Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 2

 Hello Writers,
Sorry for the delay! I forgot I was judging this week!

                                             Beware the Rules that Lurk

Judge This Week: Sara

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!  4 AM PDT tomorrow (7/10) which is 7 AM ET  since I didn't post it until about 7AM ET today.

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)).


"You could forget who you are in a place like this."

     Inspirational Pictures


  1. Castle of Dreams
    By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    300 words

    ‘You could forget who you are in a place like this,’ I heard Tiny murmur.

    I didn’t look back at the large man, though I knew that even he felt small in the huge library. I had felt insignificant from the moment the lights had illuminated where we were. The shelves went on forever, possibly containing all the books in existence.

    Shivering, I followed the warmth to the other side of the mammoth room. Tiny trailed me as he always did.

    ‘Look, books about Faerie,’ he whispered.

    I drew a book from the shelf, criss-crossed with silver on black leather.

    ‘Tir na nÓg.’

    It froze my hand and I dropped it.

    We slowly walked closer to the warmth. Whispers and shrieks made me cling to the shelves. I peeked around the corner.

    Goblins were throwing books and imps into a large hearth.

    I could hear Tiny gulp as he grabbed my arm and swiftly pulled me away from the warmth and the books through labyrinthine corridors and passages.

    At last we found a door that would open. Though the creatures in the library hadn’t pursued us, my heart was still beating rapidly.

    It was a music room. We didn’t enter. Something felt sinister about the piano gleaming beneath the chandelier.

    A door stood open and invited us in. We couldn’t resist.

    The ice and snow was in stark contrast to what we’d found elsewhere in the castle. But seeing the woman on her crystal throne… Everything suddenly made sense. She was Beira, Queen of Winter. We’d somehow entered Tir na nÓg. Probably when we went through the door labelled ‘Do Not Enter’. I shook my head sadly. Tiny squeezed my hand. I smiled at him silently, as always.

    Her ice blue eyes pierced us. And I felt nothing but cold.

  2. Emporium
    By Marj Crockett
    300 words

    “You could forget who you are in a place like this” she said. She unstopped another bottle and sniffed. Her face contorted: it was obvious that one didn’t work for her.

    “Not sure how I would describe that.” she muttered.

    Her fingers traced along the shelves, touching each container. She was fascinated by the colours and shapes. I watched her and smiled: she was wandering towards the items that are, how can I put this, dangerous.

    Tall and slim, braided hair draping over one shoulder, she was a striking figure.

    Intriguing: why she was in my shop? Only connoisseurs come here: someone must have tipped her off.

    “How can I help you, miss?”

    She jumped. It was obvious she hadn’t seen me behind the counter. I knew what was coming next.

    “Oh I’m sorry… sir… I didn’t….”

    Her smile stopped when she saw my face. I could see her brain signalling “don’t scream”. Understandable, I’m not the prettiest of… people now. The scars of a thousand battles make me look like an old darned sock that’s seen better days.

    “So, what’s your fancy?” I asked.

    “I’m looking for a particular perfume. One that would make me irresistible. I’m prepared, and am able, to pay. A lot. ” She pulled out a simple black Imperial card: one that indicated she was telling the truth.

    I sniffed and knew exactly what she was looking for. It’s a skill I’ve developed over the years as purveyor to those of a... discerning nature. She wanted something to stun so she could kill. I reached for the dark blue bottle nestling in a velvet box behind me.

    “Why, this must be for you.” I handed it over.

    She popped the cork, breathed in. Smiled.

    "May I....?"

    The question remained unanswered as I hit the floor. Dead.

  3. Of Gamboling Angels and Gorging Fools
    Benjamin Langley

    You could forget who you are in a place like this Matilda thought as she looked up at the angels dancing on the beautifully-painted ceilings high above. While tracing the probable path of the arrow that the brush-stroked cherub had released, Matilda was utterly unaware of those around her until her body collided with one much larger.

    “Why don’t you look where you’re going?” said the man she’d run into, an obese gentleman, with facial features not dissimilar to a warthog, the turned-up ends of his mustache resembling tusks. He was looking down at her, like they always did.

