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Literature
FFM 15 - Playing With Fire - Part Four
I’m used to being the weird one in the room.  I’ve taken some shitty cases in my time, and they’ve taken me some truly bizarre places, but that much is usually consistent.  Tonight, the weird was stacked higher than my horns, and I was starting to worry that I hadn’t brought enough liquor.
        My night started two days prior, in the same manner they usually do: with a bottle of Jack and some crying lady interrupting my ‘me’ time.  I was just preparing my bentonite clay mask when she showed up at the office, sobbing about some priest named Grimaldi.  Said he had gone missing and the Church was giving her bullshit explanations for his absence.  I’ve always loved fucking over the Church, and really wanted her to leave so I could start my bubble bath; naturally I took the job. Next day I wake up with a hangover and a shitty new case but my skin has never felt so soft, so I guess that’s somethin
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Literature
Pseudo-FFM 5 - Mushroom Picking
The war moved further north, and we followed several days behind.  The landscape was an endless battlefield, and we passed over it like wildfire, picking the mushrooms that grew on the endless corpses.  The men on the frontlines would dine on flesh and meat, but the rest of the tribe managed with what we could.  By the time we arrived, the bodies were too rotten to be suitable food, but they were perfect fertilizer for the broad, meaty red caps.  Elanna told me that the enemy’s poisoned weapons dropped spores that grew into non-poison food stuff.   Elanna always knew stuff like that.  
She was eight then, and I twelve, but she often had to teach me simple lessons like that, and as she got older, she grew more frustrated with her dim-witted big sister.  The facts of the World just never sat in my head as firmly as the dreams of the stars, or the songs of the tall reeds.  The others had always seen it, but she was only now growing old enough
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Literature
Way after FFM 04 - The Quest
The shark was larger than many villages I’d seen, but he was slain as easily as any of the other monsters in the ocean, once I felt out his patterns.  “Fool,” he growled his last words, his voice rippling through the depths.  “You’ll never gather all of the charms, and your wishes aren’t worth the consequences.”  I dove deeper into the Western Ocean and swam into the Water Shrine.  There, in a giant clam shell, sat the first charm I needed to achieve all my dreams.
Sucking on my last scrap of air root, I grabbed the Spirit of the Ocean.
Mt. Hepheus was called the God’s Forge, but its flames couldn’t match the blazing determination within my soul.  A network of caves ran through the mountain like an anthill, but I never got lost—the heat of the volcanic core grew as I worked deeper, until I stood in a massive chamber.  Streams of molten lava poured from the walls, pooling into a moat around a black
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Literature
Never FFM 3 - Positive Thinking
“And now, sweet pupa, are you ready to be Positive?”  The Facilitator’s voice was bright and charismatic, amplified by a wireless headset so that the rest of us in the crowd could hear.  Behind him, the Redeemer loomed, a perfect monolithic ring of chrome and light.  The congregation cheered at the words, and the ‘pupa’ in question bowed his head.
“I’m ready,” he replied, barely loud enough to be heard by even the first row, and the congregation went wild with cheers and applause.  He stepped into the ring and reached up to grab the top arc with both hands.  The position always reminded me a bit of the Vitruvian man, and I never imagined that the parallel was unintentional.
The Redeemer began to pulse and glow, lifting off of the ground and tilting like a satellite dish with the man’s body in the middle.  “Positivity cannot live with shadows, and we now banish your demon to the nether, that you ma
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Literature
This Isn't FFM 02 - Clouded Windows
“Dreams are powerful,” Sebastion had always said, until it sounded like an echo or soundbite.  “This all started with a dream, you know.”  Tiana did know, but she let him carry on as they stepped out onto the street.  “Years ago, I dreamt up a better life, where I didn’t have to hustle.  Everyone told me I was crazy, but I knew better.”  He was taking longer than usual fiddling with his keys out on the stoop, and Tiana waited patiently, hands folded neatly in front of her.
“I knew that I had something to offer, and rich folks would fly their cars down from Upper New York to get some good Ox-Tail or ask for spellwork.  And sure enough, I’ve worked charms for all the biggest big-wigs in this town.  Folks that wouldn’t ever be caught dead in Lower Harlem otherwise.  And I knew then that I would use this place to train my niece.  And one day it’d be yours.” He smiled fondly
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Literature
Not FFM 1- Sins
The elevator doors slid open, and Don officially stepped off of the mortal plane.  He knew that he didn’t have a stomach anymore, not really, but it felt like his guts were twisting.  Morty extended one long bony finger to push a button, and the elevator began to move.  It began to move downwards, specifically.
“Oh shit,” Donny hissed, turning to his guide with wide eyes.  “It’s like that?”
Morty offered a sad little grin and shrugged.  “Unfortunately, thems the breaks kid.  You went to Sunday school, you knew what you had coming.”  Donny just stared, agape.  “And you got it lucky.  Most guys gotta take the trip by themselves, but I knew your dad back in Vegas.  Good guy, got into a lot of trouble.  Least I could do is help his boy along the last mile.”  
“This is unreal,” Donny wheezed, heaving over with his hands on his knees.  “Like, Hell?
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Literature
FFM 31 - Fear
Our mentor’s dungeon was full of nightmares, and Mal was more afraid than any of us.  From the fossilized Gorgon eye, to the vials of boiling basilisk blood, everything terrified him, but I knew I scared him more than any of those things.
But a necromancer mustn’t know fear, so I cornered him one day beneath the Hydra’s skeleton.  Grabbing him by the collar, I slammed him against the wall.  Wildfire blazed in my eyes as I glared into his and leaned in close with a growl.
And then our lips met, and I felt the fear melt away.
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Literature
FFM 29 - The Supersonic Man
“We’re going to make a super-sonic man out of you,” someone had said when they wheeled his stretcher into the lab, but in retrospect he was certain that it wasn’t Doctor Jones.  Whoever it had been, they hadn’t oversold the process.  He was certain that he was breathing his last breaths only a week earlier, and now he was lifting weights in a highly classified gym somewhere below the Nevada desert.  The facility was a subterranean labyrinth designated only as TVC15, and Joe had no idea how deep its tunnels ran, nor what other scary monsters and super creeps like himself took residence there.
This particular experiment was headed up by Doctor Robert Jones, whose mismatched eyes and enigmatic smile would have set Joe on edge if he didn’t have such a gentle manner to him.  “Excellent work, Joe,” he said with his crisp English accent, scribbling a note on his clipboard.  “And now the next set.”
Joe dropped
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Literature
FFM 27 - Coulda
My captor told me not to talk, but I coulda said so much.  Coulda told him these mountains were ogre territory.  Coulda told him his garish uniform matched female ogre body-paints.  I coulda told him it was mating season.  I even coulda told him that that rock he was leaning against... wasn’t a rock.
Coulda.
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Literature
FFM 22 - (Part 4) Homecoming
                The capital city of Fahul was a flurry of panic, as everyone with any sense hurriedly packed up their most important belongings, grabbed their families, and fled for any border they thought they could reach.  Not just out of the city, but out of Ossily altogether.  Men, women, and children alike swarmed out of the city, packed together like bees crawling through the streets and alleys of their hive.  The entire population was leaving, and yet Rena found herself pushing her way back in.
 
