Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 9!

It amuses me ok?!
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Cracked Flash Fiction! This week your host, Si, will throw at you another strange prompt and you will in turn throw back a strange story! Let the games begin!


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! (~00:30 will still be accepted due to slightly late posting)

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 moon shone red. The end had come."


  1. Steve Lodge
    295 words
    The Lockjaw Desert Band

    The Moon Shone Red. The end had come. I think most of the small crowd were relieved.

    Clearly not many people remembered Cactus Pete Juniper and his group, The Lockjaw Desert Band. That night, there were no more than 20 people in The Owl In The Rafters to watch the old- timers. Some of Pete’s band looked older than a century.

    Pete’s voice, always raspy, had taken on a phlegmy edge. He introduced the band, most having been with him since the glory days of their big hits, Cactus Tacos and The Moon Shone Red.

    Mordecai on the drums had a rather attractive, leggy nurse standing near him at all times in case his medical condition worsened. Jedidiah Millns (sax), The Gunslinger (bass guitar) and “Ice Cream” Tony Law (lead guitar and spoons) all tried to stand close to the nurse too, but she playfully shooed them away.

    Pete rambled a bit about the old times and how happy they were to be back in Treasure Bay and how the audience would have been bigger but most of their fans were now dead.

    Finally, Pete started strumming and the rest of the band just kind of joined in when they remembered.

    Their playlist always started with Cactus Tacos and ended with their biggest hit The Moon Shone Red. In between there was Like A Train Off The Rails, Overhead Eagles, She’s My Lady Tonight then Border City. Trouble is, they all sounded desperately similar and after Border City, It was clear that Mordecai was asleep so the nurse took over on drums, The Gunslinger had fallen off stage proudly drunk and Pete had wandered out of the bar for a smoke.

    Maybe we’d just seen them on a bad night, but somehow, I doubt it.

  2. Marj Crockett
    The Legend of Soon
    300 words

    The moon shone red. The end had come...

    The lotus blossoms for the last time. Petals unfurl in a staccato manner, tempting him to pluck it for his one true love. He knows that if the flower ever closes, it will never reopen.

    The futility of this transience pleases him. A god should be able to do what he wishes, he thinks and bends lower towards the water.


    She waits nearby, gazing at the red moon, twisting the ferns to form a heart. A gift for him. A gift that will show her devotion. It will not long before he will appear to her again. His presence dims all life nearby. And he is hers.

    Or so she believes.


    The jealous lover watches, hiding in the bamboo. His hand curls around the dagger that will end it all. His heart burns inside him; burns with the insanity of the moment. A face twists with hate. The time is coming.



    I watch this, detached. Caring but not caring. The cheesy Chinese tale with the haunting tunes that echo in my head long after I turn the ‘vision off. Lying in the sweats of withdrawal, pain wracking my body, I know this tale inside and out.

    The fan creaks and half-heartedly stirs the air. Not long till my next shot. Nails cutting into palms, joints ache, swell and subside. Vomit fills my throat. I gag. Run to the bathroom and retch the last of crap out of my body.

    I catch sight of me in the brown spotted mirror. I don’t recognise the bedraggled mess I see. How far I have fallen.

    The ‘vision re-ignites, catches my eye.

    The light outside my hovel has changed. The moon glows red, the end is near.

    A blessed release at last.

  3. Armageddon with a Twist

    The moon shone red. The end had come.
    The glow grew dread. Our throats struck dumb.
    No songs to sing; no dreams to see;
    birds with no wings; no air to be.

    Eyes dark as night; night fouled well,
    and with no sight, a fiery hell.
    Is this the end the poets fear?
    “Oh no, my friend, it’s much more dear.

    The sky bleeds blood; the sun burns red,
    and then a flood, the always dead
    who haunt sick soil that once grew food;
    no one to toil; ghosts left to brood.

    The moon shone red. The end had come.
    A flash of dread and then the scum
    clung to the earth, a sour scourge
    and then a birth of morbid dirge,

    a grotesque sound, a horrid wail,
    a devils hound wagged old earth’s tail.
    And all was lost, that we could see,
    a holocaust of infamy.

    The past was dead; the night was frost,
    our life had fled and all was lost.
    We sunk to tears, bitter sorrow,
    and lo, we feared, no tomorrow.

    Armageddon’s Fool

    The clown shone red, his nose aflame.
    “Put fear to bed, for life’s the game.”
    He just appeared, a rakish sot
    T’was kind of weird, or maybe not.

