Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wolf and Girl Stories

Three days ago, I started a flashfiction contest.  I got two entries and I wrote a story myself.  There may not be any literary prizes here, but I’m pleased with the stories, as it gives me something to share with you all today.  The winning story, imho, is the third one, but please leave a comment and vote.  I’d like to know which story you think is best.
Incidentally, I want to say, GOD DAMN WORDPRESS!!!  I worked and worked to get the formatting right on these stories, and WordPress kept putting the wrong, poorly spaced and balanced formats back.  Well, I give up.  You readers will just have to take the stories the way WordPress allows me to produce them.  GOD DAMN WORDPRESS!!!  I WANT A WYSIWYG INTERFACE!  GRRRRRRR!
–Atroll
_________________________________________________________________________________
Meet Me By the Fire
By Laurie Rose
The maidens giggled as they helped each other wash
their hair in the quiet place in the river.
The sun was shining warmly on the day, seemingly anticipating the coming
festivities as much as the maidens.
“Shareena, your hair is so beautiful, he is sure to choose you,” one of
the maidens pouted.
“I think he’ll choose her for her beautiful voice, “ another whinesd.
Shareena dipped her head into the water to rinse the herbal suds from her
flowing locks.  As she put her head up, she splashed Calaya, her best friend, and giggled uncontrollably.
“Oh, Shareena,” Calaya scolded, “you have
everything a man can want, but you are still like a child!”
Shareena laughed and then gasped as looking into
the forest she saw eyes looking back at her from behind a tree.  Shareena found a rock to lie on and be warmed
by the sun’s rays.  As she combed her fingers through her hair, she again spied the eyes in the forest looking at her.
“Surely, it must be Karlund,” she thought. Karlund was the greatest warrior in her village and the one she hoped to
be betrothed to this very evening.  Shareena removed the straps of her top, revealing much of her breast, as she spread aloe
and chamomile oil on her body to make it shine.
The eyes continued to look.  As Shareena massaged the oil  on her chest,
it became evident that the eyes watching her were causing her to be
aroused.  Shareena lay back on the rock, her breasts nearly fully exposed. Then she heard
the calling.  “Shareena, come to me.”  Shareena sat up quickly, looking
into the forest.  “Shareena………………….” The voice continued to call.  Was that
Karlund’s voice?  Shareena slipped her arms back in the strap of her top and slipped away while the other maids were
chatting and laughing.
Her limber body made its way easily as she called out
for Karlund.  “I heard your voice,
Karlund, make yourself known!  I am here
to………..” Shareena fell silent as she came face to face with a hideous
creature.  His teeth were sharp and pointy, ears facing forward, and he crouched ready to attack.  Behind the creature, a hideous female voice hissed, “You, woman, prepare to meet your final moments.  I will have Karlund as my own, and you are
the only one to stop me!”
Shareena jumped back and grabbed a large stick
just as the creature lurched forward to strike.
Shareena felt a new-found strength she’d never known before and with
both hands swung the stick hard making a loud thud on the creature’s
skull.  Shareena dropped the stick in surprise and looked to find the woman who had spoken had fled with haste.  Shareena, breathing quickly from as much fear as the physical strain of the moment, put her foot on the chest of the wounded
beast.  “I demand you state your purpose.  Why would you call to me and
attack me, creature?”
The creature,gasping, opened his mouth as though to speak, then disappeared as if he had
never been.   Shareena was bewildered as she looked around the forest.
In that moment, Karlund and his father stepped
from behind her.  Karlund’s father put his arm on his son’s shoulder as he praised his son, “You have chosen well,
son.”  Karlund smiled longingly at Shareena as he whispered, “I have found my true love.  Until tonight………….”
Shareena made her way back to the river, the other
maids staring at her dissheveled appearance.
Shareena could only smile as they maidens asked her endless
questions.  Finally, Calaya came very
close, enough to where Shareena could smell the fragrant herbs in her
hair.  “Shareena, you’ve only minutes
before we have to go to the fire for the festivities.  Do you not care?
Shareena smiled again, dipping her hair in
the water.  “Let’s  go, Calaya, let us dance, let us find our
true loves!!!”  Shareena half danced and
half skipped towards town, the other maids’ mouths wide open.  They could barely hear Shareena as she sang,
“It’s a goooood dayyyyy.”
End
________________________________________________________________________________
From a story of true love, let us move on to a story of true lust.  Read this and then let me know if I have a great future in store for me as a wrtier of romances.
–Atroll
______________________________________________________________________________________
Karma
By Ken St. Andre
Runt hated his name, and he hated his status. He
was the smallest member of his pack, and the slowest, and the weakest. Even old
Greymuzzle could beat him.
So, he left. He changed into man-form and hitchhiked down the Pacific Coast Highway
until he reached San Diego.  Couldn’t get
much further south than that.  He got a
job at a Jack-in-the-Box cooking burgers and other local delicacies.  There was plenty of raw meat for him
there–just clip off an ounce before cooking, and pop it in his mouth.  Customers never noticed if their burger was a
little light.
And . . . he got a girlfriend, a cute little
brown-haired beach bunny named named Kara.
She caught him walking into the restaurant one morning and said
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“Runt–er, I mean, Ron.  Who are you? Why do you ask?”
“Ha, ha, ha!  Runt!? It’s a good nickname for you, Ron.  I’m not tall, but you’re shorter than
me.  Still, I like the way you look.  There’s something wild about you.”
“If you only knew,” thought Runt.  He licked his lips.  “Gotta
think of something nice to say to her.”
“You’re pretty hot.  What’s your name?”
“Kara.  Kara Smith. And you are . . .”
“Ron.  Ron Wolf   Hey, Kara, I’m a cook here.  Would you like a free burger, my
treat?’
“I’d love one.  Make it rare for me, will you, Ron?”
And that was the beginning of a beautiful
friendship that got better every day.
Kara and Ron went to the movies together.  They went to the arcade together. They went
to concerts together.  They went to the
beach together.  They went to bed together.
Runt learned a lot about his Kara.  She was strong and wild, and she liked to be
on top.  Ron enjoyed his time with Kara, knowing that it would be short, because the full moon was coming.  With the full moon would come the change, and that, Runt thought, would be the end of Kara.
A werewolf dreams of the first maiden that he gets to ravish and devour.  He couldn’t help salivating every time he
thought of how he would really bite into her soon.  Grrrr and Yummm!
The day of the full moon came.  Ron got the afternoon off and took his girl
to a La Jolla beach.  They found a very remote spot way down past the nude beach and set up their blanket and umbrella.  By the time the sun went down they were alone.
“Tonight we stay and watch the moon come
up,” Ron told her.  He leaned in to
kiss her lips.  They were a bit salty
from her last swim in the ocean.
“Oh, Ron, you’re such a romantic.” Kara kissed him back, grabbed him, and rolled him on the blanket beneath her.  He lay beneath her with her bikini-wrapped breasts bobbling a few inches from his face.
He could scarcely repress a howl of glee.  The tingle in his skin told him the change
was starting.  He lifted his head to snap at her teasing tit, but she jerked backwards and he gnashed only air.
Kara  giggled.  “Down, boy!” she commanded.  Then her eyes widened.  “Ron,
what’s happening?  You’re changing!  Growing hairier, darker, more–“
Ron surged upwards and threw her off his body.  “I have a surprise for
you,” he growled.  His words were just barely human.  “You know why my
last name is Wolf?  It is because I am a wolf–a werewolf!”  He loomed over
her and let the saliva drip off his canine fangs and out of his muzzle.
Kara scooted away backwards until she could get to her feet. Runt advanced slowly, savoring each step as he
watched the terror on her face. It slowly occurred to him that she didn’t seem
as terrified as she should be.  Then he rushed her, claws outstretched to grab her rend her frail form.
Kara reached out, caught one arm by
the wrist, pulled him forward, bent to the side, and threw him to the
ground.  His head smacked into a boulder
and in the next second he found himself flat on his back with Kara stepping on
his chest.
“I think I’ll call you Rover,” she sneered. “And you should know by now, I like to be on
top!”
End
_________________________________________________________________________________
Poor Runt.  When you can’t win, you really just can’t win.  Just his luck to run into  a weregirl in his new home by the sea.
The third story takes place in Trollworld, and is by a member of Trollhalla. Come to think of it, all stories are by members of Trollhalla. Come on, rest of the world!  These contests are open to everyone.
–Atroll
____________________________________________________________________________________

