Microcosms 68

Hello and welcome to MC68! Geoff is famous for looking at birthdays, but I sometimes gravitate towards the deaths. *shrug*

Sadly, we lost one of the most creative and talented musicians on this day last year. Roger Nelson was born on 7 June 1958. He would later be known to the world as Prince.

“Prince was an American singer-songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, philanthropist, dancer and record producer. He was a musical innovator who was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop.” – Wikipedia

He was also a vegetarian, a quality that is near and dear to my heart.

I hope you enjoy this week’s prompts, which are inspired by both his music and personal life.
KM

 

(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact us.)

 

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, setting and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: musician, setting: Alphabet Street, and genre: memoir.


Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – you can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

 

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry. ***



  • singer
  • musician
  • philanthropist
  • vegetarian/vegan
  • dancer
  • songwriter
  • discount store employee
  • someone wearing a beret
  • a dove
  • in a Corvette
  • a five and dime
  • in the (purple?) rain
  • Gotham City
  • on Alphabet Street
  • 1999
  • Erotic City (PG-13, please)
  • Science Fiction
  • Crime
  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Memoir
  • Comedy

Spin!


Judging this week is Microcosms 67 Community Pick, Carol Smith.

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

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted on Monday.

Microcosms 69
Microcosms 67
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41 comments for “Microcosms 68

  1. 21 April 2017 at 2:32 am

    @GeoffHolme
    #FlashDog
    26 alphabetical words
    Musician; Alphabet Street; Memoir

    Ghetto

    Extracts from Queenie Young’s Diaries:

    I’ll name my baby Zymbal…

    These violent streets will keep him ground under…

    Learning jazz xylphone could promise a route out…

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      21 April 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Brilliant!

      0

      • 21 April 2017 at 9:44 pm

        Thanks, Sian. Just a little something to get the ball rolling.

        1+

  2. Ewan Smith
    21 April 2017 at 4:40 am

    @ewanandsmith
    294 words
    Musician / Alphabet Street / Memoir

    Alphabet Street

    “Alphabet Street…Alphabet Street…
    place to party, place to meet…”

    In hindsight, it was a ridiculous place to live. Cramped, dingy, stinking of burgers from the takeaway downstairs. Sometimes, I obsessed about combining the creeping damp and the bare electric wires to create a cockroach killing machine. As a base for a would-be music teacher trying to attract new pupils it was utterly impractical. On the other hand, it was Alphabet Street.

    “Satiate those sleek desires;
    fuel up, spray gas,
    blaze those fires…”

    It was Friday night, there was a heaving crowd in the bar and I was well gone. It seemed unreal. I saw her and I couldn’t look away. All I wanted was to gaze on her face; it was the only thing that mattered in the world. At some point, she appeared at my side and took me by the hand. We lay down in a precious space under the bar (under the bar!?) on the booze-soaked floor and kissed for ever. There may have been angels singing.

    “- beat – feet – greet – heat – cheat – neat – treat –
    find yourself on Alphabet Street.”

    It’s what – 30 years later. I’m a success, I suppose; I’ve made a name for myself. But she spoilt me for love. The strange thing was that nothing else between us connected. When we were together, we didn’t have anything to talk about. We would go for a meal and be like two strangers across the table. I think we found each other irritating more than anything else. It was just that one thing. But decades on its power still heaves and surges within me; the memory – the sweet, sickening, aching memory of it.

    “Loved each other, wild in bed;
    but she lived A to Zee
    and I lived A to Zed.”

    1+

    • Sian Brighal
      21 April 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Great story. Loved the description in this.

