1. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas

    Past Contest Flash Fiction Contest #22 - "Welcome to the Afterlife"

    Discussion in 'Monthly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lilly James Haro, Apr 12, 2015.

    And the theme for Flash Fiction Contest #22 is “Welcome to the Afterlife” which was suggested by @Pandemonia. Remember the word limit is 150-450 words and all entries must be posted anonymously in this thread by 6:00 pm EST May 2nd. 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."

    Good Luck!
  2. edamame

    edamame Contributor Contributor

    Apr 5, 2013
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    Hatching Day (443 words)

    “Josephine, he’s awake!”

    I groaned, squinting against the light. My eyelids felt heavy and I struggled to make out the face in front of mine. It had blue eyes, a high Grecian nose, and a wavy blond hairstyle from the 1920s. Slowly, the woman moved away from me. I looked around me at the cots, the sterile walls, and a calendar nailed to the side of my bed. One of the grids was circled. A smallish, neat hand had written “Hatching Day!!!” on it.

    “Here,” said the woman. She held my left elbow as I tried to sit up. A stitch in my lower abdomen protested. “Come on Patty, get his other side.”

    On my right, Patty was a petite woman with black hair. She smiled beatifically at me as she took my other arm. “Still hurting, sweetheart?” She cooed. She reminded me of my mother and the way she fussed, trying to cajole me into rehab.

    I turned away.

    “Where am I?” I asked the one called Josephine. “The last thing I remember was swerving into the wrong lane.” What I didn’t say was I remembered the other driver’s panicked face, my hands growing suddenly unsteady although I only had a few beers.

    “Don’t worry,” Josephine said cheerfully. “You’re not in that mess anymore.” She checked her watch. “You’re here. And right on schedule, too. Your molt couldn’t be delayed much further.”

    “My molt?”

    “It’s something everyone goes through.” Patty sat on my cot. She brushed my hair wistfully. “I hope you’ll be one of mine.”

    “As if!” Josephine chuckled. “I got the last five.”

    My shoulder blades began to throb. I shook my head from Patty’s caress. I clawed at my own back as the women both watched me emptily with a sort of detached sympathy, as the itch ascend rapidly into a fiery pain. I gasped as stabbing sensations cut into my skin, my muscle, my bones.

    “Help me!” I shrieked as my back ran with blood, but they just stood there. My spine cracked, sinew tore and rearranged itself. I vomited. One dusky, leathery wing unfurled itself from my left shoulder blade.

    The cots around me combusted, the calendar caught flame. Josephine crowed with sharp, razor-like teeth. “Better luck next time, Patty!” She growled.

    “Please, save me! I’m sorry, I did such horrible things.” I sobbed and reached towards Patty, called her all the names I had ever known the human race to use.

    Patty frowned. “But I can’t. I have to go now, Jon.”

    I screamed as the other demon’s wing burst into existence. Patty faded away, giving me my mother’s back, as the Devil howled and howled.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  3. Lancie

    Lancie Senior Member

    Oct 20, 2014
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    Game Over (234 words)

    I ran at the beast with my sword raised, its giant oily black fur bristled with the blood of my fallen comrades. Razor teeth dripped, stinking of saliva and rotten flesh as it bent its head back to release a shattering howl.

    The beast’s yellow eyes glowed as it caught me in its vision. It charged. I lunged at its foot, plunging my blade into a thick muscled limb. The wolf shuddered and cried out, rearing up it stamped down on my body. I felt the bones in my spine splinter. Teeth began to tear into my flesh.

    I screamed until I could scream no more.

    All at once pain subsided into numb darkness as the wolf feasted on my flesh.

    Game over.

    The light that followed was an eerie green. I felt that familiar tingle of my body rebuilding itself, of bones knitting and wounds healing. Once I was fully formed I padded myself down and looked around the still nothingness. The others kicked the floor and sharpened their weapons as they waited.

    “Not you too?” asked my friend, pushing up the visor of his helmet.

    “Yeah. Wolf is a tough one.”

    Next to me another person shimmered into the dark in his peasant clothes and wooden dagger. He wailed uncontrollably. I patted him on the shoulder.

