Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Friday, July 31, 2015

Amy's agent flash fiction contest

This week we're celebrating our own Amy-in-Paradise securing representation for her novel. Those of us who've seen her flash fiction contest entries aren't surprised in the least to hear this great news!

Since her book hasn't sold yet [what a slacker agent! No book deal in 7 days! ;) ] the prize will be a book of the winner's choosing.

The usual rules apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:


3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the
prompt must appear in consecutive order. They cannot be backwards.

Thus: amy/infamy is ok but amy/army is not.

4. Post the entry in the comment column of THIS blog post. (Comments are closed until the contest opens)

5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.

5. International entries are allowed, but prizes may vary for international addresses.

6. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)

7. Under no circumstances should you tweet anything about your particular entry to me. Example: "Hope you like my entry about Felix Buttonweezer!" This is grounds for disqualification.

8. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!")

Contest opens: Saturday 8/1, 7:07am (blame the Writers Digest conference schedule for that early hour! I have to be there at 9am!)

Contest closes: Sunday, 8/2,  8am (you get back some of those hours from last week!)

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!


oops, too late. Contest closed at 8am.


Kitty said...

WARDEN: Boon, I know you're wounded and agents have the cabin surrounded.

BOON: They won't hafta wait long, what with Luther's arm a'danglin' like it is and my gamy leg.

You're surrendering?

Surrender? Don'cha know, we're headed for paradise! Anyway, s'not why I called.

Then why did you?

We figure we oughta do one decent thing before we go tits-up. Thought you'd wanna know it was that hack Palmer who helped us escape. Adiós, Warden.

LUTHER: Why'd you toast Palmer? What'd he do?

BOON: He's screwin' my wife. Let's get this over with.

Got enough lead?

Two slugs.

Make'em count.

Marc P said...

Agent of change.

You shouldn’t need one in Paradise.

The ‘Promised Land’ should be immutable after all. Forever milk, honey and all the metaphors of success after years in the wilderness. My age worn and wind leathered skin would be sloughed, she had promised. She was going to make of me a butterfly. Famous.

I toasted her.

Her white skin, office pampered and buttered with compliments from a veritable armada of sycophants. Her penetrating eyes as clear and blue as a Nun’s habit; crueler than betrayal and hard as broken promises.

I butterflied her. Like lamb.


Change of agent.

S.D.King said...

The Cheboygan, U.S. Naval Armada, entered the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965. Carmine and me was on her.

Being resourceful, Carmine ran the “store.”

Cigarettes? No problem. Funny cigarettes? Yup - even at sea. Don’t ask.

He would have gone down in ‘Nam infamy, except for the day we got talkin’ about home. See, I grew up in paradise -Florida.

“What I wouldn’t give for some orange juice for breakfast.”

Now, Carmine knew I had money.

They found him holdin’ a crowbar - at a crate marked “liquid” and “orange.” But it was Agent Orange.

By breakfast Carmine was toast.

KayC said...

I walked in the front door to be greeted by a life-sized picture of Dad. Taken when he was a young, hot shot agent selling enough for us to afford a holiday in paradise every year. Amy had warned me.

Passing Dad in the lounge and Dad in the bedroom, I walked into the kitchen. Mum was eating dry toast. Dad was dressed in his favourite armada-print pyjamas. Amy had warned me.

I walked to the front door and opened it for Amy and the social welfare lady. Amy had warned me – but it didn’t stop the tears. said...

“It looks like an agent of the Spanish Armada.”

“It’s a piece of toast for God’s sake.”

“Another day in Paradise,” Jack said, scratching his crotch.

“That’s so gross.”

“I think that girl last night gave me Chlamydia.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t the girl from the night before, or the night before that?” I scoffed and bit off the Duke of Medina-Sidonia’s head.

“With looks as good as these, who can say no?”

Neither one of us had noticed her there before she hurled a few obscenities and the front door slammed. Jack and I laughed.

“Good riddance, Crabs!”

DeadSpiderEye said...

Small talk...

'Why is your house called. Paradise Mr. Eden?'

'Amy's grandmother was French, there're no Edens in France'.


'It's a joke, never mind: good at football are ya?'.

'Signed with an agent once, it ended though, my cruciate ligament'.

'Can I ask why you're here? Amy and I haven't spoken in years'.

'The wedding, Amy would like you there'.

'Give her away, the dotting father before the armada of family guests, afloat on a tide of connubial revelry?'.


'Thought not, more like a toast to wet the baby's head'.

'So, are you coming?'.


Michael Seese said...

She was born on December 7, so her parents named her Infamy. For years she did her damnedest to live up to that moniker.

Buttered toast will stick to the ceiling, she learned by age 4.

Vinegar and baking soda were powerful reagents, age 7.