Cloak

by Bernard Assaf

“Bah!” came the cry, closely followed by chair-on-floor
scraping, pewter mug crashing, and sloshing liquid sounds.  “Dragon droppings!” Nocks lamented aloud.

Those in the crowd gathered at the Blue Frog Tavern who were
close enough to Nocks’ table, turned their heads in time to see the aftermath
of the collision.  One of the servers had
tripped over a wayward sword’s scabbard, and he had spilled his tray, which had
previously held aloft several of mugs of ale.
One of the mugs had sloshed its contents in a wide arc which splattered
on the head and back of the young woman who until a few moments previous to the
crash had been enjoying her evening meal.

“Oh no, I’m so sorry!” Crumbs the server quickly replied.  He scooped up the spilled mugs and wiped up
the ale from the floor, then offered to clean her ale-doused cloak.

“No way!  That dishrag
is probably dirtier than my cloak.  I’ll
clean it myself,” Nocks fumed.  She
gulped down the last of her grog and shoved the last of the potato slices into
her mouth.  Nocks bent down and scooped
up her pack from under the table, then made her way outside.  Outside, she shook her head and the stray
splashes of ale that had landed in her hair sprinkled the front porch.  In the relative quiet of the mostly deserted
landing, she was surprised by slurping and smacking sounds.  Quickly she turned around and spied a patron
relaxing on a chair by the door.  He held
a glass to his face.  “Good grief!” she
barked.  “Men these days—no manners!” she mused silently.

At this hour, none of the reputable cleaning establishments
were open, so Nocks trudged off home.
The man without manners lowered his empty glass, shrugged, and resumed
counting the cracks on its interior.

Inside Nocks’ under-furnished room in the female wing of the
third floor of the adventurer’s guild hall, Nocks slammed and locked the door,
dumped her pack, and stripped off her cloak.
She crossed the room with its lonely bed, desk and chair to the wash
room, and dumped her cloak in the wash basin.
The tub still held a half-full mix of water and soap from her previous
bath and would now serve to clean her cloak, just as it had cleaned the grime
and sweat from her body that afternoon.  She
kicked her boots off her feet, pulled off her tunic and trousers and tossed
them into the basin as well.  That was
when she heard an unexpected gurgling sound.

“Death Goddess!” she cursed, swinging around to scan her
tiny two-room home for the source.
Making a full circle, Nocks focused on the wash basin.  The water was slowly sucking her garments
under, and the guttural gurgle became louder.
Confused, Nocks reached in, brazenly pulled out her clothes, and spied
her cloak—if it could still be called that.
A beast with matted fur the same black color as her cloak squirmed,
sputtered and clawed its way out of the wash basin, dumping itself on to the
floor. Astonished, Nocks peered into the washer, which was empty save the soapy
water.

“What?  Who?” Nocks stammered, returning her gaze to the black animal as she backed up into the
room toward where she’d left her pack and sword.  The creature was growing in size like a
soaked sponge decompressing underwater.

Nocks reached her sword, eyes still fixed on the monster,
and as she pulled the blade from its sheath the creature stood up on its
cat-like hind legs, shook itself to dry, then stared her down.  “More!” it growled, guttural and feral.  It picked up her soggy tunic with its clawed hands.

Nocks, clad only in her black and white flower print
undergarments, charged the beast with a brave roar.  It was the first time she had entered into
combat with a piece of clothing, but the actual mystery of its transformation
from cloak to creature did not surprise her, for that was the magical norm of
everyday life in the city of Khazan.

The beast surprised her with a back-pedaling retreat from her
advance.  Nocks hesitated.

“More?” it said more hesitantly, almost questioningly.  Nocks sensed no aggression, but instead fear,
in this still growing creature.  The
beast looked about, spied the lone window in the wash room, leaped to it,
banged open the wooden shutters, and jumped.

“I don’t think so!” Nocks challenged, and leaped after
it.  She knew what lay outside—the river—and
she was confident in not only her leaping ability but also her splashdown and
swimming skills.  This cloak come to life,
or whatever it was, would not escape her!

