Fiction Prompts

Crowd Control

The Breslau Centennial Hall had been designed to hold twelve thousand people, but three weeks of relentless campaigning by the Brownshirts had swelled the throng to twice that number. Hundreds of  swastika flags hung in rows from the ceiling, and Goebbels had strategically placed dozens of agitators throughout the crowd. They knew their instructions to

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We Need to Talk

She searched for the right word. Hostility? No, that wasn’t right. Indifferent? She’d once read that the opposite of love wasn’t hate at all, but indifference. Was that what she felt? It was hard to say. She listened to him in the shower singing his same old shower song. Skylark, have you anything to say to me? He would

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Conversing with a Penitent

Père Sebastién was grave as he listened to the young novitiate unburden himself. The boy seemed on the verge of tears, but it was all Sebastién could do to repress a smile. Such old stuff. Still, it was his duty to hear him out. When at last the boy’s torrent of guilt and remonstrance seemed

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Nolo Quietus

“I need to stop a minute.” “You want me to lock the wheels?” He grimaced, I can lock my own goddamn wheels left unsaid as he reached down and flipped the levers that would keep the chair from rolling down the hill once she let go. It was steep enough to be dangerous, the pine needle

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News to Me

I didn’t listen because I never listened to him, but I saw he didn’t care, his gaze drifting past my face to the construction on the street behind us and back, then down to the beer I bought him, talking the whole time. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was the last

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For Their Own Good, Of Course

The Maps Room was unrecognizable. Desks and tables had been pushed aside for a large Oriental carpet encircled with richly brocaded cushions. Smoke rose from the hookah bowl and mingled with the fog of tobacco hanging from the ceiling.  I made out Sykes sitting on a cushion. He saw me and extended a hand. “Be

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Robbie Is Sorry

I couldn’t sleep, it bothered me so much. Almost none of it was my fault, but still. Guilt. I checked my watch. Flying international, you always have to be at least two hours early. I wondered if this hotel had a phonebook. I checked the nightstand and there it was, right there with a Gideon

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Tell Me Again

“Where did you say they are?” “I told you.” “Tell me again.” “They’re in the walls. And other places.” “What other places?” “Everywhere.” “What do you mean, everywhere?” “You know. Wherever. The ceiling. The floor. The electricity.” “They’re in the electricity?” “Yes. Don’t ask me how. But they are there. I can hear them in

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Hard Livings

I was born here and never left here until Bishop Aldean set up the student exchange program where a couple of us kids got to go to the States for a year. That was alright. I pitied the poor bastards who come to Manenberg while I go to Kansas City, but I learned later the

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When

“Hello?” “It’s Jim.” “I almost didn’t pick up. What’s this number?” “Pay phone.” “I didn’t know they still had those.” “It’s at a rest stop on I-35. Lost my cell phone. Long story.” “I bet.” “So what’s happening? You at the hospital?” “No. Not anymore.” “Shit.” “Yeah, brother. You missed it. You’re too late.” “When?”

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