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FFM 2016



Noir ComedyI could tell she was trouble as soon as she walked into my office.
For a start she wasn’t wearing a mask.
I adjusted my own Private Investigator mask and watched her face closely as she explained why she’d come to me—emotions constantly skipping and dancing across the damn thing as she talked. Hell, I thought to myself. How is anyone ever supposed to read a person through all that noise?
But all other evidence was pointing towards her being a Femme Fatale. The expertly painted face, the curvaceous figure, the low neckline. And that sultry voice.
“It’s my husband, Wilbur Henderson,” she purred. “He was found shot dead this morning over the other side of town. Murdered!”
Mrs. Henderson gave a sob that I didn’t buy for a minute.
“The police are investigating naturally, but I want to do all I can for poor Wilbur so…”
She looked at me. Pleadingly? So hard to tell without a mask. I stared back at her.
I have to admit I w
Underneath the Stars“Flaming nova,” said Twinkling Star looking down. “Not again.”
“Why? What’s going—?”
Sparkling Star looked down too.
“Oh, great heavens above! Are they holding hands?”
“Afraid so,” said Twinkling Star. “And yes, of course—here comes the kissing…”
“Yuck, yuck, yuck.” Sparkling Star made a face. “I know we stars have to try to be tolerant…”
He glanced down again and winced.
“But why do these humans feel the need to get romantic always directly underneath us?”
Find The Missing WordIt was a missin’ word case. I’d been ‘ired to find RECEIVE.
A ruthless imposter was trying to steal ‘is identity—impressive disguise but not quite perfect.
I questioned this ‘RECIEVE’.
“Where is ‘e?”
RECIEVE sneered. “Pretend he never existed and I’ll make it worth your while. Pretend it’s always been i before e.”
“I always put my client first,” I snarled. “It’s got to be ‘e before I.”
The Rule giggled drunkenly.
“In the old days everyone obeyed me. Now I’m just ignored…”
“Yeah, yeah,” said the Detective. “Look, Ms. I Before E Except After C—”
“Call me Rule…”
“—’ave you seen RECEIVE or not?”
The Rule stared into her glass. “No.”
The Detective considered her with disgust. “It’s no wonder words won’t obey you. I wouldn’t.”
“Not
Lock Up Your DaughtersThe drone smiled awkwardly at the worker bee.
“So. Your mother has asked me to have a word with you, young…” He paused. “...Buzzelle, is it?”
“Buzza, father!” said the worker bee.
“Oh, yes. Of course.” The drone paused again to clear his throat. “Well, your mother has asked me if I wouldn’t mind having a word about what those silly humans call ‘the birds and the bees’. Or to put it more clearly…” There was another round of throat clearing. “...reproduction.”
“Gosh,” said Buzza.
“Yes, indeed,” said her father. “Now, the fact of the matter is…”
He flitted from one side of the chamber to the other, before facing Buzza again.
“As you’re neither a queen nor a drone, you won’t actually be involved in the continuation of our species at all.”
“Oh.” Buzza looked somewhat taken aback. “I see.” She made to l
Kissers and CakeholesIn the olden days, when the world was inhabited by Facial Features, peace reigned in most places.
The Ears were always willing to listen and the Noses didn’t pick on one another. Sometimes things got a bit hairy amongst the Eyebrows but a bit of pluck sorted out any difficulties.
No, the only conflict was amongst the Mouths. They were split into two factions: the Kissers and the Cakeholes.
“Eating cake is an abomination!” the Kissers would yell.
“Well, kissing is damn well unhygienic!” the Cakeholes would yell in return.
“You take that back!” the Kissers would retort.
“Sorry, can’t—too busy eating cake!” the Cakeholes would reply.
And so on, and so on.
But one day it all changed.
The Queen of the Mouths and her royal family happened to be Cakeholes, and on the evening of the Crown Prince’s 21st birthday she had popped along to his room to say goodnight and see if he had enjoyed his birthday cake.
Unfortunately she
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes“Heart on fire! Heart on fire!”
“Oh, not again.” At the sound of the red alert, Bill Homunculus dashed with the rest of the fire crew towards the chest cavity.
On their arrival the flames had clearly already taken a firm hold.
“Crikey,” said Alison Homunculus, staring at the fire. “How does this kid manage to fall in love on such a regular basis?”
“I know,” said Bill. “I’ll be so glad when he’s past the teenage stage.”
Chief Fire Officer Betty Homunculus clapped her hands. “Come on, people! No time for chatting—let’s grab the extinguishers and get this thing under control!”
Bill and Alison and their colleagues Sandy and Lupin ran to the canisters stored around the cavity wall. They quickly opened them up, and pulled out the scrolls of paper contained within.
Alison unrolled hers, took a deep breath and read it out.
“She’s too old for you.”
Bill loo
The Things That Come Out of Your MouthJack had always been careful with his words. When he’d popped the question to Veronica, he’d plucked them delicately from his mouth and lined them up on the table:
Will… You…
He’d then rather spoilt the effect when a nervous clearing of the throat had turned into a cough and he’d catapulted Marry… and Me... across the restaurant.
But Veronica had understood what he’d meant and after she’d got her laughter under control, she’d taken a simple Yes… from her mouth and placed it in the centre of his palm.
Jack had just stared in disbelief at the smooth, shining word for a moment—before closing his hand around it tightly and looking up to beam at Veronica.
And though Jack believed in always responsibly disposing of any words after use—any harsh words going into the compost for the garden, all the others going off for recycling—he’d held on to that
Depth“The thing is...”
The wishing well sighed.
“When you say ’wishing well’, everyone immediately visualises the bit up top. The circular wall, the bucket, the winch and the handle. The cute little roof. And that isn’t really me. I mean, I’m the shaft in the ground. The hole filled with water! All the rest is window dressing to be honest. Do you get where I’m coming from? Does that make sense? Or am I just talking rubbish?”
“Not at all, not at all. I think you’re—” The voice at the bottom of the well paused. “...quite deep.”
There was the sound of a little splashing.
“Any… sign of that rescue party, by the way?”
“Still looking for a stronger rope,” said the wishing well cheerfully.
“Oh, right,” said the voice. “Excellent.”
A selection from my pieces for FFM 2016.
Background by ShiStock Box by CypherVisor
Lit Tag by copper9lives

