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March 2019: 75 Word Writing Challenge

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nixie

pixie druid
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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 2019 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 March 2019 Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 March 2019.

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: Pulse

Genre:Speculative Fiction

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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Ian Fortytwo

Be Idle, be cool, and everything will be okay.
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Somewhere on this mortal coil.
Twos Company, Threes A Crowd.

Doctor Maxx was baffled, as yet he hadn't received the xrays. There was something definitely not right with the patient, but what he could hear via his stethoscope made him believe there was an anomaly going on. It was clear to his hearing that there were three pulses. And then a ping sounded from his computer, it confirmed that the man in front of him had three hearts, hence the three pulses.
 

dannymcg

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Cumbria UK
Phaseolus vulgaris

They leaned forward, heads almost colliding, and studied the small plant.

“That's it”, murmured the Professor, “A popular foodstuff of the Ancients, carefully grown by us from traces of plant DNA, as yet we have observed none of the legendary traits of jumping, running or counting”

“ Are we sure of this?”, asked the Administrator, “It's not even a fruit, and appears to have grown nothing that will enable it to be musical”
 
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D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFF writer & reader
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Jul 11, 2017
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Taipei, Taiwan
The Startling Readings of the EKG

The EKG blipped again. Repeating thumps of my heart crescendoed.

Ba-dum.

Higher the peaks crested until they shot forth—out of the glass screen.

Nurse Wei was hit—lightning fast. She cracked no longer arthritic fingers. A bedridden patient bolted straight up.

Pulses flashed through my fingers. I ran across the ICU, brushing up against the liver diseased, the cancerous. They felt relief—

—but only momentarily.

I wasn't sure—was it a curse or blessing?
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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there

Oh, there…
there.
On the heartbeat–
there.
Pulse, please pulse...
faster,
faster–
there.
In a welcoming light...
my children...
mother, father.
My Anna–
I miss you.
When I pulse – there
...dreams.
Slower…
slower...
gone.

Take my eyes, kidneys, lungs – whatever you want.
But till the end, it’ll be what I’ve just experienced? And you’ll not harvest till the whole month has passed?
Okay: I, Matti Halkonen, give verbal authorization for this transaction.
Oh, there…
there
 

benwerd

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Mar 3, 2019
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Security Update

That sound. It took us hours to understand.

Their vitals had long been under the control of the Service, voluntarily and for their own good. The rich; the poor; anyone who wanted to prolong their lives. Millions were connected, subscribers to better health.

Until the malware.

Now they thought and moved as one, under the command of an unknown actor. The sound was their hearts, beating in unison. A drumbeat for the revolution to come.
 

juelz4sure

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We Reap What We Sow


Kneeling in a field of wheat, Chronos softly laid two enormous fingers upon his frail wife's carotid artery. A tree fell in the distance as tears rolled down Gaia's cheek. "It's time," she whispered placing her hand over his.


Nodding Chronos stood, his elongated scythe in hand. He swung the scythe low harvesting the wheat abound, as silence not heard in millennias filled the earth. Men had taken their last breath.
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
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Mercia, UK
Virtuosity at Paganini’s

The beat dropped and the crowd erupted. Bodies writhed, arms pumped and hands twisted to each heavenly hook.

Slaves to the pulse of the bassline.

In the pulpit, the DJ worked his decks, adding loops, fading the pitch, juggling the tracks to birth something new, something wicked.

A shadowy idol, the DJ deepened the bassline step by step and the crowd responded, sweat soaked bodies cavorting to a hellish beat.

The DJ grinned, fiddle forgotten.
 

elvet

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Ontario, Canada
The Final Hope

She had the kind of infection that was resistant to everything. A hundred years ago, antibiotics enabled miracle recoveries. Overuse, misuse, and the transformation of bacteria had rendered them powerless against today’s superbugs. Pulse therapy was her last chance at a cure - high doses designed to be toxic to the microorganisms before killing the host.

The drug entered her bloodstream. She closed her eyes and prayed, sharing a timeless plea with voices from the past.
 

IanMH

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On each silent beat, she felt a vibration run through her fingers and up her arm. The stone’s pulsating light strengthened, pulling her in, tempting her through the lighter shades to join it on a journey, the darker ones urging her on more forcibly. Her own pulse quickened in response and soon they were in perfect rhythm. Then, suddenly, it had her. He had her.

Two hearts. Two pulses. One soul.
 

Daysman

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east of the crooked house, south of weddell wynd
Post-hoc

I harbor a dreamlike conviction my head is swathed in barbed wire. Certain things ramp up the pain: bright lights, low rhythms... a closing door.

