May 212015
 

Hello again, nice to see you. Ready for some micro fun? Read on:

Fear of flying, or pteromechanophobia, is a fear of being on an aeroplane, or other flying vehicle, while in flight. It is one of the more debilitating phobias as being unable to travel by air can mean missing out on foreign vacations, visiting relatives, and prevent travel for businesspeople. The possibility of a fatal crash is the most common cause of fear of flying but it may also be caused by other fears such as fear of enclosed spaces, fear of vomiting (from motion sickness), or fear of heights. Treatment can often be as simple as educating the person about how safe air travel actually is. Other people take a more direct approach and take a sedative.

The A-Team’s Bosco Albert ‘B.A.’ Baracus (played by Mr. T, who celebrates his 63rd birthday today) was so scared of flying (I ain’t gettin’ on no plane) that he had to be sedated, clubbed over the head, or otherwise tricked on to the plane when the mission were required him to fly. To say Mr. T, born Laurence Tureaud, has had an interesting life would be an understatement. He has been a wrestling champion, football player, soldier, bouncer, bodyguard, and actor. Mr. T helped with the clean-up after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Afterwards he stopped wearing his trademark gold chains, saying they were a sin before God and disrespectful to those who had lost everything.

Let’s wish Mr. T a very happy birthday with this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: David Joyce via CC.

Photo Credit: David Joyce via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is me!

What?

A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with FEAR and ending with FLYING and incorporating the photo prompt.

Who?

Anyone, but especially you!

Why?

Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.

When?

Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).

Where?

Here!

How?

Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  192 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.32 – FEAR [micro] FLYING”

  1. Contemplations of a Dying Man

    Fear and Loathing was playing on the television somewhere in the other room. He could hear Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro talking, but he couldn’t translate it. The words were too yellow and tasted of blackbird pie. He tried lowering his jaw to the floor, so that the flavor could crawl out, but he felt the taste burrowing into his tongue. The only logical way to get rid of the taste now would be to swallow his tongue, so he did.

    As he asphyxiated he wondered if God would let him take an escalator to Heaven. If not, he would have to settle for Hell, because he feared flying.

    110 words
    @goldzco21
    #flashdog

  2. Harsh Reality
    (100 words)

    Fear of falling asleep sends Danny into the night seeking to stay awake. His life-of-the-party persona masks attempts to stave off the nightmarescape of dreams that make his miserable life seem like Shangri-La.

    Awake he doesn’t remember what he needs to forget.

    Into his mouth he pops the golden pill of escape, washing it down with the amber elixir of oblivion. He sits back to await the separation, when his soul soars above reality to dance among clouds of unimportant nothingness.

    Never mind the pendulum swing into despair at the end. For now, he is flying.

  3. Novocaine
    (w/c – 108)
    @koebnig

    Fear quickly choked her dry tongue. It tasted cold like burnt copper. She’d tasted it once before, as a child, quivering at the top of the ‘big’ kid’s slide.
    ‘Scaredy-cat,’ said James, nudging her forward with his shoulder.
    ‘Stop it, James!’ It was Adam, her big brother. He’d always been there to rescue her.
    But not anymore.
    Now she was alone in her dentist’s office waiting for the novocaine to kick in and dreaming of Adam and his unbelievable stories of flying.

  4. HAPPY PLACE (107 words)

    “Fear,” as we learn in Alcoholics Anonymous, can be thought of as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” While this wordplay may appear simple, it actually works.

    I was terrified at the thought of living without alcohol. How was I to cope with life’s upsets? How was I to celebrate good times with others? How would I conjure up my muse?

    I learned to not believe the fear and thus control my own mental state. I can now attend dinner parties, football games, even go to the dentist.

    I just shut my eyes, take a deep breath, think of the birth of my daughter…and I’m flying.

  5. BANNER DAYS (110 words)

    Fear of that deepest part of myself
    has kept my heart on a dusty shelf.

