MARCH 2024 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge --VICTORY TO VICTORIA SILVERWOLF!

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The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Nov 10, 2008
nearly the New Forest

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 2024 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 2024

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 March 2024

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!





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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How Death Came to the Trees

In the beginning, Sky mated with Earth, who gave birth to the first tree. The tree was proud of her leaves, declaring them more beautiful than Sky's rainbows.

Enraged, Sky tore off her leaves with a great wind, and cursed her to grow old and die.

Earth pitied her child, and did what she could to weaken the curse.

That is why, my beloved seedlings, our leaves return, and why I will live in you.
The Actions of a Heel

The dark alley swallowed Mary Stevens. London’s tall, leering buildings groped the night sky above her. She hurried along, fear in every step, terror measuring every stride.

Maniacal cackling echoed down the backstreet, freezing her in place. A figure bound from the shadowed alley and over her head. Blue fire framed a cloaked gentlemen's face, gaunt and eerie. With clawed hands, he lunged. Her scream saved her as he hesitated, springing up to the rooftops.
Withdrawal of Consent

King Kleptos taxed and imposed his oppressive laws upon the people until they creaked. A compressed spring, bound to unleash any day.

He was prepared for revolt. Army and city guards on the streets, ready and willing to do their worst to the protesters.

The spring broke free!
But, instead of rising, it propelled millions outward. They danced and laughed their way out of his city and away, across the land.

Kleptos was left powerless.

Light glows, grows strong. The waking bulb, the creeping leaves, a blossoming bloom. I feel Alive.

Elusive mysteries form halo’s upon my head; a crown heavily borne. Only time bows before it. Slowing. Waiting. Becoming Alive.

The motion is too distant; blurry stars coalesce into a blinding starry mush above the horizon. Too bright. Time absconds and I recognise nothing but my own thoughts. As I wither, now I know. I am Alive.
The Movement of the Seasons

The thawing of spring is the winding of a clock. The first sprouts spring forth in the warm sun as the main spring of the clock unwinds and drives things forward.

As petunias blossom, this sets forth the next sprouting flowers like the following gears and springs of the clock, with a ‘TIC’ of their own blossoming’s.

The next set of flowers spring and coil forth with the chiming of the clock, time for summer.
Professor Binfire and the Pollution Solution: or, How the Legendary Professor Binfire First Came to the Attention of the Public At Large.

“Is this it?” The reporter sounded dubious.

“Just imagine!” said the professor. “All that waste, ejected into space, reducing landfill and litter. It’ll save the planet! I’ll demonstrate.”

“It’s just a ginormous spring, with 20 tonnes of rubbish on top. How do you avoid…”




Detritus rained down for months, including five nuclear bombs (unarmed), which no-one admitted responsibility for. No mobile phones, GPS, ISS, aeroplanes, shipping; just clear skies, starry nights, rioting…
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Widow’s Walk

Why does she comb the horizon so?

Back and forth atop the balcony, a shade of woman, fading into a night that spreads from beneath olive and citrus trees; eternally vigilant, gazing over a sea named after her love.

Spring — ever promising but never delivering — decays through summer to an autumn winter mourns.

Yet still, she paces.

Because, bereft from losing her love she prays for a white sail.

And hope, like love, springs eternal.
The Fifth Season

Klahn, on his deathbed, reviewed the Four Seasons of Life that were all his Gods allowed.
He'd been born into privilege, but frost had scarred his spring – his mother's death.
In maturity, Klahn hadn't grown. He'd withdrawn, sought exotic religions promising rebirth.
He'd married in autumn, then sacrificed much – wealth, daughters – to priests promising renewal.
Now he dies, certain he'll awaken into springtime.

His body's old, withered.
From darkness, fiery, grasping hands – he burns, screams.
The Legend of a Spring Child

Precious child, the world was born in springtime. Just as you were.
Was it the meeting of Sun and Sky or Water and Earth? Maybe it was all of them together. Doesn't matter; we're here anyway.

It is as it's always been: the Sun warms the Earth and new life blooms. Water helps it grow and the sky carries its seeds away. This is how you came to my grove, sapling.

