Tag Archives: SAMPLE SIZE

Kingdom Came

She covered my mouth, and pulled me into the darkness.

Her lips touched my ear as she whispered.

“Shhh, it’s coming…”

Her breathing, slow.

My heartbeat, pounding.

The smell came first.

Rank, overpowering, wet-dog and fungus.

Kingdom came. Loping down the corridor, thick ropes of saliva, heavy, grunting breath.

His dead feet shuffled across the sandy flagstones.

I held my breath.

She muttered, unheard.

Kingdom stopped, carving some intricate scrimshaw into the wet wall.

Kingdom left, and she released me, into confusion.


Written for this week’s BekindRewrite prompt –

Kingdom Come.

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Sunday Sketch - Terry Whidborne

Sunday Sketch – Terry Whidborne

Mother was right – their fur was so soft, and the creatures just seemed so trusting…like they’d never seen a human before.

Well, Mother always has been a crafty hunter – they’d never seen her before, hidden. The shot rang out. Blood-stains marked the russet fur. But it would wash out.

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Fortune Cookie

Sunday Sketch 73 - Terry Whidborne

Sunday Sketch 73 – Terry Whidborne


“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”

The fortune cookie’s words emblazoned themselves across her consciousness – vague, as they usually were, but today’s carried a certain maliciousness…

She tried to shake the prophecy.

She didn’t hear the grumbling truck.

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We Met in a Bar

Image Luca Giulivi

I smiled as she grimaced like an opening wound – no-one watched our slow, painful dance but the moon and the streetlights.

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Sunday Sketch 64 - Terry Whidborne

Sunday Sketch 64 – Terry Whidborne

It was cute, in a way.

The way they scuttled and jabbered for the last murky drops, slurping at the dregs, licking clean the saucers and teaspoons.

I poured another cup.

Little monsters.

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Sunday Sketch 60 by Terry Whidborne

Sunday Sketch 60 by Terry Whidborne

There was an old woman

who lived in a goose

she went to the bank

she had nothing to lose

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Storm clouds brewed overhead, purple-green-black, ripe bruises against the sky.

The sky loomed, pregnant.

The horsemen rode out.

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But it’s only been four hours!

Mount Seceda in the Dolomites. Photo by Wolfgang Moroder, WikiCommons.

The clouds swelled, looming up, swimming toward us as the gondola’s little engines hummed, purring above our heads.

The cable snapped, with a neat twang! – the fall seemed to take forever, and to end in an instant.
We fell, tumbling, skidding, crashing into the mountain’s jagged teeth, stones; tearing and rending the gondala’s walls, shattering glass and bone alike.
When we woke…when I woke…well, I was so hungry.

I had to!
Forgive me.

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Dawn, Jessie Eastland

Dawn is breaking, the night has lost its hold.

Terror flees with the darkness.

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What I said to the doorman

Here is a list of things I said to the doorman:

C’mon, man, it’s getting late.

Just pretend you didn’t see.

Ok. Ok. I get it.

Forget this shit-hole, I’m leaving.

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Snatch and Grab

My heart raced, an insistent echoing.

Dadadump. Dadadump. 

You never see pay phones anymore.

The crowd swirled, a menagerie of personal terrors.

Of moments, fragmentary, shattering concerns.

But people don’t realise that personal isn’t the same as important.

Snatch, grab.

My feet pounded at the cracked pavement, my breath came in ragged shards.

“She’ll call you back.”

This is important.

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Alien Invasion by Chris Rallis

“Alright…it’s true. They saw us. It was a reconnaissance mission – Sol 3.

We’d seen the reports. Potential intelligence. Ancestor worship, stone tools, ceremonial burial.

We knew the protocols. It was an accident.”

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Born of Shadows

Born of shadows, born of night.

Born of stone, they wait. Patient, eternal.

“Ugh, those statues are too creepy,” she would whisper each time we walked passed; her eyes would dart, like mad nymphs across the canopy. Looking anywhere but there. “I always feel like they’re watching us. “ Each time I would fling a penny against the cowled masonry, waiting to hear the clink of metal-on-stone followed by its plunk as it sank beneath the water.

Make a wish.

Hope it never comes true.

