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Clowning 1.01

The clowns bustled excitedly out of the ward, Pennywise’s stern painted face, intently focused on his examiner’s clipboard, halting their momentum.

‘What d’ya think boss?’ Mo broke the silence fingers anxiously twisting his horn.

‘Think? Well, what’s the first rule we discussed in Visiting Normals 1.01?’

‘Electric handshake, then custard pie?’

‘Optimise farting?’

Alfonso mimed taking something.

‘No stealing, a fine guess,’ Pennywise felt his blood pressure rising ‘but gentlemen, the golden rule of visiting sick children is…?

They all looked bashfully at the floor, the silence broken only by a mournful squeak from Mo’s horn.

‘Really … four weeks of lessons … nothing?’

‘Oh, oh,’ Mo shrieked hand in the air, ‘to not ask if the kid fancies seeing your puppy and going for a drive.’

‘Precisely! And that’s why you’re all getting Ds. Now off to the clown car and please gents, seven in the back and five in the front this time.’

 

Seventh Sense

Billy was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth, wanting for nothing. Tragically his silver cloud lifestyle was besmirched by a lead lining. Billy himself was unaware that the world he existed in was so different. It was his mother, stiff of words and manner, who noticed that Billy would often talk to the air. As if engrossed in conversation with no one at all. Finally she worked it out:

Billy saw dead people!

She freaked, as is natural for a parent challenged by such paranormal fears. So began an endless parade of specialists, counselors, hypnotists and electro-shockers, none of which found a cure.

Finally they met Dr. Pennywise who suggested the fault lay in the hippocampus region of the mind.

‘We’ll whip it out and hey presto normality restored!’ the Doctor confidently promised.

When Billy awoke from surgery, his parent’s concerned faces hovered into view.

They looked different, as if their faces were painted …

Billy screamed.

 

gemini-5

Incoming

“South, eleven o’clock.’ Tex whispers, his binoculars trained across the yellow earth towards the border.

A bead of sweat drops from Pete’s chin, hitting the arid surface. Pete ignores the discomfort of the sun, calmly focusing on Tex’s prompt.

‘Look at him go! One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,’ Tex snickers.

’He got that wrong y’know?’

‘Who?’

‘Armstrong, really screwed the pooch, pardon my french. Should’ve said, small step for a man.’

‘Yeah like he’s bothered what you think! Focus, rabbit’s bolting for home.’

Pete readjusted the sight, training his rifle on the man trampling through the brittle undergrowth. By the look of him he’d been walking for days, dirt crusted on bruised skin. He zoomed in, inspecting the face. A missing tooth, a dragon tattooed neck.

Crosshair hovering over a blue eye.

‘When your ready partner, take him to the moon.’

Pete slipped the safety, finger on trigger.

‘One … small … step …’

A short flash inspired by the folks at The Angry Hourglass, based on a photo supplied by the irrepressible creative force that is TheShakes72. I was trying for something different, the concept being a virus that is going to turn humanities perception monochromatic and an MC plagued by the loss of her youth. Sadly the tale didn’t quite work as I had hoped, but as always an interesting prompt and flexing of the creative muscles.

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Chromaphilia

Emma ripped at the ivy, revealing the arcs of colour concealed on the brickwork beneath. She regretted the deforestation, for the plant had kept their art hidden from some tagger’s inelegant scrawl. Yet time was of the essence.

Finally, hands raw with the effort, Emma slumped down onto the grass, letting her eyes roll across the arcs and contours of the graffiti. A realm that was once vibrant had become a plateau of fading and peeling colours.

Trains rumbled to life in the yard behind her. It had been Marcus who had found the site back then. Somewhere commuters could see, yet taggers would find hard to reach. Emma pulled out the creased artist pad from her backpack. Flicking through the yellowing pages, till she found the original design sketched all those years ago. The three of them had sat in the pub that day. Heads clouded in smoke, as they sketched, argued and collaborated. The ghostly echo of Nob’s pint glass still haunting the page.

Now she was sat where they had once lain, admiring their work whilst the dew sprinkled grass dampened their skin. Listening to the sound of the city awakening whilst they passed a celebratory spliff back and forth. Unaware that six months later Marcus would be killed in a car crash.