Lately, there's been a pulse. You don't feel it? It marks the seconds, warps the sky and flexes the visceral fabric of the Earth.

My doctor has a theory. He says my surgery has unraveled my perception of self. He's probably right. Outside this morning, the trees… they look hungry.
 
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scarpelius

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Bucharest
Twinkle, twinkle little star

The Brother raised his hands.
"Long time ago, we upset the little one and he scorched the sky."
"The Mother protected us, the tribe echoed."
"She's nursing him now, but she's soon to sleep." He turned to the emissary:
"If you're spared, we will be forgiven."
"Word." The tribe hid deep within the caves.
The Mother light diminished showing the accretion disk. Her neutron companion pulsed and the emissary evaporated.
No mercy yet.
 

Stable

Watching you from upside down
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First Contact Troubles

The ambassador was a mess of ichor and shattered exoskeleton.

“I treat humans,” the doctor stammered. “Could a vet-?”

“Until we break through that mob, you’re all we have. Now save him!”

“There’s no pulse, no breath. He’s gone.”

“Oh for-” the nurse pushed past. “He doesn’t have a heart, of course there’s no pulse.” She bandaged the worst wounds and began to pump insectile limbs. More fluid leaked, but then - a shuddering breath.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Diagnosis

"I have no pulse, no blood pressure," Randolph said. "Am I dead?"

"Not at all," Doctor Zenia explained. "You move, you speak, you think. What more could one ask?"

Randolph sighed, a dry, crackling sound. "To taste food again, to feel something other than dull awareness, to love."

"Those things are overrated." Doctor Zenia handed her patient a surgical mask. "Wear this for a week. Immortality is contagious. There are too many of us already."
 

Shyrka

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The Perks of the Job

“I’m not getting a pulse!” Garrett yells. Poor kid, he’s new.

“Step aside.” I lean in close, trying to focus. There’s blood everywhere. Death is strong in this one but not… quite. There!

“Got it. She’s alive but she needs CPR.” He stares at me like a dullard. “Now, Garrett! No breath, remember?” Humans!

The command stirs him into action. Her heart flutters. This one will live.

Now, time to clean up this mess.

Delicious.
 

Peter V

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London
Birth

The sound is always with her, its rhythmic beat surrounding and comforting.

“This one’s ready.”

She is pulled into glaring light and knows cold for the first time. And fear, for the loss of the sound is overwhelming.

“Wire it into the ship.”

She sees the vastness of space, feels the unending void and its silence echoes her despair.

“And activate the pulse generator. This alien won't navigate hyperspace without the reassurance of a heartbeat.”
 

Hugh

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Consciousness, but not as we know it….

The Big Green Lentil was a real sh*t.

It ruled the various lentil families with a rod of iron, being particularly severe on the lowly Red and Puy, but its influence extended even as far as other pulses such as the sacred Chickpea.

It’s long term ambition was to become head honcho of the human gut and thereby come to define the direction of human consciousness.

You probably thought turning vegetarian was a conscious choice.
 
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Karn's Return

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The Fate of the ESS Monitor



“Lucas…”

His head pulsed as her voice invaded his mind..

“Lucas…do it.”

“Do it!”

“No!”

The pulsing intensified into a crescendo.

“End her life!”


“Is that it?” Captain Marks demanded, the scanner showing a small asteroid mining ship.

“Yes, sir,” Lieutenant Dawson stated.

The captain sighed. “We can’t take any chances. Destroy it.”

None heard the screams as graviton pulses tore the ship to pieces…nor saw the egg pod floating, sleeping, through space.
 

Ashleyne

Shhh. I think they're listening
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IDLE

Kye's muscle's felt bruised. Sweat flew every time he rose and fell, stinging the hot skin on his chest.

His heart rate monitor wasn't beeping fast enough. He stood and jogged.


#

He lay on the floor breathless. Moving caused agony.

His monitor'd stopped beeping ages ago.

His cell door clicked open.

"8 million beats in 10 months", said the guard. "Impressive.

"Your sloth status is, hereby, revoked. You're now eligible for reintegration into society."
 

Tywin

I always pay my debts.
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He Might Have Moved Too Far Down the Hot-Crazy Scale Tonight

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

……………

She laid her head on his chest but heard nothing.

It had to be this way. He wouldn’t have understood.

His body rolled off the bed with a thud and she drug him by the heels down the hall to her “laboratory.”

Unable to lift him to the table, she brought the apparatus down to the floor.

Now we find out if this thing works, she thought while attaching the leads.
 
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