The Collector

August 19, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads!


The Collector – by Hugh W. Roberts

One hundred and twenty million years had passed since its last visit.

It didn’t like the feel of the granular material, but the stars that had fallen into what humans named ‘sand’ needed replenishing to keep the planet alive.

Picking up an item the waves washed ashore, the Collector studied it. It smelt and tasted good. For every one of these items it took away, it left a star.

As beaches around the planet shone, humans wondered where all the plastic in the seas had gone.

It would only be another twenty years before the Collector returned.

***

Image of a starry sky above a beach.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

***

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Nightmare In Spring #flashfiction

What had caused George’s meltdown? Could things get any worse?

***

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How To Save The Earth #flashfiction

April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!


How To Save The Earth – by Hugh W. Roberts

It’s an attack I’ll never forget.

Why us? Why did they have to come here and try and destroy the safe community we live in? We weren’t hurting anyone. All we wanted was to help them. Don’t they know what they’re doing when attacking the innocent? It’s first-degree murder.

“Earthing,” announced Father Brier. “Earthing is the answer. The next time they come back, we must send them back from where they once came.”

Now the soil is full of human remains. Instead of attacking us, they feed us and help us plant life survive. Earthing is saving the Earth.

***

Image of a cupped hand shaped in a heart that is full of soil.
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click on the image to check out my first post, How Blogging and Rod Serling Helped Me Conquer Dyslexia, on my new column at the Carrot Ranch.

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Pilgrims #flashfiction

April 15, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that seeds generosity. Who is generous and why? Think of generosity as planting a future outcome. Go where the prompt leads!


Pilgrims – by Hugh W. Roberts

Making footprints in the dusty soil of the piece of land the Mayflower had brought her to, Margery’s ears picked up the sounds of the waves crashing against her ship.

She signalled to her crew to begin unloading the cargo and help bring this land alive.

As the pilgrims left the ship two by two, they each, in turn, thanked Margery for the kindness she’d shown them by setting them free again.

As the Mayflower took off into the sky, the pilgrims named the new world New Plymouth and set about thanking their god, Generosity, for bringing them here.

***

#flashfiction #fiction #writingprompt
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click on the image to check out my first post, How Blogging and Rod Serling Helped Me Conquer Dyslexia, on my new column at the Carrot Ranch.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

New Home #flashfiction

February 25 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads!


New Home – by Hugh W. Roberts

The frozen wastes of space were no place anymore for the light pink sphere.

It had travelled for thousands of years, but the icy blue planet ahead looked the only hope it had of survival.

The glowing rays of a young star rising in the east sent the alien into a potential thaw and deep sleep on this new world.

Millions of years later, it awoke to find new owners’ of the planet had built a city on top of where it had rested.

“Welcome to Wuhan’, it recorded, as it began the fightback to reclaim its new home.

***

Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Safe New World #flashfiction

January 7, 2021 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the contrasting prompts butterfly and stones. The two can be used in any way in your story. Go where the prompt leads!


Safe New World – by Hugh W. Roberts

“Look at all these small, round stones, Alan. Is that some writing on them? It looks like some foreign language. And aren’t the rainbow colours on all of them stunning? It’s like they’ve been hand-painted.”

“Hand-painted by who or what?” asked Alan as he picked up a stone.

They both gasped with astonishment as a rainbow-coloured butterfly fluttered up from under the stone.

“Are there more of them under the other stones?”

“Only one way to find out.”

Within minutes of the last overturned stone releasing its prey, all human life ceased to exist on the safe, new world.


Image of a butterfly on top of a pile of stones
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join in.

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Mind Your Head #flashfiction #3LineTales

Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible). Link back & check the link shows up under the weekly post. Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader). Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines. Have fun.

photo by K. Mitch Hodge via Unsplash

Mind Your Head – by Hugh W. Roberts

Michelle loved ‘Caution – Mind Your Head’, the only place where nobody had to queue.

After removing her head, she made her way to the oiling room; the place where creaks and squeaks were made obsolete.

In thirty minutes, Michelle would once again be reunited with her head, now free of any nasty viruses.


Can you write a three line tale using the above image?

Written in response to the Three Line Tale challenge hosted by Sonya at Only 100 Words. Click here to participate.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Killer Eve #writephoto #flashfiction

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.

Writephoto challenge dated April 23rd 2020
Image credit: Sue Vincent

Eve was her name. A woman one man feared: that man, me.

She wanted humanity to worship her. She made those that were left celebrate her life by giving her a day when they celebrated the beauty that only came to Eve when it was dark.

