300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- VICTORY TO GRINNEL

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The Judge

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THE CHALLENGE:

To write a story in 300 words or less

INSPIRED by the image provided below, and in the genre of

Science Fiction, Fantasy, or other Speculative Fiction



Only one entry per person

All stories Copyright 2012 by their respective authors, who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here.



This thread will be closed until October 10 -- as soon as the thread is unlocked, you may post your story


Entries may be posted no later than October 31, 2012
at 11:59 pm GMT


Voting will close November 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm GMT
(unless moderators choose to make an extension based on the number of stories)


You do not have to enter a story to vote. In fact, we encourage ALL Chronicles members to read the stories and vote for their favorites.

You may cast three votes


For a further explanation of the rules see here:
Rules for the Writing Challenges

The inspiration image for this month is:


Photo by kneesamo on Flickr.
 
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Luiglin

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

No rhyme, no reason, just jollification

“Set the diflugulator to maximum ungerscrunch.”
“Done.”
A booming hum throb of pulsation.

“Crank up the turdledonk slowly … slowly.”
“Check.”
A rainbow cascade conflagration.

“Now let me adjust the peddlequanch settings.”
“Methinks one more peddlequanch notch and it will reach the kloddflack peak.”
A whistling jet stream in exhalation.

“Good, very good.”
“Careful, we must not exceed the gumbletunt threshold.”
A squeal of steel for want of lubrication.

“Maybe a touch of oiggleflipoil?”
“I concur.”
A few drips here and there for mollification.

“Perfect.”
“Wonderful.”
A silence full of admiration.

“So what is it?”
“It’s a … it’s a …”
A frantic ruminate for stimulation.

“It’s an Iscranulder Vermantic Pasdockall Device!”
“How absolutely magnificent.”
A dual deep sigh of appreciation.

“So what does it do then, what is its purpose?”
“Is it not obvious?”
A desperate search for inspiration.

“Do you know yourself?”
“Unreservedly I do. Can you not deduce its function?”
A subtle state of indignation.

“How it works, yes; what it does, no. Please, a hint?”
“A hint! You are a Scientist and a Fellow of St Bartleby College, just as I am. You Sir should not need a hint!”
A barbed retort of professional assassination.

“Indeed Sir, are you doubting my Fellowship of St Bartleby College?”
“I neither cast nor reel in aspersions.”
A charged air bursting with vexation.

“Cup of tea?”
“Please, yes.”
A golden brew of conciliation.

“Nothing better than a fine sip of the Earl Grey.”
“Indeed yes.”
A so British response for social salvation.

“I see that you admire those old boots by the stove. They are a reminder from my discerning wife to keep my feet firmly planted on the floor.”
“Aha, my good lady is also of the same mind set.”
A pause as each considered their spouses lack of appreciation.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST



“THE END OF THE WORLD IS NOT MY FECKING FAULT.” (Michael O’Leary, Ireland.)



Quite why Kevin Delaney was selected for the Starlight space programme isn’t clear. But his son, Tom, insists the blame for failure lies elsewhere.

Looking around the small cottage, it’s obvious the Delaney’s have little. Beside the single stove are Kevin’s boots; boots he’ll never return to. His son glances at them, as he says, “We didn’t believe him about NASA and the alien abduction.”

Yet it was true, and when the aliens came back Kevin got the call-up.

“I said if the aliens wanted him, they’d come here, but Da said even the locals can’t find Ballysharnon without a map.”

He was right; it had taken me two hours. I crossed my legs – I’d seen the outhouse – and asked, “Are those the boots?”

“Aye.”

I pick one up; it’s heavy. “Lead lined?”

“No, something else.”

It’s old: the uppers parting from the sole. And smelly. I drop it and go to the door for some air. “So he took his boots and went?”

“He tried to. But, that fecker O’Leary’s lot wanted E500 excess. We didn’t have it; we’d barely managed the fare, and that was without paying for the loo.” His fists clenched. “Ryanair said even if it was the end of the world, it was 500 euros.”

