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Flashfiction #32: Islands

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. afgpride Retired Staff

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    Jan 28, 2011


    1. Your work must be within constraints of the theme.
    2. Of course, all themes can be interpreted in any number of ways.
    3. 500 words maximum per entry, or else the entry will be disqualified.
    4. Only post one entry per theme. The highest rated entry will choose the next theme.
    5. You may not rate/review your own work.
    6. Add a rating out of ten at the end of your "review".
    7. Be constructive/honest when criticizing a piece. No mindless flaming.
    8. You do not have to enter a flashfic to rate.
    9. If you enter and do not rate & review the other entries, your flashfic is disqualified from points.

    Starts 18/04, Wednesday, ends 28/04, Saturday. Reviews from 29/04 to 01/05 Tuesday.
  2. Fedster Still allocating attribute points

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Spoiler: 500

    “Gather ‘round the bonfire, troopers!”

    Dusk was fading into night. A group of kids with matching earth-yellow uniforms marched in line towards the fire, which light caused the shadows to ebb and flow at the edge of the circle — much like waves on a shore. The troop leader watched them sit, and then announced with enthusiasm:

    “Time for counting, troop! Allyson, you start.”

    He tended to the fire as he listened to the kids. He had been a scout since he was their age, and to him there was no activity that made him prouder than that one. The organization had given him so much, and taught him everything he knew. Thus, he felt that it was his responsibility to bring up the next generation. The kids so far have been nothing but dutiful and responsive — just as expect from the county’s best troop two years in a row. He had been asked to fill in for that trip about a week ago, when their leader called in sick and could not see to them at the camp-out.

    So far, so good.

    “Twenty-two, sir!” The last boy on the circle, a freckle-ridden boy named Todd, called as his troop leader furrowed his brow. They were supposed to be twenty-five. “I think three boys went to the bathroom, sir!”

    “Very well, then. Everyone stay put and I’ll go fetch ‘em. Allyson, you’re in charge,” he instructed to the eldest of the group, grabbed his flashlight and began wading through the dark, uneven shadows. He thought he heard muffled giggling coming from the group, but that could not be… Not from those kids.

    It took him about a minute to reach the bathrooms. They were a square concrete mass with a wall dividing them by gender. The man pulled the boys’ bathroom door open, and was greeted with the pale glow of discoloured tiles.

    The bathroom was silent.

    “Kids! It’s time for the bonfire! Come out!” No response. Something must have happened. The man opened every stall and looked all through the bathroom, but he could not find him. His heart raced. He ran back to the island of light, where it was safe; where the children should be safe.

    The three missing kids were there. It turns out they were playing a prank on him.

    After scolding them for a few good minutes, the man ordered another count, and was dismayed at the final outcome: twenty-four.

    “Who’s missing now?” He sighed as he scanned the group. He knew immediately. It was someone who was very easily recognizable among hundreds of faces, and who, throughout the camp out, had shown that he was unable to stay unsupervised: Todd.

    It turned out Todd intended to tell on the prankers, but to prevent this, they tied him to a tree at the edge of the forest. He cried and cried, begging to go back to the bonfire’s island. Its inhabitants boomed with laughter at his return.

    Some best troop, that one was.
  3. Island In the Sun Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2007
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    Spoiler: 489

    The stars shone bright in the nebulous backdrop, some overwhelmingly bright and others barely noticeable. They formed an undiscovered constellation, one that no human had ever seen before. What it would be, nobody knew yet. It was their decision to make – their sky to paint – but they had yet to decide how. Maybe they would emulate Hercules and Orion and trace constellations of great heroes. Though, the could always do with more modern: innovators, entrepreneurs, people they believed to be the true heroes of human history.

    The captain looked away from the transparent dome overhead, her only access to the picturesque night sky of her new home.

    "Captain," her first mate, now lieutenant governor, beckoned. "Earth would like an update. What should we tell 'em?"