    “It’s alright, noobie, you get used to it. We’ll respawn in a soon."
  4. qp83

    qp83 Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Damn. [456 words]

    I was on my way to school when someone jumped onto my back. I immediately recognized the warmth of the soft chest pressing against my shoulders and that sweet scent of newly showered hair and perfume of early spring.

    She leaned in and kissed my cheek.

    "Got ya, neighbor!" She laughed and jumped off my back and twirled before me, always the tease, but god was she beautiful, if only she wasn't so unsensitive.

    "Let's race! Last there is a pig, oink, oink!" she called.

    "What are you, five?" I said.

    She didn't listen and started running, and so did I.

    Somewhere ahead, she disappeared around a corner. This was my chance, if I ran straight ahead, crossing the street and through the park, I would gain a minute on her.

    Half across the street, everything went dark.

    As I slowly regained counciousness, something was off, as if the world was at a weird angle. When I finally began to orient myself, I found myself trapped in some kind of egg-shaped capsule and all around me was this slimey liquid. Several tubes were hooked up to my body, one of which went down my throat, and were the others went, I pretended not to know.

    A few moments passsed, then there was this pssh sound, and the slimey liquid began pooring out of a grate on the floor.

    The front of the capsule opened and a white corridor filled my view.

    I heard something approaching, no, several somethings. The sound of human-sized slugs, slowly making their way toward me. To my horror, the somethings actually looked not far from slugs.

    Slimey beings, with six or eight tentacle-like arms, reached in and grabbed me. They pulled me out and laid me down on a stretcher. Meanwhile, they made strange smacking noises, as if they were communicating with each other.

    I wanted this bizarre nightmare to end, to go back to this morning, to the girl of my dreams--I had to escape.

    I rolled off the bed and onto the floor. I expected my arms and knees to take most of the impact and braced myself for pain, but instead I landed softly with a squish. I tried to stand, but couldn't, so I began to crawl. As I stretched an arm ahead of me to pull myself forward, what I saw wasn't the arm I had memorized every speckle and blemish of, but a slimey tentacle.

    Later, after several sessions with a psychiatrist, specialized in so called "difficult returns", I knew that I wasn't human and had never been. The life I had lived was actually one of the most popular VRMMORPG games, where the Human class was one of the most popular after Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.
  5. VirtuallyRealistic

    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

    Mar 20, 2015
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    Wisconsin, USA
    Close to Paradise (448 words)

    The eternal fields of white surrounding Cole were blinding, like staring into snow on a bright winter morning. As his vision adjusted he felt a serene warmness wash over his body as he looked upon a large, swirling golden gate. He looked down, and found he was standing on thin air, clouds rolling like a river current below him. White robes wrapped his body.

    Awe overtook him as he admired his surroundings. What is this place? He thought to himself, but was interrupted.

    “Welcome, friend.” A man in clothes matching Cole's said. “It's good to meet you. Would you come forward, please?”

    Something about this man radiated euphoria. No matter how timid Cole was, he couldn't help but inch forward. The closer he got the stronger his sense of well-being, but the man signaled him to stop.

    “Where... What is this place?” Cole asked.

    The man looked at him with sorrowful eyes, “This is the afterlife, Cole.”

    The afterlife? Cole pondered this for a moment, trying to recall what brought him here. He was surprised by how calm he was, even after just hearing he was dead. This man's presence was like a spell, keeping all feelings of sadness at bay.

    “How did I get here?” Cole asked. As he spoke he noticed the euphoric feeling was beginning to fade. He noticed he could see through his own body like it were a stained sheet of glass.

    The man watched Cole closely, “It seems you'll be finding out for yourself.”

    Cole wasn't sure what he meant. His body continued to become clearer, dissipating into the air around him.

    Suddenly, his vision went black, and his eyes opened to a strange room. He laid in a bed, with people around him. As his mind gathered itself, he realized he was in a hospital room.

    A man pulled his surgical mask down, “Welcome back, Mr. Birchman. I think someone would like to see you.” The man signaled for everyone to leave the room. A moment after he left, a woman came running into the room, giving him a big hug then realizing she should have been more gentle.

