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Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest – WBQ24

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Old 09-15-2009, 08:33 AM
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Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest – WBQ24

Welcome everybody to the new Word Vault Contest thread; there have been a few changes to the Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest, as outlined below.

New Rules:


Members are allowed one entry in the Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest. You are required to use at least one of the words from the Word Vault, (duplicated for your convenience below). Entries should be submitted as posts to this thread. The competition is open to all members of Writer’s Beat, including staff.

Members are requested to refrain from commenting on entries in this posting thread. Please use the Word Vault Flash Fiction: WBQ24 - Comment thread instead. That thread will remain open throughout the posting period and afterwards, and members are encouraged to let entrants know what they thought of their entries.

Important note:
Those that have already submitted via the old guidelines (To submit entries by sending a PM) may post their entries here. We will consider all entries already submitted when selecting the winner, even if they where submitted by PM and not reposted here.

Word Limits:

250 words maximum


Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be altered. Any work that is edited after it has been entered will be disqualified. If you feel you need to make a small alteration (a misplaced comma, a spelling error), contact a member of staff. If we feel your request is reasonable, we will make the correction on your behalf.

Close Date:
1 October 2009, 12 midnight GMT


After the closing date, we (the Staff) will select a winner to be published in the next issue of Writer’s Beat Quarterly, assuming permission is given when we contact the winner.

Originally Posted by The Words as taken from the Word Vault WBQ - 23

plethora - n. - 1 . a superabundance or excess; 2. an excess of blood in the circulatory system or in one organ or area. From Late Latin "plethora," from the Greek "plethein," to be full.

Example: A plethora of advice and a paucity of assistance.

grok - v. - to understand profoundly and intuitively

Example: He didn't fully grok my point.

tenebrous - adj. - dark and gloom

Example: Over their heads, the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress met in a dusky arch.

welkin - n. - 1 . (archaic) the sky, the upper air, the heavens; 2. firmament

Example: _This day in mirth and revel to dispend
_________Till on the welkin shone the starres bright
(Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales)

chalcedony - n. - a form of fine-grained quartz that is nearly transparent or has a milky translucence; it fractures conchoidally.

Example: She paused, mesmerized by the play of light on her chalcedony ring.

defenestration - n. - 1 . the act of throwing something, or someone, out of a window; 2. (British) high profile removal of a person from an organization; 3. (neologism) the act of removing Windows operating system from a computer in order to install an alternative one.

Example: He had no time to protest his abrupt defenestration, before he
was plummeting to the sidewalk below!

thaumaturge - n. - 1 . (from old Greek) saint or magician who works miracles; 2. (modern) a performer of thaumaturgy; a magician.

Example: Styling himself The Great Abra, he played the part of thaumaturge for bewitched masses.

"I just saved 100% on my car insurance by switching to walking!"
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Last edited by Tau; 09-15-2009 at 09:58 AM..
Old 09-16-2009, 08:41 AM
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Default Defenestration

I only cried twice today. Not that anyone noticed. In this tenebrous world, tears weren't uncommon, and it was only when one's suffering was accompanied by a plethora of screams, or exaggerated movements made by hands brandishing knives, that people stopped to take heed of their neighbour's expression, shocked out of their stupor in moments of fear, to consider what emotions lay behind such wild and bloodshot eyes.

And yes, if society's vision was blurred, so was my own. Tears frozen into an extra lens, restricted in their flow, caused too much pain to observe those shed by others. The beggars and homeless lining the streets, those who crawled through the debris and filth, grasping the hem of my coat; they belonged in the gutter, I told myself, undeserving of refuge, unworthy of my touch.

In defiance, I shook them off and headed home. Climbing to the top floor, committing acts of defenestration with irrelevant lives came easy. Easier than looking in the mirror or crawling back downstairs when I realised that I, myself, had been thrown, crippled in the process. Destroyed.

Tears, no longer frozen, seemed endless for a while. Strange how their heat became soothing; their unseen release, a comfort in its curse. I even wondered as I felt my way through the streets, if my blindness had been cured. But the beggars had moved on and there was no one around to ask.

Unobserved, I narrowed my gaze towards higher windows and today, I only cried twice.
Old 09-21-2009, 06:40 AM
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The Thaumaturge

A stage performer; that was all he was to crowd, performer of cheep tricks and amusing illusions. How else to earn his daily bread but to got up on the stage each night and entertain the audience, after the fire breather, and before the fake gypsy knife throwers.

This was not what he deserved, and it galled him deeply to have come to this. Twelve years he had spent to learn his art, and not just pallor tricks. Long years spent in the tenebrous mansion of the old Master, a virtual slave, begging for each secret, for each new lesson. Now he could summon a plethora of lesser creatures, imps, forest fairies and even dæmon nightstalkers.

