300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #15 -- VICTORY TO JULIANA!

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The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
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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


THE RULES:

Only 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


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

Entries must be posted no later than OCTOBER 31 2014,

at 11:59 pm GMT

Voting will close NOVEMBER 15, 2014 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 favourites


You may cast THREE votes


NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


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

The inspiration image for this month is:

98_baba001final - reduced size.jpg


Image credit: Laura Bifano
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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WONDER TALES OF THE DIMENSIONS


Take a mathematician’s compass and quadruple its size-- then multiply the resultant by Infinity. Center its point at the Universal Nexus and inscribe a circle of light and wonder circumnavigating the 360 known degrees of the Dimensions of Time and Space (DoTaS).

Then consider the possibility that the reflecting gravity wave that tore across our universe beginning 1.00347 picoseconds post Big-Bang Event ripped the nascent reality asunder, birthing the DoTaS as 360 associated, though strikingly dissimilar dimensions.

Next, tell those tales of wonder and awe that contemplating such a Dimensioverse fosters in the mind, and you have our quarterly periodical’s premise.

With the knowledge that our Earth is named Earth Prime by dimensional theoreticians, and that the evolutionary, historical and paranormal differences between realities increase dramatically the higher the number of Dimensions Away From Earth Prime (DAFEP) we journey, you’re ready to participate in our adventure.
***

Bob--that’s the mission-statement opening for our new magazine,
Wonder Tales of the Dimensions; each author is assigned a different DAFEP numbered-reality to create. I’ll phone with expenses when all stories are completed; we’re offering writers 8¢/word--EXCEPTION: Moorcock…we really need him for the premiere, I’ll offer 14¢. The reviews column’s almost done--NOTE: no coverage of books from Meteorlific Publishing..we’re suing them over copyright violations. Finally, Laura’s terrific artwork for Catzkradelle’s story Fight the Thakkleek (DAFEP 169), and story excerpts...

Dariondew Falamilieu hid near the trail the Knights of Thakkleek traversed on their frequent raids of her kinsfolk’s communality. She was of the first-ever group of warriostrels her peaceful people had Conditioned...

...she was near enough to affix the enchanted forget-me-knight bomb to the boot of the unsuspecting horseman…

…”With my death,” Deemoriandew whispered, “you become the last Falamilieu...avenge us...”
 
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Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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THE KEY OF LIFE

The Bronze Men stand in the Dead Wood, a line of shining statues. Papa’s there, too, half-mad and hidden, refusing to come home until he finds a key. Sometimes I help look, crawling over broken twigs and through dead rustling leaves.

“Why do you need it?” I ask. Mostly he doesn’t answer, but once he did.

“The man on the horse is a great leader.” He was deadly mad serious. “The others are his army, sent by the King. And everyone’s going to die unless I find his key.”

His eyes were steady, not mad. That frightened me, because there was truth behind his words: the Alymic army had burned our crops and taken our sow. They’d left the woods as dead as we’d be by winter’s end, under their rule.

“But it’s a statue.” I knocked the rider's hollow leg. “It can’t save anything.”

But Papa begged me to look and we searched until I saw the gleaming key under a rock. I snatched it up and took it to the man on the horse. There was no keyhole.

“Underneath.” Papa was insistent. “That’s where I took it from, may God forgive me.” His words hitched. “I thought they were coming to hurt us.”

I got on my knees and under the horse’s belly there was a hole, just big enough for me to insert the key.

At a soft whirr I rolled away. A hoof set on the soil. The leader’s sword swung into place, clickety-clack. His eyes were golden and cogged, his smile fixed: “To battle!”

His men formed up, a clockwork army who’ll fight through hunger. They’ll chase the Alymic away, and food will reach us, and we’ll live.

Papa puts his arm around me, eyes clear, and we turn towards home.
 

Void

Pardon my paradox
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Aug 4, 2014
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56
The Meta Life

It was bright here. The kind of bright that made the grass look bleached of colour- though it was odd that Galahad noticed the grass first.

The second thing he noticed was that he couldn’t move his head. It was as though his armour had welded at the neck, prohibiting any movement. These things happened sometimes, he reasoned, but he was still going to have the bloody blacksmith hanged.

If nothing else, Galahad was a master of reasonable thinking.

Clatter.

A noise?

