Farscape, The Lord of the Rings, Fringe, Babylon 5, Inglourious Basterds, A Song of Ice and Fire, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Rome, Miranda, Jane Eyre, The Walking Dead, Community, Parks and Recreation, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica.
Rome, 109 words
There were millions of them lining the streets, hanging out of windows, perched on rooftops. Probably as many Romans were watching him now as there were barbarians now dead in Gaul. That seemed only fitting.
Flower petals rained down from the sky, as though the gods themselves were witness to his great triumph. His men marched behind him, calling out insults. “We waited till the sun was high in the sky, then let the light strike Caesar's bald head! What need for battering rams when your enemies are blind?”
The slave standing behind him in the chariot whispered, “Remember, you are only a mortal.” Gaius ignored him.
Babylon 5, 101 words
From a spaceship high in orbit, a mass driver doesn't look like much. A rock that he could hold in his hand, no bigger. He used to take such stones to weigh down the edges of a blanket when he was a child, and his mother took him on picnics. There was cold raven pie and lemonade so tart it brought tears to his eyes. “Hand me that plate, Londo,” his mother would say, sunlight trapped in her smile. “You're such a good boy.”
Now he rained down fire and death, and there would be no picnics this year.
Inglourious Basterds, R for language and violence, 109 words
“Bottom o' the ninth, two out, bases loaded. Full count! Oh it's a fuckin' close one, no mistake! Donny's at the plate, Donny's taking his swing, here comes the pitch...”
The bat hit the Nazi's head so hard that it shattered, and the Basterds screamed, the Basterds howled, shards of wood flying everywhere, same as brains and blood. Aldo screamed and howled and laughed with the rest of them, and the lone survivor pissed himself, and damn if that wasn't the best part. “It's out o' the park, home fuckin' run, how you like that you Kraut son of a bitch?”
Aldo caught Donny's eye and winked.
Fringe, 110 words
The walls are glowing violet. A pulse, and the walls are suddenly fushia, big sheets of bubblegum, he could jump into them and the walls would close around him, a big wet fleshy kiss.
What's inside pink world? It tastes like an oboe solo, it smells like bells ringing, it sounds like cherry pie.
Blue on the floor, a puddle, it takes the shape of a dog, big and scary. Hugs are in order, of course. Crispy hugs, salty like bacon. Deep red bacon, that flask looks like bacon. Those petri dishes look like floppy green beans, that cow looks like a frothy orange strawberry milkshake.
Walter loves being high.
Fringe, 107 words
A woman looked back at her from the mirror, though Olivia didn't recognize her. It seemed there was a smirk lingering at the corners of her mouth, a hard glint in her eyes. Maybe you're still over there. Maybe you're strapped to a table, wires in your brain, and all the while he laughs. Her hair was blonde again, and she swept it back from her forehead to hide the bangs. But it was wrong, all wrong, like a punch in the stomach when you were expecting a kick in the teeth.
“Get out,” she told the woman in the mirror, but the woman only smiled.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 109 words
Sarah Connor knew two Reeses. The first had been brave, noble, kind. She had met him and loved him and lost him before she'd even known what was happening, but she never forgot him. Even now, seventeen years later, his son poking at cold pancakes in front of her, Sarah could remember the exact way Kyle smiled at her; she could hear his voice; sometimes, she thought she still felt his touch.
The second Reese entered. Cold, reserved, wary. “Where are you going?” she asked as he loaded a gun. “Out.” Derek didn't even look at her. Almost a year, and Sarah didn't know him at all.
The Lord of the Rings, 109 words
The air was growing colder, and snowflakes drifted down from the sky. They were three days from Caradhras.
Pippin was looking toward the mountain with wary eyes. His was an expression becoming all too familiar, and Gandalf didn't like it one bit. He always had a few things up his sleeve, and he pulled one out now. While the others listened to Aragorn's story, the wizard slipped a small cracker to the hobbit. Wide shining eyes, a sudden smile.