Every day on my way to work, to the patisserie, to my apartment I would pass them by a dozen times, their cloaks revealing whispers of secrecy, of darkness. Every day another penny.

“I swear I saw one move…” her voice quavered, fearful.

I just laughed, flinging another copper disc their way.


The smell of cold, of rain and decay.

The penny never plunked.


My first ever Flash! Friday photo prompt – and I’m sure that everyone else saw the lurking menace in these statues, but still I had to write it. Also: onomatopoeia!  Comments and criticisms always welcome! 

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The Language of Flowers

Shadows passed over the crags and crannies of her face – a lightning strike, grief and pain, her loneliness reflected in the harsh, neon inhumanity teeming beneath her feet. Tears began to stream down her face, as she looked for answers – wondering who had died.

The language of flowers is an old tradition; though not as old as you’d think.

White lilies. Death.

The language of flowers – words left unspoken.

I took her in my arms, whispered into her ear.

She pulled away – shocked, unimpressed.

“Happy birthday, Grandma.”

No-one speaks the language of flowers anymore.

I just think lilies are beautiful.


Written for this weekend’s Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt – they are lilies, right? Not only do I not understand floriography, I don’t know much about flowers. So, I just went with my first guess, lilies. I thought I’d do something other than SciFi, so tell me what you think! Comments and criticism always welcome!



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Myths about Publishing

So I saw today that Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds asked his horde of minions about their experiences with the publishing industry, and whether the half-truths we hear about that (alleged) nest of vipers are even half-true. The conversation was kick-started by another conversation, overheard at the Crossroads Writers’ Conference:

Michael Woods @mrmikemyself

Just sat in on a local writers group. Good grief, the fabricated truths these people tell themselves about trad publishing are astounding.
9:41 PM – 02 Mar 13

Michael Woods @mrmikemyself

“They just want to steal your ideas.” “You may not know this but they always ask you for money upfront.” Wait, what? Their opinions on trad.
10:38 PM – 02 Mar 13

Michael Woods @mrmikemyself

“Unless you live in NY, Boston, or LA you’ll never get a publisher to buy your manuscript.” “You have to know somebody to sell your work.”
10:41 PM – 02 Mar 13

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An Unexpected Visitor


“An unexpected visitor, madame? Some sneak-thief, unwelcomed, unheralded in the night? Don’t you worry, we’ll soon put him in chains.”

It was the oldest trick in the policeman’s book.

They’d never catch him, so long as the Chief still got his cut.

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A Job Well Done

She could feel it cutting the air, unspoken, hidden beneath the veneer of polite conversation and political civilisation. A hollow echo, an absence that none remember. An intention, whispered words offered up to the heavens. There it was again a broken string. A shadow lying beneath their lilting, birdsong voices.

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On the Word “Jovial”

By Jove, that’s an impressive eagle!

So today I saw the word ‘jovial’ in print and wondered why it means “cheerful and friendly” (definition via my fave dictionary, the OED.) Apparently they used to believe that the planet Jupiter had a positive influence on people born under it…but really, ol’ Jove was a happy chappy? I don’t believe it – so I wrote a few pieces of Twitter-length fiction about it…

They called him “jovial,” said he was a “jolly sort of chap.” He fumed as he prepared, readying to cast lightning bolts upon them.

They called him “jovial,” and a “jolly sort of chap.” He fumed, unzipping his fly, preparing to send down a golden shower.

They called him “jovial,” and a “funny sort of chap.” Across his face a great storm brewed.

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Ambassador Gern’s Report

The Szechuan smell of garlic and peppercorns, the fiery red flavour of chilli, balanced against an eruption of ginger and sesame – Gha’l Zhauo. Flame-tongued is the nearest translation.

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We Sit in Dappled Sunlight

We sit in dappled sunlight, the amber sky of sunrise settling in again on another quiet start to the morning.

She lies in my arms, dreams punctuated with silent whimpers, clawing at phantoms and mirages in her mind.

We sit in dappled sunlight, and my heart skips a beat as I stare at closed eyes, her yellow-shaded skin in striking contrast against my skin.

She needs the dappled sunlight, to wash her jaundice away. She needs a warm milk breakfast, needs my warmth, my breathing, my heartbeat regulating hers.

Two days home, my little baby girl.

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