Microcosms 170

Greetings, my flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 170.

 

REMEMBER!

(1) You have just 48 hours until midnight, tomorrow (Saturday) 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 

 

History again brings us some interesting options.

KM

 

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

 

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

We spun, and our three elements are:

Vampire; Cable Car/Train; Romance

Ooh, let’s see what you’ve got!
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.

 

  • Pilgrim
  • Assassin
  • Explorer
  • Playwright
  • Composer
  • General
  • Abolitionist
  • Bowler
  • Boxer
  • Blended Family
  • Princess
  • Vampire
  • Ship
  • Exposition/Fair
  • North Pole
  • Supermarket
  • WWI
  • Theatre
  • Fire
  • Opera/Play
  • Cable Car/Train
  • Bowling Alley
  • Ancient Tomb
  • Accident
  • Nuclear Testing
  • Riot
  • Beauty Pageant
  • Charity Event
  • Funeral
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Song Lyrics
  • Epistolary
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Action

 

Spin!

 

Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Ellen Grace, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.

 

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 171
Microcosms 169
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26 comments for “Microcosms 170

  1. 6 September 2019 at 5:24 am

    Hey! KM here. There’s a slight goof with the comments, but I’m hoping they’ll be back to normal soon. (It’s a plugin issue, and I’ve reached out to the developer for help.)

    So far, I don’t think anyone has been impacted contest-wise, but if anything bizarre happens, we’ll figure something out.

    Thanks for your patience.

    2+
    • 6 September 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Sent you a note. I’m not having much luck submitting my bit this week.

      0
      • 6 September 2019 at 4:58 pm

        They appear to have stockpiled my efforts to post. One of my tales is usually more than enough.

        0
      • 7 September 2019 at 7:39 pm

        And not to confuse matters but between my first post of story and my second attempt, I waffled on the Title. So, the winner of my two-title race is…In the Market for a Wiseguy Investment. Truth is, I wasn’t happy with either title. I do so like a flamboyant title.

        0
    • steve lodge
      6 September 2019 at 11:49 pm

      Hi KM, seems my delightful nonsense is swirling around out there somewhere too. Happy weekend. Steve

      0
    • Tim Hayes
      7 September 2019 at 1:45 pm

      Hi KM,
      On posting it, my piece seems to have disappeared into the ether.
      Any ideas?
      Tim

      0
    • Diego Piselli
      7 September 2019 at 6:10 pm

      THE COMMUTER
      TRAIN, VAMPIRE, ROMANCE
      268 WORDS.
      The young, lonely, clerk always meet up with the unknown, strange, girl on the subway.
      After work, he caught the underground to his sleeping place in the suburbs. And the girl was always in his very carriage, wearing the uniform of a restaurant chain: a pretty petite brunette with a hot, mysterious, look and a peculiar, irregular, face with slightly swollen jaws.
      Since their first meeting, he had felt drawn to the girl and every night looked for her silhouette on the darkest spot of the train, trying to get discreetly close to breathe her perfume, a strange musky aroma.
      For a long time the woman pretended not to notice him, acting just like a tired, bored, servant getting home from a long working shift.
      One evening, however, she had imperceptibly peered the man’s face before getting off, shooting a defiant, ironic look at him
      Next evening, the main had picked the courage up and approached her on the train.
      The woman had smiled like she had known him forever. Then, she had led him out by hand at the first stop.
      The station was deserted and on the platform the woman had stood up on her tipotoes as to kiss him.
      Then, gently, she had sucked a few drops of blood from his neck. She had run away, and he had never met her again.
      Years later, the clerk, now retired, read a strange story: “in Milan, decades ago, a waitress had committed suicide jumping under a metro train. Her corpse couldn’t ever be found”
      He touched his neck, feeling again the soft touch of her teeth.