The beast, only a second in front of her, splashed down
first, and then quickly scrambled up to the opposite bank.  Like a cannonball, Nocks plunged into the
river after it, her topknot of hair whipping in the night air.  She pushed up from the rocky riverbed that
came too quickly for her comfort—she’d have bruised heels for sure in the
morning—and broke the surface.

Nocks heard the cat-like creature shout pleadingly: “More!”  It was now about her same height and
scrambling away from her, still clutching the doubly-doused tunic.  As Nocks approached with sword in front of
her, the cloak turned cat-man dropped her tunic, turned to run, but tripped
over a root and fell over the upraised stone circle surrounding a landscaping
rock which Nocks had seen the children use to play king of the hill.

This thing made no motion to threaten her, and so Nocks returned
the favor, thrusting her sword into the earth.
Nevertheless, the chase coming to a close, she jumped up on the stone,
earth and rock dais and plunged one wet foot into the beast’s midsection.  She pointed her finger accusingly at the
creature.  “What are you—and what do you want?”

“More!” it stammered, afraid.

“More?  More what?” Nocks demanded.

Exasperated and licking its lips, the creature cried out.
“Ale!”

The End

________________________________________________________________________________

There are many strange adventures told in Trollworld, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything stranger than that.

And now, esteemed readers, please comment and let the world know which story you liked the best.!

–Atroll

__________________________________________________________________________________

There will be another contest later in the week.  Think about it!  Wouldn’t you like to see your flash fiction published here at Atroll’s Flashfiction.  All you have to do is write something–preferably something fantastic–and email it to:

Atrrroll@gmail.com.

Advertisements

Every Picture Tells a Story

This isn’t fiction.  Not yet.  It’s an idea I had to inspire myself to write more flash fiction, and then I decided to open it up to anyone interested.

From time to time this site will offer a render by Greywulf (Robin Stacey) and a challenge.  Write a story in 1000 words or less based on the picture, and submit it to this site.  You can do that by emailing the story to Atrrroll@gmail.com.  That’s my account, and I use it to accept stories to be published here at Atroll’s Flashfiction.

Here are the rules.

1.  This is my site.  I get to decide what’s good enough to publish and what isn’t.

2.  The best story, in my not so humble opinion, gets $5 which I will send to the winner via paypal.  It also gets the lead position here when the story is published.

3.  Stories that I deem good/fun enough to publish, but are not the best, will get $1 from me via Paypal. 

4.  The contests are short, fast, and brutal.  I want to see a lot of flash fiction, and I want it now.  If no one else enters these contests, I’ll still write stories and publish them here.

That’s it.  That’s all the rules.  You wanna play?  Jump in and send your stories to Atrrroll@gmail.com.  Here’s the first contest art:

Hunting Parties

Hunting Parties

two tales of Trollworld by Ken St. Andre

Hungry Fairies

“Summer is almost over,” said Bluefeather.

“I like winter better,” Prickle answered.

“But winter is cold. I don’t like the cold.”

“Cold doesn’t bother me, and I do like the meat.  Don’t you?”

“Mmmhmmm.” A dreamy glaze came over the eyes of the two fairies. Prickle licked her tiny lips.

“Hey, you two! I’ve got weapons for you.” Burndog flew up with his arms full of flint knives.

“Flint! Flint again? Why is it always flint? When do we get iron or steel?”

“We can’t buy iron or steel,” he answered.  “Fairies don’t have money for men-things. And the elves don’t like those
metals.”

“The stinking elves,” snarled Prickle. “We treat them like lords. They aren’t our masters. We have no trouble with cold iron.”

“Psst!” Prickle and Burndog turned to look at Bluefeather.

“Look! Bunnies!” hissed the other fairy. “Let’s try out those knives.”

The three fairies attacked. The shrill screaming of the rabbits filled the night.

“Yum, meat!” Prickle gloated as she cut her prey open and started to eat.

Dinner is about to be served.

The End

Nobbig was making too much noise.

Frog Hunt

Four Goblins splashed through some of the shallower waters of the Great Sump.  They worked in pairs as they hunted for their supper.

Nobbig from Knor splashed through the murky water. It only came up a little past his knees, but the bottom was so soft and
muddy that his splay-toed feet kicked up mud and water with every step. He had a bamboo spear in his left hand – the perfect frog sticker. It was just a hollow cylinder of reed with one end sharpened.

“Do you have to make so much noise?” complained his partner – another goblin named Glumb. Unlike Nobbig, Glumb could glide through the swamp and never leave a trace.

“Are you worried that I’ll scare the frogs away?”

“A little bit. I’m more afraid that you’ll attract something that might want to eat us.”

“What? You didn’t tell me that we could be prey as well as predator!”

Rrribbet!  The bullfrog’s croak was surprisingly loud in the night.  Nobbig looked around apprehensively.

The Goblins stopped arguing. Their big ears swiveled on their bald green skulls. Their eyes darted from side to side,
searching the reeds and weeds and lilypads. Every ripple could be their targets.

As the water got deeper, frogs and other creatures began to appear. Fishy shapes darted between their legs and larger serpentine bodies sometimes pursued them.

As the night deepened even more of the swamp creatures came out. Glumb struck first – his arm darting out and slashing at a
big bullfrog, but he missed.

“Har!” snorted Nobbig. “And you’re the great swamp hunter.”

“I’d like to see you do any better!” snarled Glumb.

Nobbig looked left but speared right and there he had it – a big yellow-bellied amphibian transfixed on his spear. The frog’s
blood trickled down its bulging stomach.

“How’s that?” he gloated.

“Put it in your bag. We need more than one frog tofeed the clan.”

Nobbig got the second frog also. Then, Glumb got three in a row. They were doing well before the whirring of gigantic wings
interrupted them.

“Get down!” hissed Glumb. The two Goblins hunched down until only their eyes and nostrils were above the surface. The shadow of a monstrous dragonfly fell across the water, and a huge insect buzzed above them.
Luckily, it did not stay long. Two little goblins would not be enough to satisfy that bug’s appetite.

But they stayed low in the water until the whirring of its wings faded out in the distance. After nearly half an hour they
got back to an upright position.

