Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part 4

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The rules are simple for part 4 of Chuck Wendig’s ongoing Flash Challenge:

Look through the 600-word entries from last week.  Pick one. Add another 200 words to the story.

Here’s my contribution to Dangerdean‘s continuation.  I pick up after the third break.


“Yes, this penthouse view is quite breathtaking,” I turned to the luscious blonde before me, “but not nearly as lovely as—”
A thunder clap, and then I was standing in a small, glowing circle, surrounded by a gaggle of chanting fools in robes.
“Oh great Sorasel im Palat, lord of fire and darkness, fell devourer of the innocent, conqueror of—” Arcane symbols covered the speaker’s robes, nearly obscuring the heavy crimson fabric.
“Yes, yes, get on with it.” I gestured with my gin martini.
He paused, then finished in a post-pubescent squeak, “We invoke thy true name and bid thee do our will.”
“Oh you do, do you? Well I want you to send me back. I was having a smashing time, and that girl may not have two brain cells to rub together, but she looked quite likely to do some rubbing together. If you know what I mean.”
The robe-wearers shuffled, and whispered amongst themselves. The leader piped up again.
“O great Sorasel im—“
“Stop that, stop that,” I interrupted. “Only my dad calls me that. I prefer my middle name. If you must speak, call me Stewart.”
More shuffling and whispering from my summoners.


“Oh great and mighty…Stewart….” the leader—whose pasty face was mostly spots—began again. “We bind thee to our will.”
I took a sip of my martini—extra dirty, extra olives—and raised an eyebrow at the little prat. Summoners used to know what they were doing. I looked at the floor where their demon trap was sloppily drawn with what smelled unmistakably like fresh, store-bought spray paint. I sighed. What happened to the blood of a virgin? Or even the vital fluids of an unwilling Christian priest?
I noticed their silence; I could practically smell their fear—a mixture of piss and that foul deodorant that promised them flocks of women. I took another gulp of the martini—it was perfect. Almost as flawless as my blonde client who was no doubt currently working her minimal intelligence into a sweat in an effort to find me.
“Well? Get on with it.”
“We bound you, oh great Sora—er—Stewart.”
“I heard that part. So,” I made sure to smile with all of my teeth. “You’ve bound me. Congratulations. Now, what do you plan to do?”
“Jaime, this was your idea.” One of the other robed figures poked the leader.


“Yes…Jaime? You masterminded this escapade?” I drained the martini, and stared directly at Jaime.

“Oh great Stewart, we summoned you because…um…” Jamie looked sheepish. “We want to get laid, like, a lot.” The chuckleheads voiced their agreement with grunts and high fives.

“You seriously summoned me because you want sex? Personal hygiene and asking a girl on a date didn’t work, so you decided ‘Meh. Let’s just summon a demon’?” A couple of them laughed, but were quickly silent.

“Well, you’ve taken the trouble to bring me here, and I’m bound to your will, but just because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to give you a short primer on demon invocation.” They looked at each other warily.

“There are five elements of a proper invocation. Three you have managed admirably. You have consecrated the space. I personally would have used something a little more visceral, but there’s no accounting for taste. I’m here, so obviously you have successfully invoked me, and of course, you have bound me to your will.” I looked down my nose at Jaime.

“The fourth element, however, is constraint. You must constrain the actions of the demon. That, my young friends, you have not done.”


I twirled the martini glass in my fingers, and held it up to the light as though looking for spots on the glass.  Then I hurled it directly at Master Jaime’s face.  Jaime and his entire cloaked entourage cringed backward.  Of course, the glass exploded against the inside barrier emanating up from the spray-painted demon trap.  I chuckled as shards of glass rained down on my custom tailored suit.

“Fortunately your pubescent sexual fervor fueled the construction of an adequate constraint, were I made of glass.  Which I am not.”  I carefully brushed the glass dust from my jacket and stepped to the inside edge of the circle. “The fifth element of a proper invocation,” I said, stepping outside the circle, “is negotiation.”

I stood nose-to-forehead with young Jaime.  I could hear his heart pounding in his chest.  Small beads of sweat bubbled up through the fuzz above his lip.  I could smell the fear on his breath.  He stood motionless, staring at my throat, never looking up to meet my gaze.  But to his credit, the boy did not run.  Master Jaime showed commitment to purpose.  That could become a problem.

“Tell me Master Jaime,” I hissed, “How well do you negotiate?”



Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part 3


Chuck Wendig, over at Terrible Minds, has created a place for writers to pick up the dangling thread from two hundred words of another writer and carry it forward. The rules are simple: Look through the now 400-word entries from last week (round two). Pick one. Add another 200 words to the story.

Part one  by Josee De Angelis – http://joseedeangelis.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/terribleminds-flash-fiction-challenge/

Part two by Liz Neering  – https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5308122-200-words-at-a-time-part-two

My Part 3 begins after the second break.


Of course it would rain today. It couldn’t be nice and sunny. Perfectly crappy weather for a crappy day. Shane dragged her luggage down the hall, her box of books under her arm, all her hats on her head – good thing the rain hat was the last one she found. What she couldn’t fit in her suitcases she wore. The furniture would have to come later. She couldn’t stand to be in that apartment one minute more.

