Flash Frenzy Round 88

Posted: December 12, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to Flash Frenzy Round 88. Voima Oy is here to judge the final round of 2015. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of dragons, but in honor of Rebekah Postupak and Flash! Friday’s final farewell, I’ve chosen some other winged beasties for this week’s prompt.

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 Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

  1. Extracts from the Diary of a Castaway

    Day 3
    Dug up four yams and several different varieties of fruit. This place isn’t bad. Fresh air, sunshine, sea swimming every morning, fruit for breakfast, fire-baked yams for evening meal.

    Day 5
    Explored the caves. I sit eating papaya, watching the bats. Sweet little things, flitting around to and fro or hanging upside down.

    Day 10
    I need protein. Only so much fruit a man can eat. Spent all day collecting scraps of fishing net and twine and knotting them together. Wondering if I could catch something. Hypothetically, of course. Haven’t eaten meat or fish since childhood. Against my principles but exceptional circumstances.
    If a tin of chickpeas or kidney beans or a watertight bag of quinoa, doesn’t wash up within the next few days I may have to abandon those principles.

    Day 14
    Woke early, drooling over a dream-pizza. Olives, masses of mozzarella, parmesan and, surprisingly, pepperoni. Starving, painfully, nauseatingly starving. Sick of baked yams and fruit.

    Day 15
    Went to the caves again. Those creepy bats stink. Spent all afternoon sharpening a stick.
    So hungry. Attempted sleep to see what dessert followed that pizza. Would kill for a knickerbocker glory.

    Day 17
    Strung bits of fruit onto a bent coat hanger, hung it in the cave and waited. MacBat burger!

    Later … Did it! Nabbed FOUR. Triumphant! Man beats bats!

    Threaded three onto the stick and cooked over the fire. Bat kebab. The fourth I hung in a tree. Bat jerky for later consumption. I salivate at the thought of gripping the crisp wing flesh between my teeth and tearing it off in strips.

    Day 18
    I stare at the pile of tiny bones. They were delicious.
    Plan to find a gull gullible enough to allow itself to be caught, plucked, skewered, cooked and devoured by me.

    Day 19
    These past few days have been food for thought. When – if – I ever return home I’m having bacon sandwiches for every breakfast, burgers at lunch and rare steaks with foie gras at night.
    I watch the wind-dried bat swinging back and forth. It grimaces. I grimace back, muttering ‘No more lentils and tofu for me, mate.’

    360 words

    • CR Smith says:

      I imagine bats would taste – and look – a bit like chicken wings when cooked.
      It’s very funny, I like the idea of the gullible gull and the bat jerky.

  2. stephellis2013 says:


    357 words


    “Give me a bat and I’ll give you a plague,” said Professor Andrews.

    The two men stood silently at the entrance to the cave; Carl, his assistant, trying to suppress the feeling of panic already rising even though they had not yet set foot inside its dark interior. He was no coward but he really hated bats. He was only here because Mary had asked him to accompany her father one last time before he left for good. And he owed her that; his confessions, her subsequent visits to the clinic, he had to admit he had behaved appallingly. This was just one small step towards redemption – he hoped.

    “How many do you think there are?” asked Carl.

    “Haven’t the faintest,” said the Professor cheerfully. “That’s why we’re here. No problem is there?”

    Carl swallowed, thankful that the sun at their backs was still at its zenith; it meant the bats would be asleep. “No,” he replied. “None at all.”

    “Right then, one giant leap and all that …”

    Carl switched on his night vision glasses and followed the professor into the gloom.

    Slowly his eyes adjusted to the light. The professor nudged his elbow, pointed up at the ceiling.

    “I’ll start counting in here, you go through to the next chamber,” he whispered.

    Carl nodded and stumbled into an even darker cavern, trying hard not to look until he really had to. Then he raised his eyes and saw … nothing; another cave ahead, again nothing, another chamber, nothing. He dared go no further in case he got lost. He retraced his steps back to the first cave only to find the Professor gone.

