Tag: Short Story

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Wordle: Special Delivery

The band played loudly as the secret agent made his way to the back of the smoke-filled bar. His way was blocked by a thuggish-looking doorman.
“Why should I let you through?” He asked, menacingly.
The spy laughed in contempt, holding open the bag he was carrying to reveal the contents to the doorman. Not one word did he utter.
“Good answer.” The doorman pushed open the heavy door to let the man in the over-sized overcoat walk through.
The bare walls and stone floor of this room caused the spy to reflect on his career. I remember the days I’d go on proper missions, he thought as he heard giggling coming from yet another room off this one. He picked up a small square card from a rickety table in the corner, and did as the instructions told him.
He left he pizza on the table, and took the small wad of cash that had been left beside the card. He kept the change. Still, the pay’s good in this malarkey.
He lifted his collar, pulled open the heavy door once again, walked straight passed the thuggish doorman, across the bar and out through the exit into the night.


A slightly different attempt at the Wordle this week, as I’ve used the words in a short (200 word) tale, rather than one of my random rhymes.

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The Old Clocktower

The discovery of the missing clock tower after two hundred years, deep beneath the ruins of the old collapsed church, answered two questions in one go. The church building wasn’t strong enough to hold the newer tower, despite the old townsfolk’s arguments to the contrary. And Old Sam, the bell ringer, had planned to make away with the church funds. Unfortunately for Sam, he had the loot, now worthless, in two sacks with him,  as the church caved in, trapping him beneath the large bell, the tower dropped around him, and the crumbling remains of the church covered over everything.

A filler post holding a one hundred word story covering the passing of time, a mysterious disappearance and another use for an old digital painting I did back in the day. This painting originally appeared in one of my Hallowe’en specials a few years ago, when a Room suddenly appeared in the Grinds. And this little extra paragraph has increased the word count to two hundred words. I’m still classing it as a one hundred word post, however, as this isn’t part of the post proper, and sometimes a little bit of an explanation can go a very long way.

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Expanding Order

Once we have the nuns we can decide

The Plutonian Council shifted and shuffled nervously. It was the first time the council had met with the High Reverence herself, Amnarnun of Makemake, and her Sisters of the Dissolved Order.

The Order, clouded in mystery, as much if not more so than as anything else on the small crimson world, had decided decades ago to branch out more, and create greater ties with the other communities of the thousands of worlds that exist within the ‘Barrierlands’  (or Kuiper belt as it is known on Earth) and eventually try to reach out to the residents of Earth.

Pluto’s great Council had met delegates before from Makemake, but none as high profile and awesomely revered as the Frocked One.

She stood at the central lectern, hands gently clasped in front and head slightly bowed. plutoCen Kr’Dorir, dwarfed beside her, wasn’t sure if she was looking toward him, down upon him, or in prayer.

“Nun Child” she said, with all the grace one would imagine one with her stature to have.

“Ah, my humblest of apologies, Oh heavenly mistress…” grovelled plutoCen Kr’Dorir, “I’d forgotten about your ability of telepatheticness.”

The Plutonian Council coughed nervously, one member at the back audibly groaning.

“Eh?” The Frocked One looked momentarily confused, then blended effortlessly back into her calm demeanour. “No, plutoCen, I was asking for Nun Child to approach. Here she is now.”

Nun Child, Amnarnun’s niece, was in every way as serene as her aunt. She wore the Makemakean blue frock of life, which contrasted to Amnarnun’s black frock for everything. They both gently rustled as they moved, but apart from this gentle sound they moved otherwise silently and with ease, almost as if they were gliding across the floor.

plutoCen Kr’Dorir shook Nun Child’s hand, and said, as pleasantly as he could manage “A pleasure to meet you, as well as your mother.”