      1+

  3. 21 April 2017 at 5:54 am

    Words: 289
    Used: Singer | Purple Rain | Romance
    @CarinMarais
    http://www.maraiscarin.wordpress.com

    Sixty Years

    We stood by the doorway between the standing stones when the sky turned the deep purple-blue-black colour of a bruise. Nine times we had walked around the ring of lichen-covered stones, nine times we had sung the words that would open the doorway once more.
    “I cannot stay,” she says and tries not to cry, but the tears are flowing freely across her cheeks.
    “I know,” I say, my own voice hoarse. It has not been the voice she fell in love with for nigh on thirty years, but she stayed with me nevertheless. I have not sung to her for over two decades, I realise. Yet she had stayed.
    “I am only permitted one day away,” she says again, and I wipe the tears from her face. We both knew how this would end, after all. Sixty years in my world, one day in hers.
    “I know.” My voice breaks and I shuffle forward, legs no longer working like they did once. I lean down to kiss her one last time before the bruised sky starts crying its own tears at our parting. She leans into me for a moment before pulling away and stepping backwards between the stones, disappearing from my sight.
    I shuffle around the ring again; nine times until my breath come in short bursts and my chest burn. I stand in front of the doorway once more, but it does not open. Tomorrow, she would be waiting by the doorway, I know. But her tomorrow was sixty years into my future.
    I sit down against one of the standing stones and lean back, feeling the soft drizzle of rain on my face and hands. In the distance the rain looks purple against the clouds.

    4+

    • 21 April 2017 at 10:28 am

      What a bittersweet tale, Carin. So many questions spring to mind: how does this time differential work, what would happen if she didn’t go back, etc.
      [ Would you like an amendment to ‘…until my breath comes in short bursts and my chest burns.’ ]

      0

    • Sian Brighal
      21 April 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Heartbreaking story. Lovely and so sad.

      0

  4. Alva Holland
    21 April 2017 at 9:09 am

    Alva Holland
    @Alva1206
    300 words
    Discount Store Employee/a Five and Dime/Romance

    Code Purple, Code Red

    She never comes in when it’s raining.

    Wet days, when I don’t see her, are the worst. They stretch out before me like the Sahara – long, boring, without an oasis in sight. In her absence, the odd mirage would suffice but what are the chances of that among shelves of multi-pack toilet rolls, cheap dishwashing liquid, three-for-two offers and sticky floors. Nothing in my albeit verbal contract said anything about cleaning sticky floors. Salesman? Huh! More like a jack-of-all-trades called Joe.

    Outside, the rain falls in sheets, making Patel’s liquor store purple neon sign across Alphabet Street blur into vertical lines like a bar-code with a secret message only Prince could decipher, but he’s gone now. The wind blows the rain sideways and the bars merge into a QR code. Should I tell Patel he’s Code Purple? When the rain stops, I’ll go over there.

    A harried young mother and her toddler son are loitering by the checkout, thinking I can’t see them so she starts yelling something about service and I want to say how bad this job is and how much I don’t want to be here but I hold my counsel (I know some things) and hasten to the cash desk to take the money she’s paying for things she can’t afford. I figure she wants to give the boy a treat. He smiles. Her day is made. Mine remains miserable.

    A lightning streak of red shoots past the window. Before I can say ‘Have a nice day,’ she’s inside, drenched, dripping great puddles of muddy water onto my clean floor. Do I care? No, because she’s here, on a rainy day. Hallelujah! Code Red.

    The five and dime’s okay. I get paid on Fridays.

    PS – words like ‘albeit’ ‘hasten’ and ‘counsel’ are from my lawyer days.

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      21 April 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Great snippet into his life! Really liked how you built up the world.

      0

  5. 21 April 2017 at 9:48 am

    300 moments on the road
    @billmelaterplea
    Vegetarian/ in a corvette/ memoir

    The Dream, Man, The Dream

    It’s in there, I tell the kid, pointing to my garage. He looks so goddam young. Slick suit. Not really a kid, I suppose. Maybe thirty. I make mention. I’m curious.

    “Yeah…job requirement. No casual dress. Not even Fridays. It’s killing me but the pay is incredible.”

    I’m in slippers and robe. Can’t get more casual in this neighbourhood.

    The lawn is moist. I almost slip on the strip of grass.

    I lift the garage door, flip on the light.

    “What a beauty,” he says. “As advertised. Love the red.”

    We stand there, morning sun at our back, blazing away into the open garage, the candy-apple red 1961 Corvette.

    “Don’t know how you can sell something like this, man.”