                She twisted and winded through the endless crowd, shoving with elbows or shoulders when she had to.  It was an endless procession of the same face, over and over: tired, terrified, almost wild.  She imagined that she had that face, too.  After all, she had the same motivation as any of these people:  family. 
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Literature
FFM 14 - The Devil's Day
“Where were you on the night of July 14th?”
Sweat beaded up on the boy’s forehead, glistening under the fluorescent light.  He was young and weak, and I knew that any minute he’d spill like a BP oil tanker.  I just had to push a little harder.
“Umm… I don’t know?”  He squeaked.  
I leaned over the counter, glaring into his eyes.  “You sure about that?”  He was the sort of guy that was used to asking all the questions around here, but I had him on his heels now.  
“I swear!  I have no clue!”  He stared at my face with eyes as wide as a bloodshot, glazed over moon.  “Are you… the devil…?”
“It’s a…skin condition, actually.”
He seemed unsure of what to say, so he repeated his question: “Do you want a soft or hard taco with that?”
“… Soft.”
“Okay, and… sir, you’re not allowed
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Literature
FFM 25 - Nihilism
PAGE 1
You awake to a knock on the door.  Based on the tone and cadence of the knock, compounded with the fact that you aren’t expecting company, you quickly conclude that there is likely a stranger behind that door!
If you get out of bed, throw on some manner of clothing/body paint/fur unitard to make yourself decent, and answer the door, turn to PAGE 2
If you get out of bed and answer the door naked, turn to PAGE 2
If you decide not to get out of bed, roll over, and go back to dreaming about a magical world where everyone gets a happy ending, turn to PAGE 2
If you were never in bed to begin with, and it was all a clever ruse because you happen to know that the stranger is actually your nemesis and NOW YOU HAVE THE DROP ON HIM! …. Kindly turn to PAGE 2
If you opt to answer the door with an ice cream cone in hand, a warm smile, and a pleasant demeanor, turn to PAGE 2
If you opt to answer the door with a fully loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and a Clint Ea
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Literature
FFM 23 - Lost Vegas
It was the early 1900s when I decided it was time again to rebrand myself.  Every couple centuries or so, one just gets tired of all that ‘Prince of Lies’ nonsense, and all the pressure that comes with a reputation like that.  Back in the Morningstar days, it wasn’t so bad—who doesn’t love worship, amirite?—but ever since the Fall, it’s almost impossible for a guy to reinvent himself.  So much for all that ‘forgiveness’ nonsense the preachers spout.
Anyway, back then the hopping place to be was out west.  Things were starting to get civilized, but there was still room to breathe out in the desert.  All these little towns were starting to build steam, and it seemed like a good place for a fresh start.  So I found this little spot out in the desert that the Mexicans had dubbed “The Meadows.”  Sounded peaceful.  After that, the Mormons had taken over.  Sounded reputable.  An
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Literature
FFM 21 - Round the Tree of Life
Chaos swept across the material world, and the ripples hit the Tree of Life like tidal waves.   The Tree had never known a moment of peace in all its eternal existence, but this was a moment of exceptional cacophony throughout its branches, as all the spirits and totems of nature convened in a great meeting.
“It is a plague!” howled Wolf, a mixture of rage and sorrow. “My packs fall one after another, furless and rotting in the dirt with all the meat still on their bones.”
“No!  A toxin!”  cried Turtle.  “I’ve seen the rivers turn green and black with pure death, watched countless fish choke on water as though it was pure poison.”
Still, Stag had another suggestion: “A predator.  I’ve seen the beast with my own eyes, devouring my children or simply slaughtering them for the game of it.  
Lion theorized a God, and Hyena supported the claim, marking the first time that the two had ever been un
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Literature
FFM 20 - Worst Invention Ever
I’ve always been really good with machines.  Loved them since I was born, really, and started inventing my own when I was still in middle school.  It began with simple solutions to common problems, like a remote controlled waffle-press, or a lawn-mower that could also dye the grass and give it a perm while it cut.  It wasn’t until college that I really started getting into the crazy stuff.  
“What if man created God, instead of the other way around?”  My roommate asked.  He was a philosophy and theology major, so he often posed nonsensical queries like this one.  “Not just made Him up, like a pretend thing, but actually made Him?  How incredible would that be?”
“PPfffffftttt,” I replied, reasonably.  “I’ve built more difficult things than that.  You didn’t think it was so incredible when I made that pasta de-tangler.”
“Dude, I’m talking about God.
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Literature
FFM 19 - Ekpyrotica
We are three-dimensional, soaring through a four-dimensional existence outside of our understanding, drawn inexorably by forces beyond comprehension.  We connect, and the contact causes ripples through our combined existence, temperatures climbing as we collide against each other.  As the pressure builds, so does our potential together.  We fuse, twisting and bending, and as one pushes deeper, the other reacts equally.   Cosmic bodies grind against each other, seeding life in the form of sparks and stars that spray across the sky.  An unbearable tension grows and swells, hot and volatile.
And finally, the biggest bang either of us have ever experienced.
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Random Favourites

