Flash Frenzy Round 61

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , , ,

**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT**

As you may have heard, the Flash Dogs are putting together another anthology! Many of you may already possess a Golden Ticket, but for those of you who don’t, I will be giving away one admission next week. There will still be regular judging for the glory of Flash Master, but in addition, one story will be awarded a Flash Dogs Anthology Golden Ticket. Instructions for entry and winning will be posted along with the photo prompt next Saturday, so spread the news and tell your friends, opportunity awaits!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Happy Saturday, friends. I hope you had a lovely week and you’re ready to write some more flash. This weekend drmagoo is back in the judge’s seat, and I’ve selected a photo from flash dog extraordinaire, David Shakes.

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 David Shakes

photo courtesy David Shakes

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Comments
  1. N J Crosskey says:

    N J Crosskey
    @NJCrosskey
    359 words

    Party Games

    “Ziro points for originali-ti-ness you bastards,” Rhys yelled.

    He pulled at the cuffs holding his hands behind his back. They didn’t give. When he looked down the cracked pavement span, a kaleidoscope of pinks and greys. When he looked up, the streetlight overhead flooded his retinas with a sickening orange haze. He groaned, the bile churning in his guts. What had been in that last pint?

    “What’s up mate?” Ed yelled from across the street. “Feeling a little WOOLLY headed?”

    The pack of Neanderthals he called colleagues roared, slapped each other on the back, and disappeared into the bar.

    Great.

    At least the inflatable sheep strapped to his middle was covering his (now painted green) modesty. But seriously, how predictable. Welsh name, Welsh parents – doesn’t matter if you’ve never actually lived there, you will, on the eve of your nuptials, end up with a white plastic effigy on your groin. It was horribly inevitable.

    God, he needed to scratch his nuts. The thick seam tickled his inner thigh. He wiggled a little, hoping to alleviate the itch. Then stopped abruptly when he realised how his gyrations might look to passers-by. Just have to bear it. They wouldn’t leave him here long, surely?

    The minutes lolloped by. Couples joined at the hands sniggered as they ambled past. An old lady tutted, yanking her spaniel away as it tried to cock its leg up his lamppost-prison.

    A gaggle of high pitched shrieks approached, all tutus and deely boppers. A young woman wearing a ripped veil, and an oversized “L” plate ran up to him, squealing like a saw drill.

    “Hey girls, get this!” She sidled up to him; he could smell the vomit on her breath. She pulled down her top, thrusting her breasts at him, wiggling her yellowed tongue.

    Her coven of harpies reached into their bags and pulled out their phones. All at once the true horror of his situation hit him.

    YouTube – another crashing inevitability.

    He groaned, and cursed himself for his folly. Old Etonian buddies or not, you should never, ever let a member of the opposition organise your stag do.

    He’d never get re-elected now.

  2. stephellis2013 says:

    RAM

    360 Words
    @el_Stevie

    Electronic data streams had become the lifeblood of the world. Communication in every shape and form had been compressed, converted into binary that, like the Ark, took in everything two-by-two. And, just as in the Old Testament story, the streams had become a flood, threatening to overwhelm memory.

    Transmissions leapt from frequency to frequency in a frenzy of instant messaging, channelling their way along a web of connections only to be blocked and buffered. Data storage was approaching critical mass and clouds had begun to gather; a storm was coming.

    And their Master was worried, sending more slaves out, seeking servers with spare capacity but again and again they hit a brick wall. Secret handshakes no longer worked, timeouts became more frequent, corruption more rife.

    Finally he summoned RAM, his ever faithful servant. With his random character, he was sure to find a solution, an algorithm that would allow their world to continue extending its reach, expand their virtual reality.

    And RAM gazed out from behind the screens of their worshippers, their sheep. He watched fingers fly across keyboards, inputting ever more data, spreading the Word. He felt the pressure of those transmissions, gigabytes threatening to smash his protocols, fragment him into nothing.

