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Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

In, please ask the prophet what the plot of my story is


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

"I would give her the story of horses get swept away by a tornado in a big, big day."

530 words

--A tornado is a violently rotating column of air.

The tornado bore down on Ellen Macmillain. Her rough hands gripped the balcony railing and the hot wind stung her eyes. She stared at the spot two paddocks over that had previously contained her barn and the horses. And Ewan.

--A tornado touches both the land and the clouds.

The tornado touched the upturned hands and face of Ewan Macmillan. He smiled, though he felt a little sorry for the horses. Then he was gone.

--They say that the centre of a tornado is completely still.

Ellen did not believe that. “It would be like being in another universe,” Ewan had said once. Then he had looked at her, and she saw in his eyes that he knew she neither believed him, nor cared. Ellen hated herself for that.

--The only source of illumination inside a tornado is lightning.

Inside the screaming vortex Ewan couldn’t see. He thought suddenly that he might have made a terrible mistake. From somewhere beyond the dust and debris he thought he could hear one of their neighbours shouting for help. Poor Frank, trying to get out. That would never work. Ewan knew that you had to go in.

Something butted against his leg. In the light from a sudden flash Ewan made out the head and neck of Ellen’s horse, Charisma. The mare was galloping against the wind, her nostrils pinched against the dust and legs reaching for ground that wasn’t there. Ewan grabbed her mane and pulled himself as if swimming onto her back. He urged the little chestnut around and into a downward-spiralling stream. Moving with the wind made breathing easier. Ewan laughed as they accelerated, ducking and weaving between chunks of debris.

--The safest place to be during a tornado is in an underground storm shelter.

Ellen’s teeth felt gritty. From the balcony she could see the path of destruction left behind by the tornado. With her right hand Ellen twisted her wedding band around and around on her left. She should get down to the basement, she knew. The farm was already lost. The horses were gone. Ewan was

Ellen’s hands stilled. The tornado’s wall was so close now she could see trees and bits of building hurtling through the dust. Lightning flashed inside the storm. Ellen saw a fan of chestnut mane, and galloping hooves.

--Ellen MacMillain had dreamt of tornadoes on her wedding night.

Down and down, until they spilled from the current and the mare’s feet crunched onto yellowed grass. Ewan slid from her back and stepped out into the centre of a well of perfectly still air. He tipped his head back. Through the heart of the storm he could see the stars. He wished Ellen could see this.

--They say that if you are in the centre of a tornado when it ropes out, that you will be carried away forever.

The storm front hit the house, and rain sluiced dust from Ellen’s face and plastered her hair to her skull. She tipped her head back and let the rain mix with her tears.

Ellen waited on the balcony until the last possible minute to get down into the basement.

Then she waited a minute more.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Mate, thIs prompt is uNreal.

Judges, can I have an unusual living situation and a supernatural being as flashrules?

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

your character lives with all of their exes and I’d ask chairchucker to supply the supernatural being but I’m sure he’d just say it’s a goblin

I love my axe as much as I love you
1100 words

“Noice exes you got there,” said the goblin. He was standing on my front doorstep and peering around me into my living room with beady black eyes.

“Do you mean axes?” I said. I hated goblins.

“Yih, that’s what Oi said,” he said. “Exes.”

For all that his accent was awful, the goblin wasn’t wrong. My axes were my exes. My weaponsmith, Kylie, who I was secretly in love with, liked to give me poo poo for refusing to sell them, but she didn’t understand. I might be a serial axe monogamist but I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else using my former weapons.

I was also a serial axe murderer, which was why the goblin was at my house.

“Name’s Todd,” said the goblin. “Oi need you to kill my ix.”

I sighed. People always wanted their exes murdered. That’s why I stuck with axes. Sure, sometimes I thought it might be nice to… An image of Kylie’s face came unbidden into my mind. The way her sweat sizzled when it hit the forge, her hammer arm rising and falling, rising and falling… I shook my head.

A dwarf’s gotta get paid, so I told Todd I’d take the job. I whistled for my battle-triceratops, Irene, and slung a double-seated saddle onto her back and my double-headed battleaxe, Cassie, onto mine.

Irene’s feet kicked up a cloud of red dust as we trotted across town. There was a red glow on the horizon. Ominous, I thought, could be Lava People. I pointed it out to Todd, and he patted the knife on his hip and said that’s why he always carried one of those. I said I was more of an axe man myself, and we entered into a robust debate about the pros and cons of each. Todd’s knowledge was impressive, and I started to think that he might not be such a bad oval office after all. I was still struggling to imagine who’d want to be with a goblin though.

“So, who is your ex anyway?” I said.

Before he could answer, an ungodly scream split the hot afternoon air and Kylie, mounted on her emotionally unstable velociraptor, Steve, burst from the alleyway that lead to her workshop. She had bloody Steve muzzled at least, but the predator’s sudden appearance spooked poor Irene, who bucked, dumping Todd into the red dirt. Kylie pointed at Todd and drew the thumb of her other hand across her throat. Never one to be subtle, was Kylie.

“That’s her!” Todd yelled to me, before turning and bolting down the alley. Kylie spurred Steve after him.

The alley was too small for Irene so I had to chase them on foot. When I got to the workshop I found the door kicked in and Kylie trying to fish Todd out from under a bench with a polearm.

I unslung Cassie from my back. Kylie hadn’t even noticed me yet. I could get this job done in one clean hit. Get paid, go home. My hands were sweating against Cassie’s handle. Kylie’s the best weaponsmith this side of the Lava Sea, I thought. But that wasn’t it. As I watched the murderous intensity with which she was trying to skewer Todd a thought rose up in me, that maybe, if I told her how I felt, it might be possible, if I found the right words, for her to feel the same passion about me...

That’s when I spotted the most beautiful axe I’d ever laid eyes on. Its blue steel glittered. My heart stopped, and I forgot to breathe. Cassie dropped from my slack fingers with a clang. The blue axe was hanging at the back of the forge, and my feet carried me unbidden across the flagstones to lift her reverently down from the wall.

Then the town’s alarm klaxons started to blare. The Lava People were attacking.

“poo poo poo poo poo poo,” said Kylie. She dropped the polearm and started scrabbling through the unfinished weapons on her bench.

