MARCH 2023 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO PHYREBRAT!

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HareBrain

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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 2023 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 March 2023

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 March 2023



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:

SECOND CHANCE

Genre:

Science-fiction and/or fantasy

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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Victoria Silverwolf

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The Best of All Possible Worlds
Patrick O'Shaughnessy knew the cobbler was a leprechaun. He was a kind man, so he didn't ask for the pot of gold he might have claimed.

"You deserve a bit of magic," the leprechaun said. "What is your heart's desire?"

Patrick was a wise man, so he said "I want to be the best version of myself."

"Done!"

Patricia O'Shaughnessy left the cobbler's shop, a fine pair of high-heeled pumps on her pretty little feet.
 

THX1138

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Land Locked Ocean Dream
A Song Among the Stars

Gentlemen, it is my duty. To inform you of one beauty…

I didn’t get a chance to apologize to her before my unit was sent to the Martian front. We suffered heavy damage and were transported to the EVAC Argyle. While I was recovering there a medic approached and laid her hands on me, and in a familiar loving voice spoke.

“Hay, there soldier. Shall we try again?”

The queen of all Argyle.
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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Emergency Procedure

The android surgeon deftly inserted the strand of hollow nanochines alongside the ruptured artery in the President's brain.
It watched the monitor as the strand vibrated to generate heat, then enveloped the clotted section, incinerating it and cauterizing itself into the vessel.
Blood soon flowed through the repair.
~

This procedure occurred months after the President, while implementing regimented freedoms, passed laws prohibiting AIs or foreigners from practicing medicine.
He later denied his surgeon's reinstatement petition.
 

johnnyjet

Western PA High Tech Country Boy
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Pennsylvania
Forgive and Forget

Alien giants came down to Earth. Before anyone could react, they sprayed all the lands.

People came out of the gray-green haze and into a new haze.

What had happened?

A brave man stood at the foot of the aliens, "We can't remember anything. Have you come to help us remember?"

The aliens filed into their great ships. The last one turned and said, "No. We came to give you a second chance."
 

Yozh

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USA
Life will find a way

So rapid was our rise, so great our adaptability, that all the world was ours, all living things serving only to spread and replicate the best of us. The world burned with fever, until finally the last host had burned out.

The ones who had spread our glory are now dead and gone, yet we remain. Dormant, waiting. Life will come again to this bare rock, breath deeply, and we will have our second chance.
 

Guttersnipe

mortal ally
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Cocagne
The Thing About Misery

The inmate rubbed his magic ring and out came the djinn. The inmate spoke first.

"I want a second chance."

"You own me, so I grant you infinite wishes. But I tire of this request, as I've granted it time and again. Even I cannot reverse fate."

"I've done bad things. Murdered people. Have you ever done evil?"

"I have."

"Maybe you could stay out here with me?"

His new friend found this agreeable enough.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
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The Final Level


"Congratulations, barbarian! You've bested my labyrinth and its denizens. To claim the Ultimate Prize, answer my riddle: What gets wet whilst drying?"

"Armour?"

"FALSEHOOD. Perhaps you should've defended your cleric before looting that treasure chest? She'd have known the answer."

"Ask something easier!"

"You'll have to settle for the Not-So-Ultimate Prize..."

"Agreed."

Thirty failed riddles later....

"
This one's for the 'I Conquered Soultrap Labyrinth And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt' Prize..."
 

Troyzan787

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Pittsburgh, PA
Continue?

Sir Stickpin looked up in futility at Princess Sunrise chained to the altar.

Her screams echoed in his ears, tears streamed down his face, and blood ran from his mouth.

A moment later the Dragon-Lord’s fist crushed his skull.

Darkness.

A clink of a coin.

He rematerialized at the beginning of the dungeon.

One more life on the counter.
 

Ashleyne

Wishes she was funny
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TOXIC MOTH


Gord blows reanimation smoke up Milly’s nose. She shrieks.

“Milly, calm down.”

“You shot me.”

“I forgive you for cheating on me. I love you; I resurrected you.”

“I hate you.”

“Please, forgive me.”

“Up yours.”

Enraged, he shoots his handgun.

She stares, agape, fresh blood trickling down into her mouth. “You shot me again, Gord?”

“You deserved it.”

She advances, menacingly. His barrage of bullets won’t deter her. Milly’s flurrying fingernails tear Gord apart.
 

AnRoinnUltra

Cé scéal tuthóg?
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The long boring death of Zob Conungle and the Pudawacker

'I hope this doesn’t go on long, I’m tired.'

'Wouldn’t count on it, those Zombooglians love the sound of their own voices.'

