Microcosms 24

Dear all, this week our guest host is FlashDog stalwart Sal Page. She has gone beyond the realms of her daily pool report and invited you to join her in her watery kingdom so without further ado, take it away Sal:

 

Water. What would we do without it? Die, that’s what. And it wouldn’t take long either.

I LOVE water in all its many forms. Well, (see what I did there?) who doesn’t? Everyone knows I like swimming in it (even managed to convince myself) and it’s nearly six years since I moved to a different part of the country to live by the sea. I love drinking it too, though now I’m fifty, I really should do the tea-coffee-wine-beer-gin thing like the grown-ups do. Nah!
But it’s all water, isn’t it? And so are we. Not quite all but a high percentage. Sixty, is it? Surprised we have room for all the other stuff.

My chosen characters all have water-related jobs and my settings are extremely watery too. The two photos are for inspiration only or in case you can’t think what water looks like. Thanks to Faith Cobaine – taking photos of pools in various parts of the world so I don’t have to – for the picture of the fabulous Munich swimming pool. And the jug’s my own.

So, I want your finest, funniest, scariest and wettest water-themed flashes.

‘Wetter than a haddock’s bathing costume’, Blackadder the Third.

(Unless that isn’t a good thing.)

 

Sal

As usual, our contest will begin with three things: character, setting, and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are character: Florist, setting: Iceberg, and genre: Mystery.

Feel free to write a story using those or spin a new set of your own. Be sure to include which three elements you’re using.

 

  • Plumber
  • Fisherman
  • Fire Fighter
  • Marine Biologist
  • Life Guard
  • Weather Forecaster
  • Florist
  • Pub Landlord
  • Gardener
  • Water Diviner
  • Bath
  • The Sea
  • Swimming Pool
  • Toilet
  • Iceberg
  • Bucket
  • Rain Cloud
  • Waterfall
  • River
  • Well
  • horror
  • sci-fi
  • steam punk
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • romance
  • drama
  • comedy
  • poem
Spin!

 



Judging this week is CR Smith

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time to submit.

 

Faiths Munich Swimming Pool_nIMG_20160611_152753

 

Microcosms 25
Microcosms 23
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63 comments for “Microcosms 24

  1. 17 June 2016 at 2:30 am

    The Protector

    Once did I dream of a watery grave,
    As damp, as dismal as the saddest wave
    That ever lapped the stoniest shore
    Of the faraway land of Nevermore.

    Twice did I stand on the highest cliff
    Each time as still as a hieroglyph,
    Gazing out to the horizon’s edge,
    Full of the sound of my lover’s pledge.

    Thrice did she swear to swim the wide sea,
    Cross the gravest part that there ever could be,
    As deep as the soul of the wisest old sage,
    As wise as I might be if I abandoned my rage.

    Once did we love in the gentlest way,
    On the soft salt sand of Quarter-Moon Bay,
    The water lapping high up to our knees;
    We freed the pleasure; ah, the pleasure freeze.

    Twice did the north wind assail our sea,
    A flurry of storms as wild as could be,
    Thunder and lightning, watery wild,
    Our tiny world wrinkled and riled.

    Thrice did we promise a truer heart;
    Love’s not a science, ’tis more of an art,
    And the sea, our canvas, a watery brush,
    But the void engulfed us, a water-slide rush,

    I could not save her, nor could she save me,
    As we slid down the slope to the Nevermore sea,
    Plunging to the depths of our watery grave,
    Drowning in the choke of a water-logged wave.

    But once did I dream of a watery grave,
    That carried me down to a dark ocean cave.
    And she came to me with that last gasp of air,
    And we embraced forever in her deep-sea lair.

    I was her protector; I failed the task
    To save our love, ’twas so little to ask.
    So I stand on the cliff overlooking the sea
    And weep with the wind of love lost to me.

    Lifeguard; Sea; Poem
    @billmelaterplea
    297 of the wettest words I could find

    5+

  2. A.J. Walker
    17 June 2016 at 6:47 am

    A Rose-Tinted Spectacle
    A.J. Walker

    Rose Petal is the ultimate poster girl for nominative determinism. Of course she’s famous the world over for her unique floral emporium. You’ll all have seen the photographs, of course. Those bright perfect delicate flowers set against the blue-white ice of the iceberg Rose lives and works on.

