April 2014 75 **PLUS 5** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- Cat's Cradle and TDZ share the win

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The Judge

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#1
IN CELEBRATION OF THE OPENING OF OUR FIFTH YEAR OF WRITING CHALLENGES,
THIS MONTH'S CHALLENGE IS SEVENTY-FIVE PLUS FIVE WORDS!!



The Rules:


Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 80 words, not including the title


One entry per person


All stories Copyright 2014 by their respective authors,
who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here



The complete rules can be found at Rules for the Writing Challenges



Contest ends at 11:59 pm GMT, April 23 2014

Voting Ends at 11:59 pm GMT, April 28 2014



You do not have to submit a story in order to vote --
in fact, we encourage all Chrons members to take part in choosing a winner



The Magnificent Prize:


The Dignified Congratulations/Grovelling Admiration of Your Peers
and the challenge of choosing the next month's theme and genre



Theme:

Encounters


Genre:

Fantasy Steampunk

 
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Victoria Silverwolf

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#2
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Intelligent Design

Alice's optic sensors glittered with anticipation. "Please, sir, tell me another story."

The Reverend Dodgson smiled. The little boat he shared with his young companion drifted lazily along the galvanic stream. "Very well. You remember how Dorothy met Tik-Tok?"

"Of course!"

"What you may not know is how Tik-Tok obtained the Powder of Life, and was no longer merely a machine."

"Truly, sir?"

The Reverend Dodgson nibbled a silicon wafer. "Would I lie about our Ancestor and Creator?"
 

BenSt

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#3
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

The Train Station



Pulling her goggles down, Laura scanned the bustling station. Miners and engineers milled about, waiting for their daily commute. The hands on the clock tower read Nine o'clock, but in this district they always read that. A triple decker had just pulled in, it's overnight passengers disembarking. Laura looked carefully through the grimness, locking onto her target. The armoured cowboy wandered away from the crowd to take a leak. She followed, gripping her knife. He grinned as she came near.
 
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#4
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Dwarven Harry​


The thief still had one arm left. It crept towards his fallen weapon.

‘This is a .44 Mage-gun. It could blow your head clean off,’ growled the dwarf. ‘Now I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots, or only five?

Playing the odds, the thief surrendered.

‘I must know...shorty.’

The dwarf sighted on the thief’s head, and pulled the trigger.

Thunder split the air. The punk’s head burst into red steam.

‘Oops, only five.’
 

Jo Zebedee

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#5
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Just a shiver in time



The cage hangs empty. Five years ago the city-folk dragged Father to it, called him a filthy Mage and watched him die.

I focus on the city’s time-centre, grinding its cogs back until Father lies before me, body wracked. The crowd shout their triumph; he gasps for breath.

With shaking hands I open the cage, force the cogs forwards, and abandon the crowd to history. My father stands, back straight, a shiver in time that makes things right.
 

Remedy

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#6
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

His Finest Creation

Professor Fogwerk built marvellous moving things, combining pistons, turbines and clockwork. Articulated snakes clicked and chuffed across his workshop floor like miniature locomotives.

Everyone said the metal unicorn was his finest creation; a favourite with children when he visited towns with his boy. Joyful squeals were heard loud above the hissing and rattling gallop.

To Fogwerk, the beast was his shiny distraction. If people watched the unicorn, they didn’t notice the tiny jets of vapour spilling out from his son.
 

Juliana

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#7
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Close Encounters of the K9 Kind​

When the aliens landed in their glorious clockwork device, Queen Victoria herself flew down from Balmoral in her private airship to greet the travellers.

No one could have foreseen that the aliens would hail her pet Pomeranians as royalty and set off an interplanetary war.

But then, no one expected the aliens to be common were-wolves, either. As she was vaporized, the Queen was heard to exclaim, “By jove, Albert, the Galaxy’s gone to the dogs!”
 
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#8
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

For Love of the Hunt





I shivered as I stepped into the old room. Boilers and parts from old steam horses cast eerie shadows across the ground. My fingers slid across th handle of my gun, the cold steel giving reassurance.

She was in here somewhere. An elven mage wanted for murder, it was my job to bring in those others could not. Drawing my pistol, I stepped into the light.

"I'm sorry, sis. But you know why I'm here."
 

farntfar

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#9
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Paradise lost.

Listening to the sound of the eight beautifully beveled brass feet of his Lotus Spider as they struck the cobbles of this east end street, the Director of Steam Projects pined for the simpler times of horse and dragon.

He had come here to hire the finest metallurgist in the land, who had fallen on hard times.

A short bearded figure received him at the door. “Well old friend.”, said Legolas.” Times have certainly changed since we last met”.
 

Droflet

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#10
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

The Enforcer.

Throughout the kingdom only Lillipetal’s people worshiped peace and harmony.

Until he arrived.

Pacifism doesn’t pay the bills, so they hired me.

Stevo McMansiz’s my name. I take out the garbage.

I’d tracked the scumbag for nineteen days and now he was mine.

He broke from cover and ran for the enchanted forest.

My rifle shot a jet of steam and he went down.

I pointed my rifle’s nozzle between his eyes and tightened my trigger finger.

“Eat this, punk.”
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BigJ

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#11
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

. . . making the whole world blind . . .

“Stoke the engines, lads! Maintain altitude and circle back to the east, cruising speed. Keep those magic sniffers going; crack another lightning barrel if you have to. Those blasted elves must be close.”

