#VisDare – Implore “Scream quietly, the guards will hear” #flashfiction

Every week #VisDare posts a picture challenge. This week the theme is “Implore” and the photo prompt is:

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Photo Source

Here is my story:

“Scream quietly, the guards might hear”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

Some clients wanted their victims to beg me or, more accurately, my employers for mercy. Most would implore me for more time. ‘Implore’ from the Latin ‘implorare’, root ‘plorare’ meaning ‘to cry out’, which seemed appropriate somehow. This was not one of those cases. This was one of the ‘not trying to give a message jobs’ that had to look like an accident. You know, the ones that in movies never work out.

Security had swept the museum. As expected. Then doubled back. I’d been lucky. Only then had this week’s very important man been cleared for his private viewing of the gallery. His examination of me added fifteen minutes to the two hours I’d been stood on the plinth; the body makeup was causing dehydration.

Finally he turned away to walk beneath his death by chandelier. The crash brought Security a minute later. Quicker than expected. Now to wait.

#satsuntails – scraping back skin “I know why the Mona Lisa smiles” #flashfiction

I’m quite keen on the #satsuntails flash fiction compo, which uses a phrase and an image as prompt.

This week the prompt is “scraping back skin” as the prompt, with this enigmatic image:

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Original Source

Here’s my entry, but please check it out in its original location (to read other entries) too:

“I know why the Mona Lisa smiles”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

Marie sat gratefully in the Salon Carré, staring at the small half figure perched on a five hundred year old piece of poplar. A portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, commissioned by her husband, Francesco, to celebrate her giving him a second son. They had many children, only losing one in childhood, but the artist never delivered the painting to the family, claiming “It wasn’t right.”

However, the painter never gave up on the portrait, going back in spare moments, while working on more lucrative paintings of battles. One last time he scraped away the daubed skin, a failed likeness of the haunting face, and finally caught the mouth that had evaded him for over a decade; a smile that had weighed on his mind, because his male sentiment refused to unlock its enigma.

Marie stroked her bump, felt it kick, and grinned. She knew now why the Mona Lisa smiled.

#FlashFridayFic – “We ain’t a-gonna pay no troll” #flashfiction #fridayflash

The latest Friday Fiction #40 asked for a 300 word story, based upon the following image:
image

Image Source:

Here is my story, but do check out the original location to read other entries:

“We ain’t a-gonna pay no Troll”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[300 words and one squashed moth]

“Puck, you’re a complete and utter bast…”

Puck shot a quick, harsh stare at his companion. “Oh, give it a rest, Mote. I’m sick of your skin deepish sanctimony. You’re here merely as witness for the Queen. Nothing more,” he snubbed, “And my methods are not to be questioned.”

“Robin Goodfellow? How did you get that name?” Mote asked. Puck ignored her, assuming it was rhetorical, but she pulled his arm, clearly waiting for a response.

“I’ll tell you later. Look, we’ve got a troll to smoke out, and the glamour on that girl is not going to last all day.” He set back to watching the toddler intently.

“So, your big plan is send an innocent human across, then sweep in and rescue her when the troll makes its move?” Mote asked.

“Well, I hadn’t considered the last bit, but… essentially, yes.” He shrugged off her disapproving gaze. “We were out of goats, ok! Anyway, trolls are on to that Gruff trick nowadays.”

“Queen Tee will NOT be pleased you are using mortals as bait!”

“Well, Obi wan King-oh-bee,” Puck said, smirking, “would be ‘disappointed at your lack of faith.’ ”

Mote failed to see the joke. “King Oberon must be pretty desperate, is all I can say.”

“I wish that WAS all you’d say… See! She’s across safely,” he said, too relieved to pull off his attempted confident tone, “So there’s no need to tell fairytales, Mote. What the Queen doesn’t know won’t hurt her. The bridge is ‘troll free’. We’re safe to cross.”

Puck started out after the little girl. He had a bit of mind wiping to do, and the sooner the better. Mote crossed a little behind him, apparently deep in thought. Only then did the troll appear. They were getting smarter, it seemed.

#FiveSentenceFiction – Beauty “Upon Reflection” (Rated R) #flashfiction

WARNING
This story has implied violence, and would not be suitable for younger readers.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin hosts a Five Sentence Fiction competition on her blog. This week’s theme is Beauty.

