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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.
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:iconCassi
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Literature
Songbird and Statue
In days before the dawn of time, two gods struggled for control over all that was. One was named Order, who strove above all for stillness and perfection. The other was named Chaos, who strove above all for motion and change. When Order set the spheres upon their paths, Chaos sent out comets to knock them astray. When Order called land out from the water, Chaos tore it asunder. These gods fought ceaselessly, yet they had formed from the void as twins and each was as strong as the other.
     “This battle is futile,” said Order one day, after countless aeons of struggle. “We must settle our differences by some other means.”
    “For once we are in agreement,” Chaos conceded. “But what do you propose?”
    Ten millennia passed while Order considered its challenge.
    “We should each of us set a great work upon the mortal plane. To these works shall our fa
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Literature
FFM 2018: Fated
There 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
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Literature
Hypervigilance
The Advanced Atmosphere-Analysing Artificial Aphonic Articulated Hypervigilant Humanoid, or AAAAAAHH for short, took one step into the glorified caffeine dispensary and stopped, transistors firing all over the place. The atmosphere in here was palpably tense, and AAAAAAHH tried to alert its human with a buzzing noise and a soft grip on its shirt, but its human shrugged it off and carried on its way inside. AAAAAAHH followed reluctantly, spinning its head around constantly so that it could see all possible dangers at once, and continuing to buzz in it's quiet-but-still-very-noticable yellow-alert tone.
The human in front of AAAAAAHH's human reached the counter and ordered its drink. AAAAAAHH's human was next. AAAAAAHH manouevered itself into a defensive position behind it and continued swiveling its head around. The patrons of this establishment stared at both it and its owner with menace in their eyes and AAAAAAHH felt its danger response go into overdrive, filling its memory with acti
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Literature
How to Pain Your Dragon
“Foolish knight,” hissed the dragon. “Did you think this place would be unguarded? Did you think the moat its only defence? None who pass through those gates return alive, for all who do must face me.”
     “Okay,” said the knight. “Why?”
    “What do you mean ‘why’? Obviously I’m gonna fight anyone who comes here. Do you really think they’d leave a dragon in a tower just to welcome people in?”
    “Who’s ‘they’?”
    The dragon made an annoyed little noise. “Only Queen Harriet the Third and the nobles of her court. Geez! You don’t see a lot of dragons guarding pubs, do you? I mean, it’s pretty much royalty or nothing, innit?”
    “Why?”
    “Because dragons guard treasure and the cash box at the Dog and Pheasant i
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Literature
2018 FFM Day 24: The New Evolution
She leaned casually out the balcony and tipped her cup, sending a stream of water onto the pavement below. The human body can go without water for three days. I have been without for two. There was a quiet bustle from the apartment below Katrina, though quite loud for the times. This era was being touted by the lay people as the New Evolution - human beings suddenly all becoming decent. But Katrina knew better. She idly traced the bumps on her arm where she’d taken blood. What will it take to prove the lies?
Voices from below drafted upward and as Katrina listened, she smiled.
___________________________________________________________
“I’m telling you, we’ve tried everything. I’ve hunted through the detective archives for all their methods. None of them have turned a single trace of who could have planted this here!” David insisted, gesturing at a bloody knife set on the counter. “Even in the days when crime was rife, the
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Literature
FFM 2018: In Plain Sight
“The only good criminal is a dead one, am I right?” Officer Spinelli joked as Greta handed him his coffee. She shot him a disapproving look, but said nothing. They never listened to her anyway.
“Hey sweetheart. While you’re here would you mind being a doll and clearing up all this paperwork. Maybe type up the report while you’re at it. You know the Commissioner; likes all his i’s eyes crossed, and his t’s dotted. Or was that the other way round? I always forget.” He leered up at her, no doubt expecting a response, and all the other officers sniggered, as though he’d just made the  funniest joke in the world.
Baboons. She thought. Imbeciles.
Biting the inside of her cheek to try and calm down, Greta forced a tight-lipped smile.
“Of course Officer Spinelli. I’ll get that done right away.” She said in her sweetest, most amenable secretary voice.
The baboons exchanged an additional round of sniggers.
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Literature
Camp Spare
It was Prince Leo’s first time at Camp Spare, the summer camp for second in line royals. He was ten, short for his age, and just a little on the chubby side. Not like his older brother who was currently at Camp Monarch across the lake. His brother was everything a prince should be: tall, handsome, and brave. He would be a great king someday.