A bead of sweat started to make its way down his face, tickling the skin under his barbute, maddeningly. He waited until it passed into the place where the metal finished, just above his mouth, and tried to stab out at it with his tongue. But his tongue wouldn’t move either.

That was the point at which he realised that nothing would move. Not his hands, still clenched around the war horse's reins, not his feet still jammed in their stirrups. The destrier himself too was unmoving, eyes wide with fright.

Then, in the corner of his vision, he saw her. The small girl frozen in place, half-climbing over the log that lay between them. One of the brats from the village, probably. Her eyes matched the horse’s: big, dark and terrified. They were also fixed on him. Beseeching.

Clatter, clatter.

Behind the girl, the trees were neatly sheared in half; leaving darkness where the rest of the forest had been. A weird darkness where the too-bright light stopped dead, reflecting his own surprised-looking face back at him. A glass wall.

Clatterclatterclatter.

As he watched, spidery etchings appeared on the wall. In no language that Galahad had ever dreamed.

“erutcip eth s’ereH,” he read, puzzled, “esaelp ylno sdrow 003.”
 

Remedy

Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat
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Aug 6, 2013
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547
A Candle Brings Hope

My planet was dark. With no star to call our own, we drifted through the vacuum longing for a sun. There was light by our fires, yes, but that couldn’t sustain forests.

For the lush glens and dense woodlands we had the Life-Skull Army. Gleaming skeleton-knights clothed in the finest leather and silk we could make. Silent riders with radiant bones, patrolling the gardens of our world; always giving, ever moving. Their light grew the plants for us and our livestock; food for the fleshed.

Whenever the Skulls visited my village, I would follow to see their light make the flowers bloom and ferns uncurl. Other children would pick ripe fruit in their wake. Mothers handed them fresh garments, while fathers offered new swords and spears. They took what they needed with only a nod of thanks from their illuminated hollows.

Life would’ve been easy had our world been home to just us and the Skulls, but life was never easy. A constant threat pressed our borders. Barbaric and disorganised; a horde of charcoal-black beasts roamed the wastelands. They cultivated “slime,” as we called it; bacteria ridden jellies and toxic fungi which poisoned the ground into obsidian. The beasts hated us.

Eventually, our village fell. A filthy pincer disembowelled my father in the street. Mother’s screams gargled to silence in the doorway. Finally, in my bedroom, fetid, sticky mandibles closed on me, but I looked the demon in its pebble-dull eyes with all the malice I knew.

As I lay dying, a shining figure knelt beside me; one of the knights.

I whispered, “Too late.”

His glowing skull descended to my own and spoke my name in echo.

Hot beneath my skin, the flesh swelled and burst to reveal new light within.

My name was Candle.
 

alchemist

Be pure. Be vigilant. Beware.
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Ireland
One Cyberwarrior Went To War

"That Vicky, I want to... I want to..." Allie slammed the palm of her hand against a tree trunk, and cried out in pain. Stupid! She held back the tears and pushed a branch out of the way, wishing again she could go back in time and bring something better, something cooler, to Show and Tell. Not the shells.

"Shelly girl, smelly girl," Vicky had sung while the other village girls laughed, and Allie had run away with her face burning, all the way to the forest, where –

"What...?"

A silvery metal cube, about three feet long, blocked her path. Black fluid leaked from a gash in one side where it had felled a tree, and the mingled stench of metal and burning flesh hung in the air.

Silver buckled, the wall extruding like a tentacle. Allie stumbled backwards and tripped as it snaked through the air to caress her cheek. A whole world invaded her consciousness: sights, sounds, emotions, thoughts...

[cells and circuits/ a fleet of cubes outlined against a ringed planet/ excitement, companionship/ Elleri ships/ foes, fight!/ light flashes, disruptors/ too many, fear!/ shields down/ pain! So much pain!/ and a crash among the trees]

Allie pulled the tentacle from her face, sweat plastered on her brow, the cube still clinging to her mind.

[Help me]

She gulped. "Yes."

[Water]

There was a stream nearby. She could use dad's hose.

[Food]

That goat tethered by the edge of the forest.

[Friend]

Yes, friend. A friend she could take to show up Vicky and her friends.

A thrum of power coursed through the cube, its gratitude clear in her heart.

Vicky’s bitter laughter... Hell, no. Allie grasped the tentacle. Forget about Show and Tell – she was going to burn that bitch's village to the ground.
 