    It’s a mystery where she gets the flowers. No-one has ever documented any deliveries to the floating florist.

    She claims she grows them all herself. Though as she lives and works on the iceberg, which has no soil of its own it is hard to see how.

    Some say that off course icebergs are three quarters hidden, and that she has a submarine compartment beneath the waves where she lives and grows her perfect specimens. And it seems a reasonable assumption without anything at the surface or being transported to her.

    Her clients are the mega rich, who have to find her themselves as she floats at the mercy of ocean currents. They arrive in ships and helicopters. Happy to pay the fantastic premiums for Rose’s creations. You have to be mega rich to buy them, but then they are the ultimate floral status symbol.

    And so Rose grows rich as well as flowers. If the iceberg was a state the GDP would be limitless as the “Ice Maiden” lives alone. We think. Who knows what or who lies beneath the ice?

    Some say Rose Petal is a metaphor, but I can’t recall for what. Some say she’s an alien; the first of an invasion. It would seem the oddest of vanguards though.

    Personally I’d like not to learn the truth. The mystery is as beautiful as her iceberg. As perfect as her flowers. Let the mystery float on.

    In these hardest of times, just stop and smell the roses.

    ——–
    WC 300
    Florist; iceberg; mystery

    7+

    • 17 June 2016 at 8:46 am

      Finally, the real story of the Titanic revealed: all those plutocratic passengers ran out of floral displays!
      Clever stuff, AJ. Loving the zeugma in “…Rose grows rich as well as flowers.”
      [ When it comes to nominative determinism, how many times has A. J. Walker stepped out in front of traffic? 🙂 ]

      2+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Excellent story, you and Geoff both had me reaching for the dictionary (or rather Google), nominative determinism and zeugma?! You learn something new every day. Perhaps I should try those terms out on the English department on Monday …

      2+

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:56 am

      This is lovely, AJ. You’ve made a florist on an iceberg – love the emphasis on the floating/drifting – seem the most natural thing in the world! A beautiful mystery. (I like to believe in nominative determinism. Is it why this Page keeps going back to writing?)

      1+

  3. Brian S Creek
    17 June 2016 at 9:15 am

    FROM THE HORIZON

    * * *

    246 words
    Brian S Creek
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    (Gardener / The Sea / Sci-Fi)

    * * *

    The moment he’d relaxed, the moment he’d thought he’d got away from them, that was when they’d appeared on the horizon. He’d spotted them not long after breakfast. By noon three mighty warships surrounded his small boat. There would be no hiding from them, no running from them, and no fighting them.

    He had gambled and he had lost.

    “Please,” he yelled at the metal hulls boxing him in. “Our land is dying.”

    “You have stolen from us,” came the reply, a bellowing electronic voice that came from all three ships simultaneously.

    “You have so much green,” yelled the man. “We have nothing. You must be able to spare something, anything.” He didn’t know if they were looking at him but he spread his arms at the garden covering his boat’s deck.

    Nothing happened for a while. He thought there might be hope.

    Then rows of slots running along each metal hull clanged open and jets of flame engulfed the man and his boat. Under the searing heat, the garden that nearly crossed the sea to bring hope to the lost lands quickly melted away and turned to smoke.

    By the time the man’s screams had ceased and the remains of the boat and the stolen flora were no more than ash floating on the surface of the sea, the three mighty warships were well underway. They were heading to a country that was expecting the return of life, but they would be bringing only death.

    5+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:29 pm

      A metaphor for so much of what goes on today.

      2+

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:56 am

      Wow, Brian. Kind of scary. Love the simultaneous voices from the ships and tragic image of ‘ash floating on the surface of the sea’. Good work. Loving what my characters & settings are bringing out!

      0

  4. 17 June 2016 at 9:30 am

    Author: Santino Prinzi
    Word Count: 298
    Elements: Florist; Iceberg; Mystery.
    Twitter: @tinoprinzi

    Title: What You Do Best

    Daniella could feel her wet clothes cling to her back before she’d completely woken up. The sun was bright in her eyes and she pulled herself up. She didn’t know what to do, except hold herself.

