1. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas

    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #26 - 'Cinders'

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lilly James Haro, Oct 18, 2015.

    Now that we are back on track, the theme for Flash Fiction Contest #26 is "Cinders” which was chosen by previous winner @edamame. Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST November 7th. Make sure to include the number of words and any warnings. You can also make your entry private simply by clicking more functions before posting, and click the box that makes the post viewable by "Members Only."
  2. DefinitelyMaybe

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Aug 31, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Leicester, UK
    Cinders (445 words)

    If it wasn't for the burning pain in his chest, Logan Stanton would have leapt off the examining table in shock.

    "Teleportation? There's no other way?"

    The doctor glanced at an x-ray on a computer screen. "With cancer this advanced, there's no alternative. Are you familiar with the process?"

    Logan dragged himself to a sitting position. "I believe so. A machine will disassemble my body, and transmit me to a remote location where I, uh, reappear."

    "Minus the cancer. The machine can make changes during the process." The doctor inspected Logan's notes. "You have a wife and young children, a boy and a girl." He stared straight into Logan's eyes. "For them."

    An old-fashioned clock on the wall ticked as Logan considered this. "Why don't you use it for everyone, for every illness?"

    The doctor's eyes blinked once, but gave up none of his thoughts.

    Logan coughed, blood dripping through his fingers and onto his bare legs. He raised his face to meet the doctor's emotionless gaze, and nodded.


    Son Robert, daughter Julia, and wife Samantha helped Logan down the corridor and into room B-18. There were guarded smiles, traces of hope. The machine dominated the room. Black. Purposeful.

    A woman in a white coat greeted them. "I'm Chipo, your teleportation operator. Please sit Mr Stanton." Her hand indicated the machine.

    This was happening.

    Chipo smiled. "It won't take long. Anoushka will take your family to the destination."

    Kisses, hugs, smiles, and they were gone. Chipo gently touched Logan's arm. "You ready sir?"


    She pressed buttons and adjusted dials. "Please stay completely still, sir."

    Vibrations, heat, lights probing, and then the machine went quiet. Logan looked around the room, then at Chipo. His hand went to his chest and he winced.

    "It didn't work?"

    "Please look out the window, Mr Stanton."

    Logan struggled to his feet and limped to the window, leaning on Chipo's shoulder. Outside Robert and Julia were running, laughing. And there he was, playing tag, running around a grinning Samantha.

    Chipo touched his shoulder. "I've broken the rules to show you this. The person you see there is you. Your body, your mind, your memories, but cured. Your family doesn't lose you, doesn't have to grieve."

    "But what happens to me?"

    "I'm sorry Mr Stanton. If they knew. If anyone knew. We can't save you. We can only save your family."

    Logan drank in his children's happiness, Samantha's delight, their future together. With one final effort, he walked unaided to the machine, and sat down.

    "I'm ready."

    A minute later Chipo carefully swept cinders into a small black bag, and placed it in a cupboard filled with many similar bags.
  3. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas
    Just less than a week left! Be sure to enter! :)

    -Lilly James Haro
  4. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Sep 30, 2013
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    A Place with no History
    The Wildmen (442)

    Grayson was running for his life and had been at it for the better quarter of an hour.

    Even in the dead of night, the full moon framed his form perfectly as well as the tall blades of grass that came up to his chest. Grayson had always been tall, even bragged about it, but now I sure as hell damn know he's wishing he had been born short.

    At least then the wildmen would not have such an easy target.

    The wilds where the wildmen live are an expanse of grass that goes on as far as the eye can see. Tracking down anyone is easy when you have the vantage point of a stack of creates where I sit upon or if you're a wildman on horseback scouting for trespassers on your land.

    I put the cigarette to my mouth and made the red glow bob up and down at the bottom of my vision as I waited for the show to unfold. The wildman had his scent, I knew. The wild was their native land and they knew how to move without a sound but occasionally I spotted a tuft of grass moving against the night breeze and I knew Grayson's time on this earth was near its end.

    I felt it before I heard it; the shaft of an arrow slicing through the air. My cigarette was suddenly gone and a cold sweat ran down my back.

    "I'm on the boundary, you idiot!" I shouted into the dark but heard no reply of whether I was understood. So long as I stayed on our side of the land, those savages should leave me alone. I knew it was risky getting so close but the theater had been cancelled tonight due to Grayson's trial, the mayor and sheriff being the stars of the thing, so I decided he owed me a show.

    For a moment, I stared into the dark, listening to Grayson's frightened screams as he ran and dodged the wildmen as best he could. Poor bastard shouldn't have touched the mayor's wife.

    I saw the red glow beneath my vision and found that the cinders of my lost cigarette had turned to embers. In a panic, I tried to stomp the flames but the dry grass turned swiftly to wildfire.

    In a heartbeat, I took off into the sea of grass, knowing that the wildmen would attack the village as soon as they saw the growing flames. With heat and flames at my back, I used Grayson as a distraction to save my own neck from the judgment of my people and the fury of the wildmen.
  5. No-Name Slob

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Dallas, Texas
    Rent (444 words)

    The aggressive beep of the alarm clock once again woke Christina with a start. Only fifteen minutes passed since she last went to her brother's room to wake him up for work, as if his screaming alarm wasn't enough to do the trick. She considered throwing a bucket of ice on his face before deciding that it wasn't her responsibility to resort to such desperate measures.

    She knocked three times, each knock growing in intensity before barging in.

    "Shane, are you going to work today or not?! You know, your portion of the rent is due next week." Christina's tone of voice reflected her irritation.

    "Uh," he mumbled, wiping the sleep out of his eyes, "Nah. I, uhh ... don't need to go in today."

    "Why?" She intruded.

    "Because I just don't. I feel like shit. Will you make me a hot toddy? I didn't sleep at all last night because of this detox." Shane was a master at playing on Christina's unwavering hope in his recovery.

    Christina slammed the door, frustrated. This would be the fourth month that her mother would have to cover Shane's portion of the rent, and she felt terribly guilty for asking for the money.

    It was agreed when she allowed Shane to move in that, if at any time during his recovery, a relapse prevented him paying his half of the rent, it would be covered by her mother. Christina couldn't have afforded a two-bedroom apartment otherwise, but she still felt awful that her mother's plan to provide brighter future for Shane went unanswered, leaving her to foot the bill.

    While the tea steeped, a knock sounded at the door. Her mother stood drenched behind it, cash in hand.

    "Hi honey." She said with pity in her eyes. "How are you feeling?"

    "I'm fine, if not a little annoyed. You should ask Shane how he is feeling!" Resentment hung on each word.

    "Sweetie," her mother placed her hand on Christina's shoulder, "I hoped you'd be feeling better today. It's been six months."

    Suddenly, a piercing headache radiated through Christina's skull, and she began to see.

    She remembered the alarm more clearly now. She remembered knocking at Shane's door and barging in angry, trying to wake him up. Instead of their usual dialogue at this hour, his lifeless body lay limp and cold, cinders ablaze in his still warm pipe. She remembered the hopelessness in longing to save him from his demons, even still.

    She didn't want to remember.

    "Hi mom." She said, numbing herself to the pain from the headache and the memories, "I'm so sorry, but you're going to need to cover Shane's portion of the rent again."
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015

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