Microcosms 163

Hi there, Friday flash fiction aficionados, and welcome to Microcosms 163.

 

REMEMBER!

(1) You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EST) to write and submit your masterpiece.
(2) All submissions must be no more than 300 words in length (excluding the title)
(3) NO FAN-FICTION, please, and NO USE of COPYRIGHT CHARACTERS
(4) Include: word count, the THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry
(5) Do NOT give details of your entry on social media, your blog, etc. until the Results post is live
(6) If you are new to Microcosms, PLEASE check out the full submission guidelines 

 

Apologies once again for the ‘no-show’ of MC 163 last week. My evil laptop finally stopped working altogether, forcing me — finally! — to go out and… BUY A NEW ONE! This should have been a simple solution, but my old — and by ‘old’ I really mean ‘ancient’ — laptop ran on Windows Vista (GASP!) and the new one is Windows 10. Consequently, there was a steep learning-curve for a geriatric like…

Anyhoo… we are here noo… er… now.

Today — 01-MAR — is St David’s Day; the feast day of the patron saint of Wales. But rather than be nationalistic, the theme is various well-known people celebrating a birthday today .

  • 1952 – Nevada Barr, US author of ‘Amanda Pigeon’ mysteries, set in US national parks
  • 1952 – Martin O’Neill, Northern Irish footballer and manager
  • 1944 – Roger Daltrey, legendary UK lead singer with The Who
  • 1967 – George Eads, American actor (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
  • 1969 – Javier Bardem, Spanish actor (‘No Country For Old Men’)
  • 1973 – Jack Davenport, English actor (‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise)

Geoff

 

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

 

Our contest begins with THREE things.

We spun, and our three elements — character, location and genre are:

Singer; Las Vegas; Adventure

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

 

  • Park Ranger
  • Soccer Player
  • Singer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Hitman
  • Admiral
  • National Park
  • World Cup
  • Rock Concert
  • Las Vegas
  • Desert Landscape
  • Caribbean
  • Mystery
  • Fantasy
  • Memoir
  • Crime
  • Thriller
  • Adventure

 

Spin!

 
MC 162 Judge’s Pick, Angelique Pacheco, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

 

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 164
Microcosms 162

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18 comments for “Microcosms 163

  1. 1 March 2019 at 1:14 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Hitman; Desert Landscape; Thriller

    The Desert is Bleeding Tonight

    Some jobs you don’t want. There’s something hinky about them. They don’t feel right. Or, maybe, you’re in a funk. You’ve suddenly had it up to here with…how useless people are.

    I wanted to say, stuff it, but word gets around if you get too cute. Too full of yourself.

    And then maybe somebody gets ideas. I don’t like people getting ideas. About me. I don’t like people even thinking about me.
    I don’t exist. Except to do the job.

    Sam from San Diego contacted me. He’s my filter, my go-between. And he’s never seen me.

    He’s good at his job.

    I’m better at mine.

    The mark was a teacher. Lived on the edge of the Mojave, a few miles outside of Barstow. Sam sent me the details.

    There was the requisite picture. It looked a few years old. She was coming out of an office building. The photographer was skilled. She was maybe thirty-five. Or a young forty. Wore a suit. Like Hepburn. Long brown hair, tall, slender, tanned, strong looking.

    Sam had attached a note. “You’ve got a week. Don’t mess it up.”

    Sam was getting officious. He knew more than he was saying.

    That worried me.

    Two days later, I was in Barstow, had located the mark, and was close to finalizing the hit.

    A couple of things I hadn’t figured on.

    I usually don’t care about people. Why should I. I don’t exist. But this time, there was an attraction. Very unprofessional. Career-ending unprofessional.

    That was one thing. The other…well, I met her. In a small café. The joint was overflowing. Injected myself into her booth. She took my intrusion in stride. A confident woman. And she laughed. Ate a hearty dinner. Clearly loved life.

    Some jobs you do knowing you’ll hate yourself in the morning.

