October 2017 - LM - Picture Prompt

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  1. #1

    October 2017 - LM - Picture Prompt


    Picture Prompt*

    The winner will receive a badge pinned to their profile and given a month’s access to FoWF where you’ll have access to hidden forums and use of the chat room.

    This is a Fiction writing competition, and the prompt for this month in 'Picture Prompt' Pick your own title, write about whatever you want, as long as it's related in some way to the prompt.

    The Judges for this LM are: ppsage, candervale.
    If you want to judge and I left you out, send me your scores by the deadline. If you're listed here and don't wish to judge, let me know at once (please).

    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM Workshop Thread (https://www.writingforums.com/thread...20#post2110120)

    All Judges scores will be PMed to

    All anonymous entries will be PMed to kilroy214.


    • All forum rules apply. The LM competition is considered a creative area of the forum. If your story contains inappropriate language or content, do not forget add a disclaimer or it could result in disciplinary actions taken. Click here for the full list of rules and guidelines of the forum.
    • No Poetry! Nothing against you poets out there, but this isn’t a place for your poems. Head on over to the poetry challenges for good competition over there. Some of us fiction people wouldn’t be able to understand your work! Click here for the poetry challenges. Play the prose-poem game at your own risk.
    • No posts that are not entries into the competition are allowed. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to take part in discussion please head over to the LM Coffee Shop. We’ll be glad to take care of your needs over there.
    • Editing your entry after posting isn’t allowed. You’ll be given a ten minute grace period, but after that your story may not be scored.
    • Only one entry per member.
    • The word limit is 650 words not including the title. If you go over - Your story will not be counted. Microsoft Word is the standard for checking this. If you are unsure of the word count and don't have Word, please send your story to me and I'll check it for you.

    There are a few ways to post your entry:

    1. If you aren't too concerned about your first rights, then you can simply post your entry here in this thread.
    2. You can opt to have your entry posted in the Workshop which is a special thread just for LM entries. You would put your story there if you wish to protect your first rights, in case you wish to have the story published one day. Note: If you do post it in the workshop thread, you must post a link to it here in this thread otherwise your story may not be counted.
    3. You may post your story anonymously. To do so, send your story to the host of the competition. If you wish to have us post it in the workshop thread then say so. Your name will be revealed upon the release of the score.

    Everyone is welcome to participate. A judge's entry will receive a review by their fellow judges, but it will not receive a score. Please refrain from 'like'-ing or 'lol'-ing an entry until the scores are posted.

    Judges: In the tradition of LM competitions of yore, if you could send the scores one week after deadline it will ensure a timely release of scores and minimize the overall implementation of porkforking. Please see the Judging Guidelines if you have questions. Following the suggested formatting will be much appreciated, too.

    This competition will close on:
    Monday, the 16th of October at 11:59 PM, GMT time.

    Scores would be appreciated by Monday, the 30th of October, at the latest.

    Click here for the current time.

    * - picture for this prompt is below
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 37334207615_91906a7bc9_z.jpg  
    Last edited by kilroy214; October 16th, 2017 at 12:23 PM.
    “On the chest of a barmaid in Sale, were tattooed all the prices of ale. And on her behind, for the sake of the blind, was the same only written in braille"

    "Ambiguity is one of the greatest faults in a craft. It comes from vague ambitions. One may inspired by good ambitions, but the immediate concern of the craftsman is to know what he is capable of doing at present; and to do it."
    - Edward Johnston

  2. #2
    (650 words)

    Angela Musgrave had worked for the Outer Limits insurance company for over thirty years. Within the first six months of being hired she had approached her supervisor about a promotion.

    “Abigail, we have nothing available right now and you’ve only been here six months. Try again in a year or so.”

    “My name is Angela.”

    One year later, she went to her supervisor and again asked for a promotion.

    “Sorry, Adeline, there still isn’t anything right now. We’ll keep you in mind.”

    “Angela. It’s Angela. My name is Angela.

    Days became weeks, months, then years. Every October 4th, Angela asked for a promotion.