I look out; the sheep on the hill are like chalk marks on a board.

“NASA said to get his sorry ass over, they had boots. They wouldn’t listen.”

A cloud scuds, casting the hill in shadow. How long until the sickness finds Ballysharnon? It’s reached Europe. America’s gone. Boots? That was all the aliens had sent Starlight for; without the return of their precious artefact, they’d shown no mercy.

I shake my head and walk from the cottage that once held the future of the world.
 

Scott R. Forshaw

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

The Things We Do For Love


With a grunt, Saul Ferryman shoved open the door to his tiny cottage. The day had taken its toll on his aching and battered body. It was finally time to down tools for the night. Outside, far below his hillside retreat, snow had fallen in droves, the entire countryside swathed in a blanket of delectable white serenity, glimmering beneath a star strewn sky. Serenity, he sighed, nothing but a pipe-dream.

He placed his sodden, worn-out boots by the beaten old stove and stoked the fire. He hoped he wouldn't need to venture out again until long after they were dry. Or at all, if possible.

Voudoo had a lot to answer for. The old world had, in obscure ways, offered some semblance of sanity. It'd perhaps been shrouded in deceit and political ineptitude, but at least life and death had known their boundaries.

Now, Zombies ruled the land. Lumbering, decaying, ravenous creatures of death and disease: a result of misguided promises and a plethora of lies.

He remembered advertisement hoardings on every corner, and all those damned infomercials:


********
Bring your loved ones back from the grave.
*
Embrace your partner, once again.
*
Be together.
*
Be happy.
*
Only $399*


*limited time only.
********
If only they'd known, the fools. If only they'd envisaged the horrors to follow.

He longed for the old ways. For the killing to end, and the everyday drudgery to return. He had too much blood on his hands now, too many dead on his conscience.

Head in hands, he wept. He longed for his Alice, cursed her murderer.

Outside, snow crunched beneath uneven footsteps. Saul's head snapped up, his trusty shotgun quickly within his grasp.

If only I hadn't given in to loneliness ... to temptation.

“For both our sakes, I hope it was four hundred bucks well spent, honey.”
 

Bowler1

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Bad Dog

He turned and looked at the double sun setting, one hand over his eyes as he took in the wonderful view he never tired of; the end of another day in the fields.

He leaned back, stretching, and got a satisfying pop from his back. Moving slowly, his feet dragging in the dust, he went into his small farm house. The door creaking and hinges protesting as he pushed. He rubbed his hands together, the cool of evening just setting in. He set about lighting his fire, setting kindling and wood into his little stove. Shaking the matchbox, not many left, he lit the fire and sat back watching the flames grow and catch.

Scratch, scratch… scratch.

Ignoring the sounds, he fetched a little water and set the kettle to boil, he would have to wait; the fire was far from hot.

Scratch… scratch.

Slowly, he took off his boots and lay them near the stove, looking forlornly at the mauled leather.

Scratch… scratch.

The water came to a slow boil and with a sigh; he got up from his seat and got a bowl. He added dried food, shaking out a careful portion, not wanting to waste anything. He added some hot water to the bowl and stirred the dried food into the water, softening the food.

Scratch, scratch… scratch.

Moving slowly, he opened the door. ‘Sit boy… sit.’

As he placed the food down, the dog took one sad glance at the bowl before turning its soft brown eyes back to its master.

‘Bad dog… stay.’ He went back into his little home, closing the door against the encroaching night outside.

Scratch… scratch, scratch.

He glanced at the door, almost turning to open it again. Then he saw his boots and his resolve hardened.

Scratch, scratch… scratch... scratch.
 

Juliana

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Bedtime Story​


Luckily the Giant’s boots were old and worn. When he was accidently stepped on, Captain Jack managed to crawl through a hole and perch just above the beast’s toenail.

