The townspeople awoke, and panicked. They all stumbled from their beds to their front yards, seeking comfort and help.
“I can’t see!” Troy cried.
“I’ve gone blind!” Samantha wailed.
“All I see is black!” Rudy exclaimed.
Not one person could see a thing.
“People! People! We have to calm down,” Andrea announced. “There has to be some logical explanation for this.”
“But what?” the town pondered. “A city doesn’t just go blind all of a sudden.”
“Got it!” Zack proclaimed. “Apparently a lack of Friday Flash Fiction wreaks havoc. We need our writers back!”
“And this week’s magic power up for grabs is … ”
Maggie started. Newsletter sign-up forms were part and parcel of modern-day life, but this was different.
“Sign up for our newsletter and you get a super power!”
Ooh, magic powers! Who wouldn’t want them? She clicked on the form and added her address. Seconds later, an email arrived in her inbox.
“ … the magic power is – invisibility!
“Click on this button and you will become invisible!”
She clicked. She stuck a hand out in front of her. She couldn’t see it.
The Government’s latest ploy to silence its citizens had worked.
[Based on the last few days. I seem to have landed on lots of websites which wanted me to sign up for their newsletters.]
Angela rubbed her hands gleefully: it was Flash Fiction Competition season again. For some years now, she and her partner Mark had been running writing contests which offered substantial prizes, plus a not insubstantial element of glory for the winners.
Their method of selection was simple. Mark allocated each entry a number; then Angela shut her eyes and called out ten random numbers. Once they’d chosen this shortlist, they were simply left with choosing first, second and third, while the rest were “Highly Commended”.
The best part of all? Each entry brought £5.00. Plenty left over after awarding the prizes.
This story came to me as I was trying to think of a topic for this week’s F.F.F. (Always fun to write about writing, too.)
Stuck, by Russell Conover
Ray sat at his computer desk, staring at the blinking cursor. “Must you mock me?” he muttered. “You KNOW I’m totally stuck.”
The storm raged in his brain. He needed a story topic that would inform his audience, something that he’d enjoy writing, something that would entertain his readers. But, hard as he thought, nothing came.
“ARRRGH!” Ray launched himself up and stomped outside. “Must get out of that Bat Cave!”
Suddenly, inspiration struck. He breathed the fresh air. “Freedom,” Ray sang. “Times I’ve felt free, and how wonderful it felt.” He raced back to his desk, ideas churning.
Mine has some fiber of fact as well —
When Kool-Ade Meant Sugar Water, by Jo Oldani Osborne
One thing was a given when we were growing up, we had oatmeal for breakfast: glutinous lumpy oats with lumpy instant milk. It was as regular as we were and economical for twelve kids at home.
One winter morning in 1976 our neighbor, Mrs. Runo, called to ask if we were missing anyone.
Well, Mom didn’t even notice three-year-old Michael was awake, let alone on a walkabout, so she sent me across the street to retrieve him.
“Why did you run away, darlin’?” Mother asked.
“They have better breakfast.”
From then on, Mom kept us stocked in Cheerios and Honeycomb Cereal.
Ooh… hello. I wasn’t expecting to meet YOU here. I do like that purple top and those platforms. Can I get you a cup of tea?
I know! We could make some music together to pass the time if you want? I’m a dab hand on the piano. You do filthy lyrics. I do filthy lyrics. The 23 positions in a one-night stand could include being bent over backwards on me hostess trolley – couldn’t they?
Or what about smearing an avocado on me lower portions? That could count as Cream, couldn’t it?
You’re right! Let’s get to rammin’.
I loved Victoria Wood and Prince.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a grain of truth in this. Just a grain, though.
The Visitor, by Gordon Lawrie
Around three o’clock, Greta was rather surprised to find a large horse outside on her front doorstep. She took a moment to compose herself.
“Good afternoon,” she said politely. “Can I help you?”
“Nay,” said the horse.
“Are you collecting for charity, perchance?”
“Selling something? Looking for a job?” Greta asked, patiently.
“Nay,” the horse said again.
“Then it appears I can’t help you,” said Greta, starting to close the door.
The horse deposited a significant quantity of manure on the path.
“My apologies,” it said. “I needed to use your toilet but I was too embarrassed to ask.”
Bob had been happy in his previous job. However, it had been temporary, and he was now at the end. Making transporting devices to and from Pluto was intriguing, but he needed something with more real-world usefulness. Then an idea struck.
Bob talked to his boss about TESTING the devices, rather than just making them, and she was gung-ho. Bob eagerly strapped himself into one device, twitching at the chance for interplanetary travel, but sadly, the machine launched him into space, losing him forever.
“Note to self,” Bob thought. “Read the job description, including fine print, FULLY before committing.”
The sun beat strong, browning her face, as she bent gathering the grains, demurely clasping her skirts.
“Who’s that woman?” Boaz inquired.
“She’s the Moabite daughter-in-law accompanying the widow Naomi, who’d lost her two sons and husband in Moab.”
“Let fall more grain for her to glean.”
Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz, her kinsman.
In the moonlight, Boaz saw the form of Ruth laying at the foot of his bed.
When the redeemer declined to marry Ruth, Boaz assumed the right.
Soon after the birth of their son, Boaz passed away.
But their descendant King David will bring the Messiah.
How awful to see my big sister, Leah, cry herself to sleep when hearing, “Isaac has twin sons, Esau and Jacob; Laban has twin daughters, Leah and Rachel. So Esau will marry Leah, Jacob – Rachel.”
Esau, the uncouth hunter, Jacob, studious, but muscular – I empathized completely. When Father, Laban, conned Jacob into marrying Leah, I helped her consummate the marriage. Under the bed, I relayed all the intimate signals Leah would need not to be shamed, caught deceiving. Jacob worked seven more years to win my hand in marriage. Another seven to win the flocks he’d raised.
Then we left.