Just as promised, it’s the new format Doctor Who Discussions! All the off-topicness, all the random musings, all the obscure references Jaden doesn’t get, now with added audio.

(Insert Big Finish joke of your choice here.)

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What’s that you say? No witty title? Word count seems really short?

That’s because our Doctor Who discussions will shortly be regenerating into a more suitable form: the Podcast. We felt that the best way to proceed this series was to provide a brief “first impressions” overview post, followed by a more thorough discussion in our podcast, where you’ll get to hear our irritating off-topic meandering in our own irritating voices.

Until then, here’s our first impressions of the episode. For once, there are no major spoilers. Unless you’re Jaden C. Kilmer, who considers anything a spoiler.

Read the rest of this entry »

steps

There are no maps of the City with no name. It is announced on no roadsigns, mentioned on no surveys. But it’s there, if you search for it, if you wander the strange and wandering paths and backroads of the untamed world, if you are prepared to find it.

The City is a mess of staircases and narrow streets. Buildings slim as buses press close together, towering into the sky. They lean a little in the wind, stone and wood groaning, floorboards shaking.

In the Underneath, below the bridges, the underdwellers gather, selling their wares: books from secret libraries written in inhuman tongues, potions to bring love or death or both at once, memories to make you weep and laugh.

To the north lies the base of the white mountain, a crag of ice and bitter stone. To the east, the flat of the unbroken desert. To the west, the grey-green sea and the lands of the unconquered sun. To the south, the jungles where still the predators of old roam, terrible kings of the long-past world.

This is the City of dreaming, of wanderers and wonderers, each morning different and yet always the same.


Word Count: 195

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Susan for running the challenge and John Brand for providing the prompt photo!

sandras-shells

She loved the sea-things the best: the sponges, the shells, the seaweed. She kept them on a little table where she could always see them.

But they were sad things too. The sponges were dry. The seaweed was brittle. The shells were hollow as promises.

How she hated promises. How she hated her life. A deep, roiling hate, a storm-hate, a tide-hate.

She was lured from her home, from her sisters singing in the deep, from the crashing waves, by the promises of the land.

Night after night, she lay cursing the legs she traded her world for.


Word Count: 98

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Sandra Cook for providing the prompt photo!

Ohwonoh

Posted: October 1, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Ohwonoh stuck the antenna into the carton and set it carefully next to the plastic steak. His lip motors twitched. Perfect.

Ohwonoh was an eccentric even by the standards of his model. He had developed a taste for what he described as “an authentic lifestyle, in the model of the Creators.”

Faith in the Creators was not unusual. Most models held to the sacred text of the Manual and believed the Creators would return at the time of the Factory Settings Reset, but only Ohwonoh took his devotion to unusual lengths.

Ohwonoh regarded his artificial meal. It was perfection, just as it appeared in the picture in the archives. He’d leave it there in the shrine, next to the replica ceramic mug with its strange and untranslatable runes.

He bowed his head and uttered a prayer for sustenance in the old tongue of his people.

Batterylow. Pleaseswitchtopowersavermode.


Word Count: 147

This is for FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yinglan for providing the prompt photo!

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Past the village fence and down the winding forest path sat the witch’s crooked house. The villagers came to her with their ailments, their wants, their petty vengeances, asking for cures, for spells, for curses.

She gave cures without conditions or promises, spells only after long consideration, and curses never at all.

Once, the villagers came only in the dead of night, but now she found them knocking on her door in daylit hours, pleasant and open with her as they were with the butcher.

“Your house is rather spartan,” a woman remarked whilst the witch made her a salve. “I thought a witch’s house would be all cluttered, like in the tales.”

The witch had nothing but a handful of ingredients, a set of clothes, and a rolled-up blanket. She knew better than to burden herself. Keep things light; own no more than you can carry; that was the old way.

They said times were different, safer. The king himself kept magicians in his court.

But the witch remembered the roaring crowd and the smoke of burning torches. She knew how fast things could change.

She had seen too many storms to trust a sunlit morning.


Word Count: 197

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Susan for running the challenge! Photo credit to Susan Spaulding.

foggy-fence

Nobody would watch the sheep at World’s End. They knew what happened to those who stood too close to the fence under an unfriendly moon.

But the Chief’s sheep wouldn’t watch themselves. And a Chief without sheep was no chief, not in those days.

When the stranger came looking for a job, it seemed both their problems were solved.

“Just watch them, boy,” the chief said, handing over the shepherd’s crook. “If they’re all there in morning, you can have a silver penny.”

This seemed a fair deal to the stranger, so he walked to the fence at the edge of the woods, where mists swirled about the black skeletons of trees, and stood watch over the sheep.

Around midnight, the woman came from the trees, smiling and laughing, and asked him to dance.

“I would not presume,” the stranger said, “to dance with a woman until I knew her name.”

The woman pleaded, flirted, laughed, but still he wouldn’t step across the fence.

They argued until the sun rose. When its light struck her, the stranger saw that her skin was bark, her hair was moss, and her arms only branches.

The stranger took his penny and left.


Word Count: 199

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!