Literature Favourites



Sock it to Me!Dave knew he was in for a long day when he found his coworker wearing not only their standard Mr. Spudsy uniform- but a hot pink sock puppet as well. It swiveled to face him as he entered, and he sighed.
“Okay, Mitch.” He strolled to the front counter, still tying his apron. “Who's your friend?”
Mitch punched in another sale and smiled. “Oh hey, Dave. This is Lady Tubular, goddess queen of sock puppets. She digs you.”
His arm drifted forward while he talked. Mismatched blue and red buttons ogled up toward Dave, who raised an eyebrow. “Hi there, sweet cheeks!” The puppet swayed. “Come here often?”
Dave blinked. “You been practicing your ventriloquism again?”
“Not really. Why?”
“Hey!” The puppet's mouth flapped wide. “Don't you know it's rude to leave a lady without an answer?” A hoarse giggle came from it. “That's okay, though. I like 'em a little rude.”
Dave pushed it
FFM 2016 8: Pro TemporeTell me, do my senses deceive me or do our dates seem to go the same way lately? Not so long ago we were carving our initials on any tree that had the misfortune of being the cardboard backdrop to our multidimensional love. Now, all we do is count the dead rings of dead tree stumps.
Listen, I know you have these elaborate fantasies of all the clocks in your house mysteriously breaking down, while the hands of mine are still running around, but what I’m trying to say is that these dreams of yours are no indicia of me running out on you. I make it a point to apply uberrima fides as the standard of care in all things that I do, including you.
You tell me that the broken clocks are not my responsibility to fix. But never mind the tampered time — the big, serious problem is that there is a void where the old you should be, or so you tell me.
At this point I correct you. You mean voidable, not void. Void means void ab initio, which means you never were born.
Ceci n'est pas une histoire.It was an exceptionally hot day in the golf course at the centre of the earth, and so Salvador Dali's moustache was enjoying a nice cool dip in the local clock.
     “Swim, swim, swim,” said Salvador Dali's moustache, content in the knowledge that nothing at all could possibly disturb the serenity of this lovely scene.
    But suddenly, Adolf Hitler's evil moustache appeared, wielding a doomsday device!
    “Egad!” cried Salvador Dali's moustache, “I thought Hitler got blasted into smithereens (and you onto some guy's glasses) on July 17th!”
    “A very astute and metaliterarily amusing observation,” observed Hitler's moustache. “Except that I am not Hitler's moustache,” continued not-Hitler's moustache. “I am Charlie Chaplin's moustache!”
    Salvador Dali's moustache raised a mousteyebrow. “I'm a little confu
Page 5: The angels are here. Don't-Page 1
You sit in your living room, curled up with a book. You are startled by loud knocking at your door. Looking up, you see the door rattle on its hinges. Shaking, you tiptoe to the door as the thudding continues. Peering through the peephole, all you see are stone feathers. The door shudders violently. What do you do?
To open the door, you unbelievable moron, turn to page 37.
To run away before the door falls on you, turn to paXXXX
[The second page number has been scribbled over with sharpie. You turn to page 37, only to find it has been ripped down the middle.]
Page 37
You open the door. The angels are here.
Somehow you always knew they woul
eyes unblinking, you run past the bo
but the only thing that can save yo
To run up the stairs, turn to pag
To negotiate, turn to page 14
[Page 14 is missing. Page 15 has only one sentence.]
Page 15
The naked light-bulb in the closet swings above your head. The angels are outside the closet door
FFM 2016: Your destiny awaits!Page 1
It is a dark and stormy night, and you are in the middle of a rather pleasant dream when you are suddenly awakened by the sound of someone urgently hammering on the Inn door.
This is ridiculous, there’s a storm raging outside, and it’s the middle of the night. Has this person never heard of normal business hours?
    To ignore the obnoxious mouth-breather and go back to sleep, turn to page 2.
    To get out of bed and begrudgingly answer the door in your underthings, turn to page 3.