Cassie was lying where I’d dropped her on the stone floor. A familiar surge of guilt made my face feel hot. I picked her up, one axe in each hand, and started to think about where I’d hang Cassie at home. She deserved a good spot, I might have to move Sandra…

The thunderous roar of a war-tyrannosaurus broke my train of thought, following by the crack and boom of a lava-trebuchet. Kylie’s eyes met mine, and all the things I wanted to say to her rushed to get out my mouth at once, so that they piled up in my throat and in the end only one made it out.

“Here!” I said. I thrust Cassie at her. My heart felt like it might burst. I had never let someone else use one of my ex-axes before. I searched Kylie’s face for some sign she understood.

“Cheers ears,” Kylie said, and boosted battlewards. I heard Steve’s demented blood-scream as Kylie loosed his jaws from the muzzle.

I followed her outside to find the air filled with the stench of sulphur and a Lava Man about to crush Todd into a pancake with one massive fist.

I swung the blue axe and she veritably sung as she sliced the monster in half. The Lava Man disintegrated into a shower of hot coals, making Todd yelp as he danced out of the way.

“That’s a noice exe!” he said, then, “duck!” as he schiing’d a throwing knife over my head and straight into a firey eyeball. Another rain of hot rocks clattered down around us.

“So, what are you going to name her?” he said, nodding at the blue axe.

Through the clouds of red dust and sulphur fumes I could just see the flash of Cassie’s blade rising and falling, rising and falling. “I thought I might call her… Kylie.”

Todd nodded, understanding. Then I whistled for Irene, and held the blade of the blue axe out towards Todd. He did the same with his knife, and we kissed the blades of each of our weapons for luck, then mounted up. Irene roared as we charged into battle, where we fought alongside Kylie until the Lava People turned their molten tails and ran.

Afterwards, their differences resolved, Kylie and Todd as if I wanted to join them at the pub for beers, but I said nah, it was getting late. I hauled myself up onto a battle-weary Irene, and as we walked slowly home I smiled, delighted at the way the starlight glittered on Kylie’s blue steel blade.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

A secret is something you tell one other person

1490 words

Captain Dasha Leonova drummed her fingers on the unresponsive control panel and stared at the stars through the ship’s curved front window, scrupulously ignoring the yawning void to her immediate left. On her right was the letterbox, which had materialised in the middle of the co-pilot’s seat the same day the interdimensional rift had sheared off half the ship. Co-pilot Samantha Morrell had locked herself in her cabin, saying she couldn’t bear the thought of what would have happened if she’d been in her seat when they’d hit the rift.

Dasha gave the letterbox a kick. It was a tall, red cylinder with an embossed crown on its door. It rang hollowly in the silent ship, and the door creaked open an inch. A shiver ran over Dasha’s close-cropped scalp. She wanted to run screaming from the bridge, but if she turned around she’d see the void, and she didn’t want to do that, not under any circumstances. She pursed her lips, and forced a heavy sigh out through her nose. She stretched her arm out towards the letterbox. Her fingers trembled. This sign of weakness from her own body made Captain Dasha so angry that she almost yanked the letterbox door clean off its rusty hinges.

Inside was a single postcard.

The image on the front made Dasha’s breath stop in her throat. A picturesque castle rose behind a dark green forest. Dasha had visited the castle a thousand times in her imagination. It was near Michi’s home village, and he used to tell her about it when they were both soldiers, lying awake together, sick with pre-deployment nerves. Michi would describe the castle to her in elaborate detail - most of it invented, Dasha was sure - until she could believe she was somewhere else, and fall asleep.

Dasha could feel the void pressing against her back. The air in the bridge felt thick; it was hard to breathe. The memory of acrid smoke prickled in the back of her nose, and tears welled in Dasha’s eyes.

Michi had never made it home from the war. Dasha hadn’t gone to his funeral. She knew that blaming herself was clichéd, but she couldn’t face his family, regardless. Instead she taken a fast track to civilian captaincy, and run right back to space.

Dasha’s hand was shaking again. She turned the postcard over. Michi’s blocky handwriting stared back at her.

Dasha sunk to the floor. Tears spilled from her eyes and ran into her hair as she lay back flat on the hard floor. From this angle she could see straight past the remaining half of the bridge’s ceiling. Dasha stared out into the vast array of stars. She instinctively searched for the familiar shape of her home galaxy, even knowing that it was long since lost from view. It had been Michi would had persuaded her to go off-world in the first place. He said you never knew what you’d find, way out in the deep. Dasha wished she could tell him about this.

I love you, was all the postcard said.


Becca found Sal standing completely naked on the lip of where the engine bay used to be. Before her was the infinity of space, and in Sal’s left and right hands were her mechanics overalls and a sock, respectively. Becca’s heart began to thump uncomfortably fast.

“Becca, look at this!” said Sal. Her pupils were very wide and the ends of her long red-brown hair looked burnt.

Sal tossed the sock out into space. When it crossed the point immediately above where the ship’s metal floor abruptly ended it went zzzt, and disappeared.

“Neat,” said Becca, in the calmest tone she could manage. She was suddenly very cold. “Sal, why don’t you come back over here?” She held out one hand. Her other, behind her back, gripped the door frame.

Sal shook her head, and began to feed her overalls to the void. They sizzled like the end of a lit sparkler, except instead of bright magnesium flames the trouser legs fizzed with black sparks that Becca could only see because they occluded the stars behind.

Sal took a step forward, the remaining overall fabric gathered in her arms like an offering. Her toes, with their chipped orange polish, were almost at the edge of the floor.

Becca felt as though the world was tilting, like the floor might suddenly lift up and tip Sal out into space. She had a sudden, vivid recollection of the bear hug Sal had given her when she’d first joined the crew. She had thought about that hug a lot in the months since. With absolute certainty, she knew she wanted those arms around her again now.

Becca let go of the door frame. Two steps out into the truncated engine room and the whole of the void opened to her. Becca’s eyes went wide. She could feel the metal floor beneath her feet but she wasn’t confident that if she turned around the corridor she’d stepped from would still be there. She began to hyperventilate. Sal was two more steps in front of her. The overalls were gone. Sal had her hands stretched out, and the tips of her fingers were starting to sizzle--

“Sal, look!” Becca yanked off her uniform jacket and hurled it with all her might into the wall of stars.