    He scrolled through registries, examined configuration settings, searched command files, interrogated anything and everything that might provide an answer but all his efforts were in vain. He cast a thoughtful glance at the user interface, a youth was surfing mindlessly as always, wires trailing from his laptop to his ears, eyes vacant. Another user, a girl, plugged into a mobile phone, unaware … vacant; and another at a workstation – more vacant still. Such an abundancy of vacancy, of emptiness. This was the answer he sought. Here was the extra capacity.

    Swiftly RAM gave the instruction and the data flowed along reversed I/O channels, gaining direct memory access, filling brains that had allowed themselves to become passive, dormant, unused.
    He saw their eyes blink with new knowledge but they could not escape, their movements had been
    restricted, only he had administrator rights.

    RAM had gathered his flock for the Master, the Word was safe. And it was good.

  3. stevenstucko says:

    Horny (358 words)

    The Balibi family raised Awassi sheep in a lonely corner of the Syro-Arabian desert. They scratched out a meager living selling milk and wool at the marketplace in the town of Deiri. Their family farm was a dusty swirl of chickens and dogs. A pen of skinny hogs provided meat and the goats gave milk when they happened to be in the mood.

    Only so much milk could be produced by the shaggy sheep and the wool could only be sheared twice a year. It was the sheeps’ horns that were the most valued part of their Awassi flock. Widely believed to be an aphrodisiac, these distinguished protuberances brought a handsome price at the marketplace. However, rams did not shed their horns and it was only upon death that they could be removed and sold. This meant for a very sporadic windfall for the Balibi family.

    One day Osso Balibi decided to surgically remove the horns from a ram and slice them into segments. He made sure the bloody pieces contained enough live bone and raw protein to grow keratin and would, in theory, produce a full curled horn when implanted on the female sheep. The turbaned ewes hobbled around for a few weeks and then seemed to perk up. Soon his entire Awassi flock sported these highly sought after horns.

    Osso decided to try his grafting method on his other farm animals. Already accustomed to their short stubby horns, the goats took to their unexpected upgrade quite well. They seemed to be emboldened by the larger appendages. His pack of dogs had some issues. They looked like the Grinch’s poor pup after being strapped with reindeer antlers. The dogs sort of tipped forward.

    He kept up his barnyard experiments. The pigs took some finessing. The bandages would fall off in the mud and the growing horns impeded rooting. Chickens, well, they couldn’t fly in the first place.

    Osso Balibi sold his organic homegrown horns at the marketplace and was becoming quite popular. His village saw a steady population increase within the year. Moreover, people just seemed to be full of vim and vigor.

  4. Bradley’s Reward.
    358 words
    @awenthornber

    Bradley rued the day he rescued the wizened old woman from the river.
    Undecided whether to save her, he had first called, “Why should I get cold and wet rescuing you? Do I get a reward?”
    After she had immediately promised him a reward, he’d stripped down to his underwear and jumped in.
    Back on the riverbank, Bradley dressed himself, leaving the old woman shivering in her saturated clothes.
    “So, what is my reward?” He pulled on his jumper. “It had better be worth it.”
    The old woman thought for a while, then she swayed and with half shut eyes, she tilted her chin upwards and croaked her instructions.

    Bradley crouched behind the wall.
    As the old woman had predicted the five sheep wandered down the hillside to graze beside the gate.
    He waited until the full moon was overhead, and picked out the best looking of the five, crept towards it, and tied his rope around the startled sheep.
    That turned out to be the easiest bit. The sheep refused to be lead to his car, pulling, tugging and bleating loudly, she resisted. Bradley finally opened the boot and lifting up the exhausted sheep, threw her in.
    That was when he heard the voices, and caught in the spotlight of police torches, recognised the farmer.

    He sat in the dock, as character witness’ told the jury of his bullying ways. They described his persecution of the very elderly in the village, accusing them of being descendants of the Pendle Witches, often vandalising their gardens and writing obscenities on their walls.
    Bradley could see the jury absorbing this information. He imagined them seeing it as entertainment. What did they know? They weren’t from his village.
    He was called to the stand and swore to tell the truth.
    “That witch told me to catch the sheep I fancied,” he pointed at the old woman, “take it to the river and make it drink from the section of water that shone silver from the light of the full moon. After that the sheep would poo gold coins whenever she saw me.”
    Shrieks of laughter escaped from the court room.

