FlashFeeD 1.6

Greetings.

Thanks for all the great stories and interesting results from the predicative text game – wonderful work all round.

Back to normal this week.

 

Full rules here:

The picture prompt this week. Focus on the fiction writing element of: character.

 

 

Stories will be limited to 2000 characters* (about 300 words), including the title.

*(The field itself will allow for 2050 characters, but this extra 50 characters is only to be used as contingency and it won't be increased).

Use the comment field to post stories, include your story title. Use the reply button on a particular story to provide positive feedback. Press the ‘like’ icon if you like a story.


 

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45 Stories or Comments on "FlashFeeD 1.6"

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Siberian Husky
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Alva Holland
@Alva1206

Birthplace

I turned 18 today.

My mother gave birth to me in a trailer parked outside The Crown Café Bar. I promised her I would stand here on this day and toast her with a bottle of beer. ‘Make sure it’s a green bottle,’ she said as the coughs wracked her lungs to shreds. She didn’t have long.

Just before she died she told me I was the best thing that ever happened to her, even though I was a rebel. Deep down she knew I wasn’t rebelling against her but the system that left us alone and abandoned.

‘Make me proud, Jake. Your Dad would have been so proud of you but that damn war snatched our dreams, turning them to dust and our lives to something similar – a dirty-grey ash cloud of poverty and pain.’

In my jeans pocket there’s a black and white photo of my dad in uniform. I hate the uniform, but I think I could have loved the man in it, given the chance.

We weren’t given a chance, Mom and me. She slaved for The Crown Café Bar, bringing in a measly wage barely enough to keep herself, let alone a child. She went hungry, so I could eat. How could I rebel against that?

I hated the way men leered at her, undressing her with their sleazy drunken eyes and wandering pawing hands. Almost killed one. She saved me that day, dragged me screaming and yelling, my cheek bruised from where the guy got lucky with his left. Just one hit. I landed six.

Today’s bruise is more honestly come by. Grazed off a steel post as I settled some rebars into position on-site. Gonna make something of myself with this job. I promise, Mom.

Met a girl today. You’d have liked her.

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Irish Wolfhound
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Poignant and heart-warming.

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Siberian Husky
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Many thanks, Steph.

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Siberian Husky
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Heart-warming yet heart-breaking, too.

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Many thanks, Irene.

Sian Brighal
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Pup

Harsh but uplifting story.

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Siberian Husky
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Bitter-sweet. A great piece, full of character.

Colin Smith
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I just wanted to commemorate Karlton’s passing.
The man was a father to me, made me who I am.
Maybe I didn’t do enough to show him my respect.
Love, even.
Can I call it love?
He was a father to me. Of course I loved him.
I think he knew that.
I’d like to say I loved him, and he knew that.
I think he loved me. Was always there for me. And I was there for him.
Most of the time.
I’ve always had the rebel streak. Karlton’s fault. Had to be; I didn’t put it there myself.
Made me think of myself and not think of consequences.
He said it made me creative.
And to be creative is to be human.
To be alive.
And tonight, I just wanted a beer. Because that’s what you do to commemorate.
When Karlton’s wife died, he had a beer.
A few beers.
Too many beers.
I wasn’t allowed to have any, and he didn’t say why, and I didn’t ask.
I think I regret that. Especially now.
Is it human to regret?
I hope so.
That would make Karlton proud.
What wouldn’t make Karlton proud is that I need someone to carry me home so I can dry out.
I’ll be okay in the morning.
I hope.
If only I had asked.
Perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference.
He made me a rebel.
But he didn’t tell me beer would short my motor circuits.

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Siberian Husky
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A great story. I particularly love this kind of internal monologue and use it often. Well done.

Sian Brighal
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Pup

Interesting story. Really like the questioning hints, the echoing affirmations and the way he stumbles into being human.

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Siberian Husky
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I really like your take on this! What a great character.

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Siberian Husky
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Wonderful portrayal!

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Siberian Husky
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That last line is a killer!

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Irish Wolfhound
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Out of Reach

The crown hovered just out of reach. The thought both excited and unnerved him. A drink. He needed a drink to steady himself. Alex took a swig from the whisky bottle. Its burn fired him up as he remembered all those years of having to wait in line, kow-towing to the old monster as he slipped into senility, obeying the belittling orders that dribbled out of the man’s mouth with obscene regularity. Alex had taken it all, every command, every joke at his expense; only the occasional drink had helped him endure it. His hand shook, he reached for the bottle again. The fire briefly burned brighter as he pictured his revenge on all those who had followed his father’s example. He drank some more, automatically opened up another bottle. This time though, the fire damped down.

