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About Literature / Artist G. DeykeGermany Group :iconlitconquistadores: LitConquistadores
 
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Literature
Ripples
The boat… (→1)
The sea… (→2)

1.
…passes smoothly through the waves, parting the ripples of moonlight on either side. The sea shimmers like silver: an endless trove of coins, intangible, out of reach.
The boatman watches the glints of silver, thinking of the coins he did not steal, and of the boat he did. He does not know where he is running to. He only knows that he is running.
A winding shadow follows alongside the boat under the waves.
He reaches for it… (→14)
He attacks it… (→7)
He flees it… (→3)

2.
…ripples with moonlight, and rising bubbles shimmer from the deep.
The man who swims through it is a shadow in the deep, long and undulant, his tail shimmering like silver. He watches the waves from below: a long wooden shape cuts through the fractured moonlight, rowing out from the shore.
He reaches for it… (→15)
He attacks… (→6)
He flees
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Literature
Lingering
“Stay with me. Please.”
She knows better – she should know better. She should be asking Dara to flee, to save herself at least, to live a long and happy life without her. Love demands it of her. So do her morals. But she can’t stop herself: here in the darkness, half-crushed already and bleeding more than she could survive, she can’t bear the thought of facing death alone.
A part of her hopes that Dara will ignore her dying pleas. But Dara lies down beside her, kissing her hair, fingers laced through mangled flesh.
They wait for the end together.
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Literature
Twelve Lilies, Eleven Ravens
I would have told my mother the truth that day: what I was, what I’d never be. But there was a sorrow in her deeper than mine, and when I asked her the reason she showed me a room where twelve coffins lay waiting: one for myself, and one for each of my brothers.
With a hand on her swollen belly, she told me: “If I bear a son, your father will build a thirteenth coffin. If I bear a daughter he will have the twelve of you killed, for she alone will inherit our kingdom.”
The words I’d been longing to speak died in my throat. The throne might have been mine, my father’s cruel whim averted – but what did that matter, if it came at the cost of my brothers’ lives?
-
We hid ourselves in the forest while my mother gave birth. When it was finished she hung a cloth from her window: red as blood, the colour of peril. Our sister was born a girl.
On pain of death, we could never return home.
We had no other way to go, and so we went deeper into the forest, h
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Literature
In the Shadow of the Moon
The dead gather beneath the dull red moon, watching, waiting.
Moonlight calls their restless bones to walk. Moonlight fills their empty ribs with strength. Moonlight shines into their eyeless sockets, burning through their silent dreams.
They wait, and watch, and hope for an ending.
-
The temple has lain abandoned in the forest for many years, but its altar is untouched by time, by wild growth.
This is the Temple of Ending.
The rituals were easy enough to find. The dagger, lifted from the belt of a priest, took some doing: Jaden loosened him with drinks and took it from his waist while they danced, and made himself scarce before the scorned cleric could call down a curse.
The waiting was worse. The moon’s strength is too great to darken it unless it is already in shadow. This night, this hour, is the best and only chance he will have.
And as for the sacrifice –
He took the child from the streets. No one will miss them: they have the gaunt and filthy look of an orphan, and w
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Literature
Devotion
The statue smiles at him when he feeds it. Its wooden eyes are cold, and ancient, and look on him with love.
He feeds his meals into the carven lips. Day by day he grows thinner; day by day the statue grows fatter. He hears it whispering to him in his sleep: Feed me, worship me, follow me. Give yourself to me. I’ll bring you to a place beyond the dark, and love you when you dare not hope for love.
They find him dead at its feet, head bowed in supplication, lips stretched back in a grimace of fear.
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Literature
Secret Weapon
Getting past the guards is easy. They’re watching a film instead of the CCTV: an animated donkey rises onto the screen, yelling, “I have a dragon and I’m not afraid to use it!” They laugh, and never notice the silent figure casually sauntering past.
Alyssa can’t resist waving at them as e passes. The screen catches a reflection of the movement, fingers flickering, but they never turn to look.
-
Getting past the head of security should be harder: she has military and martial arts training, ten years of bodyguard experience, enough scars and medals to decorate a palace. Alyssa came prepared with two forms of false ID, an arsenal of force grenades, an alibi, and a mountain of justified fear; but this is eir lucky day. She’s asleep over coffee and doughnuts, and Alyssa slips past her unnoticed.
-
“So you’ve found me.” He pulls a sleek metal rod from his sleeve. “Want me to try this out on you?”
“What is it?
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Literature
A Single Stolen Hour
Each night she comes with her sisters to the spinning-room, to spin with the women of the village. I sit beside her, when I can: I speak with her, and trade my stories for hers, and bask in her nearness like a cat before the hearth.
Her hands are strong and elegant, her hair long and fine. She smells of water, sweet and fresh and living, like the lake-scent that clings to my hair when I swim. Her smile is gentler than moonlight and more lovely than the sun.
She never tells me where she comes from, nor do her sisters speak of their home; but each night, when they hear the clock strike ten, they gather their spools and hurry home. Not a minute longer will they tarry – even when I beg her, in the dark behind the house, where the others cannot see my fingers on her lips, her hands entangled in my hair.
“Please,” I whisper, a breath against her ear. “Stay with me.”
Even as her fingers dance across my skin, she answers: “I cannot. It is forbidden me.
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Literature
45 Minutes
“We’re making inquiries as to the whereabouts of one Hakim Gomez. Sources have placed him in your company, Mr. Bennett. I don’t wish to name the nightclub in question.”
A bolt of ice shoots down Steven’s back, frozen lightning against his spine. His heart is thudding in his ears, his mouth too dry to bullshit an answer.
“We’ll give you forty-five minutes to consider your response. I trust you’ll make the right decision.” Click.
He lowers the phone from his ear, slowly, eyes fixed on the pile of dishes heaped beside the sink. They’ve been building up for far too long. They need washing. He can’t bring himself to move.
He isn’t sure how long it’s been when Hakim comes out of their bedroom, pulling a tight T-shirt over his mussy hair. When he sees Steven standing there, motionless and white-faced, he snaps awake: Steven can see him bracing himself, the sudden tension knotting in his chest.
“W
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Literature
The Shepherd's Flute
The melody comes to me in my dreams. It haunts my memories when I wake, so I take out my flute and set to learning it.
Where did I first hear it? My memories are filled with only water. Even the flute – golden as it is, and my only possession – is a mystery; but the melody suits it well. When I play it I think of moonlight and waves, and of yearning.
When I dream of the water, I think there is someone waiting for me.
When I raise the flute to my lips, I pray they’ll hear my song.
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Literature
Meltwater
The cracks in the ice have been widening, day by day. Maria sees it in Nejla’s eyes: there is a distance between them, now, a silence she cannot break, a hesitance in Nejla’s breath before she speaks. When Maria kisses her Nejla pulls away.
She doesn’t know where it came from, this distance. She doesn’t know how to stop herself careening forwards, sliding unstoppably towards a surface that can no longer hold her.
It isn’t a surprise when Nejla tells her goodbye.
She feels the crash of it just the same: the helpless fall, the ice-water flooding through her lungs.
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Literature
For a Night's Music
Wheat shines golden in the passing headlights. An occasional red glimmer lurks in the darkness they leave behind, but the driver’s eyes never stray from the road: until she sees the combine harvester, reaping and threshing and winnowing, a lightless silhouette under the full moon.
She brakes hard, more by instinct than design, and stares at the thing through her window. She can’t make out the driver: a wide-brimmed hat shelters them from the gleam of the night’s blackened sun. The combine is utterly silent as it moves.
Fear shivers down her spine. She floors the gas, tyres squealing, and flees from the spectre of something she’d hoped not to meet for many years.
-
How are all you motherfuckers doing tonight?!
The crowd roars. She stands before them in leather and corpse paint, feasting on the burning radiance of their euphoria. Behind her the double bass drums roll out a beat peppered with snare notes.
You know this one,”
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Literature
Bearskin
The bearskin is hot and heavy. Beneath it I am hair and sweat and fingernails, itching and bleeding, stinking with the filth of unwashed years. The people I pass recoil when they see me.
Good, I think. I recoiled from myself in the mirror long before my seven years began: there is a spiteful glee in my heart each time I see that they see me as I see myself.
But there is hope before me now, strong as silk, and I follow it grimly. Seven years I must wear this bearskin, seven years I must leave my nails and hair uncut, seven years I must go without washing – but at the end of it, so the man with the horse’s foot promised, I’ll have whatever I desire.
“You know what I want,” I told him.
In my pocket I carry half a broken ring, a promise within a promise. I find some comfort in its smooth curve, its raw jagged edges: touching it, I think of the woman who holds the other half. She loved me for myself, I think, for she met me as Bearskin. It cannot be my b
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Literature
The Dunwich Helper(s)
“Hi. My name’s Steve, and I have the face of an eldritch abomination.”
A mumbled “Hi, Steve” made its way around the room in acknowledgement. Steve, indeed, had the face of an eldritch abomination. Tentacle-beard and all.
“I wasn’t always this way,” Steve explained. “I mean – obviously. Can you imagine what my mother would have said if I’d come out like this?”
The room tittered nervously.
“I’ve always had skin problems,” Steve continued, “but, like, conventional skin problems. Not go-mad-from-the-revelation skin problems. I try to stay fairly upbeat, but…” Steve trailed off dejectedly, staring into the expectant, if uncomfortable, faces before him.
“Anyway, there was a sketchy clinical trial in Fresno and here we are.” He scratched a tentacle.
“That’s not a… normal… side effect, is it?” Meg Guyver was the first to break the awkward silenc
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Literature
Rituals
He comes home too late, already exhausted. The thought of a warm bed is all that’s kept him going the past few hours.
Still, as he enters, he turns on the light – turns it off again – and on – and off – five times, so; touches his fingers against the door, thumb-little-index-ring-middle, right hand first, then left, then right again; locks the door, unlocks it, locks it again and twists the key twice.
In his mind, he knows that the ritual is meaningless.
In his heart, it’s all that keeps the bed he shares with his husband from burning as they sleep.
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Literature
Eighty-Seven Days Before the End
They look at the pocketknife every morning. Run their fingers over the handle, tracing the letters of the engraved name. Flip it open and gaze into the mirrored blade, wishing they could see through it to find their love on the other side – but all that looks back from the polished steel are their own haunted eyes.
Vivian gave them the knife before she left. It’s all they have left of her: they can’t write or call her, can’t even follow her on tumblr. Viv’s parents know all the passwords, and they’re not the sort to let even a hello go unquestioned.
They had to meet her in secret, before she moved away. She didn’t even dare to tell her parents her new name, or that she had one, or that she needed one.
It’s only for eighteen months. Seventeen. Sixteen. Eight. Five. They count down the days to Vivian’s eighteenth birthday, waiting for her freedom, helpless to help her.
Eighty-seven days before the end, the blade of the pocketkn
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Literature
The Stardancer's Love
There lived a king on a distant planet who treasured two things above all else: firstly, his three children; and second, a tree which bore fruit of gold.
It happened one night that a thief came and stole a fruit from the golden tree, unseen by the palace guards. The king, fearing as much for his life and that of his children as for his precious fruit, proclaimed that the thief must be caught at once: and whosoever brought them before him would win his planet’s throne.
The king’s sons were eager to please him, and all the more eager for the promise of kingship. They guarded the golden tree by turns: but each night the weight of sleep closed their eyes at last, and each night the thief came and went without any trace of their passing. At last the youngest prince cut a wound into his arm and rubbed it with salt. The pain of it kept his eyes open through the night: and so, at last, he saw who it was that came to steal his father’s fruit.
But the thief was not human. It ha
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Favourites