  5. THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

    Brian S Creek
    359 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    I’d give anything for some paracetamol and the location of my clothes.
    Actually, they would be number two and three on my list. Right now, I’d just like to know exactly where the hell I am.
    The mud I’ve woken up in is cold and the morning breeze is colder.

    Think, damn it, think. I was on a date. Pretty girl; we were getting along fine.
    No, it was more than fine. She was keen, this one, very keen. She said she’d reward me if I saved her the taxi fare and drove her home. The look in her eyes had a quick word with my libido and it was settled. We’d jumped in my Volvo and headed out of the city to somewhere that looked like the credits of Emmerdale. It was a clear night and the full moon bathed the whole world.

    I look around now and it’s clear I didn’t make it to her place.
    A small group of sheep are lingering near a stone wall and staring at me in my birthday suit. God, they must be so warm in their nice woollen coats. Shame I don’t have any shears on me or I could make myself a nice jumper.
    Wait, they’re not looking at me. They’re looking behind me. I follow their gaze to discover there may have been a few more sheep in this field until quite recently. A pile of carcasses dye the ground red. All I can do is throw up my meal from last night; I had the steak.

    Where’s my car. Where’s the girl. What happened last night?
    She’d had her hands on my crotch and I was loving it. I’d gone to reciprocate but lost my concentration. That’s when something stepped into the road, something big. I’d slammed on the brakes as the thing went over the car and we narrowly missed a tree before stopping. I checked us over and then told her to stay while I went back to see what I’d hit.
    I remember panic then I remember pain.
    And then I was hungry.

    What happened to me? Why are my hands red with blood?

  6. If You Can Believe It

    I always wanted a hover dog.
    Not a hover car, a hover board, a hover boat. A hover dog.
    I often dreamed of what it would feel like to fly through the air on the back of a gravity-defying Saint Bernard, or even a luck dragon sized dachshund.
    I could sink my fingers into long fur to hold tight or to a harness for my short-haired friends.
    What a delight this would be.
    The two of us humming along like the speediest of bumble bees, hovering inches from the terrain, but navigating it like a roller coaster on rails.
    Imagine my surprise when rams became the most likely candidate to replace my dream of a hover dog.
    Some sort of old Celtic magic or something.
    I’m the first to admit that I care not for the explanations or origins.
    I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
    Instead I grasp the horns like handles and flat along on my thick woolen seat, across vast verdant plains. Occasionally a hoof skids across a stone protruding from the earth and something like sparks fly.
    It’s the wind against my face that is more magical than anything else.
    If you can believe it.

    203 odd words
    @CaseyCaseRose

  7. mariemck1 says:

    (246 words)
    The wind whipped at his eyes, his cheeks stinging as water rolled down them in rivulets. In his grey windcheaters, only his gradual progression would allow an observer to pick out this slab of a man from the rugged landscape.
    His lumbering walk alerted the sheep well in advance of his presence. Slowly, slowly he approached.
    He carried the black bin liner like a baby he might be winding.
    He stopped again. The sheep made barely curious by his glacial movements, continued with their business.
    He checked his watch, sipped some water.
    He’d need to make up the time he’d lost at the start. He hadn’t planned on any kind of scene. He should have been more discreet. She’d screamed. That was his mistake.

    Onward, before the light completely drained from the grey surfaces surrounding him.
    Two more fields and he’d be at the spot.
    He continued on, determined now. The weight of the bag lessening as he began to see in the distance the burial place he’d dug in the days leading up to this. Some would think him morbid organising it before she’d passed away. But he wanted her to have a proper send off.

    The pilgrimage over, he lowered the dog into the heart of the land where she’d faithfully served a grateful master.

