The Woman With Three Heads by SCFrankles, literature
The Woman With Three Heads
Mara was used to weird things happening to her. And now here on vacation in Britain where they thought ‘Penguin’ was an appropriate brand name for a chocolate cookie, honestly she had been prepared for anything.
It was still a bit of a surprise though. Wandering around London’s Natural History Museum… Stopping to casually examine a tableau of stuffed foxes and cubs… Spotting two marble heads tucked behind the vixen—one in a woollen hat and the other in sunglasses, and the two of them arguing together in hushed tones...
“Everything… okay there, guys?” she asked.
The two heads froze. Then
Ewart strode through the lush countryside. It truly was wonderful to be getting away from everything, and to be staying in a delightful little remote cabin where nobody could bother him.
His work didn’t know where it was.
His parents didn’t know where it was.
His friends didn’t know where it was.
It was honestly just a pity…
He didn’t know where it was.
Ewart checked his phone yet again, sighed, and once more tried to retrace his steps.
At this moment in time he could really do with his super secret hideaway being just that tiny bit less secret.
Belinda took a deep breath and stepped into the woods.
As usual the trees grabbed at her arms and whispered to her. She shook them off and increased her speed.
She passed the strange old cottage made of gingerbread and her stomach rumbled. (She really should get up earlier and eat a bigger breakfast.) Then she passed the little cottage belonging to the seven small men, and as usual one of them leant out the window and offered her the job of becoming their housekeeper.
“Just till your prince comes and you get married, of course!”
Belinda smiled politely. Absolute gentlemen all of them, but so old fashioned.
Hurrying on, she ca
Jennifer entered the Bank of Good Fortunes and apprehensively approached the nearest teller.
“Um, hello. Jennifer Endsley. I was asked to come in to talk about my loan repayments?”
“Ah, indeed, Ms Endsley. Let me just bring up your details...”
The teller reached under the counter and brought up her crystal ball. She set the ball on the counter, passed her hands over it twice and then stared into it.
“Now, you had a perfect credit score when we approved your loan to study for your part-time MSc in business. And you have kept up steadily with your repayments since.”
Jennifer smiled modestly. “I tak
It wasn’t easy being the bard for a queen with musical-gustatory synaesthesia.
Standing in the muddy remains of the tournament field, Alice retuned her lute and launched into her third song of the evening.
She didn’t get very far.
“No, no! Stop!” Queen Hilda looked pained. “That one tastes of old socks. Another!”
Alice tried again.
“And that one tastes of roses!”
“Isn’t… that a good thing, my lady?” asked Consort Timothy cautiously,
“Not when the roses have gone all brown and slimy!”
From the queen’s other side, Consort Bertha reached out a hand
Bartel’s publisher smiled cautiously. “We’ve looked through your manuscript for the novel now and well… It wasn’t quite what we were expecting.”
“No?” Bartel frowned. “But you said you wanted an adventure story.”
“Yes, indeed,” said the publisher.
“And you said I could let my imagination go wild! Write about trials way beyond my ken!”
“Agreed,” said the publisher. “It’s just…” She flicked through the pages. “Your hero having his windows replaced… Being made redundant and having to look for another job…
It was looking unlikely that Denise would ever get to use her skills professionally again, but apparently it still paid to be a structural engineer during a zombie apocalypse.
She’d managed to design and build quite a substantial little tower in her mother’s back garden. Tall enough and unclimbable enough to keep the two of them safe, and with a ladder that could be let down if she ever needed to look for more supplies. It wasn’t much but at least they were alive.
“Jonathan’s here again.”
Denise’s mother was looking out of the window of their little cabin at the top of the tower.
Denise went to jo
When I was in the infants at primary school, there was a dryad in my class for a term or so. At that age you understand someone like that is amazing and unusual but you also simply accept that such marvellous things can happen. Now my adult brain insists that I dreamt or imagined her, and on the rare occasions I’ve bumped into old classmates none of them remember her, but the memories remain so clear.
She was a sweet but awkward kid who nevertheless made the effort to join in with all our games. And she never lost a game of hide and seek. I seemed to be the only one who noticed her vanishing into the buddleia bush each time, away in a
Once there was a magpie who collected for his nest every shining thing he could find.
One day he discovered the most sparkling thing of all—the coruscating wit of the spiders in the webs. The arachnids indulged in constant merry banter and badinage, happy for the entertainment to go no further than their little community.
The magpie took note of these quips and returned to his nest, where he sang out the spiders’ witticisms to a wider audience. Many animals, birds and insects enjoyed these broadcasts and gave him food and prestige in exchange.
One day though, the spiders came to visit the magpie and demanded that he stop steali
The Mother of All Invention by SCFrankles, literature
The Mother of All Invention
Necessity was waving her youngest off to the patent office, a big smile on her face. “Make me proud!”
“So what’s next? Have you got another invention planned?”
Necessity turned to see her neighbour Making Ends Meet.
She shook her head firmly at him.
