A Drift of Quills for October 2017


It's official: autumn has arrived! With it, we Quills will try a new venture: FLASH FICTION. If you're new to the concept, it's quite simple, really. Flash fiction covers a variety of works that are extremely short. Consider the following descriptions (lifted straight from Wikipedia):

Six-word stories (self-explanatory)
Twitterature - 140 characters
Dribble - 50 words
Drabble or "microfiction" - 100 words
Sudden fiction - 750 words
Flash fiction - 1000 words

For our post today, we've chosen to write works from 300-1500 words (or so). My story, title and all, runs roughly 400 words.To add to the fun, we Quills chose a single picture for inspiration. The pic, entitled Long Walk, it is the creation of Jonathan Bach. (Find it at http://jbachdesign.blogspot.com/2014/....)
I admit that I rebelled a bit over our selected motivational picture . . . It just . . . didn't speak to me. But then, finally, one thought came to mind. Just one, mind you. So I decided I'd go with it. You'll soon see what I came up with . . .

While I'm anxious to hear what you think of my take, for now, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is up first!




The mages—along with the history books and a dozen or so scouts—had professed their absolute certainty that the Shader Needles no longer held any power.

Either they lied, or the maggots had figured a way to put them back in operation. Cleaved nearly in half, my flitter wrapped around the base of one pitch black, sword-like spire. Shock chased after shock. First, came the shattering of the sky like a thousand shards of lightning. Struck, I hustled earthward, out of control. Glass jangled and metal shrieked. Unimaginable pressure and the sensation of tearing preceded the remainder of my flight—without the benefit of the flitter. I met the sand with ferocious force. Finally, and most astounding of all, came the realization that I still drew breath. Each inhalation burned like a hot poker, but by all rights, I should be dead.

Sprawled in the needle's dubious shade, I processed the fact that I'd been thrown clear before my little flying machine slid down the length of the spire to smash to splinters against the ground. If I died, who would stop the poison spreading from the decaying city?

Read more at http://robinlythgoe.com/drift-quills-....

Next is P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. Accustomed to Parker's ready wit, I'm expecting a laugh or two. Or maybe things will go another way entirely. Hmmm. Well, let's find out . . .



The Prophet and the Assassin

Landships are usually a safe way to travel the dunes. Unless it's a "clanker," built from parts of the old combustible engines. They can't go high enough to escape the desert sands that come out of the south like a solid wall of death. But it wasn't the time of year for storms.

I've dreamed of starting over. I've dreamed of a fresh slate. It's a myth. You can't start over. The memories remain.The command remains.

There is no fresh slate for the living.

Read more at http://www.psbroaddus.com/2017/10/06/....


Finally, here's my flash fiction story.



Her Golden Hair

I had no choice. I had to leave her behind. Still, the ugly hands of guilt and grief, like the twin jaws of a vise, squeezed my heart.

I couldn’t count the times she’d saved me. I could only hope I’d prove as faithful. She deserved that . . . and so much more.

How could I have been so reckless? I’d heard the rumors of pirates having invaded the area—and all from highly reputable sources, no less. Still I’d insisted on doing things my way. I alone was responsible for my foolhardy pride, my selfish desire to be the first to arrive, my rash behavior.

The vise crimped tighter.

Read more at http://www.patriciareding.com/blogrev....


Please, share your comments with us!

Also, for more fun with these short-shorts, check out Flash Fiction Online at http://flashfictiononline.com/main/ and/or Flash Fiction Magazine at https://flashfictionmagazine.com.