OCTOBER 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO DAN JONES!

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Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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blah - flags. So many flags.
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 October 2022

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 October 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:

Light and/or Dark

Genre:

GOTHIC


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! **
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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Oh, Leave Me Hope

I pull the cord to the coffin bell my ex-lover swore she'd install.
Three fast pulls, three slow, three fast, over and over and please, far above me, SOS peal, beckon, for I fear I've little time…

The pinwheel whirls spasmodically, secured within a pipe exiting a fresh grave. Cord runs to its spindle and tugs from time to time, until a boy hurries over, yanks the toy free, and dashes away with his prize.
 
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BigJ

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Oct 2, 2012
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Thy Maiden of Retribution

He stumbled between the pews, exhausted, terror-stricken. A godless man, he nonetheless sought shelter in this holy place.

The cathedral windows exploded inwards in a shrieking, blinding flash. He cowered as the wind howled around him, through him, threatening to flay the flesh from his bones.

Looking up, he saw her floating above the pulpit, feminine grace radiating pale brilliance, the wages of his sins made real.

His scream fell silent under her wrath.
 

Christine Wheelwright

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Jan 3, 2022
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549
Location
Oh Canada!
By Candlelight

“Should I put out the candle?” she said to the man waiting on her bed.

“No! Why? You are beautiful; let me look at you!”

“Very well,” she replied. “It’s just that sometimes it makes things less stressful.”

She came to him, lowering her face to his neck, and in the flickering light he saw fangs beneath blood red lips, her eyes now black and lifeless. He screamed.

“I told you!” she said.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
The Man Who Hated Fire

After his wife died in the conflagration that ravaged Serenissima like an avenging angel, Domenico Russo banned flame from his villa. Candles remained unlit, fireplaces held only ashes. He and his daughter fought winter with furs and dined on cold fare.

One evening he saw light coming from Lucida's bedchamber. Had a thoughtless servant brought her a forbidden taper? He entered, saw the translucent, glowing figure watching over the child, and feared death no more.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
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Walled Up


Darkness. A cramped space, barely able to move. Where am I? Last thing I remember is dinner with my 'waste-of-oxygen' ex, my favourite put-down for her.

Why was I invited over to hers? And hadn't the wine tasted a little too heady?

Rummaging in my pocket; an engraved gas lighter. Igniting it, I take in my confined surroundings; then, as the flame begins to wane, read its inscription:

A Waste of Oxygen
 

Guttersnipe

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Cocagne
Folie à Deux

I had a wife who thought she had
A dark-haired burd in blackness clad,
Who was her double, night and day,
Said the reverse of what she'd say

I paid her little game no mind;
To her ill mood, grew unkind
But then I did quite clearly see
The other burd, and she saw me

The lady with raven hair killed my former love. We've wed, and I've not since mourned the white-clad blonde.
 
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Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
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The Netherlands
Those That Should Have Moved On, While They Had the Chance


Decay impregnated drafts traversed the, once, Great Hall. Grimy windows resisted sunlight, while quivering candlelight merely enhanced the many impenetrable, twisty shadows.
A dark clad man, with features speaking of unfathomable sorrows, paged a book depicting people long gone.
“Are you here…, Thomas?” he queried, voice raspy. A squirming shadow stilled, darkened. The putrid smell intensified.
A spotlight suddenly struck it, illuminating something revolting. It wailed.
The man’s lips twitched, “
See the light.
 
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therapist

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Jan 2, 2021
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284
Guilt

Why must these hideous moral horrors plague my soul? Lurking, lurking, forever in my mind, fanning their caustic fumes over my weary heart.

My body, chained and broken, sits rotting in a dark, dark dungeon. Yet my mind, unlovely and wretched, roams free through the cloisters, laying waste to all that’s left.

When will madness come to claim dominion? to lift this morbid torture? to swirl the vestiges of my spirit down, down into delirium?
 

Aknot

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Dec 30, 2021
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79
It Isn’t Over Till The Fat Girl Bites

Lara’s greatest wish had always been to fly. To soar above the taunts and laughter. Instead, she had burrowed. Hidden, painted pale with raven hair.
Was that why the beast had chosen her?
Actual flight were a shock of exhilaration and awkwardness. The long incisors oddly familiar, like orthodontics to her tongue. But fangs had purpose. The creature had said as much, whispering revenge.
Equally nauseated and aroused she set out to sate her hunger.
 

AnRoinnUltra

Go on the humans!
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The Witch of Lompydonk Farncastle's dreams

The day is my enemy,
The night my friend.’

Black fingernails gripped Lompydonk Farncastle’s shoulder as the woman leaned in close.
‘Wake up!’, she hissed.

The bus was pulling up outside Grogans Pub as Lompydonk woke.
A flash of recognition struck when he sat facing his date.

