Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday Flash Fiction and a Bit of News

Well, Friday again... How's everyone's week been? For a bit of a treat today (or maybe not... I haven't had any feedback on this yet!) I thought I'd post my entry for the first ever Follow My Lead Flash Fiction Contest hosted by Candilynn Fite, and remind everyone that the next round starts tonight.

I've since gathered that you probably don't even get icicles in New Orleans as the winters are so mild, but that's what that stuff on the cables looked like to me! Anyhoo, here's the picture and the prompt. I'd love to know what you think of the story.




The streets of this restless city never slept...

Fire and Ice (300 words)

The streets of this restless city never slept, even in winter when icicles clung to overhead cables. Many people gravitated towards the flaming nightclub, a few to offer assistance, but most for the spectacle and the warmth provided. They felt in little danger as the building was atop a platform and reached by an elevator, but a safe distance was kept due to the odd piece of falling masonry.

The proprietor, Gary Hunter, had managed to escape before the fire spread too far. He was glad the club had been closed, but the ferocity of the blaze mirrored the burning anger in his soul as he waited for the fire brigade. It was the second time his establishment had fallen victim to such a fate. The first inferno had claimed one victim – his business partner, Ulysses. It had started in the office when a still-smouldering cigarette had dropped from the lip of an ashtray on the edge of his desk and hit the carpet. Gary had gone home after a long night shift and Ulysses had come in to go over some paperwork. He was trapped in the kitchen and never got out.

Gary had gone cold turkey after that.

He sighed and looked around at the rubbernecked onlookers, unsure if the insurance payout would be sufficient this time.

As he turned back, an icy breeze blew across the back of his neck. That wasn’t unusual at this time of year. What was unusual was the voice: hissing and sibilant, he felt it with his entire soul.

“You might have got away this time, but don’t think you’ll be so lucky again.”

Gary spun around, but no one was there.

In New Orleans, spirits who have died in violent circumstances hang around. They don’t care about excuses. They want vengeance.




Next up, it's the amazing giveaway over at the Lucky 13s blog. You've all heard of them, right? They're all children's and YA authors who are launching their debuts in 2013. Well, 20 of them are giving away their favourite books to ONE lucky winner! That's insanely great. However, there are only a few hours left to enter if you haven't already! (Closing time 12pm Eastern Daylight Time). Head here to enter.

Finally, E.J. Wesley is starting up a new weekly Twitter chat devoted to discussing the burgeoning New Adult genre. The first chat will be on Thursday 26 July followed by every Thursday thereafter. All readers and/or writers of the genre are invited to join in. Go here for the details, and there's also an NA Lit Chat Blog!

Have a great weekend!

36 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've got the makings of a creepy story there!

DL Hammons said...

I've been to New Orleans many times, and seen many interesting things hanging from those cables! :)

Nice story!

L.G.Smith said...

Nice! That ghost is gonna get his revenge. :)

L.C. Frost said...

Love the last lines. ;-) Nice!

Louise Bates said...

Ooh, creepy. Nice bit of flash fiction - impressive!

Julie Dao said...

I hope to go to New Orleans one day! Nice job capturing its mystery and superstition. Very creepy, with the icy breeze on his neck...

Kim said...

Um, yeah, those definitely look like icicles to me, too :)
What a great piece, Nick. I like how the title "Fire and Ice" plays throughout the story - starting with an inferno and concluding with a rather chilly cliffhanger.
And, also, Ulysses is such a great choice for a name.
Have a lovely weekend...

Angela Brown said...

Shivers crept down my spine when I read the last sentence. I was glued to my seat reading, learning about Gary and the HOW behind the first fire, the death of a partner, the guilt he Gary must feel because of it. I kept help wondering if that voice on the wind belonged to Death hoping to finish the job soon, or Ulysses back to stake claim on Gary for the part he played in Ulysses dying.

Medeia Sharif said...

Chilling. Great piece.

Those do look like icicles. New Orleans is an interesting location with plenty of history and stories and makes for a great setting.

Susan Roebuck said...

I can hear creepy music at the end of your story, or something like the "Jaws" theme tune. You've definitely got the makings of a fine story there, nice and creepy just how I like it.

Martin Willoughby said...

That is an impressive story. Creepy and with an ending you wouldn't expect.

Susan Oloier said...

You've set an ominous tone in your FF piece. Impressive. I like the juxtaposition of the fire and ice, too.

Nick Wilford said...

