Fire&Ice: Sol 13/19

§ Rebekah says: At the time of this writing, the American presidential election still hangs in the balance. I will spare you the brilliant, sarcasm-dripping, election-inspired fire & ice dragon challenges we discarded this week 😀 . After all, here at Fire&Ice everyone’s welcome, no matter which side of a political spectrum you may claim. Thankfully, there are some things that not even the most aggressive authoritarian can make laws against: kindness. compassion. empathy! the eternal trio: love. joy. peace. -And, obv, the occasional MLT. No matter what happens tomorrow (though we’re ready for it!), thank you for being here with us today to write & share your stories. Sarcasm totally optional. 😀 😀 

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


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.


JUDGES: Today’s judges are Sinéad O’Hart and Craig Anderson. Check out their bios on the Fire&Ice Judges page.



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 13/19

“Hope.” Blue Whale. Natural History Museum, London. Photo by just-pics.

Fire & Ice Prompt

Required elements:

Fire dragon option: include a non-human character


Ice dragon option: include a phrase in another language (non-English)

Today’s word count: Between 150-160

127 thoughts on “Fire&Ice: Sol 13/19

  1. Whaling, Wailing, Over the Bounding Main

    So, I got lost. Ended up beached in Wexford. Where the hell is Wexford, I ask you?

    I didn’t know.

    You’re out at sea.

    You’ve been around the block.

    Dodging harpoons, playing chicken with killers of the sea, men of many tongues. It was so much fun nudging their vessels at night, them thinking it was waves but you knowing it was you.

    Poking them, those men of many tongues.


    Nordic types.


    Bloodthirsty felons all of them.

    So you’re asking yourself, what’s a know it all whale doing getting herself beached?

    In bloody Wexford of all places.

    Long stretch of sand.

    Should have known better.

    But I couldn’t get that song out of my brain.

    Some cockney sailor had sung it.

    “sailing, sailing, over ‘he boundin main;
    faw many a stawmy wind shall blah ere jack comes ‘ome again.“

    Drove me nuts, I tell ya.

    Drove me up on that sandbar.

    Bones and dog food, I became.

    159 Words
    Fire dragon option: a non-human character

    Liked by 13 people

  2. Untitled

    The bones dreamt of the old times.

    Times when freedom was not questioned and the bones ruled them all.

    Times spent in groups with others like them, nurtured and cared for, all loved by all.

    Times with their young, taught and raised to make the pod strong.

    Times when the body was strong and vibrant and true.

    The bones dreamt of the old times.

    No matter what pain and longing the dreams brought.

    No matter what memories came back to torment them.

    No matter the despair of the times lost.

    The bones dreamt of the old times.

    Not this cruel joke that is their current life, assembled and hung, like a toy or a puppet.

    Not this man made wind pushing them, making what was left of them sway like a surf tossed boat.

    The bones dreamt of the old times…
    ‘forðast hryllinginn í dag’ – Avoiding the horrors of the day.

    151 words
    Both options

    Liked by 11 people

  3. Through the Window

    I’m always here. A glint in the walls, a speck of dust caught in the sun. Through the days. The busy and the slow. The light and the dark. I watch them. Come and go. See them at their best, and worst. The school groups laughing, the stray child lost., the young teacher eagerly searching. A fleck of teenagers huddling in a corner by the lockers. The boy silently weeping by the toilets. The people come. They gather. Families on a rainy day. That first date trying to impress. The old couple, they don’t visit any more. I used to see them once a week. Sitting in the hall. Walking in the gardens. Hand in hand. He comes. Not as often. Not with her. Walks slower, spends longer in the galleries, in the rooms, his hand stops on the cold stone. He heads to the cafe. Buys her favourite cake, but doesn’t eat it.

    154 words
    Fire dragon option: include a non-human character

    Liked by 13 people

  4. The Stranger and the Fork

    “We’ve got another one, Dermo!”

    Dermot fills a crystal pot with thick black liquid.

    The stranger’s feet clang on the stone flags.

    “Céad míle fáilte!” No one says this but Dermot and Saoirse know this is what the stranger will be expecting.

    “Morning! They told me in the village this is where I’d find…”

    “I think the gentleman is looking for that which sprinkles us with a complexion as clear as a summer sky and eyes like the depths of the ocean.”

    Saoirse’s so good at this.

    Dermot sets the crystal pot down in front of the stranger and places a fork next to it.

    The stranger puts 500 € on the bar. “A fork?” He’s puzzled.

    “The secret is to fork the whale oil?”

    “Fork the whale oil? Can the whale oil be forked.”

    The stranger tries but leaves the bar, unsuccessful.

    Dermot raises the crystal pot of stout to his lips. “Sláinte!”

    Saoirse laughs. “Whale oil be forked!”