Page 2

You hold a pillow over your head, and try to go back to sleep. Eventually the infernal banging stops, and you are free to return to that pleasant dream you were having about the buxom barmaid that helps out on Thursdays. What’s her name again? Sally? Holly?
    To wake up in the morning, well rested and refreshed, turn to page 5.

Page 3

You’ve made a horrible mistake. You should have sta
FFM 2016, July 16 - LegendsIn the land of the giants, humans had always struggled to find safe places to live. Inside their houses was always one option, but in the olden days giants liked to eat any humans they found, and even if they didn't, they usually weren't very happy about finding the little pests in their cupboards or scurrying about on their tables. That was back in the day. These days, the inside of giant houses had a pressure differential that made life for creatures as small as humans impossible. But humans didn't fare very well out in the wild either - like the rats depended on humans, so did the humans depend on the giants.
Some human colonies were kept by giant scientists, who liked to use the short life-spans of the humans and the relative similarity of their social structures for experimentation (although there were a lot of movements these days protesting this use). There was in fact a popular strand of philosophy among many humans that said all humans and giants were merely the
Beyond the Flesh“Fear is in your head,” says the First Angel. He says it with a smile, not a kind smile but a smirking one, as if to dare me to put my fear aside. He put it aside long ago, when he cast his humanity away and became what he is now: sometimes David and sometimes Lucy, fallen angel, risen man, with mismatched eyes that swim and waver in the air, freed of flesh. He was the first to cast it aside, to become what he is now. The First Angel.
We all had to follow. The world will overpopulate, they said, and they were right; so the people left their flesh behind, became what he is, became angels. Their discarded bodies lay rotting in the parks and the streets, in their homes, wherever they left them. They turned themselves into light, screaming: We want to live.
I didn't go with them. I was afraid.
But the new humanity is merciful, freed from the cruelties of the flesh. They will leave none of their children behind. They came for me as the last few corpses lay
FFM16-2 In the Name of a Hug    Prickles passed the last ingredient -- pickled newt eyes -- to Mistress Moonshine. She plucked it off his spiny arm and dropped it into the bubbling cauldron. Both watched intently as the green solution frothed and turned pink. A smoky, pink heart puffed from the top of the cauldron.
    “It worked,” Mistress Moonshine cheered, throwing her arms wide.
    Prickles grinned also and spread his arms too, waiting for the gleeful embrace of his mistress. But Mistress Moonshine scooped the potion bottles into her arms instead. Little coloured vials chinked and toppled as she wrapped her arms around them. Prickles’ face fell. He knew why Mistress Moonshine didn’t want to hug him. No one wanted to hug a cactus. But for some reason he had let himself hope that with the perfection of the love potion, the trainee witch might feel generous enough to include her sidekick in her celebratory exploits.
  