As he clicked off the comm a thin blade slipped under his beard.

“Closer than you think, Master Dwarf.”

“You kill me, you’ll get open war!”

“We don’t want war; we just want you.”

“For your princess?”

“A life for a life.”

“Get on with it, then.”
 

TitaniumTi

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#12
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Cave [Canem] Leporem

“I want strawberries,” Peter Rabbit said. “So strawberries I shall have.” His hind leg twanged as he thumped it defiantly before springing across the field.

Farmer McGregor was woken by Peter wriggling under the garden gate. “Wassamatter?” he mumbled, confusing the sound with the chimes of the cracked church bells. “Is it Sunday?”

Peter bared his shiny metal teeth when he saw the farmer steaming down the path. “Hello, Sir Bors,” he said. “Don’t cross my vicious streak.”
 

SirSamuelVimes

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#13
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

The Kings of America

The King of America strode down the hall.

No one even knew how American Kings were elected.

No one man should rule this great country.

This man was corrupt to the bone, deserved to die.

Jensen’s steam rifle recoiled; the king fell dead.

The jarring of Jensen’s rifle dissipated his camouflage spell.

They all turned to him, noticing him for the first time.

One man spoke. “The King is dead, long live the king.”

They all bowed before Jensen.
 

stormcrow

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#14
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

An Unpleasant Encounter

“Sirs - No! I’m no common Cheapside dollymop!”

Charlotina’s cries cut through the sulphurous pea-souper that clogs the shambling gas lit alleys beneath the Aldgate aero dock.

“Leave her, Jack; she’s bleedin’ elvish automata!” Bill Gladstone rests a restraining hand on his accomplices shoulder, “…’less you’re after baggin’ us a topping?”

Jack Ripp relaxes his grip on the copper skinned mannikin; free from his clutches she escapes onto Whitechapel Road.

”Pity; she’d ‘ave made a fine-rigged elf toffer”.
 

cornelius

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#15
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Putting Up New Statutes

"End-term is in sight. Are you ready?"

"Not yet. I'm fixing the power. I still need to charge it."

"Crap. That doesn't help with our current events."

"Oh really? I hadn't thought about that, you know, with all this stress I'm having."

"Usually it's a pressure problem."

"Not with this one."

"This is... different."

"Every household will want one of these."

"Really? You just say that to grind my gears."

"Soon you'll run out of steam, punk."
 

Cat's Cradle

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#16
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

The Coal Miners

The priest paced around the mining office awaiting news--days had passed since the last faint tapping beyond the cave-in.

"Mankind First!"..."Dwarves Unite!"...ugly words, ugly placards, he reflected; human miners loathed dwarves for 'stealing' jobs--dwarves loathed humans for many reasons. Steam, and Edison's wondrous clockwork sensor boards, had seemed to promise unlimited opportunities for all, but little changed.

They reached the dead miners that evening--dwarves, humans, all embracing for warmth and comfort, united finally, hatreds forgotten.
 

martin321

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#17
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Skirmish on the Southern Seas

The Swordfish cut across the kelpy sea, her funnels belching smoke into a cloudless sky. A single bird soared high above.

An unlucky midshipman took aim and fired; the albatross fell.

A black smudge of death appeared on the far horizon.

"Crossed skulls," cried the lookout.

The crew threw overboard mechanical narwhals, which streaked away seeking iron. They tossed the midshipman too, for luck.

Then they fled towards the setting sun, where the ocean ran red with blood.
 

Starbeast

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#18
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Professor Fate the Magnificent meets the Cahokia Tribe


Black suit, goggles, mustache wax,
accompanied, faithful sidekick Max.

Traveled, to Lake Wesla,
testing a design, from Tesla.

Discovering monsters, to his shock,
activating ray guns, he yelled, "Let's Rock!"

Demons burned, and fell,
Max exclaimed, "Go to hell."

Fate laughed, maniacal glee,
Indians, exited, from trees.

Happy, rescued, thankful people,
Fate bowed, removing top hat, purchased at Zeepul.

Cahokia asked heroes, "Please stay",
accepting, partied all day.

Sunrise, the men said goodbye,
drove off in steam mobile, named Dragonfly.
 

Aun Doorback

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#19
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!



The chemistry between us


My story?

That chance encounter in a bar when she touched my heart.

Salt and acid!

We were from different worlds, yet born under the lusty sign of Scorpio.
Her succubine eyes – Dopamine and Oxytocin- Flaming!
Drawing from my soul, the part still alive.

My non-machine.

My guard vanquished we danced outside, beneath the opus moon and her Zeppelin.

I surrendered my key to her.

In the sober morn, I lay spent yet alive, whilst her ship destroyed my city.
 

Glen

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#20
Re: April 2014 SEVENTY-FIVE **PLUS FIVE** WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- READ FIRST POST!!

Black-box recording from Flagship “Industrial Enterprise”

“Another shovel of coal!”
“She canne take it Cap’n”
“Logically speaking, the Hargreaves-Stephenson warp-engine should reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.”
“I know this ship like the back of my hand! I tell you, she canne take it!”
“We cannot be expected to expand the empire...ahem... meet new peoples on a voyage of learning and discovert at this sedentary pace.”
“I’m a doctor, not an...”
“She’s goin’ to blow!”
 
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