    “Professor,” he called. “Professor, there’s nothing here.”

    “I beg to differ,” said Professor Andrews from somewhere in the shadows. “They’re all around us. Disease-riddled vermin. They need to be exterminated.”

    Small shapes began to flutter at the corner of Carl’s vision, growing in size, flying nearer, bringing back his earlier panic. His terror mounted, uncontrollable, unstoppable. Without thinking, he turned and ran into the darkness, the bats following.

    “As I said,” shouted the Professor after him. “Diseased vermin need to be exterminated.”

  3. A V Laidlaw says:

    259 Words

    A Folk Tale

    The bats hunt moths around the lamp outside. I finish my whisky and stand in the doorway to watch them flit across the light for a second before they vanish back into the darkness, creatures neither of one world nor the other.

    It reminds me of a folk tale I heard from the old babushkas of the Northern Caucuses while I was stationed out there during some insurrection. They told me about a witch who lived in the forests. She was very beautiful and had fled to the mountains to escape the men who professed their love for her while only desiring a single night with her body.

    One morning, a little after daybreak, a local prince led his men hunting for wild boar in the forests and came across the witch sleeping in a grove. The witch fled and led the prince, his men and his hunting dogs on a while chase through the forests, until they finally caught her at midday, when she was at her weakest. The prince dragged her back to his castle in chains, and put her in an iron cage in the courtyard. He ordered the priest to baptise her so the prince could marry her in the morning.

    But while he feasted through the night, the witch’s power waxed again. She drew on the magic from the shadows of the forests, the deep roots of the mountains that had never seen sunlight, the empty disk of the new moon. She cursed the land with a darkness.

    At first the prince and his men stumbled in the dark, but they found that by calling out, they could hear their voices echo off the walls and they could find their way around the castle passages. They advanced on the cage with their swords drawn. The witch cursed them again; they became deformed and so small their cloaks spread on the breeze and carried them away into the night.

    Now they fly as bats and bring nightmares with the whisper of their wings to all those who deserve them. I close the door and lock it. I pour another whisky. I dare not dream tonight.

  4. CR Smith says:


    W/C 355

    Nocturnal Creatures

    I was always a nocturnal creature. I’d sneak out of my bedroom late at night and explore the
    grounds, watching the moon shining its light across the orchard, casting new shapes and shadows and replacing all colour with blacks and greys.

    That night I remember seeing an owl, wings outstretched, silently swooping on its prey. When the owl disappeared from sight, my eyes continued on, stopping at the barn where flickers of light projected from the holes in its old walls. Curiosity made me head towards it.

    Once there, I heard muffled voices inside. Climbing the barrels by the back wall enabled me to look down, through the broken window, onto two silhouetted figures. I watched them remove a box from the back of their truck and place it on the barn’s floor.

    Their actions must have disturbed the bats, because I could hear the chatter of the pups as they shifted around. The apex of the roof was the maternity roost. The bats returned every year and I had spent many an hour logging their movements.

    The bats sent a shower of debris falling onto the men, who seemed worried that the roof was about to collapse. They jumped into their truck and drove off, leaving the box behind. Climbing down from my perch, I took a look inside it. A tiny bat hung in one corner.

    “You should be in bed asleep,” my father said, coming up behind me, “but now you’re here, you can help.”

    He told me the bat had been discovered on the ground a few weeks before. A local man had nursed it back to health, and now it was ready to be released in the hope that it would join the roost above.

    The first few days it ate the food we provided. After a while it stared to venture out on its own, often returning to the safety of the box. I spent my evenings watching it from a distance; watching it grow a little braver and fly a little further, until one night the box stayed empty. Although I waited and waited, my bat never returned.

  5. The Encouragement Of A Father

    So, Nick, can you tell us what happened? the principal said.

    Brenda, a cute, blond 11 year old stared intensely at the floor. Mr Simmons, Nick’s father, and Ms Armstrong, Brenda’s mother, both looked at Nick.