      0
      • Diego Piselli
        7 September 2019 at 6:14 pm

        THE COMMUTER
        TRAIN, VAMPIRE, ROMANCE
        268 WORDS.
        The young, lonely, clerk always meet up with the unknown, strange, girl on the subway.
        After work, he caught the underground to his sleeping place in the suburbs. And the girl was always in his very carriage, wearing the uniform of a restaurant chain: a pretty petite brunette with a hot, mysterious, look and a peculiar, irregular, face with slightly swollen jaws.
        Since their first meeting, he had felt drawn to the girl and every night looked for her silhouette on the darkest spot of the train, trying to get discreetly close to breathe her perfume, a strange musky aroma.
        For a long time, the woman pretended not to notice him, acting just like a tired, bored, servant getting home from a long working shift.
        One evening, however, she had imperceptibly peered the man’s face before getting off, shooting a defiant, ironic look at him
        Next evening, the man had picked the courage up and approached her on the train.
        The woman had smiled like she had known him forever. Then, she had led him out by hand at the first stop.
        The station was deserted and on the platform, the woman had stood up on her tiptoes as to kiss him.
        Then, gently, she had sucked a few drops of blood from his neck. She had run away, and he had never met her again.
        Years later, the clerk, now retired, read a strange story: “in Milan, decades ago, a waitress had committed suicide jumping under a metro train. Her corpse couldn’t ever be found”
        He touched his neck, feeling again the soft touch of her teeth.

        0
  2. Angelique Pacheco
    6 September 2019 at 5:48 am

    Vampire; Cable Car/Train; Romance
    11 words

    Fire in her Soul

    Sun kisses her in
    Table Mountain’s cable car
    The vampire explodes

    2+
  3. Ted Young
    6 September 2019 at 7:52 am

    254 words

    Vampire, Cable car, Romance

    Sunset Pullivard

    The Cable car was innocent enough in the daylight hours and made scores of trips up and down the picturesque Transylvanian mountain, but as darkness fell it had a more sinister use, with only one passenger….. Count Dracula the 42nd.

    He made his nightly sojourn to visit his blood relations and his dedicated fang club. The Count was always greeted by Freda who carried or more correctly, was consumed by, a passionate adoration for her Lord and Master, especially since that wonderful night on her three hundredth anniversary, when she was declared the Count’s chief phlebotomist, and earned the title… ‘Freda the Bleeder’

    The reason I bring this story to you is that this relates to the most tragic moment in Vampire history.

    As the sky lightened in the East, Dracula and Freda made their way hastily to the cable car as was customary. After a passionate embrace Freda bid the object of her desire farewell and the car started off…… Then stopped with a jerk….. forty feet over the precipice.

    Word was communicated to the Count that the engine had seized.

    As the sun rose higher Freda climbed hand over hand to reach her lover.

    “If you are to expire I will go with you” she cried;

    “I’ve brought you a raw meat breakfast”

    “I hope it’s not a stake” joked the Count…

    How they laughed as their pallid skin disintegrated, revealing their grey flesh … then their ashen bones…… until their pure white dust blew away on the cold morning breeze.

    1+
  4. 6 September 2019 at 11:35 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Assassin; Bowling Alley; Comedy

    In the Market for a Safe Investment

    I met Willie the Briefcase Muckle a couple of years ago. He came recommended by people I don’t want to name. Respectable people. Money people.

    You understand, a guy in my line of work, it’s a very particular profession I’m in. Not a lot of opportunity to chinwag about investments.

    I’d tried sockin’ away a little extra after every contract. Wasn’t having much luck. Easy come, easy go down the toilet. Flush one day; empty bucket the next.

    I was in crisis …’til I met Willie.

    “You can trust him,” these respectable people I don’t want to name said. “He’ll do right by your dough. Help you plan.”

    Right off, Willie hit the nail on the hammer. Right away, he says, “You got no visible means…Say the Government hauls you in, puts you under the lights, demands to know where did all your jack come from? Whaddaya gonna say. Oh, I hit people. Yeah, that’s gonna go over like a ton of petunias.”

