Category Archives: short story

Beasts of Burden

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Entry to this week’s Friday Fictioneers! Image courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, our lovely host.

At the start of winter, the four gathered around the ring. Born into servitude, beasts-of-burden they were. If they did their work, a haystack would magically appear in the ring the following day.

Life was good until one Monday, the four woke-up to an empty feed. Bewildered, they redoubled their efforts in vain as the ring would stayed empty all week. By next Monday, three were in denial, believing things will improve if they stuck to their old ways. The forth left to find green pastures in the white landscape. By winter’s end, only one survived, no longer a beast-of-burden.

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The Leap!

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Entry to this week’s Sunday Flash Fiction! Had some fun with this one 😉

“And there I was, munching on some long-greens by old Benny’s fence when I saw her. Iggy Longhorn… the most beautiful lass ever to set hoof on these grassy plains. Jerry who saw the whole thing can attest to that.”

“Amen.”

“Anyways. Convention dictates that I greet her proper, usually at some gathering by the waterhole near family. Those channels were unavailable given the circumstances.”

“What happened next Jack?”

“Well after initial shock wore off, I realized that she’d been running. Behind her, Looney’s lionesses, about six of them, had been in hot-pursuit, taunting and trying to nip at her tail.”

“Unbelievable! To think that Looney’s crew had the gall to harass Miss Longhorn, especially on our lands!”

“Well not exactly. Iggy had accidentally wandered into the open territories and tried to find a way back. She was on the OTHER side of old Benny’s fence when I first saw her.”

“Gasp… Is Miss Longhorn ok? Did she get hurt? What did you do?”

“Instincts took over and I backed up maybe twenty or thirty feet.”

“Did you run and get help?”

“Even better. I charged and LEPT as far and high as I could right on-over old Benny’s fence. Must have scared the Savannah out of those cats cause they high-tailed it right-on out of there. Then I escorted Iggy back to her family and we’ve been together since!”

Miss Longhorn who had been eavesdropping the whole time silently crept up from behind.

In a booming voice, she announced “funny you should mention THIS story Jack!” before biting his tail, causing him to leap five-feet up into the air. “Looks like you could of made it back WITHOUT my help!”

Fortune’s Bench

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Entry to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers! Image courtesy of Ady.

“Fortune rewards those who wait.
Beware those who tempt fate.”

“Why would someone nail a plaque to the underside of a park bench?” Jimmy wondered after reading the inscription. He had spotted the message after discovering a shiny silver dollar half-mixed with the wood-chips near his feet. “Must be my lucky day then” he chuckled while pocketing the coin and taking his leave.

The next day, Jimmy returned to the park bench and discovered a hundred-dollar bill half-concealed near the same vicinity from yesterday. Suspicious of a trap, he bid his time idling for a full ten minutes whilst checking his surroundings. When the coast seemed clear, he quickly scooped up the auspicious find and left without incident.

On the third day, Jimmy once again returned to park bench. To his disbelief, a giant gold nugget lay half-excavated in the same place as before; a blind man could practically see it from afar. More suspicious than ever now, he took up residence near some playground equipment and watched. Other people who passed the bench appeared oblivious. Those who sat down and left did not suddenly die. Jimmy waited and waited till the sun finally set before making his move. He took to his knees to begin digging but as soon as his finger tickled the nugget, the ground beneath him opened up and within a second swallowed him full! A single silver dollar then spat out from the ground followed by a deep rumble that sounded like a “burp”.

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The River Crossing

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Entry to this week’s Sunday Photo Fictioner!

Timmy planted his feet firmly in the sand. A warm wind swept through his feathers, coaxing him to jump. Yet, his body remained too paralyzed to move.

“Let’s go Timmy! The water’s great!” cajoled his siblings. “There’s plenty of fish across this river!”

But despite the convincing, Timmy always had trouble taking the first steps. New places, foreign foods, and other flocks scared him. A hundred “what if” questions would be raised that needed answering before any progress could be made.

“What if alligators from the Zoo escaped and were holding-out beyond the next bend?”
“What if those snapping turtles from that one time by the Duck pond followed us here? They were on our turf!”
“What if hunters spot us in the middle of the river, all lined up in row while making the crossing? We’d be sitting ducks!”
“What if…”

The questioning continued for another hour before thoroughly satisfying Timmy. He hopped into the water and the pod swam to the opposite shore without incident.

“See that wasn’t so bad Timmy?” quipped one his sisters. “We made it across in all one piece.”

“Yes…” replied Timmy. “But what if we left something behind?”

The Copper Ring

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copper ring

An old copper ring sat in a jewelry case on display for years. Surrounded by emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, the buyers ignored it for they saw neither splendor nor significance. One day, a young boy asked the store owner why he placed the equivalent of a peasant alongside royalty? The owner responded, “The peasants are the true masters of the land for they till the soil and produce the grains we eat. Whilst the nobles all seek an entrance to royalty, they forget who they actually serve”. The young boy nodded and bought the dull looking band. A heir to the throne, he would win the support of the people as he came of age. On the day of coronation, the copper ring could still be seen on his hands, this time radiant in the eyes of an entire nation.

Perils 4.

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chess

Two magicians planned to cheat Death out of a game of chess. A timeless being who had never lost a match, Death could easily calculate any board position to its logical end. Knowing this, both magicians summoned the Grim Reaper to simultaneous games, each wagering 20 years of their morality in exchange for an additional 20 if they either won or drew. The first magician took the white pieces and the second magician took black; they intended to play the reaper’s moves against itself! Death accepted the conditions, appearing either unaware or unfazed by the magicians’ little trap, began to play…
The board position remained even for the first twenty moves and the tag-team thought they had the draw in the bag. On the 21st move, a questionable play was made and by the 25th, it was clear that White was losing. Frantic and not wanting to forfeit 20 precious years of his life, the first magician deviates from the plan and tries to salvage his position. He would lose the match in ten moves. The second magician, who thought to convert his lead into victory, continued playing for another thirty moves in dismay while Death made his inevitable comeback.

Utopia

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The Coast of Labrador

A stowaway pack of mice aboard a merchant galleon enjoys a sumptuous meal of grains and seeds amidst its transpacific voyage. Unbeknownst to them, the vessel will hit a violent maelstrom that shipwrecks the cruise; the sailors perish in the sea but the mice will survive. Upon leaving the destruction, the pack found themselves on a deserted island without natural predators. The ship’s delicious cargo littered the coast, the makings of Utopia… Almost a year after its inception, the kingdom of mice swelled to critical mass. With most of the cargo grains gone and the island vegetation almost consumed, cannibalism became a real possibility. If mice could pray, they prayed for deliverance of what they were about to do. Fate would smile on them for on the next day, the same maelstrom returned and shipwrecked another merchant galleon, this time of the exotic-animal trade.