Here is my R Rated entry, which is inspired by the picture this week:

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Source

“Upon Reflection”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)

“It was Sir Thomas Overbury, in 1613, who first said ‘All the carnal beauty of my wife is but skin deep.’,” I informed her matter-of-factly, “but it’s often misquoted, implying all beauty is superficial.”

The bitch didn’t seem that impressed, as she wouldn’t meet my gaze, preferring to stare at the knife.

“You see,” I whispered, lifting her head so she had no choice but to look at the reflection in the mirror, “I need to know that you are beautiful on the inside too, worthy of my affections.”

“There’s only one way to do that,” she sighed defiantly, “You’d have to skin me…”

“That WAS my first thought,” I admitted, playing with the rather blunt blade, “But upon reflection that would get messy, so we need an alternative.”

#TicckleTuesday #6 Theme “Unretractable Error” #flashfiction

Today’s theme
for #TicckleTuesday #6 will be ‘Unretractable Error’ (courtesy of Catherine Russell)

Image Source

Instructions
Remember, your stories can be up to 60 seconds long. Go to the FaceBook Group (will need membership approved) or http://ticckle.com/ and reply to the video entitled #TicckleTuesday #6 part 1 and part 2 has further instructions.

You can either record 30s for extra credit (about 50-60 words on average) or 60s (which would be two Ticckle videos, so please label them part 1 and part 2 when you respond, and reply to part 1 with part 2 so they are linked. A minute is probably 120 words from my experience.

Alternatively, record a FaceBook video or an audio file (AudioBoo or SoundCloud are both good, as they allow you to share directly with the FB group). If the sound of your own voice horrifies you, please do push your comfort zone if you can, but I’d rather have a text entry that I will record for yoy than no entry at all.

And we have all week but extra extra credit for submitting today, Tuesday, but in honour of the theme it IS an extra long Tuesday if you think about last week’s theme, Time Zones 🙂

General Chat
Ok, #TicckleTuesday is still rather small and friendly – hence Catherine suggesting the theme this week. Something that I am always open to. – but following @TicckleTuesday and RTing #TicckleTuesday announcements and Ticckles will help grow the community. Thanks.

Last week I asked about plaudits and prizes. Feedback I got was that a badge of some kind and feedback would be good. As it is, last week was very busy for me, but any outstanding stories needing recording will get done today, and I will re-record a couple on ticckle.com using the TicckleTuesday account. I will also start giving feedback on each story, in a post here on the blog, with my picks. However, I am just me. Who am I to give feedback? So, please do your own individual feedback on the FaceBook group page. I will post select stories in full as a blog post from now on, with my own comments.

#satsuntails – Sibling Rivalry “Dearest Mama” #flashfiction

I’m quite keen on the #satsuntails flash fiction compo, which uses a phrase and an image as prompt. This week I got to judge!
🙂
So, I proposed “sibling rivalry” as the prompt, with this lovely image a friend posted on FaceBook:

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Original Source

Here’s my ineligible entry, but please check it out in its original location (to read other entries) too:

“Dearest Mama”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words, inelligible]

Dearest Mama,

I write this knowing that you will not read my letter unless I die before you. If the curse of outliving your offspring, if not your shame, is avoided then I will have this placed in your tomb to read at St Peter’s pleasure.

In the Afterlife will we be able to talk as mother and daughter. Mortality has cast you as sister only, but such a sister I cannot fault. Only in the Hereafter will we both be freed from Sin, and the guilt of a child born out of wedlock. Your mother, who raised me as hers, only betrayed your trust in death, as the unnamed brute did for you in Life.

I do not know if you loved him, or he you, but I know I was loved more than I knew. To have me near and yet so far.

Your faithful sister/daughter,

Emily

#FlashFridayFic – “Dis ain’t no fairytale” #flashfiction #fridayflash

The latest Friday Fiction #39 asked for a 300 word story, based upon the following very, very surreal image:

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Image Source: Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort

Here is my story, but do check out the original location to read other entries:

“Dis ain’t no fairytale”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[300 words]

Tom Rimmer’s the name. Fey Investigation is the game. Well, that’s what it says on the plaque next to the novelty snail door knocker. I pride myself on an open office policy, but the wallpaper was a problem; not going to take an emperor’s recommendation for interior decorator again, I can tell you.

Anyway, I hadn’t had a case in days – months in human time – when outside, I heard a ring tone playing “Titanium” except the last ‘m’ had been removed, which meant only one thing: another royal client job. I hated those; it was how I got into this business.