It went zzzt, and disappeared.

“Pffft,” said Becca. She wanted to see it again, so she unbuttoned her shirt, wriggled her arms out of the sleeves, and lobbed it after the jacket.

“Ha!” said Sal. She stepped back from the edge, turned her back to the void and offered Becca a high five.

But Becca was preoccupied. She took her bra off and fed that to the rift as well. Her right sneaker she pulled half off by standing on the heel with the toe of the left, then she loosed it into the rift like she was kicking a winning goal.

“Becca!” Sal grabbed Becca’s upper arm as Becca undid her belt. Sal looked towards the warm light spilling from the corridor, and began to pull Becca towards it.

Becca laughed, kicking her legs to shuck off her pants. She was sweating now, the cold replaced by a burning heat. Becca was worried Sal would get burnt too, so she twisted and wriggled out from the other woman’s grasp. The stars were all around her, and they were beautiful.

Becca ran, and Sal screamed.


The void was seeping into Samantha Morrell’s cabin. It was was spreading along the seam between the walls and the floor, so that a thin line of stars was visible where the skirting should be. Samantha was sitting on her bed, hugging her knees. The void had nearly reached the door. Once that happened Samantha wouldn’t be able to leave the cabin without… what? Jumping over it? She squeezed her eyes shut, the corners of her mouth tugging down.

Behind her eyelids, Samantha saw the green on black screen of her co-pilot’s terminal. The curser blinked next to the coordinates she’d entered. The coordinates that had sent them straight into the rift. And now she was hiding in her goddamned cabin because she’d nearly been killed by an anomalous letterbox.

Samantha opened her eyes. There were stars where most of her floor should be. Her bed was rapidly becoming an island. Samantha looked desperately at the door, willing someone to come rescue her.

The ship was totally silent.

You are a coward, she told herself. This was your fault. Go fix it.

The problem was, Samantha had no idea how. She was totally out of her depth. The rest of the crew were all more experienced that her. She was sure the found her presence on the ship a burden. Samantha hugged her knees a little tighter. The void was eating away her walls. A vast green-blue nebula was visible through the hole where her closet had been.

“Captain…?” Samantha tried to call out, but her voice came out as little more than a whisper. She shivered, and took a deep breath, forcing herself to try again.

Samantha froze. A scream rang out from somewhere in the ship. She wasn’t sure whose voice it was. She looked at the door, at the thin slice of floor that still remained in front of it. Warm light from the corridor beyond was visible beneath the door.

Samantha released her knees, and rose unsteadily to her feet. She wobbled on the soft mattress, had to put her hands down for balance. Her heart thudded in her chest, but she made herself stay on her feet. She assessed the distance to the door, trying not to look at the galaxies below.

She thought about the workarounds she could try, assuming her terminal was still responsive. She had to find the person who had screamed. She had to go.

Samantha Morrell took a deep breath, and jumped.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Onehandclapping posted:

His companion continued her long, wide eyed stare, mouth agape at the offending green line that had taken it's spot among the celestial bodies.

"It's" is short for "it is."

Also you should read the OP.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

fite me

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

ill fite u in my sleep, u pizzwizzle

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

:horse: :toxx: :horse:

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Albatrossy_Rodent posted:

Sleep Fite Brawl Sebmojo vs. Yoruichi

An action story set in a dreamscape.

1600 words

Due 4/9

Entries for this brawl are going to be 24 hours late because Sebmojo is a lazy boob, a fool of the highest order by the contestants' mutual agreement.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Sleep Fite Brawl entry

Hid and Sought
1350 words

Luce took a deep breath and dived. Her hands swept the tiled bottom. Lungs burning, she finally felt metal under her fingers. She grabbed the key and shot up to the surface. Her eyes were blurry from the chlorine, making rainbows of the light reflecting off sequined dresses all around the edge of the swimming pool. She blinked, and realised they were wading towards her.

Fist clenched around the key Luce waded towards the edge. A woman with iridescent black eyes shoved a drink into her chest. Luce dived. She grabbed at knees like sapling trunks and eeled her way through the forest of legs. With one palm and one clenched fist on the tiled rim she hauled herself from the water. Her sodden jeans muddled her steps as she struggled across the patio.

The door was blocked by two women reclining on a mouldering couch. They had kicked off their stilettos and their long toenails clicked against the tiles. They beckoned at Luce--

Now! she told herself. She gripped the key. Now, now, NOW--

Luce leapt onto the couch. The women shrieked. Luce dodged a grasping hand with her left leg and pushed off the couch back with her right. She dived, landed in a forward roll and then was up and running into the darkened hallway and


Luce let out her breath in a long sigh. Water drops from the bottom of her jeans plinked against the wooden floor. She turned through an open doorway and found herself in front of a large, glass-fronted bookcase. Luce could see her reflection in the glass. Her own pitch black eyes stared back at her. Luce felt her lips tighten in a snarl. She closed her eyes, opened them, and forced her focal point beyond the glass. She tilted her head and slid her eyes up and down the titles on the spines. Her eyes widened as she recognised the books. Her books. The spines were creased and the corners bent just so.

Tears pricked Luce’s eyes. She shook her head, angry with herself. The room was lit only by the fading daylight beyond the closed curtains. Luce jumped as a red light blinked on at the end of the room. Her heart hammered and it took her a moment to identify the growing hiss as the sound of an electric kettle. It was sitting on a cracked formica bench. Next to it the jar of teabags from Luce’s old flat.The stainless steel sink was full of used wine glasses.

The kettle boiled. Luce waited for the cathartic click of its auto shut off. The room began to fill with steam. The sound of boiling water filled Luce’s ears. She was sweating. The room felt like a sauna. Luce reached out. Her hand was halfway to the kettle’s switch when the kitchen door slammed open. Light and sound from the party outside flooded in and clouds of steam billowed out. Luce saw black eyes go wide. Her heart skipped a beat, then began to hammer against her ribs. The woman shrieked.