    2+
  2. Steve Lodge
    1 March 2019 at 3:55 am

    @steveweave71
    300 words
    Singer; Rock Concert; Memoir

    Afterglow Of Wuthering

    It was a bit of a low point for me. Shireen had left me, my drinking was out of control and I’d suffered a rehab setback with another bout of STP. So bad I had to bale out of the Psychedelia Festival that year. My manager, Eddie Sticks, tore this out of the local paper. “One for the memoirs, Rocky, you old git.” He bellowed. He always bellowed.

    “Stop Press Late Edition.
    1.
    July is about to ride into town, bringing with it the annual Crumpled Common Psychedelia Festival. Organisers are missing 3 top bands, Marching Black Headphone, Demon Kra and Will Thundersley’s Lockjaw Band all of whom are touring the US or in prison, but there will still be top performers on stage.

    Sadly, regular performer, Rocky Crossing, won’t be there, either. A rehab setback has left Rocky with Savage Torso Poisoning.
    So… who will perform the traditional festival opener, psychedelic classic, “Scandelay” a song written by Rocky, Otis Cochise and Isaac Rooster many celestial moons ago? To this day this song can bring on bouts of owl screeching and wind.

    Other bands eagerly anticipated this year are
    Shitpotpoon
    Crikey O’Rylingtonstein The Berbooboo
    Nomads Of The Sunset
    Barefoot Tacos In September.
    Errol Carroll and his band will accompany The Nymphettes Of Time, Edna Cartilage and Shirley Control.

    2.
    The Town Council has invested in event-friendly catering and toilet facilities this year. Hopefully this will restrict the number of people contracting Trenchfoot and other diseases not known around these parts since World War One.

    3. An apology.
    Several keen-eyed readers wrote in about Madame St Dennis Astrological Charts. She writes “Apologies to those who read my Scorpio prediction last week. There was a typo. It should have read “You will enjoy the most fantastic luck,” and not what was printed.”

    1+
  3. Lesley Turrell
    1 March 2019 at 5:25 am

    296 words
    Crime Scene Investigator; National Park; Mystery

    A Walk in the Park

    It is warmer than usual for February and the early sun sparkles in the remaining water droplets on the moss in the rocky crevice. Only the bright maroon bobble hat betrays the location of the body to passers by.

    Josie, do you know where we’re going? It’s not that warm yet, even though you look cosy in your new stormproof coat. What happened to your old yellow one?

    The couple of walkers who found the body dropped a pin on their OS Peak District map and WhatsApped a copy over to the local police.

    Ah, but can you read the map?

    Steve, shut up and carry the forensic kit. The directions by phone.said to right off the New Road from Grindleford.

    Would that couple, waving at us from across the other side, be the ones who found the body?

    Clever dick, Steve.

    The pair of them changed tack and stomped over the rough terrain, trying not to twist an ankle in the hollows covered by skeletons of heather and flattened bilberry shrubs.

    Give me the main kit, Steve, and you take the fingerprints of the walkers. Josie had hoped for a little more time before having to get started, but fortunately the powerful sun had already dried up the footprints over the rocks.

    Nothing to sample here, Steve.

    They then have to wait for the declaration of death and the body to be extracted from its rocky tomb. As rigor hasn’t yet set in, this doesn’t take long. The pair of CSIs find no forensic evidence to link to the killer.

    ‘Not surprisingly,’ thinks Josie.

    Just then a bright young constable unclenches the hand exposing a yellow toggle.

    Rats, Mary always was a grasping witch, George’s ex. Josie holds out her arms for the cuffs.

    1+
  4. Elizabeth Moura
    1 March 2019 at 7:56 am

    @MouraBrevity555
    300 words
    Singer; Las Vegas; Adventure

    The Las Vegas Singer

    He was a little man. The world around him was big and glossy, the world of Las Vegas circa 1962. He had wanted to be a singer, another Frank Sinatra, or at least a performer who opened Frank’s show. He wasn’t good enough, so he sang at cheap, rickety old desert clubs outside the glittering strip, trash left over from Las Vegas’ past.

    His name was Don. Outside the latest hovel where he was playing he was smoking when a man approached him, smiling like a fox.

