Series – The Flowerman – Issue 005

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Series

Issue 004

“Tula! Thank goodness. Give me a hand,” Triff said.

Rows of water tanks filled the hydroponics lab. A system of heated pipes fed warm water and nutrients from above, misting a veritable jungle of plants.

Crest loosened his collar, trying to acclimate to the sudden shift from the cold sterile hallway to the humid laboratory. Triff hurried toward a shallow tank, unwrapping the creature. An arm fell limply from the folds of the lab coat. Something dropped from its hand and skittered across the floor.

“I hope it isn’t too late…” Triff said. She gently placed the flower in the water, propping it up against a thick pad of water hyacinth.

Tula examined the giant flower.

“Incredible! He is by far the largest example of Passiflora Incarnata I’ve ever seen!”

“He?”

“It has stamen only,” Tula said, pointing to the flower. “The root structure is unlike anything… wah?!”

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Series – Nitro! Frog – Issue 004

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Series

Issue 003

Gloria patted Nitro on the shoulder.

“You just need to practice and level-up your skill. Then you can catch bigger fish. It was pretty neat how you made that net though.”

Nitro nodded resolutely. He was determined to do just that.

“I WILL be a Master Fisherfrog!” he declared and leapt into the ocean for more bait.

Gloria, Dexter, Penelope, and Lance perched on the limbs of a giant, twisty, driftwood log, the remains of a massive mango tree. Nitro continued fishing vigorously as they discussed which skills they would choose.

Congratulations! FISHING is now level 2!

Everyone looked up as Nitro approached with a huge froggy grin on his face and a sea urchin in his hands.

“Thank you, thank you,” Nitro said, bowing.

“Good job, Nitro!” Gloria exclaimed. “I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU! OH MY GOODNESS! IS THAT A SEA URCHIN?!”

Nitro drew back a bit. Gloria tapped on the touchscreen of her RIBBETS.

Gloria uses COOKING!

There was a static buzz as a campfire appeared on the sand followed by a metal rack and stand. Nitro leaned forward to inspect it.

“Cooool.”

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There was another buzz as a heavy iron cooking pot materialized over his head. Bonk! Nitro rubbed the lump growing on the back of his head.

“Sorry, Nitro. I should’ve warned you,” Gloria apologized. “Let me have that urchin.”

Gloria dropped the urchin into the pot. Everyone watched as the pot bubbled. Suddenly, a cloud of steam puffed up around the pot. When the steam cleared, a single bowl of soup sat on the sand where the fire and pot had been.

Obtained Urchin Soup!

“Wow, it worked!” Gloria exclaimed. “I LOVE COOKING!”

Nitro bent down and picked up the bowl.

“Mmmmm! Gloria, this smells delici… Ahh, that’s hot!”

Nitro squealed and tossed the bowl into the air. Everyone watched in silence as it sailed through the sky.

A little way down the beach, a small fiddler crab looked up at the bowl as it flew towards him. He tucked his eye stalks in and pulled one large claw over his head. The bowl landed upside down with a boiling splash over the unfortunate crab. The frogs looked on in horror. Nitro finally broke the silence.

“I’d hate to be that guy. Know what I’m sayin’?”

Suddenly, the ground began to shake! The bowl exploded, and a cloud of sand was launched into the air. An ominous whooshing and battle music came from the RIBBETSs.

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Dexter squeaked.

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Flash Fiction – Mushroom Monday

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Inspired by: September 24: Flash Fiction Challenge

Archibald Portobello, acting CEO of DeCOM Enterprises, popped another cashew into his mouth as the turtle taxi lumbered slowly beneath him. He reached into his coat pocket to retrieve a buzzing cell and shouted to the cabbie before answering it.

“Can you pick up the pace! I have a board meeting at the Log in twenty minutes.”

He flipped open the phone.

“Talk. What? No! Sell! Now!” He slapped the phone shut. “Pfft, analysts.” Then to the turtle, “Can’t this thing go any faster?”

Archibald Portobello, acting CEO of DeCOM Enterprises, sighed and popped another cashew into his mouth.

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Flash Fiction – Antsy

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Zippy Flash Fiction

“Now boarding Stalk 147! Now boarding Stalk 147!” the Conductor announced.

Bingham grabbed his bags and climbed aboard. He always said he’d “get off this nowhere dandelion one day!” and today was the day. He waved his antennae to the other ants and was gone with the wind.

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Flash Fiction – Matteo the “Mouse”

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Zippy Flash Fiction

Inspired by: September 17: Flash Fiction Challenge

On a little island in a big ocean, there lived a family of brown mice. There was a papa mouse, a mama mouse, six little mice, and… Matteo. Matteo always felt a little out of place. For one thing, he didn’t look like other mice. He had dark spots around his eyes, his hair was blondish brown, his toes were too grabby, his tail was too wrappy, his snout was too big, and his nose was too pink. Well, there’s a good reason for that. Matteo wasn’t a mouse. He was a mouse opossum. But he didn’t know that.

Flash Fiction – Ika Seigi no Yamato

Inspired by 5 Words #24

Yamato stared up at the massive squid towering above his ship. The creature wrapped on long tentacle around the mizzenmast and pulled itself aboard. Its suckered arms spread out over the deck like the roots of an ancient tree.  One giant eye focused on Yamato as a horrendous beak appeared. The creature trembled all over and let out an earsplitting screech.

