Word Count: 300 max
How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.
Deadline: Midnight tonight, PDT!
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon.
Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories, they're for inspiration (and sometimes our amusement)).
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
‘Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill.’
I couldn’t believe it. After I’d thrown everything I had at him, the jerk was still laughing. And alive.
The black steed with fiery eyes snorted impatiently.
‘It’s alright, Crom, the lassie’s a fighter.’ He sounded almost happy about it.
The horrifying, idiotic grin splitting his decapitated head on the saddle-brow sent chills through my body. Something cold and thick dripped from my arm. Blood. Some of the basin’s contents must’ve spilled on me when he threw it at Ian. My throat clenched. I didn’t dare look if he was still alive.
‘You still don’t know who I am, do you?’ the headless creature asked.
I didn’t answer. Ian was the one who knew everything about everything. I was still a novice.
He used the human spine as a whip, making me fall backward on the ground to stay out of its reach.
He laughed evilly. ‘I am a Dullahan. The herald of Death. You cannot stop me, lassie. He will be mine.’
My fingers clawed into the ground. I refused to look at Ian. Fear threatened to incapacitate me.
Then I felt it. Warmth. Something was calling to me from the ground. I had no idea what it was, but I used all of my last strength to pull it forth.
Light filled the dark grove. Gold flecks surrounded the black robed Dullahan, his phosphorescent head and the black steed. The creature cried out in pain. It took all of my magic to keep the gold around them; pushing it into them.
‘Argh!’ he cried and mounted his horse.
They thundered away over the deserted country lanes.
Ian groaned when I touched his shoulder. We’re alive. We survived the call of the Dullahan.
Love the human spine whip!ReplyDelete
Thank you :-)Delete
To Die ForReplyDelete
Don't feel bad. I'm pretty hard to kill. Of course being able to read minds gives me an edge. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. All I have to do is look into their eyes and I know what's coming. Boom. I kill them before they even finish the thought.
One time I made a mistake. This guy sitting in a bar was about to kill me, right after he finished his Guinness went his train of thought and of course I couldn't blame him for wanting to finish his Guinness. That's the part I feel really bad about, killing him before he killed me before he finished his Guinness. Then he's laying there in a blooming pool of blood accented by the arch spurting from his head and I distinctly hear him think Who the hell is this guy that looks just like my cousin Mike? No, it's not a strange thought to think right before you die. People think the dumbest things. It's never profound like you see on TV. It's things like sorry or did I turn off the stove? or really, God? I hear Jesus almost every day. And here's a weird one: the details are different but they're dying and seeing a huge pearl and strapped to it scantily-clad women. I don't get it.
You could say I play an offensive game. Everybody wants to kill me. If I spend enough time reading a mind, it eventually wants to kill me. So I kill them as just fast as I can, just so they don't kill me first. I'm not heartless; I felt bad about that guy's Guinness. But then I had to taste it, just to see what the fuss was about. Yep, he was right about Guiness. It's to die for.
“Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty. Hard to kill pretty, isn’t it?” And then, that galling grin, teeth twinkling like a sky full of stars on a clear northern night.
I wasn’t feeling bad. Once you start feeling a little weepy about killing, why, it kind of takes the fun out of it.
I am, at heart, a simple man. And an even simpler killer. Killing is a very basic act. I mean they don’t have sayings like ‘kill or be killed’ without a good reason, right?
Killing is about survival.
Life’s all about survival. You eat to feed your body or you die. You evacuate the toxins in your body or you die. And you remove the obstacles to your survival or you die.
You kill to survive.
But this guy. He wasn’t even that pretty. Oh, he had one of those fancy-pants curved noses, the type they call aquiline. Rounded! Striking! Looking down at all the little people.
It was the kind of nose that is always in your face.
And what is it with a word like aquiline?
I use Aqua Velva. But not because I’m pretty.
I splash it on to honour my father, to remember him, that sharp smell my old man had before he hit the road.
I’ve stopped asking why.
It’s simpler that way.
Back to work.
I never ask why these people have to die. When I was younger, I did. Sometimes I was told. Most often I was not. I was more curious then. Professionally curious, you know. Not anymore.
Simpler that way.
But this guy. Aquiline nose! And that fresh, spring smell. Like my old man.
“You’re gonna let me go, right?” he asks. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Uh uh, pretty boy.”
Death's never pretty, is it?
300 reasons, none of which I care about
“Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill.”
The voice was inside her head, but it was the wizard’s voice nonetheless. The frog stared at her with the unmistakable prideful glare which the wizard had given her every day she had been working there. He had thought that she was just some illiterate girl who came to dust his books.
In the corner of the book-filled room the dozing cat’s ears twitched.
“You won’t kill me by just turning me into something else. I could still turn you into a fly in this form and kill you.”
“A fly of all things? Would that be a predator killing a prey or cannibalism?” she asked. She had to stall him somehow while she thought what she could do next.
“It would be a higher species killing something of no importance. And that is what you are, after all, no one of importance.”
“You are not a great wizard if you cannot look beyond a simple cloaking spell, brother,” she said. She had heard somewhere that the wizard had had a brother.
“But, but I killed you! I buried you and burned your bones just last summer!”
“You only thought they were mine!” she said without blinking.
“Then I shall kill you today!” the wizard shouted.
The cat pounced, claws extended. The girl watched in horror as the cat bit into the frog, killing it. The wizard’s death screams echoed in her mind.
