Friday, October 21, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 13!

It was really exciting to have so many entries last week for our new judge! Thanks for making that happen, everybody!


Judge This Week: Mars

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 Thursday 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)).


Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch.


  1. Blue Light
    By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    145 words

    Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch, illuminating the dark forest. It was absolutely beautiful. The evening felt less lonely with the lights there.

    Looking closer, I could see that the bulbs were in fact faeries. Not like Tinkerbell, though. They were humanoid in form, but were pure white with cobalt eyes. White-blue light radiated from them. Their sharp claws and teeth gleamed in the glow.

    I watched them, smiling contently. They smiled back.

    “Perhaps the forest isn’t so scary after all,” I said to them and they made crooning noises in response.

    Laying back against the mossy base of a tree, I started to drift off to sleep.

    Pain shot through me as they tore into my flesh with their claws and teeth. Exhaustion tried to pull me under. Agony kept me immobile.

    “Sleep. Ye-ss.”

    My eyes closed and I was no more.

  2. The Mađioničar
    300 words
    Benjamin Langley

    Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch as if tiny lamps had been lit inside upon one. Inspecting them closer, I realised that they were apples, the light bursting through their thin rose-red skins, no gaps with which to insert a match, no hint of a flame inside, only pure light.

    I gazed towards the house; they said that he was a mađioničar - a magician, and that’s why his house and garden were forbidden, and why my little brother was so keen to explore.

    Seeing his hand reach out, I cried, “Stop!” Though he withdrew, the contact with the branch was sufficient to disturb the illuminated fruit’s hold on the tree.

    After its disconnection from the branch, its light faded, only for a burst of sparks to spring from the ground upon impact and then shower down.

    He reached to pick it up. He turned to look at me, read the concern in my face, and dismissed it with a wave. “Relax, Senka.”

    He knew no fear, and, while not yet ten years old, he had always been pulled towards the light.

    He picked up the apple that I would never touch for fear of bewitchment. Without hesitation he took a bite.

    The last of the luminescence from the fruit passed into his mouth, and glowed through his cheeks.

    “Come on,” he said, moving towards the house. Each of his footsteps left a print of light, that was snuffed out when I trod upon it.

    He did not believe in good, or evil, only science, but I could follow him no longer.
    As he closed upon the house, light burst from every window. How could someone light all of the lamps in an instant?

    As the door opened I heard a voice. “Welcome! We have been expecting you, Nikola.”

  3. “Enlightened”
    231 words
    Marj Crockett

    Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch. Some kind of trick he thought, reaching upwards to touch one. The light faded as his fingers caressed its skin. He felt uneasy but stretched further to touch the next one. Again, the light faded. A queasy shudder made him stop, but only for a moment.

    Something about their delicacy pulled him onwards. He wanted to touch another bulb, and another. The sick feeling within him increased but he couldn’t leave the next one alone. The pace picked up as he climbed into the branches, grabbing at the globes as fast as he could.

    Within minutes he had reached the top. A slight breeze pulled at him, disorienting him. The nausea that plucked at his gut and eyes was overwhelming now. One last bulb: there, just out of reach. He stretched once more.

    We never did find a body, but we saw that a new sapling had appeared in the forest. One that in a certain light, looked just like my brother. Strange, but I wasn’t sure I was wrong.

    Last night, under the full moon, I wandered through the trees thinking about him. Thinking about how much I missed him. I closed my eyes as my tears fell then realised that on every tree branch some glowing bulbs had appeared.

    I reached for them, knowing it was no trick of the night.

  4. Some Reflections of the Passing of the Poet, Walter Hammersley

    “Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch.
    Bulbs of dark waited in the shackled wings.
    Above, like some pending avalanche,
    A bevy of beautiful, deadly things.”

    I read the pithy poem a couple of times. Silently. Then aloud. “That’s it?” I asked.

    “Yes,” Deirdre nodded, “That’s it.”

    “It’s kind of short. I thought you said Walter was working on it for months?”

    “Yes, he…he locked himself away in his office every morning at nine and didn’t emerge until three in the afternoon. Except, you know, ablutions, snacks and such. And sometimes…just to spend a few moments with me, touches…loving moments.”

    “I was expecting…more. He knew the deadline. And really, he has written so many fine books of poetry. I never imagined he would just...freeze up…”

    Deirdre smiled. “Walter was never at a loss for words, Henry. He always seemed to know where he wanted to go with his homage to Durrell. That is how he started his day, reading that delightful poem of Larry’s…This Unimportant Morning…he told you, didn’t he, that that was where he got the book’s title from…Her Blue and Sun Washing…?”

    “We had discussed it,” I told her. “I confess,” I added, “I thought the whole project just a trifle obscure. I told him so more than once but he was adamant that Durrell was due for a resurrection…and I acknowledged that Durrell was a fascinating guy…but he didn’t produce a raft of poetry…”

    “More tea,” she offered.

    “Of course,” I said, always pleased to be in her company.

    She repaired to the kitchen.

    I walked over to the patio’s stone balustrade. Staring out at the marvelous Aegean, I considered what we had lost.

    Walter Hammersley had lost his muse.

    Deirdre has lost her lover.

    And the world has lost a poetic bulb of light.

    300 Grecian yearning moments

  5. Oh, Christmas tree

    By Cassandra Day and friends

    Bulbs of light hang from every tree branch. As I sit snuggled against the broad tree trunk, I grab the book to my left. These books are my only reprieve from reality. My dress is still torn from my frantic escape away from Them. Them. I shudder at the thought, the scars on my back still sting with any movement. The carols of children mingle with the roar of cars rushing by. The murmur of shoppers rushing to and fro ring in my ears. I smell the piny fragrance of the evergreen tree drifting through the air.

    "I think I saw her go this way!"

    I freeze. It's Them

    109 words

  6. Of heads and hearts
    by vani
    153 words
    Bulbs of light hung from every tree branch, her hands were in my hand but her heart is nowhere to find.Her skin glows bright but the darkness in her eyes keep me astound.Her tattered jeans,black hair,broken mind, parched lips, bitten nails, fidgety hands, shaky voice,hidden scars,I see myself in the reflection of her mind.It doesnt matter if she is beautiful or kind.We are not different,she is everything I hide behind.Behind preppy clothes,blond locks,fake friends,faker words and meaningless sounds.I stare into her fathomless eyes,staring back at me and I am in trance.Her hand reaches out and dips in my chest.She takes my heart out.

    I wake up with a jolt,there is no forest, just me lying on my bed.I just don't know where my heart is but I can't keep her out of my head.