Write a story incorporating the following four elements- A post office, A ship, A water lily and a horse
An editorial note, here. This is a constrained-writing prompt that demanded the use of quite disparate elements. I didn’t want any of the elements to be a mere mention, but each one integral to the story. This story may not seem to connect well, or feel contrived as a result. I think I did well making the story ‘flow’. Where I do not succeed, you, the reader, have the apologies of me, the author.
“You want to send what?”
“Sixteen live water lilies.”
Continue reading “Golden Penny”
You run a night school for assassins. The other professional assassins loathe you for turning customers into self-sufficient killers. You would get frustrated by their constant attempts on your life, if they didn’t make for such good lessons for your students…
I strode across to the podium, before the diagram of the human skeleton and circulatory system. The class was small, ten people. I found it to be my optimum class size. Any more and my students began to look like a forest, not trees. Any less, and I might have trouble with my payments.
One tentative hand rose up. She was a slip of a girl. Her demeanor was timid, her hand trembling in the air. None of her classmates took her seriously. They were new, yet. Not all of them quite realized that I wasn’t here to teach them how to fight, but how to kill. Ellen’s ‘fragile flower’ act would serve her well.
Continue reading “Timid Reaper”
Rise! Rise from the earth, I command thee!
The red mountains by Seven-teenth
I came to the overlook and staggered to a halt, looking over the plains. Green and verdant, the grasses flowed and rippled in the wind. It was beautiful, so beautiful. A fitting sacrifice for mankind to fulfill its destiny.
I pulled my hand from my side, where I’d been stabbed. A knight in shining armor, saving the world. Well, his armor wasn’t so shiny now, but he’d done his damage before he died. I couldn’t blame him, though. If I succeeded, the air would be too foul to breathe within a few years. The world would die.
Continue reading “Blood Hack”
A housecat’s human learning to hunt, from the cat’s point of view.
“CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” My human whipped out a strange device before my shocked eyes, and slammed it down, piercing his prey’s tin hide. He closed the device – like teeth – and it began to chew.
“O! PEN! ER!”
With each syllable, he twisted the device, mauling his prey’s hide further, then he peeled back the tin skin. He hefted the can into the air and slammed it down over my food dish. He snapped his wrist back, leaving behind the prey’s flesh. He tipped his head back and screamed in victory.
Continue reading “Sensei”
Your life, if you’d decided differently.
“Faster!” Fists flew, a pivot, then my heel pierced the air like a spear. Since I was fourteen I’d honed these same movements, harder and faster and more graceful.
“Again. From the start.” I set my feet, taking note of where I stood, and began. I lunged, punched, kicked, and then with the pivot from that kick, stomped. The movements etched the motions into my mind and muscle. Now, using them in these flowing combinations was second nature.
Continue reading “Alternate Universes”
The World is a peaceful place. Everyone is Happy. Nothing Bad is happening to anyone. Every person has everything they need. Everyone is well mannered, and Mean people do not exist.
I heard the scream and looked around. Nobody else seemed concerned. People walked up and down the street, nobody looking up. There it was again. “No! Stop! Get off me!”
It was coming from the alleyway. I rushed into the darkness, my eyes taking a moment to adjust after the bright sunlight. He was tall, muscular, and there was a tattoo of an eagle straddling a swastika on his bald scalp. In his free hand, he twirled a knife with a shocking degree of skill.
“Just relax, little peacock, it won’t hurt as–” I barrelled into him, hard. The knife skittered across the pavement, musical as different surfaces of it struck the pavement. Continue reading “Trauma Entertainment”
Naval battle of beasts. (Image prompt)
I stared into the darkness, forcing my eyes open despite the rain lashed into them. We had extinguished every light to keep us hidden, but our foe wouldn’t lose us so easily. Behind me, men with axes chopped away the wreckage of a broken mast and its rigging. The ship writhed beneath my feet as the dead weight broke loose and slid into the ocean.
“Watchmen, an extra half-share to the man who calls him before I do.” I had to shout to be heard, but I kept my voice even. They needed a strong voice right now. I heard my promise called out down the length of the ship, for all the watchmen to hear. “Patrol master, how long before our air patrol is due back?”
“They’re five minutes o’erdue, captain!”
Black scales shone in a flash of lightning. I saw the spindly wreckage of the one wing we’d destroyed in the first volley of cannon fire. Immediately I leaned to the pipe that would make me heard on the gun deck. “Portside cannon, two degrees fore, fire as you bear!”
Continue reading “Powder and Teeth”