Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 273 (August 10-17). Stories. Topic: Before the Storm Hits.

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message 1: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Sweet! New topic! I'll start on this as soon as I finish reading through last week's stories. Thanks for the topic, Al!

message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments This week's story is called "Nail Bomb" and it goes like this:


Psymon Nordonus, Vigilante Hacker
Baby, Robotic Doll

PROMPT CONFORMITY: The storm that’s about to hit isn’t of rain or thunder, but thousands of construction nails as part of a shrapnel bomb.

SYNOPSIS: In the cyberpunk future, Psymon is riding a bus minding his own business with his hood over his head and his MP3 player cranked up. When Baby comes to life in a little girl’s stroller and threatens to blow everyone up with an implanted nail bomb, Psymon seems indifferent to the terrorist robot and the passengers he’s scaring the hell out of. However, while the other passengers are screaming and cowering, Psymon is using his MP3 player as a hacking device to try and disarm Baby’s nail bomb and figure out who rigged him in the first place.

message 3: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Yay, Garrison is joining us with a sci-fi stoy! Thank you too, Nadia.

message 4: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Hehehe! Angie, you're a sweetie pie. :)

message 5: by Nadia (new)

Nadia | 690 comments Hey guys, sorry I've been gone for a while, my computer was down for the count. :( Finally i can post some stories, yay!

message 6: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Nadia wrote: "Hey guys, sorry I've been gone for a while, my computer was down for the count. :( Finally i can post some stories, yay!"

Just so long as you're not down for the count again! :-D

message 7: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4216 comments Edward wrote: "Nadia wrote: "Hey guys, sorry I've been gone for a while, my computer was down for the count. :( Finally i can post some stories, yay!"

Just so long as you're not down for the count again! :-D"

Glad to have you back, Nadia! :D

message 8: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Good to have you back, Nadia! And thanks for the awesome prompt! :)

message 9: by Marie (last edited Aug 10, 2015 05:40PM) (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Title: The Picnic
Word Count: 2196

“What a perfectly beautiful day it is!” Drizzle-Ella exclaimed. The young queen popped a cherry in her mouth and chewed happily, her gaze fixed to the sky. Her companion couldn’t help but laugh and look skyward as well.
“Ah, it is a glorious day indeed.”
“Much too nice to be stuck indoors listening to lectures and signing papers all day. Don’t they understand that if I don’t get out sometimes that I will lose what little mind I have left?” She pouted her lips out and scrunched her eyebrows low, feigning anger.
Garrison laughed again. “I doubt that they do. The council members may be too old to remember what youth feels like. Perhaps they can’t recall such yearnings.”

Drizzle-Ella contemplated her friend for a moment, fighting the urge to tuck a loose strand of his blonde hair behind his ear. Why was it that he shared the same elfish traits that she did? The pointed ears and magical gifts had bypassed her brother, Aaron. He’d had the charming good looks and way with nature. Drizzle-Ella was pretty but not beautiful and the only animals that listened to her were horses, and sometimes even they gave her a hard time.

But Garrison, the only other half-elf she knew, was quite handsome, had elfish ears, and practiced magic. He could almost pass for a real elf, if not for his very human eyes. Looking at him now, feeling his nearness, she was definitely experiencing yearnings of her own.

Today is the day. I’m going to tell him today. I have to, or I’ll never sleep again!
Suddenly she felt nervous. Fingering the lace of her sleeve, she searched the basket of fruit for something else to chew on so she wouldn’t have to talk. She had to remain calm, collect her wits, and just tell him. She’d practiced what she was going to say in her mind a million times. Now was the time, now when they were finally alone and getting along so well.

It doesn’t matter that you’re a queen and he is no longer a knight. It doesn’t matter that you live in a palace of stone and he in a hut of wood and grass. You know him better than anyone. And he knows all your secrets too.

Indeed, he did. Garrison had known her since childhood and he had serious dirt on her. The half-elf knew things that, if revealed, could have that crown toppling from her head. But he would never tell her secrets. He would never say anything that would cast her in a bad light. He loved her.
And I love him. It took me far too long to realize it but I do. Now, I just have to tell him. Oh, gods above! How do I do this? There has to be an easy way to broach the subject!

Chewing on an apple, Drizzle-Ella tried not to suck in a deep breath and chance choking as she slowly and carefully leaned her small shoulder against his strong one. He turned to her, his lovely brow wrinkled in confusion but when she gave him a weak smile, he merely smiled back.
Damnation! Is he smiling because he’s happy I’m touching him or because I’m queen and he dare not say anything and chance angering me? Argh, frustrating!

This is just how the last few weeks had gone. Drizzle-Ella going out of her way to see him and spend time with him. Garrison being his usual cordial self. Even when she dropped subtle hints about enjoying her time with him, he never seemed to get it. Or at least, he never came out and said he did. The handsome man would only comment on how kind and thoughtful a queen she was. Had he finally gotten over her? Had he moved on from the unobtainable prize she was so often seen as?

He certainly wasn’t seeing anyone else. She often grilled his mother in private about it, under pretense of worrying about her dear friend. Drizzle-Ella had a feeling that the old woman knew exactly why she questioned her so often but had the grace to pretend ignorance anyway.
Argh, I don’t like these games! Why can’t I just come straight out and say it? Why can’t I just ask him if he still loves me? Gods above, I am such a coward!

It didn’t help that the council was still seeking a suitor for her. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know exactly why. They wanted a man to tame her, to bend her to his will, to put her in her place. A woman should not be ruling a country. That was a man’s job. No matter that since she’d become queen, she’d solved small problems with the poorer civilians that her father had overlooked. No matter that the people loved her. No matter that her careful penny pinching had the markets thriving and any debts owed other countries were all but paid off. She was a good queen. But it wasn’t enough. There had to be a man in charge. In the council’s eyes, that was most important.

“Yes, your Majesty?”
She frowned. “Haven’t I told you not to call me that? Especially now, when we are alone and no one can hear you.”
He grinned at her, those perfect lips curving up just slightly. She wanted so much to kiss them. “Whether we are alone or not, I must show you proper respect.”
“Respect? Isn’t it enough that I know that you respect me? If you don’t stop calling me that, I will command that you call me by name when we are alone. I want it to be as it was when we were children. I don’t want you to ever worry about saying the wrong thing around me.”

He glanced away and leaned forward, breaking contact with her shoulder. “It was… different when we were children. Things were not so complicated.”

True enough. Thoughts of their childhood together brought images of tree climbing, her hiking her skirts up above her knees so she could climb and him taunting her about it. She remembered the day she learned to ride alone, how proud he’d looked as he watched her race around with her horse, Shadowflame. And then there was that evening in their teenage years when she ran away to cry in the stable. Garrison found her then; her expensive dress soaked in tears, her sobs quiet but heartfelt, and he touched her shoulder gently. She remembered telling him about the boy who’d broken her heart. Young Garrison’s eyes had flashed in fury, his mouth frowning fiercely. Then his anger was gone and he was holding her in his lap, shushing her and whispering words of comfort.
Why hadn’t she seen then? How could she have never guessed his true feelings?

“I know things are complicated but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. In fact,” she reached a shaky hand over and covered his larger hand with hers. It was rough to her touch, the sign of a man who worked for a living. “I, I want to see more of you. Would that be okay?”

He gave her an incredulous look. “You’re asking me if it would be okay? You’re the queen, you can do as you wish. You make the rules.”
“I just don’t want to take away from your time with your mother. She’s only been here a month. You still have so much catching up to do.”

Garrison said nothing at that. He grabbed an apple from the basket and bit into it. His other hand was still under hers on the blanket they occupied. A breeze touched their faces and Drizzle-Ella looked to the sky again. Dark clouds were forming in the distance. The perfect day might be ruined after all. If she didn’t ruin it all by herself first.

She would be content to sit here with him in silence, merely enjoying the breeze and the soft grass and the small sounds of their horses grazing nearby. They had sat in silence often before, just enjoying each other’s company, no words necessary. But not today. No, she knew that if she didn’t get this off her chest soon, she would explode with emotion and seriously embarrass herself.

She ran her fingers over his, caressing his skin. He froze bringing the apple to his mouth. His head slowly turned toward her as she spoke.
“Garrison, do I really have to come right out and say it? I mean, haven’t you guessed why I want to spend so much time with you? Don’t you, don’t you know how I really feel about you?”

The apple fell from his hand, bounced off his knee and rolled off the blanket and into the grass. He lifted his other hand from under hers but she wouldn’t let it go, grasping it in both her hands. She couldn’t help but wonder if she appeared desperate to him now. What was he thinking? How would he respond? She clutched his hand and willed him to answer her. Anything was better than not knowing.