    Off the bus, I’ve come to find me
    to release something that yearns to be free

    A rainbow flag lit by an old street lamp
    assures me that I am in a safe camp.

    Having studied it, I anticipate its moves.
    The tension roll outs predicable grooves.

    The breeze changes directions, a new dance now.
    The wind dies down, it rests, takes a bow.

    With encore flourish, whipped corners uncurl.
    I’m empowered, watching this flag unfurl.

    My spirit down, my heart surely dying
    now soars in Provincetown.

    Look up! That’s me flying.

    • oops, I just realized I didn’t incorporate the picture prompt. Let’s just imagine the character in the poem is shouting “I have arrived!”

    • Nice that he found himself; I completely forgot about the prompt reading this and just enjoyed it as it was. 🙂

  6. Dental Phobia
    @laurenegreene
    105 words

    “Fear of the dentist is unbelievably common,” Dr. Payne said.

    My white knuckles gripping the chair must have tipped him off. My mouth wide open revealed the limited dental work I’d had.

    “Failure to take care of your teeth leads to heart disease. Isn’t that something?”

    I felt nauseous. I wished he would just sedate me and get it over with. The toothache had become unbearable. He readied the needle.

    “What’s it called—the fear of dentists?” Dr. Payne asked.

    “I don’t think there’s an official name.”

    “Pteromechanophobia?”

    I shook my head, as he injected my mouth with Novocain. “No, that’s the fear of flying.”

    • Nice use of the bookends 🙂

    • Very neat and natural use of bookends there. Your character has my sympathies – just get on with the injection, damn it! 🙂

    • Nice story, Lauren – though I wouldn’t recommend shaking your head whilst being injected in the mouth…
      Dentophobia or, since that’s a mix of Latin and Greek, my preference odontophobia. (Strange that a dentist , aware of how prevalent it is, should not know the technical term for it…)
      I love that this dentist with a phobic patient is called Dr Payne! (I once had a dentist called “Dr Pay” – or, as I use to call him, after receiving his bill, “Dr Pay-Through-The-Nose”!)

    • You’ve made the use of bookends look so natural I’m jealous. 🙂

    • Ooo, love the way you wove in the bookends!

  7. Dental Strike
    @hollygeely
    110 words

    “Fear is your enemy. We will succeed.”

    “We’re gonna be swallowed,” JanJan whispered.

    Maxine didn’t believe his statistics. Tonight, humans would win the war.

    “When we’re inside aim for the gold,” the captain said. An ogre’s golden tooth was its weakness.

    The experimental shrinking process succeeded. However, the troops hadn’t expected the sheer magnitude of the rancid smell. The fumes attacked the nervous system and rendered the human troops useless.

    Their last line of defense had failed. The ogre’s bad breath had triumphed.

    Maxine tried to catch JanJan but she couldn’t move. He tumbled down the ogre’s throat. Maxine’s scream was drowned by the shuttle’s explosion. Her body went flying.

  8. @stellakateT
    110 words

    The Cost of a Gold Crown

    “Fear not my child” cackled the witch. The warts on her nose big and bulbous, her forehead furrowed more than my Granddad’s corn field.

    “If its want you want, it will happen”

    Ever since I’d been given that gold crown I’d been having nightmares about the Tooth fairy. In the middle of the night I dreamt she’d come and wrench it agonizingly out of my mouth with big pliers.

    “The Tooth Fairy is no more”

    As I promised my first born daughter to her and heard a scream of death in Fairy Land, she gave me a withering look, leaping on her broomstick, off she went towards the moon, flying.

    • Oh, I love a fairy tale and you’ve got the lot here- cackling witches, hasty deals regretted when it’s far too late to take them back.
      Loved your take on this. A great read

    • I think she’ll regret her wish.