    160 words
    Ice Dragon: non-English phrase (Fire Dragon: reference to non-human character!)
    [With love to my Grandad Kinnarney, who would have told this story perfectly!]

    Liked by 11 people

  5. Frozen Twilight

    Sunlight embraces bones of a being once the centre of the universe, reduced to yellowish frame, rid of the fleshy cloak of debt, fear and regret.

    A creature as pathetic as a morning shit.

    Life unspooling apologetically.



    Fuck it.

    Let those that come gaze in incredulity at my magnificent insignificance. School trips flock, transported in coaches belching fumes of the extinct. Sat in rapture, scribbling notes, pretending to understand.

    Returning home with a bag bursting with trinkets made by creatures forged in lesser lives until the next global angst needs poster eyes.

    Go home.

    To forget, misunderstand, misrepresent.





    Here I hang.

    The unheimlich.

    Familiar yet fucked, strangely uncaring, artfully composed. The gazer’s curiosity sated by a pathetic sign, handwritten, words you can later forget without guilt.

    Here I hang.




    That is what you should let me do.

    Rot away until nothing remains.

    Fuck it.

    Here I hang.

    Feeling nothing.

    Caring less.

    160 words

    Liked by 12 people


    Tucked behind the balustrade, Louis was in the thick quiet of the ocean as he sketched, each rib a silent harp string, piano keys stilled along her spine, her skull fixed in soundless song.

    Or had she been hushed, mid-cry?

    The heavy door closed like a crashing wave.

    He looked up. He was alone.

    Her arm reached out to him, four fingered; they were the same beneath.

    ‘Balaenoptera musculus’, he scribed below his drawing, unperturbed, then added (Blue Whale).

    Wandering into the small office to find a phone, he was distracted by the black button on the wall panel. He knew what it was.

    At once, the hologram appeared.

    Louis leaned over the gallery, mesmerised as she bucked and strained, snapping the cables, then launched herself through the skylights, a plucked sea of glass shimmering on the floor.

    Her tethers bobbed like strands of seaweed in the empty space, and a sign dangled.

    The museum had named her ‘Hope’.

    160 words
    Ice Dragon: Phrase in another language

    Liked by 13 people


    “Blimey! Look, Geoff! What a ginormous beast.”

    “Yeah. It looks quite impressive.”

    “It has a giant gob. How many bones do you think it has?”

    “No idea, Harry.”

    “I’m not good at calculus, but I know my reptiles. It’s a fact. That’s a pterodactyl. The beak is bird-like. Imagine its wingspan.”

    “It’s obviously prehistoric, so maybe it had a reptilian skin with scales. It could be a tyrannosaurus.”

    “No. I’m positive. It’s a winged finger, a pterodactyl.”

    “Well, I’m starving. These bones are making me peckish. Shall we take the girls for chicken wings and spare ribs?”


    “How was the museum, guys?”

    “Fantastique, Fantastisch, Fantastico.”

    “Did you see the giant blue whale skeleton, Harry?”

    “A Moby-Dick? So, it wasn’t a dino?”

    “No. And Moby-Dick wasn’t a blue but a sperm whale.”

    “I need to go back to school.”


    “I’m lousy at calculus, biology, history and literature.”

    “You’re proficient in fantastic fantasy, though.”

    @esthervdheuvel1 @Hills1S
    Word Count:154
    Ice Dragon: phrase in another language

    Liked by 10 people

  8. La Liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty Enlightening the World)


    Inside Lady Liberty, her shell is held by a rigid carcass.
    She is hollow inside, but for her jutting metallic bones.

    Her patina skin is green, once golden copper, she has aged gracefully, beautifully.
    But she is not perfect.

    Her bones are built not of metal, but of freedom, acceptance, of immigration.
    She speaks of dreams.


    Today, Friday 6th 2020, she’s a captive between worlds.
    She has always faced outwards, to the world, a shelter for the tempest-tost. Her torch imprisoned lightning in the darkness of the storm.
    Behind her, her dreams have often failed in her own lands.
    Those that stoke division and hatred, throw fuel on smouldering fires behind her back.

    Would she weep green tears, if she could see the fires, the walls, the cages of children?

    Her book rests, it’s foreign language reads
    A coded message of unity, of collective greatness, a moment in time.

    She is the light that refused to die.

    159 Words
    (With much admiration and credit to The New Colossus poet, Emma Lazarus)

    Liked by 13 people

  9. Two days ago, Jiejie’s last message: “大吃一鲸!” She’s under a suspended whale skeleton, mouth open, the perspective forced so she looks like she is, as she says, eating a whale.

    She looks so happy.

    Jiejie and I: cousins, opposites. She studied abroad; I stayed home. She was BSci, MSci, nearing PhD. I failed Gaokao. (Twice.) Our family called her 好孩子, a good kid; I was 还好, with a painful grin, if anyone dared ask.

