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Not an easy one this week, but Madison’s prompts often get me thinking!

With that in mind, here’s the picture we had to base our 100-word flash fiction stories on this week:

And here’s Madison’s story: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/old-truck-100-words/

It took me a long time to find my story this week and I know it isn’t my best work, but I enjoyed the challenge and just the process I went through to get it written.

Here it is:

Out of Gas

James gasped for breath, his heart pounding. He’d been running for what felt like hours, though it was only a few minutes. He wanted to run forever, but even that wouldn’t be far enough away from that nightmare.

     That faceless…thing back at the motel.

     He looked back. The jagged, greyscale curtain shifted endlessly, the downpour concealing lurking shadows.

     Casting around James saw the old truck by the roadside. His heart leapt as he hopped the fence, hoping to hot-wire the truck and escape.

     He froze as his hand touched the hood.

     That featureless face watched him from the passenger seat.

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It’s Friday Fictioneering time again – amazing how quickly it comes around each week – and our gracious host, Madison Woods, has put forth the photo prompt for our 100-word stories this week:

You will find Madison’s story here: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/blank-100-words/

My story this week is only loosely based on the picture and, coming in at 113 words, it’s a little over the limit this week.

As always, please leave any feedback you can as I appreciate your help in the learning process – after all, no writer is ever satisfied with what he/she can write. There is always room for improvement!

Crimson Sunset

Niiko stood atop the hill, her red hair flowing in the breeze. She gazed down at the shadowy forest below, the last remnants of sunlight softly glinting off thousands of leaves.

     You know what’s down there, the devil rasped within.

     She did know.

     But how had they got ahead of her? She’d been so careful to keep the creatures behind her. Facing them again might kill her.

     She had no choice. Her sister’s life depended on it.

     She took a deep breath and allowed the demon’s power to course through her, feeling her grip tighten on the bejewelled sword in her hand.

     One way or another, death would reign in the forest tonight.

Part one, Arrival at Green Gate, is here: https://garybaileywriting.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/arrivingatgreengate/

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Part Two

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That’s close enough.” Dante knew this guy wasn’t normal but something in his mind, maybe the part that wanted to stay sane, told him to keep calm and let the ex-cop take over.

     The man with the torn-away face limped toward him slowly, inexorably. His arms hung at his sides, swinging lightly as he moved, only his fingers kept twitching.

     “Last warning, pal.” Dante had his gun up now, thumbing the safety off as he levelled it at the oncoming man.

     Just metres away, Torn-off Face’s arms reached forward suddenly and a frenzied gurgling erupted from what was left of his throat as he lunged toward Dante.

     Two shots rang out and the crazed man hit the floor, smoking holes left in his chest.

     That got the attention of the other two shufflers.

     Like the first, these two had horrible lacerations on their faces. But they also had an almost grey pallor and their eyes were completely blood-filled. Dante raised his gun again and moved forward, reflexively switching from target to target as they shambled toward him, their bodies writhing unnaturally as they moved.

     He heard a gurgling moan behind him.

     “What. The. Fuck.” The ex-cop’s brain couldn’t work out what was happening.

     Torn-off Face was sitting up.

     Dante was unsure of himself now, his composure shaken. The bloody mess of the man he had just shot was now standing and making his way toward him again. Swivelling his aim behind him, the other two were bearing down on him too. Turning again, he saw Torn-off Face readying another lunge, his arms stiffening and his twitching hands almost pointed at their target.

     His already mutilated head exploded in a shower of misty red and brain matter.

     As Dante turned, he saw the other two suffer a similar fate, mere seconds apart.

     “Up here!” The drawling voice belonged to an older man, leaning out of a second floor window with a scoped rifle in his grasp. “So, stranger…what brings ya to our fair town?”

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     There were only a handful of exhausted-looking people left inside the old Town Hall. Two women, one in her late teens, ginger hair, the other probably in her late thirties, with dusty blonde hair, had let him in through the heavy gate out front. The older man with the rifle was descending the stairs at the back of the reception area, passing the last two residents, a young man and what may have been his younger brother.

     Every one of them was armed.

     “You wanna holster that sidearm, son,” the old man began, “makes folk nervous.”

     Dante hadn’t even realised he still held it, though he had at least remembered to take the safety off. “Sorry, I’m still a little fuzzy on what’s going on here,” he said as he slid the handgun back into the holster on his belt.

     “How’d you even get out here?” the ginger girl enquired.

     After a slight pause and a puzzled look, he replied, “I, uh…I walked.”

     “You walked?” The blonde woman this time. “From where?”

     “I’ve been out of the world for a while. Only been in and out of gas stations and the like, picking up food and water before moving on. The odd small town put a roof over my head for a few nights, here and there, allowing me to shower and wash my clothes.

     Been a while since I hit any towns though,” he finished.

     “That makes sense,” the old man stated. “You’ve missed an awful lot, son.”

     The ginger teenager nodded at the old man, before turning back to Dante.

     “You missed the end of the world, sir.”

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Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this second part, please feel free to leave any feedback. I’m always looking to learn!

Y’all know the drill by now, our good host, Madison Woods gives us a photo prompt to work from and we write a 100-word story based on said photo.

Here is this week’s image:

Image

Her story is here: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/you-wanna-piece-a-me-100-words/

There, we comment on her work and leave a link to our own. It’s helped build a wonderful little community of writers, one that I’m very happy to be a part of.