    The boy’s eyes shot up, as if the answer was written on the ceiling. Then he looked at his father, his face turning a shade of crimson as deep as the oval mark on Brenda’s neck.

    Look, Nick, the principal said, I realize you are new in town here, in our community, in our school, and it always takes a little while to get used to a new situation, with new rules and new habits.

    Nick had joined Brenda in the floor staring competition.

    Now, I don’t know what life was like in the big city, but over here we’re sensitive to these kinds of… actions. Call us old fashioned, but we like to keep things clean. There’s a time and a place for everything. And this happened too soon in the wrong place. Do you understand that, boy?

    Nick nodded.

    Okay, so, because I can imagine the stituation you’re going through, I’ll be lenient and not punish you. But you better not do it again. Not to Brenda, not to any other girl. Clear?

    Nick nodded again.

    Well, then I guess this case is closed. Mr Simmons, Ms Armstrong, thank you for coming. I hope the next time we see each other will be for a more joyous occasion.

    Both parents said goodbye and escorted their child out of the door.

    Listen, Mr Simmons said to Ms Armstrong, I’m really sorry. That’s not the way I brought him up.

    Mr Simmons’ charcoal black eyes and his apologetic, vibrating baritone had their desired effect on Ms Armstrong.

    It’s… it’s okay, she said.

    In the car, on the way home, Mr Simmons dropped his flawless American accent and said in Romanian, Keep practicing, Nicolae. Some day your fangs will be big and strong enough to pierce through the muscle tissue.

    Mr Simmons ruffled Nicolae’s hair affectionately. Kids need encouragement. It’s good for their self-esteem.

    Okay, Dad, the boy smiled.

    354 words

  6. zevonesque says:


    Sometimes I’m not sure whether our Adjuni magic is real or an illusion – or hallucination. Whether we are bolstered by our belief. Or whether our enemy’s fear is based on theirs.

    I’d always been taught that as I was not of strength or agile that I would need something to help me do what I do best; not be noticed. My options were limited. The obvious one had to be the hardest task (not requiring strength); the retrieval of our totem from the Canuchi; five years had passed since they’d stolen it. Our heart had been stolen by this act. We were diminished. Emasculated. They were too many and strong. Armed with their wands of fire and magic.

    Shamen told me: I would need stealth; invisibility. As instructed I caught and kept a flying fox for 28 days. I was to drink then of its blood: to gain invisibility for a day (time enough to get to the current Canuchi settlement). To sweep in and out. Unseen. With Our totem. My adulthood our tribe’s pride bought for the price of a bat’s life.

    I knew ten days in that I would never kill it. I fed it. Looked into its bulging eyes. Laughed at its silly tongue. At its weak attempts to escape. It lived through me. Because of me. How could I now kill it? Drink its blood from its wrung out body?

    On my day of age I left the village. Cloaked only in my own belief. And hope.
    I was lucky. They’d been celebrating one of their own. Four days had left much of their settlement in sleep or suffering hallucinations. I walked straight through. If people saw me they didn’t believe their eyes. I was invisible.

    Back home I became our king for a day; then a week. They thought I’d taken the blood. I didn’t tell them. They didn’t need to know I doubted the magic. I released my bat one night. I’d like to think it flies around me from time to time, but suspect the worst.

    To my village, with our totem back, I am now (and will remain) the Batman.


  7. Sonya says:

    I Don’t Trust Them

    Simon says they are just fruit bats. I still don’t trust them. Yeah, I do find the little ones kinda cute, despite the yucky eating noises they make.

    But pay attention to that big black fella. Doesn’t he just look like he’s trying to put a spell on you through the sheer power of his undead mind? Scary or what!

    Simon says I’ve read too many derivative vampire novels. That may be the case, but I’ve made sure I’m armed: garlic, stake, silver cross. Holy water’s on the list.

    Simon says I have nothing to worry about since I’m batty.

    100 words

  8. CR Smith says:

    Love that last line, haha!

  9. […] for Flash Frenzy round 88, where you’ll find the photo prompt – you have to look at it for the above mentioned big […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s