Category Archives: 50/50 stories

Falling Flames: a 50/50 story (Part 3)

Before we begin, may I apologise for not publishing a post yesterday – if I’m honest, I was just too lazy! Anyway, what a predicament Jasmine is in! Her mother seems to be dead and her two choices are going to the temple or continuing on. But which will she choose? Ready? Here we go!

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Jasmine was exhausted, and carrying her mother on her back did not help. But she could not go up to the temple; it was too far. The climb looked horrendous and overhanging thorns and weeds determined her decision even more. She would continue on.

*

The sun was scorching both earth and flesh. At least, that’s what it felt like. The sun was at its highest in the sky, and still Jasmine had found no sign of people; no house or cottage was in sight. Her lips had cracked and split over an hour ago, but all she could do was wipe off the blood; there was no water to wash her mouth with. And then she saw it.

A thatched roof rising above the hill.

She thought it was a vision. A mirage, even. But it was there, almost eager to welcome weary travellers.

Or dying travellers.

Jasmine suddenly had a burst of strength and speed, and she limped quickly towards the thatched roof, her mother bouncing limply on her back. She reached it in a matter of minutes, and she nearly cried when she saw what the thatched roof was.

It was a small cottage, complete with a vegetable patch and wary cat. Bits of broken carrot and lettuce scattered the cramped yard, and trees shaded the entire area.

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‘Help!’ she sputtered, cracking her lip again from the effort of even moving her lips. ‘Somebody help us! My mother is…’ Jasmine glanced backwards, looking at her mother. Deathly still. ‘My…my mother is unwell!’ She hung her head.Scratches could be heard from inside, followed by a creaking of the front door. It swung open.

An old man appeared in the doorway. He was average height, but with a very short, scraggly white beard. Several teeth were missing from his welcoming smile, and a silver dagger was held in a brown belt at his hip.

Jasmine’s body realised what it had accomplished and she collapsed onto the fine-dusted ground. She could feel the weight of her mother on top of her, as useless as a corpse. Jasmine swallowed, wincing from the pain it caused. Maybe she was a corpse.

Gradually, everything faded to black.

*

The next thing Jasmine knew, she was lying in an ancient wooden bed wrapped in several blankets. She checked her lip. It was painful, but no blood caught on her fingers and they seemed moist.

She looked up.

The old man was sitting in a chair next to her, quietly rocking back and forth. He smiled. ‘Well it’s nice to have you back, child.’

‘What’s happened? Where’s mother?’

‘Stay calm, child, or you’ll tire yourself out.’

‘Where is she?’ Jasmine repeated.

The man’s face suddenly contorted. ‘Stay calm or I’ll leave you for the crows!’ He sat back again. ‘Now to answer your question, your mother is fine…in a way.’

Jasmine’s eyes widened. ‘In a way?’

‘Yes. I noticed she’s been in a fire, and it’s done some damage.’

‘And what exactly is damaged?’

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50/50 question: will Jasmine’s mother be disabled in some way, or will it be more supernatural? Heads it’ll be disabled, tails supernatural!

*Bad voiceover impression* What is wrong with Jasmine’s mother? What exactly were those falling flames in the sky? Join us next time for another episode of Faaaallling Flaaaaammmesss!!!! 🙂

Falling Flames: a 50/50 story (Part 2)

I’m a little bit excited – as I am writing this very sentence I still haven’t flipped the coin which will decide the mother’s fate from part one! I will flip the coin as soon as this paragraph is complete; my insides are wriggling like jelly on a plate. Please enjoy the second installment of this ‘seat-of-my-pants’ story which will be completed in an indefinite number of posts (:P). And the coin is being flipped (heads the mother lives, tails she dies)………..now!

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The fire was roaring upwards and outwards; Miriam’s cries for help were dwindling. Jasmine knelt next to her mother, ignoring the heat – it didn’t seem to affect her. She dragged her mother away from the flames, mouthing a silent prayer.

Please be alive, mother, please…

But her mother was silent. Skin was peeling off her face, revealing raw red flesh underneath. Her clothes had been burned onto her skin; savage black marks covered her body.

‘Mother!’ Jasmine considered peeling the clothes away, but decided against it. Her mother needed a doctor.

Jasmine slid her arms gently beneath Miriam’s back, eventually managing to stand up completely, her mother cradled in her arms. Then she began to walk, avoiding the flames as much as possible. The fire from above seemed to have stopped, and the remaining civilians were chucking huge buckets of water over the erratic orange blazes. Jasmine looked at her mother, realising just how precious she was.

Please…

* * *

Jasmine had been carrying her mother between breaks for about two hours; her home town was no longer in sight. The starry night had begun to disappear, replaced with the first hints of dawn. The sky was a light grey and the air was cool. Jasmine shivered.

Her mother mumbled.

‘Mother?’ Jasmine snapped her head round to her mother, who was placed carefully on the soft grass. ‘Mother, can you hear me?’ She bent down and lightly brushed Miriam’s hair from her face. Most of it was burned away. ‘Please, if you can hear me, say something, say anything.’

Nothing.

