Cowboys and Sorcerers, Part Two

black dragon

Found at wallpapersafari.com

The 22nd Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

Clayton, Yao Jin, Landon, Mitchell, and Illanipi were trapped in a narrow canyon which was blocked at both ends by black clad gunmen, all firing their six-shooters at our heroes. Landon’s lantern amulet was shining a bright white light under his shirt indicating great danger.

Jake “the Magician” Mitchell turned his horse sideways, whipped out twin Colts at lightning speed and started firing a seemingly endless number of rounds in both directions.

Only Illanipi was totally calm throughout the battle. The trio from the future were ducking, even Clayton, a dragon disguised as a man, since he, the sorceress, and the eight-year-old boy were in between the gunslinger and his targets.

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The Shower Scene

bedroom

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The old motel wasn’t what Norman imagined. He thought an old Victorian in the California countryside converted to an inn would be charming and tasteful. But his room reminded him of “old woman bedroom.” Oh well, at least there was plenty of hot water for a shower. Cheap shower curtain but that part didn’t matter.

“What?” Norman thought he heard something but the shower water was too loud. “You know, if I didn’t know any better…”

The last thing he saw was the shower curtain being ripped aside and the old woman plunging a butcher knife toward his chest.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

As I hope you can see, I was going for a twist on the 1960 film Psycho which starred Anthony Perkins as the infamous Norman Bates. Unfortunately, 100 words isn’t a lot in which to be able to build suspense before the reveal.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Reggie

coffee cup goo

© artycaptures.wordpress.com

“What the hell is it, Neil?”

“I don’t know, Doctor. It was in my coffee cup when I opened the lab this morning.”

Louise Manners wrinkled her nose. “I told you never leave your dishes in the lab over the weekend. We work with biological…”

“Doctor, how could left over coffee turn into…into that?”

“We’d better not expose ourselves. Get the Hazmat gear. Let’s get it into a containment box.”

“Oh, there you are, you naughty fellow.”

Louise and Neil whirled at the sudden intrusion. Archie, the night janitor, was standing at the doorway. Ignoring them, he headed for Neil’s cup.

“That’s not your coffee.” He became aware of the two biologists staring at him.

“My pet fungus Reggie. I bring him to work with me for the company.”

Archie turned back to the cup. “You come with me now.” Walking out of the lab with the cup, Archie called over his shoulder. “I’ll bring this back tonight.”

Neil turned to Louise. “Pet fungus?”

“Neil, what if we could market it? Let’s get to work.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of August 15, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 175.

To me, the image seemed hideous and humorous at the same time. I was in the midst of writing but having trouble creating the twist at the end until I considered Simon Pegg’s rather funny take on the character of “Scotty” in the “Star Trek” reboot movies (the movies themselves aren’t that great, but I like Pegg’s performance). The story then wrote itself.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Sherlock and the Doctor

dr who

© A Mixed Bag 2013

“This is ridiculous, Watson. I deal in facts, not fiction.”

The two men had just stepped onto Baker street after exiting their flat and made, what to one of them, was a startling discovery.

“But I tell you, Sherlock, this Police Box wasn’t here when we went to bed last night. How could it have been installed so early on a Sunday morning?”

“I envy you sometimes, Watson. Not often, but sometimes. You’re mind is so simple and uncluttered. Obviously this is a hoax. See, the word ‘Demo’ is clearly posted on the door, and the door itself is locked.”

“How do you know it’s locked?”

“Try it.”

“Ugh. Yes, you’re right. I can’t budge it, Sherlock.”

“Come along, Watson. We’ll be late for our breakfast appointment and I believe our next case.” The tall, eccentric man called out toward the street. “Taxi!” Abruptly, their transportation stopped in front of 221B Baker Street. The duo entered and then rapidly departed.

Moments later, the door of the Police Box slowly opened and a befuddled older gentlemen stuck his head out. “Are they gone?”

I wrote this for the writing challenge at Sunday Photo Fiction for August 13th 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 186.

I think sometime back in the 1970s I watched a few episodes of Doctor Who (Tom Baker was playing the Doctor then) but have no interest in its current incarnation (mainly because I’d have to “catch up” by watching over 50 years of episodes and who has that kind of time?).

On the other hand, I’m slowly working my way through the more recent BBC television show Sherlock (currently in the middle of the second season) starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. I thought I’d throw the two together just to see what would happen.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Virgin Wept

pena

The Chapel at Pena

The Virgin wept to see the destruction of the monastery. First lightning and now the earthquake turned it to ruins. Thank God the chapel escaped harm so the monks and pilgrims still can come and pray.

“But what will happen to my poor monks now?”

“Please, you must return to your grave, sister. You are entertaining this terrible delusion and worse, perpetuating it among the living.”

“Who are you? How dare you speak to the Holy Virgin Mary that way.”

“Oh please. You are Maria Rosario. I’m your brother Filipe. We both died in a plague centuries ago. You were only thirteen when you perished. It has maddened you.”

“My brother…then I…”

“You keep manifesting yourself here and silly fools think you are their blessed Virgin. Stop it. Miriam, wife of Yosef couldn’t have been a virgin all her life as the Catholic legends state. Come. Return to your rest.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing challenge. Today, Pegman takes us to Pena, Portugal via Google street maps. The idea is to use the image and location as an inspiration to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is exactly 150.

