Posts Tagged ‘image ronin’


I trust everybody had a wonderful holiday and rang in the new year surrounded by loved ones. I spent the final moments of 2014 dancing in the glow of black light at a wedding reception, I hope yours was equally as magical.



We have a brand new set of months and prompts, but before we kick off year two this weekend, let’s take a moment to look back on what was accomplished in year one.

48 weekends of Flash Frenzy.

17 Flash Masters.

Hundreds of unique stories.

And a new hashtag to rule us all – GO #FLASHDOGS!

I can’t say thank you enough for all the work this community has put forth in writing and in judging and in the simple but priceless act of mutual support and respect. You are all amazing. What I can do, is offer a small token of appreciation to a few of the talented Flash Masters here at the Angry Hourglass, and because I can’t chose a favorite, I left it up to the community itself to decide.

First are our Runners Up:

Image Ronin with The Tinkerer


Amy Wood with LoveStruck

Each will receive a $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon.

And our Flash Master Face Off 2 winner is…



Alive, Alive, Oh

Voima will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to Amazon for her winning story.

Many,  many thanks to all who participated. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store for The Angry Hourglass as well as the #flashdogs. This weekend, Flash Master Face Off runner up Amy Wood will be acting as our 2015 inaugural judge. See you on Saturday.

And just in case you missed it, here is Voima Oy’s winning story one more time. 🙂


photo courtesy of Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy of Ashwin Rao

Alive, Alive, Oh

by Voima Oy


Here she comes again, my little mermaid, my pearl diver in her tight black suit.

She is the only one who comes out this far, far beyond the seabeds where the oysters sleep, forming their little moons. She is beyond beds, now, and that domestic routine. Oh my love, let me show you oblivion beyond your wildest Hokusai dreams. To me you are Botticelli on a half shell, you hair flowing like seaweed. I remember those days. Do you?

Of course, I can pick up what you’re thinking. I wish you could understand me. No screams of snails in a saucepan, I whisper between the stars. Can you get the picture? Look, the colors I flash just for you, for you! I am beautiful. How can you resist? Come closer. Let me hold you.

Still, you hesitate? I know you are intrigued. You dream of me, don’t you, I know. We’ve met there, before, did you know that? And you have heard me mentioned in the sailors’ songs, the stories they whisper in crowded bars. Yes, they know me, too.

You know me, yes you do. But we haven’t been properly introduced.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’m way, way, older than you. I come from somewhere else. This place, this shape suits me, here. The dark, the pressure of gravity. The skeletons of fallen whales. This is what they call the Twilight Zone–where the light from your sun doesn’t reach. My eyes have seen many different suns. Look into my eyes and you’ll see.

Come out with me, beyond the seabeds, past all traps under this moon. Your little life is so limited, here, rounded as it is with sleep and death. I can feel the longing in you, the empty spaces yearning to be filled. Come out with me beyond the human. Let us be together, mind and mind.

Let me show you what it is to be alive, to swim in the bright fluid of electrons moving. To dance to the songs the quasars sing.

Come closer. Let me hold you. Your tears taste of blood and the sea.

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday filled with joy and love. Week after week the flashdogs give their all to create stories for The Angry Hourglass, and now it’s time for me to give back. Below is a list of the winning stories from the past 22 rounds of Flash Frenzy. You have until Dec 30th to vote for your favorite (get your friends to vote, too!).

You can vote once every 12 hours, and the three authors with the most votes will win Amazon gift cards. So, return and enjoy your favorite stories again, and stay tuned for the winners. 😀


Greetings, friends. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that those of you in the US are planning a lovely holiday with your family this week. I’d like to send a big hug to my flash fiction family here at the Angry Hourglass, with special thanks to Image Ronin for judging Round 45. His comments are as follows:

The prompt of a flower had me fearing an onslaught of Mills & Boon inspired saccharine drivel. Thankfully you fine people didn’t lead me down the path of fluttering bosoms and bashful glances, but to realms of serial killers, jewel thieves and troubled narrators.

So thank you.

The tales themselves were as varied as the flowers that featured, and in truth I was left with the inevitable dilemma of picking three. Any of the works this week were worthy of the win, so thank you, but in the end I reached a decision.

A Family Disease

The mournful regret and knowing resentment of the narrator permeates every word. The internalization of pain and anguish lay bare in a narration that offers little in the way of answers, much like life itself, but only the picking away at a scab that won’t heal. Moving in its simplicity and voice.