    So, he comes up with this business plan. “You gotta buy a business.”

    I’m thinkin’, oh, great, what kinda business does an assassin own? My first thought? Taxis. Willie kyboshed that. “Nah, Ubers gonna rule. No, its gotta be somethin’ you’re nuts about, that really turns you on.

    “Weeds legal,” I suggested. Willie initially thought that might work but then backtracked. “It’s a maybe at best…still dicey. Come on! Think! Whaddaya really love?”

    That got me all teary-eyed, took me back to when I was a kid. Twice a week, bowling at the Pins and Needles.

    “A BOWLING ALLEY?” Willie shouted. “They still do that?”

    He checked. Yup. Folks still bowled.

    These days, in between hits, I am the new kingpin of the recharged Pins and Needles Lanes.

    Life’s a bowling alley of cherries.

    The perfect game!

    4+
  5. 6 September 2019 at 11:37 am

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Assassin; Bowling Alley; Comedy

    In the Market for a Safe Investment

    I met Willie the Briefcase Muckle a couple of years ago. He came recommended by people I don’t want to name. Respectable people. Money people.

    You understand, a guy in my line of work, it’s a very particular profession I’m in. Not a lot of opportunity to chinwag about investments.

    I’d tried sockin’ away a little extra after every contract. Wasn’t having much luck. Easy come, easy go down the toilet. Flush one day; empty bucket the next.

    I was in crisis …’til I met Willie.

    “You can trust him,” these respectable people I don’t want to name said. “He’ll do right by your dough. Help you plan.”

    Right off, Willie hit the nail on the hammer. Right away, he says, “You got no visible means…Say the Government hauls you in, puts you under the lights, demands to know where did all your jack come from? Whaddaya gonna say. Oh, I hit people. Yeah, that’s gonna go over like a ton of petunias.”

    So, he comes up with this business plan. “You gotta buy a business.”

    I’m thinkin’, oh, great, what kinda business does an assassin own? My first thought? Taxis. Willie kyboshed that. “Nah, Ubers gonna rule. No, its gotta be somethin’ you’re nuts about, that really turns you on.”

    “Weeds legal,” I suggested. Willie initially thought that might work but then backtracked. “It’s a maybe at best…still dicey. Come on! Think! Whaddaya really love?”

    That got me all teary-eyed, took me back to when I was a kid. Twice a week, bowling at the Pins and Needles.

    “A BOWLING ALLEY?” Willie shouted. “They still do that?”

    He checked. Yup. Folks still bowled.

    These days, in between hits, I am the new kingpin of the recharged Pins and Needles Lanes.

    Life’s a bowling alley of cherries.

    The perfect game!

    0
  6. 6 September 2019 at 12:55 pm

    http://www.engleson.ca
    @billmelaterplea
    300 words
    Assassin; Bowling Alley; Comedy

    In the Market for a Wiseguy Investment

    I met Willie the Briefcase Muckle a couple of years ago. He came recommended by people I don’t want to name. Respectable people. Money people.

    You understand, a guy in my line of work, it’s a very particular profession I’m in. Not a lot of opportunity to chinwag about investments.

    I’d tried sockin’ away a little extra after every contract. Wasn’t having much luck. Easy come, easy go down the toilet. Flush one day; empty bucket the next.

    I was in crisis …’til I met Willie.

    “You can trust him,” these respectable people I don’t want to name said. “He’ll do right by your dough. Help you plan.”

    Right off, Willie hit the nail on the hammer. Right away, he says, “You got no visible means…Say the Government hauls you in, puts you under the lights, demands to know where did all your jack come from? Whaddaya gonna say. Oh, I hit people. Yeah, that’s gonna go over like a ton of petunias.”

    So, he comes up with this business plan. “You gotta buy a business.”

    I’m thinkin’, oh, great, what kinda business does an assassin own? My first thought? Taxis. Willie kyboshed that. “Nah, Ubers gonna rule. No, its gotta be somethin’ you’re nuts about, that really turns you on.”

