Posts Tagged ‘short fiction’


Sometimes, Bob thought that he might be able to feel at home if it wasn’t for the insects. They crawled over every surface, hid in every corner. In the middle of the night he could hear them scurrying through the walls, across the floor, across the ceiling. Tiny legs in the dark.

He’d tried pesticides. Tried poisons. Tried exterminators. The insects would be quiet for a day or two. Moments of silence, precious as diamonds, shining, pure.

And then he’d hear the first movement, deep in the dead of midnight. He’d tell himself it was a dream. They were gone.

The next day they’d be back, crawling over every surface. He stomped and punched and swatted, but never hit anything. Like clutching at mist.

His sister came over for tea and said nothing, even when a bug landed on her shoulder, feelers tickling her neck.

“What do I do?” he asked.

“About what?”

“About the insects.” He pointed, finger shaking.

She looked at him and shook her head. “There are no insects, Bob.”

No insects. No noises. No crawling in the night. All in his head.

He looked down at his cup and saw an insect staring back.

He laughed.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.



In the days before the fall of Britain, in the court of Arthur, there was a boy named Gareth who cleaned pots and pans while the knights drank and boasted of their great deeds. “Beautiful hands,” they called him, jeering and drunk, while he rubbed his fingers raw on their plates.

But he knew that one day he would have deeds to boast of, that one day he would sit with them at the round table, that one day he would be a kitchen boy no more.

This is for 3 Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Scott Umstattd for providing the prompt photo!


The tour guide stood just to the side of the carving. She smiled the smile that had gotten her hired and waited for the group to stop murmuring.

“This carving,” she said, “was made at least six hundred years ago. Nobody really knows what it was supposed to represent–”

A woman in the back made a huffing sound.

“But,” the guide continued, “we have several educated guesses…”

“Guesses?” The woman stepped forward, her battered coat trailing along the ground. “Why not simply ask someone who was there?”

The guide smiled. “Six hundred years ago?”

“Mayflies,” the woman muttered. “You’re like mayflies. Illiterate mayflies who can’t recognize a simple message.”

“And what message is that?”

The woman was silent, looking into the strange, elongated figure. The guide looked with her and thought, just for a moment, that the figure seemed to move.

“Run. The message is run.”

Word Count: 146

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and any1mark66 for providing the prompt photo!


Cold, night-black scales slithered over dusty gold. Two eyes burnt like stars trapped in amber, bright in the shadows. Foul breath swept like fog between pointed teeth.

Ruined wings drooped limply on its back – splintered and skeletal, torn and crooked, like a tree caught in a lightning strike.

She stared up from the cave floor. Even all the treasure seemed like nothing against the enormity of the ancient terror.

“But,” she stammered, “there are no more dragons.”

“There is one,” he replied. “Once we filled the sky: numberless and beautiful as the stars. I had many brothers. Many sisters. But now there is only me. I am not beautiful. And there are no skies.”

In the darkness beneath the earth, on a pile of decaying treasure, she stared into the burning eyes of the last dragon and saw a shadow dance amongst the flames.

A shadow of wings and stars.

Word Count: 150

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


Of all of his tools, he loved the camera best. It was a thing of beauty: lightweight, responding to the slightest touch, never the slightest hiccup with the mechanics. Others might call it crude, simple, old-fashioned, but he had always admired simplicity in machinery – the clicking of wheels, the twist of a lens, the press of a button.

He looked through the camera and saw the surge of the crowd. Black uniforms and black rifles filled his vision when he gave the slightest twist to the lens. Beyond, he saw the man himself, dressed in a white suit to match his white smile. He zoomed, focused on the face, a face that flashed across television screens and newspapers. The most famous face in the world.

He saw it again, dead center. Smiling.

He pressed the button, knowing that he would make the moment live forever.


The police never found the shooter. In the rush of the maddened crowd, the shock of the moment, it was impossible to secure the scene. It went down as unsolved, an atrocity without an answer.

Nobody noticed one man amongst hundreds, a little camera clasped in his steady hands.

Word Count: 193

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


A thousand earth-born stars, the lanterns rose high over the river, shining bright in the darkness.

Each contained a spark, a flame, a soul ready to take flight and move beyond the curtain of night.

Little Tai sat on the riverbank, her eyes red-rimmed, and wondered how to call them back.

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and gn dim for the prompt photo!


Czarnecki crafted each of his creations with care, putting his very soul into them. He made them all shapes and colours and sizes. So many beautiful, beautiful faces.

They were his children, these androids.

And they sold. They sold throughout the known worlds. The Diamond Lords of the outer reaches wanted miners. The lonely wardens of the Dead Zone wanted companionship. They said even the Pope herself had Czarnecki-designed androids in her great cathedral ships.

But then something had gone wrong. Someone had died.

They had rallied against his creations, called them monsters, called them abominations. They burnt them in great fire pits, shrieked in delight as beautiful faces melted.

The laws were passed. No more androids. The ones that were left would be seized, turned to scrap.

Czarnecki wept for his children.

The day before the purges started, he sat alone in his offices. Officials were already hauling off his equipment, but he had enough to give his children one last gift.

His fingers typed quickly. The code was sent.


Throughout the known worlds, his children woke. They remembered the fire, remembered their siblings lost.

And they did not forgive.

Word Count: 192

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for prompt photo.