    But we were close.


    Ma told me. “她跳楼.” — “She jumped out a window.”

    I should grieve. Can’t. Too angry.

    Why didn’t you talk to me, Jiejie? Weren’t we close? Why didn’t you say something?

    Now I look again. “大吃一鲸!” A pun, the characters sounding like “I’ve had a shock”. She’s captioned the photo “自然” – Nature.

    And I see.

    It’s another pun. 孜然 – Call me.

    I search for that dead whale. It’s called Hope.

    Oh, Jiejie, Jiejie. You always thought far too much of me.

    159 words
    Ice Dragon requirement

    Liked by 9 people

  10. Among the Stars Once More

    “They were born in the hearts of stars.” The woman looked up at the enormous skeleton of the whale-like creature suspended from the ceiling of the museum. “This specimen was caught not far from New Earth 2. It is – was – a juvenile specimen.”
    Chris stared up at it, his mouth half-open. “Slaan my dood met ‘n pap snoek, maar dis groot!”
    “Majestic, rather,” the woman said, eyebrows lifted. “To say it’s ‘big’ is an understatement.”
    “Why did you catch it? Cage it up here?” Chris asked.
    “We need to study all the new fauna and flora that we can.” Her tone implied he’s an idiot for asking. “Moving on now to the hall of…” her voice trailed off as they walked into the left wing of the museum.

    The whale stared up at the dark sky from where it hung like a ghost of its former self. It closed its eyes and swam among he stars once more.

    Words: 158
    Chosen: Ice dragon, adding a line in another language (Translated from the Afrikaans – ‘Beat me to death with a soggy snoek (a type of fish), but that’s big’, an idiom meaning ‘I’m gobsmacked’)

    Liked by 10 people

  11. The curator happily watched the crowd wandering the halls gazing in awe. It was a rare treat to see the spectacular spectator’s reactions and he’d manufactured it now that Hope had arrived. “excusez-moi monsieur, qu’est-ce que c’est?” a child asked tugging on his sleeve. Pleased the curator launched into a short answering spiel which the child’s companion translated and they went away happy.

    Suddenly something untoward in the ice age exhibit caught his attention and he marched over quickly ready to battle the overzealous customer into not touching the exhibits in future. As he entered the stuffed Sabre tooth tiger advanced. Panic grew quickly and he decided the best and only option was to back out the door calmly and close the exhibit for the rest of the day. 

    The pixie flew through the closing door to sit on top of Hope giggling “Oh the mischief that could be managed in this city it was too delicious.”

    Prompt Fire (&ice ) 157 words @lindorfan

    Liked by 9 people

  12. The Machine Starts

    ‘Pomeroy, is it ready?’
    ‘Yes, Sir, the steam is up.’
    ‘On my command, Pomeroy.’
    Sir Archibald Placenta studied the sea of stovepipe hats and befruited bonnets, tugging his lapels. ‘Your Royal Highness, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, my latest creation and one to put the Great into Great Britain. The Je ne sais quoi machine.’
    A voice cut through the light applause. ‘That’s a froggy name.’
    Archie nodded benignly. ‘A French title to match the underlying uncertainty.’
    The applause grew from polite to appreciative. Pomeroy had been right to place a heckler.
    ‘Your Highness?’
    The Princess, a disposable royal suitably primed stepped forward. The machine spluttered to life, white steam enveloped the royal personage. A flash, the smell of camphor and a collection of oohs, if few aahs. An orange-haired gibbon emerged. Over the hubbub Archie declaimed, ‘Mr Darwin was right. Now to reverse the process.’ To Pomeroy, he added, sotto voce, ‘Vive la revolution.’

    158 words
    Ice option: words in another language

    Liked by 8 people

  13. Voices Beyond

    I speak with Voices Beyond. No, I know what you think. I’m sorry I don’t speak with the dead. Voices Beyond speak through the bones. Animal bones, bird bones … human bones. They speak through all of them.

    This whale, for example. I’ve been coming here every day for the past month. Except Sundays. I hear every voice for the first time. Usually I can understand them instantly. All of them warned me that one day I will find a voice I won’t understand. I believe this is that voice.

    “Ab nok ibn la shaad.”

    It says many things, however this phrase comes back often. I have heard thousands of voices, and yet I can’t understand what it means.

    If you heard what I said, congratulations. My gift has been passed to you. Before I go. Can you, please, translate what it says?

    Ab nok ibn la shaad [This is the end of your journey]

    155 words
    Ice dragon

    Liked by 7 people

  14. Funny Bones

    Hey everybody, thanks for coming out tonight! What? You had no choice? Well thanks anyway, and don’t forget to tip your custodians! They do a great job dusting, don’t they? Let’s give them a hand. Or a flipper.