The Council breathed in audibly, with some physically cringing. plutoCen Kr’Dorir noticed and quickly attempted to correct his latest gaffe “and our mother, and everyone’s mother of the Barrierlands, the High Reverence herself.” He thought he’d pulled it off, and realised he still had a hold of Nun Child’s hand. Firmly. With a smile, he swiftly let go, and let out an extremely loud ‘harrrumph’ as he pretended to clear his throat. Nun Child looked at him with crystal clear blue eyes, and gently spoke.

“We today bring you gifts, friends and allies of Pluto. Gifts made from the imagined tears from the blessed angels; the ethereal strings from the harmonic harps; and the dreams and hopes of our people that we would like to share with you.

“We also come with an invitation for you to join our Serene Order, dissolved as it is, yet expanding into the vast Solar System.

“We bring a calming influence to fill your void of chaos and hypertension, and hope you will accept our heartfelt offer.”

“One moment please, your ladyness…” plutoCen Kr’Dorir marched over to the plutoCen Deputy panel, where the three High Leaders sat in whispered conference.

The Council looked on uneasily.

Amnarnun and Nun Child looked towards each other, waiting patiently for the reply.

They didn’t need to wait too long. plutoCen Kr’Dorir returned to the lectern, and said “It’s like this, your references. We aren’t really a serene race. We’re more of a rough sort, not quite barbaric but not very politically correct. Rough around the edges if you like. We don’t have many ‘orders’ or anything like that here on Pluto, but we are always open to change. All we can say now is once we have the nuns we can decide whether to join your order. We’ll be in touch. Keep your pathetic lines open. Telepathetic lines. Keep them open. And we’ll let you know.”

Amnarnun and Nun Child both graciously accepted plutoCen Kr’Dorir’s hand once more, graciously bowed, and graciously made their effortless way out of the Council Chamber.

Amnarnun gently tapped Nun Child’s arm as they reached the door. Sometimes you can not reason with barbarians, she thought. But we’ve planted the seed.

Agreed, Aunt. Nun Child replied.

A slight smile crept across both of their faces as the cold iron doors slammed shut behind them.


This post has been written in response to a flash fiction challenge by Diane Henders.

Some of the characters in this otherworldly tale first appeared in this post.

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Mead and Mortals

Lightning flashed and made her look up. The doors to the inn, a mere second later, swung inwards simultaneously and the room was instantly filled with a strong-odoured wind.

“By the gods!” the woman muttered, but stayed where she was, propped.

Zeus walked into the inn, followed by his consort Hera.

“Wench!” He bellowed, “A tankard of your finest mead!”

The woman stayed where she was,  elbows on the bar with her chin resting upon her ample and severely uplifted bosom.

“Zeus!” Hera admonished. “You must not speak like that, in such a derogatory way, towards women. How dare you. Apologise. Now!” She glared at Zeus with such strength he felt a hole beginning to bore into his head.

“It’s…” The woman tried to speak, but Zeus held aloft his hand and interrupted her.

“Woman!” He bellowed once again, toward Hera this time. “How dare YOU! Do you not know to whom you speak? I am Zeus, knower of everything!” His voice echoed around the room. Hera sheepishly looked away for a second.

“I’m…” The woman tried to speak again, but Hera stopped her this time.

“Patience, child. I have a matter with this ‘gentleman’ which must be settled first. He thinks he’s the ruler of the gods! The fool”.

“…” The woman tried to speak for a third time, and both stopped her by holding aloft their hands.

“I AM the ruler of the gods, Hera. And the waves. And the fire. And the nymphs. AND the wenches.” Zeus looked at the woman at the bar, who was propped but agog.

“ZEUS! Remember your place. You are upon the Earth now, and it is these mortals who think they rule the domain. You must respect that, and their ways, whilst you are here. Now, I shall get the drinks.”

Hera looked over at the woman who was literally on the bar. She noticed the woman hadn’t changed position since they’d walked in, which was a strange thing for a mortal to do in the presence of any god. Zeus tried to speak, but Hera simply held up her hand and stopped him. “Are you alright, child?” Hera asked with compassion. “Tell me, what is your name.”

