Tuggin’ The Heartstrings

#103 – Pantry

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stelios-kazazis

“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/.

Amid the Black Sea

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sandis-helvigs

Hattie held the leaf high, watching as the blackened surface melted and crumbled, the wind snapping the stem and sending the remains twisting to oblivion.  Her eyes focused beyond it: to the greenhouse stretching high above, its precious cargo of rare species now writhing beneath a sea of tiny black beetles.  Hattie remembered the first watering of each plant trapped inside: her tears gave final succour to the earth below.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Sandis Helvigs via Unsplash.

A bit of a departure, here – I came across this https://only100words.xyz/2016/11/24/three-line-tales-week-forty-three/ on my travels and it sparked my imagination.  Do visit Sonya’s blog – there’s plenty to enjoy!

#99 – Election

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jilbert-ebrahimi

Isaac looked down at his sleeping daughter, his fingers stroking gently at the edge of her crib.  A shard of moonlight bathed the child and, in the quiet serenity of the nursery, Isaac couldn’t imagine any sight more beautiful.

“I,…” He swallowed the words down.  He knew she couldn’t hear him but the pain was too raw.  “One day you’ll understand”

“You must wake her.”

“No.”

His wife was rushing, their suitcases clutched tight in her hands.

“Isaac!  We don’t have time!”

Angry shouts and breaking glass split the air.  Isaac’s daughter smiled, dreaming.

“Give me this one moment,… please.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Jilbert Ebrahimi via Unsplash.

Never forget.

Though it seems we already have.

Thanks to Chris Phillips for today’s word.  Chris is a fellow Flash Fiction aficionado and editor of Flash Fiction Online.  You can follow him on twitter @chriscoflips.

Tomorrow brings my 100th story!  What will it be?  Visit tomorrow morning to find out!

 

#96 – Inform

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reza-shayestehpour

The rain consumed the air – dense and cold, and soaking to the skin.  Jacob’s sweater was already heavy with water,… but it was not the reason he was shivering.

He couldn’t be sure.  There was no way to be sure.  But it didn’t matter if it was true or not: it was information and information was what they wanted.

A breath of steam floated over his shoulder as the man by the wall turned to speak.

“You have served your country well, comrade.”

Without another word he was alone with the new bag.

Inside was the doll his daughter always wanted.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Reza Shayestehpour via Unsplash.

Keep those one word titles coming in!  I need more 🙂  Just pop your suggestion in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k with the hashtag #OWOS.

Visit and Like my Facebook page too: there’s a TONNE of content incoming so you don’t want to miss a post!

Please don’t forget: you can support OWOS on Patreon – just a little loose change a month can help me keep this project running.  Click here to learn more and become a Patron.  Thank You!

Hit that Like button and come back tomorrow for “Display” – see you then!

#91 – Intense

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yosh-ginsu

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”.

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#87 – Fragile

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Jake Campbell

Ben needed the woman beside him to shut up.

“Jimmy is such a good kid!  He was first in his class at math for the whole of last year.”

A picture of a teenage boy dropped onto his lap.

“I don’t think,…”

His words dried in his mouth.  The boy in the picture looked so happy.  The Boy looked so peaceful.

“Ben Sharpe?”

The secretary was calling for him.

“Doctor Simpson will see you now.”

Ben looked at Jimmy’s Mother.  She hadn’t stopped crying for 20 minutes.  Ben passed the tattered photograph back to her and retrieved his antidepressants.

“Good luck”.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Jake Campbell via Unsplash.

I’m on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

First visit?  Not been here for a while?  Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above!

See you tomorrow for “Torn”

#85 – Loyal

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Robert Larsson

Time to play!  Time to play!!

Jesse barked loudly at her owner and ran off through the house in a frantic search.

Where did she leave it?!  Ooo!  Ooo!  I know,……

The Jack Russel dipped her nose to the floor, letting the scent tease and guide her as she snuffled her way to the sofa and reached beneath.  Her jaws snapped closed against plastic.

Found it!!  Mistress will be happy!!

The dog bounded back to her owner, dropping the phone by her hand and licking the woman’s face.  A voice crackled from the handset.

“911, which service please?”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Robert Larsson via Unsplash.

I’m on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

First visit?  Not been here for a while?  Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above!

See you tomorrow for “Burning”.

#61 – Prime

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The Silverback watched from the the undergrowth, his slab-like fists balled into the black earth.  The valley was his.

Around the Silverback, the forest chirped and chittered to the sound of a billion insects.  High in the treetops, Chimps swung to perch, gazing down at the Gorilla with nervous curiosity.  One swipe of his arm would crush them.  One charge of his thundering bulk and they would be no more.

Yet it was not the Silverback they feared.

The upright ape was there.  The clothed beast, sawing at the arms of the Gorilla’s mate.

The Silverback watched from the undergrowth.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Jorge Illich-Gejo via Unsplash.

Suggest your own one word story title – it’s easy! Pop your word in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory and I’ll write a story just for you!

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#51 – Home

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“Honey!”

The keys clattered against the sideboard, the door kicked shut with a laugh.

“You wouldn’t believe what Jack has been saying at work,…”

Jason threw his coat onto a chair and strode through the hallway, his hand pushing the living room door wide.

“Maria?  Jack said,…”

His hand froze against the light switch as the smell of gas filled his nose.  His heart plummeted.

“What have you done,….?”

Maria looked so peaceful.  There was a smile on her lips that Jason hadn’t seen in many years.  He would have given anything to see that smile again.

But not this,…

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Christopher Harris via Unsplash.

This story is a continuation of story 25 – “Onesie”.  You can read it by clicking here.  This isn’t the end of this story: follow the blog and like the OWOS Facebook page for more chapters in this story.

I can’t do this without your word suggestions so keep them coming in!  If you’d like me to write you a story based on a word of your choice, pop your word in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hastag #onewordonestory.

If you’re enjoying the stories, please let me know, share them with your friends.  Come back tomorrow for my next One Word Story: “Rewarded”.