Posts Tagged ‘Story’

Diabolical Deeds Wrap Up

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 29 2012

Well, that’s the end of ‘Timony’s Diabolical Deeds Challenge, hopefully the tales were enjoyed here and on the other participating sites–but in the event that you missed it get over to ‘Timony’s site and check out the prompts and participants.

‘Timony Souler – Our Challenge host, and the one who will always be significant to my online writing persona because of challenges like 7 Sins and 7 Virtues that got me started on Flash Fiction in the first place. Undaunted by stringent word counts and difficult/obscure word prompts, ‘Timony delivers strong sensory fiction on a consistent basis–when not waylaid by real world demands. My favorite of her contributions to her own challenge this time was Day Two’s “The Promotion” because sometimes it’s just nice to observe a demon who really values their work.

Lisa McCourt Hollar– Host of the #55WordChallenge, and incredibly vivid writer whose horror stories actually scare me in spite of just being words on a page (or screen), which is an accomplishment because I normally refrain from delving into the genre deeply enough to be affected like that–her words and characters pull me in even when I’m wary of what they’ll reveal. It was her second entry, “Dangerous Games”, that I’m going with as my favorite in this challenge because on top of her usual richness of characterization and setting, there’s a little something sexy there too.

Meg McNulty– A writer I met early in my flash-ficiton experience and regular for ‘Timony Challenges, Meg brings a richness of history and context to her writing that is absolutely compelling. Her second entry, “The Cave”, is especially good this time around because of the balance of fantasy and horror that make it feel like anything could happen.

Jeffrey Hollar– Another longtime contributor to ‘Timony’s Challenges, and another impeccable horror writer–he can almost always capture the dark in life or in people in a way that will turn the stomach or make the skin crawl, but when he feels like it can deliver real fun, whimsy and comedy as well. And, surprise surprise, it was the second entry again that most captivated me. How did everyone else do such a good job with Calu? “A Night Out” really provided a setting and characters I’d love to see more of, even casually with no particular plot line.

Mark Ethridge– A regular on the Flash Fiction scene, this is his first ‘Timony Challenge. His words are poetic and invitingly original, and this time around I think he really gained steam as he worked his way through the challenge. My favorite entry was actually his 4th Entry, “Sthenno”, but a lot of that is favoritism for the strong female lead and Greek mythology, I would argue that his final entry was even stronger.

Stacy Bennet-Hoyt– Another regular from the Flash Fiction circuit, yet newcomer to the ‘Timony scene. Sort of a hidden character since she missed the sign-up deadline but participated anyway, and delivered her usual flash brilliance and power with each entry. Choosing a favorite among such strong entries was hard, but I’m ever so slightly favoring her 2nd Entry, “Calu”, because she gets the sexiness that others captured and also taught me a new word I intend to start making use of.

 

And to my knowledge that’s all the entries. If I missed anyone, let me know and I’ll remedy that.

 

Diabolical Deeds 5: Zagan

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 26 2012

[Previous Deed]

Zagan

Scooping her satiny black cat into her arms, the girl let out a relieved sigh. With Stheno unconscious they were finally together and safe again. Scratching the back of her cat’s head, the girl turned out to grin at the zoic wonders of the cedar forest.

Her reverie was cut short upon noticing the great winged bull winking at them. Her cat tried to wriggle out of her arms—but she held him tight.

“You ought to be ashamed, Blackie! The spiritual zymosis he started you on is what turned you into a cat in the first place!”

 

 

 

And that wraps up ‘Timony’s Diabolical Deeds Challenge. Probably not my best showing in a ‘Timony Challenge, but you can look forward to my summary of the rest of the field on Monday–which altogether should make for some good seasonal reading. Feel free to check out the links to the other participants ahead of time, over at ‘Timony’s Site.

Diabolical Deeds 4: Stheno

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 25 2012

[previous Deed]

Stheno

With Humbaba dispatched, the girl was upset to find her cat had run off during the fracas. She didn’t have to go far, however, to hear a sibilant voice sussurate dire promises pertaining to lunch. A scaly gorgon held the helpless feline pinned with brass claws, and lowered her grinning face of sharp fangs wreathed in writhing red vipers to biting range.

“Unhand my kitty!”

“Of course, I’d be pleased to switch up for something more substantial.”

