MARCH 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO LUIGLIN!

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Beware the Hands that March

Life stands before you,
Encouraging your toothless grin and babbling incomprehensibility,
Filled with endless prospects.

The minutes ahead seem uncountable,
Experiences of savoring triumphs,
Suffering despairs,
Indulging in the propagation of souls,
But you move too quickly,
Too determined,
Too focused on an end.

Now countless minutes have passed,
Life’s shadow stretches long,
Once again with toothless grin and babbling incomprehensibility,
The final clock chime sounds,
A last breath.

Your time’s run out.
March of the AI Shoes

The comfort walkers were on the loose.

Plant manager Rod Pylon watched the mayhem from his office window.

The security bots struggled to round up the marching shoes.

What had gone wrong? The shoes were designed with AI learning algorithms to provide continual support, maximum comfort, and massaging therapy as needed in every situation. What had they learned that would have caused this rebellious attitude?

Clearly, the shoes were tired of being stepped on.
That which comes from within...
From an early age Jack loved to march to the approving smiles of his adoring parents.

However, sadly, in time their tunes became increasingly restrictive and he began to chafe at these reins.

He found another band to march to, then another, then another, but sooner or later he was always left feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.

It was many many years before he learned that true fulfilment only came through marching to his own tunes.​

The robed Master approaches, seeing me naked, trembling. Someone’s always chosen, lad. May as well be you.

A sunlight fingernail appears over the meadow. Dawn.

Way it’s always been. Tradition.

The Master glues on me erect ears, pointed like rockets, sable soft. Behind, masked men and women squat, anticipating.

He whispers, lips brushing my ear. Run, lad!

I do. Galloping on all fours, horrified, bewildered. Hope surges –

– then shatters with clicks of shotguns being cocked.
All Things End in Time?

I weaken as time marches on.

Her brave face crumbles as my sun’s about to set. I mutter…

I'm sorry I wasn’t present. The workshop is home to an inventor.

The robot puppy barks. It’s time. I press the button at my beside just before I fade into darkness.

I awaken in my new body. Tears streak down her cheeks as she cups my face. My tail wags joyfully.

She smiles as time stands still.

The algorithm assured Ed, a paraplegic, he was a perfect fit for the robot legs.

Multiple surgeries. Full nervous nanograft. But now he could walk! Okay, more like a march.

Mechanical. Progress.

On the final visit, "I thought we were done. What's left?"

The algorithm replied: "A survey. Don't move."

Ed shrugged, this seems so...

Switches flipped. The AI spoke with Ed's mouth:

"Yes, this torso is much better than the previous one. Five Stars."
The Good Ship: “Forward Looking”
Ensign Sandy steels herself. Here it comes….

“Forward. March! Engage at Warp 3 Ensign.” Ordered Captain Shamus.

Why had she been assigned to a Trekkie re-enactor? Worse, there was no “Warp 3” in a trans-luminal freighter.

Ensign Sandy nods at Midshipman York. Operation “Shameonus” is a go.

Six hours later, after Shamus nods off, General Quarters blares.


Terrified, Shamus jumps up.

The puddle on the bridge was never explained.
+ From Mars Mission Control to Outpost Mu, Olympus Mons + Earth date 2222-03-18

"Sir, we've just received this missive from Mission Control."

Major Joram took the message. "Let me see. Hmmm. Mutinous Martians marauding disputed borders between Mars' colonies Gamma and Omega. Stop. Imperative mutineers stopped. Stop. Must prevent more murders and mayhem. Stop. Mobilise military units immediately."

"What does it mean, sir?"

"We've got to march to the Martian Marches this March."

This programme was brought to you today by the letter M and Roget's Thesaurus.
Stomping Grounds

The Kirklands spent cold sleep knee-deep in shipboard maintenance.

Their kids grew up with this. Most days, they'd escape the house and head to the marches of their family's shared dream.

End of shift, Aster Kirkland would find them in the unfinished places: the empty lake, the sky ladder, the ghost house and the endless cliff.

"Come journey's end, our children won't accept reality," she'd complain.

The eldest always countered, "And that's a bad thing?"

“'Ello. Nice t'
meet yer.”

“After marchin'
us here...
lord we wus
'ammered that
night... yer
was jus'... gone
t' next day."