    She was in the middle of the sea, sitting on an iceberg, alone. She looked around and could see nothing but choppy water in every direction. She loved water, the way it nourished her plants and allowed her bouquets to bloom and flourish, but this was different. Shivering, her mind raced, trying to recollect anything that had happened to her.

    Flitting. Fluttering. The noise of plastic wings flapping with ferocity brought Daniella out of her mind and back to the iceberg. She didn’t have to search the skies for long to find the source of the noise. What looked like a giant wasp was flying towards her, but where its stinger should’ve been was a camera lens. It bobbed and bounced around her, like the waves carrying her frozen raft. She squinted and could see the lens focus.

    “Hello?” she called to the camera, not knowing if anyone could hear her.

    The camera continued to fly around Daniella, daring at times to get closer before retreating with caution.

    “Daniella?”

    Impossible; her father was long dead.

    “Dad? No, it can’t.”

    “It can.”

    “What’s going on?”

    “I can’t tell you – it’s all a part of the entrance test to Utopia.”

    “Entrance test?”

    “Do what I know you do best?”

    “What?”

    “In your pockets.”

    Daniella brushed her hands against her jeans and pulled out a packet of seeds from her pocket. She still couldn’t work out exactly what was going on, but when she scattered the seeds on the iceberg floor, she could see that they were already beginning to sprout.

    4+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:30 pm

      So much mystery. I want to know more!

      1+

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:57 am

      How magical, Tino. Love the way it starts well into the story and leaves the reader guessing & wondering what next at the end, just like a flash should.

      0

  5. Voima Oy
    17 June 2016 at 10:53 am

    South Water Street
    @Voimaoy
    260 words
    plumber/bath/horror

    The plumbing business was good in New Providence. Every time it rained, the streets flooded and the drains backed up. It seemed to rain more and more often these days. The cloudless blue sky after a storm was but an interlude between the next big rain.

    Now the sky was blue, and the plumbers were busy. Jerry Waterson, the son of Waterson & Son Plumbing Company, had been on calls all morning.

    His next call was on South Water Street. This was in the lower part of town, a run-down neighborhood by the docks and warehouses. White vans of rival plumbing companies were parked in front of the gray stone six flats and frame houses. Jerry checked the address again. Yes, it was at the end of the block, an old Victorian house with a sagging front porch. There was ivy climbing the walls and violets growing in the cracks of the sidewalk.

    He rang the bell. An old woman in a tattered gray pullover opened the door.

    “Well, come in,” she said. “Aren’t you handsome. Mind the cats.”

    It was dark and cool inside. A large gray cat regarded him from an armchair. A smaller gray cat rubbed against his legs.

    “I’m so glad you could come. Would you like some coffee?”

    “No thanks, what seems to be the problem?”

    “It’s the bathtub. There’s something in it.”

    She hesitated, opened the door. The bathroom was covered with foul-smelling muck, as if a pipe exploded. The bathtub was filled with writhing tentacles.

    “It’s hungry,” she said, and closed the door.

    7+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Brilliant, Cthulhu arrives in Microcosms!

      1+

      • Voima Oy
        18 June 2016 at 11:59 am

        Thanks, Sal! Such great elements to work with 🙂

        0

      • Voima Oy
        18 June 2016 at 12:07 pm

        Thank you, Steph! As if the foul-smelling muck isn’t horrible enough 🙂

        0

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:58 am

      Eeek, Voima. Lulling the reader into a false sense of security by the nice cat lady … oh, its not only cats! And I’ve just celebrated ‘Waterson and Son’ by saying it out loud a few times! 😉

      1+

  6. Meg Kovalik
    17 June 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Ripples in the Pond

    Before Andrea even opened the door, she knew something was wrong.

    “What’s up?” Bruce asked, unsure why she’d paused.

    “I don’t know. Just… it doesn’t feel right.”

    She pushed the door open carefully, a shaky hand reaching for the light switch.

    “What the fu..?” Bruce whistled. “That is a whole lot of salad.”

    The entire parlour was covered in a carpet of lettuce; shredded, diced and torn. In the middle of the room, a rough, elongated triangle of floor had been cleared. Within it, a tablet rested on a dusky green pillow, a single red rose laid across the screen.

    “Shit,” Andrea whispered, shoulders slumping wearily.

    Bruce watched in confused silence as she crunched slowly across the floor. After what seemed an eternity she bent down to pick up the tablet, absentmindedly stroking the rose across her cheek.

    The tablet came to life with a gentle hum. “Hello Rebecca,” a male voice purred. “You know where you need to go.”

    “Rebecca?” Bruce asked.

    Andrea waved him away. “No I don’t, you twit!” she hissed at the screen. But it gave no more clues.

    Frustrated, she threw the tablet into the lettuce and kicked the pillow across the room. With a guttural scream she grabbed handfuls of leaves and hurled them around her in a fury.

    “Jeez, Andrea – or Rebecca – or, whatever!” Bruce said, shielding his face with his hands, “What did iceberg ever do to you?”

    She froze.

    “Iceberg,” she repeated.

    Iceberg. The green pillow. The elongated triangle.

    That damned rose.

    She let out a laugh and leapt at the startled man, grabbing him by the face and kissing him full on the lips.

    “Pack your bags, my horticultural homie,” she trilled, skipping out of the room. “We are headed to Greenland!”

    @meg_mediocre
    291 words

    Florist; Iceberg; Mystery

    2+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Funny, nicely different take on the iceberg element!

      0

    • 17 June 2016 at 9:17 pm

      I thought of using this interpretation of “iceberg”, but shied away from it as I couldn’t see how I could justify it as a ‘setting’. You managed to solve that issue here, so well done, Meg! You certainly fulfilled the mystery genre element too – I want to know who Andrea/Rebecca really is, and what she is going to find in Greenland!

      0

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:58 am

      Ah Meg, I did laugh when I realised the signifiance of the lettuce. Most original thinking-outside-the-box take on the setting part of the prompt! I feel its going to be never-a-dull-moment for Bruce from now on. Good work!

      0

  7. 17 June 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Spag Bog
    @geofflepard Plumber; Bath; Horror 298 words

    Amelia Jones pulled open the front door.
    ‘Mrs Jones?’
    ‘Yes?’
    ‘Johnson. Plumber.’
    ‘Oh yes.’ Amelia wiped her hands on a cloth. ‘The toilet won’t flush away properly. Do you mind if I leave you to it? The bathroom is up there, second on the left. I’m rather busy.’
    ‘Smells great. Having a party?’
    ‘Sort of. I’ve just had my first book published. We’re having a literary supper. Spag Bog for forty.’
    ‘You make me very envious. I’ll let you get on.’
    ‘Call if you need me?’
    *
    ‘Mrs Jones, I need to check the outside. Won’t be long.’
    *
    Amelia opened the door. Mr Johnson had gone deathly pale. ‘Are you alright?’
    ‘Not really. Can I use your phone? I need to call the police.’
    ‘The police?’
    ‘The blockage. It’s the mains. They’re full of, erm, bits.’
    ‘Bits?’
    ‘Arms, hands, body parts.’
    ‘Oh goodness.’
    *
    Inspector Milder sat heavily. ‘Thank you, Mrs Jones. I won’t waste your time. It’s about the awful situation next door.’
    ‘The murders. Yes, appalling.’
    ‘As you may know your neighbour drowned several young men and, erm, flushed them away.’
    ‘It’s no wonder the drains were blocked, inspector. He must have been desperate.’
    ‘In a way he was unlucky. He had been using the drains for a while. It wasn’t the body parts that blocked the drain but they did get caught up.’
    Amelia frowned. ‘Did he chop them up. They’d be too big, you’d think.’
    ‘The accused says he boiled the body parts first before disposal.’
    ‘Oh how awful. But I don’t see what that has to do with me?’
    ‘He used a large pan. A very large pan. He said he lent it to you. For a spag bog, he said. Mrs Jones. Are you alright? Are you…? Sergeant get a bucket.’