    “Hello, my friend,” he said. His eyes smiled, too, in a foxy fashion.

    “Hiya,” Don said, flicking off ash.

    “You’re a good singer. Why aren’t you on the strip?,” asked the fox.

    “Too late for that, fella. Way too late,” Don said. “Where were you twenty years ago?”

    “Oh, I’ve been watching you,” the fox said. “Come on. We’ll talk.”

    Don smiled, flicked off more ash.

    “Come on,” said the fox. “What have you got to lose?”

    Don nodded, stepped on the stub, and got into the man’s good looking black sedan. They drove away and Don looked at the man. He really did look like a fox. He even had a red sideburn visible under his hat.

    They drove into the desert. Don was puzzled. He had figured they were on their way to the strip.

    “Hey, what gives,” he asked. “Where are we going?”

    The man didn’t answer and drove deeper into the desert.

    “What the…hey! Where are we going?”

    The fox didn’t respond. Then he did.

    “Remember a wish you made? In 1950? You’d give your soul to be a singer in Las Vegas?”

    “Yeah, I probably said that. When I was drunk or something.”

    The fox turned to him, eyes narrow and bright.

    “I’ve come to collect,” he hissed.

    1+
  5. 1 March 2019 at 10:29 am

    @geofflepard
    299 words
    Singer; Desert Landscape; Adventure

    Dune Roamin’

    The contestants for the charity version of ‘Nothing Ventured’ shifted uneasily as they stared at the unbroken horizon of baking sand. The presenter smirked. ‘You have two days to survive. And remember, it’s all in a good cause.’
    Patrick Scosdale lead guitar of Leviathan (‘the best axeman to come out of Priscilly on Tweed in weeks’ NME) sighed. Next to him his brother Courtney, lead singer (‘a voice like Elvis if he was being electrocuted and drowning’ Music Today) spat and watched as the sputum fizzled and disappeared.
    ‘We’re going to die.’
    ‘Don’t be daft. They promised rescue teams are within 30 minutes.’
    ‘Yeah, fake news. They want the headline: “rock band finds desert too hot to handle”.’
    ‘Nah. Come on. They said it’s a doddle.’
    ‘They’re taking the piss.’
    ‘Think of the publicity.’
    ‘That’s them sugaring the pill.’
    ‘One minute it’s fake news, the next they’re sugaring the pill.’
    ‘Haven’t you heard of truth decay?’
    ‘Shut up, Courtney.’
    *
    ‘We’re dead. I can barely breathe.’
    Patrick lifted his brother’s head. ‘Here drink this.’
    ‘You have water? Where did you get water?’
    ‘I found a mirage. The guy in charge said to take all I needed.’
    ‘Guy in charge?’
    ‘Yeah, tall, skinny, long black cloak, scythe…’
    ‘Death?’
    ‘He said De’ath, but I guess that’s just pretentious.’
    ‘What’s the catch?’
    ‘He offered a range of options.’
    ‘Yeah?’
    ‘Well there was instant demise, straight to Hell, but I’m a bit fed up with no aircon…’
    ‘Agreed.’
    ‘Or we could part with our souls…’
    ‘Too late.’
    ‘Yeah. He apologised, said he should have read our contract with the record company…’
    ‘So what’s left?’
    ‘Support act to Michael Bublé…’
    ‘You’re kidding? You didn’t accept?’
    ‘Course not.’
    ‘What’s this then?’
    ‘You know you said they were taking the piss? Well, they didn’t take it all…’

    2+
  6. James Christie
    1 March 2019 at 10:52 am

    298 Words
    Admiral; Desert Landscape; Fantasy

    The Lost Fleet

    John blinked his eyes open and scratched his beard, dislodging no small amount of sand. It was finally night, cool enough to start moving again and with stars to navigate by, if only they fitted his charts. But the night brought its own dangers. The endless sand was calmer than the waves he was used to but still they felt hostile, alien to him. They had to find civilisation. They had to get word back before it was too late. It wasn’t the Spanish, or even the French, sinking their ships it was…. He paused and watched the handful of remaining officers packing up their makeshift tents in the moonlight.