Reach up. Grow tall.
Old Ways

‘What the hell is order online!?’

‘It means your phone granny, what are you looking for?

‘Yellow flowers.’

‘Okay, click here…
Then enter your first name,..
And your surname…
And create a username, something memorable like ‘firetruck’ is good...
Then identify images containing giraffes from sixteen photographs…
What are the flowers for?’

‘To honour the sun before Bealtaine, and welcome new life into the world.’

‘No offence granny, but your old ways are daft.’

Tuilë laire​

There be one spring in this vale;
That doth spring from the mountain so hale.

A spring of glorious teal;
Comes ere the spring with infectious zeal.

Spring! The sailors they leap long;
Hauling the spring with boisterous song.

As the tavern erupted, the elven bard Tarnathleon bowed deep; graciously accepting the adulation, flowers, and occasional leather thong.

“Still don’t get it,” said the innkeeper to himself, spitting and buffing a tankard. “Absolute legend, though.”
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A Lencten to Remember

Anglo-Saxon England.

"You're fading," says Teacher.

"I know," says Eostre, goddess of spring, "Is there no hope?"

Teacher frowns.

"In my time, yours will only be a name of a holiday for the New God."

Eostre pets a hare wistfully. Teacher offers her his hand.

"Come with me," he tells her, "I'll show you marvels. And a nice spring."


"It's a date then."

Eostre rolls her eyes, but takes his hand.

Then they disappear.
Nature’s Promise

Winter eyed the crocus with some disdain. “A little early I think. I am not yet done.”

“But it is a sign. Your power wains, your iron grip loosens,” said Spring.

“Really? Feel that wind! That icy blast!”

“And yet that delicate flower mocks you and persists regardless. A foretelling of warmth, abundance and better times.”

“But I shall come again,” said Winter.

“And so shall I,” said Spring.
The springing
At first, there was nothing.
Then came the stiffing back-pain, revealing how valuable good health really was. Turned out, that the seed of evil germinated in a form of twisted, unruly, small metal wire that grew from the mattress.
Putting him back in his place brought a wind of change, lifted stiffness, and a new life begun.
Spring Out! Spring Out!

Few know that Cybele, goddess of fertility, avenged her consort Attis' death by imprisoning spring in a pine tree so winter never ended.

A nameless hunter found spring through a knothole. She cried out for help.


"Its roots form my cage."

He axed the tree's roots.

"Spring out!"

Out she sprang. He gasped at her beauty, the greening, and the first daffodil.

Sadly, he was doomed to set her free every year thereafter.
The Tears of the Sun

The first people played happily in Sun’s warmth. Sun watched and smiled. But Sun’s path took it away. The people grew cold. Sun turned pale and cried black tears which fell to earth. These tears sustained the people through Sun’s absence. When Sun returned, some fallen tears grew into a flower that followed Sun and turned its head down to cry when Sun left. Each fall we gather these sunflower tears to plant in spring.
Collective Recollection

It is the time of renewal, when decay loses its grasp and gives way to ripening. Men have built civilizations on the foundation of its coming and the power of its prestige.

So we remember.

Once it held sway over all creation, until creation’s greed saw it ripped away in searing fury. Now there is only a whisper of its glory, the veiled promise of what was and what may still be.

If we remember.
The Dryad

At winter’s end my love would leave me, only to return each fall. She’d cry each time, unable to explain, begging me not to ask.

One year I secretly followed her. Down the station road she went, but not to platform three. Instead to quiet woods where a river curved through, and there I lost sight of her. But by the bank stood a willow where surely none had been before; graceful, budding, still weeping.
A Girl for King
“It’s foretold a king would pull this sword from this stone” a half dead Arthur said to his younger sister Juno. He’d dislocated a shoulder pulling at the sword still lodged in the rock.

“That could be me!” Juno exclaimed, delighted

“Girls cannot be kings” he replied, glaring at her.

“My name is Juno Arthur King. I am already a king” she said lifting the sword from the stone, marking the first day of spring.
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