He hung on for what seemed like hours. Finally they stopped. The Giant pulled off his boots and set them down, oblivious to Jack rolling around inside the left foot. Dazed, Jack pulled himself to a crack and watched the beast stomp off.

It was magnificent! His training at Star Command had not prepared him for this first glimpse of the native fauna. The SS Beanstalk had set him down at the perfect location!

Jack checked his tracker: operational. His crew should be able to get him out, provided he could make it to the rendezvous point…

The past four Star Troopers sent to scout out the Cloud Lands had simply disappeared. Their last tracking signals led to the Giant’s lair. Jack was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and find his missing colleagues.

He climbed out, military training showing in every move. The vast space appeared homely despite the size, with a huge wood-burning stove and what appeared to be a storage cupboard.

Jack moved stealthily to the storage space and scaled to the first shelf. He froze in sudden shock. Next to a loaf of bread as big as a house, was a silo-sized canister bearing a tidy label in a giant scrawl: Bone Flour (ground with 2 parts Star Command/ 1 part cattle meal).

He felt suddenly sick – it appeared he had found out what happened to his former colleagues. Jack lent on the doorframe for support and, as he did, a shadow loomed over him and he heard the Giant’s thunderous rumble:

“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum……….”
 

ratsy

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

A Hero's Return

Alena wept as she looked out the window. Snow fell in droves, cleansing the countryside of all color. For days it had fallen and still there was no sign of her husband. Always trying to be the hero , she thought. But even as the thought came to her she dismissed it. He was born to help people and he didn’t have any control over that.

Taleth was born into a poor farming family. His strength shone through at a young age as he carried farm animals in from a storm to safety. From there his adventures would begin. Alena met him when she was still a young lady at court. She watched him defeat the King’s greatest swords master when he was not thirteen years old. By the time he was eighteen he led the Kings army to victory over an invading territory.

Battling Demon mages, saving Princesses, he had done it all. He married Alena as a young man and always promised to stop, give her a family and spend his last days in a cottage where no one could find them. Now his hair was grey, and his body ached but when he was found all these years later, he couldn’t deny the call.

Taleth left a note for their grown daughter, polished his sword and kissed his wife. Then he left. That was months ago.
With a heavy heart Alena set to making a pot of tea on the stove. Looking down to see Taleth’s worn boots she stifled another sob. Where are you?

That night after finally falling asleep, she dreamed of their wedding day. He had looked so handsome.

A knock awoke her sometime later. Lighting a lantern she got out of bed and hesitantly came to the door.

She opened it.
 

kshRox

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Homecoming

The bastard's boots sat by the stove next to the door. Martian nights are a cold black bitch in temperate regions, here in the pole they’re simply sudden death if you’re caught outside at sundown. I could still see him, his legs crushed beneath the rubble from the landslide pinning him to the trail.

I could hear the jeers from other miners as they passed by on their way back to town. They knew they were safe. Even if he could get out from under the debris and I was willing to carry him, there was no way he’d make it to town in time to avoid sundown.

“Take my damn boots”, he growled, “goddam nancy boy like you is gonna need ‘em”.

As I unlaced the boots and pulled them from the mangled mess of his feet he stared at me. His eyes inscrutable.

“Boy” he rumbled, the only name he ever called me, “behind the stove, there’s a loose brick. Take whats there to the next Earth Transport. The pilots named Mick. We have an arrangement.” Those were his last words and I didn’t look back as I walked away. I hated him as much as any of the others.

Must be a pound of pure Plenium. He’d stashed, stolen and beat it from the other miners over the years. A fortune. I wondered how many men died, how many he’d killed to collect it.

They sent him to the Mars Penal Colony for beating the petty official who‘d killed my mother, a most unfortunate accident the officials attorney conceded. They made him bring me, a toddler, as there was no family to leave me with. My throat seized and hot wet trails ran down my face.

Well I’ll be coming back.
They won’t be expecting that.
 