    “Denied,” said Ms. Rogers, who then called her Adelaide, Anna, or Arianna.

    On quiet days, Angela would sometimes read old newspaper accounts with longing; the stories of people being “taken.” What was it like, she wondered, to go somewhere so foreign, so alien, that you had no frame of reference? How great would it be, to just be swooped away from all things known?

    One day, Angela fell asleep at her desk. She awoke to all the lights in the office being off. She headed for the stairs. When her hands felt the handle of the lobby door, it opened to more darkness.

    “Joey? You there?” There was no response from Joey, the guard.

    She heard a noise then, a loud thud by the elevator. She traversed the lobby. She walked past the elevators on the shiny marble floor to a small alcove and heard the sound again.


    Angela saw a man standing directly in front of a pod where an intense light cast him in shadow. He was just a black shape, but she could see his sleeves were pushed up and he wore knee-high boots. He did not move for a minute and then took a step forward. Angela took a step backward. He stopped. She stopped.

    “Who are you?” she asked as she squinted to get more details.

    He pulled what looked like a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket. “You Angela? Angela Musgrave?” His voice was deep, but sounded somewhat mechanical.

    “I am,” she said. “And you?”

    “Joey. I’m Joey.” No, you’re not, she thought.

    His thoughts answered her back. I have come for you Angela. I’m taking you to a place where you have no frame of reference. Nothing you have known before will help you. Just step into the pod, and we’ll be off.

    She walked toward the man, toward the pod, feeling oddly confident. Joey held her hand as she stepped in. She looked up into his face; a kind face, a man with a red beard and a kind face.

    “Where are we going?” she asked the kind face.

    “Up,” he said.

    Mary Ann, Angela’s co-worker, woke from her siesta. She stretched her arms high above her head and wiggled her fingers toward the ceiling. Her sleepy eyes then fell on Angela, whose head was resting comfortably on her own desk. Mary Ann tapped her shoulder.

    “Angie? Angie?” Angela Musgrave did not move. Mary Ann screamed.

    Others came running, taken out of their own naps by the sound. They all went to Angela’s cubicle.

    There, in her chair, was the woman they had known as Angela Musgrave. She looked to be peacefully sleeping. It seemed that she had written a note and Mary Ann reached to picked it up under Angela’s curved fingers. She was starting to read it out loud to everyone in the office, when Ms. Rogers walked in.

    “What’s the matter with Augustina?”

    “Angela, Ms. Rogers, her name was Angela. She’s dead. This is what she wrote. ’Webster’s definition of the word Up: To, toward, or in a more elevated position. I have gone up at Outer Limits.’"

    I guess,” said Mary Ann, “that Angela finally got the promotion she always wanted.”

    Everyone clapped and Jeffrey asked if there was cake.

  3. #3
    (Judge Entry)

    Quantum Reflection

    by ppsage (aka 'The old Geezer')

    I'm looking at an image, that's supposedly inspirational. It's one dark figure, and another, on the floor: his shadow. Or his reflection.

    Whether we realize it or not, we all carry around within us an alternate universe where the usual physical laws no longer apply.

    Well, really they do, but at such a remove in terms of mass/energy ratios that it seems unintelligibly different.

    Masses so infinitesimal, and energies so comparatively enormous, that, in truth, these particles of which we are ultimately composed exist only probabilistically.

    That is to say that, for them, time spurts backward AND forward, and one might occasionally tunnel through energy barriers rather than await igniting energy to surf oneself over.

    This interior universe harbors our Quantum Reflection.

    Meanwhile, for such massive aggregations as are apt to evolve consciousness, the multiplication of diminishing probabilities leaves little to chance.

    We always creep forward.

    At this petty pace.

    Day by day.

    Until we don't.

    It's a little like skating on thin ice. Very clear thin ice under which we see a balky doppelgänger dragging beneath, matching clumsily gliding step for gliding step.

    Sometimes holes break in thin ice.

    "It is I, Egaspp of the nether world, who commands now. Hear me plebe, and obey."


