Posts Tagged ‘‘Timony’

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.

Second Dice Games Retrospective

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 13 2012

So I’m setting this review of ‘Timony Souler’s Dice Games from last week in advance to post as a sort of ‘Other Web Wednesday’ for the week since it does mention and link to other sites those of a reading or writing bent may wish to check out. I’ll already be out of town until late the 22nd by the time this goes up, so I want to mention that I commented in response to every entry from this round of the Dice Games I could find–so if I didn’t comment on one of yours that means I didn’t see it and would appreciate you posting a link to it in the comments section.

You can jump back to read my entries from the beginning by following the link to my adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

 

‘Timony Souler: Our monthly challenge host, ‘Timony Souler invites us back into the dark and unexpected corners of her mind with this second installment of Dice Games—where we had to roll for each of our writing prompts from a list with some real oddities, as evidenced by the variety of stories that arose. My favorite of ‘Timony’s personal contributions this time was her second entry, Slaughter, because a great panicked atmosphere and Inquisitional overtones.

Lisa McCourt Hollar: Her impeccable writing gets you right into her characters’ heads, and doesn’t let you out no matter how much you want to escape. Honestly a lot of her stuff is too scary for me, but well worth checking out if you value good writing at all. If you also like horror than you may love Jezri’s Nightmares. I only found one entry for Dice Games, Perfect Strangers, but it’s one of my favorite things she’s written. When an author does horror so well, sometimes it’s nice to dislike the protagonist.

Stevie McCoy: A good friend and a good writer, host of the Tuesday Tales Blog Challenge, excellent community builder and all around versatile and impressive person. This time around she gave us proper vampires in tales of blood, hunger and amorality. My favorite was the first one though, Death Becomes You, because I can infer an incredible relationship between the vampire and her two victims.

Emilia Quill: An absolutely amazing fantasy author, who I’m actually hoping to do a short cross-over work with soon if both our schedules can clear up a bit. Her worlds and creatures are so rich and evocative, they really speak for themselves. So my favorite was her second entry because it captured both of those and told a genuinely awesome love story.

Julie Fisher: Though I only found one entry for this Dice Games, Julie delivers another dose of feel-good sentimentality with her entry. She does a great job of capturing the feelings in her scenes, and I’ll never complain about a piece that leaves me with a smile.

Lena Corazon: Lena’s an amazing writer and academic whose site regularly delivers everything from compelling fiction to insights into the craft and just generally fun reading. My favorite was definitely her second entry, Worthless?, for so many reasons—but just for here I’m going to say it’s because I am Gareth and love Serenity.

Meg McNulty: The weight of historical and cultural relevance behind Meg’s work guarantee a far deeper and richer experience from reading her work than would otherwise be possible within the word count. My favorite was her third entry, Achilles’ Choice, because it really gets into the myth and history that make Meg’s work so rich while also humanizing the characters through their choice and actions. That and I love Odysseus.

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-

Dice Games – June 4

Uncategorized | Posted by davidludwig
Jun 04 2012

The wet scent of mud was Belle’s first warning she’d arrived, and didn’t register in time to keep her from sliding down the incline. She stopped when one foot sank into the slope with a squelching sound. Her lantern proved woefully unable to pierce the torrential rain, and the rumbling clouds obscuring the stars drowned out all other sound.

“Papa!” the brunette screamed down into the pit where she could just make out her father’s discovery. “Papa! We have to go inside!”

A large clod of mud separated from the base of the strange circular monolith at the center of the pit. Only once he removed his goggles could Belle even recognize the eyes of her mud-coated father.

“Belle?! What are you doing here?”

“I came to get you, Papa! You shouldn’t be out in this storm!”

“But I think I’ve figured it out! It needs energy!” her rotund father bellowed excitedly and glanced between Belle and the strange archway.

A flash of lightning provided the illumination Belle’s lantern could not. She looked in horror at the mess of wires and cables now attached to the edifice. They all led up to an antenna reaching shakily for the sky as thunder pealed all around.

“Papa! Get away—“ Belle was blown from her feet and back into the muddy incline before she could finish.

A sharp odor gave way to the insistent mud as lights danced behind the village girl’s dazzled eyes. Her father’s inventions had a way of blowing up in both their faces, particularly his, but something about this discovery was different. Belle’s body ached and her tired mind just wanted to sink back into the mud and sleep, yet she forced herself out and blinked to try and see through the rain.

The lantern had tumbled to the bottom of the pit, extinguished and broken. But she could still see. An intense blue glow came from a watery wall that had filled in the space within the ancient circle. Her father was hopping and slipping excitedly in the rainwater flooding his excavation. He was gesturing toward the liquid wall and babbling excitedly. Belle realized her ears were ringing and placed her hands over them delicately.

She closed her eyes to collect her thoughts, and that second was enough for her father to disappear. A clutching dread filled her chest. Her old Papa couldn’t have escaped the excavation so quickly, and as she saw it there was only one place he could have gone. Slipping, tumbling and finally crawling, she made her way to the awful wall of water.

One breath. Two. Belle stood and squared her shoulders.

“I’m coming, Papa.”

She slipped through the veil deceptively easily, and then her world was ripped away from her. Vertigo. Terrible cold. Impact?

The next thing Belle was aware of she was lying on a rough stone floor, encased in rimed dirt. She could barely shiver with the frozen earth so thick on her body. Then she saw It. A terrible monstrosity, equal parts reptile and amphibian with hellish curving horns and a lashing tail—yet the Beast stood on two legs like a man.

“P-please, I didn’t know!” the old inventor quavered. “I didn’t know what it would do!”

“And that’s an excuse for invading my privacy?” The Beast could talk, and its voice reminded Belle of thunder.

It had her father by his throat against the bars of the cell containing them along with a monolith like the one at the excavation. Belle forgot the cold and caked soil and leapt to her feet.

“Let my father go!”

Obliging with lightning speed the Beast dropped the old man and brought its burning beady eyes within a foot of Belle’s own brown ones. Its breath was fetid and its muscles rippled with an aura of power.

“No! Belle!” Her Papa reached feebly after the Beast. “Please, do whatever you want to me, but let my daughter go!”

The Beasts face split into a nightmarish grin Belle was sure included more than one row of fangs.

“This one is female?”

Belle felt her knees buckle under the monster’s gaze, and was only somewhat relieved to be caught by a wall as she fell backwards.

“I can return your father safely home, if you agree to mate with me.”

“Don’t do it, Belle!”

“Otherwise, you both die.”

Tears ran down Belle’s cheeks as she nodded and wished her father had never found that horrible monolith.

***

Continued

–Prompt 5: Belle (Beauty & the Beast), a stargate, an awkward situation–

Hopefully I managed to provide a suitably awkward situation for the prompt, had trouble pulling this all together–but over the rest of this week you should be treated to more of this story with my Wednesday and Friday posts. You can check out the Challenge and other participants over at ‘Timony’s Blog.