Flash Frenzy Round 96

Posted: February 27, 2016 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , , ,

Good morning. We’ve got a guest photographer this week. Friend and fellow author, Sean Igo, has provided the Round 96 photo prompt, and Mark King is our judge.

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 Sean Igo

  1. CR Smith says:


    Original form; God holds the why.

    WC 6


  2. Richard Edenfield says:

    Water Lilies Painting Monet

    He floated on a blanket of crisp summertime blue.

    A swirl of red points of feathered radiant glowing leaves that touched part of reflective heaven pouring down in baskets of sunshine showing the bottom that stood like a soldier with tree rifles. His beard washed with a tiny breeze born of a hillside and died on the tip of imagination. Purple edges blending with rock shadows. The moment of love captured like watching a lover sleep. Twitching. REM. A touch of dreams in the hair. Endless options like rainbow eyes pouring color drops of light into a pure afternoon rapture.

    The water felt warm with a hint of coolness when his leg pushed down to the depths. A protest of freesia scent swinging in the air.

    The lilies tried to capture the artist in all his various hues but it seemed impossible. They painted the surface the best they could. They grew images with soft oil. They tried to become one with thier subject. Thier beauty – his understanding.

    He swam to the shore and put on leather work boots splattered with past efforts. He put clothes on. He looked back and saw the effect he had made on the floating leaves and vines. Like the impression made on skin after holding someone tight. Slowly, the blood returned, flowing till there was nothing but the faint memory of an affectionate embrace.

    He walked through an overgrown path toward his house. The windows of his home filled in the construction like paintings of breathing. He headed toward his door and looked forward to some wine. To the way it would make his lips a dark crimson red outlining the pulse of a heartbeat that was discharged hours before. A memorial to past moments that died in battle. To preserve a delicate intoxication.


    (300 words)

  3. Fae Fielding says:

    The Fault in My Star
    313 words

    They say you should never return, the memories are never the same as the reality.
    Standing at the rusting, paint peeling gates of my former home in La Rochelle, I knew why.
    Ours had been a relationship built on dreams. We had stars in our eyes, pie in the sky ideas, rose coloured glasses and every other cliché fired at us, for our inspiration and ideals.
    So called friends and rivals queued up to say I told you so. When our world fell apart.
    Innovation was the drive behind our success, he invented the dream, I was the marketing mastermind.
    We won the rising stars business awards three years in a row.
    Built with the profits of our hard work, all consuming hard work, Grande Maison Mon Étoile, and it’s grounds were once reminiscent of Monet’s garden, a delight of blues, purples and pinks.
    Now it was more akin to Van Gogh’s dead sunflowers, with it’s tangled mess of mucky browns and dying greens.
    I remember how we lay in the moonlight, stargazing. After a day’s work we’d kick off our shoes, take a blanket, a bottle of champagne and two flutes, out on to the lawn.
    “A toast,” he’d say, gazing into my eyes, “to my star.”
    “No, to My star,” I’d reply.
    “To our stars, may they always shine.”
    Someone blew our stars out the morning we read the news headlines; ‘Oil stocks not so slick.’
    Our money.
    Our house.
    Our business.
    Everything, in that slump, disappeared.
    It was inevitable that our marriage fell with it.
    I kicked at a piece of twisted metal. Once I’d nudged it free from the brambles I recognised the shape. I looked up at the arch over the gates.
    Just as I thought.
    No longer ‘My Star’, the ‘oile’ had fallen from the Mon Étoile. How ironic!
    They were right, you should never return.

  4. CR Smith says:

    Lovely, I like the way the stars run all the way through, from the title right down to the fallen one at the end. 🙂

  5. A.J. Walker says:

    The Art of Fencing
    A.J. Walker

    The young man sat nervously, depressed at the range of browns and squareness of everything in the office, but most of all about his job. He’d heard too many twitterings over the last few days for there not to be a grain of truth. He felt the breeze as the office door crashed open.

    In limped Daniel; evidently having a bad gout day.

    The rotund man reversed carefully into his leather chair – the one thing in the office not purely functional. He winced as he threw his left leg out.

    “Right lad.” said Daniel, sweating. “I’m sorry it’s come to this. But we’re in a pretty pickle here, there’s no getting round it.”

    The sword of Damocles was dropping.

    “Look, can I call you Claud?”

    “Of course uncle Daniel.”

    “Er, well. Claud.” Daniel said, shuffling some papers. “It’s this.”

    He held the wad of papers in his hand. More functional nothingness to Claud.

    “Simple maths. You know what we do here: fences. I price them up. It’s simple. X amount of iron per metre, times the y number of days it’ll take to build, then a nice percentage on top depending on what I think the customer can take.”

    “Makes sense.”

    “It does indeed.” Daniel nodded. “Now, the thing is I know how long it takes to smash in some posts per metre, so I know how many hours or days it’ll take to finish the job, right?”

    “I suppose so.”

    Daniel shifted painfully again. “There’s no supposing Claud. Anyways, every job you’ve had has taken three times as long as it should. Does that sound right to you?”

    “Er, maybe.”

    “Any particular reason? Can I perhaps justify it? Charge the customers more for it perhaps to recoup some of my losses?”