“Let’s get out of here,” said Nobbig. “We’ve got enough.”

“I agree. I think the shore is this way.”

They started off. Nobbig didn’t splash nearly as much as he had at the beginning of the hunt.

They had just emerged from the water when the biggest frog Nobbig had ever seen appeared out of nowhere.  There was a mighty thump as it landed, and then the huge amphibian had its tongue around Glumb. and popped him right into its big, gaping maw.

Goblins are ferociously brave.  Nobbig and the other two members of the hunting party attacked.  Even Glumb struggled inside the frog’s stomach–he wasn’t chewed up on the way down.

The Goblins fought with determination, cunning, and all the ferocity they could summon.  And not a single one returned to camp to tell the tale.

The End

Making Believe

Making Believe

©  J. Freels, 2008

     Jink the Scribner saw a sight in his young and youthful days that forever after tinted the world he saw around him.  He knew what he saw, for he had been raised responsibly by a matr and Tad who knew the worth and the value of the most classic of classic stories of bygone –but unforgotten, days and times.  He had been out leaving tidbits for toadstool sprites as any youngster is wont to do, and he happened to toddle himself over the Old Fourth Avenue Bridge.  For an instant, the briefest fleeting moment of moments, he saw a bit of scaly tail slip into the swirling churning water beneath the bridge.  Not a Selkie, nor any nymph, not any other such a one, but he knew this being to be none other than a dragon.

     He waited there as if frozen in place, hoping for another glimpse of the elusive watery wonder.  Of course he was not to see another glimpse nor peek, not even sidelong glance of the creature, but he stayed there expectantly hoping for the rest of the day.  As he stared into the murky water below him he began to think thoughts on the subject of what he had seen.  He had seen people work to create carefully crafted hallucinations, for he was living in a modern city  afferall.  He felt his eyes to be sure they weren’t glassy, and finding that they were indeed not fogged in any way he was certain that his sight had provided him with a true and accurate sight.

     When it finally was too dark to see that thing he was so busily not seeing, he reluctantly went home.  He was seized by an idea, shaken violently by it , and his course was set.  He began to run and ran home from the bridge as fast as his inspired legs could carry him.  Soon he was pounding up the narrow stairs and bursting through the door to his attic room.  Shuffling through scrolls and tomes of scrawly text older than the very old oak out front, he began to study all he could about dragons and their kind.  All night long, burning the tallow, Jink learned and reacquainted himself with dragon habits, their lairs and cares, foods they like, and broods they visit when good manners called for it.

     Jink the Scribner took to scribbling little dragonish sketches and dragonish stories.  He began quoting dragon rhymes and looking, always looking, for another sight of a stray dragon tail slipping along after the rest of its dragonly owner.  In school his social commentaries were for dragon rights, his reports were about dragon types, he counted, multiplied, and subtracted dragon concepts.  Most importantly, Jink the Scribner believed.

     In and around town the people came to recognize Jink the Scribner as a fixture as permanently a part of the Fourth Avenue Bridge as the lampposts he came to resemble standing there for so many long hours at a time.  The years passed and Jink outgrew and grew into new clothes, mostly not far from the stylish styles styled by stylish folks, but he never outgrew his belief in dragons, especially the one he knew he had witnessed so many years ago.  He grew older still, and as happens, found himself one day to be some shade of ancient.  Looking in his looking glass he wondered when exactly he had traded his hair for his prolific collection of wrinkles.  He sighed and decided that this must have occurred about the time that he had stopped running, leaping, and climbing, and that he’d taken to walking with the shakes.  Jink had believed in politicians, and classic colas, and things we know we’re supposed to know in our hearts, but time and time again he had found the truths didn’t agree with his heart’s beliefs.  Whenever the harsh lessons of life had caught up to him he had consoled himself by going to his spot on the bridge.  There he would spend hours hoping to see another hint of clue that his belief in this one simple thing had been worth all his believing.

     It was such a day that found him, all out of breath, for he’d spent the better part of the day trekking his old man’s body to his bridge, staring at waves he was sure he’d somehow seen before, looking for a glimps he’d glimpsed once before.  Jink the Scribner began to wonder, and he began to doubt.  His breath came in heavy rasping puffs, and his heart beat, but it didn’t feel so alive anymore.  Alone on his bridge, more alone than he had ever before been, Old Jink said a few words he never before had said.  He hefted these heavy words off the bridge out into the empty air.  Speaking to no one, he said in a whisper, “I used to believe in you.”  The water rippled the way it had always rippled.  It lapped the rocks and the bridge with caresses that seemed somehow emptier that before.  Jink the Scribner coughed a hollow cough, and said in a louder voice, the sound of a breaking heart, “I used to believe in you!”  Drained and emptier than anyone was ever meant to be, not even a single tear escaped the old man’s eye to comfort him as he stood there shaking in raging bereaved loneliness.

     Finally he turned his back to the empty water.  He stood there like that, for he had nowhere he could imagine going to.  He couldn’t stand the thought of returning to his home, his shrine-museum of artifacts dedicated to what he now knew to be the empty fantasy that had driven his misspent life.  In a quiet voice like wingtips stroking water, he whispered once again, for the last time, “I believed in you.”

     A voice smooth like velvet, or the tiniest trickle down a glass pane, deep yet soft, sounded quietly behind him, “I thought you knew. I still believe in you, Jink Scribner.”

end

_________________________________________________________________________

Dragon time is not human time. A beautiful tale from Jeff Freels about the power of belief.  Would you spend your life believing in elusive dragons, or vampires, or elves?  Seems to me that it’s as good a way as any to spend a life.  Still, we mortals are weak.  The Objects of our Belief should give us a sign more than once in a lifetime, don’t you think?

–Atroll

_______________________________________________________________________

Unrepentant

 

Unrepentant

© J. Freels, 2008

     There is the taste of ashes, and of blood.  She feels pain throughout her entire body, but this is growing distant and cold.  She is aware of the ground beneath her, and of a plank jutting uncomfortably out from under her ribs.  The chapel is in ruins, and she realizes that she too has shared the same fate.

