AUGUST 2019 75-Word Story Challenge -- VICTORY TO DANNYMCG!

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The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
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nearly the New Forest
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, August 23, 2019
Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, August 28, 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:

GARDENING/GARDENS/FLOWERS/PLANTS


Genre:

HARDBOILED/
NOIR



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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Peter V

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London
A Good Year for the Roses

I watch as my niece scampers away across the garden. Her vitality makes me smile as I bend to enjoy the heady aroma of The Shepherdess, always one of my favourites. Thank you Vincenzo.

As her tinkling laughter floats back to me from somewhere over by the gazebo, the startling yellow of Honey Dijon catches my eye In the morning sunshine.

So beautiful!

There’s no doubting the body of Tony Angellini makes for good fertilizer.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Killing Weeds

As I trimmed his roses, I told Mister Christopolous that his wife was a long-stemmed American beauty. He laughed because he was a fat old man and Cynthia was a young goddess.

"She married me for money," he said. "What do I care?"

I planted fennel and spearmint for his restaurant. I knew they would attract wasps, and that he had a life-threatening allergy to stings. Cynthia told me, in bed.
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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Kill Me, Join Me

I kept my pistils close and dragged myself along. I’d just found Plum, dead and dismembered in the night-time garden. Life’s ichor beaded the wounds.

Why was I here? Plum was nothing to me – an ex-associate from wilder, uncultivated times. I was a climber, trying to escape a bittersweet world rooted in corruption.

A drop fell upon my tendril, and overhead– oh Plum, you didn’t deserve this, limbs grafted onto Apple, still oozing, still alive.
 
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nixie

pixie druid
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I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
Crash!, Bang!, Wallop!

Loud bangs and breaking glass woke Ted. He quickly jumped out of bed and flew downstairs.

“Mister Williams we told you there would be consequences if you didn’t sign"

Ted surveyed the broken pots and ornaments “please stop” he cried as one of the thugs poured petrol over his prized plants.

Suddenly screams filled the air as Carson and his thugs were engulfed by flora, all trace quickly gone.

“Told you I’m not selling “
 

reiver33

Only Forward
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Dumfries
The Medium-Length Nap

In the garden it was 2:30 p.m.

Geraniums came at me, hard. Violent color that almost sent me into the thorns.

I moved on, flanked by ferns at hand-trailing height - but nettles lurked there, like Jap snipers on Guadalcanal.

Found them around the pond; fisherman, wheelbarrow, toadstool and Mister Laughter himself.

I came out firing; painted plaster exploded in all directions.

The name is Gravel, Gravel Path - hit-man for the Style Council.
 

dannymcg

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood
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Cumbria UK
Starry, starry night

“Right, take a hike” I snarled at the stoolie, my men formed up as he scurried away.

“Listen boys, our pigeon’s holed up with his mob in that garden there, let’s do the grab when they mosey out”

We spread out on the hush and caught 'em flatfooted as they emerged, it only cost us one wounded, sweet.

“Don’t sing the weeps now, c'mon, which one of you’se is this guy Jesus?"
 
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Daysman

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east of the crooked house, south of weddell wynd
So Excellent a King

Emerging at the transit station, I'm a miniscule figure beneath the spiral of hanging gardens decorating the habitat endwall, the cylindrical valley beyond a vast checkerboard of rainforest and wetlands receding into mist.

A thousand workers tend to this geometrical Eden. Today, I'm one of them. My job? To find the body buried in this shell. But first I need to check in with our marginally cooperative employer.

Today, I'm calling on forty trillion dollars.
 

Marvin

Paranoid Mandroid
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
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117
The Gardener

The dailies call him ‘The Gardener.’ Some hacks idea of a joke?

I’m working the latest scene; window box; seventh floor.

It started two months back, along with the real nasty weather.
A suit down town finds two fingers and a thumb ‘planted’ street side.

Hands; arms; legs; all parts from different broads spread across the city.

Never the heads. Until now. Oh Jesus, those big beautiful lifeless eyes, Ruby.
Now it’s goddam personal!
 

chrispenycate

resident pedantissimo
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Herb Garden pavanne


Inky blindness, silence.

Marjoram breeze alerts me: third pathway, northeast corner. The Walther PP's a useful tool, but requires a direction. Crêpe soles disturb no gravel, cuffs don't flap, the wind brings only perfumes.

Pineapple sage, citrus thyme - ah, fifth alley.

Combined muzzle flashes and explosions overload senses, replace deprivation with excess. In sight memory, as echoes fade, a female figure falls. She'd been good, demonstrated by my torn sleeve, trigger click aimed.

Rosemary!
 
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Ian Fortytwo

I'm not crazy, my reality is tnereffid than yours.
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Dec 30, 2018
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Somewhere on this mortal coil.
The Trouble With Lichen.

