Category Archives: Flash Fiction

PepperBot – AI for the Masses!

PepperBot, with his friendly appeal, bright black eyes, and cute smile was touted by its advertisers as “AI for the masses”, but looks can be deceiving.

The mysterious distributor had anticipated PepperBot’s appeal, manufacturing millions of them for the launch, because, of course, every household would jump at the chance to have their very own PepperBot at the astonishing price of only $19.95 each.

In a remote bunker, analysts watched a massive tracking map come to life, strobing dots of red, as households across the globe activated their PepperBots to their peril; broadcasting every word.

~kat

Three Line Tale Challenge base in this photo by by Alex Knight via Unsplash.


The Lucky Ones

They stared drowsily at each other, warming their hands on steaming cups of coffee.

Maddie smiled. “Did you see the sun this morning?”

“No. I missed it. Was it amazing?” John winked at his wife, chuckling. Everything was ‘amazing’ to Maddie. He loved that about her.

“You know what I mean…”

John knew. It was their first morning in Canada. Expats now. Two of the lucky ones who made it out before the military closed the borders. He noticed a tear rolling down Maddie’s cheek.

“You alright baby?”

“I’m fine, John. We’re gonna be okay. The sun rises here too.”

~kat

100 Words for Friday Fictioneers. Photo above by © Dale Rogerson


Twittering Tales #93 – The Phone – 17 July 2018

1510584710974-1
About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at charactercountonline.com.

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

And REMEMBER…you have 280 characters (spaces and punctuation included), to tell your tale…and a week to do it. I can’t wait to see what you create this week.


Twittering Tales #92  – The Roundup

borkum-3417900_1280

Photo by katermikesch at Pixabay.com

Starting us off:
An anonymous tip proved what Feds had known for years. “They” were among us.
Special forces stormed the desert complex that catered to their reptilian nature.
As snipers waited on the perimeter, laser blasts fell from the
darkening sky, vaporizing them.
Integration complete.
~kat
279 Characters

From Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith:
Is It True?
Rumors spread on Facebook first, but few believed them. Then it spread to Instagram, but everyone wanted photographic evidence. Then one influencer caught wind of the rumor and it spread like wildfire on Twitter. Everyone came. Everyone waited. No one asked if it were true.
274 characters

From D. Avery at ShiftnShake:
Mixed Message
Thank god for cell phones. What did we do before? Listen in on this call:
I’m in a tent… Rectangle… upright.
Tallways!
Striped… Red and white. Yes, covered… Green?
Yes, there are other red and white striped tents near me…
Listen, do you think you’ll get here before high tide?

From Reena at ReInventions:
Consumer Power
Famous last words of a producer of kids’ books and toys
They have created a world with the mental toys that I gave them to play. Wish I had been more imaginative, positive and expansive in my writing….  I underestimated the power of my readers.
(243 characters)

From Shweta at My Random Ramblings:
Summertime
Summer was in.
The school was out.
While kids his age were spending the summer obsessing over video games, Adi had other plans.
Volunteering to help clean up the local beach was his favourite summer activity.
Adi loved to make a difference;
Saving the environment, one beach at a time.
(280 characters)

From Lady Lee at Lady Lee Manila:
On Another Beach
Out of my reach
You’re so far away
And even when I’ve
Caught you
Not possible
I can’t have you
Out of my reach

On another beach
Perhaps we’d have our day
When we could be halve
When we could go through
Time would let us able
That I could reach you
On another beach
(251 characters)

From Michael at Morpethroad:
It’s me han’bag love, I left in the tent,
The change tent?
Yeah, the striped one.
But they’re all striped.
It was the one near the steps, facing the sand.
They’re all facing the sand. Was it red or blue striped?
Blue! Then again, it might have been red.
Oh dear, another fine mess.

From Amritha at Igniting Hope:
39
It’s me han’bag love, I left in the tent, The change tent? Yeah, the striped one. But they’re all striped. It was the one near the steps, facing the sand. They’re all facing the sand. Was it red or blue striped? Blue! Then again, it might have been red. Oh dear, another fine mess.