Bowler1

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High Wycombe
Little Angels and Fairies


An iridescent fairy danced tantalisingly out of reach with light sparkling in the darkness of little Mary’s hiding spot beneath a large old tree. Her fingers grasped but the fairy was too fast, dancing away from her. She smiled and giggled, shuffling forward. As the fairy hopped back Mary slipped out from under her refuge and into a misty day beyond.

She paused, hearing muffled sounds lost in a thick fog that hung from branch and bough. Her fairy laughed like glass tinkling - a distracting sound Mary had never heard before that shattered her caution. She laughed and reached out eagerly, finally leaving the protective roots of her great old tree.

The mist lifted, disappearing like a breath being drawn in. Horses were all around with men in heavy armour and chainmail, hard eyed like the cold steel they all carried and wore. Mary froze, her small frightened heart missing a beat.

‘Tell me, girl,’ growled an old man with long grey hair, sitting on a white horse like snow on a winter’s morning. ‘Where are your people hiding?’

Mary didn’t want to say. She’d been told to hide when soldiers came and to stay hidden no matter what. Yet her captivating fairy danced, pointing here and there, sparks flying from her like wet wood in a fire. ‘Where are they? Where are they?’

Little Mary laughed to see a dance so free, feeling a blissful joy take her innocent soul, while a light dizzy feeling settled on her small shoulders. ‘Over there,’ she whispered, pointing.

The old man smiled and tugged the reins of his horse, turning away. Many more followed on their war horses, churning up a pristine forest floor.

Mary watched them go, while wondering what she’d done wrong, now that her dancing fairy had gone.
 

Talysia

Lady of Autumn
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Oct 26, 2006
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Location
Lincolnshire, UK
The War-mouse

She'd been following the battle for three days now, and her pickings had been rich indeed. These mercenaries, hired by the greedy king of Septaeus, were men who liked to keep their earnings close and, whilst she was not the only one stealing from the dead, she had still acquired quite a bit of money.

The shadows lengthened, and her thoughts turned to returning to her 'nest' for the night. The tree had been felled in last month's storm, and its hollow trunk was the perfect hideaway for a skinny twelve year old and her secret cache of coins. It would be wonderful to finally have decent food and shelter again! This war had robbed her of both home and family, but she couldn't afford revenge. Survival was more important.

Thoughts of security and food hastened her feet, and she arrived at her makeshift dwelling just as the sun was going down. A quick check showed that her precious earnings were still safe, so she dropped the coins into the leather pouch and gave it a satisfied shake, smiling at the clinking noises they made. Her stomach rumbled, and she was about to take out her supper – also pilfered from the battlefield – when the bushes nearby shook and a mounted knight rode by.

She quickly hid her treasure and affected an awestruck expression, half clambering up onto the log to look at him, but he seemed not to notice her at all. Just another peasant, she thought bitterly. He rode on, ignoring her, and she wondered if he was a good fighter.

Perhaps following this man would lead her to richer battlefields, and maybe the prospect of revenge for her family?

Clutching both the bag and her dagger tightly, she made her decision and crept after him.
 

Mouse

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in your face
My Lovely Horse

Mary had a horse who was really a unicorn. Nobody knew he was a unicorn because his horn was invisible. Sometimes he was a Pegasus. But mostly, he had the horn.

Mary named him Magic - which could've accounted for his delusions, except Magic called himself Charlie.

Mary loved Magic very much. Charlie loved a wizard named Tom Booker. Which might seem weird, but it isn't unusual for mythic creatures to fall for one another. What was weird about it was that Tom Booker only existed in Charlie's mind.

One day, Mary woke to see Magic sneaking from his stable (which was really a rainbow) and she rushed to stop him. "Please don't leave me! How can I exist without Magic in my life? Oh, won't you stay?"

"Neigh!" said Charlie. Which roughly translates as, "How can I stay with you when I love another?"

He turned from her. Clouds blackened the sky and a fierce storm whipped up, rattling the branches of the enchanted trees and lifting seed pods from the devil's claw. Things were beginning to look a bit mad, just like storms themselves often do when they're confined to teacups.

"Where are you going?" Mary cried. "With your fetlocks blowing in the wind!"

Charlie galloped on, heedless. Lightning flashed above. Someone, somewhere, played a lonely tune on a sax.

