Lowtown Hanami / Haikyo

Well this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt from Madison Woods inspired several ideas in me, two of which just wouldn’t go away.  This is the first one I ended up writing and it is a little longer than has been the norm, clocking in at 177 words.  I like the tone and imagery of this story, and to change it for the sake of a word count just didn’t feel right.  The second piece, ‘Haikyo’, is much shorter and darker.

Here’s the photo in question, as kindly provided by Madison Woods:

Madison’s story, along with links to all the other Friday Fictioneers stories, can be found at:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/dynamite/drip-100-words/

I hope you enjoy both stories this week.  Here is the first (please scroll down the post to read the second story, ‘Haikyo’):

‘Lowtown Hanami’

Troll sighed as he watched droplets of water fall from biomesh suspended above his microcosmic garden. Oblivious of Troll’s mood, a pixie sat within, reading a nanobook, gossamer wings fluttering contentedly in the lambent glow of a tinfoil lantern. Living in Lowtown wasn’t the problem; transhuman outcasts had formed a warm community, right beneath the feet of those who exiled them. It was the shortages that irritated. Even water was currency now.

“Still cultivating tiny Zen havens?”

Domino, the geisha assassin had ghosted her way into his home again. She always moved freely in the Tiered City. Most were too scared to suggest she act otherwise.

“A gift,” she said simply and placed something in his gnarled palm. Troll knew instantly what it was and placed it under the drips.

“You stole sakura so we can have hanami festival?”

Domino shrugged shyly. “It belongs here.”

The nanoformed cherry tree which time-lapsed into being was exquisite, its blossoms a perfect neon ephemera, radiant in the twilight. Troll smiled.

“I’ll go get the beer.”

And  here is the second story:

‘Haikyo’

They flitted through the ghost city, Crow guiding Sparrow on his first haikyo adventure. He marvelled at what The Vanishing had left behind: tower husks reverberating with echoes of life, artefacts of the mundane, rendered strange by their permanence.

Sparrow felt his gaze compelled to the ceiling, musty loam trembling with moisture and energy. He asked Crow about it.

“Alternate energy experiment. Top government secret. Why this place empty.”

“It’s… dripping,” Sparrow said, feeling the onset of dread.

“Yes.”

“What’s it made from? Looks weird.”

“It is -” Her blade slid neatly between vertebrae, severing life. “People like you.”

The Lasting Kind

This week I make a happy return to Madison Woods’s ‘Friday Fictioneers’.  Having been short on time and mental energy recently, it feels good to be back.  I wrote this one pretty much entirely in my head while washing up.  That’s usually a good indicator for a story I can enjoy and be happy with.  Here’s the photo prompt which set it off:

Madison’s site hosts the original image along with her story.  Other authors’ stories will be linked in the comments section there.  Here’s the link to follow:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/contemplation-a-poem/

I hope you enjoy the story and, as ever, I’m always keen to hear what readers make of all this, so please feel free to leave a comment.  Thanks for taking the time to stop by 🙂

‘The Lasting Kind’

In the final days of the Hierophant, my people disappeared from this world. I alone remain; how and why, I do not know.  Such knowledge is kept by a corpulent ruler of men.  His perfidy invigorates me.  Guides me.

Dawn approaches and my every step through this forest is shadowed by a preternatural silence.  The denizens of the wood know who walks among them.  Just as my footfalls scorch the very earth, nascent light steals my eyes and sears my skin.  I sink into the frigid depths of the river and wait.  Tonight I will become blackest vengeance, stalking the corridors of his palace.  His shrieking doomsong will be my people’s lament.

The Morpheus Piper

It’s that Friday Fictioneers feeling once again: writers of varying stripes come together under a shared banner and have fun writing flash fiction inspired by Madison Woods’s photo prompt.  Here’s this weeks’:

Madison’s site hosts the original image along with her story.  Other authors’ stories will be linked in the comments section there.  Here’s the link to follow:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/cellar-walls-100-words/

Below is my entry for this week.  I hope you enjoy and, just as before, I am always very happy to receive comments and feedback/critique.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

The Morpheus Piper

In the Place Beyond I am deified, a saviour of souls. Their laughter and song manifest in a pleasant haze of synaesthesia, rich colours swirling along the edges of my reverie. Suddenly, the pipes tremble insistently in their nook, reminding me that my time as a Morpheus Piper is not yet at an end.  I stir from my bed of silken dreamthreads and begin a melody to part the veil.