From Deepa at SyncWithDeep:
Escaape
away

from the
bustling city
wild thoughts
and stress
Best
Escape
Anyone
Can
Have
summer’s
in the
air
I am annoyed
to see people
wearing sneakers
parents letting
their children cry
bags of trash
a grocery store
laid on a beach mat
umbrellas set
blocking the sun
a beautiful sandcastle
destroyed 
before the builder
leaves the beach
argh!
to escape the city
I fled to the beach
now
leaving the wild
with a
souvenir
for a
perfect day!

From Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
Beach Cabanas
Me: What are those little red and white striped huts on the beach?
She: Those are personal beach cabanas.
Me: What are they for?
She: To sit in to get out of the sun, to store things in, to change into bathing suits in, and a place for some privacy.
Me: Privacy?
She winked and smiled.
(280 characters)

From Willow at WillowDot21:
The Bank holiday Monday
All morning in the heat of the car “how much longer, are we there yet” Finally there. The heat had the beach rammed packed. They piled out the car, windbreak,bucket,spades, packed lunches, kids. Caught like sardines on overcrowded beach. “How long do we have to stay” she thought.

(280 Characters)

From Piyali at Piyali’s Blogs:
Dream Vacay
Macramé monokini, over-sized glares, seashell flipflops, a bucket straw hat and sunblock- all stowed neatly in a canvas tote. But, her dream of a tranquil holiday was shattered. Sure, there were sun-kissed beaches and frothy turquoise waters- but crowded, chaotic and maddening.
278 Characters

From Anurag at Jagahdimein:
If Wishes Were Ribbons
We stared at the Wishing Tree with wonder.
So majestic, so magical. I could SEE what great things could be done through its powers.
“Cut it down,” I told my foreman, “we’ll use these ribbons to make Wishing Pods, and sell them to the rich & the famous for a 100 Mn apiece.”
274 characters

From Indhu at Always:
Loner
Sue’s shack was buzzling with tourists. Today, as she served a cocktail with her usual cheery smile, she felt drawn to the waters. She walked and stood still as a wave washed her feet.
She felt it begged for her mercy.
She could not forgive them for they took her family away!
<276 characters>

From Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
It was the annual barbecue of the Cartographers Guild.
Being newly elected members, they were not quite sure of protocols.
They had the dress code, and a detailed plan of how to get there.
They just needed to pass the final test.
Find the red and white tent #82, with the green roof.
(280 characters)

From The Dark Netizen:
Beach
It was a nice sunny day.
The entire community had come to enjoy at the beach. Kids, adults, and senior citizens, frolicked on the beautiful white sand. An abrupt commotion coming from the water interrupted the merrymaking. All the water had swiftly receded.
A disaster approached.
Character Count: 280

From Kirst at Kirst Writes:
Bikini Bodies
Shouldn’t you keep covered up?
I’ve got Factor 50 on!
Yes but that bikini, at your age? I mean, I don’t mind your extra layers, but your Baywatch days are over love!
She forced herself to share his laugh. Their daughter was watching, after all.
Listening to every word.
Not eating.
(280 characters)

Thank you to everyone who joined me on the crowded beach last week, sharing your tales, making me laugh, think, and wonder…and wander. Once again you each gave an amazing account laced with creativity and fun. I hope you did have fun! That’s what these tiny tales are all about!

For this week’s challenge…I’m thinking “Twilight Zone”. Picture if you will a pink toy phone in the middle of a crop field… or maybe it’s just the tale of a child who created an imaginary house in the middle of a garden. You decide. Can’t wait to see what you see. 🙂 Photo by MabelAmber at Pixabay.com.


Twittering Tales #93 – The Phone – 17 July 2018

phone-1597071_1280

Photo by MabelAmber at Pixabay.com

Hotline

“What’s this?” Ned glanced around. As he turned the phone rang. “What the…? This ain’t funny! Come out!”

It kept ringing. Finally, he answered.

“Hello?”

“Hi Ned.”

“Who’s this?!”

“Come to take you home, Ned.”

“Ma? Is that you? Ma?!”

Suddenly, the phone dropped. Ned breathed his last.

~kat

(279 Characters)


Caged

caged-liz

Photo Prompt by Liz Young

Caged 

“Guys, c’mon. Let me out!” Roger begged.