Literature
Witch Hunting for Pleasure and Profit
The chemical blast from my breach gun splintered the door away from me. Old tech still worked fine and the manually operated shotgun couldn't be hacked.
The pseudo-intelligent tactical talon slaved to my battle suite neatly stowed the weapon on the smart clamps behind my shoulder as I bowled into the middle of the coven flashing microwaves on full strobe from my Gladius Magnums. The armour grade visor protected my eyes from any inadvertent shineback.
I eyeballed the flashing red trigger in the lower left corner of my HUD activating the two heavy weapons I'd put up on the roof of the abandoned liquor store across the street. An incandescent stream of sabotted biomech wasps began to blow gushing red holes into the familiars that I hadn't already flash fried or torn open with my talon.
The witch huddled in the corner and stared at me as if she never believed anyone would find her in the slums. My firewalls had been blocking hundreds of illegal access attempts from the moment I entered the
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Literature
The Sky Is Falling
     I remember the day the Sky fell.
     Fragments of the mighty skyship had fallen for such a long time. The ground shook all through the night, as if the sky gods themselves marched across the plains of Kambala. For days afterwards, the plains were empty of predators.
     The tribe had roamed the plains in safety then, admiring the craftsmanship of the skyship that had been delivered from the heavens. Some hailed it as the end of savagery, as the augur of an era free from the predators. The cynics that doubted, those that did not believe we had entered a new era, were cast out of the tribe. Free from predators and cynics, peace reigned throughout the plains of Kambala for a brief time.
     The peace didn't last. It never does on the plains of Kambala. You see, the cynics had been right. The predators soon returned, but in an instance of cosmic irony, they devoured the cynics before
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Literature
Titan of War
     The Titan of War swivels on its horizontal axis, bringing its fearsome armaments to bear. It stabs death into the crowd of innocents that flee before it.
     'Tommy, it's time to come in for dinner,' shouts his mother.
     The Titan of War runs from the battlefield.
     The ants stand triumphantly and salute their defeated foe.
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Literature
The Sharpshooter
The cold barrel of his rifle leaned up on his shoulder as Jed listed to the Captain carefully, taking in each word the man had to say.  The Captain.  He was no captain of a prestigious ship nor was he a captain of a military squad.
No, no way in hell.
"Boys, the night is ours.  We got it.  Just this one last shot," the Captain spoke, his words masked by a heavy southern drawl.  He paced in front of the party of ten men--no--ten boys, no more than twenty years of age.  A cloud of dust rose from his footsteps.  Stopping in front of each one of his loyal soldiers, the Captain narrowed his eyes and looked each one straight on with the most daring, yet trusting, gaze.  His rifle slid off his shoulder, hitting the ground with a click.
"One last shot.  That's all we have," he growled.  The years have taken a toll on him, both physically and mentally.  His face creased di
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Literature
Golem
It waded through the sewers with an unconscious girl slung over its shoulder. The featureless lumpen golem was outclassed by the exquisite terracotta brickwork of the arches above it. Deep red blood stained its sallow clay body from mouth to foot.
Nothing lived in this stretch of the sewers anymore. Even the alligators had migrated elsewhere in fear. The golem was mute, but its feet shook the earth; the water roiled around its knees with each step.
It came to a halt in an area best described as an atrium, where a large grating let in a stream of light and illuminated the water dripping from the ceiling. Passageways extended out in each cardinal direction. Bones littered the floor.
The golem seized the girl's ankle and slung her onto the floor with a splash. It placed a foot on her solar plexus and wrenched an arm; a gristly popping sound echoed in the chamber as it broke off at the joint. The golem began to chew and crunch on it.
"Now!" someone shouted. Black suited men poured in from
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Literature
Pixie dust
When they told him he was going to be saving the world with a screwdriver, he'd expected it to arrive in a highball. Sure, an actual screwdriver was the more practical choice, and he had set a precedent for their use as a deadly weapon, but regardless, he'd take the cocktail any day.
The Parahuman Regulation Bureau had contacted Harry because he owed them a favour. He'd built a sort of golem thing last year, and it had kind of broken loose and started roaming the sewers. The fact was that they knew a lot less about goblin tech than their P.R department would have you believe. That meant that he was essentially their freelance goblin specialist. It had been that or getting chipped, and Harry got up to a lot of things he'd rather the P.R.B didn't know about. Most goblins were the same. The ability to turn invisible tends to inspire a laissez-faire attitude toward personal space, property, and hygiene.
The glamour that goblins cast wasn't constrained to their own bodies. They could
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Literature
Dirk Strauss: Pixie Hunter
Agent Strauss stood alone in a yellow field holding a comically large butterfly net, reflecting on where exactly his career had gone wrong. Ten years ago he'd been struck with inspiration when reading 'Witch Hunting For Fun & Profit', and had set himself up as a witch hunter for hire. He'd made a name for himself. The work was dangerous, but he was good at it. Rooftop swordfights under the full moon, pitched battles in forgotten cave networks, ghost busting, Dirk Strauss had done it all, and he'd looked incredibly cool doing it.
When the P.R.B came calling, he was ecstatic. He was in the big leagues. But the big leagues weren't as big as he'd been led to believe. Sure, there were moments. A coordinated strike on the lair of Görguvir, lord of vampires was a highlight, as was the running gun battle through a hive of aliens in the white house last month. But then there was stuff like this. He'd been assigned pixie hunting duty. His job today was to capture and deliver to Research and
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Literature
Flash Fic Month '12. July 1st
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, 1450 AD
Midnight Mass. Francois Rousseau stifled a yawn and wished he'd stayed at home; if he had, he would be tucked into bed and blissfully asleep by now, instead of here, listening to the priest's droning sermon. His eyes felt so heavy, he briefly wondered if anyone would notice if he took a quick nap, as long as he clasped his hands and bowed his head as though in prayer…
"Let us pray…" the priest's voice washed over him like the buzzing of a bumblebee, and all around Francois, the rest of the congregation began bleating the familiar words like mindless sheep.
Our Father, who art in heaven…
Francois mumbled the words automatically along with the others, barely paying attention and struggling not to let an impatient sigh escape him. Why did it have to take so long? Surely the good Lord wouldn't begrudge a tired man wanting to get some well-earned rest after a hard day's work?
