The Iron Writer Challenge #113

The Iron Writer Challenge #113

2015 Annual Championship

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements 

Challenge #112 Champion

TBD

The Authors:

Tiffany Brown, Brett Paul, Mathew W. Weaver

The Elements:

Three Stooges Happy Birthday Song

A person born with red eyes

A poison dart frog

Pukwudgies

Note: Authors names will be added after the judges have decided on the winner.

From the Journal of Daniel Brian O’RogersMathew W Weaver

Mathew W. Weaver

22nd April, 2011

Pukwudgienoun; creature, mythical. Known abilities: teleportation, transmutation, and (undetermined) sparse magic.

It is a creature of Native American lore (Wampanoag, precisely) that I turned my pursuits to upon this fresh endeavor. A strange being; said to measure no taller than three feet, with grossly exaggerated human features, it has a range of abilities bordering on the bizarre.

As with most specimens I have tracked, these, too, exist only as lore; nonetheless, I have yet to fail in uncovering a species. Like the Sasquatch and others before, I vowed to unearth these creatures, and as promised, I now have. To protect their habitat from man, I will not divulge this location until I can ascertain their safety.

It was after three months that I fell upon the trail I sought. Hidden in the undergrowth, I perceived a group pass within reach of where I lay. I was content to observe and record, but unfortunately, this was when my assistant Arnold’s cellular device rang.

It is to be noted that the creatures seemed quite taken with the ludicrous tone; one Arnold explained to me was, “The Three Stooges Birthday Song.”

Droll, I admit, but the incident did allow us to examine the creatures within closer proximity. The leader, a manure covered individual with prominent crimson eyes, took to the device very much; indeed, it… or dare I say ‘he’… went so far as to buff it against his genitals quite vigorously, much to Arnold’s ill-fated dismay.

It should also be noted that the Pukwudgie does not take kindly to having things grabbed from it, and will respond violently. The poor boy’s fate was his own doing, and I am afraid he paid his price.

However, by baring my hands and humbling myself before them, I have earned their trust, and am now privy to the locality of their hidden village. I now believe that my hosts are quite intelligent; even capable of conversation among themselves. It was with delight I observed the hollow rods at their belts; blow darts, tainted with the venom of the nefarious poison dart frog, rare in these parts yet lethal in their potency.

I have attempted conversation with the scarlet eyed chief, but thus far it has proven futile. I am confident, however, that a few days will be all I need to learn their ways. For now, these observations will have to suffice.

I write this as I lounge within the primitive yet spacious wooden room they constructed on my behalf. With an ingenious system of ropes, it hovers high above ground; doubtless, they are arboreal and wish to protect their guest from the dangers below. It is an impressive sentiment, given their treatment of my former assistant.

A large fire burns below, warming me against the chilling winds, and the populace dance and chant all around. I acknowledge their welcome, even though the box strains alarmingly, and the heat has grown rather oppressive.

I close with a final thought; since I have arrived, I have yet to see them feed. With trepidation, I eagerly look forward to determining their dietary habits, among all else, in the days ahead.

Now I BelieveBrett Paul

Brett Paul

I heard the stories growing up, but if I believed them, I might have reached Hartford that day. I was in my Ford F-150, driving 75 miles an hour down I-91. The morning sun climbed the eastern sky, but I was already tired. I checked my eyes in the rear-view. They were red, as they have been since birth, but they were bloodshot, too.

When I looked back at the road, I was bearing down on some unfortunate blur of a creature. A porcupine? I had the vague notion of hoping it wouldn’t pop my tires. I expected to hear the impact any moment. Instead I was plunged into darkness and quiet. I rubbed my eyes and felt cold, worn stone instead of the warm, comfortable seats of my F-150.

“Wee baaaked yoooou aaaaaaaa birrrrrrrrrrthdaaaaay caaaaaaake…”

The high-pitched, sing-song voice echoed around me. I opened my eyes in time to catch motion to one side. I turned to see a little human figure with faintly glowing gray skin. He stood next to a table, on which was the small birthday cake he sang about.

“Iiiif yoooou geeeet aaaa tummmmmmmy aaaaaaache…”

The song went on in that high, childlike voice as he pushed narrow sticks into the cake. With the ring of sticks in place, he lifted the cake from the table and carried it toward me. Without even the slightest gesture, the tip of each stick sparked into candle flame.