    And as I stand there, my old brain, half way between atrophy and death, almost forgets what glorious moments she and I had. We’d both had Route 66 fantasies. How could you not? That first season. Tod and Buz. The beat of Riddle.

    So, in ’71, two years into our marriage, we chucked it all, bought the ’Vette, set out to see what was left of the country.

    “I said…I don’t…”

    He thinks I’m not listening. Maybe I’m not.

    “I’m set to move into assisted living home,” I say, not really wanting to tell him anything but there is no one else who even cares. “No cars allowed.“ I pause. “The wife turned me into a vegetarian years ago,” I blurt out. “Oh, I went willingly, I guess. The animals, she said. We’ve got to stop eating them.”

    But I don’t tell him that was after we saw our America, six months of ‘Vette heaven.

    And a raft of American Burger joints.
    I don’t tell him that.

    Even as he hands me a whopper of a cheque and drives her away.

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 9:48 am

      Sad story, beautifully written.

      1+

  6. 21 April 2017 at 9:58 am

    A dove, Gotham city, crime

    Without a Bat, how do you have a Ball?

    296words @geofflepard

    ‘Peace? That’s a relative concept.’ Mayor Brown scratched his head.
    ‘How?’ Chief Blue was a man of few words. He couldn’t see why Brown was so off. Since the Bat had upped and left followed by all the misbegotten misfits who’d inhabited the sewers and junk yards and alleys he’d gotten fat and he liked it.
    ‘Look it’s been fine for you and yours, cruising about looking good but tourism’s down, hospitals are closing and the construction industry is barely functioning. Throw in the closures of hardware stores, gunsmiths, Gentlemen’s lycra outfitters, car repair shops, rocket boot makers, spotlight silhouette artists.. You name it. We’re struggling. We had a Bat based economy and now we have a business mutiny that is ready to explode.’
    The Chief nodded at his state of the art police response vehicle bristling with the latest ways to disable, main and if necessary vaporise any challengers. ‘They wouldn’t dare.’
    ‘If I was you I’d enjoy your indolence, Blue. Arianna Dove has just been signed to the Chamber of Commerce. She’ll get rid of you as fast as she did for the Bat. Once her polling showed the only reason there was so much crime was because he was here. Setting himself to be shot down. He had to go, sure enough… so do you think we need you and all that, that stuff now they’ve all gone?’
    The Chief looked sombre; Mayor Brown patted his shoulder. ‘Don’t worry, I kept the hotline, just in case.’
    ‘You’re going to call the Bat?’
    ‘God, no. What we need is crime, lots of it. Once the Joker, the Penguin and the rest are back that Bat won’t be able to resist. That was always where his strength really lay. In one mother of an ego.’

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 9:50 am

      I guess one cannot exist without the other…but is business the real hero or villain? Wonderful read, thank you.

      0

  7. 21 April 2017 at 11:26 am

    @stellakateT
    254 words
    Vegetarian / purple rain / horror

    Plant Food

    It happened very quickly. It was summer I think, but it might have been spring, when the Purple Rain fell. At first Sadie thought it was magical, a nice shade; think she used the word ‘hue’. The animals weren’t very keen. It was later I turned vegetarian. I’d always liked a lamb’s leg for Sunday lunch; not many farmers in these parts that didn’t eat meat.

    Sadie would go out and dance in it. I don’t like getting wet. Sadie would laugh and say, ‘Whenever did you see a rusty man?’ She started to say things like I was good enough to eat, and would bite my arm hard when I gave her a hug. I had to shoot her dead the day she came at me in the barn with a meat cleaver. It was the one we used to cut up the pigs, once they’d hung for a while in the outhouse.

    I buried her in the back garden with a cross around her neck and a stake through her heart, just in case. She feeds a patch of wild flowers. It looks really pretty. The rain is back to normal: no purple tinges. But I make sure me and the animals stay indoors if rain is forecast. You never can tell these days what’s what. I eat porridge mostly, and let the animals die when nature decides. Haven’t seen the neighbours for months. The flowers look good though, on the sides of the adjoining hills. Really pretty, I tell myself.

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 9:52 am

      The flowers aren’t vegetarians then. Lovely gruesome story.