     Sounds fade in and out, there, drowned out by her dull and heavy slowing pulse, and back again.  She can hear the reveler responsible for the night’s atrocities.  He is a looter, a murderer, a defiler.  He is a criminal of the worse kind, and he is dancing gleefully in the wreckage of the humble monastery that had only bread and broth to offer him when he came looking for gold.  His wrath had been terrible, but the overturned oil lamp had done most of his work for him.  It was a kind of calling card with this one, and he had left his card behind in many places, too many places, over the years.  He had finally found his way here, simply another place to leave his mark.   He chortled and shot his gun into the air, and into anyone still moving.  He delighted in his task.  She listened to the ending of the place that had taken her in and given her a home so many years ago when her family had fallen to the same kind of grim visit.

     She saw then, above her in the sky great wings unfolding.  No, she thought, not wings, but a jagged rip through which a bright white light spilled.  Through this tear in the sky came a voice and it spoke to her. “It is your time” it said with the sound of a hundred voices of different pitches all speaking in unison, and with a kind of calm.

     She found she could speak, though she was aware that her lips were past moving.  Somehow she asked, “Are you an angel?”

     There was a pulsing ripple in the tear in the sky, and the multi-voice answered, “It is your time and you are to come now.”

     She felt now as if she was lighter, and sitting up,.  She looked down and saw her body, bent and broken, bleeding into the ashes.  She turned back to the rip above, “Am I going to Heaven?”

     The jagged tear seemed to bulge out a bit now, coming closer.  “You have been pure and good and true in the face of all adversity.  You are granted the reward this brings.  Come now.”

     She stood then, in her body-out-of-body, “I have studied the word of God, and the scriptures since I came to live here.  Promise me, promise me that I am going to Heaven now.”

     The light was close now, the voice of many replied, “Your place is certain, we welcome you.  You have your promise.”

     She nodded, and then turned from the light to face the defiler who was looting the wreckage for pretty trinkets.  She watched as he came to her broken body and began to adjust the gunbelt he wore.  She reached out and drew out the long-barreled revolver from its holster. He watched in drunken amazement as it seemed to float away on its own.  Then his glazed eyes showed a hint of understanding as he made out the traces of she who held the pistol, now pointed directly at his face.  It was as if she had been traced in moonlight, and she was illuminated from behind by the brightest light he had ever seen.

     He saw her lips move, this specter with his gun, and he heard her say, “An eye for an eye, amigo.” And the sound of a hundred voices shouted out as one, “No!” and the bright light was replaced by the brightness from the end of the barrel before him.

End

__________________________________________________________________

In my mind this story is as perfect as they come.  I do love a story where the wicked get what’s coming to them, and where the protagonist gets to strike back for the wrongs they have suffered.

Jeff Freels is a young man who has a hard life.  His diabetes is so severe that he has to undergo dialysis several times a month to stay alive.  He is 99% blind–with only a little sight left in one eye.  He is married to a lovely woman who is even sicker than he is, but he takes care of her. He has to use a jeweler’s glass to see anything. Despite these handicaps he is a fine artist, a fine writer, and a damn good game designer.  When I met him a  couple of years ago, he was also cheerful, outgoing, and the life of the game convention. His latest effort is Bean, the D2 roleplaying game.  You can learn more about Jeff and his work at http://JFreels.com.

_______________________________________________________________________

Brilliance as Dawn Approaches

 
 
Brilliance as Dawn Approaches
     by Laurie Rose
 
 
As the night vanishes with the placing of the last dew drop, Fetrina settles in on a tree branch to watch the sun rise.  She breathes in a heavy, awe-struck gasp as the most brilliant sunrise decorates the sky.  First just oranges, but then purples and dark yellows and reds join the pallette.
  
Fetrina lies on the branch, her back against the trunk of the tree.  As she puts her arms behind her head, she glances up briefly in  “sun-rise-satisfaction” to see a most peculiar sight.  A cloth in the branch above her is moving and making sounds.  Alarmed, Fetrina flies above, but not too close.  A fairy cannot be too careful, you know.
 
What lies in that bundle strikes awe in Fetrina’s heart.  It is a human baby, with deep hazel eyes and blonde curls.  Nearby is a stork with a broken wing–it is near death.  The baby is beginning to cry.  With all of the calmeness she can muster, Fetrina flies beside the baby’s face, stroking her cheek as she says she will return in a moment.
 
It takes some persuasion, but four squirrel friends return with Fetrina to help get the baby down.  The stork has passed.  Fetrina takes a few leaves to cover the stork, thanking the stork for protecting this baby.  The squirrels bring the baby to Fetrina’s home where Fetrina is now debating with the Fairy Queen.  Reluctantly, the Queen allows the baby to be reared by Fetrina.  Perhaps it will give Fetrina some focus.  After all, Fairies are called to serve and protect where they can.
 
Alone again, Fetrina and the squirrels vow to bring this baby up to be the most beautiful, caring and gentle human possible.  Her name, she must have a name.  The baby coos as the last star gives way to the full sun.  Naaaaaaaame…..ahhh……..Her name is Dawn-keeper of the morning light!  There is much work to do. 
 
End
______________________________________________________________________________________
The story isn’t very trollish, but it is a lovely fantasy.  I liked it, so I printed it.
–Atroll

Potterstar Galactica–the Exciting Conclusion

Before you read today’s exciting adventure, you might want to read the first half of the tale, written by Eisley Jacobs on a challenge and published here: http://eisleyjacobs.com/novels/potterstar-galactica/.  The dynamic graphic that foreshadows our tale of intergalactic desperation and high magic was photoshopped together by Eisley Jacobs, and I’m very pleased to be able to re-use it for this tale, which came about because after I read her effort, I told her I thought the story actually started at the Poof, and she told me to go for it.  After you’ve read part one, don’t forget to come back here and read part 2.
*****
(Slight apologies are necessary here.  My section of story at about 1400 words is actually a little long for flash fiction, imho, but I’ve seen some definitions that let flash go up to 3000 words.  At any rate, it’s short enough that you’ll be through it in two or three minutes maximum.  Comments are always welcome.–Ken)
*****

Warlocks and a Witch in a galaxy far far away

 

Potterstar Galactica–the Exciting Conclusion

     by Ken St. Andre

Poof!

