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Dust swirled around his boots as he looked upon his land – his father’s land, his grandfather’s land, where their bones were buried, deep in the drying earth. The fields were bare. A few stray crops stuck up from the ground like ghosts, withered to wraiths. A touch was all it would take to turn them to yet more dust borne on the hot, barren air.

There was only one cow left. One from a whole herd. A lone survivor.

He knew he should slaughter it or sell it and move on. The rest had run, heading for the mountains, where they said the grass was still green and the springs still ran pure.

But he had always been a sentimental man. He would not leave his ancestors’ bones.

He turned to the cow and ran a hand along the slick, chestnut-brown fur.

“You and me, girl. We’re survivors.”


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and MajesticGoldenRose for providing the prompt photo!

 

193-02-february-26th-2017

The metal chair is like ice against her skin. She breathes, drawing in stale air and the sterile, chemical scent of the room. It has been scrubbed clean, every last trace of DNA burned away. They have left her here, alone, knowing that nobody will find her in time. It is too late.

She can feel her throat drying. It’s like she’s swallowing sandpaper. Every part of her aches to drink, to feel cold liquid on her tongue, to have even a drop to save her from the desert inside.

And there it sits on the table.

A glass, a little over half-full. Clear, glistening, looking pure as a mountain spring.

She wants it. She needs it.

But she knows that it is poison. They told her it was. Enough to kill her.

If she drinks the water, she will die. They tell her it will be agony.

If she waits, if nobody arrives in time, she will die. The dehydration will finish her off.

She looks at the poison and wonders if the pain could be worse than this.

Perhaps, she thinks, it isn’t poison at all. Perhaps they were lying.

And slowly, she reaches for the cup.


Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

tltweek56

The woman stands by her old truck – only five years old, but ancient all the same – and sells her scarcely-used antique clothing. She doesn’t look like it, but she’s an immigrant – of an unintentional and unusual sort.

Time’s eddies are dangerous: once they have you in their grasp, they will whisk you off like a leaf caught in a stream.


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Clem Onojehungo for providing the prompt photo!

january-snowfall-nighttime

It was snowing again, Geoff mused as he walked out to his car, feet sinking deep, crunching with each step. It was always snowing, the sky a flurry of frigid white. Cars, roofs, roads – everything is coated in a layer of fresh powder.

The moment anybody starts to think about how it’s always snowing, he finds himself forgetting. Just as he forgets thinking about how they’ve never gone beyond the city limits and how he forgets the moments when the clouds part and he glimpses the vast eye watching: blood vessels like rivers of red, pupil like a black hole.


Word Count: 100

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

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“Watch them,” Victoria Burton said, standing over the crowd like a hawk searching for its prey. “Watch every motion, every little detail, every expression that crosses their faces.”

James looked and saw crying children, ruffled businessmen, chattering travelers, but no sign of the diamond.

How had she even known it would be at the airport?

“There’s a woman in Cairo,” Victoria said, “who has quite the interest in diamonds.”

“But how do you know she bought it?” James asked.

Victoria smiled. “How did I know what you were thinking?”

“There are a hundred possible buyers.”

“But only one who paid for a ticket on this flight.”

Her dark eyes narrowed as she spied her target. She was like a shark that had scented blood.

“Follow me.”

Victoria took the stairs three at a time. James raced after her, feeling as if he were a hundred miles behind.


Word Count: 149

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Dawn Miller for providing the prompt photo!

192-02-february-19th-2017

Great wings, black as night, spread out across the sky, so vast that nothing could be seen through them, not even a shaft of starlight. Claws dug deep crevices in the dry earth and whole forests burnt, leaves glowing red and sun-bright, trees turning to ash, blown away on the breeze. Roars like thunder shook the world, making even the mountains quake.

But heroes came with their shining swords and one-by-one the dragons were slain. They fell before iron and reason. Perhaps they saw that there would be no place for them in the world to come.

Dragons can only exist in the untamed wild, in the unknown places on the maps. When the maps were filled out, their natural habitats slipped away, one after the other.

There came a day when not even their bones remained, the graves of these ancient giants forgotten under the foundations. They had been wiped almost entirely from the earth.

Yet they still remained: in pages of storybooks both old and new, in paintings vast and bold, in carved wood. Their talons were still sharp, their wings still vast, their fire still terrible.

And in these little things, we remember: there were dragons once.


Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

tlt-week-55

Surrounded by shadows – ink-black – they raise their hands, their voices, call out like children to their mother.

She comes, crowned in shining gold and carried on a throne, shining like a star in the dim light.

The masses cry out to their Queen, promising her anything, everything, and she knows they will deliver.


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Edwin Unrade for providing the prompt photo!