Thank you again to MadisonWoods for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at

For those who are new, MadisonWoods shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers will compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come and play, won’t you?

Here is my contribution:


The facility far beneath the vacant cinder-block structure had been closed two years, a defunct burger front above. This reticent spicule of urban sprawl on the edge of Harrisonburg forever unsuspecting.  Experiments, cries for mercy, now ghostly whispers wafting up twelve stories of cement throat, echoing into deserted prep zones once deploying manipulated strains of polyunsaturated fat. Something new flitted from the depths; like burnt smolders of paper, seething, came the vectors. Such lovely moths. Beautiful metamorphosis married biochemistry. Paralytic liquid secreted as wings unfurled, dried to dust, dispersed during gyroscopic flight.

Nearby, recess bells marked the beginning.


  1. If only i could write like you, what a write up, engaging and beautifully done
    loved it 🙂

  2. Carrie says:

    ooohh, took a couple of reads but I love this. Could almost be the explanation for Walking Dead 🙂

    Nicely done

  3. Madison Woods says:

    What malice lies beneath that defunct burger joint! Sounds like a great opening to a whole novel.

    • JKBradley says:

      This place does exist, tucked away within one of my wire-bound note pads. Only, I’ve sketched butterflies over moths, but it’s all there, every drop.

  4. So fabulously descriptive – “ghostly whispers wafting up twelve stories of cement throat…”

    I like your mutant moths. They’re going to wreak havoc.

  5. TheOthers1 says:

    I loved some of the words you used. I’m a fan.

    I’ve had mine done since yesterday. Figured I just post it tomorrow. I’ll pop back by with that later.

  6. flyoverhere says:

    Creepy and appropriate!

  7. Brandon Scott says:

    Sounds like Harrisonburg is in for some terrible times ahead. Nicely done!

    My attempt:

    • JKBradley says:

      Harrisonburg is in for something big, indeed. I liked how you made the moths aware and manipulative, made me think of the witch in Hansel and Gretel, fattening them up.

  8. Amanda Gray says:

    You have shown brilliance once again! I didn’t have to imagine it your words took me there. I tip my hat to you sir. Mine is simple and here

  9. Sandra says:

    Incredible! To have taken this from the prompt was nothing short of ingenuity. Great read.

  10. Linda says:

    What a brilliant sentence “reticent spicule of urban sprawl” sets the scene for desolation wonderfully. Thank you I really enjoyed it.

    Here’s my simple tale:

  11. I would totally read this if this were the beginning to a novel. I want to read the destruction that these moths would rain down on the school. Great story!

    Here’s mine:

  12. dmmacilroy says:

    Oh, that last sentence was perfect….

    As was all that preceded it.

    I’ve read a few so far, all aliens and talking moths (mine included) and none have eclipsed your dark spawn. You dug deep until you reached a reservoir of evil from which you released a terrifying menace upon a world of innocents. Very, very well done.



  13. tollykit says:

    Descriptive, dark and very creepy.

    For any of your readers interest in mine here’s the link

  14. joannalazuliportals says:

    Very menacing! Favourite words/phrases (for your ‘seasoning recipe’):
    > ghostly whispers wafting
    > flitted from the depths, like burning smoulders of paper (Sorry, I’m British, I have to put a ‘u’ in!)
    > wings unfurled, dried to dust.

    Thanks for your comment on ours:

  15. I read it twice beofre I could get the meaning. Strong and yet beautiful play of words and imaginative descriptions. MIne is here:

  16. erinleary says:

    Very eerie and ominous. I don’t think the school is in for a good day.

    Thanks for coming by mine!

  17. Scott Hays says:

    Everything seems vacant, cold and defunct until a new life form, born of cries for mercy & ghostly whispers, takes wing. The alliteration is essential and reinforces the churning but mechanically efficient sentence structure. Unsuspecting Harrisonburg’s children … and who knows whom or what next … are in for a horrible surprise. Thanks for reading mine ( … if you only knew the source of the horsemeat, it would be more than “fishy” (and as I commented at my site: “There was something fishy about the butler. I think we was a Pisces, probably working for scale”.)

  18. Kwadwo says:

    Lots of descriptive words and fine imagery.

    Here’s mine:

  19. I admit, I’ve been looking at that picture since Wednesday wondering how you’d get to the horror and blammo, you nailed it from ghosts of past horrors to the unspeakable that’s coming.

