FlashFeeD 1.19

Hello.

Welcome, or welcome back. I’m glad to see you.

A day late this week, sorry.

A prompt below for the times we’re living in. Be creative. Be adventurous. FeeD our desire for great stories.

As always, write a story within the character limit, based on the prompt, below.

Keep liking, commenting and contributing and you get points (DogTreats). The more you are involved the more you get awarded. There are badges, ranks and leaderboards that showcase your participation.

No special instructions this week.

Hope? Fear? You decide.

Full rules here:

 

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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65 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.19”

  1. Alva Holland
    @Alva1206

    Their Lost Lives

    A street-artist came to our school today. He wanted to help. His soul is broken, just like ours.

    Yesterday, I lost 16 friends and a teacher. They should be here today, carrying on with life the way life is supposed to, until we graduate like we are supposed to, stay friends like we’re supposed to, chill with each other, stress over exams together, look to the future together, like we’re supposed to.

    But I am alone.

    The street-artist hugs us first – every one of us torn apart by this senseless act. I am broken. We are all broken. This will affect us for the rest of our lives, but our friends don’t have any rest of their lives – they were destroyed. They can no longer make a difference. So many of them would have.

    We watch him sketch an outline, we like the way he’s including space for our friends’ names, their hopes and dreams. We will all fill in the gaps with colour and tears.

    What of the gaps left in families though? Parents, brothers, sisters, grannies and grandads all crying today.

    The future will be different, but only if we make it so. We will draw in bright colours around the street-artist’s heart of gold. We will repeat our friends’ names over and over, so they will not be forgotten. We will carry them with us forever, where their precious lives were cut short.

    The future will be different. Next year, I can vote. I will make it count towards making a difference.

    I will make the future different.

    Like

  2. ‘About 30 Shillings a Week’

    She watched him work, watched him paint a heart the way he’d painted hers: adding gold to something flat and monochrome, giving it shape and life and meaning.
    When he’d first appeared in her life, she’d barely noticed him except to resent him. He was the quiet lad, that friend of an unknown friend that she sometimes saw in the kitchen at parties. The guy who never seemed to talk, that she only remembered because of that stupid denim vest. She’d dismissed him as a boy trying too hard to be a brooding, macho, dangerous man; a wannabe outlaw biker, the Harley in his head more interesting to him than the people in his company. When everyone else was getting wasted, escaping their futile lives, he’d silently, stoically endure.
    She remembered the day she first heard him: she counted it as the day they met, though they were further apart than at any party. June tenth, mid-heatwave, a Sunday afternoon on Butcher’s Hill getting gently baked, watching the town melt beneath her, wishing it would burn. It had never been pretty – too many monuments to fallen industries – but if she got stoned enough, she’d find beauty in the stark outlines of derelict factories, in the rotting bones of abandoned warehouses, in the glorious, vibrant-
    She’d just stared, for the longest time. The textile mill, empty and black since its colours ran east, was ablaze: scarlet blooming and spreading, ice blue splashes appearing, gold moving at its heart, a strange, sinuous purple snaking across it all. A figure she knew, too distant to recognise anything but his vest and not even recognising that. She’d never seen the back: it had always been slouched against a wall. Now it was that dot of gold in the centre of emerging, chaotic wonder.
    He spoke, with brushes and paint; spoke of freedom and hope, of truth and beauty, spoke from his heart to hers. And she listened.
    Later, walking back down, unfamiliar happiness nipping at her heels, she thought the future might be different.

    Like

  3. Arturo glanced at his fob watch. He had minutes.

    Closing his eyes, he pictured the scene as best he remembered it. His mind was reluctant to recall, and no small wonder. He didn’t need the blood. The screams on people’s faces. The tears streaking children’s cheeks.

    Stick to the facts.

    Another glance to the watch. Sweat beaded on his head and lip.
    The creature with squid-like tentacles was easy enough. Even his artist’s imagination couldn’t conjure something so hideously fantastic, and heart-crushingly terrifying. Eyes swimming in viscous pools, swinging left then right, guiding slimy tentacles as they destroy buildings and lives in their wake.

    One minute until the moment passes.

