The New Arrangement (flash fiction)

The New Arrangement

“I know there’s whining about the new office arrangement, but you’ll get used to it.” said Brian looking at his computer screen.

“You didn’t think this was too extreme?”

“No. During the last pandemic you all got used to working at home, but I was never sure how much work you were actually doing. We couldn’t go back to before, so I thought this solution practical.”

“You mean having our consciousnesses uploaded to the office hub?”

“Now I have complete control over all of you while you work seven days a week non-stop. We should have done this earlier.”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt of a new way to office provided by the Carrot Ranch June 10 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Missed It (flash fiction)

Missed It

“Whatcha doing?”

“Listening to Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. It’s building up to the crescendo.”

“Crescendo?”

“Highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity.”

“Okay. So when’s the crescendo coming?”

“We’ve just talked through it.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 37 + prompt

This was written with the prompt crescendo provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #212.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Rereading the Lord of the Rings

I was twelve years old when I first read The Lord of the Rings. Throughout most of my adolescence I reread it every year. I used to dream I was in Middle-earth walking through the dark paths of Mirkwood or staying in Rivendell and listening to songs and stories being told in the Hall of Fire.

In my adult life I’ve read it less frequently. I think the last time I read it was in 2014. For the moment I’m just reading a chapter before I go to sleep as I like taking my time and meandering through it. Middle-earth is always a good place to escape to when I’m feeling troubled or in need of a journey.

Though the films were shot in my country I’ve never really liked them that much: too many odd changes and condensing for my liking I guess. Also there have been decades of Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth inspired art, yet these days all the images seem to be ones based on the films. So much for imagination. To be honest I’ve never been a great fan of film adaptations.

Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings in 1938 when Allen and Unwin asked for a sequel to The Hobbit. As he wrote it, the story got longer and darker. He eventually finished it in the late 1940s. He first sent the manuscript to Collins, along with a version of The Silmarillion (as he felt the book couldn’t be understood without knowledge of the events of the First Age) in 1950, but it was rejected. In the end he gave The Lord of the Rings (without The Silmarillion) to Allen and Unwin, though he felt it wasn’t the sequel they had initially asked for. Many people refer to The Lord of the Rings as a trilogy, but it isn’t true technically. It was a single book that was split into three by the publishers due to a paper shortage at the time. It was eventually published during 1954-55.

At the moment the Fellowship has just set out from the safety of Rivendell and I am happily following them as they approach the Misty Mountains unaware of the troubles they will encounter. Once I finish this I’m planning to read The Silmarillion again.

Do you have any books you like to read regularly?

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Park Life (flash fiction)

Park Life

“You should put that dog of yours on a leash!” the man complained. Jess retrieved Lucky who had been investigating the park and rejoined the picnic. She looked over at Cindy who was munching on some grapes.

“Did we bring enough food? You seem especially ravenous today.”

“Well I am eating for two. It’s legit you know.” Cindy replied.

“So you’re not using your pregnancy as an excuse to pig out then?”

“Of course not.” Cindy replied innocently as she tucked into another sandwich.

“Aha.” Lucky suddenly ran off again.

“My turn!” Cindy shouted as she ran after him.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt leash provided by the Carrot Ranch June 3 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

They Are Coming (flash fiction)

They Are Coming

All of the village’s warriors stood waiting on the shoreline while their leader looked out across the water from further up.

“The Seer said the raiders would attack today. Expect to see their longboats at any moment.” He warned them all. They all stood there looking out at the water. Some were armed with bows, some with spears, and a select few had swords and other weapons such as flails at the ready. They waited for hours, but saw no sign of a war party approaching.

“Are you sure the Seer got the right day?” one of them eventually asked.

“She’s usually extremely reliable.” The leader replied. “Maybe she was wrong about today.” No sooner had he said that then there was a sudden rough tapping on his left shoulder…

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 130

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #134.

Over the weekend we had quite bad flooding here from four days of intense rain. To add to this we’ve also had a few shakes. I guess the local faultline is just letting us know not to forget it… They still give me flashbacks to February 22 2011… So I’m feeling a bit frazzled at the moment.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

So What Are You? (flash fiction)

So What Are You?

“So you just date other women then?” Penelope asked.

“Yes.” Sandy replied.

“You hate men or something?” Sandy looked surprised.

“I don’t hate men. I just don’t date them.” Sandy explained.

“So what’s your preferred nomenclature? Queer? Gay girl? Dyke? Lesbian?”

“Preferred nomenclature? Are you for real?”

“I believe so.” Penelope replied.

“You could call me Sandy.”

“But it doesn’t tell me anything about you.” Penelope stated.

“It’s my name and that’s a start.” Sandy replied.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 76

This was written with the prompt nomenclature provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #211.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Hosts (flash fiction)

Hosts

A team was sent to investigate the planet’s surface. They found an inordinate amount of tiny flying insects everywhere they went. After taking off their protective visors they were swarmed by them. They signaled for immediate retrieval.

“What’s with the red eyes?” the commanding officer asked when the team returned onboard. They didn’t say a word, but opened up their sample boxes and suddenly the entire ship was engulfed with tiny insects.