On her 18th birthday, her parents watched helpless as an armada of men sailed in and out of her bedroom, each planting his flag in this New World they dubbed "Paradise."

And yet, like the sailors of the Pacific Fleet, the bombs which shattered the calm one Sunday morning took them by complete surprise.

Tim Meneely said...

It was a plum assignment for the Spanish agent: Infiltrate the paradise of the new American continent, summon the Armada when the English colonists were most vulnerable, and return to St. Augustine a hero.

He’d embraced the plan.

But then he’d embraced Amy, the English captain’s daughter.

A professional dilemma. A decision to be made.

He thanked his new bride when she offered strawberry jam for his toast. A New World miracle, strawberries.

But not as miraculous as Amy. His heart sang when she smiled at him, and he realized there was no dilemma.

And no decision at all.

french sojourn said...

Within ten hours, our Armada was toast.

The Alien fleet watched our Flagship Indiana, its flimsy shields flamed, just disintegrate. Tragically; our new-fangled plasma drives waffled between firing and syncing with the Combat-Nav. We couldn’t tear through their defenses; and they easily tattooed our Dreadnoughts with torpedoes.

Our earthly paradise didn’t fare better. In this night of infamy, our defenses were exposed as a house of cards. The agent for our loss was Professor Donglelieb, who wrote the book on Neuro-cannons, but managed to totally bangle our defensive batteries.

We capitulated, but they just swarmed and cocooned us for later.

Linda Strader said...

Rosita pouted. “You’ve joined the Armada Española. How could you?”

Mario knelt before her. “But querida, you encouraged me! And just think, I’ll be stationed in the dreamy Canary Islands!”

Rosita dabbed a lace hanky at the corners of her dark eyes. “I’ll never get to see you.”

“It’s paradise! I’ll send for you. Let’s toast my great fortune.” He poured a flute of champagne.

Rosita smoothed the folds of her magenta dress, accepted the glass, and sipped. At last, she thought, she could be with Francesco.

Mario smiled. At last, he thought, he could be with Isabella.

CynthiaMc said...

"Take my hand," Marsi sang.

"I'm a stranger in paradise," Cal responded, his voice unable to hide his longing for the life they should've had.

Love at first sight - for real - in that college production of Kismet. Wedding on the beach with an armada of bridesmaids...

"You were so dreamy," she said, remembering.

Their last day together she hit him with the toaster. Knocked him out. Stole his stuff.

"Take my hand," Cal sang.

She did.

He cuffed her.

"Special Agent Cal Smith. You're under arrest."

"How did you know it was me?"

"Murder by toaster. Your specialty."

margaretpiton said...

An armada of ants headed toward Amy's honey-covered toast. They thought they had found paradise, until Amy responded to their advance with a bug-killing agent.

Donnaeve said...

We land in paradise.

Amy is cheerful. A good sign.

Our hut? Crude, but serviceable.

Amy points out the sunset.

Couple days in. My skin? Toasted.

She digs for clams.

Ants today. A tiny armada, hell bent on biting my ass.

She looks for more clams.

Confession. In school? I was voted most likely to drown.

She’s pissed at this. Guess who goes fishing.

Oops. I didn’t boil water.

Montezuma’s revenge.

She’s clam digging. Again.

I hate clams.

She’s enjoying herself. Sun-kissed. Glowing.

Me? I’m dying.

Why am I humming Secret Agent Man?


Naked and Afraid, Season Finale. Wrapped.

Gigi Kern said...

“Welcome to Paradise” was the first thing FBI Special Agent Amy Cooper noticed with a shiver.

“Did you feel that too?” Amy’s partner, Special Agent Sam Daniels said.

“Yeah.“ Amy paused, “I saw them.”

“Oh.…” Daniels said.

“When we crossed into the town limits. I saw, ‘Toast, Tea, and Scones’. But it feels like I’m missing something.” Amy said.

Ominous silence settled over the car.

“Finally. Who names a hotel ‘Armada’s Spoils’?” Daniels said annoyed.

“Shit…,” Amy tried to say as a cold hand strangled her and knew they were in big trouble.

“Crap…Amy…” She heard fighting the black void.

Just Al said...

1843 - Off Africa

Hope is an evil thing, fooling us that what’s gone is only for a time lost.

No more. The magenta sky is upon us for the last time.

Sails still. Water flat. The Captain plus six in the sea rest, another score nearly so, their gamy stench overtaking our hold of peppery grains of paradise. No sailor deserves this fate. Thin. Thirsty. Sick. Better to fall by pirate’s musket, armada’s strength . . . or first mate’s scuttle.

Toast this ship and its cursed crew. Forgive me, the last one able. But mostly, damn hope. Damn hope.

Alex Ivey said...