Mary tried bribery. "I want to shower you in sugar lumps!"

But he was already gone. Like a train in the night.


~​


My heart worships her arriving rhino. Cheer! Unclear? Declare the rotten pun.
Fin
 

Juliana

Juliana Spink Mills. "No capes!"
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A Fairy Tale



The tiny fairy hovered, obscuring the pages of the book.

"Go away," I snapped. "I'm trying to read."

"Can't I help?" she trilled, voice like tiny silver bells.

I sighed. "No. You can't. It doesn't work that way."

I longed to swat her away like a fly but that would have been cruel. It wasn't her fault I had saved her from that Rottweiler. How was I to know there was some fairy law about payback? Until last week, I hadn't even known the ruddy creatures existed. Now I was stuck with her until she saved my life in return.

I set the book down and Tink walked onto the page. Of course, her name wasn't really Tinkerbell, it was some unpronounceable gibberish, but who could resist? So Tink it was. To be fair, she didn't seem to mind.

"Who is the small human?" she asked.

I resigned myself to conversation. "The Lost Princess. The woodcutter raised her, but now the evil queen is hunting her. That's the queen's knight."

"And will he capture her and carve out her heart?" She was surprisingly bloodthirsty for such a tiny thing.

"No, the knight will show mercy. He has a boy of his own, see? The boy will grow up and fall in love with the Princess."

She considered this, head tilted fetchingly to one side. Her fair curls, almost white against her blue skin, drifted like dandelion seed in the breeze and she gnashed her needle-sharp teeth.

"Humans are strange. Better to just carve out her heart."

Her eyes glittered and I shivered, uncomfortably aware of just how alien the small creature was. I closed the book as she watched hungrily. I was suddenly very, very glad she owed me her life.
 

Droflet

I don't teach chickens how to dance.
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Australia
Journeyman


I felt drawn to the painting so much that I reached out and touched it. My hand did not rest upon scratchy canvas but passed harmlessly through it. I glanced fleetingly around the galley, but saw no one. Then a voice.

“Ten minutes to closing.”

I pressed my hand into the painting, then my arm and finally my whole body. The chill of the gallery vanished, replaced by soothing warmth and the scent of honeysuckle.

I joined the girl who stood by the fallen log. She was about my age, ten, with large brown eyes, fixed to the passing knights. I wanted to talk to her but didn’t. Maybe next time.

I stayed in the township for months and could not help noticing something odd upon my return.

“Ten minutes to closing.”

I have used my two dimensional years to visit art galleries around the world. Through them, I have travelled through time and space. With Caesar at Carthage, Nelson at Waterloo, Custer at the Little Big Horn (scary one that). Now, with my twilight years upon me I contemplate, as old men do, my mortality.

Life progressed within the painting although outwardly it remained static. People were born, lived and died, except for me. I’ve outlived four wives, ten children and twenty-six grandchildren, and each of them has taken their share of me with them to the grave. Years ago I tried to leave, to return to a world where I could claim the simple peace of death, but that door had closed to me.

I’m still in my twilight years and somewhat of a celebrity within the region. The military parades continue, through deadlier, noisier.

Sometimes, in the still before daybreak, I wonder what happen to the brown-eyed girl by the fallen log.
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Dec 9, 2012
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Visions

My sister used to spend hours looking at the sky. I asked her what she saw.

“Angels and saints, little Catherine.” She took my hand. “They speak to me of wonders.” I saw nothing but clouds, heard nothing but the wind.

The day my sister left home she wore clothing stolen from our brothers and rode Father’s finest stallion. Her hair was cropped short like a boy’s. Her eyes shone, as if she were in the grip of fever.

“Where are you going?” I wanted to run away with her and share her mad joy.

“Wherever God sends me. I will return when my work is done.” She rode off without another word.

That night I crept out of our farmhouse and made my way to the woods by moonlight. Dead leaves crackled under my feet. I thought the whole world could hear me, but none followed.

Deep in the forest, in a clearing hidden from the village, lay an ancient stone altar. It was covered with faded stains from many sacrifices and smelled faintly of sulfur. I fell to my knees and scraped my hands against the jagged rock until blood flowed.

“Hear me, my Lord and Master.” My voice startled small creatures from their hiding places. “Grant your servant a boon.”

A cloud of ebony smoke appeared above me. It touched my forehead with icy tendrils.