“I say we leave him here all night,” said Joe. “That’ll teach him for ruining the party by scaring everyone with that Main Street Slasher story.”

“Yeah, stupid story. Leave him.” Doug agreed, “See ya later!”

“Guuuys…!!!”

Day drifted into night.

“I was just trying to warn everyone.” Roger lamented. “No one should be out after dark. They’ll see that I was telling the truth when the news reports another murder. They’ll see.”

“See what?” a raspy voice cackled from behind. “Would you like me to set you free?”

~kat

96 words for Friday Fictioneers Photo Prompted Flash Fiction Challenge, thanks to Rochelle Wizoff-Fields. Photo above by Liz Young.


Twittering Tales #92 – 10 July 2018

1510584710974-1

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at charactercountonline.com.

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

And REMEMBER…you have 280 characters (spaces and punctuation included), to tell your tale…and a week to do it. I can’t wait to see what you create this week.


Twittering Tales #91 – Chains – The Roundup


Starting us off…Broken
There was a broken link in the chain. Everyone knew it; knew who it was, but calling him to account seemed an impossible task.
Meanwhile, order was spiraling out of control. Progress had been thwarted. He had friends in low places.
Could they trust the vote, their only hope? TBC.
(280 Characters)

From Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
Unchained
Glancing at her name on the Forbes most powerful business women in the world, Meg couldn’t be happier. She recalled her earlier life, chained to an abusive husband. Today, she was glad about her decision to break free from the shackles of her marriage and create her own identity.
Letter count : 279

From Reena at ReInventions:
Chains of Love
A jilted lover kills object of his love.
Numerous variations of this story appear in crime reporting channels.
I just see this – one person assuming unauthorized ownership of another’s mind or life. Chains of love can be ethereal or lethal. It is only a perspective.
(264 characters)

From Deepa at Sync with Deep:
Hoax
While driving to work, I heard the phone beep indicating me I had a new picture message.
With an eye on the steering, I dig in my wallet to grab my mobile.
The subject read ‘Chain’.
To my surprise, the picture message was super cute to share here.
(cartoon photo HERE. I was unable to load to my site)
Argh! Technology has not spared even the God.
God can get furious too
🙂🙂
(253 characters)

From Lady Lee at Lady Lee Manila:
Chains
When our flesh hypnotize each other
And all we could hear was a soft whir
The liquor works like an oil for the machine
Like a free spirit but never to be obscene
Full of gimmick, torturing our brains
Behave to keep us from being unchains
Teasing our lust, as fast as the train
(271 characters)

From Amritha at Igniting Hope:
I
Personified as stong, have you even peeped in my heart? I too yearn for some empathy, for fighting the traitor, my weakest link. Yes, I am rigid, but not stronger than any person’s grit. Break me if you can – if you are truly sincere I shall give way to set you free.
Character Count: 27

From Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
Unchain Me
You’ve got me chained to you like a dog chained to a tree. My movements restricted, my freedom removed. You watch me like a hawk, waiting for me to try to break free of my chains and run away. But I’ve got nowhere to go, no place to be, no one to see.
Please unchain me.
(270 characters)

From Martin at Martin Cororan:
Punching above my weight…
During DNA trial #17654 Derek found the gene for sexual attraction. Shredding his notes and torching the lab he left with a small vial containing a potent elixir and began his new life as an Adonis.
(198 characters)

From Michael at Morpethroad:
Chain
The old ball and chain was not happy.
She stood there, hands on hips.
She expected another feeble excuse.
So waited for me to offer some ludicrous explanation
Knowing I’d cop a belt around the ears, both verbal and physical.
It wasn’t my fault I said, it was the cat, it made me do it.
(280 characters)

From Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith:
Contract Unraveled
The chains of humanity unraveled. The raw viciousness long thought buried exposed. People long ago signed a contract to abide by the rules. None expected the contract to be sold and corrupted for personal gain. Everyone on edge, nerves exposed, waiting to erupt. Choices abound.

From Shweta at My Random Ramblings:
Chain
Abuse and pain were all he knew.
The numerous scars on his body attested to his suffering.
The wounds had healed, but the scars remained…
Even now, the very sight of chains has him cowering… whining in pain.
The rescue pup has a long road to recovery.
(247 characters)

From  What If We All Cared:
Polka Dot Aliens Contagious!! 👽
The sudden unexplained appearance of polka dot squirrels in town square may possibly be related to their exposure to the polka dot aliens in chains in the woods behind the old haunted cemetery . .
just sayin . .

