Kreative Kue 228

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Paparazzi

Oh, I see you sneaking around again, with your camera. What are you up to? Taking photographs? An harmless activity? I see, I see. It’s harmless to you, I guess, since all the harm is left to me. You see, you have taken a photo of me in a compromising situation, laying with another of my kind. Then you put up the photo without any context. Naturally, you are not in the wrong. And because it is taken in public space, naturally, this is your right to free speech.

But you don’t care about what happens next, do you? After all, the money’s already in and you’re ready to move on to the next project.

Meanwhile, I’m left behind, after facing a barrage of verbal attacks and unfair criticisms. But no one knows the truth, you see. Even after the truth about this situation is revealed, the keyboard warriors and social fighters have moved on together with you to the next project, gleefully awaiting for their next target to correct into social norms.

If I let you take the photos, I’m left to deal with the aftermath. If I don’t let you take the photos, I’m also left to deal with the aftermath. I can’t even execute my classic move of biting your hand. What a lose-lose situation.

But you go ahead and enjoy taking this photograph. Please, go on.

The subject of this photo is known as “The Cursed Celebrity”. Many paparazzi who took his photo died of highly unnatural deaths, such as getting struck by lightning, killed in earthquakes, dying in plane crashes or even choking to death. Paparazzi have long given up stalking and snapping his photos, in fear of being next in line to die. This is the only surviving paparazzi photo left of the celebrity and is highly valued, although it was almost destroyed a few times when it was housed in the National Art Gallery, from almost getting burnt down together with the gallery to being destroyed in a great tsunami.


I cannot understand the concept of paparazzi, especially after the death of Princess Diana, just like I cannot understand the concept of freedom of speech. And this is compounded by today’s prolific use of technology, which is so powerful to the point of being destructive in some contexts.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Prompt: Kreative Kue 228

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #37

#CCC37

Pride

He lies under the colourful umbrella, in his colourful underwear. He savours the soft caress of the summer breeze and drifts into slumber to the lazy lull of the ocean waves.

“Would you look at that man? Shameless! What’s this world coming to?”

He cracks open one eye, peering at the couple.

The woman is pointing at him. Her partner is shaking his head. “I don’t understand why they would defy God in that way,” the man sneers.

This time, he lifts his head and pulls his sunglasses off. “Hark, ye love-hating hypocrites! Thou dare speak on behalf of God? Doth thou hast no shame? Such venomous words dripping from thy mouth! Begone, ye hell spawns!”

The couple, startled by his reaction, hurry off. They do not even dare to look at him.

Cowards, he thinks and lies back down.

He does not take any shit. Not today.

(148 words)


The whole story seems prosaic. The only thing remotely interesting is probably the shift to Elizabethan English. I always enjoy inserting Elizabethan English into my stories to insult people, making the entire scene ridiculous.

Disclaimer though, I can’t be too sure of the authenticity of my use.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Here’s how it works:

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #37

Twittering Tales #146 – 23 July 2019

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Cenote Cave in the Yukatan by mattiaverga at Pixabay.com

Frogs in a Pot

The swimmers enjoyed themselves in the limestone pool, splashing around in the cooling waters. The summer sun continued its relentless heat waves.

None of them noticed the rising temperature of the limestone waters until it was too late.

By then, sukiyaki was ready to be served.

(277 characters)


Another piece of mine with a strong reference to environmental issue. When are we going to stop our destruction of Earth before global warming (or climate change, as it is called now to prevent confusion) or other natural disasters kill us all?

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. This is important as I have noticed that some of the ping backs have not been working. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

Prompt: Twittering Tales #146 – 23 July 2019

Twittering Tales #135 – 7 May 2019

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Photo by jplenio at Pixabay.com

Allied Destruction

When the Dark Elves came for Men from Deep Within, they were confounded; Gaia had unleashed a cataclysm which Men’s toys failed to anticipate. They stood in awe as she wrecked her artistic destruction.

Men were scrambling for fictitious safety, like ants in rampaging rapids.

(274 characters)


The image looks like there is a giany UFO hidden within the storm and the city looks very much like Dubai. In any case, this Twitter Tale surfaced because, once again, we are failing the Earth.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. This is important as I have noticed that some of the ping backs have not been working. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

Prompt: Twittering Tales #135 – 7 May 2019

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

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When Heaven Descends

It was a Tuesday late morning when Heaven descended onto Earth.

All the talk about TGIF went through the roof on the Internet. The happiest, of course, were the office workers stuck in a dead-end job they detested but chained down to the desk for financial purposes.

