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.

Monday’s Finish the Story – Hunger

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Here’s my contribution to Monday’s Finish the Story posted by Barbara Beecham. It’s amazing how rusty you can feel after just a week long break from writing, but here goes…

Finish the story begins with: “They followed the buffaloes and their babies along the trail heading into the woods.”

They’d been tracking them for days, staying out of sight to avoid spooking the beasts and waiting for their chance. The plan was to separate a calf from the herd and bring it down. Starving, and with most their weapons gone, they held onto the element of surprise as their last hope.

“Here they come” Jane whispered, watching the beasts wind their way uphill through the trees. The air was heavier here, full of earthy smells which help to mask their own scent. The animals moved cautiously, the cows keeping their young close.

She pressed the knife handle into her sweaty palm, not daring to breathe. They only had one chance at this, and timing was everything.

Dan listened to the animals draw closer, hunger honing his senses. His eyes waiting for Jane’s signal.

She spread her fingers out and counted down from five.

“Now!” she screamed as they charged  at the buffalo.

Monday’s Finish the Story- The Stone Man

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This is my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story from Barbara Beecham  – thanks once again Barbara for a great prompt!

Finish the story begins with: “The neighbors were not happy about my choice of yard art.”

Sam took a sip of his beer as he looked over at the Man. “But they’d like him even less if they knew what he was.”

“What do you mean?” Tara sat painting her nails.

“Ever heard of the Stone Man from Misty Falls?”

“Yeah.. but the Stone Man’s not real Sam. It’s just a dumb story we used to tell the kids in school to freak them out.”

“What if I told you that he is real.” Sam’s tone made her look up.

“Stop being an idiot Sam! Are you telling me that that thing over there is THE Stone Man? That he can turn your heart to stone?” Rolling her eyes, she continued to coat her nails with Calipso Sunset. “How did this legend fall into your filthy hands anyway?”

He hopped off the chair and sat  down next to her. “It starts with your heart, yes, but soon your whole body turns to stone. Let me show you…”

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers- The Accident

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. Thanks Priceless Joy for another awesome prompt!

The scene of the crime pierced an otherwise quiet neighbourhood like a gaudy Christmas tree, lit up with the flashing lights of emergency vehicles, news crews, and the flashes from a hundred selfies as the gawkers updated their Instagram feeds.

A crumpled car. A ruined house.

“A horrible accident” report the newsfeeds, filling your hunger for the latest tragedy.

An unfortunate set of circumstances leading to disaster.

But nothing happens by chance, does it?

I was there. I know.

The young family safe and warm in their home, enjoying story time before bed. The drunk driver risking the short trip home. A corner taken too fast. A cat which chose that instant to run across his path.

In the matter of life and death, a few seconds can make all the difference – or make no difference at all.

That poor family you say. What a terrible accident.

But in the matter of life and death, there are no accidents. I know. I was there.

Words: 165

Mondays Finish the Story- The Unenthusiastic Helper

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Mondays Finish the Story challenge provided by Barbara Beecham. It’s a frivolous tale, but I’m working on a dark, depressing story behind the scenes at the moment, and needed some comic relief.. 🙂

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the god of the underworld was flossing his teeth when there was a knock on the door. “Evening sir, I’m Allen from Bunged Up Plumbing Services.. you rang about a water leak?”

The god of the underworld led Allen around to the back of his house and showed him the view.

“Right. Looks like you’ve got a bit of a problem here sir.”

The god of the underworld turned to Allen. “As you can see, hell is flooded. Winter, as we know, is coming and I can’t afford to let the place freeze over, as that has serious implications for my reputation. So you need to fix it.” He gave Allen the look of death. “Now.”

“Well this looks like a pretty big job, don’t think I could do it right now.. I’ll need to find the leak, give you a quote… could take a few days..”

The next day, Allen was dead.