At first, he seemed confused, then a sort of sadness crept into his green eyes. This look had Drizzle-Ella’s heart dropping to her knees. Was he about to deny her?

“My queen,” he paused, “Drizle-Ella, I don’t…” His words stopped as his spine went rigid and his head whipped to their left. In the same moment, the horses began to whiny in alarm. “Do you feel that?” His voice now held a hushed anxiety that she’d never heard before.
“What? What is it?”
He took her hands and placed them on the ground between them, his expression hard. For a moment, she wasn’t sure what to make of his behavior but then she felt it. The ground was trembling.

“Whatever it is, it’s coming this way, and fast,” she said, her own voice growing serious. She leapt to her feet. “I’ll climb a tree and have a look.”

Garrison rose as well and opened his mouth, as if to stop her, then shut it again. She was the faster tree climber, dress or not, and they both knew it. He bent his knee at the nearest tree trunk and she readily used him to advance upward. As she climbed, he tried to gather their horses. Though her horse, Shadowflame, came to his call, his own horse, young and new to Garrison, would not heed his orders. When Drizzle-Ella neared the top, she heard him cursing below as the terrified horse actually took off back to the nearby village.

She almost laughed but what she saw through the trees caught her breath in her throat. In seconds, she was climbing back down, falling, leaping, nearly breaking her neck. Her dress was ripped, her hands sticky with sap, and her hair a mess of twigs and leaves when she finally reached the ground. Garrison watched her hurried return and was there to catch her.
“What is it? Drizzle-Ella?”
She said nothing, bending over her knees, trying to catch her breath, fear squeezing her insides like a vice.
“My queen?” His tone was unsure, scared.
She finally found her voice. “It’s… oh, gods above… it’s the Minotamus! There must be thousands of them!”

Before she could utter another word, Garrison scooped her up in his arms and ran for Shadowflame. The lithe elf practically tossed her up on the red horse’s back, jumping up behind her and urging the horse on before she even had her bearings. The dark clouds moved across the sky as they rode for the castle at top speed.

“The villagers!” Drizzle-Ella yelled. “They’ll never make it to the castle walls in time. Garrison, we have to help them! We have to warn them first!”
“My first priority is seeing the queen to safety.”
She tried to turn and face him in the saddle, to give him her evil eye but they were bumping around too hard. “You wouldn’t dare go against my wishes!”
“I will when it involves your safety!”

They were on the outskirts of the first village now. Garrison slowed the horse enough to leap off then smacked Shadowflame’s withers to urge him on. “Keep going, my queen! Don’t stop until you reach the castle walls! I’ll gather the villagers!”

But that wasn’t enough for Drizzle-Ella. She’d seen not only the size of the Minotamus’ forces but the speed at which they ran. There was no hope of saving the people outside the castle. Their enemy would be here in minutes.
“Minotamus!” She screamed repeatedly as her horse flew over the dirt road leading to the main gate. Some people understood. She saw many drop whatever they held, grab children up and run after her. Others merely stared at her blankly as she passed. She chanced a glance over her shoulder but she could no longer see Garrison. By the gods, would he die this day? Would she lose the man she loved before she could ever truly confess her feelings?

The Minotamus cleared the tree line just as the first drops of rain began to fall.

message 10: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Marie's back! Yay! What's your story called, lady?

message 11: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments I just remembered to slap the title and word count on. Yeah, I'm out of it today. Refresh and see, dear.

message 12: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments That's one hell of a word count for getting your story in on day one! :-D

message 13: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Yeah, I just wrote it too. I'm sleepy so quality is prob crap. Oh wells, I just wanted to be here this week!

message 14: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Good work! I'll read it once I've finished mine - about half way I think...

message 15: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments You named one of your characters after me! Aww!! I'm definitely going to read the whole thing; it's too good to miss! ^_^

message 16: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "You named one of your characters after me! Aww!! I'm definitely going to read the whole thing; it's too good to miss! ^_^"

You should name one of your characters Marie! :D

message 17: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Haha, this is from that novel I told you about months ago, Garrison. I told you I was naming a main character after you!

message 18: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Actually, I do have a short story in my archives where one of the characters is named Ashley Marie. I wrote it before I met her, but she's there all the same. Marie, if you go through those "Poison Tongue Tales" stories I sent you for beta reading, the story is called "If I Offer You My Soul". You'll love it, just like I'm going to love that chapter you wrote once I eventually read it. :)

message 19: by Marie (last edited Aug 10, 2015 06:39PM) (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Thanks. I hope to eventually make it into a full novel!
And I'll be reading that story soon!

message 20: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Nadia wrote: "Hey guys, sorry I've been gone for a while, my computer was down for the count. :( Finally i can post some stories, yay!"

Glad to have you back! I hope that juice incident wasn't too hard on your computer.

message 21: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Congrats for beating both Edward and Garrison this week, Marie! I'll read your story as soon as I get the chance to write mine down.

message 22: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments I'm here and ready to read!

message 23: by Nadia (last edited Aug 12, 2015 07:34AM) (new)

Nadia | 690 comments Title: The Greater Good
Word count: 862

"A story is nothing more than a stream of words. You cannot tell me that the author puts meaning into the words. Any meaning found in them is solely the fault of the reader," I nod my head sharply to punctuate my statement. Out of the corner of my eye I look at Richard. He is struggling to find a retort. Maybe the victory will be mine today.
"Fine," he says in a breath of air, "you win this time. But for the record, I still think that you're wrong," Since we were children we've done this. One of us will say some outlandishly delightful statement, the other will dispute it. The resulting battle will ensue for an hour or more. We love it. It keeps our minds sharp, and in our field of work that can be life or death. The phone rings, Richard looks at me, counting the rings under his breath. It rings again and we both take a step towards it. After the third ring they hang up. Dread wells up in my throat. We both know what that means. Finally, I grab the phone and hit the redial button. Before the first ring they pick up.
"Ms. Cole," the buissnessy voice on the other end says
"This is she, how may I help you?"
"It's time. Bring the prototype tonight. Eight o'clock." After that, all I hear is the dial tone.

"Rita, we cannot," We've been arguing this for hours, but I won't relent.
"We aren't doing anything. They asked me," At this he sets his jaw and angrily glares, "You're acting like a child," I inform him, "I'm sure that there is no other way."
"But think of the lives you're destroying, Rita," he pleads, "Think of the Beauty, crushed." We'd worked on the Beauty for years, nearly a decade in fact. But I had no choice.
"If I don't give it to them, they'll find another way," my voice cracks, I can't think of this as the end of something great, but rather the beginning of something better. The greater good, "At least we know all of the variables this way."
"I'm going with you," Richard says, "You won't do this alone."

By seven o'clock we have the truck hooked up. The Beauty is so large it takes a lot to transport her. Something doesn't feel right about this, but it's too late to back out now. I need to be fully invested.
"Did you call your parents?" I ask Richard. He nods
'They're on the next flight to Alaska," he says, "You call yours?" I nod as well
"They're going to Australia." We both nod. There isn't much left to say. We are going to die today, along with a lot of innocent people. But a lot of evil people too. It's for the greater good. Isn't that what they've been telling me since I was a child. My death is for the greater good.People that have to be stopped, this is the only way. I think about writing a letter, apologizing to all of these people, but it would just be destroyed too. This is it, there is nothing left to do, nothing left to say, this is the end.
"I'm sorry, Richard," I whisper. He squeezes my hand and smiles.
"Let's go, we have to do this."

The drive over there is torture. The launch pad is forty-five minutes away. Forty-five chances to change my mind. I don't. I can't. The sun is setting when we get there. It's orange rays casting a story like glow on everything. We don't bother taking the beauty off of the truck, it's too much hassle. We hook the wires up. Slowly, methodically. For a second I think that I can just run away, forget what I am doing. Only for a second. It doesn't take anyone giving my actions meaning to make them powerful. What I am doing right now is powerful in itself. An evil unhindered by what anyone else thinks or wants. My bosses are far away now, safe from danger's way. No one else gets that luxury. For whatever reason they are the only ones to deserve that. It's for the greater good. The greater good. my fingers type in the code quickly, without hesitation. I know those numbers better than my own name. The greater good. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I'm a trained nuclear physicist, this is what I was born for. The greater good. The robotic voice is counting down from ten now. The greater good. A chance for the world to start over. The greater good. I have no choice.
"Goodbye," I whisper as a deafening noise fills my ears. I curl up into a ball, futilely covering my ears. I can't hear my screams over the sound of the Beauty taking its first and only flight. The greater good. For a split second everything is quiet, perfectly still. My world is at peace, I made the right choice. Than the heavens burst forth with a torrent of fire. The ground shakes at the supersonic boom. I feel my body ripping apart from the pressure. The greater good.

message 24: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Nadia wrote: "Title: The Greater Good
Word count: 862

"A story is nothing more than a stream of words. You cannot tell me that the author puts meaning into the words."