Once the spaceship was under the insects control, via their human hosts, the insects now planned to explore the rest of the galaxy, and take it over.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt tiny flying insects provided by the Carrot Ranch May 27 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Morning View (flash fiction)

Morning View

In the morning Cindy quickly got out of bed and went outside to check her new herb garden. Yesterday she had planted some basil, mint, sage, and parsley by the homestead, and that was only the beginning of her plans for it.

“Whatcha doing my love?” Jess asked as she came outside onto the porch drinking some coffee. Cindy looked up at her.

“I’m just checking to see how the herbs I planted yesterday are doing.” Cindy told her.

“It’s not that I don’t admire the view, but don’t you think you should have put some clothes on first?”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt naked gardening provided by the Carrot Ranch May 20 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Three Disappointments of Pedro Arturo — O at the Edges

The Three Disappointments of Pedro Arturo The difficulty lies in denying the rest, pretending the denouement remains unknotted like that length of rope looped over the branch, unable to serve its purpose. I regret nothing, but often wish that I had dangled my feet in the stream more often and felt the trout wriggle […]

The Three Disappointments of Pedro Arturo — O at the Edges

For the first time ever I’m sharing a post on WordPress. I love this poem and love reading it out loud. Robert Okaji is a brilliant poet who I follow on WordPress. I hope you love this too…

Dumb Vampires, part 16 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

16

Robert Thompson and Angela Haynes looked at the building before them. A large white villa in the hills above New Kingsport.

“So this house is owned by a Charles Davies then?” Angela asked.

“Yes, better known as Chuck. Let’s just say he is, or was, notorious for having his fingers in a lot of dubious pies. That’s how he’s made his wealth. Now he seems to have vanished off the face of the earth and yet his car has been seen regularly making trips to the city below picking up people and bringing them back here.” Robert replied.

“And I assume all the people that walk in there never seem to walk back out?”

“You would be right there.”

“How did you find this place?” Angela asked.

“The night Freya and Sarah disappeared, I managed to obtain all the video footage from the gas stations on the way to the city using my FBI badge. I assumed they would head to the city and I hoped the car they were in might stop at one of them. After reviewing the footage and seeing all the cars that stopped there, I searched for their owners. Out of all of them, he is the one that seems to have disappeared since then. No one has seen him alive since that night.” Robert informed her.

“Well done.” Angela told him. “Of course the fact that all the curtains are closed is a dead giveaway.”

“Shall we go in and see if they’re still there?”

“Sure. They should be sleeping now, if they are there.” Angela replied. Robert looked doubtful.

“Don’t count on it. If we’re expected, they may be staying up just to surprise us. Keep alert. Robert warned. They both moved forwards to the front door.

*

Freya peeked through the curtain and watched the two hunters talking outside the house. Once they started moving to the house she withdrew from the window. She turned to Sarah who stood beside her.

“We’ve got to hide now.” Freya told her. Sarah hid among the clothes in a large wardrobe, while Freya found her dagger and hid it in the inside pocket of her coat. She then leapt up to the attic opening and waited.

In a short moment the front door was forced open and she heard footsteps in the floor below. They seemed to go through the rooms one by one.

“Oh look! A pile of dead bodies. What a surprise!” The woman’s voice said. “Do vampires realise how much of a foul smell they make?”

“I don’t think it particularly worries them.” Said the man who was currently going by the name of Robert Thompson. Freya knew him as Alejandro Cortez, and a host of other pseudonyms. She then heard them walking up the stairs.

“I’ll check out this room.” The woman whispered.

“I’ll look in that one.” Robert answered. Freya heard someone walk into the room below. They walked around the room and then looked in the wardrobe. Freya jumped silently down to see Sarah suddenly launch herself at the woman hunter from out of the wardrobe. To Freya’s shock, the woman remained unfazed and quickly stuck a wooden stake into Sarah’s heart. Sarah turned to dust with a look of surprise on her face.

“No!” Freya screamed out. ”You bitch!” The woman turned in shock at her voice. Freya ran at her and deftly deflected the woman’s attempt at staking her. In one quick movement, Freya grabbed the woman’s head and snapped her neck. She fell lifeless to the floor. Freya collapsed onto her knees and sifted her fingers through the dust that had been Sarah. “Sarah no! We had so many plans…” she sobbed as she sat there. Tears of blood ran down her face. She heard footsteps come into the room.

“That’s two of my assistants you’ve killed now.” Robert stated.

“And they deserved it.” Freya shot back as she slowly stood up and faced him.

“The game’s up. Come back with me to the Institute. We’ll look after you. That’s all we want. You don’t have to die here.” Robert offered.

“No.” Freya replied. Robert look disappointed.

“Then I’ll have to kill you.”

“Come at me then!” Freya taunted. Unexpectedly, she then ran at him. He quickly got his stake into position and stuck it into her heart. Freya pulled out her dagger and pushed the blade deeply into his abdomen. With all her remaining strength she dragged the blade through his abdomen until it was through his other side. She then cut upwards. Robert shoved the stake deeper into Freya until she finally went limp and collapsed onto the floor. Moments later he collapsed too. Robert lay there bleeding out. He looked over to Freya’s inert body.

“Dumb vampires!” he said as everything went black.

The End.

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher