on 2013/5/10 18:41:02 (41 reads)
More releases in April thru May 2013
"You can rest here," the paladin said. As usual his voice was emotionless. He watched as his short companion, Darf, eyed him and then slumped to the ground with a groan. Darf used the thick cap from his head to wipe the sweat from his pudgy, reddened face.
They were surrounded by ancient trees, giant conifers whose black trunks were girdled with green moss. Everything was slick from the morning's spring rain. The forest floor, a thick bed of needles, looked welcoming but the paladin knew beneath it still lurked winter's frozen breath.
"You are not safe here; soon we must move on."
Darf scowled and flung a handful of cold needles at the paladin's feet. The paladin towered above him as colossal as one of the trees, a statue in the forest with a face like a mask in which only the eyes moved. For a moment, sunlight broke through the thick canopy and caught the edge of the paladin's silver cloak which draped from his wide angular shoulders. Darf watched as an iridescence danced across the intricate brocade, proof of the cloak's power and magic. Darf shivered, but not from the cold.
on 2013/3/10 19:12:54 (154 reads)
More releases in February thru March 2013
She stepped out of the dark rain into the pool of streetlight. The slight woman in the brown, clingy slicker stood legs wide in her hip boots, arms akimbo, giving him a predatory grin.
"Hello?" he offered with a nervous smile.
She stepped forward, rain plastering her short hair, the heat making the raindrops steam when they hit pavement. She reached up and ran a finger down his cheek just a bit too hard. Despite her boyish figure her sexuality blinded him like a spotlight.
"Yasou," she grabbed his face and pulled his mouth to hers.
He was just drunk enough to respond to her invasive kiss, pulling away suddenly when her nibbling became bites that broke the skin on his lip.
She licked his blood from her smile, tasting.
on 2013/1/16 18:07:07 (329 reads)
More releases in December thru January 2013
Each year, she folded the paper hat and slipped it inside an antique copy of The Complete Dickens. It was frail, slipping, held together as much by prayer as surgery.
The hat was her.
Beverley’s mood this Christmas didn’t match its bright orange sunblast. She was unsteady. Well, more unsteady than usual. She lurched down the corridor as if she were aboard one of the darting, banking craft of her youth rather than a static waystation midway to the Clusters.
“Door open,” she said, before slapping her forehead and yanking at the handle. At least the alcohol numbed the ache in her wrist. Tomorrow it would be back, but maybe the hangover would provide a greater whumph of pain to cancel it out. “Door close.” Nothing. “Ah, be like that then.
Drink, or rather being drunk, made the unexpected curious rather than reason to be cautious – and the shiny box on her desk was most definitely something unexpected.
“Well, happy Christmas to me.” Her legs swapped over a few times before deciding which would lead her. She made it, flopped onto a stool and looked up at the window, the spread of space.
on 2012/10/23 17:43:19 (376 reads)
More releases in October thru November 2012
It was time to vote again in the local elections, and for Antonio trouble was just around the corner…
As a matter of fact, in Calabria, a region in southern Italy, election time had always been a very good way for “The Mob” to place their friends, and the friends of their friends, on the election rolls of the various political parties they were connected with. It was also the perfect way to get exactly what they wanted, so they could control their elected representatives and ask for favors in return - be those favors dubious contracts, public works obtained illegally, or even worse deeds certainly.
The fact was that, beginning with last year, the small town where Antonio lived had become far more problematic because its territory was disputed between the old bloody local organization, known simply as ‘Ndrangheta’, and the other group of outlaws known as Mafia, that had originated from another region. The latter was expanding its activities and acted as if the tiny village was now to be considered as part of their new territory.
on 2012/9/10 18:10:42 (468 reads)
More releases in Aug thru Sept 2012
Latoya wasn't happy. Not happy at all. Ever since they'd decided that the DMV Office would stay open late
she'd been forced to deal with the crazies. Oh, sure, the overtime pay was good but the applicants were
nuts. Latoya took a deep breath as she opened her window. Lord help her tonight. "NEXT!"
A tall, older, pale-skinned man with a straggly white beard and piercing blue eyes shambled forward. He
was wearing a long gray overcoat and held a gnarled wooden staff in his right hand. Latoya could tell by
looking at him that he was going to be trouble.