 Harry. Hermione, and Ron appeared aboard the Command Bridge of the Battlestar Galactica. As usual, Commander Adama and his officers were in crisis mode ‑ a tight throng of high-ranking nabobs clustered around Adama and his son Apollo.

There were so many people on the bridge that they were lucky they didn’t intersect with any of them when they arrived. That would have been messy. Or maybe not lucky… maybe the magic took care of that. As it was, Ron bumped a moving man and sent him sprawling.

“Wow,” said Harry. “This is like something from Star Trek! Look at all the uniforms and instrument panels!”

“More like Star Wars, you mean,” Ron corrected him. “This must be the bridge of the Death Star!”

They both goggled around the room as if they had never been in a control center before. Perhaps they hadn’t. It wasn’t much like Dumbledore’s office.

“Fan boys!” hissed Hermione. She elbowed Harry; Ron had prudently kept his distance from her. “We didn’t come to sight see.”

Alarms went off. Deafening Klaxons filled the air ‑ a noise almost loud enough to be painful. “INTRUDERS ON THE BRIDGE!” blared a computer voice. It repeated that message every five seconds.

The security officers stationed near the several entry doors on the edges of the room. Some of them were drawing pistols.

“Wait!” cried Harry, putting both his hands up in the air above his head.

Hermione simply shook her wand above her head and called out “Attlestarbay Eoplepay Eezfray!”

All the Battlestar Galactica people stopped moving. Even the Klaxon seemed to slow down.

“Wait a minute! That wasn’t Latin!” Ron protested.

“Was too!” Hermione snapped. “Pig Latin! Anyway, it’s intention, and focused willpower that makes the magic work – not stupid words.”

“We would be the laughing stocks of Hogwarts if we cast our spells in Pig Latin!”

“I kind of like the idea,” said Harry.

Hermione flashed him a quick smile. Then she was back to business. “What do we do next, Harry?”

“We should talk to the leader.”

Ron had started to walk around. “That’s probably this guy. All the flunkies are gathered around him.”

“Haul him out of there, Ron. Get ready to unfreeze him, Hermione.”

Ron manhandled Adama over to where Harry and Hermione were standing.

“Freezeunay, Adama-san!”

Ron gave her a dirty look.

Adama blinked and found himself looking at a purple lightning mark on the forehead of a young man with glasses. That actually reassured him a bit. There was something vaguely military about that lightning mark. Only a troop commander of some sort would wear it. Adama continued his analysis. Only three of them ‑ one female. Obviously a commando team of some sort. No obvious weapons except the tiny batons, and the leader had his stuck into his belt.

“Hermione, make sure we can understand him and vice-versa.”

“Anslatetray Anguageslay!”

Adama spoke slowly and deliberately. “Why have you come to my ship, and what have you done to my people?”

“We received an emergency distress call and we came to help.”

“I stopped them all,” said Hermione. “There’s no time for the confusion, and someone might have gotten hurt.”

Adama rubbed his chin and glared at them. “We sent no distress signal. There is no one left in this galaxy to receive it.”

“We are not from this galaxy. At least I don’t think so. We are not Cytrons or-”

“Cylons,” interrupted Adama. “I guess that proves it. If you were Cylons you’d know your own name.”

“-enemies,” said Harry. “I think you are facing a grave emergency. What is it?”

“There is a Cylon battle fleet of over ten thousand ships converging on us ‑ only about two hours away. We can’t fight them. We have only about one hundred ships and most of them are shuttles and traders.”

“Then run away,” said Harry.

“We can’t run away. Even if we broke through their line somewhere, we’d take terrible losses, and their warcraft are faster than our civilian ships. They would catch us again in no time.”

“You could surrender,” offered Hermione.

“This is a war to the death,” Adama explained. “They would just kill us all. That would be the end of human life in the galaxy.”

“That leaves trickery,” said Harry. “I have the glimmerings of a plan.”

“Glimmerings?” asked Adama. “What’s a glimmering?” The word obviously didn’t translate.

“Never mind,” said Harry. “It’s a possible plan.” He then changed the subject. “If we release your people, do you think you could control them, and keep them from harming us?”

“Yes, if we could make it clear that you’re no threat.”

Harry sank to his knees before Adama. Ron caught the idea, and followed suit. Hermione shook her head as if to say, “I’m not kneeling.”

“Herm, it’s the only way. Pretend he’s King Arthur, and he’s knighting us.”

“Cool,” breathed Ron. “Alright,” grumbled Hermione. “First I’ll release them.”

“Freezeunay inay entay econdssay.”

The next thing Apollo saw was his father and commander standing with his hands on a stranger’s shoulders and smiling. Three invaders knelt before Adama looking a bit anxious.

“Shut off those alarms!” barked Adama. The Klaxon clicked off. “Computer, silence! These are friends. Please introduce yourself friends, and stand up.”

Harry stood up. “My name is Harry Potter. I am known as the boy who lived, and I hope to help you do the same.”

Hermione stepped forward. “My name is Hermione Granger. I’m the best witch in England.” She stepped back.

Ron stepped up. “My name is Ron Weasley. I’m their friend, and a good wizard in my own right.”

Adama took over. “These young people have come a long way to help us. We will listen to them and give them a chance. We can’t fight, and we can’t run. Let’s give them a chance.”

“I’m willing,” said Apollo.

He looked at the room, and other people started nodding. They were so hard-pressed, and so desperate that they were willing to try anything – even help from wizards who appeared out of nowhere.

Harry took the stage. “We have to trick these Cylons. Can they actually see this fleet?”

“Not yet,” said Adama, “but they can track our radio transmissions.”

“Then we need to change the transmissions to sound like Cylon transmissions.”

Adama turned to another officer. “Can we do that?”

“Yes. We can imitate Cylon speech, at least for a short time.”

“Good,” said Harry. “Start changing the transmissions as soon as you can. At the same time make some transmissions that talk about the emergency escape method.”

“What emergency escape method?”

“THE SECRET EMERGENCY ESCAPE METHOD!” shouted Harry.

The communications officer staggered backwards. Then he gathered a few of his officers and started planning the radio transmissions.

“Now, Commander Adama, we have a little time to teach you some magic,” said Harry.

“Me do magic?” asked Adama.

