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Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



For those of you looking for another outlet to hone your l33t skillz, there has been an impromtu flash fiction festival in the Glenbeckistan thread. Sure, it's pretty much all genre fiction, but hey, words is words.

Also post next week's prompt so I can sign up and lose.

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Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



If it wasn't obvious before, I am In.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



Snitches get Stitches (1152 words)

The subdued lighting of Rossi’s seemed almost fluorescent now, compared to the damp gloom outside the windows. The green overhead lamps cast a gaslight glow on rough oak tables and cracked leather benches. Normally you couldn’t see either during the massive post work crowd. Now between the weather and the late hour only a few men still sat at the bar.

One of them, Jacob Langley, had a double of whiskey and half of a bowl of potato-cheddar soup in front him. It had been cooling there for almost a half hour now.

“Shouldn’t you be getting home to your wife?” the bartender had asked when it was ordered. Jacob’s eyes narrowed and his lip curled down into a grimace.

“I get enough heckling at home, I don’t need my bartender nagging me too. Just get me some drat soup.”

Now Jacob could barely stomach the stuff. Not because of the layer of slowly congealing grease and starch floating on top, although that wasn’t helping. He felt nauseous. His hands shook when he went to light a cigarette. He took a sip of whiskey to try and calm his nerves but all he could think of was the fact that now his marriage was well and hosed.

He had done a lot of things that would’ve destroyed his marriage if Margot had ever found out and some things that should have destroyed it when she did. But they had always managed to ride things out. Through it all they had shared an unspoken rule. As long as Margot knew where Jacob was around dinner time they could work through anything.

The scrape of the door against the uneven floor made everyone at the bar turn their heads. A man with a thin mustache and a pinstriped suit was standing in the doorframe. The distant echo of sirens and cars rushing on wet streets followed him. A soft rumble of thunder cut short by the door closing.

In five strides the mustached man was at the bar, taking a seat on Jacob’s left. He flashed a quick smile at Jacob, granting a view of yellow and gold mixed together, before turning to get the bartender’s attention.

Jacob took a moment to size the guy up. Dirt on his patent leather shoes, cuts on his knuckles, and a gold chain attached to something in his vest. He looked about as old as Jacob was, maybe a little younger.

Jacob was about to turn back to his soup when he caught a glimpse of his wife trying to peer in through the darkened windows. He almost knocked his drink over trying to stand up.

“Ah poo poo, my wife’s here. Hey buddy could you do me a favor and if that lady comes in here looking for a “Jacob” could you tell her you’ve been in here all night and haven’t seen me?”

Jacob didn’t stick around to hear the reply, he was already down the hall and in the single bathroom at the back of the bar. He locked the door, sat down on the toilet, and lit another cigarette. He held his breath and tried to listen for the shrill pitch of his wife’s voice but he the only thing he could hear was the blood pumping in his ears.

He hadn’t even finished his cigarette when there were a couple of quick raps at the door and the muffled voice of the mustached man. “Hey pal, your old lady bought the story. You can stop hiding now.”

Jacob returned to his seat and took a sip of whiskey.

“Hey, thanks a bunch for covering for me man. Here, let me buy you a drink.”

“Don’t worry about it man.”

“Well, at least allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jacob Langley. Here’s my card. I work at one of the banks downtown, so if you ever need any financial help or stuff, look me up. It’s the least I can do for you after helping me out.”

“Pleasure to meet you Jacob. I’m Lionel Hurtz, although my friends call me Scratch. Don’t worry about the cover story, I know all about having hide things from my old lady. Although.. can I ask you a favor in return? Don’t worry, it’s nothing too big, but if anyone comes in here looking for me, can you tell them I’ve been here all night?”

A prolonged silence descended over the pair as each stared into the bottom of their drinks. It was only broken by the unmistakable sound of wood on wood. They both turned to face the door. Three men entered the bar, two in blue uniforms and standing in front of them, a man in a practical looking suit. After taking a couple of seconds to scan the bar the man in the suit came over to where the pair were sitting.

Lionel put on a big, poo poo eating grin. “Evening detective, something I can help you with.”

The detective ignored him and turned to Jacob while opening a notebook. “Hello sir. My name is Detective Malone and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions.”

“Of course.”

“Do you know this man you are sitting with.”

“Uh... well I know his name is Lionel Hurtz. I just met him this evening.”

“I see. Were you also aware that Mr. Hurtz is currently the prime suspect in a double murder that occurred this evening.”

Lionel turned his head and caught Jacob’s eye, narrowed his lids, then looked away.

“I didn’t. That’s a... that’s very interesting”

“Yes isn’t it, now then Mr...”

“Langley”

“Mr. Langley. Do you remember what time Mr. Hurtz entered this bar?”

Jacob’s arm pits were noticeably damp. He hadn’t felt this nervous since giving a speech his junior year of college.

“Well I don’t remember exactly...” there was a brief pause. Jacob could feel the whole world holding it’s breath alongside him. “...but he’s been here pretty much all night with me. I got off work around 5pm.”

The detective frowned and scrawled something in his notebook.

“Very well. I’m still going to have to ask you to come down to the station with me anyway. Just to give an official statement. Also, if this does go to trial you may be asked to testify. Hurtz, you’re coming with us a too.”