    “Weed’s legal,” I suggested. Willie initially thought that might work but then backtracked. “It’s a maybe at best…still dicey. Come on! Think! Whaddaya really love?”

    That got me all teary-eyed, took me back to when I was a kid. Twice a week, bowling at the Pins and Needles.

    “A BOWLING ALLEY?” Willie shouted. “They still do that?”

    He checked. Yup. Folks still bowled.

    These days, in between hits, I am the new kingpin of the recharged Pins and Needles Lanes.

    Life’s a bowling alley of cherries.

    The perfect game!

    0
  7. 6 September 2019 at 1:04 pm

    WC: 297
    Prompt: vampire/train/romance

    Light Reflection

    Bethan sucked hard on her coffee. It was warm and wet. There appeared to be some caffeine in it but it lacked any taste. She hated tasteless coffee, but it was doing a job and she was used to it on the overnight train to Fort William. She had considered learning to drive, but the lights got to her eyes and she had problems with the mirrors. Basically other than flying, one way or another, letting the train take the strain was her only option. Until she decided to bite the bullet and stay up there: move in with Roger. The very thought of it made her smile.

    The man in the seat opposite must have been watching her, for he asked her if the coffee was that nice. She smiled and nodded, careful not to show her incisors. He returned back to his thoughts watching the towns stream past the window as smudges of colour from lurid streetlights. He was wondering about lights, refraction and reflection in the thick carriage windows. Mainly because he could see his reflection but was failing to see one of the goth woman. Bethan could almost read his thoughts and carefully pulled the curtain across her window.

    Roger looked at his watch for the umpteenth time that hour. Time always slowed once he knew Bethan was on the train. He thought it was high risk to be in public with limited aspects of control. He’d been asking her to move into his place for the last one hundred and forty years. He sensed she was minded to, soon, and he wouldn’t pester her this weekend. Maybe she’d fold in the next ten years or so. God, he loved her. Why did she have to love London though? Such an infernal place.

    1+
  8. dana faletti
    6 September 2019 at 2:06 pm

    300 words
    Vampire, Train, Romance

    For Love Or Blood

    THE HUNTER:

    She looks like an angel. Except for the trace blood beneath her fingernail. A clue.
    Not that I need one. I’m the best. I can’t deny my calling.
    I edge beside her in the vestibule, allowing my cheek to brush her ebony hair. Her breasts heave when she catches my scent. Her lips tremble. It’s like watching a magnolia open slowly, its carnal craving for air, sunlight.
    She craves me.
    The foretaste of my flesh drifts around her like an amuse-bouche.
    I’m amused.
    It’s too easy.
    “I’m Cecily,” she offers, her eyes devouring me.
    “Sam,” I say. “Dinner? Cabin three?”

    THE HUNTED:

    He takes me for a fool.
    As if I’ve never been prey, only predator.
    As if his steel-toed boots aren’t a calling card of his brand of assassin.
    I cannot help what I am.
    I can only be the best of my breed.
    Like he is, I suspect.
    His blood will stain my chin tonight.
    I will never become dust in his hands.

    THE VOYEUR

    The peephole’s dime-size, but it’s worth the strain.
    She’s pristine. Every curve, brushed porcelain.
    He’s lost in her hair, her body.
    I can’t help what I am – a watcher.
    I watch him caress her arm, fingers dancing down her side, slipping into his pocket.
    I watch him remove a wooden cross, spear-like on top.
    I watch her kiss his neck, tongue flicking and sucking, tasting the flesh behind his ear. My mouth waters as her jaw unhinges.
    I watch man and woman freeze. There’s something in the pause I cannot see, a choice, perhaps. Their chests deflate in rhythm. He pockets the cross. She closes her mouth, buries her face in his shoulder.
    I watch.
    As they make love with the abandon of two people who’ve dodged death and found Heaven.

