Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 44!

Brought to you by Si's eternal quest for enough sleep ...

The Cracked Flash Fiction Contest week 44!


Judge This Week: Si

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)).


"The sword fell out of her hand. It was over."

Inspirational Pictures


  1. Blood Dawn
    By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    217 words

    The sword fell out of her hand. It was over.

    Yuki couldn’t believe that she had failed. The katana gleamed in the dim light of dawn. Her opponent’s dark eyes stayed emotionless. She couldn’t believe that this stranger knew the ways of the sword better than she did. She was the last of her line; the last of the ancient order of samurai in the four kingdoms. Yuki removed her mask and fell to her knees. This was it. This was the end. She was ready to die an honourable death.

    ‘That was fun.’

    Yuki’s head snapped up.

    ‘Your technique is a little stiff, but with enough practise I’m sure you’ll make a great warrior. Or assassin.’ The woman grinned.

    Yuki’s heart hammered in her chest. The strange woman’s words didn’t make any sense. What kind of speech was this to give before executing the defeated?

    ‘Come on, I’m dying to try out the local cuisine.’

    Yuki still didn’t comprehend. The woman in leather knelt in front of her.

    ‘We can do with more women in the Guild of Assassins. Let’s discuss this over Saki.’

    She accepted the leather-clad woman’s hand and stood up. Her kimono rustled gently in the breeze acrid with smoke. Yuki sheathed her katana, the sun momentarily shining like blood on the blade.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Love Letters - 300 Words
      Nicolette Stephens

      The sword fell from her hand.

      “It’s over.” The gardes surrounded her with weapons. She sighed and raised her arms into the air. Surrender was better than death, after all.


      “How did you escape, grand-mère?” The child’s voice was full of anxious concern as he peered up into the faded blue eyes of his beloved old grandmother.

      “I didn’t, François. They threw me into a cell; a stinking, damp and cold cell.” The woman shivered and drew her shawl closer round her shoulders. François waited eagerly. He’d heard the story many times, but he never tired of it. “I was supposed to hang for my crimes, a thick noose around my neck.” Her spotted hands clutched at her throat.

      “But you didn’t, did you?”

      “Non, but it was the closest call I’ve ever had. Hundreds of people, mostly the nobles and marchands I had thieved from, came to see my death. I stood, on the scaffolding, and waited to die. I could see no escape.”

      François spoke in a whisper. “Were you afraid, grand-mère?”

      “Terribly, darling. But fear is not something you show your enemies. No matter how close to dying. Remember that mon petit.”


      His grandmother’s words echoed in his head as François lifted the tools of his trade and began to pick the lock guarding the greatest treasure he’d ever coveted. Thieving ran in his blood, of course, but he wasn’t sure anyone else would appreciate what he was risking life and limb for.

      He left the home of the man who had saved his grand-mère via the rooftops, his hand reaching into his pocket regularly for reassurance of his success. The king had been her devoted illicit lover, but the letters they had written to each other had never left his possession.

      Until now.

  3. Words: 300


    The sword fell out of her hand. It was over. The blade clattered on the slate floor as she stepped further back into the small healer’s cottage, her head brushing against the many bundles of dried herbs hanging from the ceiling. The villagers were close and a locked door would not bar them when they were seeking the blood of the one they believed killed the Elder Lord.
    Voices shouting for her head at last got her feet to move and she rushed to the trunk where she kept her hiding cloak. None of the villagers had Ruon blood, of that she was sure. None of the villagers would be able to see her once she donned the charm-covered cloak, not even in broad daylight.
    Fists pounded at the door as she threw the strap of her work bag over her shoulder, donned the cloak and drew the hood over her head with trembling hands. Fear burned the back of her throat.
    The small window next to the door smashed. The smell of acrid smoke filled the air along with obscenities hurled by loud voices. Still they hammered at the door. It was too late.
    She wanted to explain to them that she had not killed the man, that someone had lain a dark charm on him, one she could not break in time. But she’d heard what had happened to other Ruon thought to be practicing dark art. She would not die today.
    She shoved her bed to one side, lifted the small trapdoor in the floor and slipped into the tunnel beneath. She scurried along it for what seemed like an eternity before she reached the end of the tunnel and ran, unseen, into the woods. Behind her the hateful voices faded away. Today she would live.

    1. The more I see of the Ruon, the more I need to read the story, Carin! :)


  4. The pen is truly mightier

    The sword fell out of her hand. It was over.

    Constance knew she might have to do some revision. But the first draft was done.

    It was pointed.




    The Shelter Bay Community Facebook page had often contained nasty bits, opinions too readily expressed by those with Joe E. Brown size mouths and absolutely no filter system.

    This last nonsense from Cream Puff, who she knew was Dot Kincaid, the assertive wife of Jack Kincaid, who was some sort of corporate bigwig, was the last bloody straw.

    Constance knew that some people would embrace Dot’s comment and say, “Right on, Dot, it’s up to all of us to protect “older people” from being taken advantage of by internet scammers. Glad you’re standing up for the “vulnerable elderly.”