Smash Mouth

I read this tale, the image of the flower never far from my mind. The innocence of his sister, counterpointed with the wrath of a parental voice, felt pure Hitchcock. When the hip is removed my skin crawled at the skill and dedication of our protagonist. The horror that was expertly allowed to blossom, excuse the pun, creating a visceral reaction as all horror should. Excellent work.

A Shower of Petals

The shift from Disney to an unsettling horror at The Fear is wonderfully played out through the innocence and joyfulness contrasted by our narrators nagging concerns. Sharing a hint of Voimaoy’s tale at the overwhelming power of the blossom to erode self, the resignation that nature will finally find a way to rid herself of humanity, a theme I always find intriguing, is wonderfully set up. Now off to dance in the blossom that coats our lawn at the moment.

January’s Air

“Innocence is a beautiful gift no one gets to keep.” I stopped at the sentence, watching my own offspring dancing in and out of sprinklers in the sunshine. I read it again, and again.

Sorry if that moment sounds like this was all the tale meant, far from it, but what happened moment was word formed into emotion, memory, feeling, desire and every other fibre that makes us individuals. The imagery that follows complimented perfectly the set up of that sentence. The horror that then finally erupts wrenching you away from the innocence of ‘pigtails and muddy feet.”

Until I went back and read that sentence once more.


Voimaoy for a while now has been hinting at this other world, her stories interconnecting, intersecting, echoing each other to a point that I find myself yearning for her to write the novel it so easily could become. The flower as epicentre (evoking for me Day of the Triffids), a catalyst of alternate existences, much like the poppy, was wonderfully captured. I was taken to a place of absolute release and loss, a terrifying existence that had me wanting more.


The set up, of Fran the recluse hints at a backstory, which we then let slip as we venture into a moment of escape from Fran. I truly felt so sorry for her at the moment of the theft. Was this someone set up by her past partner seeking further assets to claim? Or a con artist, swift of finger and thought? Those questions I pondered long after I had finished reading.

Anyway to the finalists  – congrats to all but here we go.

2nd Runner Up: Voimaoy – Alba

1st Runner Up: Karl A Russell – A Shower of Petals

And your week 45 FLASH MASTER is…


Grace Black

with “January’s Air”

Congratulations, Grace!  Your story will be featured tomorrow as the HumpDay Quickie. Please contact me here with any bio information, publications, links to personal sites, or any other information you would like to appear on your winner’s page.

This weekend, David Shakes returns as prompt master and judge. Hope to see you all there.

Hello, and welcome to Frenzy Round 45. This weekend, Image Ronin is acting  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.

Round 45

photo courtesy Aswhin Rao

HumpDay Quickie #40

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , ,

Clash of the Titans

by Image Ronin

The reality of being a superhero was beyond most people. Steve understood this, for he was an acolyte of isolation, devoted to the pursuit of vigilante perfection. Every night he spent at his secret base, the bedsit above the chip shop on Stapleton Road, pouring over volumes of comic book deeds.

Then he heard about Kick Ass. Steve was not what you would call a people person so he kept his distance from the neon hell that was the multiplex in town. He was tempted to download a pirated copy, but the hero within him chastised such thoughts. No, Steve waited patiently till the postman delivered his limited edition DVD box set with added postcards.

That night he sat on his beanbag and watched the film.

He hated it.

Some young upstart who lucks his way, via a near fatal accident, into being an inept hero fixated on girls? A total cluster farce Steve concluded as he munched into his second kebab of the evening. What use was such a hero when the world was being torn asunder by war, corporate greed, climate change and selfies?

It was time he made a difference.

Steve worked feverishly into the early hours, fuelled by a diet of lemonade and marshmallows. In the morning the god who stared out from the mirror was not Steve, though Steve knew he was in there somewhere. Before him was no mortal, nor a child in scuba gear.

This was Super Steve.

He wandered outside, his cloak of curtains billowing, his duvet harem pants surprisingly chafing. Yet he strode down the middle of the road flips flops flip flopping, his Staff of Power™ forged from a swingball pole and glitter feeling mighty within his grip.

From above a voice serenaded Super Steve’s emergence into the world.


Super Steve looked up, a builder hanging from scaffolding, finger gesturing furiously.

Steve waved back, heart swelling with pride, oblivious to the No37 bus currently hurtling towards him.

Some witnesses stated that the tennis ball on the string tripped Steve up, others that his cloak got caught on something.