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Mouse

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

The Witching Hour


With a tick, the hand moved to the twelve and as one, they started moving in their chairs. The woman resumed her knitting, the needles clacking and clicking. The wooden rockers creaked against the floor. The man lifted the pipe to his lips.

And then he stopped.

"Whose kettle is that, lover?" he asked.

"Hm?"

"The kettle?"

She looked up briefly, her eyes flicking to the copper kettle on top of the stove. "Our kettle, Norman."

"Oh. So it is." He began rocking again and once more lifted the pipe to his lips.

#

Look!


They look stupid. They don't even go.

I like 'em.

#​

As the clock ticked and the hand moved to twelve, they started rocking in their chairs. The woman resumed her knitting, the needles clacking and clicking. The man lifted the pipe to his lips.

Then he stopped.

"Whose boots are they, lover?" he asked.

"Hm?"

"The boots. Whose boots?"

She looked up, her eyes flicking towards the pair of large work-boots next to the stove. "Your boots, Norman."

"No they idden."

The knitting fell to her lap with an irritable huff. She looked at the boots again. "Yes they are, innum?"

"No."

"They are, Norman!"

He began rocking again and once more lifted the pipe to his lips. He stopped. Carefully, pushing down on the arms of the chair, he got to his feet. He approached the stove, taking the pipe from his mouth as he peered at the boots.

"They idden my boots, lover!" he said. "Look at the size of 'em! Bloody gurt things."

She got up too, with a struggle, and joined him by the stove. They exchanged a look.

#

The dolls stand by the window, waiting.


I told you they didn't go. I warned you. They know now.


They know.
 

Abernovo

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Ready to Go


His jump boots were all that remained of his Surveying Corps uniform. He'd landed on eleven planets in them, which explained their condition. He'd not worn them for years, though.

"Dad, your tea's made. Drink it before it gets cold."

Granger looked up, reminiscences interrupted, but the room was empty. It always was. He was alone, except for the strange animals, native to Xarta. He'd survived, foraging plants--cultivating some--and hunting, although that was a risk: some of the predators were jealous of their territories.

He smiled. He'd been surprised when a Xartan 'dog' had adopted him as a companion, hunting with him, warning him when something came close. They'd shared the shack for ten years, almost. Orion was gone now, though, buried outside, close to the crew of his ship; those that he had found.

"Dad, your tea! You always leave it."

"Thanks, Ellie. Sorry."

He reached for his tea and stopped. Ellie. That was her name. He'd seen pictures of her. Never met her: he'd been preparing for a drop when she was born. He'd promised his wife that he'd be back after one last mission, but an asteroid had struck, throwing them into the Xarta's atmosphere. He'd been the only survivor.

Rescue wasn't an option beyond the Gap.

That pain in his arm again. He winced as he bent down to lace up his boots.

"Here, Dad, let me help you."

"Thanks Ellie. You're a good lass."

Lass? She'd be what, forty, fifty herself by now? It was difficult to remember. He laid back on the bed. The boots felt right, back on his feet.

"You'll look after me, won't you, lass?"

"Of course I will. It's okay, go to sleep."

His eyes closed. A survey ship was coming in to land. He was going home.
 

billhafan

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

300 Words for 300 Miles


‘300 miles, on foot … twenty days trekking across this godforsaken planet … I thought you were dead! And then you bring back a wood-burning stove? It beggars belief! There couldn't have been anything else in the ship's stores that would have been of less use ...’

Cora leant back into the memory seat – aching muscles finally relaxing - and smiled to herself. Jake was a good man, and when they had been paired together, she knew she'd struck gold; he was a biologist and nano-technologist, complimenting her more practical engineering and survivalist background, and maybe he was personable enough to partner.


She felt some guilt in not telling him the truth outright of what was in her workshop, but blowing steam would probably help him; he'd been in decline since their emergency escape-pod and habitat had landed, nearly 150 miles away from the wreck of the seed-ship - on the wrong planet.