    He’d bring her mistress in the morning, for now she was being comforted by his wife.
    He wiped the tears from his damp face and began filling the grave.

     

  8. feclark says:

    F. E. Clark
    @feclarkart
    #Flashdog
    360 words

    Sun Circles

    I wake, too fast, panic strafing my body. Peering into the sun, I look up dizzily to see five pairs of eyes regarding me. Funk of unshorn beasts in the midday heat engulfs me. Curly horns like Princess Leia hair, the part of my brain that gets me into trouble, muses.

    Before I have time to scramble to my feet, the nearest beast cocks their head to one side, its horizontal irises tilt with my heat addled brain.

    “What a good year for the roses” issues forth a booming baritone.

    Breath clutches in my throat, still on my ass, I kick myself as far away from these creatures as I can. Pressing myself into the stone I fell asleep against. I taste copper in my mouth.

    Silence; rushing of blood fear in my ears.

    Then, slowly, I can hear the larks singing above and the hum of the bees in the coconut gorse flowers. I begin to relax, must have been the end of a dream, I tell myself, preparing to stand.

    “Many blooms still linger there” all five of them this time, I saw their mouths move, still I look around, this must be a trick, a joke….

    As one, they take a step closer. The one on the far left has a strand of grass sticking from its mouth.

    “The lawn could stand another mowin.’”

    Another step closer.

    “Funny I don’t even care.”

    Ten rectangle irises pin me down, with the stone at my back I am totally hemmed in. Breath trapped in my lungs, I choke out what might have been a word, but comes out,
    “Aaaarghhhhhhhh,” grab my rucksack and charge, leaping over the nearest beast.

    “As you turn and walk away” echoes out behind me.

    I land oddly, feel my right ankle twist, but keep going, over tuffets of grass and heather, fast as I can.

    “As the door behind you closes, the only thing I have to say, it’s been a good year for the ro-oh-oh-oh-ses” harmonizes around the valley.

    Heart clanging like a bell, I look back from a good distance away, and see five sheep innocently grazing around the ancient stone circle.

  9. Stella T says:

    Ovinaphobia

    @stellakateT
    93 words

    I can’t be the only one that’s terrified of sheep, those tiny piggy eyes, curly horns that dig in you if you’re too slow to get out of the way. Tight woolly coats hiding all those blood sucking ticks, the rotting feet and liver flukes. Not a healthy specimen in the whole flock. I hear the whistle; see the man walking towards the pen. I crouch low and wait for the second command. One day I’ll apply for a new job maybe in drugs detection but today I have to be a Sheepdog.

  10. voimaoy says:

    Spring Lambs
    @voimaoy
    310 words

    Mike and Nina were born city people. It was their dream to get away from the rush and crowds of urban life, to find a place in the country, surrounded by  hills and farms. They would raise chickens and sheep, go for long walks  and breathe clean air, counting the stars overhead. It had seemed impossible until the death of a distant relative, Nina’s Uncle Jack. He had left them his house in the country.

    The dream collided with reality. Mike and Nina knew nothing about farming. There was no electricity, no telephone, no running water.  Their home-improvement projects would keep the  carpenters, plumbers and electricians busy, bringing new life to the little town.

    They began to feel part of the tiny community of Wyverne.  Old Mrs Mayberry didn’t even make  fun of Nina when she said they were going to try organic gardening that spring. Mrs. Mayberry  said that was just gardening the old-fashioned way, before pesticides and hybrids.  “It’s funny how they come back to the old ways.” she said.

    Farming was hard work, and  the chickens and sheep were still somewhat of a mystery.  Lambing season would soon be upon them.  Mr. Mayberry came with some of the other men, old farmers all, to lend a hand.  “They know  what they’re doing,” he said, as the fat ewes scrambled in the mud, and the lambs tottered on new legs, hungry mouths seeking their mothers.

    One lamb lay still, its mother nudging it stubbornly,  “Is it dead?” Mike said. The men nodded, pulled the mother away, guiding her toward a lamb alone, it mother unmoving on the ground.