  9. Phantom
    (109 words)
    @elaine173marie
    ‘Fear me,’ he says- just as he hands me my  change; just before the train pulls up; just before the guy behind me shouts, ‘What’s keeping you, Lady?’
    I try to find a trace of the words on his face. In the lines across his forehead. In his pinpoint pupils. In the shiny gold between his yellow teeth. But they’ve disappeared.
    Except, somehow, I am in possession of them. I carry them onto the train, feel them fluttering at my chest. I try to pull them into some other shape. But the train thrums, ‘Take care! Take Care!’ I turn towards the squawking skies and watch the noises flying.

  10. The Edge of Despair
    (110 words)

    “Fear keeps us aloft, Baby Bird. Or it kills. This is the pinnacle’s lesson.” His croaky voice was almost pleading. “Remember: mouth open, inhale deeply, exhale as you dive.”

    “I know, father,” she replied, smiling at him. She could fly. Every juvenile could. And yet, so many failed here. Brothers. Sisters. Gone.

    “We all love you,” her father said. He turned away to join the family’s unkindness. Nervous talons clutched in prayer for the child.

    The initiate flashed a wry grin, bowed slightly, then snapped jet wings into a wide, sleek frame. Coming set at the perch, she took in the chasm and reckoned the measure between falling and flying.

  11. @stellakateT
    109 words

    The Good Husband

    Fear was something she’d never experienced.
    She’d been in so many situations that would have the strongest petrified but the only emotion she’d ever felt was elation. The adrenaline pumping through her veins like pure gold.

    He had watched her for weeks, months, even years. He’d only married her to find out her secret. Reporting back to his superiors that he finally knew what it was.

    She would wake in the morning from her drugged sleep with blood in her mouth. The gold tooth safely in his pocket and the divorce papers on the bedside table. His new life overseas beckoning; if he could catch the last plane flying.

  12. https://lynnmlovewords.wordpress.com/
    109 words

    The last trick

    Fear hits him like ice water.

    Together they’ve performed this trick a thousand times – hearts tripping, swift as trapped mice.

    Today, the audience are bewitched. Her arm brushes his; her crushed rose scent consumes him. He loved to inhale her – now sweet rose mingles with rotting teeth.

    She lays her neck, pale as the moon, on the stock.

    He removed the safety blocks from the frame after the dress rehearsal. There is nothing left but to raise the blade and watch it fall.

    The audience fidgets. She shifts, uncomfortable. He trembles, drops her note – her discovered secret – in the basket.

    ‘… one stolen kiss sent my soul flying …’

  13. The Release
    @geofflepard 108 words
    Fear dribbles down my leg, pooling on the concrete. I’m blind but I know it’s Scratch, with his constant grating.
    ‘Today it ends.’ Stench fills my nostrils. Is that me or him. I no longer know. ‘Even if you told now, it will end today.’
    Why does he scratch? Nerves? If it ends, if I don’t answer, has he failed? Will he be next? Have I won?
    ‘Tell me, now it doesn’t matter.’
    Tell him what? What is the question?
    A noise fills the room, familiar, on the edge of memory. Scratch lifts my weightless, fleshless bones. I’m dizzy, high. That sound. My laughter. I’m free. I’m flying.

  14. Mining for Gold

    104 Words

    @el_Stevie
    #Flashdogs

    Fear had carved its portrait on the face of the corpse. Erich tried to avert his eyes but the mouth, silently screaming its echoes of death, held his gaze.

    A guard moved up behind him.

    “Looked like they missed one, Herr Doktor.”

    Gold glinted amongst the grey, a small sun that shone only briefly before the pliers did their work. The tooth did not join its fellows on a nearby pile, instead the kommando slipped it into his pocket.

    Erich said nothing. Humanity and compassion were strangers here. And now it was every man for himself as rumours about the approaching Allies started flying.

  15. The Speech
    @agardana09
    107 words

    Fear grew in her gut. She knew she didn’t fit in, knew yellow teeth belonged to her alone in this sea of pearly whites.

    But when it came to ideas, there were more important factors than pretty packaging. Ideas were her currency.

    She climbed the steps that led to the stage and stepped into the spotlight.