    Quickly, Arturo recalled the image given to him by the Mage. Wings, like the seraphim, agents of peace, with a heart of gold. It had to be gold. He only hoped the color wouldn’t fade against the white of the transdimensional wall. His thick black lines stood out, as bold and clear as the words on his jacket. Words that guided every brush stroke:

    “The Future Will Be Different.”

    He felt the wall tremble as he applied the gold paint to the outlined heart. It pulsed in time to his own heartbeat, the golden glow a little brighter with each thud against his chest.

    Three…

    Arturo backed away from the wall.

    Two…

    “The future will be different,” he murmured, eyes closed. “The future will be different…”

    One…

    A blinding flash.

    Darkness.

    Arturo opened his eyes. His fingers gripped a child’s hand. A girl. Maybe ten. In a hospital bed. Her head bandaged. She was asleep. The beep of the machine in synch with the throbbing in his neck.

    “Mr. Valesquez?”

    It was a man in a white coat. A doctor?

    “Yes?” Arturo replied, his voice shaky.

    “I’m pleased to say, the operation was a success. The tumor is gone.”

    Like

  4. No Monsters Here

    There are no monsters here, he tells them and paints hearts of gold on sad walls, feathers the harshness of brick with his touch. Aaron softens their lives at the edges, marking their territory, claiming it as his own.

    Sally watched him work. So far, he had never spoken to her but today he sent her a message, called her beautiful, wrote it boldly on his back. She briefly touched the bruise beneath her sunglasses, moved closer to him. He was promising her a future, a way out.

    “Diane sent me,” she whispered, “she said …”

    “Hush, now,” said Aaron, continuing to stencil the wall with hope, stain it with glamour. “Words aren’t necessary. I know why you’re here, what you want, the same as everybody else – freedom, escape … a different life.” He slipped his hand into his pocket, passed her a small bag of tablets, each stamped with his heart. Unknowingly, she gave him her heart in return, interest on her payment.

    Sally left him to his work and Aaron paid her no more attention. She would be back, as would all the others. They never realised they had a problem until it was too late and his tentacles had reached out and pulled them in. Only then did they realise they’d been suckered. But Aaron’s heart was big, able to embrace so many more. His was a heart of gold.

    Like

  5. Sally For The Future

    The day after the night before Sally draws a strawberry smile upon her lips when she wakes with the dawn. “Tomorrow will be different,” she says. Today, she will set about making it so. Today, she sets about making plans. “Tomorrow will be different,” she repeats. She scribbles calendar-boxed lines on pieces of paper, scoring the current one through with a crimson-slashed “X”.

    Tomorrow, being then today, she sets about said plan, by that stage the plan being plans, though not for today; for tomorrow and the tomorrows after. She has planned for the future. Though not today; that was yesterday. Today is for the moment and for the moment Sally has plans.

    Today’s Sally is for the future. Tomorrow’s Sally is possibility. Possibility, in probability, is endless. At least, it seems so, to Sally, today.

    @FallIntoFiction

    Like

  6. It was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    No, this was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    I was wrong. This was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    How could I have been so mistaken? Today was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    Yesterday I was so naïve. This was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    Foolish me. Today, yes today was the worst day of my life. So many beautiful innocents’ blood splattered everywhere. I must change things—yes, this time something much change. Tomorrow will be different.

    Tomorrow will be different.

    Like

  7. “Hey, how’s it going?”

    “Could be better.”

    “What’s wrong?”

    “Well, nothing really. I have to write all these stories and I’m behind schedule for them all.”

    “Take them one at a time. Show me one.”

    “Well, this one. The guy painting the graffito on the wall.”

    “I see.”

    “Tells me nothing useful. I always brainstorm the prompts, but the ideas I get here seem lame. Even for 300 words, give or take.”

    “Hm… Ok, try harder. Look at him, what he looks like even from this anglw where all we see is his back. What does it tell you?”

    “Tough, big, broad guy. Biker perhaps.”

    “Yet there’s the patch on his jacket and the winged heart on the wall. What do those mean?”

    “He’s gay.”

    “C’mon, man, you can do way better.”

    “Let me see… He’s a father now. Something he never expected. Something he had never thought of. And he has discovered he likes it, and he loves his daughter. And he never thought he’d ever feel like that because he’s this tough, biker guy. And it’s changing his life and he doesn’t know how to better express it.”

    “Ah, see? There. That’s much better. Now go and write that.”