"Yes, I would like to --"
Latoya cut him off. "Application."
The man narrowed his eyes. "Ah, yes, but I would like to speak to someone --"
"Sir," Latoya cut him off again. "You ARE speaking to someone and that someone is me. Sir, I need you to
focus. Can you do that?" He nodded his head. "Good, your application?"
on 2012/8/2 18:08:44 (316 reads)
More releases in June thru July 2012
"'The world's worst civic orchestra,' you're kidding," Sheila took a wafflespoonful of the local frozen custard from her wafflebowl.
"There has to be one," Scot held his map like a talisman.
"Why do we need to see it?"
"Because it's the worst, the one from which all others measure themselves."
"How, how is it the worst?"
"I don't know. That's why I want to listen to it."
"I can't believe you made us fly half way around the world, literally, to listen to the worst music in the world," she threw her bowl and the rest of its contents in the trash. She mumbled to herself, "I could be at my parents' house eating turkey. And why is everything here licorice flavored?"
on 2012/5/16 17:52:50 (311 reads)
More releases in April thru May 2012
Holly sat in the hallway with her hands clenched. The silence was unnerving. She studied the enormous double doors. They were at least fifteen feet high with old-fashioned door knobs. She untangled her fingers and rubbed her sweaty palms on her skirt. Her foot tapped nervously on the stone floor, echoing down the passage.
Finally one crystal door knob turned. A blonde woman in a black suit peered out.
“The Headmaster will see you now.” said Wilfred, the Headmaster’s assistant. She eyed Holly with disdain.
Holly stood up and straightened her plaid school uniform. She made a futile attempt with her hand to smooth her unruly red hair. As she entered the Headmaster’s office she wondered if she was doing the right thing.
The room was as dimly lit as the hallway. The Headmaster was seated at his desk in front of an arched window, silhouetted, his face in shadow. Wilfred pointed to a high-backed chair in front of the desk. Holly sat uncomfortably on the edge of the seat. The Headmaster leaned forward to examine her report. His face illuminated briefly. Holly gasped. She had heard the Headmaster was formidable but had never been this close to him before. He smiled weakly in her direction.
“Wilfred informs me you witnessed a student improperly using magic.”
on 2012/3/26 19:18:37 (365 reads)
More releases in February thru March 2012
Roe leaned against the back of a broken railing sitting outside her tent but still in her bubble, drinking the last of her clean water until she could buy more. The economy was not what it used to be, a couple years back scientists had been trying to find the cure and the cure for something no one cared about anymore anyways. I am sure back then, it had been important any disease was now none had a name but H.I.V.E 238. It stood for everything the world could have ever hoped for, and for everything, the world could ever fear. It was supposed to be a cure no one could have known what it was going to do and if they did, they probably profited and are somewhere safe tucked into a nice richly padded bunker waiting their days out until this was all over. And it would be over she could guarantee that and if anyone asked her how she would tell them it didn’t matter just to hold their head up and wait for the end. For if anyone found out her secret she would be dead and HIVE would never even get her.
on 2012/1/17 17:40:24 (261 reads)
More releases in December thru January 2012
It is too hot. It should not be this hot. Above is blue blue and no white. The Snow Chaser is bright above and feels strong on our skin. It is too soon for the Snow Chaser to act like this. The snow is big and crunchy. Snow should be fine fine now. The Big Tusks have already gone away far far. They are of the Big Cold same same us.
The Tall Ones come when it is hot. They like the Big Warm. They are here now and that is wrong. We hear them down in the valley. They are noisy and sing-song all day and all night. They scare the game but they
do not care. They have little sharp points that fly far far, no need to be quiet quiet. We stand in front of our safe home place in the mountain and listen. We have always lived in the mountain. There is one safe home place in this valley and it has always been ours. This is our land.
on 2011/11/29 20:55:36 (276 reads)
More releases in October thru November 2011
"Zami, Swing over Sector 5. I want to inspect the hive." Jeffrey Onesta never tired of seeing his kingdom.