“Derek tried
escaping but...”
Notes in the marchin'
“ ...and we need t' rescue t' margin band”
The newly appointed mayor glanced at the councillor. “You mean the.. marching band?”
Margin. Yer predecessor... never mastered t' local accent. I'll let t' conductor explain:”

The mayor jumped, looking about sharply. The muffled voice continued:



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Project Meeting(s) at Temporal Research Labs Inc.

March 1st, 2062

"Getting there!? Getting there!? You promised me, and I promised the board, that the machine would be ready by April – 31 days away! You don’t seem to be taking this at all seriously – I see you’ve all booked leave to swan off to Las Vegas for two weeks! A holiday? Now of all times!? You’re all fired!"


March 1st, 2062

"Congratulations! Ready a month ahead of schedule! You all deserve a holiday."
Psychological Warfare

“Victory, together, no matter the cost! Venerate, protect, our supreme overlord!”

Why am I shouting?

Left, left, left, right, left.

I can’t stop marching!

Edward awoke, upright, moving, surrounded by soldiers. Bewildered, he struggled to remember.

What's going on?

Images remerged of a demagogue railing against traitors within and enemies without.

(Resist. You’re brainwashed.)

Who’s there?

(We’re overriding your programming remotely. You’re free to think and do as you please.)

Edward halted, dropping his weapon.
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Tales at the End of the Bar

”...I pried open the screaming coffin. Inside lay, Borvakka staring up at me.”

“Did that vampire say anything?”

“Yeah. Thanks for letting me out. I shoved a stake through his eye. While desperately trying to remove it, I hammered another stake through his heart.”

“Detective March, every week you tell me a crazy monster story. It’s 1966. Monsters are for movies.”

“Here’s his staked head in this ice box cooler.”

“Jeepers! A..another milkshake?”


29 years ago today, a guy was born. Not so much a guy out of the ordinary, and neither strong nor wise. A clever, proud, boastful goose he was, and for all his cleverness he never achieved much of anything.

In truth, he wanted nothing more than his independence. But a broken home has responsibility.

So he entered the fourth dimension. There, he discovered one truth: nothing is all that serious.
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The March of Progress

“Forward march!” cry the voices, and on we go. A thousand miles already trod, yet still no sign of stopping. Driven by prophecies of paradise and the whips of idealogues, we push toward our sinless Utopia. Already, the journey is longer than they said, and the corpse-line sacrificed for the ‘Greater Good’ stretches far behind, but finally, we behold our destination. A cliff’s edge waits for us. “Forward March!” they cry, and we oblige.
Quincember 34th: Spring Equinox

“Haven’t the druids danced around the stones already this year?”

“Aye.” Old Bill drew leisurely on his pipe. “Just keeping something of distant Earth alive in their hearts.”

“I think it’s silly.” Claire replied, continuing to plait his beard. Bill knew that combing it out later would be a nightmare.

“You don’t think it’s silly when we have two Christmases in a year though, do you?” He chuckled, kissing the top of his granddaughter’s head.
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Humanity's Footprint

“Onwards! To greater glory!” barked the voice, slavering with zealous conviction; or mindless obsession. It was hard to tell…

A maddening fire filled onlooking eyes, many brimming with tears. A swelling burst of pride and patriotism; or drowning in doubt and despair? It was hard to tell…

Humanity marched onwards. One shambling step at a time.

As it’s always been.

As it will always be.

To glory?

To oblivion?

It’s always been hard to tell…
Mad As…
“Um…” said the hare, stroking his long ear – hoping to avoid the boxing stuff this year, he was trying for erotic, not chaotic. “It’s March, my dear.”
“So what, you clot?”
“Well… March… the birds and bees… if you please.”
“You’re neither bird nor bee. Nor me.”
“I’ve brought you flowers – have a daisy.”
“You’re completely crazy.”
“No need to scoff.”
“Oh, b*gger off!”
“Why can't us hares be courteous?”
“You ass. I’m a tortoise.”

A Crying Shame

The two spacefaring alien species don’t know we’re here. We live deep underground; they stay on the surface.
Besides, their focus is solely on depriving each other of ‘ownership’ of our world. Whatever the reason for this, they soak the surface with their blood to keep hold of it.
It’s a pity, really. After countless millennia of fighting, we long ago learnt to live with each other. Perhaps, one day, they too will learn this.
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