300 Word Writing Challenge #47 -- VICTORY TO VICTORIA SILVERWOLF!

Not open for further replies.
The Travels Of Sir Reginald Rigmarole, Part 94!

So! Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry, having commissioned me to infiltrate the inner ring of Albumen Gonzalez (the Mr. Big of Amazonian black market chicken rustling) by posing as a member of the Punjab 2nd XI Warhammer 40,000 Commonwealth Games squad, were thoroughly cheesed off that the upshot of my espionage was my report that Gonzalez could sing the first four scenes of Puccini’s Il Parasitica Sessuale Ubriaco whilst gargling three pints of Scrumpy, a revelation deemed out of scope with respect to Bolivian national security priorities.

With Los Bolivars swearing deadly, eggy reprisals I decided to take five, chillax, and Zen out by visiting my old mucker Toblerone Bill, Switzerland’s least educated playboy. Bill was staycationing inside Big Red, his ninety-metre-high sex toy constructed from the refurbished groin protectors of long-dead Sri Lankan cricketers. Lasciviously it thrust through the rugged Swiss coastline, and had made hot, sweaty headlines in the Yom Kippur edition of Grocers’ Anatomies.

“Vous devrez prendre le lit d’appoint,” snarled Smith, emerging corpselike from his baby oil bath. “Big Red va me pénétrer ce soir.”

“No problem, Bill,” I screamed, naked. “I spent three years as Idi Amin’s chiropodist – ain’t nothin’ can faze the Rigster.”

Next morning I awoke to six speeds of pleasure coursing through the ribbed, rubber architecture of my fallopian hideaway. When I went to extricate Bill from his revolting peccadilloes I was perturbed to espy a massive egg on his bed.

One final, vinegar-stroke pulse from Big Red made the gargantuan oospore crack, spawning the Bolivian Foreign Ministry, who oozed forth as one, their mutilated bodies fused together by gallons of delicious, molten eggnog!

“Nos trajiste inteligencia erronea acerca de Scrumpy!” they interlocuted, before waterboarding me in Bill’s oily bath. “Ahora es tu turno de ser penetrado por Big Red!”

Foiled again!

Life’s a beach but death’s a tower​

Horace cast a rheumy eye at the edifice. Beside him stood a goblin, bedecked in puce velvet suit and rictus grin.

The orb soared around the tower once before returning, with a succulent pop, to the necromancer’s empty eye socket.

“Perfect, but why’s there a bubbling pot on the balcony?”

Taking his cue, the goblin launched into the sales pitch while unlocking the tower door.

Snug, laminate, charming, rustic, jacuzzi. Jacuzzi? That sounded gnomish, but for what, Horace had no idea. The rest of the goblin’s spiel he lost to the wind and sea as they battled to be the first to deafen him.

With a welcoming groan that drowned out the elements, the door swung open. Horace followed as the goblin waltzed inside, all style and no substance.

“It has all the latest mod cons. Below, are hot and cold cells for... ahem... guests. Up here,” the goblin started upwards, “is the scullery. Small, I know, but quite quaint. Next, a cosy study; there’s planning permission for a dimensional extension to house a library.”

Waxing lyrical, the goblin continued the showing floor by floor.

"And now, if you pardon my elvish, the pièce de resistance… the silver dome. It channels lightning to all the tower's outlets. And here, the elven windows,” flinging them open with a flourish, “allow access to a spacious balcony. Ideal for berating local village mobs and houses a jacuzzi with a view to die for.”

“A gnomish torture pot?” hazarded Horace.

“A gnomish relaxation pot.”

“Why would I want relaxing gnomes?”

“No, you relax in it. We all deserve a bit of me time at the end of the day." The goblin's rictus grin widened. "So, interested?”

“Definitely. One question. Do I invalidate the warranty on the... jacuzzi, if I do torture gnomes in it?”
Buster Saves the Day.