"Yes, sir, Mr Onesta," Zami barked. He wanted to add, "Why don't we just spend a whole week, and you can count every single collector." Instead, he banked to the east and leveled out over northern Africa. An undulating blanket of hexagons spread out below them like an ocean of honeycomb covering the sand. Ultracosmic (UC) collectors, the supply for the whole world's energy needs, the source of Onesta's wealth and power.
Zami could hear the clinking of bottles in the cabin. Onesta and his traveling buddies were already celebrating the victory not yet won.
on 2011/9/26 19:22:19 (615 reads)
More releases in August thru September 2011
My soul mate,
Mr. Mayukh Choudhury
Apt 10, 4644 Avenue Dupuis
Subject: An Unexpected Evening Ride
I, Indrani Bhattacharyya who you fondly call as ******, would like to share the ecstatic
experience I went through last evening. Yesterday around 6 PM as I was coming back from the lab,
got to find a huge enthusiastic crowd (quite unnatural for a Friday evening) chirping near the
cycle stand inside the campus. Being as inquisitive my nature is, I couldn’t control myself from
the ever growing curiosity and eventually got the opportunity to peep through that youthful
gathering. You know what? They were basically standing on a queue to rent a time machine. It was
just 10 $/ hour, special reduced rate for the students to celebrate Friendship day weekend. You
know about this occasion I guess. This is one of the most famous rituals to be religiously
followed by these young kids. It was there during our time too. But as we used to pride
ourselves considering a ‘sensible lot’, we hardly bothered about friendship bands and all other
related ‘insignificant stuffs. But yesterday was an exception. I have an adventurous streak and
it kept tickling me till I made myself realize shelling out 10 bucks could be worth enough. And
even if it’s not, as a scientist, I don’t mind trying new things anytime.
on 2011/6/25 12:51:22 (502 reads)
More releases in May thru June 2011
"Slow down or I'm gonna ralf!"
Terabytes whirled past in pulsing helical patterns as they skated through an encrypted neon tunnel that snaked along the border of the vast illuminated domain of the Zhongguo Pan-America Corporatocracy.
"Is it always like this? T.T.?"
Toxic Tweak bit her lip until she tasted salty copper, even the slightest fracture in concentration now and they'd be walled out, trapped in an iron box, or even worse, they'd trigger an alert and tin-shielded blue-shirts would be molesting them in meatspace before she could unplug the Krinski interface from her wetware. Not that she was above enjoying a little police brutality. It did have certain enticements, but she didn't want to end up in the tank again, offline.
on 2011/3/5 18:59:35 (581 reads)
For March thru April 2011 let take advantage of the normal everyday world in which we have entire neighborhoods being foreclosed on. Which would leave a whole lot of abandon houses with who knows what going on inside them...
As always have fun!
1000 words or less.
Contest closes April 25 2011
This contest is closed.
Stay tuned another one will be posted shortly!
on 2011/2/15 18:02:53 (847 reads)
More releases in January thru February 2011
Regardless of seniority everyone rode in the vans.
Andy O'Connor figured this meant equal footing, considering his direct manager was there with him, their jobs the same. Everyone had to walk the streets trying to knock themselves in. The gusto of training was gone, the big incentives promised clearly out of reach. If you wanted to make money you had to knock yourself in.
"Alright," Ray, the manager, said, turning back to his crew, "You don't make money unless you get in. One in three people who see a Kirby buy a Kirby, bottom line. Get yourself in boys, and the money is yours."
Andy O'Connor wasn't feeling well. Something odd happened the night before while he was out with the boys. The local bar didn't have a smoke deck, so the four of them had to stand under a small awning outside to have a cigarette. Andy talked about his new job, his manager and he might make some real money there.
on 2010/12/15 18:00:39 (664 reads)
More releases in November thru December 2010
"Maybe I gotta make his face into a nice piece of meatloaf, eh Ang?" The fat man sometimes called Nicky Knuckles toyed with his namesake brass knuckleduster as he crouched like an animal over its prey. The man on the warehouse floor rolled to his side and clutched at his ribs. Nicky’s roughing up had soiled his fancy suit.