The rain was coming down hard when Shane opened the front door. It was very dark, as if the clouds decided to play with people’s minds and make it look like nighttime. This did nothing to lighten Shane’s mood. Where would she go? Where could she go? Not going to her parents’ home, that’s for sure. Her sister’s? Only if she wanted all her past choices to be dissected, analyzed and declared wrong. They were wrong, but did she really need to hear it from someone else? Not so much.

Shane decided to walk north to put as much space as she could between herself and the apartment, where she lived moderately happy for six years. That was before everything changed. Before yesterday.


Yesterday the shadow had appeared. It began as a black spot, hidden away in the corner. But as the day progressed it had bled like spilled ink into the bulk of the room, until by the time she had gone to bed, it had stretched its dark fingers across the bulk of the apartment. She had slept huddled on the sofa, her knees drawn up to her chest, her hands wrapped around her shins to keep her tightly coiled and far away from the blackness coming to claim her.

They would never understand. They would never believe.

Shane pulled her hats down further, tugging them down her forehead until their stacked brims concealed her downcast, black-rimmed eyes. She stopped in the street. Water poured down her hats, splattering fat droplets onto her shoes. She rubbed her eyes until they burned.

Think,” she said. “Think.”

She felt something; the short hairs on the nape of her neck rose. She turned on her heel.

The blackness was there. It crept towards her, sentient, hungry, writhing like a serpent as it slunk closer. A voice, oily and thick, cut through the air.

“Shane,” it hissed. “Come to us. Be one with us. We understand. We do not judge.”


That voice, she thought, I know that voice!

Slowly the pieces began to fall into place.  Shane spun on her heel, gathered her box of books tightly under her arm and strode toward the Cup of Comfort coffee shop at the north end of the block.  Her suitcase rolled smoothly through the gathering puddles, making rhythmic “sslack” sounds as it jumped the sidewalk cracks.  Halfway there, a wheel caught in a crack, broke off, and rolled into the street.  The suitcase reeled and twisted out of her control. Shane stole a look over her shoulder at the suitcase and then back toward the blackness.  It still crept toward her. What had she read about the blackness?  She squeezed her books closer to her body, and abandoning the suitcase, she walked on.

That box of books was one of her past choices her sister would undoubtedly dissect and analyze again, given the chance.  “You paid how much for those?” she had demanded in that I-know-everything voice that only big sisters have. “They’re so old the covers are all bubbly.”

“The covers are not bubbly,” Shane spat. “They’re anthropodermic!” And she immediately wished she could have unsaid it.  Her big sister didn’t need to know the books were bound in human skin.


Terribleminds.com – Flash Fiction Challenge: 200 Words At A Time, Part Two


The rules are simple: Look through the 200-word entries from last week. Pick one. Add another 200 words to the story.

That’s the game. I chose to continue Connie Cockrell’s first 200. And here it is:


Ewan Gilroy backed out of the library stack in a hurry. He peeked around the corner. Oh no.

He crept along the next row to watch the co-ed over the books. Ewan sweated as she checked the paper in her hand. She’s looking for something specific. Can’t be my book, no one’s checked it out in three years. She ran her finger along the titles. He froze as she pulled a book from the shelf. That book has the stolen code. I can’t finish this hack without it!

At the check-out Ewan walked up behind her with a random book.

“Nice to see you again, Brooke,” the librarian smiled. “Science of Computer MetaPhysics and Interdimensional Theory,” she stamped the lending card and her record book and handed the book to Brooke. “Research?”

“From Professor Ingles’ additional reading list for my final paper.” She tucked the book under her arm. “It looks like heavy reading.”

“You’ll do fine. Have a good day.”

“Thanks, you too.” Brooke left.

“May I help you?” the librarian asked.

“Uh, no, changed my mind, thanks.” Ewan dropped his book on the counter and hurried after Brooke. He’d follow her and with luck, get the book back.

Ewan’s day had been a disaster from the start.  First, he woke up late to the sound of the bus idling in front of his house.  Crap!  Then his stupid sister used all the hot water for her interminable shower ritual, which meant not only was he running to school in the rain, but he was running to school in the rain after a cold shower.  Double crap!  But the worst of it came on his iPhone.  He sat ignoring his gelatinous oatmeal (Mom makes breakfast once, and on time), and checked his email on his phone.  Santana6@gmail.com had sent another cryptic note.

“Ingles list 7 pg 333 line 12 middle.  done by 10 or shes gone.”

Suddenly Ewan wished Mom wouldn’t tell people about his “special abilities”.  That’s what she calls it.  She nods and smiles knowingly, saying, “Yes, Ewan has special abilities.”  It’s the same in every town they move to.  How much easier would it be if she just talked about the weather or knitting or his stupid sister?  Maybe we wouldn’t have to move so much.

Ewan tore the syllabus from his backpack and ran a finger down the page.  Ingles’ class.  The seventh book on the list.  “Science of Computer MetaPhysics and Interdimensional Theory”.