Tag Archives: image prompts in fiction

Flash Friday – Old Saint Nick(ed)

Wanted: Santa Claus. CC artwork by Kevin Dooley. Image sourced: https://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/flash-friday-vol-3-2/

Wanted: Santa Claus. CC artwork by Kevin Dooley.
Image sourced: https://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/flash-friday-vol-3-2/

Old Saint Nick(ed)

Freddie’d be the first to admit he’d been an amateur, in the beginning. Trying to stay awake all through Christmas night? He couldn’t believe he’d ever tried that. Not for real. Half the kids in the world tried that old ruse.

It never worked.

Eleven o’clock would come, Christmas Eve, and it’d be like someone pulled the shutters down. Freddie had long suspected foul magic. He’d sleep like a log till well after Old Red-Suit had been and gone, and the presents left behind would seem like an insult. Try again next time, little man, they’d chuckle. Try better.

Well, this year, it was on.

He’d planned it for months.

Titanium-core netting over the fireplace? Check.

Steel bolts to seal off the chimney? Check.

A hyper-sensitive pressure trigger on a brain-rattling alarm? Check.

Freddie settled back with a cookie, smiling. This year, he vowed. This year, Mr Claus, I’ll be the judge of who’s naughty, and who’s nice. Capisce?

**

Ho Ho… Ho? So, this week the story prompt on Flash Friday was a captive Santa. Something a lot of kids have dreamed about, I’m sure – certainly, I was one of those oh-so-nosy types who couldn’t just leave Santa Claus alone to carry out his very important work, but who had to try to figure out how it was all done – but I never went to the lengths Freddie has gone to. I’m not sure what’ll happen next in this terrible tale of woe, but I sure hope Santa escapes, because I get the feeling Freddie’s not the type who enjoys sharing… imagine if one kid, one mini-megalomaniac, had control of Santa’s power? The chaos!

This story is likely to be the last I’ll post this side of Christmas, as I’ll be away next Friday and probably not near a computer. So, it’s a happy Christmas from me, and a happy Christmas from Ol’ Saint Nick, and a fond farewell for a wee while. Happy reading! And make sure to get your Flash! Friday entry in on time this week…

Flash Friday – ‘Hands Across the Sky’

Gemini V, August 29th, 1965. Public Domain Photograph courtesy of NASA.  Image sourced: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Gemini V, August 29th, 1965. Public Domain Photograph courtesy of NASA.
Image sourced: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Hands Across the Sky

Re-entry was moments away, but Rick seemed troubled.

I glanced over. I couldn’t talk through my helmet, but of course Rick – or whatever his real name was – didn’t need one. His exoskeleton was better than anything we’d ever come up with.

He blinked, and lowered his orbs. I looked back at the bank of switches overhead. Everything seemed normal – except my co-pilot.

We’d worked hard to build trust with the Grac. Rick had been chosen to come back with me instead of Michael Bell, who’d stayed behind; ambassadors. Symbols of inter-species cooperation. Insterstellar peace.

Splashdown was imminent. We braced.

Seawater rushed in. I smelt my first Earth air in God knew how long. I lifted my face to the sun.

And something – something large – blocked it.

‘Welcome, Joe Ronson,’ a huge voice boomed. Grac. I looked up. The sky bristled with alien craft. I spun to face Rick, who blinked again.

‘You made Earth sound so good,’ he muttered, shrugging.

**

So, this week’s Flash! Friday competition centres around the image above – the re-entry of the astronauts from the Gemini V mission, which landed back home on this day in 1965 – and the inclusion of an alien. Not the simple mention of an alien, mind, but an actual flesh-and-blood (or bone-and-aether, or shell-and-ichor, or whatever) alien. As usual, you’ve only got 140-160 words to do all this in, and as usual it was a challenge – but a lot of fun.

In other news – well, I’m dealing with a huge dollop of self-censure this morning, as I left my editing in a precarious place yesterday evening. I reached a point where I just couldn’t take any more (after about six straight hours of work, mind you), and even though I knew I’d be kicking myself this morning I had to throw in the towel when I did. So, as predicted, this morning my leg is sore from kicking and my brain is sore from thinking and my heart is sore from all the excising of my precious, precious words.

But that’s the name of the game, right? Have a good (and, hopefully, alien-free) weekend, do plenty of reading, and I’ll see you all back here bright and early tomorrow morning for an old-school book review.

I, for one, welcome our mighty Grac overlords... Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

I, for one, welcome our mighty Grac overlords…
Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc