Monthly Archives: May 2014

Elixir Of Life

This picture is of the Earth Goddess, from the Imaginary Worlds Exhibit at Atlanta Botanical Garden, and is by C. Joey Ivansco. It’s the prompt for day’s Flash! Friday 140-160 word challenge, and we had to incorporate “Freedom” in our story…

Earth Goddess

The Earth Goddess took a sip, then let the rest of the water trickle softly back into the fountain.

She shook her head in bewilderment. It still tasted lovely.

She had filled the lakes with it, and the rivers, as her gift to Humankind. It was the perfect drink – sugar-free, odour-free, calorie-free, and free. As free as Freedom, in fact.

Yet Humankind had spurned it. They drank small beer, though in large glasses. They drank wine, essentially fruit that someone had stood on. They drank milk. Dear God, thought the Goddess, they drank milk.

They drank camomile to help them sleep and coffee to keep them awake.

They drank suggestively-named cocktails.

They had now moved on to even stranger drinks, like cranberry-flavoured whiskey, and cabbage-flavoured vodka, and Budweiser.

Meanwhile they used her precious gift to wash their socks with.



Bottling It Up

This is the photo prompt for this week’s VisDare challenge…

Genie in a poison bottle

“I can grant you three wishes”, the genie had said.

”That must be so cool,” Grace had said. “I wish I was you.”

Which is why she now finds herself in a bottle marked “Poison” and an unflattering outfit, while the genie has taken her job.

She has thought of rocking the jar to try to escape, but that would mean shattering the glass, and she fears that the experience may scar her for life, in every meaning of that phrase.

So she waits, hoping that someone notices her on the shelf, decides to ignore her sour expression (you try living in a poison bottle, see what it does to yours) and take a chance.

She needn’t worry. The genie is on her way back to release her, and to wish that she could understand Excel, hide holiday web-pages when her boss passes and be able to un-jam a photocopier.

You’ve Got Mail

This is the prompt for today’s Flash! Friday challenge…


It irked Steve that the Alien got more post than he did.

So far during their quarantine Steve had received a note of commendation from the President and a letter threatening to cut off his cable.

The Alien got daily care packages – some sort of grey paste, a purple smoothie and, bizarrely, a KFC Variety Bucket. Each parcel also contained one metal part. It seemed his friends thought he could in time combine these into a makeshift rocket to fly home, like an extra-terrestrial member of the A-Team.

The parcels were addressed in the manner so beloved of schoolboys – “The Visitor, Area 52, Nevada, USA, Earth, The Solar System, Space”.

They were so addressed because the Government denied that there was any such place as Area 51, so the pair had set up their mailboxes outside Area 52, and their neighbours simply dropped their post round to them.


Frozen In Time

This photo, by Ashwin Rao, is this weekend’s Flash Frenzy challenge. Our story has to have less than 360 words, so at least I managed that…


Deep below the ocean lies the Crustacean Cryonics lab.

It was founded by Krusty the Crab (his mother was a Simpsons fan) and his clients, the Crabwise, as he refers to them, lie in wait for a world in which their claws are not considered delicacies, in which curious children do not lift them up to see if they run on wheels, and in which innocent Irish people trying to write a story can Google “crabs” without learning far more than they wanted to about lower body disorders.

They also dream of a time when the English join the rest of the world by walking sideways to the right.

A Whiff Of Cordite

This is today’s prompt for the Flash! Friday challenge, 140-160 words which had to involve Comeuppance…

Berlin, Rückkehr Emil Jannings aus Amerika

Emmaline had stolen him from her, with her slimmer figure, longer legs and better taste in hats.

Martha was bridesmaid, meaning “runner-up, but with free cake” and it was while planning the day that the idea had come to her.

Emmaline was allergic to lilies, so Martha laced the bouquet with them, like olfactory arsenic. Now she smiled grimly as her ex-friend threw back her head as a prelude to her first sneeze.

The earth would certainly move for Emmaline tonight.

Emmaline sneezed once, explosively, then, as is traditional, threw the bouquet. Since Martha had ensured that it was huge it travelled just a few inches, hitting Martha full in the face.

She instinctively caught it (she was a spinster, after all, and you never know) and smelled peonies, her own allergic affliction.

As Martha’s eyes ran and her nose began to burn Emmaline threw back her head again, this time in laughter.

Time Travelling

This is the photo prompt for this week’s VisDare Challenge ….

Stefan's Clocks

Go into a hotel lobby at noon in New York and an array of clocks will tell you that it is nine am in Los Angeles, five pm in Paris and tomorrow in Auckland. It’s apparently important to know this.

Stefan had spotted a gap in the market. If you weren’t in a hotel you had no idea, at that moment, of the time in Cork, or Kuala Lumpur, so Stefan decided to provide a mobile service to walkers of the streets – hobos, tourists and streetwalkers. It was a plan without a flaw.

It was a plan with a flaw. While he may well have been earning the gratitude of passers-by, and this in itself is doubtful, it didn’t earn him any money.

He was really hungry. He could do with a good lunch.

Or dinner, had he lived in London.

Too Young

This is today’s Flash! Friday prompt. 140-160 words, and the story has to relate in some way to Coming of Age…

Past and Present, No. 2 1858 by Augustus Leopold Egg 1816-1863

Two simultaneous sounds made her turn to the window. One was the first chime of a clock-tower striking midnight. The other was the soggy squelch of a large coach becoming a small pumpkin.

Cinderella turned her head toward the window too, unmuffling her sobs and leaving a snail-trail of snot across the Fairy Godmother’s lap. I bet that won’t wash out, thought the Fairy Godmother.

“It’s over,” wailed Cinderella. “You said I’d go to the ball, and you lied.”

“I didn’t mean to,” said the Fairy Godmother. “When they sent me here they didn’t tell me that you were only fifteen.”

Cinderella blew her nose in the dress. I’m not even going to try washing it, thought the Fairy Godmother, it’s going straight into the fire.

She felt deeply sorry for the girl, so close to womanhood, yet so far away.

Though perhaps not that far away. Cinderella suddenly looked up.

“Can I keep the shoes?” she asked.