The End is Nigh! the man shouted.
Is there still time for hot chocolate? Riley asked.
The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. Ah, maybe, I don’t know.
― Jana Oliver, Forbidden
Why, thank-you, dearie. I never say no to a biscuit. And what’s your name, young lady? Louise? The old face cracked in a smile.
Do I believe what? That the dragon is coming and the world will end tomorrow?
Now, when I was your age, the world was always coming to an end. Left and right people were predicting disasters. I think it’s because they want the world to change. And right they are! But no, I don’t think the world will end tomorrow.
The dragon, now, that’s a whole other story. The old eyes twinkled. I’ve seen it myself, you know…
* * *
T.Mastgrave’s story challenge: the End of Time.
It simply wasn’t fair! He fumed. The client base was growing. There was really only so much he could do with his small host of imps. Who mostly chased their own tails, anyway.
With the population explosion, he had counted on setting the damned souls to work. Now the Boss had vetoed it. It would be pernicious to their souls. They were the damned, dammit! But, apparently, the fine print foresaw ultimate salvation for all.
He didn’t know how he’d manage without computers. Next: a customizable operating system. He grinned. It would drive people mad! He’d simply be raking the souls in!
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s story challenge: Overworked and rundown.
She hated frills and furbelows. A complex machine, now, that was beautiful. Everything in its place, functioning together as a harmonious whole.
She had spent aeons on the design, fine-tuning the different factors to achieve a delicate balance. Everything would be perfect. A few simple laws, that was the trick. No tinkering would be needed: only mechanics did that. It was fitting that to breathe life into her creation she would explode into a trillion trillion pieces.
She looked at her plan, and saw that it was good. Her final thought was: “Let there be light.”
And there was light.
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s philosophical story challenge: Simplicity.
You want the recipes for my potions, my girl, the ingredients and the incantations.
For potions of love and of nurture, you must take what is growing: the early bud, the first leaf, the tip of the vine picked at dawn under a new moon.
For potions of destruction, duplicity, and death, take what is dying: the wilting leaf, the withered stem, the hardened fruit picked at dusk when the moon is full.
But the true secret is that what is in your heart when you stir the pot will enter your potion.
So be careful what you hope for.
* * *
I was stumped by Julia Skinner’s 100 word challenge to write a recipe fit for a witch, until I came across inspiration in Lillie McFerrin’s 5 sentence challenge: Potions.
Democracy is the worst form of government
except all the others that have been tried.
– Winston Churchill
RB dragged his burden to the store-room. The sentry waved him in.
– Cast your vote yet? the sentry asked.
– Nah. RB scurried out. He wasn’t sure. The National Block wanted to keep things as they were. The Forwards Party wanted change: Shorter hours, less military service.
Shorter hours sounded good. But where was the food to come from? With less military service, more workers would be free, they said. Would the sentries know how to forage? What if there was an attack?
Difficult questions. RB’s antennae waved ceaselessly. Getting the vote didn’t seem to make life easier for a worker-ant.
* * *
T. Mastgrave’s story challenge: The Lesser of Two Evils.
It would be alright. He’d done this a hundred times before. Today he was guiding a group of geologists searching for an underground river in the caves beneath the Jokakichua mountain, or Dragon’s Head, named for its distinctive shape and it’s sudden “flames” of fog.
He knew the greenish algae-produced light helped adjust your senses to the surroundings; it felt eerie nonetheless. Irrelevantly, he wished he hadn’t lost his lucky charm.
Suddenly he stopped, senses on red alert. It was quiet, too quiet. Where was everybody? He heard a deep rasping breath, and felt a hot draft on his neck.
T.Mastgrave’s story challenge: Unnatural silence.
A bizarre legacy, she thought, Aunt Beth’s spidery handwriting begging her to leave the sitting tenant alone. She did at least want to see the place.
There it was. Right on the edge of the forest, it seemed on the point of merging with it. Surrounded by trees, overgrown with creepers. In summer it must all but disappear.
The house looked deserted. Who would choose to live here? When she tried the door she felt the house shudder. A cold breeze sprang up. She’d swear she heard it gusting: “Leave!”
Best to forget about the place, she thought, driving away.
* * *
My second entry for this week’s 100wcgu: my photo for “merge” got me in the writing vein. My first attempt was Neighbours.