Halyard

Hermitage, Romanesque, Heritage, Vall De Boí, Taull
Pixabay

Father Halyard was a true solitudinarian, though he preferred the term hermit.  He was a man without pretention and preferred the solitary life of prayer and devotion.  It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate the visits from the novices that were occasionally sent to bring supplies to the hermitage.  He would receive not only food and reading materials but news from the mother house, though he would never allow conversations to descend into gossip.  What he missed most however was fresh daily bread warm from the oven.  Everyone has their weaknesses.


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Weekend Writing Prompt #208 – Solitudinarian in 90 words

See also:  The Hermit

                A Long Retreat

 

The Replacement


“So you will be taking over from me next year?” Miss Kerrie asked with a kind smile.

“Yes, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Miss Dover replied. “I think that teaching is the most wonderful job in the world.”

“Well, it does have it’s moments,” Miss Kerrie agreed. “I love your enthusiasm, It reminds me of when I first started and I am sure you will get as much from it as I have.”

“I really hope so. May I ask if things were much different back when you started?” Miss Dover queried.

“No, not all that much. After all it’s only been six years,” Miss Kerrie replied.

“Six years? Is that enough time in service to retire?” Miss Dover asked, a bit confused.

“Retire? What makes you think I am retiring? I am just moving into retail, that’s all. I’m only twenty-nine.”


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FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2021: WEEK #18

Treasure

Sea, Beach, Berck, Bay Of Authie, Hauts De France
Pixabay

The crew of the Red Vengence were a bit surprised when Captain Skull returned to the vessel accompanied by a sailor named Jon Farthing. It was the captain’s usual practice to kill all those that had gone ashore to bury his plunder. But this time there was a survivor that might lead others to the booty.

Three months later, Skull was arrested by officers from a French frigate while ashore to procure provisions. At that, first mate, Hal Scallion decided the buccaneering life was becoming to precarious with British, Dutch, and French navies now patrolling the Caribbean. He ordered to Vengence to the atoll where Skull had last buried loot and told Farthing to accompany him ashore.

As they left the dinghy, Scallion handed Farthing a shovel and told him to recover the chests. Farthing scanned the beach and did some mental calculations and the proceed to a point in the sand and began to dig. After over an hour, and with nothing had been revealed, Scallion shouted, “Farthing are you a dullard? Have you forgotten where you buriied the booty?”

“No Captain,” the youth replied. “T’was ten paces from the seal on the right. I am sure of it, I am. Captain Skull telled me that I was to burn it in me mind, and if ye asked, I were to tell ye just that.”


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The Shooting

Harrison Haines at Pixels.com

———————

Dylan couldn’t exactly call it the perfect crime, but he was pretty sure he had gotten away with it. He was a known opponent of gun rights, and hadn’t done any real outside activity since high school. Yes, the “soyboy’s soyboy,” wouldn’t be on the radar.

Not only had he used a 30-30 he had found in a cubbyhole in the basement of the house he bought six years ago, but he also knew the previous owner had died of cancer leaving no heirs. He had waited for just the right day too. It was a snowy day which kept most everyone cozy indoors.

He had slipped out of his backdoor into the woods wearing a hoody he had found left on a train a few weeks before, and he thought it would be the perfect disquise as he never wore such things. He had merely scooped it up and put it in his briefcase. It was simple as that.

Once he had made the trees he skirted the area to arrive at his destination. He then fired two rounds into his victim and made his way back into the woods, dragging a blanket he had brought with him to level out any footprints, and he was sure the falling snow would do the rest.

The next day the local news reported that the police were baffled by the crime. They had no idea what the motive was, much less the identity of the perpetrator. Who would shoot two holes into an inflatable clown at the front of a closed daycare centre?

Dylan hated clowns.


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Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #115

The Rat Race

Safe, Bank, Safe Deposit Box, Security, Vault
Pixabay

The rat ran and he chased. If keeping up with the Jones was a struggle, and keeping up with the Kardashians only a dream, then keeping up with William Ratiker was an impossibility. This guy was unreal. He had one of those waterproof, bullet-proof lives, and he succeeded in all that he did. The problem was that “the rat,” came about most everything immorally, if not down right illegally.