“Aaaaaaand yoooou mooooooooooan aaaaaaaand grooooooooan innnnnnn woooooooe…”

My eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. He was close now, but only three feet tall, proportioned like a man, not a dwarf. He held the cake in front of me. The candles ringed a colorful black and yellow frog, a poisonous dart, its back glistening in the flickering candlelight.

“Dooooon’t foooorrrrrgeeeeeeeeet weeeeeeeee toooooooooold yoooou soooooooooo.”

The frog hopped away leaving a vacant, frog-butt-shaped space in the icing. The little man stared into my eyes over the burning candle sticks. As I watched, his eyes went from a menacing black to the same red color of mine, standing out against the gray of his skin.

“Maaake aaa wiiiish, deeeear, aaaand blooooow ooooout the caaaandlesssssss.”

The sibilant final word caught me up in the strange moment. I took in a deep breath to blow out the candles and was flooded with a memory from childhood. I had heard this song before! It was from an old Three Stooges routine, when television was black and white.

I released my held breath, blowing across the sticks, and everything changed. I was back in my truck. My eyes were filled with the bright light of morning; my ears heard shattering glass and crunching metal all around. The cake was suddenly my truck’s airbag exploding in my face. I was launching forward into it as my truck’s hood crumpled into the back of a tractor-trailer!

I told the State Trooper I was texting and driving, but this was one of many accidents along this stretch of highway the locals attributed to the Pukwudgie. Each year more knew of, and believed in, these dangerous tricksters. I didn’t believe before, but I do now!

I Am the HunterTiffany Michelle Brown

Tiffany Brown

A poison dart frog hopped along a well-worn forest path while a human armed with a smartphone lumbered in its wake. Enrapt in wonder as the frog changed its color every few hops, the pursuer failed to notice a dark presence in the greenery ahead.

Behind pine-scented branches, an ancient creature watched and smiled. It had almost been too easy. If Nitka was patient, this hunter would undoubtedly meet his end. Though her large fingers twitched, Nitka remained stationary, refusing to arm her bow prematurely.

She’d watched him for days, this man who approached the Wampanoag community in a dusty Jeep, claiming to be an anthropologist interested in the tribe’s history. Nitka sensed his presence the moment his Oxfords hit hallowed ground. She scampered to the village, invisible, and took in the man called Remy. He smelled of oranges, spoke with a fake Southern lilt, and his irises shone red in sunlight. That’s when Nitka knew.

Red eyes had long been a genetic trait of Hunters. Modern day predators usually wore colored contacts as a disguise. Remy did not, and he spent much of his time on the outskirts of the village, peering into the woods, a hungry quality on his lips. He needed to be extinguished. Quickly.

In studying Remy’s dreams, Nitka learned the Hunter had a passion for three things other than slaughter: booze, magic, and amphibians. Nitka could pique two of those interests to summon him to her.

When Remy awoke earlier that morning, a poison dart frog sat on his nightstand, croaking a morning hymn and secreting a luring spell. Elated by the discovery and drunk on magic, Remy nearly forgot his pants in his rush to follow the frog into the surrounding forest, his smartphone in hand to capture the displaced amphibian on film.

Now, five more steps and Remy would be at his mark. Nitka strung her bow with a poison arrow, aimed, and let it fly. The arrowhead entered Remy through his back at an upward angle, tearing through tissue and glancing his spine. The frog disappeared in a swirl of color as Remy’s body hitched forward and fell into an open grave.

Nitka took a breath through her oversized nose and detected the scent of Remy’s blood boiling, a symptom of the poison. Then a strange noise overtook the forest, a chorus of voices. Nitka frowned and approached the open grave.

Remy lay face down, blood pooling around the arrow’s entry point. His smartphone was clutched in his hand and black and white images danced on its screen beneath a logo that read YouTube. Onscreen, three men pushed a cart with a cake on it and sang an odd song: “…Don’t forget we told you so.” Nitka’s frown deepened. She’d never understand humans, regardless of their tribe.

As Nitka summoned dirt over Remy’s corpse, a boom sounded from the phone and then a deathly quiet blanketed the forest.

You can’t hunt the hunter, Nitka thought and retreated into the waiting forest brush.

 

The Iron Writer Challenge #111

The Iron Writer Challenge #111

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements 

Challenge #110 Champion

TBD

The Authors:

Mathew W. Weaver, Maureen Larter, Dwight Wade

The Elements:

get skinny

Amazing Wate-On

The Bastille

Mason Bees

All characters are Monopoly tokens

Rolling a DoubleMathew W Weaver

Mathew W. Weaver

“Talk to me,”

“They’re inside, Sir. Two hours,” Boot replied, “These are their demands.”

