A 900-post collection

Challenge #00978-B247: The Prying Eye

The unusual phenomenon of people that can’t help laughing when you point a camera at them

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

"You're not only on trial in the courts, but you're also on trial by the media."

Pam was still stunned and shellshocked. "...all I did was defend myself..."

"Yes. I know. Pam. Pamela. Focus. Look at me. We need to work on this right now."

Pam struggled to take her gaze away from the endlessly-replaying past in her head. Made herself look at her lawyer. She looked exactly like the kind of woman Mark would cheat on her with. And then bruise her for being herself and, if she wasn't already pregnant, force himself on her.

Tears fell anew. Mark... he was gone. Dead. She'd...

"Pam. Breathe. You're okay. We need to train you. It's important."

"...train... me?"

"Yes. Because of this," the lawyer pulled a camera out of her bitch bag and pointed it at Pam.

Pam instantly summoned a sunny smile and a giggle despite her emotional turmoil. Had to smile for the cameras. It was a survival instinct. If things didn't look good, Mark would keep hitting her until she passed out. And possibly afterwards.

She was shaking and hyperventilating after the camera went away. Her eyes fixed on the police officer who, despite being another woman, reminded her of Mark. If that officer so much as hiccoughed, Pam would probably scream. And then attempt to duck and cover under the table.

The lawyer was saying, "Pam," over and over again. Pam snatched her focus away from the officer and tried to give it to the lawyer.

"People all over America are going to see you laughing at the cameras. They're going to see a complete lack of remorse. And that means death threats. Snipers. Bombs. Hackers. Everything the public can throw at you, they will."

"...maybe i should die..." Pam squeaked. "...i killed him... I didn't mean to kill him. He's gonna be so mad..."

The lawyer's perfectly-painted face twisted up like she wanted to cry. "No. No. Don't believe that, please." Her hand was warm when she touched Pam's trembling hand. "It's going to be okay. We just need to get you ready for the cameras."

"They took my dress. And I don't have any makeup."

"That's not what I'm talking about, but we have one of your friends - they're babysitting the kids - pick out something comfortable and camera-friendly for you."

All this time. All this time and she hadn't thought of the kids. "Are they all right? I left such a mess..." Did they see the blood? Did they think she was dead?

"Your friend Cammie is keeping them over at her house."

Oh good. The kids practically lived at Cammie's anyway. "I didn't even think about them. I... I don't know what time it is..."

"It's time to focus. This," she flashed the camera briefly, "is your enemy, now. You don't smile at it. Do you understand?"

"...i don't know... he's going to hit me again if i don't look nice..."

"Mark isn't here. Remember? He's gone."

All she could think of was the complete shock in his face when her nail file pierced his ribs again and again. Until the pink foam bubbled out of his lips and he finally fell. By that time, he'd broken a cheekbone and her nose again. And cracked the orbit of her left eye. The doctors said something about mild internal injuries.

At least she wasn't pregnant any more. And the understanding ladies who'd initially looked after her had given her some pads to use. And new underwear. Mark had told her that nowhere had her size. The people who'd helped her had had no trouble.

"What am I going to do without him?" she quavered.

The lawyer sighed. "You're going to carry on. Remember his long business trips?"

Where he went to spend time with his other women, thought Pam. Oh yes.

"Remember how you dealt with that? How you paid the bills and fed the kids and kept the house together while he was away?"

Pam managed a nod.

"It's the same thing. Only he's not going to come back and turn everything upside-down. No more punches, Pam. No more 'two for flinching'. No need to hide supplies for the girls by pretending they're for the boys and letting the receipts fade in the sun. You don't need his authority. You can do this for yourself."

Her heart pounded at the very concept. There was not enough air.

"It's okay. You're going to be okay. I promise. Cammie and I are going to help. I have a team of forensic accountants tracking down all the other women. In court, I can show the jury what kind of man Mark was. But outside? The media is waiting. They have hundreds of cameras. And if you go giggling at them, they're not going to like it."

"...i can pretend they're all men," she quavered. "...mark didn't like it when i smiled at other men..."

"Good. Good." The pin on her chest said her name was Wendy Delain. "Let's try. I have a camera. It's a man, now."

She brought it out again. Pointed it at her.

An entirely different reflex took over. Look away from their eyes. Do that thing with her face that Mark said always made her look ugly.

"Okay," said Ms Delain. She put the camera away. "I can work with abject terror."

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Challenge #00977-B246: Rictus

By the time one reaches adulthood it is almost reflex to give a sunny grin when someone points a camera at you. This can have unintended results.

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

"And worse, this creature had the audacity to bare its teeth at me!"

Adjudicator Shyn'len leaned over hir desk. "Have you had much education on the habits of humans, Cogniscent P'rel?"


"That's a nervous baring of teeth. It's not a threat or a show of amusement. And further to

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Challenge #00976-B245: Subverting the Assumptions.

The politics of light and dark are everywhere in our vocabulary… lightness and white is good and pure, black and darkness is corrupt and evil, the known is a safe and friendly comfort, the unknown is a strange and hostile thing to be feared…

So… subvert this, reveal whiteness and lightness as sometimes false and violent, and darkness as protective and healing, fear that which is known and find the unknown as natural and gentle, and so on.