      0

  8. 21 April 2017 at 11:32 am

    @fatimat91
    Musician/ Alphabet Street/ Memoir
    298 words

    An Excerpt of A Memoir by Jeremiah Stevens (aka Sleeky J) For Presentation To The Parole Board At Kirika Maximum Prisons

    I drove past the red lights of Alphabet Street, playing my latest hit and searching for a parking spot. Folks called this place Redville before government​ reforms and street clearance. The scantily-dressed saleswomen and salesmen flocked to my car flashing white teeth, red lips and fake lashes, but I brushed them off when I spotted her.

    She was just like the last three times; dressed in a red tank top, glittering skirt and pepper red pump heels to match her nail color and lipstick. I tried unsuccessfully to brush off the memory of last time when she left me in a bubble of joy.

    “Remember me?”

    She blew off a stream of smoke and looked me over. “Forty dollars per night, payment before service, and I leave first thing in the morning.”

    “That’s fine by me.”

    “Let’s go,” she said, throwing the cigarette to the ground and crushing it between her heels.

    She was better than the last time. I offered her 200 dollars, but she wouldn’t have it or my earnest pleas, so I jammed the door, locking us in.

    She flew at me scratching with her nails and I grabbed her hands to save my face. Then, she bit me so hard, I flung her away screaming in pain.

    It wasn’t intentional or premeditated but an accident; a cruel play by fate for, you see, she hit her head against the wall, jerking, skull broken and quite dead.

    After that, I must have wrapped the body in tarpaulin and locked it up in the basement.

    The police came the next day. I was questioned that evening and formally charged the next week. The trial took eight months of my life and with it, my career.

    The verdict? Guilty on both counts of solicitation and manslaughter.

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 9:54 am

      Accidents happen. Great read, thank you.

      0

    • 22 April 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Fatima, as one who embraces very long titles, I bow to your brilliance.

      1+

  9. 21 April 2017 at 11:41 am

    Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    @miladyronel
    228 words
    Singer/ in the (purple?) rain/ Crime
    The Muse

    Performing in the club never got old. Though the rest of the band made plans for the big time, he was happy to just sing his songs. There’s a special kind of magic that happens when you can hear the music call and change as you sing. The others didn’t get it.

    A fine drizzle was cleaning the alley of its usual heaps of ash, cigarette butts and oppressive smoke. It was almost easy to breathe.

    Malcolm could hear a new song forming, another one involving his muse. Closing his eyes, he listened as it slowly played in his head.

    Sounds untrue to his song interrupted his enjoyment of the moment and his eyes snapped open. The light had disappeared and the alley was dark. The drizzle had turned into a steady downpour, though getting soaked didn’t bother him – even his fans would think that it was just a stage-gimmick.

    Everything turned purple as three men in leather jackets rushed past him, all carrying bags that didn’t match their look, and scaled the wall to whatever lay above the club.

    As the pain spread from his abdomen, he was sure he could see Amy watching him where she stood in the purple rain before she disappeared. Malcolm sank to the ground, the music swelling within him before the door slammed open next to him and everything went black.

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 9:57 am

      Love the imagery. Amy was his muse?

      0

  10. 21 April 2017 at 11:49 am

    Action
    Michael Emerson
    194 words
    A Dove – Gotham City – Comedy

    David’s folks had told him not to move to Gotham; they had talked about the giant Bat-Man, the hawks, the smog, the propensity of the buildings to blow up, but David had to admit that he loved it.

    The action, the drama, the confused humans… it was just brilliant! A comedy show every night, free right in front of his perch. David spotted some movement in the shadows below him, it was the Bat-Man, trying to glide from shadow to shadow, humming a tune to himself. Dum das’ following an action like beat floated up to him.

    Every time he saw the Bat-Man, he had to wonder at the pure luck that the man had when facing criminals. David had once seen him knock himself out trying to throw one of those bat-shaped shuriken… Another shadow caught David’s eye, it too was trying to cling to the shadows, the impression of whiskers and a long tail was all that he needed to know… two girly screams rent the air as Bat-Man met Mouse-Man.

    Once again the villains of Gotham where safe from the terror of justice.