Jasmine wept. For several minutes the world around her was nothing but a blurry mess. Then, as if nothing had even happened, she picked her mother up carefully, had one last look round, and ventured farther down the dusty, rocky road.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

And so she walked, along the dusty, rocky road, until the sun was a quarter of the way up in the sky. Every time she coughed into her hand several specks of ashes could be seen on her palm. Her mother was becoming gradually worse too, and several times Jasmine panicked when her mother’s slow breathing changed for the worse. She would run to the closest patch of grass she could find and kneel beside her mother for goodness knew how long, before she returned to her steady, albeit shaky, breathing.

They both needed water and shelter; soon the sun would be at its highest in the sky, and when that happened, Jasmine would be too weak to continue on. She needed to find a house – needed to find someone – before that happened.

And then she saw it – a temple, built high into the mountain on her left-hand side. It looked old, even from far away; it looked like the sun could pierce through its walls.

But it was shelter, a place to aim for. She and her mother had already journeyed too far. The temple’s path was to the left. Her right: onwards…

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So, the 50/50 question: does Jasmine continue on, or head up to the temple? Heads she continues on, tails she goes to the temple. ‘Til next time!

Please forgive the lack of answer to the previous 50/50 question. I know what happens to Jasmine’s mother, but decided the time wasn’t right to tell all of you! 😛 I trust you also liked this installment of the story; if you have any comments or questions, please do write them below and I’ll reply to you ASAP! 😀

Falling Flames: a 50/50 story (Part 1)

Hey everyone; stand in awe at the awesomeness that is today’s post. Sorry that I didn’t post this yesterday, but it was a full day of lectures and seminars, and frankly I was exhausted. However, the post is here now, ready to entertain as many people as it can, and as you can see, it’s the first ever 50/50 story published on this blog.

I used a story-title generator to come up with the title, ‘Falling Flames’, and I have done absolutely no planning for this. No character names, no plot, no ending or beginning sorted out. I’m just going to get stuck into it, the title being the only way to start me off.

At the very end (it’ll be exactly 500 words, not including this bit) there’ll be a choice, a ’50/50′. I’ll flip a coin next post and see where the story goes. I’m hoping it’ll be entertaining, albeit slightly rough around the edges, and it may even inspire some of you, giving you ideas for a plot or character personalities. Maybe I’ll be inspired! 😀 Anyway, here’s part 1 of the series – enjoy.

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‘Run!’

The town was in a blazing panic. Guards were gripping their swords as if it was life itself, and civilians just ran around aimlessly, squealing like pigs about to be slaughtered. The night was alight with an intense orange, burning the stars as a sheet of fire flashed across the sky.

‘Jasmine, what did I tell you? Just run!’

Jasmine just stood there, rooted to the spot. The flames in the night sky just hung there, swirling in a mixture of dazzling colours. She gaped upwards, transfixed.

And then the fire came down.

The screams around her became louder, searing themselves into her brain. Jasmine collapsed onto the grass, snatching her hand away from her mother.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

‘Jasmine, what are you doing?’ her mother yelled, trying to pull her daughter up. ‘If we don’t move now, we’ll die!’

‘Then go on without me, mother.’ Jasmine spoke calmly, almost willingly.

Her mother tried to pull Jasmine up more ferociously, eventually succeeding. She hugged her. ‘You are my daughter and I love you. I will not let anything happen to you.’

‘I know, mother,’ Jasmine said blankly. ‘It’s…’

The fire interrupted her sentence by crashing down mere metres away from them. Jasmine’s mother screamed, grasping her daughter’s hand once again and yanking her away from the destructive flames.

Jasmine was in a trance, in shock from what was happening so quickly around her, as if it were a dream. The civilians’ screams became muted; the colours merged into one dull grey. The town’s fat butcher was careening through other, equally afraid people, knocking them flat onto either grass or stone. Many cracked open their heads, blood oozing from their hair. Jasmine did not care, but her mother was slowing down. She was becoming frail, weak from the flames around them. She collapsed in front of her daughter, who just stood there, utterly motionless.

‘Jasmine, help me! I’m too tired to move!’ Her cries drew no attention from the others around them, and Jasmine also did not hear. Instead she sat on the ground, picking a crushed flower from between the grass. She began to pluck away its petals.

‘Jasmine! The fire’s coming towards us! We’ve got to move!’

‘As you say, mother.’ Jasmine stood up, turned, and walked slowly away from the advancing flames, then turned again to watch her mother scream.

‘Please! I know you’ve been seized by one of them, but remember that I’m your mother – my legs have lost their strength!’

Seized…

Jasmine snapped out of the trance. What was she doing? She held her hands to her head. Her mother….mother! She looked at her mother, who was all but consumed from the searing heat of the fire. In a matter of seconds, she would die.

‘Mum!’ Jasmine tried to call, but her mother could not hear her. ‘Please…Miriam!’ It was the first time Jasmine had called her mother by her first name, but it seemed like she could not even hear her own daughter. 

Jasmine sprinted towards her, sobbing.

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50/50-question time! Just before I write the next post, I will be flipping a coin, which will answer this question: does Jasmine make it to her mother in time? Heads, she does; tails, she doesn’t. I for one can’t wait to see where this will lead! 😀

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to comment in any way about this post or story, then go ahead. It would be nice to hear what others think (please bear in mind that I made this up as I wrote it, and I haven’t edited it apart from typos!). Thank you. 🙂