Luce turned and ran. Something cold splashed on her neck and she ducked, avoiding the cocktail glass that hurtled past her head and smashed against the bookcase. Luce jumped awkwardly over a dining table, slid on her arse across its polished surface and landed in a crouch on the floor beyond. A piano clanged as the woman landed on all fours on top of it. Her long sequinned dress made a hissing sound as it slid across the wood, revealing overlong legs, muscles bunched. The woman pounced.

Luce dive rolled, came up on her feet in the doorway, and sprinted down the hall. She skidded to a stop in front of a locked door. Luce’s chest contracted painfully as she noticed the dark patch on the faded wood, left behind by something that had been forcibly removed, screws torn from the wood. It was shaped exactly like the name plate that had adorned her bedroom at home. Luce’s hand shook as she tried the key. It went in. Nails clicked on the hallway floorboards.

The key wouldn’t turn. Luce jiggled it, tried to force it left, then right. No dice. The woman was stalking towards her, her dress hissing with each step. She held a glass in each hand, and as she walked she left a spreading stain of spilt liquid behind her.

A sob escaped Luce’s fear-dry mouth. Shaking, she pulled the key from the lock, and clenched it back inside her fist. Her lips trembled and she pressed them together, angry. She felt tricked. It wasn’t fair. Anger unfroze Luce’s limbs and she kicked the door. It gave a hollow thud and dust showered down from the frame. Luce heard the woman draw in a sharp breath at the sound, saw her pause her in predator’s approach.

Now! thought Luce. She pushed her back against the wall like a wrestler leaning on the ropes. The wall bowed, its paper stretched. Luce willed it not to tear. She felt the fibres expand like elastic. She sank into the wall, stretched it to the point of breaking--

Luce lifted her feet, and fired herself at the door like a stone from a slingshot. She hit the door feet first and it smashed open. Luce slammed it behind her, and heaved a heavy chest of drawers across it.

She was in a room full of plants. Luce struggled for breath in the fetid air. Thick roots protruded from cracked pots and burrowed into rotten floorboards. Vines ran up the walls and hung from the ceiling. Something brushed the back of her neck and Luce lashed out with one arm. Her hand sliced through the leaf of a large broad-leafed palm. She looked in horror at her overlong fingernails. No matter how often she cut them…

Luce heard a thump against the door and she jumped. She shoved her way past branches and stepped around broken terracotta. The house creaked and groaned. At the end of the room under a casement window was a single bed. The curtains flapped and Luce felt cold night air against her cheek. The window was closed, and it took Luce a moment to realise the air was coming through a hole in the floor. The boards under the bed had rotten away, leaving the bed resting precariously on two remaining beams.

She heard a susurrus behind her. Sequins dragging on wood. Fingernails at the door. A heavy thump. Luce sank to her knees. Cold air from the ruined floor rose up to meet her, and she shivered. She had lost. She pressed her lips together but couldn’t stop her chin trembling. She tipped her head back, trying to stop the tears from falling for just a moment longer.

There was another thump against the door and this time the chest of drawers tipped and crashed to the floor. Without looking back, Luce leapt onto the bed, braced her legs on the bed, and heaved the sash open.

The floor gave. Luce screamed as she found herself suddenly weightless, then falling. Rotten, borer-riddled chunks of timber fell around her as the bed slid off the tilting floor and tipped Luce into the night. She twisted in the air, got one hand on a downpipe. Her toenails raked against the peeling weatherboards and she thought she was safe, then the screws holding the downpipe to the wall ripped from the wood and she fell, landed and rolled on long, wet grass. Broken pieces of wood and glass showered down around her.

Luce retreated through the garden. She climbed over a low fence and found herself back out on the road. She stood just outside the circle of light from a single street lamp and listened to her slowing breath.

The house hunkered in the dark, silent and empty. Luce gripped the key inside her palm. Slowly, bare feet silent on the cold concrete path, she approached the front door.

She slid the key into the lock.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

I will judge.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


New Arrival by Dicere

This is exactly as boring as listening to some old dude you don’t know tell you a rambling story about people you haven’t met. Framing it as a play did not help. I thought the stage descriptions were distracting, and didn’t help me picture what was going on.

The focus of this story is on the protagonist’s (rather cartoonish) fight with his neighbour, but the story isn’t actually about their relationship or what it means to the protagonist. The meat of the story is really the protagonist’s mental decline after his wife’s death, but this is sort of glossed over. The son turns up at the very end, but he doesn’t add anything to the story.


Half-Cocked by Admiralty Flag

Wow, this story has all the sci fi gun words. All of them. And yet despite that, it’s very boring. Only three things actually happen: 1) the protagonist fights his way back to his squad. 2) The protagonist finds out the army he’s fighting for is going to do something he morally disagrees with. 3) He makes the decision to rebel.

Number 3 is the only thing that is actually interesting, and you gave it 72 words. That is less than 4% of the story.

On the upside, the action sequence bit (which was what the prompt asked for) was some good pew pew x-ray lasers fun. If you had woven the protagonist’s dilemma and decision-making process through the action, this could have been a good story.

And at least the protagonist made sure not to misgender the aliens he was murdering.


Just Like Old Times by WindwardAway

I am very confident that Sebmojo would tell you to delete all the adverbs from your first paragraph. Now, I’m not sure I hate adverbs quite as much as ye olde sheriff, but whenever you catch yourself describing something in a generic way (“stamping his boots briskly”), you should stop and swap that description out for a specific detail, something that tells us about the character.

Oh dear, the second paragraph (wtf happened to your line breaks?) isn’t much better. You literally just described three people talking about the weather.

“...the big, burly, beer-bellied Bobby…” No.

Great, now they’re fighting. I don’t care about this fight, because I don’t care about either of these characters. This story is barely a story, it’s just a description of two drunk dickheads getting into a fight. There’s no stakes, the setting is the blandest pub possible, and there’s only a bare minimum of cartoonish characterisation.

And then his dad is a cop so… he’s fine?


A Hole in the Sky by Thranguy

Hmmm, this has a lot of cool mystic sci fi space whatsits but it felt a bit pointless, given that it’s all building up to some girl needing to inherit her alien dad’s ultimate mission to stop the… things that have been summoned by… someone… I think?

Unlike the other entries this week though, this was at least interesting to read. I appreciated the very imaginative setting, and was intrigued by what was actually going on in this world.


