June 2024 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO DACRAZYKAT29!

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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 June 2024

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 June 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 possibility of having your story published on the Chrons Podcast!





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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Professor Binfire and the Dark Light Fright Night

"Here is some lead, uranium which has lost its radioactivity - it's light - and become Dark Uranium. Tonight I shall destroy this Dark Matter and flood this room with Dark Light, so that the Old Gods may return and wreak their vengeance. Behold!"

The Prof's rubber mallet smacked theatrically down on the disguised Fire Alarm switch just as Teddy switched off the Planetarium's lights. Pandemonium ensued.

"Best Halloween prank ever!" he crowed later at the hearing.
Yet, Again

“A cup of tea. And light on the sugar and light on the milk, please?”

“Here you go, dear. Another hangover?” she asked, handing me the cup.

“Yes, again.”

“You’ll never learn. Well, is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Could you douse the light?” This one I was left to do myself, so I closed my eyes instead and not even that helped. The sun was just too bright that morning.
In the Privacy of a Suburban Home's Bathroom

Thomas closed the lid of the Medivoid, then swept his hands under the infrared cleaner.
The Medivoid flushed, and lasers set into its rim activated, vaporizing bits of waste.
Waterborne nanochines tested the vapors for myriad biomarkers.
Thomas stood, praying, beside the bathroom's holoscreen.

His results arrived: Melanoma markers absent
He sagged, overwhelmed by relief.
A timed message from Susan appeared, her most-recent Medivoid tests.
Thomas's face lit with joy – icons, storks carrying babies.
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The others had cool names. Afterburner. Frost. Vortex.

I didn’t. They called me Glowworm. Laughed about how I'd only be useful if the lights went out.

That changed after Doctor Nyte unleashed his virus.

They all turned. One by one. Superpowered bloodsuckers.

Then they came for me.

So I did the thing I do best.

I burned bright.

I have a cool name now.

The ones that lived, they call me Saviour.

Zelindar, priestess of the Flaming City, descends from the crystal tower. She walks through corridors bright with the scents of citrus and spices, past chryselephantine mosaics, and through a series of doors that banish light from her sister's room.

"It is time." Zelindar exchanges clothes with Calen, accepting a black robe for her ivory gown. Calen, who is now priestess, makes her way to the tower. Zelindar remains. To love light, one must marry darkness.
A captain's sacrifice.

Tears blossomed and rolled down her cheeks as the bright arc burst into life, angry blue light reflecting off the suit's visor.
As she guided the sputtering tip of the welding rod across the hull, she sealed the battered ship's leaking airlock, and her fate.

The crew at least, would make it home.

The blue light sputtered and faded as, too soon, the light in her eyes would sputter and fade, stranded in the void.
A Shocking Near Death Experience

Reginald Spellman, head of English at Downbridgeton School, was a curmudgeonly old soul who detested the modern ways of his pupils.

He famously had a heart attack when one obnoxious boy wrote your instead of you’re on the blackboard.

Luckily, Matron managed to bring him back with the school defibrillator.

“Heavens!” he groaned, opening his eyes. “There was an angel with a sign saying ‘U R dying. 4 best results, pls walk 2wards the lite!’”
A Promise Made

From her veranda, Mavis gazed into a clear Iowan night, her eyes fixed on Bernard's tractor. Its bright lights flickered and danced, casting a delightful ensemble of shadows on the tall cornstalks. Tender tears flowed lovingly from her old, failing eyes as she watched, remembering how he’d smile and say:

“I’ll never leave you first. Promise.”

Townsfolk murmured about aliens and crop circles, but Mavis knew the truth. With Bernard, a promise was a promise.
Naming Rights

With rising excitement, astronomer Dr Evelyn Pastor observed a new light in the evening sky. Could it be possible?

By dawn, after several checks and international correlations, it was confirmed. Comet Evelyn was announced!

A few days later and her excitement had completely evaporated…

“I only found it. It’s not my fault, dammit!” Evelyn’s voice cracked.

“No one is blaming you.” Colin hugged his wife.

“Have you read the tabloids? Evelyn to cause extinction event.”
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Kiss me, Pandora

“Word is, you can open any lock going. By touch, no tools.” Mason gestured to the wooden box. “This has beaten the best crackers money can buy. Your turn.”