As usual, I consulted Google and Wikipedia and discovered Pena Palace has an interesting history. According to tradition, construction of the chapel began after an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen. Pilgrimages to the site have been occurring since the Middle Ages.

Interestingly enough, about five months ago, I wrote a similar tale that was also critical of the system of Saints called The Fall of the Saints. I do consider myself a religious person but according to many Christian and Jewish authorities, it is highly unlikely that Miriam (Mary) remained a virgin all her life.

So I developed an alternate (fictional) explanation for such “visions”.

Oh, the monastery was damaged by lightning in the 18th century and  destroyed in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Obviously it has since been rebuilt.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Cowboys and Sorcerers, Part One

gunfight

From the opening of the television show “Gunsmoke.”

The 21st Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

6,000 years ago in Bronze Age China, Bingwen Lóng, a dragon disguised as a man, Yao Jin, a sorceress and sword wielder, and Xia Jiuzhou, an eight-year-old boy whose real name is Landon, stand on a ridge overlooking the mystical and mythical city of K’un-Lun.

“I shall miss our time here.”

“Yao Jin, we were all almost killed here.”

“Yeah, I want to go home now.”

“We will, Landon.” Bingwen Lóng looked down at his friend and patted his shoulder.

“It was still an extraordinary experience. Even you must admit that, Landon. After all, you met an immortal moon goddess and the daughter of a dragon.”

The boy took a deep breath. Yes, it had been thrilling to be among such amazing people, but he missed his Dad, his Grandpa, and his little sister.

“Well, as Landon said, time to go home.”

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Turn and Face the Change

alternate universes

Two days before he took his first trip through the time gate, Major John Kelgarries had a hush-hush meeting at Operation Retrograde with Antoine R. Barnes, Head of the Temporal Mechanics division, the last word in temporal field operations and perhaps the one person in the operation who actually understood the Forerunner time map.

It was late. Just about everyone was asleep at the arctic base except those personnel on night duty. They were in a small conference room. Barnes had cut the surveillance feeds. This was strictly off the record.

“That’s the long and the short of it, Major. Assuming your mission to bring back the survivors is successful, I can only predict to a 48% accuracy how our history and our present will be changed.”

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The Moaning Stone

rock

© CEAyr

“We’ve hiked three days to get here, Jason. Are you sure it’s worth it?”

“According to the old library book it should be.”

Jason and Jill climbed down the heavily wooded gully. “Should be around…there. The moaning rock.”

“Just a big rock, Jason.”

Then they heard the moan.

“I don’t like this Jason. Let’s go back.”

“Wait.”

“Alone.” The voice from the rock sounded like the wind.

“Are you the spirit?” The book was written eighty years ago by a hiker who said the rock was haunted.

“Home.” Lights started shining from deep depressions.

“No, Jason. Not spirits. A spaceship.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo above. My word count is exactly 100.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture of the rock is that it looked like it was somehow alive. I was torn between making it a horror story or science fiction. Jason and Jill almost had their souls eaten by spirits. Then I decided for a happier ending.

To read other stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Shuǐmǔ

bike

© Dorothy

“Bai. don’t give up now. She must be nearby. I can feel it.”

“We’ve pedaled long enough my brother Heng. It’s a hoax.”

“No. If we find her, we’ll be rich.”

“There is no ‘her’, Heng. We are being manipulated by a wealthy eccentric.”

“Send 68 pairs of contestants on tandem bicycles to search for the Shuǐmǔ? Why would anyone do such a thing if she wasn’t real?”

“Who knows? Boredom? Proving that people are basically stupid? Maybe he’s right.”

“The Shuǐmǔ is supposed to be a priceless treasure. The indicator, Bai. We’re close.”

Heng suddenly jumped off the bike and ran toward a building surrounded by dozens of identical bicycles. He ran inside.

“Heng, wait.” Bai’s shorter legs were pumping as fast as they could.

“Statues. Nothing but statues.”

“Heng, I recognize these statues. Our competition.”

“Hello, boys. I guess you found me,” she smirked.

Shuǐmǔ

Shuǐmǔ

Heng turned to stone before Bai’s eyes. Then Bai too became unmoving.

“When will that old fool stop sending his pawns after me? Money cannot buy the services of Medusa.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW writing Challenge for the week of August 8th. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 175 exactly.

I started writing with no clear end in mind, not even a real story. I just thought of two brothers being part of a competition, not a race so much as a scavenger hunt to find something valuable. I needed a tragic end which is when I wondered if the name “Medusa” has a Chinese counterpart. As it turns out, it does.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Tomorrow or Yesterday?

yesterday, today, tomorrow

Found at flickr.com

Major John Kelgarres had been the military commander of Operation Retrograde for over five years but in all that time, he’d never gone through a gate. Not until today.

“Are you sure your presence is really required John. After all, we know our job.”

“It’s not you Gordon. I’m Walter Byrd’s C.O. I’m responsible for the safety of the men and women under my command. Byrd’s been out of touch for a long time. He and his people have been stuck tens of thousands of years in the past. They thought we gave up on them, they thought they were alone, cut off. If there’s any doubt he’ll order his team to come home, I’m here to see otherwise.”

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