Things have been a bit hectic at work, so I haven’t had a chance to record many submissions for #TicckleTuesday. However, responses to a flash fiction podcast have been positive. Watch this space!
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 🙂
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.
“I CAN see,” the old man said, suddenly answering my unasked question. “Well… enough to get by anyway.” he chuckled quietly to himself.
“Is that right, Granddad?” I spat out the last bit, annoyed the old codger had heard me approaching the bench. I had hoped for an easy mark. Danny was waiting. And it did not pay to keep Danny waiting.
“Got any cash, Granddad? I’m in a hurry.”
“Yes, a little… No, I’m not.”
“And I wouldn’t be if I were you. In a hurry. I know where that road is heading.”
“Wha…? Look, just give me your money Gra…”
“I’m not your Granddad, boy. But sure, you can have the money. It’s yours anyway.”
He took out his wallet efficiently, like he had expected to be mugged, and handed it over.
“See you pay it back now… When the time comes…”
I took it. Given how easily he had rolled over, I gave myself the luxury of checking his wad. Result! There must have been a few thousand quid, along with a slip of paper marked ‘I O Me. Watch out for the shit.’, which I screwed up and dropped to the floor. I handed him back the purse. No need to be rude, as he was being so cooperative.
“It’s Stephen… Steve.”
“Hey, same as me!” I thought to myself. Not really smart introducing yourself aloud to your victim. At least the old man wouldn’t be able to pick me out of a line up. His glasses were as thick as milk bottles.
I turned to leave. Danny was waiting. And that is when I trod on the dog shit. “How the hell…” I started to wipe my boot on the grass. The old guy on the park bench wheezed a laugh behind me.
“I never was good with warnings.” he sniggered. “Danny… is waiting. You should have enough. If you’re as stupid as I was, I’ll still be here when you get back. If I’m not… well… then we’ll both be in the…” He pointed uncannily at my foot, then waved me away.
I got the Special Challenge Champion Award for this. Official Announcement here
Alissa Leonard has created the “Finish That Thought” Flash Fiction compo, which usually provides an opening line and some ‘special challenge’ words to include, and must be less than 500 words. This week’s compo opening line was “Her mind was seized with a sense of terror so intense she wept.” and the special challenge words were: stiletto, umbrella and gravy.
Here is my story, if you don’t want to see it posted in its original place:
“For Better and Worse”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [500 words, special challenge accepted]
Her mind was seized with a sense of terror so intense she wept. “I can’t…” she sobbed, “I can’t marry him. Not like this!” As if to emphasise the point she gestured to her fine white gown.
“It’s just nerves,” I soothed, “Ok, it’s a bit tight. You’ve put on a few pounds. That’s all. I was a ‘little’ plump when I got married.”
“More than a lit…” her Father started then decided not to finish the thought. “Sally, you look lovely. And before you ask, no the stiletto heels do not make you look taller than Geoff.”
“I’m TALLER than Geoff! Oh God, it gets worse!” the bride to be burst into tears.
“We’ll done, Bill. Here, take this…” I thrust an umbrella into his unexpecting hands. “…and find somewhere for it!” I shoved him out of the changing room, grabbed some tissues from her handbag and turned to face a despondent daughter.
“What is it?” I asked, mopping tear filled mascara from the girl’s cheeks. A waste of money that make over was. The uncharitable thought only consoled by the fact Sally had insisted she paid for everything herself. Geoff not being ‘financially’ able to contribute. No gravy train of a rich husband for my little girl. Not yet anyway. It was all tied up in trust funds until he had produced an heir.
Sally was too soft, like her father. Sadly, it also meant my ‘mother’s duty’ of meddling had been neatly side-stepped. Not paying for the thing had removed the ‘gratitude’, the one bit of leverage a woman could have used to justify interference. It was deeply frustrating.
Sally took the tissue, folded it, then wiped her face with the fresh side. “It’s because I’m in white, Mother. It’s a sacrilege. I’m not a virgin. I’m carrying Geoff’s baby… That’s why the dress is tight.” She looked up into my eyes with a pathetic search for disapproval. “You must hate me now.”
Now? Why just now? I had only become pregnant to keep her father from leaving me. There were times when I wasn’t sure the bargain had been worth it. Stupid brat wasn’t even his! And he hadn’t been that great a catch after all, since I had inherited far more money from a relative than his entire family had. Thank God for the Pre-Nup! Now it was all about appearances. We both had impeccable reputations to maintain. Pillars of the community, and all that.
“Let me tell you something. You weren’t premature, like your Father believes. I paid a doctor off. I was three months pregnant when I walked down the aisle. And you have an heir. Geoff will be pleased!”
