A Dragon’s promise by Vic Ribeiro

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word count: 1199/1200 | Genre: Dark fantasy
Warning: Violence, don’t read if you are squeamish. The location is linked 

The two laughing children jogged along Winnats Pass. They looked forward to getting home at Castleton. The sun was close to setting and they picked up the pace. Suddenly the earth shuddered and they heard thunder to their right, it came from the side of the hill. The girl stumbled and her brother grabbed her arm to save her from falling. Gaping cracks from the hill streaked towards the two, and they sprinted for all their worth. They narrowly missed the ever expanding rifts.

The earth heaved and convulsed, like someone shaking a heavy blanket. Large reptilian claws broke through the crack in the hill. A dark snout protruded from the growing fissure. In an explosion of dirt and dust the dragon emerged. The the sun shone dimly through the dust. When the breeze swept the initial dust aside, the huge creature was clearly visible, its scales shimmered in the failing sunlight, like dark granite. It reared on its hind legs and spread its wings to shake off the remaining dirt that covered it. The dragon looked about, then an ear splitting roar erupted from its throat. It noticed the village of Castleton to the east, its large amber eyes brightened, it was feeling peckish.

Dancing flames reflected in the giant reptilian eyes. It was content as it looked at the ruin before it, the smell of scorched flesh and burning debris strong in the air. The village of Castleton was no more. Its tongue flicked out, it registered a different smell. Fear.

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But for Duty, Madness Wins – by Daniel O Casey

Prompt : Coming Undone | Word count : 1200 | Genre : Mil-Sci-Fi

Kelton shifted uneasily in the fighter’s cramped cockpit, the targeting reticle firmly on the fleeing Tessera’s ass. He was going to take this one or die trying. Cap’s killer wasn’t going to leave this damned battle.

“Blue Seven, your out of position. Return to formation.”

Kelton sent back a confirmation and hit the throttle.

“Dammit Kelton! Get your ass back into formation, Jackie needs his wingman!”

Only barely able to make sense of what he was hearing through his adrenaline fueled high, Kelton flipped the radio off, knowing full well that he would pay for it later.

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Counsellor, Heal Thyself by Kathy Gates

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Women’s Contemporary

Laura covered the pages of her notepad with doodles.

Rod clicked his fingers in front of her face. ‘What did I just say?’

‘I’m sorry?’ She blinked.

‘Bloody waste of time. You’re about as much use as a—’ The door slammed.

Wonder if his wife will turn up for her session?

She stood at the window and stared at nothing. What’ll I do with the rest of the day? Can’t go home yet…

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To Have and To Hold by Kimberley Cooper

Prompt: Coming undone | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Women’s Fiction

“Ready, Dad?”

I look down at my daughter. At that little button nose, those almond shaped eyes, that very special look that told me as soon as she was born that she had Down’s Syndrome. But more than anything I see her ivory satin dress, the lace train, and a perky tiara set on top of her dark curls.

Ready? Is any father ever ready to give his little girl away on her wedding day?

While she waits patiently for my answer, a sob crawls out of my throat. This is a day that twenty five years ago, I never thought would come. I never thought she’d go to college, get a paying job and move out and live independently. And I certainly never thought she’d find the sort of love that led to St Mary’s church.

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MindShift by Annalie Kleinloog

Prompt 6 : Coming Undone | Word Count : 1200 (exactly!) | Genre : Travel Memoir

I should have listened to that little voice.  

I squint into the setting sun. They’re true; those movies depicting deserts as a golden blended haze of sun and sand. My reveling evaporates with the hollow sound of my water bottle. Empty.
“Have you guys got water?”

My croaky question sends a few lizards scrambling. I stare at my two silent friends, realizing the meaning of their non-commitment. Shit!
“We have to turn around,” I say as casually as I can, “we cannot spend the night with no water.”

The rising panic is palpable. But we know. There is only one way, and that is back to the river.