    2+
  9. dana faletti
    6 September 2019 at 2:10 pm

    300 words
    Vampire/Train/Romance

    An Unexpected Dinner

    The Hunter:
    She looks like an angel. Except for the trace blood beneath her fingernail. A clue.
    Not that I need one. I’m the best. I can’t deny my calling.
    I edge beside her in the vestibule, allowing my cheek to brush her ebony hair. Her breasts heave when she catches my scent. Her lips tremble. It’s like watching a magnolia open slowly, its carnal craving for air, sunlight.
    She craves me.
    The foretaste of my flesh drifts around her like an amuse-bouche.
    I’m amused.
    It’s too easy.
    “I’m Cecily,” she offers, her eyes devouring me.
    “Sam,” I say. “Dinner? Cabin three?”

    The Hunted
    He takes me for a fool.
    As if I’ve never been prey, only predator.
    As if his steel-toed boots aren’t a calling card of his brand of assassin.
    I cannot help what I am.
    I can only be the best of my breed.
    Like he is, I suspect.
    His blood will stain my chin tonight.
    I will never become dust in his hands.

    The Voyeur
    The peephole’s dime-size, but it’s worth the strain.
    She’s pristine. Every curve, brushed porcelain.
    He’s lost in her hair, her body.
    I can’t help what I am – a watcher.
    I watch him caress her arm, fingers dancing down her side, slipping into his pocket.
    I watch him remove a wooden cross, spear-like on top.
    I watch her kiss his neck, tongue flicking and sucking, tasting the flesh behind his ear. My mouth waters as her jaw unhinges.
    I watch man and woman freeze. There’s something in the pause I cannot see, a choice, perhaps. Their chests deflate in rhythm. He pockets the cross. She closes her mouth, buries her face in his shoulder.
    I watch.
    As they make love with the abandon of two people who’ve dodged death and found Heaven.

    0
  10. 6 September 2019 at 2:37 pm

    298 words
    Blended Family; Bowling Alley; Comedy

    Close Relations

    ‘Good morning.’

    ‘Good morning, mate. This is a surprise. What’re you doing here?’

    ‘I was invited to stop over last night.’

    ‘Want some breakfast?’

    ‘Just coffee please, I’ve got quite a hangover.’

    ‘Help yourself. Where did you sleep?’

    ‘Upstairs.’

    ‘Fair enough. We’re all adults here.’

    ‘Well, when you said that you had to work that extra night shift and couldn’t meet me at the bowling alley, I went there on my own anyway. It was better than staying in alone on a Saturday evening.’

    ‘Makes sense. So how come you ended up here?’

    ‘Well, I met up with your family. We bowled then went on to the pub. Had a great night. We all had a fair bit to drink.’

    ‘Not my Dad, presumably? Just my brother, my sister and my mother?’

    ‘Yeah, all apart from your Dad. They were good company. They’ve all loosened up a lot since he walked out.’

    ‘Tell me about it. I’ve never seen them so happy. And then you all came back here?’

    ‘Is that a problem?’

    ‘No, not at all. I’m sorry that I missed it. Actually, it’s all fine. I know my sister’s fancied you for a long time. And you and I have been best mates since we were kids. You’ve never shown much interest in her before so I didn’t think anything would ever happen but I’d really like it if you two got together.’

    ‘… Ok.’

    ‘In fact from my perspective, and I know I’m jumping ahead a bit, it would be great if you two ended up getting hitched eventually. Then you’d really be part of the family, as my brother-in-law.’

    ‘Err, that’s not exactly how it might work.’

    ‘Why not?’

    ‘Well … based on last night … it’s more likely that I’d be your stepfather.’

