckling sapling. Along the rootlines from mother to son, a fungal bloom—an arboreal caress.

    Chemicals commute along the buried threads, spreading the news. Above, a slow shift in the canopy to allow more light to trickle down to the new growth.

    @IpsaHerself
    Reposting at 93 hand-counted words– counting compound words as one (crosses fingers)– not including the title.
    Plant element

    Liked by 16 people

  36.  I am careful running across the shoes. You have to be. Those things hurt if you timed you run incorrectly. The uncrossing of the legs, the sudden standing up to offer the seat to someone else. The individual who suddenly realized that they had missed their stop was the worst. I got my tail trapped by one of those last week, hence the stub. Don’t fret. It will grow back. A couple of weeks I’ll be good as new. Now, step where I step and for god’s sake, pay attention to the feet!

    @luisearmstrong
    Animal
    93 Words

    Liked by 9 people

    • Love the peeling back, line by line, of the characters: mentor & mentee navigating the terrifying world of running down the train car. I could just about hear the desperation in the last line at a visceral level—just awesome.

      Like

  37. Lost chances

    I purposely stand near her and her friend listening to their chatter. They never notice me. I make sure not to brush past or touch her; I’m not a stalker or a sexual predator. We’re crushed like sardines on the 6.40am to Euston, She and Irene are nurses. I get off before their stop but one day I’m going to introduce myself and Kirsty will smile. Social distancing and wearing masks on the train is the new norm. Today I saw her on the news amongst NHS casualties. My future wife. My Kirsty.

    @stellakateT
    93 words
    Not sure Sardine can be classed as an animal 🙂 Fire Dragon

    Liked by 11 people

  38. People were unsuspecting as things bore and squished through cracks, festering inside the metal carriage, and lived amongst the unaware.
    Summers’ intense this year, heat creating early blossoms, needing fed.
    Silently they slithered through bare, wriggling toes, searching for sustenance. Sweating digits relaxed unaware atop rubber soles, while occupants fanned themselves, dabbing moisture, enrapt with their electronics.
    Screams began quickly as the blossoms sniffed out fungus hiding beneath thickened, amber toenails, burning as fire under the alpha-keratin, satiated, and taking residence deep inside near bone. Today, Alien life found a new food source.

    @PattyannMc
    93 wc

    Liked by 12 people

    • As a runner, I found this story uncomfortably resonant. 😀 😀 Love/tremble at this disturbing picture of the hungry “alien” life.

      Like

  39. This Host of Senses

    This train carriage pulsates with raw and raggedy life. I can smell it all here: hope, fear (and loathing); love – real and unrequited; desire and disgust. This intense sense is mine and true ever since I discovered my closest friend. It shifts now towards my left breast. I look down as if to see it, but I know it is below the jacket, beneath my shirt and vest: between my skin and my ribs. It moves, it feeds me these incredible senses. And for this parasitic gift I just eat a little more.

    ———-
    WC: 93
    Prompt: Fire – animal

    Liked by 13 people

  40. The Guide

    I lay still at the feet of my master. I let my weight rest against his leg so he knows that I am right here. The journey is unusually pungent. The scents of many other humans hang in the air. The carriage is hot, the humans are sweaty, despite their efforts to hide their natural odours. I still smell it though, the bakery on the corner and I sit up. My master takes his cue. He rises and I guide him to the doors as the train slows for our stop. Almost home.
    ***
    Word Count: 93 (according to Word)
    Prompt: Fire (animal)

    Liked by 10 people

  41. Loud Silence

    Plastering my wings against my body, I peek out over the edge of the stiff fabric and see a long hallway lined with people. It’s both loud and silent. Almost no one is talking, but there is a humming roar that vibrates through the air. Occasionally, there is a clang and I’m jerked to the side, loosing my footing. I was told that I had to stay put, but I’m sure that if I can just run down the hall, everything will transform; movement and chatter will ricochet and overpower the loud silence.

    @UntanglingWords
    Wordcount: 93
    Element: Fire

    Liked by 12 people

  42. Dogged Determination

    I glance at each human, but none look up, their eyes tethered to their technology.
    Except my human. “Good boy,“ she whispers, giving me a pat.
    “Good person,” I’d say, if I could.
    Instead, I bark, earning a glare from the man across from us.
    “Sorry,” she says, though her hands stroking my fur suggest otherwise.
    He looks at me, then her. “Pretty dog.”
    “Thank you.”
    Shoving his phone into his pocket, he leans forward. “I’m Mark.”
    “Jenny.”
    She smiles.
    He does, too.
    I sit as they talk.
    Mission accomplished.
    One more awoken.

    @Margaret_Locke
    93 words
    Element: Fire dragon, animal

    Liked by 12 people

    • Waking spirits is a VERY hard job, but it sounds like this sweet pup’s a master. xo Thank you for all the times you’ve woken mine. ❤

      Like

  43. The doors slid closed. She floated onto the seat opposite him, and the aroma of jasmine curled its way across the aisle. The angel-scholar retrieved a tome from her bag and opened it to the marked page. After absorbing the page’s contents, she turned it with her elegant forefinger.

    The glorious vision that he beheld seemed to somehow escape the notice of the other passengers. Heads bowed, they swiped, oblivious.

    Too soon, the train decelerated. She returned the book to the bag and arose. It was her stop. It had to be his.

    @ordinaryletters
    93 words
    Element: ice dragon, plant

    Liked by 11 people

  44. My “bed” smells like their asses. The designer soap scented weekday warriors in Armani armor, riding the iron steed into battle against their corporate dragons.

    But the gentle rhythmic sway allows me the luxury of dreaming I’m floating free, a capricious sailboat navigating gentle seas. The lingering Chanel n°5, I imagine are hibiscus blossoms adorning the head of a tropical beauty.