Among them was Yanna, who immediately took the opportunity and screamed “It’s the end!” before she grabbed all her belongings and ran to the nearest coffeehouse for an upsize mint chocolate milkshake with whipped cream, roasted chopped hazelnut and rainbow coloured chocolate rice as toppings.

Her diet plan could wait.

Then she went to a nearby park, laid her shawl on the grass and sat down to enjoy her drink, as well as the sight before her. But mostly the drink. Her phone chirped and absentmindedly, she checked the message. It was from the work group chat, all her colleagues sharing photographs of their various exploits and the immediate supervisor endorsing their actions before informing them the deadline for their project would not change.

She briefly considered taking the rest of the week off but decided against it. Heaven might have descended but her bank would raise Hell if she failed to repay that month’s installment of student loan. She continued her leisurely and unofficially day off looking at the beautiful sight before her as she sipped her milkshake.

Heaven returned to its original position when everyone woke up on Wednesday morning.

“Sorry,” the stars spelled. “for the false alarm.”

Yanna was glad she did not behave impulsively the previous day. But she, like many other people, was aghast and went back counting down for TGIF.

(273 words)


If I must really admit, this is inspired by Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry. It’s an absurd story but I love it! I decided to try my hand at this silliness and discovered how ridiculous I can get as I write the story. Overall, I enjoy the writing process for this particular piece.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to Kira’s weekly inspirational art piece.

Let the whole picture tell you a story, or dive into the small intricate details to make one up! Write a poem, a fiction piece or come up with a picture or drawing of your own, that you feel relates to it.

Prompt: Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

 

Thursday photo prompt: Monochrome #writephoto

The Manor Atop the Hill

Atop the hill, the Johnson family lived in a great ancient manor. Legend has it that a young couple had moved in some twenty years ago and there was great talk in the town. The townsfolk learnt that the wife was pregnant and would give birth soon.

Sadly, she gave birth not in the middle of the night when there was a thunderstorm. Instead, she gave birth on a sunny high noon in a local hospital and no wolves howled. She also did not die of a difficult childbirth while cursing the father and the townspeople; in fact, the couple had five children in total, three girls and two boys.

The eldest was a girl and the youngest was a boy and they were all healthy. The children did not visit doctors for any major illnesses and the only times when they did was for immunisation shots.

And whenever the Johnson family came down to the town, it was always in broad daylight without any bats trailing behind them and there were no eccentric behaviours. The parents were amicable and the children were polite; they misbehaved at times naturally, as all children did but there were no anomalies, neither were there any commotion or deaths in the local pet population.

The family did not even have a hunchback butler or a pale skin maid. They were a family of normalcy with no dark history or hidden secrets.

The town could find no possibilities of spreading any malicious rumours. Eventually, they gave up and waited for the next family to move into the great ancient manor atop the hill to find opportunities of spreading dark rumours.

(275 words)


If I have to say, this is inspired by Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I saw the photo prompt and all sorts of horror and supernatural ideas came to mind. Then I realised, story setting discrimination is very real. I see a photo and immediately went to a dark place. So I decided to go the opposite direction.

This is nowhere near Austen’s standards but I really had whale of a time writing this, making it as ridiculous as possible through the abuse of all horror elements. Overall, this is one piece of fun writing.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 8th May  and link back to this post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

Prompt: Thursday photo prompt: Monochrome #writephoto

Weekend Writing Prompt #104 – Meander

grey car traveling on swerving highway under green and orange sky

Photo by Sebastian Sørensen on Pexels.com

Over the Next Hilltop

Joel has a routine; breakfast, work, lunch, work, home, dinner, sleep, repeat. Even the food, the routes and the work are routine. But driving to work that day, he suddenly decided to go down a road he meant to explore. Meandering ever since, he has never stopped.

(47 words)


I love and loathe routines; love because it gives a structure but loathe because there is no change. On some days, in the words of Sheila from Santa Clarita Diet (which is a great TV programme, by the way), “I want to shake shit up”. Then real life beckons and I’m back to the routine again.

PS: the name “Joel” comes from the same programme too.

If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word.  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.

Prompt: Weekend Writing Prompt #104 – Meander

 

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #25

Girl on Bank CCC25

CCC#25

Picking Up Girls: John’s Method

He wanted to talk to the girl sitting by the pond. But she looked Asian so he was unsure if she would understand him.

Impulsively, he walked up to her.

“Hey, erm…do you speak English?” he started. “I’m John. I saw you were alone so I-erm, do you understand what I’m saying?” he broke off.

She had turned to look at him but gave no indication whether she understood.

