Twittering Tales – Broken Empathy

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Photo by paulsbarlow7@pixabay.com

 

Her instinct told her something was wrong. Then she saw the white powdered glass, like snow that glittered on the path, then the broken window.

What hurt most was the message written in ink across her white kitchen tiles that showed a lack of empathy.

“Thanks for the hospitality”.

[280 Characters]

This story was written for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales Challenge,

see link below:

Twittering Tales #137 – 21 May 2019

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/rdp-tuesday-sub-snow/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/hospitality/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/your-daily-word-prompt-empathy-may-21-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Instinct

 

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Finish the Story #11 – The Recruit.

I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith in one of her brilliant Finish the Story Challenges! I do really enjoy these, you never know where the story will end up taking you.

Click on the link below to see her original post:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/finish-the-story-2019-11/

The Rules:

  1. post the story as you receive it
  2. add to the story (or finish it, up to the writer)
  3. tag another person to continue the story (unless you finished it)
  4. Have fun!

Part One – by The Haunted Wordsmith

Adam was like any other eighteen-year-old boy and soon found himself standing in the middle of the training bay being subjected to the drill instructor’s ridicule. It wasn’t his fault the quarter didn’t flip on the old mattress, but he accepted his punishment anyway. He didn’t have another choice.

Ever since the revolution began, more and more troops were needed. There were even whispered rumors of lowering the age to thirteen if you were from a poor family. The government paid dearly for your life. That money could help support the family.

After completing fifty push-ups and parading around the bay in his underwear, Adam and the other recruits headed outside for training. The morning was dedicated to basic weapons and enemy language skills. Many of the recruits were already fluent, but the training was the same. Adam excelled and only realized his mistake when he was called into the Commander’s office that afternoon.

“Take a seat,” Commander Flint said, pointing toward a chair in the corner of the room.

Adam did as he was told and caught his breath as two governmental agents entered Flint’s office. One look from them and Adam knew he was in danger.

“That him?”

“That is Private Adam Ripple, yes.”

“Come with us,” an agent ordered, flashing his sidearm and a warning glance.

Adam stood. “What is this all about?”

The agents stared at him. The one nearest him replied, “…….

Part Two – My Contribution

“You’re a bit of an anomaly, you know?”

Adam couldn’t help feeling a bit cynical. He knew he wasn’t anything special. He was just a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, sent into the army to get him off the streets and to help fight this war that many now felt was unwinnable.

“Me? Apart from an ability to get myself into trouble, I can’t see what makes me any different from any other shmo around here. I’m pretty ordinary.” Adam laughed nervously.

One of the agents bent down and pushed the dark glasses down his nose, fixing Adam with an Icy blue stare. “There’s many a true word spoken in jest, lad. Two things mark you out. Your ability with languages which is by far the best we’ve seen in some time, and the fact that you could blend in anywhere. You’ve finished at this prestigious military academy” he paused to glance out of the window at the makeshift camp, to emphasise the sarcasm in his words. “You graduate as of today. Tomorrow you’re going underground.”

The agents grabbed an arm each and practically dragged him out of the commander’s office and into the back of a black van.

Before he knew it he was……

End of part two.

 

Now, who shall I consider for the next part? Who enjoys this sort of challenge?

I think I will nominate Li of Tao Talk.

Anomaly

 

Have fun 🙂

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/rdp-friday-graduate/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/your-daily-word-prompt-cynical-may-17-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Anomaly

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/jest/

 

 

 

Genre Challenge – To Whistle and Blow

This story was written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/prompt-may-16/

Prompt A (genre challenge): hard-boiled mystery

Prompt B (sentence starter): “I told you not to spoil.”

Prompt C (photo)

 

He sat in his office puffing on his third cigarette and looking out of the window.

The grimy alleyway below hadn’t changed in all the years he’d been there. He’d lost track of the number of dead bodies found hunched behind the trash cans down there. Taunting him in a way. He was a private detective after all, but he didn’t work for free. Let the police hunt around for the killers of those poor tramps and vagabonds, not him.

He saw her get out of the taxi and pay the driver. As he waited for her to climb the stairs up to the office he reached out and poured himself a scotch on the rocks.