Journal
FFM 2018 Community Feature
Welcome to the Flash Fiction Month 2018
Community Feature!
Almost a thousand stories were produced for Flash Fiction Month this year, and that's a lot to sift through, even for a multi-headed quasi-immortal fiction entity like ourselves. ;) (Wink) That's why every year we ask the participants to send us their favorite stories, so that we may gather them together for a final feature.
All the stories below were suggested by the FFM participants (or by a Hydra), so if you weren't sure where to begin catching up with your reading, this is the place to start! We aren't omnipotent (alas), so there's bound to be a few gems that escaped our notice, but you're still welcome to suggest them to us in the comments section.
:iconbookcrusher:

:iconcamelopardalisinblue:

:iconCassi
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Whispering Secrets by JannaFairyArt Whispering Secrets :iconjannafairyart:JannaFairyArt 413 155 Ich habe meine Worte verloren by AnjaMillen Ich habe meine Worte verloren :iconanjamillen:AnjaMillen 86 9
Journal
6 MORE DAYS! 100-Word Short Story Contest+Giveaway
It's finally almost that time of year again, my birthday! :party: This year I want to read some works by all the authors in the house! :la:
I ran a little poll asking if anyone would be interested in doing a little writing contest, and I got quite a few responses already saying people were interested, so let's go ahead and do this! :eager:
Deadline: August 19, 2018, 11:59 PM CST
First off, let's see what you'll be doing for the contest. 
Your challenge is as follows:
Write a 100 word story. In the story, you MUST somehow use the words:
:bulletblack:Yellow