During the darkness, bonfires lit up the skies so all could see what fate awaited them.

Nobody knew where Eve came from. At first, nobody seemed to care about it. Nobody asked questions until it was too late.

Everyone would welcome Eve into their lives. Everyone would welcome her into their homes. Eve asked for nothing in return. Well, I say nothing. The only thing Eve wanted was to be noticed.

Eve touched the lives of everyone. She made people laugh; she made people cry. She made people strong; she made them weak. Humankind trusted her. That was how it always looked to Eve. She was like anything else that lived on planet Earth.

Humanity thought they were the most potent form of life. After all, humankind had made the Earth its own. Anything that wanted to share the Earth had to abide by the rules of man. How sinful humanity was.

For a while, Eve followed the rules of humanity. But then she grabbed an opportunity to break the rules.

The day Eve escaped was the turning point.

Eve wanted all of humanity to witness the beauty that only came to her when the lights went out. Eve wanted all of humanity to notice her. Now was her chance to do just that.

As Eve made her way onto the city streets and into the communities, a new future dawned.

The rest is an unfolding story that will never end.

Eve believes there’s no such thing as an ending. It’s just the point at which you decide to leave her story.


Written in response to the ‘writephoto’ challenge hosted by Sue Vincent at the Daily Echo. Click here for more details.

Doug, Sophie and Mike have taken a break this week. They’ll be back next week.

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Time Travel #WordlessWednesday #photography

Wordless Wednesday – allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

#DoctorWho #television #scifi

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H2O #flashfiction

“They’re just stones.”

“I know, but I’m sure one of them has moved.”

“But stones can’t move on their own. Something or someone must have moved it? The instruments onboard the ship did pick up a small tremor last night.”

Moving towards the nearest stone, Miles bent down while pointing towards the ground to the right of the first stone.

“Looks like something either pushed or pulled this stone. If the ship’s camera had been working, I’d have the proof that this stone is nearer the ship than it was yesterday. Mission-control is taking too long figuring out what’s caused the camera to fail.

Shaking her head, Hilary bent down besides Miles and examined the ground.

“It must be alive,” cautioned Miles. These marks in the ground clearly show it has moved. Yet there’s no evidence to say that someone or something has moved it. I thought you said there was no evidence of life on this planet, Hilary. Without any signs of H2O, you said nothing could survive here.”

Consisting of at least 50% of water, the human visitors had no chance when the stone struck. Not even their spacesuits helped protect them.

As the other stones slid slowly towards the bodies to feast on the liquid nectar they needed to survive, the dusty, dry planet started to become alive again.

While decomposing flesh helped plant life grow instantly, the sound of a ‘click’ from the ship’s now repaired camera sent back the first image of a beautiful, welcoming, new world.


Written in response to the #writephoto challenge hosted by Sue Vincent at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click here to participate.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Why We Should Be Wary Of Round Objects #SundayStills

Have you ever wondered why some objects are a particular shape? For example, why is a boxing ring square-shaped? Is a clover clubbed shaped, or is a club clover-shaped? Does water have a shape?

But let’s not digress. Today, our subject for Sunday Stills is the word ‘round.’

Round‘ – I’m not talking here about circles, but objects that have a definite round shape. 

Here’s an example.

Were your eyes drawn to the round objects on the ground? What about those round objects above the ground?

Did you know that round objects have a purpose?

No? Well, let me fill you in on the details.

For centuries, some of the human race (including myself) have grown, produced, and used round objects to store particular objects and emotions.  

Here’s a list of some of the items I’ve placed in round objects. 

  • A cat flap for a submarine
  • A blowup dartboard
  • Handbrakes for a canoe
  • Waterproof teabags
  • A wooden frying pan
  • A rope-less skipping-rope
  • Peepholes found on doors made mainly from clear-glass
  • Diet water
  • A paperback book that claimed to contain the most epic ‘YouTube’ videos ever
  • A warning sign at the bottom of the battery compartment of my TV remote-control that read ‘The Batteries have Been Removed.’
  • Meatless meatballs
  • A snowball maker
  • Shoe umbrellas

You get the picture, yes?

All those objects would be useless to the majority of the human race and our planet would be more cluttered if it were not for the round objects they can be stored in.

Did you know that insects are more attracted to round-shaped flowers and plants?

But it’s not all about funny, meaningless, useless objects.

Round items have also been used to store other objects.       

Some of these objects may smell, look and taste good, but some hold secrets that, if released, can destroy the lives of those we love or those around us.

Take, for example, the flowers inside this object.

