The siren swam beneath the sea,
singing her song without a care,
for under wave her life was free—
her life was free, but cold and bare.
Singing her song without a care,
she tempted men with lust and love.
Her life was free, but cold and bare,
and sailors listened from above.
She tempted men with lust and love,
her song did fill their waking dreams,
and sailors listened from above,
the ocean swallowed up their screams.
Her song did fill their waking dreams,
to them she was the perfect bride.
The ocean swallowed up their screams;
their lungs could not the brine abide.
To them she was the perfect bride,
for under wave her life was free.
Their lunges could not the brine abide—
The siren swam beneath the sea.
I wasn’t going to do any writing this week, because my schedule’s super busy with my new job, but I loved this pantoum, written last week by memadtwo, so much that I decided to stretch my legs and try one myself. I used Sue Vincent’s Thursday #writephoto prompt as the inspiration for this one. Please go check out more stories on Sue’s site.
• Words: 797 • Themes: Speculative fiction, Sci-fi •
“Excuse me, Madam President, but it’s time.”
At Naomi’s whispered prompt, the world’s first female president tucked the well-creased piece of paper bearing her own handwriting into her breast pocket and squared her shoulders. Out there, behind the purple curtain, Earth was waiting. A crowd so large that SolSec had needed to pay for a thousand guards to work overtime.
“How do I look?” Charlotte asked her most trusted aide.
The back-stage lights dazzled off Naomi’s pearly white smile. “Perfect. Try not to be nervous.”
• Words: 722 • Themes: Fantasy, Horror, Suspense •
The road snakes out before me, a sinuous ribbon of grey slicing the fields of golden flowers neatly in two. An azure sky rules over them, replete with fluffy white clouds. In my chest, my heart skips jubilantly. Alfor told me I was a fool to take the road less-travelled, but my instincts have proven him wrong—again!
What a beautiful day! A more inviting morning I could not have dreamed up. The warm of the sunlight feels glorious against my skin, and the scent of the flowers on the breeze reminds me of my childhood. Funny, but I can’t pinpoint which specific childhood memory it recalls. Perhaps the scent of my mother’s cinnamon buns cooking in the oven… or is it the fuchsias in the garden, coming into full bloom? Whatever the memory, it’s wholesome and good, just like this place.
Elise dragged her chair to the window and turned her gaze to the sky. By the sickly glow of the dying streetlight, she looked younger than her eight years, and when she closed her eyes and clasped her hands together in prayer, Michael’s heart broke for his daughter.
Finished with her prayer, she turned to him with the question he’d been dreading since the blizzard started, five days ago.
“Papa, do you think the sun will come back tomorrow?”
“Yes, Kitten, of course it will,” he lied.
Word count: 87
Today’s Friday Fictioneers story, courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-fields, is inspired by the featured image ©Dale Rogerson. Last week, I didn’t manage to get around to reading/commenting on every story on from Friday Fictioneers 😥 — so, this week I’ll prioritise reading/commenting first on the odd-numbered stories, then next week I’ll be doing the same for the even-numbered stories.
If your blog is hosted on Blogger/Blogspot, I won’t be able to comment on your story. Blogspot/Blogger just sends me on an indefinite loop of proving I’m not a robot whenever I try to comment on their hosted sites.
Click the frog to read more Friday Fictioneers stories:
The sign appeared comically placed. “Come In, We’re Open”—positioned right at the end of the pier, where the rotting white boards ended and the seemingly endless ocean began. To the casual observer, it was nothing more than a poor joke; to the right eyes, the sign hung in front of a building rendered invisible by a powerful soul-spell. A safe-house for me and mine.
I ran my thumb along the grip of the pistol holstered at my hip. Reynard had asked for parley, but that didn’t mean others wouldn’t try to take advantage of the moment. My fellow sorcerers weren’t known for their restraint.
When a man loves something with all his heart, he lives it, and it consumes him. Every night after unloading his catch, Pablo retreated to the dockside bar to discuss his trade: The rocking dance of the waves as the morning sun kissed their foamy crests; the tang of the salt-laden wind caressing his cheek; the fish that fought hardest—and the one that got away.
Then, Pablo met the woman who did not want to be a fisherman’s wife. So, he sold his trawler, toiled in the dead air of the diamond mines, and fishing consumed him no more.
Word count: 100
By the by, if your blog is hosted on Blogger/Blogspot, I won’t be able to comment on your story. Blogspot/Blogger just sends me on an indefinite loop of proving I’m not a robot whenever I try to comment on their hosted sites.
The young inventor sat with the device in his lap, lost in deep contemplation. A single burst and the tree had disintegrated. He stared at the dirt, then up at the scattered wooden innards that flashed against the dark ground. His mind raced with visions of scaled versions of the device. Large mobile units operating together as a mechanized army capable of clearing an entire forest in seconds.
He turned the barrel towards himself. Save the world from his ideas?
History filled his mind. He could see the giant cloud billowing up into the atmosphere.
An Oppenheimer moment.
Emperor Kral held out one of his four hands towards she-who-would-one-day-be-Empress, his most beloved child and only daughter, Princess Kiani. The Princess, resplendent in her marriage gown, watched him coolly in her typically womanish way before settling one of her hands on his.
They stepped out from the doorway, into the forest clearing where a thousand suitors waited. Princes and Kings and Overlords and Chief Executives from across the galaxy had come to supplicate themselves at the feet of Princess Kiani in the hopes of being chosen as her future husband.
The trembling aspen watched from a distance as the sharp teeth of a chainsaw cut cruelly into the weathered bark of the old sycamore. Trunk was reduced to stump; branches, to twigs. Sawdust bled onto bare ground before being borne away by the cold caress of winter zephyrs. Nearby, grey smoke puffed out from the chimney of the cabin, curling towards the heavens, and the aspen knew the time would soon come for its own spirit to dance on the east wind.
I went in the opposite direction to James, and saw something grim in the fallen tree. You can read other stories for the prompt by clicking the frog. The picture is copyrighted to Rochelle Wisoff-Field.
It started with a wall.
“This will be a great wall. A necessary wall. A wall of democracy to keep out Those We Don’t Like.”
It started with a wall, and it ended with something called ‘Nuclear Winter.’ Between wall and winter were other, lesser-known things. Riots. Depressions. Uprisings. Coups. Tweets. Most Merrykans knew only that the wall was supposed to save them. Knew only that the wall had been their downfall.
As Terri Fox sat forlornly by the side of the dust-devilled road, she contemplated the wall towering over her. Further towards Westcoast, encampments had sprung up around it, thousands of Merrykans living in its shade. But she’d always found something sinister and cold about its unnatural height and pock-marked surface. Not to mention the strange symbols painted on it in swathes of red and green and blue. A language, some said. A message from the ancestors. A warning to build no more walls. A warning they’d all taken literally.
“Lacey, if you do not leave the house within 1.5 minutes, you will be late for your first appointment.”
VERONIKA’s synthetic voice was all smooth honey and helpfulness draped over a barely perceptible hint of patronising, and if Lacey had to hear it one more time, she might just punch the damn android.
Instead of giving in to her destructive desires, she slipped on the brand new court shoes she’d treated herself to after her job promotion and fixed a patient smile on her face. “It doesn’t matter when I leave; I’m going to be late anyway.”