    “Captain Mercer,” he called, summoning his second-in-command, “how do we fare?”

    “It’s been better, sir, if I’m honest,” Mercer replied. “We are low on water and the men, well frankly, sir, they’re scared. Hardened sailors a jibbering wrecks, sir, They say they still hear it during the day, flying around, hunting for us they think.”

    John had the same concerns but he pushed them down.

    “Well, let’s just count our blessings eh? At least we got to land alive, some of us.”

    “But what land, sir? It’s not on any maps. And as far as we can see its just endless desert.”

    The captain was looking to him for answers. ‘And why not?’ John thought. It was he who led them out here to investigate the missing ships. He who had brought almost the whole navy, assuming it must be the Spanish armada. Now, they were no more than two dozen men. John looked at Mercer’s eyes as they begged for guidance, then at the stars for some guidance of his own. And there it was. The massive shadow of the creature swooping, towards them through the sky.

    1+
  7. Nicola
    1 March 2019 at 11:33 am

    287 words
    Singer; Las Vegas; Adventure

    Sara’s Song

    The bright lights twinkled as I zoomed through the night sky. I was on my way to be rich and famous. If I didn’t get caught that is. I zipped through the air vent and rested for a while. I had been flying for 12 hours. I had heard about the songbirds extravaganza from a Canadian Wheatear that had come to visit in Africa. He was a charming fellow. He had said that my voice would win first prize if I entered the contest. I knew I had to go. My family and fiancee were not happy, but here I am. I fluffed my feathers and sung a few notes. CROAK. I tried to sing again. CROAK. I looked around. Everyone sound like angels I sounded like a frog had taken residence in my throat. What had happened?

    A bright bluebird came hopping up to me.
    “Frog got your voice?” giggled Bluebird.
    “Yes,” I squeaked.
    “Here have a bit of this. You will be singing like a Swainson’s thrush in not time.” As I took the glass from the Bluebird, a fist of feathers hit it out of my hand and the fist grabbed me by the shoulder.
    “Come, MiLady. This contest is not for you,” said Frank the Amur.
    Bluebird pushed Frank back. “Leave her.”
    “Sir, you don’t know what you doing.”
    “Yes, I do. I am rescuing this damsel from you.”
    “Damsel? I am no damsel,” said Sara as she punched the Bluebird in the face. “Come, Frank. The contest is starting.”
    Frank let go of Sara. “Fine! But afterwards we need to return to the castle, otherwise your father will have me for a roast.”

    1+
  8. 1 March 2019 at 11:49 am

    Hit Man; Rock Concert; Crime
    300 words

    The Music Lover

    I don’t normally work for free but this is personal. Usually my hits deserve their fate … criminals, corrupt politicians … but they don’t cause me any harm. So if they need eliminating then the client has to pay. However, for this latest one, I’m the client.

    I’ll approach it in the usual way. Planning, preparation, professionalism and performance all have to combine for a successful hit. Getting into the stadium for the concert is a breeze. Security is focused on crowd control and drug abuse. They aren’t expecting a professional. I’ve lifted a security pass from a roadie’s jacket in one of the local bars. On the night I’ll dress like one of the crew, hide my weapon in a tool bag and settle onto a lighting gantry in the top of the stadium with a clear line of fire to the stage.

    I detest rap. The lyrics aren’t even good poetry; the rhymes are strained. Rappers mangle the language with reinterpreted words (since when did ‘wicked’ become ‘brilliant’?) But worst of all, their tunes are just endless repetitive chanting or no tune at all.

    My young daughters sing his stuff all the time. It really bugs me. He’s a bad influence singing about gangsters; killing, dealing drugs, denigrating women. He’s not even a real badass. The first thing he’d spent his royalties on was a big house outside his neighbourhood to escape the stuff that he glorified.

    Using a silencer I’ll drop him with one shot in the middle of his big number. Everyone will focus on his collapse. As they try to work out what’s happening I’ll slip away.

    This is a hit for posterity. The pity is that no-one can ever know. But if they did I’d probably be given an award for services to music.

