Posts Tagged ‘FFfAW’

Empty Places

Posted: February 27, 2019 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
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The market store had sat empty so long the town’s children couldn’t remember it any other way. The store rotted, windows hammered up with boards, paint flecking away, the sign fading letter by letter. There was always talk of someone buying it, opening it up again, bulldozing it, selling the land for housing, but nothing ever came of it.

There was talk of the curse too, but nobody believed that. At least, not during the day.

But in the dark of night, when shadows stretched and the wind blew cold, nobody lingered long by the ruined store.

Word Count: 97

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

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The sky was strange in the Cursed Land that day. The people shielded their eyes and asked the hero Petromir to sort it out. Petromir was a hero in the traditional sense, which meant he had more swords than braincells and solved his problems by hitting them, which worked well when your problems were monsters but not when they were strange things in the sky.

Petromir sought out the wisest woman he knew and after knocking down her door so people didn’t think he’d gone soft, he asked if she knew what the thing in the sky was.

“It’s called the Sun,” she replied.

“And the colour?”

“Skies are supposed to be blue. You just can’t normally see it with all the ominous cloud in the way.”

“What does it portend?”

“We’re having a patch of good weather. I wouldn’t worry. Give it five minutes and the rain’ll be back.”

Word Count: 150

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

My short story, “The Lazarus Riddle,” was published on Crimson Streets earlier this week. You can check it out here


They laughed at the boy who would not shoot at birds, who would not even hold the gun in his hand. They laughed as the birds came crashing down, one, two, three, squawking bloody messes of broken bones and crumpled feathers.

It’s weakness, the instructor said, hand like concrete on the boy’s shoulder, squeezing bones brittle as the broken birds. Weakness to be afraid of the gun. Of the noise. Pick up the gun and fire. Kill something.

But he wouldn’t.

They laughed at the man who did not believe in war, at the boy who would not fight. Traitor, they jeered. Coward.

When the men came with riot shields and rifles and torches, they were cheering or they were silent.

And the boy who would not shoot at birds stood in their path.

You want them, he said, you go through me.

Word Count: 143

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


There is a purity in beginnings, the architect thinks as watches the digger trundle across virgin earth.

A fresh building is like a newborn, untainted by people and purpose. The building simply is. A thing unto itself.

The digger claws at dirt, gouging holes in the earth, ready for the foundation to be laid. The architect watches and the building takes shape in his mind, his pen strokes and measurements becoming strong walls and gleaming windows. Beautiful apartments. A new way to live.

Shouts echo across the site. The fence is broken; a woman is running towards them, screaming, a can of paint in her hand, security tight behind her.

The architect doesn’t dodge in time. Red paint goes everywhere, like blood.

“Our homes!” she screams as they drag her away. “You tore down our homes!”

Hatred simmers in the architect’s heart. The purity is gone. She defiled it.

Word Count: 150

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


He made his house from old stones. One came from an arena, stained with the blood of a thousand fighters, echoing still with the laughter of the crowd. Another was from a pyramid, worn by wind and sand and silence. A third was part of a tower, drinking tears and hearing laments.

They were stones full of memory, stones full of power. He made his walls of them, a fortress to keep out his foes. Spells dashed themselves against the rock and he was safe from their touch.

But when night fell and he lay in his bed, surrounded by old books, he heard the stones whispering and groaning and shifting. He tossed and turned but they would not be silent. Incantation after incantation he tried, but still the stones would not be tamed, would not be broken.

He had made his fortress, but it was a prison too.

Word Count: 149

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


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

The Cobbler

Posted: September 24, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
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There is a story the cobbler tells about the faeries and the shoes. About how the kind faeries made the shoes by night with thread and needle, asking no reward.

This is a lie. Anyone who knows anything about faeries knows they never do things from the kindness of their hearts.

The cobbler and his wife sometimes say they left out milk, as though faeries’ appetites were so easily sated, their prices so easily paid.

Each morning, there are new shoes, a dozen at least. Each day, the cobbler smiles and sells his wares.

Each evening, the cobbler and his wife wait, hand wrapped in hand, until the faeries come laughing in twilight.

The cobbler’s daughters, dressed in elfin finery, ride beside the faerie queen. They have forgotten the cobbler, forgotten his wife, forgotten the taste of bread and the feel of sunlight.

A faerie’s price is never cheap.

Word Count: 150

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