(Prompt from ChaosWolf1982 on

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Challenge #00975-B244: The Guest


(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Midnight munchies whilst couch-surfing is always a crap-shoot. You never know which one is going to be any extreme from "I only eat what I hunt" to "I'm a twelfth-level vegan and I've been raided fifteen times because of my hydroponic grain garden". And on the scale between Critter Hearts and Quinoa Crumble, I guess a fridge mostly full of blood packs kinda takes the cake.


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Challenge #00974-B243: Entertaining Angels

Three for three!

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Mel thought it was a little weird that his boyfriend was moaning without him, and crept out of their shared bed to take a peek.

Cyrus was kneeling on the floor in their ensuite, but that was not what was disturbing. What was disturbing was the dazzlingly luminous and enormous wings that he was stretching and massaging.

The harness sprawled across the floor looked like

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Challenge #00973-B242: Outed!

And another one!

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Everyone was staring. Callie could barely move, but she still tried to scoot away from the boggling faces. They were afraid.

Fear leads to anger...

Even her best friend, Mekena, was retreating. She was the last of her human classmates to curl her fingers into a fist.

Anger leads to hate...

"...please don't?" Callie quavered. She knew what they saw. A monster from legends so

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Challenge #00972-B241: A Ghost of a Chance

Here we go again! Pick one!

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

I was making tea when she walked into the house as if she owned it. For all I know, she did. I'm... well... more sort of a 'permanent tenant'. Many have tried to get rid of me. It never sticks.

She wore black. I put the teapot down and said, "You're not one of those occultists, are you? You mind your candles,

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Challenge #00971-B240: During the Wee Small Hours on a Long-Haul Scavenger Vessel

“Why exactly do you need chloroform at 2AM?”

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

"Um. It's not for anything terrible. I mean. Not really terrible. Um. Sort of?"

Captain Mellier groaned and sighed. "How can something be 'sort of' not really terrible, Jones?"

Jones was twiddling with her fingers. "Um. You know the Oshit problem on board? Um. Well. We were -uh- experimenting? A little? With ordinary shipboard chemicals?" She managed a nervous rictus. "On the Oshits, I promise! Um. And... Baker? Um.

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Challenge #00970-B239: One Agumentative Walk Following a Bad Spill

“Please put me down it’s just a sprained ankle"

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

"Mikug seeing way human go down. Mikug knowing is pain-of-death."

Reeva sighed. "Mikug forgetting self is Deathworlder. Self is fine. Self has to strap it and limp for a while."

There were drawbacks to working with heavy-grav cogniscents, and this was one of them. "Mikug taking human to mediks. Mediks helping."

The only language they shared was Broken GalStand, which made understanding a little more complicated. "Mediks

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Challenge #00969-B238: The Unstoppable Human

“So what if I broke my arm I’m still doing it.”

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Kri'ki had assumed it was yet another bizarre human ritual. Elis had sent her off to fetch hard, stiff, long lengths of metal. Then ductape. Then she had to assist in binding one of Elis' forelimbs to some suitable struts and build a harness to immobilise the limb.

"Which festival is this for?" asked Kri'ki. Humans celebrated the most peculiar things at the oddest times.

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Challenge #00968-B237: One Bland Morning in an Infectious Diseases Lab

“Please stop petting the test subjects.”

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

"Aw, but they're adorable."

"Only a human would find a cage of Oshits 'adorable'..." Brantid sighed. "I cannot allow you to become attached. They are sacrificial subjects in my study on the prickle-hide plague."

"You're giving them prickle-hide? Ouch. Poor iddle spidies..."

Do not kill and eat the profitable mammal... Brantid restrained herself, barely. Chloë, the human hired because she was immune to both Oshits and the plague, was proving more

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Challenge #00967-B236: STEVEN!

“I may have accidentally sort of adopted five cats.”

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Baby Rose was investigating the nutritional quality of her own fist again. Connie gently encouraged her to chew on the pediatrician-recommended teether that her mom insisted all babies loved.

Rose gnawed on it once, twice, and then looked up as if to say, Why would you betray me like this, mother? and promptly spat it out.

"Yeah," she sighed. "Try telling Gram'ma that. You try telling gram'ma. No,

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Challenge #00966-B235: Consult the Tea

More about the mentioned-once Captain’s Cup

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Working with humans was always a rocky path...

Bal'thox watched in confusion as her human captain installed a small heat plate near the Captain's chair. Humans had been all over this ship. Adding insanity upon insanity.

Certainly, some of them worked. Like the gravity generator that was half technology, half cargo cult.

Others mystified. Like the twin, plush representation of six-sided die that now dangled above the main screen. And

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Challenge #00965-B234: A Nice, Hot, Cuppa

More about the mentioned-once Captain’s Cup

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

Throughout the Galactic Alliance, one common factor became well known. There is no instrument more sensitive than a cup of hot beverage next to the Captain's chair.

Captain Eloise Fortescue put things together first, and had a habit of keeping a nice, hot, cup of tea by her captain's chair. And of course it helped that humans were the only ones who had gravity generators as standard technology.

Which allowed

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Challenge #00964-B233: Where Have All the Dinos Gone?

(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)

[AN: For those of you who can't be bothered following the link, the text reads as follows:

OP: What if aliens visited Earth during the Jurassic Period, found it to be occupied with a bunch of mean, giant lizards and thought "Well, fuck this planet" and never came back?

1stReply: what if when humans went out into the galaxy all the aliens panicked because if the dinosaurs tiny fur snacks

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