Alex - Thanks!

DL - I've never been, I'd love to. The only place I've been in the States is Miami and I never really saw it, it was just to get on and off a ship!

L.G. - Thanks. I think Gary is going to have his guard up now!

L.C. - Thanks. I wasn't sure about the end. :)

Louise - Thanks very much!

Julie - New Orleans seems to naturally attract creepy and paranormal stuff, doesn't it? I'd love to go too!

Kim - Thanks for your insight. And I don't know where Ulysses came from!

Angela - Wow, your comment made my day, or more likely my weekend or month! I'm so glad to know I provoked that response in someone. I love the idea of Death whispering at him, too. :)

Medeia - Thanks! It certainly seems like an intriguing place.

Susan - Lol, I like you can hear music! Maybe supernatural stuff is something I could look more into...

Martin - Thanks very much! I'm never sure about whether I pull off twists successfully.

Susan - Thanks. I just went off what I saw in the picture - that orange thing on the left looked like a building on fire to me!

James Anderson said...

You have set up some good backstory with this Flash Fiction. I hope you expand on this.

Forty Pound Sack said...

Ooooohhhh, intriguing ~ can't wait for more!

Michael Pierce said...

Very cool start to what I feel is a much bigger story. I'm all about sinister voices.

C.B. Wentworth said...

Great story! You've done a fantastic job of creating atmosphere! Well done. :-)

tfwalsh said...

Love what you have written here... the ending was great:)

C.M.Brown said...

Love the last lines. You have created quite a haunting atmosphere throughout the piece using words like - hissing, sibilant, icy breeze and restless city. Great job.

Chuck said...

Ahhh, New Orleans just the way I remember it...seedy and creepy! Good story Nick!

Jolene Perry said...

Very cool :-D

my cousin went to med school in New Orleans.

Youngman Brown said...

Wonderful story, Nick!

You should check out Dude Write, a community of male bloggers. We are currently doing a flash "competition," though it is mostly for fun.

Stephen Tremp said...

Sounds pretty darn good. I like it! Good luck with the writing. New Orleans is a great setting for a book like this one.

Shelley Sly said...

I love the mystery and the creepiness of the story. Very well done! Nice picture, too.

Emily R. King said...

Ooh, I adore a good ghost story. New Orleans in a great setting for one. Nicely done!

Nick Wilford said...

James - Thanks. Maybe I will!

Forty Pound Sack - Thank you!

Michael - Sinister voices are always good! Thanks.

C.B. - Thanks! Nice to know about the atmosphere. :)

TF - Thanks a lot!

Carolyn - Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the use of words. :)

Chuck - Thanks! I'm glad of that seeing as I've never been!

Jolene - Thanks. I'm jealous of people who've been now!

Youngman - Thanks! Hmm, that sounds interesting. I'll have a look!

Stephen - Thank you. It certainly seems like a magnet for stories concerning the paranormal.

Shelley - Well, the picture choice wasn't mine. But glad you liked the story! :)

Emily - Yep, it's a fab setting. Thanks!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Great sense of setting and place in this piece, well done!

J. A. Bennett said...

And that is exactly the reason I want to go to New Orleans. Ghost hunting would be a blast!

Morgan said...

Ooooo... Nick + Excerpt = AWESOME.

You rock, Nick. Keep working!!!! :D

Ruth Josse said...

Great little snippet of spookiness! Nicely done!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Great story! Lots of intrigue.

Cherie Reich said...

Great flash fiction story! The last lines gave me chills, and I love the hints of backstory you weaved throughout the scene.

Nicole said...

Sounds like the start of a great, creepy novel. :)

Nari said...

Good story, very chilling :) I like that you only hint at who's to blame.
Nari X

Nick Wilford said...

Charmaine - Thanks! I'm glad the setting came across well.

J.A. - Lol! Me too! :))

Morgan - Thanks very much! Not an excerpt, just a flash - though with a lot of people saying it should be longer, I should think about. Now where's the funding for my essential research trip to the Big Easy?? ;)

Ruth, Ruth - Thanks! :D

Cherie - Thanks! I'm glad the backstory worked well.

Nicole - Thanks! That's an awesome compliment!

Nari - I think Ulysses knows though... thank you!

E.J. Wesley said...

Hey Nick! Hadn't had the opportunity to thank you for mention the chat here. Really, truly appreciate it and hope you might be able to join us some night. I'm sure you being in England will complicate things on that end, but would love to have you.