#WIPflash – Week 2

 

WIPflash-main

Welcome to #WIPflash!

Week 2

 

General Rules:

  • This is a Flash Fiction EXCERPT challenge. Your story should contribute to a Work in Progress (no one will come to reclaim your winner’s badge if you write a standalone tale, it’s just the principle of the thing).
  • Open: Friday 5:00pm (17:00) Eastern Time.
  • Close: Saturday 5:00pm (17:00) Eastern Time.
  • Word count: minimum of 100 words, maximum of 500 words.
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging).
  • Post your story into the comments of this post.
  • Please include your Twitter handle or email.
  • Generally speaking, winners will be revealed Saturday night or Sunday (depending on judge’s time zone, the number and length of entries, how much sleep I’ve had, Mercury retrograde, etc.).

Prompts:

  • You will be provided a choice of prompts.
  • Anything in quotations ” ” must be used as given.
  • Incorporate any or all of the prompts into your excerpt/story.
  • Note which prompt(s) you chose.

Awards/Badges:

  • Winner
  • Honorable Mentions (up to 3)
  • Judge

 

Our Judge for Week 2:

Author of techno thriller SYN:FIN. Women and words confound him, but he loves them anyway…

jlg

J.L. Gentry | @jerrylgentry

 

Challenge Time!

The Prompts. Do with them what you will and show us what your WIP is made of…

  1. “rough night”
  2. a winter storm
  3. stop
  4. “all part of the plan”
  5. Camelot

 

And we’re off. The clock is ticking. Good writing and good luck!

 

12 comments on “#WIPflash – Week 2

  1. “Off you go, now.”

    Sarah herded her son up the stairs while Alex retreated to the kitchen, trying to remember if he had anything to eat in the house. He listened to their footsteps along the floor above as he stepped into the pantry. Cans and boxes filled the shelf with a fine patina of dust on their surfaces. He grimaced.

    He pieced together a meal of spaghetti and chicken from the freezer, and started cooking as he heard the water upstairs running. Good thing he’d remembered to pay the gas bill this month. He’d been staying in a small apartment in town temporarily, despite the danger to his neighbors. Yeah, eight years temporarily.

    Alex shook his head. Maybe it was time to return to the River House. But he had nothing to keep him there. Lisa was gone and it all reminded him of her.

    The scuff of a boot against the flagstone floor made him look up.

    “That smells good.” Sarah hovered at the edge of the kitchen. “Can I help with anything?”

    “It’s just chicken and pasta. Best I could do on short notice.” He glanced around at the dusty kitchen and chagrin swirled in his gut. “Sorry about the dust. I’ll get to it here in a sec.”

    “Let me. I might be tired, but I can still wipe up some counters.”

    “Where’s Liam?”

    “I told him to take a bath.” She bit her lip. “Is that okay?”

    “Of course. Damn, I think there are towels in the linen closet behind the bathroom door. Let me go get them.”

    “I found them.” She rested her hand on his arm, stalling him. Heat crawled over his skin from her hand, warming him in ways he hadn’t known he needed. “Thank you.”

    He fell into her pale green gaze and his heart stirred along with his cock. This one! This one is the right one. His Brother let loose a whimper and Alex almost pulled Sarah into his arms and kissed her. But lightning flashed and thunder shook the house, making him jump. He pulled away.

    “You’re welcome. Just all part of the plan to keep you safe. You’ve had a rough night and I’m happy to help.” Alex glanced out the windows to see rain smattering the glass in great sheets. “Looks like we caught a break, though.”

    A cute crease developed between her auburn brows. “How so?”

    “Fitzroy said water confuses demons. I figure between the river and the rain storm, we got it covered.”

    “Oh, yes, I suppose that could be true.” She looked so lost and alone he wanted to gather her into his arms and hold her tight.

    “It’s going to be okay, Sarah.”

    The bleakness of her expression tore at his heart. “Do you know how often I’ve thought those words only to discover it’s not true? There’s a demon after me and my son, Mr. MacLaren. Nothing will ever be okay again.”

    491 #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

  2. Prompts #1, #2, #4

    *facepalm*

  3. Simon was on his ninth sake. Or was it his tenth? Maybe eleventh. He hadn’t quite realized how hard it was going to be to drink Marcus into some sense of forgetfulness about his desire to be in charge of the umbrella. On the contrary – the more they drank, the more Marcus talked about what he would do if only Simon would give into what was only natural. His voice kept getting louder and more strident, and Simon was grateful that the New Year’s Eve festivities were loud enough that they didn’t stand out in the throng.