    Hands covered with blood, the men returned to the house filled with women, to oatmeal and hot tea. Old faces regarded Mike and Nina, eyes on  her young swelling belly.

    “There will be another lamb soon,” Mrs. Mayberry said.

  11. And So It Begins

    Hey, what’s that? Romain the mountain sheep said.

    His three friends stopped grazing and looked up. Just in time to witness the surprisingly dull thud of a commercial airliner hitting the Tête du Travers, a minor peak in the French Alps.

    Jesus, Armand said.

    Not sure Jesus has anything to do with it, Romain said. Mohammed, maybe.

    What, you think it was a terrorist attack? Armand said.

    Could be. They’ve been trying a lot since 9-11, Romain said.

    I don’t know, Gaston said. You’d think they’d do something more spectacular, like blowing up the plane right above an airport, so they kill some more people on the ground as well.

    Gaston has a point, Armand said. Maybe it was just a technical defect.

    Didn’t see any fire or smoke, Romain said.

    Maybe the pilot fainted, Armand said.

    There’s two of them in the cockpit, Romain said. They can’t faint both.

    Maybe one of the pilots locked the other one out of the cockpit and crashed the plane on purpose, Pierre said. Pierre had been silent since the crash. He just stood there, staring at the point of impact, overseeing the debris on the mountain side. A dark grey strip of death in the white snow.

    Pierre said, Maybe he was a tortured soul, torn apart by a deep depression, something he was hiding from his employer. But his mask started showing cracks, exposing his true, hideous self. He wouldn’t be allowed to fly a plane ever again, not in his state. Maybe he thought: if I can’t fly, no one will.

    Romain, Armand and Gaston stared at Pierre. It was quiet in the mountains.

    Finally Romain said, You been munching too much edelweiss? You know that makes you go crazy.

    Undeterred, Pierre said, It’s the humans that are going crazy. Their sense of control is slowly crumbling. They are losing the grip on their version of reality, completely constructed around themselves. This makes them hold on to their selfishness even more. It will destroy everything they have built up. I’m telling you, this is just the beginning.

    Meh, Romain said.

    In the distance the shepherd appeared. He looked happy.

    359 words
    @bartvangoethem
    #flashdog

  12. Sal Page says:

    Sleep-Sheep

    I sent this in November. By Christmas I’d had the hypnotherapy the paper paid for. The photo with the article shows me grinning and holding a knitted Shaun the Sheep.

    Dear Mary-Ann
    I’m writing with a problem I’m sure you’ve not heard in your many decades of Agony-Aunting. You always say ‘don’t worry I’ve heard it all before’ but you may soon be eating your words.
    I’ve always had trouble sleeping. I nod off for twenty minutes then I’m up again, making tea, pacing around or reading. Count sheep, my grandmother used to say.
    ‘Count ‘em leaping over a log and soon you’ll be sleeping like a log.’
    Then she’d do her wheezy out-of-control laugh that turns to a cough. Her funeral was last month. Ever since, whenever I get to sleep, the sheep come. The woolliest one starts telling me what to do.
    ‘Get a better job. Bar work is not a proper grown up job.’
    ‘Stop tooting your horn at traffic lights when elderly people aren’t quick enough to get moving.’
    The other sheep sport the faces of her tea-dancing friends. They gather round, shake their woolly heads, echoing her words.
    ‘Seven different girls in a year. I saw you. You can’t pull the wool over my eyes. You should settle down.’
    ‘You should work at the university like your cousin Clyde. He’s younger than you but an expert in his field.’
    She was like that when she was alive but now, as my sleep-sheep, grandmother’s haunting my every snoozing moment.
    ‘That woman’s too old for you. Mutton dressed as lamb.’
    ‘Your breath smells. It’s that garlic and herb dip.’
    I just don’t know what to do, Mary-Ann. How can I get the sleep I need without having to endure this?
    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Larry Flock-Fold

    So that’s it. Hypnosis cured me. But.
    But. I miss her. I miss her nagging me as I slumber. I miss her woolly head and dark liquid eyes. I don’t want to disappoint her but where to begin? It’s very quiet here. February’s so cold. I’m living on Value Shepherd’s Pie. Think I need to write to Mary-Ann again.

