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The wall was old as the land, they said, and the tree had been a sapling in the days of the Magic Wars, when witches had roamed free.

When a child, Brenna rested beneath the great branches, sagging under eternity’s weight, and imagined the things the stones had seen.

When she was a young woman, woodsmen came to fell it with gleaming axes, and she drove them off with a bow of yew.

When she died, they laid her to rest amongst ancient roots, beside the wall, and stone and wood whispered to her all the secrets they hid.


Word Count: 99

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

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A gloved hand brushed against pink paint. White chalk dust came away on Victoria’s fingers. Scrawled upon the wall was a smiley face: so crude a child of five could have drawn it. Next to it were a series of lines, like tally marks.

She had seen them before: at the school, at the houses, under the bridge.

“Come on,” Sergeant Brodie grabbed her hand. “We have three missing girls to find.”

Victoria smiled.¬†“And I found them.”

“They drew that?” Brodie looked at the face.

“It’s a symbol,” Victoria said. “Marking meeting places. Safe houses. It’s how they’re communicating to each other.”

“The kidnappers?”

Victoria shook her head. “There are no kidnappers. They ran away. And not just them. It’s a network of runaways and forgotten people, all watching out for each other.” She looked at Brodie. “It’s almost a shame we have to bring them back.”


Word Count: 148

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

 

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Red text flashed fluorescent against the brickwork as the scholars leaned closer, each trying to gently elbow the others out of the way to get a better look.

“It’s utterly impossible for it to have just suddenly appeared from nowhere,” Professor Night concluded, tugging at his tuft of white beard, “and yet it is also utterly impossible for it to have been put here by anyone, so therefore we come to an unescapable conclusion: the Sign does not exist.”

A sheet was put over the Sign and none of them ever mentioned it again.


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

myna-bird

The others warned her of the cave. In the night, they heard terrible shrieking.

But she was curious, so she flew in, under the wall that rose and fell, and alighted upon a high tower.

All around were shining implements and square branches, tools of strange magic.

The wall came down and the light went off. She was trapped.

She cried out, singing the Laments of the Broken Wing.

In the dark, a shape moved. There was a click, a bright light, and a booming voice.

The wall opened and she fled.

She had seen the face of a god.


Word Count: 100

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

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The captain didn’t see the yacht until it was too late. A horn blared, somebody screamed, and then the ships collided, wood splintering as the pale prow of the yacht chewed through it. It ground to a halt, a hole gaping in its hull.

“Lifeboats and floatation devices!” the captain called to her crew. “Now!”

Flames licked at the deck of the yacht. A man slumped over the wheel,  bottle in hand.

A drunkard who sunk her ship.

She clambered onto the deck and picked him up. He looked at her with glazed, bleary eyes.

The fire reached the fuel.

She shoved him into the water. There was a roar, heat on her neck.

Then nothing.

The man was pulled into a lifeboat. He stared silently at the burning wreck.

“I didn’t deserve that,” he whispered.

Someone put a firm hand on his shoulder.

“Then make sure you do.”


Word Count: 148

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

This was a really hard one to fit into 150 words.

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Three days now the tomb had stood unopened. The workers would not go near it. Tales danced around the campfires, whispers of a curse far greater than that of Tut.

Insects buzzed incessantly, black carapaces glinting and silk-thin wings shimmering.

And in the night, shadow-things moved, half-glimpsed shades with swords of night and eyes like burning torches. Plague and death filled the camp.

One man swore he saw a procession of white-robed priests upon the hill, knives flashing, their hands wet and red, chanting praise to Sekhmet, the goddess who hunts in the night.

Others swore they heard the roar of a lion carried on the chill wind. They saw marks in the sand, the prints of a hunting beast.

On the fourth day, the tomb was opened. There was no death, no devastation, only gold, stone, and the sarcophagus, vast and black.

The expedition catalogued it, boxed it, paid their workers a pitiful few coins, and bore their hoard, their plunder, to their ship, a great steel ark tossed upon Mediterranean waves. They set off for London, over dark waters, the sky black with clouds.

And in the hold, amidst the crates, a low laugh echoed.

She was free.


Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Kathryn Forbes for the photo prompt!

fridays-moon-ted-strutz

Smoke trailing from his cigarette, Mr. Ellis watched the moon rise over the sea. White light danced on rippling waters.

He was safe on his yacht. She couldn’t find him here.

In New York, in Cairo, in Hong Kong, he had seen her bright eyes and known she was there for him: one of a thousand victims of his sins.

He shook his head and went back into the cabin.

The bullet tore through him before he even saw the gleam of her bright eyes.

“My appointment with you,” she whispered, “was always to be here.”


Word Count: 96

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