#SwiftFicFriday W96 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W96 – Vote!

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

Hallow Weaned

“I’m worried about the kid, Marge. Way too serious for an eight-year-old.”

“It’s just a phase.”

“I hope so. There’s so much harmful stuff going on in the world. Gets to a kid, I guess. And he’s so curious about it all. You really think it’s healthy?”

“To be curious? Of course. He’s a bright little button. We want him engaged in being concerned about the environment, right? He gets recycling. Conserving. All the values we have?”

“I’m not arguing with that. It’s all the other stuff. Afghanistan! Starvation! Covid! Fires! Volcanoes! Hurricanes! All of it. It even gets to me., depresses the hell out of me. You too, if I’m any judge. I’ve always been a news junkie but little Lance, he’s a news fanatic. It’s scary.”

“He’ll be fine…what’s really bothering you…?”

She knows what’s bothering me. But I need a drink.

“I’m meeting Harry down at the The Toasted Turtle…I won’t be late…”

“And don’t come home wobbling. The sitter will be here at 6:00. The movie starts at 7:00.”

So, I hook up with my buddy, Harry, at the pub. His kids are in their late teens. Maybe he knows something.

“I was really looking forward to it, Harry. Marge took him trick or treating last year. The little guy had a blast. This year…father and son. Zombies both of us. Now he says…’NO. It’s stupid. I’m already scared, daddy.’ What’ll I do, Harry? My kid is frightened of the world.”

Harry just shakes his head. He’s got nothin’. He had normal kids. Kids who liked to get the bejesus scared out of them. Mine, it’s scary how informed he is. What the hell did I do wrong?

284 words by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)

Kerri White awoke suddenly, angry at the old mansion creaking around her. The thirteen-year-old scanned her shadowed room. Mom said old buildings were supposed to creak. Kerri wouldn’t put up with anything like that when she got her own place.

Sunlight creeping through her cherrywood blinds made a sleepy suspension of swirling dust with the underdeveloped intensity of early morning. She didn’t want to be up yet. Was she the only one? That couldn’t be right, even this early.

Sliding out of bed, the turquoise-tressed teen planted her feet in her fuzzy pink slippers. She added and cinched her warm white bathrobe on her way to her door. Their old house had never been this quiet. Kerri returned to her nightstand for her new sapphire-tipped wand before venturing out into the third-story hallway.


The dark manor’s silence swallowed her small voice. Kerri’s mouth felt dry as she cleared her throat. Mom’s door was open and the bed was made. The young sorceress didn’t like going downstairs before it was entirely day but she was as alone upstairs as it was possible to be in this old place.

She illuminated her wand with a twist of her wrist and prayed she didn’t disturb any of Mom’s projects. Each hungry creak of the stairs on the way down made her flinch. She needed Mom to teach her a silence spell.

The cellar door was ajar. Kerri’s stomach dropped even before she pulled the heavy door open to be assailed by the sulfurous stench of a still-hot summoning circle. Rather than enter the circle, Kerri levitated the parchment at its center out.

Imperiously inscribed magical text unlike Mom’s wandering script read, “The estate and all it contains are now yours. See you in one year.”

Kerri retched.

295 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)

Kendra stood at her kitchen window and looked out on her garden. The clouds had dropped into town – the weather folks had mentioned something about a ceiling around five thousand feet – and her world had grown monochromatic. The watchtower from the fire station poked out of the fog like a lone sentinel and reminded her that snow wasn’t far off. She was surprised it hadn’t arrived already in Cloudburst.

Marbles let out a snore from in front of her woodstove and she shot a look at the relaxed tracker demon. She didn’t look dangerous now, but like Kendra’s efforts to go on with life, it was a mask.

You need to do the spell.

Kendra grimaced and finished her tea. Her gut said she was running out of time, but she wasn’t sure she had the focus and discipline to get the spell right. What if she screwed up and Phinn remained stuck in the Fae world where they used him until there was nothing left of the man she knew? She’d read enough Celtic fairytales to know how those ended up, and it was rarely good for the humans.

The new moon was just a few days away and the weather would be moving in if the scent in the air was any indication.

It’s now or never.

She sighed and glanced over at the supplies she’d gathered for the spell. Cloves, elderberries, dandelion leaves, rosemary, buckthorn, and amaranth grains sat in their little stone bowls, waiting to be offered to her small brazier of fragrant Ponderosa wood.

All I need is enough focus to get Colleen’s spell right.

And then Phinn would be home and whole.

She hoped.

280 words by Siobhan Muir (@SiobhanMuir)

A deep mist wove through the town, obscuring almost everything. Even the buildings had become little more than vague dark suggestions in the velvety white blanket. Nothing moved.

Nothing except a lone figure moving down the main street at a snail’s pace. The road had long since disintegrated back to gravel. Each step seemed oddly loud despite the muffling effects of the mist.

The teen had agreed to walk through the town on a dare from his friends. He’d scoffed at the fear they showed of the place. True, they’d abandoned the town after a series of bizarre disappearances that culminated in the grisly discovery of the missing people’s bodies—or what remained of them. But those events happened over fifty years ago. Whoever had done it back then had to be dead.

As he approached the dilapidated church, he heard a door squeak. He froze, his heart thudding in his ears so loud it drowned out any sound that made it through the mist. Swallowing hard, he took several more steps. All he had to do was make it through the center of town and his buddies would pick him up on the far side.

Something crunched on the road to his left. His body went rigid mid-step. A lump in his throat threatened to choke him. Before he could move, it came again. Closer and to his right. The noise spurred him to move.

When the crunching steps came from both sides of the teen, he broke into a run. He knew he should yell, or call out, or something, but his voice stuck.

Out of the mist, black blurs hit the boy from both sides. One shoe lay in the street, a few drops of crimson down one side.

292 words by Stacy Overby (@dontpanic2011)

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