Wow, that's a powerful story! I love how she chanted her little mantra to herself; the greater good, the greater good. Nice touch. I'm thoroughly convinced that she has been brainwashed by her "bosses" who are safe from the blast.

The sentence structure and punctuation could use some work though. Overall, great story.

message 25: by Edward (last edited Aug 11, 2015 02:30PM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Final Performance At The Maagiline Festival (aka. Magical Pig) (Part 1)
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Fantasy
Word Count : 3209
Rating : PG

Wielding the magic of the ages might have been something special in most worlds, but in the land of the Zamatsenga is was something of an everyday occurrence, and for many it simply marked their coming of age.

Sihiri was a few weeks off turning sixteen cycles old, but she had been practicing magic since she was eight, and soon she would be able to compete in the annual Maagiline Festival, where the youth of society were tested to see just how powerful their magic had become. She’d been practising a simple magic spell that would produce a rain cloud above the stage of the open air auditorium, and she thought that weather manipulation was sure to win her a place next term at the Maagiline class.

Sihiri’s best friend Serhli was a few months older, and had been able to compete the previous year. She had come eleventh so had just missed out on a place in Maagiline classes, and was very excited to get the chance to compete again.

“This is going to be so much fun!” she said enthusiastically as Sihiri sat in front of her mirror, applying makeup to her snout. As part of the ritual the youngsters were encouraged to dress in traditional tribal outfits and Sihiri planned on going all out as this was her first time. Her mother had given her some of her outfits from when she was a child, and Sihiri had planned on taking the best elements from each of them and combining them to make one spectacular ensemble. She’d only finished a few days before, and she was extremely happy with how her outfit had turned out.

“I wonder how Gaib is going to look?” Sihiri said absently as she puckered her snout and applied snout-stick to it, “I bet he looks amazing.”

“I’m sure he’ll be more worried about how you look,” Serhli chuckled, “He’ll be looking at you all dreamy with your fancy clothes and make-up.”

“Shut up,” Sihiri smiled, “What about you and Kichawi? I saw the two of you making out after lessons last week.”

“You didn’t?” Serhli slapped Sihiri gently on the shoulder, “Oh my, I’m so embarrassed! Did we look like we knew what we were doing?”

Sihiri shrugged, “I guess so,” she said, “I wouldn’t really know anyway.”

“You mean you and Gaib never—“

Sihiri shook her head.

“But you two have been together since you were eleven! And you’ve never even kissed?”

Sihiri shook her head again.

“That’s sad,” Serhli sighed, “Me and Kichawi snog all the time! I’m surprised you haven’t caught us before.”

“Well it’s not like I make it my life’s mission to track you down and record your make out sessions,” Sihiri chuckled.

“Stop it!” Serhli chuckled in return, her snout wrinkling into her cheeks, “You make me sound like such a slut.”

As the two friends chuckled together, Sihiri’s mother entered the room. She smiled to see the two friends joking together and took a look at how her daughter had progressed with her dress.

“This is wonderful, daughter,” she smiled, “You are going to be the prettiest girl at the festival.”

“Thanks mum.” Sihiri smiled.

“What about me, Mrs Alade?” Serhli smiled cheekily.

“You will be a close second, Serhli,” Sihiri’s mother laughed.

“You’ll always be number one to Kichawi!” Sihiri chuckled.

“Shut up!” Serhli growled.

“You two had better hurry up,” Sihiri’s mother warned, “You only have an hour before we have to be at the Maagiline festival. Come on now, chop chop.”

“Come on Sihiri,” Serhli hurried her friend along, “You better get that dress on quickly.”

Sihiri picked up her dress and pulled it over her head, careful not to touch it with her snout for fear of getting snout-stick all over it. Once the dress was on she smoothed down the wrinkles and turned to face her friend.

“Well?” she asked, “How do I look?”

“You look amazing!” Serhli told her, shaking her head in disbelief, “I wish I’d asked you to make my dress.”

“Just think,” Sihiri smiled, “Once today is over I’ll be able to attend Maagiline classes with you and I’ll be able to make all the dresses I want.”

“Careful what you say,” Serhli warned, “the Maagiline council don’t like people using magic for their own ends. If they hearing you saying things like that they may not let you attend Maagiline lessons. They might even use any ourbursts to get rid of your friends and family if they happen to be going through lessons also.”

“Don’t worry,” Sihiri beamed, “I won’t do anything to embarrass you.”


Sihiri stood back stage with Serhli, waiting for the festival to begin. Each of the teenagers that were coming of age would go on last, with the previous year’s contestants going on ahead of them. As children could perform up until the age of eighteen, there were a lot of contestants to get through.

Serhil looked passed the curtain to see her parents, Mr and Mrs Donuz, sitting a few rows from the front. A few rows in front of them, she caught sight of Gaib, and she tugged at Sihiri’s dress to get her attention.

“Your boyfriend is out there,” she smirked, “do you think he came especially?”

“Maybe,” Sihiri blushed. He’d come second the year before so had been allowed to progress to Maagiline lessons. Sihiri thought how great it would be to share classes with him again.

“I’m so nervous,” Serhil told her friend, “What if my magic goes wrong?”

“It won’t go wrong,” Sihiri told her, “Just focus on your parents and everything will be fine.”

“I think I’ll concentrate on something else,” Serhil said, “I’ll imagine Kichawi in his underwear... again! You can do the same with Gaib!”

“You’re terrible,” Sihiri laughed, tapping her friend gently on the arm.

As the two friends joked, another girl named Sixir approached them. She was wearing a slinky dress, coloured deep red, with slits up both sides to show off her legs. She looked far older than her sixteen cycles, and she used that to make men do what she wanted, even at her young age.

“I don’t know why you two are even bothering to try out for Maagiline lessons,” she said snootily, “You should just get jobs as maids, like your mothers.”

Serhil growled at Sixir, “Just because our mothers didn’t make it to Maagiline classes doesn’t mean we won’t,” she oinked, “for all you know, you might fail for the next four years and end up working for me.”

Sixir laughed, “I somehow do not see that happening,” she smiled creepily, “I mean, imagine; a Doofaarka working for a Donuz? Or worse, an Alade? I don’t think so.”

Sixir walked away from the two girls. Laughing at her own joke. Sihiri and Serhil didn’t find it funny.

“Don’t listen to her,” a boy named Miharo said, having been listening in on their conversation, “I’ve seen her practising her magic, and she isn’t very good. She’ll be lucky to make it into the top twenty!”

“Thanks Miharo,” Sihiri said as the boy smiled and walked off to join his friends, “and good luck.”

The two girls peeked out into the audience, seeing that all the seats had been filled, and they spotted the festival judge, Hudol Mochyn, walking out onto the stage. He held up his hands to a round of applause, then lowered them to indicate silence.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Hudol announced, “it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the seventy-sixth Annual Maagiline Festival. This year we have some spectacular returning contestants who didn’t quite make it last cycle, but are sure to have made vast improvements over the last twelve months.”

The audience clapped, and Serhil smiled, “He’s talking about me, you know,” she grinned.

“Me more likely,” a girl called Bolimda chuckled, dressed in an outfit that was almost as spectacular as Sihiri’s.

“Wow, you look amazing,” Serhil whispered to her, “but that doesn’t mean your magic is better than mine.”

“We’ll see,” Bolimda boasted, wrinkling her snout up into a wide grin.

“I’m going to beat you all hands down,” a boy named Ajaib told them all.

“You?” Bloimda chuckled, “You won’t win—it’s your first year.”

“That doesn’t matter,” Ajaib said, “Remember Caroban Svinja five years back?”

Everyone remembered Caroban Svinja. He had hands down given the best magical performance in seventy-six years of the Maagiline Festival, creating a rainbow that had showered the audience with solid gold. They were only small pieces, so as not to injure anyone, but no-one had ever before or since been able to create gold with magic.

“That’s true,” Serhil admitted, “but he was the exception that proves the rule.”

“I never understood that saying,” Ajaib grumbled, “how can there be an exception if it’s a rule. That’s like saying ‘no running in the halls unless you need to run in the halls’. It’s stupid.”

“Well, just do your best and see if you can be the next Caroban Svinja,” Sihiri smiled, “I’m sure you’ll do well.”

“Don’t patronise me,” Abaija growled, walking away.

The girls turned back to the stage to see Hudol Mochyn finishing up his speech.

“And so, without any further ado, let’s welcome our first participant onto the stage.”

