Tagged: stories

Beneath the Black Flag

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 26

“Yarr!” cried Long Schlong Silver, one hand on the hilt of his mighty cutlass. “I be on a quest for booty!”

The crew of the boarded vessel stared in awe at Silver’s glistening pecs, peeking coyly from his open, billowing shirt. For a moment, all were too distracted to speak.

Then the captain stepped forward, loosening his cravat. “Have heart, men!” he announced. “I’ll take care of this rogue.”

The captain spoke with a heavy accent. Silver couldn’t quite place where it came from, but he knew with every fibre of his being that it was deeply and innately sexy.

“So ye think ye can handle the legendary Long Schlong Silver?” he demanded, raising an eyebrow.

The captain stepped closer. “I’ve got a few ideas what to do with you.”

Silver took a step himself. He was now so close to the captain that their nipples were practically touching through the one shirt between them. “Do ye now?” Continue reading

The Mousetrap

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 25

Challenge #11: Write a story set in a board game. Its word count must be a multiple of 13.

“Well well well…”

Inspector Whiskers’ big round ears caught the unmistakable sound of a revolver being cocked.

“Looks like I’ve got a tail.”

Whiskers turned. “You’ve been keeping up this game of cat-and-mouse for quite some time, Officer Nibbles.”

“Longer than you know.” The mouse stepped into the pool of light beneath the streetlamp, streams of rain leaving hard lines in the fur of his face. “Too long to have you rat me out to the big cheese.”

“Why’d you do it?” Whiskers didn’t really need to ask, but he did need to buy some time. “You only got a couple more years on the job. Why risk your retirement plan?”

“Retirement plan?” Nibbles gave a short, squeaking laugh. “The way things are going down at the Department, I’ll be poor as a church mouse—and so will you! No, Inspector. This…” he gestured about the docks with the barrel of his gun. “This is my retirement plan.” Continue reading

The Twin Chalices

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 24

Once upon a time, there lived a powerful enchantress. But though her strong magic sustained her for a long, long time, there came a day when she began to grow old. She knew that it was time to choose an apprentice to someday succeed her, and so she called upon her two most promising students.

Aegorath was of noble blood, born under the Dragon Moon, and saw through the world’s veil as through a still pool. Yet where others of noble birth counted upon name alone, and others with special gifts relied upon those over study, Aegorath worked hard, far more proficient as an acolyte than many masters.

Thilo too worked hard, but the seers had found him in a nameless village, far away, and he had therefore begun his studies later than the others his age. His efforts had been spent first in gaining an equal footing with the others, and later in compensation for the fact that his gaze pierced the veil no more clearly than the others.

“The ways of our order dictate that I must decide upon an apprentice,” said the enchantress, “and I have decided that it will be one of you. However, the final choice will be by way of a challenge.” Continue reading

The Chosen One

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 23

“You’re a wizard, Henry?”

“Wait…what?”

“You’re a wizard, Henry,” repeated the large, hairy man with the umbrella. “And a darn good’un!”

“Stop!” shouted a smaller hairy man with a laser sword as he leapt over the already-knocked-down door. “That man is an impostor! You’re actually a space wizard. He was going to try and trap you in some kind of fake wizard school here on Earth!”

“Stop!” shouted an even smaller scaly…person, also with a laser sword as he squeezed past the second guy. “This man is an impostor! You’re actually a space lizard. He was going to try and trap you on some dank swamp planet where you’d never discover your true reptilian nature!”

“Stop!” shouted a larger scaly person with a very long scarf. “This iguanaman is an impostor! You’re actually a time lizard. He was going to…”

“Henry?” A woman stepped through the door. “Henry, is everything alright? Who are you talking to?” Continue reading

Ultraviolent Unicorn Deathmatch of Destiny

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 22

Challenge #10*: Write an interactive story with at least two good endings and two bad endings. It must feature a conflict between Man and Society, and must also involve a choice that hinges on equipping the right item.

A hyperlinked version of this story is available here.

1

In the arena, two majestic alabaster unicorns duel to the death. Their tungsten chainsaw horns ring out against one another like a swarm of killer bees in a blender.