    You know, up here I get a whale’s-eye view of things, and I’ve gotta say, you all look great. Terrific stuffing job over there, sabretooth. I see you. And that coral! You don’t look a day over 1,000. Truly. I mean it.

    Question for you: What did the octopus say to the French waiter?

    “Je ne sais crawfish!”

    Hahahahaaaaa!!! These are the jokes!

    What did the bear say to the salmon?

    A little to the left next time, will you? I’m hungry!

    Hey shark, I see you over there grinning. I know I know, you’re always grinning. But thanks for the support anyway!

    Okay next up, put em together for the sloth skeleton! And be patient, it’s worth it.

    G’night everybody!


    160 words (excluding title)
    Both prompts, apparently

    Liked by 7 people

  15. The giant skeletal whale looms above the boy, looking for all the world as if it would swoop down and swallow him whole. His classmates have long since wandered off to look at other exhibits, but the boy remains, transfixed. “Hope,” the name reads, but the sight of it fills him with dread.

    He clutches his museum program in one sweaty fist, facts about blue whales echoing about his head in time with the rapid beating of his heart. A tongue that weighs as much as an elephant, a heart weighing as much as a car. He stares into the abyss of its gaping maw. He counts its rib bones, gripped, as he does so, by an odd sense of déjà vu.

    A hand on the boy’s shoulder makes him jump, and his teacher smiles down at him.

    “Come along, Jonah,” she says. “We wouldn’t want to lose you now, would we?”

    152 words
    Ice dragon

    Liked by 10 people

  16. ~ Sienna and Violet ~

    hope hangs dry
    from the roof
    I wonder when
    all was lost
    blue rivers once ran
    in green valleys
    the present now seems
    like a skeleton
    of the past

    Sienna read the verse written by her sister, her attention shifting to the lines that followed.

    úkæ bïrïs færêã mããs
    dúkæ yïrïs tôl tœmããs

    She traced her fingers on the parchment paper, before whispering softly.

    “Violet, I know these lines hold the key. But, sister, one day, I will find you”

    Twelve years ago

    Sienna was dull. Spent. The flame of her happiness burnt to its end.

    To save Sienna, Violet had to be born.

    Violet would be everything Sienna wasn’t.

    Lushly exuberant with hope. Vibrant. Endlessly interesting.

    She would have her own life. Family. Friends.

    Her own language, in which she finished strange poems for Sienna to find.

    To Sienna, she would be a sister who needed saving.

    Violet would be the one true purpose Sienna needed. To save herself.

    160 Words (excluding title)
    Another Language

    Liked by 9 people

  17. She’d saved a copy of the paper. That date. That year.

    ‘We have hopes—and fears—as big as whales.’ She’d read.

    Proudly. Joyously.

    ‘Well—it is a momentous moment.’ He’d said.
    ‘She’s called Hope.’ She’d turned to face him then. Saw herself framed in his eyes.

    That’s my name mummy.

    ‘Hope springs eternal,’ her mother would often parrot. Knitting needles clacking.

    Knit one. Pearl one.

    ‘She’s going to save us all.’ She’d said. ‘Teach us how to make the right choices.’

    Pearl one. Knit one.

    ‘Like I said… hope…’
    ‘Springs eternal!’ She’d finished off laughing. Full of ‘joie de vie.’

    So I will mummy.

    ‘I defy anyone—not to feel moved by the power and beauty of nature.’ He’d paraphrased.

    He’d looked at her then.

    ‘She’s beautiful.’ He’d said. She knew he meant it.
    ‘So she is.’ She’d sighed. She had his eyes.

    Smoothing the paper almost reverently, Hope gently closed the lid on her memory box.

    Wordcount: 158
    Ice dragon

    Liked by 10 people

  18. Rib Cage

    Daylight dances on the bars of my cage, taunting fingers stroking my face and chest. So long it’s been, since I’ve felt its true warmth, unfiltered, unspoilt by the translucence of warped glass.

    The hordes pour in below, as if the outside world has breached a cracked dam, a trickle at first, a flood soon after. Humanity – a curse on this world, so fascinated by what they try so hard to destroy.

    I run my claws along the ribs of the whale, once home to a huge, beating heart, now a prison to one blackened and fading.

    A child, bright-eyed and full of wonder, stares with a dropped jaw.

    I wink.

    He smiles.

    It can’t be.

    I wave.

    He waves back, claws gleaming.

    A shiver ripples my scales.

    The boy tugs on his mother’s sleeve and points directly at me. How fast he’s grown.

    Her smile fills my empty heart.

    We’ll save this world yet.

    Word Count: 155
    Prompt: Fire Dragon

    Liked by 10 people

  19. Once were dragons

    My bones, a bridge where once were dragons. My ancestors flew in the sky of the sea, when the world was endless blue. My bones inspire stairways, ribbed and vaulted columns reaching into the sky. I am a cathedral. They built this place around me.