    The poet’s ruse, his dismal thoughts,
    were overused and helped us naught.
    He much preferred to laugh at death;
    horror deferred ‘til final breath.

    “Oh my,” he versed, “the end might be
    The same or worse, we cannot see,
    but choose to laugh as the world ends
    for joy by half; to die with friends.”

    T’was it a dream; or Apocalypse
    A horrid scream; or on my lips,
    a smile sweet; a death mask fate
    and will I fleet or must I wait
    to come to grips
    with my own Apocalypse.

    294 words of doom repealed

  4. Jeff Rowlands
    A Question of Perspective
    269 Words

    The moon shone red. The end had come. With vigorous brushstrokes a beautiful scene of the beach at night had become an alien, hostile environment. A picture he had treasured now consigned to the past.

    When they had first met in early summer, her paintings had been beautiful, enchanting. He was smitten, the keen student to her experienced tutor. He felt that she was painting every touch in tribute to the two of them. She smiled at him in an easy, amused way. Adopted him eagerly.

    As summer inched forward, his confidence grew with his passion and they revelled in spending time together. Becoming more than the sum of their parts. As the season wore on, they settled into a delicious routine, established themselves as a couple. Having somebody else to consider was a wonderful novelty for him, as snug as a pair of soft slippers, smug almost.

    As the days started to shorten, he desperately tried to capture as much of the fading heat of the sun as he could. Her back always seemed to be turned towards him, her focus had now moved on to other things.

    As autumn arrived they adopted increasingly solitary routines. He walked alone along the coast for hours whilst she created dark paintings with vicious abandon. She painted over the summer idylls she had previously created, obviously finding nothing worth preserving or commemorating in them. Her new style left him cold.

    He packed and left in the dead of night, no note of explanation felt necessary. They both knew. Empty drawers and cupboards betraying no evidence that he had ever been there.

  5. Red Moon
    By Tiptim
    293 words

    The moon shone red. The end is come.

    My fingers remained poised above my keyboard as I stared at the screen of my laptop for an extra ten minutes before finally resigning myself to the fact that no further words were going to come. Heaving a sigh, I shut the lid down. Bah! Pointless! No one was going to read this piece of autobiography crap anyway, so the joke was on my writer’s block, I thought disgustedly to myself with a huff.
    I kicked back my roller chair away from the writing table by my bedroom window and stood up.

    I took my army green coloured overcoat and left my apartment to stand out on the steps leading down to the street. Fat Albert, my neighbor from down the street jogged past me, wheezing and puffing, already looking like he was going to collapse from what must have started as an energetic run. I stared silently at his colossal retreating figure with his excess pounds of flesh straining to escape his clothing in the fastest route possible. What was he running for? Didn’t he realize how pointless it was?

    I took my disapproving eyes off him and stared up into the sky at the red moon. Scientifically, I knew that the moon shone red when there was an amount of dust heavy enough to obstruct its rays on their path to the earth, making the moon look red. I really had no problem with the moon being red. My problem lay with the ships from space hovering above the earth with their giant thrusters kicking up a gale, with the deafening whining hum of their engines and their gun-like weapons pointed to the earth.

    Yeah, everything was pointless right about now.

  6. Roger Jackson
    300 words


    The moon shone red. The end had come.

    Not just the moon but the stars, darkening from glittering silver to a flickering crimson, like tiny drops of blood on black velvet. I closed my eyes and tried to will the red away, along with the low hum of frustration that always accompanied the hue in such synaesthetic episodes. When I opened my eyes again, the stars and the moon had regained their silvery gleam, but still … the frustration remained.

    Still, the end had come.

    Behind me, I heard her whisper. 'My taxi is here.'

    I turned to look at her for the last time, trying to etch as much of her face onto my heart as I could. The way her eyelashes were dark at the roots but grew lighter towards the tips. The little freckle tucked into one corner of her eye. The way her earlobes sloped gently into a soft crease in her neck (and had her fingertips reached up to touch her ear when I mentioned that? Yes, I believe they did.). I wanted to remember, to know that I'd notice them in a way that no-one else ever would.

    I nodded, with no words left, and she wheeled her suitcase past me. I closed my eyes again, just for a moment, long enough to breathe in the ghost of her favourite perfume.

    The driver got out to load her case into the trunk as she slipped smoothly into the back seat. She didn't look my way, not even as the taxi drove away.