A selection from my favourites.
Background by Cre8aRt4LifE Box by CypherVisor

Flash Fiction



House H(a)untingThe apparition raised its translucent arms and began to wail.
“I come from Hell! From Hell! From— Bloody hell.”
The spirit of Edmund Aspinall grabbed at his shroud as it headed downwards. He pulled it up round his shoulders again and wrapped it around his body.
“You don’t half feel the chill once you’re away from the flames of eternal damnation.”
Miss Amelia Gould, medium-slash-estate agent, nodded sympathetically and entered ‘Hell’ into the address box on the form.
She looked up to see Mr. Aspinall still rearranging his shroud. He smiled weakly.
“I apologise for the rather revealing attire. If I’d realised I was going to be wandering around like this for all eternity, I would have made sure my nearest and dearest had known to bury me in a pair of drawers.”
“Please don’t worry about it, Mr. Aspinall. I am a professional.” Miss Gould put the form to one side. “So, I take it you’r
Wanted: Baby ShoesThe turf war between the stork and the gooseberry bush had been going on for ages.
There were the slogans:
Go stork! We deliver to your door!
Think gooseberry: no chance of your child plummeting 500 feet.
And the dirty tactics:
“Ha!” said the stork, dropping bindweed.
“Take that!” said the bush, catapulting gooseberries.
But one day the stork turned up waving a report. “We’ve both been fools! Parents have taken things into their own hands!”
The gooseberry bush took the report and turned it this way and that way and held it at branch’s length, frowning at the diagrams.
“Are you sure we should be worried?” it said. “I really can’t see this catching on.”
A Saga of CerealLet us sing of Albert Braithwaite and his quest! His voyage to the supermarket! His mission to buy cornflakes!
And so he approached the supermarket and gained entrance.
Everywhere there were temptations that sang to him. But his wisdom was strong. Do not look directly at the showy sirens who would take your gold. Rather look down towards the own brand items. For they are better value.
He travelled on.
In his path were clusters of creatures with tongues to talk, but neither eyes nor ears to perceive him. His many requests of “Excuse me, please. I’d quite like to get through” went unheeded.
Temporarily defeated, he retreated and found another way through the maze.
But the glamour was becoming stronger. He felt his reason starting to leave him. Taking shelter by the cheese and onion crisps, he produced pen and ink and captured the words as they floated from his mind.
And lo! Albert strode forward, looking neither to the left or right, but keeping his path straight and tr
Punctured“Car,” said the bicycle, “we need to talk.”
“Oh, Assembly-Robot. Oh, exhaust. It’s one of those talks, isn’t it?” said the car. “About our relationship.”
“Yes. The thing is…” The bicycle hesitated. “I think we both just need a bit more space.”
“Oh.” The car looked around the garage. “It does need a bit of a clear-out. They could get rid of that old TV for a start…”
“No. No,” said the bicycle. “I’m talking about emotional space.” It sighed. “We both knew this was coming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy it when I’m strapped to your rack—”
“Will you keep your voice down,” said the car.
“—but anyone can see how well you’ve been getting along with the new moped. And sometimes… Sometimes I just feel like a third wheel.”
The car
Bah“Did you hear about The Lamb?” said the lettuce. “Struck again last night. A mangold got munched.”
The aconitum’s flowers quivered. “Horrible. But let’s discuss something happier. How are the auditions going?”
The lettuce shrugged. “A salad’s coming up I’d like to be picked for.”
“Well, they’d be fools not to choose you,” said the aconitum. “You look so crisp. So tender…”
The lettuce stared at the distinctly herbivorous expression. “Oh, thistles. You’re The Lamb, aren’t you?”
“‘Fraid so.”
The Lamb threw off its disguise.
The lettuce wilted.
And the moral of the story is: beware sheep in wolfsbane clothing.
The EquationThe cast had gathered together to witness the unveiling of the poster for:
X = 8 + 7
“Well, that’s unfair!” said +. “X is a complete unknown—it shouldn’t be getting higher billing than the rest of us!” + appeared a little cross. “You know, I’m considering walking out of this equation!”
The producer sighed. “Look, I think I know the solution: X, will you reveal your true identity, please?”
X whipped off its cloak and⸺
“You’re 15!” said +, trying to curtsey and bow simultaneously. “I’m a huge fan.”
“God, you’re such a snob,” muttered 8. It beamed over at the performer previously labelled ‘X’. “Just wanted to let you know, 15. Me and 7 always considered you our equal.”
WordsThe meeting of the support group was taking place in the Dusty Dictionary—a refuge from the world for the archaic and lesser-used words in the English Language.
“Who would like to start?” asked the group leader, poltroon. “Ruth, perhaps?”
The word quivered a little. “My name is ruth, and I’m an archaic word….” It gave a sob. “I’m so sorry…”
“Take your time,” said poltroon.
“It’s just so hard!” said ruth. “I haven’t worked in years, and I’m not sure I ever will again. But ruthless is constantly being employed. It doesn’t make any sense. How can people have ruthless without needing ruth?”
Dandled nodded sympathetically. “I rarely get any gigs nowadays myself. But when I do, I turn up and find dangled has pinched the job. ‘He dangled the baby on his knee.’ What the hell does that even mean? Sounds bloody dangerous to me.”
I've Really Lost My MindThe young man smiled, with just a touch of embarrassment. “I seem to have lost my mind.”
The female attendant looked at him. “This is a railway ticket office.”
“Yes..?”
“You want the lost property section over there.” She pointed at a counter where a severe-looking man was rearranging misplaced umbrellas.
“Thank you!” The young man nodded politely and headed across to the other section.
The lost property attendant looked up as the young man approached. “Is it an umbrella you want?” He indicated the display.
The young man appeared to be tempted for a moment by a purple one decorated with cats and dogs, but then apparently remembered why he was there.
“No,” he said. “I’ve lost my mind. I’m pretty sure here was the last time I used it—I was trying to work out what would be the cheapest ticket to Inverness on a weekday in June, outside peak hours, travelling with my back to the engin
A selection from my flash fiction.
Background by ShiStock Box by CypherVisor
Lit Tag by copper9lives