    Listen and I will tell you stories of ships and men. How my people, too, followed the stars and the moon on the waves. Let me tell you of white feathers, floating, faces of men in the sea. Once we carried them on our big broad backs, back to the shallow places. They thought we were dragons.

    Oh wrecks of ships! Bones of whales. How the men betrayed my people. How they drove us from the sea lanes, took our red meat and white fat, and left our bones to wash in the waves.

    And now I fly around the spiral stairway. My dry bones in this desert of air.

    155 words
    fire dragon

    Liked by 11 people

  20. Hope Is A Thing Of Wire And Bone

    “Look Jabba, it’s your mum!”

    Jason had hoped that the museum visit would offer a respite from the bullies’ tormenting, but they’d kept it up on the school bus, barely stopped at the entrance and picked up as soon as they’d seen the skeletal whale suspended overhead.
    “Imagine that trying to snog you!”

    “De wanna wanga Jabba?”

    “You gonna cry Jabba?”

    Jason Abbott – Jabbott, then Jabba – stood in the museum doors, fists clenched, head bowed, wishing that he was bigger, that he was braver, that he had Jedi mind powers; that just once, he could make them all. Shut. Up!

    And something snapped.

    Something else.

    Several somethings.

    And while things didn’t get much better for a long time, and he never figured out how – or even if – he did it, Jason always smiled when he thought of the looks on the bullies’ faces when the last wires snapped and Hope came crashing down on their heads.

    160 words
    A non-English phrase
    (Roughly translated, “what the hell are you doing here Jabba?”)

    Liked by 10 people

  21. Taking Hope

    Nobody wants to see fish-bones.

    Not in food, and not in a museum. Pointing out that the blue whale is actually a mammal just invites the retort “whatever”.

    What people do want to see is dinosaurs.

    So the Natural History Museum needed a T-Rex and, since they had just one tibia and a lot of guesswork, bones were needed to put flesh upon the bones of their ambition.

    They wrestled with their conscience. Their conscience lost.

    So their T-Rex is ninety-eight per cent Hope, a snarling metaphor for paleontology itself. Hope, meanwhile, is literally something else.

    She has the jawbone of an ass, though not at the front, obviously, since her mouth is huge. The rest of her is mostly bear, giraffe and prairie-dog. Her fin is made of Lego.

    One bone is actually from a T-Rex. They had thought it was bison.

    Hope is not really a blue whale. She’s a je ne sais quoi .

    155 words
    Ice dragon element

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Never

    “And suddenly Hope came alive. Her greyish blue whale body materialised around the bones of the skeleton hanging in the main hall of the Natural History Museum.”

    “What happened then, Mommy?”

    “Hope unhooked itself and flew outside, over the whole of England and then she sailed graciously through the air to the old continent, surprising all the people who needed her most.”

    “And what about the rest of the world?”

    “Hope wanted to be there for everyone, of course. So she crossed the Atlantic. Halfway, she got trapped in a big, black, poisonous cloud. Hope thought she could make it out, but, alas. Her lifeless body crashed in the sea, sending tsunami sized waves to Atlantis, submerging the island.”

    “Where did the cloud come from?”

    “An evil man who divided Atlantis to its core.”

    “I’ll never be like that when I grow up, Mommy.”

    “That’s good, darling. Now, time to go to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning, Donald.”

    160 words
    Fire dragon: a non-human character

    Liked by 6 people

  23. Hope has a Backbone

    “And overhead hangs Hope,” the cyborg Curator points with her laser finger upgrade towards the ceiling the museum. We zoom in on our tripscreens to take in the rainbow arch of Hope, completely devoid of color. Our virtual field trip reaching its climax in a bleached-out, mohawk spine.

    “Over 17 million years old, the last known proof that the oceans could sustain life, Hope hangs here in the hall of remembrance. I snap screenshots of Hope’s mouth, once capable of swallowing seas of minnow, now left to hang incredulously ajar.

    Hope collecting dust. Hope: a decoration, a highlight on an intergalactic, interspeciary field trip. As mammals continue to go extent and be hung from the ceilings, I imagine my own carcass hanging over a dining hall of the future. What will they title me then? Defiance? Destroyer? The Selfish One.

    I text on private chat to the only other mammal in class, “Never forget, Hope has a backbone.”

    WC: 156
    Fire Dragon: A nonhuman character (or cast of characters)

    Liked by 7 people

  24. Las Fortunas

    For centuries, we’ve graced the prows of countless vessels where they anchor our kind. We are built for pride and strength. We seek the distant star; our heads tilt toward a thousand suns, our appendages embrace our craft, carrying it aloft on the waves.

