FEBRUARY 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO REIVER33!

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Peter V

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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 2022 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 February 2022

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 February 2022


We ask all entrants to do their best to vote when the time comes
but you do not have to submit a story in order to vote
as we encourage all Chrons members to take part in choosing the winning entry


The Magnificent Prize:

The Dignified Congratulations/Grovelling Admiration of Your Peers
and the challenge of choosing next month's theme and genre

AND

The option of having your story published on the Chrons Podcast next month!



Theme:

FAKE

Genre:

SF, fantasy or horror


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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Afternoon Delight

Let’s say that π is some sort of diacritic glitch, and all that we know about the perennial number is that somehow it manifested itself among all of our algorithms.

And you’re sitting in deep-space enjoying a chocolate wafer. The rich flavor and crispy, lemony, savory treat edifies your afternoon mind. It hits you of a sudden: the glitch is neither in the structure itself nor in the principles. It’s in the heart.
 
Ballantine the Great

McDougal’s Vaudeville House

Proprietor Della Cornditch entered Ballantine’s dressing room. “You’re the worst magician I’ve ever seen. Here’s your damn pay. Now get outta here, you lousy phony.”

“I should have given up magic back in 38’.”

“Well it’s 1948. Pack up your trunk and get lost, ya dumb fraud.”

“You’re right. I’m a stupid fraud. I’m not even human.”

Della choked on her cigarette as Ballantine removed his mask revealing his shocking monstrous head.
 

In the blink of an eye​


A pile of robes twitched, jerked and heaved themselves upright. You could have imagined a huge sigh of relief, if only by the shift in the robes where shoulders may have been.

“They gone?” The voice sounded distant.

A hand appeared from the robes and gave a thumbs up.

“Excellent, your faking death idea worked,” said the Dark Lord.

The Minion looked up.

“Now, get my head off this spike; I’m getting a stiff neck.”
 
Even a Broken Clock is Sometimes Right

“This one is an interesting case. He thinks everything false is true and everything true is false. Fake news, fake moon landing, fake pandemic____”

“And what does he believe in?”

“Chemtrails, the need for tin foil hats, alien abductions____”

“Ha! Well, he can’t be wrong about everything can he! Still, he’s the strangest case since we left Alpha Centauri. Pass me the di-lithium mind probe and we’ll see what makes him tick!”
 
Deadeye

Mattie Harper, sharpshooter for Professor Nocturne's Wild West Medicine Show, stood over the lifeless body of Jake Barlowe, who'd left her at the altar in Cheyenne. Doc Kincaid rose from his examination of the dead man.

"Nary a wound nor a drop of blood," he said. "Heart just plain quit working, I reckon."

"And Miss Mattie's gun ain't got nothing but blanks, anyway," Sheriff Tompkins said.

They were right; elf bullets leave no marks.
 
Just Go, You’ll Meet Someone

She sits for her next speed date. “Tony, hello. I’m Ellen.”
“Your name tag says ‘Smith’.”
“Ellen Smith, then.”
“You’re a beautiful woman, a rare thing at these parties. I’ve been eavesdropping on you.”
“Okay, that’s weird.”
“You told one guy you’re Suzanna, an architect. Baldy there thinks you’re Carla, a barista. Now it’s Ellen and… podiatrist?”
She glares at him, starts whispering guttural sounds.
Tony’s eyes glaze, then refocus. “Ellen, nice to meet you.”
 
The One

"We followed you through everything. The world burned and we trusted you. We suffered and died for you. We gave you all we had and hoped in you. Why have you led us here?”

I looked at the burning desert sands. No food or water for three days. My conviction finally died. I had not suffered, sacrificed or given my life for anyone.

For the first time in my life I had no words.
 
Dream ending


She snapped her fingers. I tried to stand but nothing moved. Looking down I saw the wheelchair.

"What happened? Did I have an accident?"

"Yes, but when you were two.
Steven, you have lived your whole life in deep hypnosis."

"What?"

"Your baseball stardom, your wife, the kids. They were never real."

"Never real?"

"It was an ethical dilemma, for decades the hospital couldn't decide when to bring you out. Now they have. I'm sorry."
 
Hollow existence

‘You’ve been a wonderful audience.
Thank you …..and goodnight!’

They stand as one. The applause swells to a deafening crescendo.
I gaze out at my adoring fans.
Maybe just one more encore.

[Beep boop beep]
Crewman Williams, please report.
Late to station.
Again!

Crewman Williams.

Sigh…

‘Computer. End holodeck simulation “Williams four - Simply the best.”’
 
The fantastic honest lying Zod Boulderdash and his amazing friends

BIllionaire podcaster Zod Boulderdash took another drag from the spliff, and smiled. This was a good episode.