Snail knocked. Door spoke, “it is Her Royal Highness, Queen Ti…”

“Tell me something I DIDN’T know,” I said grumpily.

“She’s not packing a wand…”

That did surprise me. I motioned Door to admit her. “How’s it hanging Queen T?” I asked provocatively, “Business? Or Pleasure?”

She glided into the room with that look she has. “Maybe both, Thomas. It depends on if you’ve got the rhyme…”

“You mean ‘time’, Titty. How come you never got colloquial English?” I could tell the ‘Titty’ gag had hit home, but it didn’t do too well provoking the Others too much. “Anyway, I’ve got plenty of time, thanks to you. I’m yours.”

“We’ll, it gladdens me to know the Rhymer knows his place. I’ve a little case for you.”

“I’m all ears,” I said, “Oh no, that was Bottom. Sorry about that.” I couldn’t help myself. With or without Human dignity, Titania was a tough cookie.

“You want, maybe, that hat to be permanent?” she asked diplomatically, “Or do you want the work?”

“Oh, I’ll take the job. What is it? Another missing pixie?”

She shook her head. “No Tom, this time it’s simpler,” she lied unconvincing. I could tell.

“Ok, spill…”

#ThursThreads – “Destiny R Us” #flashfiction

#ThursThreads is an odd flash fiction compo, because a line chosen from the previous winner is chosen as the prompt for the next competition. This week, the phrase “How much is this one worth?” is it.

Here is my entry, if you don’t want to see the original piece:

“Destiny R Us”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

“It IS a common mistake, Sir. One put about by our… shall we say, our main competitor.”

“So, I don’t have to sell my soul to get my dream?”

“Ha ha ha, extremely witty. If I may say, Sir. Not all of it. No.”

“What’s the percentage on these?”

“The… er… ‘Rock and Roll Lifestyle’ and the… ‘Jet-Setting Adventurer’ packages are both a reasonable 15% APR. very popular”

“APR?”

“Ascension from Purgatory Reallocation. Sir must allow for a delay in shipping to the ‘final’ destination, but we can assure you that arrival will occur within a reasonable period

How much is this one worth?”

“The ‘Leader of the Free World’ Deluxe Box. Sir has an excellent eye. That IS one of our special 0% Rapture packages! Same Day Delivery. However, there are a few small additional contractual obligations. Still one of our favourites for our ‘special’ clients.”

“What are the ‘additional’ obligations?”

“Sir IS wise to check… The contract is reasonably clear. Must invade an innocent country on a pretext. Must be a hypocrite, and lie about it on at least one occasion. Must allow innocents to die from inaction. Oh and the NRA, one of our oldest and dearest clients, must be left untouched. We get SO many referrals through them. I’m sure you understand.”

“If these are achieved within a 3 year period, Sir will be allowed to extend the package at no extra charge. I can see Sir IS interested. Can I take your name?”

#55wordchallenge – “Not Oz Anymore” #flashfiction UPDATE Overachiever Award Winner)

UPDATE
Awarded the Overachiever Award.

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In Lisa’s own words “the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less.” Each week writers pick one of three images as inspiration.

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This week using all three may qualify for an over achiever award:

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Image Source

Here’s my entry if you would rather not see the original version:

“Not Oz Anymore”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [55 words]

Oz had changed since Dorothy had last left. The scarecrow’s benevolent dictatorship had been overthrown by the One Eyed Man is King, but the Cyclops had eventually lost the people’s support when dust storms from the edges of Oz had eaten into the safer lands.

Dorothy rolled up her sleeves. “Toto, we’ve lots to do!”

#FiveSentenceFiction – Thunder “Shakubuku” #flashfiction

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin hosts a Five Sentence Fiction competition on her blog. This week’s theme is Thunder.

Here is my entry, which is metaphorically inspired by the stormy picture this week:

image

Source

“Shakubuku”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)

Herman “Lightning Rod” Humphries was, by all accounts, the record holder for surviving the most lighting strikes. It had certainly had an effect on him, neighbours and friends would sympathetically share, when sure he was not in earshot.

“It’s just part of the job,” he would explain shyly, “Being a park warden and all.”

When asked if he minded the risk Herman responded, “Life is a risk, but it doesn’t stop you living before you die, like lightning comes before thunder.

“Better than dying before you live!” he would say, if people stuck around long enough,”Cos them that gets hit don’t hear the thunder.”