We stood open-mouthed, tears in the corners of our eyes, some openly weeping in disbelief. Just ten minutes before we had been watching one of the most amazing sights to be witnessed by man in the twentieth century. For no human could have witnessed this spectacle before the later half of the century. We had managed to find a little known viewpoint from which we could watch the launch of the space shuttle for departure to the International Space Station, a marvel of scientific engineering. All had seemed fine as we watched in what appeared to be slow motion as the giant rocket slowly lifted but seemed to rapidly accelerate and the rocket stretched to the heavens but our elation and cheers had turned to stunned amazement as we saw a trickle of flame creep up the side of the craft causing it to perform a flaming somersault, startlingly bright against the pale blue, at the beginning, cloudless sky. An explosion ensued resulting in a highly visible shower of crimson heated metal fanning out into a parasol of vapour trails like upstretched arms bowing in protection of a defenseless scalp. Within a few minutes even these had dispersed leaving a few innocent, tell-tale wisps in the sky.
Death lurks in shadow
till the light of life flickers
and is extinguished
“It will soon be time,” I whisper, licking my lips expectantly. “Three fools have come in to shelter for the night, have they not heard the tales told of Coulan’s cave? Shall I torment them or will I play a game first. Keep their heads turning this way and that. With a tickle and a tap. Make them shake and shiver. Pick out the brave one for added sport. Hmm, let me see”.
The light is fading
soon the shadows start to fall.
Her dark eye shadow
applied with the lghtest touch
enhanced her beauty.
Beauty that ensnared many
and would lead them to their doom
Everyone was waiting for this once in a generation experience, the rebirth of the Phoenix, 89 characters
The themes for Issue 8 could stir emotions or raise eyebrows so I suggest might be worth a peek for untold rewards.
We’ve got a silver-themed contest with a looming deadline; six new themes for Issue 8: The Gold Issue; and an increase in our cash prizes.
There’s still one last chance to be part of The A3 Review‘s Issue 7, The Silver Issue. This month’s theme is SILVER THINGS, so make sure to get your sparkly work in by Saturday the 26th August. Click here for glittery inspiration and to submit. The issue will also include a story by guest flash-fiction writer Kathy Fish alongside the winners of the last 5 months of contests, and this month’s winners, too.
In other news… The A3 Review‘s founding editor, Shaun Levin, is launching a new online writing course, How to Map Your Book. The course is suitable for writers at all stages of a book project, so if you’re putting together a collection of short stories, you might want to…
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Shells burst all around,
as we approach the French coast
we come as saviours
the words, shall
plead that they be heard
they will be uplifted from the paper,
for them to remain in silence would only serve as an empty gesture
One last hope remains,
a stay of execution
As had now become customary for the young Uddala, he was seated cross-legged on the dry ground in his favourite spot, to observe the daily miracle of Sunrise. Forty feet below, carved on the steep, sandstone bluff, the face of the “Buddha,” stared serenely over the plain to the East, his delicately carved hands clasped and intertwined in supplication far below.
“Older than time itself,” the villagers had told Uddala to cover their lack of knowledge of the mysterious sculptors responsible for the striking images, with some believing and others sceptical that they could be a natural phenomenon carved over millennia by the action of the winds and ancient rains.
All Uddala knew was that seated here on his lofty perch he was able to contemplate, meditate and continue in his search for Nirvana. He closed his eyes and with his mouth forming an, “O,” started his chant of, “Om”. A continuous monotone that would sometimes last for only two minutes but often more than one hour before, breaking from his trance-like state Uddala would excuse himself to the Buddha and the elements and depart.