Leo would not. He was born only in case his brother died. Since it looked like his brother was going to make it, Dad told Leo it was time to start considering his other options. Camp Spare was the perfect place to start, Dad said.
Looking around the crowded parade ground, Leo considered his options. The camp was divided into paths for second borns to begin learning about.
There was the priestly path. It was common for second borns to become members of the church. Dad said that was a good life but Leo never had been that into church. Devoting his whole life to it seemed like torture at best. Most second borns must have agreed with him, Leo dec
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Literature
Official FFM Prompt Bank 2018
When you were little your mother used to warn you about going off on adventures. Alas, if only you had listened to her sage advice. You probably wouldn't have ended up here, stranded in the midst of a Flash Fiction wilderness.
It's been days since you left the edges of civilised reality. You're sweaty, tired, and covered in spider bites, and last night you were forced to share a cave with a desiccated corpse! Now night is falling, your machete's blunt, and you only have a few drops of inspiration left to see you through till morning.
It's a jungle out there, all manner of beasts prowl the darkness, and to make matters worse there isn't a single prompt in sight!
Bullet; Green Leave your prompts below! Writing prompts, music prompts, image prompts (dA links only, please), interpretive dance prompts, and anything else you can muster*. We want em al
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Literature
The Mages and the Demon's Tower
In brighter times, the Ebon Tower had been a beacon of hope and justice, its garrisons watching over the Merchants’ Way from Grimble’s Vale in the East to Far Baragar in the West. But since the demon Kharael had come to claim it, that tower was a blight upon the land. Travellers would cling to the shadows of the Northern Peaks simply to avoid its gaze, though those roads teemed with wolves and bandits, and many lost their way.
     Few could stand against a demon, but the Arch-mage Tharandel was one of those few, and so he felt it his duty to make the attempt. He pushed open the doors of the great hall at the tower’s tallest height, and what he saw there was nothing short of madness.
    The demon Kharael had rearranged the very matter of the room. Screaming faces writhed across the walls, their words transmuted into silent flame. The pillars rising seemed to twist and bend, tormented serpents racked by pain that could afflict e
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Journal
FFM Announcements
Announcements
(We hear they are delicious when sprinkled with a bit of soy sauce - or the tears of your mortal enemies.)
You-know-what is almost here, after all, it's almost you-know-when. But not yet!
For the time being you'll just have to distract yourself from the coming fiction onslaught with some enticing morsels of news, compiled for your convenience in this here journal by your friendly neighbourhood Hydra!
 
 :party: An Anniversary 
This July will mark our TENTH ANNIVERSARY! That's right folks - we here at Flash-Fic-Month (in all our many-headed incarnations) have been distributing fear and fabulous flash fiction to the masses for an entire decade!
In honour of this fine event we will be accepting offerings of cake, and limericks devoted to our loveliness. ALTERNATIVELY we are also open to flagrant bribery in the form of prompts (preferably
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FFM 2018 Mug Design by Flash-Fic-Month FFM 2018 Mug Design :iconflash-fic-month:Flash-Fic-Month 9 21
Literature
Satan and His Robot Buddy Paul
EXT. 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
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Literature
Falling Star [FFM 31 2018]
First.
The heist was too easy. The Don left his boat unlocked Sunday morning and Mena slipped some extra sedatives in his drink the night before. She was in and out with the money before the old man even knew what happened. The inconvenient "error" in his security system made sure he wouldn't know who hit him, and the lackluster guards he employed were too slow to catch her.
Second.
The papers had it all wrong. Mena didn't do it for the fame nor the glory. She stole because her dad was dying. She clenched her teeth underneath the wig she wore as the guy sitting next to her on the flight rambled on about how the thief is long gone to Fiji. She chuckled. Fiji would be nice, but her dad's bed in Idaho would be better. 
Third.
The guard waited until the tenth month of her sentence tell her. Orion was dead, had been for nine months. With the space prison launching, they put telling her on the back burner with other less important things. She was only an inmate after all. Mena stared ou
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Literature
FFM 2018 - the kidnapper and the constable
“No, I will not throw you in prison, no matter how kindly you ask.” Constable Zonderland crossed her vanbraced arms as she eyed Khorrek in the doorway of her headquarters. The guy took a step forward nonetheless, looking desperate. Even his hair was more messed up than usual.
“You must,” he begged. “I’ve kidnapped Cupcake, after all. Look.” Khorrek held up a puppy with a patchwork coat of white and brown. The animal barked at the constable and wagged its fluffy tail so enthusiastically it made the entire body of the dog shake.