The first of the teenagers to go on stage was a girl named Balodis. Sihiri knew her from their language lessons together, and she quite liked her even though she was extremely quiet. Balodis was dressed in a green and brown dress which hung from her flat chest, and she smiled with embarrassment as she walked on stage, not uttering a single word.

As the light shone in her eyes, she held her hands above her head and waved them mystically. The audience watched as a puff of black smoke burst over her head and a small Balodis bird appeared and fluttered around the stage before landing on her shoulder. Balodis smiled sheepishly as the audience politely applauded her, then walked off stage with the bird.

“I don’t think that’s going to be enough to win her first place,” Serhil commented as the next contestant walked out on stage.

This was a boy named Idan, who was very tall for his age. His outfit didn’t quite fit him in length, so his arms and legs appeared to taper wildly from out of his sleeves and trouser legs. He smiled widely as he took centre stage, wheeling a table with a black velvet top hat in the middle of it.

“Oh no,” Sixir chuckled, having approached the two girls from behind, “this looks like a very old fashioned trick indeed.”

She wasn’t wrong. Idan proceeded to produce a black wand with a white tip, and he waved it over the top hat.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” he boomed, “Behold the wondrous magic of The Great Idantini!”

“Idantini?” Sixir mocked, “It’s probably the only thing about him that’s ‘tini’. Clearly his ego isn’t!”

Reaching inside the hat, which he had already revealed to be empty, Idan pulled an ehoru, its nose twitching and its long ears flipping back and forth. He stopped for applause, which there wasn’t that much of.

As he walked off stage, wheeling his table with him, Sixir punched Sihiri on the arm, making it look like she was being gentle and friendly but actually hitting quite hard.

“Well, I’m up next,” she grinned, “and I think you’re going to like my performance.”


message 26: by Edward (last edited Aug 11, 2015 02:30PM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Final Performance At The Maagiline Festival (aka. Magical Pig) (Part 2)
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Fantasy
Word Count : 3209
Rating : PG

Sixir took long strides out onto the stage, allowing her legs to be revealed under her slinky dress, then stood in the spotlight with her hands in the air. Loud applause and wolf whistles arose from the audience as she stuck out her chest and waited for the clapping to stop. When it did, she spoke loudly.

“For my magical performance I will require a volunteer from the audience,” she announced, “Who would like to come and help me?”

All the teenage boys in the audience started throwing their arms in the air, desperately wanting to be a part of Sixir’s magic tricks. Basically they just wanted to get close to her, maybe even have her touch them, but they were all going to be out of luck.

“You,” she announced, pointing into the audience, “Please, come and join me on stage.”

Sihiri and Serhil tried to see who she’d selected, but couldn’t see who it was until he alighted the stage.

It was Gaib!

“That bitch!” Serhil oathed, “She’s doing this to piss you off.”

Sihiri said nothing. She just watched as Sixir began her performance.

“My magical focus for the last twelve months has been on mind control,” Sixir announced, “and as such I have mastered the ability of taking over the mind’s of other people,” she gestured to Gaib and said, “Please, take a seat.”

Gaib sat down on a stool a short distance from Sixir, looking very uncomfortable.

Sixir removed a watch and chain from her dress -- Sihiri couldn’t quite figure out where she’d been hiding it -- and swung it gently in front of Gaib’s face.

“Now, you may start to feel a little sleepy,” she said loudly, chuckles coming from the audience. Even if she didn’t take first place for her tricks, she’d certainly take first place for showmanship.

The watch continued to swing, and Gaib’s eyelids started to droop. Sixir smiled as Gaib’s head lolled foward, indicating that he was completely under her spell.

Sixir smiled, “Now, bark like an Anjing!”

Gaib lifted his head and started to howl, getting up from his seat and prancing around the stage like somebody’s pet.

Sixir waved her fingers and bellowed, “Now, fly like a burung,” she spoke.

Gaib suddenly lifted into the air, flying around the stage as if he were some creature of the sky. The audience oohed and ahhed, then started to applause. Sixir grinned.

“The show isn’t over yet,” she said as Gaib came in to land beside her, “No, kiss me.”

Gaib, his eyes still glazed over, leaned in to Sixir and the two of them started to passionately kiss on stage in front of everyone. The audience didn’t seem that sure of what to make of it, but Sihiri could feel the rage building up inside of her.

Sixir was going to pay for this.

As the horrible girl finished her magic show and walked off stage, a bewildered Gaib being led off by some audience members, Sihiri realised it was her turn to go on stage.

“Beat that,” Sixir smirked as she walked past her, purposely placing her foot on the end of Sihiri’s dress. There came a loud rip, and half the skirt tore down the side. Sihiri stared at Sixir as she walked off, and her cheeks began to flush with rage.

Sihiri walked on stage to applause, which turned to laughter as people saw her torn clothes. Clearly they thought the daughter of a maid could only afford second hand damaged clothes, and they thought it was hilarious.

Sihiri didn’t find it funny at all.

She looked at Gaib, sitting back in his seat, still looking a little out of it. She couldn’t believe that Sixir had kissed him. Like Sihiri, Gaib had been saving himself for the right person, and she knew that Gaib thought Sihiri wast he one, but Sixir had stolen that from her. She had stolen the first kiss of her true love.

Sihiri bunched her hands together into fists and looked up at the sky in the open air auditorium. Then she looked sideways at Sixir, who was standing off stage laughing.

Angrily, Sihiri began her magic trick, raising her hands above her head and summoning a small rain cloud so she could make it rain on stage. But, as she concentrated, she couldn’t help thinking about Sixir and how angry she had made her. She felt her fingernails cutting into the palms of her hands, and tears trickled down her cheeks and snout.

The cloud appeared above her head, and the audience gasped with appreciation as it rumbled and rolled. Sihiri sniffed as the cloud started to grow bigger, continuing to rumble and roar, the light of lightning threatening to burst free from inside.

Offstage, Serhil gasped at how impressive her friends display was.

“I didn’t realise she was this good,” she whispered to Bolimda. Bolimda nodded silently.

The cloud grew and grew, causing violent winds to pass through the auditorium, and some of the audience started to get nervous about what might happen. Through her tears, Sihiri smiled slightly, looking over at her friend Serhil as the cloud grew ever bigger. Serhil saw the smile and she watched in awe as lightning started to crackle within the storm cloud.

“What’s happening?” Bolimda muttered to Serhil, “Is that supposed to happen?”

“I’m not sure,” Serhil replied, not taking her eyes from the stage. The sound of thunder started to rumble loudly throughout the auditorium, and then the lightning started to violently streak across the stage.

Some people in the audience stood up to leave, worried the lightning might be beyond Sihiri’s control, while others didn’t move from their seats, watching in astonished awe. All the while Sihiri stood motionless on the stage, her hands still raised above her head.

With a sudden motion, Sihiri sweopt her hands down and to the side, and a lightning bolt freed itself from the storm cloud, striking across the stage and off into the prompt corner where some of the other contestants were standing, including Serhil.

Seeing the lightning bolt heading offstage, Serhil ducked, but she needn’t have bothered.

The bolt had an intended target.

From her prone position on the ground, Serhil looked around to see the bolt of lightning strike Sixir. Sixir screamed in what could only be described as agony as she turned from a gentle pink to a crispy black in a matter of seconds, then her charred body collapsed to the floor, dead.

Serhil looked back to the stage where Sihiri stood, her hands slowly lowering to her sides and the cloud gently dissipating into nothingness. Once the cloud was gone and her hands were by her sides, she fell to her knees. Hudol Mochyn ran on stage to see if she was okay as murmurings started to rise from the audience.

Serhil jogged over to check on her friend, who opened her eyes slowly to look at both her and Hudol.

“Are you okay, young lady?” Hudol asked, his hand supporting her back.

“I... I think so,” she murmured, “How did I do?”

“Well,” Hudol furrowed his brow, “with that kind of power we can’t help but offer you a place in our class.”


“Yes,” he said, “we need to make sure you learn how to control this magic you’ve discovered.”

Sihiri looked confused, “What do you mean, help me control the magic?” she asked.

Hudol smiled warmly at her, “Well, you lost control of the lightning, didn’t you,” he said, “and that’s why that girl got killed back stage.”

“Lost control?” Sihiri repeated.

Serhil looked down at her friend, “That is what happened, isn’t it?”

Sihiri looked at her friend, “Of course,” she told her. Then she winked.

message 27: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Marie, I have to admit that I felt warm and fuzzy inside when I read my name in your story in the context of being handsome and loving. The descriptions of my character and Drizzle-Ella interacting together made me smile the whole way through. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever read. I even thought there was a little bit of truth when my character was oblivious to Drizzle-Ella’s come-ons. That’s me to a fault: shy until the very end. And to think, this whole story came about after I gave you smart-assed, but helpful advice for Threads of a Web. Marie, thank you so much for making me into a character for your story. I’m going to be grinning and blushing the whole day, maybe longer. Hehe!

message 28: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Just got my eyes dialated, so I can't read or write without getting a headache, but I'm glad to see so many stories up. When my eyes go back to normal, I'll try to finish it and post.