…and forgive us our trespasses…
A
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Literature
Just Fine Side of Town
Ya know, you're not the first guy to say that.  I'm told all the time how it must be awful dealing with the kinds of people who come into my store, how do I live this way, etcetera.  While I think I appreciate the sentiment, there really just isn't anything to you type's assumptions.  Sure, I work in a bicycle shop on the wrong side of town.  So what?  Everyone I've met's been pretty courteous, even the ones working through speech impediments - in fact, especially those ones - and even the one dude who was here yesterday.
You'd know him if you saw him.  Heck, even if I stopped talking about this and never told you anything about what happened yesterday, you'd still know him if you saw him.  You'd see the guy walking down the street and be all, "Man, that must be who what's-his-face at the bike shop was talking about."  'Course, you might also be all, "Should I call the cops?", but let me tell you right now,
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Literature
FFM 1 - Love Letters
It began with a letter. Five simple words scrawled across a sheet of her ruinously expensive cotton paper.
I think I love you.
It was unsigned. Corinna Smith floated through the rest of her day in a blissful daze. When Tom Whitman, the boy from the mail department, smiled at her, she was sure that it was he who had sent the unsigned love letter. It was sweet, she told herself, but it would never work. Surely, it must have been someone else.
Later it was Greg Shepherd, VIce President of Sales, on whom her suspicions fell. He'd passed by her desk as Tom was delivering her mail and the the smile he gave them was full of secrets. She didn't know that Tom and Greg had been carrying on a torrid affair; so hot, in fact, that they could barely keep their hands off one another, even in the office. Even as she began planning her life as The Future Mrs. Greg Shepherd, he was being let go for abusing his expense account. At least, that's what they told him. The truth was that he'd been seen in the
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Literature
FFM2012.2 - Marshmellows Over Burnington
"There's something wrong with you. I'm not entirely clear what your damage is, but it's there, and it's huge."
I was talking to a soldier from the nearby colony, a man just recently called to investigate a glow on the horizon. He did not appear bothered by me.
"You ever even seen fire?" he said, hoisting the sack of marshmallows over his shoulder. "It's rare. We used up all the matches and lighters months ago and most of our survival equipment's been stolen by drifters." He began to walk, and I kept pace.
I observed the road ahead. Dusty, full of gravel, dead weeds lining the side, leading to a distant view of a burning town. It was often argued that surface-side survivors were asking for death, and this was why.
"I feel sorry for those folk, I do. They lost their town, their livelihood, and nobody we know will ever understand why. We can't fight back because we don't understand. But god damn it, kid, I'm going to get some kind of revenge for what they do, and if that revenge is toasti
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Journal
Flash Fiction Month July 2012
Preface
This article is written for #LitResources. Our goal is to be a collection and creation station for all resources pertaining to literature on deviantART. This article will focus on Flash Fiction Month! It will include information about what specifies flash fiction, activities around dA for flash fiction month, and links to resources revolving around FFM activities.
If, after reading the article, you have more information or resources to add, please leave your thoughts in a comment! And don't forget to this article to help spread the word.
What Is Flash Fiction?
Put simply, flash fiction is a very short story. Lengths can vary from as few as six words (i.e. Hemingway's famous Baby Shoes) to a thousand, sometimes more. It depends largely on the outfit for which the author decides to write a piece of flash fiction. For th
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Literature
Flash Fic Month '12. July 2nd
Somewhere in Manhattan, New York City, 2026 AD
This city is strange.
Towers of glass and metal and stone almost touch the sky, but where is the jungle? Where are the green places? They have all but been destroyed. Only those spaces which the humans have graciously allowed to grow, still remain.
Spaces where they have control.
So it has always been with humans. If they cannot control it, they destroy it. So it was with the jungle, so it was with my Clan. They could not control us, and so they destroyed us. Since that day, I have sought to avenge my murdered brothers and sisters upon the humans incapable of sharing their world. The war I fought was long and bloody, some Gargoyles joining my cause as they too saw that the humans could not be trusted, but others clung to their misguided beliefs that it was our duty to protect.
Some of these traitors aided the human sorcerers that finally imprisoned me in stone sleep… and so I have slept for two-thousand yea
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Literature
Clueless
Dear Mrs. Sullivan,
     You're probably wondering why your child wasn't invited to my daughter's birthday party, when I invited everybody else in the class. It's nothing personal but--well, I don't want him around my daughter anymore. He's changed a lot in the last few months, and I'd appreciate it if he would keep his distance from us.
I mean, it was bad enough when he was just dressing differently and listening to that awful music (and playing it right outside our house), even when he started mouthing off to my little girl we could handle it (my daughter is not pulchritudinous, whatever the hell that means!), but she came home yesterday with a bruise on her neck! She wouldn't speak to me properly about it, the poor girl was so embarrassed, so I don't entirely know what happened, but from the few words she's managed I gathered it was your boy's fault.
I'm sure you can understand why this means that she doesn't want to see him anymore.
Regretfully Yours
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Literature
Corpse Disposal
     The undercity of Necropolis is home to the most undesirable misfits. Litigious liches and unscrupulous undine all call the twisted streets of the undercity home. It is also the perfect place to dump a dead body. It could take weeks before someone realises a lifeless corpse is just that, and not a homeless zombie or an intransient ghost.
     Tonight's would be dumping ground was the local mortuary: Easy Bake Cremations. Word on the street is they employ unregistered dragons for cheap labour. It doesn't matter to me; I ain't no self-righteous wood elf.
     Hefting the body bag over the side of the dumpster, I let it fall. Closing the lid, I'm turning back towards my van when I hear rustling. It's coming from the dumpster behind me.
     'Hey, be careful,' comes a voice. I lift the lid of the dumpster and peer inside. The body bag is slowly unzipping itself.
     'Aren't you dead?' I ask, 'I mean, I thought I killed you.'
     'More or less,' the corpse replies as it looks down, ch
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You are obligated to love all of these people/pieces. Because I said so.

