#WIPflash – Week 4


Welcome to #WIPflash!

Week 4


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.).


  • 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.


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


Our Judge for Week 4:

Sometimes writer, sometimes motivating whipcracker…

Me (awww, yeah)

Challenge Time!

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

  1. “with or without you”
  2. aftermath
  3. loversofvaldaro
  4. “everlasting”
  5. magic


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


8 thoughts on “#WIPflash – Week 4

  1. Emily clutched him fiercely, pressing her face against his chest until the tears stopped, then dried. When her eyes were clear, she loosened her grip and took his hand in hers. “Well, then. If we’re going to find out why we’re here, we can’t just wait around, can we? Which way do you think we should go?”

    Her half-smile was heartbreaking, because he knew that she was trying hard to fight off the fear, and he was proud that she was willing to make that effort for him. “You know, I’m not really sure. I think we might want to ask our companion, since it went to all the trouble to bring us here.” Simon lifted the umbrella and held it out in front of him, motioning Emily to hold it with him. “Do you want to ask it what it thinks?”

    Emily felt a bit of her old whimsy coming back as she looked at the umbrella and said, with an exaggerated and forced accent, “Oh, wond’rous parasol of travel throughst time, whilst thou guide us on this, the most important day so far of our quest?” Nothing happened, and she was worried that somehow, she had insulted this most odd of inanimate objects, when suddenly, she felt the umbrella pull her to her left. She looked at Simon, her eyes wide, and they let the umbrella guide them in a circle until they were pointing southwest, overlooking a large, densely-grown forest, which stretched over hills and out past the horizon. It glowed briefly, and then tugged them forward, just enough to get the message across – it was time to get moving.

    Emily gripped Simon’s hand tightly, and they started off towards the forest. Both by Simon’s love for her and by the seemingly never-ending wonder that was the umbrella, she started to feel the truth in what Simon had said. This couldn’t be the end, not yet. Not even in a world where the rest of the human race appeared to have vanished. There was still hope.

    As they reached the edge of the forest, she paused, lifted herself up on her toes, and kissed Simon briefly on the lips. “I love you too. Now, let’s find out what’s in this forest that’s so important.”

    377 words
    Prompts 2 and 5

  2. Soolan stood at his windows gazing out over the Arena, admiring the efficiency of the world he had created. He had been Chief for 400 years and even after all that time, this view did not bore him. Not once did he regret his decision to assist in the removal of Orran, the previous Chief, even though it had meant the loss of his best friend.

    Orran had allowed Sentinels and Drones to retain all their memories and as such Parallax on occasion ground to a halt, as emotions would take over souls and prevent the successful carrying out of assignments. Parallax existed to ensure that the human race didn’t suffer needlessly when it came to death, well unnatural death anyway. Soolan never understood how Orran could allow suffering on earth, yet at Orran’s end he realised the heavy price that had been paid. Orran had kept the knowledge of all that needless human suffering buried deep, it was only when Soolan forced his hand that Orran realised his mistake and went willing to his end – ensuring Soolan’s rise to the top.

    The first order of business, once Soolan was settled in his new role, was to remove all memories of a Sentinel’s past life. Each Sentinel had arrived from earth after carrying out an act so heinous, that if they had stayed on Earth the ensuing guilt would destroy them. By coming to Parallax they were given an opportunity to right the wrong, to assist in the passing of humans into a peaceful death no matter how tragic the end was. Some Sentinels embraced this chance, yet some, most, couldn’t let go. They couldn’t deal with their previous actions and relived it over and over, slowly driving themselves mad with grief and guilt, thus ensuring that many humans did suffer needlessly at the point of death negating the work of Parallax and calling into question its very existence.

    Parallax started to run smoothly after that, no Sentinel had baggage and each and every assignment was carried out perfectly, human suffering at point of death no longer existed. Yet Soolan didn’t stop there. Sentinels struggled with the aftermath of human death. It amazed them that humans, on the whole so kind and generous, could keep coming up with such horrible ways to inflict pain and suffering on each other. If it wasn’t his job to protect them, Soolan would have just left them to it enons ago. Tired of constant counselling taking up his time, Soolan removed all emotions from within Parallax.

