I nearly forgot....
I discovered two new weekly flash fiction competitions.
Flash! Friday posts a photo and concept prompt on Friday morning. Due by midnight are 150 words.
Indies Unlimited posts a photo prompt on Saturday, with 250 words due on Tuesday. That one has public voting, so expect some prodding from me.
Without further ado, here is the photo for last week's Indies Unlimited:
The police struggled to restrain the grind of onlookers. Down at the beach, the din didn’t even register with Dr. Newton. His attention was focused on the immobile blacck mass before him.
“Damn it! That’s the third this month. She’s a beautiful specimen.”
“How can you tell it’s female?” asked Simone.
“When you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, you sense it.”
“Do you think this has something to do with...”
“With the oil? The cleanup? I think it has everything to do with that.”
“Why doesn’t the government do something?”
“Because big business is powerful. They grease the skids. That’s how our world operates. We, on land, need fuel. At any cost. Screw marine life.”
“What if something like that happens again?”
“Worst case, widespread extinctions,” Newton said as he ran an appreciative hand along the smooth skin.
“There must be—”
“Shhh!” he hissed. “I feel something!” He placed a sensor against the leviathan, and listened. “She’s still alive!”
An audible buzz surged through the crowd.
“She’s severely dehydrated.” Newton called to the crowd. “Everyone! We need your help!”
Without a word, the throng lined up beside the imperiled creature. Taking turns, each plugged a finger into her lubrication port, and delivered a quantity of oil. Newton checked her levels, then rebooted.
The submarine’s internal works once again operating, she began rolling toward the water. With a titanic splash, she entered the surf.
As she sailed out to sea, a metallic cheer arose from the crowd.
Here is "Two Bicycles," with a prompt of space travel:
He gazed to the northwest. "Where are you?" he said aloud. He didn't care if anyone overheard. No one could think him to be any crazier.
He was sure they'd believe him. But they laughed, and mocked him. They would pick up an imaginary phone and say, "Call me."
A downward spiral of the big Ds ensued. Depression. Drugs. Desperation. At least he had fared better than his siblings. His sister now resided in a state asylum. Michael hanged himself before they could take him. The only reason Elliott had not been put away was because he ran away. His life had become little more than a scurry between the filthy, stinking underpasses which dwell in the shadows of the LA freeway system.
"You said you'd come back!" he screamed. "You promised. I even got you your own bicycle. Where are you, E.T.?"
At that moment, 500 feet below Area 51, Dr. Lassiter looked at his team.
"Let's begin. Scalpel."
Feel free to share your thoughts on either story.