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Tau 05-10-2013 11:23 AM

Summer Word Vault Flash Fiction contest
What will the future hold? What inspiration will you summon to conjure onto the page an entrancing tale of the ethereal world? Or maybe something insidious lurks unseen behind the veil of worlds? Fear not, for these arcane words shall aid you in your quest, to forge a tome in just a few precious words.



Members are allowed one entry in the Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest. You are required to use at least one of the words from the Word Vault, (duplicated for your convenience below). Entries should be submitted as posts to this thread. The competition is open to all members of Writer’s Beat, including staff.

Members are requested to refrain from commenting on entries in this posting thread. Please use the Winter Contest Comment thread instead. That thread will remain open throughout the posting period and afterwards, and members are encouraged to let entrants know what they thought of their entries.

Word Limits:

250 words maximum


Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be altered. Any work that is edited after it has been entered will be disqualified. If you feel you need to make a small alteration (a misplaced comma, a spelling error), contact a member of staff. If we feel your request is reasonable, we will make the correction on your behalf.

Close Date:

30th of June 2013, 12 midnight GMT


After the closing date, we (the Staff) will select a winner to be published in the next issue of Writer’s Beat Quarterly, assuming permission is given when we contact the winner.


allurement (n): 1. appeal or charisma.
2. enticement or baiting.
From Old French aleurer, of Latin origin.

augury (n): A divination, omen or prediction derived from animal behaviour.
From Latin augurium

fascination (n): 1. Being fascinated.
2. A charm, spell or enchantment that ensnares or enthrals; spellbound.

legerdemain (n): Skilful deceit or trickery; sleight of hand.
From the French léger de main (light of hand).

presage (n): A warning or feeling about future events, foreboding, omen.

sortilege (n): Form of magic for decision making, or by extension predictions.
From Latin sortilegus (diviner or sorcerer) from sors (sort) and legere (choose).

Agatha Christie 05-13-2013 08:36 AM


Was it an augury or a presage...all the birds taking flight at exactly the same time?

I walked through the eerily quiet wood wondering what would happen next.

My fascination with woodland goes back to childhood when I used to stroll amongst the bluebells and breathe in their wonderful floral aroma. This allurement has stayed with me through the years.

Now here I was again, along the bluebell path. A minute later, I looked up and could hardly believe my eyes. Birds were flitting from tree to tree and singing with gusto. It must have been some kind of legerdemain or illusion; some kind of trickery or magic.

They had never left except in my mind.

Bagit 05-19-2013 07:01 AM


The warrior’s mettle was tested; his bravery under duress and his soul in jeopardy. He fought the surging allurement with gritted teeth and upturned chin. His brow sweated and his veins bulged. He clawed at the darkness surrounding him, desperately searching for a culprit of his fascination. Tears of eroding sanity spilled from his eyes, but he clenched them shut and subdued the flow.

His pure heart faltered, pumping in hatred and jealousy. Evil seeped out and soaked into his bloodstream, forever blackening him to the core.

Christine 05-27-2013 05:26 AM


“I came to this fairground when I was little,” said Lucy. “I attacked Kevin Knight ‒ you know, the owner of the Hall of Mirrors.”

“The man whose wife has gone missing and everyone thinks he’s bumped her off?” asked Paul. “Gosh, Lucy, you must have had a presage and seen into the future.”

“What I did see in my mind was a woman tied to a chair and an older version of Knight putting black tape across her mouth. Oh, God, Paul, this must be what’s happened recently.”


Lucy shrugged. “Let’s try the Hall of Mirrors.”

“It’ll be shut.”

It wasn’t. After Lucy’s initial gasp, logic told her that the man welcoming people was the son of the original owner. She told Paul.

“Observe him. I’ll go and pay.”

Inside Lucy whispered, “He’s worried sick.”

They passed fattened and elongated serious-expressioned versions of themselves.

“Are you picking up any vibes?”

Lucy shook her head.

The final mirror was an ordinary one.

“This has been added recently,” said Paul.

Lucy shuddered and ran out.


“She’s behind the mirror, Paul!”

They hurried back with Knight jnr who led them through a staff entrance to a door.

“The key’s missing.”

“Break it down!” yelled Lucy.

Together they put their shoulders to the wood and the door burst open.


Lucy and Paul could see people apparently looking through a window.

“It’s a two-way mirror,” realised Paul.

“Thank you,” said Knight jnr as he got his mobile. “Thank you!”

Mister URL 05-28-2013 12:05 PM

Magic shop
The door had one of those tinkle things that tells the shopkeeper that someone or some thing has entered. I barely glanced at the wares on display. There was no allurement or fascination in them for me: the marked decks, the ball-in-vase, the finger chopper. All the usual gimmicks were there. Legerdemain and childs-play.

