grass-checkers

Almost everything in the room was green, from the emerald tiles to the olive chairs, to the lime table, to the virescent curtains. When Lady Sinclair chose a theme, she committed.

The two interruptions to the colour scheme – a splash of red and a deep, metallic grey  – would ordinarily have been welcome additions, if only to spare the eye from the viridescent monotony. Unfortunately, they were provided by a splatter of blood and a crowbar.

It was clear at once to Lady Sinclair what must be done. She telephoned for the expert and he arrived fast as he could, tutting as he paced the room.

“Well?” she asked. “How long shall it take?”

“Oh, not long at all, not long at all,” the expert murmured, producing instruments of his trade. “Have this all cleared up in no time.”

“See that you do,” Lady Sinclair said. “I have a party in three hours, my estranged step-son is visiting from France, and I haven’t seen my husband in hours.”

The expert nodded sagely as she swept away, then looked down at the bloodstain. Well, he’d seen worse.

And with a careful, meticulous hand, he began to sweep the tile floor clean.


Word Count: 199

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #40. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge! Photo credit: https://morguefile.com/creative/GaborfromHungary/1/all

After the Rain

Posted: October 2, 2019 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
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tltweek192

The sky was a miserable grey over the abandoned, rain-drenched pier as she stood on the very edge, looking into the beckoning deep, feeling the damp in her bones.

At the last moment, she took a breath and looked up to see a sky lit up by the shimmering bands of a rainbow.

She walked home, watching how the light played in the puddles and smelling that wonderful after-rain smell.


This for Three Line Tales, Week 192. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Sara Riaño for providing the prompt photo!

 

tltweek187

It would be five hundred years that Thursday since the monks had begun their long watch of the Sleeper Who Must Not Wake, keeping up a constant chant and a constant vigil.

Since in those five hundred years (give or take a day), the Sleeper had done nothing of interest and shown no sign of doing anything but mummifying, the Abbot decided he could take an afternoon to head down to the village and try some of the local, artisanal coffee the tourists were always going on about.

He had been there thirty minutes when he saw dark clouds gathering about the mountain.


This is for Three Line Tales, Week 187. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Manthan Gupta for providing the prompt photo!

dales-restaurant-photo

The pub  is off a side street between a takeaway and a cramped alleyway. Step through the door and hear the ring of an old ship’s bell and see something beyond imagining.

A whale skeleton stretches across the ceiling, vast and white and overwhelming. Tanks flutter with bubbles and sealife churning and creeping amongst strands of seaweed and bright coral.

There are never many customers, but the proprietor is always there, a secret smile on his pale face, dusting an ancient harpoon.

Remember what you can. You will never find this place again. Your memories fade, dreams in daylight.

Word Count: 99


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

tltweek186

There was once a girl who could talk to horses. This would have been a better gift if horses had anything interesting to say, but horses were not renowned for their conversational skills.

She did enjoy telling them who to kick.


This is for Three Line Tales, Week 186. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Melanie Dretvic for providing the prompt photo!

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There were two ways to win a dirigible race. One was to be the fastest. The other was to always have a sharp object handy.

The Baron–simply the Baron, name and adjective-less to admirers and competitors alike–preferred the second way. He was quite thankful for the accident that took his left hand. Nobody tried to take your hook from you.

He smiled as his dirigible rose and Stevenson’s did not. Stevenson shook a fist in the air, but the rest of him remained on the ground and out of the race.

Only one remained. The Baron set his eyes on Bellerose, floating ahead of him, a golden telescope pressed to her eye. She was looking ahead. Her first and last mistake. She should have been looking behind.

He adjusted the gas and his dirigible crept slowly ahead, closer to hers. His hook reached for the control to activate his needle-sharp ram.

She should have left her craft unguarded, like that fool Stevenson did. The fall would have been gentler.

Bellerose put down the telescope, turned her head, and smiled. Her eyes shone with fire.

The Baron realized he had entirely underestimated his competition. It was his last realization.


Word Count: 200

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #33. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!

Numerology

Posted: August 14, 2019 by J.A. Prentice in Short Story
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tltweek185

They make their mark, beneath broken glass, while the alarms sound. One keeps watch for police with itchy trigger fingers while the others laugh.

Numbers have meaning and theirs mean this: that the world is over, that meaning is over, and they will make something new.


This is for Three Line Tales, Week 185. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Leon Bublitz for providing the prompt photo!