Dead Man’s Point was not the best place for the Kraals to start their invasion of Earth. It was inhabited by lighthouse keeper Angus and, more importantly, his recalcitrant dog, Buster, who considered the place his personal fiefdom.

The noise of the landing failed to rouse Angus who was sleeping off a pint or three of ‘heavy’. But Buster, alert as ever to possible unwelcome visitors to the rock, made his way outside and into the teeth of a stiff North Westerly.

Kraal One and Kraal Two slithered from their craft. Buster, unperturbed, stared and narrowed his eyes a little.

The Kraals bared their ‘teeth’. Buster did the same.

Out came the Universal Translator. “We demand that you surrender and swear loyalty to your new masters.”

The Universal Translator was, of course, ‘universal’ and Buster was somewhat surprised that they spoke his language but, as was his wont, just growled. The Kraals, in turn, were somewhat surprised to learn what Buster intended to do with their soft, dangly bits.

They spoke once more, again demanding subservience. It was at this moment that Buster became aware of a certain urgent call of nature. Much more urgent than it had been in his youth. He had always been disappointed that the rock was treeless but now, invitingly, these brownish-coloured aliens gave off an enticing ‘aroma’. This moved things along more quickly than he was expecting and, before he could assert control, matters got out of hand.

Alien biochemistry can be an unpredictable thing and the Kraal’s reacted badly to a fine spray, carried by a strong wind, of Buster’s uric acid. They dematerialized.

Buster, authority re-established, sniffed the air and made his way back indoors. A moment later a strong wave washed the alien’s craft into a heavy Atlantic sea.
“You have come of your own accord.”

“I have.”

“For what purpose have you come?”

“I… I don’t know.”

Gil looked around him, he was standing on a small wooden jetty. Yes, the jetty, he had to reach the lighthouse. Looking up he saw it above him, alabaster white against the grey clouds, slick from the fog draped across the coastline.
“Won’t you come inside?” The old man beckoned him warmly.

“Yes, I think I will.” Gil’s hands were wet, callused, and worn. The hands of a working man. Yes, I was rowing the boat.

They climbed a flight of steps carved into the rock and entered the tower. Gil walked in a daze. Why had he come? Where was he coming from?

“...well?” Gil started at the old man’s question. “Where are you coming from?” But he had no answer. “I get many like you come through here, you know. It is a beacon, after all.” The man was leading Gil up a set of winding stairs. “It’s up to you though, where you go from here.”

As they reached the top of the lighthouse. Gil saw his little rowboat far below, bobbing merrily in the swell. The ocean filled the rest of his view, vast beyond comprehension. To the north the sky was clear, golden rays of sunshine marked the end of the rolling clouds overhead. To the south, the clouds grew grim and dense.

“I see it now,” Gil said. As he watched, other paths through the storm opened before him; not just north or south but many directions between. “Is this why I have come? To choose my course?”

The old man smiled. “Damned if I know,” he coughed a short laugh. “I only bring you here, the rest is up to you.”

Strong wind buffeted Si, forcing him to grip the balustrade. It was rarely calm on the catwalk surrounding the light but this forewarned of a storm, soon confirmed by dark clouds building on the horizon. He shivered at the unwanted memory this provoked and looked down towards the little cove, next to the jetty where the boat bearing provisions would dock each month. There, Ellie sat on the sand, ignoring the spray as increasingly spirited waves struck the rocks. Let her have this moment, he would call her in soon enough.

Si had tried as gently as he could to explain to his daughter that mummy wasn’t coming back but six was an age where children could grieve but still believed in fairy tales and the concept of death as permanent had not really hit her yet. One day it would and he would be there for her, but until then, he would do nothing to destroy the belief that enabled his daughter to find joy in life.

Kim had been swept away in a storm. She’d shouted up that she’d heard someone calling from the dock and went outside before he could react. By the time he’d followed her out, she had disappeared. After, he’d wanted away from this godforsaken chunk of rock but Ellie insisted they stay, else mummy wouldn’t know where to find them.