    “I’m still not sure about it.”

    “Well, you can always take a different direction.”

    “Which one?”

    “You could get all meta about it. It worked for me back when I was a kid at school.”

    “I’ll see. Perhaps I will.”

    “Good. Need any more help with the other stories?”

    “That would be nice!”

    Like

  8. With every movement of Saul the tentacles rippled over him. The octopus covered his back, tentacles reaching down his legs and wrapping around his torso.

    ‘That – my friend – is the best tattoo ever. It pulses and flows with your muscles and even just your blood.’

    Saul smiled. ‘My heart pumps blood through the octopus and me.’

    ‘Where d’ya get it done?‘

    ‘That tattoo place near the station.’

    Geoff nodded. ‘St Domingo’s?’

    ‘Yeah, that’s the one.’

    ‘Er.. you know what guy runs that place?’ He could see Saul didn’t. ‘Peter. You know, from school.’

    Saul looked perplexed. He tried to picture the tattoo artist mentally. ‘There was something familiar about him now you come to mention it.’

    ‘Fucks’ sake lad. Your memory is awful. Mind you if he’s done that for you maybe his is worse.’

    ‘Peter. Er… is that the lad we locked in the basement over that weekend.’

    ‘Yep. And in that Portocabin on the coldest night of the year. And …’

    ‘Bloody hell. I’d not have let him near me if I’d realised. But look at it. It’s a true work of art this. He couldn’t have remembered or maybe he’s grown past it somehow.’

    Geoff shrugged. ’Somehow. I find it hard to believe.’

    Saul swallowed painfully, his throat suddenly full of bile.

    ‘Argh!’

    ‘You okay?’

    The tentacles rippled and convulsed apparently strangling the life out of Saul. As an optical illusion Geoff was taken in by it. The colours changed, browns and reds of the inks changing to blues and greens.

    ‘Jeez, Saul. The tattoo is alive.’

    Saul didn’t hear him. His throat tightened. His blood was on fire. He clawed at his neck as if trying to grab the tentacles strangling him, the colours bleeding. The sweat of his sickening body was dissolving the inks. Poisons leaching.

    Geoff lowered Saul to the floor clearing the chairs and table, trying to stay calm as his old friend suffered in front of him. The octopus fading with each erratic beat of Saul’s heart. By the time Saul’s body lay lifeless the incredible Cephalopod was gone.

    Like

  9. Jack was my dad. I don’t think he would ever win a father of the year award, but no one tried harder than him. He was a blue collar worker who worked constantly to provide a good life for his family. It was a tragedy that he was forced to quit his job due to an onsite work injury. He was in a deep dark depression for months. He was a person that had worked his entire life and now couldn’t provide for his family. It was a dark time for our family, but we survived.

    I would see my dad sitting at the window staring outside at the world passing him by never smiling; never anything but a forlorn look on his face. Then one day he disappeared into the basement for a whole day. My mother called me over to the house, because she was afraid of what she might find.
    I slowly walked down the steps and found my dad surrounded by paints, brushes, and canvas. It seems that the spirit of Bob Ross had taken over his soul. He was smiling with a brush in his hand. A new life was found as a local painter who sold his wares at craft shows.

    His renewed zest for life impacted the whole family. I even discovered that I had a natural talent for drawing and painting. It has been a few years since his passing, but I still paint on in his memory. The future we have in mind for ourselves may not be the one we live; the future may be different.

    Like

  10. Love at the heart of the world

    I was born in the dark times, everyone said so. I was there that morning when the agents came for my father.

    I have rights he said. They laughed as they dragged him away.

    At school, I could see on the faces of my friends that the agents had come for their fathers, too. Our teacher told us the school was a sanctuary. She kicked and screamed when they took us away.

    I live at the edge of town now, painting the sides of the storage units and the walls along the train line. I watch the trains come and go. There’s lots of trains from Canada. In the winter there’s snow on the freight cars. I wonder if it would be warm inside, if it would smell like hay and Montana.

    I don’t know what train they put my friends on, waving goodbye forever. All I know is I was left behind. There must be some reason, something I am supposed to do. I feed the little kids and the stray cats in the alleys. I paint the walls with hearts and wings.

    I know that there is love beating at the heart of the world. It sounds like the future, like the rushing of a train.

    Like

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