FlashFeeD 1.11

Festive greetings to you.

Great to have your Christmas / Santa themed stories last week. Fabulous to see new folk, as always, you are very welcome.

Coming up soon, we will have our very first interview – with flash fiction legend, supreme story-teller and unofficial volunteer Cabury promotional executive for the US,  Rebekah Postupak. I can’t wait.

This week, you have two prompts to chose from. Chose one or chose both – enjoy.

 

Full rules here:

If you can focus on character/s this week, that would be grand.

 

Any resemblance to Santa is purely coincidental.

 

VR, rainbows, the shoreline, and a random man – obviously

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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34 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.11”

  1. Virtual Surprise

    Virtual Dreams offered the most complete package. They boasted that their experience was completely immersive, and their technology was capable of direct neural interface.

    It had been with trepidation that Keith had decided to spend their lottery money on them. After all, it wasn’t as if he had anything better to do with it. Perhaps last year, when Valentine had been still around, but not any longer.

    But now, he found he was really enjoying himself. He knew this wasn’t real, a virtual world created for him according to his indications. But his brain kept fooling itself and telling him he was, indeed, here.

    But how could that be? That meadow had been razed decades ago, just one more victim to the predatory craving of the real-estate industry. Yet here he was.

    And oh boy was it amazing… the wind in his face brought the aroma of the grass needles with it. He actually felt his skin warmer when a sunbeam peeked from behind the clouds, creating a rainbow that was for his eyes only.

    “Keith?”

    That voice? It couldn’t be.

    Keith turned to face the man. He recognized him instantly, how could he not? The unkempt hair that sprouted, wild, from under the hood he rarely removed. The bushy beard, already greying, living its own life. The wide nose and light blue eyes Keith also had.

    “Grandpa?”

    But Grandpa had been gone longer than the meadow, and… and Keith hadn’t mentioned him to Virtual Dreams.

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  2. I am creased and worn; a man of a half-century, though my leather skin and watery eyes put another twenty on me. That’s what happens when your soul is knit with the sea, and the taste of salt water is forever in your mouth. These thickened fingers have spent their life pulling nets, mining the ocean for her fruit, making a wage from mackerel and salmon. My home is a hut by the sand, a shelter from storms, where I sleep to the roar of the waves. That and my boat is all I own. I am Neptune’s son; what else could I want?

    I remove the Ultra-Reality glasses and gaze out over the white tops, as they crash against the shore. I close my eyes and listen to the call. It’s not an invitation; there is no choice. That boat is mine. That hut. Orphaned at birth, but I’m Neptune’s son.

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  3. Behind these sunken eyes lays something that cannot be viewed through sight. These lines etched into my face are the words of a storied tale. My visage, hidden behind this dark cloak is not for my protection, but for yours. I seek no paparazzi. My hand does not stretch forth for fame and glory. I have come to serve. Yet my name is pronounced in many tongues. My presence known in many minds. I am more than an idea. I am more than a whisper. I am the bringer of joy. The bringer of hope. I walk these streets in my cowl of solitude looking into the hearts and minds of all. I peer into the very depths of their souls looking for that one thing I seek to find. I search for the child like innocence that has been lost for so many years for so many people.

    But I will come. Not when I am called. Not when I am summoned. I will come when I am hoped for, when I am needed. I will come when I am found. Not in body or form, but in heart and spirit.

    When the children sing out. When the anthems are rung, I will come. I will descend to the masses on the songs of the wind. I will arise from the midnight sun. No sound will be heard. No utterance will be made know. And as I come, so shall I go.

    But you will know that I have come when I am gone. You will gaze upon your child’s face, and in one moment you will know that I have come.

    I am the Clause.

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  4. Street of Jaguars

    How long had he been living in the cabin in the hills? Seasons changed, the brown of autumn covered by winter white, and now the green buds of spring. In the cracked mirror, he noticed more gray in his hair. For how long had this been his only glimpse of a human face? Everyone he had known and loved was gone in those few days after the meteor shower. A sleep like death, with no awakening.

    But now, with the warm breeze in his hair, he too felt the stirring, to seek another of his kind.

    So, he came down again to the city. He walked along the empty streets, the buildings shining in the sun. Flocks of birds soared between the towers. The river was so clear and blue, he could see the spots on the fish in the water.

    Where were the people? Vines covered the ruins of buildings. The trees in the park had grown into a forest. In the striped light, he thought he saw a jaguar prowling.

    “Hey, you!” He turned, and there was a group of people, all wearing strange glasses. “Where’s your visor?” said one of the young men.

    “I don’t have one,” he said. “Who–”

    “Well, this is your lucky day, the young man said. “I always carry a spare. Take care, now.” He waved, and the ragged group of men and women turned and walked away.

    With trembling hands, he put on the visor. Instantly, the view changed to the city he remembered. There were crowds on the sidewalks, traffic in the streets. At the light, he saw a couple in a red convertible, followed by a silver Jaguar.

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  5. Seeing
    Loki stared out at the world once more. Everything sparkled as if he was seeing the world anew. Which he was to an extent. The incessant drip of poison into his eyes had blinded him. A punishment, the Gods had said, for the venom he himself had bled into the lives of others. Why did they always take themselves so seriously, he fumed, a bit of Godly mischief never hurt anyone … well, not very often.

    But he had escaped that punishment, had scavenged new eyes. A gift, or rather an exchange, from the donor who walked on oblivious to all around him. The man had wanted to experience more than the mundane, he had wanted to live as a God and Loki had given him that, the modern virtual reality visor making his promises so much easier to keep.

    Imprisoned in this other world and under Loki’s spell, the man had no idea of the consequences of accepting such a gift from the trickster. Only if he removed the visor would he realise his blindness. Loki smiled. At least the man would not be alone, blindness was a typical human condition, even amongst those who could see. Loki pulled his hood forward, hiding his unkempt pelt, and sank back into the shadows, a wolf in waiting. He had so many other tricks to play.

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  6. He arrived by dog sled in a flurry of downy snow, dogs yipping, tails wagging. Old Eldritch, as people call him, fed the dogs strips of dried meat before coming into my store.

    Old Eldritch was Bear Paw Mountain’s recluse. A hoar-bearded enigma in a down-filled parka. Stories abound – some say he is a 200-year-old warlock. Nobody knows when or where he came from. He’s always just been. Did some tragedy befall him making him shy away from people? Was he a fugitive of the law? Witness protection program?

    Nobody had the nerve to ask Old Eldritch. He was gruff. Abrupt. Silence was his native tongue. I suppose living alone in the wilderness with only Alaskan Malamutes for company does that to a person. It wasn’t my business to be snooping, anyway. He was my valued customer; always paid cash and never asked for credit.

    He entered the store through the iced-up glass door. It was only -10C, but there was a wind chill. His bulbous nose was red and snotsicles had formed above his lip. I met his gaze with a smile and nod. Waited for him to fill his basket.

    He gathered sundry items then approached me to pay. Cleared his throat: “Merry Christmas,” he said, pulling a small, deerskin pouch from his pocket. He handed it to me and waited as I pulled open the drawstring. Inside was a shiny black stone, shot through with thick seams of gold. It felt warm in my palm. I looked at him in surprise.

    “It’s a wishing stone – given to me by an old indigenous woman. It’s served me well for more years than I can recall. Yours now. With three little ones and a sick wife, I reckon it will serve you just as well.”

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