“Three? I thought you had a ‘whirlwind romance?”
“Oh… three… yes. Anyway…”
“Dad… are you hearing this?”
Why was she speaking into the bouquet?
“We got her! Proof of infidelity prior to marriage. The Pre-Nup’s invalid. You can take the bitch to the cleaners. And YOU’RE paying for the wedding.”
Theme will be Life Drawing, but don’t start until Midnight. A textual life drawing is a short story that paints a picture, describes a scene, and doesn’t need to include a narrative. Think of it as the writer’s equivalent of a sketch. Go to the FaceBook Group (will need membership) or http://ticckle.com/ and reply to the video entitled #TicckleTuesday #3 here
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. A minute is probably 120 words from my experience. Alternatively, record a FaceBook video or an audio file (AudioBoo or SoundCloud are both good). If the sound of your own voice horrifies you, please do push your comfort zone, but I’d rather have a text entry that I will record than no entry at all.
And we have all week but extra extra credit for submitting tomorrow, Tuesday!
If you use a picture as your prompt, please upload it if you are willing.
“[push] past the ordinary… putting aside the first thing that springs to mind (it’s almost always a cliche) or giving it such a twist as to realign ‘the usual’ completely…”
My first instinct, the thing that sprung to my mind when looking at the image, was “Child for Sale!” Certainly not a cliched response or ‘ordinary’, one would hope. However, this started me on a strange journey.
My second thought was: “Aren’t they lovely, but I couldn’t eat a whole one.” Again, rather disturbing, but I do have a dark sense of humour. However, something set alarm bells ringing about such a plot idea. I did some googling on eating babies and pretty soon hit on “Blood Libel”. What a great title, I thought for a few seconds. Then I did some background reading (see References), as I realised to use such a phrase would require me to know the issues. What surprised me wasn’t the Anti-Semitic propaganda, but how it is still happening as much as Holocaust denial. Could I do this topic? Should I do this topic?
Here is my answer, in 99 words:
“Ninety Nine Lives”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [99 words]
“…selling babies. See! They ate babies, you know.”
“No they didn’t, Father. We’ve discussed this. That’s ‘Blood libel’.”
“…ground them into flour for bread. Drank their blood like wine…!”
“No, Father, they didn’t. It was lies. You were told these lies to… help you cope with what you were ordered to do. Your pillow comfortable?”
“They pleaded at the end. Denied everything, of course, but orders were orders. ‘Nein! Nein!’ they would scream. It was all about the ‘Nein’s. I still hear them…”
“You’ve said, Father. Ninety Eight lives you’re responsible for destroying.”
Gallery to display anti-semitic art including (2003) award winning cartoon representing Ariel Sharon eating babies (2005)
Daily Kos modifies a Jaws poster with an ‘e’ and declares “Jews eat Babies” (2007)
Yahoo Answers asked “Why do Jews eat Christian babies?” (2011) told “Because they’re so delicious.” and “They need the protein.”
2013 Holocaust Memorial Day cartoon questioned for being Anti-Semitic: those agreeing and disagreeing
Uncyclopedia, the “content-free” parody of Wikipedia, entry on Yet another Jewish Trick, including Jewish eating babies, last modified May 31st 2013
“A Fate Worse than Death is Better than Dying”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [250 words]
Whoever she was, she had been medically trained. I’d given blood many times – civic duty and all that – but her handling of the hypodermic was exquisite. In and out with a quick swipe of alcohol. No venous bruising.
My silent captor slipped the rubber tube tourniquet through the arm restraint, taped some cotton wool over the puncture wound, then inspected her watch and made some notes on an Android tablet. A geek then. No iPad. Something to use to connect to her.
“Not an Apple fan then?” I smiled as empathically as I could, tied to a gurney.
“Please don’t attempt to engage my sympathetic side, because I had it surgically removed. Now, I’m going to ask you for some observations as the injection takes effect.” She picked up her tablet expectantly.
“You’re kidding me, right?” I tested the restraints again. Still just loose enough to allow circulation, but little more. “What is it you’ve dosed me with anyway? Vampire blood? Werewolf spit? Radioactive spider venom? Super Soldier Serum?”
“Very amusing, Mr… ah… Carter,” she scrolled through the data on her screen, “and uncannily accurate, if perhaps lucky in your deductions.”
“You were right with one of your guesses, but…” she paused for effect, “that wasn’t really the worst of it.”
My grin dropped to the floor, and rolled away under the trolley somewhere. “Which… one?” I asked, totally sure she was not joking. I was not sure I wanted to know.
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