'That they do, if I wasn’t in fear of my life earlier I’d have nodded off.'

'Strange creatures -did ya hear that head honcho fella? ‘the visitors can live once they promise never to zomble’'.

'Wonder what zombling is?'

'No idea, but it can’t mean eating as they’ve invited us back for dinner.'
 

Luiglin

Getting worse one day at a time
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Empty​

There would be no second chance. She looked at them, searing their words into her soul.

Grunts of annoyance and snarling faces of reproach greeted her traverse through the mass of sweating, roiling bodies.

Life or death mattered little; the end had to be nigh.

Before her, a fateful hand rose.

She gave a final push, “Barkeep, three whiskeys, two meads and a water for the wizard!”

The barkeep nodded, then rang the bell, “Time!”
 

Far Stranger

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Jan 30, 2023
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In The Sanitorium Garden

The toddler burrowed the dirt for more worms. Mother and doctor watched fondly, under the dappled sunlight. Miracle, little survivor. So many dead, but the suit would give her child a second chance.

“Those worms – he can’t keep away,” smiled the doctor. Then, “It’s time.” They approached.

Tough, gloriously safe, the suit would grow with him. And it’d be fun! Virtual friends, infinite cartoon channels.

“There’ll be worms for you in the suit too, darling.”
 

Snicklefritz

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Burning Vengeance


You see, Nathelo, my friend, it was real after all.

After the king and his corrupt generals banished me from the city for deceit, I wandered far

into the mountains of the lands beyond.

There I met the dwarf Emrys and apprenticed myself to him. Eventually he granted me access to the caverns

where I again encountered Kadira, the very dragon I had boasted of befriending.


We have come back now to claim the throne.



 

Abernovo

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The future in my hands


A message blinked in the Oort comms receiver. Extrasolar.

WE SURVIVED. Then, lots of data.

We'd left the polluted hellhole of Earth--those who didn't, couldn't, died there--and scattered throughout the solar system. But the Decline travelled with us. Our species was dying.

This could save the human race. The question was, did we deserve another shot?

My friend, Doug, would say yes. Me, though?

"Anderson, we good?"

Decision time….

"I…found something,"
 

therapist

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Braised Pork

Declan julienned carrots and cucumber, tossing them in a spicy citrus dressing. The pork shoulder braised in a five-spice broth as he awaited his wife’s return. Unsurprisingly, she arrived late and drunk, having already eaten at the bar.

That night, aliens landed in every major city—humanoids from planet Fabrian. They visited every 10,000 years to select exotic earthling mates for their women back home.

Declan ironed his shirt and brought them a plate.
 

BigJ

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Oct 2, 2012
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257
A Reason to Live

“Is this heaven?”

“Not exactly.”

“Hell?”

“It’s not like that.”

“So, you are . . . ?”

“Bob.”

“And you do . . . ?”

“I’m just kinda here.”

“Um, okay. So what now?”

“Well, you go forward, or back.”

“Back?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you offering me my life back?”

“Not me.”

“Then who? I was alone, always, that’s why I . . . you know.”

“Alone? You sure?”

“I, well, . . . ”

“Time to decide.”

“ . . . – “

“ – I feel a pulse! Ambulance is coming, just hold on, I’m right here!“
 

mosaix

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Shropshire, U.K.
Member Benefits

“You have pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of the prince using magic potions and devices. Normally you would be tortured and imprisoned.

However, you have shown contrition and an ardent desire to have led a better life. Therefore, as an act of leniency, we have decided to allow you to do so - now. You will be executed immediately.”

“What!”

“Surprised? We understood that you were a devout follower of The Church of Re-Incarnation.”
 

emrosenagel

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Sebastian, FL
The old astronaut, the Cosmos, and the moon-eyed child

The old astronaut sat on a desolate planet, staring up at faded stars. She had seen everything, been everywhere. Done things unforgettable. Unforgivable.

"I wanted to be an explorer," she said. To the Cosmos, perhaps. "Not a scourge."

"Would you do it differently, if you could try again?" it replied.

"Not me. But me eighty years ago would."

Her eyes widened, a moon-eyed child again gazing up at the stars. They had never been brighter.
 

Astro Pen

Write now.
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Wales UK
To He Who Waits

“How many left in their city, Thars?”
Thars opened his hand three times.

Olef, scanned his remote Black Forest colony and nodded to himself.
In the learning place the children huddled around the sun god’s talking box, refuse scavenged textbooks lined their huts.

His warriors were preparing poison arrows.

Why the 'tall ones' had starved was puzzling. They killed all their farmers, crazy, they couldn’t hunt.

Now, with stealth, the Neanderthals were on the move.
 
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