The gorgon released her saccadic snack and faced the girl, who pushed up her sleeves and went to work.

Diabolical Deeds 3: Humbaba

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 24 2012

[previous Deed]

Humbaba

She had to shade her eyes, raising an arm against the heavenly brilliance of the cedar forest. How strange a thing the sun seemed, after even a brief time in the chthonic depths.

A feline yowl brought surging habromania that turned the girl’s hair and eyes golden. Then she saw the lion-headed behemoth menacing her poor cat!

“To enter the forest of the Herrenvolk is verboten!”

The giant breathed a torrent of flame and, more terrifying to his victim, raised floodwaters with his roar.

“Get away from my kitty!” The girl suffused her palms with death’s dark glow.

Diabolical Deeds 2: Calu

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 23 2012

[see previous Deed here]

Calu

The girl was seized by a sudden cacaesthesia. Something was watching her. Something with feral yellow eyes.

Fists dripping blood, she proceeded into the caliginous depths of the underworld—senses alert for her lost cat as well as her mysterious stalker. Once the flicker of the fire lake was behind her, her stalker revealed himself.

“How dare you trespass in my domain?” The man-wolf snarled.

The girl’s bouncy hair and remorseless eyes shifted to the fiery hue of the lake, “I’m looking for my kitty. Have you seen him?”

The demon’s tail dropped between his legs and he pointed ahead.

Diabolical Deeds 1: Ammut

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 22 2012

Okay, choking on the digital dust here–but maybe the latest ‘Timony Challenge will be enough to get the site back up and producing again (though all of the old greats like Niar Saga and Lost Girls’ Society have remained available). Without further ado, I give you the first of the Diabolical Deeds.

Ammut

Plummeting through the achroous void, the girl wrinkled her nose at dry sulfurous air thrashing her pigtails and cloak. She would have avoided this smoking rift in the earth, if it hadn’t opened underneath her cat.

A crimson glow broke the tedium of her descent, finally revealing ground below. The adactylous creature lumbering alongside the lake of fire looked like a cross between a hippo and a lion, with the head of a crocodile.

Braced on stumpy limbs, the creature opened its jaws to receive the girl.

Eyes narrowed, the girl pulled her fist back for impact. “Where’s my kitty!?”

 

 

 

And of course you can check out the prompts and link collection to other participants over at ‘Timony’s Site.

Tuesday Tales 61 WINNER

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Oct 10 2012

Tuesday Tale Judging

I’m no good at promoting competitions, so I’m pretty happy with the turn out for this week with that in mind. We had some strong entries and several that were real pleasures to read. Since as part of my judging process I take notes on all of the entries, and as a writer I value feedback on my own work, I’m going to share my notes here on my site though I’m sure the official post over at Glitterword will be significantly abbreviated.

Judge’s Notes

Robin Abess (@Angelique_Rider) – Showtime – Something about the word “pitchman” really satisfies me, it says so much about the character and the scene in very little space. Definitely got a grim smile from me at the end. Darned pitchmen.

Rebekah Postupak (@Postupak) – Another excellent hook, you had me smiling and hungry for more in the first sentence of self appraisal. A great cautionary tale, but I’m not entirely sure I understood what happened. My impression, which I’m mostly sure is right, is that the dragon was turned into a human retaining only the draconic tail. Loved your dragon either way.

Ryan Strohman (@rastrohman) – Definitely got a hardboiled detective vibe from your 100 words, with the narrator who knows better and gets in trouble anyway. I like the attention to the shoes and the fact that you incorporated the secret word into the whole concept of the piece rather than just a throw away sentence. Unfortunately something about this piece doesn’t pop for me, and I can’t figure out what.

RRKovar (@rrkovar) – Crossroads – Great voice on your characters, and definitely a sweet way for a witch to get info as long as he does in fact manage to hang on to his soul. You have me curious about the larger story this snippet comes from. For consistency I would have appreciated more alliteration from the demon though, and there may be some grammatical trouble in the first line? I’m not great with grammar myself, but ‘Demon tongue twisted like her tattoo vines.’ doesn’t quite make sense to me.

Lisa McCourt Hollar (@jezri1) – Blind Date – Great immersion in the moment, and coming from you I was expecting some extraordinary twist by the end, and I actually think I was  a little disappointed not to get it. The word count is extremely limiting, but I still feel there could have been more of a story or point to this one. As is I felt like this would be excellent characterization for a longer piece.