    2+
  11. Deanna Salser
    6 September 2019 at 11:34 pm

    @beadanna7
    300 words
    Vampire; Cable Car/Train; Romance

    Two of a Kind

    Vladimir couldn’t keep his eyes from the delicate curve of the neck and shoulder of the woman seated in front of him. He once again made an effort, his gaze flicking back to the window and the scenery sliding by outside it, but nothing out there was half as interesting as the creamy expanse of skin so tantalizingly close and his attention returned once more to it. She looked up from her book, catching him looking and his jolt at being caught made her smile. She closed the book and frankly returned his perusal. The dimple in her cheek suggested she had been aware of his obsession and the flutter of her lashes as she coyly looked at him from under them said she returned it. This simple unspoken invitation gave him what he needed to move to the seat beside her. Her demeanor was delightful and the scent that wafted his way when she tossed her hair made his insides turn to liquid. Was it possible to fall in love in minutes? Not knowing if he could resist her and torn between desire and need, he jolted to his feet, stumbling in the aisle as he tried to get away from her, sweat popping out all over his body. He couldn’t bear her look of love changing to fear. He could feel her close behind and whirled so fast she landed in his arms. The anguish in his eyes tore her heart and she marveled at the feelings coursing through her. She had never believed in love, much less love at first sight but here she was. She didn’t even know his name but she knew deep inside that it was more than a brief flirtation. She ended his dilemma with her lips and their teeth fit perfectly together.

    0
  12. steve lodge
    6 September 2019 at 11:36 pm

    @steveweave71
    300 words
    Vampire/Train/Romance

    Only The Voices Remain by Steve Lodge

    I was enjoying a bowl of Shakespeare’s Stutter and amoeba bread in the tearoom at Koncilia Coastal Zoo in Horse Ridings, Essex. I sipped a cup of robust coffee and read the letter I’d received that morning from dear Elsa.

    We’d kept in contact during the three years since last meeting on the Belzonian Express from No Mules Creek to the capital, Ringstad. There was a dreadful vampire attack on the train outside Kontaminatsi on that cold, wintry night. I had fainted from blood loss and she’d been carried off to the inevitable castle by Count Rafis (the evil vampire, played in the movies by Dwight Love. The singular German Director, Uwe Golem, made several Rafis movies but only The Return Of The Monster, survived).

    Later, I heard Ella was spearheading an emerging clandestine organisation, while I’d moved back to England as curator of the Monsoon Cheese Museum in Stormwatch, living in rooms in Blackwatch. I wasn’t sure which was lumpier. Bed, porridge or Mrs Saxon, the landlady. The dark winters of England suited me. Precious little daylight to hide from.

    Eloise’ letter was typically vague, she was fine, visiting London soon, hoped we could dine at Mezzedine Hendricks Road, her favourite Belzonian Restaurant. She’d be thrilled The Silvertown Statellite Club had reopened after the shootings. She loved jazz.

    Oh, how deeply I loved her. Otis Cochise once wrote “I’d do anything she’d ask, even carry a piano up a ladder.” Her smile took my breath away and sold it down the market. She was magically delicious and openly clever.

    Once, I dived into the shimmering, translucent waters of Rio Corazon in search of her contact lens. I was rescued after collapsing with hypothermia from four hours in the water. By then, Eliza had found her lens and gone home.

    1+
  13. 7 September 2019 at 7:15 am

    214 words
    Vampire/Train/Romance

    The Vampire Doctor

    Nearly home. Five minutes and he’d be at Vampire City underground station were he’d catch a cab.
    At the approach to the platform, the train clanged and hissed, jerking to a loud stop. The carriage door swung open.
    ‘Doctor. Good to see you again.’
    His heart bounced and he melted at her smile.
    ‘Your guard of honour. Here to take you home.’
    His wife stepped to one side and half a dozen blue-suited women standing to attention behind her, saluted. Women he recognised as one as sick as Angelina.
    She no longer wasted away. No longer had thin hair and bald patches. No longer translucent. Her beautiful lips kissed his as she sat beside him and held his hand. For her, he’d gone into the human world and worked to find an answer to the disease threatening his community.
    ‘No new cases since your vegan food supplement replaced the human blood supply.’
    He cleared his throat and stretched his neck.
    ‘But the rebels are at the station entrance.’
    He’d heard their logic: it’s not natural, Vampires are supposed to drink blood as much as stay out of the sun. That was a crock too.
    ‘We’re leaving the train here and slipping through the work tunnels.’
    Hand in hand, surrounded by protectors, they returned home.

