Wednesday 3 May 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 9

I'm on holiday and this is scheduled, so I have NO idea how many of you entered last week's - well I might if I have peeked on the laptop. Hopefully you all were inspired and loved last weeks.

This week I have gone for a different sort of face - a clock face, in particular a destroyed clock face. This is from the clock tower in Finale Emilia, Italy, after an earthquake which struck the area May 20, 2012. And this image appeared in several news sites with no one credited.

I wasn't sure how my story for this one was going to turn out. But I like it a lot. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

The After 

Oiyou foraged some Greenies out of the new growth. This area hadn’t been trampled so he was in luck. It was early, so he pushed back against some rubble and sat down to enjoy them before other peeples came along.

He looked up at the tall pile of rocks that held the strange piece of circle. Some said it was the moon, but Gammy had said that was nonsense; the moon only came out at night and wasn’t there in the day. This never went away. It was stuck on the pile of rocks, which looked like they’d fall any minute. Plus it never went changed, it always stayed half round. 

Oiyou pondered the strange marks on it. He didn’t know what they were. Someone over by the jungleyard had said they were numbers, but Gammy had shown him those and these looked nothing like them.

Gammy knew lots of things. She knew about the Before. She’d been born near it. She hadn’t got sick like the others, she said. She’d been put in a special hole, and stayed there a long time. She said it was why she didn’t like foraging: too much open, too much space. She didn’t know what to do with it.

Oiyou didn’t think you could do anything with it. It was just there and you had to get across it to get to good forage. It was why he was fatter than some of them – that and he didn’t get the Bellyarc. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it seemed to be put them off eating, so much so that they got thin and lay down till they were dead. He liked eating. He hoped he never got it. Gammy said maybe acuz she never did, he never would. He didn’t know how you could tell.

He heard someone scrabbling further over. He popped his head up and saw Grabhem. He didn’t like him, no one did. He was trouble. Would hit and hurt till he got what you had.

Oiyou shuffled round the other side of the rubble and headed to the Grandplace with the funny shaped metal. ‘Statchews’ Gammy called them. She said she’d had a couple of tiny ones when she was shorter. She’d played with them. Oiyou didn’t see the point of them. They looked strange, like they were peeples but weren’t. And some were shaped funny. Gammy called them animoles. Oiyou had never seen one of those. Gammy said there were lots in the Before, but they were all gone now.

He wondered if they were like those creepy crawly things that ran up your legs sometimes when you were foraging, but bigger. He didn’t know. If so, he was glad they weren’t here anymore.

He looked round. He’d lost Grabhem. Good. He didn’t need to keep moving on. He wanted to look for some more Greenies to take back to Gammy. She looked different this morning. Her face looked like the colour of rocks and she said she needed to sleep more today. Her breath sounded wrong. He hoped she wasn’t going to be dead. The thought made water come into his eyes. He hated it when that happened. It made his tummy hurt, which could mean the Bellyarc, and he didn’t want that, no, no, no.

He sniffed, then heard a rumble behind him. Others were coming. He shuffled off, spotting another bit of new brush he hadn’t looked in. He’d find some good fat Greenies for Gammy, then she’d be the right colour again. 


  1. “Well and damn,” Winchester Blake muttered to the barrel of the Remington 1911 R1 aimed more or less at her head. A nervous bob and weave of the hands holding the pistol aside, at this distance, Chess might not even know the trigger was pulled before her life ended.

    And that tremble aside again—this hand connected to a mind that knew perfectly well how to shoot.

    Nothing quite says, I’m fucked, like a big gun in an unsteady, knowledgeable hand.

    The 1911 shifted slightly. A deafening explosion reduced her hearing to a tinny ringing, but she didn’t sport any new holes in her body. She glanced over her shoulder. The old school clock on the brick mantel was blown in half, all the time-telling mechanics gone. Of course, unless the time fell between roughly 7:33 and 11:58—


    Steeling herself, she faced the shooter. Colton Conroy’s free hand scooped back the bedhead mess of his hair, the freshly debauched look acquired in her bed. And didn’t this morning after confrontation just beat all.

    “Conroy,” she began.

    “Call it a warning shot, Blake,” he said.

    “Oh, I’m feeling warned,” she said. “Though I’m not sure why. Don’t suppose you care to enlighten a woman who’s desperately short on caffeinated clarity?”

    Conroy’s mouth tightened, the 1911 swinging rock steady into my line of sight.

    Chess had enough time to wonder if her sister, Remington, would ever laugh at the Universe’s supremely jacked sense of humor. A Winchester, struck down by a Remington, fired by a Colt.

    Mama Blake was probably howling from whatever ring of Hell she called home.