So it was that one autumn eve he got up on stage, but instead of his usual routine, by now quite well known, he drew, with chalk, a diagram of fiendish complexity upon the floor. The mass stared on in fascination, wondering what new act this was.

All was quiet as the Thaumaturge step into the middle, and then mumbled a few words. The candles flickered, and from the gloom shadows sprung fourth. The pack of nightstalkers delighted in the feast before them, for no human could escape the looked theatre. On the stage the Thaumaturge looked on in glee. Now they knew he was more than a performer of cheep tricks.

As the last scream died away he stepped forth, delighted by the show. The candles flickered, they turned on him.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Old 09-24-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default To Get - She Took

She walked into Senator Grossman’s office as he sat at his desk. Her oxygen tank rolled behind her. I was returning to the filing room with a cup of java in my hand adjacent to where they both sat. The walls were paper thin – I heard all that went on as I filed the plethora of forms lying on my desk. She spoke; the senator kept his usual composer.
“I’m your mother, with the same request you have neglected respond to. I am in need of money. If I had other options, I would have certainly taken them by now. To get, you have to give. I will fill you in on information I have not spoken of before. I will walk out of here with something in return.” His mother took a deep breath; I am certain. She continued.
“I took a trip to the Bahamas before you landed from the welkin into my body. Your father was dark and warm as the Caribbean nights. I was in love; the end of that tale. My defenestration resulted in bearing you with a broken heart in states. I, addicted to crack – cocaine- ensured you wanted for nothing; doing whatever was called for. Look how far you have come! No one is the wiser.”
There was a silence. The shot of the gun rang out. I ran to the room and saw Senator Grossman’s head on the desk. His mother exited the room; the oxygen tank rolling behind her.
Old 09-24-2009, 04:05 PM
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Default Grok Pot

“I call it my Grok Pot,” Garvin had said during my last visit. “You know, like Valentine Michael Smith? Heinlein? Stranger in a Strange Land? Doesn’t anyone read the classics anymore?” He disappeared beneath the surface of the huge hot tub that now dominated his living room.

I began to set up the portable physical therapy table in the small amount of remaining free space. “You got any fish in there?” I asked after his head broke the surface.

He looked older, more tired than I remembered, as he limped over to the table.

“I did,” he said, grinning, “but I ate ‘em.”

“Grok pot, eh?” I asked, easing him onto the table. I started in on the deep tissue massage treatment regimen. His surgery had removed a lot of tissue and muscle. He was brave, but tender.

“Yeah, I find I can manage the pain on about only thirty percent of my usual med dosage. It helps me to think of other things, to be in other places, in my mind.”

“That’s great,” I said. “Just don’t fall asleep in there.”

That was last week. Today I was putting the key into his front door lock, anxious to tell him how I had since found a copy of ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’, how much I’d enjoyed the book. Today, I had found him there, floating.

The temperature of the tub was high. He’d become thoroughly cooked.

I went to the kitchen for some silverware. It seemed only right.

Last edited by DougUnit12; 09-24-2009 at 04:13 PM..
Old 09-24-2009, 11:54 PM
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Death By Coffee

"I had asked her to meet me at the library to discuss a former incident she had been involved in. That witch had gotten away with murdering her own sister all because some fool had fallen in love with her, and killed himself because of their 'promise of love' from long ago. And with poison from a bottle necklace, no less. However, the plethora of rage and hatred I felt for that woman had been hidden by the mask of calm I had placed over those feelings. I did not grok her intentions that day, though I should have known better.

"At some point during our conversation I had looked away, however briefly. This was my fatal mistake. Like some sort of thaumaturge, she had magically slipped a few ounces of poison into the coffee cup resting upon the chalcedony surface of the table in front of me. After I had ingested the poison, all she did to signify what she had done was smile. It was only then I noticed the bottle necklace, and how a tenebrous veil had begun to blind me.

"Though I submitted my soul to the afterlife, whether it be welkin or abyss, my life had forever changed. By her defenestration of myself through the window of opportunity I had awarded her, she had destroyed me.

Six years later, I woke from my comatose state to the smell of coffee. I had died, and was reborn as the prosecutor you now see.”
The soul-searing mirror magnifies the
primal pulsing of my blooded beastheart.
Old 09-25-2009, 02:34 AM
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Default Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest


My hobby after I got a computer, before they took it away and put me in this uncomfortable place, was to enter words into different Internet Search Engines and press [Go] to see what came up. What did was fascinating. I would select the first interesting looking link and explore where that went, and then another. I must admit it did become addictive, but it improved my education no end.