The kids call you Paradise Amy and sing gibberish around your legs. They think sailing with an armada is like a cartoon. But there is no singing in the surgery tents when boys are burnt toast and want your miracles. We both dream poorly. Of tiny eyes floating in your x-ray. The agent of joy we never named. Of blood and laughter and sand. "Take 'em," you say and slap your niece's hands in mine. An hour later the car engine turns over. We listen to the fan belt I never fixed squeal. That is how I remember you leaving.

Scrambled3ggs said...

I settled onto my psychiatrist’s too familiar couch, intent on finding an answer.

“What is so urgent about your writing that couldn’t wait until Monday?”

“I need stronger Amytripline.”



“Like that today, huh? Let’s do word associations.”


“We’ve discussed this before … start with sarcasm and stop being sarcastic.”



“Is lovehate one word?”

“No, but it’s fine. Book”


“Armada?!? Why?”

“My unwritten books make me think of a fleet of burning ships.”



“I think you should consider a different line of work.”

I had my answer; my writing career was toast.

Eve Messenger said...

Veering in on digital currents, our imprints are here, seated around a virtual table in a blog alcove of an internet banquet room.

Someone cries, “Speech!”

Invisible but present, Amy fidgets at the head of the table, excited but too modest to tout her worth. At the center of the magenta tablecloth, an armada of words spreads out before us like fine cheese. We rearrange the words and dab at our mouths with literary napkins.

“A toast to Amy!” I say at last. “Your success is our success. In gaining entrance to paradise, you inspire us to do the same.”

christinadalcher said...

Amy. noun
a female given name, from the French 'aimée' (see Wife; see Indochina, specifically, Viet Nam)

Agent. noun
a person or thing that produces a specified effect (see Orange)

Armada. noun
a fleet of warships (see Huey Helicopter)

Toast. verb
cook or turn brown by exposure to heat (see Deforestation)

Paradise. noun
an ideal or idyllic place or state (see History Books)

Amy. noun
a female given name, from the French 'aimée' (see Widow)

Janice Grinyer said...

"God mom, why didn't you just send in the whole Spanish Armada?"

Amy always felt like a secret agent was tailing her. She needed out.

Putting her tennis racket down, she surveyed the mess she made in her room. She had a 4.0 GPA, always hit curfew, but having a single parent as paranoid as hers sucked.

Amy picked up her backpack. First stop, paradise; to the beach to get her skin toasted. No one can stop her now.

"Bye guys!"

With vacant stares, both mother and sister watched as Amy shut her bedroom door, their blood congealing beneath them.

Lance said...

Dongle missed his cereal, and an amygdala hijack – a paradisease with tears and magenta auras – upset his day. And Dingle was making it worse.

“Fangle it all to hell. Buy the bangle, and let's go.”

A tattooed charmadater waited at the house for some Indiana Jones role play. When she dangled her whip, his glands shifted to tenth gear.

“Man, let's book!”


“Don't waffle on me now.”

“She'll like this.”

“Miss flimflam? She's totally paid.”

“I'll buy some cereal.”

“No store brand!”

“Post Toasties.”

“Grand moogli googli!”

SiSi said...

You don’t believe me but I tried. Remember the night we camped out in the backyard, pretending we were sailing with an armada to discover paradise? We toasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate, grew foamy mustaches. We laughed ourselves to sleep.

I don’t know why that isn’t enough.

Tonight the sunset sprinkled magenta clouds across the gray sky. Night settled around us like a heavy blanket. The darkness inside me swelled, not satisfied with beauty or laughter or love. It howled for blood. Pain. Fear. It demanded death.

I’m sorry, baby. Mama’s sorry.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

"I don't see why the Armada can't take the vaccination reagent to the HD 219134b colonists. "

"S'matter, allergic to work? Just gotta get through Paradise Alley and we're golden."

"Allergic to dying, more like it. Any unscheduled flares happen in the Alley and we're toast. Nothing to send back to Amy, not even in a box. Just our signal going out, like Voyager in the olden days."

"Buck up, kid. We're gonna be heroes in the known systems. You'll never pay for your own drink again."

"I don't drink."

"You will after this. Take your pills and suit up."

Marie Wallace said...

“Look, but never touch.”

Veda frowned at her father. She was sixteen, after all.

She glanced at the display card. PARADISE.

“Our largest wildlife preserve,” he proclaimed. “Protect them, ranger, but remember, no contact. Tampering with evolution is a violation.”

They were beautiful creatures. Primal. An amygdala of emotions.

“Keep your nose clean, you might end up an agent.” He clapped her proudly on the back.

Veda had been drafted. Interstellar Armada emblazoned her chest. Her toes squirmed. They felt toasty in their new leather prisons.

She looked longingly at Earth. Her eyes narrowed.

I’ll teach them everything I know.

the drolled said...

