Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Scientific Discourse

"Scales? Oh, my goodness no! Such a miss-informed opinion only hangs on in ‘popular’ culture my friend. You see, further research has shown that velociraptors are actually covered in feat-"

"Shut it and ruuuun, Doc!"

I've been lax at joining in at Five Sentence Fiction the past few weeks. Does just what it says on the tin, though I do my best to pare down my normal meandering sentences (unless it's for character). The topic this week is feathers

And I couldn't resist a scaled - and feathered - Velociraptor for an illustration.

Fantastic picture found here.


With every prod the fire crackled and danced, illuminating the night with vermillion flames. Nictitating membranes closed to guard against errant sparks, the Kthakii scanned the slumped corpses. Beardlings. Their watchfire had been ineffective for none of the lesser beings could make out the form of a Kthakii as it hunted silently on moonless nights such as this.

Ik-Naa reached out a dactyl and traced the hair that sprouted from the slain dwarf. Plaited together with the others, it would have made a decent first offer for a seat at the upcoming ritual. In hindsight it seemed that dismembering the delicately fingered Woodlander in a fit of pique had been… unwise. Severing the heads, Ik-Naa drew the sigil to create a niche Beyond, and placed them there for storage. Not deigning to taint its palate with such a lowly meat, the Kthakii vaulted to the air, wings flung wide.

Back at the colony Ik-Naa was unable to sleep, even long after the Sky Fire had driven all others deep underground. Reveling in the unfamiliar tingling on its scales, the Kthakii felt invigorated. Before long, Ik-Naa came to a solution that made it hiss with delight. It would summon a host of new prey, from other continuums, times and places. Tonight’s haul could still be put to good effect as a pitiful opening gambit, making the final offer even more striking. Truly, this would ensure a victory that would garner immense prestige.

Reaching into the space carved in No-Space, Ik-Naa roughly sheared the fibres from the trophy heads with a talon. Then - as an added insult to the other competitors - Ik-Naa wove the rope itself, rather than commanding a lesser race to do so. Next the Kthakii prepared a flayed hide with incantations and unguents. These ensured that the message would be translated and propagated to many worlds. When read, they would capture the entity’s essence, adding it to Ik-Naa’s collection. It paused for a moment, then began to write... With every prod the fire crackled and danced, illuminating the night with vermillion flames...

For Finish that Thought, you get the first sentence, and away you go. Just a day to write it, that's all. I didn't think I'd be able to play often, but such a short time frame does wonders for my attention span - or at least it has for the past two weeks. This time, the bonus challenge was to make it a cliff hanger. At first I thought yes, but now I'm thinking no. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Do you see her much?

"Do I see her much?"

Only every time I close my eyes. When I blink. When I stare into space. When I can't sleep. In my dreams. Out the corner of my eye. Always.

"Nah, not really. We just drifted, you know?"

I've found a new lightning fast place to find prompts: Yeah Write

This is an entry for their Gargleblaster Challenge - it has to be 42 words on the dot, and open to the first 42 people. This week (#157), the prompt is Do you see her much?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Way Up High

She stood in the doorway, unable to believe what she saw. A trail of clothes, leading erratically from the hallway to the chair to the wall and finally ending at the bed. The covers were in a crumpled pile that was lurching spasmodically, threatening at any minute to cascade over the edge of the bed. A rhythmic creaking was emanating from the mass, with an occasional grunt or squeal providing some variation to the beat. Sighing, Janice quickly strode over and whipped the blanket off.

Surprised by the light, the twins looked up and started giggling. Sue, her skirt demurely tucked under her armpits squealed "Mummy! Jump with us!"
Clad only in a shoe (with the sock inexplicably on the opposite foot) Sam clapped happily nodding all the while.
Biting back a smile at the way her daughter’s curls were escaping the hairband, Janice reached up to undo her necklace. “Let me just take this off, so it doesn’t hit me in the face,”
She placed the ruby necklace down on the bedside table. “But I think I’ll keep the rest of my clothes on.”
The pair started to pout, so she took off her rings. “But you two can wear these, if you want…”
After a ragged cheer and some time to admire their new finery, the children ‘helped’ her onto the bed.

While still bouncing, Sam said in a small voice “I wish daddy was here, too.”
The levity of the moment gone all too soon, Janice knew she had to do something to rekindle the fun. She grabbed the photo next to her discarded necklace and held it close.
“He is, children. He is.”
All smiles once more, they started jumping. Sam started singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the others soon joined in. They bounced unsteadily to the beat.
“Mummy, if we jump really high will we be up with Daddy?”
Unsure of her voice, Janice paused for a moment and ran her hands through her daughters’ curls. They were so evocative of her late husband. “No, sweetie, you still have a lot of jumping to do before you get to visit daddy again.”

This was my first try at the Finish That Thought flash fiction prompt week 40. You only have a day once the prompt goes live to finish a story, so I'm not sure how often I'll get to play along. I did get it entered on time, but posting it here took a bit longer. You get a starting sentence, and a challenge to throw in. This time it was a gemstone. Mine was a tad tokenistic this time round. Given a re-edit, I think I'd have spent some time tying it to a present from the husband. Originally I wasn't going to have him dead, just a workaholic, and have him burst in roaring like a dinosaur, having come to an epiphany about spending time with family, but I'm a tad glum at the moment.