Flash Fiction – To Have It All

Well, this is my entry for the contest going on over at The Clarity of Night. I turned this in a minute or so before the deadline. Just in time, as they say.

This one is a bit different than most of my other writing. I’m not really sure how good it is, to be honest with you. In other words, this one is less on the silly side and more on the serious side. I tried to get all writerly with it.

Anyhow, here it is. I’d love to hear what you think.

To Have It All

Greed was his poison, folly his chalice. It clouded his judgment and blackened his heart. And it was worth it.

Ras knew it was madness to trust pirates, be they the eye patch variety or their machine gun toting, 20/20 eyesight contemporaries. Yet he sailed with them nevertheless.

As they tightened the ropes on his wrists and ankles, he could have avoided this fate. He needed provide the location of the gem. And yet, even as their boats disappeared, he did not call out to save himself. It would not let him. It would not be shared, no matter the cost.

The restraints had been easy. Thanks to the poor quality knotsmanship of modern day piracy Ras had worked himself free from his restraints in less than a day’s time. Soon after Ras had extracted his treasure from its unmarked spot in the sand.

In my hand I possess more wealth than all of the kings throughout history have ever dreamed,” he said, his cackles muted by the vulture songs. The land and sea remained silent.

“Did you not hear me?” he said, holding his hand in the air. “With this, I could bathe in the most expensive wines in the world. I could dine on only the finest dishes for my lifetime and four, and never grow hungry.”

Ras failed to see another moon. His body receded over time into the sand. A stone remained where his stomach had been, worthless and rare, nourishment to none.

Ar’n Man – My Clarity of Night Contest Entry

I finished my entry for the writing contest at The Clarity of Night today and my entry is now on the site. I’m happy with what I’ve come up with, which is all I can ask of myself. I was definitely a challenge, but I was able to mold my initial idea into what I hope is an entertaining story. I won’t know that until I hear what you all think, of course 🙂 Anyhow, here’s my entry (number 39 in the contest). Your comments here and at the contest site are as always welcome and appreciated:

Photo by Jason Evans

Ar’n Man

“Will it always feel this odd?” said Douglas, opening his eyes.

“No,” answered Dr. Grim. “You’re body will adapt.”

“But it feels so cold,” said Douglas, touching his face.

“Steel,” said Dr. Grim.

“How about all the dials and numbers? “Will I always…”

“You’ll get used to it,” interrupted Dr. Grim. “Everything you need is in the packet the nurse gave you. My advice is to wait a few hours before looking in the mirror. We don’t need you back here with a heart attack.”

“Is it that bad?” asked Douglas, peeking at the shape his shadow cast on the floor.
“Not everyone can afford the best parts, son” said Dr. Grim, walking toward the door.

“Sometimes we have to improvise. “

Douglas’ shoulders dropped. “What happened, Doc?” he whispered.

“All in the packet,” said the doctor, closing the door behind him.

His mind spinning, Douglas sat alone with his uncertainty. How had he died? Who had paid for the procedure? And why couldn’t feel his lips move when he talked?

Douglas opened the envelope with a shaking index finger and removed a thin pamphlet, hoping for answers. Staring back at him was the title: “Your New Head: The First Twenty-Four Hours”.

Laughing, Douglas tossed the packet in the bin marked Biohazard. He would find his answers where all great thinkers do, not in some book, but at the bottom of an icy glass. He was thirsty and his problems could wait. Now, if he could just locate his mouth….

Tastes Like Brains – My Contest Entry

OK, my entry for the Whispers Short Fiction Contest over at Clarity of Night is now up. Mine is entry #17. I’m going to post it here. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. If you like it, feel free to leave me comments here and/or over there.

whispersrs.jpg
Photo by Jason Evans

Tastes Like Brains

“What do you think brains taste like?” said Matthew, glancing over his shoulder. “I’d imagine they’re a bit salty.”

“Ugh,” said Shannon, wondering as she stumbled who had replaced her feet with cinder blocks. “Don’t wanna know.”

“You’d get used to it, eventually,” continued Matthew. “Eat enough of them and they probably start to taste like chicken.”

Shannon sat with a thud beneath the leafless White Ash overlooking an abandoned farmhouse. “I need a rest,” she said, ignoring him.

“Get up,” said Matthew, immediately regretting his tone.

“Just a few moments,” said Shannon, resting her forehead on the knees of her dirt stained jeans. They had been on the run for days, with little sleep, food, or water, unable to elude their slow moving tormentors. It was maddening.

Matthew looked down the hill toward the farmhouse. If only he had picked a restaurant in the city, rather than that rustic diner in the middle of nowhere, and if only he hadn’t dropped his car keys when the whole mess started, they would be home by now, safe and warm.

Soon, Matthew saw their approach. Hundreds, maybe thousands, stumbling up the gray, decaying grass, their dead, mournful eyes fixed in his direction. “Promise me something,” he said, taking hold of Shannon’s petite, strong hand, lifting her to her feet.

“What?”

“Promise me if they get you first, you’ll be the one to eat my brain, not them.”

“Tastes like chicken, right?” said Shannon, forcing a smile as they ran once more.

Whispers Short Fiction Writing Contest At The Clarity of Night

whispersrs.jpg

Yesterday began the eighth short fiction writing contest over at The Clarity of Night. This one is titled Whispers. As with the other contests over there, the goal is to write 250 words of fiction inspired by the provided picture (seen above). I have taken part in the other seven contests and they are great fun. They are also well respected in the writing community. According to Jason Evans, who is running the contest, “Clarity of Night contest wins have been reported in agent query letters, served as inspiration for a novel placed with a major publisher, and provided a springboard for bigger success.”

Here is a list of rules gleaned from the contest announcement post:

* 1st Place: $25 Amazon gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the “Whispers” photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)
* 2nd Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
* 3rd Place: $15 Amazon gift certificate
* 4th Place: $10 Amazon gift certificate
* 5th Place: $5 Amazon gift certificate
* Readers’ Choice Award: $15 Amazon Gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the “Whispers” photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Our different perspectives, styles, and skills shine when we all start at the same place. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other.

Rules:

1. 250 words maximum.
2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
3. One entry per person.
4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog indefinitely.
6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of judging and helpful hints, see A Note on Judging. You can also read the winning entries from past contests.
7. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, I’d be happy to link your site to your byline. If you don’t have a website or blog, feel free to include a short bio. A bio does not count towards your word count.
8. At the close of the contest, I will give the date and time for the announcement of winners.
9. After the winners are announced, I will post what I liked most about each entry in the comments.
10. The Readers’ Choice Award is awarded by vote of the contest participants. The entry with the highest number of votes wins. The rules for this portion of the contest will be posted after the entry period closes.
11. Public critiques in comments are encouraged, but must remain respectful. I reserve the right to delete comments and ban participants who do not abide by the collegial spirit of Clarity of Night contests.

As for me, my entry is nearly complete. Once it is posted on the contest site I will post it here with a link to my entry there. As always, I doubt I’ll win, but I guarantee I will entertain.

I encourage anyone who has ever thought about writing to give this one a shot.  There is nothing to lose and it doesn’t take much to whip up 250 words.  Who knows, you might be the next published author.