New Hero in Town

I thought that I would give Sonia Mederios’ May Writing Challenge a try. She dared us to take a tired cliché and give it a new twist. At first I figured that this was going to be difficult, but as I read down her sample list two (yep gonna write another one!) jumped out. Here is my first twisted tale.

New Hero in Town

Hanna Herold always got her man. Five time Metroville “Investigative Reporter of the Year”, she knew how to get what she wanted. Now standing on the ledge of a skyscraper 45 stories above the street, she wondered how she had ended up there.

Tequila, lots of tequila! That and a game of truth and dare. She had let slip her little secret, which had turned into a dare. Get a date with her crush, Commander Ultra. He was the biggest story in Metroville, just newly arrived in town, handsome, and most importantly single.

Her best friend Pippa was above her on the roof top yelling “You don’t have to do this! We were all pretty drunk last night.” Hanna twisted around to yell back when her foot slipped and she pitched off the ledge. Screaming as she plunged towards her demise, it took her a minute to realize that she was no longer falling, but was cradled in a strong pair off arms. His arms!

Flashing through the air, she looked up into his eyes which were as deep as two dark pools. As she shifted a bit to get a better look at him, he looked at her. “You should be more careful Miss” he smiled “you were lucky I heard your scream” He continued looking into her eyes, and was about to say something when WHAM! everything went black.

“Hanna” Pippa was talking to her, but she sounded so far away “Hanna can you here me?”

“Where am I” she finally managed.

“The hospital!”

The next day, and one broken arm later, Hanna was again plotting. This time she stood on the railing of the Polar Bear tank at the zoo.

Pippa was saying. “Are you sure about this guy? I mean, the dude flew into a building while he was carrying you! He doesn’t seem like he’s the sharpest tool in the drawer!”

Hanna was about to tell her to be quiet, but instead lost her footing on the wet handrail tumbling into the enclosure. Splash! Dragging herself out off the water, she pulled the hair from her eyes to find a very hungry bear standing above her. But before she could react, there was a crimson flash and “he” was punching  the large carnivore in the mouth. She watched in fascination as it swayed, then fell… on top of Hanna.

The next day, and a concussion later, Hanna sat on the park bench waiting . Suddenly Commander Ultra was sitting on the seat beside her. “Hello” he said “I got your note”

She took a deep breath and started ” Look, I’m just going to tell you this because I’m afraid that I might end up dead.” He looked puzzled, so she continued” I like you, and I’ve been trying to get your attention.”

It took a few seconds, then he brightened “Wow, I understand now. Jeez, this has never happened before! I mean wow, this is so cool! I’m really honoured! Of course I’ll sign your cast!” he said as he pulled out a pen.

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F.B.T.I.

For this weeks Sunday challenge Billie Jo of  “Out of the woods”  invited us to wordsmith a story of not more than 500 words that contained theme of sabotage. Below is my offering.

F.B.T.I.

The airlock shuttered as it reached its destination. Davis checked his Blackberry. Arriving May 6, 1937 flashed on the display. Oh well, back to work then. He open the Timeline Attire App and punched in “1937, North America”. His jumper twitched slightly, then changed to a pin stripped business suit complete with spats.

He activated the portal controls and was greeted with a small pop as the air pressure balanced in the lock. He looked around.Right where he was supposed to be. Carefully Davis stepped out on to the superstructure. Once settled, he surveyed his surroundings. Below him was a long metal gangway with a stairway leading to a hatch door. He pulled out his scanner and looked at the readings. The bomb was easy enough to find. He ran a diagnostic on it and saved the data. Now all he had to do was wait.

The bang of the hatch door opening gave him a start. Two crewmen dressed in coveralls seemed to be searching for something. “Ach mein Gott” one yelled as he pulled the bomb from its hiding place. As fast as they had arrived they were gone, along with the explosive device. Waiting a few more minutes to make sure they weren’t going to return, he retrieved the data from the scanner and feed it into the replicator.

Once the bomb had been returned to its hiding place, he pulled up the timer on his watch. Damn, cutting this one a bit close he thought as the portal popped open. Safely on the ground Davis wonder who had tipped the crew to the incendiary. Likely some future relative trying save an ancient family member. When would people learn not to mess about in the time stream!

Suddenly the sky became bright red, but he didn’t bother to look as he made his way through the now running crowd. Hurrying past a newsreel reporter, he heard the man cry “oh the humanity”. No one noticed him open the airlock and step through. Back inside, he dropped into his chair. What a day, and it was only Monday too! He glanced at the report that he had started on the Dallas incident. Most likely he’d catch hell for that one. Destroying the roofed limousine had been a last-ditch effort on his part, but it had all worked out in the end. He had even received a smile and wave as the motorcade had turned the corner.

Davis worked for the Federal Bureau of Timeline Interference as a field agent. Ever since time travel had become available, people seemed to think they could just alter things to suit themselves. But time was a fragile thing, similar to a house built of cards. It could be messy if someone tried to pull a card out of it. So the F.B.T.I. was formed to keep things as they had been.

His Blackberry chipped again. Looking at it he swore “Damnit, can this day get any worse. It had to be the Ides of March?”  He punched in Roman Senate;Rome;March 15, 44 BC and hit engage.