Later that night, as the storm vented its rage against their sturdy haven, Si heard calling from the dock. Ellie rushed for the door but he managed to get there first, barring her way.

She tugged at him, crying. “I can hear mummy. She needs us.”

Si held his daughter tight.

“It’s not mummy, it just wants us to think it is.”

Something that was not quite his wife, knocked on the door.
The Launch

“It’s a secret rocket ship,” said little sister Claire, squinting through the binoculars from our holiday home.

“Nah! It’s just a lighthouse.” I said.

“Rocket, I’ve been watching. Look there’s men in a small boat, handing containers of stuff up,. That’ll be space rations and oxygen and things.”

“It’s just supplies sis, for the lighthouse staff.”





I sighed, “Whatever.”

Next day she was peering out through the rain again.

“Look, a ship moored off the shore, with a pipe into the water. Bet it’s rocket fuel.”

“It’s just for the generators I expect. In case the power goes down when the hurricane makes landfall.”

“There’s a hurricane coming? Oh wow! I’ll put Jemima and Teddy in their box for safety. I’ll ask mom for an extra blanket to keep us safe.”

I rolled my eyes.

“A blanket won’t save you. Why, a hurricane can lift a house clean up. Mom's putting up camp beds in the basement for tonight.”

“But I wanna watch the hurricane.”

She banged her fist on the window sill.

“Well you can’t, okay?”

That night we lay in the basement as the wind howled and roared.

“The secret rocket will take off now,” she said. “So that people won’t hear it against the wind noise.”

Next day the storm had passed and a fog hung in the now still air.

“It's gone!” Claire shouted from the window. “To Mars or the moon or somewhere.”

“It’s just hidden by fog.”

Sunday we all went for a drive. There was a sign.

Lighthouse trips 20$

Dad paid the little boat and out we went.

Topping the steps sis started to cry and hit the white walls.

“What’s wrong?” Asked mom.

“They cheated us,” Claire sobbed. “They've replaced it with a stone replica.”
Last edited:
They’re Never Gonna Believe This!

The gargantuan obelisk was old, dating from before the arrival of humankind, three thousand years ago.
So… an alien artefact?
Did it have a function, a long forgotten purpose? Was it waiting, dormant, while the galaxy turned?
Dreamily Jasper gazed up at the night sky, pondering different theories about the mile-high structure, its origins, its accusatory pointing at the heavens.
Accusatory? Jasper snorted. Where did that come from? And how many people before him had fruitlessly pondered the very same questions? The real questions was if, ever, in his lifetime, its function was revealed, should he be nearby or preferably at the other side of the world?
That thought still lingered as a humming filled the air, as if a thousand engines were spinning up nearby. Abruptly Jasper sat up and stared at the obelisk. No, impossible!
The obelisk, a thin grey line in the dark, started glowing. Next, slowly at first, then increasingly faster, it rose up in the sky. Was it... departing? No... apparently not. As it rose it began emitting beams of green light, spreading, fanning out, like an umbrella, a dome, and finally, when it had risen high, high up into space, positively forming a field encircling the entire planet, enfolding the world in an eerily green shade.
A shield? Against what? Jasper stared up, agog.
The shield suddenly surged and undulated violently, like the aurora borealis on steroids. It gradually lessened, until, after an hour, the shield withdrew.
Jasper’s unicomm beeped,

Salutations, Jasper Jongerius,

As a most fortuitous spectator of our ‘Mobile Cosmic Hazards Deflector in action, we encourage you to fill in enclosed Questionnaire today,
- the day our promotional services saved your ass! -
and chance winning a visit to our headquarters on Ptlisqpakk

PromoBot [non-translatable]”

