Flash Fiction: Tower

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The Baron, in his wisdom and generosity, had given us leave to go anywhere on the island. We could go into town if we liked, and hear the sailors with their news of the mainland. Only in the castle’s western tower were we forbidden.

We were hostages, my brothers, sisters, and me, though we lived like lords. And though my siblings swore they slept soundly, I saw the dark circles under their eyes in the morning. Like me, they heard the screams from the tower in the middle of the night, only they were wise enough to say nothing.

~99 words

For Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge Prompt: “Only in…”

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Flash Fiction: Red Eye

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Photo by John Luke Laube

The red eye shuttle from Earth to Mars is a place for solitude and contemplation. I am trapped in thoughts of the upcoming merger with Horizon Corp, unable to sleep, or read, only think.

I look down at the glowing ball of blue and see the mushroom clouds sprout from the ground around the globe. The megacorp has, at last, made its move and made castaways of us all, for there is no Earth to go back to. We are all now trapped with our thoughts, out here in the black beyond, but only for the rest of our lives.

~100 words

via Bikergurl — 100 Word Wednesday: Week 49

Flash Fiction: Sideshow

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“Observe,” said the showman, pointing with his cane. “This bizarre creature is so fragile, even the slightest variance of temperature causes it distress.”

He turned the valve with one of his myriad tentacles, and the glass tank lit up red. The creature within balled up its pathetic appendages and howled in anguish.

“Hear how it passes air over flaps of flesh within its throat to make sound?” said the showman. “A primitive, but effective form of communication.”

He bowed and doffed the top hat from atop one of his several eye stalks. “Ladies, gentlemen, larvae… I give you, man!”

~99 words

For Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge — “Performance”

 

Mythos Creature Spotlight: Abhoth the Unclean

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The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

…and below the demoniac bird he descried a sort of pool with a margin of mud that was marled with obscene offal; and in the pool a grayish, horrid mass that nearly choked it from rim to rim.

Here, it seemed, was the ultimate source of all miscreation and abomination. For the gray mass quobbed and quivered, and swelled perpetually; and from it, in manifold fission, were spawned the anatomies that crept away on every side through the grotto. There were things like bodiless legs or arms that flailed in the slime, or heads that rolled, or floundering bellies with fishes’ fins; and all manner of things malformed and monstrous, that grew in size as they departed from the neigbborhood of Abhoth. And those that swam not swiftly ashore when they fell into the pool from Abhoth, were devoured by mouths that gaped in the parent bulk.

— The Seven Geases, Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith, for those who don’t know, was part of the circle of writers that were close to Lovecraft, and exchanged letters with him. In this tale, we find a connection between Lovecraft, and the works of Robert E. Howard (another friend of Lovecraft’s) via the mention of the Hyperborean race (not to be confused with the Hyborian age, also a Howard-ism). Hence, The Seven Geases is equally a tale of cosmic horror, and one of sword and sorcery.

Spoilers Ahead!

Continue reading “Mythos Creature Spotlight: Abhoth the Unclean”

Flash Fiction: Nick

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Image Source — Saint Nicholas, patron of (among other things) thieves, travelers, and prostitutes.

“Hey, fella, lookin’ for a date?”

The way she crossed her arms, shivering, was not the most enticing way that Nick had ever been propositioned. The minimal, thigh length coat she wore over her skimpy clothes offered little protection against the wind and snow.    

Nick was not the portly, red cheeked elf he was often portrayed as. That was someone else, another aspect perhaps. He’d kept the beard, though.

He gave the woman his trench coat.

“What’s this for?” she said.

Nick smiled. “Merry Christmas.”

Later, she would find the purse of gold coins in the inner coat pocket.

~99 words

via Daily Prompt: Saintly

Flash Fiction: Pareidolia

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Photo by Trevor Cole

The path to immortality leads through a tangled wood, the branches overhead interwoven into a light capturing net that allows no sight of the heavens above. The twisted limbs contort themselves into shapes not unlike writhing bodies, and faces, some mangled by anguish, others resting in impassive contemplation.

These things, and many others, the Poet related to me.

“Dante had me wrong,” said Virgil. “It is true, I’ve spent my after days as a psychopomp, but the forest I led him through was no Forest of Suicides. Or not only that. If you don’t believe me, ask one of them.”

~100 words

via 100 Word Wednesday