30-Day Flash Fiction Challenge; Day 1 – Abandoned Vehicles

For any reader who isn’t aware, I’ve started a 30-Day Challenge for September 2020 with various challenges to participate in. Read the full blog post here. One of the challenges I’ve set for myself, and for anyone who wants to participate, is the #30DayTwritingPromptChallenge. For over a year I posted writing prompts to Twitter every Tuesday morning and used the hashtag #TwritingPrompt for my followers to easily find my writing prompts without having to scroll through the thousands of other writing prompts posted to twitter daily. But I’ve never used my own prompts before.

So, for September 2020, I’ve decided to challenge to write a #TwritingPrompt every day and to write a flash fiction story for that prompt. Anyone who wants to join in can write their own story from my prompt. If you are posting your flash fiction or links to stories you wrote with the writing prompts to social media use the hashtag #30DayTwritingPromptChallenge and tag me. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I’ll read and comment on as many as I can.

For any artists who want to participate in an art challenge, the photo on this post is for the #30DayPaintingFromPhotos challenge that I’m posting on Instagram.

The prompt for September 1st 2020 is:

Day-1: Abandoned Vehicles – Write a flash fiction of 500 words or less featuring an abandoned vehicle of some kind. Cars, boats, planes, spacecraft, bicycles, scooters, or anything else that could be a vehicle.

Read on to see my short story of about 480 Words

Kicking a crumbling wodden side-pannel, Piezel considered the decomposing carriage. He figured it had been there for years from the way leaf litter had covered it and topped it with a spreading mat of shaggy grass. The grass swayed in the wind, like seaweed in his home-grotto. Oh, how he longed to be there now. Cool currents flowing through his hair and soothing the dry cracked webbing between his fingers.

Instead, his biology driven him hundreds of leagues from the hatching waters of his youth to find a mate. Humans did not seem to like his kind, and he was now running from an angry mob of townsfolk who thought a demon had tried to corrupt their women. Braying of the hounds sounding near every moment, shouts of bigotry fueled by the torches and pitchforks.

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Hide within this rotting carcass, or try to use it to flee down the steep gutted road leading up to this mountain hamlet? A sudden vision of being dragged from the dank worm-ridden interior by a vise-like grip made up his mind. The siren even fancy he had felt the callouses on his captors weathered hands. Furiously he started digging the carriage lose. Sod and clumps of growth flying from his torn and bleeding hands.

What was he doing? He should be running for his life. Would this rickety old thing even hold his weight once it was free? Pausing in his efforts, Piezel leaned his weight tentatively upon the driver’s seat. It didn’t collapse. He lifted his feet, supporting his weight with his hands and arms. Still no collapsing. Brilliant. Back to clearing.

Decomposing plant matter shredded, flying into the air and falling gently to surround him in an aura of tan and gray fluff.  Closer and closer the shouting and barking came. It was enough. The wheels were clear uncovered and his reclaimed carriage wobbled with his efforts. Straining to leave his place of resting and race to new adventures under the clear cold mountain sky.

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With a final, vicious, kick the wheels were free. The carriage rolled a few paces down the cobbled road and stopped. With a sigh and a groan the young merman strained his new legs, unused to heavy labor they buckled as the first of his pursuers broke into view from the forest beside the road. The sight renewed his efforts and Piezel forced his protesting limbs to function for him. Creaking, the vehicle began moving again. Gaining momentum as gravity overpowered the ruts in the uneven lane Piezel hopped aboard. Perched precariously before the footboard he used the carriage shaft to move the fifth wheel, guiding himself through turns and switchbacks. His pursuers poured out of the shadows and stopped. Staring gap-mouthed at the curiosity of what appeared to be a grassy knoll with wheels carrying their quarry to safety.

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