Tag Archives: #flashfridayfic

#FlashFridayFic “An Interview with the Wizard of Stratford” #fridayflash #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #41 asked for a 350 word story, based upon the following image:

Image Source

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

“An Interview with the Wizard of Stratford”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[350 words]

“I know why you are here…” is the first thing Frank says, pulling back the curtain that reveals his work space, but he declines to be photographed for the article. He is a wizened old man, dressed entirely in green; his favourite colour, he confides.

Baum’s farm is dead centre in dust bowl territory, getting hit by tornadoes and dust storms four or five times a year. For other farmers, trying to harvest wheat or raise cattle, these events are devastating. For Frank, the self-styled “Wizard of Stratford”, and his family they are a Godsend.

“So long as the farmhouse survives,” he jokes, “and it don’t end up in Oklahoma! I don’t, by God, want to live in Oklahoma!”

Frank hails from Kansas, another area renowned for tornadoes. His small holding is the sole supplier of industrial grit in the whole of Texas. Others have tried to imitate his success, but don’t have the almost magical Baum gift of harvesting and selling the frequent weather deposits. To be honest, few (if any) really understands who buys his grit, or how he makes money. Frank keeps his customers in the strictest confidence, for obvious reasons. And several attempts at industrial espionage have all failed. Probably due to the Baum Farm being exclusively tended by people of reduced stature: dwarfs, pigmies, midgets and munchkins are all terms used by the ‘normal’ Stratford population..

“These ‘little’ people are fiercely loyal, and ideally suited to harvesting the dust that settles here.” Jim explains, “They drop in all the time to help us send raw material to the Gale Processing Plant in Kansas, were it is environmentally treated before being shipped to its final destination.” Gale’s ecological motto is “Better Beyond the Rainbow”

This link to his Kansas roots in dust farming stretches back to his Great Aunt Dorothy. “A remarkably well travelled adventurer”, Baum fondly describes her. Business must be extremely profitable, judging by the number of exquisite jewelled artefacts on display in the family home.

“Dorothy was always fonder of rubies,” Jim remarks, “but I don’t, by God. Emeralds are my obsession.”

#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 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.

#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:

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…”

#FlashFridayFic – “A Unique Property” #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #38 asked for a 250 word story, based upon the following image:


Here is my second story, because the first was deemed ineligible, but please see this and other stories at the original location:

“A Unique Property”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

The third clue had Edward and Blanche Beamish stumped. They had found it tied with ancient red ribbon to the roof timbers of the hotel veranda; the location which the second clue had revealed quite quickly. As honeymoons went, stepping back sixty years, in the hope of retracing a journey someone else had planned but never started, was as romantic as it was tragic.

The first clue had been inside a wedding gift from Blanche’s great aunt, whose name was also Blanche. First class tickets to Egypt had been provided to help them “To find the beginning of their adventure”, or so the label read.

The elder Blanche apologised and admitted the trail might end quickly, as it had been set by her father many years before. “The chances of the rest of the clues still existing are slight, but my father was a resourceful man. I have faith you will find what he had intended me and my fiancé to seek.” was the only hint of what the gift contained the old woman would provide.

They repaid the spinster with thoughtful thanksgivings, and imaginings of at least a ‘Grand Tour’ of the Empire. Edward, a writer, promised to document their travels. Blanche agreed to send drawings and paintings when she could.

Later, the couple had time to discuss their benefactor’s sad history. “She never did marry.” the bride explained. “No one really knows why.”

“Or will not mention.” her new husband added. “Let us hope we succeed for her.”

#FlashFridayFic – “A Rose by Amy other name” #fridayflash #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #38 asked for a 250 word story, based upon the following image:

I promised myself I’d never do ‘fanfic’, but the picture forced me. At gun point! May the Goddess forgive me…

Here is my story, because it was removed from the original location, due to concerns over copyright; understandable for a US based site, but although “fair use” almost definitely applies, the host had never had fanfic submitted before and wanted to be cautious.

“A Rose by Amy other name”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

“Admit it, Doctor.” Amy tried not to be alarmed by the loss of blood. “You only came here because it was the one place a Fez would actually be cool.”

“No, I didn’t. Well, yes I did. But the rose was lovely… wasn’t it?”

“Until it bit me. Why won’t it stop bleeding?”

“Ah, yes… about that… Trust me, you’re in no danger.” The Doctor smiled reassuringly.

Amy frowned. “When you ask me to trust you, it’s usually because you’re lying.”

“Can you think of a better time for me to ask you to trust me?” He grinned boyishly. “How was I supposed to know it was a Sapient Rose?”

“A Sapient Rose? You mean it can think?”

“There’s Sapient Pear, of course. Makes lovely furniture. Very loyal. Follows you round like a dog…”

“Doctor…! Bleeding…!”

“Yes. Blood. Well, unless we return the flower to its mother plant… somewhere here apparently… you’ll turn into a… into a rose bush.”

“A rose bush?”

