Also, for those who don't yet know - I have a poll up about FFM. If you have completed FFM and done all the challenges, please make sure you leave a comment (with your favourite challenge piece by you) on the poll so I can include you in my challenge feature! Feel free to share the poll with others who you know/suspect have completed the challenges, too.
And now, the features!
CloneClones are so underrated. Nestled deep inside where no one can touch me, I sit back, relax, and flick at the controller in my hands. Get up, Clone. Take a shower. Pull on a shirt and jeans. Go to the breakfast table. Slide some eggs onto your plate. Act natural, careful, careful—oh! Down go the eggs on the placemat. The yolks break and run. Good going, Clone. Excellent. Now the parental units are alerted to your presence. No point activating the invisibility shield now.
Far away from where I watch, I poke at the controller buttons in irritation, trying to see if I can undo Clone’s actions. True, his graphics are topnotch, almost an exact likeness to my own features and mannerisms, but sometimes he likes to defy my commands. I’m the player, damn it. He’s just the avatar. Undo, undo, come on ... nope, cannot be undone.
“That’s too bad, dear,” the mother character clucks. “Have some hotdogs?” She slides two on Clone’s plate. The
Just Eat ItThe cruelest irony of working as a server in a restaurant was not lost on Kristy -- starving at the end of the night, surrounded by food, no time to eat. She was used to it. Didn’t mean she liked it. Her aunt Linda didn’t understand how she could go so long without eating.
She crawled home after a double, a pocket full of cash but a belly as empty has the heads of the customers she served. All she wanted was some comfort and to not hear anything about it when she walked in the door. All the lights were off in the apartment. Linda’s door was closed.
Kristy went to her room, took off her work clothes and put on her yoga pants and tank top. The kitchen was clean and waiting for her. She went to the cabinets in search of something just for herself, nothing to worth getting into a fork-fight over. The night’s tilapia special was split six ways with her hyena-hungry co-workers.
Extra chunky peanut butter with tripl
FFM20: What Did You Say Your Name Was?Hiring a new assistant was a big deal. The Paranormal Researchers and Investigators Society was so broke, it didn't spring for new staff unless we were stretched so thin you could almost see through us. I should have known it would go wrong.
The first was was a well dressed man who kept spraying himself with Axe body spray.
“You don't really want me to carry anything, do you? Because I'm more a reporter than an assistant. Like, you need someone to make this look legit, some one pretty. I was voted hottest in my class four years in a row,” he said. Somehow, I doubted that. Maybe it was because he looked like the offspring of a bulldog and a donkey
The second was an ordinary looking woman in a sharp suit. She got my hopes up until she opened her mouth.
“I know you said this was an assistant position,” she said, “But I'm on the fast track for management. In two years I will be running this place. We'll just skip all the entry level work and you'll start train
That's the Third One This Week! “Mirror, mirror on the wall...”
There was a loud crash and a shower of fairy dust. The face in the mirror flickered briefly, a look of horror upon it, before being replaced by solid blue. The message, “Unhandled exception. Contact your Fairy Godmother or technical support group for further assistance,” appeared in the extreme top left corner.
“Oh, bloody Hell!” snapped Medusa, stamping her foot. “Now how am I supposed to find out who’s the fairest of them all?”
The Bird Lady FFM20I’ve lived in NYC for over two years, and for so many people living there, it’s an awfully lonely place to be. Everyone is very focused on themselves, no one makes eye contact in the streets, and even the cabs ignore you. My job is the only thing that keeps me here. I make so much money, it would be stupid to move back home and work at my dad’s store for only a fraction of what I earn. That, and I have an old lady to take care of.
She’s one of those bird ladies in the park. She’s a sweet old thing, and it would kill me to leave her alone. It would probably kill her too.
We became friends because I was sitting alone in the park one afternoon, watching the clouds and daydreaming. She jumped out of nowhere and said, “Feed the birds?” I nearly fell off my park bench, I was so surprised.
“Sure, sure,” I said, pressing a quarter into her wrinkled hand. Gums showing, she smiled. She handed me a paper bag of breadcrumbs and sat next to me.
Medusa in Therapy“I wouldn’t say my childhood was bad,” Medusa started as she took a seat on the push red couch. “My mother always gave me everything I needed. And if I wanted it, she would move heaven and earth to get it for me. And being a gorgon, she could. One little stare from her and no one could refuse her. No, my mother truly loved me more than anything else in the world.”
She turned over on the couch so she was resting on her belly and drape her arms over the sides. “My father? He was never in the picture. My mom said he was just too cold of a man with a heart made of stone. He’d never have been a good father, so I don’t really miss him in anyway.