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I’m used to being the weird one in the room.  I’ve taken some shitty cases in my time, and they’ve taken me some truly bizarre places, but that much is usually consistent.  Tonight, the weird was stacked higher than my horns, and I was starting to worry that I hadn’t brought enough liquor.

        My night started two days prior, in the same manner they usually do: with a bottle of Jack and some crying lady interrupting my ‘me’ time.  I was just preparing my bentonite clay mask when she showed up at the office, sobbing about some priest named Grimaldi.  Said he had gone missing and the Church was giving her bullshit explanations for his absence.  I’ve always loved fucking over the Church, and really wanted her to leave so I could start my bubble bath; naturally I took the job. Next day I wake up with a hangover and a shitty new case but my skin has never felt so soft, so I guess that’s something even if it didn’t help my ‘condition.’

        So I hit the liquor store, picked up something extra strong for this one, and then start sniffing for a trail.  I’ve never been real comfortable just walking onto holy grounds, but you’d be amazed how much information you can get shouting at people from across the street.  Most notably, turns out I’m not the only guy asking questions about the late Father Grimaldi.  Naturally, from there the next logical step is tailing a staked vampire with a loud mouth and a priestly djinn in a supremely suspicious black van.

        In short, it was an occasion to hit the flask hard, like a pop quiz back in grade school.

        “Satan!” Rocco shouted with glee from the driver’s seat. “They’re-a getting away!”

        “Goddammit, it’s Stan.  And why the fuck do you sound so happy?”

        “Avventura!” He shouted, holding up his fingers in that most stereotypical Italian pinched gesture.

        “Okay, well, don’t let the adventure get away!”

        He let the adventure get away.

        “Rocco, remind me to fire you,” I growled through the window while he refilled the gas-tank.

        “You save-a me a special place in il Inferno?” He flashed me a grin that was shiny under the neon lights of the gas-station.

        “For fuck’s sake I’m not—“

        The night air split with the thunder of a massive explosion, and orange light radiated down the street.  In an instant, I was on my feet.  The tails of my trench coat flapped behind me like the cape of a low-budget superhero, and the liquor sloshed around the bottle like liquid gold.  Ermh, brown liquid gold, I guess.

        The warehouse was on the poor side of town, so I arrived before any sort of rescue efforts.  It was the sort of dilapidated run-down shithole that supernatural folks loved to hide out in, and there were still inhuman screams ripping from within despite the fact that the fire seemed to have retreated on its own.  Parked out front, I recognized a familiar black baby-snatching van and charged forward.  This had gone beyond Grimaldi now.  If vampires and djinn were involved, I was onto something big.  That meant I wasn’t far from a bigger payday.