High above, the obelisk winked off.
Gallac stared at the SIM ART painting of an Earth coast with a light house jutting upward toward a cloud filled sky. Many would not have considered the smart work a painting or even art but this young man did. Synch requests flashed on the peripheral of his vision getting him excited. This was what Gallac wanted. He wanted to dive straight into, what did they call it, an ocean? For him the only diving he did was in sim ex, simulated experience. There was no ocean on Neb 3. No bodies of water bigger than a bathtub on this space station. Any water there was had always been here. Brought up when humanity fled the poison and destitution that was Earth. Now the only way to feel anything like an ocean breeze is to link into a sim cast. And all sim casts about Earth are just interpretations of the literature. That, for Gallac, is where the artistry comes from. Only when a broadcaster records their sensory data can any feelings be transmitted. The only form an experience can come from is through a manufactured hallucination. So, a hypnotherapist pilots a drugged-up celebrity artist and takes them on a mental trip. Guiding them through a forced experience and recording the feelings their mind generates. There was no way of knowing if ChrisG captured anything close to what Earth was like, but Gallac loved his work none the less. It sure beat the dry lifeless recycled air of Neb 3. His air was scrubbed, homogenized, and the reoxygenated remnants of his ancestors. A perfect balance of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen meant to carry humanity for a millennia. Just long enough for people to either fix the planet they abandoned or find its replacement. Gallac didn’t care about that, he just liked the pretty picture.
For Your Own Good

Steven wasn’t afraid of wild things. Wild weather, wild waters, wild… well...

“You’re half wild yourself,” his mother said. “That’s fine for a boy, but a man has to make a living.” Steven thought privately that he had a couple of years left yet, basically forever.

School was a mess of people who wanted him to sit still, stay quiet, write neatly. After a day of it Steven needed to run, yell, jump in the waves and taste salt. Often he didn’t even last a day.

The seas after a big storm were his favourite. He empathised with the water, opaque and stirred up. Swells to pick you up or slap you down. He’d hurtle along on the best, ready to step off before they crashed on the rocks, and sometimes he wasn’t alone. Sometimes a sharp crest would break the wave beside him, a shape too long for any fish. His friend rode the waves effortlessly, all sinuous power.

It brought him huge shells, driftwood, a freshly killed seal. The seal didn’t taste good. He brought it a leg of beef, footballs (they didn’t last), a brass bell it liked to shake.

It was the deputy headmaster that tracked him down, saw his friend and started taking pictures. Started talking about discoveries, science, boats gone missing in the area. Steven knew his friend would never hurt anyone, but also that no one would believe him.

He was nearly expelled for throwing the deputy headmaster’s phone off the cliff. Steven never surfed there again. He made his mum proud by scaping together a passing grade on his exams, finding an apprenticeship. Settling. Occasionally he’d see the deputy near the windy clifftop, as they both looked for the same serpentine shape for different reasons. Sometimes he heard a bell.
The Fear From Hell

After purchasing cigars from a neighboring town, I hurried back to the historic Brimley Lighthouse Hotel amidst a terrible lightning storm. As I approached the main entrance, the door burst open, “Quick! Get inside!”, yelled Mr Burmeister, a fellow tenant. Upon entering, he bolted the heavy door shut, then explained to me that some kind of huge monster was lurking outside and I was fortunate not to run into it. I glanced at his terrified family huddled together on the other side of the room. My overwhelming concern caused me to look out a small window. Something big rushed passed in the darkness. I utilized the door’s peephole to get a better panoramic view. I gasped as I looked upon a large catlike eye noticing me staring back at it. Suddenly the creature began smashing the door open. The family screamed and raced down into the lighthouse cellar. I stood in disbelief looking at a seven foot, cloven hoofed, horned, red demon standing menacingly in the doorway, smiling with an ugly toothy grin while delightfully rubbing its black clawed hands together. I immediately ran into the cellar with the fiend stomping after me. The Burmeister’s screamed as the bestial thing plodded downward toward us, as if to savor it’s prey’s doom. I suddenly felt exhilarated, then raised my hand and shouted, “STOP!” I began to quote holy text using an ancient language, and watched it cower. In English, I said, “Go back to hell.” “I can’t.”, the demon replied. “Then, DIE!”, I commanded. “DIE!” We witnessed in astonishment as the creature melted quickly into a waxy goo, then vanished. Mr Burmeister asked, “Who are you?”