‘Cora, we're stuck in the middle of a friggin desert, on a desert planet, with no trees – and you bring back a stove?’ he yelled, pausing for breath, four months of frustration released.


‘It's for a new start – you told me you'd kill for a stove and a real home ...’


‘I'd probably kill for different reasons now,’ he muttered, deflated; instantly feeling guilty. ‘Why would you carry that … that, monstrosity all the way back?’


‘Hmm – I didn't carry the stove back,’ she smiled kindly. ‘I actually carried a solar-generator, and managed to salvage one of the ships molecular-synthesisers; added some of the sand we're surrounded by … and uploaded the template.’

Tears of relief ran down his face as they hugged each other; affection was the one thing she couldn't have manufactured, but hope and a Federal Stove … maybe.
 

Grinnel

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Mega-Man Comix: Issue 658; Mega-Man’s Vacation. Written, drawn and inked by Dan Cooper

==============================​

FRAME 1:

ARTWORK: Steve Wilson, Mega Man’s alternate identity, lounging in cabin; boots off; sock feet propped near an old wood stove; tea kettle on stove.

NARRATION: MEGA-MAN ENJOYS A WELL-EARNED VACATION IN THE WOODS!

SPEECH BUBBLE: AHHHHH!


-------------------


Really? A weekend off? No costume? No cries for help? No having to watch every freakin’ word for the young readers?

Awesome! Thank you, Dan.

I might even learn to fish. This is my first time off since MEGA-MAN 264; INTRODUCING GALAXY GIRL.


-------------------


FRAME 2:

ARTWORK: Streak leading from sky to forest. Trees falling.

NARRATION: MEANWHILE, NEARBY:

SOUND EFFECT OVERLAY: CRAAASH!!


-------------------


Meanwhile nearby? Aw, c’mon! Don’t do this! I am so tired of getting bashed and beaten every month.


-------------------


FRAME 3:

ARTWORK: Same as FRAME 1

SOUND EFFECT OVERLAY: Small ‘boom’


-------------------


Just ONE lousy weekend off, Dan! Just one!


-------------------


FRAME 4:

ARTWORK: Same as FRAME 1. Note: FRAME 5 overlaps bottom right quadrant.

SOUND EFFECT OVERLAY: Progressively larger Boom! Boom! BOOM!!


-------------------


Not gonna happen! I can’t heeeeear you! LALALALALALALALA!


-------------------


FRAME 5:

ARTWORK: Close up of Steve’s head, facing reader, startled expression; action lines show head turning.

SOUND EFFECT OVERLAY: BOOM!


-------------------


Noooooo! Get Galaxy Girl: she loves this crap! She wants her own series!


-------------------


FRAME 6:

ARTWORK: Robotic arms tearing roof off cabin.

SOUND EFFECT OVERLAY: CRRRRRUNCH!

ELECTRONIC SPEECH BUBBLE: HAHAHAHA! I HAVE YOU NOW, MEGA-MAN! I’LL CRUSH YOU LIKE A BUG!

MEGA-MAN SPEECH BUBBLE: YOU’LL RUE THE DAY YOU ATTACKED ME, ROBO-TIC!


-------------------


Seriously? Rue? Nobody says rue anymore.


-------------------


FRAME 7 (full quarter page):

ARTWORK: Steve Wilson (sans Mega-Mancostume) leaps to attack, his fists

“Dan.”

“WHAT?”

“Supper!”

“COMING!”


-------------------


Hey, waitaminit! You didn’t finish! DAN, COME BACK HERE AND DRAW MY ARMS!

...I hate him!
 
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reiver33

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

They Also Serve


The cold.

The cold seeps through walls, colonising corners with frost, driving all life before it. I beat a slow retreat; yard by yard, room by room, taking with me everything that will burn.

My focus shrinks to one last area of warmth. I no longer go outside for there is nothing to serve as food or fuel. Snow stretches to the horizon, a funeral shroud beneath leaden skies. The air is still and silent, as if the world had forgotten how to breathe.