He pointed to himself. “I’m John,” he spoke, excruciatingly slow. “Can I have lunch with you?”

“Solly, my Engrish bad,” she finally replied with a heavy Asian accent. “You want eat lunch? But no money?”

“Er…no, I-” he started but someone interrupted him.

“Excuse me, do you know where is the toilet?”

“Oh, go straight and turn left. You can’t miss it,” the girl replied.

Then turning back to John, she asked. “Solly, what you want?” she resumed her previous speech.

(150 words)


This prompt took quite long for me to complete, not because of the lack of ideas. Instead, I have too many! Most of them lead to nowhere in the end but finally, I settled with this idea.

The next step is actually to stop being verbose – I have a tendency to dramatise things through words, adding a lot of unnecessary details but this exercise is perfect for me to get straight to the point without losing any important parts. Or at least I don’t think I missed any important parts.

In any case, I kinda like this story because to me, it portrays three things – male chauvinism, racial discrimination and disrespect for personal space and personal time (I guess it’s actually four?). If nothing else, it reads funny, it reads like me and it is straight to the point with no frills.

If you are interested the prompt is linked below.

Welcome to my weekly challenge—open to all—just for FUN, FUN, FUN

Here’s how it works:

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

If you post a link in the comments section of this post I’ll be able to find it
If you include Crimson’s Creative Challenge as a heading, WP Search will find it (theory)
If you tag it #CCC others should be able to find it by ‘Searching’ in the WP Reader (fingers crossed)

Prompt: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #25

Kreative Kue 215

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It’s Good Business

“… and Grampa Klaus managed to keep the factory open despite the economic recession. However, his health worsened so he handed over to his son 30 years ago. His son, Senior Klaus, had more business sense and managed to expand the factory to manufacture other products – ”

“Why are you boring me with the history of the factory?” Mr Dayton interrupted as he turned to gaze at Victor. “I called for an update regarding the negotiations.”

His right hand man, Victor, coughed and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “We are currently experiencing a bit of a problem. Senior Klaus is not interested in our proposals and -”

“Victor,” Mr Dayton interrupted again, displeasure colouring his voice. “I hired you to take care of these problems. Do what is necessary.”

Victor cleared his throat before announcing proudly. “Of course, Mr Dayton. I was about to tell you that Grampa Klaus’s health is worsening. I’m fairly certain we can arrange something to aid in his worsening health, and -”

Mr Dayton waved his hand. “I don’t care about that old fogey Klaus. It’s that abhorrent Klaus’ signature I want on the sale deed.”

“Of course, with his father’s worsening health and medical bills distracting him, I’m sure our plans are already halfway successful – ”

“I abhor uncertainty, only utter success,” Mr Dayton narrowed his eyes at Victor.

“Naturally, Mr Dayton, I have also personally been working on Junior Klaus. He is a good-for-nothing gambling addict who doesn’t care about the family business. His debt is increasing exponentially and soon, Senior Klaus has to step in to help his son regarding this matter. This is a small town and Senior Klaus is very particular about the family’s reputation. I’m sure with all this financial pressure arising from both Grampa Klaus and Junior Klaus, Senior Klaus would eventually accept our proposal. In fact, I’m fairly certain we can cut the price on the sale deed by a third – ”

“By half,” Mr Dayton stressed. “Keep the pressure on that Klaus. Arrange matters regarding Grampa Klaus and Junior Klaus. I don’t care what it takes.”

He then returned his attention back to his previous object of study. Victor followed his boss’ predatory gaze and looked at the factory in front of them.

“By this time next month, I want those repugnant buildings removed and our project to commerce,” Mr Dayton announced.

“Of course, Mr Dayton,” Victor agreed mildly and reached into his pocket for his mobile phone. Victor started to issue instructions even as the chauffeur opened the door for Mr Dayton to get into his Mercedes-Benz.

Mr Dayton would not be denied.

(444 words)


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Prompt: Kreative Kue 215

April 25: Flash Fiction Challenge

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Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Life of a Teacher

Exhaustion saunters into the vaults of my mind and finds a comfortable place to rest.

Life of a teacher invites both joy and frustration; joy at students’ progress and frustration at the school administration.

The ambivalent feeling occurs when I help students to graduate from both school and immaturity into adulthood. But as the students flourish in the real world, I get upset because of the amount of responsibility dumped onto me.

“You are a good teacher. Competent teachers do more work.”

Time gets upset and moves out of the way as exhaustion takes up residency.

I am tired.

(99 words)


If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.

April 25, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 30, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Prompt: April 25: Flash Fiction Challenge