All agreed that the oddly dressed man lost.

Rather messily.

Happy Tuesday!

Thanks to everyone who came out to play this past weekend. Amy Wood was our judge this round, and she did an amazing job! Below you’ll find her comments on the entries, as well as her top picks for Round 40.

That Guy Fox – J Bertetta. Very powerfully written modern-day morality tale. I like the idea of the ‘anti-prophet’, urging mankind to continue doing the things which are slowly but surely tearing us apart. Very original take on the prompt.

I Would Like to Return My Muse – Hannah Heath. Every time I read this story it makes me smile and nod in sympathetic agreement. How many times have I intended to write something light and fluffy and ended up with death and destruction…I sympathize entirely with the very stressed writer. Very clever use of the prompt photo.

Fears – Emily June Street. I really enjoyed this tale. It cleverly deceives us into thinking it’s a supernatural story but the twist at the end is even more frightening than the zombie apocalypse, in my opinion. I liked the contrasts between Mrs Jessamy’s crazy actions and the buttoned-up actions of Amber’s mom, desperately needing a latte to make it through a tough day. Great story.

The Cherub Hitman of Cambridge – Mark A King. I have a weakness for stories about misbehaving angels. I love the amount of resignation and misery Cedric manages to exude while enduring his exile to Earth. The idea that God is also a little spiteful, enough to turn Cedric’s halo into a comedy hat anyway, makes me smile every time I read it. Very enjoyable story which I’ve happily read multiple times.

The Big Escape – Rebekah Postupak. Very cleverly written story. Dialogue-only tales can sometimes be disjointed and hard to read but this one flowed beautifully. I like the reveal in the last sentence of who the three characters actually are. As ever, a wonderfully crafted story from a very gifted writer.

All Shook Up – necwrites. Extremely clever use of the prompt picture. I love a good body-swap story and this one didn’t disappoint. Gorgeously vivid descriptions throughout and I like the tiny bit of remorse the mother feels as she takes over her child’s body. What I like more is that she does it anyway. Really good little horror story.

Taking Shots – Shirl. A good demonstration of how less is sometimes more. This is only a short tale but it doesn’t scrimp on drama. I like the way we don’t get to know exactly what happened during the ‘night raid’. It’s left up to the reader to decide whether the lad genuinely had some kind of supernatural transformation or is just suffering from a form of PTSD. The last sentence is very effective and I really like the phrase ‘blown in on a gust of fear-riddled dreams’ – great use of language.

The Invisible Man Has Left the Building – Zevonesque. The Silver Boots of Tackiness. Only The King could get away with such an ensemble. Great Elvis-lives story, I enjoyed it hugely. It’s also a lovely little morality tale because sadly people like the doomsday preacher and the banana handing out leaflets do become invisible out on the street. ‘The invisible homeless’ is a great way to describe those unfortunate souls who get far less attention from the public than they deserve. Very cleverly written and immensely enjoyable.

A Tale of Two Deaths – Brian S Creek. I loved this! Death being reaped. Such poetic justice. The image of dear old Jack Wallace waving from the bench made me smile while the part with Death pressing his scythe to the stranger’s chest and failing to do anything makes me think of Loki and Tony Stark in the Avengers (yes, I’m a geek). I really enjoyed this tale and have come back to read it quite a few times.

He – Casey Rose Frank. Massively enjoyable tale, my mom read it and phoned me to tell me it was brilliant! I love the puckish Sandman character, dispensing dreams left, right and centre. The one about the third-grade kid removing furniture with rubber tongs still makes me giggle – great work there. I really like that he’s still happy come daylight, dancing on and having a whale of a time. Great little feel-good story.

The Crescent Quarters – C Connolly. Fantastic fantasy tale which definitely leaves the reader wanting more. As I read it, I felt the same kind of chill creep over me as was creeping over the main character. Really atmospheric writing, not too much description nor too little; a brilliant example of flash fiction.

White Rabbit – Geoff Holme. I admit, I loved this. As a fan of both Jefferson Airplane and the White Rabbit song, I actually did a little chair-dance when I realized what this story was about. The lack of punctuation really conveys the crazy, everything-running-together mental state after taking a serious amount of drugs. (Just say no, kids.) And the reaction of the other characters to Grace’s sudden silence is brilliant.

The Avatar’s Ball – Voimaoy. This is a very original idea, the concept of an Avatar’s ball would never have occurred to me in a million years! I like that dear Lenny puts so much effort into his outfit and then has the most mundane trip possible. Popping into next Thursday is never going to be as exciting as going to the moon, poor thing.

