28th #SatSunTails

Welcome to the #SatSunTails microfiction competition.

Be warned – the prompts aren’t easy, but that’s so you can write to the best of your ability.

If you haven’t had a go before at this writing challenge, then please don’t hesitate to try this weekend.

Rules!

  • Post stories in the comments
  • Stories must be 150 words (margin of 5 words either side) AND based on the picture and written prompts.
  • If you title your entry this is not counted in your word count.
  • Only one entry allowed (so make it count)
  • End each entry with word count and name/twitter handle (if you forget these REPLY TO YOUR OWN COMMENT with them before judging closes)
  • Monday 11am GMT is the expected closing time for entries BUT the competition will be open until I put a ‘competition closed’ comment so you may be able to slip something in (because I’m extra kind like that). Got that?

As it is a bank holiday on Monday I will be kind and allow the closing time until Tuesday 11am instead.

If you do not comply with these rules your story will be disqualified from judging. Good spelling and grammar will also help to make a better impression on judges – the odd typo, however, will be overlooked so please don’t worry about that.

For tips, read through the critiques from last week’s entries.

Winners!

There will be ONE OVERALL WINNER and THREE RUNNERS UP. After that there will be THREE CRITIQUES of three stories that didn’t make it.

It would also be nice to those participating if you could promote your fellow competitors and those who win.

Today’s Prompt!

The following may be used as a sentence in your story OR provide a basis for it:-

“burning nonchalance”

And here is your picture prompt:

& good luck!

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12 thoughts on “28th #SatSunTails”

  1. Ingratitude's Cost

    She stood in the moonlit clearing and tried to appear at ease. She was not. He’d told her he would meet her at the first hour past sundown. Though she could not know for certain, she had no doubt it was far later than that now.

    She would accept much from him, but not this. Such burning nonchalance…such abject disinterest from those she’d turned was unthinkable. While she fostered no formal pack, demanded no ritual obeisance, there were certain accepted proprieties.

    He should make at least some token showing of gratitude for having been blessed with the powers of the Wolven. Instead, he flaunted his strength and ignored her warnings of restraint.

    When, finally, he appeared his clothes were torn and he smelt of blood and the sweat of the hunt. Reaching for the silver blade beneath her cloak, it was her time for nonchalance as she prepared to punish him for his reckless disobedience.

    155 words @klingorengi

  2. Cold Revenge
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    “Red, wait up.”

    Ignoring him, the Queen pulled her cloak over her head and entered the woods. Connor would either follow, or he wouldn’t. She didn’t care.

    Rage burned inside the wolf, her cold indifference fueling his anger. She may be queen, but he was her advisor; it was his job to protect her. Growling he stalked into the forest, shadowing her. Around him the world grew silent.

    “Red, remind me why you feel the need to dig up the past?”

    “Quit calling me that. Red was my mother’s name.”

    “She at least would listen to the advice of her head guard.”

    “She is dead. Everyone I cared for is gone.”

    Cassandra stopped at a tree. Reaching into the old oak she pulled out a basket. Inside, the woodsman’s heart was intact; she would have her revenge. But first she needed a sacrifice. Smiling slyly, she concealed her knife and turned towards her oldest friend.

    Word Count: 155
    @jezri1

  3. In the clearing, she is a crimson-draped movement among the caliginous, silent calm created by the sentinel pines' sprawling canopy. She wonders at the earth under her feet, that gritty purity that seemingly exists nowhere outside of this small forest, but though her actions seem easy, her eyes burn with certain purpose, casting a disingenuous curtain behind her feigned nonchalance.

    Finally, she hears it, a biomechanical whisper on sheet metal breezes.

    "Why are you here?" the voice demands.

    She raises her hooded head to the trees. "There is a scientist. He can fix you. Daguerre has begun to kill the survivors of Ghost Dawn. We need you!"

    "My refusal to help Humanity," the voice drops, "Is not the result of flawed programming."

    Frustrated, she kicks at the earth. "Do you think we deserved this? Do you agree with Daguerre? Shishio?!"

    Weeping, she kneels upon the ground, inert darkness the only reply.