Karen Valenzuela (@VictoriaNoir89) – The Cellist – Great period assassination. The disconnect of never getting any names or motives in connection with the murder is highlighted by using The Cellist as your title, first words and protagonist. It really makes me want to know more, which keeps the story in my mind long after I’ve finished reading as well as coming back to comb for additional clues… Though, I don’t think you used either of the prompts, so I think that’s a disqualification…

Nick Johns (@nickjohns999) – Mr Dark’s Designs – Egh, very visceral beginning. Something about bloody finger nails really hits me, so that’s a strong hook. You follow up with great sensory details like the ‘sewer sweat reek’. Really intrigued by the whole setup of paltering away curse marks onto others… It’s fascinating and compelling. Great entry, and very tempting for an honorable mention, but I think I’m deducting a few points for the Wednesday submission.

Honorable Mention

Alissa (@lissajean7) – I love how you started at the bottom of the picture, the shoes, and worked your way up to the art. Can totally buy the character who would rather be barefoot, and you present both the fancy shoe and art scenes in ways that I can strongly relate to. Bonus points for using more than one of the definitions.
Your attention to details and double usage of palter are what snagged you the honorable mention.

 

Winner

Rakel’ Sampson (@SampsonWriter) – Ooo, very nice! Your first sentence hooked me perfectly, I had to know more about whether she would live up to or defy the picture she presented—and what a pretty package for Vengeance! Whether super-hero or fantasy, this is absolutely in my genre, and is a completely told tale in merely 100 words.
You’re the clear winner in my book for such an elegantly constructed piece that fully incorporates both prompts and within the limited word count hit so many of the right buttons for my personal tastes.

*-Winning Entry-*

She looked the picture of innocence; blonde curls and open green eyes. Then his eyes trailed downward, lighting on the artwork of vines and flowers adorning her legs. What a mystery, he thought as they ate dinner.
On the dark walk home he made his move. Before he got a good grip on her thigh, something grabbed his wrist.
“Careful. The more you struggle the tighter my vines get,” she hissed.
“Easy. I wasn’t going hurt you,” he paltered. Then his eyes widened as the tendrils reached his neck. “What are you?” he choked out.
She leaned in close. “Vengeance.”

*- -*

So get onto Twitter, Google, Facebook or whatever you use and spread the good news of winner @SampsonWriter and honorable mention @lissajean7 for all to know their glory.

You can read the other entries at http://glitterword.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/tuesdaytales-61-palter/

The Succubus’ Harem: Prologue

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 15 2012

So as a little something different (yes I found an opportunity to get online after all!) I thought maybe I’d share some really rough flash fictions that are coming to mind as I play Rage of Bahamut. No sooner had I deleted Zombie Jombie from my phone (see the My Phone Monday of this week) than I discovered Rage of Bahamut, which seems to be everything I expect Zombie Jombie wanted to be. Collectable Card game for the iPhone and Android, which is fun and addicting–and very deserving of its own more positive review one of these days.

Anyway, I’ve been so inspired playing it that I’m just naturally developing characters based on my cards blending them with the storyline from the game–so obviously I could never actually publish these with large elements not being original to me, but this seems like a good forum for a sort of ‘fan fiction’.

The story is titled “The Succubus’ Harem”

 

 

*Prologue*

Rage.

Pain.

Hatred.

Thirst.

A clawed hand breaks the surface of the rain soaked field. Fresh dirt erupts in a muddy fountain as the hand’s owner emerges from the loam. The sudden disturbance and wash of tangy earth scent interrupts a pair of worgs from wrestling over the leg of an unfortunate traveler.

Mud and dirt tumble from the ribcage of the mysterious figure. Age has picked clean flesh and organs. Though yellowed, the bones seem preserved by unnatural power. Only the metal scales of an armored skirt remain of any clothing the figure may have once had, and those are corroded and falling apart.

The skeleton’s ragged blackened blade is in little better condition than its mail skirt, yet proves sufficient to lop the head from the shoulders of the first curious wolf-like creature. The second howls in fury and lunges for the skeleton’s boney throat, only to share the fate of the first worg.

Blood running from its blade, the skeleton turns its face to the roiling clouds and releases an ear splitting wail of rage. Pain. Hatred. Thirst.

