Here are over 50 ZapFic50 tales (stories told in fifty words) written by Felt.Buzz (published by felt.buzz on the hive blockchain)
Trapped beneath ice, freezing water surrounds me. My lungs ache. A bubble of precious air escapes my lips. I hammer at the opaque cold ceiling. In vein. It is too thick, too strong. Below, something stirs. It senses my terror, my nocturnal fear. Sharp teeth seek my flesh, my soul.
In my dream we dance, in perfect harmony.
No missteps, no crushed toes.
Flowers tumble from the sky, a gentle perfumed rain of purple and pink.
Her eyes smile, her lips look for mine. We kiss, music embraces us.
I awake, warm with love.
Beside me, she dream dances, still.
He spent their life savings on a broken watch. His wife scalded him for both spending their money and wasting his time trying to fix it.
“Watch me repair it – I’m saving time,” he said, laughing at his wit.
His wife – sick of bad jokes, and no money – left him.
The teacher humiliated Jim in front of the class. Angry, Jim spent years inventing a time machine. Much later, after he went back in time and killed the teacher, his new self had no motivation to invent a time machine and Jim melted into a gooey puddle of paradoxical logic.
It was just a holiday romance”, their parents said. Like the initials scratched in the sand with a driftwood stick, the day they met, wiped away by an errant wave, “it won’t last,” they said.
Sixty years later they wave at their great grandchildren, playing in the sand, and smile.
Hank felt sick and feverish.
“You can’t get out of dinner at the Clarkson’s that easily, dear,” his wife said.
Hank swallowed bile, lame conversation, and mediocre food with a weak smile. During the cheese course he was hit by a wave of nausea, and vomited all over the brie.
He stole her heart: it wasn’t a crime
He took her cash, every last dime
She discovered his deception, on a world cruise
He pushed her overboard, said she “slipped, full of booze.”
Before the ship docked he had a new wife
It wasn’t long before she lost her life.
The Poetry Police were the first on the scene
It wasn’t pretty: all bloody and mean
Words lay all over, tattered and torn
Inspector Poem was sad and forlorn
Studying the clues
He began to muse
“@Feltbuzz is guilty of this terrible crime
And the last line doesn’t even… work.”
Mellisa found Leo crying, by the pool.
“What’s the matter?” she asked, stroking his long mane.
“It’s the gazelles,” he said, tears rolling down his face. “They are having a party, and they haven’t invited me.”
“To be fair, my dear, the last time you did eat half the guests.”
Burt had a tiny zoo, full of small animals.
His favourite was the miniature tiger, the size of a pea, it had a very loud growl.
One night the tiny tiger escaped, from its little cage, crawled down Burt’s throat and ate him from the inside out, as he slept.
“Guilty!” said the Judge, old and wizened,
“I’ll spare you the noose, you’ll not be imprisoned!”
“Off you go!” he ordered, his voice like thunder
“To the penal colony, the place down under”
My punishment for stealing a loaf of bread
to be forever separated from the one I wed
Bill has been stuck on the island for what seems like months.
Everytime he tries to leave, something comes along and stops him.
Weak with hunger, he decides he has no choice but to take a risk.
He steps off the traffic island and is run over by a truck.
They met in secret, their love forbidden by both sets of parents, who hated each other
“Love will defeat hate,” he said, holding her face, looking deep into her beautiful eyes.
She smiled and kissed him, holding him close.
Then they picked up their bags and left for the airport.
The bridge between the multiverses was mythical bullshit, they told him, laughing.
But he searched for it anyway.
He built a spaceship, carefully following instructions on YouTube.
He travelled through space, and time, for a thousand years.
He eventually found it in the park at the end of the road
They called him Dodgy Dave.
Not because he drove a Dodge – he did – but because if there was a new racket in town, you could be certain Dave was involved.
Finally, an angry man – penniless, thanks to Dave’s scam – ran Dave over with his own car.
He didn’t dodge that.
Another rainy day in London. They trudge through the streets, umbrellas in hand. Marvelling at the history, taking shelter in the shops, when showers become downpours. They have a pub lunch, a pint of warm ale. And something called jellied eels, bought from a street vendor who calls them ‘geezers’.
She liked to bathe in the blood of children, believing it kept her young.
Newborns were best, but they had so little blood you needed five hundred little screamers just to fill the tub.
He was tasked to find them, kill them and fill the bath.
He liked his job.
It wasn’t just raining cats and dogs, but elephants and hippos too.
She took shelter in a bookshop.
The owner laughing at her bedraggled appearance, fetched a towel and a coffee.
They chatted for hours, fell in love, and married the following spring.
In the rain.
It seemed appropriate, somehow.
The missile leaves the earth, hurtling towards the aircraft high above.
The humans on the ground, care not for those in the air. They too are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, children.
The ongoing cycle of death and destruction serves no purpose, aside from further enriching the weapon sellers.
They (he) decided to go on a cycling holiday in Scotland.
