Short Stories

#104 – Recompense

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martin-knize-2

Palm flat.  Hand turned up.  He’s waiting for you.

Don’t reach out too fast.  Don’t seem desperate: make him wait for it.  Listen to the crowd and let the moment breathe.  Let it happen.

Step away.  Hear the hiss of air through ten thousand sets of teeth.  Don’t smile at it – remember who you are.

There it is,… the boos have started, spreading through the arena like a virus.  Glorious.

Now is the time. Step back through the ropes.

An hour of agony and blood.  A smile between secret friends.

“Hellava match, man.  Hellava match,….”

“Same time tomorrow?”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Martin Kníže via Unsplash.

So this is my take on the word “Recompense”, what’s yours?  Write your own and pop me a link!  And if you’d like to suggest a word for me to use as a title, please do!

Today’s word was suggested by Marple25Mary – a short story writer and connoisseur who can be found at https://marple25mary.wordpress.com/.  Say hello!

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#102 – Dusk

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josh-rose

Four propellers cut through the air – interminable and unending as the aircraft chased the setting sun.  

Birds flew close to the white beast as it whistled above the cliff.  It had done so countless times.  Lights blinked and cameras focused, mapping and fixing its target: the endless dusk, high above the world.

No human eyes watched.  No hands guided the craft.  Silently the lone sentinel flew on, solar panels reflecting the endless sun.

Below, a city drifted by – skeletal: blackened long ago.  Carrion for the winds.

The drone requested information.

No reply came.

No reply ever came.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Josh Rose via Unsplash.

Thanks to author Carin Marais for today’s word!  You can read her work at https://maraiscarin.wordpress.com/ – pop by and say hello 🙂

Have a look around at a few other stories and share them far and wide.  If you’ve a one word title, tweet it to me @timaustin2k or write it the comments of this post.  Who’s next?

Learn more about Tim and his work at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tim-Austin/e/B00JI0LM7I/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1 

#100 – Saint

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nacho-arteaga

The old man watched each face as his motorcade weaved through the cheering crowd.  Some hadn’t eaten for days, their hollow eyes begging his blessing.

Through the car’s speakers, a voice was listing the itinerary of the day.

“At 8 you have the talk in the main square.  We’ve already prepared it – the usual concern for the poor, a wish to heal old wounds and reach across divides.”

The old man smiled to the crowd.

 “Later, we need to discuss the portfolio. $30bn is still tied up in Switzerland.”

“Leave it there,” the old man growled.  “All of it.”

(c) Tim Austin, 2016.  Image by Nacho Arteaga via Unsplash.

“Saint” was suggested by bestselling author Sue London, whose various (superb!) works can be found on Amazon, here, alongside other outlets.  If following people on Twitter is your bag, you can find Sue @cmdrsue.

Hit that “Follow” button, below and to the right, and don’t forget to visit the OWOS Facebook Page for more content!

See you tomorrow for “Endangered”!

#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!

 

#97 -Display

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anthony-delanoix

“All the chicks are, like, “Whoa! Is that really,….?!””

“And I bet you’re all “Yeah, baby – It’s me!””

Their chirping laughs rang loud around the curved walls.

“I’m telling you; if you have the right bling they’ll let you do anything.”

Legs bent and muscles stretched.  The cool morning air shook with squawking jeers.

“Just gotta show them what you got.  And remember the breath mints.”

….

A young girl pressed her face to the bars.  “Hey Mommy, look at the pwetty birdies!”

“They’re Peacocks, dear,” her Mother replied, watching on.

She whispered beneath her breath.

“Emphasis on Cock.  Small C.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image by Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash.

Well, would you look at that: it’s election day in the US of A!  I’m a Brit so I couldn’t possibly comment.  It’s important to get out and vote, though: you can never complain about the result if you didn’t take your stand and be counted.

Got a word you’d like to suggest as the next story title for One Word One Story?  Pop it in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k.

If you want to contribute to OWOS, check out the “Support OWOS” page above or click here.  For more works by Tim, click here.

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#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!

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

#95- Please

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joe-desousa

She was looking at me.

I couldn’t place the look.  It was sadness and,… desperation.  Her green eyes seemed lost.

I stepped closer without realising, my instinct taking over.  I didn’t breathe again until I felt her hand on my chest.  She was trembling.

“Please.”

She drew back and opened the phone booth door, stepping inside and turning, her hands pressing white against the glass.  I didn’t understand.  Not until I saw the photograph crushed in her palm.

The picture showed a booth identical to this, steamed from within – a wet hand print on the glass.

She lifted her skirt.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image by Joe deSousa via Unsplash.

Another decidedly NSFW story today.  No, I don’t know where the image came from.  But if you want to throw me another title that piques an erotic image in your head, go ahead: pop the word in the comments section or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #OWOS.

Like this story?  Share the love!  Tweet it and share it on Facebook!

I’m nearly at 100 stories – let’s boost this into 200.  Explore your favourite genre using the tabs to the left and share your favourite stories far and wide!  I can’t do it without you!

Say hello, pop comments and like the OWOS Facebook page.  I’ll see you tomorrow for “Inform”!

#94 – Opulence

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peter-oswald

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.

Like this story?  Share the love!  Tweet it and share it on Facebook!

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.

#93 – Milk

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freestocks

White droplets patted against damp straw, soaking through and pooling against frozen concrete beneath.  Billowing steam span through the air and glimmered in the breaking dawn.

Two dozen cows mooed and lowed as their teeth ground in a grumbling, champing chorus.

Still the milk spilled from the machines, streams gathering together amid the red mud that caked each beast’s hooves.

Four dozen eyes saw the black truck arrive.  Four dozen eyes saw the man wash his boots with disinfectant.

White streams became red as the man handed papers to the farmer.  The cow shed door closed for the last time.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image via Freestocks.org

Like!  Share!  Tweet! 

I’m nearly at 100 stories – let’s boost this into 200.  Explore your favourite genre using the tabs to the left and share your favourite stories far and wide!  I can’t do it without you 🙂

Don’t forget to keep suggesting your one word titles – tweet them to me @timaustin2k with the hashtag #OWOS.  Visit my Facebook page too: there’s a TONNE of content incoming so you don’t want to miss a post!

Tim x