#SwiftFicFriday, #SwiftFicFriday - Responses, Musings

#SwiftFicFriday W94 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!


You may think it strange but living in a small town during a virus lockdown put quite a strain on my social life. I live in a quiet neighborhood, rows upon rows of picket fences, small but serviceable front yards, deeper back yards with a shed or two, and a couple of fruit trees. In my case, one pear and one apple, and one dream of a peach tree that never took root.

I grew up two blocks over, in a two-story house built back in nineteen and twelve. Lived there with my folks until 1969 when I married Sally and we bought this little rancher.

I was named after Churchill. Dad met mom in England during the war. She was a war bride. I think it took a lot of courage to get hitched to a wild Canadian and move across an ocean and begin a new life. She went back once, with dad after I have married. It was a “two-week whirlwind visit.” That’s how she said it, “just to see if I remembered life there.” So, I asked her when she returned, “Was it the way you remembered it?”
She started crying then and finally said, “It doesn’t matter. Here is what matters, the life I chose.”

She looked at me then and asked, “You have always lived here. You live in a house two blocks from the house you were raised in, where I raised you. Your memories are the same as each day.”

That was the last time we talked about that. She was right. All my memories are here. It is as if I have no past. Each day is the same. Oh, there are little blips of difference, but I crave the sameness.

That is exactly the way I want it.

299 words by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)

The Destroyer emerged, a shadow so deep it extinguished all light. All light except Arah, the last magical girl. Focusing more magic into her photonic daggers she extended them into short swords and whirled toward her foe like a food processor about to serve up some purée of evil.

With each clash of their blades, Arah could almost see through to her enemy’s true form. Was the Destroyer matching her speed? Arah had been training for this fight all her life and, as the last magical girl, she had the entire Energy Matrix at her disposal. Nothing should be impossible for her. Had the Destroyer gotten stronger too?

“I refuse to lose!” Arah shouted into the void.

“It is too late for you to win.”

The not-quite voice chilled Arah’s soul. Seeing her ruined world highlighted the truth of the Destroyer’s words. But also gave Arah an idea. She dismissed her blades and called on the full power of the Energy Matrix. Hopefully, time travel was similar enough to magical acceleration for Arah to invent it on the spot.

The Destroyer moved as through molasses while the rest of the world slowed to a stop. Energy gathered inside Arah and before her foe could touch her exploded in brilliant light.

She awoke on a grassy hill under a bluer sky than she’d ever seen. Did it work? Had the world ever been this beautiful?

“That was quite the light show,” a stern but warm voice made Arah sit up. “I take it you’re not from around here?”

A warrior in red armor flanked by a sage in blue robes and a girl in yellow leathers stood before Arah. The first magical girls? How far back had she gone?

“That’s an understatement!” Arah lay back with a contented sigh.

298 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)

$5.50. That’s what I’d saved to buy Lord Vader.

Eight-year-old me had done their chores consistently throughout the week, for the first time in months, earning me more allowance than I’d had since my last birthday. Taking out the kitchen garbage, 50¢. Sweeping the entryway, 25¢. Mowing the lawns, front and back, $2.50. Mopping the linoleum in the dining room, $1. Homework done every day, 50¢. Dishes put away from the dishwasher, 25¢. No mouthing off to mom or dad – no deductions to my total.

I didn’t actually know how much a third edition Star Wars CCG Hoth set Lord Vader card was worth ($64) but I believed, after a week’s worth of dedicated chore doing, I’d surely earned enough. I walked into the card shop, immediately entranced by the smell of musty cardboard and dust. The shop owner stood behind the counter, reading a comic (“Johnny the Homicidal Maniac”), my stepfather beside me, curling his lip at the sight and scents of the place.

“You gunna be quick?” my stepfather asked.

“Real quick,” I replied, walking up to the glass counter, the Star Wars CCG singles lined up prettily behind the glass.

“You buying some singles?” the shop owner asked.

I nodded.

“Well…” the shop owner mused, rubbing his chin. Smiling, he shook his head and unlocked the glass top, sliding it back. “You’re a kid. Tell you what. I’ll sell you any card you want for a dollar each.”

Not realizing my luck, I thanked the man and made my selections, walking back out of the shop $4.05 poorer, with Lord Vader, his Death Star with matching Super Laser, Luke’s Red 5 X-Wing, and a five-cent planet Alderaan card in my hands.

“Successful?” my stepfather asked me.

“Mhm. The Rebellion is doomed,” I replied.

300 words by J. M. Avants (@jmavants)


Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.