"No Nicky." Only a few of the overhead lights were on in the dingy warehouse, and the long shadow of gray-haired Angelo Algos engulfed the man on the floor. "I think Mr. Martin here’s an intelligent man. If we explain what he’s done wrong, I’m sure he’ll understand. Now get him back up."
on 2010/10/8 14:18:21 (496 reads)
More releases in September thru October 2010
Before our block began turning empty, Nammie (my grandmother) used to read me a story with the same premise. Although she appreciated the classics like anyone else, her favorite was a Western story about a ghost town.
It went like this: Once upon a time a troupe of bandits rode into a small California town during the Gold Rush. The sheriff had recently passed on, so the bastards took the opportunity to pillage and loot the town. But the ghastly bastards got another wicked idea on their way out: they spotted a young girl, carrying water home from the town well for her family. She wore a yellow ribbon. The townspeople hid and cowered while the bandits murdered and eviscerated the poor young maiden. And when the townspeople once again looked out their windows, all they could see was the bloody yellow ribbon floating in the dust clouds of the bandits’ horses. This bloody yellow ribbon was, as we shall see, like the last leaf of fall.
on 2010/8/10 9:48:24 (425 reads)
More releases in July thru August 2010
It happened again tonight. I could not avoid it. The hunger was stronger this time. I felt it slowly overwhelming me, the moon as silent witness.
At first, I tried to sleep in vain. I felt the hunger waking inside me. A warm sensation taking over my body. My thoughts ceased to be my own and my anxiety became unbearable. It seemed as if nothing would be able to satisfy me.
I went hunting under the mantle of darkness, not even the cold of night able to placate my impulses. I knew it would be a difficult task to find my prey in such low temperatures, but I continued relentlessly.
on 2010/6/16 21:08:16 (525 reads)
More releases in May thru June 2010
The Chef whirled around the kitchen throwing off curses, praise and urgency like sparks from an antique top all in a mixture of French and English. In the moments between he spoke with his only ally, the produce man.
"A new ambassador, a child, is appointed, God knows why and suddenly my, MY menu isn't good enough."
"How long did you work on that menu?" The produce man continued to unload vegetables.
"Two months. I have prepared lavish dinners for kings, presidents and alien lords. Political appointees, bah! You should see what he wants to force on those poor souls."
on 2010/5/1 14:00:28 (376 reads)
More releases in March thru April 2010
"I bet you thought you"d never see another Bug."
"Nope," said Mona Bastogne, a veteran of the seventy-year Human-Vermi war. "Humans lost that war when Bugs launched killer asteroids against the major planets in all twelve settled systems.
on 2010/2/15 16:59:34 (473 reads)
More releases in January thru February 2010
Art and poetry are not the first things that come to mind when you think of fighter pilots. And it's true you won't find many fighter pilots given to producing them. The image of fighter pilots as jocks, steeped in patriotic pride and locked into a military mindset, is a hard one to shake. But the art and poetry are still there, hidden in the soul rather than openly on the sleeve.
on 2009/12/13 13:51:43 (449 reads)
More releases in November thru December 2009
The advertisement was very convincing. 'Tired of making New Year's resolutions that you never keep?' it said, and my answer was a resounding 'Yes.' So the next chance I got I checked out their website. It seemed simple, maybe that should have cued me in. Well in short, they used the new discoveries that had been made recently in mapping the human brain to implant your resolution right into your subconscious mind. Forget the days of reinforcing positive thoughts and substituting a good habit for the bad one you wanted to get rid of. This process took only an hour and from the moment they finished with you, you were going to be unable to not respect your resolution.
on 2009/10/27 13:14:28 (618 reads)
More releases in Group Story - Halloween Party
The 13th Annual Halloween Party and Costume Event.
Everyones just dyin' to get in!
Covered Dish-Pot Luck" dinner!
Door prizes and awards for best costumes!
Judging will be at 12 midnight!
Tickets $13.00 at the door.
This was the start of an idea to have a group write a story in a common world. Then we added a few central characters that everyone could use -- Mr. Perkins the school Principal. Chief Cody the Chief of Police etc.