My cat is elderly, frail, her world a basket by the stove, litter tray and window sill. A world more intact than my own, if she but knew it. We both eat cold food from tins, ignoring two mice who feed on scraps I carefully set aside. My weekly cup of tea is a ritual to rival the Japanese; exquisite, unmarred by milk or sugar.

Outside nothing stirs, not even death.

The stove is everything, consuming everything, even my library. I consign books to the flames one by one, eking out my meager hoard of firewood. A journal remains sacrosanct, although it is little more than a way to mark the passing days. It is my one luxury, the last vestige of a life beyond mere existence. Before pencils became memories I drew my cat, the room, the face in the mirror. Now these images seem portents of a frozen future, immobile, devoid of any possible change.

My boots stand ready, defiant in the face of winter’s isolation. But there is nowhere to go, no destination out there save oblivion. The ghost of Captain Oates sits by the stove and warms his hands. He smiles, for even futility has its limits.

I sit and wait.

And wait.

And dream.

Perhaps tomorrow the sun will shine.
 

Karn Maeshalanadae

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

The Fall of the Last Ancient Wyrm



The Deathgrip Mountains. Cheesy name, but well earned. In the furthest northern reaches of Czastaria, they are truly a no man’s land. The only creatures able to survive are the ice elementals, white dragons, and the giant race Uttans.

I was a young man in the days I decided to expand my horizons, barely the age of twenty. Young, and foolish.

There was a legend of a particular white dragon. A massive beast, with scales harder than diamond and stronger than carbon, Aisanjuduuk measured a full ten leagues long, and his wingspan easily shadowed the entire range of the mountains and its valleys. His home was on a massive plateau that was ten miles high, with crags and cliffs that no human dared attempt to scale.

Until me. Within an Uttan’s cave I found these boots you see here by my stove, boots with the power to make a man fly with a mere thought. Upon the wall is the sword Gemdling, the blade of an ancient dead god. With these, I swore I would scale the mountain and face the great beast Aiskanjuduuk in a battle to the death. It was a fierce fight, but with those boots of flight, I managed to evade his every attack, until I thrust Gemdling into his massive eye. Aiskanjuduuk let out a shriek that toppled the surrounding mountains and fell from the plateau, dead.

You must be wondering why I never left that plateau. To tell the truth, his hoard of wealth was frozen to the ground, I suppose his last method of security. I’m far too old now to care for it, or even for what the world beyond would have thought of my exploits. But you…perhaps you would like to try for glory?
 

SciFrac

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Don’t Judge Me

Hath ye fought for breath and freedom? Hath the great fire of Norbus consumed ye kin in front of thine eyes? Nay? Then don’t judge me.

A man’s actions speaketh from his heart, whether black or sound or crude. They boil out, from beneath his surface.

Given choices unjust, a man responds only how he can. How he must. I bare no shame nor pride for my life, nor concern for thine sins either. Grant me this same favor! Remove the plank from thine eyes before removing the splinter from mine. Don’t judge me.

Thou list grievances contrived. The court, a harlot for ye bidding. No justice done to me and mine, only retribution for other crimes untrue. Yea I’ve walked dark roads in years past, no secret is this. But hast thou not? Then don’t judge me.

I beg no mercy for my honest errors. But lo, by Gods of Thornok, will thou not beg for yours? In penance, ye empty hearts will crumble to ash before the People, and a great vengeance will visit thy throne. But don’t judge me.

Thou condemned me to this desolate hell, beyond the moons of Creon and Lustere. Ye abandon me, in lack of food and family. And for what reasons? To what end? What hast thou accomplished in this reaping of innocence? Thine own smug death, I will prove.

To thee I say once more, don’t judge me. Lest ye walk a mile in my shoes.
 

Kylara

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Museums

‘Boots. How quaint.’ The long neck snaked around, ‘Do you remember when they wore boots?’