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Omg if everyone else is doing it then I am in too

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Thousands have been reported missing
495 words

Three days after the cyclone, Gabby heard someone shout that they’d found signal. She dropped her breakfast of canned peaches and scrambled for her phone. The no signal symbol stared back at her. It sounded like the voices were coming from the top of the street. Gabby’s heart hammered. Please god let everyone be safe, she thought.

During the storm Gabby had lain curled in bed with a pillow around her head as the wind had screamed and thrashed against the windows. Dawn had broken on a drowned world, the silence broken only by the distant roar of outboard motors and the occasional khaki helicopter. Gabby had counted herself lucky, safe in her upstairs flat.

She wanted to shout back to the people on the hill but her throat wouldn’t work. You’ve got food and water here, she thought. Why risk wading through the floodwater? With her heart hammering she walked to the door of her flat. A wave of wet carpet stink rolled up over her from below. Gabby had to hold her breath as she descended into the dark hallway.

There were apples on the front doorstep. Gabby blinked at the rotting fruit, then felt icy fingers creep over her scalp as she remembered all the orchards that lined the river valley. Her grandmother’s rest home was up that way. Gabby’s fingernails bit into her palms.

The turbid water that surrounded the house stank. Gabby hesitated. She was shaking. What if everyone is not ok, she thought.

What then.

A single sob escaped Gabby’s lips. She gripped her phone, took a deep breath, and ran down the steps and into the flood. The water was waist deep and dragged at her jeans. Gabby tripped, and almost went down. She started to panic as she struggled to get over the back fence. She scrapped her palms and forearms hauling herself over, but the neighbour’s garden beyond was dry. Gabby skirted the empty house and ran out onto the road.

Her shoes squelched and her lungs burned as Gabby struggled towards the knot of people standing at the top of the street. Some turned to look at her, but she ignored them, staring at her phone as she ran. The little crossed circle turned into a single bar and Gabby almost dropped her phone in her haste to dial her parents’ number, and then she was gasping for breath with the ringing phone pressed against her head and she heard her grandmother’s voice--

“Gabrielle? Vivienne! It’s Gabby!” And then her mother was calling her name through a crackle of static, “Gabby? Are you ok? Oh thank god--”

“I’m ok, Mum,” she gasped, and then there were tears rolling down her cheeks. Gabby sank onto the warm asphalt and sobbed and sobbed. A woman Gabby didn’t know put her arm around Gabby’s shoulders.

Below them the drowned city shone silver-grey under a heavy, mournful sky.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Fat Jesus posted:

The Epic of Anders

Anders woke in the ditch not yet noticing he was soaking wet or where he was, holding his head that was pounding from the 6 ales from the night before. Staggering to his feet, he wondered if he'd pissed himself again but saw he'd been sleeping in 2 inches of water. Nothing was certain. He lurched forward unsteadily, still affected by the 7 whiskey chasers from the night before, finally and painfully reaching the road. His head felt as to explode with each wincing step as he held his aching cranium, cursing and hoping for death.
The sudden need to vomit overcame his urge not to move his head and he spewed out a raging river of stink, possibly brought on by the 5 brandies from the night before. He stood, breathing unsteadily and wiping his mouth on a sleeve as a village dog came and started on the puddle, and he lurched off again.
By the time he'd walked half a mile he had worn off the worst of the effects of the 9 lagers from the night before, and stopped to feel inside his pocket. 3 pfennigs. He started to feel sick again.

Ok, this is a bad and rambling opening, but I do think the repetition of "[number] of [drink] from the night before" is funny. For goodness sake put proper paragraph breaks in.

Oh poo poo what will I tell her I am so loving dead.

He trudged on towards his fate, fingers to his ears as he passed the blacksmiths, when he saw something glinting in the sun. He picked up the gold ring and broke into a smile, not even the queasy feeling that permeated his being due to the 8 meads from the night before stopping the eventual wide grin.
He looked around seeing nothing and tried it on. As he admired his new ring he realised something was very amiss. The world had begun to spin, and he was sure it had nothing to do with the night before. Anders found himself falling at great speed through what appeared Delete pointless words like "through what appeared" and your prose will be a lot snappier a swirling tube of colors, screaming as he tumbled through the maze of rainbows, certain a morrigan had entrapped him. What's a morrigan?


Talamar the Strong, Overlord of the Universe, God of Death on 217 worlds, God of War on another 117, Creator God to 12, sighed. He looked at the thing he had summoned from.. where? Um, yeah, Elvoria. Built that one myself, He mused proudly.
He watched as the thing in rags rolled around trying to hide behind nothing since he was in an empty expanse some trillion light years round. Empty, except for Talamar the Strong and his massive throne of black diamond.
Anders stared in amazement at the the large shining man. "Allfather!" he cried, then vomited again spreading a large greenish yellow puddle on the gleaming infinite floor. Ew. Talamar the Strong's initial revulsion and desire to send this thing to the dark realms was overcome by a foreboding, he looked at the stinking drunk peasant, and It sure as gently caress wasn't Gilgamesh.
That Yahweh rear end in a top hat was loving with him again, He knew with omniscient certainty. I'll show that hairy old bastard. He turned an eye to the gibbering peasant.

Alright so by this point we have two characters and some stuff has definitely happened, but both characters are pretty bland. We've got drunk dude and god dude, but you haven't given them much in the way of personality. This is bad, because it makes your reader less interested in what happens to them.

"Behold!" the voice filled everything including Anders, who stood in confusion taking off his hat and rubbing his head. "I am your Allfather, I have brought you forth for your might!"
" best run that past us again Allfather." he said, " I ..dead?"
Talamar the Strong knew a peasant could not comprehend His greatness yet alone His mind, for He had been one once Himself. He changed form in an instant, becoming a noble looking gentleman from Anders' time.
"Who are you, where's the Allfather go, I need a drink..."
"Call me Talamar, we have plans to discuss, my friend."
"Plans? For gettin' home I hope, where's this, are you a wizard?"
"The Allfather wishes to send you on a great quest, one with much drink and merriment!"
Anders broke into a wide smile. "Anything for the Allfather! Let's get to this tavern, guv!"
"First things first. I shall swap ye that there ring for this here sword." He produced a gleaming sword that shone with a blue radiance.
"Ahh, dunno, what else ya got?" I'm not really sure what is going on at this point. Why is god dude negotiating with drunk dude for the ring he found?
"This sword is priceless, it can bring you wealth beyond measure!" Anders rubbed his chin, unsure.
"I shall also give you a magic cup that never runs empty, Sword and cup for the ring?" Anders nodded vigorously as the sword and cup appeared in his hands, now minus the ring.
"My friend, I must tell you of the place you are to go and how the evil god there has enslaved man, and you better listen good because this concerns YOU!" Talamar's finger pointed straight at Anders forehead and he watched as the strange man's finger grew towards him. When it touched him Anders saw and knew what was to be done.