“It’s Wenshetta. Wench for short.”

Hera glanced over to Zeus who was silently whistling into the air. He said nothing.

“Ah. Erm, your stance, child. Are you hurt?”

“No,” Wench replied, “but the mead cupboard toppled over behind the bar and has me trapped here. I’ve been waiting all day for someone to walk in. I’m bursting for the loo, and all this mead everywhere isn’t helping.”

“So you have NO mead?” Zeus boomed.

“ZEUS!” Hera was livid.

It didn’t take them long to help Wench out of her predicament and as a thank you, after a lengthy wait whilst Wench saw to her natural needs, they all sat at the inn’s only table by the roaring log fire, with a tankard of the inn’s finest mead each.

“Nectar to the gods!” Zeus beamed, once finished.

“And no charge” Wench said. “as a thank you”

“CHARGE!!!” Zeus returned to booming once again.

“ZEUS!” Hera now boomed. She looked towards Wench. “Thank you child, we shall now depart for we have a long journey ahead. Or one of us does, should the other not make it.” She glared at Zeus once again.

Wench watched them walk out of the door.

“She was going to charge us. ME! Ruler of the gods. Does she know not to whom she served?”

“Zeus!”

The doors closed behind them, and they were gone.

“By the gods!” Wench muttered, once again. “Some people!”

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Meanwhile, in the queue…

“Hiya!”

“Oh, Hi!”

“I’m glad I’ve bumped into ya – did you hear about what happened to me the other day?”

“No… what?”

“In here! Her with the blue hair that’s normally on the end till – “

“Yeah?”

“She only accused me of trying to short pay her.”

“She never!”

“She did. Her from the butcher’s was behind me in the queue and saw the whole thing. I was mortified.”

“I bet you were. What happened?”

“The queue went right around the store. There was only her with the blue hair on. I don’t think she knows how to call for assistance.”

“Oh, I know. She’s done that to me – had me waiting ages to get served.”

“I bought some bread, and a packet of those small batteries – you know for that clock – oh, and some chewing gum, and it came to nine fifty two.”

“Nine fifty two? Mind you, them batteries aren’t cheap…”

“I gave her a fiver, and five ones.”

“She doesn’t like change, her with the blue hair.Though she’d give it you back in pennies if she could.”

“She held the change in one hand, and stood there wafting the fiver around with the other. And then she gave me that look.”

“That look?”

“You know, that look – as if she were saying get on with it.”

“She does that a lot.”

“And then she asked me, in that loud voice of hers, for another four fifty two.”

“She never.”

“She did. So I said to her ‘I’ve given you a tenner.’”

“And what did she do then?”

“She gave me that other look.”

“Oh, not the other one. Her from the hairdressers told me about that one.”

“So I said to her ‘don’t you look at me like that’.”

“I bet you were giving her one of your looks.”

“What looks?”

“Oh, you know. Remember him in Green Street?”

“Oh yes! I was! So she turned around and said to me that I’d better get my glasses checked.”

“She never did! In front of everyone?”

“In front of everyone. So I said to her, in my loudest voice, that it was she who needed her glasses checking.”

“Why did you say that?”

“I don’t know. I was livid.”

“Did her from the butcher’s say anything?”

“No. She was as mortified as I was. Her with the blue hair held up my fiver, and said – she may have said it over the tannoy – this is a fiver not a tenner.”

“Oh no.”

“So I said to her that yes, I know it is a fiver, and the five ones she is clasping in her other hand makes the amount I have handed over ten pounds.”

“What did she do then?”

“She keyed in the till, and handed me my change. She never said another word.”

“She’s like that – won’t admit she’s wrong.”

“I don’t believe it – they’ve opened up another till, and it’s her with the blue hair.”

“Go on – you can go in front. I want more than you and this till’s nearly ready.”

“OK, will do. I’ll see you later at bingo.”

“You too. Make sure you pay her correctly this time! Ha!”