OCTOBER 2023 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO GENELEWIS!

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Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Oct 13, 2008
West Sussex, UK

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


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 October 2023

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 October 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


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


Fragment, fracture, and/or fractions



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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The Tomb

Gustav Heissmann preferred digging in an obscure corner of the Empty Quarter to working with the idiots who perverted archeology in the name of the Party.

He discovered an incredibly ancient crypt. The scattered bones within bore no resemblance to human remains. Limbs two meters in length. A skull with multiple eye sockets. It was only when the entire reassembled structure rose and spoke to him that he knew why Germany had gone mad.
Between Moments

I'm wedged here, terrified and fractured, existing within myriad shards of crystallized time overlain and inescapable.

I gape upward at Luis, flung from our window, the crystalline Azjobün crashed into our building by tentacled Miexilope, each frozen in seconds shattered by their struggles.

I can move, barely – fluctuate between nearby time shards, flip-book the moments…

…flip, Luis pitched airborne,
flip, his flailing descent,
flip, fallen into Miexilope's maw.

I'm not sure I ever loved him.
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Last gasp

The dull bell-clangs reverberated as the pirate vessel’s robo parasite clambered about outside our hull, looking for a weak spot.

There was a high pitched whine. Drilled fragments glittered past the porthole.

Then the sound of the gentlest breeze.

Soon we were having trouble breathing.

“Is it after our platinum?” asked Roberts, struggling to speak in the now thinning air.

“No, worse,” replied the captain. “It’s pumping us out. It wants our oxygen.”
Into the Eyes of a Fractured Soul

I couldn’t help being mesmerized by the distorted faces I saw in the shards of the broken mirror on the floor.

Intriguing faces of laughter and desire. Hollow faces of envy and despair. Dark faces of detest and hate. Each pulling and pushing me to hysteria as they grew out of the fractures and into my soul.

I then realized I was seeing the many broken images of you, staring over my shoulder.

I shooted the meeror gie that wuz lain with mie wife. Shee iz in tha hospidl nau. I aint sher wut Ime seein. A sharp tenticl caym out uv sumware and stuk to mie forhed. I cant see wut iz hapinin rite nau. I cant fele mie legz or armz. Mie brayn I can fele it and then it goed awai.

For we, the Gods of Thuzorilggr—We are born with vengeance in our hearts.
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Good Job the Kids Weren’t Home!

You sacrificed immortality for the transience of love.

“I was foolish.” Not for the first time, S'haep cursed the limitations of his mortal body. “Restore my form.”

So you may exact revenge?

“She wants half. Greed should be punished.”


Returning from work, Claire found a tentacled monstrosity, its face reminiscent of her husband, waiting in the living room. The TV was in two. Furniture and more, similarly torn asunder.

Claire sighed.

“Predictably petty, Ian.”
75 Fractures

The hyperdrive engaged, no shield would mean insanity, existence shattered before me. I was an infinity of zeroes. Multitudes of me, separate and whole, a kaleidoscope reality. My would-be assassin found me on the floor. After dispatching him with a laser probe, I watched his lifeless body drain. Observing the mess I created, I could only wonder did infinity or zero create this monster… I disabled the hyperdrive field to test my theory.
Orbital Mechanic Blues

Our vessel huddled in shadow at Lagrange two, realigning the drive in icy dark. The charred cinder planet - too close to the expanding star - a glowing halo under EVA feet.

“Keep tuning orbit. Dunno why.” - Cole

“Lately, ring seem brighter?” - Adelaide

“Suits comin’ back dirty!” - Johnno

Twelve days to ignition.

The nose cone is 1800 degrees. The drive nozzle singed.

The planet is near gone. Its oasis shadow still cool; half a ship wide.
But they said it wouldn’t rip a hole in reality . . .

I look at the glass shards, stolen from the rubble of the Hadron Collider.

The blast granted others a self-inflicted death; it granted me sight, each shard a window into another universe.

But between worlds, something in the negative space hungers.

The shards have been going dark; consumed.

I see all, but I cannot see it.

The last shard went dark today.

I wonder if it knows we are here.