Under the blazing desert sun The Prophet staggered drunkenly overlooking the masses of equally drunken Israelites, holding aloft his sword and pouring a river of wine from his cup.
"Drink up and hail Talamar the Strong! Not that Yahweh shitstain! What's he done for us, what?" The crowd roared their drunken approval. "He's got us walkin' round a bloody desert holdin' our dicks for what? Well gently caress him, Talamar The Strong is the bloke we want now, free piss and gently caress who you like!"
The crowd went wild as more people were flooding in, the blue light from the sword guiding them to the word of the One True God.

So Talamar teleported our protagonist to a desert somewhere to do... what, exactly? Get the Israelites drunk and convert them to Talamarism, maybe? Is this revenge for Yahweh loving with him, as referenced earlier? I guess that makes sense, but if this story is about one god getting revenge on another god then you should have focussed on them, and not spent so long telling us about the protagonist having a spew.


Helga's fists smashed the long haired bearded man Who? she had caught going through the house as Ella clung to his back, clawing at his eyes as they screamed and swore at him. Who the heck are Helga and Ella?
"Rape! Thief! Rape!" they cried as the man in the strange dusty bedclothes wailed. Helga's boot swung into the bloodied man's nuts, dropping him to the floor, barely conscious and bleeding. He felt himself dragged through the mud and a rope being put around his neck, sadly realising either his Father had forsaken him, or that Talamar fuckhead had made his dad eat poo poo again. I don't really get this ending. My best guess is the bearded man is alternative reality Jesus, maybe?? What the gently caress happened to the protagonist?

So this has a kind of bonkers energy, which is good, but bits of it don't make a whole lot of sense, which is bad. Don't try and make your reader have to discover what the story is about halfway through, this sort of "oh it was [thingy] all along!" nonsense is almost always much more boring than you think. Focus on the characters and give them some personality and clear goals or desires.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Chairchucker posted:

A Cave Full of Space 858 words

Cavewoman Sam stalked her prey, club in hand. It was her favourite club; the handle fit her hand just so, it swung through the air nicely, and could fell a mammoth if she was given a few hours to really go to town on it. Or so she hypothesised.

Other hunters favoured axes or spears, but Cavewoman Sam felt that axes and spears were for weak and pathetic babies. Lol.

Her prey, on this occasion, was a sabretooth tiger. Not as good eating as a mammoth, but thus far she’d had much more success beating tigers to death than she had mammoths, and you could make a wicked sick necklace out of their teeth.

The stalking of her prey was interrupted when the mysterious object appeared in the sky, and out fell a shiny man. How high did he just fall from?? Startled, the sabretooth tiger scampered off. Cavewoman Sam walked over to where the man was slowly struggling to his feet. “You scared my prey.”

“Ah!” said the man. “Greeting, stone age hottie, I am James Spaceman, explorer of the galactic wastes, heartthrob, hero to millions, and accidental time traveller.”

“Hi, Jam Space lol. I’m Sam.”

“What was that you said earlier? No need to be scared, or to pray.”

“I was hunting a sabretooth tiger. You scared it away.”

“Ah,” said James. “Never fear, we can track it with my radar!”

Cavewoman Sam looked over at the sabretooth tiger’s tracks, but shrugged and said, “Fine.”

The two of them followed James’ radar, and it seemed to be going kind of away from the direction the sabretooth tiger’s tracks had been heading, but Sam wanted to see if this shiny but weak looking man was any good as a hunter. They followed for about three hours this is a really long time, did they converse at all on this half day hike?, and then James stopped at the edge of a cliff, looked over the edge, and posed triumphantly, feet wide apart, one hand on hip, the other pointing towards his quarry. “Behold!’ he exclaimed.

“That is a mammoth,” said Sam.

“What’s the difference?”

“Mammoths are hard to kill,” she said, gesturing towards her club.

“Ah, said James. “Never fear, I have just the thing.” He unholstered his trusty ray gun and pointed it at the mammoth.

“What’s that?”

“You’ll see,” said James Spaceman, and he gave what was likely intended to be a seductive wink. Then he pulled the trigger on his ray gun, and a bolt of energy darted through the air, striking the mammoth right between the eyes. The mammoth stopped in its tracks, then slowly toppled to the ground. “Voila,” he said, “one mammoth.”

Cavewoman Sam had already started to climb down the cliff, so James Spacemen followed her down. “Hmm,” she said once they arrived at the mammoth carcass. “Will have to eat this here, too heavy to move.”

“We could cut it up,” he said.

“I don’t have an axe.”

“Ah,” he said, “well I have just the thing for that, too!” He pulled a power saw off of his utility belt, and got to work cutting up the mammoth. In only a few minutes, he’d cut the mammoth into several more manageable pieces. They picked up a few of the pieces, and he deployed a temporary stasis field over the rest. “Where to now?” he asked.

“My cave is not far,” she said.

“Ah, back to your cave, ey?” he said, and raised an eyebrow suggestively.

“That’s what I just said, yes.” She turned to leave, and he shrugged and followed her. I am enjoying Sam's deadpan dialogue but poor old SpaceJim is falling a bit flat.

After a few hours, they reached her cave. She went on ahead, and he followed on behind her. He entered her cave, then backed out again, then entered again, then backed out again. She turned. “What are you doing, Spiced Jimmy?”

“Trust me,” he said, “when I tell this story later, about entering your cave multiple times, it’s going to be hilarious.”

“Is it?”

“You’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s a spaceman joke, you wouldn’t get it.”

“Oh,” she said. “I thought it might have been a sex joke.”