    “I'm sorry, I'm just... Honey, I'm so happy you're okay.” Cole's Wife said to him, noticing his grimace.

    Cole knew his wife well, and could tell there was something else on her mind. “What is it? You look like you want to ask me something.”

    She looked down to the floor, then back up into Cole's eyes, “They say your heart stopped... Cole, they said you were dead, that they didn't think they could bring you back. Did anything happen while you were... out?”

    “No, nothing that I recall.” He said truthfully.
  6. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Oct 16, 2012
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    Young Patrick. 219 words.

    Young Patrick took a bullet through the face. It went out the back of his head, along with his brains and blood. He slumped on the bodies in the mud. The charge across the line had stopped just fifty yards from the trenches from which he ran. A thick jungle of wire blocked the way, now full of tangled figures propped up like department store mannequins. After the smoke cleared and the whistles fell silent, the men in the trenches could hear nothing but the screams of the dying and the occasional snap of a bullet. And then: Ready the line! Fix bayonets!

    But that was not the end for brave Young Patrick. A bright red poppy sits wedged beside his name, put there by a boy of seventeen who enlisted the other day. For a hundred years the wall has stood and carried the names of the dead. So even though his body was lost in the field on which he fell, shelled and blown to bits by a thunderous storm from hell, he lives forever, beyond death and fear, on the long bronze wall. He will be remembered for the rest of human time. And every year some stranger will place a bright red poppy beside Young Patrick's name, bow their heads, and pray. Lest we forget.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  7. Canopyvine

    Canopyvine Member

    Aug 22, 2014
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    Conversations in Afterlife, 298

    "Angel, which is god's astrological sign?"
    "Don't be silly. First and foremost god is eternal. He has no birth date so he will have a sign. And secondly religion has absolutely no relation with astrology. For example, Jesus was born on the 25th of December, in the sign of Capricorn, but no-one is foolish enough to say that Jesus is a Capricorn".
    "Why not? They do say that the holy Mary is a virgin".


    "I remember how happy with life were Adam and Eve, while they were still here in Paradise. Of course they were innocent and foolish and that's why they were happy, they would run around all day like little children.
    But then everything was lost: The snake gave them the fruit of knowledge and they learned..."
    "What did they learn?"
    "That man originated from apes."
    "So angel, you don't agree with the Darwinian theory?"
    "Of course not! I have met Adam and Eve personally. However, we here were saying that man originated from apes, before Darwin did".
    "How's this?"
    "You should have seen Eve".


    "The best qualification for a demon is evilness, because every demon, from Lucifer to the smallest devil, has to do one evil deed a day".
    "Ha! The opposite of the boy-scouts".
    "Exactly! For example, a boyscout takes an old woman and he leads her to the pavement, but a demon does the opposite".
    "He takes a young woman and leads her to the pavement".
    "When it comes to me though, I don't think that I will ever be really evil. Yesterday I dropped one of the damned into boiling water and, right away, I regretted it".
    "Yes, I thought that he would suffer more in boiling oil".
    "But how could you drop someone in boiling water?"
    "Not someone: someone's soul. Souls are like tea bags, no matter how long you dip them in boiling water nothing happens to them, they just suffer".
    "Anyway, I don't get why the damned don't revolt. What do they have to lose? What worse could happen?"
    "They tried once but they failed. Cain had organized them but he made a mistake and they stopped trusting him".
    "What did he do?"
    "He started a speech with "My brothers".
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  8. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

    Jan 7, 2015
    Likes Received:
    New Mexico
    Broken Sloths (450 words)

    Always kept to myself. Conflict’s cumbersome, socializin’s tiresome, even finishing that game I just bought’s a chore. And speakin’a chores, intolerable tasks, forced by the passing days, always tearin’ my soul, ‘Why’d this matter?’ ‘How’s I any different from a slave?’ ‘Am I bein’ dramatic?’ ‘Why doesn’t it seem like it; why are these thoughts the only peace I have?’