“To be honest, doc, it’s the lack of friends that really bothered me. Evey time I’d go out, track down a group of kids having fun, and try to join in their games, they’d get all stiff and not talk to me.” Several of the snakes that made up her hair twisted around and rubbed
The HuntThe naked boys and girls trounced through the valley bushland, grazing as they went. Their feet were toughened from having never worn shoes; their skins were caked in mud. None were older than eight. There was a clear hierarchy, the older leading the younger. Here and there, a girl led a toddler by the hand, sharing whatever berries she picked with it. Boys are more inclined to play-fight, but these wrestling matches rarely get out of hand. A few babbled, but no one said any words. They did not know how. Laughter and tears was the only language they spoke, a crude but pure form of communication.
None flinched when they heard the sound of thunder in the distance, but they instinctively shifted the direction of their grazing, back toward the caves in which they took shelter. As the thundering grew louder, a few began to whimper, growing uneasy. None were old enough to remember the last culling. However, the sight of horses, with men and women atop, with a hundred hooves pounding the eart
Forest Fires and RosesShe only takes off her pink rubber gloves after forest fires. Her billowy dress is stitched with a hundred magazine cut-outs of flowers dipped into nail varnish. She crouches on the dirt, stroking the soil until wild greenery explodes from her touch. Pine trees spin high into the sky while baobabs lick the earth with fat roots. She runs her fingers over the knobby trunks, leaving a trail of vines heavy with the most exotic of blooms.
I scuff the toes of my boots against one of the newborn trees and watch her as she makes the forest breathe life again. She is standing back and admiring her work when I blurt out, “Miss, may I call you?”
She’s startled, as if I’ve woken her rudely from a wonderful dream. Her eyes search my reddening face. “Of course,” she finally says. “You alert me to an incident, and I come to do my job. That’s how it’s always been.”
I pull off my baseball cap and beat it against my jeans. “I mean . . . y
Day #21 FFM 2014Cameron Jacobs was nineteen when he jumped.
He was wearing orange Oasis shoes and grey jeans, his hair was gelled, and his backpack had just been dumped in an empty university garbage disposal. At the time, Cameron hadn't known whether it was really him who threw it there. He had listened to it clatter on the metal ground, a collection of pens spilling from an open pocket, the soft scrape of wire-bound notebook, and noted that he hadn't wanted to give anything away, not because he wanted to defy a norm set by suicides, but because he didn't want anyone to assume that his stuff meant something to him. To be honest, Cameron didn't want anyone to assume anything about him, which he realized was going to be impossible when he killed himself, but that certainly wasn't going to stop him.
He put in his headphones and jumped. He tried to remember that trick you're supposed to do at the doctor's office when you're getting a shot: you either chat with the nurse or your mom, or you think r
FFM '14.21 From the DepthsRick and Marta stared at the ruin of their wedding. The plastic chairs had been strewn haphazardly across the lawn, and were, in fact, hardly recognizable as chairs anymore. There was a gaping hole in the garden wall on the other side of where the guests had been seated, and a trail of slime and seawater led through it from the tattered temporary stage that had been the altar and summoning point. Above the distant rumbling of the beast stalking through the city toward the beach, the priest’s whimpers could be heard as he cowered behind the flower-decked arch that was the only thing left standing nearby, mostly because it hadn’t been directly in the behemoth’s path.
“So, I can see where doves would be appealing,” Marta said.
“Hmm,” Rick agreed. “But, hey, at least neither of us have to worry about in-laws now, thanks to the kraken.”
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
ChimneyBilly awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of scraping and cursing from within the chimney breast; someone appeared to be inching their way down it with a great amount of difficulty. Eventually there was a thump downstairs, followed by footsteps and the crashing of cupboard doors. A burglar.
Billy slipped out of bed and grabbed his wooden sword. Descending the stairs on tip-toes, he worked up all of his courage. He was going to be a hero. They might even put him in the newspaper.
Sooty footprints trailed across the hall carpet, leading into the kitchen. Billy leaned around the door and spied the culprit, a huge bearded man with a red coat and redder cheeks.
“Ho, Ho, HUUURRRRRRP,” bellowed Santa.
“Santa?” asked Billy, eyes wide, wooden sword hanging forgotten at his side.
“Heyyy,” said Santa, making a clumsily expansive gesture. “It’s Jimmy, just who I was looking for.”