“Nope! I’ve finally got them all out of the house and I’m going to focus on me for a while. I mean, they’re all my babies and I love all ninety-seven billion of them but it’s time for a change. I’m going to do a degree at last. In engineering! I’m going to relax and design things that might make things easier for people, r
Sandra would never know if it was because she’d bought a new bed or because it was she’d moved to a new flat. But from the first day at her new address there had been very strange goings-on.
She’d lie there awake night after night and hear weird moans and scratching coming from underneath her. At first she tried to put it down to imagination or the natural sounds a building makes as it settles. But as the days went past it was harder to hold onto those explanations.
Finally she couldn’t bear it any longer.
She looked under the bed.
Somewhere in the darkness there was an even darker form. Twisted and misshapen. It s
References Available Upon Request by SCFrankles, literature
References Available Upon Request
“OK,” said the registrar. “That’s all sorted out. The only thing left is a reference from both of you from a former spouse and then your marriage can take place on—”
“Hang on,” said Mark. He frowned. “A reference? From a former spouse?”
“Yes, indeed.” The registrar smiled at him. “It’s a new requirement. Well, I mean, you have to have references to rent a flat. You have to have references to get a job. You have to have references to adopt! The government felt this was the next natural step. And it will benefit both you and your fiancée. You’re abo
Desmond Fleurimond’s work on his latest, secret commission was causing such a buzz in the art world, it had been bound to attract the wrong kind of attention too…
A masked figure in black crept into the studio and looked quickly around.
“All clear!” she whispered.
Two similarly attired men entered and joined her.
“Nobody upstairs!” whispered the first.
“Same for downstairs,” said the second.
“Excellent!” The woman grinned. “Then let’s get this thing and get out.”
“So…” The first man looked about. “What exactly is ‘this thing̵
It's All Open To Interpretation by SCFrankles, literature
It's All Open To Interpretation
“So…” said Captain Jacobsen. “Just to recap, Simpkins.”
He looked down at the printout of the report.
“After stepping out onto the surface of the planet, you encountered one of the sentient lifeforms and held your arms away from your body to indicate that you meant no harm.”
Simpkins nodded solemnly. “That is correct, sir.”
“However,” continued the captain, his eyes still on the paper, “the lifeform interpreted this as a hostile gesture and so began spiralling their own arms as a precursor to defending themself. You—”
He turned the page.
The word ANGER had begun a court-mandated course of therapy to address its issues.
“OK,” said the therapist, leaning forward in her chair, “we are going to start today with you simply relaxing and becoming more aware of your emotions. Just look into your mind and tell me what you’re feeling right this minute.”
“Anger,” said ANGER.
The therapist gave the word a reassuring smile. “Yes, that’s your designated role in life. But what I’m really asking you to do is to get in touch with what you yourself feel.”
“I see,” said ANGER. “Well, that would be… ang
The managing director of the Lexicon attempted a smile. “Thank thee so much for attending this meeting. It’s good of thee to come on such short notice.”
“Oh, no problem,” said THOU. “Always a pleasure.” It took a seat. “I gather it’s something important about work…?”
The director cleared his throat.
“Well, I just want to start by saying how pleased we are with thy performance. Thou hast been with us here in the Vernacular for hundreds of years, and thou hast always been so industrious and so conscientious. Thou art a model employee!” H
“Hello? Helloooo? Is there anyone out there? Anyone at all?”
“Oh, hello! Thank heavens, I thought I was the only character here!”
“Me too! Me too! I got about two sentences in and the story just completely collapsed around me! I thought I was all alone. Well, there was some crying in the distance…”
“That was the author I think…”
“And then thankfully I bumped into you! Um, I don’t suppose you know what the procedure is in these cases?”
“Not a clue, I’m afraid. I suppose now we’ve ascertained that everyone is safe… Do some reconstruction?&
“I’m hungry,” whined the cash register at Jack’s Quality Fashion Seconds. “I haven’t felt full in days.”
Jack paused in his sweeping. “Yes, I suppose business has been slack recently, Tilly. But I’m feeling very hopeful about the delivery that’s just come in.” He gestured at a free-standing rail with empty hangers waiting ready on it. “I’ve just got to get everything out of their boxes and hung up, and then we’ll watch the money come rolling in!”
“But, Jack,” said the dummy in the window. “Is new stock going to be enough if people sti
“I’m sorry. What did you say?” The violin bow smiled sweetly at the trumpet.
“I said, scram.”
The trumpet was glowering. It made a sweeping gesture round with its bell.
“This is an exclusive club—just for those of us who make music, and who like to get together and have a few civilised drinks after work. It’s not for any tatty chunk of wood that just happens to wander in off the street.”
The bow continued to smile. “I think you might be getting a little confused there. Bows do make music.”
“Oh, please.” The trumpet’s valve pistons qu
“It’s a new initiative,” said the interviewer, leaning back in his chair and toying with his pen. “The job title will be ‘National Scapegoat’, and your role would be to… take the blame for everything.”