 

 

 

If you have a smartphone (both iPhone and Android supported) then Rage of Bahamut is a free download and even if you decide it isn’t your thing you could help me a lot by playing through the tutorial and entering the code lrq89881 at the end. On the other hand if electronic collectible fantasy card games that you can kill some free time with while enjoying a lot of the best of the fantasy genre does sound good to you, that same code will start you off with an impressive 100,000 extra Rupies (as in you will not have money issues) and an Angelic Knight rare card–and still help me.

They do a good job with getting you to promote them by offering excellent incentives to do so–but for fantasy fans with smartphones I’m inclined to say it is VERY worth it. Of course, you can also potentially get the gist of my impressions of the game just by reading my flash fiction on the subject–which may be the new Friday Feature.

Dice Games June 8

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 08 2012

Previous

***

“It’s incredible…” Belle turned slowly, still unable to take in the enormity of the surrounding library on her second pass.

“You like it?” the Beast’s face split into the sharp-toothed grin she now found strangely endearing. “There’s something more.”

Before she could question what could possibly be more than the most exquisite collection thick, pristine tomes Belle had ever seen, she felt the handle of a golden mirror pressed into her hand. The craftsmanship was finer even than the other treasures in the castle. Seeing her reflection, however, thrust the lady’s brief euphoria under a sudden weight of empty longing.

Mostly the beauty looked the same, but parting her red lips revealed her ever sharpening teeth. The hand holding the mirror bore claws which both excited and frightened her. More changes lay invisible within her, rendering the woman in the reflection a stranger to herself.

“Think about your father while you look in the mirror,” the Beast stepped against Belle’s back, steadying her small hand with his own massive one and looking over her shoulder. “It will show him to you.”

“I can see Papa?” Belle looked back to the terrible head resting on her shoulder, her longing finally escaping her eyes as tears.

The Beast simply nodded. Swallowing, Belle allowed herself to think about her father for the first time in what felt like ages. The surface of the mirror seemed to ripple, and the reflection was replaced by a dark image.

Her portly old Papa was struggling against another storm! But he wasn’t alone; there was a taller man with him. Broad muscles pressed against a red tunic, their owner striding against the storm with an impervious swagger. Gaston.

The sight of the amorous egomaniac was enough to turn Belle’s stomach—which had become very hard to do lately. Full nausea hit as Belle saw they had all the village men behind them, and her father was gesticulating toward the edifice connecting their world to the Beast’s castle.

A rumbling growl that shook Belle’s bones showed the Beast’s displeasure.

“They’re coming here!” Belle spun to face the Beast.

“They’ll live only long enough to regret it if they do.”

Belle shrank from his cold statement of fact. Not a threat, nor promise of action, but unbiased observation of truth.

“What have you done?”

“Thrown down a little rose seed,” he turned the mirror back to Belle. “The plants of this world, are often more deadly than the animals.”

Cold dread clutched in Belle’s chest as she watched her father, Gaston, and the villagers charge through the wall of water made when lightning struck the monolith. Dropping the mirror into Beast’s hand, Belle sprinted for the basement. She’d get there even if she had to smash down the door.

Screams and the hot coppery scent of blood washed up from the dungeons before Belle could reach them. Rounding the last twisting staircase the girl witnessed a jungle of thorny vines twisting and slithering over the stone floor—hungrily rushing toward the delicious wash of human blood.

Belle’s sympathetic heart beat great surges of adrenaline into her system as she saw the thorns lash about, bind and drain the men of their vital fluids. Her mouth watered reflexively. Blood gorged buds burst from the vines before blossoming into obscenely crimson flowers. The scent of blood was rapidly being subsumed into the sweet perfume of the carnivorous blooms.

Finally she spied her Papa, fallen anemically by the now silent edifice. Leaping down into the lethal mass of vines, Belle relied on sharpened instinct and heightened reflexes to reach her Papa’s side and sever the thorns constricting him with her elegant claws.

As the rose bush closed around the girl and her father, she desperately sought a means of egress able to accommodate both of them. Gaston’s desiccated husk tumbled down to her side, a look of dumb shock frozen on his face. In little better position herself, Belle still considered that worth a grim chuckle.