“Yes. It’s a ‘planty wanty’ sort of thing. Knew a Rose once. Lovely girl. My clone married her in an alternative… long story. No time for that now.” The Doctor looked flustered. “Just keep squeezing that finger. We don’t want the thorn getting any further in.”

“Or it’s ‘Briar Amy’, right.”

“That’s the spirit. Although ‘Rosa Amelia’ has a certain…” Amy frowned again. “Yes, right. Saving Amy. On it.” The Doctor returned to studying the chart. “We’ll need a camel. Camels are cool.”

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”


Doctor Who is a trademark of the BBC, Sapient Pearwood is copyright 1983 Terry Pratchett, story and original characters are copyright 2013 Mike Reddy, all rights reserved.

Author notes
This is my first, and only, fanfic story, written as an exercise in writing authentic dialogue for existing characters, so feedback would be appreciated. A 250 word flash fiction story written for #flashfridayfic to a picture prompt. it uses ‘in median res’, focusing on the 11th Doctor and Amy prior to Rory joining them, and involves Amy wearing period costume, as this is implied in the picture prompt. It should be considered a scene at best, but hopefully evocative of the early Matt Smith period.

#FlashFridayFic – “On Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth” #flashfiction

The latest Friday Fiction #37 asked for a 100 word story, based upon the following image:


Here is my story if you don’t want to see the original version:

“On Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[100 words]

“Master, I swear the boy is Sherpa reborn.”

“The racehorse… that died last year?”

“Your favourite mount, yes! That old witch said he’d come back!”

It was obvious the hand was expecting me to be angry, but I’d my own suspicions about Glynn. Something just not right about the boy. I motioned him to continue with the horsewhip.

“‘Tain’t natural for him to stand and walk so young. Like a foal.”


“When you spared the crone, she said she’d see you right. She knew you loved him and plumb brought Sherpa back.”

“It’s true, he really gets my goat!”

#FlashFridayFic – “Ninety Nine Lives” (was “Blood Libel”)

The latest Friday Fiction #36 asked for a 99 word story, based upon the following image:

Nurse with babies. Photo from Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-13429 / CC-BY-SA.

This week’s judge, Beth Peterson, wanted us to:

“[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]

“That’s her!”

“Yes, Father…”

“…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.”

“Ninety nine…”

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

#flashfridayfic – “Warning: Only Industry Accredited Workers May Adjust The Special Machine”

Friday Fiction #35 entry here if you don’t want to look at the original entry.

This story was based upon the following image, and needed to be 100-200 words:

“Warning: Only Industry Accredited Workers May Adjust The Special Machine”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [111 words]

347891 is watching as I adjust the special machine.
I am not allowed to know what it does – I have only just been rated – but it is very important.

132678 is nervous. He should be. This is the Special Machine! 132678 is too ol…[UNERWÜNSCHTE-GEDANKEN]. He should never have bee…[UNERWÜNSCHTE-GEDANKEN]
132678 must have worked hard to be rated at his age.

The adjustment is proceeding well. 132678 was a necessary addition to correct 347891. It is fitting to see him supervise 132678 in adjusting the Special Machine. Once 132678 has completed the adjustment, 347891 will need to recyc…[UNERWÜNSCHTE-GEDANKEN]reassigned.


#flashfridayfic – Ascension a 75 word story

Friday Fiction #34 entry here if you don’t want to look at the original entry.

Angelo only ever did the upward journey, then returned to the terminus. Not everyone would board the cable car. On the way up they would press faces to windows, straining to see their destination. Not everyone would get off at the top. Those headed back down would not press their faces to the glass. The remaining passengers knew where they were going. By the time Nick boarded for the downward trip they would be screaming.

Flash Friday #33

Did my first ever #FlashFridayFic compo entry today. It’s the second reply comment here.

Meanwhile, here’s the story again:

“How to Survive an Argument With a Dragon” by Dr. Mike Reddy FRSA (@DoctorMikeReddy) [200 words]

“Tis a simple matter, mortal.” the Dragon sighed. “Pick wisely. The wrong choice means certain death…” The ‘th’ in death was (dramatically?) extended like a snake’s hiss.

Having never seen a real dragon before, this particular mortal examined the wizened face, wondering whether snakes had a common ancestor. From her experience with fossils it seemed unlikely to be dinosaurs.

“And you will not harm me before I’ve made a choice?”

The Dragon nodded. “I wouldst not kill thee afore a choice is made, Mortal.”

“I have a name. Mona Fury.” the mortal cried. Both names recycled from relatives, which annoyed her intensely. Not that this would matter if she didn’t solve the Dragon’s riddle.

“Thou hast two ways ahead to escape the cave. One of fire, one of ice.” the Dragon gestured to each with her free claw. The other, cold and clammy – not snakes then – gripped the caver expertly.

“Put me down then.” Mona said calmly. The Dragon lowered and unfurled its claw.

“I choose… not to choose. I’ll make my own way out.”

“Very clever, Human.” the Dragon conceded. Triumphantly, Mona bent to pick up her caving gear.

“Of course, that WAS still a ‘choice’ though, wasn’t it…”