When Amy Paradise returned home from work she was frustrated to find that someone had left dried toast out on the counter and a dead biker on the floor. “Who does this?” she asked herself while turning him over to find a patch on his denim vest that read, Boise’s Armada. “That’s it. I’m done,” she said as she dragged the body down to the curb beside the trash cans. “I'm so tired of cleaning up after these guys. I have to get my own place,” she got out her phone, “Siri, find me a real estate agent.”

Doug Shiloh said...

The star’s agent bit a nail. Plastic trees had been imported to this beach paradise, the trained Labrador was stubborn and the rented wind machine was broken. The armada of make-up, lights, and cameramen on the TV commercial’s set waited. It was costing a lot of money. To boot, everyone pretended that the star, a Disney beacon in the 90s, wasn’t hungover. Amy quit biting her nail and walked over to the craft service table. Nothing looked appealing. She sighed. Maybe a Marlboro. No. She’d been smoking too much lately. Maybe a piece of toast would settle her nerves.

Scott Sloan said...

I reckon, as infamy goes, t’were a right fair piece of work.

All them town women, a’comin’ to well-wish the bride, and her milquetoast husband.
And then accusin’ ‘em of bigamy, polygamy… anythin’ they could think of.

That one a’wearin’ magenta were the nastiest of the lot.

True, marriage ain’t fit for every workin’ girl.
But just a’cause Méloamy’s the only one brave enough to done it, don’t mean she deserved all that.

Ain’t nobody messes with someone from my house.
Paradise Town done lost, and ain’t even knowed it.

They don’t go a’callin’ me the Kharmadame, for nothin’.

Timothy Lowe said...

Arm a dangerous man, Wilks thought. That’s what you get.

His flashlight fingered the hole. “How many?” he said to Fehniger.


“Both in for murder?”


The broken pipe carried a gentle trickle. They’d had to shut the water.

“How the hell’d they hold their breath?”


Wilks frowned. The mountained woods lay beyond. They’d be impossible to track. He’d rather spar a disease. It was enough to make you want to slam your head into iron bars.

“Someone on the inside?”

Fehniger’s eyes shifted. “Probly not,” he mumbled.

Wilks’ disbelief warped into astonishment. Suddenly he knew.


debradorris said...

Thousands lay dead on a blood soaked Highland battlefield. A war horse snorted as he searched for Angus, his master.

A hand from the magenta gore grabbed the beast’s leg. The animal reared, dragging Angus from the arms of death.

Angus kicked free of a dead man’s grasp. “Blasted milktoast—the sop liked to have killed me.” He mounted his steed and stared at the carnage wreaked by the armada of heathens.

Distant smoke signified the destruction of paradise—all for the sake of bigamy.

Mystic mist swooped over horse and rider, whisking them to another time, another doomed crusade.

Irene Olson said...

“Matt, the weather sure is nice here in Barmada!”

“It’s Bermuda, Dummy. I thought I told you to lose the Boston accent while we’re here. Sheesh!”

Erin hates that her sandals & socks sporting, wife-beater t-shirt and jean shorts wearing, boyfriend felt he had the right to correct her when he’s got so much more going on in the “You might be a tourist if …” category. She’s just gotta get through the next two days until Matt returns to Boston, then she can hook up with the timeshare travel agent, Amy.

That’s a vacation in paradise worth toasting to.

Dena Pawling said...

“What'll you have?” the barmadam asked.

Amy's mind gazed over the canyon. Scrub oaks along the hillsides. Hawk soaring overhead.

Her own personal paradise.

Her smile slid into a frown.

“Honey, you okay?”

“Huh?” Amy refocused. Never mind the canyon. Her house. Her life.


She'd made it out. Along with her dog.

Her computer was toast, a popsicle on an August pavement.

A tear tracked down Amy's cheek. Her manuscript gone. Dreams of an agent vanished into the smoke.

“I need a double,” Amy said.

Then she brightened, raised her glass.

“To the cloud!”

QuirkyElf said...

“More honey, Honey?”

Did he smile or grimace? His head twitches near an earthy mound, crunching the forest leaves.

“Yes? No?”

His eyes are blue pools from Paradise. Imploring, longing. He’s magenta after toasting in the sun.

I fuss over him, drizzling the honey just so. The way he likes it. Apparently. I saw the video. Amy can’t lick his chest or legs right now. She’s a bit tied up too. The Rohypnol and gags they intended for me worked a treat.

The tide of fire ants, a red armada of death, swarms from the mound towards my darling husband.

Thomas Haggerty said...

