Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!
299 words by Bill Engelson, (@billmelaterplea)
Eva Went Cruising for Conquests
“It might give us a critical base in the North Atlantic, Mein Liebling, for the darkness of war is approaching, we must be fully prepared…no one will suspect you, a woman, a simple yet extraordinarily beautiful woman. We do have Gerlach there, but he is an unhappy fool, drunken locals disrupting his sleep, and he reports the Newspapers have the temerity to insult me…ME…and he does nothing.”
“All I want is a vacation, Al baby.…with Mommy and Gretl, and of course, my sweet little Scotties…somewhere warm…oh, to have hot sand to rest my body on, to soak up the glorious sun to frolic in the sea…you know how you like to see me frolic…but Iceland. It makes me shiver just saying the word.”
“It gives me the Schicklgruber shimmies myself, Mein Knödel. Someone has to go. I promise you, one or two years, three years tops and Miami will be yours…I will make you the Queen of Florida…all the warm sandy beaches you want. Just go to Iceland, sail up the flipping fjords, take some movies, for me…“
“FLORIDA! You want to give me a swamp. I don’t want a swamp. I want a beach!“
“All the American swamps have been drained…or will be, once we hang Roosevelt by his toes. Okay, how does this sound? California…you will be The Queen of California…and of Hollywood.“
“ Oh, my sweet two-eared postcard painter, that sounds wonderful. Could you throw in Hawaii? Would that be too much to ask?“
“ Consider it yours.“
“Then, Iceland here I come.“
“Good…What…you look…voracious my little kleiner eroberer?“
“I was thinking…no, I’m being too greedy…“
“Ask…I’m feeling generous…“
“I do favour the Italian Riviera…primo beaches, Al.“
“ Ah, my little Zuckerpflaume, is Benny going to be besoffen.“
Author’s note: This reprehensible tale needs an introduction…this link offers the questionable inspiration…and the fact that I have Icelandic lineage…https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/that-time-hitlers-girlfriend-visited-iceland-and-the-british-invaded/
291 words by Stephen Shirres, (@The_Red_Fleece)
The Sky Dances Green and Blue
The sky bursts into brilliant greens and blues, mixed like oil and vinegar, a singular state yet apart at the same time. For the first time since I’d arrived in the snowy mountains, I realised what I was looking for, what I needed.
The train was busy, but I found a set of empty seats. With my bag on one, sat in the other and stared out the window, watching the blurred scenery pass. A distraction from the tap I knew would come at any minute. The soft click of the rails created a white noise of drowsiness.
A tap on my shoulder, firm and solid. Damn! They’ve got me. Eyes open, I saw the train guard and heard a language I didn’t understand. His points and gestures make his message clear, end of the line. I grab my bag and run in case the real tap turns up. Too fast. I should have enjoyed the warmth for a few minutes longer. Let the feeling sip further into my bones. Modernity bids a similar fast farewell as the station’s automatic doors slammed shut. Ahead of me is an arrow of grey concrete and the mountains ahead of me, behind me, everything I know. I count down from ten. At two, I made my decision. Never go back. I walk for three days, grabbing what sleep I can on the cold, barren rocks. Shelter a premium.
Then the sky dances green and blue up and I see the powerful beauty of the universe, the whole of it. Every planet and star all in that moment and my place in it. How lucky my very existence is. Again I count back from ten. On two, I turn back to the station and home.
298 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)
Lovely. It was Emathyst Flower’s favorite word, and she meant it every time she used it. The word didn’t hold the same power for Brewer Black. He was fairly certain he didn’t fully understand it. Still, he thought it applied to the canopy of white stars in the blue night above him, cut by a trail of multi-hued light like spiritual fire.
Standing alone in cold, still, mountains, a mirror-like lake to his left, he felt he could follow the light over the horizon to meet it on the ground. In the hold-your-breath quiet he felt at peace. Even alone in a strange world their whole party should have arrived in together.
The executioner shivered, and stomped warmth back into his broad boots. Standing star struck wouldn’t accomplish anything. Following the light over the ridge revealed a dark valley below. A collapsed stage glowed like a pearl on the near side. A familiar sound insinuated itself through the silence, and made Brewer heft his axe to take off down the mountain at breakneck speed. Emathyst only screamed like that when she saw a ghost.
It didn’t take the dwarf thirty minutes to reach his destination. To his burning lungs and legs, as well as his worried mind, it felt eternally longer. The long approach made him consider the circumstances more than was his wont. He wasn’t actually better against ghosts than his partner. She depended on him for moral support. Which was fine, but never felt as significant to him as she treated it. This time, he saw the necromancer controlling the ghosts. This time, he could be the hero Emathyst always hailed him as after these rescues.
“Call. Off. Your. Ghosts.”
Brewer’s heavy breathing battered the terrified necromancer from behind against the axe pressed to his throat.
290 words by Stacy Overby (@dontpanic2011)
He climbed the ever-steeper trail. Wind whipped around him, turning the snow into miniature razors against what little skin he could not completely cover. Not that it mattered much. Tears frozen to his face had already chapped his skin to the point it would bleed as soon as he was again warm.
Not that I’ll ever be warm again, not after this.
The man continued to slip and stumble through snow past his knees. It hid rocks and holes in the trail. More than once he fell, slamming his hands through the frozen crust. Yet he kept his eyes up, watching up the trail toward the top of the mountain he fought so hard to climb with only the stars for company.
At the top, he found the small plateau he worked so hard to reach. His clothes were stiff with ice and the knees of his breeches had holes clean through to his leggings beneath.
The man searched the skies but saw only distant cold twinkles of the stars set in the night’s emptiness.“Why?” he screamed into the heavens. “Why did you take her from me? My Ealis was all I had left!”
The man dropped to his knees, tears once again streaming down his face, hidden in his hands. A moment more and he would end it all. He hadn’t expected the gods to answer a mere man, but a compulsion to look up overwhelmed him.
Against his will, he tilted his face to the sky in time to see colors splash against the darkness. Pinks and greens and whites danced across the vastness until they reached his mountain top. There, they paused, reaching out to brush the man’s cheek.
And he understood Ealis was not gone.