    1+
  14. 7 September 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Explorer; Supermarket; Epistolary
    300 words

    In Search of the Lost Supermarket

    Dearest Martha, having arrived at dawn, we began our exploration of the unknown. I was initially struck by the way the cavernous, forest-like interior was set out. Meeting the natives for the first time was a bit of a shock. At first glance they seem friendly enough so I have made overtures to seek out their help as guides to this strange new world.

    My dear, we had the most surprising experience this morning, one of our native bearers shocked us by brandishing a strange device with which he blazed our trail using tiny pieces of brightly coloured paper. This demonstrated a far higher degree of intelligence than I had hitherto thought them to possess. I fear that our endless trekking back and forth must take its toll on us, both mentally and physically.
    As we’ve penetrated further into previously unmapped territory, it has become clear that there is some semblance of organisation to this place. What had initially appeared to be a disorganised wasteland now shows signs of intelligent planning. One thing is for sure, we need never fear starvation however long this exploration takes.

    This may be the last missive I get a chance to send to you. I feel we may be getting near the end of our journey. I still have your list and have managed to gather many of the items you require. All being well, I will be with you soon. Perhaps I’ll even return before you receive this message. I see it. The end is in sight and a strange sight it is too. I see rows of fellow explorers laid out in front of me. They too are laden down with produce collected during the course or their own expeditions. Fortunately, our guide was able to direct us to a quiet checkout.

    0
  15. 7 September 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Explorer; Supermarket; Epistolary
    300 words

    In Search of the Lost Supermarket

    Dearest Martha, having arrived at dawn, we began our exploration of the unknown. I was initially struck by the way the cavernous, forest-like interior was set out. Meeting the natives for the first time was a bit of a shock. At first glance they seem friendly enough so I have made overtures to seek out their help as guides to this strange new world.

    My dear, we had the most surprising experience this morning, one of our native bearers shocked us by brandishing a strange device with which he blazed our trail using tiny pieces of brightly coloured paper. This demonstrated a far higher degree of intelligence than I had hitherto thought them to possess. I fear that our endless trekking back and forth must take its toll on us, both mentally and physically.

    As we’ve penetrated further into previously unmapped territory, it has become clear that there is some semblance of organisation to this place. What had initially appeared to be a disorganised wasteland now shows signs of intelligent planning. One thing is for sure, we need never fear starvation however long this exploration takes.

    This may be the last missive I get a chance to send to you. I feel we may be getting near the end of our journey. I still have your list and have managed to gather many of the items you require. All being well, I will be with you soon. Perhaps I’ll even return before you receive this message. I see it. The end is in sight and a strange sight it is too. I see rows of fellow explorers laid out in front of me. They too are laden down with produce collected during the course or their own expeditions. Fortunately, our guide was able to direct us to a quiet checkout.

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  16. 7 September 2019 at 7:24 pm

    http://www.theredfleece.co.uk
    @The_Red_Fleece
    Word Count = 267
    Vampire, Cable car, Romance

    One Last Time

    “May I come in?”
    The voice hangs in the darkness.
    “Sorry bud.” Bram taps the metal sign with the cable cars operating times. “I’m afraid we aren’t open yet. Come back in an hour or so.”
    “I love the sunrise so.”
    “Me too, buddy.” Bram would often watch the sunrise over the mountains from the operation room. Pure natural beauty unmatched by anything a man could make. “But thems the rules.”
    “Even for an old man.” The speaker steps from the darkness. Dressed in black he looks younger than Bram by maybe twenty years or so.
    “You are far from old.”
    “Looks can be deceiving.” The Stranger’s eyes flash bright green. “I’m older than you could ever know. But that isn’t why I’m here. I’m here to see my love one last time.” He approached Bram, biting into his neck.