    2+

  11. 21 April 2017 at 12:59 pm

    A dove/1999/Horror
    Word count: 299

    1999

    A grey dove perches precariously on a barbed wire fence. It coos and ruffles its feathers, basking in the dewy morning light. A stone hits it squarely in the head and it falls dead, tangled in the barbed wire as it poses brutally with its wings outstretched, staring unseeingly into the blue summer sky.

    He picks up another stone. It doesn’t bother him that the dove is dead. He has killed far bigger animals. Each kill prepares him for the next and he needs to practice. He knows that killing a human being will require enormous courage, and he knows he has none. He just has to get over the fear that encases him all the time and commit to his moment of truth.

    He didn’t mean for it to get this bad. His mom told him to ignore them, they would pick on someone else, but they never did. They kept coming for him because he never reacted. He thought that it would show strength. Maybe if he had punched out Billy Marksen the first time he stole his school bag, it all would have ended there. His friend back then, Peter, was bullied for a short while, but he stood up to them and now he was popular. Billy and Peter are friends now. The girls are no better. Waspish, their tongues let loose, as evil cackles from their mouths. He often pictures them sitting in roosting trays, their big backsides squashing eggs out. They are vile things, the whole lot of them. Billy will die first, and then the girls. Peter will be the last to die. He will get a chance to run because he wasn’t always bad.

    He carefully aims his sling shot at a cat who has wandered into his line of sight.

    6+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 10:02 am

      Portentous. Really liked the descriptions of the dove and the chickens.

      1+

  12. Sian Brighal
    21 April 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Sian Brighal
    @sian_ink
    297 words

    A Dove / In The (Purple) Rain / Horror

    I know Why Doves Cry

    I’d watched grainy films projected on wrinkled bedsheets of people singing and dancing in the rain. The old biddies had sat, glassy-eyed, as though seeing something else beyond what’s horror and torture for the rest.

    No one’s seen rain in a long time, you see. If you were careful and didn’t mind scalds from pipes venting steam, you could climb up to the tip of the complex and see the sky through slats in the ventilation system. I’d built up a patchwork image of the heavens. On rare occasions, see a blue so endless it makes living in this underground city seem like wasting in a coffin—almost makes the walkabout seem worthwhile. But most often and for agonisingly long stretches, just broiling clouds the colours of angry, fresh bruises.

    The closest people get to rain is when condensation drips from piping, or when we run sprinkler tests. No one drinks it anymore, either: I’d read that rain had filled reservoirs for such purposes. The only water here is collected from nearby aquifers and endlessly recycled and rationed. Water from the sky belongs to hell.

    Tomorrow’s another water test, though; to see if it’s still bad. I hate the tests, but also water that tastes dead. We’ve rebuilt the bird stocks and it’s raining. The test’s simple. Let birds go and see how many get back.

    Some manage to. Not many. Not enough. Not…alive enough.

    I’ll climb up, watch through the slats. Their gentle dance in the rain will become mad, the silvery flock against venomous clouds turn crimson, and the rain will birth red rivers. I’ll watch them fall, dissolving carcasses thudding against the metal roof: hear them screaming until lungs liquefy.

    But that’s not what bothers me about the tests. You see…I know how aquifers recharge.

    4+

  13. Frank Key
    21 April 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Words: 300
    “Voices in the Raindrops”
    Musician, Hurricane, Memoir

    We were stupid, I know, to ignore the warnings of Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, to evacuate the island. But on that fateful day, we were still itinerant musicians with no place else to go; no one else who would take us in. This island – Galveston – became our home, would remain our home, no Hellish winds or surging high water could drive us away.

    Hurricane Ike’s fiercest raindrops pounded my cheeks as if thrust with the hydraulic force of nail gun. Each drop burst released an energy unfelt to me before. With my destination the old brick church on Broadway seven blocks away, I hastened my walking pace into a breath taking jog. As I alerted my ears to detect any oncoming traffic behind me, the voices began their chant. Each drop of rain that burst upon my cheek, released another voice that sang a word. Tenor, alto, bass, soprano blended together in a cascade of jumbled lyrics that baffled my storm addled brain.