“Oh, yes?” said Murphy cautiously.
The interviewer nodded. “Essentially you’d just be a figurehead—a focus for blame, if you like. But you’d still be expected to write the odd letter of apology… appear on TV to read out statements of apology… And you would have to serve the occasional prison sentence.”
He smiled encouragingly.
The Devil stared at Alistair. “You agreed to this, mortal. A deal with the Devil I said, and you said yes. So just… get on with it.”
Alistair moaned in muted anguish.
And dealt out the cards for Happy Families.
The Devil snatched up his cards and began rifling through them. He threw the cards down one by one.
“I bet Mr. Codd the fishmonger will run off with Mr. Blue the sailor! And Mrs. Constable the policeman’s wife will run off with Mrs. Creep the burglar’s wife! Mrs. Pint the milkman’s wife will… set up home with Mr. House the builder! And Mr. Dose the doctor and Mrs.
There was always something about my face that people disliked. From an early age I didn’t have many friends, people were choosing to avoid me, rather than getting closer. My parents sent me away from home when I was twelve. They signed me up to the military academy, preferring keeping my other brothers at home. I was studying well and practising hard, perfecting my fencing skills and was lucky enough to be hired as a part of the royal guard not long after finishing the academy. My ugliness served me well, bringing fear over my enemies, but it didn’t bring me much luck in anything else. Honestly, by the age of thirty I got used to how things were, choosing a solitary road with no close friends or partner. My duty in Palace was hard, but it paid well. At night I was sleeping at military quarters and the few free hours I had I tried to spent outside, practising my fencing moves in a usual routine that I knew by heart. My favourite spot was a quiet hill outside the Palace. It was
2019 FFM Day 31: Hot Chocolate and Cake by Irennia, literature
2019 FFM Day 31: Hot Chocolate and Cake
Jingle Bells blasts from the speakers on Oxford Street. A Christmas tree looms in the store window, covered in sparkling tinsel. The Christmas lights twinkle incessantly and a flurry of snow falls every once in a while, much to the crowd’s delight.
My reflection points to the satchel draped carefully over the mannequin’s body. I’ve wanted that bag since Thanksgiving, but I’m in even less of a position to buy it now, as I’m no longer employed. My reflection gives me a sad look and motions for me to move on.
The next store over has a scantily clad vixen plastered up its two-story window, wearing a bright red tuqu
How to Catch a Wolpertinger | FFM19 VI by Flammenfeder, literature
How to Catch a Wolpertinger | FFM19 VI
“Aaawh, what a cutie!”
Helen was amazed by the sight of the creature that came flying their way. It looked like a rabbit, with the wings of a pheasant. And on its tiny antlers it carried a basket of fresh bread. The creature landed on their table and Helen quickly reached for the basket to help it.
“Is… is this a Jackalope?!”
The creature turned for John as he asked that and wrinkled its tiny nose.
“We beg to differ!”, they heard a voice. The old innkeeper came their way with a wide smile on her face, carrying the food they ordered.
“Our little Sepp is a Wolpertinger! They might be related
The Summer of Harry the Hide by KCKinny, literature
The Summer of Harry the Hide
It’s hard to get anyone to take you seriously when you look like a cowskin rug. Harry wished, maybe for the millionth time, maybe for the billionth time, that he had been born as literally anything else. Perhaps a goat-sucking predator of the Mexican night? A hide-behind, who was never seen but always feared? Or even a stupid man?
But no. He was no hide-behind, just a plain old Hide, or, as the locals would scream, “El Cuero!”
His parents didn’t understand how he could be tired of the screaming. They didn’t know why he just had to “get out there”, had to see the world, had to leave the comfy cool lake
FFM Day 6 - hellhound by IntelligentZombie, literature
FFM Day 6 - hellhound
Julia avoided the dog park on weekends, on sunny days, and any other time. The park was the perfect place to get exercise and meet people.The last part concerned Julia the most. With an unusually large dog like TiddlyPoof, she’d learned that people rarely looked past surface level.
But today, she was on a mission. She was not missing this date (oh my god, oh my god I have a date.) She ignored the widened eyes, the mouths in frightened O’s. Hands tightened on leashes, pulling their own dogs away, as she and her beast passed.
TiddlyPoof was over one hundred pounds of lithe, sculpted muscle, complete with frothing jowls, harrowing
F4: Inkling Nincompoopery by NamelessShe, literature
F4: Inkling Nincompoopery
Scholar Padraic blinked and let the book lay flat on the desk. He gripped the magnifying glass so tightly his nails bent back.
The surface of the paper writhed and wriggled until the letters were little more than a squiggling mass of nonsense and nincompoopery. Flagship Captain MuffinNose the Tangerine Smith had no business residing in the ancient tome of Necromantic History. It belonged in a child's book of silly tales.
The letters blurred again and he could almost swear the dozens of tiny dots were wearing hats and coats and mustaches to rival the Grand Patriarchs. He didn't bother to replace the glass gingerly. He let it fall on the mass