Short Story: The Will

Jane had been down here a long time…

This is an original piece written by Joanna K Neilson:

dry-well

The Will

Worry gnawed at her bones. Her stomach was so empty it no longer hurt and she couldn’t remotely remember the softness of a bed. It was hard to sleep down here, in the cold darkness, with rats running over her feet and nibbling at her whenever she passed out from exhaustion and pain. No, there was nothing left inside her to shake off the misery, to fight for a way out. She was broken and beaten and wanted to die. He had destroyed her. What was left was a stringy, starving thing that could barely remember kindness or her life before these curving walls, kept in this dingy cellar space that stank of rodent droppings and her own filth. Her captor had grown bored of her, that’s the impression she had whenever he appeared recently. As if she were inconveniencing him, the fucker. If she had more energy she’d appreciate the irony. Instead it fuelled the one spark of energy she had left.

Jane’s hate surged up from her misery, became a single furious knot of will. Then a fat fucking rat ran across her matted hair. She grabbed it and bit down into its neck, sucking at the hot blood, trying not to gag on the furry, wriggling body. She sucked down all the insides of the rat and spat out its less palatable parts. That was better. Continue reading “Short Story: The Will”

Short Story: The Will

750 words Short story: Eck, Bill, and Lack-Lack

This was for the 750word .com challenge – 96 day streak!

To kick it off, I chose 3 words from flicking through Sherri S Tepper’s ‘Sideshow’ – a good book but haven’t finished it yet.

The words were:  Humiliated, smell, skull.

Eck, Bill and Lack-Lack

A dreadful reek rose from the sacrificial pit. A stink of uncommon gruesomeness permeated the flared nostrils of the king’s chief poison taster, whose refined nostrils recoiled in revulsion. Eck didn’t notice any of it. Eck had lived among the stink for all of his short years, and all those yeas had effectively cauterised his inner sensibilities, so that the mere reek of the charnel pit from a distance mattered very little to him.

“What be it you’re looking for again, Bill?” Eck asked his companion.

Eck had never met anyone quite so fancy looking. Bill glared back at him, “It’s ‘Sybill’, you cretin. And I’m looking for a very special inhabitant of this disgusting location. I believe you call him Lack-lack.”

“Lack-Lack ain’t going to like visitors,” Eck said, “E’ll gobble you up.”

“Nevertheless, I must meet him. His knowledge is legendary.”

“And so’s his appetite.” Eck sniggered, “Ain’t no one going to see him without feeding him up.”

“I’ve made provision for that,” Bill said, “In my waistcoat, I have the finest steak from the kitchen. I hope it will be a sufficient reward.”

“Ee won’t like that,” said Eck, he-hawing like an old donkey.

Continue reading “750 words Short story: Eck, Bill, and Lack-Lack”

750 words Short story: Eck, Bill, and Lack-Lack

750ish words: ‘Animal’s Theory about the guy next door’

Consistent writing does take the fear out of the process, the crippling perfectionism that can kill a first draft, let alone the minowwing idea that promises to grow into tasty words and yummy stories. So before I kill that metaphor entirely…here’s a quick story, minnow sized actually, written in 20 minutes on one of the most inspirational writing sites out there – 750words.com.  The site tracks you keeping up writing at least 750 words a day, and it’s a good way to break through any starting nerves, any hesitation can be fought through and replaced with sweetly random connections coming together. Or, you know, a rant about how mad, irrational and crappy you’re feeling at that particular moment. Lately I’ve been doing the fiction more than the internal angst, though that’s still there. Weirdly, it’s easier to fill the 750 words remit by writing a story, than by rolling around inside your brain. Most of the time, anyway.

So, below is a rough idea taken from a random verbal prompt of: Animal, Florida, Chinchilla. To the suggester, you know who you are, and thank you. It was also loosely inspired by this quote that a fantasy writing prompt tumblr account mentioned. But as it’s something of a spoiler, I’ll quote it at the very end. So, here’s the very brief reaction to the prompt:

Animal’s theory about the guy next door

Florida roiled in oily heat. Stars above shimmered in the haze. My pal, animal, fed his pet chinchilla a fat grape and cracked open his fifth beer with me and Margaret.

“Do either of you know,” he started, wiping sweat from his brow, He was so watery I was a little amazed his shoulder tattoo didn’t run. “How many of us are currently being eaten by the monsters we think are merely imaginary?”