She didn’t knock. After all, this was as much her patch as it was his, although she had left seeking fame and fortune and had been gone for years. She stood there, just like she used to, one hand on her right hip and her long hair hanging over her left eye. She’d gotten older, sure, but she was still gorgeous.

“I told you not to spoil,” he said, in his sandpaper voice.

“Have you looked in a mirror lately?” she responded whip-crack fast.

They just stared at each other for what seemed like an age. Then he said the thing that he’d promised himself not to ask. “What made you come back?”

“I heard your whistle, Steve, and like a good girl, I came.”

Just like that, the spell was broken. He leaned back and smiled, the light from the torch glistened off his gold filling.

“Just in time too. I’ve just got a new commission. There’s a new kingpin in town and he wants us to find out who killed his best informant. Ready for a trip to the docks?”

“You always take me to the nicest places, Steve. OK, let’s blow.”

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/May/2019

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/vagabond/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/rdp-thursday-fame/

50 Word Thursdays # 20 – The Hidden Vault

This story was written for The 50 Word Thursday Challenge. This week hosted by The Haunted Wordsmith, click on the link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/50-word-thursday-20/

The picture prompt is above and the words to include are:

I always want to frighten them more.

SHIRLEY JACKSON, WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE

 

The Castle on the shores of Lake Geneva looked like such a peaceful place. It was a welcome sight to visitors to the area. That was their first impression. It was never their last.

The Countess was a lady who appeared both beautiful and charming, though age had diminished some of her outward glamour. Her once cascading blonde locks were now heavily tinged with white and fine lines like a spider’s web surrounded those still intensely blue eyes.

I remember the day I arrived at her court. She was surrounded by servants, old and bent, in brown raggedy clothes. This only made the sumptuousness of her silk gown stand out more starkly.

I remember too how she coaxed me to follow her down to the deep vault beneath the castle.

Too late did I see the splash of fresh blood on the walls. The device designed to remove a thumb from a helpless victim.

I remember turning to her and seeing her laugh and say I always want to frighten them more.”

Who she was referring to, I never really understood.

She continued to speak, as her black-clad servants strapped me down to a stone table,

“I hope you have more fortitude than my last guest. He only lasted one night.”

I asked her, the terror in my voice as clear as a scream “How can you do these wicked things?”

She replied, “Life has been an excellent teacher.”

Then it had begun and now I am forever bound here.

 

[250 Words]

 

I have also included the following prompts:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/three-things-challenge-pl91/

Today’s prompt: Geneva, thumb, teacher

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/vault/

FOWC with Fandango — Welcome

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/your-daily-word-prompt-fortitude-may-16-2019/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/rdp-wednesday-splash/

Twittering Tales – Diet Cheat

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Photo by NRD at Unsplash

Sneaking downstairs she opened the fridge and gazed at the verdant, healthy food.

“Damn this diet” she whispered.

Then, spying a wedge of Cheese she grabbed it and was about to eat it when she saw her daughter staring.

“I’m lucky you’re there, Sweetie. You saved me from myself”.

[279 characters]

This story was written for Kay Myrman’s, Twittering tales challenge, click the link to see her post:

Twittering Tales #136 – 14 May 2019

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/rdp-monday-verdant/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/lucky/

 

 

50 Word Thursday – An Excellent Addition.

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`What do you call yourself?’ the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had! – Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

This story was written for the 50 word Thursday challenge. Click on the link below if you’d like to take part in this challenge yourself.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/50-word-thursday-19/

 

The man looked distinguished with his red high collared coat and his impressive moustaches that curled at the ends. He also appeared to have a jolly disposition. He was laughing uproariously as he strode out of his grand house to take a brisk walk around his grounds. When he’d inherited the estate from his Great Aunt, it had been falling apart, but he did not skimp in restoring it to its former glory.

In the middle of the green, he spied something moving in the long grass. He was amazed to see a fawn, with a splendid pair of antlers on its young head.

Strangely, as he approached, the fawn didn’t bound away into the forest that abutted onto his land but looked right at him with a large brown eye.

“What a splendid fellow you are,” he said and nearly jumped when, after blinking at him several times, the fawn answered back.

`What do you call yourself?’ the Fawn said at last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!