    Parallax for the past 350years had run smoothly, humans were unaware of their existence, Sentinels performed assignments with skill and ease, Drones dealt with the paperwork. Soolan, Chief and top of the food chain controlled it all – he was alone but such was the price he had to pay.

    Words : 474
    Prompt 2

  3. With little to do but worry over the aftermath of his decision and wait for the bowl of snow to heat enough to kill any impurities, Domnu busied himself with searching the shelter for anything he could potentially make use of during their stay. He swung open the first pair of cabinet doors under the counter and squatted down in front of the opening. Reaching into the cupboard, he produced a dusty bottle of clear liquid. Hydran.

    As he set it on the table behind him, he flashed a glance in Jyslin’s direction. “I’ll be making use if this treasure with our without you, my darling.” The strong Therysian liquor would make an excellent antiseptic for her wounds, and if he could convince her to drink some, would also serve to dull her pain.

    Contemplating whether or not he could manage to drizzle some of it down her throat in her current state, Domnu returned to foraging. He moved to the second pair of doors and pulled them wide. His grunt echoed through the cabin when it found it empty. “Dirty ogre’s balls!” He whipped the doors closed with a bit more force than intended. A quick search of the final set of lower doors yielded more of the same. Swallowing another emphatic curse, Domnu pushed to a stand and started on the upper cabinets.

    By the time he finished his search, he’d added some actual bandages, a sewing kit, and a jar of dried beef to his booty pile. Things were looking up.

    He returned to Jyslin’s side, his spirits taking a quick nosedive when he reached her. While the Etherian people were known for their pale complexions, the ashen appearance of her delicate face stuttered his heartbeat. He tested her body temperature, gasping when his palm made contact with her skin.

    She was cold to the touch, despite the warmth of the fire crackling in the little woodstove.

    Worry ate at his features as his mind grasped for ideas. He needed to heat her up. Fast.

    Resolute, Domnu climbed between the furs with Jyslin, and careful of her injuries, drew her into his embrace. His legs entwined with hers as he grasped icy fingers, pulling her hands to his lips. He blew hot breath onto her frozen digits as he willed his body heat into hers. Hang in there.

    The image of their bodies still snuggled together, but rotted to bones being found by wayward hunters decades in the future flashed in his mind, sending a shiver down his spine. Domnu pushed the thought away. Not on my watch.

    He let out a sardonic laugh. As if Kasper or his father would allow him to exist outside their reach long enough for either he or Jyslin to even begin to decay. Sound logic, but reasoning out options for why nobody would discover their dead bodies did little to bolster Domnu’s confidence.

    A quiet groan from the chilled body nestled in his arms hijacked his attention.

    497 Words
    Prompts: 1, 2 and 3

  4. Whenever Lizzy saw her, she still thought about what they must have looked like together in bed back then. She imagined his hands all over her, and her eager for him. She remembered how Sue talked in great detail about the sex she’d, and wondered what she would’ve said about Steve in bed.

    After Lizzy had found out they had slept together she couldn’t bring herself to speak to Sue anymore. And what had made it worse was that when they got back from holiday, and the lads had heard about the fight she had had with Sue, they’d all verified it. They’d all known about Sue and Steve, it had been general knowledge, so how come she hadn’t known?

    And Steve had been unremorseful about it, simply stating that that they were only seeing each other then, and they hadn’t even slept together yet, as though that made it alright. In fact he had been quite blunt with her about it and said, “You didn’t want to go to bed with me Lizzy, and you know what I was like then, if another woman made a play for me while I was out and steaming, I couldn’t say no. And Sue was someone I’d been with a few times, so it was no great shakes.”

    No great shakes? She had been devastated by the knowledge. She had spent evenings after that just watching him, while he watched the TV, remembering how life had been when they were first together; how in love they had been, totally consumed with each other, but yet all that time she had been naïve not knowing that he had slept with one of her best friends behind her back even right back at the beginning. If that was the case, how many others had there been since?