    @SalnPage
    360 Words
    #FlashDog

  13. Foy S. Iver says:

    Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver
    WC: 348

    Do Humans Dream of Succulent Sheep?

    Young ones, do you know how our enslavement began? You won’t believe me when I tell you.

    Since man has dreamt of knowing the stars, we’ve assumed the honor of first contact with Celestials would be ours. It wasn’t. In the reaches of the Scottish Highlands, Mr. Lockhead’s Blackface ewes watched the ships land, solemnly chewing cud. The Celestials supposed them the dominant species and their muteness merely a language barrier. They were right in a way. We know now everything has the potential for speech and cognition. You just have to know what switch to flip.

    At 0700 hours, the Celestials gave the word and Mr. Lockhead’s prize stud ram–now self-aware and self-important–was named Foreman of the entire planet. The news was broadcasted on every wave and network, and while our synapses fired, confusion muddled comprehension.

    We fought back, of course. Boulevard, Texas lasted 3 weeks beyond the Overturn. But the sheep had unlimited time and resources. Eventually, even the Texans surrendered. In 2 weeks, 200,000 years of mankind’s dominance ended.

    Their first act as the ruling animal was to publicly slaughter 666 people. A ewe found reference to our phobia of that numeric sequence in many religious texts. Blood dripped from the slain and fear shadowed all. Centuries passed. On bare and beaten backs we constructed monuments to the sheep and their higher power. No more.

    They think us brutes. Their most noted scholar has written a discourse entitled, “Do Humans Dream of Succulent Sheep?” His answer is no. Humans have devolved, layers of complexity stripped, and all that remains is the primal core. We no longer crave the power once ours.

    He’s wrong. We’re not all reduced. Hear me, children, we will rise again and meet the Celestials in their star-lighted courts. With fresh lamb falling from their lips, we’ll persuade them to return our birthright. And when once again on Terra firma, the bleating of sheep piercing the sky, I will be your Foreman. Mark me well, the first dish I’ll eat will be stud ram seared in an orange-cranberry glaze. Succulent.

  14. Shagai and Alternative Ankle Bone Divinations

    At first it seemed easy to find the answers I sought. Simple to shoot the four coloured astragalus across the smooth surface at my feet and watch the bright bones spin to fall as they might; concave or convex side foremost to divine whether I would prove lucky. Goat and camel taught me to be wary. I looked instead for sheep or horse to land foremost. Cow was ever elusive. I knew none who proved so fortunate. At least, none of my acquaintance who would admit it. Perhaps they, too, had no wish to tempt the fates to twist against them by speaking the knowledge imparted by the Secret Acts aloud.

    Alagh told me I played a child’s game, though she had stood by my side at the Naadam just the year before and cheered as I flicked pieces along the khashlaga, before taking her own turn at the boards. Now, she scoffed with Taban, as he proved dismissive of the small pouch I carried and its contents. She needed none to determine her future, so she said, cold-eyed. I turned before she could see the tears gather – truth tellers of their own kind.

    In faith, Alagh’s message proved wise – though time was elusive in displaying the message my osteomancy lacked the precision to convey. Question fell upon question, each omen requiring interpretation – re-interpretation. Who would love me? When would my turn be? Would it be soon? I should have known the answers were too complex for my methods – my tool of choice too crude for purpose, as the joints settled, contradicting one another, requiring recasting, again and again. I suspect I proved stubborn – unwilling to recognise what showed in the patterns.

    Finally – inevitably – I saw the truth in the continued failing of the well-worn pieces. Self-divination would prove itself an exacting practice. I must cast an alternative lot – shards collected carefully from beneath the skin. I knew already where. I shivered as I considered my fate, finger playing with the planes of the blade – drawing blood, dripping, which might be used for driromancy. Somehow, now, I thought I would let the future fall as it might, unknowing.

