Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Game Pod: Creation -- Six Word Inspired Flash Fiction

This week's Game Pod is taken from a little game Alexis and her mom used to play on long road trips. Each Pea was tasked with contributing two words. The Peas then created a story using all six of the words at least once (in three-hundred words or less). And this is what happened:

Princess  Iguana  Cartography  Sanguine  Horizon  Hoarding 

Island Vacation

Lacy stared at the iguana sitting on her hotel bed.

Her mother expressed her fears about her vacationing alone in St. Thomas. She doubted this was the worst of them.

Flicking her keycard at it, the iguana blinked, taunting her with its sanguine expression. It was as if the reptilian beast enjoyed the attention.

“Shoo!” She waved her fingers at it. “This is the fourth night in a row!”

She gazed toward the burnt orange and pink horizon. It was paradise. Just what she’d imagined, sans wildlife. She had to admit, the view was stunning.

She hated feeling like a helpless princess and prided herself on self-sufficiency. When she’d called the concierge last night he’d treated it like business as usual. “Yes, miss. Of course, miss. I’ll send someone over.”

The maintenance man, Jacamo, had suppressed his laughter the first night when he found her in the hallway with her pepper-spray at the ready.

“You have to be assertive,” he’d said last night, rustling the lizard out with a broom. “They’re like dogs. You have to show him who is the boss.”

“I didn’t come here to tame the local wildlife,” she’d told him. “I just wanted come to an island, have a nice guy buy me a drink, and enjoy the beach. This…” she jabbed her thumb at the intruder “…is not part of my resort package.”

She sighed and eyed the iguana. Be brave.

She imagined herself hoarding bravery like coins against her chest. She tried to think of someone who was adventurous. Lewis and Clark were the first to pop into her head. This wasn’t exactly continental cartography she was facing, but certainly they’d overcome wildlife on their adventures.

“Get out, Mr. Iguana.” She glared at it and pointed at the doorway. “I mean it.”

The lizard cocked its head then blinked each eye. It opened its mouth, exposing its fleshy tongue. She shuddered. It took one step and she ran out into the hallway and let the door slam behind her.

Jacamo was there with two unopened beers. He smiled, offering her a bottle. “Tonight’s my night off. Forget him. Let’s take a walk.”

Lacy took the beer and smiled.

(word count 364) by Michelle

The Care and Feeding of Dave

Princess Sidhemana hated cartography. Studying musty old charts and maps made little sense when newer versions were available on microreaders. Yet her father insisted she know how to read the stellar graphs their ancestors had used when they settled on Delta Plantation 9, a planet five star systems removed from their home world of Earth.

Sighing, she gazed out the window at the northern horizon. Epsom and Colga, DP9’s smallest and largest moons respectively, shimmered along the spiny back of distant mountains. Their combined light cast a sanguine glow on the vast altine fields.

Sidhemana longed to lose herself among their indigo stalks and tubular white blossoms. She closed her eyes and imagined the thick sweetness of their fragrance. A rich earthiness undercut with a slight sulfuric bitterness would coat her tongue if she tasted the nectar dripping from the flowers.
Angry voices outside the literacy chamber shattered her daydream. Mother was yelling at Tarken again. Sidhemana rolled her eyes and focused on the tattered map spread on a wide slate table.
“But, Mother,” Tarken’s whine pierced the outer doors. “Dave needs the beetles! He’s a growing iguana and--”
“I understand, but why do you insist on hoarding gosha beetles?”
“They’re Dave’s favorite.”
“Tarken, gosha beetles are disgusting, not to mention dangerous,” Mother lectured. “If they escape, they’ll eat this entire home in less than a week.”
“If they get out, I’ll unleash Dave. He’ll track them.”

“Truly, Mother, you shouldn’t worry.” His voice faded as though he were slowly retreating. “You’re starting to get a crease between your eyes.”


Quick footsteps reverberated through the literacy chamber as Tarken fled their Mother’s disapproval, pulling peals of laughter from Sidhemana.

(word count 288) by Jeannie

*under word count award

Princess and the Pea

Princess took a sure-footed leap across the gap between dilapidated rooftops and settled himself in a sit, his back against a crumbling chimney. He gazed at the vast glittering castle and its verdant grounds. The sun, slipping below the horizon, cast everything in a cherry-gold glow that reflected his unusually sanguine mood. For once, his life was perfect.
He made a clicking noise with his tongue, coaxing a pea-green iguana from the depths of his oversized jacket. The lizard sauntered to his shoulder and shot him a proud, ill-humored glare.
"Our work has paid off, Pea," Princess said, beaming. "The shit ends for us today."
Pea blinked.
"Aren't you excited?" Princess inquired. "No longer will we be treated like vermin on the street! No longer will we have to beg for the food we missed out on because of the other orphans and their greedy hands!" No longer would they taunt him, either, for the clerical mishap that was his name.
Pea stared. Then burped.
"Pea! We want to remember this moment forever. Don't ruin it."
Pea curled his tail into a question mark as if to say, "So?"
Princess shook his head. "Soon, you will have your own room. And you can stop hoarding shiny objects in the pocket of my jacket. Doesn't that make you happy?"
Pea cocked his head.
"And I'll no longer answer to Princess Boy Noname, Pea," he declared. "I will be: PB Nomer, Master of Cartography for the Royal Family." This he said with a grand flourish of his arms.
Then he grinned and snatched the iguana from his shoulders, holding him close to his face. "At least until I get into the map room and use the key you stole to get that treasure."
Pea scrunched his face.
"You do have the key, don't you, Pea?"
The iguana gave him a tiny nod. Then shook his head.
The grin slipped off Princess's face. "Well where is it, then? You had it when we stole dinner."
Pea's stomach grumbled. His face turned uncomfortably.
Princess narrowed his eyes. "Peeeeea?"
The lizard's stomach rumbled again.
"Pea! You ate it?!"
The iguana burped, his breath carrying a distinctly metallic scent.
Princess rolled his eyes and glared at the castle. "Great." He sighed heavily and set the iguana down. "Well, the shit ends for us tomorrow, then."
(word count 409 {yeah, yeah I went over -- but it's my birthday so I can! Ha!}) by Alexis

*funniest/most clever award

Next week...well...we're not quite sure. It'll be a surprise. *grin*


  1. **APPLAUSE** Well done, all three!!

    1. Thank you, Skitty! It was terrific fun. And a nice little brain stretcher that keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.

  2. I had forgotten that we used to do those stories on long trips! Fun times:)