    “You know I’m right. You know it! And that’s the crappy part – you won’t fuckin’ admit it to yourself, much less me. Okay, so you found it. Great! But I know so much more than you – a hundred years more! There’s a whole shitload of stuff you don’t understand about the way the world works…”

    It had been going on like this for hours. A rough, rough night. Simon tuned out Marcus’ arguments for a bit and took some more time to look around the bar. Giant TV screens covered the walls, showing the world celebrating the changing of a number. Parties, riots, kissing, and the odd shots of the war in Nigeria – he thought it was Nigeria – which was threatening to spill over into much of the rest of West Africa. It was sometimes strange to know so much about places which were barely rumors to him most of his life. Focusing again on Marcus, he could tell that nothing had changed since he’d last been paying attention.

    “…you think that it’s somehow a plan, all part of the plan, or some shit, that you found this umbrella. Whose plan? God? Why the fuck would God be making umbrellas that travel in time? It was some whacko, and that means anyone could have found it. What makes you so special?”

    “I don’t know, Marcus. But…”

    “You’re damned right you don’t know. Because you’re not. I mean, you’re not a total fuckup, you haven’t…”

    Simon tuned out again, drinking some more sake. Tomorrow was going to be a tough day, but maybe he needed to drink himself into unconsciousness, if Marcus wasn’t going to cooperate.

    As was often the case when his mind wandered, he started thinking about Emily. He’d thought about looking her up when they’d gotten here, but there’s no way she’d still be around – not eighty years later. And he figured she was furious with him for stranding her in a time that wasn’t her own. He hoped she’d found a way to be happy.

    Ah, now he was getting maudlin. More of this, and he’d start crying, and maybe give Marcus the umbrella out of self-pity.

    457 words
    @drmagoo

  4. Pingback: #WIPFlash week 2 « Project Gemini

  5. Jyslin had no idea how long she’d been dragging the naked, lifeless Lupine through the forest, but the snow, which had begun as nothing more than a smattering of pretty, fat flakes, fell in the form of a white torrent of icy needles, stinging any exposed flesh and obliterating her view of anything more than a few feet ahead. She was soaked to the skin, her fingertips were numb, and strands of wet hair stuck to her frozen cheeks. Exhaustion weighted her limbs.

    With one hand shielding her eyes from the blinding precipitation, she searched the surrounding trees for Angus’ blue tipped wings, wind burned ears anxious for the sound of his call. She caught sight of him, relief blooming in her chest.

    The owl dropped from a low-lying branch to the ground at the mouth of the cave.

    Thana be praised. Almost there.

    Jyslin wrapped frozen fingers around the hood of her cloak and heaved the unconscious male the final few yards to safety. She pulled him over to the pile of pine needles she’d used for a sleeping pallet the night before, and with minimal grunt work, managed to get him properly settled on it.

    Kneeling at his side, she completed a quick check of his bandages to ensure they were still intact and the bleeding hasn’t worsened. The chest bandage showed splotches of red, and would need to be changed soon, but the one tied to his thigh looked to be in fair shape.

    Her gaze traced the line his strong, stubbled jaw, over wide cheekbones, and up to a fringe of dusky lashes. He was a vision of peace. No evidence of the violence he’d oozed when in wolf form remained. A shiver rattled down her spine, reminding her of the danger they were both still in.

    If she didn’t get a fire going, and get herself dry, it would be a rough night, and the shelter she shared with the Lupine would also serve as their tomb. She had enough wood left over from her stay to get a fire going, but it wouldn’t be enough to last until dawn.

    Jyslin hung her wet cloak from a rock protrusion on the cave wall to dry and squatted by the fire pit. She flexed and bent her tingling fingers, trying to work life back into them, blew into her cupped hands.

    After making a small pile of twigs and pine needles, she slid the pack from her shoulders and removed the tinder and flint. Aiming at a tuft of dried grass and needles at the center of her steeple of sticks, she struck the tinder, throwing tiny orange sparks. A flame caught.

    Hopeful, she blow softly on it. Too much and it would go out. Her bark of delight echoed through the chamber when the tinder caught. She added a sprinkle of dried needles to the pile. Her gaze shifted to Angus. “We need food.” She thumbed over her shoulder at the Lupine. “Meat, preferably.”

    499 #WIPwords
    @bexbrennan
    Prompt #1 and Prompt #2

  6. Mo set the head aside on the workbench, turned towards me. The eyes were open but dark, the carapace shiny enough to be recently built but scored with enough light scratches to reveal plenty of use. One major abrasion on the forehead, presumably from when it bounced off of whatever it had hit when it was cut off. Dismembering a metal-skinned ‘bot chassis was not the sort of thing that happened casually. Vlad had obviously had a rough night of it.

    “Of course. He was your main suite agent?” Mo turned his attention back to Erzebet and left me to my preliminary diagnostics. Lucy crawled across the ceiling and dangled from her power cable in front of me, spreading five legs to provide two light sources and three scanning modules. She clicked softly to ask what I’d named the new file, and I tapped it out in hex against her carapace, disguised as moving her out of my line of sight. No sense informing or interrupting the humans, after all.