    “Don’t smile, don’t smile.”

    All eyes turned towards her. She counted the faces that winced: four men and three women. Those were only in the first few rows.

    Then she began her speech. She watched as their expressions changed, like they always did, towards thoughtfulness.

    That was it, she was flying.

  16. Freedom Of A Fashion

    Fear has teeth, Icarus’ father warns. They bit the day Minos “lost” Daedalus in the labyrinth’s intricate layers; a monstrous presence living inside his father’s mind. His escape took years – body imprisoned, reason seeking out. Reunited now, all, they fashion their passage from feathers – two pairs, wax-bound.

    “Copy me,” Daedalus instructs. “The air floats free without dominion.”

    Icarus nods, binding quills into pinions to fasten to his arms.

    “Take care,” his father warns. “Wing your course through middle air. Beware wetting or burning the plumes.” Icarus hears absently without trepidation.

    Arms outstretched, they embrace the breeze together; Icarus climbing high, giddy.

    Heat beats as scattered feathers hang self-balanced, flying.

    @FallIntoFiction
    110 words
    #FlashDog

  17. Emily Clayton
    @emilyiswriting
    106 words

    Masks of Fire

    “Fear breathes life into these weary bones …” You rifle through the kitchen drawers, shaking your rump to the croaking tunes. You used to be a fine singer; now, you’re forever coughing up fur balls laced with grit. Doesn’t help that you’ve lost all your real teeth.

    Lily, your sarcasm-queen granddaughter, catches you mid rump swing. “Shake it, Grandma!”

    You shake harder, faster. Each shake propels you further from today. From reality.

    “Windy out. Leaving soon?”

    You squeeze his gold locket. Smooth surfaces reveal your tears. Rump slackens. Exhilaration fades. “Yes, dear,” you say as you scan the sapphire sky. “Let’s get Grandpa’s dragon kite flying.”

  18. Pay your Debts
    @ceckybonway
    110 words

    Fear has a face and it looks like Denzel Washington. Not that Denzel is scary, mind you. On the contrary, I find him to be a beautiful specimen of the human form. The Denzel look-alike, however, is terrifying. Not because of his looks, but because of the maniacal glint that’s in his eye as he holds up a rusty pair of forceps.

    I told him my tooth was not solid gold.

    He didn’t believe me.

    Choking on the blood left by my molar, I tried to explain that the money I owe is at my house. He smirked, said, “This is how you die” and sent my gap-toothed face flying.

    • Ooh… that’s pretty dark, Becky. Now if you can just work in one of the FlashDogs photo prompts…
      Nice take. (And DW has shown a very sinister side in some of his movies.)

    • Love the darkness here. And the reference to Denzel makes my brain happy (I love making visual connections).

  19. CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN MOLAR

    Brian S Creek
    102 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    “Fear is our weapon,” said the man in the grey suit. “You can’t win.”

    Chris punched him again while Mike kept watch at the end of the alley.

    The man spat blood and looked up at Chris, laughing. “I’ll never tell you where he is.”

    Chris noticed something then and smiled. He punched the man again and this time something golden shot out, landing next to Mike’s foot.

    “Is that his tooth?” said Mike as he picked it up.

    “Sort of,” said Chris. “It’s more of a key.”

    “To what?”

    “To a floating prison.”

    “Floating?” said Mike. “So I guess we’re flying?”

    • Nice take on bookends…. the duo never fail to amaze me….. 😉

    • Ah, Brian. It would be impressive coming up with this stuff week after week without having to stitch on the bookends. This week, you can’t see the joint. Hats off to you, sir!

    • I think I missed last week’s episode (thankfully, they stand alone). Glad to be back and enjoying some Chris and Mike. 😉

  20. Stop. Light
    (Word Count: 108)
    @iskyhaggarty36

    Fear swallowed me like a coated pill. The kind that tastes bitter.
    My little pink arms went limp when he hauled me out of the cab, mother screaming in the blurred background.
    The scarred sun burned my face.
    My jaw slapped the pavement and my tired eyes looked up.
    All I could see was that golden tooth glinting maliciously.
    All I could hear was the jarred shrieks of my mother clashing with the sick, sinister laughter of that abysmal maw.
    It sounded like a classical symphony to my bleeding ears.
    The blackened pavement burned my skull and, for one solitary moment, I felt as if I were flying.