Continue reading “750ish words: ‘Animal’s Theory about the guy next door’”

750ish words: ‘Animal’s Theory about the guy next door’

Friday Fictioneers: Dilapidated Shack

Friday Fictioneers

Flash fiction, dilapidated old house
Friday Fictioneer challenge

Though it’s been a while since my last Fictioneering, I’ve missed the discipline and mental exercise, and flat out fun of connecting to other writers with the same goal. It’s also moved, since the last time I did this, to here , at a colourful blog owned by Rochelle Wissoff-Fields.

And I’ve wondered, what can’t  you write about a dilapidated old shack? Lots of ideas surged! I’ve missed this. In fact, I’ve missed it so much I’ve done three entries this time.  Hope you like them, thank you for reading 🙂 comments welcome, I’ll aim to get to yours before the weekend is over!

THREE STORIES

Slashed Out

Jack o’lanterns flicker inside the old shack. Five teenagers are giggling, necking and drinking piss-weak beer, and clouds of pot smoke wafts from the slashed shed wall, giving me unwanted buzz. They’re so absorbed in each other they have no idea I’m waiting outside. Not long now. My axe is sharp and ready. One girl’s bladder gives up and she saunters from the pumpkin’s glow. She’s small, blonde and determined looking. I attack, axe swinging. Before I hit her, I’m surrounded by the teenagers. They’re brandishing guns and sharp sticks, even the blonde wields an axe. This isn’t bloody fai…

Castle?

I’m going to keep watching that broken down old wreck of a building. No, don’t try and stop me. I’ll stay here as long as it takes. Because five days ago, under the full moon – and yes I’d had a few beers – but I swear on my children’s lives, that I saw it turn into a goddamn castle. Golden flags, gleaming white towers, the works. Fine, laugh at me and canter on by. I don’t need you to believe me. But how else do you explain the trumpets on a cold night, or the crown in the street that time?

Meat and Poetry

The madwoman lived alone in the shack, and everyone mocked her. She didn’t care. She bought milk and meat in town, while muttering glorious poetry, until cruel children threw stones that struck her head.  After that no one in town saw her for a good few days. Then a vast parade of purposeful cats filed up to her hovel. Curious folk that followed were amazed when the cats bore the madwoman’s corpse from the shack and out to the dark woods. When they saw her again in town, buying meat, singing poetry, not one stone was thrown.

Friday Fictioneers: Dilapidated Shack

Flash Fiction Friday: Wire Pilgrimage

A sinister image for this week’s prompt. It conjured up connotations of death camps, suffering and gruesome horror movies. And I totally went with that! Bit of a post-apocalyptic spin, I feel, too. Open to interpretation anway.

Madison Wood’s response to her photo can be found over here.

Madison Woods, Barbed Wire, Flash Fiction Friday, 100 word challenges
Barbed Wire by Madison Woods

Wire Pilgrimage

The Monster’s Martyrs are bound into a single, agonised unit of pain and forced to walk ten miles together for the annual sacrifice. This year they used razor wire. I recognise my poor brother staggering amongst them. A few pray, some sob; my brother curses, lifts his head to swear at the sky so wounds pour again. Dried blood has patterned obscenely on his flayed skin. Their suffering makes His mouth water, I’m told. Shuddering, I hide in the shallow grave I dug by His rusted tower, clutching the grenade tight, awaiting His appearance. This will not happen again.

Flash Fiction Friday: Wire Pilgrimage

Flash Fiction Friday: Cellar Wall

Cellar Wall (from Madison Woods)

Cellar Wall

They’re coming for me.  Tripping over a calico tom, I fell hard down the stairs. Luckily the cellar door swung shut. Now I cannot move, or cry out; can’t do anything except watch dirt fall away from stone. I hear their paws scrabble eagerly at loosening soil, and a steady purring. The soft sound of cats. I didn’t know about Ulthar’s rule when I moved here, and didn’t mean to kill that kitten under my heel as it demanded milk. Now I see a whisker. An ear. Bared teeth. The Ulthar cats are through the wall, and they are hungry.

***

Another one for H P Lovecraft fans. Check out the story that inspired it here. Maybe one week my 100 words will be less gruesome, but not this time! I feel that there’s a bit more dread this time round. However, it’s ultimately hard to feel much sympathy for a kitten killer, even if it was ‘by accident’.

Original photo prompt is here on Madison Wood’s site.

Here’s Madison’s own entry for this week – Cellar Walls.

My other 100 word stories for this challenge:

Bloody Jewels

Reading the Bones

Broken Mushroom

And a new challenge, the lengthier ‘Flash Fiction Faction’ run every Thursday by Quill Shiv. Story ‘Clouded‘.

Flash Fiction Friday: Cellar Wall