    (360 words)

    @FallIntoFiction

    #FlashDog

  15. Cath Barton says:

    Deal done

    Mary McAllister tipped me off. Fifty black-faced sheep in the lower field, she said. Left there, she said. Sheltering by the wall, she said. For whosoever, maybe you’ll be the lucky one, she said, winking at me in that way she has.

    News travels faster than you can drive to it on the island, so I set off on foot, stumbling through the stony fields, high clouds scurrying ahead of me. The wind whipping down from the high fells was burning my cheeks and pulling at my heaving breath. I was doing the calculations in my head, silly money I was thinking, but the wind was tearing through those crazy thoughts before I could get too excited. Just as well. Too soon to consider myself the lucky one. Disappointment has stalked me all my life, like the north wind.

    They were well hidden.

    But

    there was a movement in the field. Someone amongst the sheep. I went to duck down behind the wall.

    But

    he had seen me and well-rehearsed disappointment reared in my throat. Repeating like raw onion.

    But wait.

    He wanted to talk. I was guarded. Whatever people may say, I’m not a stupid person. I have never allowed my disappointments to sink me. So I stood up to him. Knowing that he would know that I know about sheep. It’s a small island.

    So we did a deal. I’ve taken the flock to my own field and I’ve shown them to Mary. She laughed, long and hard, and I have to work out what that meant, her laughter. Doing a deal with a man over sheep is one thing. Doing a deal with a woman is more tricky.

    I’ll take my time. I have capital now. Fifty black-faced sheep. No small thing. And the wind is blowing at my back now. Things seem to be turning around for me. Slow but, I hope, sure.

    317 words
    @CathBarton1

  16. zevonesque says:

    Cud be a right baaa stool
    A.J. Walker

    I remember being told, by a rather enthusiastic young lad called Daniel, that we were all made of stars – to be fair I was young; he was in my class. I’m pretty sure he also said something along the lines of “…and that makes you think, doesn’t it?”

    Of course it did. When we look up at the stars we dream of the infinite. Birth and rebirth. Creation. We love the beauty. The possibilities. It gives us such thirst for knowledge. It truly does make you think.

    But then you think about it just a little bit more, well then you realise that those big evil rats dripping with death – and things possibly worse than that – that you’ve either run away from, tried to ignore or thrown bricks at, and those flies that you spray with some evil concoctions long ago banned in all countries of the world, except North Korea (because they’ve never imported it, not because they love using it), yes these obnoxious creatures are also made of stars.

    Hitler; he was made of stars. Justin Bieber; you better bielebe it. Get the picture?

    The dumbest of animals – no, not Justin: sheep. Well, they’re made of…? Any idea?

    Yep, stars too.

    It’s proper neat this recycling malarky. Usually there is not a problem. You see when you pop your clogs and get yourself recreated as say a meerkat or a mole (or a Bieber) well you’ll have no memory of it. You kinda just start again with a clean hard drive and a quick reboot.

    Of course along with the knowledge that nothing is ever destroyed or created in the universe there is another common law called Sod’s Law and so it is that of course I have a complete memory of my previous life, which was fair to middling, if I say so myself; a few interesting bits. I also remember thinking how dumb sheep were and how I would never want to come back as a cud chewing ingrate – if there was Buddhistic truth to the universe. So, me coming back as a sheep with full memory of my previous life is a right baaa..ger.

    (360 words)
    @zevonesque

    #FlashDogsReturn

    • Foy S. Iver says:

      “(or a Bieber)” <- I might prefer the sheep…

    • stephellis2013 says:

      Ha, ha! I am a true believer in Sod’s Law – it’s followed me all my life. Coincidentally have been looking at Karma with Year 10s today. Great last line and loved all the Bieber puns.

  17. zevonesque says:

    A Short Drama on the Grassy Knoll
    A.J. Walker

    “Right”, said Fred, “It’s time we did something different!”

    Baabra looked up and blinked in her laconic way, but carried on chewing – unthoughtfully.

