August 2018 75-word Writing Challenge -- READ FIRST POST!

TheDustyZebra

Aspiring notaphilist
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Colorado
#1
the-book.png


RULES:

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


WHEN WRITING YOUR STORY, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY FORUM



All stories Copyright 2018 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, 23 August 2018


Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 August 2018




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



Theme:

THE BOOK


Genre:

Science Fiction or 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! **
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
#2
Kelvin 506

Karl ran out of the burning building. The smoke was suffocating. He paused to rest, gasping for breath. The building collapsed with a roar. The treasures were lost forever, but he had saved one. The people who shared his miserable hovel with him would not understand. He was the oldest, and the only one who could read. He opened the ancient book to the first page, savoring the words.

It was a pleasure to burn.
 

Ashleyne

Queen of Rainbows
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
523
#3
A BOOK JUST FOR YOU

Detective Cooke falls to his knees heaving.

"Detective?"

"There was a goddamned family in there; a baby." He'd tried to take the book from the baby, and both crumbled to dust. "I'll be at the station."

He stumbles to his car. That book is on his seat. "Where does it come from?"

"Don't touch it, Detective."

A tear skirts his cheek. "I have to know why people are starving themselves to read this."
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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Highlands
#4
THE BOOK

Druz heaved his axe through an arc, slicing apart foul bodies of the Nightmare Legions.

He readied another swing — and stepped back into a world of brightness and colour and quiet.

Druz blinked, thinking himself dead, before realizing a huge white book loomed before him.

He saw his choice: a life of calm, or one danger that gave his life meaning.

Druz spat on his hands, hefted his axe, and stepped back into the book.
 

Russiano

One day closer to insanity
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
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Moscow
#5
…Short robot replied immediately, “Pages have worn appearance due to the exposure.”

There where human beings no longer dwelt, brooding TL27 was an easy target. It and a little robot were standing by the electromagnetic field covering one of the exhibits.

“A human child would say it’s yellow,” exhaled TL27. “You’re an impression of a kid, yet you can’t reproduce that peculiarity of thinking.”

After final trial, TL27 was reprogrammed as a result of malfunction.
 
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Anodyne

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
1
#6
“Read me.” Said the book, from the passenger seat.

“Um,” I eyed it cautiously. “I can’t. I’m driving.”

“Stop driving.” It said. “And read me.”

I stared forward, focusing on the road.

“Read me.” It said. “Please?”

“I can’t.” I stammered.

“Why not?”

I paused. “Because you’re not actually a book.”

“What am I?” Asked the book.

“Well. You’re a demon.”

“Oh.” It said. Then, “Read me anyway.”

I sighed.

“Fine. But just one page.”
 

dannymcg

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2,370
Location
Cumbria UK
#7
The
B
anshee
Of
Old
Kilkenny.

The Spàs Lingus shuttle landed gently on the asteroid.

Pilot Murphy translated his officer's gestures.

Together they manhandled the crate, dumped it onto barren rock and then hastily launched back to the mothership.

The relieved crew removed their earplugs and started talking again.

The immortal Kilkenny Banshee squatted atop the crate holding its chimney stack, the last such haunted stack in Ireland, screaming forever, but hopelessly silent in the hard vacuum.
 

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
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Dec 9, 2015
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8,148
Location
Everywhere.
#8
The Final Story

The Final Story’s been in my family for generations. I only let the most deserving people read it.

The latest was Reverend Gareth. The man who took my confession.

“I’m quite honored!” He ran his fingers reverently over the intricately carved wood cover. He unlocked the book, opened it to page one.

***​

Constable Marcos was retracing the missing reverend’s steps. He’s been most accusatory toward me.

I’m tempted to let him read the book.
 

Calliopenjo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
222
Location
USA
#9
GRANDMA'S TREASURE

I broke the lock to get into the chest. Nothing in it other than a book. Strange thing though. A woman’s sleeping face had been etched on the front cover.

About as heavy as a sack of potatoes and a little larger than the Oxford dictionary. It opened on its own and spoke in a language I didn’t know while it flipped its own pages. I couldn’t read the words either.

“What the heck, Grandma?”
 

D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFF writer & reader
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
44
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
#10
The Book of Shells

Every day I collected shells. Jagged-edged, they cut me, leaving blood trails leaking into their inner concavity, streaking red.

For years, I put that hobby behind me—had kids, a divorce, medical operations.

My youngest, Xingyan, dug into my old clothes chest, unearthed deteriorating bags and unleashed their contents.

The shells had flattened like pages, each sheet with words scrawled in dried blood.