“You’ve been doing magic for years,” said Ron. “If you hadn’t you’d all be dead by now.”

The Commander smiled.

————————————————————

When the Cylon fleet arrived they found a small fleet of Cylon warships waiting for them.

Working together, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Adama created an illusion that covered the whole fleet. When the Cylons called them, someone who looked just like a Cylon commander explained how they saw the human fleet disappear through what looked like a hole in space. The idea was something that Ron (the sci-fi fan in the group) had suggested.

If a robot could look disappointed, the Cylon commander was heartbroken. The two fleets moved apart. The disguised Colonial fleet promised to keep looking for themselves. In a few hours they were safely away.

“We can’t thank you enough for the magic you worked for us,” Adama told Harry.

“We were happy to help and that it worked!” Harry assured him. “And if you ever get to Earth, look us up.””Earth!” cried Adama. “Earth? That’s the very planet we’re looking for. How can we find it?”But Hermione had already started the return teleport.”Ackbay ootay Ogwartshay!” she cried, and they were gone.

Back in school the three friends high-fived each other. “To think,” said Ron, “we just fooled 10,000 Cylon ships and saved 50,000 people! We rule!”

“Yeah,” laughed Harry. “Now if only beating Oldemortvay was as easy!”

The End

Two Elves Redux

Hi!  Ken St. Andre talking to you for a moment, before I put the story down.  If you keep reading this blog, you’re going to notice that an awful lot of my stories are set in Trollworld which is, of course, my private playground within the Tunnels and Trolls game universe.  I could write about other times and places, and I will, sometimes.  I have a fun piece about wizards in outer space coming up soon–maybe tomorrow if I get it finished in time.  But it makes sense for me to set a lot of  my stories in Trollword–you see, it’s my world.  I made it up for the Tunnels and Trolls game, and if I don’t write about it, who will?  Like Tolkien with Middle Earth, or Howard with the Hyborian Age, I have a million little stories to tell about the fascinating place that is Trollworld.  And one of the things I have to tell you is that Trollworld is not just a single world–it is a nexus of realities–an infinite series of worlds where adventures can go every which way.  And what better way can I show that than with this story that I call:
Two Elves Redux

     by Ken St. Andre

Two elves sat in a room with a treasure chest. Two Orks had left a few minutes ago.

“Why are we here?” asked the first elf.

“We’ve got to be somewhere,” said the second elf. “Why not be here?” He grinned.

“Don’t get metaphysical on me. I hate it when you do that.”

“But you make it so easy.”

“No, really, why are we here?”

“We’re here to guard the treasure.”

“Guard it from what?”

“Orks.”

“Ha ha! But why are we here? The treasure doesn’t need guarding. This place is a fortress. I doubt if any thieves could ever get in there.”

“They might. Delvers sometimes come in force, and they can be tricky.”

“If any delvers are powerful enough to reach this room, I’m not going to fight with them. Are you?”

“The room only has one door. We’ll have to fight to get away.”

“Then shouldn’t we be guarding it out in the hallway where we can see people coming, and run away if we need to?”

“Our orders are to sit in here and guard it.”

“Damn!”

Silence for several minutes.

The first elf plainly wasn’t satisfied. “But why are we guarding the treasure?”

“Because the Evil Wizard is paying us to guard it.”

“Do you want to piss off the Evil Wizard?”

“Um!  No.”

Two elves sat in a room guarding a treasure chest.  They were thinking maybe they had made a big mistake when they took the jobs with the Evil Wizard.

End.

The evil wizard had the elves in his power.

If you would care to read a longer story set in Trollworld, please take a look at http://delvers.wordpress.com where my most recent story is called

Hobgoblin’s Holiday in Khazan.  Khazan, in case you haven’t heard of the place, is the capital city of the Empire of the Death Goddess.  It is named after her old nemesis, the elven wizard Khazan.  It bears only a very slight resemblance to the earthly city of Khazan in Central Asia, although that is certaily where the name came from.  If you work your way back through Delver’s Tales, you will see that they are all set in Trollworld, and cover a lot of minor adventures of minor characters in that world.  I seldom write of kings, queens, and earthshaking events.  I mostly write the minor adventures of minor characters, because the ordinary people of fantasy worlds should have their stories told, too.  Stay with me, and see how the citizens of Trollworld really live–and die.

End.

The Old Elf Teacher Tries to Explain

The Old Elf Teacher Explains It All, Part 1

     by Ken St. Andre

The Old Elf settled on a comfortable hummock of moss and made the tongue cluck that meant, “Pay attention now”.  His ancientness showed in his long long nose, his long long ears, and his long long white beard.  The younger elves gathered in front of him and waited for him to speak.

“Today, younglings, we will learn about the gods.”

“But Grandfather, there are no gods, just Great Wizards.  That is what we have always been told.”

“And I ask you, what is the real difference between a Great Wizard, and a god?”  No one had an answer for that.  “These are the beings in Trollworld who have made themselves into gods.  Listen and learn!”

They waited expectantly.

“Greatest of the gods is Ohtariel, the God of the Sun (called Bhanu in Old High Elven). He brings life and warmth to the world, and frightens monsters and destroys them. In the morning, he rises to glory; in the afternoon, he sinks into defeat, and retires to an island in the west where he sleeps, recovering his strength to fight the great battle again on the following day. Those well versed in the lore of the sun associate him with Khazan-Ohtariel-Khazan, the great Elvish wizard who united the Six Good Kindreds and formed the Empire of Khazan. For centuries, Khazan reigned in his city in the Dragon’s Mouth, bringing a golden age to the land while the monster kindred hid in the wastelands. He overthrew the Ogres of Tharothar. He organized the wizards into a great guild that regulated the working of magic in the land. He defended the land from the depredation of Zweetz, the evil bird-serpent god. But in the end, he grew weak, and was defeated by Lerotra’hh, Goddess of Death and Night, and the monster kindred. Then Khazan withdrew into the hidden island in the sea where he now sleeps, leaving the land in spiritual darkness. One day he will rise again to bless the world with a new morning of hope. In the meantime, he shows his power and love in the daily light of the sun, which fights many battles with darkness and with storm, and always sets and leaves the world in shadow, yet always rises again to bring new hope to it. This is the legend of Ohtariel, also known as Khazan. ”

The setting sun symbolizes the temporary victory of the Monster Kindreds.