    151 words

    @AMarquise

  4. Safe In The Darkness

    I stood, lost in the darkness, outside the clearing. She nonchalantly waited for me there, knowing she was safe. Knowing I protected her. A wolf enter the clearing, saw her, tucked its tail, lower its head and quickly crossed the clearing, leaving her alone. After a time a fox quietly approached her. Crawling along the ground. Whimpering. She gently scratched behind it’s ears. And the fox returned to the darkness it had come from.

    “I know you’re there.” Her voice had always been music to my ears. “Won’t you come talk with me?” I remained silent, within the darkness, as I would until her nonchalance had burned away, and she would protect me in her world, as I protected her in mine. If that day ever arrived.

    Even if it never did, she would remain safe in the darkness of my world. I would see to that.

    150 words
    @LurchMunster

  5. She didn't expect to meet a man out in the woods – especially at that hour, so she called out.

    "Oh, hello. Have you seen a wolf come by here?"

    "Not yet, but I'm looking. He's been killing my sheep and I need to get rid of him before I lose any more of them."

    "When was the last time you saw him?"

    "Last night. Scared him off and he ran away before I could get my rifle. This time, I have a trap all set for him.

    "You, too? Maybe we should work together. My trap's over there."

    "I see. Mine's back there a bit. I was on my way to check it when you showed up."

    "Let's take a look!"

    She thought she had a trap set for me, strolling along that path with her burning nonchalance and wearing her usual red to match.

    She sure was tasty, though.

    150 words
    @LupusAnthropos

  6. They watched from behind the trees as a woman in red stood silently at the edge of the clearing. The desire for blood and warmth to fill the void within them grew, and hunger threatened to overwhelm them; to break what was left of their self-control.

    She was a paradox; a burning flame of life encased within a ice-cold nonchalance, and so passed through the clearing towards the ancient barrow; unmolested.

    They followed her like moths,and the first tendrils of fear crawled within them as they saw her reach their stronghold. Unless she acknowledged them, and gave them entrance to her mind, they were powerless; nothing more than mist drifting on the breeze.

    She opened the book, encased in leather as red as her cloak, and spoke the words of banishing. The forest sighed as the warrior spirits were once again imprisoned in their ancient tomb, and a new priestess was born.

    155 words
    @tollykit

  7. Sacrifice

    Walking, with the rope clasped loosely in his hands, he couldn't quite believe it had come to this. A sacrifice had not been needed for many years, yet here he was leading this young woman to the clearing, as if the taking of her life would fix the problems. Glancing back he noticed that she seemed indifferent to the role she was currently playing, a vision in red moving without concern through the forest.

    Stepping into the clearing, he paused.
    "I'm sorry, but you were chosen by the elders. I have no choice".

    He lead her to the centre of the clearing and bent to untie her bonds. Stepping back he noticed the ground had begun to smoulder.

    Smiling, she raised her hands to his face, "Do not be afraid. Your sacrifice will not be in vain".

    136 words
    @lejamez

  8. She stood like a sentinel, still but for the pulse which thrummed through her veins; unwavering in her conviction, she waited. Cool air, laced with pungent moss painfully entered her lungs, igniting the burn in her chest which threatened to break faith with the carefully constructed indifference which acted as both her cloak and shield.

    The razor thin shafts of light which pierced the thick canopy above sliced through the trees creating new shadows with each brush of the wind; new places for them to hide. She remained still, the knowledge of total entrapment consuming as she felt them close in around her still unseen.

    She caught the glint of light against metal and spun deftly. The sound of tearing flesh rang in her ear as the arrow grazed her cheek, warm drops of crimson disappearing unseen into the folds of her fiery gown.

    The hunter had become the hunted.

  9. Natalya saw the apocalypse. She couldn’t feign nonchalance and do nothing. She knew she had to prevent it.

    Natalya emerged into the clearing. With knife in hand, she stepped into the center and removed her cloak—beneath the scarlet clothing, the priestess was naked. Natalya ran the blade of the knife across her palm and let the blood fall on the soil. Her lips moved swiftly as the prayers left her mouth.

    Laughter, exploding like thunder, came out of the darkness but Natalya persisted in her prayers.
    The ground shook and cracked and out of it rose a door made up of human bodies. It slowly swung open. Natalya shook her head and took a step back.

    Natalya saw the world ending, but she didn’t see that it was because of her own doing.

    “Foolish human,” the demon said.

    The scream died in Natalya’s mouth as all of hell exploded out of the door.

    154 words
    @jblearnstowrite

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