    Nailed. It.


  20. siobhanmuir says:

    Such menace and hidden threat so close to a school. Sounds like a great opening for a horror story. Fun tale. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting on mine.


  21. teschoenborn says:

    The end is near, biological disaster by bio-engineered moths. Very nicely done!

    Here’s mine:

  22. Lovely shivers of delight. Please finish it. The language is beautifully done. The final sentence sitting all alone sets the final hook. I bow to your prowess, oh mighty wordsmith. Here’s mine:

  23. Atiya says:

    whats scary is that a school is near a fast food burger joint. Ha ha, nicely done, i like this and would totally buy this in paper form if it were expanded. It’s the start of a great thriller. Here’s mine:

  24. I am not sure i got a gist of all these esoteric words…

  25. EmmaMc says:

    Dark, descriptive and perfect set up for a novel. I would love to read more, but I’m worried it would scare me too much. Excellent take on the prompt!

    • JKBradley says:

      Emma, thank you. I do plan on bringing the full story to life in the future. I hope you do give it a try, even if it would scare you, which is my goal anyway.

  26. dbfurches says:

    Yikes! That’s a dark take on an innocent-looking prompt. The Reticent Spicules would be a good name for a punk band. Thanks for your comments on my post.

  27. sphrbn says:

    I think I’ll need a dictionary to read this, interesting vocabulary but great descriptions, you always managed to write something haunting.

  28. Yours may be the scariest of the lot, quite chilling in its foreboding menace. The elaborate verbiage makes it feel as though one is peering through a dense jungle at a frightening scene, very effective.

  29. Nasty little bit of science gone rogue. The malice and foreboding are conveyed as almost physical entities. nicely done.

  30. rochellewisoff says:

    “By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes.” Deliciously chilling. Let me know when the novle comes out.

    • JKBradley says:

      I love that quote. Who could ever conceive to write like Shakespeare? I also love that Bradbury used that very quote for inspiration on one of his greatest works.

      Perhaps I will expand on this after I complete my current project.

      Thank you so much.

  31. Solely beautiful creatures, they are not! Like the description & worldplay. You set up an eerie atmosphere with lots of tension to keep the reader engaged! Nice read! –Also, thanks for your comments on my first Friday Fictioneers post:

  32. Talk about chilling. Beautifully written. The only thing I was thrown by is Moths being Vectors. I suppose they are, I suppose more vectors abound than I would like t think about. Really liked your piece a a lot!

    Sussan De Allura

  33. Lora Mitchell says:

    Brilliant use of descriptive words and images. Not ashamed to admit, I had to reach for the dictionary and thesaurus. Also, wise enough to know that I will never be able to write like this. Get thee to thy private cellar and bring up more of these gems. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on mine.

  34. Amazingly written! I’m so happy you stopped by so that I could find you and read this chilling interpretation. Very evocative imagery and strong words. Gave me chills!

  35. lindarigsbee says:

    Aha! And then what? Nicely written piece.

  36. This was an interesting exercise in language usage. The menace is there, but personally, I would prefer a little more sentence structure and not just gloriously evocative words strung together. Your meaning was there, woven with the prose, but I still like the old subject, object and predicate structure, to get the metre flowing.
    Just saying…
    I am always the critic,

  37. […] which is ‘SPICULE‘ and it comes courtesy of JK Bradley’s Friday Fictionners piece FLASH FICTION FRIDAY, almost. When I read his post last week I found the sentence “reticent spicule of urban sprawl” […]

  38. Stacey says:

    Very complex. I had to look up “spicule” 😀

    Loved “ghostly whispers wafting up twelve stories of cement throat, echoing into deserted prep zones once deploying manipulated strains of polyunsaturated fat” and “Something new flitted from the depths” and “Paralytic liquid secreted as wings unfurled.”

    I would get rid of “far” — it’s unnecessary.
    “Experiments” confused me.
    “Beautiful metamorphosis married biochemistry” feels unbalanced. You could insert a descriptive word in front of “biochemistry” to give it equal footing with “beautiful metamorphosis.” (Just a thought.)

    And I was extremely curious about the recess bells. The only thing my mind could possibly think of was that McDonald’s is the home of teenagers looking to make extra money—but I presume that’s way off base.

    Very well done!

  39. Very eerie and well written. And, I have to thank you for a new word: spicule.


  40. The Lime says:

    Evocative and portentous, no doubt. Excellent job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s