:bulletblack:Dove

:bulletblack:Present

:bulletblack:Wind

*Capitalization optional, aren't I kind? :D
That gives you 4 words already down, and only 96 more to go! :dummy: With over 10 days to write your hearts out, that's less than 9.5 words per day... :strong: Just careful not to strain those fingers now
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Journal
Congratulations FFM 2018 Winners!
You've made it. It's been an incredible year, with amazing stories written by the deliriously unstoppable you. Yes, you. It doesn't matter whether you participated all 31 days, done every single challenge, or if you've written maybe one or two stories. You were here, you wrote, you participated, and if not for you, we wouldn't be here at all.
We'd like to say thank you to everyone who made this possible:
Thank you to the donors, anonymous and otherwise, responsible for our winners receiving a prize (the fabulous mug!);
Thank you to our esteemed judge panel for reading and reading and reading;
Thank you to the community for reading, judging, favouriting and commenting;
and thank you to the writers who wrote their hearts out.
In the years past, writers have been judged by a secret panel of volunteers and the multi-headed Hydra on a week by week basis. That has remained the same. This year, you all have truly upped the ante as far as quality and consistency goes, therefore we are proud to
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Journal
Announcing Wolf at the Door
Back in May I set up Codename Caerus: a game project bringing a team of people together to make something better than any of us could have produced individually. That something is still in the works – it’ll take more than a couple of months to see it through to the end – but we’ve made great progress and Codename Caerus now has a title: Wolf at the Door.

Our efforts so far have been focused on getting a demo prepared for submission to AdventureX. At this stage, it’s not in good enough shape to share – this one’s just to demonstrate that we have the bare bones of a working game – but it can be played start to finish and most of the gameplay
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Journal
FFL August 2018 prompt
Hello there,
August's theme is - FAIRY TALES
Be it something you read to your grandson while he is home sick from school, a cautionary lesson, full of helpful forest animals or blood and gore you have most likely come across some version of a fairy tale. Let's have your take on these time-tested stories.
Remember to keep it to 1000 words or fewer and to submit to the 2018 prompt folder by the end of the month.
Stay flashy!
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Literature
FFM 31: Black Widow
    I met her on a cruise ship. The diamond studs in her ears glittered and sparkled but nothing compared to her smile—I think I fell in love with the way that her right eye squinted and crinkled when she laughed before I knew anything else about her. She beckoned me to a game of roulette, reaching for me--telling me I was lucky.
    Her eyes were bottomless.
    I took a chance.
-
 
    On a red-eye flight to Chicago I found something of her again, though her face was gaunt and sallow. Her eyes, still bottomless, offered me a thousand unspoken apologies but it was too late for any of it to matter now. She’d stolen more than my heart, but somehow I couldn’t hate her.
    I turned to the raindrops on the clouded window, waiting to be grounded again.
 
-
 
    Time itself had captured me when we met for the final time, my joints creaking and fingertips paper thin. Sh
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Literature
FFM 30: THIS IS ABOUT DEATH
I sat beside my children listening to the old widows speak about Death over coffee. They regarded the subject like an old lover, describing each encounter with affection-tinged grief.
“The soul is heavy,” said one as she described her husband’s death. “I could feel him lighten.”
I pressed my children to me, bearing their weight.
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Literature
FFM 29: In the Morning
    When the morning comes, Pasqual will rise. His hearing aid will need to have batteries put in so that he’ll be able to hear something beyond the jumbled muted cacophony that normally overwhelms his ears.
    Once Pasqual can better hear through the wind tunnel that is day-to-day life, he’ll sit down to a breakfast parfait that includes blueberries. Blueberries are Pasqual’s favorite fruit, and he'll find the blueberries to be perfectly ripe--the right amount of tangy sweetness. Pasqual’s parfait will only include a small amount of granola, because he’ll discover he’s running low.
    Pasqual will have to go to the store if he wants more granola.
    On the drive to the store, the existential malaise will set in deeply, and Pasqual will wonder if his past will ever cease to haunt him. The pictures and memories of choices long since made in a time when he was a different man will come so c
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Literature
Default
JN113 studied her own face on the missing person poster. She almost wanted to laugh at the waste of time it represented – even if the world at large cared about a runaway Default, there were hundreds of people wearing the exact same face in this city alone.
She raised her hood as rain started to shower from the misty neon heights. As much as her new friends tried to tell her otherwise, until she could afford the surgery, she'd always be a missing person. A blank space where something unique and beautiful should be.
She ran into her father on the way to her boyfriend's apartment, and the guilt was almost overwhelming. He looked exhausted, and appeared have been searching tirelessly, putting up posters on every surface. His heartbreak was clear to see.
“May I?” he asked, as he'd likely asked dozens of people already. She rolled up her sleeve and let him scan her fractacode. She'd had it altered, obviously, but she was nervous; it hadn't been tested in practice.
Her fath
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Literature
Nostalgia and Perpetuity
Daniel had had to do a lot of adjusting to the new world after he'd fallen into an experimental wormhole and ended up a hundred years in the future. Sentient robots trying to be humans, cyborg humans trying to be robots, alien immigrants trying to get into Earth, neo-neo-nazis trying to keep them out, and still no goddamned flying cars like they'd been promised. But there was one thing at least that he could count on. One thing at least that was still the same. One little thing in this big 22nd Century apple that still felt like home.
Daniel bit into his dirty-water hotdog and grinned, savouring the seasoned taste of nostalgia and perpetuity.
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Literature
FFM 2018 31: The Dragon's Gold
1.
Lured by dreams of gold, you tread inside a tunnel with pulsating walls. How long have you been walking? You can’t remember. Sweat streams down your face from the heat of your torch. The tunnel itself is hot as hellfire.
The tunnel slopes downward, and the ceiling disappears. The sky is impenetrable darkness but for a single white snowflake, which soon swells into a falling girl.
She’s about to crash right into you.
Save her. → 2
Sidestep her. → 5
2.
You manage to grab her before she plunges past. You realize that she’s someone you recognize, a girl you might have loved until you decided you loved treasure more.
She says she’s wasted all her courage just to get here: swallowed poison, volunteered to be the next virgin, jumped.
You ask why she’s here then.
To save you, she says, but now you’ve ruined her sacrifice by saving her.
Sinking to the skeleton-strewn floor, she winces as the bones jab her skin.
Find a place for he
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Literature
FFM 2018: Adrift
HMS Orpheus: Captain’s Log - Day 26 - Bearings: Unknown.
There is blood in the water.
The men gather upon the railings, and wait for the others to arrive. Like sharks, they’re drawn by the promise of meat. Their tails thrash the water, pale hair splaying beneath the surface like weeds.
When they sing, we are helpless.
I no longer know where we are.
The sirens will not let us leave.
-