    “Damn, darlin’…” she sighed, “I really thought this morning was gonna play out different.”

    282 words

    1. Nice little tale, leaves me wanting to know more. Although it took a couple of reads before I worked out that Chess and Winchester Blake are the same person! LOLMy brain doesn't work so good these days! LOL Thanks for joining. Lovely to read you here.

    2. Haha, that's okay. Working out the intro to something new... Thanks for the cool prompt.

    3. Damn, you still got skills, Cara! Where you been hiding? ;)

    4. I know, I wish she'd come out more often. I love the whole Winchester/Remington/Colt scenario.

    5. Thank you for the love, ladies!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I love the "one is all it takes" idea and the feel of this is quite ... creepy to be honest. Is that what 1 AM looks like? Creepy? Good thing I'm usually asleep for it.

    2. I love the surrealism in it. And I thought of the Matrix with the scene of him seeing lots of images of himself doing different things. Thanks for joining.

  3. I'm a little late this week, been busy with finishing a WIP, and I haven't read anyone else's yet. But here's mine.
    Rumors of Yumon

    1. Miranda, cool use of of a degenerated language for the nouns and names. A sad post war kind of tale. THanks for the prompt.

    2. Thanks. The voice of the character was quite strong in this tale for me.

      I loved your wonderful tale, love the reveal at the end. Thanks for joining in.

  4. Great job! I love your Reaper world, Audra! Can't wait for your sequels. <3

  5. What an intense piece! Loved it.

    Here's a clickable link for other readers: Reaper

  6. The hands on the ruined clock remained still but time continued its flow. The church had been mostly demolished but one side of its tower remained intact, albeit at a lower level than before. The glass behind the dial was broken, of course, but the outer ring bearing the figures for the hours was still there, as were the hands, reaching out as though they needed rescuing. The main body of the building was wrecked though, its contents largely looted, with no sense of it once being revered.

    A rat pushed its head up and out into the moonlight. It was hungry and although it felt safe in the ruins, there was little food to be found there. It would have to venture further away to find its supper. The man watching it raised his rifle to his eye and mouthed a single silent word.


    Of course, the rat remained unscathed. Although the rifle was loaded, the marksman had other targets in mind. He’d been in position since late the previous morning, his pocket flask providing for most of his needs, the occasional sip being all he’d permit himself. His quarry was yet unknown to him, his employer assigning him his mission along with details of the location and the time he’d expected the contact to be there, picking up the money he’d demanded. The designated time was long past now and only the shooter’s professionalism had kept him here. Someone would come, he knew. No-one demanded three million dollars and then left it for someone else to find.

    The night was still quiet at three in the morning though and the watcher was beginning to lose confidence in both himself and the target. A fox had followed the trail half an hour ago, its nose to the ground and its tail in the air, but nothing else had shown itself, even to his night-scope. He’d heard an owl’s hooting and the small sounds of its prey but neither of them had broken cover. Perhaps he’d been seen himself. A successful terrorist was usually as skilled as those sent to hunt him, although the marksman preferred to think he still had the edge. He’d been working this trade since the eighties and had put away more than enough to keep him in comfort for the rest of his life. But there was always the call of the challenge; the sport of the kill. It was an addiction that would never loosen its grip.
    The undergrowth and the trees suddenly quietened, the soft noises ceasing as something disturbed the creatures that made them. The disc of his sight panned the trail, hunting.

    He heard the child before he saw it, its heavy feet cracking and breaking the finer wood stems that were everywhere. The balloon came first; silver-green in his scope, bobbing at the end of its cord. It would be one of the easiest shots he would ever have made. One to be remembered forever. He’d never killed an American child. Not yet.

    The low cough came from directly behind him, the cold nose of the pistol firm against his temple. He began to turn away then stopped.

    He would never outrun the bullet. He’d seen many try but the target always lost the race.

    1. Superb! What a great entry. Great build up and tension. Thanks for coming to join. If you are on Twitter, come connect with me.

  7. Interesting prompt. Lots of stories. Had to settle for one...

    Such A Good Thing

    1. Great little tale Mark, with a new perspective on the prompt. And your story takes us to 6 entries, making this the most written for prompt so far for Mid Week Flash. Hooray! We are gaining ground.

  8. Replies
    1. Heartbreaking, emotive and poignant. Thanks for joining.

      And for making this the most written for prompt yet!

    2. One day I'll write a happy ending. But it is not this day...

  9. Wow, I love all the entries! Here's mine...

    1. How do I make it a clickable link when I put it in the comment box?

    2. It seems I can't show you without it trying to turn my example text into a link. I'll send you a tweet :-)

    3. Wonderfully short and succinct. And very much the truth! Thanks for joining!