Inside the box, Bellamy’s head was screaming. It had bypassed the I/O access control agent to get use of the voicebox again. Threats about his armada of lawyers, a total personality wipe, or worse, relegation to one of those Hellscape VR gaming zones. No virtual paradise for Anton. In retrospect maybe this hadn’t been the best of plans. If this hand-off didn’t go well, his future would be toast, and all he would have gained were a few stress filled days on the run. He crawled from the bed, reached into the box, and disconnected the voicebox completely.

Colin Smith said...

"Paradise in Your Hand": to astute patrons, the sign was clearly for a gambling club. Troy entered, winding around a myriad of tables and tuxes to find the bar.

A scotch with a smile. Troy smiled back and downed the drink with shaking hand.

"Another, sir?"

Sir. He looked a gentleman, but didn't feel like one. Wouldn't harm a daisy. But just ask Daisy and her broken neck. He would live with regret the rest of his life.

Which right now was about thirty minutes.

Troy knew of a game out back. Roulette. Invitation only.

Tonight he accepted the invitation.

Megan V said...

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12345.6.
We received a distress signal from an unidentified vessel and discovered its crew dead by violence. Evidence suggests Klingon agents are responsible. There’s an armada of starships on a planetoid nearby. Thus far we’ve remained undetected but—
“Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!”
A Klingon charges. My first officer whirls, firing his phaser.
“Dad! Dad! I hit you with the beamy thing!” He exclaims. His tiny cheeks flush with excitement.
“Captain?” My husband queries.
“He’s right.” I chuckle. “You’re toast.”
Nodding, my husband scoops our son into his arms. The boy squeals.
Captains Log.
Today, we landed in paradise.

Craig said...

Writing Fifty Shades of Amy took a lot of research. It was done and Amy smiled at the Paradise the deal with her agent allowed. Through the armada of research subjects one hurt. He knew it was research but he fell anyway. His creepy undertaker sister, Beth, kept her from the funeral.

Beth squatted at waters edge for a shark’s eye view. What she saw looked like Amy-on-Toast. The air mattress had a pinhole in it. The Mai-Tai was drugged. The chum was curling in.
“Queen of the Great Whites, I bind you to my bidding with my brother’s blood.”

LynnRodz said...

The crimson sky turned the island into a fiery paradise. It was cocktail hour.

I ordered champagne, he wanted a beer.

I was high-maintenance, he was low.

"Bottoms up," His toast was as bland as he was in bed.

"Cin-cin," I countered.

I was beautiful, he was not.

I was young, he was old.

I smiled at my new husband and his foamy white mustache.

I was a writer, he was a top publisher.

I'd slaved over my manuscript for years. An armada of agents had thrown my query aside.

Now my book would be coming out early next year.

Debra Giuffrida said...

The royal armada deposited him in the Bahamas. His target, a mole in the British Embassy.

Amy was a Iranian agent in paradise and they were to meet at the hotel. She waited standing on the balcony overlooking the sparkling pool.

"The name is Bond, James Bond," he whispered, she hadn't heard him arrive. He turned her around and deftly unzipped her gold lamé evening dress. It puddled to the floor.

He kissed her. She felt something hard press into her stomach.

"You're toast, my love," he whispered against her lips. She knew too much, he pulled the trigger.

BeingEvanescent said...

The last toast is mine. “Cassie’s always been there for me – ”
Cassie beams, her hand tangled with Ben’s in the folds of white silk. I’ve seen the charges. Blackmail. Murder. She deserves this. Behind the guests, the waiters lock the doors.
“She put my life back together – ”
Agents at the side doors, fifteen feet from the bride. A wedding to live in infamy. They’re only missing an armada to escort her to paradise.
“She’s never let me repay her.”
Ten feet. Fortunately the poison on the glasses works fast. It’s more than she deserves. “To Cassie and Ben.”

Matthew Wuertz said...

The venison was as dry as toast and had a gamy flavor. But Red's stomach didn't care.

He'd found the deer on the interstate's shoulder yesterday, risking being seen.

A week had passed since his escape, but an entire armada couldn't find him. Not in these spacious woods.

They'd told him he wasn't an agent anymore, told him he wasn't anything anymore, other than confused.

But they were wrong. He knew who he was - a free man in a wilderness paradise. He was alive.

He grinned. "Retirement home. Bah!"

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

An armada of writers headed for paradise, the deck of Amy’s beloved Papillon, bobbing in the crystalline blue-green of the South Pacific. They took with them bottles of champagne to toast the kind of success only the agent of sun and sea and hard work can justify.
Amy had pulled anchor.
The writers gathered on the nearest beach, and as the silhouette of her floating home shown across the horizon, they raised their glasses in celebration; one of them had finally made it.
All cheered the fin which rode the boat’s gentle wake, not as predator but as protector.