    Alas, my blissful dream withers under morning’s glare. I gather my tattered things and take refuge in a dark corner, like a whipped cur which, in their unforgiving eyes, I truly am.

    Liked by 11 people

    • I’d guess the points of view aren’t as divergent as it might seem on the surface. I also find myself wondering what Chanel No 5 smells like???? A strong and memorable opening line & striking POV.

      Like

  45. Sol 6/19
    The Beast
    —————–
    Towering epidermis of Steel and Concrete
    Underlayers of asphalt and neon
    Overlayers of glass and greed, stretching to edges of the landscape
    Underpined with exhaust fumes as well as the refuse of existence

    Down below the surface layers, away from the consciousness that rules over it all
    There is a separate biome
    One of tubes and electrical conduits
    Filled with alternating darkness, and flashes of light

    Inside this underlandscape lies the pulse, the hidden spectacle
    Of the lifeblood of the city
    The things that move
    Within the tunnels, then up to the light

    ———–

    @gamerwriter
    Fire Dragon: Animal
    Word Count: 93

    Liked by 11 people

    • Striking contrast between the layers of life, the powerful evils above in tension with the mysterious unknowns below. I esp like how for once it’s the underground world that seems safer, somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. To Get To The Other

    Rush hour makes my antennae twinge. Commuters fill the subway: fifty people, a hundred shoes.

    I scurry for my life.

    High heel. High heel. Sneaker. Sneaker. One. Two. Three. Four. So glad they don’t have six legs like me.

    Are we so different? We want the same things. To eat. To live. Not to be stepped on.

    Pumps. Crocs. Forty-seven. Forty-eight. Forty-nine. Fifty. I don’t hate them, though they’d scream at me. Try as they might, they can’t kill us all.

    I’m almost home free! Wingtip. Wingtip. Cowboy boot. Ninety-one. Ninety-two. Ninety three.

    @pmcolt
    93 words
    an animal

    Liked by 12 people

  47. There’s a lioness on the subway.

    Aren’t lions restricted to zoos? But here she stalks, teeth gleaming, a growl ringing her throat like a collar, daring us to ask which stop is hers.

    Everyone’s looking everywhere else, which is probably smart.

    (Or foolish.)

    I’m not 100%, but I think she just ate an actuary. (Actuaries are appetizing??)

    Now she’s eyeing me. Do I scream, or bow?

    But she merely pushes past me, narrow hips swaying, and vanishes through the compartment door.

    Almost like she was never here, except for one thing.

    I’m growling.

    93 ineligible words
    @postupak
    Fire: animal
    #rip #rbg

    “No, not RBG. What a colossal loss. What a lioness. She taught us all how to fight, how to fight cancer, how to fight for justice, how to fight for our lives.” -Ibram X Kendi

    Liked by 16 people

  48. At dawn she pulls on her boots, her train of thoughts rushing to the barn. It’d be freezing, she’d have to kick the buckets to break the ice. The animals will have to do with cold water, she’d no money to get the heaters repaired.
    Breakfast will again be milk and bread. The children never complained. But they needed something other than the vegetables she dug up from the patch behind the house.
    Across the meadow, in the neighbouring farm, she spots the silhouette of the rooster as it crows. Supper she decides.

    @firdausp
    Words: 93 / animal

    Liked by 15 people

  49. ::the doors open::

    This is it. Your stop.

    Not yet.

    It’ll be alright, child. Skin peels off easy, and your cytoskeleton is waiting, just like you requested. You won’t have to worry about anything eating you from the inside this cycle, either.

    Not. Yet.

    The pain goes when you go so the sooner the better, right?

    Not.

    You’ve satisfied your agreement. Done more than your share.

    Yet.

    Others will step in. Thanks to your voice, others have found theirs. Trust us.

    You just have to step off.

    Thank you, dear.

    ::the doors close::

    93 words
    @deborah_the_foy
    Ice: plant

    Liked by 14 people

  50. Numbers Game

    One, two, four, eight, sixteen… 1024. I’m lucky— I got on early and got a seat. The tube can be daunting at times— always worrying about getting out when the doors open. you try to be close to the doors so you can get out without being suffocated.

    I follow the chart, we’re close to the hub now and the train slows as if weighed down by the passengers. The doors open.

    And we swarm the waiting vehicles, filling them.

    One becomes two, two become four…

    One dog with fleas, a park-full.

    @mishmhem
    Words 93
    Fire Dragon – Animal.

    Liked by 9 people

  51. a fire spewed in the aisle.
    Everyone pulled their feet away.
    Strange it may seem,
    they still chose to spend each day there. Feet scrambled , wearing hopes ,loafers ,sandals and suede. The peep toes smiled at the loafers appreciating the ease while the stilletos looked for breeze.
    Commuting every morn to reach homes and houses, parents, siblings and spouses.
    The metro ,a synonym for so much and so little ,the essay and the tittle.
    The aisle material yet a proper noun.The people travelling ,a conglomerate of shoes and hues, motion and notion.

    Liked by 4 people

  52. Late again (another Friday too busy to complete) but here it is:

    Regrets, I’ve had a few
    93 Words
    Ice element: include a plant
    @jamesatkinson81

    I watch a lotta toons with the kid before work, he can’t sleep. Seen a couple with this REALLY stinky plant, that’s how I recognised it. Could tell it was right on the verge of flowering and stinking the place out. Its owner was a green type, you know?, this was terrorism, I thought.

    So I just did it. Picked it up like a football and ran and ran, like Forrest.

    At the surface I stopped as the cold air hit me, unsure what to do. Before that it had been a dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Pingback: Flash! Friday for Sept. 18: Rerouted – Brett Milam: Milam's Musings

  54. Pingback: Blind To Tragedy #flashfiction #prompt | TanGental

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