    We are called Las Fortunas, the bringers of good fortune. Mira a las hermosas criaturas! the children cry out where the aquamarine waters warm our waists.

    We are strong, unafraid, proud silhouettes against the setting final sun.

    They don’t know what to do with us when we die. They scrape us off, disassemble us. Some, they fracture and strip for parts. Others, they hang suspended for gawkers and idlers, fodder for gossip, photo-ops, and curious sticky fingers.

    When the tour closes and the final visitor exits, our tears wash through our memories, and our empty eyes seek the windows, searching for our lost horizon, our near-forgotten star.

    Word Count: 155
    Prompt: Both Fire and Ice, as it should be. 😉

    Liked by 7 people

  25. “When the Angels Fall”

    Hundreds of millions of years trapped under layers of rock, I waited. Oceans rose and fall over me, and gradually the rock wore away.

    An explorer with a pickaxe set me free.

    But still I waited – the time still wasn’t right.

    They dragged me to a granite and steel edifice and hung me in the sky, the master of all I could see.

    And still I waited.

    The time had to be perfect. I would only get one chance at what I was going to do, and so I was patient.

    But I waited too long. The day came that the giant doors were locked, never to be opened again. The cables holding me in the sky began to stretch, then to fray, then – one by one – to snap.

    When the few that remained could no longer bear my weight, down I plummeted, to shatter into a thousand pieces.

    My life had no purpose, but it did have an end.

    160 words
    Fire dragon

    Liked by 8 people

  26. Pingback: #FireIceFlash, week13/19 – Project Gemini

  27. Title: The Quest

    There, along the floor, hiding under the giant thing, that returned from somewhere.
    There, along the edges, moving in silence, looking for any threat.
    Taking time, evading the endless staring skull hanging, dodging the walking things that stomp through.

    Little whiskers a twitching, the search for sustenance during the quiet spaces, during the only times.
    Making sure there is enough for all, once it is located.
    Most of the time, in the edges, stuff will be found, unless treasure is out in the center of the wide areas.

    The brights dim, the giant white looms over the entire cold and dusty.
    There are fewer and fewer walking things as this went on.
    Time to move into the wide open.

    Four little legs, single long tail, cautious and alert.
    Out into the middle, the looming white silent and gently moving in unseen currents.
    The crumb is snatched and dragged back to feed the little family.

    Fire Dragon: Non-Human Character
    Word Count is 154

    Liked by 9 people

  28. After Life

    Bone creatures crowd the smoke-charred sky. A herd of skeletal aurochs lope along a stratus cloud bank.

    “Saved me for last?” I ask.

    “I’m sorry.” Gentle words, but the air crackles with the ruination of his incantations.

    We stood in this spot as kids, when the skeletons of extinct animals roamed across a field of azure. I remember whalebones breaching gravid cumulus.
    “Fish were super big,” he said.
    “Those aren’t fish.”
    “Even Grandpa was around with whales.”
    He didn’t care about whales, though. He kept searching for Mom. Longing hollowed out his gaze.
    I toed his sneaker with mine. “She can’t join the sky parade until we’re all gone too.”

    He’d spend the next fifity years making sure of it. Power commanded by a child’s tyrannical loneliness. Sic mundus destructus est.

    “It’s the only way.”

    The same half-century I’ve spent developing the magic to confront him.

    “It isn’t,” I counter, touch my belly. “She’ll be your niece this time.”

    160 words
    Ice element: phrase in another language

    Liked by 9 people

    • The aurochs bring to mind Beasts of the Southern Wild, the quote brings to mind Dark, and the story reminds me of this awesome writer I follow on Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m glad you liked it. I did have Dark in mind–and the phrase seems ironic at times. Haven’t heard of the Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I might have to check it out now.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. The Museum Mouse Makes a Request

    It’s the most inspiring place to be a mouse, especially scenes like looking down on the huge whale skeleton. I mean, all the stuffed mammals and birds and insects are a bit weird sometimes. The dinosaurs are cool, though. And the bit with the earthquake simulator.

    And it got us all thinking. So, beyond the skirting boards we started to make our own museum. We’ve a gallery of lost change featuring coins from all around the world. A giant nest made of dropped tissues. A history of cheeses selected from the cafe down the years. An exhibition of lost single gloves. All under a roof of umbrellas in a forgotten space.

    With the people gone, though, for most of the year (and far fewer when they did return), we’ve been stuck for ways to expand.

    So please, we are begging, for our own sanity, please send us human things. We need your weird stuff to keep us entertained.

    @jamesatkinson81 – with a lot of help and ideas from his wife
    Fire dragon option: include a non-human character
    158 Words

    Random note: I had to cut out a reference to the tooth that came out while waiting to get into the Natural History Museum when I was little.