    4+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:37 pm

      A bit of extra protein in the dinner won’t hurt! I was going to have spag bol next week, might leave it a while now.

      1+

    • Stella Turner
      17 June 2016 at 5:43 pm

      This is good Geoff! Loved the last line.

      1+

    • 17 June 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Grim tale, Geoff. I was going to ask if you wanted “Spag Bog” changed to “Spag Bol”, thinking that it was a typo, but then I noticed that you use it three times. A little interweb research revealed that it really is a variant of “Spag Bol”: we live and learn…
      [ Are you one of the stalwart band of Microcosmiceers who boldly choose to go with the elements provided, rather than wimping out and spinning a new set? If so, you may not have known that “toilet” is one of the alternative settings available, which would fit better here – especially with your Spag BOG! 🙂 ]

      0

      • 17 June 2016 at 9:37 pm

        D’oh! I always get confused between the elements produced when the contest is posted and the ones that are visible in the Spin-o-Matic. The last part of my comment above is even more gibberish than I normally churn out. SOZ…

        0

    • 18 June 2016 at 3:59 am

      Eww, Geoff! Very funny and gross too. The last line is great, how the dialogue cleverly informs us what’s going on.

      0

  8. Stella Turner
    17 June 2016 at 4:27 pm

    @stellakateT
    299 words
    Plumber / Bath / Horror

    What’s for Lunch?

    Lee, the plumber, cursed the lack of lifts in this trendy block of flats. Why young professionals should think it was desirable to climb five flights of stairs with a set of heavy tools. No wonder his unfit boss Stan had sent him to sort out the blockage in Flat 12.

    She was plump, just enough fat to make the meat succulent. His jaws began to salivate. Big girls weren’t always scared and they could pack a good punch. He’d lost a leg last week in a skirmish and as it was his first loss wasn’t sure if it was true about legs growing back. It was awkward trying to walk on seven legs let alone less.

    Rosie danced around the bathroom. All her dreams were coming true. Mac in IT had asked her out tonight. If she wore the pulling in, pushing up new underwear she’d be fine. She was a little overweight according to BMI charts and if she could ever bother to compare herself to her stick thin office colleagues she was probably the heaviest by several stones. She needed a shower but a few wet wipes would have to do. The plumbing problem was getting ludicrous. If she missed out tonight then she was suing the landlord!

    “Once its fixed slam the door behind you” Rosie yelled thundering down the flights of stairs towards matrimony.

    Lee shrugged; he could be a burglar for all she knew. Drawing back the shower curtain it was fifty-fifty who was the most surprised. Lee had never seen an arachnid that big, it half filled the bath.

    The spider reared up digging its poisonous fangs into Lee. His nice plump dinner had changed into a scrawny bit of Scrag end, tasteless and dry, like a nightmare in Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen.

    5+

    • 17 June 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Never felt sorry for a spider before, loved your last line.

      0

    • 17 June 2016 at 8:35 pm

      So that’s how spiders escape from baths… I too loved that last line.

      0

    • 18 June 2016 at 4:26 am

      Yes, its horror Stella, but it did make me laugh. I like the bit about legs growing back, just what a spider might wonder! AND it reminds me I must get rid of the spider in MY bath before you visit next month. Love ‘big girls weren’t always scared’. This BG will just ask it nicely to wait in the shed until my guest has gone home again. Unless it’s REALLY hungry and eats me. 😉

      0

  9. 17 June 2016 at 5:11 pm

    We All Fall Down

    299 words
    elements: gardener, rain cloud, horror

    @el_Stevie
    #FlashDog

    “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,” chanted Rosalie and Clara as the storm clouds gathered over their home.

    Carcer forced the wheelbarrow through the rutted ground, mini trenches swiftly turning into a virtual No Man’s Land. The cloying mud pulled at his boots and for a moment he felt the old panic. Then he heard the sound of his daughter’s voices and relaxed. All was well.

    Carcer continued towards the compost heap, allowed his mind to wander until a distant rumble drew his attention back to the slate battalions advancing overhead. There was a giggle and a click as the tape came to an end. His wife had sent him the recording on his last tour of duty. It had been the only thing that had kept him sane, lulling him to sleep at night, calming him on his solitary watches, reassuring him as he returned fire. We all fall down.