    "Tell 'em what we always tell 'em," she dismissed with a handwave. "Tell them things are fine and that we'll keep them updated."

    As the days and weeks passed since they broke ground, Earth started to feel more like a helicopter parent than it did a resource for knowledge, information, and the occasional supply shipment. It insisted on constant progress reports, wanting to know every minute and insignificant detail, down to the acidity of the local soil.

    Maybe if she refused, they'd write a strongly worded letter.

    It was all Earth could do.

    When they set out on their mission to settle humanity's first extrasolar world, they were forging their own destiny, using their own blood, sweat, and tears to create a home of their own, not unlike a cub setting out for the first time, leaving its mother behind.

    If they really wanted to, they could send a message back, describing how they created a constellation in their homeworld's honor: a giant middle finger pointed in the Solar System's direction.

    She smirked.

    Maybe one day.

    When the rocket thrusters jolted her out of the atmosphere, past the gas giants, and finally beyond Pluto and Charon, she felt anxious. Nauseatingly so. A few months later, when her destination came into slight – Terra Nova – she nearly threw up, overwhelmed by a mix of trepidation and an urge to flee back to the safety of her proverbial mother.

    Now, however, that everything was said and done, she couldn't feel more alive, waking up every morning with vigor and optimism for a better tomorrow.

    "Actually," she said, changing her mind. "Tell 'em we're going great."

    Freedom amongst the stars, they called it.

    In a universe where interstellar travel was still in its infancy, people like the captain looked forward to one day being able to settle new worlds and go where no one else had gone before, unbound by the rules and regulations of their homeworld's pervasive bureaucracy.

    She and her shipmates, alongside twenty thousand other colonists, had been fortunate enough to be able to embark on this expedition, to travel beyond the mainland and settle an island amongst a sea of stars.
  4. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Spoiler: 499
    The child awoke and looked out his window into the night, seeing a thick fog covering the lake like a blanket. He sat up in bed, instantly alert at the sight, a first for him. It was surreal, and it drew the boy out of his room, down the stairs, and to the front door.

    He stood there, hesitating, and he glanced at his parents’ bedroom door down the hall. He then looked out the window by the door at the fog sitting motionless and thick on the lawn and lake. As if hypnotized, he clutched the knob and turned, the usually squeaky door swinging open as silent as a breeze.

    He dashed out wide eyed onto the lawn. There was no telling where the land ended and the water began, everything below the height of his ankles completely hidden in blanket. He ran about the lawn, overcome in euphoria, laughing freely.

    The sound of splashing water stopped him, and he realized he was now past his lawn and well into the lake. He looked down and saw that his legs were barely anymore submerged into the fog, but he was sure where he was standing was many feet out into the lake. The water must’ve receded to the point that he could walk easily through the deep end, but that was impossible.

    As he began to ponder, he saw out in the distance an island he had never seen before peeking out over the fog. He decided to take advantage of this unbelievable circumstance to explore the new place, but he stepped carefully, expecting to fall over into water at any second.

    He came upon the land, stepping up and out of the fog. The ground was soft under his feet, covered in moss and free of rocks and burrs. He laid down in it, feeling the cool ground beneath him, and the sleepiness he had abandoned now came back around. It might be time to get back to bed, he decided.

    When he looked around for his way home, he was confused to see every direction look exactly the same, nothing but low fog covering everything past this small mound of land. Panic began to build, but it didn’t help to banish his tiredness.

    He ran off the mound and immediately fell into water that was much deeper than he was tall. Bitterly shocked, he started to cry as he swam away from the mound, wanting nothing more than to get away from this place. He splashed forward desperately, but the fog prevented him from getting his bearings at all.

    At that moment he spotted a light in the dark, a firefly. It flew forward, and he swam after it. He coughed and cried and flailed in his exhaustion, but he kept his eye on the light. Finally he came upon land incredibly right beside his house. He ran straight inside, bawling loudly.

    Outside the fog bitterly rolled away, while the firefly perched on a flower, satisfied.