    5+
    • Ted young
      3 March 2019 at 4:21 am

      Hey D. L. P. you ain’t no fool.
      You dun writ sumfin nat’s cool

      1+
      • 3 March 2019 at 6:25 am

        Ted
        Thanks for the generous comment if i have understand it correctly. Rap is a bit of a foreign language to me 🙂
        However, you have inspired me to try my hand at it. I apologise in advance for trying to punctuate it as that also seems to be forbidden.

        (W)Rap Up

        It ain’t no crime
        To strain a rhyme.
        It mayn’t be your wish
        To mangle Eng…lish.
        It could be ‘wicked’ put in a song
        But, Homey, I think it’s totally wrong.
        So
        (W)Rap up
        Dude,
        (W)Rap up
        Dude,
        (W)Rap up
        etc (continue the chorus in any endless, tuneless chant)

        3+
  9. Deanna Salser
    1 March 2019 at 3:15 pm

    @beadanna7
    300 words
    Singer; Las Vegas; Adventure

    Karma Meet Stalker, Stalker, You Better Run

    I was in the middle of my set when there was a series of loud booming noises somewhere in the Palazzo, and the lights went out. Dropping my useless mike, I stumbled through the darkness, my hands held out in front of me as feelers, while the panic stricken crowd ran screaming toward the doors. After the first people through the doorways were struck by bullets from an unseen sniper, the crowd came back with a vengeance, and the screams of the trampled tore my heart, as well as my ears. Someone ran into me from behind, and we both went over in a tangle of limbs. I hit my head and stars began circling, bright points, swimming in a sea of dark confusion.
    “Memphis!” someone shouted, sounding unhinged.
    My heart filled with dread. He had found me.
    I knew when I accepted this gig, it might happen, but I needed to work. The songs in my heart ached until I set them free.
    I untangled myself and scrambled quickly toward the back door, slipping in with some of the other staff, trying to stay as small as possible. Someone grabbed my arm and I almost fainted in terror, the top of my head feeling like it was pulsing along with my heartbeat.
    “Memphis! Over here.” The makeup girl pulled me away from the others just as another series of gunfire erupted in our midst. Several went down like dominoes, and I felt the wind as a bullet tore by my ear. We ducked behind a dumpster, hearing bullets slamming into the other side. Maniacal laughter was cut short abruptly, changing to a gurgle and then a harsh rattling. I stood up in time for him to glare at me before his eyes glazed over with the film of death.

    2+
  10. 1 March 2019 at 3:33 pm

    @ellengwriter
    300 words
    Park Ranger; Caribbean; Adventure

    Luna-tic

    Beck didn’t want to be here. Not here, on an island in the middle of nowhere, with some lunatic. Some lunatic who for some reason could afford an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean for ‘research’ but couldn’t afford a proper bodyguard for that same trip.

    And why was Beck here? Because the money was good. They knew they shouldn’t have agreed to go halfway across the world with some lunatic. Their husband had told them too many things didn’t quite add up.

    Beck wished they’d realised all of this before the plane had taken off.

    Now, there was some lunatic on an island in the middle of nowhere doing God knows what to a pine tree.

    “What are you expecting to need protection from?”

    A shrug of a single shoulder. “You never know.”

    Beck didn’t know, and they still didn’t know, and they didn’t know if they ever would. They just knew that they were on an island in the middle of nowhere while a pine tree was being molested(?) by some lunatic.

    Beck turned away. Looked out at the ocean: the clearest ocean they had ever seen. They had heard of the sun glinting off water like diamonds, and they had heard of diamonds blinding people, and both phenomena were at work here on this island in the middle of nowhere. It was still better than looking at that poor pine tree.

    “I think I’ve got it!” came the mad ravings of some lunatic.

    Beck was approached by some lunatic holding a coconut.

    “We came all the way here for that?”

    “Wasn’t that far. You don’t understand.”

    Beck didn’t understand. They didn’t understand anything, except that when they looked up at the clearest sky they’d ever seen, the moon was full in the sky – and had been for days.