HMS Orpheus: Captain’s Log - Day ? - Bearings

The island.
The heat smothers us, making us lethargic. Hours drip between our fingers like honey. Slowly, we're beginning to forget our own names.
Why would we want to leave this place? Where would we go? There are no maps, no charts by which to steer our course. Even the stars are unfamiliar.
The islanders have invited us ashore.
Perhaps we will stay.
-

Ship’s Log, Entry 1622

Once this was a convict ship, bound for the colonies. We thought the sea had delivered us, but we were mistaken. Th
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Literature
Shipwrecks
I.    
The shadow of a boat passed overhead. She knew she shouldn't go to it. Such interactions were forbidden, and for good reason. Legged creatures were irrational, dangerous. There had been many stories of mermaids disappearing aboard their boats and never coming back. Eaten, perhaps. None of this mattered to her. She was young and curious and mischievous, so she swam right up to it and gave it a nudge.
II.
    No storm brewed on the horizon. The breeze hadn't even changed. And yet the boat rocked. Gregory wrapped a hand in the rigging and leaned out so he could better gaze into the water below. It had honestly felt like they'd hit something underneath. the captain would say it was nonsense, of course. Then the boat rocked again, and Gregory and the rest of the crew hit the water.
III.
    The mermaid queen looked down on the troublemaker, bound with ropes of kelp and held securely by a royal guard on either side. The rest of the guard were occupied wit
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Literature
The Redeemer
This was wrong.
Temel stood and trembled, staring through her visor, through the superimposed readouts and targeting circles, at the older woman kneeling gently in the grass.
It was a false world. She knew it was a false world. She’d known when the pod malfunctioned, when it crashed, when she woke up in a soft bed surrounded by white and green, by fresh air and birdsong and peace. She’d still known when people had come to her, changing bandages and ointments, bringing her fresh clothes, speaking something strange that lilted like song.
She’d known it was false. Everybody knew that their own home world was the only true dimension, the one original universe, the Absolute and the Supreme. Everybody knew that whatever else was out there was only made of empty shadows and monsters, stealing power and life to sustain its artificial existence. Destroying them was merely canceling out a negative, more creation than destruction really.
And yet the ointments and c
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FlashFictionMonth has come to a close, which makes this – for me – five years. July has become an indispensable highlight of my year, and once again I’m very pleased with what came of it: not quite every story was a winner, but close to it.

My biggest obstacles this year should, perhaps, have been the three extra challenges heaped on top of the official ones – but in fact they were the heat (which essentially limited my writing to nighttime) and a certain motivational problem around week 2. Of the challenges, I was surprised to find that the anonymously contributed “every character is queer” one made things hardest. Several reasons for that: 1) flash fiction is short enough that usually it just doesn’t come up, meaning that I had to write a lot of transition- or relationship-focused stories in order to make room for it; 2) its influence made the fairy tale challenge harder than it otherwise would have been: I had to select stories to rewrite that would work well with it; 3) representation is great and all, but burying one’s gays is not, so I was forced to write a number of stories just dripping with wholesomeness. :lol: This is, of course, a good thing. Wholesome queer stories are very much needed in the world today, and expanding one’s boundaries as a writer is always good – I default to tragedy far too often, so all this sappy wholesome romantic happy-ending fluff was a really good thing for me.

I mean, not that the tragic ones aren’t in there too.

Teague-Drydan’s fairy tale challenge was fun and excellent, though it contributed to the tone of this month being much less varied than in previous years. Usually I try to go for a good mix of stories: this time, I totalled one humour story (the collaboration challenge) and two or three sort of silly stories (the official fairy tale / anthropomorphism challenge, written during my week of extremely failed motivation, and another tropes challenge or two). The good news is that the overriding tone is one that I very much enjoy, and apparently so do many of my readers. I’ve had people asking me to publish an anthology of fairy tale rewrites and/or original fairy tales, and I’m quite tempted to make that a reality if I can: partly because “publish a book of fairy tale rewrites/interpretations” has been on my not-quite-serious internal to-do list since I was about eight, partly because I love these things, and partly because it’d give me a chance to introduce more variety than I did for FFM. Due to time constraints for research, nearly all of the fairy tales I rewrote were either Grimm tales or ones from more recently collected, more specifically local folklore. Which is great and all, but not particularly diverse.

joe-wright’s All-Star challenge, which he talked me into taking on despite the will of the dice, was actually in many ways the easiest. Getting everything in there in very limited time on top of everything else was a bit of a struggle, but for the most part it acted more as inspiration than as a limit. So I guess I won’t be ruing that challenge after all. ;)

Now that the month is over, it’s time for a break, sleep, and work on a bunch of other things that I’ve put on hold for the sake of FFM. Also, an upcoming vacation. I’ll get started on this year’s FFM collection when I’ve recovered a bit and have the time, but I will be out of the country, without a computer or internet, from August 17th to the beginning of September. If you need me during that time, leave me a note or comment somewhere where it won’t get lost, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can (but not before September); and as for the collection, what with that break there’s a very good chance it won’t be out until sometime next month.

In the meantime, here are some other FFM stories for you to read! As always, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite responses to each official FFM challenge:

Day 1: the character/setting/MacGuffin challenge.
There’s a definite chance I’m biased in choosing distortified’s “Anticlimax” for this day. My character description was purposely cherry-picked to appear badass, and yet he made me far more badass than I had any right to expect. ;) But aside from that, it’s a really excellent story: it takes the badassery and runs with it, Lyrrie’s characterisation is just as awesome, and the way we (all right, all right, the characters) interact with each other is perfect.
FFM18 01-AnticlimaxI emerged from The Paths, pushing Lyrrie ahead of me in her antiquated wheelchair, and waited for my eyes to adjust to the shift in worlds.  We had stepped out of a forest, on to a worn old blacktop road that cut through a barren desert.  On this plane, the sun was setting, and I cursed our luck.  Shit always got weird around here at night and the whole business would’ve been easier at noon.
“This is it?” My companion asked, and I nodded.  “What the hell are we going to do here?”  
“Meeting my cousin,” I murmured, blinking away stars.  A hundred yards ahead of us, the old highway was intersected by another, creating a crossroads devoid of stop light or sign.  The old gas station was barely more than a shack with two ancient pumps out front, and my travel-addled eyes tried to reconcile the ghost image of a witch’s hut in the middle of the woods.  We had left there yesterday, and I wasn’t at all


Day 3: the reconciliation challenge.
The Twin Your Parents Won’t Accept” by ilyilaice takes the challenge in an interesting direction. Thought-provoking and full of emotion. Content warning for suicidal ideation.