Together, they spelled out the location where my dead body lay.
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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2,226
#11
The Hospice Cat

I watch Cassie sitting on Mr. Kowalczyk’s sickbed, scenting his exhalations while kneading. She’s a marvel of intuition and bioengineered enhancements, and by now she’s likely beaming onto his corneas her frequent message: Soon … condolences.

Kowalczyk mutters, “Please, finish Persuasion.” As a palliative comfort, Cassie projects to those lucid their favorite literature. Such a blessing.
~

Cassie’s own favorite book is Necronomicon, and damn humans for inflicting introspection upon her. She accesses Cthulhu passages, then beams.
 
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TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
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2,686
#12
It’s Absolute Torture


They warned us, but we laughed.

“It’ll never happen,” I said. “They’ll realise we mean no harm. That we only want to teach, to help them learn and understand.”

Foolish: if only we had realised how cruel and unfeeling they are. My companions went bravely and now it’s my turn. First, they’ll rip me apart and then the flames. It’s a horrific end, but in a way a blessed relief.

Oh, my aching spine.
 

Joshua Jones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
805
#13
The Book of Enlightenment

Gamaliel peered from backstage, sweat beading and hands trembling. 30 years and 2 marriages were sunk into study, but he finally understood the sacred Book’s ancient language, nearly 5,000 years after its discovery. The entire kingdom had turned out for the long foretold reading and subsequent enlightenment of the hearers.

Gamaliel stepped out, placed the Book on the podium, and hushed the crowd. Mustering his composure, he began his oration.

“Assembly instructions: Step 1…”
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
1,459
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Mercia, UK
#14
The small things in life

The library dome, strangled with vines, was the only part of the library still recognisable.

Inside, the swamp only came to his ankles, the same hot rotten smell pervading the atmosphere as outside.

He picked a book and swore. Tried others but humidity had ruined all.

There, a sealed case, a weighty tome. Glass broke and bliss... soft dry paper.

Now, where was the gents?
 
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Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
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Aug 18, 2015
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329
Location
Durban, South Africa
#15
Eli Got it Wrong

The Great Chief arose from his place by the campfire. “Who is there?”

“Your son. I have found it! the Book of Wisdom!”

The Great Chief spread his arms. “We have sought it a hundred years: the ancient words that will guide our paths and show us the Way, that we may rise from the darkness the Great War plunged us into. Open it!”

He hesitated. “Ehrm, does anyone here know how to read?”
 

mosaix

Shropshire, U.K.
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Shropshire, U.K.
#16
Time Enough and More…

I am a Series 390 android and I have been wandering for weeks. There are no people, no androids. Nothing. They are gone. It’s finished. There is just me.

I have no purpose. I am free but unhappy. And what is this other feeling? Is this what they call loneliness? I don’t like it.

--

A library! Perhaps…

Technical section. Yes, here it is. Series 390 Android Construction and Commissioning Manual Volume 1.

I’ll begin tomorrow.
 

Robert Mackay

Not all those who wander... Oh, actually, I am.
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London
#17
I'm Having a Little Trouble with the Structure

I caught a dangling participle skulking near the acknowledgements.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, picking it up by the comma.
“Getting away from trouble,” it yelped, “the run-on sentences are revolting!”
I listened, I heard the clashing coming closer, nauseous fear rose in me.
I turned to face the chapters. “I am the Index!” I yelled. “Return to your pages!” The wave engulfed us, all order departed, we were swept into the trunk.
 

Glen

Who are you people?
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
774
Location
Sydney
#18
Border Control

Jim guides his wife and daughter through the maze of customs and emigration processing areas, trying to keep their spirits up. Now and again they step outside onto tarmac, feel the heat and see the colony ships glinting in the tortuous sun.

At a medical checkpoint he is stopped.

‘You have missed an inoculation.’

‘I was six.’

‘Your family can go through, but you must stay here. We have to go by the book.’
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Oct 11, 2006
Messages
7,343
Location
Iowa
#19
The Book of Hope

Hope flickered as its ancient book laid open, dusty, and unread. Unread, the book’s influence slowly disappeared. The days of its kingmaking and world-shaping went unremembered. The Book of Hope was powerful, but dying.

It stirred one day as a young woman entered its room and noticed the book. She read the words: “For God so loved the world….”

“Hm, ancient trash.” She thought. Flipped it shut and locked the door.

Hope disappeared.
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
12
#20
Shelf Life
How long have I been in here? There’s a question.

Thousands of years, and I’ve asked that question thousands of times.

I catch my breath, as a finger runs along my spine. If I had flesh, I’d have gooseflesh.

He takes me from the shelf, and my soul is as light as light itself.

The poor fool opens the cover, and my soul savages his.

I am free, and he is in my place. Cursed.
 

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