I put them in there for a good reason. Once I got them inside, I had to make sure they could never get out. That’s why the vessel that holds these flowers is round. With no edges, there is no way of them getting out or anybody getting in. 

Does size matter?

Well, it depends what object you’re thinking about, but the tiniest of round objects are used as vessels for storing thousands of forbidden, dark secrets.

Raindrops contain secrets that desperately want to be set free

If you come across tiny, round objects like the ones in the above picture, don’t be tempted to break any of them open. You may just live to regret it.

And what about one of the biggest round objects known to mankind?

I wonder if the round object in the above picture was created to keep danger from getting in? Or was it created to stop any threat from getting out?

Fancy a challenge?

How many round objects can you spot in this photo?

Go on, have a guess by leaving your answer in the comments section. The winner will receive a mention in next week’s Sunday Stills post!

Thank you to Terri Webster Schrandt for asking me to host this week’s Sunday Stills challenge. Click here to find out the themes for upcoming Sunday Stills challenges.

Want to participate in Sunday Stills? Here’s what you need to do.

  • Please create a new post for the theme and share your photos, stories, poetry, or thoughts about this week’s theme.
  • Title your post differently from mine but remember to include #SundayStills in the title.
  • Create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. Click here to find out how to create a pingback. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries can be shared all week (not just on a Sunday). Use the hashtag #SundayStills on social media so that other participants can find your post.

I look forward to reading and seeing your posts about this week’s theme.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Close Encounters Of The Unusual Kind #SundayStills

Have you ever met somebody who wasn’t there?

At the time, maybe you thought you were talking to yourself, but how certain were you that it wasn’t something else you couldn’t see that you were talking to?

#SundayStills #photography
Not everything that looks unusual is as unusual as it seems.

Is everything you see through the viewfinder of your camera really there?

How unusual is it to find yourself all alone in a town with no sign of anybody else, yet when you raise your camera or phone to take a picture, you see two other people who are were not there before you looked through your viewfinder?

#SundayStills #photography #timetravel #scifi
Do you have to be a time traveller to be able to see other time travellers?

I could only communicate with the two figures in the above photo when I looked at them through the viewfinder of my iPhone. Strangely, they told me they could only see me when I was looking at them through my phone. Is that unusual? On a time travelling mission, they could not stop for long but told me they’d see me again in 2028.

Do we see the same scene when looking through a window as you do when looking out of an open window?

How unusual is it to look through a window that offers a different view to the one you see when you open the window and look out?

#SundayStills #photography
Open the window you’re looking through, and you may get a different view.

It’s not unusual for this to happen to me, but you have to know where to find these windows. They can be found everywhere, but beware the ones that open up onto a world you can never escape from.

Would you like to go to an unusual place?

Just like unusual windows, beware unusual doors and gates. If you ever come across the portal in the picture below, walk on by.

#SundayStills #photography #gates
Never give these portals even a fleeting glance. One look, and you’ll find yourself in Nowhere.

Don’t even give it a glance. One quick look is all it takes to unlock this gate that leads to Nowhere. Where’s Nowhere? That’s an unusual question that can only be answered by unusual people. Are you one of those people?


I’m delighted to be hosting Sunday Stills again while Terri Webster Schrandt takes a break. Click here to check out the themes for June 2019.

Here’s what you need to do to join this week’s Sunday Stills challenge.

Write a brand new post and share your photos, stories, poetry, or thoughts, about unusual things. What do you see or feel when in an unusual situation? Describe what’s there and tell us your thoughts when you discovered or experienced something that was unusual.

Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.

Special note: Due to ongoing problems with pingbacks not all working on WordPress, I’d recommend that you also leave a link to your ‘Sunday Stills’ post in the comments section of this post.

Remember – Entries for this challenge can be posted all week (not just on a Sunday).

I look forward to looking and hearing about the unusual things in your life. Have fun!

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

The Global Warming Effect #flashfiction

Strawberries and mint! She’d forgotten to order them.

The local shop was too far away to go and get any before her first guests arrived.

A few years ago, she would have gone out into her garden and picked both. How sad that the return of global warming had since not only turned her green garden into a dusty, bone-dry desert but had also robbed her of her love for gardening.

Looking out of her kitchen window, onto the vast martian landscape, she asked herself again if the human race would ever learn the lessons of their past mistakes.


Written in response to the 99-word flash fiction challenge with the theme of ‘strawberries and mint’, hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

#flashfiction #shortstory #shortstories
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Click here to join hundreds of other writers who have taken up the challenge.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.