MAY 2024 -- 75 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE -- VICTORY TO JOHNNYJET!

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Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
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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 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 May 2024

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 May 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


AND

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


Theme:

PLANT LIFE/FLORA

Genre:

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! **
 
Weapons of Choice


The warrior Kha and the geomancer Volen stood outside the field of vampire wheat. The golden stalks swayed gently in the breeze, searching for victims.

"Burn the cursed things," Kha said.

Volen shook his head. "Impractical. The flames would consume the ancient grimoires hidden within. Running inside to grab the books would be suicide. No, we must proceed as I planned."

Kha spat. "I'm no farmer."

"Nor I."

They lifted their scythes and began reaping.
 
Clinging Vine

Curtis, philter from the local witch in hand, looked for Kelly's house's backdoor. She never acknowledged him. Now, she would love him.
He tripped over a rock, spilling it on a vine. It came to life, caressing him. It clung tenaciously.
"I'm in love with Kelly!"
With that, the vine broke his neck.
Kelly and a cop looked at the corpse.
"You know," Kelly said, through tears, "I had something of a crush on him."
 
Jeremiah 31:15-22



The dawn came, silent. No traffic, no birds. Just the wheel of the sun spinning madly.

Overnight, tarmac roads were become rivers of primordial trees, whilst the soil on either side became infertile dust, undermining buildings and killing crops. Earth's ancient fossil blood had risen in anger and fed the seeds in the soil, to wreak vengeance.

The people prayed, and begged forgiveness; but Gaia wept for her lost children, and would not be comforted.
 
Green With Vengeance

Her armour was intricately crafted; she appeared garbed in fallen leaves.

She came from the deep forest, leading an army of treelings and nymphs, laying waste to anything wrought by man – things of stone, and metal. And flesh.

Wise Queen Niamh knelt before her. ‘Spare us. We will give you anything you desire.’

‘You cannot. It was gone the moment your kind began.’

‘Then why?’

The woman answered only with her sword.
 
And the little girl woke up…

And it had all been a nightmare.

Nobody would seal their houses against the poisonous air outside, or need an airlock on the car driving to school. Trees still alive would never need protecting in plastic, against the wind and the rain that would kill them, just as it would her.

Pot plants would never need the filtered environment of indoors and purified water to survive.

Until she opened her eyes, and started screaming.
 
The Root of the Story

I grabbed the last root-vine of the Floating Gossip Tree and pressed my blade to it. With this, the old hag’s spell would end, leaving me free from the lies that its sweet fruit tainted my friends with.

The hag called out from above, pleading for mercy and promising me great things if I spared her.

Smiling, I agreed as my blade cut, freeing my friends while the dying tree consumed her spitefully.
 
toting the vine

“Rare bit of greenery,” demon Bob wheezed, picking luminous berries from the person-shaped tangle of vines.

Angel Alice remained airborne, slender wings wafting black and forth. “Newly transpired souls take many forms.”

Bob growled. “Animal hybrids, mythical wotnots, sure, but foliage? I can't arrive in the pit carrying a tree!”

Alice smiled. “How’d the berries taste?”

Bob wiped his lips. “Saccharine… you gonna airlift ‘er?”

Alice touched down beside him. “Somewhere safe. There's a garden…”
 
We therefore commit this body to the ground, . . .

The royal garden, like all family gardens, bears a tree for every elder passed.

She stood before an oak sapling, planted only yesterday.

The Vizier coughed. “My Queen, I must insist - “

“Do you hear that, Vizier? Whispers on the wind?”

“Hmm?”

“Father tells me of your regicide.”

He gasped as steel pierced him from behind, blood staining his tunic.

“Throw his body into the sea. He shall not return to the soil of his ancestors.”
 
Shameless Dentistry

Toothmender Vesholion reassured Argvik that her throbbing molar would soon be gone.

From a bottle, he scooped spoonfuls of powdered slumberroot and sprinkled it into the ogre's nostrils.

Once Argvik was asleep, Vesholion used forceps to pull the massive, putrefying tooth.

As the ogre snored, he used tweezers to insert a new rotweed seed deep under the gumline of another molar.

Vesholion then checked his scheduling scroll and inked Argvik in for her next extraction.
 
Steptoe & Son: Night of the Blood Oranges

“Dad. You’ve used that second hand magic wand.”

“I was trying to make an olive loaf head cheese casserole.”

