2022 minus 53: succubus and spices

Posted: 9 November 2021 in 2022 minus, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Housekeeping Note: foot

Today you get another couple of ‘fiction from the vaults’ tales; these two from long ago stories of 2007.

Both have seen light, separately, on this blog before, but I came across both while preparing yesterday’s post and they’re both silly enough and just flat out weird enough that I think they should be paired here today. Tony Lee, in particular, always gave me challenges that tests me to create the absurdly weird.

And so it was here.

A decade and a half ago, I threw out a challenge. and then repeated it thereafter whenever I felt like it. The challenge was the same in each case:

Give me a title of up to four words in length, together with a single word you want me to include in the tale, and I will write a story of exactly 200 words.

That’s it. The stories that resulted always included the word, they always fitted the title, but usually in ways the challenger hadn’t anticipated. And they were always exactly 200 words in length.

I hope you enjoy them…

Title: Paradise Lost – But Found
Word: succubus
Challenger: Tony Lee
Length: 200 words exactly

He looked around the library and sighed, unconsciously wincing and irritated at himself as he registered the latter reaction.

The silence had long ceased to be oppressive, but it was far from pleasant. After sixteen years, though, the monk was almost used to it.

It would be a lie, though, to say that he didn’t notice it any more.

He noticed it.

Every day, he noticed it. Every time he was alone, he noticed it. Every time he was with someone else, he noticed it.

He noticed it.

And he disliked it intensely. There was little that he could do about it, however,

When he’d first entered the monastery, he had laboured under an illusion that he’d needed seclusion, privacy. And for the first eight, maybe nine, months, he’d taken to the lifestyle with pleasure. So much pleasure, indeed, that he had been disciplined by with extra duties.

The menial tasks, he could cope with. The scourging and blood-letting was tougher.

But he finally broke when he was exposed to the greatest punishment the Abbot could impose upon him.

And remaining silent during that experience? Now, that was tough…

He shuddered as he remembered being introduced to the monastery’s succubus.

© Lee Barnett, 2007

Title: Single White Fee Male
Word: spices
Challenger: [Livejournal: perspexavenger]
Length: 200 words exactly

The papers and the weapon had been on the table for an hour when the two of them arrived, walking into the building through different doors, entering the sterile air-conditioned atmosphere, away from the sounds and scents of the street; spices and exhaust fumes left far behind.

Escorted by security people hired by their mutual employer, they walked to the room that had been set aside for their meeting, but even in that shared experience the differences between them were evident.

While the larger of the men walked in long strides, forcing his companions to a speedier pace than they preferred, the other took his time, almost dawdling, his casual tread belying the tension in his face.

Entering from opposite sides of the boardroom, the assistant commercial director and the financial controller met at the large oak table. Smiles full of faked sincerity and meaningless obsequiousness lasted for less than a second before they appended their signatures to the documents. They bowed deeply and then the man to the left of the table fell to his knees, while the other lifted the sword from the table.

And thus the junior corporate whore was promoted to Senior Courtesan to the Board.

© Lee Barnett, 2007


See you tomorrow, with… genuinely, honest, something else. (At least, that’s the plan…)



Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 slowly approaching.

I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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