Untitled – Dr Magoo. Ahh, never make deals with the devil because he/she will always find a way to win in the end. I really enjoyed this, it’s great to see the arrogant, self-important protagonist get his comeuppance.

Untitled – stellakateT. Wow, water dispenser to world domination! Now there’s a story I’d like to read. Really clever tale making great use of the idea of selling one’s soul in return for wishes. I like that the character has the sense to start out small and work her way up. One wonders what will come next, when she’s finally rid of Mr Johnson…

Clash of the Titans – Image Ronin. Absolutely brilliant. The first time I read it I snorted with laughter and it’s still making me giggle now. I also hated the film Kick Ass, so I sympathize with Steve’s assessment of it. There are so many great lines in this story, if I were to quote them all, I’d simply cut and paste the whole thing here. Super Steve’s star shone brightly but sadly not for very long.

It’s Only Make Believe – Karl A Russell. This is beautifully poignant. It’s so sad that the only place this poor character can fit in is with hoards of be-costumed cosplayers. But it’s also uplifting because that kind of ‘wow you look awesome, we love you just for making such an effort to create an outfit, let us take pictures of you and hug you’ atmosphere does exist at places like Comic-Con. Long live the cosplayers! Fantastic little story, I really enjoyed it.


Honourable Mentions – It’s Only Make Believe, Karl A Russell.
I adored this story because it really struck a chord with me. Having been to a few comic-con type things myself, I know that atmosphere of cheerful acceptance of cosplayers and their outfits really does exist and I love it. Karl’s story was beautifully written (as always), very engaging and gorgeously poignant.

I Would Like to Return My Muse, Hannah Heath.
This story must surely be familiar to every writer out there. How often we try to write one thing and end up with something else. (Gothic children’s books? Heck yeah!) Hugely enjoyable story, great work from Hannah.

Third Runner Up – Fears, Emily June Street.
This story was very clever in that in changed tack so many times in its short duration. Spooky supernatural zombie story – crazy drunken neighbour story – genuinely frightening epidemic plague story. Brilliantly crafted and a satisfying read.

Second Runner Up – He, Casey Rose Frank.
I have to agree with my mom; this story is so enjoyable, it has to be placed here. The image of someone removing furniture with rubber tongs will stay with me for a long time I think and is making me smile even as I type this. Thank you for the laugh, Casey!

And your Round 40 FLASH MASTER is…


Image Ronin

with: Clash of the Titans

I love a story which makes me laugh. Steve’s outrage at the ineptness of other wannabe vigilante heroes is a delight to read. His costume and Staff of Power™ are absolutely wonderful, as is his utter failure to comprehend the builder’s attempt to warn him of his impending doom. Super Steve may have lost the battle with the bus but he won the war to make me smile. Well done Image Ronin!

Congratulations, Image Ronin! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie!

Next weekend, Jaime Burchardt will be back in the judge’s seat. Hope to see you all then. 🙂


Welcome to Round 36. I’ll be out of town with patchy internet service this weekend, so Image Ronin has been handed the reins and will be in charge (acting as 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 Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

The Tinkerer

by Image Ronin


‘Police been on the phone love … you want to go?’

Cedric shook his head, his gaze never lifting up from his workbench. His wife lingered in the shed’s doorway as if there was more to say. Finally his silence had the desired effect and she left, leaving behind the usual scent of Chanel and Marlboro. Moments later and Cedric heard the Astra’s engine splutter into life, the sound of tires reversing out onto the road.

Cedric put down the screwdriver. In front of him were strewn the innards of the kitchen radio. He didn’t recall taking it apart, or even if it needed to be fixed. If Danny were here now he’d be mocking his efforts, telling him to buy a new one off of ebay, that no one repaired anything these days.

Wiping his hands on a rag Cedric ventured back into the house. Soon the kettle was boiling, a tea bag dangling in his mug. As he poured the water the phone rang. Cedric reached out, his hand hovering, as if the handset was a coiled serpent waiting to strike. Finally the answering machine kicked in, Danny’s voice cheerfully demanding information after the beep. He should change that, it wasn’t right, tomorrow, tomorrow he’d record a new message.

The beep, Cedric stood waiting for someone to talk, yet there was only the sound of breathing, then the phone was put down.