“What is it you wish?” The Dark Man’s voice was low and gentle.

“Show me what will become of my sister.”

The smoke melted into the image of a courtyard bathed in sunlight. The charred body of my sister, tied to a wooden stake, gaped at me with empty eye sockets. The stench of burnt flesh filled my nostrils.

I wept. “It should be me. Jeanne is innocent. I am the witch.”
 

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
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West Sussex, UK
The Bird of Truth and Lies


Dieter was cutting saplings by the forest track when the golden car drove past. He watched it turn into the abandoned churchyard, and sneaked after. The woman driver stood before an old cross, chanting.

Soon a toad-like demon shimmered there.

‘Tell me, Icathix,’ she said, ‘where lies the treasure I seek?’

Dark-voiced words hopped from its mouth. ‘In a hole in the castle well shaft, two feet down.’

Dieter gasped. I know where that is.

He raced up Castle Hill, followed by the whine of the car labouring on the switchback road. Just as the car arrived, he grasped the object secreted in the well shaft: a small malachite idol, bird-shaped.

Three questions an hour I’ll answer, rang a thought-voice, alternating falsehood and truth, but you’ll not know which I start with.

Dieter fled with bullets cracking around him. ‘Does she know where I live?’

No.

Hopeful, he returned to his father’s cottage — to see the gold car parked outside.

So that answer had been false. The next must be true. ‘How do I defeat her?’

Brandish me, and my magic will kill her.

He looked through the cottage window. His father chatted amiably with the woman.

‘She’s bewitched him?’

No.

Clearly false. That confirmed it. He burst in and thrust the idol towards the sorceress. ‘Die!’

She didn’t. She shot him.

‘Dieter!’ cried his father, cradling him.

‘You know this idiot?’ the woman said.

‘My son.’

‘You said nothing of a son. He tried to curse me! What could I do?’

‘You … know her?’ gasped Dieter.

‘From long ago.’ His father wept. ‘She happened to be visiting the area …’

‘How unlikely is that?’ groaned Dieter, vision fading.

It’s perfectly credible, answered the idol, for a new hour had struck.
 
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Ashleyne

Wishes she was funny
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606
THE MAN WHO LIVES IN THE SUN


The Sun looked through the clouds and towards the grassy town of Prubleah, when he saw a giant alligator, the size of three houses, with matted yellow fur.

The citizens of Prubleah tried to fight the giant alligator by blasting their shotguns, driving their cars into its feet and dropping bombs onto the giant alligator's head from their helicopters, but whenever anything got too close, the giant alligator swallowed it whole.

The Sun felt a tickle in his nose. He sneezed and from one of his nostrils, flew a man wearing a golden jacket with silver sunglasses; his name was Ray and he rode atop a wingless, golden horse named Shine whose silver mane glowed like the moon.

Shine zoomed Ray like a shooting star, towards the blue planet and through the atmosphere. Ray and Shine created a crater, the size of Mount Kilimanjaro as they collided to the earth, in the town of Prubleah.

Shine galloped Ray to the giant alligator. Ray shouted, to the alligator, “I will give you one chance. Leave the people of this town in peace or else, I will destroy you.”

The alligator responded by swallowing a bus filled with schoolchildren.

Ray's eyes burnt with anger. He opened his mouth, stretching it as wide as a swimming pool. He tried to gobble the alligator up, but the alligator fought back.

Lip to lip, tongue to tongue, tooth to tooth.., Ray battled the alligator for hours, until eventually, the alligator's spiky tail slipped down Ray's gullet.

Ray joined the citizens of Prubleah in drinking, dancing and celebrating throughout the night.

The next morning, when the Sun rose, Ray climbed onto Shine's back and together, they soared into the Sun's nose faster than the eye could see, leaving a glittery gold trail of sunshine behind them.
 

farntfar

She turned me into a newt.
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
2,371
Location
France.
One Knight, more or less.

As usual, Fluke was waiting in the woods as the knight arrived.

Bediver had expected it. Fluke hoped to join the order and was working towards it.

Bediver remembered his own childhood; how he would somehow know of Jaan’s arrival and would run to the shore of the sunlit sea, even as the sails of Jaan’s boat appeared on the horizon. That knowledge was part of the condition for apprenticeship.

“In the knowing is the growing.” said the old rhymes.