 

“But Grandfather, that is just a short version of the story of Khazan, a great elven wizard, but no god.  The world existed before he walked these lands.  And it still exists now that he is gone.  How can you call him a god?”

“Did it?” asked the ancient elf.  “Does it?” 

They did not understand.

–The End

______________________________________________________________________________________

Bio:  Ken St. Andre lives a life of infinite power in Trollworld as Trollgod–not so much on Earth.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Late One Night In An Empty Bar

     by Paul Ingrassia

“Johnnie Walker Blue, neat,” a deep voice said.

Joe jerked and dropped the glass he was wiping.

“Holy shit, you scared the hell outta me, man. I didn’t hear you come in…”

“Johnnie Walker Blue, neat. Please.” The short man looked in his mid-thirties, and his suit was torn and filthy.

“Let’s see the cash, little brother. That stuff’s forty bucks a shot.”

“Make it a double,” the stranger tossed a handful of damp, crumpled one-hundred-dollar bills onto the bar.

“It’s your paycheck, pal.”

The stranger downed the drink in two gulps.

“Another double, please.”

The second disappeared as quick as the first. The stranger waved his finger at Joe.

“You know, pal,” Joe poured the whiskey, “you keep slamming ’em like that, I’ll have to take your keys or cut you off.”

“I don’t have a car anymore, so keep ’em coming.”

“You okay, man?” Joe poured again.

“Can I talk to you,” the stranger had tears welling in his eyes.

“Sure, man. I’m a bartender, it’s part of the job description.”

“Listen, please… I have a confession to make.”

“You’re not gonna tell me you killed someone, are you?” Joe thought of the .45 next to the speed well.

“No, nothing like that,” he motioned for another drink. This time he sipped it. “I left my wife and kids today. I got up, went to work, and I’m never going back. They will be totally shocked.” The stranger started crying. “God, I love them so much.”

“So why don’t you just go back, man?”

“I can’t. It’s impossible.”

“Nothing is impossible,” Joe said. “Shit, between you and me, I’m a sober junkie. I was spiking it for fifteen years, every day, stealing for it, in and out of jail. I’ve been clean for two years now. If a scrub like me can kick the shit, anything is possible.”

“You don’t understand. I just can’t go back. Ever.”

“Well, buddy, if you can’t go back, then I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Look out for number one now, move on, head off to the next adventure.” Joe poured him another.

“You know something,” the stranger downed the fresh drink in one swig, “you’re absolutely right. I can’t do anything for them anymore. Mary and the kids will just have to get over it, get on with their lives. I can only worry about me now. Thanks for your help. It’s time for me to go.”

The stranger slowly faded away to nothing.

“What the fuck!”

The bar door swung open and Sheriff Franklyn walked in.

“Hey, Joe. Gimme a beer and a shot of rot-gut. There was a nasty accident up the road a bit. Poor guy was killed, thrown from his car. He was only thirty-two. God!”

Joe stared at the sheriff wide-mouthed.

“What’s eatin’ you, Joe? Come on, I need a drink. I just got back from telling some poor woman and her kids that daddy aint coming home anymore.”

Joe collapsed.

end

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Bio: Paul is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet and a fan of cinquain, prose poetry, flash fiction, RPGs, and tabletop skirmishing.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Paul also writes a great short ghost story, and we hope to see more of his work here soon.

end

She Came in through the Bathroom Window

She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

     By Dan Lambert

She came in through the bathroom window early on a
Monday morning. He was brushing his teeth at the time. He
turned to her and regarded her from head to toe. He shook
his head in disgust and went back to brushing, although he
kept an eye on her in the mirror.

The doors must have been locked.

She was dressed in the same black blouse and
tight black miniskirt she wore the night before. She still
wore the same large daisy in her hair, but it was wilted.
Her black mascara ran down the corners of her eyes, making
her look like a forlorn Panda. She stamped her foot twice,
hard, on the beige tile floor.

He turned his head quickly, then rinsed and wheeled on
her. He raised his hands to waist level to embrace her, but
she backed away, scampering into a corner like a frightened
animal.

He leaned back, balancing himself on the edge of the
sink. He tried to look as cool as possible for a man
wearing teddy bear pajamas.

She thrust her fingers down the front of her blouse,
all the while keeping her eyes focused on his. He broke their gaze and followed the hidden machinations of her
fingers. She withdrew her hand triumphantly, and slapped it
palm first onto the back of the toilet. She withdrew her
hand, revealing a key. It was emblazoned with a patriotic
red white and blue finish.

He regarded the key with a bemused grin. He knelt and
opened the cupboard under the sink. He rummaged inside, and
eventually removed a large, pink stuffed bunny holding an
orange, stuffed carrot. He held it out to her with one
hand. She glanced from the bunny to him, then yanked it
from him and held it tightly against her chest.

Why is a pink bunny locked in the bathroom?

He turned back to the mirror, plugged in his electric
razor, switched it on, and began to shave. She shuddered as
the buzzing sound permeated the room. She climbed onto the
toilet seat, reached up, and dropped the bunny out the
window. She then stepped up onto the back of the toilet,
and gave the back of his head one last angry look before
climbing out the window.

He turned on the hot water and began washing his face.

He abruptly turned off the water and gazed longingly at the
window where she had been a moment ago. He slowly drew a
heart in the vanishing steam on his bathroom mirror as a
single tear formed in the corner of his eye.

end

________________________________________________________________________________________

Dan Lambert is a college professor with modern fantasies that are both weird and sad. 

________________________________________________________________________________________

I’m still feeling my way into this flash fiction thing.  Would it be okay if I didn’t put up one of my own fictions every day?  I have a couple of things ready, but with a longer piece like Dan’s, I don’t really feel that the readers need or want more.  Comment please!  Would it be okay if we went to just one story a day, and Ken only appears every second or third day.

The other thing is that we don’t need to stay in legendary fantasy worlds all the time.  I like those places, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  🙂  So, if you can move back and forth between (places like) Middle Earth and (places like) modern Los Angeles, then you’ll be fine in Atroll’s Flashfiction.

End