Monday’s Finish the Story- Midnight Brew

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story, brought to us by Barbara Beacham.

Finish the story begins with:  “The barista shook his head. That hedge couldn’t have moved closer overnight. Could it?”

Ever since they’d been selling the new coffee, the customers were complaining about its unusual side effects. That they were seeing fuzzy outlines around trees, and shadows flitting at the edge of their vision. Some people were even talking to dead relatives. The barista didn’t believe in such things, so when one of the regulars bet him $50 to drink a double espresso, he just thought that it was easy money. Except now he wasn’t so sure. The coffee came in a small black bag  with a name, and nothing else. “Midnight Brew.” He hesitated, twirling the tiny espresso glass before taking a sip of the  thick black brew. Heartbeat quickened, pupils dilated, everything came into sharp focus. It tasted of chocolate, and flowers, of his first kiss, of mothers milk, of tears, and of life itself. He shook his head and blinked. Was the topiary hedge waving at him?

Monday’s Finish the Story – The Seed

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Here’s my contribution to this weeks’s Monday’s Finish the Story, brought to us by Barbara Beacham.

Finish the story starts with “At first, it looked like an ordinary marble, but it was far from it.”

To the untrained eye, it was nothing more than a trinket, piled into the old straw basket sitting in a dusty corner of the bookshop. Cheap treats left at child height, making it easy for little hands to scoop out a reward for good behavior..

Mikah had already walked out of the store when a commotion made her glance back . A little girl had upturned the basket, scattering its contents all over the shop floor. She stepped back in to help the girl’s father and the shop owner who were frantically trying to clean up the mess. She stuck her hand under a bookshelf to pull out some of the escapees, and jumped back as a bolt of electricity ran up her arm. Shaking, she uncurled her fingers and stared at the tiny white orb which lay, ice cold, against her skin. It could only be one thing. A world seed.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Into the Deep

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This week’s FFAW prompt reminds me of a talk I went to a few years ago by an economist from the UN, and it was about how the world’s coral reefs will all be gone within 50 years. 50 years! Anyway, enough of my soapbox, here’s the story..

Dr. Sandy Shaw led the expedition to track down the world’s last remaining coral reef.

All around the world, reefs were dying, hapless victims to warming seas, pollution, and over fishing.

It was too late to stop the decline as the tipping point was reached well before we even knew what was happening, and ecosystems created over millions of years were being wiped out in less than a generation- all that could be done now was to salvage whichever species could be rescued.

But the degradation wasn’t over yet. A lucrative black market for highly endangered marine animals, some selling for millions of dollars had turned the oceans into a battleground.

And as they made their made way towards the tiny blue sanctuary, she saw the glint of other boats up ahead. Poachers. She gripped the barrel of her gun tighter as they drew closer. The hunt was on.

Mondays Finish the Story – Sandpit Wars

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For this week’s MFTS challenge, I’m taking some inspiration from a story that I’m working on (kind of) about the old gods..

 Finish the Story begins with: “Zeus was not having a good day and he made sure everyone knew it.”

He had just turned himself into a dolphin, ready for a serious day of frolicking in the Aegean with a couple of mermaids when he finally got the call.

And now he was sitting in a cramped little cave in the middle of theTibetan Himalayas freezing his tan off.

“Odin, just so you know, next time I choose the venue, yeah?”

He looked around the crowded room. “So who’re we waiting on?”

Buddha sat on cave floor, eyes closed, with a soft smile playing on his lips. “Your daughter, Thunder God. The goddess of the Earth.”

“That bloody, Gaia, never on time. She’s probably off saving a rainforest somewhere.. Apollo, go and get your sister.”

“But Father.. it’s not sunrise yet.” A bolt of lightening struck the God of the Sun as he ran out the cave.

Zeus turned back to the Old Father. “Right. So what’s the plan to save humanity?”

Monday’s finish the Story- The Agency

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This is my contribution to Monday’s finish the Story, hosted by Barbara Beacham.

Finish the story starts with: “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

Oscar read aloud the words which had greeted him each morning for the past 20 years at Hardwyke Forsythe and Rogers.

He turned to face the year’s new recruits, with their freshly ironed shirts, trim haircuts and unblinking expressions.

He looked down at his own clothes and noticed a blob of yesterday’s dried ketchup resting against his paunch. He flopped back into his seat and opened the orientation manual, before promptly slamming it shut again.

“So who can tell me what we do here?” “Yes. Simon?” He glanced down at his watch before meeting Star Eager Beaver’s eye. Two more minutes to a smoke break.

“We educate people learn about new products and services sir.” A chuckle escaped his lips.