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

A piece of paradise. That’s what the agent had promised me. Now I had nothing but a few toast crumbs. Lush palm trees, golden sand and cerulean water. It’s what I’d dreamt of, what I’d worked hard for the last 25 years. Armadallo’s; should’ve known something was up when they misspelled Armadillo. Scumbucket hadn’t mentioned the sewer collapse and draining into the ocean. I was up shit creek, literally! At least I had a few toast crumbs, but his life was toast! Knocked him out, concrete blocks tied to his ankles gangster-style, dumped in the foamy sewer. Death by defecation.

Peggy Rothschild said...

He’d always thought himself more A GENTleman than a fighter. But wasn’t that Myra’s main complaint? He raised his glass. “TO A STrange new day.”

Myra’s flawless face smiled, but her gaze remained hard. “New beginnings.”

The ping of crystal irked. His young wife insisted on clinking.

After gulping half her champagne, Myra sighed. “Tastes like PARADISE. Think I’ll bring some along.”

“What about traveling light?”

“Bubbles don’t weigh anything.” Manicured fingers loosened. The glass fell. FoAMY liquid splashed the Persian rug, Myra’s ARM A DAngling, useless thing.

“Sorry, my dear. Getting a divorce is unacceptable. Being widowed is not.”

Jenz said...

The raven hovered over the trail. The jogger below was oblivious to the Agent of Death circling above him.

The jogger slowed. He clutched his chest, wheezing. As he dropped to his knees, the raven spiraled down to the ground. He may be bringing an armada of ill fortune along with him, but that didn’t mean he was unsympathetic.

“Don’t worry, buddy,” the raven said. “Dying means you get to go to paradise.”

“I do?” The man gasped another shallow breath. “Bigamy doesn’t keep me out?”

“Bigamy? Oh.” The raven shook his head. “Sorry, pal. In that case you’re toast.”

Jenny C said...

After a week in paradise, agent Harry J. Potter returned to 631 queries. If only he could wave a wand like his namesake - ABEOARMADA – and the queries would magically answer themselves.

He gave it a shot with a wand purchased on eBay. No luck.

He clicked on query one. Hundred-thousand word middle-grade with series potential. Query two. Vampires. Query three. Guaranteed to outsell James Patterson. Harry rubbed his forehead. He was toast.

Query 497. Strong hook. Choices. Consequences. High stakes.

Harry’s heart fluttered.

He glanced at the author’s name. Amy Escritor.

The first pages promised a thrilling read.


bjmuntain said...

Squeezed under the hotel bed, trying not to sneeze, the agent watched the young couple toast their new marriage. He couldn't quite reach the dongle containing information about the route of the Emir's armada, lying on the bedside table.

Worried the couple might bring their celebration onto the bed, he whispered into his radio, "Send in wife number one."

The door opened. An older woman's feet pounded into the room. The young woman shrieked.

Polygamy may be legal in this desert paradise, he thought as he slipped out the window with the dongle, but that doesn't mean it's safe.

Angie Gregory said...

Astra surveyed the marina, thinking the cluster of boats was actually a secret armada, waiting like a Trojan horse to spoil the moment. Everything was too tranquil, too dreamy. Even the sunset was a cotton-candy paradise, like the backdrop on damn 80s maxi-pad box. It just couldn’t end this perfectly. Astra quietly shook the ashes into the vast magenta lagoon. The final goodbye to her father was uneventful, so unlike his life. He was forever in his favorite fishing spot. He always said one day, they’d go together. At least one of his promises came true. She’d toast to that.

katie said...

"A toast to the newest member of our realtor armada - selling this island paradise one block at a time!"

Amy stood but Laurie kept talking. Amy couldn't help smirking; Laurie never knew when to give up the spotlight.

"She's truly our agent now and you might think I mean she's had her first sale."

Amy fluffed her hair and tried on a gracious smile.

"Nope! Flip over your plates everyone. Yes, that's Amy and my husband."

Amy faltered, her face a frozen grimace. It wasn't a flattering picture.

"Welcome, Amy, to the bottom of our totem pole. So to speak."

Steph said...

Perk your ears: The steady, mechanical hum silenced by a resounding ding.

Feast your eyes: Rich, dark magenta, surrounded by a swirl of colors, topped with pure, creamy white.

Indulge your nose: Warm, caramelly sugar; a hint of toasted almond; a sharp, but fading note of vinegar.

Excite your lips, your tongue, your teeth: Heat; soft, spongy resistance; soothing, smooth coolness – an armada of sensations.

Send your taste-buds to paradise: Bitter chocolate, sweet vanilla, tangy cream cheese.

Five senses.
Five fingers.
Five red velvet cupcakes?

Mark Ellis said...