Black fingernails scraped across her throat, tearing her neck apart.
Her insides twitched and hissed.

Lompydonk smiled.
‘I can see we have a lot in common’, he said.
 

VRlass

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Bardo (srsly, that’s the name)
What be… with me?
What be,
malevolent figure of bright light,
that took a delight, in stealing
rest of restless night, just
from my troubled mind.
By my bed it bent and
on my weary head I
felt a kiss, made
by ephemeral lips,
and my heart did freeze.
Shocked by pain I trembled,
yet soon all my suffering ended.
I look at bright figure over me to see,
my very own mother laughing most joyfully,
with me.​
 

THX1138

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Mar 11, 2022
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Land Locked Ocean Dream
Remitto

I awoke in terror for they said ‘No’, for to disobey was the gallows.

I ran from their threats, only to fall into the farrows of their deathly hollows.

Brandy or tea, one will set you free.

I choose the tea to avoid the hangman’s tree.

The sounds I heard both day and night, were always there.

So why should I fear? For peace is truly always near.

I awoke to stillness.

Longing for forgiveness.
 

Ian Fortytwo

A Poet, Writer and eclectic Reader.
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Somewhere on this mortal coil.
Gothic Tale of a Disastrous Dinner for Two.

We have been seated at a table for two. I have ordered a mushroom starter, and salmon salad for me. My dinner date ordered liver pate for starters, and a rare steak with chips for herself.
It was promptly delivered, by the waitress.
After coffee, my date started kissing and nuzzling my neck. Suddenly there was a sharp stabbing pain in my neck.
As I faded I thought, 'I didn't know vampires ate vegetarians.'
 

Luiglin

Getting worse one day at a time
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Mercia, UK

The Echoes of Walpole House​

The hall stretched before Otranto; a passageway of cold darkness and the forgotten.

From the depths, a tap. A noise which sparked a conflagration of curious dreams and hackle inspiring nightmares.

He sat, senses straining.

A tap became a pit-a-pat of steps, their passage shining as their maker drew near. A rat-a-tat that should not be in this silent hall.

With a twitch and a pounce, Otranto caught the echo of a mouse long gone.
 

sule

"What I do is me: for that I came."
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The Lady Remains

The lady remains, unmoored from life.

Her lips regaining their rosy color, eyes reflecting bloody daylight, fingers flexing experimentally—

Fantasy from addled wits, defiling my final moments. I recall that latest vision of my once-wife:

My lady’s shuttered eyes and ashen lips, pallid face tranquil in death—

Locked, forever, within her silent tomb.

My starving mind spirals in the shadows between life and death – forgetting my fate:

The truth, which takes an upward track—
 

Mon0Zer0

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When The Veil is Thinnest
We embrace upon the battlements and gaze out over moon-touched moors. Hand holds hand; mine like ancient yew, hers spring soft but cold as autumn’s gloaming.

“This is the last time,” I say, but my words cannot penetrate the veil.

At midnight, we dance the flickering shadows of spider-kissed hallways until sunrise steals her back. When she fades, my heart breaks.

No more dances, for heaven is a prison with stronger walls than hell.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Iowa
A Storm of Ancient Evil

Through ancient storm;
...The Steeple stood.
Dead called to dead
...Of nothing good.

Dressed in purest blacks,
...Yet revealed by every flash.
The Creeper crawls,
...Strikes in fury; deadly hacks.

Rings the bell.
...Salvation tolls.
Ignored by some,
...Their heads on poles.

Rings the bell.
...Salvation tolls.
Heeded by some,
...Which saves from hell.

What is seen by morning light?
...Crawling Creeper, out of sight.
Stands the Steeple across the weir.
...Salvation won another year.
 
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Phyrebrat

www.beanwriting.com
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In your bedroom wardrobe...
Catching the Scythe

When full moonbeams hit St Barquistes, listen.
The stony buttresses live; not only flesh can pass away.

In the gloom of grief, under black rainbows, the gargoyles sing: some in Hebrew, some Latin or French; others still, Aramaic.

But heed their canticle; listen for names.
And if any named are those you love, spend time with them while you can.

Be warned:
In the stillness,
In the dark,
When full moonbeams hit St Barquistes.
 

Daysman

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Oct 14, 2018
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east of the crooked house, south of weddell wynd
A Sliver of Shade

In Arbogast, near dusk, the newly dead walk the shadow's edge, street to street, in search of hallowed ground.

Their bereaved see them, making the same wrong turns to the same dead ends.

On my father's death, he too circled the town.

Like others, I blocked the narrow sun between houses that he might cross.

Oblivious, he continued on.

I still walk with him sometimes.

The sun will find a line for him one day.
 
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