Visual Favourites




A selection from my favourites.
Background by Cre8aRt4LifE Box by CypherVisor

Brace Yourselves...

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 30, 2017, 4:58 AM
It's been a while since I've been properly active on DA, but I'm just about (hopefully) to become very active indeed.

Flash Fiction Month begins tomorrow and like all the other participants I will be attempting to write and then post a story of between 55 and 1,000 words each day of July. If anyone is interested in joining in, you can find the sign-up post here. Obviously there's still time to sign-up before the official kick-off but people are always encouraged to jump in at any point in July.


Also, I'm very behind in mentioning this but jes6ica of JayHenge Publishing released another anthology of speculative fiction in May: Unearthly Sleuths. I've got a story in there, and so have several other talented DA writers. I'm very proud to be a part of it.

jes6ica has several other anthologies on the horizon (I must pull myself together and make my next submission ^^"), and she's always looking for new writers. If you're interested, you can take a look at more information in her journal here

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SCFrankles
Frankles
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United Kingdom
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The Lord gathered all the writers and divided them into four groups.


To the first group He said, “You will be novelists and you will make a living from your work.”

To the second group He said, “You will be poets and people will admire and be moved by your work.”

To the third group He said, “You will write short stories and people will enjoy your work.”

And to the final group He said, “You will write flash fiction and… Yes, well, sorry about that.”


My name is Frankles. I'm a writer specialising in flash fiction.

(When I get called home, there are going to be words.)
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Unless a man is in part a humorist, he is only in part a man.
GK Chesterton
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A piece selected from my favourites.
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:iconzeptonyx:
Zeptonyx Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the llama! =)
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:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
You're most welcome ^_^ 
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:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You're most welcome ^__^ 
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:icondhiksha:
Dhiksha Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! Thank you for the Llama!Hug 
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:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Well, thank you for the faves and the watch ^^  :icongiveflowerplz:
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:icondhiksha:
Dhiksha Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconblackbowfin:
BlackBowfin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Hey there and thank you for the support.  :)
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:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome ^_^ 
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:icondasiatis:
dasiatis Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the llama, nice of you!! :)
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