Ground rules is you can't kill or hurt them. They must be available to wander into somebody else's story. A few key locations: ticket booth, buffet table, kitchen, bathroom, dance hall, DJ, and you can't trash or alter these locations.
on 2009/10/6 14:29:01 (490 reads)
More releases in September thru October 2009
"You have to slur your words more!" Grendel shouted at me. "Fhuuuud nowwwwwwww! Fhuuuuuuuuuuddd nnnnnnnnnnnoooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!"
I slumped. That was okay, not like in Wizard school, where you had to have "bearing". Ugh. Best decision I ever made leaving that place. Still, I wasn't sure about this place, either.
"Foooooooooooooooood nnnnoowww!!" I screamed. "Hhunnnnnggrraaaaaayyyyyyy!"
"Better," he commented. I couldn't tell if he was pleased. Grendel was so close to graduating, he rarely smiled except when he was supposed to. I was still getting the rules straight in my head. Only smile at violence, oh, and really bad puns.
"Cat got tongue bath?" I said, smiling. Was that too clever? Grendel smiled, so I guess I got it about right.
on 2009/8/17 15:17:41 (646 reads)
More releases in July thru August 2009
Putting a laser pistol to Hobson's head hadn't worked. Threatening to blow him out of an airlock hadn't worked. Putting Hobson in an airlock hadn't worked.
Commander Conway was furious. They still had ten minutes to get away from the black hole, if their science officer would get off his ass and think of something'
But Hobson wasn't budging.
"Look, Hobson' We know you can do this'"
"You'll die too if we get pulled in'"
"I'm prepared to die for my beliefs."
"Damn it! Be reasonable!"
"Commander," said Dr. Schmidt, "maybe we should just listen to him?"
Conway threw his hands up. He would have liked nothing better than to strangle Victor Hobson at the moment, but that wouldn't have helped him or his crew or his ship.
"Fine! I'm listening! After he gets this ship'"
on 2009/6/9 12:19:49 (557 reads)
More releases in May thru June 2009
Wax shimmered as it reflected the overhead light causing it to gleam back into Balkur's eyes. He smiled at himself and took a step back to check his appearance in the dresser mirror. His dark gray suit perfectly pressed without a wrinkle fitted his muscular body well, the black shoes shined with each step, and his ten inch, dark red horns shone with a brilliance that outshined everything else. The last coat of wax had finished off the affect and Balkur felt ready to leave for his first day on the new job. It was the perfect job for him. He would have an office shared with one other person, it was in the field of his degree and in something he loved to do and close to home so the commute wouldn't be bad. The employer only hinted at there being one major drawback but he wouldn't elaborate.
Walking out of his house Balkur could barely hide the spring in his step as he walked the sidewalk, following a flow of foot traffic from in which he got several glances from blue skinned beauties, toward the office. Balkur had been unemployed for the last four months and had visited the unemployment office, just the office to him because he refused to admit that he was unemployed he rather stated that he was merely searching and contemplating better career options without the distraction of labor, each week looking for an open job. The best, and worst, part of the whole scenario was the woman that worked and the office was the most beautiful demon Balkur had ever laid eyes on. Perfect blue skin, terrific personality and she even flirted back a little with him. Of course what chance would an unemployed demon have with someone so perfect? Today was going to be different. He had found this job without the help of the Unemployment Office but was going to use them to give him transportation to the new job. He wanted to make sure that the woman of his dreams, Mazmurela, could see that he had taken care of himself and could take care of her. The extra coat of wax on his horns had been just for her.
on 2009/4/15 8:49:27 (661 reads)
More releases in March thru April 2009
Mrs. Wilson, an unhappy librarian, was frustrated with the unending collection of people her desk.
"Where do I get a 1099-Interest form," a patron asked.
"I'm sorry," she held her voice steady as the anger built up, your banking institution sends those forms," She busied herself moving papers around her desk to deter further questions.
The tax season cut into her usual evening of patrons quietly reading.
A demanding, confused lot of people confronted her.
"Can you help me do my taxes," a questioned asked ten times in the last six hours.
"How do I file my taxes?"
"Do you know what this form means?
She started pointing to the tax form table without saying a word when people approached.
"I need help," a gentleman said. He was unusually tall and tilted his head to one side as if contemplating a great thought.
"Yes," she said and extended her finger towards the table while calculating the minutes left until this night was over.