Day 5: the anti-villain / interrupted document challenge.
Singing from the Depths” by joe-wright tells the tale of a descent into madness, and contains the absolute best interrupted document I have ever seen.
Singing from the DepthsArchibald Ichorwell had dedicated his life to the accumulation of knowledge; a noble goal he had begun to pursue through ignoble means. He held in his hands the Kakoasteíon, an ancient tome of unknown provenance, dogged by fearful tales and superstitions. Not a single scholar of the modern age had dared pry it open for fear it would return the favour in kind.
Archibald Ichorwell dared. By candlelight he translated:
Look up, and observe for yourself. Infinity hangs above our heads. We are but plankton in the oceanic void – imagine the leviathan that sails in the depths. There are some things that man was not meant to know. Some truths that our minds have not been shaped to understand. My mentor once told me that to seek to learn the inconceivable is alike to pouring the ocean into a cup. I now know this to be untrue. More correctly, it is like fitting a tiger inside a fly.
I say this in warning, in illustration of what awaits you. To read what I am about to w


Day 7: the cocktail name challenge.
Fidel” by ilyilaice builds a story around cocktails mixed around stories.

Day 10: the fairy tale / anthropomorphism challenge.
distortified’s “Blessings” is mythological in a way that might annoy both hardcore atheists and hardcore religious people, but which I enjoyed very much.
FFM18 10 - BlessingsThe desert was cooler than usual for the season, and the traveler was grateful for it.  He was a long way from his familiar fjords and stark tundra, a different sort of desert in its own right.  On each of his shoulders, there perched a large raven, and at each of his heels stalked a lean, vicious-looking wolf, but he had picked up another travelling partner along the way between home and here.
“You sure you ain’t lost?”  The little spider whispered, and one of the ravens eyed him hungrily, not for the first time.
“I am still following the Star, little trickster,” The Allfather replied, with a hint of a smile.  So long ago was this, that even he was still young, the scars on his eye still raw and fresh.  He had already drank from Ymir’s well though, and had foreseen the various mischief-makers that lay in his own future, surrogate sons and the like.  “You’re trying to mislead me again.”
“This is b

Day 12: the wannabe / dying moment of awesome challenge.
Incorruptible” by ilyilaice comes with a host of content warnings (self-harm, child abandonment, rape, suicide; I’m going to throw peer abuse in there as well), and not for nothing. Brace yourself before you read it, avoid it if you have to. That said, it is well worth the read if you can stomach it, and beautifully written.
I’m actually going to feature another one for this day, because I feel the need to balance this one out a bit. “Buckle Up Your Swash” by SCFrankles is a far more light-hearted take on the challenge, and the death – though implied – must truly have been spectacular.
Buckle Up Your SwashThe casting director smiled. “I’m Nina Packington and this is Zebedee Mackham, our artistic director. Thanks so much for coming in to sing for us… Adam, is it? ”
“Oh, no problem at all. I’m thrilled to be here.” The man looked about the rehearsal room vaguely. “Am I… the only one auditioning today? I thought there’d be lots of people.”
“Well, word’s got round—” began Zebedee.
Nina jumped in. “We’re just being very choosy.” She directed another smile at the auditioner. “Now, if all goes well, you’ll be taking the central role in the opera, replacing our lead Mortimer Murgatroyd who has… left us.”
“Oh, yes?” said the auditioner.
“Yes, indeed.” Nina cleared her throat. “At the first preview performance, after the climactic scene—the very, very climactic scene—he, well…”
There was a long pause.


Day 14: the Shakespeare challenge.
This was easily the hardest challenge of the month, in my view: not because of the verse itself, but because of having to fit it into prose. It's something I could have done well on another day, maybe, or with more time, but certainly not then. DamonWakes’ “Shakespeare Jumps the Shark” made it look utterly natural.
Shakespeare Jumps the Shark“Behold, the fair Ophelia whose feet
     “so nimbly guide the course of skis that fly
     “not upon base snow, that blights the land
     “but water, flawless, perfect in its sheen.
     “Drawn by vessel motorisèd she
     “like Phoebus’ car glides swift across the lake,
     “though not so bright, her radiance less grand,
     “her fair-faced beauty gentler on the eyes.”
     “Hamlet,” said the gravedigger, “it’s cool how much you like Ophelia and all—I’ll agree it’s admirable that she was so keen to give waterskiing a try—but I’ve got a job to do here and I think we can both agree I should probably get it done sooner rather than later. This isn’t the best time to stand on the lakeshore reciting an ode

Day 17: the magical realism challenge.
Like Magic” by The-Inkling is beautiful and sweet, and no matter how much I look at it I can’t make up my mind whether it’s sad or… whatever the opposite of “sad” is, when it isn’t “happy”. In any case, it’s excellent.
FFM 2018: Like MagicArturo always picks the best songs.
He finds them in the boxes upon boxes of old records that my father left to me, retrieving them with exaggerated care from their yellowed protective sleeves. Arturo doesn’t believe in anyone or anything besides himself, but whenever I see him putting a record on I am reminded of a worshipper kneeling before his holy altar. The comparison always makes me smile.
I know I should clean things up. It has been months now, but I still I haven’t been able to bring myself to unpack all the boxes, and now they just sit in the corner of the apartment, gathering dust. My apartment has become a shrine to the dead, sacred objects stashed in corners, spilling over into the tiny living room, and across the floor of what used to be our bedroom.
Last summer the heat became so extreme that Arturo decided to reduce everything in the apartment to its simplest components. We removed half the furnishings, the curtains, our antique couch. He insisted that we tea


Day 19: the collaboration challenge.
Oreramar’s “Blood and Iron” is beautiful and eerie, in the best style of the fae. JayaLaw’s “Experiments with Flying” takes place afterwards – long afterwards – which is almost the coolest thing about this collaboration. It may be the only one I’ve seen that spans millennia.
Blood and IronThe patrol found her nearly six miles from the village of Stoneford, or perhaps she found them. She was barefoot, dressed in a simple shift, with her long hair unbound and a knife clasped in one hand. Blood had half-dried in tacky streaks across her skin, and her clothes were all but dyed in it. She glided across the ground like a Queen, cloaked in an air of serene grace, and beneath the blood she was impossibly beautiful.
The patrol didn’t stop her. She stopped them.
“Nobody else in that village survived,” she said. “You must take me to the King at once.”
The knight who led the patrol sent four soldiers on to the village to see for themselves, then gave the woman his horse, to spare her feet the rocks and stones of the road. She took the high seat like a throne, though the animal, normally well-trained, sidled beneath her like it sensed a storm, a skirmish, a snake in its path. The knight assumed it was the scent of blood and apologized for his mount
FFM Challenge: Experiments with FlyingThe portal stood on the top of the hill. It was dark grey stone, the color of washed out storms, and at times it sparked.
"Still here after it was built thousands of years ago," Shep grunted. "Like we all dreamed."
"We wouldn't have been born if it didn't exist in the first place," Mauveine pointed out. "I like being here."
They gathered around it. Ginger's hair-snakes were biting her nails, and she sucked at a lollipop the size of her Velcro sneakers. Mauveine slithered back and forth, with worry. Her scales had started to go grey. Chiffon, the sheep with wings, did somersaults in the air but his "baa"s were mournful. Shep the shepherd pressed his hawthorn staff against the portal's outline. 
"Okay," Shep said. "Let me see what I can do."
They were standing in front of the portal. Shep was using a handful of Chiffon's sparkly white wool, carded and combed, to turn into yarn. He pressed at a spinning wheel so that the yarn spun into thin wool. He kept spinning. 
"I can't beli

Day 21: the David Bowie challenge.
Ad Infinitum” by inksoaked is beautifully written, but better still than the words are the concepts. I love this story more than I have words for it.