        I slipped into the building like a phantom.  A phantom that tripped over a bucket, crashed into a corrugated tin wall, and knocked over a rusty old ladder that had been leaned up there.  I slipped in like a poltergeist, really, but the sounds were drowned out by the screams of miserable creatures being burned alive.  Leaning against the wall for stability, I took another swig and moved onwards slower, hunkered down in the shadows.

        “—our own kind?!” Someone was yelling.  His voice sounded strained and weakened, and it almost sounded like the vampire whistle-blower from earlier.  The replying voice was cool and calm, too quiet for me to hear even as the screams began to die down.  I moved closer still and peaked around a corner.

        “—not even worthy to lick our boots, Nicodemus.  Sacrificing these ghouls for the greater good is a small price to pay.  The Elders are convinced that it’s the pyros, and they’re already starting to mobilize the clans.  We only benefit, Nico.”  The voice was as smooth as lynx fur, and the man speaking was as white as the face of the moon, with an eerie smile.  His right hand was raised threateningly, and a ball of twisting flame hovered just above it.  The other vampire barely stood in front of him, still holding the hole in his chest where the stake had been driven.  Ten feet behind him, the ifrit was lying on the floor, his cassock tattered and burnt.  “The Djinnheart was foolish to guide you here, and your friend was foolish to attack me while I wield this power.  Are you going to prove yourself a fool as well?  You know it would take nothing to reduce you to ash.  Join me.”

        “Lucius,” Nicodemus growled.  “I’m going to enjoy showing you the Final Death.”

        Lucius sneered at the weaker vampire and wound up like a pitcher.  “Your mistake.”

        “Heeeyyy!”  I shouted.  Took me a second to be sure, but yes that was me.  Both of the bloodsuckers turned in unison.  Somewhere in my stumble, I’d lost my hat and they stared with open surprise at my horns, and then my blood-red face.

        “Satan?”  Lucius hissed.

        The look of legitimate shock on their faces emboldened me, but that little slip just pissed me off.  “</i>Stan,</i>!”  I roared, hurling my bottle.  Instead of his face, where I was aiming, the bottle flew directly into the sentient fireball.  This explosion wasn’t as big as the last one, but it also wasn’t one that he could control.  Glass shards and flame eviscerated the vampire’s face, and the other was on him before he could react.  Fangs and claws flashed, and as Nicodemus lunged in, I could only imagine he was thinking the same thing I was:

        Fuck I need a drink.<i>
FFM 15 - Playing With Fire - Part Four
Flash-Fic-Month July 15, 2017 was this year's collaboration challenge, so I had to get involved for my traditional collaborative clusterfuck with the usual suspects.  This time we each had to bring our own detective, and there needed to be some internal monologue and an unusual setting and a double cross and for a bonus we also included an unreliable narrator. 

This is the end, though.  For the rest of the story, check these out:

Part 1 - fav.me/dbghzau by The-Inkling 
Part 2 - (as yet not uploaded, but already written and you wish that you could read it) by Wolfrug 
Part 3 - fav.me/dbgi6xb by joe-wright 
Part 4 - Right here, baby.

And all the stories that spawned this unholy alliance of detectives can be found here:
Father Benedict Kovács
Nicodemus
Yves Charbonneau
Stan MacMurphy
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57 deviations
The war moved further north, and we followed several days behind.  The landscape was an endless battlefield, and we passed over it like wildfire, picking the mushrooms that grew on the endless corpses.  The men on the frontlines would dine on flesh and meat, but the rest of the tribe managed with what we could.  By the time we arrived, the bodies were too rotten to be suitable food, but they were perfect fertilizer for the broad, meaty red caps.  Elanna told me that the enemy’s poisoned weapons dropped spores that grew into non-poison food stuff.   Elanna always knew stuff like that.  

She was eight then, and I twelve, but she often had to teach me simple lessons like that, and as she got older, she grew more frustrated with her dim-witted big sister.  The facts of the World just never sat in my head as firmly as the dreams of the stars, or the songs of the tall reeds.  The others had always seen it, but she was only now growing old enough to wonder why she knew so much more than me.

“Stop!” she hissed, her tone sharp with knee-jerk panic and exasperation.  “Those ones aren’t for you!”

My hand hovered in place, and I shook out of my daydreams.  Directly in front of me, one of the Temari warriors stared lifelessly with bulging eyes and a silent scream.  His guts had been spilled, and the half-digested remnants of his breakfast lay in his lap.  My fingers hung inches away from the mushrooms that grew from the refuse, and I withdrew them slowly.  These were taller and thinner, purple and gold instead of the rich red ones that filled my sack.

“Those are for the Dreamer!” she scolded me, rolling her eyes.  And of course she was right, we all knew that the shamans and medicine women were meant to pick and eat those, so they could Dream and speak to the Gods.  “Nani, don’t you know anything?”  Others were starting to look our way, their attention drawn away from their picking.

“I… I know some stuff,” I weakly began to defend myself, though the tears were already beginning to sting the corners of my eyes.  “I just… Sometimes I don’t remember stuff and sometimes I don’t really look with my eyes but…”  A few of the other girls had wandered over to see the commotion, and I saw a smug superiority upon their faces.  “I’m sorry, Elanna.  I don’t…” but slowly, I trailed off.  Something had clicked in the slow cogs of my mind.