The Boy had to wait several days before he could go outside, the rain had been persistent and torrential. However today the boy wanted to go out, and his parents had let him, as long as he wore his wellingtons. His were green his favourite colour.
Once outside he waded in the water strewn garden, and ambled down to where the chestnut trees stood. Disappointment showed at once, for lichen covered all the conkers.
 

Cathbad

Level 30 Geek Master
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Dec 9, 2015
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9,201
Location
Everywhere.
Home Economics

“So, young one,” the teacher addressed the newest student. “How is your garden coming along?”

“All right, I guess, sir. But I’ve got an unexpected infestation.”

“Let me see.” The teacher took a closer look. “Oh, I see. I wouldn’t worry, son. That species feeds on its own. They’ll be gone in no time! What did you name your garden?”

“Eden, sir.”

The teacher smiled. “Excellent! Good luck, son.
 

Pedro Del Mar

I am content
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Mar 18, 2010
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Location
Darwen Tower
The Widower

Straining I lifted her body out of the trunk and up onto my shoulder. In the pouring rain I struggled up the hill to the lone pine tree. Tears coursed down my face blending in with the rain as I dug. The sweat stain on my back hidden by the heavy downpour. My heart crushed, I planted flowers on her grave.
They knew she was my only weakness. Now they will feel my vengeful wrath.
 

Ashleyne

Shhh. I think they're listening
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THE POLLINATOR

Her stem’s a brown husk.

Normally, the genitals are scattered wherever they land. This time, the psycho used them to spell a message for me: ‘Oopsie daisy, Detective Orchid.’

My partner, Dandy, places a leaf on my shoulder. “Don’t let him get to you. We’ll catch this creep." He thinks I’m smiling to acknowledge his support. He hasn’t a clue.

Remembering how those genitals smelt last week, I can’t help but let my lip curl.
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
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England

The Border Reiver

She stole plants to order. Her family, thieves and murderers all, were real criminals.
Wanting my father’s prize orchids, but unable to beat his security systems, they kidnapped me: the orchids for my life.
A false promise, but she wouldn’t let them kill me.
She couldn’t save herself when armed police raided the family’s hideout.
“You could send flowers to her funeral,” my father said. “Lilies…?”
I shook my head. “No! Orchids for Miss Blandish.”

 

Serendipity

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971
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In Existence Somewhere
The Gardens of England

“Ew, sweat,” Stigore said. “It’s in-alien. Why must you work at that club?”
“It’s my monitoring job.”
“Gardening? In hot England?”
“Yes.”
Stigore rippled his fin.
“Don’t give me that air. The greater they’re in trouble, the more fruit and veg the English grow.”
“So?”
“Once they reach self-sufficiency, we can get Hasslor to rescue this planet.”
“What’re you waiting for? Get them digging for the world. The sooner we’re off this backwater, the better.”
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
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Mercia, UK
It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it

“I hate you, Short!” screamed the halfling, as they dragged him away.

“You and a thousand others,” I muttered.

Lady Esterby looked down on me, which, considering her social status and me being a dwarf gumshoe, was understandable.

“How did you know?”

I considered laying it on thick, come out with something clever and convoluted — the nobs liked that sort of thing — but, she’d already paid.

“Sunflower fetishist. Dusty yellow nostrils. That, and the stepladder.”
 
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elvet

Easily amused
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Ontario, Canada
The Collector

We had arranged to meet at a local dive, the kind of place that was so out of the way, even the regulars had trouble finding it. I walked into the joint and spotted her by the bar. Her dusky allure hid a wickedly barbed personality.
I was captivated by her.

I handed the payment to the bartender.
“She’s all yours,” he said.

I left with the Black Rose in my embrace, no questions asked.

 

Starbeast

Benevolent Galaxy Being
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Location
Illinois
Detective Comics: Daffodil & Thorn in Botanical City


"She's the brains, I'm the brawn. You a newspaper reporter?"

"I'm Brown, from the Sun."

"You need watering?"

"Cut out the smart cracks. I've got a lead, on Weed."

#

Fists, guns, banter, blaze in action!!!

#

"You'll never take me alive!"

"OK." BANG

"I'm still alive, coppers."

"He's like a zombie, Thorn. You have to shoot Weed's heart." BANG

#

"Grasshopper Johnny's in town."

#

"You'll never..."

BANG

#

"Professor Pollen's back."

#

"I surrender."

BANG

"Thorn. You compost brain."
 

Artoriarius

Lord High Pooh-Bah of All Books I Survey
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West Virginia
The Maltese Magnolias

It was a bright and sunny morning, the kind that makes dames want to go out and sow their seeds.

One such dame entered my office that morning. Must've been pushing eighty, but she didn't let that slow her down any.

"Please, I need your help," she said, with a voice that creaked like rusty hinges. "My magnolias are wilting!"

"Not to worry, ma'am," I told her, "Jake Burpee, private gardener, is on the case."
 
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