FlashFeeD 1.5

Welcome, my friends.

So… you have two options this week.

Option 1: Do the usual, look at the picture and focus on the story element of setting.

OR,

Option 2: You can earn a special badge for taking on a challenge task.

The special challenge is  inspired by the predictive story craze that I first found thanks to David Shakes (several best selling authors have now joined in). You’re given a phrase, type it into a mobile, tablet or other device that has predictive text, then choose the next words that best make the story you want to post.  It gets harder as the ‘story’ gets longer so just stop when you feel it makes sense.

For this challenge, start with the words “The robot wanted to”

Here is my effort (blame my predictive text, not my subconsciousness). I’ve added in punctuation.

“The robot wanted to book a room for me to write.

I have been braver than you.

I think it’s worth a shot at the weekend and I will probably be safe to assume that you are not faithful.

Thanks very much for your help with the possibilities and the republic.

Thanks for all your support and inspiration.

I’m going away this weekend but I need to get the latest flash fiction love.”

Have fun. If you partake in the special challenge then Tweet my @flashdogs and I’ll add a badge for you.

Full (usual) rules here:

The picture prompt this week:

 

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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87 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.5”

  1. THE ROBOT IN YOUR YARD

    I am a tiny wooden robot
    With tiny wooden feet
    I cannot reach the top shelf
    So sweet grass is what I eat;

    When you go into your backyard
    Please tread carefully,
    I’m standing on the tiny wood
    That I feel was made for me.

    I know I don’t pay rent,
    And I’m a squatter, technically,
    But I am a tiny robot

    So stop being such a cheapskate and fertilize your lawn better, seriously, you call this sweet grass, more like salty strands of putrid waste, seriously, are you so lazy that you don’t even water it once in a while, how’s a tiny robot supposed to eat, huh??…Sorry about that, let me get back to it.

    And I live under your tiny tree.

    Like

  2. Alva Holland
    @Alva1206

    DRIFTWOOD

    Carpenters mill, plane, join and rip old trees, creating furniture, decking, entire houses, cabins, boardwalks, or sometimes…

    A miniature, polished, multi-grained robot with deep holes for eyes through which the internal mini-chip can relay essential classified information to its home planet.

    Surrounded by coarse green grass, long and unkempt, its position on the sundial aligned perfectly with the greater power, the robot holds its stance until it receives its final message.

    ‘The obliteration of Earth is imminent. Leave now.’

    ‘Beam me up.’

    ‘Beam me up!’ (louder)

    Deep within the neighbouring galaxy, Scots Pine sighs, knowing he should have paid more attention to the final programming instruction.

    Now he would never hear, ‘Beam me up, Scotty.’

    Like

    1. This is great, Alva. Lots of descriptive detail fitted in too. Love the addition of the ‘Beam me up’! There’s a really nice melancholy tone to the final line.

      Like

  3. The little robot wanted to become a writer. But that was going to be difficult, what with him being here, in the fields, among the leaves of freshly cut grass.

    The little robot loved te smell of freshly cut grass. That is, what he supposed the smell should be. Because he couldn’t really smell the grass. He was, after all, a robot.

    He could have been given a sense of smell, he thought. Perhaps if he lived elsewhere, some place where smelling things was necessary, instead of a luxury.

    The thought made the little robot sad.

    The little robot stood on a slab of slate. He wondered what a slab of slate was doing here, among the grass. It was odd, wasn’t it? Unless… unless this was a garden?

    Yes, a garden could have grass, and pieces of slate so you could walk from one point to another. The little robot took a few steps until he reached the edge of the slate, and stopped.

    He looked this way and that, and sighed. Or he wished he could sigh, because he really couldn’t. After all, he was only a robot.

    Something fell on his head. The little robot wasn’t sure what was going on. What was that? It seemed to be water. Ah, so this is the rain. The little robot didn’t mind the rain. He knew what rain was, and he was a robot.

    But something happened. The rain soaked him. This shouldn’t happen, he thought. I’m a robot! Why am I soaked? The rain kept filtering inside his body, until he was drenched.