    I sensed the moon bleeding red even before I looked up, before the frustration found its way out of my eyes in too many tears.

    I wish I'd told her. Told her that whatever my mood, her eyes had always been green.

  7. It all happened in a flash.
    Just as the ancient elders had predicted would happen on this day, at this hour.
    We stood as one people, hunters, fishermen, mothers, wives and children, staring up at the outline of the leader of our tribe, Vikron the Immortal.
    He stood on the highest podium before us, a dancing shadow cast his outline onto the stone walls as the fire pit roared with a deafening volume amidst the silence of our crowd.
    The clouds parted, like a veil being lifted and the moon, high in its cradle of black ocean, shone red for all to see.
    The end had come.
    If there was a tomorrow, it would be dire, and so forth from there. They said that the world will fall into fire and black creatures would strike from the trees. That would turn our own shadows against us as the red moonlight tainted the very ground that it lay upon.
    I couldnt believe it. I held the beliefs of my elders as strong as my fathers had, for they had never steered us wrong, however with this... I couldnt take it. It seemed too much, too much to bare or even begin to think about.

    Within moments the forest erupted, every person sprinted out amongst the trees, running as hard and fast as they could, myself included. Branches flicked by faster then i could see them, whipping and scratching at my skin. Some had stayed behind to pray with their final moments as the trees themselves began to scream, filled with the black creatures that came from the Other realm.
    All i could think was 'reach the water'. Surely there was some safety there, for the elders had only prophesised about the trees and the forests. There could be jope for those that made it to the outer reaches and, like an unspoken rumour, i appeared not be thenonly one to think like that. Above me, branches rustled and snapped as the creatures leapt down from above, filling the air with pained screams from the victims. I could feel the eyes burning onto me as i burst at incredible speed. It was chance that yook me, not skill nor agility. The wrong step and it was over, yet i ran hard and got closer and closer to the beach, thinking only of surviving that long.
    The ground changed, turning into a wet slope that dragged me around and over gnarled roots, bouncing me harder and harder as i crashed through bushes and small trees. The pain was immense, everywhere stung as though i was covered in hundreds of miniscule cuts. A howl screeched out from above and i forced myself upwards, pushing off the wet ground and onto my feet, i staggered into a run again, dropping every now and then as the pain came in waves.
    Suddenly the bishes thinned out. I could make out the sparkle of water as i crashed through the final sections of fauna, i landed with a roll, splaying out onto the cold sands. I was safe... safe enough to hold ground against whatever those creatures where, as i breathed deep, listening to the sounds of chaos from the woodland.
    It stopped all too suddenly. One final scream and the trees stopped shaking. I wondered if there where others that had survived, possibly trying to make camp somewhere along the beach when a feeling of dread crept up my spine.
    Slowly turning, i looked into the water behind me and beheld the rotten creatures that stared back. Green corpses that staggered through the water, wading in the shallows with their flesh falling off in drabs and chunks as they emerged onto the beach.
    My breath stuck in my throat.
    The moon shone red. The end had come

    1. Yeah i think i overshot 300 words a tad there... wish i had some way of keeping tab on my phone...

  8. TR
    300 words


    “The moon shone red. The end had come…”

    “Daddy,” Rachel said. She shook my arm. “Daddy...”

    I snapped the book shut.

    “Do you want me to finish the story or not?”

    She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek.

    “I love the story,” she said. “I love you. It’s just…”

    “It’s just what?”

    “I know how they end,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. She picked at Mr. Bear’s ears. Little tufts of fuzz fell onto the carpet. “I know how they all end before you even start them.”

    “Okay, I get it. We’ll get you some new books this weekend.”

    “It’s not that.”

    I kissed the top of her head and tucked her in, pulled the covers up right under her chin the way she liked it.

    “Night light?”

    She shrugged again. Laurie had said that was her new thing. I could see now why she’d been on her second glass of wine by the time I got home.


    “Yes, sweetheart?”

    “Don’t go to your other job tonight.”

    “I have to darling,” I said, smiling despite the chill creeping up my spine. “But don’t worry, mommy’s here, and I’ll see you in the morning.”

    “No you won’t,” she whispered, whistling the words out through the gap in her teeth.

    I heard her, but didn’t say anything. I left the door cracked open even though I wanted to shut it. I heard her crying but I didn’t go back. You should never be afraid of your child, but I was.