Merry made the diversion, and Pippin tossed the cracker into the fire. A flurry of fireflies poured out, green and yellow. Gandalf laughed. Not all magic was made of spells.
Miranda, 102 words
“That shirt really brings out your eyes,” Gary says to me. Think, Miranda, think! Say something light and funny, a quick bon mot the women always say in the movies, the little bits they clip out for trailers to show the rest of us how fancy you are if you live inside a film. Compliment Gary right back, so his face goes serious and then everything fades away and before you know it he's leaning in for a kiss. Hurry, Miranda, before the moment's lost!
“Yes, I have eyes,” I say. Gary grins and goes back to his cake. Blast!
Farscape, 106 words
“You aren't opening your mouth wide enough, you great beast,” Rygel sneered at D'Argo, holding up one of those damned crackers. “It won't be my fault if it bounces off one of your fangs and costs us a point.” Rygel threw the cracker, and it ended up ricocheting off D'Argo's forehead.
“Crichton!” Chiana squealed. “We're in the lead!” With a flick of her wrist she tossed a cracker - John snatched it out of the air with a grin and a click of his teeth. “And now we're up by two,” he crowed.
“You all look like idiots,” Aeryn sighed.
A Song of Ice and Fire, spoilers through A Storm of Swords, 108 words
Arya prayed every night, making sure she didn't forget their names. The Tickler, the Hound, Ser Ilyn, Queen Cersei, King Joffrey. Their names were embers trapped in her heart, keeping it hot when it should have been long dead and cold. Their names were a rhythm, better than any mummer's song. When she didn't pray, sometimes she chanted the names in time with her steps, as she ran from one place in Harrenhal to the next. She saw them as she named them; the Hound's burned face, the Queen's golden hair, the King's cruel sneer.
One day Arya realized she no longer remembered what her father looked like.
Emotion One: Lust
Babylon 5, PG-13 for adult themes, 107 words
The notes on the last Council meeting lay forgotten between them. “And of course that word means horrible odor in Minbari,” Delenn laughed, though honestly John had no idea what she was talking about. He wanted to push her down into the couch cushions and ravage her. He wanted to pull off those constricting robes and taste her. He wanted to know what she felt like around him.
“What are you smiling about?” she asked, and John became aware of the long silence preceding her question.
“Just glad to spend time with you,” he answered, brushing his fingers against the back of her hand.
Emotion Two: Fear
Jane Eyre, 110 words
She'd sent Adele to bed long ago, yet remained herself. Tomorrow, Jane would wonder why the book had engrossed her; it was only a silly story about a foolish Englishman and a monster, poorly written, scarcely believable.
The hall just outside the library creaked. A footstep?
Jane felt her arms break out in goosebumps. She shifted in the window seat, letting the curtain hide her. The door whined open, the hinges loud in the quiet. She could not draw a breath.
“Jane?” It was Mr. Rochester's voice, his comforting growl, yet she did not move. Hadn't Ruthven seemed a gentleman? Jane stayed put, and listened to her master depart.
Emotion Three: Triumph
The Walking Dead, 109 words
The line vibrated. Rick watched Carl closely, the boy's eyes focused and unblinking, even as a drop of sweat rolled down his nose. A few seconds passed, and the line jerked. Carl stood, looking at him with wild eyes.
“Just relax. Pull in a few inches. Nice and slow.” He let the kid reel in, even though he wanted to grab the line and pull the fish in himself. From the corner of his eye, he saw the girls in the boat stop to watch.
The fish ended up looking more like a minnow than a proper fish, but Rick knew nothing tasted sweeter than your own catch.
Emotion Four: Joy
Community, 103 words
Everything was ready. The turkey was perfect. The Home Ec teacher didn't let Troy and Abed into her kitchen, so they snuck in with Chang's help – through the vents. Shirley was bringing yams and mashed potatoes, Annie had baked her mom's sweet rolls, Britta promised to buy one of every kind of pie. Jeff bought sides from a catering company – he'd “dated” the owner a few months ago. And Pierce, of course, brought the wine.