    He surveyed the battlefield, heavy rain now washing away bone meal, his slaughter-house offerings.

    A door opened behind him.

    “Carcer, Carcer. I heard the storm …”

    He turned towards blind grey eyes.

    “You shouldn’t be out here, sweetheart, you’ll catch your death …”

    “But the girls …”

    “The girls are fine. Listen.” He started the recording again.

    “I thought someone tried to take them away,” she said.

    “I got rid of them. The girls are safe.” And they were. Tucked up in their beds, sleeping.

    Sirens, closer now. Enemy advance.

    He locked the door, guided his wife to the sofa.

    “I’ll stand guard,” he said. “Nobody will ever take any of you away. It’ll all be over soon.”

    He returned to his post, adjusted the gunsight, blue lights loomed in the crosshairs. Carcer started the countdown and watched as blood red numbers turned them into collateral damage.

    2+

    • 18 June 2016 at 4:42 am

      Wow, Steph! Brilliantly illustrates with its shifting mind perspectives, how wars carry on being fought afterwards. That telling subtle clue early on in ‘the old panic’ and the clouds as ‘slate battalions advancing overhead’. … Though also a shame we never saw your fisherman in the toilet. 😉

      0

  10. 17 June 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Emily Clayton
    @emilyiswriting
    297 words
    weather forecaster, toilet, fantasy

    Steps from the Edge

    “There’s a world in my toilet bowl. Right there, can’t you see?” Clive’s hazel eyes are large and pleading, as if his sanity, the pride of his life he’s been losing slowly the past three years, will be confirmed if only I can agree.

    I humour him. “Yes. Stormy skies, right?”

    Clive wiggles his eyebrows at me, a rare lucid moment, as he tugs off his red wool socks. “Don’t be silly. Sunny skies. I’ll be on the six o’clock news tonight; you’ll watch, won’t you?” And there’s the drop again.

    I nod obligingly and help him into the shower, settling him gently on the bath bench. His wrinkled skin reminds me of an apple left too long in the sun: brown, haggard, and soft.

    He emits a shriek on the drying cycle, high-pitched, like a rabbit caught in a coyote’s locked jaws.

    “Clive?” He’s motionless, except for his eyes. They’re rolling, dancing, fighting a battle no one else can see.

    Then I see the water.

    All around his feet, splashing down, rotating from the toilet like a torrent, the water is black and putrid.

    “It’s backed up!” I shriek.

    His vision clears, as does the water. I gape at the floor, at my dry socks.

    “Amazing,” he says. “You were right about the storm clouds.”

    The next day I enter his home. Water everywhere, with the deepest levels near the bathroom. “Clive!” I yell, as I race from room to room. “Where are you?”

    Phone in hand, I remember the previous day’s events. I inch to the bathroom, to the toilet, gazing down into the bowl.

    I see a world, zoomed in to a tiny town. A thick red sock, matted from rain, lies discarded on the road.

    I know the police will never find him.

    7+

    • 17 June 2016 at 6:18 pm

      You went where I could not, my spin came up with fisherman toilet fantasy and that sounded just so wrong! Great take.

      0

    • 18 June 2016 at 1:00 am

      “There’s a world in my toilet bowl.” – a microcosm, right? Clever stuff, Emily.

      0

    • 18 June 2016 at 4:48 am

      Oh, Emily, this is wonderful. So sad – I do like your apple and coyote similes – and yet, Clive’s escaped to another world. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, Clive down a toilet bowl. Such good work with tricky prompts.

      1+

  11. 17 June 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Inclement Affair
    WC 296
    Florist/Iceberg/Mystery

    Todd found himself in later years a lonely man with no family or friends, and so he resorted to a mail-order bride website.

    Yana didn’t speak English well and didn’t care to learn, so their communication was shoddy at best. She was fairly attractive but quite abrasive.

    He was calm and easygoing and found that they didn’t have much in common.

    Todd considered himself a reasonable man. He did his very best to provide for his unappeasable wife. He was a florist, and he took great pains to create beautiful bouquets that he would bring home to her because it was the one thing that seemed to put a smile on her face, if only briefly.