You didn’t turn him down, ever. I stroked the brass, focused...


Jumped back. “Leave it.” Clenched teeth, fingertips on fire.

Mason grunted, turned the box, lifted the-


Beyond bright, beyond light itself.

Screaming. From us. From the box.

Mason, in flames.

Spreading his wings.
Run towards the Darkness
Light ran around the empty universe, smiling as she sprinted through the sky at 186,000 miles per second.
She reached earth, somersaulting and grinning, bringing the suns waking call.
She was the fastest thing known to man.
But if that was so…
How come no matter how fast she ran, how much she trained, how much she pushed herself…
Whenever she arrived at her destination

Darkness was always there first, grinning and silvery eyes gleaming.
Prism of Hope

A ragtag group of animal souls fretted at Rainbow Bridge, waiting for their original owners to take them to heaven.
"Are our masters ever coming?" asked the St. Bernard in despair.
"We've been waiting for a very long time," concurred the blue cat.
"Don't despair," said a strange woman close by, "Your masters were bad people. I will take care of you."
"Who are you?" asked the macaw.
"Freyja, goddess of love," said the woman.
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For Better, For Worse…

She’s been there some time. She wipes a dribble from his chin.

He stirs, eyes opening. For the first time in days there’s a glint, a sparkle, maybe it’s a reflection but then there’s a flicker of recognition.

“My love?” he says.

“Yes, darling. You recognize me?”

“Of course.”

She smiles, her heart breaking.

His eyes dull and lose focus. He’s gone again.

She wipes another dribble from his chin.

“Same time tomorrow,” she says.

Locals melt away, by twos and threes; they leave the dusky lakeside to the painter.

Busy, attentive, eyes flicking across shimmering black, reflected sunlight broken by countless blades of water, adding highlights to the canvas.

In time, stepping back to see, lodged between stacks of thin white strokes, an unintended void, a silhouette… a rowboat.

But now empty, anchored in nearby shallows.

A bluster of wind, orphaned breath sounds, migraine.

A near field whisper.


Together Alone​

The light draws all with misguided offerings of life, warmth, growth. They gather beneath its extrovert majesty; beautiful shells often holding vacuous crowing souls.

A cacophonic gyration of me, me, me.

Not for I the light.

The dark offers solidarity in its velvet ambiguous embrace. It bequeaths a welcoming anonymity to broken shells; introvert opportunity to focus and listen to life as it should be.

For this is not a story, but I, you, us.
Starbeast & Tonto the Talking Horse
“An Illuminating Idea”

“Look, you equine space cadet. You’ve broken every light bulb on this starship.”

“It’s not easy changing one bulb with hooves.”

“We’re in the dark on the bridge because of your clumsiness.”

“I’ve got another idea.”

“Hold that thought. Don’t move.”

“Get your hand out of my ear.” POP! “What’s that? It looks like a light bulb.”

“It’s your idea. Now I can replace the bulb.”


Flick “You’re only 15 lumens.”


“Two Watts.”
Journey to the Light

I awoke to darkness. On all sides dirt and rocks. Except behind me my foot found something softer; it moaned, then grasped at my ankle. The girl I’d picked up. I kicked sharply.

“Damn you!” she hissed.

Ignoring her I clawed towards a chink that showed light. Handful by handful I shifted dirt behind me until I could hear her no more and I broke through, not to daylight but to sulfur and flame.
The Speed of the Dark

When the Big Bang, or the act of creation, or whatever started this whole cycle, occurred, there was no darkness.

A small universe, full of radiance, with the pressure of all that light exploding the universe, pushing the limits ever larger, but no darkness - it's too hot for matter, everything shines.

So, when matter condenses, and shadows regions, the light got there first.

Nothing goes faster than light - not even creation, certainly not darkness.
Hard Light

Poor kid, I had to do something about Jess’s nightmares.
Nothing makes darkness flee like the light.
You don’t mortgage your life on an MIT education just for fun. You use it. And…fringe science pays.
Thus: coherent light.
But I didn’t reckon on its counterpart: solid darkness.
Or Jess, upstairs, making hand shadow puppets on the wall…
Howling harmonics from a scream no earthly creature could make roll down the stairs like a tsunami.
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