“Happy Thanksgiving!” “Happy Thanksgiving!” “Happy completely regular day!”
“Happy season premiere of Cougar Town!” Abed's smile was the biggest of all.
Emotion Five: Total Abject Terror
Parks and Recreation, 110 words
Ron Swanson ran. The go-bag bounced on his back. A sharp corner dug into his shoulder – probably the Byron. Did he have time to try and cover his tracks? No. She was here, she was coming for him. In the distance, tinny but clear as day, he heard the Jaws theme song.
A blue car! Tammy One drove a blue car! No, it was just a mailbox. Ron continued. There was a stitch in his side, sweat poured off his head, and he thought his arm might be going numb. Another man might have slowed, but not Ron Swanson. A heart attack was preferable to seeing his ex-wife again.
Author's Choice One: The Persephone Job
Firefly, 110 words
Jayne had three things to do. Normally he just had one thing to do, or two, if one of them things was “shoot them guys in the head.” But today on Persephone there were only three. He had to make a ruckus at the saloon, big enough to draw the law. Then he had to not get shot himself. Then he had to steal the keys from the sheriff, 'cause Mal was definitely gonna be in the pokey by then.
And he wouldn't've got shot neither if River hadn't opened her damned crazy mouth. “Hades! He's come to seize us all!” Gorram it, the sheriff's name was Bill.
Author's Choice Two: The Algae Tank Job
Battlestar Galactica, PG-13 for brief language, 108 words
Tyrol had been neck-deep in shit during his service on Galactica plenty of times, some of that shit literal, but this was a new one. “Gods damn it, Figurski, I said a box-end wrench! And get that frakking hose off the ground, Seelix!” Calls of yes, Chief, yes, Chief, and he put his head against the cool steel of the tank and waited till the spots went away.
“Scoot over, Chief.” Cally had somehow slithered inside. Tyrol scooted gladly; once again, a job for someone small.
Off to the shop room to get a drink. Pretty soon they'd be making the moonshine out of algae, too.
Author's Choice Three: The Prowler Job
Farscape, 109 words
They only needed Aeryn's Prowler for an arn. His module just didn't go fast enough. Problem was, Aeryn didn't let anyone pilot her Prowler. Anyone. Which meant, of course, that the only reasonable solution was to drug her.
“This smells funny,” she said, nose wrinkled. “It just fermented too long,” Zhaan explained, her face clear as the night sky. Suspicion lingered, but Aeryn drank. A few microts later, she was slumped over the table, and they carted her limp body back to her room.
“The sale ends soon!” D'Argo cried. “We'll never make it!”
“Yes, we will.” They'd decided crackers did matter, after all.
Author's Choice Four: The Circle Park Job
Parks and Recreation, 108 words
“It's just filthy! Trash everywhere, the tire swings are filled with leaves, and I saw,” and here the woman on the phone whispered, “a used condom.”
“That's unacceptable,” Leslie told her, and those weren't empty words. She believed them completely. The call ended, Leslie looked around. Tom was watching YouTube, Donna and Jerry were playing cards, April was taking a nap. She knocked on Ron's door. “I need to run over to Circle Park.”
“No, we're too busy.” He was trimming his mustache.
“Fine. I'm taking a long lunch.”
Leslie grabbed some trash bags and gloves before she left.
Author's Choice Five: The Seduction Job
Babylon 5, 108 words
So maybe he'd ordered her favorite food, and maybe he'd shaved extra-close, and maybe, just maybe, he'd lowered the temp in his quarters a few degrees so she'd sit nice and close to him on the couch. But that was all just setting the stage. The real work started...now.
“I just don't see how this is going to work.”
“John, really, I've explained this twice.” Delenn leaned even closer to run her finger over the sheet of paper in his lap.
“Just one more time.”
A few minutes later, John carefully lowered his arm to her shoulders. She kept explaining, though he saw her blush.