The cat prodded the frog and, when it did not respond, he lost interest and padded back to his favourite sleeping place. Before the cat curled up, he looked at the girl and she swore he meant it to mean ‘Well he did kick me sometimes’.
“And good riddance,” she said.
Cannibalism. LOL. I like the ending - what a cat :-)Delete
Don't feel bad, I'm pretty hard to kill. You thought it would be easy when you called and told me my white dress was pretty, and I should go upstairs and check on the kids.
It was all going to plan, even when I had seen the back door was lying open and the power was cut, the scratching noise made me take the steps two at a time. You thought all you had to do was lunge from a closet to see my panicked face; hear my delicious scream, and I'd run to the kids' room slamming doors on you as I went, your steady, inevitable step terrorising me. Then, when you were tired of teasing us with your heavy breathing, you'd slide your thick hands round my neck and choke pure life out of my beautiful, adolescent body.
A final silent flourish, a note on the wall in gothic font to be written into urban legend.
But hey, don't feel bad, you weren't to know, I could kick the shit out of you.
Hope (299 words)ReplyDelete
By Sara Codair
"Don't feel bad. I'm pretty hard to kill," said GiYu. His purple appendages were already reattached and his torso was knitting itself back together.
“It’s pretty,” said the human female as she watched feathery tendons flicker back and forth. “Like like 3-D printing, only without the extruder. It’s...it’s magical.”
“Regeneration is the art of my kind.” GiYu beamed down at the missing section of his torso. It was wide and purple, but shaped like a an earth-tree half eaten by one of their furry beavers.
“Does it hurt? My body heals slowly; I have no experience to compare it to.”
GiYu shook his head. “It is pleasant, almost like mating. Some of my kind get addicted to it and harm themselves just to experience the pleasures of regeneration.”
“So you’re not mad?”
“Quite the opposite.” GiYu wrapped a fuzzy, purple tentacle around the human female’s back. “I’ve met many humans, but none of them were born during The Melt. No possessed your unique abilities.”
“My own people think I’m a monster.” The human’s creamy cheeks glowed red. “I burned my family’s home when I was seven. They wanted to kill me, but the government took me, experimented on me, deemed me unfit for service and sold me to you.”
GiYu pulled her closer. “We have plenty of use for a firestarter here on SyLur. Fire is the only thing that keeps the mold at bay, and it really isn’t a problem if you accidentally set me and my kin on fire. We rather enjoy it, and we hope you will enjoy our planet.”
“But I’m a slave,” said the human.
“For now,” said GiYu. “Dedication and hard may yet earn you your freedom.”
GiYu was pleased to see a flare of hope in the girl’s eyes.
I liked this. Not getting into trouble for setting fires... now that's great :-)Delete
“Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill.”
The familiarity of the boyish face that stared back stopped Sebastian’s heart. He turned away, eyes flickering to the illusory temptations of the fruit machine. His pension investment, he would joke to those that would listen, on rare days when his pockets were laden down with gold coloured shrapnel. Coins that were consumed voraciously as lemons and oranges spun tantalising patterns of promise.
“Did you hear me?”
Sebastian turned back to his tormentor. A burning ache filled his heart that he quickly extinguished with the last dredges from his glass. Yet when he looked back so did those eyes, filled with resignation.
“I still love you y’know.”
Suddenly Seb found himself laughing uncontrollably, a braying crescendo that halted the ritualistic conversations that passed for friendships within the pub. Fat tears rolled down over tired skin, spittle flecking his beard.
Malky Milkshake, as pale and tall as a sundae, loomed over. His face bearing the standard calm-down-or-feck-off stare.
“All alright Malky, sorry about that. Get us another pint, and a chaser would ye?”
“Lazy bastard, get off yer arse and go to the bar like the rest.”
Malky snatched the pint glass from the table, dragging a dirt stained cloth across the table.
Taking the past with him.
T. O. DavisReplyDelete
If Pat Benatar Gets to Wish then Love is a Battlefield
"Don't feel bad. I'm pretty hard to kill."
“That’s what your mom said last night,” Darren said, and tossed his last grenade over the wall. He wasn’t sure what the connection between the two was, the hard-to-kill aspect and Robert’s mom, but it was the first thing that popped in his head; Joe, his older brother, would be proud, but Joe was not here anymore.
You’re going to have to handle things around here, Darren, Joe had said, and then he punched Darren in the arm. But then it happened.
Darren switched to his Gauss Rifle and ducked around the parapet of what used to be the CVS on Westchester. Most of the businesses on that strip, a Big Lots!, Family Dollar, and the 99 cent Theater, were desiccated shells. Darren had thought they would make the perfect compound, especially since the Food Lion was part of the Westchester Strip, and it happened to be on a hill.
Darren charged the rifle, his sweaty palms gripped the weapon tight against his body like it was the last woman on Earth; the rumors were not true, all the women had just moved except for Melody. She ran a farm and training camp in Lexington. He coughed, stood up, and pointed the rifle into the darkness around the perimeter’s edge. Nothing. He ducked back down, and slow crawled towards the roof access. An RPG whistled overhead; the blast reverberating through the concrete barrier. Dust and the smell of cordite washed over Darren, but he kept crawling.
“Give up now,” Robert shouted.
Darren rose and fired. Like a comet, the white-hot, ferromagnetic shell streamed into the darkness; there was only a wet smack and a gurgle. Darren sat back against the wall, and waited for the quiet to close in on him.