• I can barely carry the damn things, they’re so heavy, but I do carry them and I carry on carrying them until my legs are shaking and my arms are on fire. No choice, really. Six in each hand, the plastic digging deep into the flesh of my fingers – but there’s no alternative. I must get them inside.

    She looks at me. “Just make two trips.”…[Read more]

  • The dryer thumped against the wall, as it had done every day for the past five years. I’d asked her to fix it but she still hadn’t even looked at the damn thing. I’d look at it myself but there’s no way you could get me into the guts of one of those things. TO be fair, I can’t blame her. Ever since we invented nuclear-powered dryers, it’s been…[Read more]

  • henry sawdon-smith commented on the post, majority 1 year ago

    ancient bones scatter as we push our way into the tomb. there’s no life left here. death hangs dry in the air, not heavy as it should be, but light and gaseous.

    the bones here are those of the white man. the once majority annihilated in nuclear fire by their own hand. a symbol of our dark past – before we became Space Africa

  • I can’t deal with it. He’s holding the full hand of cards, there must be about thirty of the damn things in those big palms, but he ain’t doing nothin’ with them but holdin’ them and that’s almost worse than anythin’ else he could be doin’. Note I said *could* be, but it ain’t, ’cause you don’t hang around this bar for long without learnin’ some…[Read more]

  • They called it a haunt because they hung out there all the time, but also because it had a ghost. They’d never actually seen it, but they knew it was there from the banging noise it made in the walls and the times where it rattled the pipes. It had been scary, at first, but eventually they got used to it, and even started developing some affection…[Read more]

  • He was, as far as I could tell through the clouds of flour, handsome. It wasn’t in the way you usually thought of as handsome – no individual feature on his face could be called beautiful by itself – but somehow the sum of all the parts added up to much more. Perhaps it was the open honesty of his features, the straightforwardness of his clothes,…[Read more]

  • “This shirt, Balgruf, is not red.”

    I held the offending item up to the flickering torchlight. If you squinted your eyes, and indeed only had one eye, myopia, and colour blindness, it could perhaps be called red. To everyone else, however, it was salmon pink.

    Balgruf bore a hunted look, but tried defiance anyway. “It’s light red, Jarl. That’s…[Read more]

  • “Marty!!”

    My voice echoed down the length of the well. I could hear it bouncing from wall to wall until it reached the shallow pool at the bottom where my brother had fallen.

    “Yeah, I’m here,” came the reply, faint and pained. “I’m…”

    “Marty? Marty!” I hollered desperately down the shaft.

    “Marty! Are you alright? Answer me!…[Read more]

  • She was a pretty young thing; but then again, most of the social workers were. Awkwardly, I tried to reach past her to grab a file from the cabinet, but she shifted sideways and suddenly we were face to face.

    “Where’s my money, Alan?” she hissed, and for just one second I felt a shiver run down my spine. She was short, slim, petite, or whatever…[Read more]

  • I’m absolutely exhausted this morning, so I suppose you could say the timing of this prompt is pretty poor. You could also say my timing is pretty poor too, since I’m the one who stayed up late. Although there’s not much else to say, I’m gonna keep typing because these prompts are always a good way to wake my brain up in the mornings.

  • It’d been a quiet morning for the grave men. They were passing through an area without many burial halls, so the number of walkers was relatively low. That said, when you’ve a twitching, writhing statue in front of you, one seems like plenty enough. They knew the animated statue wasn’t really alive – it was just the random growth and shrinkage of…[Read more]

  • We’d been digging for hours and hours, shovels hacking at the tough dirt and only just breaking through. Our hole was barely three feet deep when there was a loud, hollow thud. We’d hit something. Eagerly, our fatigue forgotten, we seized the handles and dragged it up onto the scrub. No lock; the lid was thrown back greedily. I dug through,…[Read more]

  • We huddled close around the bulk of the iron oven, desperately trying to warm our extremities in the deep red glow of the flare. The snow had been falling for so long the oven itself was starting to fill up; only when we lit the flare and dropped it in the iron belly that it started to disappear.

  • Jagged glass rimmed my view of the forest; it’d been a long time since that window had broken, but still nobody had bothered to repair it. Then again, neither had I. The pine trees stabbed up into the grey sky, more akin to teeth than anything else. There wasn’t much else, except… was that smoke, in the distance?

  • She really wasn’t sure about this whole facepainting business… a lot of the other kids had had them done, but wasn’t it depiction of animals in imagery? She was pretty sure that was forbidden. Or was it depictions of images on animals? She could never keep track of all these darn rules.

    Screwing up her courage, she sat down. “Wolf, please,”…[Read more]

  • It echoed through the trees, low and visceral and primal, a bellow from that deep and wild part of a man’s body that only expresses itself through noise and certainly doesn’t understand speech. In the dirt, the baby squalled in response.

  • “Pick a card. Any card.” I hated that phrase. It was the first resort of amateurs and lazy magicians. He waved the fanned hand under my nose, infuriatingly. This man called himself a practitioner of the arts? I slipped a card from the middle of the fan and looked at it. Ace of spades. Funny.

    “Have you memorised your card? Great! Now just slip…[Read more]

  • The chain had dangled from his belt for as long as anyone could remember. No matter the weather, no matter the outfit, no matter the time, that jangling length of keys would be sitting there. Rumour had it he slept with them attached to his pyjamas, too. Nobody knew what they opened, and nobody had ever found out, because he guarded them as…[Read more]

  • There wasn’t much to see in the shabby little kitchen – a couple of rickety chairs, a splintering wooden table, and sat in the middle – a little present, wrapped in plain brown paper and tied with string.

    She shrieked with utter delight and snatched it up. To her eyes, it might as well have been solid gold.

  • She must have been in those woods for years and years by now. Maybe a decade, even. We hadn’t seen her for a while, but the first sighting was about 1990, and we’d seen the footprints. And the paintings, of course. She hadn’t stopped scrawling her beautiful designs of mud and dirt and twigs across the face of the trees.

    The last one had been of…[Read more]