    Liked by 9 people

  30. A Simple Truth

    Bare bones aren’t exposed deliberately, skeleton unseen, despite Kindly Folks’ assertion we’re equal, underneath. Their careless call enticing all specimens to see the history of human nature, personally personal. Cranium craned open, each synapse on display, firing axon impulses.

    Humanity wants the workaround, terms measured before bargaining. To see what we have, choose what we show others, fair disclosure. I have. Friend’s friend. Unseen insight into work with workings. Privilege personified and paid for. Price enough.

    X-ray precedes excision. The clinical view.

    “Tá sé go deas bualadh leat,” I say, as I cut, blade beneath my fingers, soft flesh parting.

    Pain hurts. A simple truth. I give myself the lie, regardless, blood iron and airborne. Marrow outs under pressure, every time. Still, my fascia are intimate, post-cut; the connective fibres of my being.

    The skin will salve; broken bones heal, with careful restoration. Memory, though, remains imprinted osteologically on me. Skeletal secrets, previously hidden, may yet, unbidden, emerge to roar.


    (160 words)
    Phrase in another language

    Liked by 7 people

  31. Bone Riders

    The biologist would struggle to classify our taxon, but we are familiar to the mythologist.

    We are creatures of the night. We creep shadowy through graveyards where most fear to tread. Though we are not evil, we are reviled.

    But we do not bring death. We await it

    We try to avoid humans. Their revulsion is understandable, but we are what we are. We migrate from one bleached skeleton to the next, like hermit crabs from shell to shell. Our ethereal essence permeates the old bones, reanimates, gives them a second life.

    Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.

    ~ ~ ~

    These ocean waters are peaceful. My bone donor no doubt swam these depths in life.

    (And whither the blue whale who once called these bones his own? Where goes the spirit once the flesh is gone?)

    Now I, the ghost in the skeletal machine, swim the ocean solitary and wonder which is lonelier — death, or life in death?

    158 words
    Phrase in another language

    Liked by 8 people

  32. Safe Harbours

    ‘Den blå hvalen var et fantastisk vesen ! ‘ said Lars, staring up at the colossal bone structure suspended above him.

    ‘An incredible beast Lars; not just magnificent.’

    Lars wondered why his brother had to be so pedantic when they had spent so long waiting for this moment. ‘Have you thought about father much since that day?’

    ‘It was a long time ago. We were only kids’

    ‘Do you remember that day? We would have died if he hadn’t led us back to safe harbour.’

    ‘Of course. He was so patient by our side. Always calm. Leading the way.’

    ’Have you forgiven Father?’

    ‘A whaler does what a whaler knows !’

    In unison, they looked up again and bowed their heads. The soul of their old friend and saviour received the acknowledgement, as the brothers wept for the loss of their childhood friend. Their pilgrimage to atone for the sins of their father was finally at an end.

    Ice Dragon option
    155 words

    Liked by 8 people

  33. Pink Dreams

    When he was younger, Barakat noticed her inside of him.

    She was gentle at first. He’d give her his leftover milk from cereal, and the blues he felt would abate, like sunrays at evening. But as he got older, she required more, so he spent his days at Maharloo Lake pretending to catch fish for her since the lake had no fish.

    Better known as Pink Lake, he wished that were inside of him — that he could gobble up the pink to drown her blues. She was catching on. As his mother would say, “نمک خوردن و نمکدون شکستن” and she was beginning to bite with ferocity.

    As she prepared to overtake him, Barakat watched as the pink waters lapped his toes, like a gentle kiss from a sunset. Then he plunged a butcher knife into his stomach and her blues.

    Red blood seeped into pink, swirling, and continuing to lap around him. His eyes closed, and her blues receded.

    Word count: 160 words.
    Element: Ice.

    Liked by 8 people

  34. *A Language of One*

    The humpback had no kin that he remembered. No one had taught him how to sing, but he did anyway. He followed the current, and his instincts. Click-driven echoes charted his way forward, an aural map that put him in reach of his kind for the first time— a matriarchal pod shepherding a boy-calf.

    The calf was talkative, full of whistles and pulses— but the humpback didn’t quite understand. He knew what his song meant, but those of the pod are puzzles to him. He gleaned fragments— this is the sun on your skin when you break into the sky, this is a cluster of bubble-netted fish, this is a small heart beating—but the humpback’s heart was dissonant, and eventually they parted.

    He searched for another who would understand his song— a series of long, low notes, flattening into quietude. A quavering interlude. A deep, rich, searching theme, repeated over and over. No one ever understood it but him.

    Word count: 160 words
    Element: Fire

    Liked by 10 people

  35. Title: Revenge of the Space Porpoises

    Marvelous technology, Stine thought, eying the bubble of liquid within his guest’s personal force field. Paired with an anti-grav unit, his guest could “swim” anywhere in the museum.