    1+
  11. Kevin Curtis
    1 March 2019 at 4:00 pm

    300 Words
    Admiral; Desert Landscape; Memoir

    Experience Triumphs Again

    The old soldier removed his helmet and rubbed his rheumy eyes, the five stars on his collar still highly polished enough to make the desert sun reflect off of them, hurting Private Thomas’ sensitive orbs. He squeezed them shut, turning away. Despite this being their fifth day without water, his superior still hadn’t shut up.
    “Did I ever tell you about the time I drank Hitler’s vodka?” His cracked old voice still held quite a bit of volume, and Private Thomas couldn’t ignore him.
    “No, sir.” He forced the words past his thickened tongue. His head dropped back onto his knees, his neck too weak to support the weight of the helmet the old man refused to let him take off.
    “It was in the spring of 1940. I was a young buck with no sense at all, don’t know how I managed to pass the tests, but I did all the same, and found myself in the Armed Forces.” He coughed, and the sound drew Private Thomas from his uncomfortable doze.
    “What?” he asked, confused.
    “I haven’t told you yet.” The creaky voice continued. “Anyways, we were in France on leave and, walking down an alley, we found a bottle sitting abandoned on top of a wall.” He snorted with remembered amusement. “We took it and had started trading drinks, when out comes Hitler, glaring all around.” His tongue came out and passed over his lips. “He snatched the bottle and drained it, then pivoted like a soldier in rank and walked away.” He laughed a dry wheezing laugh. “I was never so scared in my life,” he said.
    Private Thomas fell over into the sand.
    “What’s the matter, son?” The Admiral creaked. He drew his canteen from its hiding spot.
    “Amateur,” he said softly, and took a drink.

    1+
  12. Ted Young
    1 March 2019 at 4:50 pm

    259 words
    Singer; Las Vegas; Adventure

    The Mighty Tumble

    Talent does what it can… genius does what it must; somewhere in between we find Mark Miword, the singer/bass player in the house band at the ‘Silver Bullet Casino’.

    Mark could imitate every singer’s voice you’d care to mention, even the female stars. He sounded more like Elvis than Elvis, he had more talent in his little finger than any of the ‘Ice Pack’ had in their… thumb, but he was just happy playing and singing on the ‘Strip’, earning decent money.

    After the night’s work, Mark would go to his dressing room, shower and relax for a while enjoying a long cool rum and coke, then drive home in the wee small hours. Not this night though.

    Lieutenant Columbus of Vegas Police sat waiting, the customary lollipop sticking out of his mouth.

    “We need you to help us, Mr. Miword,” the cop drawled. “Y’know, wid a kinda sting? We hear you’re a great mimic.”

    The big ‘Stars’ had got bored with money, they had tired of drugs and they were looking for new thrills. Gambling with human lives was the new fun thing. The stakes were women, kid, wives, anybody… to do with as the gang wanted.

    But someone inside the circle blew the whistle.

    Mark’s brief was to get the ‘Ice Pack’ gathered together using the appropriate voices and codes. Every bit of skill, wit and nerve went into this performance.
    The sting was successful…
    The sleaze balls were exposed…
    Mark’s money went up… He had to do more singing.

    Life can be sweet sometimes.

    1+
  13. Kirsty Peto
    1 March 2019 at 7:46 pm

    @KirstyPeto
    296 Words
    Hitman; National Park; Crime

    Hitman With(out) a Heart

    1600 hours.

    Yellowstone.

    Target located.

    T minus 2 minutes until target eliminated.

    He has no idea. No idea that in two minutes his life will be over. In two minutes his wife will be a widow and his son will grow up without a father.

    If I had a heart I would pity him. Pity his wife, pity his son and pity him. Pity him for his bad luck. Pity him for his misfortune. Pity him for choosing to have an affair with a woman that can have his life wiped out with a click of her fingers.

    But I don’t have time for pity. I don’t get paid to pity. I get paid to kill. I get paid to take out a life without trace. I get paid to tie things up in a neat bow.

    His wife will find a note saying he’s run off with another woman. She’ll be hurt but she’ll cope.