‘Ummm no actually. I do remember them trying to copy us with those fire breathing brick neck things though…’

‘Oh yes! Look, they have one next to the boots.’

‘Mmm they look very muddy, must have tried to do a runner.’ He sniggered as he imagined the tiny two legged meat running around, as if it would have helped.

‘I had one run up a tree once. I was thinking: a tree? Was it trying to get eaten?’ The blunt head swung from side to side, trailing smoke.

‘You remember when they used to throw those sticks at us?’

‘Haha, yeah, I don’t know why they thought a stick would penetrate obsidian scales.’ He preened, black body glittering in the flames.

‘KEVIN! COME BACK HERE RIGHT THIS MINUTE. TAKE YOUR CLAWS OUT OF THOSE BOOTS RIGHT NOW!’

‘Honestly some creatures shouldn’t be allowed to have young. Just look at it, trampling on the exhibit, no respect for past exploits at all!’

A small scaly amethyst dragon, covered in mud and with one claw in a boot rushed past them, tail swinging about wildly for balance. A much larger quartz dragon was charging after it, muttering apologies to the disturbed dragons in its offspring’s wake.

The two dragons looked back at the now ruined exhibit.

Personally I think it looks better. With just the single boot.’

‘Yeah, much more realistic. I can’t count the times I’ve gotten a boot stuck in my teeth.’

‘And the holes in it…yes, much better.’

They wandered off, past the shredded boot and dented stove, towards the next roped off area.

‘You know Greg, it’s a shame we ate them all.’

‘Yeah. These Martians don’t taste half as good.’
 

Perpetual Man

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Love Like Old Leather
I made the boots with my own hands. Gentle fingers pricked by the curved steel needle, that forced harsh cord through toughened leather. Countless points that penetrated the delicate flesh at the top of my slender digits. Rich red blood stained the leather with dark blotches, blotches that neither time nor dubbin could remove.

My father said I was a fool to love him; that it would not work, it could not last. But who can resist the pull of the heart? Not I. Nor he.

I walked away from my life of transcendence and luxury - all I had known; lived in the single roomed cabin that he called home. We tended land, ate what we grew. And we loved.

We walked over the hills, along twisting mountain paths, through woodland, over moor and through vale. Down abandoned lanes, hand in hand, sometimes never uttering a word. We did not need to.

This was our love.

And always he wore his boots.

“Best damn boots I ever had,” he always said looking past their imperfections, seeing only my heart that had bled into them.

He wears them not now, they sit by the stove as they always did, warming for his cold feet. But that cold will not now be banished. My love, he breathes no more, old, grey haired and wasted. Time has not been kind and death has extended her hand.

This is the folly of which they spoke.

Immortal and mortal.

Elf and Man.

One will die. One will live forever.

Loss. Love. Pain.

I know these things more than just words.

But just like the boots he refused to replace, I would not change a thing.

And he will not wear them again.
 

Kapelvig

Christmas Isthmus
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Outpost

The wind flew around him, whipping his cloak around his legs as he trudged onward. In his mind he repeated the only words which could save his life:

North of the track, east of the borehole, fifty paces over the crescent ridge.

Stumbling over a jagged rock, he fell shakily onto one knee, sinking into the crimson sand. He pulled himself up, drawing his cloak tighter and pulling at the cloth wrapped around his head. He peered through the narrow slit remaining and fought on through the storm.

North… east of the borehole, fifty paces…

His hand felt instinctively for the communicator in his belt, finding nothing. No contact any more; not since the war. The only way now was to walk.

North… the track, east… fifty paces… the crescent…

He looked up. A few meters ahead, the small hut nestled to the cliff face like a frightened animal. He coughed through the oily cloth, closed his eyes and wept stinging tears.

As the door swung open, the woman turned, brandishing a crude spear formed from a steel rod. He pulled his face covering down and closed the door behind him. The woman closed her eyes and breathed out slowly, setting the weapon down. She filled a cracked glass with water from a complaining pump and handed it to him quickly. He grasped it with both hands, lifted it to his mouth and took hurried gulps. Gasping, he lowered the glass and looked back at the woman.