In the cities, I am a ragged vagabond, beneath notice and so free to seek the Pained Ones.  The first is on the Rainbow Bridge, distraught. And the last is no better, a pistol clutched with fevered hands.  Seven in all, they resonate variously to the tune of solitude.  I play counterpoint on my pipes and discord becomes harmony as I lead them to their Place Beyond.

The Archivist

It’s that time of the week again, when a diverse group of writers come together to take on the challenge that is Madison Woods’s ‘Friday Fictioneers’.  The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction (in this case, a piece of approximately 100 words) prompted/inspired by the following image:

Madison’s site hosts the original image along with her story.  Other authors’ stories will be linked in the comments section there.  Here’s the link to follow:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/sapphire-rhapsody/

I found this week far more challenging than the previous three.  I had several ideas bouncing around and, as is becoming habit, I let them percolate until a clear favourite emerged.  Normally I write the ‘winner’ in my head.  If it sticks until the next day, it’s probably a story I can be happy with.  No such luck this time.  Re-writes ahoy… tut.  That said, here is my entry for this week.  I hope you enjoy and, as always, your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated 🙂

‘The Archivist’

Beneath a ceiling threaded with veins of bioluminescence, The Archivist sits in perfect seiza and gazes wistfully at the sprawling skyline below. How many more? she wonders, her fingertips absently tracing the facets of a memory stone.

Gems radiate from her in a fractal whirl, each one echoing a life lost. As a tactile empath, she must find a final home for them.  However, the Overseer’s complex coding system irritates, even threatens to diminish the lingering resonance of the souls she encounters. She is weary.

Drawn now to a rubellite tourmaline, her heart swells with a maelstrom of emotion. She experiences the life of a transient with artisan hands, crafting toys from trash for orphans and runaways. This is the life she desires, her final home.  A sigh parts her lips and she succumbs.

The Summoning

Here is my entry to this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction (in this case, a piece of approximately 100 words) prompted/inspired by the following image:

The original image, along with a full explanation of the Friday Fictioneers concept, can be found at:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/photo-prompt-for-100-word-flash-fridayfictioneers-18/

So here’s the story; as always I appreciate any thoughts, comments and ideas for improvement.  Enjoy!

The Summoning

Their ritual complete, the three students waited by the ancient stone, anxious to subjugate their promised elemental.  Behind them, the night unfurled and a shadowed and noxious thing coalesced into being.  He fell upon them with a grim silence, rending and eviscerating until only a fine blood mist remained.
As sanguine Rorschach blots formed on the rock,  a second, more mundane shadow shuffled among the mulch and decay of the forest.
“The Blood Lichen is seeded once again, my Lord.  Why do you desire it so?”
The query was met with a dry chuckle, not unlike the sound of dead leaves crumbling.
“Because, my dear Faestus, without it my soups would be terribly bland.”

‘The Sack of Mycovia’

The following was first featured on my original blog at:

http://cyberpunkfiction.blogspot.com/

I’m reposting it here as it feels like it’ll be more at home.  Here goes:

Below is my entry to Madison Woods’s #FridayFictioneers.  The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction (in this case, a piece of approximately 100 words) prompted/inspired by the following image:

The original image, along with a full explanation of the Friday Fictioneers concept, can be found at:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/photo-prompt-for-100-word-flash-fridayfictioneers-17/

I’d like to extend my thanks to Madison for the inspiration 🙂

Here’s the story (Any comments/feedback would be appreciated; I am always trying to improve):

The Sack of Mycovia

 Behind wax sealed eyes, the Crooked Seers discovered Mycovia in fevered dreams. They whispered furtively to the Undying Emperor and told him tales of a hidden race of mushroom people.  With a languid gesture of his desiccated hand, he dispatched his most feared abominations to bring him Mycovian specimens for his terrible menagerie.

On dark wings they flew, riding a fetid wind, wielding chitinous spears and filling the night with eldritch cries.  They left Mycovia desolate, clutching their diminutive captives in pulsating mucus sacks.  Below, unseen by shifting eyes, Mycovia’s chosen remained concealed beneath loam. They would endure, as they always had.

 Copyright © A. Flood 2012