Day 24: the dys-/utopia challenge.
The Damocles Protocol” by DamonWakes is subtle and excellent, making the best use of two fields of view.
The Damocles ProtocolAt 2:47am, Michael Johnson died of a heroin overdose on the third floor of a multi-storey car park just outside Hull.
     At 9:18am, his body was discovered by an Ikea employee, who subsequently called an ambulance.
    At 9:44am, the death was reported and a unique identification number sent to a server at the Ministry of Justice.
    At 9:45am, the code was broadcast, detonating one specific half-gram charge of plastic explosive.    
***
Julia Walker’s phone was broken. She got out of bed, pulled on her clothes and turned on the TV.
     “…collapsed in Parliament shortly before 10am and was pronounced dead on the scene. When approached for comment—”
    The time in the breaking news banner read ten fifteen. Julia switched over to some ancient sitcom and stuck two slices of bread in the toaster. Then she boiled the kettle. The noise dro

Day 26: the janitor / guards / &c. challenge.
Unmakening” by Oreramar is tongue-in-cheek fantasy running over with excellent dialogue.
UnmakeningHis Supremacy the Dark Lord Malefacorum was the undisputed tyrant of Pyrexia and the one and only wielder of the one and only Dread Pistol of Unmakening, which ran on Quasihyperfantasium and therefore had a vast number of unbelievable abilities. He was, undeniably, powerful. He was also--
“--a complete and utter tit, but you never heard it from me.”
“But…you’re one of his personal guards?”
“Yeah, and so are you. Doesn’t make him any less of a long brown streak on the underpants of humanity, just also demotes the likes of us to toilet paper…or something. All right, the comparing-whatsit-thingy got away from me there, but you get the general picture, right? Come on, keep up!”
The young man, moving awkwardly in his ill-fitting armor, stopped trying to adjust the breastplate to hang more over his breast and less over his stomach in favor of catching up with the older man pacing easily ahead.
“I don’t understand, though

Day 28: the religion challenge.
The Redeemer” by Oreramar features a moral quandary around the nature of reality itself.
The RedeemerThis was wrong.
Temel stood and trembled, staring through her visor, through the superimposed readouts and targeting circles, at the older woman kneeling gently in the grass.
It was a false world. She knew it was a false world. She’d known when the pod malfunctioned, when it crashed, when she woke up in a soft bed surrounded by white and green, by fresh air and birdsong and peace. She’d still known when people had come to her, changing bandages and ointments, bringing her fresh clothes, speaking something strange that lilted like song.
She’d known it was false. Everybody knew that their own home world was the only true dimension, the one original universe, the Absolute and the Supreme. Everybody knew that whatever else was out there was only made of empty shadows and monsters, stealing power and life to sustain its artificial existence. Destroying them was merely canceling out a negative, more creation than destruction really.
And yet the ointments and c


Day 31: the interactive/epistolary/369er challenge:
Adrift” by The-Inkling is beautifully written and combines the 369er and epistolary formats to their best effect. Also, there are carnivorous mermaids in.
FFM 2018: AdriftHMS Orpheus: Captain’s Log - Day 26 - Bearings: Unknown.
There is blood in the water.
The men gather upon the railings, and wait for the others to arrive. Like sharks, they’re drawn by the promise of meat. Their tails thrash the water, pale hair splaying beneath the surface like weeds.
When they sing, we are helpless.
I no longer know where we are.
The sirens will not let us leave.
-

HMS Orpheus: Captain’s Log - Day ? - Bearings

The island.
The heat smothers us, making us lethargic. Hours drip between our fingers like honey. Slowly, we're beginning to forget our own names.
Why would we want to leave this place? Where would we go? There are no maps, no charts by which to steer our course. Even the stars are unfamiliar.
The islanders have invited us ashore.
Perhaps we will stay.
-

Ship’s Log, Entry 1622

Once this was a convict ship, bound for the colonies. We thought the sea had delivered us, but we were mistaken. Th

Of course there are plenty of other good FFM stories to choose from as well. Here are just a few of them:
FFM 30: THIS IS ABOUT DEATHI sat beside my children listening to the old widows speak about Death over coffee. They regarded the subject like an old lover, describing each encounter with affection-tinged grief.
“The soul is heavy,” said one as she described her husband’s death. “I could feel him lighten.”
I pressed my children to me, bearing their weight.
CrutchHanna twisted her ankle on a tangle of heather and gritted her teeth. It wasn’t broken, but she couldn’t put her weight on it. Her laboured breath came faster and harder as she fought for the will to go on. She had no choice. Only Frostcreep tea would break Lyn's fever, and there was only one place Frostcreep lichen grew. Nobody was around for miles, but for two crows watching from a nearby spindly branch.
Krunk Krunk, they called.
Spurred on by the discomfort of their gaze, she took a ginger step and collapsed into the brush, scraping her palm on exposed roots and unidentifiable serrated fronds which raised warm, red welts. She cursed and clawed her way up again, onto one knee. The moors stretched out around her, sloping down to the sea at her back, and towering up to the unreachable summit ahead.
She crawled to the lone birch tree, bowing low to the crows and apologising to them as she broke off their branch to use as a crutch.
Krunk Krunk, they went, and ho
FFM 2018 Day 30: Dream of What Will Come       Had dreams been things of rational thought, the girl would’ve been frightened when the beast appeared.  With a fraction of its face, it filled her whole vision, and its body was covered in pointy bits that could cut her right up.  But it was gentle, this beast, and had a voice like steady rainfall, and it spent the nights with her, playing games and making up the most wonderful stories.
       That’s what she told her father, and the therapist he took her to on Wednesdays.  And it was true, but it wasn’t the truth, the full description that would fill her father’s downcast eyes with worry and lead the therapist to dig even deeper into her brain.  She hated hiding things, but she hated the idea of hurting people with those things more.  So each day she talked about what the beast had done, and each night, it did more of those things…
       ...And then it brou
FFM 29: Thea's SeasonsIn autumn, she feels at most peace. The trees in the forest are at their brightest in their dying – the reds, oranges, and yellows. Even the tans she can appreciate. Her hair turns a rust color. She begins preparing – sewing warmer clothes, making jerky, stockpiling wood. The wind whips the fallen leaves around the forest floor in colorful swirls. At night, the fire keeps her toasty warm. And on clear nights with no moon, the stars are at their brightest.
---
In winter, she finds it hard to be kind. Her hair pales to an icy white, and no one comes through the forest anymore. Most days, she stays inside her hut, trying to keep warm. The wind, light and breezy in the fall, now roars with unrelenting force. The sun shining on the snow blinds her and makes it impossible to see. So she goes outside on days that are cloudy, to crunch through the white landscape on woven snowshoes.
---
In spring, she sees every day as a gift. She watches every day as the buds burst on the trees, c
FFM 2018: SealskinSlick-backed, she sheds her second skin upon the shore and leaves it there. Sea-foam and sand mingle in-between her newly forming toes.
Her steps are uncertain at first, but like all newborn creatures she’s quick to find her feet. The sea cries out, but she doesn’t turn.
She has no intention of ever going home.
Satan and His Robot Buddy PaulEXT. SAINT SWITHUN'S HOME FOR EXCEPTIONALLY BIG-EYED ORPHANS - MORNING
We see the sun rising over St. Swithun's Home for Exceptionally Big-eyed Orphans, which is prominently signposted. Birds are singing. Peaceful flute music - you know the music I mean - plays.
Record scratch. The music stops.
Woman screams.
CUT TO:
INT. SAINT SWITHUN'S HOME FOR ETC. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
MRS. WITHERSPOON continues screaming, hands clasped to her face. She screams for some time, eyes wide with horror. Finally, we see what she was screaming about. There is a plate on the kitchen table covered with the smeared remains of a cake. Icing is splattered liberally all around.
MRS. WITHERSPOON: Who can possibly deduce who ate the orphans' precious cake?
Tyres screech outside.
Brutal guitar solo plays.
TITLE CARD: "SATAN AND HIS ROBOT BUDDY PAUL"
SATAN and his robot buddy PAUL burst through the wall of the orphanage. Fragments of brick fly across the room, break
FFM18 23 - Troy‘You always get the one with the shitty wheel,’ Troy hissed.
I rolled my eyes and pushed the shopping cart through the automatic glass doors.  “They all have shitty wheels,” I said, without moving my mouth.   “It’s a cosmic law or something.”
‘That’s… not—‘
“It’s a joke, Troy.”  I pushed the cart through the grocer’s section, picking through vegetables.  “What’s got you in such a mood anyway?”
‘Seriously?  I’m fucking pent up.  I don’t like being a prisoner.’
“Maybe you’ll remember that next time you cause trouble,” I chided, and felt my lips twist into a smirk.  
‘Come on, just let me blow off some steam.’  He paused, and his voice shifted.  ‘You know I’m harder to manage when you let me get all built up like this.’
I grabbed a couple of tomatoes and tossed
FFM 20: The Music Box    “One more time,” the clock-maker rasped, weathered fingers winding back the delicate interlocking gears.
    The mechanical box opened, revealing the ballerina inside shivering off the silks that covered her tiny form. Within the velveteen confines of the box, she began to dance in a perfect likeness of her. Eyes stinging, the clock-maker watched the replica twist and turn with a sweep of the tinkling notes, before shrouding herself in the dark fabrics within the box. The lid gently closed.
    The clock-maker blinked away tears, absorbing the silence and the memory of her music until it was deafening.
    “One more time.”
FFM 18: Apocalypse, NOW!The Harbinger of Death hung the last of the solar panels on the roof of the makeshift hut and hopped down, clapping the dust free of her hands with satisfaction. She stood for a moment, admiring her handiwork before picking up a broken piece of plywood she had fashioned into a sign, propping it beside the entryway of her little shelter. The sign read:
COMMUNITY SERVICES HELP REQ’
She had run out of space when painting it, but still felt confident that the appropriate message came across. Finally, she picked up a milk crate, stood it on its end, and sat.
It took about an hour before she caught sight of a silhouette moving in her direction. Eagerly, she stood up, rubbing the grid imprinted on the backs of her thighs before recognizing the figure approaching. She slumped back into her seat.
“What do you want?” she mumbled, crossing her arms.
“Me? I came here to see what you were doing,” the Harbinger of Doom peered around her at the sign, picking his teeth wi
FFM 2018: TetherHollow-mouthed, and dry-eyed, I press the intercom button on my wrist.
“You have to cut me loose, Sam.”
The silence on the other end is deafening.
“I can’t.” A declaration, or a plea - I can’t quite tell. Either way, neither of us has time for this. Sam’s window is closing fast. Ten metres to the hull, another three metres through the airlock. It might as well be the other side of the world.
“Then I’ll have to do it for you.” I tell him, and somehow saying it out loud makes it real in a way it wasn’t before.
The exo-suit makes manoeuvring difficult, but we’ve all been drilled to within an inch of our lives on the protocol, and my fingers find the release catch without hesitation. The safety catch gives me a little trouble, but I eventually get it loose. After that it’s easy.
Holding the tether in my hands, I open my fingers, and watch it drift away from me in slow motion. I could still reach out and grab it,
FFM 2018: FatedThere was no time in the cave at the root of the world. No weeks, no days, no hours, or minutes. The Weaver sat at her loom, watching as mortal men grew and died, and their children rose to take their place. But time did not move for her, and she remained unchanged.
She was not one of the Fates, she did not decide the course of history. The Norns would send her messages through the red threads of fate, a tug here, a severing there, and the Weaver adjusted her work accordingly. But sometimes she wondered what it would be like to truly hold the fate of someone’s life in the palm of her hand.
Time did not pass for her in the typical sense, but she did other things in-between her loom work. She had a small garden, growing in a patch of sunlight that filtered down through the roots of the tree. She cooked, and cleaned, and sometimes she would rest in her small bed at the back of the cave, her blankets the old tapestries of bygone ages. She did not sleep, but sometimes she did dream, a
When Grandmother CallsWhen Grandmother calls, she says that everything will turn out alright in the end. I haven’t told her that the wolves are at the door.
     Metaphorically and literally.
    I’m not sure which concerns me more.
    At first I thought that it was stress. You worry about a thing—about next week’s work rota, about making ends meet—and you start to see it as an animal skulking about behind the railings across the road.
    Then you realise that there really is an animal, and you think that it’s a fox.
    Then you hear the howling, find the claw marks in the wood.
    