    This is impossible. No way this is happening. The dead, the adrift, the drowned, the crushed, each of their voices captured by the rain of the mighty storm and laid like hatching eggs into my consciousness. I listened as best I could. Got to remember. Cannot forget. This too important. The voices in the raindrops, the memories detached from life, must become etched, ingrained, memorialized in rhythm and rhyme. I am but the minstrel with but the one solitary task to fulfill.

    I found my other four musician friends waiting at the church. Each was abuzz with their story of how the wind, the lightening, the sand, the debris had somehow released other compositional elements into their mind.

    There upon the altar we composed. As the brass played the first notes, voices from the raindrops gave thanks.

    ~~~
    @frankdaad

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 10:06 am

      Beautiful! I loved the way the lost voices came through the storm and the scene of the musicians composing their….memories and souls into something to be heard.

      0

  14. A.J. Walker
    21 April 2017 at 3:06 pm

    The Closest Thing to Hip
    A.J. Walker

    Friday 21st

    A good fun day was had as I recall. Mum and dad were crazily happy as the council had finally come back and agreed that the street houses could indeed all be renamed after a letter (as long as everyone on the street did it); twenty six houses on Alphabet Street it was weird they hadn’t done it anyway!

    So as number 9 we became ‘I’ and Alex next door became ‘H’. It was cool as drummer Jenni, our newest band member, lived at number 16! So as a band we had ‘HIP’. We thought it could be a good band name, better than our current one anyway (less said the better about that!). But of course there’s Mark who lives around the corner on Boston Ave. He lives at number 9; which was still number 9. So we had some debate about changing our band to ‘HIP 9’ or ‘HIP number 9’. We decided to give it a few days, as it may have been the euphoria from my parents that made us so convinced about the idea. Or that punch we nabbed from their celebratory BBQ.

    Mum and dad got wasted that night, and fell out with multiple neighbours, including the parents from X, T and C. Thankfully they don’t live too close. Their kids were talking about starting a band too. No chance, guys!

    Of course then our Alex moved out a few weeks later and we lost the H and the idea went with him (along with his wobbly bass).

    Looking back on the demise of the band, I feel it was a good thing that we fell apart as we were crap anyway. Although it was the one and only time that I was ever close to be being called HIP!

    —-
    WC 298
    musician/Alphabet Street/memoir

    (PS I can recommend the song ‘The Closest thing to Hip’ by the Waterboys!)

    3+

    • 22 April 2017 at 9:56 pm

      That still leaves the boys from R, E and M, of course; but the two girls from A and the two lads from B are about to move to Sweden, so no chance of hearing of them again! 😀
      Clever stuff, AJ. I really enjoyed this one.

      0

  15. 21 April 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Hell on Earth

    295 words
    Elements: wearing a beret, purple rain, horror

    @el_Stevie

    Stained glass made the rain look purple, a Boschian nightmare of a landscape, the garden of earthly delights turning into the last judgement. Luke savoured the violence of the storm outside, defied the lightning as it knifed its reflection down the aisle to sink its blade into the hanging man. He looked up at the carved figure, quickly pulling off his hat in a long-buried act of enforced respect, the beret twisting easily between his fingers as they too remembered.

    “Luke?” Lightning flashed again, revealing the face of his priest. “It’s been a long time. I’d heard you’d been released. I prayed for your recovery, your restoration to our community.”

    Luke knelt … gestured towards the altar.

    The priest followed his gaze. “Ah, you have brought an offering. Come. Let us give thanks.”

    Luke allowed himself to be led to the foot of the altar where the priest raised a cup, made the sign of his cross above it, offered it to Luke. Then the body too was offered and received.

    “He looks cold,” said Luke, eyes once more on the crucifixion.

    “Flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood,” said the priest, handing Luke a box of matches. “Let him burn.”

    “Let them all burn,” said Luke as the storm continued to rage. He struck a match.

    “Tonight He is with us,” said the priest.

    “And will be tomorrow,” said Luke, visions of other fires, other fathers, other meat, burning in his head. It felt good to be free, unmedicated, blessed.