As the other pickers began to circle in, I looked over their faces.  There was the girl who could name every weapon on the battlefield, but always failed the riddle games.  Then the girl who could read directions in the stars, but saw nothing about the future or past up in the great tapestry of the night sky.  There was my sister, the girl who seemed to remember everything she was ever taught, but who had never spoken to a squirrel or fallen in love with a tree.

And behind them, I saw Old Raini, smiling vacantly and staring up at the clouds.  As though feeling my eyes upon her, she turned her head down from the sky and looked my way.  Her smile extended as she met my gaze, and her eyes twinkled like they always did when she waited to see if we had learned the lesson she was teaching.

Turning back to my little sister, my brilliant clueless little sister, my scowl melted and I flashed a loving smile while I reached down to seize both the mushrooms and my own destiny.
Pseudo-FFM 5 - Mushroom Picking
Flash-Fic-Month July 5th 2017 was so long ago that no one even remembers it. 

I think I'm happy with this one.  It unfolded in my head out of nowhere this morning, and I hope I got it onto the screen intact.  I hope that everyone's having a good month of reading and writing flash fiction.  Hoping that I'll get some time to do both of those things soon.  In the meantime, Viva!
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The shark was larger than many villages I’d seen, but he was slain as easily as any of the other monsters in the ocean, once I felt out his patterns.  “Fool,” he growled his last words, his voice rippling through the depths.  “You’ll never gather all of the charms, and your wishes aren’t worth the consequences.”  I dove deeper into the Western Ocean and swam into the Water Shrine.  There, in a giant clam shell, sat the first charm I needed to achieve all my dreams.

Sucking on my last scrap of air root, I grabbed the Spirit of the Ocean.



Mt. Hepheus was called the God’s Forge, but its flames couldn’t match the blazing determination within my soul.  A network of caves ran through the mountain like an anthill, but I never got lost—the heat of the volcanic core grew as I worked deeper, until I stood in a massive chamber.  Streams of molten lava poured from the walls, pooling into a moat around a black anvil.  Too wide to jump across, I raised the Spirit of the Ocean and willed a stream of water forth, forming an obsidian bridge.

Unhindered, I grabbed the Soul of Flame off the anvil.



After weeks of trekking, I discovered the Earth Temple in the heart of the Evergreen Forest.  Vines and creeping moss had nearly consumed the ancient stone building, forming a barrier so thick even my sword was useless.  Only with the Soul of Flame was I able to blaze a path through the front archway.  Booby traps and poor visibility, along with thin air, tested my endurance as I plowed a path toward the Temple’s center.  There, I found my final treasure, a glowing green gem that pulsed atop a stone altar.  

Without another thought, I snatched the Heart of the Forest.



I scaled the jagged face of the Eternal Spire, and the entirety of Ansria unfolded beneath me.  To the north, Evergreen Forest was an expanse of wilted black husks, and wildfires from Hepheus consumed its southernmost borders.  Higher up the tower, I could see as far as the toxic purple waves that churned with massive tentacles on the horizon to the west.  Wind whipped at my clothes and hair as I reached the top, and while the world crumbled below, I laid the charms upon the Sky Altar.

“Aleesa,” I whispered to the heavens.  “I wish to see my Aleesa again.”
Way after FFM 04 - The Quest
Flash-Fic-Month July 04, 2017 was like daaayyys ago.  So this is definitely not for that. 

It's also not a challenge in which I had to write a four-part story of four equal lengths (101 words each in this case) where each one had to have a setting that was one of the four elements.  

If you look closely, you'll realize that this isn't a story at all, but rather a poorly rendered Zelda clone.
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“And now, sweet pupa, are you ready to be Positive?”  The Facilitator’s voice was bright and charismatic, amplified by a wireless headset so that the rest of us in the crowd could hear.  Behind him, the Redeemer loomed, a perfect monolithic ring of chrome and light.  The congregation cheered at the words, and the ‘pupa’ in question bowed his head.

“I’m ready,” he replied, barely loud enough to be heard by even the first row, and the congregation went wild with cheers and applause.  He stepped into the ring and reached up to grab the top arc with both hands.  The position always reminded me a bit of the Vitruvian man, and I never imagined that the parallel was unintentional.

The Redeemer began to pulse and glow, lifting off of the ground and tilting like a satellite dish with the man’s body in the middle.  “Positivity cannot live with shadows, and we now banish your demon to the nether, that you may be pure and whole.”  We all knew the words, and had heard many a Facilitator recite them.  “Relax, and release those shadows.  Let us transmit them elsewhere, that you may transcend from your pupal state.”

The Redeemer tilted and turned as though tracking an invisible target in space, before finally coming to a stop.  The energy field that surrounded the ring had begun to flash and even from my position out on the hill, I could see the tell-tale silver glow in his eyes as he stared up at the sky.  The glow flowed over his body and exploded out of his chest as a bright beam that shot towards a distant star.  

“Good, very good,” the facilitator continued, both hands raised with open palms towards the man in the ring.  “Now let go.  It’s gonna want to hold on to you, so you can’t hold on to it.”

This was the part everyone was here to watch:  the force of the light energy passing through his body began to drive the shadow out, first in drips and streaks of blackness, but slowly the shapes began to emerge.  Like a twisted nightmare version of Peter Pan’s shadow, a humanoid shape began to emerge, stark and black in the stream of pure white.  It snatched and grabbed at his body and wrapped thick tendrils of darkness around his body, trying to hold on for dear life.  Actually seeing people’s demons was the only part of this I ever enjoyed, but this one was a screamer.  Its shrieks tore through the congregation as it began to lose its grip and slip away.  