    I took Route 32 like I always do but I didn’t see the truck coming. I didn’t see the headlights. I didn’t see anything other than the moon turned red from the blood filling my eyes. The windshield spider webbed. The roof groaned and buckled below me.

  9. NC
    295 words

    In the Wake

    The moon shine reds. The end had come and gone.

    Then, Max. Astride a six-cylinder stallion that rev-roars vengeance into skies flat as slate, like the fifth horseman—horsewoman.

    We try to care, but can’t manage so much as a gag reflex over the scalps hanging off her saddlebags like grisly fringe.

    The bassist gives an obligatory "gross".

    The bassist. Funny. I haven’t seen Sofie with a bass since before the end. I pinch the front of my jacket.

    "Where have you been?" I wonder. My bandmates stir. What? Out loud? Oops. I drop my head. Max ignores me. Fronts excel at ignoring beat monkeys.

    Huh, still think of us as bandmates. All hunkered up against three tipped dumpsters, our circled wagons against the waste. Sofie, Gert, Rishi, and even Ty, who used to roadie for free booze.

    "Get up." Max bares her cheerless grin at us. "We got a gig."

    The last time, some sorry apathetic jam—when? Months slouched into years. Back when we were gonna be the orchestra on the ice-berged ship. Nobly rocking on. Back when surviving mattered, like we had something to survive into.

    Smoke curls from the corners of Max’s mouth. "Let’s go."

    Furtive shuffles. Averted eyes. It’s been too long. And hope hurts. A lot.

    "Whatever, Maxi," Ty says. "No one cares."

    Boom! Max blows a hole in his gut, big enough we can see the smeared recycle-symbol arrows through it. I envy his easy out.

    "Gross," says Sofie, this time with more oomph.

    Max’s gaze bores holes into the rest of us. "You care until I tell you to stop."

    I pinch the front of my jacket again. In the inside pocket, my sticks rub together. Guess we’re rocking this shipwreck to rust.

  10. Legacy
    Sian Brighal
    190 words

    The moon shone red. The end had come.

    The unwise faith placed in progress had snapped, Damocles’ sword falling to smite those whose greed outweighed their caution and wisdom. Against the starry backdrop, the huddled masses whimpering on land could see streaking lights swarming away from the crimson moon. A few hours before, those lights had rested upon the silver disc, hidden in the moon’s reflected glare. Now, they scrambled like disillusioned moths away from a toxic lamp.

    The news said it’d be only a matter of hours until the moon collapsed and fractured, her heart and bones mined out. The news reporter hadn’t elaborated: they all knew what would come next. Moonrocks the size of continents would hurtle towards them; the oceans would rage and boil away before the atmosphere and everything immolated.

    Those ships and her crew were merely extending the extinction of…everything in their bid to survive. They’d hover like flies over the last carcass, and when it was picked clean, they’d waste and die to hang like desiccated insects in a long-forgotten orbit. And our legacy to the universe would be a broken-hearted moon, weeping debris

  11. Escape
    Nthato Morakabi
    300 words

    Mist filtered from the scarlet orb above the Earth. Trickling towards the debris lining the putrid atmosphere that hours before had blotted the rising sun. The end had come.
    Khokhetso rushed through the surprisingly still busy streets. Dust kicked up around her as bare feet thumped across the sandy wide streets lined with tin shanty houses most of them corrugated sheets toppled over. Her own home had been one of the few that was knocked down during the panic. She felt her chest tighten from fatigue and fear; she couldn’t find her little brother. What was worse, the idiots were not rushing for the ships and instead ransacked shops even as death approached from the sky. But she couldn’t waste her time on them. Her only hope was that Samuel was not stuck under rubble somewhere in their rural town.
    Samuel was in line, head sweeping over the crowds that pressed against him. The cloying smell of sweat and dust tickled his nose and the large suitcase held with both hands in front of him was growing heavy. His sister Khokhetso should have been there with him already. He’d left a note on the table of their shanty telling KK where he was going. He wanted to get out of the decampment before he was trampled underfoot or killed by looters. The world suddenly rumbled below them, sending aunties and uncles and children and guards tumbling to the floor. In the distance beyond the gate, the first ship was launching into what little heavenly space available to escape the Earth. He watched from the floor as the dark grey object shot off into the sky with a cloud of smoke and searing heat that rolled over them. He hoped KK would be in time for the next. The last.