Intervene: 2

Place bet: 3

Leave: 4 Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Pen and Paper Stories

If you’re writing interactive fiction, you’d be hard pressed to find a better tool than Twine. It’s incredibly simple and incredibly powerful, with a reassuringly shallow learning curve. With a little know-how you can use it to create very sophisticated role-playing games, but even with no know-how at all you can jump right in and write a fully functional Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style story. I’ve already written a tutorial that shows how you can get started in just four clicks! This one will pick up where that left off and show you how to convert your Twine story into a format that can be read on plain old paper without the aid of a computer.

Just like these!

I do very much recommend having a look at that first tutorial before beginning to follow this one, by the way. At least keep it open in another tab to refer to. Nothing in here is going to be particularly complicated, and if you’ve already had a fiddle around with Twine 2 then chances are you could probably follow along well enough. However, having my Getting Started in Four Clicks tutorial handy would probably save some confusion, as I’ll be referring back to it here from time to time.

In Getting Started in Four Clicks I made the case that merely by knowing how to link passages in Twine using double square brackets, you’ve got just as many options available to you as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone did when writing the Fighting Fantasy series back in the ’80s. However, though these simple Twine stories would in theory work perfectly well on paper, there are a few extra steps involved in converting them from Twine’s (far superior) system of hyperlinks into the (slow but printable) system of numbered passages and “Turn to…” instructions used by pen-and-paper gamebooks. Continue reading

Long in the Tooth

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 21

“Visiting hours are over, I’m afraid. They have been for about seven hours.”

“Ah. But I called ahead!”

“I see.” The nurse checked her notes. “Then you must be Count…”

“Please, Count Dracula is my father! Call me Vlad.” He reached out, took her hand, and kissed it in the most vampirically dashing way imaginable.

“Nice to meet you.” She wiped it on her shirt in the least inconspicuous way imaginable.

Kids these days. The old vampire hypnosis never seemed to work on them. A shame, as he could have done with a snack after the long trip. He supposed it was all that Netflix or Snapchat or possibly some fortifying effect of a diet consisting almost entirely of avocado toast. That had never been a problem back in Transylvania. Except it probably was now. Everything flown everywhere!

“Do you know which room it is?” she asked.

“Of course! 1428, same as my birth y…I mean my bus. Ah, ah, ah.” He gave a nervous laugh. “The 14:28. They only start in the afternoon. That’s why I couldn’t get here during daylight.” Continue reading

White Rabbit

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 20

Challenge #9: Write a story featuring every sense but sight. It must have a palindromic word count and not use any adverbs ending in “-ly.”

“Bugger. There go the lights.”

“Spare lantern?”

There were a few seconds of vigorous clicking while Harper tried the switch.

“Dead.”

“Oh well. Absolute last resort I suppose…”

I fished about in my pocket for the lighter. What I found instead was most disconcerting.

“Harper?”

“Yeah?”

“Harper, there’s a hole in my pocket.”

The silent dark of the Alterworld was polluted by a string of graphic obscenities. Continue reading

Little Red and the Three Bunkers

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 19

Once upon a time there was a terrible dragon, which crawled along the ground on endless feet. The dragon was an ancient beast—forged long before Little Red was born—and only Grandmama was old enough to remember it. But Little Red had heard stories, and so when she saw the dragon coming she rolled her bike into a wooden bunker nearby and waited for it to pass.

But the dragon saw her inside with eyes of infra-red, and so it spoke: “Little Red, Little Red, let me come in.”

“Not by the spikes on your tinny-tin-tin!”

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your fort in!”

The dragon breathed out a huge gout of fire that burned the wooden bunker to ash, but Little Red was clever, and so in the commotion she escaped and rode away across the wasteland to a bunker of steel. Continue reading

And I Would Write 500 More

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 18

Challenge #8: Write a story at least 500 words in length including no unnecessary details whatsoever.

“Banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana,” proclaimed Captain Redundancy.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which is currently crowdfunding at Unbound. Most pledge levels include all the books shown above, and all will include your name in the back of Ten Little Astronauts itself as a patron of my work.

Support it here!