My entry for this week will be my last for a while. I go back to school tomorrow, so I won't have as much time to write. I'll still try to read through the entries when I get the chance though.

message 29: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Marie wrote: "Title: The Picnic
Word Count: 2196

“What a perfectly beautiful day it is!” Drizzle-Ella exclaimed. The young queen popped a cherry in her mouth and chewed happily, her gaze fixed to the sky. Her ..."

So, what happens next, you meany? This was a very sweet fantasy romance, with no twinkly vampires I'm glad to see. I loved Garrison's obliviousness and Drizzle-Ella's desperation to be accepted as a person and not just a queen. Good job!

message 30: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Nadia wrote: "Title: The Greater Good
Word count: 862

"A story is nothing more than a stream of words. You cannot tell me that the author puts meaning into the words. Any meaning found in them is solely th..."

Good story! At one point I thought they were going to hijack a plane, but what you had was much bigger. Marie is right; the presentation of your story was a little distracting. Do you use word? Just double space after each paragraph and you'll be laughing!

message 31: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Edward, you beat me to the punch again. I'll read your story probably tomorrow. But until then, enjoy some friendly competition. Hehe!

AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Nail Bomb
GENRE: Cyberpunk
RATING: PG-13 for swearing and violence

Riding public transportation can be a daunting task all by itself, judging from the peculiar characters who occupy those bus seats. On this particular day in cyberpunk city, it was downright dangerous. The city bus had its usual colorful characters such as the war veteran with a loud voice, the old man who wanted to know how everybody’s “trading stock” was doing, the mentally ill woman who was talking to herself, and the overweight mother of a baby she never made any effort to keep calm while the little one screamed like a demon.

The only person on that bus who wasn’t bothering anybody and was only minding his own business was the black hoodie-donning Psymon Nordonus. The only movement he made was with his head bobbing back and forth to “Killpop” by Slipknot on his MP3 player. Such aggressive heavy metal was sure to block out the cacophony of weirdoes, all of which were being ignored by the hefty bus driver.

Psymon was barely looking out of the corner of his eye at the large mother and the war veteran arguing with each other. At least one time during that conversation, both parties reminded each other that America was a “free country”. No, Psymon didn’t actually hear that, but he had been around those kinds of people before. Pathetic, he thought to himself.

The verbal spat turned into a shoving match and the baby in the stroller was even more obnoxious to listen to than before. Once the woman was shoved into her seat again, a baldheaded baby doll dropped out of the stroller and started coming to life. The sudden animation put everyone back in their seats as they watched on in terror. This doll was jerking around like it was being electrocuted and then started dancing like a creepy ballerina.

When the little guy in the stroller refused to stop crying, the doll sprayed him with green gas and knocked him into unconsciousness, to which the mother also passed out due to the fright of it all. “Ah, that’s much better!” the baby doll said to itself. The mechanical nightmare started yelling “booga-booga-booga” at everyone and causing them to jump out of their seats. Things really got horrifying when the doll revealed it had a bomb strapped to its back and a dead man switch in his hand.

“Alright, you disgusting cretins, listen up!” screamed the doll. “My name is Baby and I’m here for one reason: to collect all of your wallets and gadgets! You hand them over to me and you can all go home happy! If not, I can let go of this goddamn switch and send a rainstorm of nails flying in every direction! Ooo, the thought of that much blood splattering all over the place gives me the chills! It must be one of those ASMR things!”

The war veteran, whose voice suddenly dropped a few octaves, said, “Listen here, Baby. I don’t keep a wallet on me. I’m just a beggar trying to make enough to get by. It took an entire tin can full of coins just to get on this damn bus.”

Baby’s neon red eyes shot up in mock surprise before the wicked doll pretended to cry like his namesake suggested. He even rolled around on the floor and kicked his legs for added dramatic effect. When the homeless veteran knelt down to see what was up, he was greeted with a metallic head butt to the skull, opening a gash on his forehead and knocking him into a deep slumber.

“You little scumbag!” shouted the doll. “I don’t give two shits if you’re a bum off the streets or a ghetto whore living on welfare! You’re handing your belongings over to me or I’m going to take my thumb off of this goddamn button!”

The bus driver had no idea what to do but to keep driving, as if any release from the acceleration pedal was going to aggravate this terrorist doll some more. He barely had the strength to softly say, “That gentleman needs to see a doctor. He could die.”

“Keep driving, you donut-munching lard-ass! If you even think about going to a hospital or anywhere else where there’re cops waiting, I’m turning this entire bus into a reverse porcupine! Hell, there are already enough pricks on the inside, so I guess it doesn’t matter what I do with the dead man switch!” threatened the evil doll.

One by one, the bus patrons threw their wallets, change, and electronic devices on the floor without further resistance. Baby laughed like a wicked hyena as he went around collecting these items to put in a garbage bag. While he was scooping up his riches, he felt a sudden jolt that bounced his head in all directions and shot out a few sparks. This only lasted seconds and he was back to his old form in no time.

As soon as he recovered from that shock, Baby had eyeballs on the one man he neglected to extort: Psymon Nordonus, who continued to rock out to his heavy metal like it was just another day on the bus.

“Son of a bitch…” said Baby to himself as he walked over to Psymon and kicked him in the ankle to get his attention. The mysterious passenger shook off the slight pain, pulled his hood backwards, and took off his headsets.

“Can I help you with something?”

Baby smiled sarcastically and said, “Yes, I would like something. I want two pieces of chicken, a buttermilk biscuit with extra butter, a large order of French fries, and an extra large Diet Coke to wash all of that down. I can only do so much to watch my weight.” The cuteness was over when Baby screamed, “What do you think I want?! Didn’t you hear a damn thing I said?! Are you crazy?! Have you been listening to that god-awful music this whole time?!”

Psymon said, “Hey, don’t diss Slipknot, okay? They may look like a bunch of serial killers with those masks, but those guys know how to rock. Take a listen and judge for yourself.”

Baby ripped the MP3 player from Psymon’s hands and pressed the volume all the way down so that he didn’t have to listen to the “god-awful” music. “Word of advice, shit head: the next time you try to be a smart-ass to someone with a nail bomb attached to his back could be your last! Seriously, there’s nothing stopping me from letting go of this button right now! I could just lift my thumb and bam, you’re all dead!”

The metal head cleared his throat and said, “Well, that seems to be our situation. I have no idea what being blasted with a nail bomb feels like and I don’t care to find out. But seriously, man, you should try that music sometime. It’ll set your soul on fire, bitch.”

“I’m warning you!” yelled Baby as he raised the MP3 player with his good hand. He was about to lash out at Psymon when he finally saw what was on the device’s screen. Coding. Lots and lots of coding, particularly of the zeros and ones variety. “What the hell? Were you trying to hack into my system? Is that what the jolt was? Oh, that’s it! I’m taking this bus to hell right here and now!”

Before Baby could lift his thumb off of the dead man switch, Psymon made a split second move to hold onto the detonator with one cyber arm and tap the screen on his so-called MP3 player with the other. The last thing Baby saw before dancing and jolting into oblivion was the fact that Psymon Nordonus was a true cyberpunk in every sense of the word. This bus was only supposed to be full of “losers” and “wash-ups” who gave up on their dreams. A vigilante hacker? Not in a thousand years would Baby have anticipated that.

With one square-toed boot, Psymon kicked out the window and threw the thrashing Baby out with his hand on the detonator. When he released it, the storm of sharp metal nails exploded all over the outside of the bus. They dented nearby cars on the highway and cracked a few windows. The drivers were pissed off as evidenced by their obnoxious honking, but otherwise unharmed.

“Driver, get this thing to a hospital. That guy still needs your help,” ordered Psymon, to which the driver complied. Everyone on the bus was in silent shock. The most fearful response in this entire vehicle was traumatic shaking. The real baby started to come around and was crying painfully yet again. The mother? She was snoring the ride away while other people were tending to the unconscious veteran’s wounds.

Going back to his usual introverted self, Psymon didn’t lose himself in an MP3 player this time, but to the computer chip he snagged from Baby’s body before throwing him out of the window. It was marked as property of the DX-Corporation, a fact which made Psymon smile to himself and say, “Oh, the fun I’m going to have with this thing when I get home. You bitches are dead.”

message 32: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "Edward, you beat me to the punch again."

I doubled your word count too! ;-P

message 33: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Well played, Mr. Davies. Hehe!

message 34: by Edward (last edited Aug 12, 2015 01:44AM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Garrison wrote: "Edward, you beat me to the punch again. I'll read your story probably tomorrow. But until then, enjoy some friendly competition. Hehe!

AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Nail Bomb
GENRE: Cyberpunk

You crazy, Garrison. What a nutty tale! So, what was going on at the end? Is there more to this seemingly loopy story of an electronic assassin?

message 35: by Nadia (new)

Nadia | 690 comments Edward wrote: "Nadia wrote: "Title: The Greater Good
Word count: 862

"A story is nothing more than a stream of words. You cannot tell me that the author puts meaning into the words. Any meaning found in the..."

Thanks, I've had issues with formatting before. It will be fine when I proofread it, than I post it and there are spaces everywhere. I'm using notepad right now. Maybe I ought to switch to google docs.

message 36: by Julie (new)

Julie Grenness | 137 comments From Julie:
Word Tally=240 words. (Short, short story.)

Clouds Over Sin City.

The blazing, sunny skies beat down on Las Vegas, capital of glitz. The tawdry glamour of the casinos enticed all comers into a world of illusion.

John Average entered the parched world of gambling thrills. John was an average lower middle-class guy on vacation. He was about average height, middle-aged, divorced, unattached. John was a nondescript, neutral kind of dude no one noticed much.
Lured by fake propaganda, he was a symbol, representative of the living dead.

At Sin City, all was normal. The living dead spent hours and days feeding their addiction. Not one of them heeded or cared when clouds appeared, suspended over Las Vegas. Dark, gloomy portents, heralding the Grim Reaper, as he strolled and stalked
among his zombies, before the storm hit.

The Grim Reaper emanated dank black mists of his ghoulish essence. John Average sensed a chill seeping throughout his soul, and Sin City, but it was too late.
John went nowhere in particular. Bright lights, and the glittered atmosphere of Las Vegas, City of Sin, had claimed another living zombie. John Average had no future, no past. He poured his soul into the machines.

Invisible in the dens of iniquity, the Grim Reaper summoned his zombies, including John Average.
Here and there, a win? Coins tumbling, open coffers, hands grasping, then the rewards snapped closed. Once more, his zombies lingered on, sucked into the Reaper's vortex of deceit and delusion, damaging every one in its path.

The zombies, the living dead, all variants of John Average, had been bitten by their own weakness and addictions. The malady and mayhem spread, like a destructive evil tide, engulfing every one the zombies knew. The greed of the zombies targeted their spouses, their families, their friends, their homes, their lives.

The future was now. The zombie Apocalypse rolled ever forward, the Grim Reaper was scything his daily toll. John Average and the zombies hated their lives so much, they could no longer see their own faces. The living dead had no reflections, they were all victims.
The zombies played and played, biting themselves and all they touched.

The Grim Reaper never rested. His zombie Apocalypse permeated Las Vegas, Sin City. No one really knew how this story was supposed to end........

message 37: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Edward wrote: "You crazy, Garrison. What a nutty tale! So, what was going on at the end? Is there more to this seemingly loopy story of an electronic assassin?"

They're coming to take me away, ha-ha, they're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee-ha-ha, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats! They're coming to take me away, ha-ha!

message 38: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Edward wrote: "Title : Final Performance At The Maagiline Festival (aka. Magical Pig) (Part 2)
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Fantasy
Word Count : 3209
Rating : PG

Sixir took long strides out onto the stage, all..."

Oh wow, I love this story! I love that the magic users were not human. You perfectly captured the atmosphere between two teenage girlfriends and their rival. Awesome revenge!
You have to wonder though, now that Sihiri has had a taste of the power her anger can bring forth, will she continue to be the innocent girl everyone likes?

message 39: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Garrison wrote: "Marie, I have to admit that I felt warm and fuzzy inside when I read my name in your story in the context of being handsome and loving. The descriptions of my character and Drizzle-Ella interacting..."

Thanks, babe!

message 40: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Edward wrote: "Marie wrote: "Title: The Picnic
Word Count: 2196

“What a perfectly beautiful day it is!” Drizzle-Ella exclaimed. The young queen popped a cherry in her mouth and chewed happily, her gaze fixed to..."

Thanks for the comment! Oh, this is a part of a novel. Just have to actually sit and write the thing out....

message 41: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Garrison wrote: "Edward, you beat me to the punch again. I'll read your story probably tomorrow. But until then, enjoy some friendly competition. Hehe!

AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Nail Bomb
GENRE: Cyberpunk

If I recall correctly, you have had a crazy veteran and a young punk kid on a bus in a previous story. You do like the crazies!

Baby doll coming to life? That's some nightmare inducing stuff right there. I have some porcelain dolls in my room actually. One's missing an eye and already looks kind of creepy...
Nightmares! Haha!

message 42: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Julie wrote: "From Julie:
Word Tally=240 words. (Short, short story.)

Clouds Over Sin City.

The blazing, sunny skies beat down on Las Vegas, capital of glitz. The tawdry glamour of the casinos enticed all..."

Now that's the zombie apocalypse that is actually going on right now. Sad but true.
Nice story with an eerie moral lesson. A lesson, like most, that people will never truly learn.

message 43: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments Marie wrote: "If I recall correctly, you have had a crazy veteran and a young punk kid on a bus in a previous story. You do like the crazies!

Baby doll coming to life? That's some nightmare inducing stuff right there. I have some porcelain dolls in my room actually. One's missing an eye and already looks kind of creepy...
Nightmares! Haha!"

Next time you're on You Tube, Marie, type in the search field "Final Fantasy IV Calcobrena Dolls". You want some nightmare fuel? You want the inspiration for Baby? You got it, honey! Hahahahahaha!!

message 44: by Marie (new)

Marie (naturechild02) | 660 comments Haha, I had that game on the original Gameboy. Wish I still did.

message 45: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9094 comments The Calcobrena Dolls from FF4 and Phanto from Mario Brothers 2 are easily the scariest videogame villains of all time. Now imagine if those creepy dolls were wearing Phanto masks. Holy Jesus....

message 46: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Marie wrote: "Edward wrote: "Title : Final Performance At The Maagiline Festival (aka. Magical Pig) (Part 2)
Author : Edward Davies
Genre : Fantasy
Word Count : 3209
Rating : PG

Sixir took long strides out onto..."

Glad you liked it. :-)
Part of the story was clearly inspired by Stephen King's Carrie! I'll explain the subtitle at some stage in the 'Real People, Places, and Happenings Behind Our Stories' thread. I was really lazy with naming my characters! :-P

message 47: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Julie wrote: "From Julie:
Word Tally=240 words. (Short, short story.)

Clouds Over Sin City.

The blazing, sunny skies beat down on Las Vegas, capital of glitz. The tawdry glamour of the casinos enticed all..."

An interesting tale. I like that the 'zombies' weren't real and that you used some good symbolism to show the comparison between zombification and gambling addiction.

message 48: by Angie (new)

Angie Pangan | 4795 comments Sorry if this is a bit disjointed. I've been working on it on and off over the past couple days.

Title: The Forty-Eight Rule
Author: Angie
Words: 1,996
Feedback welcome!

The copbots whirred by on their single wheels, their sensor arrays flashing beams of light down the dingy grey alley. Robbie pressed himself closer to the exhaust vent and hoped that it would mask his heat signature enough to keep him from arrest. They passed by, close enough to touch, but did not stop. Their sirens stayed silent. He waited until forty-eight Jacquelines after the coppers had turned the corner before running in the opposite direction. Forty-eight was the lucky number when it came to these things; Robbie didn’t know why, just that the idiots who didn’t follow the forty-eight rule ended up in the meat locker. You were supposed to tag the name of someone you loved to the end of each number as a prayer and count to forty-eight. Forty-eight was safe. Forty-eight meant you were going to live. On the streets of Bot City, anything less might as well be suicide.

He kept the drugs tucked firmly against his chest as he scaled up the piping on the wall. After four years on the streets, he knew instinctively which pipes should not be touched; thick burn scars on his palms served as reminders of the first few months spent learning those lessons. Quick feet carried him across the roof without triggering any alarms. He leapt the gaps between buildings without hesitation as he headed for Swindlers’ Alley; Robbie only had to hide from hovercops once.

All in all, a lucky night so far.

He crossed his fingers that Scott would pay good money for the drugs. Ice was hard to come by, so the junkies in the Empire District--or Cash Blocks, as the orphans called them--were willing to pay through the nose for it. But the penalty for dealing Ice was twenty years in the meat locker and a possible death sentence; understandably, it was hard to find people crazy enough to want to sell it. Fewer still had the gall to enter the Cash Blocks to make the deliveries.