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The Nearly Perfect Funeral by Kimberley Cooper

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse Word count: 1200 Genre: Women’s fiction

He’d been 86 when he died. She was 92. A scandal it was, when they got together sixty five years ago. She was so much older than him, and already had a baby by another man. Tongues wagged, glances burned and shoulders turned against them. But it didn’t bother Arthur or Peggy. They held their heads high and over the years, turned that first heady flush of romance into a family. Stronger together than they’d been apart.

Wars came and went. Service to his country bent and bowed him, while she stayed at home raising the children they’d made together, as well as the boy that had been t’other man’s. The one whose beginning might have been a mistake, but who had been loved just as much as the others. And when the business of raising the boys was over, and work was a distant memory, they could rise late, go to bed early and spend the minutes in between in each other’s company. A small life, simply lived.

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Conversation with my spouse by Moira le Roux

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Fiction

I sat on the veranda with my ancient laptop. I have been sitting here in sorrow for a long time – just staring. It has been six months since my mom died, and I felt bereft. Everything had revolved around her. If I went out, it was to see her, or go somewhere with her; so there didn’t seem to be any need to go out. William had bought me a landline phone, that had a mobile handset, so I could chat outside when my mom used to phone, but now all was silent. I have been so lonely.

Things had changed last week. My sister had too many work things to do, so she convinced me to take one over. It involved selling items off a website, so people would phone me. I was having trouble keeping things professional as my laptop was so old with a very slow memory. I spent my time outside, as I smoked, and my husband William didn’t. I was outdoors with the sun shining on my dark screen. I could hardly see, and if I wanted to open another programme my computer would say: “You have too many things open and the memory is stuffed so please restart your computer”. It’s hard to give good service when you can’t see, and the computer moans at you.

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The Quickening by Moira le Roux

Prompt: A white lie     | Word count: 2500    | Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Shay knelt in front of the ancient Cherrywood Chest that belonged to her grandmother. She looked carefully through it, trying not to disturb the items, while taking what she needed.  It was a Druid’s chest and contained all the books, spells and implements she needed to weave her magic that night. She was full of so many feelings: nervousness, excitement, and quite a bit of guilt. She curled her long, red hair behind her ear, and bit her lower lip, worried at the thought that her gran might find out. Her gran was a Druid, now in Africa, but descended from the Grove in the Highlands of Scotland. Her ancestors, and many other families, had left the Highlands many years ago, and came to settle in the small village of Oakdale. The village had grown in recent years as the college became bigger and more popular.

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If Not for Kalpana….by Anusuya

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse | Word Count: 1200 words | Genre: Psychological fiction

I hurry out to the porch and settle down into my chair for our evening ritual. Rohit looks up at me and smiles. It is a beautiful evening.

We are sitting outside, watching the sun set with a soft, orange glow. There is something about the stillness that sets in with dusk as all of creation prepares to rest for the day. In the small town to which we have recently moved, there isn’t much to do after sundown and we’re not given to socializing either. So we sit watching the sunset in a silence that is only broken by the chirping of the crickets. How loud the silence seems! And to me, that makes everything seem even more intense.

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Softly Forging Jade by Daniel Casey

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse  | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera/Drama?  Warning | Implied Suicide at end of story

Kelton shook his head; two painful busy weeks since the last attack. Living with Art’s constant screams in his head, the only relief was chemical sleep. He prayed for no more friendly deaths on his hands. He thought back a couple of years to his conscription; pulled from his honeymoon barely a week into the new marriage. His bride was left standing on the launch pad as he and the other conscripts were blasted out to the first of many training stations on a collision course with the first wave of Tessera. He’d been home twice since then; the visits always strained by the knowledge he wasn’t there to stay.

Checking his messages absentmindedly as he shucked his uniform, he noted that leave to call home had been granted,sixty minutes of comm-wave time for personal use. His heart lifted. His heart tripped a joyful beat as he thought of his girl, remembering her voice. As always, there was a hint of strain. Funny, he thought to himself, how almost dying made one appreciate life more. He was half done his tour, two more years and they could be together. He could get on with his life and they could start the family they always wanted. His whole focus changed. He took care in showering and dressing so he’d be nice and clean, presentable for his comm-wave to her.

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