  21. Fear
    @Donnellanjacki
    110 words

    “Fear,” he says, sliding the package across the table. “Premium grade.”

    “How much?” I say coolly. He grins, his slashed jeans like graffiti in my magnolia-walled office. I am dead, and he knows it. As long as I’m plodding from one safe, sanitised moment to the next, I’m just dead. And I need to live.

    “Five thousand,” he says.

    I pay him. Quickly.

    I rip open the Fear, and cram it into my mouth. That familiar rush- boredom to unease; heartbeat to hoof beats. My senses snatched upwards by the taste of… blood?

    He is laughing.

    Premium grade…

    Above the crescendo of my scream I can see Death’s angels flying.

  22. The Race

    Fear is the enemy Sammy guards against. The other creeps up on turned backs, with increasing heartbeats, as a pulse speeds towards racing. Heat follows on its heels at the back of the neck, hair prickling and you are gone mid turn to see. Their teeth devour flesh to shredded scraps; relentless, all-consuming.

    Sammy’s breath hitches as he schools his head to bland blank, heart picking up pace irrespective – pitter patter – as the adrenaline begins to pump. Instinct fights for flight. Seconds later, muscles tensing, he runs from unseen jaws.

    Nudges at his shoulder notwithstanding, Sammy knows he is fast enough. Somewhere within fading black spots, he is flying.

    @FallIntoFiction

    (110 words)

  23. Patience
    @MarsEnyalios
    110 Words

    Fear.

    It caused animals–and humans–to fight when desperately outmatched.

    “Commander.” The private’s voice cracked. He held flint and steel, fingers shaking. The cannon’s mouth gaped at the dirt, aiming beyond.

    “Wait.” Sharp eyes peered over the ridge, watching soldiers draw close as they scanned the broken terrain for survivors, guns in hand. She clutched her broken arm, gasping quietly for breath. Her gun, empty, laid nearby. “Wait.”

    A long beat.

    “Commander,” he repeated, strained.

    She admired his determination. At his age, she would have ran. He realized escape was impossible, however. They could only hope to cause damage now.

    Exhaling, she closed her eyes. “Send the bastards flying.”

    • Argh, dangit, I forgot to incorporate the photo prompt (I got caught up in writing >.>). Revised version:

      Fear.

      It causes animals–and humans–to fight when desperately outmatched.

      “Commander.” The private’s voice cracked. He held flint and steel, fingers shaking. The cannon’s mouth gaped at the dirt, aimed beyond.

      “Wait.” Sharp eyes peered over the ridge. Soldiers, searching for survivors, drew close, guns in hand. She clutched her broken arm, tongue pressed against her gold-capped tooth for comfort, gasping quietly for breath. Her gun, empty, laid nearby. “Wait.”

      A long beat.

      “Commander,” he repeated, strained.

      She admired his determination. At his age, she would have ran. He realized their doom, however. They could only, hopefully, cause damage now.

      Exhaling, she closed her eyes. “Send the bastards flying.”

      • ((Let’s see what mess I can make of the reply stacks.) I forgot to add the word count this time. It’s still 110 words.)

    • Before I read your revised version I thought you had used the photo prompt in relation to the cannon! Good tense piece, enjoyed it.

  24. The End
    @Kellyvturner81
    110 words

    Fear coursed through him as he was pushed against the stone battlements. The grip around his neck was strong, his breath stridorous as he tried to drag air into his lungs. He knew this was it, but still he pleaded. “For the love of God, I’ll do anything you want.”