Anyway, enough babbling. My story for this week starts here…

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The world is black and white. Always has been. The streets are empty of people but full of debris and destruction.

     A shifting, waving stream of red flows through the air from around the next corner, reaching my nose and filling me with a sense of dread.

     Red is the colour of death.

     My interest is piqued, however, and I’m compelled to investigate. Slowly, softly, I pad to the corner with my nose to the ground, following the scent.

     Peaking round the corner, I see my dread come to fruition.

     The dead walk.

 

     And they are hungry.

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Please feel free to leave any feedback, as I’m always looking to learn!

Once again a Friday is upon us, and that means it’s time for some 100-word fiction! Thanks once again go to Madison Woods for lashing together this rag-tag group of wonderful writers and challenging us all to write flash fiction stories based on a single photo prompt.

This week’s prompt gave me an idea straight away and it’s more-or-less unchanged for the final story.

Here’s the prompt:

Madison’s story starts us off (read it here: http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/cellar-walls-100-words/) and we all link to our own efforts in the comments section of her story.

 

Now, here’s my effort for this week…

 

Is it still out there?” Gina whispered.

     Emilia looked across at her friend in the fading light, her eyes filled with fear. “I don’t know,” she replied shakily.

     Whatever it was that was chasing them, the girls could no longer hear its rasping breath or the creaking of bones in its angular frame as it moved.

     At length, Emilia steeled herself and bent down to look through the hole in the old stone wall. She could see nothing but blackness.

     Then breath rasped and the twitching, bloodshot yellow eye stared back at her.

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As always, please feel free to leave any feedback! Thank you for reading.

The familiar violet hue of the sky went dark once more and the people prepared themselves for another rough ride.
    Whenever the skies were blackened, the world heaved and pivoted on its various axes, throwing its inhabitants around and destroying homes, places of business and even taking lives in the process.
    They had tried praying, building monuments of faith and even resorted to sacrifice at one point. Nothing helped.
    All they could do was prepare themselves and trust to hope.

    “I swear,” Gillian announced, turning the amethyst over and over in her hand, “I hear screams coming from this thing.”

Thanks again to Madison Woods for setting up the #FlashFictioneers prompt for us all, you can read her latest story here:
http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/sapphire-rhapsody/

Please feel free to leave any comments for my learning benefit, it will be very much appreciated!
Also, please excuse any issues this week as I had to post this up with my phone!

This is my first pass at a little serial I decided to write. I hope to make it a regular thing, with each part no longer than a page (or just over) to keep it running quickly and smoothly, plus challenging myself to write something interesting within a limited space.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling…I hope you enjoy this little taster, please feel free to leave feedback – I’m always looking to learn and improve in my writing!

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Dawn was breaking over the town, sending shadows sprawling over roads and walls as the first carmine tendrils stretched from below the horizon.

     Green Gate was usually a sleepy town, but even at this early hour it seemed unnaturally quiet. The wind moaned and an empty soda can rolled and bounced noisily across the street, the tinny clattering sounding like thunderclaps in the silence.

     Dante looked around. He had been walking for hours, all hope of hitching a ride lost long ago when not a single vehicle had passed him on the narrow road that cut through the green countryside. He pulled a bottle of water from his bag and unscrewed the top, unable to shake the uneasy feeling in his stomach. The water quenched his thirst in the warm air, when even the stirring breeze did nothing to cool him down.

     One of those days.

     Returning the bottle back to his bag, he took another look around. Seeing nothing, hearing nothing, but smelling an acrid odour on the breeze, he pulled the handgun from his belt holster.

     Something felt wrong here.

     He pulled back the slide, securing a round in the chamber but leaving the safety on for now. After all, if he shot at everything that made him uneasy, he’d be in prison for shooting his ex-wife.

     And cops don’t do well in prison.

     Being a cop was what told him to be prepared. He hooked the strap of his backpack over his shoulder before rubbing his hand over the fuzz of short blonde hair atop his head, shaking out all traces of tiredness as he made his way into the town proper.

     Further into the town his uneasy feelings came clear.

     Shop windows were smashed in or left with spider-web cracks covering the tougher ones, others were boarded up weakly, judging by the splintered holes left in doorways and house fronts. One building toward the end of the main road, about half a mile from where Dante stood, was still boarded up and intact. Shielding his eyes from the morning sun and squinting into the distance, he could just about make out the shapes of a few people milling about the boarded-up building. He shrugged and made his way down the street.

     As he approached the building, he realised it must have been the town hall or perhaps the police station, judging by the old white concrete and the scalloped pillars holding up the semi-circular veranda at the entrance.

     The normality ended there.

     A huge fence of jagged metal ran around the veranda. Pieces of rusting iron and steel had been grafted together hastily, with an old iron gate lashed across the front, held in place by heavy chains.

     A few rough-looking people shambled around what used to be the car park of the building, drunk by the looks of things, and Dante kept a wary eye on them as he approached slowly. He was about to speak when one of the men spotted him.

     Dante froze.

     The man’s face was torn to shreds, the flesh hung from ragged wounds and the blood had congealed within the lesions.

     How is that possible? How’s he even still standing?

     The man exhaled hungrily, blood dribbling from his lips, and his silvery irises locked on Dante with a mixture of wildness and…nothingness.

     His eyes were dead.

     He looked dead.

     What’s wrong with this place?

March 2012
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