“A date that will live in infamy.”
Six months ago, Richie Yang heard President Roosevelt utter those words over the crackly kitchen radio. The Japanese armada had sailed, and wrought havoc.
This Yang pondered from the paradise of his moonlit backyard in San Francisco’s Noe Valley. Correction: the property was now War Department collateral. The immigration agent visited Monday. Official-looking sedans came next. The relocation would begin at dawn.
Yang rose a glass and toasted the miniature American flag he kept propped in a vase.
“May God be merciful, and someday reunite me with my home.”

Laura Mary said...

Our night in paradise was ruined, thanks to a sentient toaster.

Within minutes of the attack the hotel had descended into bedlam; an armada of kitchen implements skewering and slicing their bloody way through the foyer.

‘I’m sorry this happened on our honeymoon, darling’
‘I’m sorry it happened at all, I wonder if- ’

I’ll never know what Amy was wondering before her life, and our marriage was cut short. Her unlikely agent of death; a spork.

We were all so busy worrying about Skynet, no one ever suspected the toasters.

Beth said...

My Viking ancestors believed dying in battle sent you to paradise. I don’t care. Fighting an armadillo armada is ridiculous.

The day the zoo animals revolted will always live in infamy. Sure, we laughed at the flamingo flotilla and the butterfly battalion, but we stopped when we saw the legion of lions.

I was proud to join the agents of mammalian massacre. Unfortunately, these rubes don't recognize my talent. Instead of toasting tigers on the front line, I'm stuck roasting roaches and slaughtering sloths.

A snuffling nose crests the hill and I shoulder my gun. Today, I'll prove my worth.

Ashes said...

Amy was born today.
A nurse said I was lucky.
'Boys are rough,
girls are easy.'

I wondered if she'd sat with a group of girls,
crawled into their inner circle,
where secrets are used as weapons,
and manipulation reigns supreme.

Stings from backhanded compliments.
Pangs from knives in her back.
Solitary confinement from exclusion.

Ever been insulted with a smile,
in a fool's paradise of lies?
A veritable armada of psychological torture
by those agents of deception;
perfectly lipsticked snakes in the grass.

I left Amy at the hospital.
My arms, once toasty from her warmth,
ice cold.

Tell Bailey said...

The toast did not practice monogamy. It coupled equally well with butter or jam, or the chemical reagent I had spread over it. Now it passed like a ship through the armada of breakfast dishes on the table. Past frigates of bacon, and a galleon of milk. Finding safe harbor in the mouths of my masters.
It would mix with the poison I had blended into the tea, sending each diner to whatever paradise their gods promised. Then I would be free of my servitude, and required to cook only for myself. said...

Another writer who hadn't read her blog, Amy thought, as she and fellow agent Meg stared out the window in disbelief. He'd already sent kale and platitudes, then scotch. Cheap scotch.

His charm-ada of gifts wasn't charming her. Now skywriting?

Meg read the message: "FELIX LOVES AMZ"

"Good, he can cease querying Pterodactyls in Paradise and self-pub."

"He queried dino porn?"

"Claims it's narrative nonfiction."

Meg squinted. "Damn. That's a Y."

Their intern interrupted, convulsed with laughter. "That writer, Felix . . . omigod. Dinosaur costume. Singing. Telegram. Query."

"OK, that's it." Amy hefted her trusty cluestick. "He's toast."

Diana Wilson said...

Amy hummed 'Secret Agent Man' as she swung open the door of the Nissan Armada and climbed out. He moved to intercept her, but her longer legs carried her out of his reach too fast. Heads turned towards the flutter of color and movement.

She wore the yellow sundress! Oh God. The silk’s color was ‘Paradise Pineapple’. He knew because he’d created the damn thing.

She should not be wearing the dress before the design release.

The moment she fixed her sunny smile on him, he knew his heart and career were toast.

Mae said...

She was toasted. The creamy sweetness of the drinks had masked the alcohol and she was perilously close to fall-down drunk.

She waved the bartender over. “You have coffee?”

“Nah. They do in the restaurant though.” He pointed at the path winding between the magenta hibiscuses.

She didn’t want to go that way. Her husband was there, cozied up in the corner with some Australian chippie from the armada. She staggered instead toward their beachfront condo, making it about halfway before she tripped and sprawled in the loamy soil. Tears started and her stomach lurched. Some honeymoon in paradise.

Nikola Vukoja said...

“I’ll take your ‘D’ from paradise and add ARMAA – that’s nine points.”
“Amy! Armada isn’t a real word.”
“Seriously Thom, you really should read more… now, add nine to my score.”
“Amy, what colour is dry blood?”
“Dad called it Magenta.”
“Why’d ya think they didn’t believe us?”
“’Cos it’s easier to believe parents aren’t monsters.”
“Did ya really feed it to the cat?”
“The tongue? Yeah. Now we’re the Toastmasters.”
“What if we get caught?”
“Mutes can’t scream.”
“Yeah but – ”
“— It’s even easier to believe children aren’t monsters; now, go carve nine into Dad’s back.”