“Just a man, with faith in God. I studied theology for over twenty years.”

“You have tremendous courage.”

“God, had given it to me.”
Kajar and The Seer on the Shore

Kajar banged on the tower's oaken door. Several minutes later the door opened and a wizened face peered out.

"What do you want, young oaf?" growled the face's owner.

"Hail old crone well met. I seek the Seer of Ships. Are you she?"

"No, you seek She Who Sits And Sees Ships." She glanced at his hands, "I see you are well furnished to pay the price."

Kajar, puzzled by her words, frowned, for he wore no jewellery.

The old woman stepped out, closed the door, and, with a wrinkled finger, beckoned Kajar to follow her. Nearing the shore, Kajar could see a large wooden throne facing out to sea. The old woman stopped behind it and turned. "Before meeting my sister, understand this: /The ships that she sees, as she sits on the shore, are ships that shall be, and ships gone before/." She indicated Kajar should approach the throne. There he beheld another crone, identical to the first, simply sitting and staring out to sea. He also noticed her necklace, seemingly decorated with twigs.

"Ask your question, oaf."

"Seer, I would know what perils lie over the Great Azas Sea in the land of the giant wyrms."

"Before revealing my vision, you must pay." Without warning, the first crone grabbed Kajar's arms while the seated crone produced some shears. He struggled but could not move his arms.

"What witchery is this?" he shouted. Then realisation dawned - not twigs, but dessicated fingers adorned the necklace, and they meant to take his. In desperation he kicked at the shears but missed, striking the throne instead, sending it and the crone sprawling.

"My sister!" cried the first crone, releasing Kajar's arms, and going to her sister's aid.

Now free, Kajar turned and fled, none the wiser but with his fingers intact.
The Matryoshka TARDIS Syndrome

The spire stood it was claimed, at the centre of the universe.
The planet upon which it rose was a barren world of grey seas and skies; grey clouds moved sluggishly, blocking out the failing light of a distant star.
A world without life, yet the tower stood and bewitched all that saw it.

For myself it was not just one of the wonders of the universe, it was THE wonder. How did it get there, was it constructed there, who built it? Had this dull world once held life, or had travellers from the stars deemed it worthy?
Or was it because it was the centre of the universe, a mystery from before the dawn of time.

It had cost me everything, a near lifetime to make the journey. I stood looking up at the colourless walls and wondered if it was worth it.
I was not the first to make the journey, I would not be the last. No one knew what had happened to my predecessors, no trace had ever been found.
I reached out, caressed the stone with my fingertips, wondering how to proceed. In that instant the wall seemed to pulse, and like an iris opened silently.

What was inside was an impossibility.

Within was larger than without. Space stretched out, contained within the structure, galaxies whirling slowly, the dance of infinity, clockwork perfection in enclosed infinitude.
In that moment I realised that reality was precarious a transcendental impossibility, I stood in the centre of a universe looking inward from the edge of a universe, with the possibility that on the edge of my universe someone stood looking through at my universe... ad infinitum.
With a gasp I unconsciously took a step forward and became part of the unfolding mystery that was everything.
To the Lighthouse
He stood at the edge of the causeway, looking out over the sea, looking back over the years. Half a mile away, the island lighthouse still flashed its warning.​
Their holiday here had been the best ever, the one they’d constantly revisited in their memories; the last before his accident, after which there was no money for holidays of any kind. They’d taken a house for a whole month, and had filled it with friends and family, good food and conversation, and so much laughter.​
“And squabbles, darling. Don’t forget the bickering. Where to go, what to see.”​
Just like his wife, to add splashes of grey to his rose-tinted vision. But certainly the children had been less than angelic then, particularly Andrew, with his obsession about the lighthouse.​
“You did promise to take us across to it, Pa.”​
But the storm had come, preventing the trip.​
“We should have gone by boat the week before, Papa, just like Andy said.”​
Yet it had seemed such a wonderful chance to walk over the causeway, which was only passable a couple of times a year, on the lowest of low tides. He’d been so sure the weather would be fine that weekend.​
After that, the lighthouse had become his obsession. To return to it and keep his promise. A beacon of hope for him, its light pure, untainted, a promise in itself.​
So long ago that was. Before the mud of the Somme claimed Andrew. Before Spanish flu took his beloved wife and daughter.​
Why had he waited so long to come back?​
“Well, the tide is right for the walk this time, darling.”​
Full tide. The water would be over his head in minutes.​
He held out his hands. Ghostly fingers gripped his, and he walked forward towards the lighthouse.​
Champagne Cork