Malevolent clouds swirled on the night’s horizon, but the storm was yet to hit. Robbie sped up; if the drugs got wet, they’d be ruined and he would get nothing for them. He slid down the railings of a fire escape and landed just feet from the entrance to the maintenance tunnel. Lifting the manhole cover, he hopped inside and covered the entrance. The tunnel’s darkness blinded him as his eyes adjusted.

“Scott?” He counted forty-eight Jacquelines before calling a second time. “Scott?”

“Shut up, fool! Gonna get us all caught by the copbots.” Rough hands took him by the shoulders and led him away forty-eight paces before speaking again. “We’re thinking of moving the base; copbots been coming round here more often. The boys are getting antsy, thinking someone snitched.”

“I got enough Ice to last us all until we find a new place.”

“How much?”

“Five kilos. I want ninety thousand for it.”

“Five kilos!” The other boys murmured excitedly.

“Did you check they were the real deal?” Scott’s green eyes pierced his through the dark. “Make sure that they didn’t cheat you with nicotine patches?”

“I know Ice when I see it,” Robbie insisted. “It’s got that smell too. Like old batteries and vanilla. It’s Ice.”

Scott nodded. “You know what the cost is for a mistake, Rob.”

“I don’t make mistakes.”

“Better make sure of it, ‘cos I’m not the one buying tonight.”

“Wait! Why not? I’m not gonna sell to some new blood, Scott. Not with a haul like this. It’s you or nuthin.”

“You got no choice, Robbie. Three of my runners got nicked by hovercops this past week; it’ll be a while before I can find replacements. Then my one of my buyers switched dealers. I don’t got the manpower or outlets to deal with this kinda haul.”

“And this new guy can?”

“Mike’s the best there is. Been in the Ice business longer than any of us; probably since fore some of us were even on the streets. Deals from Reaper’s Bend. He’ll be able to pay you better than me. Forget ninety thousand; he’ll be able to get you at least one fifty for it. Trust me on this, Rob.”

“Better be right about this, Scott. If not, I’ll take my haul to Crow Lane; Jared would be more than happy to see the profit.”

“Jared is a con,” Scott spat. “He’ll use half of your haul on himself and not even pay you for a single patch.”

“Then you’re gonna have to make sure this is worthwhile.” Robbie couldn’t see the appeal in Ice. The hormone suppressors delivered to the skin by the patches numbed emotion so that you couldn’t feel joy or sadness. It was popular with the big wigs in the Cash Blocks who didn’t know how to cope with the realization that their wealth wasn’t enough to make them happy. Dealers and runners like Robbie and Scott were more than happy to help them with the sadness their money caused. But Robbie couldn’t see why any street kid would use their own product; why bother with fifteen minutes of numbness when a single patch could feed a person for a week?

Scott laughed. “You sure know how to drive a hard bargain. Jacqueline would be proud.”

Robbie said nothing until they reached the abandoned storage closet Mike had designated.

Scott gave two sharp raps on the metal door and counted to forty-eight; Robbie wondered whose name he used. Scott knocked again. “Oi! Mike!”

The metal door slid open and a boy, probably about seven years old, poked his head out. Grey eyes examined them closely before stepping aside to let them through. The boy said nothing about the entourage of runners they had brought. Robbie glared at Scott. “That better not be Mike; else I’ll take my haul and go right now.”

“Relax, Rob. That’s Collin, Mike’s kid brother.”

“Hmmph.” Robbie wrapped his arms more tightly around his bundle of drugs, but kept his silence. Collin led them to a desk on the far wall where a malnourished boy with long hair sat by an old halogen lamp, examining white patches through a battered magnifying glass.

“That’s Mike,” Scott whispered.

With some reluctance, Robbie handed his haul to Collin and stood back to wait as Mike performed his quality checks. The boys behind him watched earnestly to hear the verdict, to hear whether they were going to eat this week. Robbie occupied himself by sizing up the strangers. Upon closer inspection, Mike was not scrawny or starving at all. His had a slender waist and neck, coupled with dainty limbs. Mike was not a boy at all, but a teenage girl.

Robbie hissed. “I ain’t selling my haul to a girl. I don’t care whatcha have to say, Scott. I ain’t gonna do business with a girl.”

Scott laughed. “Mike don’t count as a girl; he’s too good at what he does. We think something must be up with his body. Some mix up when he was born. But he’s definitely too good at business to be a girl. Why do you think we all call him Mike stead of Mikayla?”

“I still don’t like it.”

“You won’t be complaining when you see the kinda profit Mike can get you. His rep in the Cash Blocks let him get twice what I would get for the same haul.”

“Then why ain’t we dealed with Mike fore now?”

“Cuz Mike’s selective about his business. Has to, to keep a rep like his. It’s taken me all these years for him to even consider business with Swindlers’ Alley. So you better not mess this up for me by bringing in a warm haul.”

“I swear, it’s chill. Even single patch I nabbed is pure Ice.”

Mike got up from his chair, a handful of Ice patches clutched in his fingers. His eyes were the same shade of steel as Collin’s. “How long you been on the streets, kid?”

“Almost five years now. Been alone most of the time, since my sister died.”

“And you’re what? Nine years old?” Robbie nodded. “So you’re a survivor like me and Collin, then. I gotta say, this looks like a good haul, kid. Never seen anyone nab so much in one go. Where’d ya get it?”

“Snuck into Donohue’s tonight; none of the other dealers ever send their runners to steal Ice there.”

Mike recoiled. “Donohue’s? From the psycho house? Do you wanna get us all killed!” He sent Collin running for a strange hand-held sensor and the pair of them frantically began to sort through the patches. When the sensor pinged, they tossed the packs into the farthest corner from them, repulsed from even having to touch them. “Start clearing this place out, Scott! Copbots and hovercops will be here any minute. How long since you nabbed these, Robbie?”

“Bout two hours. Three maybe. What’s it matter?”

“Then we got less than an hour to get out of here. All the hospitals and psych wards have nanotrackers hidden in their Ice. I stole this chip reader couple years back and programed it to find them so I can make sure no one snitches on me. The trackers are why no one sends runners to places like Donohue’s; too much risk.”

“The payoff has gotta be worth it, though,” pressed Robbie. “I nabbed more than five kilos.”

“It’ll end up closer to three when we finish pulling out all the trackers. For most people, that kind of trade off ain’t worth it. Can’t do this on a regular basis, cuz you’d have nowhere to dump the trackers without compromising your base.”

Robbie tried to hide his disappointment. Mike opened him mouth to say more, but Allen crashed through the door, panting. “Spotted hovercops two blocks from here. We gotta go.”

“We’ll have to leave the rest, then. Looks like you’re gonna have to deal with two and a half kilos, kid. Let’s bolt. Know any backway exits, Scott?”

“Follow me. We’ll head to Mulley’s.”

“Make it quick. Official types don’t like it too much when we take Ice from their hospitals. Expect them to burn this place out.”


Sure enough, they did. The boys stood on a rooftop half a block away and watch the orange flames lick into the already smoggy air. Scott turned away from it all in disgust. “I had hopes for you, Robbie. Why you gotta go a pull something like this?” He stalked off into the dark of the night, the rest of his runners following close behind him.

Only the brothers remained, eyes locked on the inferno below. Robbie felt his face burning with shame. Forty-eight seconds passed before Mike’s soft voice cut through his misery. “You really nabbed all that Ice without triggering Donohue’s security?”

“In and out, no cinch. Didn’t know about the nanotrackers though.”

“Don’t blame you; the ones who are stupid enough to find out usually end up serving life in the meat lockers. Penalty is worse than just dealing Ice. But gotta say I’m impressed you got in and out like that. There’s hope for you yet, kid. Waddaya say about joining me and Collin at Reaper’s Bend?”

“You mean that?”

“Course. We could always use talent like yours. Survivors gotta stick together. You can join our family. And I can double your profit; the bums in the Cash Blocks are always more willing to hand their cash over to a girl with sad eyes. Plus the coppers are more likely to overlook girls; statistically lower crime rates with us. Waddaya say? You coming or not? Storm’s gonna hit soon and we don’t wanna get the Ice wet.”

Robbie counted forty-eight Jacquelines before nodding. “How can I pass up an offer like that, Mike?”

“Only rule is that you can’t call me Mike if you’re joining the family. I’m Mikayla.”

“Mikayla it is then. I always wanted to have a sister again.”

message 49: by Arun (last edited Aug 13, 2015 07:37PM) (new)

Arun Iyer (aruniyer) | 369 comments I had written this piece, sometime back as a prologue to a much larger story, where the story of a war between two countries is shown through the lives of three people.