“Um. Well.”

“Because you see, a cave is - you know, it’s big and damp and there are things growing in it, so it’s a bit like…” A cave is not a nice thing to use as a metaphor for a vagina.

“Yes, all right, that was the joke.” Did Sam say this line, or Jim?

“Ah,” she said. “You think that’s a spaceman joke? You think we don’t have sex in this time?”

“Right, no, of course, I just didn’t want to…”

“Do you want to have sex in this time?”

“I… sorry?”

“All this cave talk, I thought maybe you wanted to have sex.”

“Well, all right, I mean are you sure?”

She shrugged. “You are kind of a weak and pathetic hunter, but that trick with the ray gun was very good.”

“Right,” he said. “Great. Yes. Let’s do that.”

“But dinner first. No sex on an empty stomach.”


So, the two of them had dinner, and then he entered her cave again, but the metaphorical cave, where it was a spaceman joke that you wouldn’t understand. And then they fell asleep, and when he woke up, she was nowhere to be found, and neither was his ray gun or his power saw. Serves him right.

This is fine, the deadpan humour is funny. Sam got all the best lines though, I think you could have done a lot more with Spaces James as a character. Also wtf, I write a story where Spaceman James goes to earth and gets funky with a local and I get an L, and you do it and win. Smh.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

The Firebird
1000 words

"I won't ask you to go," Captain Vale said.

First Officer Jones was standing to attention in the Captain's private quarters. The alarms had been silenced but a warning light in the corridor lit the room with stripes of red. Vale was slouched at her desk, her sash missing from her normally impeccable crimson uniform and her hair escaping its tight bun in a grey corona.

"For god's sake sit down." Vale waved at the edge of the bed.

Deeply uncomfortable, Jones remained standing. Just give me an order, she thought. She had been following Vale these last 20 years and never had the famously decisive Captain laid such a terrible choice at her feet.

Jones cleared her throat. "The SS Valiant will be within range of our escape vessel in 16 hours," she said. "If we launch now we will have enough oxygen to last until they reach us. The probability of successfully recovering the lost crew from alter-space is less than two per cent. Captain, my recommendation is we should focus on ensuring the survival of those remaining."

"We will have enough oxygen if we launch the escape vessel within the next one hour and 57 minutes." Captain Vale stared straight into Jones’ eyes. “There’s time, Jones.”

Jones flinched away from Vale’s gaze. She wasn’t sure whether she was more angry at her own cowardice, or the Captain’s. Jones thought about the disquiet that would spread through the surviving crew, knowing that, no matter how vanishingly small the odds, there had been a chance to save the others...

Jones pressed the intercom on her wrist. “Meet me at the breach in Cargo Four in 3 minutes,” she said to the Chief Engineer.

Captain Vale sagged deeper into her chair. Jones turned her back on the other woman, unable to bear the sight. Then she strode from the room, refusing herself the indulgence of further thoughts on anything but her task.

The Chief Engineer had looked horrified when Jones told him to send her across the breach, but at Jones’ grey-eyed stare the man had done his job. Now, as Jones contemplated the varying opacity of the fractured spaceship in which she now stood, she felt her anger rise. drat you, Vale, Jones thought. Twenty years of service at the Captain’s side and her reward was a suicide mission, without even a word of… what? What did she want from Vale?

I am an idiot, Jones thought. Behind her she could see the cargo deck she’d just left as if through the surface of a pond. She scanned the deck, but there was no splash of crimson amongst the blue-uniformed engineers.

Jones caught herself searching and clenched her fists. Annoyed at herself, she punished her clammy palms with her fingernails. She eyeballed a wavering floor tile and stamped on it.

Jones screamed as the floor beneath her disappeared. The moribund half of the SS Firebird unspooled into ribbons of stars. Jones grabbed at them as she fell, but they puffed away from her fingers like dandelion seeds. The void swallowed her scream so although she could feel it tearing at her throat she heard no sound.

I won’t ask you to go. Vale’s words echoed in Jones’ mind, and fury mingled with her terror. I should have refused, drat your eyes, she thought.

Jones was unravelling. No longer falling through the void but spreading out like wind-blown seeds. She could see the particles of her being smeared across alter-space in a long line back to their origin point. There were other gossamer threads too, spiralling around each other like a rope trying to un-fray.

Vale would get a new ship; she was that sort of captain. The crew were good spacers, all of them. They’d stick with Vale. She was that sort of Captain, too.

The sort of Captain who left no one behind.

Except, Jones. Why did you send me? The thought was immediately followed by shame. Did she wish her Captain had chosen her safety over the chance, however small, of saving the lost crew members?

Jones reached out with an arm she could no longer see. Her fingers touched the rope and it felt like running water through her hand. She tried to grasp hold of it but her hand closed on nothing, and instead her arm was yanked forward as if by a powerful current. Jones resisted, but in pulling back she felt she would come apart.

Jones started to panic. She felt herself falling, then, the sensation of familiar hands gripping her wrist. It was the rest of the crew, holding their fragmented consciousnesses together despite the effects of too long in alter-space. Good spacers indeed. Jones grinned, and let them bind her to them, a whirl of stars. The distant Firebird looked like an arrow pierced through space, one end solid, gleaming, the other half stuck fast by its fletches, elongated and trembling like a bird’s wingtips on an updraft.

Jones remembered the way Vale’s face had fallen at Jones’ decision. She pictured Jones waiting at the hatch of the escape vessel, the launch sequence begun, watching as the seconds ticked down to one hour and 57 minutes precisely…

“All hands to the breach in Cargo Four!” Jones wasn’t sure how she issued the command, but she knew the crew would follow her. She was that sort of First Officer.

As if through rippling water Jones saw the other side of the cargo deck. She scanned the waiting crowd. Her heart sank at the sea of blue, then her eyes fell on a crimson figure.

“Jones!” Vale’s voice sounded like it was coming from the bottom of a well. The Captain was standing precariously close to the edge of the breach, limned in electric blue light as the engineers fired up the jump engine.

A small sob escaped Jones’ mouth. She held the crew tightly to her, stretched out one arm. Her eyes met Vale’s, and this time she did not flinch.