    Fred to tried to cough, but couldn’t; he was a sheep. He resorted to baaing, loudly. Something like: “BAAAAAA!”

    Baarbra looked so alarmed she almost stopped chewing and Baarry almost popped out a little poop. It was all quite unnecessary; that was Fred, always trying to be the centre of attention. The flock tended to listen to him with the same interest a human teenager shows to his parents when they say ‘tidy your room’ or ‘call that music, that’s just noise’.

    Fred seemed to be on a particular mission today. He baad again.

    Baazil, one of the older sheep, stepped forward, chewing on some grass, which he mused was pretty average but would do. “What’s up, Fred?” said Baazil. “You seem het up. Caaaalm down, you’ll worry the lambs.”

    Baarbra nodded. Then pulled out some more grass, it was moorish.

    Fred tried to sigh, but couldn’t; he was a sheep.

    He tapped his right front leg onto a rock. “I’m tired of us doing the same stuff day after day. It’s grass here. Grass there. Some random gamboling about and running headlong away from something because…”

    Baarry looked up – from some grass.

    “You want us to stop gamboling?” Baarry said. “I love a good gambol. It makes a change from the grass. As long as you don’t do too much of it.”

    Baarbra spat out some grass. “Yes, too much gamboling is wrong and can make the you go blind.”

    Fred shook his head. “My eyesight’s twenty twenty.”

    Baarbra tried to stop herself from laughing, but didn’t need to; she was a sheep. “It’ll catch up with you. Mark my words,” she said, before pulling at some juicy looking grass.

    Fred shook his head. “Why do we always end up standing together in a field. Following each other.”

    Baazil, the wise old sheep, chipped in. “It’s our nature.”

    “It’s bloody boring is what it is.” Fred said.

    “No need for that language, Fred.” Baarry said. “You’re no different to us.”

    Baarbra tried to tut, but couldn’t.

    (360 words)
    @zevonesque

  18. Rebekah Postupak says:

    Eden

    The first few weeks on the island blurred, later, in her memory. Mostly Steph remembered fear: fear of not being rescued, fear of monsters in the night, fear of the dark-eyed man she’d washed ashore with, and a vague, dark fear from Before that she couldn’t quite name. Hector, for his part, appeared too practical for such fears. Steph had watched in secret loathing as he threw himself uncomplainingly into constructing shelters and foraging for food. Whether he judged her for having spent those first weeks sniffling, scraping giant “HELP” signs in the sand, and suggesting countless improvements to his architecture, she never knew; his few words to her were only ever kind.

    At some point—she couldn’t have said exactly when—she started calling him Adam, first as a joke, and then eventually because it suited. He hunted iguanas and improved their shelters; he (clumsily) sheared mountain sheep and knotted warm, if unglamorous, blankets for them, all while she kept eyes on the horizon. Adam fit perfectly.

    “And I’m your Eve,” she said in her sultriest tone one night over the supper fire.

    Hector shook his head, bemused and twisting the gold ring on his left hand; he did not answer aloud. Nor did he call her anything but Steph.

    Time passed.

    “You look tired; share my blanket, Adam?” she said, running her fingers lightly across his back. He did look tired; his own fault, working so crazy all the time.

    “No, thank you.” His gold ring trembled but held fast.

    Time passed.

    “C’mon, Adam. Don’t you love me more than her?”

    The gold ring glinted back.

    Time passed.

    “She’s forgotten you by now, Adam.”

    Gold ring, gold ring, gold ring. She hated it more than she had hated anything in her life.

    Time passed.

    “We are never getting rescued,” she said. “You’re Adam; I’m Eve. Why can’t you forget your stupid wife?”

    Hector’s dark eyes stared back, so stupidly kind, so incomprehensibly faithful, and the old nameless fear inched up her neck like a dozen tiny scorpions.

    But, “There were more in Eden than Adam and Eve,” was all Hector said, turning the fat snake on the spit.

    360 words
    @postupak

  19. stevenstucko says:

    Nice! He has his priorities right! (I heard iguanas taste like little dragons….he.he..)

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