Muted Medieval Equity

“Every time you visit, I’m undone.”

“I don’t want you to be bewitched. I want to speak at the Table! And do stop stroking my ear–you know I despise it.”

“But I love the way it curves up into a point.”

“Sir, the counsel? Please, be my escort?”

“Oh, don’t put your coat on. Although you’re ravishing in scarlet, the more ivory skin to espy, the better.”

“Now you are just being vulgar.”

“Have I ever mentioned I love your rosebud lips?”

“Stop stalling! My poetry is what you love, and that is all. Now I’m out of patience.”

“I don’t believe it. You could never be anything less than perfect.”

“Please, I must rest my case. We need justice.”

“Your other striking virtues will cause the knights to drool more than your lovely logic.”

“What’s the point of being fae if my womanhood leaves me unheard?”

“Yet I ask, why be the Enchantress, unless to enchant us?”


Written For Flash! Friday Flash Fiction

The Bastard’s New Job

This story was prompted by the following image:

Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.
Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.

 

 

Lezzone appeared, his bruised body an ‘X’ in the frame. He didn’t know it, but I’d already teleported directly behind him.

“Beat you again!” I barked, rubbing my swollen eye.

Startled, Lezzone almost toppled out of the elemental zone pod, which would have been ironic, even somewhat unfortunate. Down below was the space-continuum, a dizzying, never-ending cycle through the worlds–hell itself–and where his mam resided.

Lezzone moved from the wall he’d clutched, swiping at me, but I just ducked, laughed, and called behind me, “We have to clock in at 532 hours.” Scowling, Lezzone shouldered past me, and was the first to reach the cleaning room. He threw me a SpaceSuck; then grabbed one for himself.

It was his fault we were assigned to come this agonizingly close, even if Lezzone blamed me. If I told our Grams we’d finally been to the Eternal City, she’d call it a bluff–like the old days when an fighter would land, but never leave the airport before flying onward.

If Lezzone hadn’t opened his fat mouth about my mam like that! Now we had to come daily to sweep this god-forsaken place without leaving its stone walls.

Even so, I’d teleport to 134340 if I knew it could make me feel legit.


Written for Flash! Friday flash fiction

Compare E.S. Johnston’s story, My Boss, “Handsome Johnny”, written with the same prompt

 

On Her Own Two Feet

This following story was written based on the following image as a prompt:

Jeanne d’Arc, 1876. Painting by Eugène Thirion. Public Domain.
Jeanne d’Arc, 1876. Painting by Eugène Thirion. Public Domain.

 

The stone might be dusting her toes, but Joan can stand on her own through a little dirt.

What I’m concerned about it whether she war away the sticks and stones. Can she fight off heartbreak? A friend’s betrayal? Cruel laughter or an enemy disguised as her boyfriend?

She was always a tender reed, an unlit wick in my arms. I’d wonder how one so thirsty–needy–could be one so strong. She used to giggle adorably when I’d use our lamb skin to hide my face. Even then, with a chubby grasp on the leather, she wasn’t scared when her protector was out of sight.

Pigtails and arrows, swimming holes and swords; braver than I, but I’d hold her to comfort while enveloped in the dark.

Despite the plague, despite the wars, she was her own but she was everyone’s–especially mine.

Then one day, my fragile girl flew away.  Joan handle the world, I’m just not sure I can.

 

This story was written for Flash! Friday flash fiction contest.

Manny-Claus

This short story is based on the following image:

Creative Commons License  Kevin Dooley via Compfight
Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

 

“Red hat down!”

“Scruffy and bloated!”

“Sleepy, ugly bruises on cheeks, blooming.”

 

That is how they describe me, warning the little mousies. As if I am criminal and they are the saints.

 

All I did was fluff their beds, cuddle their baby, and drink leftover milk, gorging on the cookies they had colored with sugar all night long.

 

But now I see my face on every newspaper and screen. It seems the public has an odd fascination with my infamy.

 

I didn’t mean to start a thing–I just thought I would leave a present or two (or three). You know, to make them smile when they awoke and found me missing cold. The stockings were for laughs, the tooting train was just an excuse while I lay in wait for the headlights to come back up the drive.

 

Unfortunately for me, I had to be the best babysitter ever.

 

This story was inspired by Flash! Friday flash fiction prompt. 

Welcome ElectrAliens

This short story was prompted by the following image:

 

Chef at the Trans-Siberian rail wall, between Moscow and Khabarovsk. CC 2.0 photo by Leidolv Magelssen.
Chef at the Trans-Siberian rail wall, between Moscow and Khabarovsk. CC 2.0 photo by Leidolv Magelssen.

 

Never before has the wind whipped like cream and the ocean churned like butter as much as it did this time, in their new device.

 

I don’t believe in magic; fate either. But electricity–now that’s the hummer. I’d been a big fan of Tesla’s back in the day, yet now we electricians are considered old-fashioned. Biology dug its heels in the terraform, botanists growing tree-hanging flank-steaks and zookeepers corralling hybrids (I’ll never understand why they innovated Dragonflaorillas).

 

They must have come to me first–no less than eighteen times–because I’m loyal to The Currents. Nothing else could explain their quick-with-thunder appearances. And how else could the foreigners speak without talking into the circuitry of our brains?

 

Which is why I’ve stood as an “x” marking the spot, waiting the return of the electric geniuses to reveal their lighting, reverberating in glory from the stars. I’ll bridge this gap, assuring the masses they aren’t invaders but mentors. (They might even be gods.)

 

_________________

Written for Flash! Friday fiction

_________________

Similar Posts:

These Brave Birds

Joe’s New Bed

Falling For The Oceanographer and Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

Average Advocate page of stories

 

These Brave Birds: A Very Clever Story

This short story was prompted by the following image:

Georgian writers Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, 1873 St Petersburg. Public domain photo.
Georgian writers Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, 1873 St Petersburg. Public domain photo.