I eventually got through all the listed Keywords I found, and then tried entering my own name. After scanning the plethora of other Smiths that appeared; I started using names from newspapers, and it became very interesting. I spent a lot of time at it, evenings mostly. Then early one morning, after a late night session on my computer, several big cars and vans roared along our road and stopped outside my house. The noise woke me up, so I went to the window and was amazed to see policemen and soldiers, armed with machine guns, leaping from vehicles and dropping out of sight behind my garden walls.

I listened intently to some instructions from a loud mechanical voice, and deciding against arguing, I went downstairs to the front door and opened it.

The important thing I remember ruefully thinking at the time, and often now in this ghastly place, was that perhaps it was a mistake, the night before, to enter “Al Quaeda” as a keyword, or perhaps it was “Bin Laden.”.
Old 09-25-2009, 08:35 AM
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Default Taipei Blues

Aimless, as if a mosaic, they shuffle amongst each other. Lives I'll never understand, feelings I'll never have. Flowing beneath me, they commute, rapt in determination, manipulation, even preservation... manifesting themselves as a wonder, as I wonder: from what lofty defenestration did these obscure beings fall? In the rain I'll lose its source.

The torrent persists as if my mind lay welkin, my face forming a plethora with the weight of my thoughts against the window. Somnolent, my gaze bleeds into the glass. The chalcedony envisage that was the street conforms an absent minded clairvoyance into transcending dream, a dream I'm not meant for. Some dream as consequence of sleep, I dream so that I will awaken.

Within them I feel the comforting eyes I could never believe in. In these sapphire eyes my failure is mirrored, my reflection distilling those pools of azure to the point of effervescence. Regret will not solidify it, to forget provides solace as a ruse. In dream my escape is innocent, uniform, yet obliged only to imagination.

Awake for now, they wistfully compel hope from the chasm impersonating my heart. When the longing perpetuates, eventually multiplied into despair, its reality will command my emotions. Powerless to deny it...it is always too soon that I will find myself asleep among others walking the street, to meander likewise in this lonely autumn rain.
Old 09-27-2009, 10:53 AM
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The Kiss

Xain was looking over his situation; for one thing he had an uncontrollable hybrid in front of him that he had to capture. On the other hand, he did not want to kill her. He was at a loss of what to do when suddenly the girl lunged at him. Xain swiftly dodged her and grabbed her by the wrist as she passed. The girl roared an ear splitting roar, which made Xain’s blood run cold. He promptly covered his ears until the roar subsided. When it did he grabbed her again, she was about to let out another plethora of sound when Xain did the only thing he could think of to stop her; he put his mouth on hers.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:52 AM
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The Truth

My life knows no joy but only tenebrous for I was never wanted; I am a miscreant. My sister on the other hand, my perfect sister knows only joy. See how bitterly I speak of her, but hear my story before you judge. My mother is infertile or so she was told; by a miracle she got pregnant and with twins. Yet how soon her euphoric bubble was burst when she learnt I was taking from my sister as I grew. Always taking and never giving, stunting her growth and causing an asphyxiation. My mother feels only resentment towards the child that had almost killed before being born. I am not her child; I am the devil's while my sister is a gift from the welkin. My mother is a sadistic women to me though not in the eyes of society, or so it would appear; visitors come and I am seen playing with my sister in the garden, looking pretty in a new dress. But it is all just a prevarication, a simple act; behind closed doors I am kept imprisoned while my sister is given full freedom. I am tortured, a cupful extracted from my plethora of blood and fed to my sister to keep up her strength. There is no way to eschew my treatment, but I often wonder how I can be evil when I am my sister's thaumaturge. I suppose I will never grok it since I am already planning my escape: defenestration.
Old 10-01-2009, 06:12 AM
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The Thaumaturge’s Box

Joey liked rummaging in his grandparents’ attic. From old clothes smelling of mothballs to musty books, there was a plethora of things to keep him amused. No matter how many times he came up here, he always found something new.

Today it was a huge wooden box. The red and blue paint was peeling from the front panel but faded gold lettering still picked out the words, The Mighty Majesto, Thaumaturge Extraordinaire. Joey wondered where it had come from. No one had ever said anything about Grandpa being a magician.

Creaking open the lid, Joey peered inside. The box was empty. He had been hoping to find a wand or some magic tricks, but all he found was disappointment. Except … a tenebrous atmosphere began fill the room. Although he was alone, Joey suddenly felt like he was in the middle of a crowd. He could feel the presence of dozens of bodies pressing into his, forcing him towards the low window that looked out over the front lawn.

Voices sang out, low and thunderous, making the welkin ring. Joey couldn’t understand the words but he grokked what they wanted. As the surge forced him past the long cheval mirror, Joey could see his face. It had a wax-like appearance, as though he’d been carved from a piece of chalcedony. And that was the last thought in his head before his defenestration.

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