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[writing] Flash fiction open round - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-09-01 04:44
Subject: [writing] Flash fiction open round
Security: Public
Tags:contests, photos, stories, writing
Per a suggestion from tillyjane, and with agreement from criada whose photo this is, I propose a flash fiction open round. Using criada's photo as your inspiration, write a piece of flash (500 words or less) and post it here in comments, or on your own blog, with a link here in comments. If I get a decent response, we'll have a voting poll later, with prizes. Go to it!

Your story starter:

Hat by criada

Photographed at the Whatcom Creek Estuary, in Washington State, by criada.

© 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 28 Comments | | Link






Elspeth
User: evaleastaristev
Date: 2009-09-01 13:43 (UTC)
Subject: My contribution
http://evaleastaristev.livejournal.com/320218.html

That was fun!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-01 13:51 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
Oh, nicely done.
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2009-09-01 18:31 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
I can't read it! It gives me a 403 forbidden error
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-09-01 18:50 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
Me, three.
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Scott Raun
User: sraun
Date: 2009-09-01 20:20 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
Me, four!
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Elspeth
User: evaleastaristev
Date: 2009-09-01 23:12 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
Fixed!

Sorry, my journal defaults to friends only.
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The NewroticGirl: blue eye
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-09-01 23:33 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My contribution
Keyword:blue eye
Glad you unlocked it!! I like.
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The NewroticGirl: blue eye
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-09-01 15:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:blue eye
The Year They Outlawed Blue
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martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2009-09-01 16:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My contribution

http://martyn44.livejournal.com/316525.html
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-01 19:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not bad for a guy who says he doesn't write flash...
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Rafe
User: etcet
Date: 2009-09-01 16:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The sun was cold that day. The water was quiet. Even the minnows had moved to deeper, slower water, as if to recognize and respect the old man.

I laid my hat where Hemingway had fished, and walked on.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-01 19:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's like nanoflash, dude. Heh.
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Rafe
User: etcet
Date: 2009-09-01 20:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, yes. I fail at verbosity, even of the two-page variety. :-)
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Rafe
User: etcet
Date: 2009-09-01 20:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
... but it's still way too long for twitterfic.

/shoehorns

Aha!

The sun was cold, the water quiet. Minnows had moved on to respect the old man. I laid a hat where Hemingway had fished. http://bit.ly/kH3Z0
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2009-09-01 22:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I suspect that's more Hemingway in any case.
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Rafe
User: etcet
Date: 2009-09-02 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There has been the occasional metaquotes thread re: TXT-spk of various things (the bible, the ten commandments, deadly sins, famous literature). I am proudly ashamed of my contribution:

Lk on my wks ye mghty & dspr. - Ozy (KofKs)
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Josh English
User: joshenglish
Date: 2009-09-01 21:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nice.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-01 19:51 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Well, my FIRST pass, anyway
Nicely played.
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manmela
User: manmela
Date: 2009-09-01 19:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Salt Of Life
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Josh English
User: joshenglish
Date: 2009-09-01 20:58 (UTC)
Subject: The Guardian
Under the Hawthorne, the man in the blue hat cast his line into the fog-covered Willamette.
“Goddamn homeless pricks, you camp down here and ruin the fishing. I can't bring my boy here to teach him how to fish because of you.”
The man watching him sat on a rock, wearing a green army surplus jacket and looking older than a man should look, grunted.
“I'll bet you didn't even serve. Fake-ass vets begging for a handout. You make me sick.”
The homeless man looked at the patches on the jacked. “Vietnam? No.”
The fishing line caught and the man cranked the reel. It resisted. “Tough sonna bitch, this one.” He pulled hard, turning his body and pulling the line over his head. The rod swatted the ground, bringing the line out of the water. The line carried a black smudge of a fish. It hit the rocks and squirmed under what looked like oil.
The homeless man stood up quickly to get a closer look. The fisherman joined him, swallowing the small breakfast threatening to make a reappearance.
“Damn pollution. Your type did this, swimming in the river, making it foul...”
“I fought in other wars,” said the homeless man, finishing the more important thought. He knelt to the fish and produced a lighter. He lit it and moved the flame closer to the fish.
It squealed, a high, faint whine.
“Damn. What is that?”
The river moved. A large tentacled thing pushed itself onto the shore. The fisherman made a sound that could have been a scream or the sound of man whose bravado emptied with his bladder down his pant-leg.
“An old enemy,” the homeless man said, and ran to his small camp in the bushes, hidden from the jogging path.
“Cow … cow ...” the fisherman fell backwards, in such a hurry to escape he didn't watch his feet. A slimy black tentacle slapped against his leg and attached itself, pulling the man across the rocks, other tentacles joining in the task. The man screamed.
The homeless man returned., carrying a short spear made of ash. Its point glowed. He splashed into the river bank, waiting as the tentacled monster drug its prey into the river.
The homeless man paused. First, he had to wait until the beast was vulnerable. It was already preoccupied. Second, he considered if the man was worth saving.
The beast flopped backward, catching the homeless man off guard, and flinging the fisherman into the river. He struck the beast with the spear.
It carried both men into the water. The homeless man held fast, and scrambled for purchase under the water.
The fight was brief. He lost both the weapon and the monster. The fishermen never returned to the shore.
He knew he had to leave. Someone would look for him. He left the blue hat sitting where it had fallen, on the edge of the water.
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a_r_williams
User: a_r_williams
Date: 2009-09-02 00:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Poppa Spangle hovered over the dirty water, his pants rolled up to mid calf revealing two stark white legs that looked like they had never seen sunlight until now. He stretched his arms out wide and flapped them like he was a pterodactyl about to take flight, his baby blue imitation Indiana Jones fedora slipping over his eyes. The students giggled at his antics and pressed closer in.