 

Winter came upon them like a rainbow; their minds had been dancing in preparation.
Finally they found themselves in the “Coughing Lair” as they called it, cigar fumes so rich and red.

 

Taking their seats they wondered, “Why do all these fellows always think they’re the best?” Their fingers alternated pushing pieces and twiddling their facial hair, making it rather crooked. The laughter molted-off them as in silence they smirked.

 

Perchance they weren’t pitted equally, but it was doubtless who’d win. One move, one stop closer, the previous partner moping onward to the bar. Then they plowed forward and through the next, exchanging glances over the mossy hair.

 

Finally, at the table they met. “Can’t they tell we’re sick of being nestled in homes, with no right to vote? It’s not as though everyone births babies by the click,” the women guffawed. One loosened her binding and the other slammed her drink back, silent shock reverberating through the men’s lounge.

 

_____________________

Written as part of Friday Flash Fiction

______________________

Similar Posts:

Joe’s New Bed

Falling For The Oceanographer and Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

Tunic in the Night 

Or go to the Average Advocate page of stories

Joe’s New Bed: A Short Story

This short story was prompted by the following image:

 

Circus clowns visit sick boy. CC photo Boston Public Library.
Circus clowns visit sick boy. CC photo Boston Public Library.

 

Joe’s New Bed

His clean-cut world had been transformed, now shocking lit and stale with color. Even the newfound friendlings were over-the-top raucous, especially the stubby, multi-legged creature.

 

“Why Joe, your eyes are so watery you’re gonna drown the lot of us.”

 

Joe blinked his eyes.

 

“And look at that huge honker! You must be able to smell flowers across town with that thing,” laughed the friendling with the big red nose.

 

Joe slowly moved his unbandaged fingers, touching a nostril for the first time.

 

“What’s this?” asked a third, pointing somewhere low Joe wasn’t looking. But when Joe glanced down, the friendling ran his pointer up past Joe’s incision, smacking him in his face.

 

The friendlings laughed with glee . . . but was it maliciously? Joe began harboring the possibility that maybe these friendlings weren’t so friendly at all. Cautiously, he began searching for telltale signs of threat, like the needles the white-clads bore.

 

He’d have to be sly, outside the bubble, he would.

 

_____________________

Written as part of Friday Flash Fiction

______________________

Similar Posts:

Falling For The Oceanographer and Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

The Reject

Tunic in the Night 

Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

The following story is inspired by this image:

Typhoon Maid Thursday. CC photo by Shuji Moriwaki.
Typhoon Maid Thursday. CC photo by Shuji Moriwaki.

 

Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

 

There wasn’t ever the sweet grass prairie when she dislodged her aviators. Dee always found herself somewhere fantastical: a foreign landscape, some pounding club, or a colonist’s ballroom. She’d sigh, hike-up her stockings, and embrace the plot.

 

This time wasn’t any different; she stood proud on a mute slab’s edge. Relieved, she wasn’t scared of this cement. An expert judge, Dee already knew here was too idyllic to be another futuristic dystopian.

 

Instead, her attention was silently screaming at the rope swinging with dead-weight. Not again. Dee hated bringing calamity with her. But she ceased premature blame-casting, for who knew when he’d jumped the brink?

 

Story commenced; she nudged her toe at the coil, hoping to uncover a clue. No reason to keep her shoes clean, for the scarlet sequin-sparkle had shed-off literally ages ago.

 

On cue, her aching companion flared–that gut-wrenching longing–for her blasted, world-warped, clicking heels take her to where Em’s apple pie is served with cheddar:

 

Home.

 


Read E. S. Johnston’s story based on the same image here.

Rejected

(Note: this following image is the prompt for this story)

Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.
Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.

 

He had melted into the bed for an hour by now, surely. Actually, it could have been hours, thirty of them. Those decades had passed in a blink, would he know if the hours had played the same game?

 

The sun was a hazy ball on the horizon. He felt his gaping chasm acutely, head pounding from the ache where his heart had laid.

 

To pass time’s lack of essence, he listened to the refrigerator’s tinks. A whole colony of miniatures lived there. With top-hats, tails; frilly dresses and bonnets– holes cut for ears.

 

He heard the minis scurry up and down the railings, the stairs and the elaborate castles they build in the mound of cooling rejected pastry. They had made exquisite pillars of the champagne bottles.
He considered folding himself into a jerky square, hiding in the frozen room. He imagined delighting in their revelry almost as much as he hated himself in this eternal moment dragging on.

 

——————————–

This was written for this Flash! Friday fiction contest.

 

War Legs

1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.
1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.

(Note: this above image is the prompt for this story)

 

War Legs

Run. Run faster.

 

They galloped east. They skittered west. Now they trampled south.

 

Let those legs fly!

 

It always got tricky when they ran south. The dark trees spiked from the ground, a landscape barren but full of what mattered most- terra firma.

 

As their feet pounded down, the powdery dirt collected their energy. It was genius, really. The equation was this:

Directional Movement x Strength Expended = Fight Power

 

(As if a war was won any other way.)

 

And so they ran for their children and their mothers. Their sweet sweat translated into security. At least, as long as they could bound on.

 

Eventually, when they reached the power of ten in all four directions, the ground would shake, earth tumbling over itself, thrusting the enemies aside.

 

Only then would the land rest at peace and these inhabitants– in garbled socks and wool trousers– kick-up their feet, pull their daughters into their laps, and enjoy iced mint tea once more.

——————————–

This was written for this Flash! Friday fiction contest.

Similar Posts:

 

Colossus Stymied

Darkroom

Wormwood, Fool-Struck, and Burn to Fly