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June Fanfic Challenge
Hugbot
Lurena and LittleSue, I am fascinated by your take on the Travis challenge. The rest of us wrote funny little stories. While the revelation in your story is also funnily bizarre, you yet gave us serious psychological insights. I admire how you managed to balance the ridiculous absurdity of the situation with serious characterisation.
One problem, though: The illustration, while beautifully portraying Travis and the boy (in particular the stance of the boy and the look on his face are very well observed!), is a dead giveaway. I think it would have been better to put it below the story or to provide only a link.
 
littlesue
Hugbot wrote:

Lurena and LittleSue, I am fascinated by your take on the Travis challenge. The rest of us wrote funny little stories. While the revelation in your story is also funnily bizarre, you yet gave us serious psychological insights. I admire how you managed to balance the ridiculous absurdity of the situation with serious characterisation.
One problem, though: The illustration, while beautifully portraying Travis and the boy (in particular the stance of the boy and the look on his face are very well observed!), is a dead giveaway. I think it would have been better to put it below the story or to provide only a link.


You are quite right...but I know people would have scrolled down to see what Lurena had produced this month...so I put it at the beginning!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Mistletoe12
I didn’t have a clue what to write for the Solstice prompt, the proverbial brick wall; I kept thinking back to those days before they fenced off Stonehenge, when we visited as children, eating packed lunches sitting on the ancient stones.

How times have changed!

But June slipped away and I didn’t get around to reading through all the ficlets this month – until last night and today.

@Trevor Travis: The Darkest Day. A genuinely entertaining story to start June’s ficlet challenge. A New Man: Space Commander Pyjamas! Brilliant. Bet he only wears the bottoms and do they creak when he moves? I had as much fun reading this story as you apparently did playing with Travis 1 and Travis 2.

@JustBrad: Travis’ Proposal was short and deliciously twisted. And I loved Avon’s cynical and accurate ending to your Pressure Point story.

@Hugbot: I Didn’t Start the Fire: This definitely appealed to my sense of humour. Ring Out, Solstice Bells. I, too liked reading more about Lauren – in fact, I think you’ve inspired me to write a Lauren story further down the line. Nicely woven story.

@Annie: Avon, bound, leather … sacrifice and Anna! Well, I certainly don’t want the gorgeous Avon sacrificed but the visuals of the story certainly worked.

@Paula: Solstice. While I can’t particularly see Grant and Jenna in a physical relationship; business yes certainly, I completely agree with you in regards to her survival – course she didn’t die! Grilling the Subject: Prissy salads? As long as it contains peppers, any peppers, a salad always tastes good. Did smile broadly at the HP sauce reference. Grin

@Travisina: It really is a beautifully crafted story – Gan deserves more attention and The Longest Day does him justice. Yes, I can absolutely see what Hugbot means about Tanith Lee. It’s the visuals … descriptions … it’s in the sunset paragraph.

@littlesue and Lurena: Lurena, as always it’s a treat to view your images! Fayre Play: Travis showing humanity – I liked it!

A real pleasure to read everyone’s entries and hoping July’s prompt will trigger inspiration in my own writing hand. Happy
 
littlesue
When PC said Solstice my mind turned to stone circles, sun rays etc...all dark and brooding, and then I went on my hols.
After I had returned from my trip on the good ship Azura, I told Lurena of my exploits and that kindled an idea...
So, no dark, brooding stone circles, but a story that seems to have my experineces therein....loads of food and drink, winning on the slots and finding that I had LOST weight by the time I returned to Terra Firma.....
And a marvellous picture by Lurena as well!!!