But of course that seeming prescience was never enough. As a young knight Bediver had had another follower, bright as a button, and promising as punch. He’d always been waiting and had seemed well set on the path. Bediver was never sure whether he was happy or sad the day that he saw that Tasic’s vision was flawed. Bediver’s own mission had seemed so unfinished then.

To be charged with the protection of Esk is a holy thing, bestowed only on the worthy by long testing. Each candidate will know, by the knowing, how best to achieve that protection, and by showing it clearly to your parent knight, you will be adopted. Your mentor shall then cede their own knighthood to you.

His own vision having been clear enough to Jaan, Bediver had spent what now seemed a long life on his missions to the mountains of Treem; calming the wildness of the Treemesque with his own fiery danceplay. But now he was starting to feel his age and longed for a successor.

Sadly he knew that this girl wasn’t going to make it either, and he had to utter the ritual words of closure. Just drop one word and she would be a knight and he released. Instead he sighed and said,“Fluke! I am not your father.”
 

Karn Maeshalanadae

I'm a pineapple
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Dec 2, 2007
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My own twisted Wonderland
Justice? Revenge? Or Murder?



Kaia started running, away from her burning village into the woods, looking back only once to see the carnage. The elves had just ridden through, slaughtering everyone. Even the lord’s knights who swore to protect the lands had fallen.

She saw a knight, wounded, fall from his horse and clatter to the ground.

“Sir Knight?” She stared down at him, able to see from his face he was still breathing, though it was ragged and shallow.

“Can you stand?” She fumbled at the armor straps, getting it off of him. The knight smiled weakly down at her, stumbling along slowly as they headed deeper into the woods.

She had helped nurse the knight back to health, learning that his name was Sir Morgan. He was young for a knight, only eighteen, but he was hardened by battle and war, and she had convinced him to take her on as a squire, though she was only twelve.

That had been five years ago, and now they stood before the same elves that attacked them. Kaia looked up at her master as they surveyed the scene. The pair descended upon them, taking them off guard, showing no mercy as they had been shown none.

Kaia only laughed in cold, cruel malice as she grabbed up a young elven girl. This girl’s eyes were full of fear and grief, much as her own had been that dreadful day. But Kaia could not see past her anger, her hatred, and with one quick motion, she slid a dagger across the elf girl’s throat, delighting in the blood that seeped out, smiling in grim satisfaction at the wide-eyed surprise and fear that remained frozen on the child’s face.

The deed was done. Her village was avenged.
 

Zoe Mackay

Not all those who wander... Oh, actually, I am.
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Aug 19, 2014
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486
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London
In The Shining Night

The Charger class fighter hung from the underside of the carrier like a bat from a ledge. Janna looked through the canopy at the red and blue planet in front of her, concentrating on her breathing and trying to drop her heart rate. It was always in the moments prior to launch that she got nervous. She closed her eyes, blocking out the redundant visual stimulation.

***

“I’m going to ride on a big horse, and have bright shining armour.”

“Of course you will, darling.” Janna’s mother’s voice, indulgent-tolerant.

“You don’t believe me!” She had balled her hands up into fists and thumped them against her thighs.

“Well, there’s not much call for cavalry these days. Not since cars and planes were invented.”

“Cars and planes are boring. I want a horse.”

***

Janna probably would have noticed that the port wing had been blown off, even if every alarm in the cockpit wasn’t screaming. She jammed the throttle wide open, then went back to fighting the stick with both hands while the engines clawed at the thin atmosphere, desperately scrabbling for the safety of space.

“This is Charger Foxtrot Alpha, I’ve taken damage and am aborting.” They would know from telemetry, but procedure was to make a verbal report. Besides, it felt good to shout at someone.

***

“They’re not realistic. The knight never comes back with his armour smashed and his horse dying beneath him,” Kel said, waving a hand vaguely. Janna rested her head on his stomach as they lay beneath a slate sky that was reneging on an earlier promise to clear. Still, the opportunity to escape from the base was rare.

“I think it’s romantic. They represent the best we can be.”

“I love you,” Kel said, but Janna heard his doubt.
 