    Claud shrugged. “All my fences are beautiful. I craft each one uncle. They are works of art!”

    “That is what I’ve heard. But there’s no place for art in keeping pigs and sheep in a field or foxes out of them.”

    “But there could be uncle Daniel.”

    “I don’t know where you’ve got that impression. Sorry, it’s time for you and your fancy schmancy ideas to move on.”

    WC: 360

  6. Fae fielding says:

    In his de-fence, not Monet people take such care in that field of work… Worth the monet I say 😄😄 . Nice one.

  7. stephellis2013 says:

    Blue Sky Thinking

    310 words


    I often sky write these days, trace letters in the shapes of twigs and branches, see what words they form. It is a hobby, one I practise in secret. I keep myself to myself since the edict went out banning our language from being written – or even worse – read. We are only allowed to listen to the Scholars. Theirs is the only message that carries truth, they say.

    When the world ended the first time, it was because of religion based on words in a book. Words misinterpreted by many.

    When the world ended the second time, it was because of weapons triggered by an exchange of words. Words misinterpreted by many.

    The world will not end a third time, they say, because they have banned words, the most dangerous weapon of all.

    We have been told that to survive we must avoid communicating, avoid words. And so speech has also been banned. The latest edict demands the cutting of vocal chords, rendering us mute.

    But my parents secretly taught me to read and write without books or paper, tracing letters in the sand, words in stone. They drew pictures for me with their words; pictures from a time long gone. Today I see Monet and I imagine a tranquillity of water-lilies where I float peacefully, serene.

    When I open my eyes again, I imprint the artist’s name on my mind knowing I will never be able to teach my own children as I was taught. Tomorrow my vocal chords will be cut and I will no longer have a voice.

    There are so few of us left now, it never ceases to amaze me how many ways man seeks to destroy himself – even when extinction is staring him in the face. We cannot help ourselves.

    If only we had known the right words, we could have been saved.

  8. A Trade In Truespeak

    “So soon?” the man says, as the doorbell fades behind Dan and he steps into the shop interior, its shelves stacked with boxes and piled, faded papers.

    Dan shrugs, angular shoulder blades lifting beneath the worn jumper.

    “Saving for a special project?”

    “Building up the stocks. Beyond Base.”

    “Understandable,” the shopkeeper says. “When one can afford it. Some would say a prerequisite. Those not still paying for Plainspeak, of course.”

    “Paying you,” Dan says, eyeballing the man briefly, grey eyes meeting blue.

    The shopkeeper shrugs in turn. “We’re all required to make a living, within the limits of our linguistic loquaciousness. Besides the obvious perks of taking charge – and accessing – the stocks. A man like yourself understands that, I’m sure.” He pauses briefly, looking at Dan, considering. “Though you’re missing a trick not getting yourself into the game directly,” he adds. “Would do wonders for your Deepspeak.”

    “Not quite my way,” Dan says, “but thanks, I guess.” One of his eyebrows raises as the dark haired man speaks. He smiles suddenly, lips twitching, eyes thoughtful, regarding those of the shop owner. “A man like yourself knows about choice, I’m sure.”

    “Yours is your own,” he replies. “You make it as you must in these times.”

    “Many say likewise,” Dan agrees. “Call it Truespeak, if you will – though the term is borrowed.” His eyes brush those of the shopkeeper briefly, before looking away.

    “A word not often used these days,” the man says, “and always behind closed doors.” He glances at his customer, before his eyes dart away. “Call it what you want, if you keep me in business,” he says then, slowly. “Trade truck with truth, if you must. Still, I’ll not speak its syllables. Nor hear them, either. Walls have willing ears, on occasion. Mind that where you walk – and with whom. You’ll be back again, I take it?”

    “With luck.”

    “Spread your visits. Send others in your stead, subject to prior payment. Access other stores.”

    Dan regards the other man without speaking.

    “I care for continued payments,” the shopkeeper says. “A man like myself safeguards his choices.”

    “We understand one another, I think,” Dan says. “Speak soon.”

    (360 words)


  9. Stella T says:

    248 words

    Money or Monet.

    Looking from this angle it read Money but who would put that on a fancy gate leading to a French farmhouse. The amount he was paying for a one week stay they must be raking it in.

    “Look Dad, it says Monet… we did him in Art appreciation classes last week”

    Since when did eleven year olds appreciate anything let alone Art. Maybe the crippling fees were worth it. His ex wife Simone had stipulated that Simon should go to private school else she’d put in for more maintenance. A no win situation.

    “What’s a Monet” came a little voice from the back of the Citroen.

    Dave smiled, his eight year daughter, a product of the local primary school, appreciated My Little Pony and Justin Bieber.

    “He’s a painter, stupid!”

    “Oi that’s enough Simon”

    He’d be a good father. He knew he was a lousy husband. He’d take the kids to see The Water Lilies one day, show his daughter what she was named after. He’d always been a Francophile that’s why he’d married Simone. Met her in Paris and thought that was enough, happy ever after. Entente Cordiale lasted six years before war broke out. Now six days to show his children he loved them, make some lasting memories. He was determined they wouldn’t remember the fighting. As a History teacher he taught war, conflict and resolution. He just had to put the effort in. Maybe he’d ring Simone tonight and tell her about the fancy gate.

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