    She complained a lot about most things and in time, Todd began to feel overwhelmed and uptight, feelings that were not familiar to him.

    One night he came home and Yana was especially unhappy about something, he wasn’t sure what, but she was going on in Russian interspersed with the few English words she’d picked up from watching television. She said something about flowers and an iceberg, which made no sense to him.

    Todd took an evening stroll to the pub to have a few drinks. He came across a gentleman offering excitement and adventure. Travel the world by iceberg, he said and make friends with sea creatures, while relaxing away from the bustle of city-life.

    Under the circumstances, Todd thought this sounded wonderful. It would be an expensive investment the man said, but well worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Without mentioning anything to Yana, he sold his shop, cashed out his account, and left by the end of the month.

    He was never heard from again, but giant flower ice sculptures have been seen floating across the Atlantic.

    Leara Morris-Clark
    @learavoice
    http://learawrites.wordpress.com

    3+

    • 18 June 2016 at 4:55 am

      Oh Leara, there’s so much going on in this story! Good to see your florist was male. Why not? Mail order bride sounds like a bad idea and I’m left wondering what happened to joyless Yana. ‘Travel the world by iceberg’, on the other hand, sounds fantastic. Stunning image to end on.

      1+

    • 18 June 2016 at 5:42 am

      What a lovely image of ice-crafted flowers. I felt so sorry for him with his miserable life but I think you’ve given him a happy ending – at least it’s on his own terms.

      1+

      • 18 June 2016 at 8:22 pm

        I would love to see a giant flower ice sculpture floating across the Atlantic 🙂

        0

      • 22 July 2016 at 8:28 pm

        I actually found this more enttaerining than James Joyce.

        1+

      • 22 September 2016 at 7:32 am

        Mit Käsesahnecreme kann man mich jagen. Nur mit Frischkäse und Quark stell ich mir den aber sehr sehr lecker vor!Die Idee mit den Happy Hippos ist ziemlich gut. Vermutlich werde ich die auch mal im Muffinteig versinken lassen. Auch wenn die eigentlich immer sofort aufgegessen sind.Liebe GrüßeAnne

        0

      • 22 October 2016 at 12:41 pm

        A Dissolute Life Means - Hyacinth Jones: Multi-layered, multi-moraled, multi-educated; mother; feminist who wants to be dominated, hard-ass who wants to be coddled; lover of man-on-man lovin’; lover of lovin’.

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      • 3 November 2016 at 1:08 pm

        Ah, counting the omer. I love that it is in ascending order unlike the old old debate on whether a chanukah menorah should be lit each night until it glows brightly for all to see or lit with all of the candles extinguishing one each night.I'm glad we light them in ascending order.

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      • 9 February 2017 at 1:30 pm

        I can completely relate to this. so. so. much.Saying goodbye to sisters makes for some very hard days (our husbands have learned what to expect)I am always dreaming up ways to get us all to move to the same place I’m thankful you have such close sisters – it’s the best!

        0

      • 10 May 2017 at 11:00 am

        می‌گه:بعضی وقتها زندگی یکنواخت آدم رو اذیت می کنه هر چقدر هم مرفه باشی. هیجان برای زندگی لازمه . من هم دوست دارم چنین جاهایی رو ببینم هرچقدر هم خشن باشن