Reyza was sweating, she supposed. Do dolphins sweat? She hadn’t taken a breath in hours, but that seemed alright - the needle itching her neck notwithstanding. Oxygen aplenty. Dim light and colorful displays kept the claustrophobia at bay.


“You’re not subvocalizing clearly. We’re still on track.”

Last year, village of Tobago:
“They know what to look for - rocketry, hypersonics, big magtubes, gun tunnels. There’s no getting up there, and the Ship is purposely not listening.”

Marcel was explaining the obvious to someone he felt may have lost their rationality to their research. Reyza had ‘gone native’ years ago, but possessed a reputation for lateralism.

“Well, I guess you’ll need to make due with something more compact.”

The locals sold the old tower for some refined palladium. It pointed a few degrees off Ship orbit. Reyza harnessed the engineers to her vision and volunteered when the rest of the crew wavered. Their desires couldn’t overcome their fears, and her dedication to them overcame her curiosity. She abandoned anthropology for radical physiology. Marcel became her mission control:

“A few more minutes. No lightheadedness? Use the keypad.”

<<Feel fine. Pressure steady 1680 atm. Neutral buoyant>>

“Standby for count.”

The watchtower was a curiosity on a desolate shore. As Marcel pronounced “Ignition,” the tower turned into a ball of white light. The sea boiled, the clouds immediately above disappeared and the hardy trees were flattened.

All was not destruction. Starting hundreds of meters below ground, Reyza’s tiny hardened capsule had accelerated insanely as the magnets and metallic hydrogen conspired to fire her out of the top of the watchtower.

Inside the diamond walled capsule, Reyza’s liquid saturated body was supported from all sides by pressures much greater than the ridiculous g-forces. Minutes later, Ship accepted Reyza’s docking request.

<<Stand by for pick up.>>

Penelope’s Cruise

What a voyage!
The crew, mutes the lot of them, have selective hearing: tell them to do something and they do what they want. Worse: like me, they’ve little sense of direction, which explains where we are… wherever it is. Close to home, I hope.
I can’t say that I’m truly disappointed. Sometimes it’s good not to know exactly where one’s next port of call might be and what one might do there. That’s how I learnt to calypso. It took a while and might have taken longer if my teacher hadn’t been distracted by the arrival of a gift he’d ordered.
My next adventure was briefer but lit up my day. Literally: someone set fire to some boats in the harbour and would’ve done the same to mine, given the chance.
The least said about that drug den, the better… as I was out of it until I was out of it. The cheese tasting was fun, what with a gourmet with an eye for a good cheese there to help.
Then there was that incident with Cilla, who couldn’t keep her hands off me. I didn’t mind – the party in the pool hosted by her close neighbour, Carry B was quite a whirl – but the mute crew (I got to calling them the Argotnaughts) might say nothing, but I suspect at least some of them can write, and Odie would have my guts for garters… which he’d look good in, in my humble opinion. But then they have their own dirty secrets, like hunting someone’s prize cattle. If that siren handed gone off, we’d all have been in trouble.
To be honest, I don’t give a fig. I’ll see Odie when I see him (garters or no), and he’ll enjoy my tale of touring the Odder Sea.
Last edited:


Santa needs your help


to good homes

only three days left
to bring three writers
some pre-Christmas
happiness and joy

Not open for further replies.