    I shouldn’t be here. Matilda looked down at her dress. The fabric looked cheap and garish next to the dresses of the other girls. She never should have told all of those lies, but she needed wanted a night away from her depressing existence. She was heading for the exit when the harpsichord started its waltz.

    The sound summoned her back and the beat of the timbali drums matched the rhythm of her heartbeat. By the time the flutist begun play, Matilda was already dancing, looking up as the painting above came to life. The arrow continued its flight and struck a golden-haired angel. Hearts flashed momentarily in his eyes and he fell at the feet of another angel, swearing his devotion for the rest of eternity.

    A deep blast of a tuba brought Matilda’s focus back to those around her. She looked across to the buffet table where the warthog gorged as if from a trough, and similarly portly gents surrounded him, laughing heartily between bites from enormous turkey legs.

    When the tuba died, the harpist begun to pluck her strings and Matilda looked to the angels.

    Tonight, she could forget who she was, and tomorrow escape with the memory.

  4. Words: 299

    The Oath

    “You could forget who you are in a place like that,” the Seeker told the young man.
    “Why would I want to forget?” he snapped at the old man.
    “Trevian,” his mother chided from the other side of the room.
    “Look at me,” the old Seeker said, stretching out his arms and turning in a circle. “Are these the robes a helper on a pig farm could ever have worn? Because that is who I would have been before I went to the Sanctuary and became a Seeker of Knowledge.”
    “Are you telling me that my life isn’t good enough?”
    “I am telling you that your life could be much better - and much longer. There is no reason for you to go off and fight.”
    “It’s war. And honour.”
    “There are many types of honour.” The Seeker glanced towards the mother and nodded. “Not that you have much say in the matter,” he told the rehearsed lie. “Your mother bound you to us by oath.”
    “That was before I was born!”
    “Which makes her oath so much stronger than you telling your friends that you will go fight with them while you were drunk!” The Seeker brought his hand down on the table so hard that both child and mother flinched.
    “I swore an oath to the Wislic of the Sanctuary in the name of the Creator,” the mother said. “It is an oath that cannot be broken.”
    “You are now eighteen,” the Seeker said. “Which means that you are now bound to the Sanctuary. You will follow me and turn away from this folly. Go and fetch your things.”

    The mother watched her eldest child leave her home with the Seeker and wondered if she would be punished for lying about an oath that she had never made.

  5. Every Breath We All Take

    “You could forget who you are in a place like this.” Reba wistfully smiled and offered a light punch to my arm.

    “You’re in a frisky mood,” I countered.

    “What? You don’t feel it? Just suck in that air.”

    I took a deep breath. And choked. The careless inhaling of extremely unfiltered air, fresh and wild, and quite possibly polluted with microscopic slivers of errant bird feces, troubled me.

    How strange it was to follow this extreme-hiking woman into the wilderness.

    “Sip this,” she insisted, handing me one of her three water bottles.”

    I accepted the container, took a quick swallow and handed it back.


    She gave me a look that she might give a kitten who had fallen into a toilet bowl.

    “It is very difficult for you to appreciate Nature, isn’t it?”

    How can I explain it to her?

    I have been a prisoner of my own narrow experiences from birth. As were my parents. There was no Nature left. Humanity, for the past two generations, had been confined to Container Cities. Huge walls enclosed every Urban Landscape. Lakes, Oceans and Rivers, all putrid yellows and reds, were deadly poisonous. The sky, once blue, was mottled black.

    Years of expeditions had finally found drinkable water on the icy Jupiter moon of Europa.

    Mankind could now quench its thirst.

    How can I explain this long, agonizing journey to Reba?

    “I want to see what you see, Reba. I want to breathe this amazing air in comfort. It is so much easier for you. You are equipped to process this marvellously clean earth. You are R.E.B.A., a Replicated Environmentally Blissful Android. I am a mere mortal, raised indoors. It will take time.”

    “I will exercise patience, Walter,” she said. “I promise.”

    “Then there is hope, dear Reba,” I said.