Cedric picked up his mug, retreating back to the shed. The bike was hanging on the wall, as it had been since the police had returned it. The back end crushed, the rear wheel missing. He ran a finger over the crudely scratched marks that Danny had etched into the seat post in case the bike got stolen: DH 12501. Cedric had been so cross with him that day, so hurt that Danny had defaced his gift. They had bickered, stood by the shed, Danny’s face flushed red with resentment at receiving another lecture.

Then he had left, cycling down the road, head down, pedals turning, disappearing into the grey light rain.

Cedric retreated back to his bench, trembling fingers rebuilding the radio.

Happy Tuesday, Friends. One moment of brief shameless self-promotion and then on to this week’s results. Last week, your photo-prompt provider and judge, David Shakes, tagged me in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. If you haven’t read his post, go check it out here. Hourglass rockstar Karl A Russell was also tagged and posted; you can read his content (full of Hourglass friends) here. And last, but not least, my post can be found on my new personal blog here.

Okay! On to the results!!!

Hello. Glad to be back judging at the hourglass. Great to see new faces and old.

This week’s prompt was one of mine. The bike was abandoned on a lonely stretch of beach in Cornwall UK. The seaweed had got into it. I don’t think it had washed up, but where was its wheel? It was miles from anywhere.

I was always going to use it as a prompt myself – but could never get past the time we dared a kid to ride into the marine lake in West Kirby…now I’m glad it was used here instead.

10 great tales from 10 superb writers.

This week I had the stories printed, names removed and mixed up from the order they were posted in. Even then, voices, traits and styles still shone through:

Ethel by Stella Turner

I read the title – thought: ‘Stella or Sal?’

I read the tale through and knew it was a Stella classic. Loved the disarming first line. Laughed out loud at Mammy’s take on Dad’s gas. The emotions of the final paragraph were all the stronger for the light-hearted opening. Our narrator, I fear, did not have to wait too long before he’d be called to serve again.

Stella’s strength is characterisation. We’ve been given memorable, familiar characters here – deftly wrought in a few pen strokes. The WW1 setting was also timely and I felt this was a fitting part of the centenary – like the best bits of a BBC drama condensed to their raw essence.

I also loved the reason for that missing wheel.

A brilliant start.

The First Noble Truth by Joshua Bertetta

I couldn’t place the voice here, and that’s because Joshua Bertetta is a new writer to me. I will be seeking out more of his work post judging.

I loved the personification of that bike. “I taught Little Jonny life’s most valuable lesson: balance.”

Haven’t we all named our first ‘true’ bike and have it take us on adventures? My Dad kept mine for me – I think he thought I could pass it to my son. I nearly cried seeing it rotted and rusted at the back of the garage – so when I read the penultimate paragraph I felt a genuine lump in my throat.

Great description of the bike’s stoical demise.

That’s the sign of great writing for me – emotional connection.

Speaking of ’emotional connection’…

Chick With The Chat by Catherine Connolly

Showing a cheeky, playful side – Catherine weighs in with an extended metaphor for my broken bike!

Poor Kev’s lack of experience leads him into a conversation with someone who has had more than enough.

The short, rich descriptions work well in this piece, hitting the target every time. The present tense is also effective.

I liked Mel’s character (she was late 80s Melanie Griffith in my head, but with a scouse accent) and the last line was fabulous. A wonderful, dialogue driven story.

The Bicycle Mission by Maryann Holloway

Another fresh talent to me and another great introduction to a new writer.

Maria and Jimmy’s plight is one we can all identify with, having had the images of the devastation from Katrina and her aftermath beamed around the world.

Again, the bike becomes a metaphor, a symbol for young Jimmy – his shattered world encompassed in its broken frame.

It becomes Maria’s too, her resilience and strength of will for her son admirable. I almost cheered when she got the wheel back!

A tribute to the good people of New Orleans and a story brimming with hope. Fabulous.

Done by Karl A Russell

I wonder if Karl’s tale was inspired by more recent news reports from America? Missouri this time?

I suspected this was Karl’s – the way he structures his dialogue is quite telling.

The opener pulls us into the tension – the dialogue confirms it ( ‘They gonna fight again?’) and then we tilt sideways as we realise Theo’s companion is more than just a by-stander.

Theo loves his bike as much as Jonny or Jimmy above (boys and their bikes – I told you!) but he’s done with it, done with everything.

Theo’s tale happens as much between the lines as within them. Karl (for me) is a master at the shared consciousness that must be generated for flash to work.