“My favorite. However, you’ve conjured up man-eating oranges. We can’t leave the house or we’ll be devoured by fruit and turned into fertilizer.”

“Sorry, Harold.”

“Wait! I remember a spell from my teenage years. Burlesque femtartus!”

“You’ve changed those monsters into lovely Hobbit ladies.”

“Citrus scented too. Now we have dates for Gandalf’s fireworks festival.”
 
You’re My Best Mate You Are…

“Wife,” says the ogre, “there’s a strange plant growing at the cliff edge.”

“I know. This kid, called Jack, says he climbed it! And has had the cheek to ask for food!”

The ogre dangles Jack by his ear.

“You’re probably here to steal from us!

Fee-fi-fo-fum… Erm… Really? Do I have to? I’ve got enough gold, a mountain of golden eggs and that singing harp is really irritating. Let’s go down the pub.”
 
I Remember Forget-Me-Nots

Sometimes I remember.

Strolling through my garden prison, I sometimes recall snippets of past events.

A lily made me pause once. A name, a face. Gone.

Forget-me-nots make a beautiful blue carpet. I remember an old woman screaming on a similar carpet. "I'll make you forget!"

Lily said forget-me-nots were a symbol of true love.

They're also a symbol of dementia.

Who was Lily?

I had a nice stroll today.
 
At the Place Peopled with Trees, the Place Where People Take Root

"There!" I dart to the Everlasting flowers tucked between the evergreens. "Like the witch promised." They bring an end to suffering, immortality. One last hope.

Mama hobbles after. "Eat." I shove a blossom at her; she's so tired, but she does. "Mama...?" I pale – her fingers burst into bristly sprigs, eyes blink into burls.

"Don't cry. I'll always be here." One last smile. "With everyone else too sick or too sad to be human anymore."
 
Invasive species

We swam seed-thickened air to find every niche and nook and pocket that could be vulnerable to digging roots. We invented moisture from dirt, absorbed rocks, reconstituting these into vine-muscled arms tipped with clawthorns and leaves that drink the very sun. We held ground against winds and floods, saying to those vast forces of erosion, no more, at last, no more. And you think you can simply pluck us?

Oh.
 
Dissolution

They sprouted everywhere, once humanity was gone forever. Out of cracks in the walls, gutters, chimneys, wherever wind or bird carried their seed.

They set about their slow business of turning towns back into soil, absorbing nutrients from mortar and timber. Eventually levelling all.
The former cities finally made their habitat, again. Plants were patient.

Now only the odd cylinder block or anvil remained among the fronds for equally patient rain to dissolve.
 
Hyperborea

George Chambers, HMS Erebus, Dec. 13, 1887—

Found not the Northwest Passage but Paradise. No hope of survival.
Tadman and Lt. Gore taken by vines last night. Wood burns with noxious smoke—no fire for fear of suffocation.
Thorn thicket tore off Captain’s arm— still bleeding— surgeon says no possible recovery.
Watson and Hoar killed by blue berries— we fear to eat.
Sweet-smelling flowers everywhere. If this note is found, tell my mothe—
 
Fungus Among Us

Amidst the vast network of mycelium strands one individual sensed a change and strained to understand it. Biochemical responses came as others answered in unison.

The steady state of their universe was now beset by new stimuli that spoke of some existence beyond the known. Something 'other than us' had made itself known.

This was not known as were light and warmth, water and wind. How to respond to that which beyond?
 
The smell of Progress


Emperor Brunk addressed the assembled Flongoolians.

‘We no longer need wizards’, he announced.

Distant screaming was followed by the panicked scurrying of a messenger through the Portcullis.

‘Science will protect the Kingdom of Flongool’, continued the Emperor.

Emperor, those warriors who utilized aromatherapy were burnt alive’, yelled the breathless messenger.

‘Good, Science is making progress’, noted the Emperor, ‘somebody write this down, ‘the scent of lavender does not make you impervious to dragon fire.’
 

And all he said was, “I wouldn’t know about that, sir”​

The morning sun sent long shadows leaping along the hedgerow. A glorious day for the final battle. He would not be found wanting.

Raising the blades of his ancestors, he gave a salute to his insidious adversary. It had moved nearer in the night; its wake all withered decay and death.

Striking again and again, with a warrior’s eye and nerve. With victorious shears, Ted the Groundsman pruned the last Shambling Mound of Boggoth Blight.
 
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