    “He came with the suite here, yes. I had to… leave my previous companion device behind.” It wasn’t uncommon for visitors or new arrivals to be assigned, given, or told to buy a new ‘bot when they got to Nwark Orbital, since payload still mattered. Anybody who could afford to bring their toys up the gravity well had a lot more credits and pull than the sort of people who used the Light’s services. Some folks split the difference, either by transmitting their companion’s data up to the station’s receptor relays for download into the new chassis, or by pulling the cores and just bringing those along for installation.

    Core transfer was a lot of what paid our rent, especially when a new wave of arrivals hit the station or a new line of ‘bot chassis went on the market and were fabbed up. Straightforward, honest, and intricate work. Moixa and I both hated it, but Lucy wasn’t up to the job. Maintenance, management, and heavy lifting, she was our girl. She couldn’t be trusted with the environmental controls, or we’d always be working in the dark to the strains of Bach played backwards.

    #364 (new and revised)
    @etcet
    Prompt 1 officially, 4 implied

  7. I’m twenty-two years old, wear a size twelve, and am a single mom.

    These things don’t make me the most popular girl on campus.

    I live in family housing on the college campus. It’s not much, but it’s cheap, has a washer and dryer, and makes is a little easier for me to juggle going to school full time and having a two-year old daughter.

    Her name is Karrie, and she’s the smartest, funniest, and sweetest person I’ve ever met. I never imagined I’d be pregnant at nineteen, let alone raising a kid by myself during the years I was supposed to be having the time of my life. But, I guess life doesn’t always go according to plan.

    At least that’s been my experience so far.

    When I’d went away to school, I’d been your typical first-time-away-from-home, irresponsible and crazy, party girl. I had a blast my first year. Didn’t go to many classes, and partied way too much, you’d think that was when I got knocked up.

    Well, you’d be wrong.

    My sophomore year I straightened up. After a series of long lectures from my parents, and the arrival of my final report card for my freshman year, I realized that I was making a lot of mistakes. I buckled down and started actually going to my classes. I stopped partying every night, and only went out with my friends on the weekends.

    Things were going great, then one night I met this hot guy at a frat party and we hooked up.

    That was all.

    No great love story, no budding relationship.

    Just a one-night stand.

    When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared and devastated. I worried about what I’d tell my parents, and what it would mean for my future. I went to the frat house, during a winter storm, and told the guy that he was going to be a father.

    He was obviously recovering from a rough night of partying and said I was mistaken. He had no intention of being a father to anyone.

    I had expected disbelief, and possibly anger, but I’d never expected that. He said no matter what my decision, he didn’t want to be a part of the babies’ life. Told me not to even put him on the birth certificate.

    He was a total ass.

    I eventually told my parents, and they were surprisingly supportive. My mom took me to all of my doctor appointments and helped me get on the waiting list for family housing. By the time Karrie was born, I had our small home in order and ready for her arrival.

    I thought I was ready and knew what to expect.

    I was wrong.

    The past two years have been the most challenging years of my life. I’ve learned a lot, and am a better mother and person because of it. But I’m tired… and lonely.

    485 words
    @bethanylopez2
    Prompts 1 & 2

  8. Anne gathers her books and stalks out, her perfectly curved hips wiggling in a way any boy with eyes would notice.

    Even with the most important event of my life hanging between me and Drew, I’m suddenly horribly aware of the way my own hips looked like a pre-pubescent boys, of the way my body is all slight lines, like I’m a charcoal drawing someone didn’t press down hard enough on.

    Drew says, “Libby?”

    “Yeah?” My voice sounds soft and shaky.

    He’s silent for a moment and his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows before saying, “You look like a story I wrote once.”

    I feel my lips curve in an unaccustomed smile. Drew smiles back. It’s the first time I’ve seen the expression on his face. It changes him–lights him up from the inside out.

    I sit down next to him before picking up some books and stacking them in front of us. We’re sequestered now–the rest of the library far away. I can smell him–the faint scent of pencil shavings and new books and whole worlds. I wonder if I smell the same. I ask, “Can I see now?”

    Drew’s eyes twinkle. “I never tried this with anyone. Maybe we should hold hands.”

    My heart leaps as I take his hand. His touch is light, like a bird—all trembling and new and alive. He says, “I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. I can do it, if you want. Show you…I mean.”

    Even now, he’s mincing words, still uncertain enough to not risk spelling it out. I close my eyes and plunge into the truth. “Since you said I can pick, I’ll write the story. Do you want to know where we’re going or do you want it to be a surprise?”

    He doesn’t answer and I’m suddenly convinced I misunderstood everything. With my eyes shut, I wait for him to either ask what I’m babbling about or just leave. When neither thing happens, I force the unbearable weight of my eyelids up. The relief in his face washes over me like cool water on a hot summer day.