“It’ll be fun,” he said.
It wasn’t fun.
It was hilly, hard work, sweaty.
And definitely not a holiday.
She had a sore arse after day one.
On day three she bought a ticket for Ibiza and left him.
After she died, Billy often went down to the ocean to watch the sunset.
He would take off his shoes and dance on the wet sand.
Tears glistening on his face, he liked to imagine she was with him.
Dancing and laughing, in the pink light of the setting sun.
“You can’t have the chocolate bar. Put it back.”
“But I want it, Mum! It’s NOT FAIR!”
She walks away as he throws himself on the floor.
A proper tantrum.
“You have diabetes, dear,” she calls over her shoulder. “You are forty years old. No wonder your wife left you.”
She hides in the parking lot until dark.
Watching his car.
She hears his footsteps.
And those of another.
She watches them kiss, a single tear slides down her cheek.
She runs to him, embraces him, knife deep between his ribs.
The other screams.
She cuts her throat.
“Volunteers wanted! Cash paid!”
Hungry, desperate, broke, he signed up.
“It’s called Mind Rising,” the white coated woman said.
“We upload your consciousness onto a chip.”
“What have I got to lose?” he said.
“Nothing,” she said. “If it works.”
He didn’t read the small print.
He lost his mind.
Every evening at half past six he walked past the cafe she worked in.
Every day she promised herself she wouldn’t look out the window.
Not this time.
But she couldn’t help herself.
They had been lovers, briefly.
It broke her heart to see him.
But hurt more not to.
“There is a City in the Clouds,” the old crone said. “Find the Enchanted Tree. Walk its Road.”
Deciphering clues in ancient texts, he eventually finds what he seeks.
He is old, now.
The Road to the City is steep.
He sighs and decides to go to the pub, instead.
On a tour of Antelope Canyon she stood transfixed by the water carved rock sculptures.
The guide warned of the dangers of flash floods.
But she wanted more photos “for Instagram, of course!”
Running from the group, she hid.
And when the waters came, she was swept to her death.
The island is idyllic. Beautiful. Just as she imagined her honeymoon would be.
She strolls along golden sand, water lapping her toes.
Under the shelter of palm trees, waiters bring drinks and comfort
Her husband, older – and richer – than she, drowned in a scuba “accident” on the first day.
She’s halfway across the rickety suspension bridge. He’s tempted to jump up and down. Just to shake things up a bit.
To provoke a reaction.
They haven’t spoken for hours. His fault. He accidentally said the thing he shouldn’t have said. He wants to apologise.
He just doesn’t know how.
“The clear, warm, water is inviting,” she admits. “But what about the alligators?”
“You don’t have to worry about alligators,” he laughs. “Not here!”
Reassured, she dives in.
Sharp teeth bite into flesh, dragging her beneath the bloodied surface.
No alligators, here. This is crocodile country.
She has been walking the road for days, now, and has encountered no living thing. Can she be the sole survivor? She finds shelter, and sometimes food, in long abandoned buildings. Sometimes she has to run, when the creatures come for her, at night. She has never felt so alone.
He stores the bodies in the cave behind the waterfall. Cadavers hang from stalactites, like pig carcasses on butcher shop meat hooks. He prefers human flesh old, gamy in flavour. He carves a slice off the bone, and chews slowly. He’s running low on supplies. He’ll need to hunt tonight.
“Draw me a cat,” the wise man said. “I like cats. If you draw me a cat, I’ll give you the answers you need.” Sebastian stared at the blank notebook, and then threw it aside, crying with frustration. He was hopeless at drawing. The wise man smiled, “Never doubt yourself.”
The Zebra Socks Killer – so named as victims have a pair stuffed into bloody ocular cavities – has evaded capture for years.
I stare at the open wardrobe. Striped socks, an oyster knife, and a jar full of eyeballs stare back.
“Sleep well, darling?” she says, gun pointing at my chest.
Tentacle Tim waited at the elevator. Sally sighed. The office pervert’s wandering hands were legendary.
“Going down?” Unsubtle innuendo, a wink ensured it wasn’t missed.
His fingers pinched her arse as the doors closed.
Twisting, her knee found his balls. He fell to the floor.
“Yes, you did,” Sally said.
Retiring to the seaside town of Button Holes was their dream.
But, within a year, Joan was under arrest for Mike’s brutal murder.
“He wasn’t human,” Joan said to the cops. “Look! He bit me.”
“She’s a loon,” they said.
But within hours, nobody was left alive in Button Holes.
“I’ll make you happy,” she promised.
For a moment I believed her.
Love always ends badly, my father said, once. “Trust nobody.”
Suspicion and jealousy had undermined all my relationships.
I tried not to look at her phone.
If I hadn’t perhaps I wouldn’t be staring at these iron bars.
It was the worst day of his life.
But in a good way.
He lost his job, his wife and then almost lost his life.