James. His little brother. He had been the only one to show him any support in all that time. Words of kindness when he thought their father wasn’t looking. A bottle or two when stocks were running low. Reminders that one day all this would be his and he would never have to put up with such treatment again. Alex understood such sympathy could not be shown in public, just in case the bastard turned against James as well. Best that one of them should remain in his good books, James had said. Alex agreed. James. A good brother. He downed another slug. Heard a commotion in the streets below. The King is dead! Long Live the King! At last, he thought, as he looked out from the palace. Then he saw his brother appear on the balcony opposite and the crowd roared. He picked up another bottle. James had indeed been generous.

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Siberian Husky
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oh the twist of betrayal–there’s so much here–an epic in this story!

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Siberian Husky
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Love it! Brotherly love.

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I love how the knife twists

Sian Brighal
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Oh…was it snatched from him or did James rescue Alex from a life of monarchy? All the gifts of whisky weren’t so benign? Fantastic story.

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Ah, absolutely loved the twist! The twists! Everything. I was just enjoying the story and could not foresee where it was going. What a great ending!

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St Bernard
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A Right Royal Cock Up

Jimmy slugged hard on the icy lager. It was already number three and four, five and six were calling him. Medication is what you need, Jimmy. No-one stands up Jimmy Nichol!

He looked at his phone again. No message. No fucking message. And Jimmy wouldn’t call Bel, he didn’t want to look desperate.

There’s rules about these things. If you’re not turning up and you haven’t got the cajones to call then bloody send a text woman! Jimmy could be somewhere else. Could be with someone else. Instead of being in this crap bar. Why did she want to meet at this Royal Cafe Bar? A fucking plastic tent swinging in the wind on the edge of town. He couldn’t have imagined her here. It was earthy, she was fancy – to be honest too uptown for Jimmy. He couldn’t see her here. Well that was the point. She wasn’t here.

Belinda looked through her bag again and swore once more. How could she leave her phone at home? She felt like such a dolt. She swirled her G&T around the glass and breathed in the scent. It wouldn’t matter about the phone if Jimmy had turned up.

She’d really looked forward to showing him her favourite place in town. The exclusive Cafe Bar Royale was rocking. The DJ set was pumping out all her favourite tunes it was packed with the great and the good – well, the minted. It would be perfect if that damn idiot Jimmy had turned up. How dare he?

Natasha and Margarita saw Belinda from across the bar and waved her over. She could see they were with some of the boys from the university; including Roy. Maybe the night wouldn’t be a complete wash out. She’d have sent Jimmy a photo of her with Roy later if she’d have had her phone with her.

Jimmy looked around the empty bar. Fucking Royal my arse! “One for the road, mate.”

____
A.J. Walker
@zevonesque

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Siberian Husky
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oh the missed communication– well-done!

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Siberian Husky
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Great stuff. Both tripping over each other’s vices. Nice one, AJ.

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Loved the acid humour, and the implied criticism within. Perfect rendition.

(Oh, sorry, cannot help myself: it’s “cojones”. “Cajones” actually means drawers). 😀

Sian Brighal
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Pup

Wonderful! Hopefully, in years to come, they’ll be laughing over this, telling their kids how they very nearly didn’t get together. The title is excellent!

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Siberian Husky
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Okay. Casey. She’s inside. And I finally have her figured up.

It’s easy to think she’s just the pretty rich daddy’s girl. After all her name is everywhere. But she’s more. Much, much more.

I’ve seen her in action. I’ve seen how she treats people. I’ve seen her mistreat those beneath her, and manipulate those above. One way or another, she always gets what she wants.

I’m going to need another beer real soon.

Casey, Casey.

What if she wasn’t so pretty? If she didn’t have that body to kill for? Could she get away with her wishes as she always does? I bet she would. She’s so devious, her beauty is just the icing on the cake.

Dammit.

Dammit.

This beer really tastes good.

“Mike? Are you out there?”

“Yes, Casey.”

“Come on in. The cake’s arriving!”

I think I’ll get back in. I need another beer.

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Irish Wolfhound
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Think he’ll need a lot of beer.

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Siberian Husky
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It seems so…

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It’s beer-o-clock somewhere

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🙂

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Siberian Husky
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Oh, well done, Vicente. He’ll definitely need more beer!

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Yes he will. 🙂

Sian Brighal
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Pup

Lol, so despite his stripping her down to her self and deviousness, he still does as she wants. Brilliant story.