Ben Willis had been an officer in the “Fraud Squad” for eight years, and for most of that time he had been trying to nail Ratiker. But, the Rat always seemed a step ahead. Ben was hoping that today was going to be different. He had finally found a hole in one of Ratiker’s alibis. Ben wasn’t going to merely chase this time, he was going to let the Rat run a maze of Willis’ creation. He would just wait for him to incriminate himself, and then he would have him.

It only took a couple of phone calls, and a little disinformation as to what Willis knew already to get Ratiker to go straight to the safe deposit box where the evidence Ben needed would be found. When Ratiker arrived Willis was waiting for him, warrant in hand. The rat indeed ran, but this time Ben was waiting for him.

________________

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First Line Friday

Last Ranger

Pixabay

Doug Rivner looked from the window of the Hobbit hole and tried to assess his chances. He could count at least twenty-six orcs from his vantage point and he knew that making a break for it was against the odds. Fair enough, this was a Hobbit’s house and the pantry was well stocked, but he couldn’t hold out indefinitely. Eventually they would breach the door, or he would be forced to confront them. He hated the waiting game.

Only three years before he had become a Ranger, back before the dark magic brought orcs, goblins, and bugbears back from near extinction. This is insane, he thought to himself. I survived the Covid back in 2020-23 and the high water levels global warming had brought in ’27. He quickly counted the remaining bullets in his ammo pouch. Damn, 30 rounds. No way am I going to take them all out.

He double checked the barricade at the round door, and cut a piece of cheese. He then sat with his back to the far wall and munched his snack. He then placed his assault rifle across his lap and settled in. He would doze for a bit, and then come morning, Rivner, the last of the Rangers, would try to break out, or at least “go out” in a blaze of glory.


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Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #114

Relative Safety

Girl, Skateboard, Young, Lifestyle, Female, Skate
Pixabay

“You aren’t going to get away with reporting us. We know where you live and it might not be today, but we will get you,” Miller spat as he was led away.

Dan felt himself hyperventilating. He knew what the gang was capible of. He had witnessed their misdeeds first hand, and that is what had led to this moment. Dan sucked it up and walked slowly away trying not to let the threat repeat in his mind. He knew he was safe for the moment, and that while the perpetrators were in custody, this afternoon, he would be safe. But what about tomorrow?

This weighed on his mind for the entire journey home. Then a plan occured to him. He would alter his leaving time, and leave through the back gate. This would get him onto the street where his sixteen-year old cousin lived and he would then get her and her friend Tony to walk him to school. Sometimes it was tough being eight, but at least he had a relative for protection.


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Terror Night

woman in black spaghetti strap top wearing eyeglasses
Jakob Owens at Unsplash

“Who are you and where did you get this number?” Nina challenged.

“They call me the Reaper,” the deep-breathing man said malevalently.

“Well you don’t scare me,” Nina said without the slightest hint of alarm.

“And why is that? Surely you know my reputation, and whether you believe it or not, I am right outside your door.”

“So?” Nina queried.

“So – you are my next plaything,” the Reaper snarled.

“I don’t think so,” Nina countered bravely just before the phoneline went dead.

Suddenly the backdoor of her house burst open and a black-clad man in a ski-mask stood before her brandishing a machete.

“So are still confident?” the Reaper sneared.

“Yes, most definitely,” Nina said with out the least hint of distress.

Confused, the Reaper ran his thumb along the blade and said, “We’ll just have to see about that.”

“Yes we will,” Nina said defiantly.

“What?” the assailant said with dismay.

“Yes, we will see,” she retorted. “Didn’t they tell you?”

“Tell me what?” the Reaper asked even more confused.

“Didn’t they tell you that I signed a three film contract?”


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Forage

Army, Team, Uniform, Man, Woman
Pixabay

It shouldn’t have never come to this, but sadly it was so.  The soldiers of the First Brigade were having to forage for food.  Worse still it was in their own land.  A series of tactical setbacks had forced them to fall back beyond their own borders erasing the gains of the previous spring.  How could they in good conscience take the food crops of their own children and grandmothers?   Surely an occupation by the Empire could be no worse than this.


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Weekend Writing Prompt #204 – Forage in 82 words