    He was rewarded with a smile, sunlight flashed off gold teeth, and for a moment he thought he was safe. He allowed himself a laugh, felt the tension ease. Instead the grip got tighter, the arm lifting him off his feet. And as he was thrown from the castle wall, it seemed for a moment as if he were flying.

  25. Lecture
    @to_the_future
    109 words

    “Fear not the future. Fear not the lack of control. Also, do not fear uncertainty, doubt or change. They are all impostors. To fear them is to be beholden to them. Instead learn to accept them. When we accept them, we release ourselves from their hold. We recognise they do not rule us, and that recognition empowers us to …”

    “Is this guy for real?” she asked.

    “Afraid he is,” I replied, “and getting more animated.”

    “…in conclusion, we all have it within us to face our fears head-on. We must…”

    “Look at his face,” she giggled, “watch his mouth, he’s spitting.”

    “…and once you do that you’ll be flying!”

  26. Positive Thinking

    Fear, Sam? You’ve flown Cessnas for years!”

    “But since I fell off that…”

    Step-ladder! Trimming the hedge!”

    “Go ahead, Alicia… trivialise it! But I fell five feet and broke my arm; what would be the consequences of… plummeting from the sky?”

    “Vicky’s in Melbourne. She’ll never forgive you if you don’t give her away…”

    *

    Sam attended phobia therapy sessions – THE POWER OF PERSUASION: Take Control of Your Patterns of Thinking.

    *

    Taking their plane seats, Alicia saw Sam’s pallor.

    “I-I c-can’t…”

    She gripped her Jane Austen hardback and whacked Sam’s temple. He slumped unconscious.

    “That,” Alicia whispered, “is the power of ‘Persuasion’… Any harder and his gold crown would’ve gone flying!”

    @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

  27. David, I posted this entry onto the end of MB 1.31 by mistake. Could you delete it from there, please?

  28. Should Have Taken Another Week
    A.J. Walker

    Fear grips every sinew in contorted strangleholds, Barry’s knuckles are white from gripping his seat, his arms and legs held so rigid as to look fragile.

    Passengers look on amused at his frozen stare at the runway.

    A youngster – momentarily distracted from his mobile phone – stands before him thinking he is an art installation, until he saw the beads of sweat blooming on his forehead.

    “It’s not a sculpture mum, it’s a scaredy-cat man.” he says, before returning to Flappy Birds.

    After all the passengers board only Barry remains; in a silent scream. An elegantly stretched stewardess sashays over to him.

    “Captain Adams, great to see you back flying.”

    (110 words)
    @zevonesque

  29. — Landed Safely Near Calais —

    “Fear? Not at first, no, but later, when it got much colder, sure.”

    Must be chilly at 20,000 feet?

    “My teeth were like one of those wind-up toys!”

    You just climbed in?

    “Well, I’d watched Dad string together tarpaulins to make this huge cigar-shaped balloon. He sprayed it gold. Called it Walt’s UFO.”

    With a tiny compartment underneath?

    “Yep. Room enough for a seven-year-old. Go for a spin, he said. Can you imagine?”

    Your father: are you still in touch?

    “No. Once I was old enough, I got out. I live in Sydney now.”

    Why’s that?

    “My Dad: he hates flying.”

    109 words
    @edbroom

  30. Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver

    WC: 107

    Fear’s Lozenge

    Fear pops you in its mouth and sucks on you. You’re a lozenge and it’s got a nasty head cold. Pulling all the soul-flavored juices from your body cools its irritable throat. (Mmm. Tangerine.) Of course you mind but you’re wedged between its tongue and gold-plated rear molar so extracting yourself won’t be easy.

    You self-soothe.

    It won’t happen again. It can’t, surely.

    Saliva coats you, carrying citrus relief down its cavernous throat, and you hope you won’t be left a candied nub.

    What if it does? I don’t think I can take losing a third…

    Fear gurgles happily.

    You dissolve.

    Somewhere – free – your almost-children are flying.