Weeks later, lying in a hospital bed, he realised if that really was the worst day of his life he had nothing left to fear.
“You have to go,” Kate said. “It will be fun. Don’t ruin my evening!”
Mel blinked. Why did she always feel obliged to please other people all the time?
No! She thought. Just say ‘no’. It’s just one little word. Say it!
Mel took a deep breath.
“Okay,” she said.
“Watch it snow,” his sister said. They sat in the back seat of the car, hand in hand.
The flakes of ash did look kinda like snow.
There was a loud bang. Glass and flames shot out of their old bedroom window, into the night.
“Where will we live, now?”
“Don’t be unkind,” she said. The look she flung him stuck him like a knife.
He had meant to be funny, to make her laugh. He liked it when she chuckled, it gave him a warm feeling, sent shivers down his spine.
“I thought you were different, but you ain’t.”
“One last drink at The Seven Bells,” Clive said.
Marion hated that grotty pub, and Clive had already had one too many. But she didn’t want to be a party pooper.
“I’ll drive,” she said, several drinks later. Clive refused and pulled out into the path of an oncoming truck.
He felt like that cartoon coyote. Treading air, falling suddenly when he realised he wasn’t on solid ground anymore.
They all laughed at him.
My life is a joke.
Just not a very funny one. Or at least, not to me.
He grabbed the gun. He’d have the last laugh.
“Writing is like shitting,” she says, suddenly.
I rip my eyes from the stark white paper.
“Occasionally, words fall urgently from the brain, splattering the page like diarrhea. Sometimes, no matter how hard you push, nothing comes out. You need to Freewrite: it’s a laxative for the constipated mind.”
She draws a note from her purse.
The man makes a fist over hers, shaking his head.
“He’ll only waste it on booze. Donate to a charity if you must.”
She shakes him loose, closing my fingers around the note, her touch as warm as her smile.
“Whatever you need.”
“You ruin everything!” she spits, slamming the car door.
I say nothing.
We crunch along the gravel road, away from the fancy house.
“You embarrassed me in there!”
Our eyes meet in the mirror, and her scowl darkens.
“We’ll talk later,” she hisses into her phone. “My Uber is eavesdropping.”
“It’s a bad omen,” they said. “Blood in the sky. Don’t leave the cave. Death will come.”
“Superstitious nonsense!” he scoffed.
He stepped out, smiling at their ignorance, shielding his eyes against the bright red light.
A rock, loosened by the heavy rains, tumbled onto his head, killing him instantly.
Inspector Macduff had finally solved the Knit Wear Murders.
Twelve victims, each wearing an ill-fitting sweater, a knitting needle protruding from each eye.
Mrs Twinkle, mild mannered chair of the local knitting circle smiled at him, needles in hand.
“Shame you won’t live to tell anyone, Macduff, ” she said.
“I do love mornings!”
“It’s the middle of the bloody night.”
Sally laughed, a bright twinkly sound Jane once found endearing.
I’m going to kill her, she thought, surprised she actually meant it.
Suddenly, she slipped, her head striking the very rock she might have used to end Sally’s life.
Brad used to hide under the bed when it thundered. Gyles, the usually solitary cat, joined him, snuggling close, until the storm blew over.
But Gyles was a memory, and Brad wasn’t a kid no more.
“Come on,” she said, again.
Holding hands, they ran into the crashing rain, laughing.
“I’m going hiking, raising money, and awareness, for charity,” Burt says, biting into his bacon butty. A dribble of fat trails down his chin.
“Me. And you too.”
“I prefer to give directly,” I say.
Settling the bill, Burt also buys Old Stan his breakfast.
“Why not do both?”
“Cheer up,” Burt says. “It might never happen.”
“It already has. Look! A blister. I’m only ten yards from the car! “
“I feel your pain!” A tall man looks down at me, smiling. “My stumps blistered plenty before I got used to these bad boys”. He slaps his artifical limbs.
a bright red sky
“Isn’t the sky beautiful?” Burt’s breathing is normal.
I pant and puff beside him.
Burt, for all his bulk, is annoyingly fitter than I.
The sky is beautiful. Red spreads across it announcing the arrival of the sun.
“Let’s go!” Burt says, springing away.
I take a breath and follow.
Sun chases the night shadows, but the cold remains.
“Walk faster,” Burt advises when I complain.
He wears one of his sister’s knitting “experiments”.
It is ridiculously ugly.
“You look like a village idiot,” I told him, earlier.
But he is warm and I’m not.
So who is the fool?
We walk together, mostly in silence.
Burt occasionally stops, puts a hand on my arm and points out a wild flower or a bird.
Despite my blistered feet, my complaining knees and my shame at my general fitness levels, I am suprised to find I am enjoying this morning hike.
First grey then black clouds obscure the sun. The sky brightens briefly with flashes, thunder announces the arrival of a storm.
Burt points to a pile of rocks. Not exactly a cave, but there is space for the two of us.
We watch the storm crash around us.