Seeking Peace
Genre: Drama, Philosophy
Word Count: ~1900

"Angels and Demons are so interesting. And I am not talking from the perspective of whether they truly existed or not, but just from the standpoint of philosophy. For example, what do you think would be the offspring of an Angel and a Demon?" asked Radulf, looking at Dragomir. What followed this question was just the cacophony of crickets chirping. That hardly deterred Radulf though. Both these high school boys had just ditched their classes and were lying on top of the rooftop water tank at school. They have done this far too often to wonder whether they will be caught or not. And as long time childhood friends, they were certainly used to each other's company.

"Don't you think it must be a human? We encompass the good and the bad, which is almost as if we inherited the aspects of both angels and demons. Then, wouldn't that make us a living proof that an angel and a demon can co-exist. But then, I am confused by religion. They praise the angels and the gods and castigate demons and the devils. Isn't that like throwing away one of your parent, just because they embarass or burden you? That just feels rude." Radulf looked at Dragomir again, but no reaction. He continued, "On top of that, they make strange claims about their parent that they like, the gods of course, and deny acceptance of every other parent that are not like the parent that they have conceived. I mean, I understand boasting about your own parent, but putting down other people's parent, isn't that just being rude again? And just like in the real world, when children grow up, adults stop tolerating them, maybe when we truly grow up, even our parents, gods and demons, would stop tolerating us? Or I wonder whether they have already stopped tolerating us?! If anything, the upcoming war might just be an indication of that." Radulf said shaking his head.

"Will you stop with this nonsense? I didn't skip class so that I can listen to your lecture. Just be quiet and let me sleep." Dragomir spoke in a somewhat annoyed tone.

"I thought you skipped class because you found them useless."

"No, I skipped them because they were boring."

"It's the same thing."

"It's not."

After some pause. "You are surprisingly much quieter than usual today. Is something wrong?" asked Radulf. But was met without any response. "Does it have to do something with Talila?"

Dragomir opened his eyes which he had kept close all this while, looked at Radulf and closed them back again.

"I see, so it has to do with Talila. Maybe I should have told you about it earlier?"

"About what?"

"Talila had called me few days back. She told me that she is scheduled to leave at the end of this week."

Dragomir's eyes opened wide, then he hid his eyes with his arm and turned to his side. "She tells you that she is leaving, but not me. I guess, she really doesn't consider me that much then."

Radulf was having too much fun, but he was also feeling a little sorry for his friend now, "And oh yeah, she also told me that as she may not be able to come to school this week, but wished to meet you."

Dragomir quickly turned around, "When?"

"Oh I think she wanted to meet you today, after school, near the unused stairs at the West End gate."

Dragomir was feeling strangely happy. Then, he took a quick look at himself - his shirt was dirty from sleeping on top of the tank, his pants were muddied because he played in the puddle while coming to school, his hair was all messed up and he tried to smell himself, he stunk a little bit. "Couldn't you have told me this before?" Dragomir barked at Radulf.

"As I told you earlier, that thought had just crossed my mind."



After school, Dragomir reached the stairs near the West End gate, his shirt and pant both were wet from him trying to clean them with water from the wash-basin. However, he could not get them dry in time, not to mention, the mud did not just go away but it spread further and left a huge stain on the pants and some of it even got on the shirt. Well, it suffices to say, that they looked far worse than how they were a few hours ago. Talila was waiting for him there. However, as she looked at the terrible state Dragomir was in, she started to laugh. Then, they both sat on a ledge near the stairs.

"So I supposed you have heard from Radulf." Talila stated this but she looked away from Dragomir. Dragomir could not bring himself to look at Talila either. Both of them staring at the bottom of the wall in front of them, as if they are looking for something to come out of there.


"You know when I came to this country 4 years ago, I had a hard time adjusting. I had trouble making friends even with girls. Not that they were rude or anything, they were in fact nice. But I just was terrible at communicating. Soon, the girls began to think that I was being very high strung and stopped talking to me altogether. After a point I could not take it anymore and started ditching classes."

"Ditching classes my foot. You simply sat at the food stall near the school. That's hardly called ditching."

"Yes, yes, I know I am not an expert class-ditch-master like some of us here."

Dragomir was somewhat irked by that reply, but he did not say anything. Talila simply chuckled at his reaction.

"Do you remember the first time we met?" Talila asked Dragomir.

"Yeah, I found you at the food stall - "ditching class"" Dragomir drew quotes in the air as he said that.

Talila chuckled again and said, "Yes, then you asked me to follow you and we went to the falling garden with those beautiful vines hanging across the mesh, then we went to that lake and then we finally returned to school again. Although, it really hurt to sit at the back of your cycle and ride to these places."

"I fixed that, didn't I? I tied that pillow to the back of the cycle, remember?!"

"I know." Talila smiled and for the first time in their conversation, she looked at him. Then, she looked down again. Dragomir was still looking down. "What, however, you may not know is that I was planning to stop coming to school before I met you. However, once I started ditching classes with you, I felt like coming to school again. We never talked much during those times, but I was comfortable being around you. There was no awkwardness and no pressure. And I can't really explain it, but after that I found it easier to reach out to other people in class and make new friends. I don't know how that change happened, I can't really explain it, but I do know that it has to do with the time I spent with you."

Dragomir was getting a little itchy, he didn't know how to respond, no body ever thought of him like this before. So, it felt very strange and ... nice.

"You are the first friend I made here and you are my best friend."

"Don't go" Dragomir blurted out. "There must be a way, don't go!" Dragomir looked at Talila for the first time. His eyes were seeking some answer on her face.

"You know that is not possible. Because of the upcoming war, our visas are going to get cancelled. If we continue to stay, our passports will be nullified by our parent country. At least that is what my father tells me. He tells me that we are not a citizen of this country and if our origin passports are nullified then we would have no civil rights anywhere. It is in fact a blessing that the two countries have decided to give time to people to actually to get back to their own country before the war."

"I will punch all these politicians and stop the war."

Talila chuckled and looked at Dragomir with very soft eyes, "I believe you".

"I like you ... more than just friends" Dragomir said this and looked away, but then forced himself to look at her.

Talila was a little shocked, a little taken aback at this statement.

"I really do like you. You can stay at my place until this war is over. I will tell my parents that your parents have some circumstances and that you have live with us for a while and then ..."

Talila put her hands on Dragomir's shoulders indicating him to stop blabbering and then gave him a quick kiss on his cheek. And then softly in his ears, "you stink".

Dragomir was slightly embarassed at that comment, but Talila was simply amused.

"I like you too"

Dragomir was shocked, surprised and then he had an urge to go to top of the school and shout "Yahoo!" but he did not, he controlled himself.

"Your stupid ideas won't work however. Then, nobody knows when the war will end, if our countries were on the same side, we would have had some opportunity to meet, but given that we are on opposing sides, our opportunities are that much lesser." Talila looked at Dragomir, whose face had shrunken considerably. Talila knew she was being too direct, but she had to say these and it hurts her to say these just as much as it does for Dragomir to listen to them. She continued, "My father tells me that this war might continue for decades and if the war comes to stop, our visas to this country may not be issued for a long time."

"What are you trying to say?"

"You should give up and find someone ..." Talila's mouth went dry as she said this. She felt a small clump in her throat and for a brief moment, she felt she would die of asphyxiation. Her heart was beating fast, she held on to the ledge that she was sitting on tightly and continued as if things were normal, "... else."

"I won't. I know that the war will end and we will be able to meet again."

Talila turned to Dragomir, her eyes welled up as if her heart wanted to hear those words, she said, "I believe you" and ran away back home.

"Radulf!!" shouted Dragomir.

Radulf came out of the hiding, behind Dragomir, where he was eavesdropping on their conversation.

"You heard everything didn't you?" Dragomir's back still facing Radulf.

"Yes." replied Radulf, completely unabashed.

"You are quite smart, right?"

"I am smarter than smart, I am a genius."

Dragomir turned around, his eyes were filled with tears, his face contorted as if they were trying to hold back the tears but couldn't. His fists were closed tight, so much so that the veins had popped behind his palm. His body had become stiffer. He sniffed to hold back his runny nose. But his eyes were red, had a determined look and they spoke, "What must I be studying to stop this war?"

Humans must truly be the offspring of angels and demons, thought Radulf.

message 50: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Angie wrote: "Sorry if this is a bit disjointed. I've been working on it on and off over the past couple days.

Title: The Forty-Eight Rule
Author: Angie
Words: 1,996
Feedback welcome!

The copbots whirred by o..."

This was a good story, and I liked that you seem to have created a sort of shorthand language for the characters. I could tell you rushed this though because some of the tenses are off in places, but it's still an Angie classic!

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