Monday, July 20, 2015

A Son’s Letter from Ft. Breach (1862) - @LadyHazmat - Flash Frenzy

This week's challenge was a prompt of a shark bursting from a brick wall. 

A Son’s Letter from Ft. Breach (1862)

My Dear Mother,

Once more I resume my pen to write you a few lines, it was with pleasure that I learned that you had had such a pleasant time at the salt water.

I write not to tell you of an act of bravery performed by myself but of an act of defiance. It is best you hear of it from your loving son than from Gen. McLean’s emissaries. The young man delivering this note was finely paid so feel no need to further reimburse him. If he requests more, he reveals himself to be the duplicitous sneak I suspected him to be. Alas, in my situation, I could find no other willing party to transit this letter.

To explain the charges against me. . . More hard fighting had been going on across the Virginia shores, there we escape again and again while others fall. Receiving a light head injury from a fall after a row with some yellow livered sympathizers I was placed on powder room duty. Was alone with our entire heavy artillery while my brothers-in-arms marched South.

I had taken to the comfort of a large bottle of whiskey in my solitude at the fort. Always a curious sort, you know this from my childhood travails, I set to discover what would and would not fit into our largest cannon “Northern Glory.” Many things did not fit, but one unusual item did. The masthead remaining from a sunken merchant vessel. A trophy of sorts from an afternoon of shelling the ships on the ocean.

The large wooden shark fit finely into Northern Glory. It is to my great dissatisfaction and current state of court martial that I found out the cannon was primed with powder. My lit cigarette provided the ash that provided the unwelcome flame and the wooden beast breached the fort wall quite easily.

I ask for nothing else than to remember me kindly to all inquiring family and friends, from your son,


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Obsessed With Less - @FlashFridayFic

Flash Friday! This week was a tribute to 1984.

Obsessed with Less

The month’s list was perfect. A neat list of twenty new words on the right a longer list of fifty words on the right. Nobody ever paid attention to the longer list. The populace of Neo-Termina all wanted to see what new slang was would be added to the official lexicon list. They seemed to care less about the words that would have to be purged to make way for the new ones.

The Office of National Lexicon had been tasked with thinning out the dictionary. Over time, it would help more children pass the federal standardized testing. Walter was the only librarian not to protest, in fact he’d actually been on PTO when the order came down. All of his peers had quit citing principles and integrity before he even got back from his lake house.

He was great at his job. Walter’s first suggestion was to make the yearly change monthly. Then he just started scaling up the list of deletions monthly. With every change nobody noticed the expunged words. With the approval for his recommended addition of the hashtag to the lexicon his new words were simply variations on existing ones. Soon enough he knew he would be able to purge monthly without any need to add anything new to the language.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tea Time @LadyHazmat Flash Frenzy

Created another flash entry this weekend to take a break from novella editing. 350 word limit and a tea cup prompt.

Tea Time

It always bothered Gladys that the ceramic canister looked so much like an urn. The shape, color and even the solemn weight of the thing gave her tea times a funerary feel. Over the past week she had to knock the container against its corner to collect enough of the powder to retrieve with her spoon. Her loose calculation only gave her about three more tea times with Harold before she’d need to fill the thing again from scratch.

She dumped the chalky powder into her Earl Grey and gave it a mix. She couldn’t say it did much for the flavor, it was just a custom she liked to keep. First with Lyle, then Harold and at some point soon with Garret. She looked at the power in the canister again. She could see the bone white china peeking back at her through the now-limited cover of its contents. “No time like the present I ‘spose.” She took a sip from her team and returned the canister to the shelf.

Gladys caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She smiled. Her teeth were immaculately white despite her continual consumption of tea. Not too bad for seventy-six, she thought. Further proof of the restorative power of the additive she was running low on. She didn’t know how it worked, but thought it had something to do with the abrasive nature of the minerals on her teeth.

She reached back into the shelf for a smaller container. One that only she knew existed. The dried belladonna leaves, once shredded, looked identical to her and Garret’s beloved Earl Grey. He’d never notice the deadly substitution.  Lyle and Harold certainly hadn’t.

Another sip and Gladys had found herself at the bottom of her tea with Harold. As always, there was a small cluster of clumps at the bottom of the delicate cup. She lifted the cup and scooped the remaining bits of Harold’s cremated remains with her tongue.

Being economical, she mixed the Belladonna leaves into the used Early Grey leaves. She lowered the infuser into the steaming kettle water and called to the other room. “Garret, tea time.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Treat Yourself @FlashFridayFic

This week had a certain Roald Dahl theme. . .

Treat Yourself

Rollie was fond of his favorite treat
White chocolate bars with small jerky meat
So imagine his heart speed up and tremble
When invited to tour where his treat was assembled

Their host for the day was broad smiling lady
Who looked like she’d eaten a box of treats daily
She promised to begin at the end of the tour
And let the kids gobble the treats piled on the floor

She guided the kids to the very next room
Where a burping machine made the treats they’d consumed
Chocolate in one tube, dried meat in the other
A third tube as empty, the kids would discover

When they walked ever closer to the third machine hole
their host for the day pushed them in with a pole
The witch cackled and laughed, her stomach excited
The treats Rollie loved were made for kids and by kids