    Thought I’as happy watchin’ shows, readin’ books, and playin’ video games. Now the fact I’m distracting myself, frustrates me to no end. I look at those pastimes with relentless shame; turns me away in disgust. How’d that used to be enough? What kind of life I’ve been leadin’? What’d I need to change?

    Over the next few days I distracted myself with those questions. Maybe that was happiness. A bitter, loathsome form of it. But I knew that couldn’t be right; it was just the closest thing I knew. It was strange, havin’ lived my life, not understandin’ what happiness was. I thought I knew, but that understandin’ seems so fleeting now.

    Starin’ at my computer screen afta’ work, its dull glow, lights up my glassy eyes. I’m readin’ ‘bout a new film that’s lookin’ purty good. Do I have enough money to watch this movie and eat too? Wait. Is this what we are? Wasn’t I figurin’ sumtin’ different yesterday? What happened? Simple. Never figured a’thing. Am I givin’ up? Or distracting myself again, ‘voiding the one thing thought’d bring me happiness. But then again what do I know. Probly closest thing to happiness I’d find’s good movies. Maybe that really is happiness… equally’s upsettin’. That word… distraction… gets to me. What am I distractin’ myself from? Spent too long avoiding these questions, anything seems wrong. But it’s there. A dull ember burning under my heart. Finding it… discoverin’ what it really was… why’s it so hard?

    Gettin’ away from the computer I decide’a run outside, sprintin’ through streets, reflecting, beggin’ my body to tell me.

    That’s it! I realize what my timid nature’s been so eagerly coverin’ up. But then again, it’s too late. Sumtin’ real big just crushed me from above.

    “Ignoring your friends and family,” A deep voice echoes, “You haven’t helped anyone in a very long time. Overall you’ve lived a useless, pointless, self-serving life that isn’t worth remembering. Such a shame. So much passion… wasted. Worst of all, your self hatred stopped you from enjoying anything. I guess you should’ve survived a little more before you came here.”

    “Here? Wher’ am I?” I look around an endless darkness, deep shadows twistin’ in the abyss.

    “No where special.” The powerful, sinister voice continued, “Welcome to the last place you’ll ever visit… Welcome to Hell!”
  9. iamjacks

    iamjacks New Member

    Mar 8, 2015
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    Between This World and the Next

    It was one morning a few years back that was returning to his memory lately. He had travelled home for two or three days, to be in the place he grew up in again, to see his retired parents. It was sometime in March and still very cold but he was self-consumed, cocooned inside his own head.

    He walked into his family's kitchen to find his father there, seated at the table in the center of the room. His dad's expression upon looking up at him was not casual or a familiar one. It was one of confusion. It didn't last, and things went on as per normal just afterwards, but there it was.

    For the remainder of the day, he and his father exchanged small talk. It extended into a longer conversation about current news things as the light outside began to fade. The two returned to familiar roles, those that had developed in the years when he still lived here.

    His father's unrecognizing look from earlier came back to him here and there, in waves, as he lay in bed.

    Somewhere in the universe is a place where all things past and future are kept. In this place, he would know how much time was left, to spend with the old, to say things he was too resentful to say.

    For years and years a person can raise and mentor you and then one day, even just for a few moments, their eyes show no recognition, they've never seen you before. You are quietly shaken from that, maybe the other is too, and we all try just to move on.

    His father's eyes said that an inescapable change of life had come. The haunted look wasn't very hidden.

    Someone in this universe knows what happens after we die. If they could, surely they would describe this after-place, if it is there.

    Years and years ago, a hundred billion miles away, was a young boy who lived in this very room. It was difficult to see him now, even as they shared the same walls. That was a completely different being.

    The resentment started surfacing back there. The tangible physical things happening to he and his peers at that age fed it. It was, however, already there. It had been there all along in the background, the part of us that is astounded at finding itself here at all.

    Regret was a taste in his mouth as he was opening the family front door and saying goodbye. There would not be many more times like this to speak with both his parents.
  10. Lilly James Haro

    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Kirkwall, Free Marches, Thedas
    The last entry in this thread will not be counted due to it being posted after the deadline ended.

    -Lilly James Haro
    Flash Fiction Contest Admin
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