    Wait, isn't that some sort of military freshman? Subject to hazing?

    Who says plebe anyway?

    The first thing one notices, when finally in thrall to one's Quantum Reflection, is the utter immateriality of existence.

    One's reminded of the dream-state, where objects and destiny still exist but where one may, in a pinch, conjure doubloons from a neglected corner in the cellar, now apparently seamlessly of the earth -- and mine-able.

    My dream-state is often rife with danger and angst which, in extremity, I escape by dreaming wakefulness.

    This does not work when one has been captured by one's quantum reflection.

    "Attention plebe," barks Egaspp.

    "Yes sir," I reply, with the precision of a newly minted doubloon.

    "What do you see plebe?" says he.

    "I am dreaming sir. I see what sub-conscious dictates," says I.

    "Drop and give me twenty," says he.

    Obviously the wrong answer.

    "Attention. Halt. About face. What do you see plebe?"

    We do this awhile. What I see is always what I dream-conjure in the moment and always unsatisfactory. My quantum-reflection-dream-self seems good at push-ups though.

    (My dreams often contain heroic physical capacity. Seven league boots and whatnot.)

    Finally I catch the drift and the next time Egaspp asks, "What do you see plebe?" I answer, "I see you sir."

    And that's all it takes. My quantum reflection collapses into ordinary reality. I am back to plodding and likely couldn't do a push-up to save my life.

    One supposes there must be lessons in this experience but they come from too deep under the surface of awareness for understanding. Much less articulation. Still...

    The image is again before me and I am again inspired to see twinning of sub-atomic particles. Again I fall.

    Into a quark of a different color.

    Egaspp is again before me. He is enormous in his girth and sultanic in his bearing. "Vizier, I am Egaspp of the netherworld," he announces, much as before. He calls me 'vizier?' Isn't that some kind of Ottoman politician? Like from the nineteenth century?

    "I will grant your fondest wish," he continues. "What do you see, Vizier?"

    This is more like it! I see plenty.

    Back in my So-Cal digs, the setting sun silhouettes my hostess as she consults my needs. Her shadow falls stark on the poolside. I can't stop myself.

    No one awaits.

    "Sorry to be late, Whatsyername," says Egaspp, arriving at last.

    "Call me PP," I tell him. "Can the quantum-reflection be late?"

    "I was busy with Midas. He's running out of things to see."
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Waiting Room - Moostafus

    Edit: Sorry I didn't see the dedicated post already created for submissions. ​XD
    Last edited by Moostafus; October 14th, 2017 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Goofs & Screw Ups

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Near St Louis, MO, USA
    The Light at the End of the Tunnel - M Phillip


  7. #7
    A blip in the alto ego

    I think this strange incident must have taken place in 1975, when life was still bonny and the young full of optimism and joy.
    It was a soft sunny autumnal afternoon, when I made my way under the plane trees in the small park adjacent to the Houses of Parliament,to catch the tube at Westminster Underground Station.I was going to have supper with Angie and Lawrence, at there flat in Tooting.Lawrence was an Architect, still involved in Housing Projects sites , left by bombs after the war, and Angie was a lecturer in Mediaeval Literature. Their flat was on the first a large Victorian house, and fashionably decked out in Habitat and Laura Ashley furnishings.

    "Come in Hannah. It's good to see you. It's ages since you last came"Angie welcomed me "Tim's here, you remember him, don't you".

    We had an interesting discussions on many topics, and ended up talking about Modern Poetry, a subject I of which I knew little, so Tim some advice on what books to get. After supper, Lawrence apologised, saying he had some plans to prepare for the morning, we prepared to leave, Tim said" Why don't you come back to my place to carry on the poetry discussion,Hannah, and pick up some books I can lend you"

    "Oh s, Tim, that would be great".

    We arrived at Tim's house on Clapham Common. It was built in atypical 1930's style,detached, with bow windows both upstairs and down, and a substantial garden , mostly planted with shrubs, front and back.