“What? You heard the guy, I’ve been here all night.”

“Well, we’ll see about that. Come on boys it’s not a long drive.”

Six months later an obituary ran in the newspaper. It read

“Jacob Langley died last Tuesday of a gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Langley, divorced, is believed to have committed suicide, however investigators have yet to rule out the possibility of homicide. He is survived by his mother Laura, his ex-wife Margot, and their two children Matt and Denise. A service will be held at the Lane Mortuary this Saturday at 2pm.”

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer





The Proof is in the Posting.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



I'm in.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



Oh man, this looks like an awesome prompt.

I'm in for the Seven Chairs

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



Man this is the first time ever where I've a word limit, gone over it, and still had more to write. I just want to take a moment and say this is a great prompt.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



Prompt: https://the

Brother Francis Cried No More (865 words)

Brother Francis stepped in out of the rain and looked around the chapel. It seemed damper and darker than most of the others he had visited on his pilgrimage but he decided to attribute it to the weather and late hour.

“Here, I think you might need this.“ As silently as he had disappeared, the chaplain returned to the entrance bearing a towel. “If you'll follow me I will show you to your quarters for the evening. Two of our brothers agreed to share a room for the night.“

The room was near the back of the chapel beneath the bell tower. The furnishings were spartan to say the least. A single cot lay in the corner opposite the door while a small table sat in the middle with a single book upon it.

Left alone in the room and awakened by the excitement of the unexpected storm, Brother Francis decided to take a look at the book before retiring for the evening. It seemed to be bound in a strange leather. He assumed it belonged to some animal native only to the local forests. The title, embossed in gold, read “Book of Hidden Relics “.

Opening the tome to a random page a rough sketch of a bejewelled skull greeted him. The image was titled “The Skull of Golgotha“ and the book went on to describe in length the many-faceted powers of the skull including removing warts and stopping hemorrhages. He could only chortle at this description. Having seen the skull himself in north France, he knew for a fact that it possessed none of those traits.

He turned to the front of the book seeking an introduction or a date of some sort. The author of this tome had seen fit to include one paragraph describing his work: “In this modern age many have seemed to discover artifacts that claim great powers as being derived from divinity. It is of my belief though that such artifacts are not gifts from God but rather temptations of evil and it is my purpose to catalogue those which seem most sinister, so that those of devout soul may avoid them.“ It was dated 1142, over a hundred years ago.

The hairs on the back of Brother Francis' neck stood on end but he continued to flip through the tome. Descriptions of feathers from the wings of Lucifer, the location of the crystallized eyes of giants, and dark rings imbued with the power of Satan himself. All accompanied by vivid woodcuts. He had almost convinced himself this book was just a joke when he stumbled upon a page with fresh ink in the margin. Unlike the Latin of the text this note was hastily scrawled in German. It read “The fifth one ended up in France“ and accompanied an image of a human seated in a chair flying through the air.

Intrigued he began to thumb pages backwards. Notes in the margins of the prior page spoke of a chair capable of generating fabulous wealth. Another one that makes the sitter invisible. Finally a pair of chairs, granting mastery of life and death. The whole collection seemed to be called “The Thrones of Mephistopheles“ The image of death's chair bore another note: “Requires testing.“ A chill ran down Brother Francis' spine.

“Even if this book contains falsehoods, someone is seeking out evil in earnest. I must warn the head of this congregation that one of his flock has fallen to temptation.“ He bundled the book into his robes and crept out of his room, looking around for the chaplain's room. Finding a staircase behind the altar he figured this would lead him to his goal.

The stairs seemed to spiral downward forever. His breath began to appear in soft clouds before him. The smell of burning incense and the sound of chanting began to waft up towards him. The ground at the bottom of the stairwell was illuminated in an eerie blue light. He could not help but gasp as he stepped out of the staircase and into a massive underground chamber.

The ceiling seemed lost in the darkness and what little light did illuminate it came from the rocks themselves. In the middle of the chamber a ring of men surrounded a chair. It was not a particularly ornate chair, but the few carvings in the arms and back of it seemed to move unnaturally in the shifting blue light. He recognized it immediately as the seat of death from the book.

In his shock he let the tome slip from his robes. The sound of it dropping seemed to echo forever. The chanting stopped immediately. The man standing behind the chair looked up and flashed a toothy grin Brother Francis recognized, although in this light it seemed to belong more to a predator than a chaplain.

“Ah Brother Francis I see you found the literature we left for you. Would you care to help us with our work?“

“Work? Is that what you call this heresy? Work?“

“Is that a refusal? No matter, I believe the chair takes anyone, willing or not. Come, Brothers Gabriel and Sam, help our newest arrival find a seat.“

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



So life has kind of dumped on me the last couple of days and doesn't look like it's going to clear up in the next week, so unfortunately I'm not going to be participating in this week, but I wanted to thank all the judges for the crits. Glad ya'll liked my use of the prompt, even if my prose was kind of bad.

Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



I'll throw my hat in the ring.

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Greatbacon
Apr 9, 2012
:smugdog:
conquistador wuz heer



I passed out on the last one I did, but I'm in it to win it this time.

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