***
    
When Grandmother calls, she says that everything will turn out alright in the end. I haven’t told her that the wolves are in the stairwell.
    Nobody else seems to notice as they step over them or squeeze by. Perhaps
The FlatmateThe first note stuck on the fridge doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been working such long hours, never seeing anyone outside of work—back home far into the night, out again at the crack of dawn. I’m still halfway between reality and dreams, so I don’t even read the note’s message. The angry tone permeates through but that’s all. I just throw the scrap of paper into the bin as I leave.
The note when I get home does upset me though:
There wasn’t much food in. Why don’t you ever do the fucking shopping? You’re the one who’s out near the shops all day.
There may not have been much, but it was my food. I’m hungry and that makes me anxious. I check the whole flat over and over before I go to bed but everything’s as it should be.
The message on the fridge next morning berates me for leaving the place looking like a tip. Why don’t you tidy it then? I think, though it’s pointless to exp
Transcript OneSEGMENT 1:
[Recording begins.]
This is Professor Granham of the Department of Xenobiology at King’s College London, recorded July 16th, 1930. I leave this message partly because others will doubtless come looking for me, and partly because the…the [inaudible] compels me. There will be those at the University who know the nature of my latest avenue of research and may be able to retrace my steps. Please do not attempt to do so. If you were to see what I had seen…such glory, such hideous—
[Here there is a knot in the wire where a length has been excised. Staff are reminded to check all wastepaper baskets thoroughly before emptying.]
I have wrestled with the possibility of making my discovery known. Part of me wishes to reveal what I found, to allow my colleagues the opportunity to…to make it safe somehow. To stand against the horror I could not. But I know that at best this is foolish. At worst, the will of…
[Extended pause.]
The best security here is
The Singing in the StarsParabola squadron floated out on the starboard flank of the fleet, barely visible. The azure glow of their engines had long cooled. They'd been out there for hours, on standby. No orders had been issued since.
“We should have heard something by now,” said Thaela over squad comms.
“Not necessarily,” answered Nerys, trying to sound more authoritative than she felt. “If this is really first contact, standard protocol goes out the window. We're all playing by ear.”
“Playing by ear usually requires that you hear something.”
Nerys couldn't really argue with that. Whatever the reason for the silence, and there could be any number of legitimate ones, it was still incredibly frustrating. Staying focused was getting difficult. Over her port side wing she saw Rozi nodding off in her cockpit. Nerys almost knocked on the transparishield to wake her before realising how stupid that was. She flicked comms back open instead.
“Rozi!” she snapp
Moleus Moleificarum“From the depths of hell they rise,” roared Brother Marlburrow. “Eyeless, ever hungering! Their hides, black as char! They claw their way up through the rock and dirt! Beneath our very feet, the legions swell!  
“They're just moles,” pointed out Brother Simmons.
“Fools!” yelled Brother Marlburrow, brandishing his shovel wildly. His small frame was barely keeping up with the rabid, frothing energy that animated it. “'Beware, for the devil shall visit upon you, guised in cloak of beast and fowl; whosoever recogniseth not his evil shall be damned for their lack of vigilance, and there will be much wailing, and gnashing of teeth'! Lo, the devil is visiting his evil upon us! Lo, the devil, in the guise of a mole! Behold!”
He held up his bucket, full of moles tumbling adorably over each other.
“Behold as they revel in filth! Creatures of the underworld! Demon, I name thee! Spawn of Lucifer!”
The monks gradually dispersed,
FFM 9: Putting on the RitzShe reached above into the sky, plucking out the two brightest stars and fastening them into her ears.  In the foreboding depths of the dark abyss, she pinned a siren’s opalescent scale to her hair. The molten rock of the earth’s core she fashioned into a cape of rippling flame, cascading around her like a waterfall of radiant heat to keep her warm. The final touches came upon her dainty feet: the clouds, glittering with raindrops unshed, laced to lift her when she danced.
Satisfied, she turned to her husband, and stopped, completely stunned.
“Seriously, you’re really not ready yet?”
FFM 2018: FirelightThe fire warmed them, so long as they kept it fed. 
Outside the world was ice, and glass, and the hollow bones of metal giants. Remnants of a dead world consumed by an uncaring god. The wind sang to them sometimes in the night, calling to them, asking them to join it. But Jonah would not let them go outside.
They would not make the same mistakes. He would not let them. And so they made offerings of bone and bright cloth to the fire. They sang lullabies to its embers, and curled their bodies around it to protect it from the things that prowled in the night.
So long as the fire burned, they were safe. So long as the fire burned, they would stay alive.
When they ran out of scraps to burn, they made offerings of their own bodies, as was only right. Jonah praised their sacrifice. He said they would be remembered forever, and they knew it was true, for Jonah would never lie.
Night by night, the group became smaller, and for some doubt began to blossom in their minds. The fire grew weake


Enjoy! ;)

deviantID

GDeyke
G. Deyke
Artist | Literature
Germany
G. Deyke is an indie author of games, novels, short stories, flash fiction, and the occasional poem or screenplay. They will write anything from humor to horror to fairy tales, but have a particular penchant for speculative fiction: especially (though not exclusively) fantasy. They currently reside in a small village in southern Germany.

Due to a tragic imbalance of their machismo-to-sense ratio, G. Deyke can never refuse a ridiculous challenge.

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:iconvigour-mortis:
vigour-mortis Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome to FlashFictionLives! So happy to have you! I hope you can make time for the August prompt! <3
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner 2 days ago   Writer
I hope so too - I'm going on holiday in less than a week, so time's a bit tight, but hopefully I can still get something in!
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2018   Writer
Thanks for collecting :iconredsparklesplz:
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:iconmqe-discord:
MQE-Discord Featured By Owner Edited Jul 2, 2018  New Deviant
I love your style of writing. You seem to choose careful snippets to your story and I would honestly love to see you do a small mini-series set in a universe of your making. :0

Best Regards,
BB
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2018   Writer
Thank you so much! I have, in fact, done something similar, though it was unplanned enough that it doesn't stand up pacing-wise the way a planned mini-series would. Still, "The Gift", "For the World's More Full of Weeping", "The Silence of Death in a Vacuum", and "As They Feast" - all written for 2017's Flash Fiction Month - at least share a world. I might want to do more with that sometime, and/or something entirely different. I do love this mini-series idea.
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:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the return :+devwatch: dearheart, I appreciate the support!

With love,
:heart:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2018   Writer
Likewise. :heart:
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:iconpennedinwhite:
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch! :hug: 
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2018   Writer
You're very welcome. :)
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:iconbaspunk:
baspunk Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2018
merci :)
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