I wonder if it cares.
Worlds Apart

Horrors beyond imagining, right? Hiding behind the skin of reality. Our only defence? Decimate their food supply. The dreams and fears of billions of humans.
The politicians drew straws. Strangely, only poor planets got the nuclear hammer.
Coincidentally, cutting the number of habitable worlds in half sent the property values of the rich skyrocketing.

The Cosmic Horrors stared into the abyss of the human soul. And locked and barricaded the gates into their reality.
Reality’s End

The sky fractured. Cracks shot across the heavens like black lightning, eerily silent, then widened, showing the black of night but without any stars. Or sun. Just darkness.
Not a soul uttered a sound, nature itself held its breath. Everyone stood frozen, in shock or too terrified to remember screaming.
A voice boomed from everywhere, encompassing Earth, “Simulation Ends. Hologram shut down in progress.” The darkness descended.
And I, I... he… she… we… us...

They spread disease. Their bites itched. They filled no known ecological niche.

So, after many attempts, we made the mosquito extinct. The achievement was celebrated worldwide.

We didn’t know these supposed pests were invented by an earlier advanced species, millennia before humanity’s ancestors came down from trees. Plagued by hideous, eldritch gods demanding blood sacrifice, they had found a distributed solution.

But, now the mosquitoes are gone. And the old gods are growing hungrier.
Who's Afraid?

The wolf paused on a threshold of brick. He huffed... puffed... then--

The house exploded.

An undulating mass of flesh and hair and fat filled the sky. Mucus dangled from the snouts of three piggy heads that turned so slowly, staring downward with distant eyes cold and black. Words passed sluggishly through massive porcine lips.

"Not... by the hairs... of my chinny... chin... chins."

The big, bad wolf watched a cloven shadow blot the sun.
The Baby Elder God

The Elder Gods watched the Chronicles forum from afar, they hated the unity it created. They sent K’Tabarinth to create disharmony and chaos.
They watched in horror as their scheme fell to pieces.
K'Tabarinth became Tabby, she developed feelings for the creatures, specially the halfling. Gave her power beyond belief, protected the place from further intrusion.
Listen carefully to the wind, you can hear the Elders screams.
The dán of Bridy Sneachta

'I never said anything like that Bridy!

Bridy Sneachta knew three things:
  • Her coffee mug was sneering.
  • Interstellar travel causes delusions.
  • And that she was now venting all the spacecraft's oxygen.
Bridy composed a rhyme as she worked.

'Sorry I doubted you commander,
the coffee mug was mocking me,
...and made me think your instruction would kill us all.
in outer space you must keep your head,
to lessen your chances of becoming dead.'

Clutching at straws​

The math shows. It never lies. We misconstrue truth. See only fragments. It offers enlightenment to the darkness of our reality and the fractures within.

The fractions lead me down calculation, formulation, interpretation, explanation. Equations tease promises of what can be; subsuming dreams, spewing nightmares.

The math shows. Those that lurk upon the edge. Through fractures, in fragments, a fraction more than my comprehension allows.

The pencil breaks, paper rips. Just another insignificant broken soul.

I held the needle to the match flame. Ever since tearing down the treehouse, I found a splinter every day. Pricking open the skin of my bandaged hand, I prodded at the sliver, but only drove it deeper. The needle was not up to this task. I searched for a razor blade to cut the irritating thing out.

My wife pounded on the door, “Dear, what are you doing in there? Please, not again!”
The Haunted Sky:

Sam enjoyed satellite spotting, on Scotland’s hills: Watching the satellites pass, listening to their signals with his homemade antenna...
...until a hitherto silent derelict, ‘Seasat 1’, screeched static at him.
Because... underneath the static…
It hissed: About cracks in space. Reaching through. Finding this broken machine - a relay. It whispered… strange ideas. Thoughts that burrowed, swarmed.
The cracks in space spread into his mind. And something, not Sam, walked off the hills…
Cosmic Evil Blues

I’ve got a shard of evil,
I don’t know what to do.

Horseflesh gave me a black, smokey fragment,
smelled of sulfur too.

He said, whatever you do don’t touch it,
or I’d be through.

Make sure to hide it from the Supreme Being,
cause he'll come after you.

I tucked away this evil,
but my lady, found it in my room.

I yelled, baby don’t touch it!
She did, and my honey, went boom.
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