Sian Brighal
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Pup

Envy

He’s still young. Not long out of college, not yet suffocating under obligations and relationships, because he’s smart or just on the sensible side of selfish. Handsome and confident; he’s not hiding behind that bottle or crawling in it, either. It’s a show, and a damned good one, too. He’s silently yelling from every pore and crease in high-end menswear that he’s the man, the one to be, the one to have.

He’s living the high life on the last of his grant money and the fresh cash-in-hand from a shift at the Cafe Bar, and he’ll probably hang out there for the Summer, earning while he’s planning his next move, playing the field, taking his time. He’s young. He’s got more time than he knows what to do with.

Folks back home most likely send him cash, not that he needs it, of course; he calls them on the cusp of feigned indifference, so to keep it cool and polite: a happy balance that everyone teeters on. And maybe he’s the type not to call if things get tight, and he’ll lie gently through his false smile that everything’s still fine, and yes, he’s still single and still working at the Cafe Bar. It’s good pay and regular work, after all. He looks smooth, so he’ll be the sort with lies smooth as silk.

The girl he’s currently with is meeting him here; they said they were going to the movies, but he’ll take her to that quiet spot just out of town. And later, all breathless and giddy and sweaty, he’ll crack open another beer and talk about next year and where he’ll be. He’s the sort to have plans…not dreams…plans!

He’s still young and he’s got his eye on the horizon, so maybe he will be there next year and not like me, stuck at the bottom of a cheap beer bottle and no longer dreaming, telling folks next year, next year, but in these trying times man’s got to have a regular job, you know, and all the while haunted by the ghosts of dead plans.

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Siberian Husky
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Love how you did this, the flow of it. The final paragraph is so strong. That last line, wow!

Sian Brighal
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Thank you. Really glad you liked it😊

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Siberian Husky
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You are so good with the philosophising and getting into people’s heads. Well done.

Sian Brighal
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Aww, thank you. That’s a lovely thing to say. I just tried to follow the character theme.

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That’s a killer final line, Sian. Love this whole piece.

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There’s something in that bottle, isn’t there? The implications, the unspoken meanings.

Wonderful story. Amazing insights into his mind.

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The Coffee Bard
—————————————————————————-
There you are being all judgmental. You see me with my colorful shirt and hat turned backwards, and you’ve got me pegged as just some punk kid. It may surprise you to learn that I’m the owner of this fine café bar. That’s right.

People around here call me the Coffee Bard, but you can call me Ramar. That’s a palindrome. It means God. There you go being judgmental again. I’m truly not egotistical nor can I turn water into wine. I do make a heavenly cuppa Joe, however, if you would like to join me sometime. I promise that I won’t tease you anymore. I might bust out in rhyme, though.

My café patrons come here not only for the two-page coffee menu, but also because of the friendly, safe atmosphere. I welcome anyone to sit and get caffeinated – day or night. No matter the color of your skin or your shirt, how you wear your hat, whether you’re gay, straight, male, female, transgender, love God, hate God or are indifferent, vegetarian or carnivore – you get the idea.

My place is your place. Come sit at the marble-topped bar for a double espresso and cheesecake. Guilt-free. Lounge around on the sofa and have a skinny latte. Sip a mocha by the fire. Play cards with your buddies. If you’ve a passion for narrative, get up to the mic and tell us a story. Serenade us. Make us swoon with your sonnets.

Most regulars come here to be alone, yet not alone, though. I get that. Introverted, existential stuff.

Some folks need more than a coffee. A listening ear, or kind voice. Help with calling a shelter or getting a taxi. A lifeline.

That’s why I need to step outside sometimes with a bottle of Perrier. Cleanse and refresh so I can keep doing what I do.

I like to think that Hemingway would approve of my clean, well-lighted place. I hope you would, too.

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Siberian Husky
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I really like your take on this, how it’s a sanctuary, a refuge.–a clean, well-lighted place. Well done.
I looked up Ramar (thought it might be Hindu?) Urban Dictionary says badass kid–he is a wonderful character!

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Too funny about the name! I should have thought to check urban dictionary. Thanks, Voima 😁

Sian Brighal
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Lovely story and a lovely place. You’ve created a heavenly sanctuary. Yeah…the name really works in that case: meaning God and a bad-ass kid. Can’t be too judgmental on a name like that, cos either way, you’re going to almost right.

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Love how it’s a Perrier! Fab take on this prompt.

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Everyhting you get from a bar, yet in a café!

My absolute favourite sentence: “Most regulars come here to be alone, yet not alone, though.”

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