The Storyteller

I thought that would give Inspirational Monday a try this week. Also take some time to read some of the other stories there as well. You’ll see some old friends and some new ones too. Enjoy!

The Storyteller

Sun sets, curtain rises. The evening’s entertainment is about to begin!

It’s a beautiful night to have a fire. There is a bit of a chill in the air, and as a result the fire circle has pulled in a bit closer to be nearer the warmth. This is my favorite time of a Scouting event. Though tired from a long day, we have gathered around the flames to share a few laughs and stories before turning in. On the far side of the circle an older Scouter coughs. As the chatter stops and all eyes turn towards him, he stands. The storyteller has decided to take us on another adventure.

He stares at the fire for a moment, as if seeing a place far away and long ago. A smile comes to his face, he looks up and begins…

I want you the think back to a time when the world was healing from a war. The world was different then, for a boy growing up in a city in Britain. The subject of our story had been apprenticed to a trade and worked long hours learning the skills that he would need. He was a lad, just turned 16 and he always did his best and never complained about the time he spent toiling in labor. While other boys his age played football or cricket, he gladly went about his alloted tasks. He did this because he was also a Boy Scout. It was his duty to do his best.

In those days when a Troop would go camping, they didn’t have the luxury of going by car or bus. They would load their bicycles with all the gear needed and ride off into the countryside looking for a site to camp. Being an apprentice, our brave scout needed to work well into the evening, so he had not been able to leave for this particular camp with the rest of his Troop. It was decided that he would catch up, following a trail left by the others, when he finished his work for the day,

What had started off as a pleasant ride through an early summer evening soon became anything but. A very fine mist had developed after he left the boundaries of town, and by the time he had ridden a short way he was completely soaked through. Adding to his misery, was that he was soon forced to dismount his bicycle so he could see the trail markers made by his friends.

Several hours had passed and soon he was hopelessly lost in the gloom. Knowing there was no chance that he would reach camp that night , he started to search for a shelter where he might be able to dry out a bit and get some sleep. Soon a darkened outline started to form in the distance. As he made his way towards it, an old country churchyard  lychgate took shape.

For those of you who don’t know the word, lychgate is a small shelter built over a gate into a graveyard. It served as stopping point for a funeral procession, before it actually entered the cemetery. The coffin or bier would be set down on a stone slab, while the priest would begin the burial service.

This was not his idea of a good shelter, the very thought of spending a foggy evening in such close proximity to a burial ground was enough to spook even the bravest man. But seeing that his options where nonexistent, he reluctantly stepped inside. After changing into dryer clothes, the young Scout laid his bedding on the only spot big enough. The stone slab. Pulling his covers up over his head and trying not to think about what he was lying on, he settled down for some much-needed sleep.

Some time later he was awakened by a noise. Careful not to move, he cast his eyes about looking for the source. The moon had come out since he had fallen asleep, and deep shadows surrounded him. Unfortunately the darkness did not show anything. He had almost convinced himself that it was just his imagination, when he heard it again. Something was out on the road. He pulled the cover tight trying to make himself invisible.

The minutes dragged by, but he dare not risk looking. Suddenly he felt a presence nearby, large and looming over him. There was a raspy breathing unlike anything he had ever heard before. Slowly, ever so slowly the wheezing drew closer to his head. He wanted to scream and flee but could not make himself move, the vision of a thousand nightmares playing through his mind. Frozen, he desperately willed whatever it was to leave, but the night visitor remained.

That was when he noticed the smell. It was a rank combination of ancient soil and old beer. The creäture was mere inches away from his face now, waiting, inspecting it latest victim. Over whelmed by the foul odor and deep rasping breath, the Scout resigned himself to his doom. Drawing from a strength deep down inside his being, he forced his eyes to open to face his assailant.

And the coarse tongue of the stray cow licked his face!

As he speaks the last line, the storyteller makes a small lunge toward one of his captivated audience. The tension breaks with laughter as the target topples backward off his stump. He just nods and returns to his seat. The story is told. Sadly this will be the last tale I will get to hear from him. A few short months from now he will be called to the fire circle in the sky.

This story is dedicated  to “Skip”. Never have I met a storyteller that could command a fire circle like him. He never had to raise his voice or wait for it to quiet down. This was the last story that I ever heard him tell, and I am richer for having heard it. I have embellished a bit; most storytellers add a bit of themselves to a retold tale and I hope he would approve. It is also a true story! Skip was that young Scout lying on the lychgate slab who received a surprise bovine visitor. In parting I will just say this. “Skip, we miss you!”

New Blog!

"Literary cat" by Suzi Duke (Flickr)

Before you say “are you completely nuts!” let me say that this one is NOT MY fault at all. Blame all the great writers out there! Anybody who has hung around the “campfire” over the last month knows that I’m really into flash fiction. I love writing it, but I also love reading it. The big problem is finding it! One can go click happy, bouncing all around the different blogs out there. So I’m going to try and save your mouse some wear and tear.

Introducing – Story Told By… for your one stop reading needs!

As I find stories, I’ll post links to them up here for all to see. But, I’ll still need some help. If you know of a story or a writer, please pass it on. The same applies for links to blogs as well.

Thanks, and good reading!