But here was something. An icon of sortilege. A Magic 8-Ball. I mentally asked my question.

“Is this all there is?”

The answer floated out of the darkness.

“My sources say No.”

With this augury, I sought out the Proprietor.

“Shopkeep, I am advised that you have other, more substantive Magic.”

“And where, Sir, do you get this revelation?”

“From your own Magic 8-Ball!”

He shook his head and, reluctantly, said, “All right. I can see you are a Man of Fortitude and Smooth Brain. Go through that oaken door behind the beaded curtain and your wishes will be fulfilled.”

I approached the door, laden with a presage about what I was doing. But I must know. I twisted the extraordinarily heavy knob and pushed the door open. Then stepped boldly forth. The door swung quickly closed behind me. This was a one-way trip into the unknown.

I was in a place of dimness and dumpsters. It was the alley behind the Magic Shop.

gloria 06-18-2013 07:34 AM

White Magic

I saw him as he hurried across the dance floor; fascination flooded through me. And, I being the complete sceptic I am, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the warmth filling me, the presage pertaining to future happiness. As he neared, I smelt the animal in him, temptation oozed from his every pore, allurement, tempting me to legerdemain. With no hope of resistance, I turned to her, the only one I could trust to help me – a diviner, for her magic, her augury, the special sortilege that would steal his heart, make him mine.

mrschina 06-21-2013 05:54 AM

Free Birds
He moved quietly through the beech trees, creeping closer to the circle of caravans in the clearing. Bonfire smoke drifted in the faint breeze and flickering flames lit the scene like disco lights. She was at the centre of the dancers, long black curls flying above pale shoulders, as her red sleeves slipped down her arms. She lifted the tambourine high, tapping and shaking in time with the other women as the men played their fiddles frenetically, each group urging the other faster. He edged closer, partly shielded by a holly bush. He couldn’t take his eyes off her, as the dance became impossibly fast, spinning, red skirt swirling about her bare legs. He was so mesmerised by her allurement he could think of nothing else, his client forgotten. He’d been sent to look for her but now she was found he couldn’t send her back to dreary normality, away from this freedom. He now understood why she had needed to escape. Her face was pure joy, totally alive and as he watched everyone else faded into the background. He drew closer, not caring now if he was seen. He entered the clearing, fascination pulling him forwards. Then he too was caught up in the music, spinning, spinning in her arms until they were spiralling skyward, floating in the smoke as one.

Elyzabeth 06-25-2013 10:40 PM

The Failure

Vasily was walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City, it had been a drizzly day, night was beginning, the streets were almost deserted.
He just learned that he failed all of his tests …all of them... he was a failure, as always.
At least he would always have money to live on; he reached into his big overcoat pocket, and felt the cold smooth metal of his Glock pistol.
Suddenly. He saw a brilliant blue light out of the corner of his eye, he looked around, saw nothing, and resumed his walking, becoming more depressed with every heavy step.
Again a vivid light, red, becoming green then blue, and so beautiful!
He looked all around, and then spotted the store window with the large diamond
He examined it with fascination; he had never seen anything like it before- it was as if all the stars of the universe were right here, in bright colours, it was the most spectacular thing he had ever seen in his life.
He stood there. staring at the diamond for a long time.
Then, slowly, with the fingers of his right hand, he touched his forehead, chest and shoulders, and kissed his hand.
Vasily took the Glock pistol out of his pocket, and slammed it into the store window.
Bright lights flashing, screaming sirens, he stood, holding the diamond with his back to the wall as he pointed the gun out in front of him, he would only have to wait seconds.

littlemel 06-26-2013 01:44 AM

Samuel's fascination with magick started when he was young. It was his parent’s fault, always telling him stories. As Sam grew he became more and more obsessed with the magick his parents taught him about It was a late August night and the moon had a certain allurement to it. Sam sat outside grasping the herbs he had just been given by his father.

"Eat this under the full moon and you will be changed," he had told Sam.

Sam needed a change, perhaps this would help. He took a deep breath and swallowed the herbs whole. The change was terrible agony for him and pain seized his body. When it was over he couldn't look at himself. His fur, claws, teeth, it was all different. Change, he thought, this isn't the change I was expecting. I can't be seen like this. Suddenly Sam thought of his parents. It's my father's fault, he snarled. Kill, I must kill.

"John! What was that!?" Maura cried, her hair standing on end.

Moments later a hideous figure appeared in the door. Maura and John didn’t need to ask, they knew it was their son. Your fault, he thought. It was over quickly. They never stood a chance. John and Maura Wolf, friends to all in the peaceful werewolf village, were shot dead. The gun in the hand of their son in human form.

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