As for Theo? At least in heaven he can skate.

The Lakeview by Voima Oy

I recently said that I usually write a phrase or a line and I know I’ll submit a piece because it has a good chance. I wish I’d written:

‘Dolls with cracked faces looked up at the sky.’ or ‘They were pale and languid, like flowers that never saw the sun.’

The fate of the children in the Lakeview is uncertain. Had anyone tried to help them?

The contrast of life in one neighbourhood and another resonated for me. Where I live you’re never far from places like the Lakeview. Social housing is a failure.

The haunting end to this tale left the bike as a rusting full stop. Beautifully done.

The Ambulance Chaser by Mark A. King

I’ve enjoyed Mark A. King’s stuff recently and as far as I can tell he’s only been at it since June? Unbelievable!

This is a great piece of work containing a ‘few of my favourite things’ as Julie Andrews might sing:

obscure gods with exotic tastes; a London of contrast and a London of nightmares; lost souls and those that will prey upon them without pity.

There’s a wider world at play here, a hinted at mythology and layers – ‘ambulances’ that will drop you at the ‘abattoir’.

The chilling coda left me feeling uneasy. Trying to run is useless. Maybe as useless ‘… as a bicycle with one wheel and no seat.’ Great stuff.

The Tinkerer by Image Ronin

Cedric’s sad withdrawal into the shed is the only way he can deal with the tragedy at the heart of this tale. He loses himself ‘tinkering’, all the while the ruined bike hanging in clear sight – a bitter reminder.

The father’s view of the value of things countered by his late son’s adherence to a philosophy from our modern ‘throwaway’ culture.

I’ve had the same conversations with my Dad.

I sensed that Danny loved his bike as much as any of the boys in the other stories so far. To him, the etched letters were protection for a precious gift. To Cedric -it’s a defacing.

I felt Danny’s anger and frustration as he cycles off into that ‘light grey rain’.

Cedric’s ‘trembling fingers‘ tell us all we need to know about how much he feels to blame.

Really moving tale.

Better Than Nothing by Emily June Street

Emily’s opener pulled me in the same way Karl’s did. We get ‘big picture’ and small detail, both beautifully described.

The need for a vehicle is urgent – the cars, we know, are useless.

I hear the term ‘world building’ a lot. It’s something Mark did in his tale and it’s something Emily deftly does here.

She also builds the atmosphere masterfully – Jon not having spoken for over a day leads to the fabulous line:

‘I could face anything but solitude or silence.’

Just what fate has befallen mankind and our two protagonists?

Hope rests in a junkyard, our bike and a skateboard.

Now – wouldn’t it be cool if Jon was Little Jonny from Joshua’s tale?

A brilliant tale (more revenants please!) and our first (and last) female rider!

The Magical Flight by Kristen Falso-Capaldi

I wanted it to be – from the line: ‘Not the boy. He treated me like a brother.’ …and, as I read on, I kept thinking: ‘It is! It is!’

The use of a famous film (shared consciousness again) does not take away from the clear writing skill and flash sensibilities that Kristen has in spades. Exhibit A:

‘I wish I could have taught them acceptance. But I had no language. No time. They gave me no time.’

The famous bicycle from the film E.T is given a role centre stage and E.T is given a voice.

It’s an oddly poignant tale and the idea that Elliot is middle-aged and somewhere else saddens me.

Best line?

‘Even if he is here, he is no longer here.’

So there we have it. Ten great takes on one little photograph. Ten diverse tales, and not a duff one amongst them.

The ‘blind’ reading helped. A little.

Second Runner Up:

Better Than Nothing by Emily June Street

First Runner Up:

The Lakeview by Voima Oy


Image Ronin

with The Tinkerer

Congratulations, Image Ronin! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie!

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Hope to see you again this weekend for a new prompt and a new round of Flash Frenzy!




Six months and twenty-six rounds of Flash Frenzy? Where does the time go? You have all been amazing participants and I think it’s time to celebrate your awesomeness.

So, this week I’m launching the first Flash Master Face Off. 

What’s a Flash Master Face Off? I’m glad you asked. Each of the winning stories from the past 26 weeks will go head-to-head in a battle of popularity with the best story to be decided upon by readers. The winner will receive (in addition to ultimate bragging rights) a $50 Amazon gift card.

Voting will be open until Tuesday evening. You (and your friends) can vote once every 12 hours. So return and enjoy your favorite stories again and stay tuned for the winners. 😀