“Begone, demon!”  The Facilitator roared.  “Begone, negativity!  This man has no more room for anger or sadness or jealousy!  Away!”

The crowd began to join in on the exorcism, but I never did.  I watched the scene down in the valley for as long as I could before I turned and slipped back through the smaller crowd of happy smiling spectators up on the hill.  Wrapping my arms across my chest, I felt the shadows inside and squeezed tightly, giving my demon a hug.  It was my secret treasure, and my best friend.  No one was really sure where the Facilitators banished the demons to, but I wasn’t about to find out.

Turning out onto the street, I glanced up just in time to stop from crashing into one of the Brotherhood.  Snapping out of my thoughts, I forced a smile as fast as I could manage, but something in his eyes flickered, and I felt a clench in my gut.  “Why good evening,” he said with a  smile, bowing his head and staring into my dark eyes with his own silver ones.  “Leaving the Redeeming so soon?”

“Oh, you know,” I laughed, noting as his brothers began to drift into my peripheral vision.  “Getting late and all.  I have work early and an alert mind is a healthy mind, right?”

“I see,” he said with a smile.  “You seem a little stressed.  Perhaps you should come up to the stage with us.”

It was too late.  I was surrounded, and they were closing in.  Several sets of identical silver eyes stared me down, and they weren’t even particularly menacing or malicious.  They were… optimistic.
Never FFM 3 - Positive Thinking
You will probably never see a story for Flash-Fic-Month July 3, 2017.  Not from me anyway.  
I'm sorry to disappoint all of my FFM buddies and faithful friends and readers.  I'm not entirely sure that this collection of words is a story of any variety, let alone a flash fic, let alone one that used today's optional prompt.  Things have been weird around here lately. 
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    Yup, you know the drill.  It's FFM again, so I'm crawling out of the cave and throwing my literary spoor at the walls and anyone who makes the mistake of showing me their teeth.  /awkwardgorillametaphor

    Also!  The Lady in Black received a DD last month, and of course I didn't notice it until weeks later.  So, belatedly, thank you so much to neurotype and all of the folks who took the time to read, comment, and fave it!  I'll be digging through my message center when I have time, and properly responding to all the wonderful comments.

    On the subject of time, I should note that I may not be as active this July as I have been in previous years.  I'm working in a steel shop now, and we have a lot of projects coming up that are chewing up a whole lot of my time.  What's left generally goes to the wife and kiddo.  I actually spent all of last month saying "Screw FFM this year, I'm not doing it."  But I still left the AJM project hanging at the end of last year, so I had to come and try to tie it up.  Which means that my pieces this year may not always fit the challenges, or stand up well as flash fiction.  I'm trying to tie together the pieces that I set up last year, and I won't always be able to make these new ones stand alone.  But I'm seriously trying to have a satisfying conclusion to the mystery of the Door by the end of this month!  

    Anyway, what is everyone else up to?  What have I missed?
  • Listening to: The Lost Highway Soundtrack
  • Reading: Flash Fics, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Watching: Orange is the New Black
  • Playing: Pokemon X
  • Eating: Cuban Food
  • Drinking: Coke

deviantID

distortified
The Great and Powerful PuP
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Oh lord, I've been meaning to make an ID for more than two years now. For now, just use this as a picture of me-

:D

Current Residence: Verona, NJ
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Small/Medium
Favourite genre of music: The good kind: EBM, Electronic, Industrial, Classic Rock, Blues, Jungle Pussy Punk,
Favourite photographer: `limetastic, ^limnides, `pelicanh
Favourite style of art: Pixels!
Operating System: WinXP (Though I'm on Mac OSX, now. >_<)
MP3 player of choice: Pandora.com Radio. Seriously, it beats MP3s, or the actual radio.
Shell of choice: Conch
Favourite cartoon character: Dr. Membrane (From Invader Zim)
Personal Quote: Some folks say that chocolate is better than sex? Writing's better than chocolate.
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:iconcrazeguy:
crazeguy Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! ^ ^
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:icon1pen:
1pen Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2017  Professional Photographer
:party::cake::heart: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :heart::cake::party:
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:iconzjoriz:
zJoriz Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2017
Congratulations ^_^
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:iconestherlr:
EstherLR Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for that fav, o great FFM senior of mine :worship:
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:icondistortified:
distortified Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Oh lord hahah none of that, now. You're very welcome! I'm always glad to see the new blood doing cool stuff :love:
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thebigtear Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday~~~! :3
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:icon1pen:
1pen Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Professional Photographer
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! :glomp:
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:icondistortified:
distortified Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:glomp: thank you!

I know we don't talk anymore, but I hope you know that you're still awesome and I miss our absurd conversations! I'm trying to be more active on dA lately, so hopefully we can get back to those days haha
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:icon1pen:
1pen Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Professional Photographer
Seriously what have you two been up to? I MISS YOU PEOPLE SO FREAKING MUCH.  I haven't been on dA in awhile (back now tho), because twitter ate me alive. Pretty active on both. Also so much work. Family. etc.  
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:icondistortified:
distortified Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Oh man so much catching up to do haha. Sooooo much. I don't do twitter, but I've been all tangled up in Kik chats as of late. If you're on there, or Skype, I would love to chat some time!!
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