'...and the Catholic Church keeps a box of God Particaloids in a drawer at the Vatican so they can control the Universe?'

'Precisley Zod.'

'How did you discover this?'

'I'm the Pope.'

'You're not the Pope, I've met him.'

'Not the current Pope. Pope Leo III. I simply lost my accent over the years.'

'Ah, I see. Cool.'
 
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Oops...

The voice from nowhere intoned; “Dark matter, don’t make me laugh!”

What replied the physicist? “There is no other explanation!”

“It’s an error in our algorithm!”

“The universe is an algorithm, fake?”

“Of course, but there are bugs at the limits, especially at small scales.”

“What! Does that mean that the Planck constant.…...”

“Exactly. A fudge to explain an error. We’ll fix it in the next release. Goodbye.”

REBOOTING NOW
 
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A Job Well Done

The Lord of Hell watched the fiend squirm.
“It’s rather simple, master”, the demon said. “I have a legion of imps that dislike any good acts on all social media platforms.”
“Trolling Facebook? Is that what it’s come to?”
“They’re really good at it, master! Kindness is down 73%, peace 62% and the climate is, well, turning hellish.”
“Impressive! But can you do something about the media? I hate quality press.”
“As you command, master.”
 
Dramatis Personae

"People are simply disappearing," said Detective Grant.

"That's preposterous," said Detective Williams, "There has to be a
logical explanation. What if--Grant!"

Williams' partner was gone in the blink of an eye. Terror taking
over, he rushed to the phone and dialed his superior. Before
he could speak, he too vanished.

I finish deleting my characters' names. I muse briefly: What if
my characters had been somehow sentient? I chuckle.
What an absurd idea th
 
'A Fish Out of Water'

“My eye doesn’t upset?” The journalist said, zooming the hairy, loin-clothed Runaway. As New Detroit’s sunny rural bliss swayed and sparkled all around them.

“I’ve seen implants. Didn’t think you’d interview me with soy paints.”

“So, tell Us about being Apart, then. No Electric Sea access? Ever?”

“I live solely On Land and only for Knowing.”

“Without swimming the Sea? How can you know anything?"

“Because Nothing is Knowing."

“A lonely life."

“A real life.”
 
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Debt Relief


"Hear ye, villains! Pay your soul tax!"


I swaggered into the inn, pushed by the regulars and prepared to repossess the innkeeper's soul.


The patrons were unmoved. Typical for a necromancer pub.


But I stopped the incantation. I saw the innkeeper's face; dusted white with ash, his eyeballs rolled up.


"Are we dead today, Terry?"


"Aye, no souls today"


His face was still smirking when it landed on the floor. Nobody wants a perjurer's soul.
 
Faux Cheval


“C’mon Teabiscuit…!” shouted Orstin, coughing up bile and specks of iron dust. Teabiscuit charged across the red-sand track leading the other Martian racehorses. A winner meant emancipation from the mines, and treatment for rusty lung disease.

Teabiscuit faded, finishing last.

Orstin sighed. Near penniless, he purchased another hour of horseracing simulation on the computer anyway. The real race was tomorrow. With luck, and a larger sample size, he’d predict who the winner would be.
 
Fakebot and Posibot walk into a forum

You should enter the competition.
I am entering the competition.
Do it now.
What's the rush?
If you don't enter, you'll regret it.
Okay, I'm entering it now.
Right now?
Yes, right now.
Good.
Well, it might not be good.
What are you entering?
This.
You mean this right here?
Yes, this. Is there something wrong?
No, I just thought...
You told me to enter.
Yes, well, I mean...
It's entered now, damnit.
 

троян

Svetlana stood shivering atop Murmansk’s heritage smelting chimney, Stoli bottle in hand. Overhead, severnoye siyaniye slinked a graceful, serpentine meander of spectral chartreuse beneath the starry winter night, blissfully oblivious to the malignant macrocosm below.

Svetlana swigged her vodka, perversely proud at being Murmansk’s last living soul, if not the world’s. Despite her prudence, however, the ‘fake’, ‘western’ Trojan pandemic would soon claim her too.

Until then, there was the beautiful aurora… and Stoli aplenty.
 
Who chooses the chosen ones?

Vladimir led the Promised Prince into the Tyrant’s chambers. The Tyrant saw the Prince and… waved.

“Do they believe, cousin?” the Tyrant asked.

“Of course.” the Prince replied, and stabbed Vladimir.

“But the prophecy,” Vladimir sputtered.

“Whenever you rabble get rowdy, a portent points you towards a different line of our family. Crowns are swapped and you calm down. All we need is a body.”

Vladimir collapsed, and the Tyrant covered him in his cloak.
 
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