“My name is Hunter” the man replied, pulling up his rifle and shooting the fawn before it could escape. “What an excellent addition to my wall you’ll make,” he said.

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/escape/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/rdp-thursday-distinguish-distinguished/

FOWC with Fandango — Skimp

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/your-daily-word-prompt-disposition-may-9-2019/

 

Twittering Tales – Clearly a Job for…

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Photo by jplenio at Pixabay.com

As he glided across his rooftop pool supported by a noodle, Suddenly the sky turned black across Gotham City.

He admired several of his enemy’s traits. Lex was tenacious, forthright and had the Imagination to think of something to cause havoc. Now He’d met his match in Superman.

[279 Characters]

This story was written for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales Challenge.

Twittering Tales #135 – 7 May 2019

 

I have also included the following word Prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/noodle/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/rdp-tuesday-match/

FOWC with Fandango — Forthright

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/your-daily-word-prompt-tenacious-may-7-2019/

 

50 Word Thursday – A goal achieved.

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge, this week hosted by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, click the link below to see the post:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/50-word-thursday-18/

 

“Elmer Gantry was drunk.”—SINCLAIR LEWIS, ELMER GANTRY (1927)

 

He’d tried hard to find a suitable job but no one was hiring. He’d had more knockbacks in the past two weeks than he’d ever had before. Work was very hard to find.

He’d tried learning a different trade, begin his life anew, but there was just as little work for a Steeplejack as there was for a lumberjack. Now his rent was getting dangerously into arrears. He’d already managed to avoid his landlord by turning all the lights out and hiding behind the sofa until the man had stopped banging on the door and gone back to his own house in a more salubrious part of town.

Despite money being as scarce as hen’s teeth, he’d managed to keep some cash rolled up in his shoe. He hadn’t eaten much all week, just stale bread soaked in tinned soup, but he’d happily go without food as long as he had money to get good and drunk at the end of the week.

He walked into his favourite bar and ordered a pint from the barmaid, nicknamed Luscious Lola.

In next to no time he achieved his goal. Elmer Gantry was drunk.

[200 words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/luscious/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/rdp-thursday-suitable/

FOWC with Fandango — Arrears

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/your-daily-word-prompt-anew-may-2-2019/

 

Twittering Tales – Hidden Legacy

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at Pexels.com

 

They found the letters to her lawyer in the old station wagon, in a battered chocolate tin shaped like a carousel.

Covered in dust and cobwebs after the extensive search of the house and yard, he sat down to read them.

His wife called out “Did the old bat say where the Money is?”

[279 Characters]

 

This story was written for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales Challenge, Click to the link below to see her post. Why not have a go at this great challenge?

Twittering Tales #134 – 30 April 2019e

 

I have also incorporated the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/money/

FOWC with Fandango — Wagon

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/three-things-challenge-pl75/

Today’s prompt: lawyer, carousel, chocolate

Genre Challenge – An Angel among Devils – Part Two

A few days ago I wrote a short story for the Haunted Wordsmiths Genre Challenge called An Angel Among Devils, see the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/an-angel-among-devils-a-short-story/

I received a fair amount of positive feedback and a couple of requests for the story to continue, and I’m not one to let my blogging pals down (much). Here is part two.

This was also written for a Genre Challenge:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/genre-writing-challenge-april-26/

Today’s genre and image: Spy-Fi (tales of espionage with SF elements, especially the use of high-tech gadgetry)

Part Two:

After telling him to follow, the ugly brute walked towards what appeared to be a plain wall, decorated with the same muck the rest of the walls seemed to be coated in.

Inspector Tanner glanced back towards the main bar, no one was looking their way. They were all looking towards where the smartly dressed guy had gone, running out the front door, they now pointedly ignored him and you could cut the atmosphere with a blunt vibroblade.

“Are you coming or what? If you want to stay and get yourself killed, that’s fine by me. I’ll deal with whoever they get to fill your shoes.”

The man with the snake tattoo looked back at him and where there had been plain, gut splattered wall before, there was now an open door.

Inspector Tanner stood up and followed the man through the door and into a dingy back alley.

The man then pressed something in his pocket and the door was replaced again by a solid wall.

“Look, who are you?” Inspector Tanner asked.