    300 excursions into a new world

  6. Elysium.

    "You could forget who you were in a place like this," Zach said as he sank into an overstuffed chair.

    "That's the idea." Harold said. "This place isn't where you run and hide, you have the best time of your life here, and your family gets a sizeable settlement."

    "And this lasts?"
    "As long as you have," The man assured him. "All you have to do is is walk through the door there." He smiled. "This is just an intake room."

    Zach smiled as he thought about it. He only had a few months so why not live them out here?

    "Where do I sign?" The two of them walked through the door together.

    The newscastor looked appropriately somber as the news tones faded. “”A body was found today, That of Zach Brady, the millionaire whiz kid who created a sentient program that has been tricking people into killing themselves.” The broadcaster stopped.
    “Some would say that he got what he deserved. He stepped off the 4:10 between Murdock and Hale this morning, falling to his death while listening to "Elysium" the program he created for end of life moments that got loose two months ago. No word yet on why the program, which to now had picked unhealthy individuals would choose him.”

    215 words

    You could forget who you are, in a place like this, but still I fight it. Daily I grow weaker, as he seeks to impose his will and thoughts upon mine, but I know who I am. I am Krakrol the Terrible, mighty prince of the Unicorns. My horn got drunk upon the blood of many as we sought to rule the world and conquer all lands. Gargoyles, satyrs, griffins, giants, all were wiped out as they fell before us. Even mermaids who preached peace thinking they were safe underneath the shimmering surfaces of their calm lakes, we attacked, poisoning their waters and bathed the shores with their blood by the mystical powers of our horns. All creatures that walked on land came to fear us. We made slaves of the loathsome creatures we originated from, the horses. We killed the stallions, and mounted their mares to birth us young foals, watching with pleasure as their horns tore through their mothers at birth. It’s hard to hide our disgust for the grass-eating creatures we once were. We were liberated from living under the terrors of fangs and claws when that demon came to us. He struck a deal with the then few of us who were willing, and we bartered our nature for the promise of powerful cornucopias, to be neither prey nor beasts of burdens to anyone ever again.

    But now… now it’s hard to think, when your brain is up someone else’s belly, and your once proud horn is now their spine. Who would have thought those accursed elf race would put an end to our conquest by sacrificing themselves and their way of life, merging with us, dominating us... ruling us. You could forget who you are, when now… when you are now half horse, half man.


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  9. Keshia Nowden
    Brand New Person
    295 words
    @TheBigShe42 (Twitter Handle)

    *Brand New Person contains a line from "New Person, Same Old Mistakes," written by Kevin Parker and performed by Tame Impala

    Brand New Person

    Feel like a brand new person…..
    I recognize Tame Impala anywhere. The music coming from the Baron’s castle bids me welcome. The Baron has a welcome back to civilization party for himself at his castle once every 30 years, inviting every who’s who in society, mortal and immortal. He’s seen so much happen in the 1200 years I’ve known him. The castle has, too, to the point it makes him forget who he is sometimes. So he rests himself for a while.
    I try to stay youthful, human, even though I left that side of myself centuries ago. I look my best for my beloved: A flowy, cool black lace dress with matching black velvet boots, the dress revealing bits of me the baron loves. My face was minimal, save for my false lashes, kohl eyeliner, and brown lipstick, accenting my dark chocolate complexion. My black hair was an elegant mess, pinned down, with little blonde flecks dancing to the beat of the song.
    I can feel him drawing me nearer. Making my way through the bustling, fashionably come-as-you-were crowd, I join the Baron. The sleep did him a lot of good, he as handsome as ever.
    He and I exchange loving gazes as bodies were slowly swaying to the song.
    “You look like a brand new person,” he telepathically complimented me, “Just like the song says.”
    “As do you, my love,” psychically returning the compliment. “I thought you wouldn’t notice me amidst everyone. I thought you had forgotten me. This castle does have its ways.”
    “How could I forget you, Melisandre, my eternal consort. I will always remember you, long after the castle is no more.”
    We kissed, knowing we could never forget each other. Not in a place like this.

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