“The rebellion was crushed,” he said quietly. “There were… no survivors.”

They both looked at the floor. He bent down, groaning, slowly removed his boots and placed them by the glowing stove. The wind howled in the eaves, and the sky darkened as the last red rays faded over the horizon.
 

David Evil Overlord

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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Tanarath and Melanthae

Tanarath awoke from a nightmare of burning alive. He glared at the dark old iron stove in the corner, but the obvious suspect was not guilty of wantonly heating his dreams.

The wizard levered his rake-thin body out of bed, accompanied by the querulous protests of bone and muscle.

And he remembered her...

Melanthae’s hair was golden silk, long enough to preserve her modesty, even when she was naked in his bed. Her eyes were dark, fire-flecked opals that looked into his very soul. Her tongue was a sweet torment, to which he surrendered himself willingly.

Melanthae’s golden hair couldn’t preserved her modesty when Tanarath caught her bedding some barbarian swordsman. Her dark opal eyes had burned into Tanarath’s, as if his soul were the tarnished one. Her tongue had been a cruel lash across his heart.

He spoke in haste, and in anger, and he regretted it all his days. For words have power, and none more so than those spoken by lovers or wizards.

Tanarath tried all his magic to undo what his words had wrought. He wanted gold and fire and sweet torment, not some ensorcelled slave.

He eventually became desperate enough to make a deal with a demon. And once more, words failed him. He placed no limits on Melanthae’s freedom.

He should have.

A succubus kicked his door off its hinges. Her batlike wings formed a fuliginous cloak that billowed behind her body, laughing at the very idea of modesty. Her glowing gaze was the touch of a sewer upon his soul. Her tongue was a poisonous serpent’s, anything but sweet.

In the flickering light of hell’s flames, he knew her.

‘Melanthae?’

‘Put your boots on,’ she snarled, ‘and come out to play.’

He tried, but damned souls cannot touch fireproof boots.
 

Starbeast

Benevolent Galaxy Being
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Re: 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #7 (October 2012) -- READ FIRST POST

Wormius Daemoniacus


Chrons party, members were dressed in outfits ranging from historic, to futuristic, I was Indiana Jones. While retrieving ice from the basement, I marveled at a unique old stove, upon opening it's door, I discovered torn pages from the Necronomicon inside. Did someone hide them there, or forget to burn them? I read the blood written words out loud, foolishly forgetting that this is sorcery.

"En Notchuron Daemontos, Vulgus Seiurn Haggum, Evokta Cryspious Chiptas Lo Sodium, Cthulus Nebulas Kandar Locnar...Come Forth Oolahtec..."

It was at that moment I realized what I had done.

A strong wind from no where blew the pages from my hand, there were grinding and pounding noises around me, the floor cracked open revealing a stench filled tunnel. What crawled up made me gasp in horror, nightmarish creatures of fantastic hellish forms entered into this world. Disgusting abominations and hideous misshapen beasts raced toward the stairs after smelling human flesh from above. A young gug approached me, bowed, and gave me "thumbs up" from four hands, the adolescent walked off and a child of Dagon stood near me...

"Master...", the aquatic female said. "We are here, Caller of Cthulhu."

I wept hearing my friends screaming, unspeakable things were being done to them...it was my fault.

"Master, when this year ends, the Earth will be ours."

I sobbed, "What can I do to stop this...?"

"Master, don't you know? Burn the three hundred word spell. Master? Why are you...? NNNNOOOOO!! Human fool, you were to be the honored ambassador of the Old Ones, and my LOVER!!!"

We fought until I killed her, after which, I finished incinerating the pages.

Every creepy thing vanished, the floor was without damage, the black barracuda girl was gone. A voice spoke from above...

"Hey Star Beast, where's the ice?"
 
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