Scottie grabbed the sheet.

After two years of hunting, it had come to this. Squad cars in position, choppers training beams on the building, and the roads cordoned off.

This was the night.

“Hostages?” Scottie demanded.

“Fifteen civilians,” Howitzer said, “A six-man team. We have the getaway driver.”

Scottie crumpled the sheet.

“It’s them.”

*****

Inside the bank, the hostages whimpered in the corner. The Bag of Money sobbed piteously as Iron and Thimble kept watch.

At the other end of the office, Battleship peered out through the curtains.

“Doesn’t look good, boss,” he muttered.

Top smiled.

“Oh, we’ll be fine,” he said, “Relax.”

*****

“Gimme that,”

Scottie grabbed a megaphone and switched it on.

“Top Hat!” he hollered, “We have you surrounded!”

*****

“Boss?” Battleship turned.

Top grinned.

“Showtime.”

He walked onto the balcony and leaned over the railing.

“Scottie Terrier,” he called, “Long time! Looks like the force really has gone to the dogs!”

Scottie’s hackles rose.

“He’s baiting you, Sir,” Boot whispered, “Don’t fall for it.”

“You’re done, Hat!” Scottie yelled, “We have your driver!”

Howitzer obligingly aimed the searchlight; it fell on Automobile, still struggling between two officers.

Top shrugged.

“Well, you still have my demands,” he replied, “My property in an hour, or these hostages lose. Nice catching up!”

He waved and walked back inside.

*****

“We need to wait them out,” Scottie snarled, “Starve them.”

“Sir, the hostages…?”

“He wouldn’t dare kill. He knows the consequences.”

“We could storm them,” Howitzer said.

“The place is like the goddamn Bastille,” Scottie barked, “I can’t risk it.”

“No other way, Sir,” Boot said, “You’ve gotta take a Chance.”

“I don’t trust Chance,” Scottie snapped.

“No choice, Chief. It’s your roll,” Howitzer drew the deck and held it out.

Scottie scowled and grabbed the card on top.

“Sir?” Boot nudged.

Scottie let it fall.

“Move,” he growled.

“MOVE!” Howitzer boomed, “MOVE OUT!”

*****

The SWAT team stormed in. Train and Thimble sent a hail of fire down the stairs. It didn’t last.

Top grinned and spread his arms as the officers swarmed into the office, unceremoniously dumping Train and Thimble on the floor, handcuffed and still conscious.

“You dropped these,” Scottie said.

Iron fired, and the hostages screamed; Boot returned fire, and he fell. Howitzer tackled Battleship to the ground, pinning him down.

“Scottie, old boy,” Top said, “How’s the wife? Still on those Wate-On pills?”

Scottie walked to him, grinning savagely.

“It’s over, Hat. You’re going away for a long, long time.”

Top smiled, “Oh, I don’t think so, Scottie. So sorry.”

“Cuff him,”

“If you would reach in my pocket, dear boy,” Top said coolly. Boot looked at Scottie, who scowled and nodded.

Boot pulled out a card.

“Is that?” Train gasped.

“YOU PLAYED US!” Battleship bellowed.

“Sorry, boys,” Top said, “Just had the one, and I needed to cut some weight.”

Boot handed the card to Scottie, who flipped it over with a shaking hand.

“I’LL KILL YOU, HAT!” Battleship roared.

GET OUT OF JAIL FREE.

Top grinned.

“Well, old boy,” he said, “Guess we’ll have to keep playing, then.”

MonopolyMaureen Larter

Maureen Larter

“If I have to move one more step, I’m going to kick the dice onto the floor!”

“It’s alright for you,” a plaintive voice said. “The last game we had, there was a French guy playing. I landed on ‘Go to Jail” and couldn’t get out for ages. All he kept saying was ‘Oh moi pauvre! Je suis dans le Bastille!’ It was horrid! I had to wait there for more moves than I care to remember.”

“I don’t think I want to move,” remarked an English accented voice from nearby. “I’ve collected money hand over fist ever since I landed on Mayfair!”

Nobody spoke. All that could be heard was a rattling sound. A human hand appeared over the board.

“Look out!” yelled the token over on the west side of the board, under the ridiculous poster on the wall featuring some thin-looking human. “Everybody duck!”

But the dice landed with a clunk as they nearly rolled off the board. When they were still, both dice showed three spots each.

“Whew, that was close!” groaned the token on the Railway Station space. It tried to slip off the edge and hide under the board.