From Piyali at Piyali’s Blogs:
Break-Free
Self-loathing made you push people away.
Self-doubt made you dismiss your accomplishments.
Stupid girl! Can’t you see you’re enchained by self-created demons?
All you’ve to do is love your own self a bit.
For what it’s worth, try it.
Unshackle.
Breathe.
Smile.
And let the magic unfold.
278 Characters

From Willow at WillowDot21:
The New Link.
He never bought her anything. Yet today when he arrived he had a small box for her. In five years, no presents. As he came in she stopped fiddling and smiled at him. ‘Look’ he said ‘I have bought a new link for you. Did you think I had not noticed you’ve nearly broken the chain’
(279 Characters)

From Jan at Strange Goings On in the Shed:
Chains
She said her Cerberus deserved the best and I got it.

It was a one-off design by Givenchy and many would have killed for it.
Come to think of it, they did.
Moving on.
Hermes has borrowed it to go clubbing.
Ended badly, the club got trashed, not a pretty sight.
Darjeeling or Assam?
(280 characters)

From Anurag at Jagahdilmein:
The Slave
The scorching desert sun was sucking the life out of me, and the heavy chains were dragging me down.I trudged stolidly on the hot sand, stumbling, almost falling again and again.
But I had to survive this. Giving up was not an option.
I HAD to deliver my prisoner to the king.
277 characters.

From Deb at Twenty Four:
They didn’t understand.
They didn’t consider his thoughts or feelings.
Insensitive – that was what it was.
He was more than they assumed.
He was an individual but they believed
He was only a link in a chain.
Discrimination – that was what it was.
Vexed he clunked against the fence.
(276 characters)

From Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
Chains
Someone said the link is broken.
I think it is missing, entirely.
Really it’s just an illusion; there is no continuity, no strength, no security!
If I can see it, why can so many others not?
I pray we can forge new links, pick up the broken and missing, and join together in harmony.
(280 characters)

From The Dark Netizen:
Smoke
The chains of society bound her, gave her no space.
The heavy chains of who she ought to be and how she ought to behave, made her choke. In her desperation, she turned to the black smoke. She knew it was toxic, and she knew it was evil.
However, it was an escape from her chains.
Character Count: 280

From Hayley at The Story Files:
She walked down the hardware shop’s aisle of chains and selected the thickest, heaviest one. She brought some other things too, just so it wouldn’t look suspicious. Back home, she fixed the chain to the metal clips then attached it to her Newfoundland’s collar.  No longer would he been escaping the garden.

From Jottings and Writings:
Invisible Chains
“Out of those chains, those chains that bind you”…. Sara listened to her favorite Karen Carpenter song while her husband was at work. Sadly the song held an all to real element in her life. She married young, thinking she knew it all. Now she felt bound by invisible chains.
{277 Characters}

Bravo! You all stepped up to the challenge without missing a link…;) sorry. heehee. As always there was such diversity in your takes on this prompt. That’s what is so great about the roundup I think. While I do try to keep up with the tales as they ping back to me, I love seeing them all together. One photo…and a dozen or so different streams of thought. Thank you again for joining us last week.

This week a beach scene. Though I don’t see any water in this photo by katermikesch at Pixabay.com. Doesn’t seem like fun to me. While many of us are suffering record heat in our corners of the world, I thought this might be a topic you could sink your teeth into. On another note, your tale needn’t be about the weather. Someone in this sea of people has a story. You may want to tell it. At any rate, find yourself a cool corner in the shade, have a nice iced drink and tell me a story in 280 characters or less. I’ll see you at the Roundup! Have a great week!


Twittering Tales #92 – 10 July 2018

borkum-3417900_1280

Photo by katermikesch at Pixabay.com

An anonymous tip proved what Feds had known for years. “They” were among us.

Special forces stormed the desert complex that catered to their reptilian nature.

As snipers waited on the perimeter, laser blasts fell from the
darkening sky, vaporizing them.

Integration complete.

~kat
279 Characters


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