They had returned here, after the funeral, etching his name into the wall. Nob had held her, made plaintive promises of always being there, even though they both knew he was lying, that they would inevitably drift apart. Last she had heard he now called himself Nicholas. Wore a suit, did coke, traded currency in the city.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket. A twitter update from the NHS, retweeted from the WHO. Just a hashtag, no more was needed.

#MonochromaticWorld

She turned off her phone, lighting up a cigarette, staring at the wall that had meant so much then, still did now. She needed to remember, to keep the colours inside of her, to not forget how they looked.

Then it began. Emma let the tears flow down her face, as the world around her slowly faded into grey.

Another week, another 33 words demanded by the lovely folk at Trifecta. Anyway the prompt took an unusual turn this week, instead of the usual photo prompt or beginning sentence we have to devise a tale that ends with the following:

That wasn’t what I meant.

I was going off on a horror tangent for a while, a misunderstanding or proposal gone awry. Yet somehow I wended my way into a slightly different narrative. Hope you enjoy

 

The hushed crowd awaited history. In the distance the apple rocked with his heartbeat. A breath, the play of taut string between fingers, feather against skin.

Focus William, focus.

TWANG!

“AAARGGHH!”

Bugger.

That wasn’t what I meant.

So Friday night was spent mainly running around a football pitch in a monsoon, a post match beer and then home for a glass of wine with the better half. It then suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to check Flash! Friday‘s blog for the weekly prompt. So under the influence I shambled online intending to write down the first thing that hit me with the prompt. I recall typing something, hitting submit, and then heading off to bed.

Consider it my Hemingway moment. Well the write drunk part anyway, I kinda omitted the edit sober part of the system.

So I’m sure you’ll appreciate my surprise/delight at being accorded the Runner Up spot. Made up for the hangover that I spent Saturday with.

Anyway the photo prompt was this:

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And the tale that came into being is below, hope you enjoy.

The Romantic

The sycamore pod that Art threw from his pick-up flatbed spun lazily in the air. Mirroring the hypnotic descent of the parachutists dropping out of the sky. Art lay back, watching the skydivers attempting to defy gravity, sipping away at his bottle of whiskey, toasting each one in turn.

He was glad to see them. Harbinger Point, a remote locale, of dead trees and panoramic views had been Lara’s favourite place. They had even begun their courting here, back in the day when people used such words. If she was here now she’d be demanding to parachute, yet there had been obstacles to most of her dreams, be it money, time or Art himself.

Yet here he was, without her, two weeks since she had passed. Art took another slug of whiskey, this time with a handful of pills. He retched, holding it in, forcing another cocktail down.

Before long he was free falling back to her.

 

Parachutist @ Ft Lewis. Public domain photo.

 

So another week and another post in Flash! Friday. Sadly this week I just couldn’t find the motivation/inspiration that normally tumbles when confronted with a photo prompt and the tale I finally submitted shows that in my opinion. Such is life eh? Anyway the normal rules were there, 150 word count, include the theme/notion of patience and away you go. Congratulations to the finalists.

You can find my tale below the far more interesting prompt that was the photo taken by Damien du Tout

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Sisyphus & The Minotaur

I awaken to find myself in the belly of a labyrinth forged from derelict rooms consumed by sand. A bellow rings out, echoing off decomposing walls, yet I’m already wading through the treacherous dunes, towards the next room.

Today I escape.

My heart is pounding, fear binding my clothing to my skin. Reality transformed into motion, stooping, clawing, wading, fighting to exist. Every grain marking a second of guilt, a sentence I have had to learn to accept.

A rage fueled cry, the sound of wood splintering, he’s gaining.

I push onwards, scrabbling at yellow grains that deviously give way, clawing through room after room. Never looking back, no need, just focus on reaching the exit.

Another door screams out, this one close behind me. I wade on, fat tears rolling down my cheeks as urine soaks my crotch.

Then a horn gores my stomach, pain like fire, falling into darkness.

I awaken to find myself in the belly ….