    Wooden. I am wooden, the little robot realized. How can that be? After all, he was a robot.

    The little robot realized that his shoulder itched. It was a really weird sensation, specially because he shouldn’t feel anything, he mused. But it was undoubtedly there. An itch. He tried to scratch his shoulder, but he wasn’t built to do that.

    The itch grew more intense. The little robot didn’t know what to do. Then he saw a droplet on a leave of grass. On the droplet, his own reflection, distorted and upside down.

    With a leaf of his own on his shoulder.

    After all, he was more than a robot.

    Like

    1. Really liked the reversal within the final couple of paragraphs here. The leaf of his own on the shoulder was a nice touch. Great story!

      Like

  4. Predictive Text Story About A Confused Robot
    ___________________________________

    The robot wanted to lash out. Thanks for the stew and demons.

    The darkness of her modesty is a lovely orange and white cat that has been on my mind. The darkness and demons consisting of the night. The darkness is open for business in the Upside Down World of Warcraft.

    And now they are all gone. The darkness of her blood and virgins tears in the moonlight.

    And yet, I don’t think we should chat about her.

    The darkness and demons and all that is so yucky.

    Like

  5. WOODEN ROBOT

    The pitch over Greg sat back breathing a big sigh of relief. The little wooden robot was going to be a design classic he’d stake his reputation on it. Not that he had one — yet.

    He’d hit the marks he’d practiced all the previous day:

    ‘Guaranteed rust free!’

    ‘Environmentally friendly’

    ‘No rare metals’

    ‘We’ll plant trees for every robot purchased.’

    ‘We’ll get a sponsorship deal with a varnish company.’

    ‘Great as a spy-bot in the garden. Already camouflaged!’

    ‘Use a light varnish before each winter. Just clean with a damp cloth. It’ll be as good as new.’

    ‘Who wouldn’t want one?!’

    The potential investors sat back dazed, heads full of questions; the main one being how the hell this nut-case had passed the first sift of the inventors.

    There were too many questions to know where to start, but eventually Sara Spinoza felt the silence had gone on too long and put her hand up.

    ‘Err, it looks lovely, Greg. Cute even. My young niece who’s three, I think, would love it.’

    Greg smiled. Not thinking that there was a downside to the comments.

    ‘But a wooden robot would still need metal parts. The board, RAM, chips, hard-drive … everything needed would still be metal which throws out nearly all your selling points. So basically you’re just left with a normal robot within a wooden exterior.’

    Barnaby O’Malley piped up too, ‘Yeah, look maybe there is a market for a wooden robot, but you’ll have to have different selling points. And there aren’t just positives you know. What about the risk from wet rot, or dry rot, or moulds and fungi? Not to mention fire risks and splinters.’

    Greg slumped into the nearest chair.

    ‘Damn you guys are good. To be fair I only came up with the concept the other day when I saw my mum bring in a bag of wooden chips. It was massive and I thought she must be building a super computer with so many of them or maybe a robot army. Thought I’d patent the idea first.’

    Sara rolled her eyes. ‘These wood chips, Greg … does your mum enjoy gardening?’

    Like

  6. “My Phone Is Creepy”

    The robot wanted to be there with me…
    I love my baby girl, and I’m in a shower with the best friend I have.
    I have to get to the store for the last time.
    I had to be there with you, but I know you are going to be with my dad.
    You are so beautiful.
    I love you so much.
    You are my baby girl.

    Like

  7. What the robot wanted

    The little wooden robot wanted to be a wicker man. It wanted to tower high on a hill, overlooking fields and farms, a tiny fishing village in the distance. There would be a crowd of people standing beneath the wicker man, their hands uplifted, singing. But it was a little wooden robot, and the blades of grass were whispering, is this all there is. The dew on a spider web reflected the garden, the roses and beebalm, shimmering like a mirror in the sun.

    Like

    1. Love the detail of the grass whispering ‘is this all there is’. You get a real sense of your little robot from this. Nice work, Voima.

      Like

    2. So elegant and sad. Dew on spiders’ webs is beautiful…I like that addition of something so fragile and pretty next to him. I hope it soothes him.

