Short Story

#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”!

#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.

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#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.

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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.

#89 – Euphoria

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melissa-askew

Blinding green light pulsed through heavy black air, fixing faces like photographs – caught in their euphoria.  Jermain Wallace watched arms and mouths melt together in sexual abandon – tiny slivers of lust matched to music.

The bass trembled in his chest and rode through the floor: the pill dissolved on his tongue.  The faces rippled to blackness and he rose his hands high to worship.

The empty Ibiza desert echoed around him as he opened his eyes.

His shirt was blood-stained.  The blood was not his.

Jermain didn’t care.

The bass was all he needed.  The bass was God.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Melissa Askew via Unsplash.

An interesting image to form a story from this – quite wonderful that I didn’t know precisely where it was going to end up!

Great thanks to supernatural romance author extraordinaire Rebecca Pollard for donating the word.  You can find her on twitter @authorRebeccaP.  Say I sent you 🙂

Enjoy more stories by clicking the links above and to the side.  You can also support One Word One Story by clicking here.

Suggest your own words by tweeting me @timaustin2k or popping a note in the comments of this post.  See you tomorrow for “Corner”!

 

#88 – Torn

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Todd Deimer

Eddie’s mouth was hanging open.  He wasn’t entirely sure what had happened.

Around him people were staring, forks held comically close to mouths, awkward coughs and murmurs circling the room like sharks.  Behind him a door slammed closed.

“Can I get you a towel, sir?”

The Maître D remained professionally aloof but Eddie could see sympathy in his eyes.

“I,…. think I’ll have the bill, please.”

Eddie picked up the two halves of paper, her telephone number shredded.  They’d been talking about their blind date.  She’d asked what he enjoyed.

Somehow “Chilling to Netflix” was the wrong answer.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image by Todd Deimer via Unsplash.

Today’s story title was suggested by songwriter and author Vicky Jones.  You can find out more about Vicky at vickyjones.uk.  You can also follow her on twitter @VickyJones7

You too can suggest a One Word title – just pop your word in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory 

Follow the site for more stories!  Tomorrow:  “Euphoria”.  See you then 🙂

 

#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”

#86 – Burning

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thomas shellberg

The flames lapped at the wood and circled in the thinning air.  A large crowd was watching as the fire danced and swelled, entranced by the hypnotic sweep of the blaze.

Music was playing loud and children were dancing.  Cold boxes filled with beer gleamed in the firelight.  The field was full of people talking and laughing together as the last rays of the day sank below the horizon.

The sheriff stepped forward, his hand lifting a microphone to continue his speech.

“Black Lives Matter, they say,…..”  The crowd was laughing.

The children played and watched the white crosses burn.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Thomas Shellberg via Unsplash.

The first image that came to mind with this word was the KKK.  It is a stain on humanity that this group still exists and that any group like this still exists.  But it does and it’s worth remembering that, in these dark times.  Humanity still has a long way to go,….

I’m still 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.

Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above and be sure to like the OWOS Facebook page. Share your favourites and let more people know about One Word, One Story!

See you tomorrow for “Fragile”.

#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”.