Sunday Vignettes, nothing but Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: increase.
43 thoughts on “Sunday Vignettes, nothing but Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike”
“What’s the gain?” asked the team lead.
“Fractional.” Charlie replied.
“Negative? Phase inversion is expected, you know.”
“No, not negative. Fractional.” explain Charlie, “We’re getting 2 Watts out for 10 Watts in and the transistors are *GLOWING*!”
“Ah, we seem to have ‘a slight efficiency problem.’ as it were, then.”
The crickets chirped in the darkness. The two men weren’t paying attention. Both their heads were hunched over the tightly folded map focusing on their current location. The shelter half shielding their dim red light. “Here,” said CPL Marks, “there’s been reports of an increase of traffic along this road.”
Hans rolled a rioter off the littlest tourist on the bottom of the pile, and frowned down at the shock of bright red hair and pale, too-still face on bloodied stone. She shouldn’t have collapsed when the rioters hit the line; he was fairly certain he’d shoved her behind him when he’d brought his baton up and started laying into the anarchists.
“Madame, you’d better be alive.” He took off a glove, and stuck two fingers under the purple and gold silk scarf, feeling for a pulse. As skin touched skin, it felt like the world was falling apart, and ten thousand whispering voices were seeping out of every crack and cobblestone, trying to tell him something…
He pulled away, and shook his head. “Ah, by all nine hells and the bridge between…
“Didn’t make it? We’ll up the death toll by another one, then.” His Lieutenant hesitated before putting pen to page. “Jorgson? You take a hit upside the head?” He glanced down at the bodies. “Or you know her?”
“Yes.” He knew her now, all too well. “She’s a level four touch empath.”
“Odin’s Beard! I’d never seen one outside the… temples…” The Lieutenant has his radio halfway up, frowning as if he was trying to figure out who to call to set this right.
“She’s not one of ours.” His mouth was dry, and his head felt like he’d just woken up from a nightmare, full of the shadows of things he couldn’t quite remember.
“Then what’s she doing here?”
“I think… I think she’s trying to bring us something. Something we’re not supposed to officially know.” Hans drew another breath, and knelt to pick her up. “I think I’d better take her home.”
“Right. She was never here, and you… you’re on leave. Officially. Broken arm, busted ribs.” When Hans looked up at him over the armful of woman he was carrying, the Lieutenant gave him a grim smile. “Let me know when you find out. Anything that’d stir them is going to need a lot of firepower.”
Okay, thanks for the teaser, it was great. When will the book be finished? I want it soon
What’s the title of this book? I need to throw money at it, I think?
I’d throw money if I had any to spare. Maybe around Christmas?
Finish Book! Shut up and TAKE MY MONEY! (Thanks…)
Biggy adjusted his bifocals and looked over the data. “An 8% increase. Is this on the level?”
Numbers nodded. “I tested it with a coin drop.”
Biggy picked up the talisman. “Better than house edge.” He looked at Numbers. “I want to know where he got it.”
“Sure thing, Boss.”
I hope they didn’t, uh, ‘eliminate’ the bearer before initiating testing. Unless they have a talented necromancer on hand.
Urgan smiled. ‘My Lord,’ he said,’ I am pleased to be able to tell you that the attackers have been driven back to their ships and sailed away in considerable disarray. Not only that, but so many were left behind unmanned that your own fleet is increased by five ships!’
The minister was giving a speech about how the need for the magical university funding was a decrease, not an increase. Jonnet, drinking her cider, wished the radio would break, or they would change channel, before he got to joking that they should conjure the gold if they needed it.
Her curiosity only increased as a house hove into view. Whitewashed, with red tile roof, and a tower, equally white-washed and red-roofed. Rose bushes were thick about it, with blood red flowers, and others white with red specks.
“Three Maiden Tower,” pronounced Hobert. The boat glided up to the dock.
The difficulty of the way increased almost with every stride. The land by the tunnel was packed earth, with only a few half-wilted blades of grass standing in odd corners. First the grass grew tall, and full of flowers in blue and gold. Brambles with pink flowers and brush followed.
“That coin you gave me to put in my pocket? Well, there’s a problem. My pocket has a hole.”
“Seriously? I trusted you with a priceless orachilum coin, proof of the existence of Atlantis, and you lost it?”
“Never mind. Panic over. It was in the crease of my pants.”
She finished dressing rapidly, then paused. Something was wrong. Her brow wrinkled as she tried to concentrate. It was her jeans. Her door was locked still. She eeled out of her jeans and began to inspect them inside out. No, not the pockets, not the seam. It was the in-crease!
Burroughs looked at the vignette, counted carefully, grimaced and, taking his pen in hand crossed out several words. Counting, frowning, he lined out an entire sentence, substituting a brief phrase. Finally, throwing his quill down in frustration, he exploded: “It’s no good! Fifty words isn’t enough! I demand an ________.”
The world went white as the positron beam hit his Combat Shell’s Ectastica field, the sound of field generator screaming as it neared critical overload. The monitor screens cleared and he slammed the throttle control to full, feeling the quantum coils sing as power was fed into them. The next positron beam missed by the thickness of a layer of paint, the computers painting the DEW line as the sensors backtracked the beam to the Yamotoan Combat Shell firing at him. The right joystick twitched and the Combat Shell’s arm aimed and fired it’s own positron beam back.
The director’s cue inspired Kristen to expand her sound palette and design an eerie environment for the forest beast. Whistling Wind. Taiko. Trombones. She needed one more sound to increase the volume. Then, when the beast turned its head, she’d cut off the volume and cue up Serena’s mystical theme.