    Constance knew that there were a few frail elderly who were ripe for victimization. Some even had computers, although many didn’t or, if they did, used them infrequently.

    What iced Constance’s knickers, got them all knotted up, was the perception that older people just didn’t understand things, that, at some point in the debilitating unfurling of cruel time, sometime after you turned sixty, or seventy, or eighty, you became a brain-dead bundle of mushy victim, incapable of critical thought.

    'God,' thought Constance, one more time, 'It's infuriating.'

    She reviewed her draft.

    “I would like to thank Cream Puff for drawing to everyone’s attention in Shelter Bay how perfectly useless we elderly are. I personally am more naïve than I have ever been before and know, with pathetic certainty, when I remember, that is, that if I get an e-mail asking for my personal information, credit card numbers, passwords and such, I will give them up without a moment’s thought. Thank goodness the young are so much wiser than we.



    300 observations on ageism

    1. I love this story. It strikes me as so very true, and reminds me of my own grandmother who is a very tech savvy woman close to 90. :)

  5. At Last (293 Words)
    By Sara Codair

    The sword fell out of Lenora’s hand. It was over. After years of slaving away on the battlefield, the emperor was finally dead. His head lay on the ground next to her fallen sword. She expected to feel some sense of excitement or victory, but she was empty, too tired to muster the smallest smile.

    As the last of the emperor’s blood spilled out, the landscape broke down. Bodies and vultures, mud and murder, armour and arms dissolved into tiny little squares.

    Lenora looked down at herself. She still appeared solid. Crouching, she waved a calloused, gauntlet-clad hand through her enemy’s corpse. It went right through his pixelated body to a stone floor.

    She choked on her next breath. She’d grown accustomed to the stench of blood, death and sweat, but it’d been a lifetime since she smelt melting plastic mingling with coffee and beer. It was terrible and beautiful and she sucked in as much of it as she could.

    “It worked,” shouted a voice as foreign and familiar as the smell.

    The battlefield was nothing more than fading dots dirtying the floor of a room filled with screens and wires. Two men rushed towards her. The bore no armour or weapons, and wore only ripped jeans and t-shirts.

    “Nora!” shouted one of the men. “Thank God you're back. Are you alright?”

    “Ray,” she whispered as memories long buried broke through the dungeon doors. She ran towards him, all but collapsing in her lover’s arms.

    “I love you,” she said inhaling the stale beer and coffee that clung to his breath.

    “I love you too. You’re home now. You’re safe.”

    She clung to him, crying to tears of relief to finally free from the virtual hell her ex-husband had trapped her in.

    1. of course I see a type-o now...the word "to" should not be after crying.

  6. Courage (297 words)


    "The sword fell out of her hand. It was over. World War Two had ended and so had the time of Shield Maiden, where she went after that no one knows," said the presenter on the tv. Alice listened to him talk about the superheroes from the war. "And now, her sword is on display again. It's the main attraction in the museum of the MetaHuman here in London."

    Alice's winched in pain. With great care she shifted her weight a little trying not to hit any of the bruises on her side. He'd never hit her anywhere it could be easily seen. She silently moved for the door while Dan watched the news. It was time.

    Her heart almost stopped as she heard him move. "Get me a coffee," he called out.

    "Sure," she said as she inched towards the door. Her breath froze in her mouth as she took hold of the doorknob.

    Courage comes not from absence of fear, but feeling fear and still doing it, Alice had been told that Shield Maiden had said that when the bombs rained on London. She tried hard to keep telling herself that, now was the time to flee.

    The sword vibrated, a worthy champion.

    "Jeeezers Alice. The dam swords just taken off," he called out as she could feel her limbs shake. The door creaked a little and then it was blasted open.

    "What the," screamed out Dan as he ran to the door, Alice was stood in front of his beloved car. Something had pinned the front of it to the floor.

    Reaching down Alice took hold of the hilt.

    Across the road a curtain twitched, the old woman smiled. Now would be a good time for Dan to run. She'd seen what that sword could do, after all she'd dropped it.

  7. Swords And Egos Don’t Mix
    WC 213

    The sword fell out of her hand. It was over. She rolled onto her back, the oversized armor clanging and hindering her. She struggled to remove the helm and felt lightheaded.

    When her face was finally visible, audible gasps were heard as the crowd realized she was a woman.

    She wiped the sweat from her eyes and breathed deeply. It was over, she thought again.

    She had killed Ogin the Oppressor and her village was free.

    She smiled, and then laughed out loud as the reality set in. His arrogance was his downfall.

    She was sure he was about to run her through but he hesitated and faced the crowd to work them into a frenzy. In that brief moment, she gathered her strength, stood with her sword held straight out in front of her, and began to move as quickly as she could in his direction.

    It was a difficult task, considering the heavy armor she wore. It belonged to her brother and was much larger than she was.

    She stumbled, lost her balance, and could not stop charging forward. Before Ogin was able to turn around completely, she tripped and fell into him, her sword piercing the gap in his armor under his arm as they both tumbled to the ground.

    Leara Morris-Clark