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December 2016 75-word writing challenge -- VICTORY TO THE JUDGE!

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  1. Hex

    Hex Write, monkey, write

    Mar 3, 2011

    Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

    ONE entry per person

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


    All stories Copyright 2016 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, December 23, 2016

    Voting Ends at 11:59 pm GMT, December 28, 2016

    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 next month's theme and genre




    Gaslamp Fantasy

    This thread to be used for entries only.
    Please keep all comments to the DISCUSSION THREAD

    We invite (and indeed hope for) lively discussion and speculation about the stories as they are posted, as long as it doesn't involve the author explaining the plot.

    ** Please do not use the "Like" button in this thread! **

    Nov 30, 2016
  2. Ashleyne

    Ashleyne Queen of Rainbows

    Apr 19, 2014
    The Snowing of Black

    The carriage halts, as do the trotting hooves. "Why have we stopped?"

    No reply.

    I poke my head from the carriage to be assailed by a flurry of black flakes, chilling my face, tickling my nose. Shivering, heart palpitating, I feel compelled to bite into the coachman´s flesh.

    The horses lie still.

    The world twists.

    Red veils my sight. I'm sprawled on my back as the coachman swings a bloody brick at my head.
    Dec 1, 2016
  3. Cathbad

    Cathbad Level 30 Geek Master

    Dec 9, 2015
    My Sweet Jenny

    Big Ben has just struck midnight. I’m late!

    I look at the bloodied girl, then rip her neck open and throw her into the Thames. Tomorrow the papers will call her another wild animal victim.

    I hurry onto the walk, wiping my mouth. Jennifer is waiting for me! They didn’t turn the lamps off, so it’s hard to see. I hurry to my love.

    It won’t be like last time. I won’t hurt my Jenny.
    Dec 1, 2016
  4. Luiglin

    Luiglin by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe

    Mar 22, 2012
    Mercia, UK
    Revenge is a dish best served cold, very cold

    The Thames, usually a brown stinking flow, shone virginal white beneath the moon.

    A painful smile touched her lips - the first since leaving the Highlands - adding to the dull ache that came with the onset of phossy jaw.

    Across the ice shuffled a white haired hag, a sparkling trail in her wake.

    She whispered a prayer of thanks to the goddess. Now London would pay, for Cailleach had come and brought forth a true winter.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    Dec 1, 2016
  5. Hugh

    Hugh Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2016
    Heart’s Desire

    In times past I gathered the spirits of urine drinking reindeer herdsmen and guided them through darkening skies to places of healing and good pasture.

    Today, your souls are clouded by the din of factories and cigar smoke, and yet, one night a year, I criss-cross the firmament answering the summons of little children.

    You have understood me Mr Barrie, and I have heard you. Follow me out the window to your heart’s desire.
    Dec 1, 2016
  6. Cat's Cradle

    Cat's Cradle Time, now, to read...

    Mar 3, 2014
    Someday I’ll Marry Susanna

    I shout “HELLO!”, then listen to the echo answer across the frozen lake. Beside me, Whirbot squeals its mechanical trills to welcome back my greeting.

    We lie on blankets over ice, searching the bespangled sky. “Whirbot, there!” Shimmering curtains of kaleidoscopic images stream toward us – the Aurora Futura: time riven by atomical catastrophe in Arctic laboratories, displaying our tomorrows refocused in the past.

    A simulacrum forms – beloved Susanna and I, sleighing, laughing, holding our newborn.
    Dec 1, 2016
  7. Victoria Silverwolf

    Victoria Silverwolf Vegetarian Werewolf

    Dec 9, 2012
    Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
    Climate Change

    A ghostly riverboat rumbles through the moonlight. The pilot steers her between sandbars to deep water.

    "Quarter less four,” the linesman cries.

    "Full ahead," the captain says softly.

    The engines roar. Dark clouds burst from the smokestacks. Black snow falls to the ground. The paddlewheels churn the muddy water of the Mississippi into frozen ripples, leaving a trail of ice behind. Captain Jack Frost, the Union's deadliest ally, is bringing eternal winter to the Confederacy.
    Dec 1, 2016
  8. Dave Barsby

    Dave Barsby Writer of word-blocks

    Aug 26, 2016

    I had heard tell of communities being attacked, but in the Winter of 1841 our Charlie was killed. His body was transported to London, lashed to a horse-drawn cart, paraded through the cobbled streets, displayed like a trophy.

    It was just the beginning. Each year more were slain. Our community dwindled.

    We seethed at the humans’ brutality. We wanted to retaliate. But all we could do was spill our needles and sap upon their floor.
    Dec 1, 2016
  9. Peter V

    Peter V Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    “You burned the witch and still this eternal winter’s icy grip goes on, just as I said it would. An orbital shift is responsible I tell you man." Smith looked upon the ashes staining the snow covered cobbles of St James’s Square.

    “Then we shall burn you as well Mr Smith, for such words are heresy.”

    “Burning me will not herald spring you fool.”

    “No but for a while longer we will have warm hands.”
    Dec 2, 2016
  10. juelz4sure

    juelz4sure Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2012
    The Two Menacing Gargoyles

    Snow covered the five menacing gargoyles sitting upon Notre Dame. A young couple walked quickly past the cathedral, trying to find shelter from the blizzard. The young woman slipped and fell on the soft snow.