She frowned. “We have no reports of a lost pet.”
“Well, it’s been missing for only fifteen minutes. Give it a day or two and the poor owner will make sure everyone knows. Meanwhile, you can let me stay in a cell so you don’t have to catch me later.”
“Or you can just give back the dog.”
Khorrek’s eyes widened. “But then I’d go unpunished! You can’t let
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Literature
Going Out With a Bang
It was a beautiful evening, the tranquillity of the gentle pink sunset marred only slightly by the battle raging on between every superhero in the city and the skyscraper-sized fire-breathing dinosaur that had emerged from the harbour an hour or so earlier.
     “Hi, Mr. O’Nuclear,” said Tina, rather suddenly.
    Mr. O’Nuclear jumped. He hadn’t realised anyone else was on the roof.
    “You know you can just call me Therm, right?” he said.
    “My mum says it’s rude to call grownups by their first names,” explained Tina, opening the door of the pigeon loft.
    Therm considered this. “I think that’s a bit old-fashioned, but it’s good that you do what your parents tell you.”
    Tina began to feed the birds.
    Therm watched a cloud drift lazily across the horizon.
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Literature
FFM1 2018 - Cliff Walk
    Hardy grass, blown flat in the coastal wind, squelched underfoot. Only a few villagers were about, their hats pulled down against the drizzle, as Jack reached the harbour and turned left.
    Soon, the village was out of sight. The path climbed steeply, carved rock steps and rope bridges clinging spider-ways to the cliff-face. Rickety as it had looked from a distance, the path felt reassuringly firm underfoot and Jack dragged his gaze from feet to stare out over the ocean. Whether the scholar in the cave would even be able to translate the old dictionary or not, this was the real adventure.
    Then with one misstep, everything changed.
    A broken rail, a missing board, and Jack’s foot dropped right through. He pitched forwards in desperate hope that the rest of the path would hold.
    It did.
    Trembling, Jack pulled himself forwards to firmer ground. Far below, between the
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Literature
FFM Links - 1 July 2018
Welcome to Flash Fiction Month, day 1.
We're back! Which means it's high time that you started running for your lives.


What? It's fun to start things off with a challenge. ;)
Instructions
Flash Fiction Month is about writing – and posting – a story between 55-1000 words in length every day during July. Each day we'll upload a deviation where you can post your story for the day, with optional prompts, themes, and the occasional challenge.
Paste a link to your flash fiction piece for July 1 in the comments below, and if you chose to complete today's Challenge kindly let us know by declaring “Challenge” in your comment as well.
If you write a story every day this month, and complete every challenge, you could be eligible to win a prize capable of holding every conceivable type of beverage known to man, beast, and Hydra! This item is also concei
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Literature
Puss in Boots in Boots
“Does this sun cream protect against UVA and UVB?” asked Rumplestiltskin.
     “Dunno,” said the cat sitting at the counter, without looking up.
    “Well what about this one?” He picked up a different bottle—far too small to be good value for money—from the little impulse-buy shelf dividing the queue from the rest of the shop.
    “Dunno,” said the cat, again. He licked one of his tiny cat thumbs and used it to turn the page of his magazine.
    “Is there anything you do know?” Rumplestiltskin snapped.
    The cat, at last, looked up. “I know I wouldn’t wear that shirt with those shorts,” he said.
    Rumplestiltskin tutted and huffed. “This is the worst customer service I’ve ever had!” he proclaimed. “Do you know who I am?”
    
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Literature
FFM 2018: Gasoline and Matches
Burn, baby, burn.
Delilah cupped her hand around the cigarette and took a deep drag, sour smoke filling her lungs as she dropped the spent match onto the carpet. Then she lit another match, tucked it inside the empty box of Pall Malls and used the open flame to carefully set light to the curtains.
The smell of gasoline was strong enough to give her a instant headache, the familiar sensation of rusty nails slowly drilling their way into her cranium. Out of habit she felt herself reaching for a painkiller, but of course she’d thrown them all down the drain at the hotel an hour before. A foolish choice in hindsight.
To her left, the ghost of Alexander cheerfully warmed his hands upon the fire; an unfortunate side-effect of her present drug-free state. Seeing him always brought back the guilt, like a sickness roiling in her gut. There were no such things as ghosts, she knew that. But for the silent spectre of a dead man, he was awfully convincing.
Spectral manifestations aside
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Literature
The Damocles Protocol
At 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
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