    Thinking of their beginning always brought her back to what he had said one evening when they were first living together. It had been one of their ‘stay-at-home date nights’, where they took it in turns to be do something romantic for each other at home. He’d made her a special meal, and even set the table with candles. After they’d eaten, he’d reached over and taken her hand across the table, and said, “Lizzy, my love for you will never end, its everlasting. I never thought it was possible to feel this way about another.”

    But that had been another lie, hadn’t it? And as she listened to Sue’s voice up there on the stand in the courtroom, the final image came to her, the image of how she had dealt with his lies; the knife in his back. And yet for so many years he had been the one twisting the knife in hers.

    459 Words
    Prompt 3

  5. Love is “everlasting” they said, I believed too.
    Falling in love was easy but getting it back was never.

    It was on my seventh try. I love you was said and heard as well or so I thought.
    Happy days weeks and months followed.
    Then there was that one day when it started to fade, never realized till it was invisible to naked eye.

    Why doesn’t the heart sing why don’t those eyes glitter anymore.
    The “magic” of love was still strong. Belief was there, faith shaken but not broken yet.

    I needed some answers like everyone does, some take silence for an answer but I wasn’t ready for that yet.

    I opened the door and looked outside, air was fresh and sun was high.
    Walking across never felt that good.

    I am leaving a lot behind and I do realize, but I want to save what is left , what is left of me at least.

    Prompts 4 and 5
    151 words

  6. I stretched my hands up and waved the wand dramatically like The Mighty Steffan had demonstrated in the video. The flab dangling beneath my shoulders waved too, like soft white wings fluttering in the spotlight.

    “Abracadabra!” My voice sounded pretty impressive, I thought, since I’d used the same tone as the one for “Eat your broccoli!” and “You are NOT going to marry that reprobate.”

    Nothing happened. The narrow black hat echoed with an everlasting, empty darkness. I was pretty sure at this point a rabbit was supposed to poke his fluffy head out and look around innocently, like he’d just woken from a nap. I don’t know. Maybe he actually was still napping. Maybe you were supposed to stick a carrot in there to entice him out, only of course you would hide the carrot very delicately in your fingers so your audience remains unsuspecting.

    Gingerly I picked up the hat. It hung heavily in my hands—the rabbit was clearly still in there, lolling around the bottom like Princess Eugenie—but refusing to budge. Also, perhaps, like Princess Eugenie. I shook the hat a little.

    “Oh, little bunny! Abracadabra, little bunny!”

    Still nothing. I set the hat down and shut off the tape recorder. I’d had Holst’s “The Planets” blasting, since it was the most exciting music I owned, lots of booming drums just as kids today like best.

    “I’d prefer to say I’m going to do this feat with or without you,” I said, bending over the opening of the hat, “but we both know that the appearing bunny trick requires a bunny. Would you kindly appear, please?”

    The bottom of the hat undulated a little. Maybe he was waking? Maybe he just needed to hear my voice? I pushed play on the recorder again. The movement I’d chosen was “Uranus, the Magician,” for obvious reasons. It wasn’t quite as exciting as “Mars, the Bringer of War,” but what did Mars know about rabbits?

    “Abracadabra!” I said, firmly. This was my “You are about to lose your inheritance” voice.


    I didn’t want to give up. The Mighty Steffan probably never gave up when he faced technical issues with his moody dancing girls. But The Mighty Steffan probably also could afford professional-grade rabbits, if there was such a thing, instead of the kind you borrow for an afternoon from your neighbor’s granddaughter in exchange for baking her your famous maple pecan white chocolate chip cookies.

    I couldn’t give up. Not after having given up tae kwondo last month, and rock-climbing the month before that. Not after having put my husband and two sons in the ground and finding out my daughter had registered me at Sunrise Valley.

    Reaching into the hat, I nudged aside the secret black fold. Two bunnies lay there, snuggled together. One of them glanced up at me, red eyes twinkling.

    Two bunnies?

    I giggled. Maybe the money I’d dumped into Mighty Steffan’s Magic for Seniors wasn’t such a waste after all.

    All five prompts
    498 words, WIP “The Change”

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