    The cable car slowly moves out to the middle of the mountain valley. In the far distance the sun’s ray lighten the night. The Stranger has missed this view. In the old days, before the attack, he’d get up every morning to greet the sun. He missed her heat on his skin, the brightness in his eyes. He needed to see her again. Enjoy her, even if it was for one last time.
    The sun broke into the valley. His skin prickles and warms. What should have been pain, becomes pleasure. Like the old days, when he was human. Maybe he would be so again in the next life. Whatever he was, he’d be happy if he had the sun.

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  17. 7 September 2019 at 10:00 pm

    @EdenSolera
    300 Words
    Vampire; Fire; Drama

    At All Costs

    A tall woman stood atop a lone hilltop, ebony cloak billowing behind her as she watched the flames engulf the city. Her face was hidden by the hood of her cloak, shadowed from the last vestiges of sun as they slipped beneath the horizon. Dark laughter rose from her throat as the flames leapt higher with the emergence of the night.

    With the sun’s absence, she spun into shadow, reappearing in the midst of the burning city, atop the highest tower of the manor she sought. Straightening her back, she pulled her waist-length dark hair over each shoulder and adopted what would have been a sweet smile, if not for the fangs that caressed her lips.

    She slipped through the nearest window, her powerful strides carrying her quickly down from the tower and into the manor proper. Seconds later, her unearthly speed had brought her to the study.

    A hand grasped the man standing at the window, watching the flames turn the city to ash. Before he could cry out, her fangs met his throat.

    Exulting in the fresh blood, she called the shadows to her, melting into their embrace. Seconds later, she stepped out from behind the throne, hands held high as if in surrender.

    Ranks of guards all trained their guns on her form as she strode to the center of the ornate room.

    The king rose from his throne. “Why are you here?”

    She knelt, then stretched forward to prostrate herself fully. “I surrender, Your Majesty.”

    “Kill her.”

    “If only you could, my child.”

    Her head rose ever so slightly, but it was enough for her eyes to meet his. Within them, a crimson fire burned.

    Unable to resist her call, the king fell beside her, begging forgiveness, mercy.

    “Mercy?”

    Her eyes turned black.

    “So be it.”

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  18. 8 September 2019 at 9:07 pm

    @stephens_pt
    290 words
    Vampire, Train, Romance
    Late Night Romance, Cross-Continental.

    The California Zephyr’s dining car at the witching hour. The ambiance draws the observer’s eye to the man and blonde in the back corner booth; he fills her glass, and she downs in it in a single swallow before dropping her hands beneath the table to focus her attention once more. Wheels rattle on train tracks.
    The girl’s shoulder strap has fallen to her elbow, one side of her dress following to expose half her braless bosom. Her shoes lie abandoned in the aisle. A bead of sweat tumbles from a wayward curl in her bangs. His arms stretch the length of the booth as he leans his head back, his black curls cascading past his shoulders and the seat. He sports a lavender crushed-velvet waistcoat, a red leather vest, a regency style silk shirt with jabot and ruffled sleeves. A cruel smile carves his face into two hemispheres, lips parted to reveal unnaturally long canines. Canine canines. The dim light in the car washes out his pale skin.
    She leans her head on his shoulder. “I’ve been looking for you all my life.”
    “And I have sought you for centuries.”
    “Will you take me? Turn me?”
    “I thought you’d never ask.” 
    They leave arm-in-arm, her fingers threaded through his.
    At the next booth sits an elderly couple. The man files his three inch nails to a point. The woman nibbles the edges of hers, a lifelong habit she can’t break now. 
    He spits in his plate. “Poser.”
    “Fake teeth I suppose?”
    “Cheap dental veneers. Romantic fools don’t realize teeth don’t change after death. Fingernails grow for decades.”
    They rise, cup their nails into their palms to mask them, and follow the couple to the sleeping car.

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