Phyrebrat

www.beanwriting.com
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Feb 13, 2011
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In your bedroom wardrobe...
Graffiti Bridge

The late October night was so cold, Rosie had to breathe through her scarf. She hoped her breath didn’t give her hiding place away in the bushes surrounding the Radha Temple.
Nag Champa curled from the temple through the inky night. She wrinkled her nose against the smell of the incense, her daddy’s words shuttling through her mind, someone should drop a bomb and wipe ‘em all out. She didn’t know how to make bombs - yet - but she knew how to light fireworks. As she slid one of the thick cardboard tubes under her nose, she thought of chestnuts and her mother’s broth; the ink, gunpowder, even the red resin plug at the end, combining into a nostalgic smell of celebration.

She planted three “Air Bombs” in a line, lit them and ran down the lane towards the glassy river, trying to stifle her laughter. At the little graffiti-covered bridge spanning the speeding water she scurried down the concrete buttress and peeked back at the Hindu temple.

BOOM BOOM BOOM

The temple disgorged an array of racing people, dressed like Quality Streets and screaming their gibberish. She was disappointed when they composed themselves so quickly and retreated inside.

Behind her, deeper in the pooling darkness of the arches, she heard a stirring crepitation and a desolate stench replaced the sulphurous one of fireworks, making her think of rumpling sackcloth, seams and of wreathes.

The celebrations had now moved outside the temple and the gathered congregation cheered loudly as Diwali fireworks lit the sky in technicolour chrysanthemums. Loud cracks and fizzles shrouded squeals of delight.

No one heard Rosie’s screams from under the bridge as the unhallowed glutton bit into her abdomen. Her last graffito was a freshet of blood obscuring some of her own handiwork.

Rosie woz here
 

ratsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
4,644
Blood Moon

The man came in the middle of the night and looked like a warrior from a book. Mother said he came to help the townspeople. Bad things ‘ave been happening to everyone since the moon bled for two weeks this spring.

It started with Jimmy’s chickens. They still laid eggs, but something came out of them. Mother was the first one to see the tiny monsters. She’s early on his delivery route and she cracked that speckled egg over the pan jus’ like any other day. ‘Stead of egg coming out, the black creature scurried on eight legs and jumped off the pan. Jimmy had to kill all the chickens. I can still hear the squawkin’ they made across the field when I close my eyes.

Then the water tasted funny, an’ people started acting funny. Darcy fought Elm over a bag of salt at the market, and Mother said that people’s marriages apparently wasn’t sacred anymore…whatever that means. I think Father did something bad cause she was cursing Ms. Mopp.

Kids started going missing next. No one knows where they gone to, they’re just gone. Mother says the Devil is here punishing us. Everyone is afraid and the animals are killing each other. Dogs killing cats, and Jenny’s horse killed my goat last week.

Then the stranger came. Dressed in black, he promised redemption for our sins and everyone cheered. They were jus’ happy someone come to help. He took everything of value, and nothing got better. He had no shadow and when Jimmy mentioned it, he pulled his sword from his hip and cut Jimmy’s head clean off.

Mother is gone now, and I’m hiding in the barn still. I’m really hungry and worried because tonight the moon was red again. Blood red.
 

Glen

Who are you people?
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
781
Location
Sydney
Boss

They think they’re all that but they’re not. They think they know everything, but they don’t even know we’re here. Or they know we’re here but they don’t even respect us. Like they think we’re not worth as much as them. Like people can be worth anything.

We’re all priceless but they’ve forgotten that.

They’re older and they think that means they are better, like they’ve levelled up and have more powers and points. But they’ve get less. That’s what we’ve been shown. They’ve got less points, and they’ve levelled down.

The Pixies showed us. They’re not pixies, that’s just what we call them. They’re entities, and we don’t know where they’re from or how they got here, but we know they are properly levelled up.

The adults know it, I think. They’re getting an idea that something is going on, and they’re not involved. They don’t just get old, they get broken. Their brains get hardened, and full of rules and noise. They forget how to play, and share, and they only think about themselves. Everyone else is doing it, they say, so it’s okay.

It’s the tragedy of the commons, that’s what the Pixies call it. They’ve forgotten how to share the playground.

There are way too many of them, and they all think the same way, all across the world. So the Pixies have come to help us see how wrong it all is, while we’re still little. Before our brains are broken. We can see how beautiful a place it is, and we’re not to have as many babies.

Eeew! It’s gross, but they tell us we will, and it’s okay, but not so many.

The Pixies will tell our babies about the next level, and so on. Till Earth is fixed.
 
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