    "This is very posh, " I exclaimed "Do you live here on your own?"

    "Yes,that is, since my parents died. I am very fortunate, I suppose"

    It dawned on me, that Tim's parents had died when both he and they were young. Poor Tim. I wondered what had happened.

    "Come in, and make yourself comfortable".

    The interior of the house was in good repair, if a little old fashioned and shabby. There was an abundance of mahogany furniture, which sat well in the large, high ceilinged rooms, and several good quality ornaments on the period mantle piece. He invited me to sit on a large brown leather sofa, and gave me a book to look through, while he pottered off to make coffee. It arrived on a tray covered with an embroidered cloth.Two bone china teacups in a floral design ,and a matching milk jug and sugar bowl were placed upon it.The glass peculator looked incongruous next to them.We spent a pleasant evening discussing poetry, and when it was o'clock, I said

    "It's been a lovely evening Tim, but I really must be going, as I am starting work at 7.30am

    He got up in agitation" Don't go yet, I thought we might have a bit of fun, before you go"

    "What kind of fun?" I asked cautiously

    "Well,you know, I could teach you a lot" I rather doubted that and my heart sank. I had really not expected this from Tim. I started to roll out my refusal speech

    "I really like you as a .........."

    H e interrupted me"It's not what you think. It's not something I would offer everyone, but I can see you are a woman of deep discernment,Hannah, and deserve to be let into the Secrets."

    "It' s much more sophisticated than that, Hannah. The Power of The will be revealed, and The Fruit of the Forbidden Tree will fill you with wonder and ecstasy , with heightened sensations."

    This was an era of weird Hippy clap trap, so I was used to this kind , but was surprised that Tim was sucked into it.

    "You are having me on, aren't you Tim",I ask hopefully.

    "Oh no" He says dreamily"just give it a chance, you will not regret it".

    "That' s as maybe, Tim, but it is getting late, and I am going home now".I put on my coat, seize my bag, and make for the door. He is spread eagled against it.

    "You can't go until you have had your treat"He says teasingly.

    I quite like Tim, so don't want to fall out with him, but this is going oo far.

    "It'snot funny. We have had a pleasant evening, and I do not want to now. Please move and let me go. I am getting tired,” I say in my school marm's voice.

    "You don't go until you have had your Treat", He repeats, giggling quietly to himself.

    " go NOW" I shout"I have had enough of this. You are holding me against my will, which is illegal. It's abduction"

    "I need to go to the loo" I said.

    "That's a good idea"He nods approvingly"It will relax you"

    Think,Hannah, think!
    You are good at getting yourself out of awkward situations. Is he simply a bit nutty or is he dangerous? He can't do this very often, or people would know....unless he murders them... Dennis Neilson was mannered man and he murdered all those young men...and he was a Civil Servant. Oh for Goodness sake, woman, stop that. This is Tim you are dealing with. I think this may be an aberration, and I can erk him out of it. I will remind him that Angie and Lawrence know here, or I can fake an epileptic fit, which may frighten him. No,I will be too vulnerable. I could tell him I have Herpes, which may put him off. If I have to I could pretend to dance, and hit him on the head with an ornament. I could stay in here, until he has to pee eat, I suppose....

    "are you alright, Hannah. You seem to be taking a long time"

    "I'm fine. I think Angie' s chilli was a little hot for me”

    Oh poor you. Better out than in."

    I flush the loo, spray air freshener around, and exit cautiously.
    Tim is waiting for me and firmly escorts me in to the lounge.

    "You know Lawrence and Angie know I am here"

    "Yes,of course I do. I won't harm you"

    " I thought I had better warn you, I have active Herpes"

    "That's what's been bothering you.He laughs understandingly”Don't worry, now I know, I will make allowances for that"

    He put on some Eastern music.

    "Would you like me to dance", I say sweetly. I have on a midi length,scarlet, ethnic, full skirted dress, an d begin swirling around in a seductive fashion .

    "Yes,this is good." He says happily"I am glad you have agreed to join in."