“Up here! Jump!” The Beast’s roar called Belle’s attention to where he hung from the ceiling, hind-claws dug into the stone.

Belle responded with her own sharp-toothed grin before catapulting up into her Beast’s arms, her father in her own. Papa would just have to get used to this world as she had.

And Beast would have to get used to having a live-in in-law.

 

–Prompt 1: KILLER PLANTS!!!–

 

And that’s the second Dice Games. Feel free to check out the other entries by following the link collection over at our lovely host ‘Timony Souler’s site. I’ll be swinging by and seeing the rest of the field this weekend myself and then posting my post-competition summary later.

 

Dice Games June 6

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 06 2012

Previous

***

“You’re not eating,” the Beast rumbled.

Belle’s eyes remained unfocused on some point between her plate and the Beast. She wasn’t sure if the steaming meat before her was moving, and she didn’t want to know. The heady vapor from her dinner made her feel faint more so than her hunger.

The Beast had no reservations about shoveling its dinner into its macabre maw. Yet its fiery eyes never left the simple village girl. It’d taken away the dress she arrived in and provided her with something far more elegant. And revealing.

This dress didn’t rest on her like wool or cotton, instead following her body and movements like a part of her. The gown was sinuous and alien, feeling cold and slick on her bare skin.

The Beast’s voice interrupted Belle’s thoughts, “You will need your strength. We mate again tonight.”

Belle retched. No matter how her stomach turned or her throat clenched she couldn’t vomit. She hadn’t eaten anything since coming to this strange world. Shame burned through her veins as the Beast watched her dispassionately. She couldn’t even throw up. Instead she cried.

She couldn’t stay here. Death would be better. The way to the edifice was solidly locked with little hope for getting out that way. Her best chance would be escape through the fairy-tale forest surrounding the castle.

“Eat!” Belle’s thoughts were interrupted again as she felt claws close around the back of her head and shove her face down into her plate.

A squishy impact prompted the spray of hot blood from her dinner over Belle’s countenance. Trembling she felt the heat of her food against her face. Yielding. Fresh. Her stomach shot another hungry gurgle to her beleaguered brain. With the Beast’s claws pressing her down, Belle resigned. Closing her eyes she opened her mouth and began to eat.

After everything she’d been through, the meat was so good. Rich. Satisfying. It filled her with energy and took the edge off her pain—physical and mental.

Once the Beast was satisfied, it released her and stalked away up the stairs. Belle knew she had to follow. The first time the monster took her, it felt like it was murdering her. This time she didn’t feel it as much. Belle’s mind was on escape. After the thing was done it would return to its chamber to sleep, and she could slip out the front gate.

The young woman waited in darkness for an hour after the Beast left her to be sure it had time to fall asleep. Having a plan in mind and some food in her stomach gave her renewed strength and energy. She was ready. Somewhere outside this lonely castle she would find freedom or death. She would not return.

Soon she was striding purposefully out into the overcast shadows of the forest, her alien gown slipping about her confidently. Her senses were vigilant for signs she had been found out. The further she got from the castle, the more she smiled. Belle felt dangerous.

A sequence of howls and snarls reminded Belle of her fear as the forest shadows seemed to part for new monstrosities all around her. The creatures seemed to be horse sized wolves wearing their skeletons on the outside—their eyes blue and cold.

“It seems, I found death…” Belle lowered her head and prayed it would be quick.

Tortured howls of rage and pain assaulted Belle’s ears, only to be sundered by a thunderous roar too familiar. Looking up she saw the Beast lunge into the midst of the wolves and begin rending them with claws and fangs. The first he pulled apart like a rag doll, spraying viscera over the trees and painting Belle with hot blood.

Blood like at dinner. Belle felt her fingers twitch and looked to see elegant black claws where her finger nails had been that morning. Watching the Beast quarter another boney wolf, Belle raised a claw to her lips and licked it. It seemed sharp. What’s more, her teeth seemed sharper than before as well. Could she ever do what the Beast was doing?

Not this time. No creatures were left living, save the Beast and Belle. He turned his fiery eyes back to her. Not angry she’d run. Relieved she was okay? Belle crept to his side and laid her head against his heaving chest. Wrapping one of his great arms around her, she began to lick the blood from his claws reverently.

Maybe there was something there.

 

Continued

-Prompt 2: Write a love story. Blood and gore is mandatory-