        0

  12. Firdaus Parvez
    17 June 2016 at 9:52 pm

    @firdausp
    (297 words)
    Language of flowers

    I had heard rumours, the wind had blown it in from a town. It is said that the florist of that town understands the language of flowers. She can hear and talk to them. I don’t usually believe in rumours but this bit got me interested. So as I jostled alongside my brothers towards the town, I was excited. Droplets of anticipation bobbed in my belly as I growled along.
    The wind carried us rapidly towards the town. We sent sparks flying as we rubbed shoulders, lighting up the sky. The sound we made was thunderous.
    I looked around for the florist’s shop, because that’s where I wanted to drop. The town was dotted with quaint cottages, some modern buildings and a Main Street. Nothing extraordinary about it, just like any other town we had drenched, flooded or destroyed. Today we just carried enough for a light morning shower. I spotted the florist shop on the Main Street and positioned myself over it.
    As we blotted out the sun, an ominous shadow crept over the town. I felt the nudge from my brothers, a signal to fall. And so we did, in a light drizzle.
    I splattered on the windowpanes of the shop and slowly slid to the ground. I caught sight of a grey haired old woman, arranging a bunch of daisies near the window.
    She flung open the window and took in a deep breath. The heady scent of petrichor wafted in.
    “Ah! Isn’t that lovely,” she exclaimed to the daisies.
    “What is that horrible rumbling noise?” they squeaked.
    “Oh that is just some rain clouds playing around, don’t you worry,” she comforted them.
    I smiled as I got absorbed into the ground. The rumours were true, I should always believe the wise old wind.

    Florist/rain cloud/fantasy

    3+

    • 18 June 2016 at 5:11 am

      Ah Firdaus, what a super point of view! I had an ‘ah’ moment halfway through. Perfect. The descriptions are great, I do like ‘We sent sparks flying as we rubbed shoulders, lighting up the sky.’ And the florist talking to the squeaking nervous daisies made me smile. Great use of the prompts.

      1+

      • Firdaus Parvez
        18 June 2016 at 5:24 am

        Thankyou Sal. That’s such a sweet comment. I really appreciate the encouragement. You had some great prompts going. 🙂

        1+

    • 18 June 2016 at 5:46 am

      Loved the different viewpoint, and rather than a downpour, I liked the fact that the rain turned into a light drizzle and so was gentle to the old lady.

      1+

      • Firdaus Parvez
        18 June 2016 at 6:06 am

        Thankyou so much Steph. With most of the stories taking a scarey route I thought I’d be gentle. 🙂

        0

  13. 18 June 2016 at 12:00 am

    @GeoffHolme
    #FlashDogs
    Word Count: 297
    Fisherman / Swimming Pool / Romance

    Fisherman’s Friend

    She’s overtaking me again, splashing me with water as she speeds towards the distant end of the pool. Did she do it deliberately?

    I’m beginning to regret the lessons, but a fisherman who can’t swim… it’s a cliché, isn’t it? Besides, every time I go out on the trawler, Mum worries. I do too, but I can’t show it in front of Dad. He’s dead set on me taking over when he retires.

    I’ve got the basics of breaststroke now, but I’m still not very confident. That’s why I come to the pool first thing in the morning whenever I can to practise. I’ve tried swimming breadths, but, when she turns up, she makes it obvious that I’m getting in her way. I couldn’t stop to let her by though. So now, I’m trying lengths.

    She’s coming back now, passing me going the other way. This time she tutted, I’m sure of it. I bet she’d love it if she had the pool to herself! Well, I’ve got as much right to be here as she has.

    The end of the pool – the deep end – is getting closer, but I’m beginning to tire. Now I’ve got an excruciating pain in my leg… cramp. I’m going under, sinking like a stone, powerless to resist. How ironic to survive all those trips in the North Sea, only to succumb to the water in my local pool.

    Arms surround my chest from behind… I’m lifted up to the surface… I gasp for breath… I’m towed to the side of the pool… lifeguards lift me out.

    She is kneeling, looking down at me, a concerned look on her face. Then she smiles.

    “If you’re going to carry on coming here, I think I’ll have to make sure you can swim properly.”

    4+

    • 18 June 2016 at 5:20 am

      How lovely Geoff! A fisherman who can’t swim. Like the way he thought of the irony of drowning in a pool after all the sea trips. (And I thought that man was a builder!) That woman sounds absolutely dreadful but she turned out nice in the end. If it was me I’d probably just carry on swimming. 😉

      0

    • 18 June 2016 at 5:51 am

      This sounded almost like a tribute to Sal ‘I bet she’d love it if she had the pool to herself!’. And schmaltz is always good.

      1+

  14. 18 June 2016 at 12:31 am

    Schmaltzy! My laptop always knows when I have a deadline and goes into intermittent comatose mode, so I didn’t have time to edit and come up with something better. Heigh-ho… 🙁

    0

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