“I have a big list of all th
Sparkler LoveWhen Mom comes home, she slams the door and throws her keys across the living room. It just barely misses my head. I pause Heavy Rain and say, “Take it therapy didn’t go too well then?”
She sighs and passes in front of me to pick up the keys. “You think it’s so easy? Why don’t you do it then? I’m sure you need it more than I do. If I have to spend one more minute discussing your father, so help me—”
“That bastard’s not my father. Don’t even remind me that I’m only alive because of his sperm.” I duck my head around her body and start playing my game again. Ethan’s just spinning around in the play park, screaming for Shaun, when my mother plops down next to me on the couch. She has her glasses on as she stares down at a notepad. Up close like this, I can see every line etched onto her once lovely face.
“Guess what I’m writing?” Mom says after a while.
“Another angry le
BeastlyThe hide was cramped and Hinchcliffe was tired. “I think I might go home,” he said to Anglesey. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to see them today.”
Anglesey glanced at him and then went back to staring through his binoculars. “Just be patient a little longer. They do usually—”
He clutched at his companion’s arm. “Look! There they are!” Anglesey passed the binoculars to Hinchcliffe, who pointed them towards the horizon.
He laughed with surprise and delight. “I see them! I see them!” Ever closer and closer they galloped—the most enormous herd of adverbs Hinchcliffe had ever seen.
He handed the binoculars back to Anglesey. They weren’t necessary any more—it was already starting to be possible to identify the individual words by eye. A happily and playfully were frolicking together; a grumpily was attempting to bite a member of the herd that had got too close; a ubiquitously was— w
As 'Tis the Custom Long, long ago in a land far, far away, a knight rode bravely through a dark, dark wood. His armour was strong, and his sword was true, and so when he met a terrible ogre upon the road, he did not hesitate to step down from his horse and prepare to do battle with the evil creature.
“Hark, yon beast!” he said, levelling his sword at the creature. “I prithee, face my blade in honoured battle. Though thou be but a base monster, you must know this would be better than to turn away, and be run down in ignoble flight.”
“Sorry,” said the ogre, “I didn’t catch any of that.”
“Dost thine low intellect wrestle with my noble tongue? Then plain let me be. I challenge you to single combat, as ‘tis the custom ‘twixt knight and villain.” He made a flourish with his sword for good measure.
ChampionRed's Octoghast swallowed the opponent's Sharkadillo whole, and just like that, the fight was over.
“Congratulations, Red!” said the professor. “You're the new Battlepet league champion!”
Red looked at his Battlepet team. He'd dreamt of this moment since he was little, but now that he was here, it felt wrong.
“You've come a long way since you started out on your journey with Splatypus!”
Splatypus had been Red's first Battlepet. A blue little platypus with water powers, he'd carried him around on one shoulder as they went on their adventures. Red missed those days. At some point it had become clear that Splatypus just wasn't powerful enough, and that was that. He replaced him.
In retrospect, that was probably where it had all started going wrong.
Red's current team was frightening to behold. Octoghast had once been Octostar, a bright yellow starfish thing with a happy face. Now it was a monstrosity, bulging with eyes and tentacles. Red watched as his
FFM 23: Trophies“And this one, I got after I slayed the vampire of Gershon,” the Hunter announced, pointing at the two holes tattooed on his neck. “When I battled the Odd Ones in Goblith Forest, I got this one back here.” He turned to reveal chaotic black spirals twisting up his spine. “These ones--”
This had been going on too long.
Aloric stood from the bar, shrugging the furs off his shoulder. The tavern went silent as the audience’s gaze shifted. Ragged claw-marks tore down his chest, and his right bicep was encircled with a jagged ring that could only have been jaws. A cluster of arrow-sized dots marred his side, and a net a thin lines wound up one side of his face.
Leaning within inches of the hunter’s face, Aloric let out a low growl. “Anyone can buy tattoos. Scars are earned.”
AblazeAnd so the world ended, not with a whimper, but a bang. Fire rained from the heavens. Few understood the cause of the phenomenon; it didn’t matter anyway. The cause eclipsed the effect. He knew they had only a few minutes left. Why waste those precious few minutes raging against the oncoming fate?
He took her by the hand. He did not rage, but he could mourn. He wasn’t afraid of death… he just wished they’d had more time together.
The pelt of sparks began to burn, each little impact sizzling against his skin. “I just want to say… this year with you was the best of my life. By far.”
She smiled, and popped open her umbrella. It would buy them only another second, maybe two, but even that was enough. A second could be a lifetime with her.
They huddled under the umbrella’s shadow, and, as the world burned around them, lived that lifetime together.