    • Speaking of first lines! This is a great opener and makes me want to know more. Although you never say, I can visualize Fear incarnate. Great stuff!

    • Oh, Foy! I feel like this one was written especially for me: procrastinating over my FlashDogs entries… fearful that they won’t be good enough… “Somewhere – free – your almost-children are flying.” – those could be my stories – my babies – if I don’t bite the (golden!) bullet and crack on with them!
      Have you ever thought of taking up this writing thing professionally? 😀

      • Geoff, I’m so happy you could relate. 🙂
        It’s written for anyone who lets him/herself be taken for a lozenge.
        I know your stories will be phenomenal and I’m looking forward to reading them amongst all the rest.
        As for professionally writing, I have. I’m hoping to find wings sometimes this fall or early 2016. Hold me to it, will ya? 🙂

      • Looking forward to reading your stories, Geoff! 🙂

  31. Bliss

    Fear. Injustice. Cronyism.

    At first we thought he was joking, like when Senators Fenwill and Ichaba fake-dueled last Independence Day. (Toxicology assured us Ichaba’s death midway was totally unrelated. OK. Why not.)

    As F.I.C. posters popped up everywhere, though, a couple people tried asking questions.

    “Who’s funding him?”

    “Isn’t he dangerous?”

    Snooze.

    They eventually gave up.

    We wound up going along with it, because yawn, and when elections rolled around, we even wore the snazzy F.I.C. stickers when we voted, and hummed the catchy F.I.C. theme song.

    For once a candidate wasn’t honey-tongued or gold-grinning.

    “Only truth!” he promised.

    Whatever.

    Our first democratically elected dictator, and nobody gave a flying–

    @postupak
    110 words

  32. Just Don’t Let Him Touch the Dog
    108 words
    @jes3ica

    Fear isn’t a great way to name a child, but after Cassandra we had no choice. Every day it’s a prophecy with that kid! So “Midas” this time, I figured. Sean, an English major, was pushing hard for “Shakespeare.” He even proposed to me, buttering me up with a gold ring hidden in a $14 chocolate torte. I thought if Sean felt guilty he’d give me my way. So I took a big bite (ring and all), pretending to choke, and Midas was born with a single gold tooth. Cassie calls it auspicious, but I keep putting things into his hands, and so far everything just goes flying.

  33. A last intel meeting

    “Fear of torture can at times be even more effective than torture itself. While rescue is unlikely if your position is ever compromised, it is essential you hold out as long as you can.”

    The commander paused for breath, and we sat, silent and impassive.

    “In the event that you simply cannot ‘soldier on’ as it were, then manipulate the false crown on your molar using your tongue in the pattern you have been shown, and it will release the chemical into your bloodstream. Death, I hasten to add, will not be instantaneous. But you will no longer feel pain: instead a euphoria as if you were flying.”

    106 words
    @davejamesashton

  34. Not-So-Impenetrable Walls
    Word Count: 110

    Fear is what keeps me here. I am safe in my box. The invisible, self erected walls keep the unwanted filth out. I will not die at the hand of fate. I have out smarted death. Healthy is my name, cleanliness is my game. I rule at keeping out dirt. I don’t slip up. I never stop planning. Every step I take is meticulously thought out, my life depends on it. If something goes wrong, the system is ruined.

    I can’t breath.

    This can’t be.

    I thought this through.

    This wasn’t supposed to happen.

    I lift my head and scream at the heavens.

    My system, out the window, is flying.

  35. Treasured Suit
    Word Count:101

    Fear what I love since you dressed it up me.
    Those highbrows were engrossed at interview, hanging on your every word. I feared, Franz Kafka or Jane Eyre might save you that time. Tick- tock on the clock makes me fear until you’re home by just moment. I count sheep then. Your last penny, I fear, should not go for my platinum necklace but your book.
    “I got scholarship” you said this morning. The fear congratulated you.
    “How will my fear swing you abroad?” You smiled hearing me.
    I loved the couple air tickets. I’ve got to keep my fears flying.

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