Solstice


“What about a balcony cabin?”
Avon cast a bored look of distain at Vila sitting opposite.
“What use is a balcony cabin in space?”
“Um…complimentary space suits?”
“Unfortunately, there is a charge for those,” Avon replied, not in the slightest bit surprised. He had been studying the brochure so thoughtfully placed before him by the waiter in this quite auspicious Space Port Bistro called Solstice, operated by the newly founded Solstice Space Food Company. It seemed that not only did this fledging company own these Bistros, but they also had two fine Space Cruisers, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, and it was the brochure for the former that Avon was now scrutinising.
“Is anything complimentary?” Vila asked, now eating the meal so lovingly placed before him by the waiter.
Avon studied the meal and then Vila, before taking a mouthful of the ice cream he had ordered.
“Only the drinks in the casino if you have 300 points.”
“Really?”
Both of them turned and looked longingly at the sleek Space Cruiser now moored invitingly alongside the Space Port.
“And they seem to have a few last minute bookings available,” Avon remarked.
“Oh. Really??”

“Well, it seems you are right, Cally,” Blake murmured as they both left the kitchen of the Bistro, “The Solstice Space Food Company is hiding a secret.”
“Maybe it is because your food is alien to me and I can detect the additives…”
Blake stopped dead.
“They’ve gone. Avon and Vila…I left them there, just in case Avon’s identity card didn’t pass muster. Where the hell are they?”

Minutes later, they found them.
Both sitting in front of a slot machine, mesmerised by the flashing lights and spinning symbols. At their sides, attentive waitresses eager to supply yet another drink.
“I think you need to look at this,” Blake said.
“Later,” they replied in unison.
i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp337/smallwondersue/now._.Avon-Solstice_zpsnyeqqcja.jpg

“Now!”
Blake dropped the packaging in front of the machine, obscuring their view.
“So,” Vila mumbled.
“This is the face of the Solstice Trading Company.”
“Pretty, isn’t she? Come on Avon, where’s this jackpot?”
“Just another spin….”
“In fact, that’s not all,” Blake continued, somewhat concerned by the glassy stare each man had, “It seems there is an added ingredient to the food; the drinks….”
“How much have you had?” Cally enquired, lifting one of the almost full glasses and smelling the contents.
“Not much...have we Avon?”
“Hardly any...just a sip...”
“From each glass, I take it?” Blake asked, “According to Orac, anyone who uses this company, or even travels with it, appears not to just lose money…but weight as well. They never finish any meals or drinks, but keep being fed anyway. It’s the drug that does it.”
Suddenly, Avon was taking notice. “Drug?”
“And she controls the company and ultimately, you…”
Both Avon and Vila stared at the packaging and realised that the lady thereon was Supreme Commander Servalan.
“How much have you won?” Blake asked, mildly amused.
“We haven’t,” Vila admitted,” We’re down, by quite a bit…although we have charged everything to the cabin…err Penthouse Suite.”
“In five minutes?!” Cally said incredulously.
“Ten minutes and 30 seconds, to be precise,” Avon replied.
“We’ve got to leave….now Avon,” Blake demanded.
“If you insist?"
“Oh I do, believe me.”
“But just more spin,” Vila urged, “Let’s go for broke…the Jackpot!”
“Now!” Blake roared.

Durkin studied the message.
He was in Servalan’s office on Space Command Headquarters, which made the message even more incredulous.
“Ma’am.”
“What is it, Durkin?”
“It appears that you have won the greatest Jackpot prize ever in the casino on the Summer Solstice…They want to know if you would like to let it ride…..or cash it out?”
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Lurena
When Littlesue told me about her holiday experience and that she lost weight on that trip, something triggered, I asked her to save the dark concept for another time and I provided her with the idea and information I'd found by googling "Solstice" to not have to copy the astronomical stories:
Solstice cruise ship
Solstice restaurant
Solstice brand cat food
Solstice brand food (if you google that you'll find marihuana (=related to the ancient Hindu ritual drink soma which contains efedrin, which is a fat burner !) how apt!
I'm always impressed by the huge amount of ancient Asian subjects used in Blake's 7!