"I want to cheat on my taxes." His words caught her as funny and she let out a nervous laugh.
on 2009/2/17 1:45:41 (595 reads)
More releases in January thru February 2009
The Oval Office was filled with annoyed Democrats. Tom Daschle threw a stack of papers down on the desk and shook his finger at the man sitting there.
"What on earth do you think you’re doing?" he shouted.
President Obama looked genuinely surprised. "I thought you would welcome an audit," he said. "I should think if you owed over $100,000 in back taxes, you would want to know it. You didn‘t know you weren‘t paying all you needed to pay in taxes, did you?"
"Who let this neophyte in the White House?" Daschle cried. "Who let him near the magic lamp?"
"Everybody gets a turn," Barney Frank said. "We just didn’t think one so inexperienced would wish to be president."
"I wished to be a good president," President Obama said.
"It’s your fault too, Tom. We all thought you’d wish to be president," Hillary Clinton said. "Did you? No. You wished for another Michael Moore movie."
on 2008/12/8 17:02:50 (776 reads)
More releases in November thru December 2008
In that magic time between night and morning, between Christmas night and Christmas morning, the toys and ornaments came to life.
The electric angel sat on top of the Christmas tree. She was dressed in blue satins and lavender silks and she held the Christmas star high above her auburn hair. She was the most beautiful ornament on the tree. The straw angels that had hung beneath her on the Christmas tree fluttered around her playing beautiful music that only imaginary creatures could hear.
The fashion doll danced with the teddy bear. Tomorrow she would belong to the little girl and he would belong to the little boy. Their worlds would never cross again. They looked up at the statue of the Infant of Prague that sat on the mantle over the fire place.
"Come dance with us, Infant of Prague," the fashion doll called. "Tonight is the night of Christmas Real. You can be real too."
on 2012/4/24 19:27:55 (328 reads)
More releases in * First Place Winners *
Like most married couples, Jay and Clover Brewster did not always see eye to eye but upon one point there was complete and utter agreement: they just had to get off the moon.
The couple sat quietly at the Sector 7-1 Relocation Center, massaging sweaty palms under the table as their assigned real estate agent worked feverishly at his key pad with long, six-jointed fingers sweeping back and forth. His right pupil, a small white dot on a black cornea, spun around like the second hand on a clock pouring over data, while the left pupil remain fixed on the fidgeting couple. With four independent brain lobes, the insectoid Acrisians are expert multi-taskers ideally suited for civil servant jobs.
"Now why do you want to relocate?" the agent asked, his right pupil still spinning over the data.
"Moon dust," Clover blurted out. "I can't take the moon dust any more. It gets into everything." She scratched at already red forearms.
on 2012/5/16 17:50:24 (293 reads)
More releases in * Second Place Winners *
I couldn't believe they were leaving! I'll admit, there were some times when I questioned if they would ever really learn to love me. But we were on the road dammit! Who knows what could have happened if we would have had another month? Even a week!
They arrived on a Tuesday in early August, Ralph and Marie Summerfield and their two kids Jimmy and Suzanne. The perfect family! I could tell right away we were going to hit it off smoothly. I had so much trouble keeping a relationship to that point that I was determined to get it right with the Summerfields.
In the past I would rush right in, you know. This time I thought, no, I'm going to wait. Let them get settled and take it slow. We have time. Only fools rush in, as they say, and I no longer wanted to be a fool. (Some of my previous relationships only lasted two to three days, tops; pathetic and embarrassing.)
on 2012/4/17 17:49:40 (691 reads)
More releases in * Third Place Winners *
Camille was running. He was late for school because he was busy packing his suitcase in the morning. No one was to be seen in the road to his school.
Camille thought that morning assembly was probably over. He kept running despite the sweat soaking his shirt. It was a hot day as usual.
When the gate came in to his view, he slowed his pace. The teacher who was usually standing there had gone. Camille passed through the gate, and ran into the school building.
His classroom was empty as he had expected. He thought that the worship service had begun in the chapel. Camille ran down the stairs, across the connecting corridor, and rushed ahead toward the chapel. When he quietly opened the door of the chapel, the priest's message had already started.