Yamato stood with his feet apart, hands grasping the red sash around his waist. He held his ground as the blast of squid breath blew away his toque.

There was a calm silence.

Hah! I am Yamato of the Seven Lands and Nine Seas. You are trespassing in this atoll and terrorizing the citizens. I cannot tolerate mistreatment of the innocent.” He pulled a cleaver from his sash and pointed it at the squid. “Leave now!”

Again, there was silence.

The squid’s amaranthine skin flashed cobalt and scarlet. With lightning speed, a deadly tentacle exploded from the sea and whistled through the air at Yamato.

For a moment, time seemed to stop. Yamato narrowed his deep-set eyes and spoke in a low tone.

“You have been judged.”

The chef became a blur of light as his kitchen knife flashed left, right, up, and down. He reappeared with his back to the squid.

The monstrous creature was paralyzed, frozen like a hideous statue. Yamato returned the cleaver to his sash as the squid collapsed into ribbons of calamari.

“The food you have provided clears you of your debt to the people.”

Series – Nitro! Frog – Issue 001

Series

“Nitro! Yo, Nitro! Wake up!” Teach shouted. Smack! Teach slapped the napping frog with a wet mackerel.

“Ouch! What’s that all about?” Nitro cried.

“You were napping again!” Teach shouted as he tossed the mackerel back into the ocean.

“Now, everybody listen up! Today, you graduate from Teach’s Life Training! Some of you did better than others!” Nitro withered under Teach’s glare.

“It’s time to choose your skills! Choose carefully, you only get one shot at this! When I call your name, step forward and get your R.I.B.B.E.T.S.!”

“Isn’t this so exciting?” Gloria, a pink frog, asked.

“Yeah! I can’t wait to get my skills! I’m going to be a master fisherfrog like Teach!” Nitro answered with stars in his eyes.

“Penelope!” Teach shouted.

Penelope, a sassy purple frog in a tutu, claimed her R.I.B.B.E.T.S. She turned the small red tablet over in her hand.

“Thank you, Teach!” she said, prancing back.

“Dexter!” Teach shouted.

Dexter, a blue frog and King of Nerds, retrieved his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Why thank you, sir,” Dexter said, adjusting his thick glasses.

“Nobody likes a suck-up, Dex! Next, Gloria!” Teach shouted.

Gloria practically floated over to get her R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“THANK YOU, TEACH!” Gloria said, over-enthusiastically.

“Lance!” Teach shouted.

Lance, a gray frog of few words, collected his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Teach,” Lance nodded.

“Lastly, Nitro! Try not to break it right away,” Teach said, momentarily losing his usual enthusiasm for shouting.

Nitro, a typical green frog, snatched up his R.I.B.B.E.T.S.

“Thanx, Teach!” Nitro shouted.

“Excuse me?! I don’t think I heard that spelling correctly! Let’s try again!” Teach shouted.

“Oops. Thanks, Teach!” Nitro corrected himself.

“That’s more like it! If you have any questions, refer to the ‘HELP’ menu! DO NOT ASK ME! Good luck with life, cadets! I’m going to take a nap,” Teach said, exhausted.

After Teach had gone to lay in his hammock, the five young frogs chattered excitedly over their R.I.B.B.E.T.S.s. Nitro turned his over and over, tapped it, shook it, and sighed.

“How does this thing work again?” Nitro asked.

The other frogs fell over. This was going to be a long day.

Issue 002

Poem – Barney the Sheep

Barney the sheep
Had tons of friends.
Barney the sheep
Was the center of attention.
Barney the sheep
Was a baaad boy at heart.
Barney the sheep
Loved the lambs.
Barney the sheep
Had it all. But
Barney the sheep
Felt empty inside.
Barney the sheep
Wondered what he could do.
Barney the sheep
Had an idea.
Barney the sheep
Shaved off his wool.
Barney the sheep
Made sweaters for all.
Barney the sheep
Had tons of friends. And
Barney the sheep
Was a friend to call.

Series – The Flowerman – Issue 001

Series

The Flowermen were getting sick.

Flowermen were never a populous species, though they did at one time thrive among the concealed valleys of the Magiljak Mountains. Guarded by those treacherous peaks, it was unknown that these gentle creatures existed until after The East Erscha Company had set up shop and begun blasting the whole area with industrial dust clouds.

At the time, I was employed by The East Erscha Co. in the Botanicals Research & Development Division. It was on June 3, 483 that the first Flowerman appeared, collapsing near the facility’s reflection pool.

Issue 002

Poem – Friendship

There once was a locust.

His name was Vern.

He was quick as a dart.

He jumped high as a fern.

There once was a beetle.

His name was Dan.

He was tough as a rock.

He was strong as a man.

There once was a cricket.

His name was Luck.

He was smart as a whip.

He chirped loud as a truck.

They met in a field.

They formed a pirate band.

They hitched up their things.

They traveled the land.

They stole honey.

They stole grain.

They stole crops.

They even stole rain!

One day they sat

Resting by a pool,

When Dan stood up

And said, “This seems fool!

We call ourselves pirates,

And we’re smart and quick and tough,

But we have no ship,

Nowhere to put our stuff!”

“He’s right you know,”

Vern said at last.

“We are pirates,

But we have no mast!”

“Fellows, fellows,”

Luck said with a grin.

“We do have a ship,

And its name is ‘Friend’.”