    As I dance, I look round for an ornament. I approach the door, and I suddenly panic, and make a run for it. He catches me just before I reach it,and slams me against the wall . He presses his body against me so tightly, I can neither hit him or kick him effectively. What's more,I am confined, and start to get hysterical.

    "Let me go..please let me go...get off me... I want to go home. " I struggle fruitlessly.

    I start whimpering. I must not cry.

    H e tries to kiss me. I turn my head away. He pulls my head back again,
    "Relax,it's only a kiss"I think.

    To my horror, I bite his lip instead. "Bitch.It's a good job I am so mild mannered..." He said

    "Mild...job.. job... mild...job....” swirls round my head “
    I have a job interview in the morning", I blurt "I really need this job. I didn't want to tell you I got sacked..."

    He lets go of me.

    He checks his watch.

    "Goodness,look at the time. I wish you had told me about your interview earlier." It is as though he has stepped through a door, to sanity.

    He looks at his watch again"If you hurry you will catch the ten to twelve bus at the bottom of the road." I pick up my things and quickly move to the door

    "On second thoughts"

    I wait with bated breath,

    This isn't a very good area at night. I had better walk you to the bus stop and wait until the bus comes”
    w e don't want you meeting any weirdos, do we”
    Last edited by nelen; October 15th, 2017 at 06:34 PM.

  8. #8

    Graven Image

    Finally, after months of searching and digging, Adam is able to step through the portal from the blinding Egyptian sunshine into the cool, dark interior of the ancient temple. It seems to be in immaculate condition, from the intricately carved ceiling to the polished marble floor, but Adam is far more interested in something else. In eager anticipation, he shines his torch toward a colourful mural on the far wall; the last undiscovered icon of The Seven Deadly Sins painted by The Desert Fathers - but what he sees, shocks him to the core.

    Adam's interest in the icons of The Desert Fathers had began on a visit to an exhibition of medieval Coptic art at the Museum of Antiquities in New York during his final year of study at university. He was immediately entranced by the striking image of Greed, represented by a skeletal figure surrounded by hordes of golden treasure. When he discovered it was one of only six such icons now spread around the world, he made it his mission in life to find the seventh.

    After graduating, Adam wasted no time in travelling to Egypt, the home of The Desert Fathers to begin his quest. Most young archaeologists could not afford to go it alone, following their own hunches. Usually, they signed up to established digs wherever they may be in the world, living on the crumbs of a research grant or at the whim of a patron. But Adam had the distinct advantage of being the son of a multi-millionaire fashion guru, with the licence and resources to follow his own heart wherever it led him.

    With his father's backing, Adam was able to travel where he wanted, stay in the grandest hotels, buy the latest technology and hire gangs of local labour to do the spade-work. Indeed, with his fortune and rugged good looks, he soon gained a reputation as 'the playboy archaeologist', a moniker he revelled in and was only too happy to propagate, taking every opportunity to give interviews and allow photo-shoots. Nothing pleased him more than seeing his picture in the press, safari hat cocked, map in hand, standing in front of some ancient monument or other. Although, he was careful not reveal any details of his search, or in fact, consult any other expert or colleague, lest they deflect the glory should he find the artefact.

    But now, in the stillness of the ancient temple, Adam is aghast and sinks humbly to his knees before the mural. It shows a figure of a man dressed in purple and blue finery, ornamented with gold bracelets and jewels, staring superiorly from the wall.

    Looking at the face of the figure, Adam cries 'No!' Reverberating through the chamber like a hundred tortured souls. For, from the golden locks to the strong chin, the face is a mirror image of his own, and despite himself, Adam is unable to tear his eyes away from the graven image of Vanity.

  9. #9
    The Promise of Pleasure - (650 words - adult content)
    "I think it's blessed are the cheese makers." "...What's so special about the cheese makers?" - Life of Brian

  10. #10
    Welcome to WF!
    Feeling lost? Want to connect with experienced members of the forum? Then meet our talented staff of Hidden Content !
    They're always looking to help and advise and don't bite... much...

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