There was muttering from the humans above. The dice were whisked away and a card picked up from the Community Chest pile.

Suddenly all hell broke loose. The board tipped, the tokens were flung to the floor, the money pile scattered into the air, floating down like large snowflakes on a cold Winter breeze.

The humans were shrieking.

“It’s a wasp!”

“It’s a hornet!”

“It’s a swarm of bees!”

There was utter panic, with stamping feet, arms waving furiously and chairs falling with loud bangs and crashes. The humans fled from the room.

The thimble token looked up from under the table where he had landed in the chaos. He rolled his figurative eyes with disgust.

“Stupid humans,” he scoffed. “It’s only a Mason bee and, like Elvis Buzzley, it’s already left the building!”

After about 15 minutes, the humans returned, still cautious and quiet. They gathered up all the tokens, found the cards for the community chest and chance, collected most of the money, securing it with a rubber band, then folded the board and put everything back in the box.

The hat token heard his player mutter as he put the box back on the shelf.

“I wasn’t going to suggest starting again – I was nearly bankrupt anyway.”

Do Not Pass GoDwight Wade

Dwight Wade

“Oh my. It’s so dark in here. What happened?”

“Thimble? Is that you?”

“Yes. Who’s this? I…I can’t see. You sound really muffled.”

“Thimble, it’s me, Top Hat. I’m under some wet paper I think. Actually, it might be a used coffee filter? I can’t really see either. Where are you?”

“I don’t know Hat. Next to some paper I think. A pamphlet maybe. Place De La Bas Til.”

“Place De La Bastille. It’s in France.”

“Sorry, I never was good with names. I’m scared Hat. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Me too Thimble. Me too. I don’t know what’s going on either. One minute we were on the shelf. Then the tumbling. Then the dark.”

“But hey, at least we’re not covered in dust any more. Right Hat?”

“True. But did I mention the coffee grounds?”

“Oh right. Haha. Sorry Hat.”

“Can you wiggle towards me Thimble? I think the others might be further down.”

“I’ll try. Ungh. Hmph. Oh! Yuck. Yeah that’s definitely old coffee. Hey, there you are Hat!”

“Good to see you too Thimble. I think I just heard Car rev his engine. Shall we head further down?”

“Might as well?”

******

“Car is that you?”

“Wh? What?”

“Car it’s me Top Hat. Are you OK?”

“Me? Yeah. I guess. I was just trying to read this… this…whatever this is. You guys figure out what’s going on?”

“No clue Car. After the tumbling it just got real dark. You have a lot more light here though.”

“Huh. That’s weird Hat. I’ve had the tumbling before. Fallen under the bed a few time but that was nothing like this.”

“Yes. Same here. Say, what’s that you’re reading Car?”

“I don’t know Hat. All I can make out is a picture of a lady. Say’s something about ‘to be SKINNY’. Can’t make out the rest.”

“Strange indeed. I wound up buried in an old coffee filter.”

“How’s Thimble holding up?”

“She’s just fine. She’s just behind me. A little shaken but no worse for wear. She should be here shortly.”

“Good. I think I heard Ship’s horn a while ago. Further down I think.”

“Well, when Thimble gets here…”

“Bees! Oh my word! Hat! Car! Help me!”

“Thimble! We’re here.”

“Oh Hat! It was terrible! I slipped on a banana peel and fell against a piece of rotted wood. I looked up and there were bees pouring out of a nest in one of the knots.”

“Well, they didn’t follow you Thimble. I think you’re OK.”

“Whew! Good! Oh, hey Car.”

“Hey Thimble. Glad you’re OK.”

“Hey, what’s that rumbling? Is that Ship?”

“No Thimble. That’s far too loud. I do believe it’s coming from outside this…whatever this is we’re in.”

“Sounds like a truck.”

“Yes Car it certainly does.”

“Oh! Hat! I’m tumbling again!”

“Try to hold onto something Thimble! Car, are you still there? Car?”

“The rumbling is getting louder Hat! Hat? Hat?!?!”

“Bark!”

“Dog! Oh Dog it’s you! Bad Dog, don’t chew on Shoe!”

 

The Iron Writer Challenge #114

The Iron Writer Challenge #114

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements 

Challenge #113

2015 Annual Champion

Mathew W. Weaver

The Authors:

Vance RoweJaclyn WilsonAlis Van Doorn, Richard Russell

finger cymbals

The Elements:

2015 Miss Gypsy Universe Pageant
A pick pocket contest
Finger Cymbals
A red nose

Stories will be posted

May 28, 2015