    Resembling the long-extinct Earth porpoise, Click-Click-Click-Screech (as rendered by the translator) asked erudite questions. This unique opportunity to escort Earth’s first alien visitor was going, well, quite swimmingly.

    Before they’d started, the Director had reminded Stine, “Remember to steer clear of the gallery with the you-know-what.”

    But Click-Click-Click-Screech was a curious being, and before Stine could head him in a different direction, the alien was in the gallery, gazing up at the skeleton of a blue whale.

    The translator lagged a bit when Click-Click-Click Screech spoke. “You said museum was this.”

    “Yes, yes, it is,” Stine replied.

    “No. No.” The translator took a while to come up with the correct word.


    Stine supposed a little white lie was better than angry space porpoises seeking revenge.

    “Yes. Of course. Cathedral.”

    Ice dragon element: an alien
    158 words

    Liked by 6 people

  36. A Grand Idea with a Pungent Lesson

    Sidney Ramsbotham (13), from Accrington, never forgot his visit to the Natural History Museum. He felt privileged – none of his friends had even visited London. He decided he’d create a museum in Accrington to rival it. He said if Blackpool could copy Paris with the tower then Accrington would have ‘le plus grand spectacle sur terre’.

    He collected specimens from his walks around Lancashire and asked schoolmates for contributions too; everyone wondered why children were frequently seen with wheelbarrows.

    His venue was secret. Partly because Sidney knew there may be some reason he shouldn’t use St. Barbara’s. But he reasoned it was a great space, like the hall with the blue whale. And god wouldn’t be angry as the dilapidated church would be displaying god’s work.

    His decision to show the local wildlife (frequently roadkill) ‘as found’ proved a mistake; though he learnt a lot about putrefaction.

    His next attempt would be better. A geological museum: with a functioning volcano.

    A.J. Walker
    WC: 160
    Element: ice

    Liked by 8 people

  37. Tempest Brewing

    He hung by the railing looking at the gigantic figure.
    “Helpless! I told you to behave, now don’t you sulk for being punished,” he shouted out.
    “Aye kid, you should tame the beast,” remarked a passer-by.
    “Grown-ups,” he muttered under his breath. He looked once again towards the beast. Bones hanging lifeless for humans to gaze, ignore, damage. He had called the guard once when a lovesick teen had carved ‘Joe ❤️ Ben’ on its tail.
    “Hope, hang on there,” said Aegaeon, Son of Lycaon. “When the water rises and touches your bones, you will be free from Father’s curse,” he whispered.
    Hope nodded. Aegaeon waved his hand into the air, far away a giant wave rose in Atlantic. The God of Tempest had arrived.

    Fire Dragon
    127 words

    Liked by 7 people

  38. ~ Hope

    Dippy the diplodocus stood alone, looking forlorn, despite his permanent half grin, baring his pencil-like teeth as it had done for decades.
    Look at the bright side, the old janitor quipped, you get to tour the whole country – for free! He emphasised swirling the mop.
    Dippy stood silently contemplating that thought, his neck craning upwards like he was stretching towards an invisible conifer.
    Hey, big buddy I’ll miss you, the janitor said, his voice echoing in the large hall.
    You done, the guard called from across the hall.
    The old janitor trundled off with one last look at Dippy. He wondered about the replacement. Gigantic blue whale, 221 bones; was all he could recall. Hope, they called her. Hope.
    He heard the TV playing in the guard’s room. News.
    United States of Absurdities, he grunted as he stowed away the mop and bucket. Yes, the world needed hope, even if it was just a lot of bones for now.

    Words: 160/fire dragon

    Liked by 8 people

  39. Travel Log

    “Can you two lower your voices?” hissed Ingrid.

    “Why? The pterodactyl isn’t going to mind.”

    Ingrid corrected the youngest. “It’s a blue whale.”

    “Whatever,” Miriam scoffed.

    Ingrid tried to remember why she hadn’t left her sisters at the hotel liked they begged. “Seriously, you guys are so embarrassing. Can’t you stop arguing for five minutes?”

    “We didn’t argue in the café,” Cecily, the middle sister, recalled.

    “That’s because your mouths were full of pastry.”

    “Oh, that was some good scone.” Miriam brightened at the memory.

    “I’ll be dreaming about apple crumble tonight,” Cecily predicted.

    “Let’s go back for more!”

    “Excuse me! We didn’t come all the way here to EAT.”

    Miriam shot back, “Speak for yourself! The café’s the only interesting thing about this place.”

    “Come on, let’s leave Ingrid with her boyfriend,” Cecily sneered, turning towards the mammoth whale.

    Ingrid’s face burned as her sisters sauntered away. “He, uh, it’s a girl … whale,” she whispered. To no one.

    non-human character

    Liked by 6 people

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