“We sell dreams, son. We sell hopes and dreams in jars and tubes, and people buy them for whatever outrageous amounts of money we ask. Welcome to advertising school. Don’t believe a word of it.”

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – The Gazebo of Infinite Possibilities

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This is my story for this week’s prompt for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers,  brought to us by Priceless Joy. Thanks once again Joy 🙂

“Is this it?” Sam stared at the grotty looking gazebo which stood in the middle of an overgrown suburban park. Layers of graffiti and pigeon shit covered its peeling walls, and its deck was littered with food wrappers, cigarette butts, other unmentionable detritus. “Looks like there’s been a fire”. Josh circled around to kick over a half burnt sign. “Yep. This is it alright”. He walked back over to Sam. “What do you think? Should we give it a try?”

She peered over the rotten steps. “I can’t believe we’ve come all this way for this dump.” She took a few steps forward, wrinkling her nose. “Screw it Josh. There’s no one around to see us making fools of ourselves if it doesn’t work. Lets go.” She took his hand and led him up the steps, as the building started to shake and spin around them. The illusion fell away, and an unseen voice greeted them. “Welcome to the Portal of Infinite Possibilities. Where in the multiverse would you like to go?”

Monday’s Finish the Story – Rescue Mission

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This is my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story, brought to us by Barbara Beacham. Thanks once again Barbara 🙂

Finish the story starts with: The crew of the Angel Flame received orders to head out.

She made her way quickly towards the edge of the Great Southern Ocean to retrieve what was left of the space shuttle Explorer, which had broken up on re-entry a few hours ago.

They were expecting the worst, and a hungry media was feeding their every move live into homes and offices around the world.

Captain Shepperd was about to brief the navy divers when he was interrupted by his deputy. “Sir, you need to see this.” His expression pulled the captain away from the waiting men as he thrust a sonar printout into Shepperd’s waiting hand. “What am I looking at here, Rogers?” The Captain’s confused expression matched his own. “The Explorer sir. It’s impossible, but the ship is still intact, underwater. And it’s coming right at us.”

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – The Reward

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This is my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt, provided by Priceless Joy.

John tried to convince his audience. “There. He stretched his arm out towards a dark patch of water. I was in the raft and she appeared right there.”

Miranda crossed her arms with a loud huff and glared at her father. “Dad, I can’t believe that you still drag us out here every year for this stupid story. You imagined the whole thing, get over it.”

“She saved my life, Miranda. I think I’d know if I imagined it.”

“Yeah well we’re not 3 years old anymore. I find it hard to believe that a mermaid saved your life.”

“Uh dad.. behind you.” Toby was staring at something behind his father.

A naked woman hung above their boat like Botticelli’s Venus. Her golden tail glinting in the sunlight. She leant towards the paralyzed occupants of the boat and slapped John across his face.

“You bastard. 16 years I’ve waited for my reward. Where is it?”

John pushed Miranda towards her. “Here you are. One firstborn, as promised. Enjoy.”

Monday’s Finish the Story – The Trip

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This is my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story, posted by Barbara Beecham.

Finish the story starts with: “After losing her head, she realized that the rest of her body was falling apart.”

She lifted her hands to her face and watched as they melted away like pieces of gooey cheese. My camembert hands, she whispered, giggling as she stuck her tongue out to lick them. Then it was the arms, pulling away slowly out from the shoulder sockets. On the screen above flickered an image of an old decapitated doll in a pink dress. Its amazing what our subconscious dredges up, she thoughtwatching her detached feet float away like big bubbles.

An alarm grated at the edge of her consciousness. She was at the best part now as her spine started to stretch, building up to the grand finale. Silently begging for one more minute, she started to lift up out of her body.

The little doll disappeared as the holopod  slid open and face peered down at her. “Time’s up, lady.”

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Bad Day for Mr. Amazing

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This is my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, brought to us by Priceless Joy.

Laura checked her watch. Where is he? He knows that I hate being late. She craned her neck over the edge of the platform.

“Excuse me, could you step behind the yellow line?” A uniformed man wearing an official tone and a whistle around his neck strolled over.

She turned around. “Uh.. sorry Mrs. Amazing, didn’t realize it was you… wow, never thought I’d see a superhero at a train station!”

“Well, Mr. Amazing chose not to fly today. And its Ms. not Mrs.” Her smile and her eyes gave him different messages.

He pulled out his phone. “Hey can I get a pic..er, never mind.” His survival instinct kicked in just as the train arrived.

Mr. Amazing stepped out and walked towards his wife.

“Sorry babe.” He shook his phone in her face. “Had to go back for this.”

“Where is it?”

“Where’s what?”

“The present?”

A look of panic washed over his face. “Oh shit. I left it on the train!”

Millbrae Station was reduced to a pile of rubble.