“And so it was that the first creatures crawled out of the oceans and streams,” he said pushing his hat back on top of his head. “Evolution takes millions of years before a single effect can be seen. The process of natural selection at work—only the best and brightest will survive.”

“Well,” said Clark Davis leaning against a tree, a cocksure grin etched on his face. He looked cool in his “How the hell have you survived so long?”

Poppa Spangle half sat, half stood up. He looked like a martial artist in the horse stance, but his eyes grew real strange and funny. A chill filled the air even though the sun hung in a cloudless blue sky. Everyone stepped back and away. The laughter stopped.

Clark Davis laughed then, perhaps to fill the silence. “Yeah, you got all the answers. I bet you can’t even find a mate with your 60’s hat. Did that hat come with a blue tux too?”

Clark pushed himself off the tree and came forward. He was tall for a sixteen year old. Some said his father once played pro ball. He almost towered over Mr. Spangle’s five feet four inches by a good two feet. Almost.

Mr. Spangle stood up and laughed. The darkness left his eyes, but his hands were clenched tight. So tight the knuckles were white and the veins in his arms stood out.

“This is all bullshit,” Clark said looking around. “Evolution. Creatures crawling out of the primordial ooze. Prove it.”

Mr. Spangle shook his head. “Clark, what you fail to understand is…”

Clark wasn’t listening. He pushed Mr. Spangle’s hat off and into the water. “I know what you are. A chicken!”

Mr. Spangle’s face turned paler than his legs. His eyes grew big and words not English came from his mouth. Words never heard spoken in any language since the birth of the universe. Mr. Spangle began to change. His body expanded. The flesh fell away to reveal a smooth amphibian like skin that glistened in the sun. Most of the students screamed and ran. A few stayed behind to watch.

“I knew it,” Clark said.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-09-06 15:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like it!
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a_r_williams
User: a_r_williams
Date: 2009-09-06 20:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, Mark!
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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2009-09-02 06:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I found it's best to leave my hat on the shore.
It makes the best anchor. It calls me back better than the rest of any of my cloths, or my wallet.
My hat tells me who I am me. Who else wears a hat like that?

No one.

When the tide lets me go, and my time below the waves is done, I will find it there. Sitting in the sun, a little damp and perhaps a little worse for wear.

Like me.

Sometimes I wonder if someday someone will take my hat. Will I wander lost under the waves? Crawling till my time ends through the reef and rubble, tentacles probing crevices for for food?

Today is not that day though, for it's upon the shore when I drag myself out. Suckers fading, and beak becoming mouth. The eyes remain the same, and sometimes, I wonder how much of the mind remains as well.

Edited at 2009-09-02 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Bibbit
User: bridget_coila
Date: 2009-09-02 06:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wrote one :)

http://bridget-coila.livejournal.com/214058.html

B
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wyld_dandelyon: Rainbow Owl
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2009-09-02 11:04 (UTC)
Subject: The Big Blue Tent
Keyword:Rainbow Owl
I have an entry. Here: http://wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com/55757.html
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uglychicken
User: uglychicken
Date: 2009-09-02 18:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
http://uglychicken.livejournal.com/32406.html
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leesmiley
User: leesmiley
Date: 2009-09-02 19:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll throw my dingy blue hat into the ring:

http://leesmiley.livejournal.com/34452.html
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