    He hands me his pencil. “Surprise me.”

    This magic I can do has been like a drug—an addiction that’s given me my highest highs and lowest lows, a question of sanity that’s weighed on my soul for as long as I can remember.

    With Drew’s hand in mine, it becomes a gift.

    I bend over the paper and notice how similarly we write, the caution we take with every letter, so nothing happens when we don’t want it to. I let myself go and, as the words begin floating off the page, close my eyes.

    When I open them, we’re on a long dirt road I recognize. The first hints of spring are just leaking into the air, which smells bright and fresher than anything from our world. I smile at Drew. “Have you ever been to Camelot?”

    word count: 496
    prompt used: Camelot
    email: tamaradwalsh (at) yahoo (dot) com

  9. Thousands of arrows fell from the sky, striking armor and shield like a springtime hailstorm. Buried beneath the sounds of clicks and clacks, arrows sunk into the exposed flesh of those too slow to raise their shields to block the storm of arrows.

    From the top floor of the tower, Jak watched in horror as the king’s army drowned the rebels in a flood of arrows. From all directions the scores of archers pulled arrow after arrow from their quivers and let them loose into the sky. In the open field, the rebels had nowhere to go. They could only bunker down and wait for the storm to pass.

    Jak’s grip tightened around the jewel encrusted hilt of the red sword. As more blood seeped into the ground below, the color on the sword seemed to darken.

    “Let’s get out of here,” Rena yelled to him as she pulled the last of her own arrows from the bodies of the guards. “You got the sword. We need to leave now before those soldiers storm this tower.”

    Jak started for the stairs. “I can’t leave them all to die.”

    Rena chased after him pulling on his arm to slow him down. “You can’t be serious. This was part of the deal. I promised you the sword. What happens afterward is none of your business anymore.”

    Jak shook her off and stamped down the steps. “The deal is off. You said they would be arrested, not slaughtered. This wasn’t all part of the plan.”

    “You can’t do this, Jak.” He heard the sound of an arrow sliding against the wooden frame of her bow. The wood groaned as she drew the string back. “I’m warning you.” Jak stopped in his tracks and turned.

    “Rena…” The sword pulsed in his hand, illuminating the darkness with its red glow. “Don’t. Please. I am begging you.”

    Jak took a step back and Rena cried out. The bowstring twanged and the arrow cut through the air towards him.

    329 words
    @HLPauff
    Prompts 3 & 4

  10. purplequeennl on said:

    They were out at dinner and talking about those days back then and the lads they had known; what they were up to know and who had slept with who back then. It was when Sue was talking about her ‘romps’ as she referred to them – and she had a lot of them – and she started giggling about one particular one.

    “It was so big I didn’t know what to do with it! I told him ‘It’s the size of a bottle of bud!’ and he said, ‘You suck on plenty of them, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with this then!’ I laughed, and said ‘Steve, so do you, but I wasn’t aware that you was your thing – does Wayne know about this? You ought to warn him before your next work trip!’ and we both had a good laugh.”

    The conversation stopped dead as the girls all held their breath and looked at Lizzy. Lizzy thought someone had just slapped her; it was how she’d felt when she’d heard that last sentence.

    “You mean Steve, as in my Steve?”

    Sue’s face flushed despite the heavy foundation, and she couldn’t hide the sudden horror of realisation in her eyes.

    “No, no, no, this was another Steve, Steve Johnson, you know, the one I always talk about.” She said tripping over the words as they flooded out.

    “What? And he worked with a Wayne too, did he?”

    “Yeah, yeah. Down at Griggsey’s – remember?”

    Lizzy shook her head slowly, and looked down at her plate, pushing it away from her.

    “Sue, don’t lie to me you’re no good at it, and you’d be better coming clean.”

    Sue flushed again and everyone waited in silence for her to confess.

    “It’s was before you were around, me and him used to muck about. There was nothing ever in it; I would just go back with him from time to time.”
    “So it was more than just a one off then?”

    “Yeah, about 5 or 6 times in the summer – just before he met you.”

    Lizzy looked at her, no longer sure if she could trust anything Sue was saying. Sue could see this and said, “Lizzy, I’m telling you the truth. I know I should’ve mentioned it before, but there was never really a right time, and plus it was no longer relevant once we became good friends.”

    “Once we became good friends? That was all part of the plan, wasn’t it? Befriend her and she won’t suspect a thing. For all I know you could be sleeping with him behind my back now! I know someone is!”

    “Don’t be ridiculous, of course I’m not! Lizzy you are one of my best friends, and I still love with my husband, despite all his faults! I ain’t got time to be Steve’s bit on the side!”

    474 Words
    @PurpleQueenNL
    Prompt 3

  11. #WIPflash is now closed. Good luck!

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