      Like

  8. Natural Order

    A wooden king for a green kingdom. Seems natural and sensible. He stands on his dais, eyes gracing each blade rising before him, where dew clings like night’s farewell tears. He reaches out to salute them, these warriors that will all too soon be cut down in the name of order. It’s not lost on him, the irony that he stands upon the buried remains of himself, and he so much reduced in his crowning and neat edges and sculpted form. His arms had once touched the sky and spread so much wider. But he is now a king and more than tree. He has been refined, made into a something. A wooden king for a green kingdom: such a nice design, pleasing to the mind and eye. He is no usurper, no foreign tyrant.

    He has legs now, but cannot move. How strange is that? Before he had roots, but could sway and bend and dance. How mad to have legs but never move. But he’s a king now, and the grass, so much greener and wetter than before in this cultivated state, leans to him and waits. To them, he is still taller and wooden; they cannot see he’s changed in all the ways that matter.

    They gave him eyes. Perhaps their greatest cruelty. He can see the grass, the teardrops, how mighty he had once been and the mower being pulled from the shed. But he remains a wooden king.

    Like

    1. Oh I just sank into the beauty of this from the opening line. Gorgeous feelings here, Sian. Talk about awakening a wooden heart! I love it!

      Like

  9. The Once Was Robot

    The robot wanted to be human once upon a time, with an aching echo to the bowels of his oblong torso, when a stranger to their lands. He had even tried to imitate their ways and wiles. Still, ultimately, their strangeness and perplexity of reasoning evaded him.

    The robot had thought some matters simple, though their behaviours contradicted his understanding. Their dot was now his home. On it was everyone and everything he had experienced in his newly determined existence, with him at the centre, silent witness to their cross-cross of creation and destruction.

    The robot was simply a singular factor of a fraction, made without a mouth to speak of what he saw, put together and suspended at the heart of a potential point of light amidst scattered rays. A half-life, hoping to live as he might – if those he co-existed with might but allow it. They were a speck amidst the vastness enveloping them. He understood that, having squared it in his once hollowed head. Perhaps if they might see that, from beyond, as he once had, they might understand matters better. Perhaps they might begin to be once more, upon their speck of earth, suspended dark amidst colour.

    Like

    1. ‘suspended dark amidst colour’ is a fabulous closing line for this story. Brilliantly constructed, Catherine. It carried me to another dimension. Loved it.

      Like

  10. Oak

    The soldier stood alone. Still. Silent. Surrounded. Though he could not see the enemy, he sensed their approach through the jungle of wild grass that had somehow remained untouched in this desolate landscape. A breeze ruffled the emerald blades so they turned into a sea, the waves washing into the distance, occasionally revealing those who crawled through it. He shifted his gaze further towards the horizon. Soft clouds rose up, puffs of yellow, pastel tints against baby blue sky. Pretty from a distance, you had to admit, yet how many were dying beneath its gauze. Nature had a deceptive palette.

    It was a stark contrast to his current position. The ground beneath his feet had been pounded into darkness, a barren island on which life had become almost extinct. Only a solitary tree kept the soldier company. It stood there with bare, blackened branches pointing accusatory fingers, challenging those who sought to wipe it from the face of the earth. Its defiance fed him strength, allowed him to cast off the fear which had been his constant companion for so long. He would not let down those who lay shattered and disembodied around him. They had given everything. He could give nothing less. The soldier stood up straighter. He would not yield. He became oak and turned to face the enemy.

    Like

    1. Steph, you have embraced the focus on setting here with wonderful vivid imagery where we can feel the breeze on our skin and empathise with this lone soldier. Super writing.

      Like

      1. Thank you Alva. It was thinking about wood itself rather than the robot that got me going plus my grandfather was awarded an oak leaf when he was mentioned in dispatches in WWII. He was out in Egypt – never told us what he got the oak leaf for, even my nan never knew.

        Like

    2. I love how the pace picks you up and carries you along to that point where you’re right next to him. Love the phrase: nature had a deceptive palete.

      Like

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