Cornelius & The Machine published at The Drabble

I’m really excited to have another 100 words published at The Drabble today.

As I’ve mentioned before, The Drabble provides my daily fix of flash and is always a welcome escape.

Please let me know what you think if you have time to visit.

Cornelius & The Machine

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Pirate Queen at The Drabble

Every day I head across to one of my favourite sites – The Drabble. There’s something almost magical about being whisked away to different worlds all in the space of 100 words.

It is such a great site and I’m really happy to see another one of my Drabbles published there today – Pirate Queen of the Crimson Coast @ The Drabble

This was one of the first Drabbles I wrote and it spawned both a short story and a novella. Please head across for a look if you have time. If you haven’t visited before, it’s well worth exploring the site – so many great stories.

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Rishi’s Star published at The Drabble

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I’m excited to see one of my drabbles – Rishi’s Star – published at the wonderful site The Drabble.

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia offers this definition – “A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.”

The Drabble also has an excellent guide to what they’re looking for – What Exactly Is Drabble.

I’ve been writing them for awhile now and find it a great way to tune in my brain at the start of a writing session…and every so often I’m left with something I like.

Worth a try when you’re next faced with that dreaded blank page 🙂

Paper Hearts

Eliza moved into the new apartment complex opposite my own drab building. She started at my school but we never spoke; the different shades of our skin made certain of that. I studied her whenever I was able. It was her eyes that always held me transfixed; they were an amazing splash of green, swirling and ever-changing as tide pools at dawn. In their depths lay a sadness that I could never quite reach, no matter how I tried.

On the day I saw her crying by her open bedroom window, I felt the weight of the slate sky overhead press down. I had never before seen someone so forlorn. Although I lived a tattered, hand-me-down life, I dressed in smiles and was clothed in laughter. Eliza was always impeccably accoutered but I’d never heard a laugh cross her lips.

As I sat watching, she glanced up and our eyes met. Instead of looking away like she did at school, she held my gaze while unheeded tears fell. I was in a rowboat, being dragged into a maelstrom. Everything in me urged me to dip my oars and pull back before I was caught in the whirlpool. Yet, I resisted and stayed with her until the storm blew itself out. Finally, when there was nowhere left for it to run, I saw the cause of Eliza’s sorrow laid bare in the depths of her eyes.

I signaled for her to stay by the window and quickly gathered supplies. I worked diligently on a red magazine page, then folded a newspaper into a plane and loaded its precious cargo. Once I was back by the window, a flick of my wrist launched it out over the chasm between our worlds.

Eliza’s eyes traced its arc as my plane gracefully rose, then seemed to hang on a breath at the apex. Inside that pause, I lived and grew old in a world devoid of colours; I married for love, raised children who knew how to draw pictures in clouds and laugh until their bellies ached for release. As the plane descended, its cargo released, to fall as heart-shaped rain.

Laughter drifted like wind chimes at dusk and a sliver of sunshine broke through dark clouds.

Ryan Stone

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Rishi’s Star

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While the other street-dwellers huddled beneath worn blankets and cardboard, Rishi gazed skyward, smiling.

“Fool boy,” muttered one threadbare man.

“Not right, that one,” another agreed.

Content watching his star, Rishi didn’t hear. She whispered secrets and kept him warm with her quicksilver eyes.

One awful night, Rishi found his star gone. Too cold to sleep, he started walking. In a strange part of town he found a girl weeping.

“What’s wrong?”

Looking up, familiar eyes came alive.

“Nothing, now.” She offered her hand; Rishi accepted.

Forever more two stars shone together, casting a silver blanket over those below.

Ryan Stone

Pirate Queen of the Crimson Coast

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“Surrender?” he begged.

Aisha gazed down her rapier at Admiral Benpassa. When last they’d met, he was raping her mother, the Queen. Aisha escaped the horror that followed; fleeing her father’s fallen kingdom to be reborn as a pirate.

A sharp blade and sharper mind had kept her safe when her blossoming femininity betrayed her. Her beauty and fearless nature were unrivaled; pirates flocked to her banner.
She raided the usurper’s fleet mercilessly, taking joy in each victory. Today was particularly fine.

Aisha drove her rapier through Benpassa’s skull, then swung from the burning flagship; steely eyes smoldering.

Surrender?

Never.

Ryan Stone

Jeremy

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Jeremy was new at school; small and shy. I saw him walking home through the deepening snow, staggering under the weight of a bag full of books. I offered help and we shared the load. He didn’t say much but his smile was radiant. It was a moment I quickly forgot, but from it friendship burst. Years later, during his OAM acceptance speech, Jez floored me: “I dedicate this award to my friend. Years ago, I cleaned out my locker and headed home to take my life. A random act of kindness diverted me. Never underestimate the power of friendship.”

Ryan Stone

Cornelius and the Machine

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Click. Cornelius lay in bed. Clack. Unable to sleep. Click.

The infernal clickclack came from the billboard outside his window; neon winking on and off until midnight. After a month of broken sleep, Cornelius raised a petition. His movement gained momentum – Power to the People! – a nationwide boycott sent the company broke.

The billboard came down. Cornelius slept well for the first time in weeks.

The following month, a new billboard went up. With its competitor gone, a rival company expanded its empire. Their profits paid for a billboard twice as large; one than never switched off.

ClickityClackity. ClickityClackity. Clickity.

Ryan Stone

Empty Sky

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“It was the empty sky that first set me on edge.

“Hundreds of birds huddled in overcrowded trees, despite the late hour and the crisp morning air. I was sufficiently unsettled to restock the bunker and still inside when the radiation sensors sealed the door. But I ramble.

“If there’s anyone still alive out there, I’m in a bunker on Mount Dandenong. I’m transmitting on UHF and will scan all frequencies for as long as I’m able.

“I’m at coordinates 37.8311° S, 145.3600° E, with food and water. Is there anyone out there?

“I don’t want to die all alone.”

Ryan Stone

Chance

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Sprinting the last block to his bus-stop, Chance knew he was late.

Again.

And that meant dismissal.

Defeated, he stepped from the rain into a crowded cafe. He took the last vacant seat beside a pretty young lady.

“Bad morning?” she asked.

“Rejected manuscript, fired, drenched…not too bad.” Chance grinned.

“What’s your story about?”

Over a coffee, Chance detailed his novel.”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Let’s hope it’s a best seller!”

“Bring it to my publishing company and we’ll see.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Only one way to find out…” She stepped outside.

“Wait, what’s your name?” Chance called, following.

“Destiny.”

Ryan Stone