Wormwood

  The following story was based on the following image as a prompt:

Vardezia, Georgia. CC photo by Ben van der Ploeg.
Vardezia, Georgia. CC photo by Ben van der Ploeg.

 

 Wormwood 

Did we give them credit? Of course not. We are Life, they were bottom-dwellers.

They labored. When the storms and thunder came and went, when the sun burned and set, we paid them no mind.

Why would we? Wormwood was the least of our concerns. The Kingdom had the vicious Wyderhosiens, sleazy Mebas, and the violent race of Zyesis to worry about. The Larvi were said to be non-toxic to society as long as left to themselves. (And when not, they were known to bite visitors apart.)

When we migrated the populations from the dying planet, we left them in a boring useless sector where the Larvi could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.

But we do not have the talent to coexist. By the time we returned, the Larvi had transformed the tough, hewn rock walls into a masterpiece. Then we followed command, slaughtering the slimy peach creatures.

These new headquarters will suffice. Until we find something better.

 

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This was written for Flash! Friday flash fiction

THIRD RUNNER UP

“Wormwood.” For conjuring a whole world in a few words, introducing us to a series of races, and outlining a conflict as old as time: the rulers versus the oppressed. Great phrases like “non-toxic to society,” and “could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.” It’s not easy to cover this much ground so quickly.”

 

 

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Burn to Fly

 The following story was based on the following image as a prompt:

Berlijn Plantation, Commewijne, Suriname. Public domain photo by Brokopondo
Berlijn Plantation, Commewijne, Suriname. Public domain photo by Brokopondo.

 

Burn to Fly

Violently, I swayed, more than just a little wind-tossed. Conch’s plan didn’t factor in my fear of heights and the potent gales.

But Conchita, with her tight curls and snarky grin, motioned me to climb higher still– each branch closer to flight.

It seemed ages since we’d escaped, which was because neither of us had actually ever left. As a purebred Leeflang Dutchess, I was expected to stay forgotten yet be so committed to the land that I wouldn’t poke my toe out.

But here, hanging high over the river, we were birds. While freedom sung through the roaring wind around us, it also spread our roaring cause.

When we heard of the slave riots we knew it was time. Liberty must be swept in from the future, from what the soon-to-dawn 1900’s must blossom.

And so with the plantation burning behind us, we jumped into the muddy river, leaving only a marble arch to memorialize our flame.

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This was written for Flash! Friday flash fiction