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prey — friday fictioneers Zeds 13

October 3, 2012

Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Each week she posts a picture which serves as a prompt for flash fiction, a 100 or so word story. Come and try your hand. Today’s prompt is:

picture courtesy of Gabrielle Phillips

( Oops, I used the wrong picture, but Reaper’s memory as he and the madman sat in Madman’s fortress where one room remains pristine with no weapons, no barred and electrified windows, to be the room of this week’s prompt. Perhaps it is
Madman’s tribute to his long lost wife and a world before the fall.

The girl stood transfixed watching the snake feed. Reaper’s mind drifted back two days to the rendezvous with the madman. Brilliant, eccentric the madman remained alone in the city in his hidden fortress. Reaper and the madman sipped scotch, the real stuff.

“There’s a way, but you’ll never save her. Nobody does”, he cackled.

Reaper stared coldly at him. Madman’s eyes shone, his beard long and crazy.

“I’d need a decoy” Reaper whispered.

Madman gasped and coughed, spittle and booze dripping from his beard.

Back in the present Reap touched the girl. She gazed at him, and he felt her hunger.

  1. I don’t have the back story, so these are “standalone” suggestions/comments. 🙂

    Watch commas (generally, the rule is to tuck them inside of quotations (“… Nobody does,” he cackled; “… a decoy,” Reaper whispered.)).

    Also watch the timing of events. The story is happening in the past tense. If Reaper’s memories are taking us farther back, then you should employ “had” (“Reaper and the madman had sipped scotch, the real stuff.”) to indicate this for the reader.

    I liked the combination of “spittle and booze.” (The fact that “booze” is similar but completely different to “ooze” was excellent.)

    I had it in my head that the girl was the actual predator here. Is my gut instinct right? Or was she just in need of a crust of bread?

    I will try to tune in next week to see what happens next! 🙂

    • billgncs permalink

      thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.
      Punctuation is the bane of my existence I need to pull out the book. The girl has been contaminated and is in danger of losing her will to the evil presence that animates the zombies. Reaper is trying to save her before she turns. Thanks again!

  2. Hmm, some good intrigue here for moving the story forwards. I like the Madman character, can see he would make a good chapter or two when you expand this into a novel 🙂

    • thanks, I have been thinking about it, each prompt is a chance to storyboard a chapter in 100 words. It is useful since it makes the thought of writing a book less intimidating.

      • What a great way to look at it Bill! I agree with the thought of novel writing being intimidating. I’ve only taken the plunge to contemplating a novel by basing it on the life of a real person, which gives a structure before I start.

  3. This story has been fun to read week after week – and I like the little back story we get here. I also like that you named your character Madman. Awesome

  4. Russell permalink

    I really like following this every week. The last five words were perfect to keep us hanging.

    • Thanks! Sometimes the prompt takes the pressure of planning off, I just have to react!

  5. You connected the snake photo to the zombie saga brilliantly — however creepy and scary that may be!

  6. Would’ve preferred the kitchen picture. Graphic imagery with the Madman. Going to my happy spot now.

    • me too – I wrote it the night before from a picture on Madison’s blog thinking she would add the link later and zing next morning this was the prompt.

  7. Great weird and eccentric characters. You could easily expand this to some kind of dark adventure. Ron

    • thanks Ron, each prompt is almost a story board for a chapter. It is still intimidating imagining something longer.

  8. Now we have to ask–who’s Nate? Hmmmmmm…….(I nominate the snake for your decoy.)

  9. Creepy picture! Must have taken a lot to get that click!
    I am not updated on Reaper… can you please point to to links of the previous posts?


  10. Dear Bill,

    I used to keep constrictors when I was young. They would have liked you.



  11. What a grim picture! The tale continues to unfold… Nice work.

  12. I also nearly went with this photo. I like what you’ve done. Well played.

  13. I really like your work and i hope you know that…this picture scared the heck out of me…i will not be looking at it again…no sir!

  14. You certainly got my attention when I saw that picture! Nice recovery, though. Just wondered…are you saying Nate’s a madman??? (Inside joke, for the rest of you.)

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