“Okay, now what do you think?”
With a quick flick of her fingers, Erin brought up the Colony’s revised ecological plan.
I sipped my coffee and pondered briefly. “Not bad- some fractional increases… just enough to put the cycle in the black.”
“So we’re done?”
I smiled “Not even close.”
“The Mime Died Screaming” came back with a rejection letter. Joseph thought it was his best work, and wondered if his project of mainstreaming mime fiction would ever succeed. A part of him died inside, silently.
I don’t care how you do it, fair means or foul, illegal or underhanded, even magical, but you must INCREASE MY BUDGET.
They’d just barely escaped the bird.
“A giant parakeet?! What the?”
“I suppose it was a combination of ‘fowl’ means and magic being only almost… and magic must never be only almost.”
“Alright, so just what exactly is it that you’re trying to tell me?”
“You got a budgie increase.”
More an anecdote than vignette: my quaker parrot just shook out his bathwater with such increasing vigour, that he splashed my screen. I may need to move his bath dish. =/
There shall be an increase in thy Carp Allotment, Mr. Mythical Beast. Earned it, thou hast.
It’s time to carp-e moo-em.
The minister walked down Hanover Street in Boston. The sun shown weakly through the November chill. It was the year 1692, and he’d just returned from England with a new charter from William III. He looked forward to seeing his wife again. Entering his house, Mather shouted, “Maria, I’m home!”
I saw what you did there.
I Cott-on to it.
You both deserve a boatload of carp for that one.
The boat in question is salem back to harbour as we speak.
Darn, I was going to get a non-punning reference in, probably from the POV of Reggie Waite, who is from Salem. But I was on the road all weekend, and then had to catch up with post-con bookwork, so I guess I’ll have to figure out something else.
Colin huddled into himself on the bench, almost sick with nerves, staring at the frosted glass window of the office door opposite and the words RECTOR: DR. T. CALIBURN upon it. He hadn’t been called to a principal’s office since he was ten years old, the last time he’d tried striking back at any of his tormentors with actual violence — but then, this had been almost the very same offense, hadn’t it? That he hadn’t even meant to do it was probably not going to be much defense; in his experience, school authorities’ affection for you was conditional precisely on how little trouble you caused, no matter how much supposed “potential” you exhibited. He couldn’t imagine why he would have thought it would be different in this school, of all schools . . . .
The raised voices from inside the office door finally penetrated his haze of misery, and he sat up despite himself. “. . . appreciate your need for more Excubitors, Richard. But I will not increase our enrollment at the price of lowering our standards! You know what that leads to.”
“When was the last time you were out in the field, Theseus?” snarled back a deep, British-accented voice. “Facing an angry mob of Dragonfolk, or worse, a creature of the Abhorrent? There are whispers on the horizon, Theseus, whispers of war, and we are as like as not to need soldiers more than police or guards. And as many as we can find.”
“And I seek them for you, every day,” returned the first voice, equally deep but calmer and smoother. “But you need soldiers you can trust, Richard, not mindless weapons. And even if I were minded to give you only that, would you take up a blade you thought might turn in your own hand and pierce you?”
There was a pause. “No,” said the British man finally. “But I might have to if I had no alternative. Please do not leave with no alternative, Theseus.”
Hasty footsteps warned Colin; he shuffled to the end of the bench and looked away as if he hadn’t been paying attention, watching the tall, black-bearded man storm from the office and out. He had only a moment to regain his breath before the first voice was raised again. “Mr. Rhodes. Please come in.”
I pulled the free lines through the bite of her wrist binding. The increasing tension collapsed her ankles towards her thighs.
I’m guessing the “bite” is supposed to be “bight”. Got to know your ropes.
Oh, and I know the term spoken and what it is, just not written 😉
Damnit word press:
“I pulled the free lines through the bite of her wrist binding. The increasing tension collapsed her ankles towards her thighs.
Her smile broadened.
The rope tied off I laid beside her. She cupped her hands around my forearm. It was electric and her joy ran from my arm to give me that same smile.”
T’was a slow ballet; the probe breaking into smaller packages, spreading around the rocky world. Sensors sought for optimal conditions; measuring weather and geological composition.
Once gathered and compiled, “gifts” glowed as they burned through the atmosphere. Seeds and bacteria awoke from their long, frozen slumber.
The increase would be abundant by the time the colony ships arrived.
The inside of the colony ship was cold, dark and silent. Suddenly, imperceptibly at first, a small increase of activity began.
I felt the quickening pulse through the miles of my synthetic nervous system, like waking up back when I was a child, when I was human.
Time to go to work.
Ligonier Rafferty looked back at the doctor. “So almost nonexistent brain activity is a good thing?”
The doctor gave him a thin-lipped smile. “At this point, Archbishop Siloan needs all his energy to recover from his injuries, so we are keeping him under heavy sedation, almost a medically induced coma. As his condition improves, we’ll be able to back off the medication. At that point we should see brain activity ramp back up.” He cast a significant look toward the open door of the room, the nursing sister bent over the small form in the bed. “In the meantime, it is still best to be cautious of what we say while within his hearing. Although we may not be seeing much brain activity, it appears that patients in this condition can still hear what is said around them.”
The house AI reported, “Negative effect. It’s still coming.”
I shook my aching head. The situation was ridiculous. The 20 foot long mutated garden slug had just oozed over the electric fence that was directly powered by the mains, so I couldn’t have increased the juice if I wanted to.
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