Sunday, 9 January 2022

Flash Fic Challenge: Going West

 Going West

The two gunslingers paced off the distance for the duel with the Tower of London looming in the background, paused, and then turned to glare at each other down the barrels of their guns.

There was a rising hum of tension, not at all dissipated by the sudden stir in the still, hot, air.

Then a voice yelled, "Cut!" and everyone relaxed while director read the note that the messenger (who had opened the studio door and caused the breeze) had brought.

One of the gunslingers dug a toe into the artificial grass.

The other eyed the painted backdrop of the Tower with a wry smile. "When they said 'Go west, young man, I think they meant a bit further than England."

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Flash Fic Challenge: Guns and Roses

 Guns and Roses

The raygun clutched in the dead man's hand was my first clue that something weird was going on. It looked too real. And yes, plenty of people get angry at the folk crewing the tollbooths and road rage happens - to sometimes tragic effect - but the tollbooth operators don't usually shoot back.

Or if they do, it's with bullets, not rays.

The second clue of something weird going on was the roses growing all over the place. Really odd places, like out of the operator's chair (and out of his arm, but that was one for the mortician doing the autopsy)

Once the raygun had been checked over for prints, I pointed it cautiously at a patch of bare ground and pressed the trigger with a gloved finger. There was a streak of red light, and then another rose appeared, growing out of the ground where the ray had hit.

Well, that ought to make finding the culprit easier. Just follow the roses.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Testing Grounds is Out!

 Happy Book Birthday to Testing Grounds!

Queer friendship, secret identities, and Warrior training:

On the 1st of Dec, a novella brings to me:

12 old scars

11 dodged questions

10 types of weapon

9 Warrior braids

8 different titles

7 bad memories

6 young women

5 things to climb

4 Warrior teachers

3 squad members

2 old friends

and a week at Testing Grounds

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Flash Fic Challenge: Let Down Your Hair

 Let Down Your Hair

It was time. 'Zelle put her hairbrush away, gathered up her mountain of hair, and took her place at the bow of the ship, where the figurehead stood in a water navy. Static crawled across her as the protective mage-shield snapped into being around the crew's quarters. She leaned up into the magic and shook out her hair. The static drew it out into a perfect halo: a golden, gossamer fine, sail to catch the solar wind.

With that in place, she herself shifted, her body settling back into its statue form as if she had never walked and talked and laughed with her crew. As if she had never been anything but the ship itself.

One that was named, certainly. Lifted by the wind like a living thing, eager to dance across the asteroids. But hardly more than a feisty container for those she carried. (Those she carried knew better, but the paperwork didn't)

Her crew cast off, the wind filled the sail, and the Rapunzelle was on its way once more to the Spring festival on Mars.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Flash Fic Challenge: Loving Lines

 Loving Lines

"Can I draw you?" Steph asked.

Callie turned and looked back over her shoulder. "Here?" she asked incredulously, indicating the footpath that ran along the edge of the field.

"Well..." Steph hesitated. "Just a sketch? The light's nice here."

Callie sighed and then shrugged with amused resignation. "Very well, as you wish. How do you want me?"

Any way I can have you, Steph thought but didn't say out loud, only asking Callie to stand so that the sun caught and highlighted her hair and face.

Callie struck a teasing, dramatic, pose, then settled into something more comfortable to hold.

Steph drew quickly, wielding her preferred fountain pen in swift, sure, loving strokes to bring Callie to life on the page. Details, like love confessions, would have to wait.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Flash Fic Challenge: Fine Feathers

 Fine Feathers

The phoenix feathers had to be worth millions surely, Davy thought, as he crouched in the tool shed, clutching the small bag of feathers to his chest and waiting for the guards outside to move on.

Someone was certainly willing to pay a lot to have them back. The problem was, he couldn't be seen running with a bag of sparkling feathers without whoever saw him catching on. They were just far too obvious. But what else could he do?

It should be something clever, something you could turn into a good story later. But what?

He looked wildly around, but there were only garden tools and equipment stored in here. And yet, it was all he had to work with.

His gaze fell on a stack of cushions for the patio furniture, stored in here to keep them dry. Wait...weren't some cushions stuffed with feathers? He unzipped the cover on one of them, and grinned. Pulling out the pad inside, he replaced it with the bag of feathers and closed everything up again. It looked a little plumper but no more than a cushion should be, and he could carry a cushion anywhere!

He waited a few more minutes. Then, in a lull between the guards, he was over the wall and gone, reappearing further down with the cushion slung casually over his shoulder.

Success was his!