THE HOBGOBLIN’S FEAST

After seven days he came upon a clearing in the forest.

Ten small hutches had been made, with moss and twigs for roofs, arranged in a circle around a campfire.

‘You have been busy,’ he said, poking at the dying embers. They were still warm, they couldn’t be far.

He raised his large nose into the air. It was there faintly, the scent he had been following. The smell of tasty little children. The hobgoblin licked his lips.

‘I’m coming to get you,’ he shouted and set off through the trees.

Samuel watched the hunched figure disappear. ‘It worked,’ he whispered, ‘he’s gone the wrong way.’ He shimmied down the branches to the ground. The others followed.

‘What now?’ Nathaniel asked. Samuel looked at the rag-tag bunch, all dressed in the pyjamas they had been wearing when they were taken from their beds.

‘We have to find our way out of the forest. Come on.’

They turned to leave.

‘Hello children,’ the hobgoblin stepped out from behind a tree. ‘Not so smart after all.’

He swiped with his large net, capturing Samuel.

‘Run,’ Samuel cried. The others scattered.

The hobgoblin sneered at Samuel. ‘I’ll get you one at a time if I must.’


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Copyright Eric Wiklund

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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AFTER HAMELIN

‘Car keys?’ he asked the woman sprawled on the ground, arm fishing around down the drain.

‘House keys.’ She looked up, squinting at the silhouette of the man. He was dressed in red and orange checks.

‘Perhaps I can help?’

She pulled herself up. ‘Feel free.’

Instead of getting down to look in the drain, the man took out a flute, and began playing a jaunty ditty.

The woman heard faint squeaking. A wave of scurrying approached. A wave of brown and black fur swept out of the drain. A sea of rats.

The tone from the flautist changed. The rats stopped, turned and disappeared down the drain. Left behind on the road was a selection of keys, rings, mobile phones, money and one bloodied knife.

Her red ‘I ‘heart’ Paris’ key ring stood out. She picked up her keys. ‘Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome.’

‘I should give you something,’ she dug out her wallet and handed him a ten euro note.

‘How refreshing,’ the piper smiled. ‘Do you have any children?’

‘Two,’ she answered, unsure of the question.

‘Tonight, keep them locked securely in their room.’ He doffed his cap and skipped away playing another tune on his flute.


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Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

SNAKE BITE

‘Put your hand in.’

Charlie hesitated and looked into the dark hole in the rock.

What was the worst that could happen? It’s just a rock, he told himself.

Legend said it was the skull of an old dinosaur. Another said medieval warriors proved their strength by striking it with their sword. Others believed it was linked to witchcraft, a dark portal to a world of spirits and ghouls.

‘Prove you’re not scared.’

Charlie took a deep breath and shoved his hand into the black crater.

The disturbed adder struck the soft flesh and buried its fangs into the invading arm.


ceayr2

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

The piglet squealed in the sack as Harald threw it to the ground. It landed on the unmarked grave of his former rival.

The familiar rustle approached. The huge snake slithered across the ground towards him.

‘This is the last I have,’ Harald said, pointing to the piglet.

The snake reared up and looked Harald directly in the eyes. ‘Then you sshall have to find more from ssomewhere else to honour our bargain,’ he hissed.

‘Must I forever be in your debt?’

‘You knew the conssequencess when we struck our deal.’

‘What if I cannot find anything to sacrifice to you?’

‘Then I will vissit your family and take what I wissh.’

The snake took the sack in it’s jaw and dragged it away.

Harald trudged back through the forest. He came to the clearing and looked at his farmhouse. The children were in bed. The fire in the downstairs room silhouetted Karina in the window.

Happiness came with a heavy price, murder with a heavy burden. This was the price he paid to be with the woman he loved.


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Copyright Kecia Sparlin

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

THE LOST LEGION

‘What now?’ screamed Aetius.

Another hail of arrows split open the sky, hurtling down on them. On command the surviving legionnaires raised their shields and fended off the onslaught. The screams and cries signalled more men lost. The wild gale battered them, the rain hammered them relentlessly.

General Manius stared through the bleak grey storm at the huddled remains of the Ninth legion, strewn along the unforgiving rocky hillside.

They were hopelessly lost in this barren land. There was no escape. Retreat was blocked behind them, and they had no idea which way would lead them to safety. The aquila had been lost.

On all sides they were surrounded by the hellish inhabitants. Why had they been sent to conquer this desolate place? There was nothing here worth Rome having.

‘General, what now?’ Aetius yelled again.

Through the storm Manius heard an evil animal howl. Emerging from the thick fog, fearsome warriors charged towards them.

‘We fight and we die,’ Manius commanded as he hauled himself to his feet. His men followed his example. They rushed to meet their death. Manius fell to one blow from a giant axe.

The Ninth legion was lost to history. The land called Caledonia remained wild and unbowed.


 

203 06 June 18th 2017
Copyright A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.