    Maybe.

    I do my research. I don’t kill for just anyone who has a million pounds in their bank account. Don’t get me wrong; I do it for the money, but the perk of being the best hitman in the Northern Hemisphere means you can be picky. Killing for killing’s sake is not my thing.

    I like a sob story. I work for the innocent.

    A child beaten by a parent.

    A wife who’s husband sleeps with a different woman every weekend.

    A young girl who had her innocence taken against her will.

    Someone with reason. A good one.

    This man’s wife will be happier without him. His son will grow up without the pain of growing up in a broken home.

    They are better off without him.

    At least that is what I tell myself as I pull trigger.

    2+
  14. 1 March 2019 at 10:46 pm

    @alysia_ascovani
    300 Words
    Singer; Desert Landscape; Fantasy

    Serenade Our Saviour

    She stood alone atop the sand dune, scanning the sky for their approach. Her eyes were slits of deep violet, piercing in rarity. At a distant roar from overhead, she began to hum, a low croon that stroked the desolate horizons.

    Moments later, she felt them. Strong leathery wings beat the air, casting torrential gusts of wind through the desert, enveloping her in a whirlwind of sand. A wide grin split her features as she opened her mouth to sing, swallowing sand as she did.

    Her voice cut through the wind, clear for naught could resist her will. Dragons came into view, their wings flapping furiously against the power of her unearthly melody. A gleam in her eye, she pushed her song further, standing motionless even as the dragons fought their way closer.

    Flames shot in her direction, hitting an invisible wall and exploding into the sand-filled sky. She raised her arms above her head, thrusting her palms out towards the dragons as her song crescendoed to a boundless height. Relentless, she poured all she had into her cadence, a song of thousands, yet come from one alone.

    The dragons’ began to falter and fail as she stared them down. With a few final, choked attempts at setting her alight, they were blown back, wings in tatters as the desert itself rejected them.

    As the last of them disappeared, her song shattered, its momentum stolen. She collapsed into the embrace of the soft sand. Her eyes closed as the wind aided her burial; within moments it was as if she had never existed.

    Beneath the now empty land, she lay still, her final breath sliding from her body. A wicked smile on her lips, she fell to the tranquility of dreams.

    Where she’d remain until her power was awoken again.

    1+
  15. Saviour Eyo
    1 March 2019 at 10:59 pm

    @SaviourUdoEyo
    293 words
    Crime Scene Investigator; Desert Landscape; Crime

    Tongue Twister

    At 6:45 a.m, Ituen’s phone gave out a loud shrill beep. He picked it up, thumbed a few buttons, thus revealing a message that read:
    KM 36, OLD TOWN, DIORY.
    FORTY-FIVE MINUTES.
    He didn’t need to be a clairvoyant to know that a familiar foe had sprung up. As he hurriedly settled into a pair of tan trousers, he reached for his car keys, took out an ashen T-shirt from his wardrobe, and exited his three-room apartment.
    Old Town, once habitable, had become nothing but a vast land covered by sand and dust storms, and the road that stretched into it was characterized by large potholes and rocky bumps.

    Upon his arrival at the location, he saw a mid-forties male, lifeless in a pool of his own blood, with his neck slashed and bulging cheeks. While the police tried to question locals on what they had seen, he squatted besides the corpse, raised the head, opened the mouth and saw the tongue lodged between the soft palate and the opening of the throat. He dislodge the tongue from the mouth of the corpse, loosened the twist of a thread tied around it to expose a crumpled moist paper which he straightened out revealing the words:

    Three tricksters tried three tricks on three trees that tripped them for the tree times they tried. Now they tread through trees trading tricks for three tweets.

    He took out his phone, poked his keypad a few times, placed the phone to his right ear, and after a few seconds, “The governor is unavailable at the moment,” said a lady at the other end of the phone.
    “No one is ever unavailable when death lurks. Tell him his brother is dead, and he is next.”

    4+
  16. Saviour Eyo
    1 March 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Just noticed that there’s a spelling error in the last word. It should be next, and not nex, and then ended with a full stop.

    0

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