    The minister watched him go, dark eyes turning red, a jagged-tooth grin spreading across his face. The night was still young and there were so many more madmen already dancing to his tune. It was hell on earth but he was in heaven.

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 10:16 am

      Wonderfully chilling.

      0

    • 22 April 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Dark, grim, scary, chilling stuff, Steph. (Why doesn’t the beret make you think of Frank Spencer?)
      [ Do the school governors know what you get up to in your spare time? :-S ]

      0

  16. 21 April 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Caleb Echterling
    @CalebEchterling
    281 words
    Dove/Alphabet Street/Comedy

    Let Them Pronounce Cake

    The letter C slammed a cup of coffee on the conference table. “My proposal is a fight to the death using canes. Or cutlery. That will decide who owns the /k/ sound once and for all.”

    The letter K tossed a highball of iced Kahlua into C’s face. “Your fantasy contests can’t disguise the fact that you’re stealing the hard k sound from me. It’s got my name for god’s sake.” The letters lunged across the table and locked limbs in mortal combat, as if Mortal Kombat had hijacked Sesame Street’s letter of the day.

    A white dove squawked at the brawlers. Her beak jabbed at exposed faces. Her wings boxed tender ears. “Dammit, people, this is not how court-ordered mediation works. Now come up with a peaceful solution before I peck your eyes out.”

    “I thought white doves were symbols of peace.”

    Claws cut deep grooves into finished oak. “I’m going to be a symbol of whup-ass unless you two can resolve who owns the /k/ sound without violence.”

    *******

    All the letters packed three deep into Alphabet Street. A platoon of C’s and a squadron of K’s faced off on a life-sized chessboard that was chalked onto the asphalt. The dove flew overhead and extinguished any fisticuffs that erupted when a C and a K held adjoining squares.

    Qu popped into the back of the line of letters. ‘Ello chaps, he said, ‘aving a quarrel on the chequerboard, are we?

    “Hey, that Pom’s stealing our hard k. Get him!” Each C locked arms with a K, and attacked Qu with a backpack full of knickknacks.

    “That settles it. We’ll share the hard k to keep Qu out of our clique.”

    2+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 10:18 am

      Great fun! Thank you.

      0

    • 22 April 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Good thing that the Greek Chi couldn’t get an entry visa, Mr Ekterling. 🙂
      Cick-ass komedy, mate! Great use of the prompt elements.

      0

  17. Firdaus
    21 April 2017 at 11:00 pm

    @firdausp
    (295 words)

    Slipping away

    I have forgotten my dog’s name, so I just call him Dog now. I’m surprised he actually responds to it. Maybe that was his name all along, I’m a little confused. Lately I’ve noticed subtle changes in him. His fur is thicker, he seems bigger and his bark is different; none of the whining anymore. Maybe it’s my over imaginative mind or the constant dull weather.
    The rain seems to be writing cryptic messages on my window panes. The drops slide down in crazy patterns. I can see alphabets appear, forming words I don’t understand. I jot them down, maybe I’ll use them in my song.
    Dog has trotted up to me as I stand by the window, he’s almost reaching my waist, he never was above my knee before. I scratch him behind his ear and he shuts his eyes. My nails are pointy again. I had clipped them really short till I had drawn blood. Was it yesterday– I try to remember.
    My room is dark except for the little candle flickering on the table. I like the play of shadows on the walls and ceiling. And when a vehicle passes by, the shadows rush over the walls. I like it here, this little room seems to talk to me. I’ve written more songs in this past month since I shifted here, than in my whole career. Now I know why they call it the Alphabet street.
    I slide open the window, sticking my hand out I catch the drops. They splatter in a brilliant array of purple. The rain is mingling with the night. Its raining ink. Purple, black, blue; I feel a song coming. I need to remember to buy a pair of shoes, my old ones don’t fit me anymore.

    Songwriter/Alphabet street/memoir

    3+

    • Sian Brighal
      22 April 2017 at 10:21 am

      A creepy story. Descent into madness. Fantastic read.

      1+

      • Firdaus
        22 April 2017 at 7:44 pm

        Thank you Sian 🙂

        0

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