-I have been too busy again and again I need to catch up reading stories and comments...-
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
 
http://lectorisalutem.webs.com/
Travisina
Hurrah, a light hearted solstice story! Thank you littlesue and Lurena for bringing back the sunshine Smile
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
littlesue
Travisina wrote:

Hurrah, a light hearted solstice story! Thank you littlesue and Lurena for bringing back the sunshine Smile


Strangely enough, it was that sort of machine that I was sitting in front of watching the reels spin, lights flash, music play.....All one had to do was just charge money to the cabin 'key' and off you went!
When it got to £70 I just stopped, pressed the cash out button and walked to the casino cage and got the dough!!!
Then started again with another £10 on the cabin card...
...and I still don't understand how I LOST weight. I mean, all that food....and J2Os....
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
meegat39
littlesue wrote:

Travisina wrote:

Hurrah, a light hearted solstice story! Thank you littlesue and Lurena for bringing back the sunshine Smile


Strangely enough, it was that sort of machine that I was sitting in front of watching the reels spin, lights flash, music play.....All one had to do was just charge money to the cabin 'key' and off you went!
When it got to £70 I just stopped, pressed the cash out button and walked to the casino cage and got the dough!!!
Then started again with another £10 on the cabin card...
...and I still don't understand how I LOST weight. I mean, all that food....and J2Os....


Were you exercising Sue??
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
Ellen York
Lovely story littlesue and Lurena. Avon and Vila are so cute when they are being sneaky together. Smile

I'm impressed that you lost weight littlesue. When I have gone on cruises my goal was to not outgrow my trousers Wink
 
Hugbot
LittleSue and Lurena, thank you for your lovely story. It's good to read something more lighthearted for a change (now that the sun is shining), with all the surprising little twists and turns ... plus another illustration that skilfully captures the characters. The look on Vila's face is priceless!
 
littlesue
@Meegat
I played Adult Interactive Bowling in the mornings.....the first time, people came looking for a 10 pin bowling alley, others a crown green bowling green...and they were a might upset to find it was on the TV screen via a Wii.
So it was that for about an hour...(well actually, I just played one, knocking down 10 pins then progressing upto 100) and I won twice. I got a gold sticker and stickers mean prizes!!! (It was a leatherette covered note book that came my way at the end of the cruise!)
Then there was all that pressing of a button to make the slot machine go, that took a lot of effort. And then marking off the bingo numbers. Phew.
But exercise? No.
Maybe it was because I wasn't snacking and also Hubby and I found it quicker to go up and down the stairs rather than wait for the lifts.Grin
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
littlesue
Hugbot wrote:

LittleSue and Lurena, thank you for your lovely story. It's good to read something more lighthearted for a change (now that the sun is shining), with all the surprising little twists and turns ... plus another illustration that skilfully captures the characters. The look on Vila's face is priceless!


Thank you for your kind words.
I never know what to expect in my inbox from Lurena. And I also love Vilas expression, but Blake's face is a picture too. I can just imagine Mr Thomas doing that look!!!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Lorna
I love the drawing and the story. Well done Sue and Lurena
 
meegat39
littlesue wrote:

@Meegat
I played Adult Interactive Bowling in the mornings.....the first time, people came looking for a 10 pin bowling alley, others a crown green bowling green...and they were a might upset to find it was on the TV screen via a Wii.
So it was that for about an hour...(well actually, I just played one, knocking down 10 pins then progressing upto 100) and I won twice. I got a gold sticker and stickers mean prizes!!! (It was a leatherette covered note book that came my way at the end of the cruise!)
Then there was all that pressing of a button to make the slot machine go, that took a lot of effort. And then marking off the bingo numbers. Phew.
But exercise? No.
Maybe it was because I wasn't snacking and also Hubby and I found it quicker to go up and down the stairs rather than wait for the lifts.Grin


Congrats Sue! On the weight loss and winning the bowling Grin
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
Lurena
Thank you Hugbot, Travisina, Mistletoe, Meegat, Ellen York and Lorna for your kind comments.

About that latest drawing:
It's always a kind of struggle to capture the characters and to get the facial expressions right. It needs a lot of exercise, sketching and erasing.