Across the impossible void, their fingers touched.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Happy bIrthday ThuNderdome

Judges pls make all my decisions for me and send me straight to hell :toxx:

Yoruichi fucked around with this message at 11:14 on Jul 25, 2023

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Prompt: Week 135.
Regular Flash:

Extreme Flash: The part that makes your head explode.

Hellrule: Everything but dialog is in iambic pentameter. But isn't otherwise poetry and is formatted as standard prose.

The pony was a lie
820 words

The pony had appeared in Annette’s life
right when she needed it the most. She hurt,
and so she drew the pony close. Its nose
its eyes its breath in hers at night. Daylight
meant the pony had to go outside
for grass. Annette, inside, fogged up the glass.

She struggled with the heavy bales of hay.
She dragged them up the stairs into her room
at night so her flatmates would notice not.
She watched the pony eat and grow, and grow.
It filled her with a joy that plugged a hole,
or three. She told herself as much, at least.

One morning, curtains drawn to hide the sun
she heard his voice outside her house. He said,

“Annette? Are you in there? Why aren’t you answering your phone? I know you probably don’t want to see me, but I was getting worried… Are you ok?”

Am I ok? AM I OK?? You, gently caress--

The pony’s nostrils flared and eyes went red.
It pawed the rug and kicked the window out.
The sound of glass. Annette arose. Her heart
aflame, she drew her sword, sucked in her breath.
A scream burst forth and flecked her lips with spit.

The pony rose into the air, Annette
astride, her sword pointed right at his heart.
He stood and gaped. She ran him through. His eyes
met hers, but still no tears. Just like when he
had said that he was done with loving her.

But she was not, with him. Not then, not now.
Impaled upon her sword his limbs ragdolled.
She laughed into the wind. A sound so cruel
the pony grinned, and took them up between
the clouds until they came to Heaven’s Gate.
What sweet revenge to see him spurned by God.

The angel turned, a smile upon its lips.
Its arms, the Gate, both open wide. That can’t--

“Be right? My child, it is not a sin to break another’s heart.”

Annette, paused. Could it be true? she thought.
She looked upon his face. His eyes were closed,
his lips apart. She could upon them place
a kiss, and farewell all this sorry mess.

Annette leant in. The pony stamped a hoof.
She saw, up close, his eyes, were dry. No tears
were shed by him, for her. Not then, not now.
A sob escaped her lips; it left a snarl.
Her love by anger was consumed. She threw
herself upon the sword that pierced him through.
The pony grinned. Pressed to his back she held
him tight and plunged them both direct to Hell.

Their hearth was black obsidian, their bed
on brimstone laid. Outside their walls the damned
cried out. In firelight the demons danced.
Inside their house she clung to him, and he
to her. They shook with fear but in her heart
Annette was glad. Her love was hers again.

Upon its throne, the pony grinned. Its teeth
were sharp, its hooves were cleft. A thousand scales
adorned its back and glittered in the dark.
It watched the man as tears welled up and wet
his cheeks. He sobbed into the woman’s arms.
The pony grinned; it knew its work was good.

“Babe, are you ok? Hey, stop crying. I’m here. We’re going to be ok.”

He shook his head. His eyes were round and full
of fear, not hate as she’d supposed. In their
black depths she saw herself; an awful sight.
Annette felt sick at what she’d done. I have
to get him out of here
, she thought. Her heart
so ached but still she grasped her sword again.

The pony watched its favourite pet, a sword
in hand, approach the devil’s throne. So bold
was she demanding thus: “You let him go--”

“Are you threatening me? With that little poking stick? Idiot child, he can leave whenever he likes. You though, you are mine.”

With sulphurous breath the devil pounced. A clash
of claws and sword. A bloody fight ensued.
Annette was beaten to her knees. Her sword
was shattered like her heart. But he escaped;
no longer need of sword or heart had she.

She felt a hand upon her back. He said,

“I can’t believe we dated for a year and you never told me you knew how to sword fight. Come on, I found the way out, let’s get the hell out of Hell.”

Her hand in his they fled that place. A spark
of hope flared in her chest. They found their way
back to their homes and from his hand he let
hers slip. With trembling lips she watched him go
and said goodbye to all this sorry mess.

She sat abed with mending heart and cup
of tea within her hand. The hay, cleaned up
with flatmates’ help, was tied in bags beside
the bins. The curtains drawn against the night.

Outside, the pony’s breath fogged up the glass.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Llama Drama
100 words

Greg was a professional, but this was the worst case of carpet llamas he’d ever seen. Interdimensional bastards. Eat pile, poo poo portals. Trouble was, Greg’s brother had fallen in.

No. Climbed. David was trying to crack open space-time with his fingers.

Greg put a hand on a trembling shoulder. Their first touch in a long time.

“I’m going. Please, Greg, come--”

Greg’s mind was carefully barricaded against the truth. He climbed from the hole in David’s living room floor. The house was gone. Gigantic camelids occluded the sun and spat stars.

Greg sighed, and fetched his tools from his van.

Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

Vale’s Last Stand
100 words

Lieutenant Vale landed split-squat and raygunned the fresh-risen daisies into a corona of purple ash. Jet-booted two metres up as scythes sliced for her legs, their fey wielders evil of claw and intent.

A fresh circle, the scent of violets. In its abyssal centre Vale saw her lost Captain’s face. She sobbed; fumbled her landing. With one, two backflips she dodged the advancing fey. But not her broken heart.

A scythe at her back. Again, Vale jetted straight up. The thrice-cursed land spread out beneath her. Row upon row of fairy circles, and in them all her Captain’s eyes, calling.


Sep 21, 2017

Horse Facts

True and Interesting Facts about Horse

100 words

The shaking stopped and the office plunged into power-cut darkness. Jane and Sara were the only early-birds there. No nervous laughter, just a synchronised grabbing of phones to call daycare, husbands.

No signal. Outside, a scream.

Sara was first out from under her desk. The light turned burnt-orange as the sun rose through clouds of dust. She blanched at the huge cracks in the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Long-fingered hands squeaked against the glass. Outside, high-pitched laughter.

Jane, ever practical, flipped open the civil defence bin. Water, glowsticks. A sledgehammer. Jane raised it and her eyebrows. Sara nodded, once.

They were coming.

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