    The gargoyles' obsidian eyes sparkled, "now's our time" one snarled spreading it's stony wings. Three leapt off the edge, wings flapping before crashing upon the cobblestone road. Laughter erupted from the two remaining gargoyles, "I told you they'd jump!"
    Dec 3, 2016
  11. ErikB

    ErikB Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2016
    Shocking the Gas-glass Smashers!

    The old troglodyte shook his head studying the remains of a charred young trog.

    "We must depart London's sewers and return to Earth's deep home!"

    The unruley army of young trogs murmured, clanging their metal smashrods on the brickwork.

    "But why elder?"

    He pointed to the body.

    "Our nightly winter fun of smashing glass globes is ended! Humans have switched from gas to lightning! Alas, the candle-snuffers fate has become our own!"
    Dec 3, 2016
  12. Wruter

    Wruter Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2015
    Snow Queen

    He met her at the ball: a beautiful woman dressed all in white. They danced and, later, as the carriages arrived in the falling snow, she kissed him twice. Once, she said, to numb him from the cold. Twice, she said, to make him forget his life.

    "And thrice?" he asked, forgetting all but her.

    "Thrice," she replied, leading him by the hand to her palace of always winter, "and you die."
    Dec 3, 2016
  13. AJB

    AJB Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2012
    Curse of the Winter Heart

    Candle light caressed our faces in the tavern. Gales of snow pitter-pattered against the windows and clattered the oak door. Ambers fizzled in the hearth. Amongst the din, an eerie silence permeated. My companion did not breathe.

    "Heavens, speak will you!" My heart thudded.

    "Time," the ghoulish figure spoke with hellish coarseness, "will pass you by."

    I had failed.

    My heart ceased to beat, yet I did not die.

    Redemption must wait another winter.
    Dec 4, 2016
  14. Abernovo

    Abernovo Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    I'll Be Home for...

    Aberdeen had changed. Eight years in service to the High Queen of Faerie, but five centuries had passed here. Men now lit lanterns on poles in the street, turning dark wynds into safe passages.

    Redcaps still kept court below the Spital, though.

    “Solstice greetings from my Queen,” I said.

    Their lord nodded. “The townsfolk remain untouched.”

    His oath reaffirmed, I walked back to listen to the songs coming from a snow-covered King’s College Chapel.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
    Dec 5, 2016
  15. Glen

    Glen Who are you people?

    Apr 27, 2011
    Pub with no Beer III: High Street to Hell

    ‘Crikey! It’s cold as a slushie brain-freeze at Thredbo!’
    ‘That’s the nuclear winter, mate. On account of the...’
    ‘Don’t say it!’
    ‘But then some say it’s the chill of the dead souls...’
    ‘That’s more like it’
    ‘...of searchers brought to these colonial-era streets by the occult lure of...’
    ‘Go on!’
    ‘A coldie!’
    ‘Spot on!’
    ‘Now we just keep our stubbies in the frozen ash of...’
    The apocalypse!
    ‘We were almost there!’
    Dec 5, 2016
  16. AstroZon

    AstroZon Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    Colorado Springs

    "Delphia, what are these things?"
    "I was hoping you might know Lewin - with your natural philosophies."

    Lewin picked up a box with several dials and knobs when suddenly a voice transmitted, "Delphia! I need your help!" Startled, Lewin placed it back on the table. "Sanders? Is that you?"

    "Set the dials to 7-2-0-3-6." Delphia did as instructed. The room shook and Sanders emerged from a green phosphorescence. "Quick, help me destroy this. They're following."
    Dec 5, 2016
  17. TacticalLoco

    TacticalLoco Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    It was a long summer followed by a successful harvest. The final remains of the picked over poppy crop were still standing the morning the snows began. Wet, heavy sleep coated the stalks now as they gradually lay down for the winter. One by one their fate was finalized as they capitulated to time like opium addicts. Season and silence overcame them. The end of struggle. Dreaming the hope of warmth and reincarnation next spring.
    Dec 5, 2016
  18. Ajid

    Ajid Only Saltwater Fish Drink

    Jan 24, 2016
    Steaming through Africa.

    I was leaving the dark continent at last. I'd caught the train in Cape Western but it was at the next stop I heard his cane rat tat on the cabin door.

    He was a sickly, frail looking fellow. He told me of his magic rock. He said it contained more power than The greatest locomotive, this simple stone.

    Five decades later we all saw its magic when dropped on Hiroshima.
    Dec 6, 2016
  19. Heijan Xavier

    Heijan Xavier Embarking on my second year of Chronning!!!

    Apr 17, 2016
    Frozen Liquid Assets

    Old Cooper sold powder kegs to opposing militias during the River War.
    After 20 years’ immense profit, he asked,

    Our fathers swore to fight by these frozen waters, so by them we fight.”

    “Your fathers’ frozen waters melted to sea long ago; your oaths are fulfilled.”

    Muskets silenced.
    There was much rejoicing.

    A wealthy hero, Old Cooper bade farewell.

    Journeying north, he beheld new frozen waters,
    new fathers,
    new oaths,
    and new immense profit.
    Dec 6, 2016
  20. Tricanthos

    Tricanthos Banana Breakfast

    Aug 8, 2015
    La Grande OR

    Robert Delaney had an eight legged secret. Avoiding the snow and keeping warm against Roberts body under his coat. Ready to inject her gift into him at the flick of his finger.
    But not yet.
    He climbs the library steps, passing by a pair of large cast iron ravens, lamps in their beaks framing the doorway. White hot mantles glowing and hissing.
    He closes his eyes, gives a flick.
    The venom takes hold. Blood boils.
    Dec 7, 2016
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