I had this scene with the slotmachine almost finished, and it was pretty perfect, when I knocked over my cup of tea and spoiled that drawing!
Perhaps it could have been still usable, but sadly I am a too perfectionist and forced myself to make a new drawing.
Not at all an unpleasant thing to do, as the characters had fun (well, Blake had not) and they always seem to "communicate" with me; disapprove when put a wrong designed mouth on them, or sitting uncomfortably and so on. This time I heard Avon's buoyant "well now" when I gave him that subtle smile and Vila's characteristic "yesssss" when I put his eyes on the paper. But most fun I had drawing Blake, who had just thundered "NOW" and was losing his patience.
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
 
http://lectorisalutem.webs.com/
purplecleric
Have finally crawled out from under a mountain of RL stuff and the first place I headed was to this thread. What a wonderful time I've had catching up on your stories.

Travis proved to be surprisingly entertaining between proposing to Servalan, visiting the Fayre, grilling his steaks and getting carried away with lighting candles.

Gaps in canon have been fleshed out credibly as I was shown glimpses into the back stories of Gan and Lauren, I've adventured with Jenna as she begins a new phase of her life, I've joined the Inquisitor in passing judgement on Travis, gone on a caper with Vila and Avon, mused on a metaphor for the Cause and I'm still fearing for Avon's life as he faces the knife.

Whew!

I'm sorry that I've not had time to comment on each piece individually this month but thank you so much for again rising to the challenges in such style!
 
purplecleric
And here's my take on Solstice:

Cause for Celebration

Anlou trudged along the crumbling path taking care to avoid twisting an ankle in one of the large cracks that had developed. It had been a long time since there had been money to spare for basic maintenance. The light was fading fast taking what little warmth there was with it and she shivered as she drew the thin cape tighter around her shoulders.

Tonight was the Solstice; the longest night, the coldest night. Even colder these days since the weather control satellite had failed. The house would be cold as well. Supply ships had been sporadic and there had been no fuel cells available for the heating for months. Vegetation was sparse on this harsh planet - what little they had was too precious to burn. After all, they needed to eat.

Anlou’s shoulders sagged. Tonight was traditionally a time of feasting and celebration but the meagre contents of her bag were hardly a banquet and there was nothing to celebrate. Their only child had died a half-year ago because they’d run out of the medication he needed and her husband Nyle was out of work. The mines had been flooded and the equipment damaged in the huge storms that had torn through the valley during the third quarter. The planet’s economy relied upon the valuable minerals they mined and now they had nothing to trade. Their once thriving community was now trapped in poverty and it was becoming doubtful that any of them would live to see summer again.

She paused in the antechamber trying to summon the will to put a smile on her face. Nyle was depressed enough without her adding to his misery. As she raised her hand to lift the latch, the door flew open.

“Anlou! Have you heard the news? “

Anlou’s forced smile became a circle of surprise. Nyle’s gaunt features were softened by a huge grin and his sunken eyes were alight with excitement. He grabbed her bag and her free hand and drew her into their cramped living quarters. He continued his lively stream of chatter as he settled her on the bench, still holding her hand.

“I couldn’t believe it when Loeb came banging on the door. I thought he was raving. It wasn’t until I saw the bulletin playing at the Meeting House and the Councilman confirmed it that I finally believed him.”

Nyle took a breath and Anlou seized the opportunity to ask;

“What news?”

“It’s over! Blake’s dead. Shot by one of his own in some lawless hellhole. Think of it, Anlou! With no Blake to unite them, the terrorists will go back to fighting amongst themselves. No more raids on supply ships, no more disrupted communications. With no distractions the Federation can focus on expansion. They’ll need our minerals and will get the mines working again. Just imagine!”

Anlou did and felt the tentative flutter of hope rising. They had something to celebrate, after all.
 
Lorna
All I can say Purplecleric is Wow!
 
Travisina
That's what I call a PGP! I don't know whether to celebrate or weep.
Kudos, PC - it's terrific.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
meegat39
How intelligent to present the other side of the coin, as such. A lovely piece written with heart and imagination.
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
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