“We can’t talk now. That other guy, he’s gone to fetch his gang, we have to be as far away from here as possible. Follow me and keep your head down. I know a safe place.”

You didn’t get far in his line of work without developing an instinct to know who to trust, well he had to admit, his instinct had let him down by approaching the wrong guy earlier, but now he was sure, in order to get out here with his life, he had to follow this man, regardless of how he looked, but it still felt like he being rash.

After taking so many twists and turns along the dark back alleys of the most dangerous district in town, they finally came to a halt in front of another concrete wall.

Again, the man pressed something in his pocket and a blue light flashed down the side of the wall and it twisted to form an opening.

“Quick, in here,” he said.

Ducking through the doorway, Inspector Tanner found himself in a kitchen, pots and pans hang on hooks from a metal rack suspended from the ceiling and a delicious smell of cooking filled the air along with the steam.

Almost hidden, he noticed a woman standing in the corner stirring a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The big man sat down at a metal table and grinned, baring his mouth of gold fillings and missing teeth.

“Now we can talk. Sit” he said pointing to a chair opposite him.

As inspector Tanner took his seat, the woman walked over and ran a gentle hand against the ugly man’s face, a look of adoration in her eyes, made him gasp with surprise.

‘What could such a beautiful lady see in this brute?’ The inspector thought.

Instead, he asked the same question he had asked earlier, “Who are you?”

“I am the man you were supposed to meet, the one who has been passing information to you for the past two years.”

“You’re ‘Fallen Angel’? You can’t be, surely?” The inspector responded sceptically.

The man the unbuttoned the front of his denim shirt and displayed another tattoo painted over his bulging chest muscles of a figure, with horns coming out of a head bowed, and two wings spread either side of him. It was a contrast to the brightly coloured snake tattoo on his arm, this was painted in pale colours that seemed to shimmer in the dingy light of the steamy kitchen.

“This is the Fallen Angel,” He said grinning. “It is who some of us worship here in Hells Campus. Well, those of us who want a better life for ourselves and our people. The Fallen Angel is a symbol of redemption for us. That no matter how bad our crimes, we can put them in the past and work towards something better.”

The Lady brought over a bowl of soup and placed it on the table, again that look of deep love crossed her face. She had large brown eyes, set wide and slightly tilted, her dark chestnut hair covered the left side of her face and then nearly reached her slim waist. Her dress was plain and dark with a touch of black lace around the collar. Her lips were full and bright red but seemed at purse into a petulant scowl when she caught the Inspector looking at her.

The man calling himself Fallen Angel must have also seen him, because he said: “This is Marita, she is my wife.”

Changing the subject, Inspector Tanner asked about the other man, the smartly dressed one who he’d mistakenly thought was his informant.

“He is known as the Accountant. He likes to count things, a toe, an ear, that sort of thing, usually when he is cutting them off his victims. He is not a nice man. Even here, in a district where most people have had to do unpleasant things to survive, he stands out as evil.”

Marita pulled back the hair to expose a scar where her left ear should have been. It spoke far more than words would have done.

Inspector Tanner kept the shock he’d felt out of his voice and calmly asked, “And he works for the Armstrong Gang who’s been responsible for the recent murders?”

“The Armstrong gang are small fry, they are yesterday’s men. It’s true they used to run things down here, but that was before another group came along, bringing with them a new religion. I said some of us worshipped the Fallen Angel. Well, some believe that we have nothing left but to embrace the darkness. this new gang Diablo De La Muerte, they worship Santa Muerte, the lord of murder and death.”

“I did not realise that religion was to blame for all the recent killing,” Inspector Tanner said.

“Hasn’t religion been behind most of the killing in History?” The man responded. He had a look of a religious zealot himself. A look of Marvellous ecstasy in his eyes. This man was as much a fundamentalist as the people he opposed. However, he seemed like the lesser of two evils in this case.

“Tell me everything” Inspector Tanner said, pulling out his recording crystal.

 

***

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2019 

 

This story also contains the following Word Prompts:

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/rdp-friday-rash/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/marvelous/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/your-daily-word-prompt-worship-april-26-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Lady

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/three-things-challenge-pl71/

Today’s prompt: accountant, toe, lace