Flash Frenzy Round 17

Posted: April 26, 2014 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to Round 17!

Your judge this week is flash aficionado drmagoo.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie, receive a winner’s page, and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

Photo courtesy Ashiwn Rao

Photo courtesy Ashiwn Rao

  1. Songbird

    No one has heard her sing. The years have passed without incidence. She occupies an elevated station at the palace, behind gold bars, as opposed to the usual gilded gilt, cage above even the emperor’s throne. Honoured, yet bound by the limits of the metallic enclosure. Needed. Heeded in spite of her silence. Because of.

    Her plumage holds myriad colours within its depths. It shimmers when the sun shines. They visit her then in their tens, hundreds, in humble homage to her beauty. Still, they hope not to hear her sing. She is preferable in the safety of silence. The community touch a hand to the constructs of the coop; press a finger to their lips and reach towards her or place a penny in the wooden box for offerings. Pray that their time will pass without occurrence. Only she knows, can tell them. They hope never to hear.

    She watches as they pass to and fro before her, about their business, in the world outside her walls. Flits from side to side, wing span stretched to its confined capacity. Fleeting flight.

    It begins without warning, the volume muted; a few notes, followed by a trill, before she bursts into song. Those nearby freeze fast, as they catch hold of the chorus; hear the refrain. They know what it means.

    Word travels by mouth, as she conveys her message lacking language, understood perfectly by those who have always known what it pertains. She will not stop now; not until the end.

    Within hours they set her free. No need now to keep her caged, as they hear the strains she sings. As her song takes flight, they gather about her, pauper, peasant, privileged alike. People sit cross legged, hold the smaller ones in their laps. Find spaces on the polished parquet where they can. The floor fills fast. They are one now, unified in their reception.

    No one knows how long it is before she ceases to sing; falls mute. The notes have held them fast amongst them – her boon before the inevitable. Now, her wings spread wide and she is airborne. They watch her leave in silence. They wait.


    (360 words)

  2. Should be “it shimmers” in the second paragraph on a re-read…

  3. Hummingbird

    I can already see my killer, stuck in traffic, shouting at his secretary. She’s on speaker so he can watch the road, but his attention is elsewhere anyway. She doesn’t have the files either and suggests checking the house, but he already knows they’re not there. That was practically the first thing I did to try and stop him, but it never did more than slow him up.

    The same goes for resetting his alarm clock, hiding his car keys and placing Diversion signs on his route. I even tried to make him call in sick, ran round the house flicking power switches and turning faucets, buzzing like a demented fly as I vibrated invisibly, milliseconds out of sync with him. That just made him more scattered the next morning and made me wonder if I was partly the reason it happened.

    Not that it really matters why he was there; It’s all about her.

    The lights change and he accelerates, speeding towards me, the sunlight gleaming off the windscreen. I look the other way, towards the house I used to live in, the car I used to drive. Like always, I get a weird split screen effect as I see it from one angle but remember it from another.

    A hundred yards down the street, Lucy’s about to step from the kerb, holding her homework book way up high, not looking where she’s going. She’s so impressed with her discovery, so eager to share it, she won’t see the car until it’s far too late.

    She’ll try to scream when she realises, but it will be too late for that too, and her final words will be the ones which lead me here, the idea which let me crack the code and make it into the timestream.

    “Look dad! Hummingbirds can fly backwards!”

    I hear the words and know that I can’t watch her die any more.

    This is the only way to stop it.

    I watch myself, a hundred trips ago, flailing for Lucy’s shoulder and looking past me at the car.

    I smile at him, raise a hand in greeting, then step out to meet my killer.

    360 words

  4. The Garden
    194 words

    Somewhere in the furthest corners of the planet, somewhere between heaven and earth, lays the most beautiful garden ever created.

    The trees grow thick and tall, their branches reaching outward towards the sky. Their leaves sparkle and shimmer in the sunlight, whistle in the wind, and sound like tiny drums in the rain. Flowers of every variety bloom in the garden. Their fragrances blend together to form the most intoxicating perfume.

    The best thing about the garden is the symphony of sounds. It begins with the frogs croaking an introduction. A million hummingbirds join in by flapping their wings as they move from flower to flower. The other birds sing their songs. All of them are different, but somehow they fuse together to form the perfect harmony. The occasional thunderous roar of a tiger breaks up the song, but eventually a new one starts.

    Although there are numerous books about the garden, no one in recent history has seen it with their own eyes. Many people dismiss it as legend. They call it the modern day version of the Garden of Eden. But I believe it’s real. Some day I’m going to find it.


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