#103 – Pantry

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“Go on,… it’s just above you”

The words were a gentle whisper, a breath caressing the young woman’s ear.  She could hear the tittering laughs of others around her, a ribbon of muslin tied tight over her eyes.

She rose to the tips of her toes and her fingers brushed something warm.  She chased to grasp it, her foot twisting: her body falling to the ground.  There was a gasp.

“It’s alright” the girl said as she slipped off the blindfold.

The eyes of the other slaves were fixed on the open door.  

“I’m,… sorry Misses.  We were just playing,…” 

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Stelios Kazazis via Unsplash.

My word today was “Pantry” – what story would you write if that was the word you were given?  That’s the challenge: you have 100 words with “Pantry” as your title.  Write it, link it back to me and let’s see what you can do!

Today’s word was donated by Nthato Morakabi, a fellow short story writer and journalist from Sunny South Africa.  You can find out more about him at http://nthatomorakabi.com/.

#94 – Opulence

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Shards of crystal shook with each thundering crack of feet on the marble floor below: a hundred shoes raining to the ground as hands met, palm on palm.  The chandelier swayed.  Wax dripped.

At each turn of the music a sighing hiss filled the air.  Silk skirts brushed the thighs of men, teasing them as their wives looked on.

Jenny watched the dance from the corridor,  the golds and blues of the scene reflected in the young maid’s gaze. Behind her, others carried chamberpots from the room.

“Remember, girl,” called the housekeeper.  “Their piss smells just as sweet as ours.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Peter Oswald via Unsplash.

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Thanks to aspiring novelist and blogger extraordinaire Roderick Wills for suggesting today’s story title!  You can follow him @MrRoderickwills or on his website at https://roderickwills.com/.

Suggest your own title and I’ll write the first image that springs to mind – just pop a single word in the comments below or Tweet it to me @timaustin2k.

#91 – Intense

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Marbled streams of fire shifted and wound through hissing clouds of acrid smoke.  Fissures broke open like wounds, finding each other and melting into flickering rivers before swollen dams of black rock rolled across and cut them from the night sky.

A maelstrom swirled high above, peppering the shifting rock with ashen pumice as forks of lightning shruck at the ground.

The old man looked on, fingers tightening in his palms.  Tears fell at the beauty of it.  His heart broke as children screamed.

One last toll of the church bell broke the air.

Fire leapt.  The screams stopped.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Yosh Ginsu via Unsplash.

Pompeii sprang to mind when I read “Intense”.  There was a man who witnessed it and survived – Plinny the Younger.  It’s hard to imagine how terrible it was for him to see.

Today’s story title was donated by fellow blogger and author Angelica Kidd, who is just beginning her submission for NanoWrimo as of yesterday!  Follow her progress at https://angelicakidd.wordpress.com/.

Like this?  Follow OWOS – it’s that button below and to the right – for a new story every day.  You can also like the One Word One Story Facebook Page for more!  Tweet me @timaustin2k too.

See you tomorrow for “Enslavement”.

#68 – Principle

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A stubby finger pushed a pawn across the board, cigar ash falling around the piece in a halo of smoking debris.  Churchill growled and smiled.

“There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare,” the Britain stated, leaning back into his leather armchair.

A rook slid across the board to threaten the pawn.  Churchill frowned.

A finger tapped against the board, sweeping away the cigar ash with disdain.

“That is why this war will be short,” came a replay from across the table.

“No, Adolf.”

Churchill slipped a knight to checkmate his opponent’s king.

“But it will be won.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Photo by Nguyen Pham on Unsplash

I’ve no idea why but the first image I had for this word was Churchill sat drinking with Hitler pleasantly.  It adapted in the writing but,… what an extraordinary idea,…. I mean, what would they talk about?!  There’s a hell of a book in that,….

Hit that follow button and like the OWOS Facebook page for more!  Suggest your own one-word titles by popping your word in the comments below.

See you tomorrow for “Manifesto”.

#44 – Diaspora

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Nikita Velikanin

The village was sick.  The sweet, hacking smell of death greased the leather hides of each tent.  The few elders who remained clapped their hands to their arms, beating away the chill west wind.

Cheveyo looked over at the old men as they hunched, skeletal, before the cracking fire.  They didn’t look back.  The sight haunted him from that day to his last: shadows of men, as decayed and thin as the skins clutched tight around them, haunched in the shadows of the old world.

The city beckoned.  The fight was lost.

The white man’s disease had done it’s work.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Nikita Velikanin via Unsplash.

Today’s title was suggested by Michele Seminara.  Again, a word I had never heard of before – always a great pleasure!  Michele is both the writer of poetry and the managing editor of the creative arts journal VerityLa.  You can find her on Twitter @SeminaraMichele

I am still in search of one word titles for my stories – please feel free to suggest your own by writing it in the comments section below or tweeting me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory. 

If you’ve enjoyed this or any other story, please do share them on whatever feeds you use.  I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Face”!



#35 – Illuminated

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The archaeologist swept a finger against the lines of the map.  The ink had faded into the parchment, now nothing but the ghost of a message, crumbling at his touch.  The airless vacuum was gone; the seal of the ancient room now crushed at his feet.  The Californian air was racing to meet him.  Time was running out.

It was an island. The Caribbean, yes.  His hands shook as his feverish gaze scanned for the mark.  All those years they’d laughed at him. All those birthdays missed, far from home.

The wind blew and the parchment melted.

All those years,…..

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of James McGill via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by Collette Knowles, Artistic Director of Rough Magic Theatre.  She is also, frequently, my boss.  And by boss, I mean Wife.  You can reach her on Twitter @collettepuppets.

I’m still in need of words to write stories on – tweet me your own suggestion @timaustin2k and I’ll write you your very own 100 word short story, right here.  Pop it with the hashtag #onewordonestory.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Cat”.  If you’ve like the story, share it using one of the buttons below  🙂

#26 – Lollard

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Martin Kníže

Francis placed the quill carefully into the ink, sighing as he watched the dying fire crack and spit.  He barely saw the dim glow of the flames.  He looked through them at the days ahead: at what needed to be done.

There was a cry from the street outside and Francis flinched, his heart thundering as he stood and peered through the glass.

“What are you doing?”

Francis knew the voice behind him.  It purred in refined malice.  Rage dissolved to terror as he heard the soldiers file in.  The book was still open.

“I’m telling the truth, your worship.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Martin Kníže via Uplash.

Today’s title was suggested by Playwright and Screenwriter Max Gee – writer of Tales of Bacon, a YouTube comedy that you can watch for free here.  You can tweet Max @MaxGee1284.

Keep your one word titles coming in!  Pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

If you’re enjoying these flash fiction stories, check out Chapter One of “The Santa Beneath the Ice” FOR FREE by clicking the banner to the side.  

See you tomorrow for “Crepuscular”!