NotJana said...

This wasn’t paradise.

Last week I begged the agent for a different job. Something out there. No more shifting dirt in the darkness. I'd heard of the sun, the wind, the rain. I wanted all of that and more.

She delivered.

Farming. It sounded great. Magical. Dreamy.

Then reality kicked in.

Too hot. The sun burnt me.

Too heavy. The raindrops bruised me.

Too shaky. The wind tried to dislodge me from my new workplace.

I was basically toast. With an armada of aphids to look after. As a glorified butt wiper.

No, this wasn't paradise at all.

kregger said...

Super-secret agent, Felix Buttonweezer, giggled as he spied the Carkoon armada while perched in a Lexan™ box camouflaged by a Bird of Paradise.

If everything works, Amy's manuscript will be his to publish vicariously under his pseudo pen name, Colin Smyth.

All Felix has to do is push the button on his Apple Watch and ka-bluey--the two Carkoon naval men in their leaky rowboat are toast.

"Now!" Felix’s addled brain screamed. He glanced over his shoulder.

He pushed the button.

Red 1970’s retro LED numerals blinked at him and disappeared.

"Damn technology to hell!" He screamed.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

On tenterhooks after the phone call, I eat my toast then assemble my standing desk.

Ironing board? Check.
Magenta-fabric footstool on top? Check.
Iced coffee? Cellphone? Check. Check.

I set my laptop on this makeshift desk then savor the creamy coconut frappuccino.

Now then.

Set. Focus. Type.

There once was a lady named AMY.
From PARADISE Cove, a trainee.
She revised her book,
An AGENT she hooked.
A Nissan ARMADA for Amy.

Ack. What toastshit.

My real estate agent calls back.

“Guess who’s moving into their own little paradise?”

“They accepted my offer? YES.”

That armada has finally come in.

allierat said...

Arm-in-arm, a dame and a gentleman walked the street. Her dress was as colorful as the bird of paradise, his garb a somber dark grey. Their moods matched their clothing.
“Where are you taking me, my love?” She looked up at him with dreamy eyes.
“Some place safe. The castle is about to fall and I can’t guard you anymore.”
“Will you bring me my toast every morning, my handsome prince, my knight in shining armor?”
They stopped at a door. The sign read, “Alzheimer’s Care Facility.”
“I’m sure you can have toast for breakfast here, Grandma.”

Steve Cassidy said...

Paradise, not for me. Amy was gone.. She found out I’m an FBI agent, I lied. I lied about a lot of things. The Armada wasn’t mine, it belongs to a friend of mine and I was just using her, the boat too.

She stormed out “You’re toast ashhole.” She’d been drinking. I’m drinking now, scotch. I told Amy I spend my days chumming the waters for great whites for film crews and people with more sense than money.

I hunt something more deadly than sharks, I hunt drug smugglers and she found out her brother is on my list.

Brenda Veit Shiloh said...

Camy couldn’t sleep. She got up and made some toast and coffee. Sitting on the couch, she grabbed up the remote and turned on the tube. Cannon fire roared from the set as the Spanish Armada splashed across the History Channel. Quickly moving on, she stopped briefly when Agents 86 and 99 from CONTROL filled the screen as Maxwell Smart was talking on his shoe phone. Wanting something a little more musical, she finally settled back to watch Elvis in “Paradise Hawaiian Style.”

eparentcoach said...

Your book is finished. The stylish agent invites you to enter her paradise.

You wonder what kind of paradise could possibly be named Carkoon. It doesn't pass the smell test—more like burnt toast.

None of the other agents offered paradise, and you don't want infamy—you want a book deal.

But, who can resist promises of a beautiful island full of woodland creatures? The armada of waving publishers behind you doesn’t bode well, but onward you row to the promise of literary nirvana.

In the water a shark sighs.

Darling Kitty said...

For the seventh Christmas in a row, Erik bought AMY a kitchen appliance.

“A TOASTmaster 600, Honey. Slices, dices, and even butters bread.”

“We live on a 57 foot long yawl, Honey. We haven’t stocked bread since New Caledonia.”

That night Amy chummed the Atlantic with a bottle of Erik’s finest scotch, humming “Two Tickets to PARADISE.”

When Amy sailed into NYC harbor, she saw an imposing figure pacing along the dock.

“What have you done with Erik?”

“Nothing, Mr. Reacher.”

“Then who’s the toothy-grinned beauty at the helm?”

“That’s my friend, AGENT Janet Shar…Reid: she wouldn’t hARM A DAndelion.”

REJourneys said...

Congregations made me nervous.
Through watery eyes no one could see clearer. Suddenly, the crook of a man is toasted as he enters “paradise.” Party goers, arriving by armada, share stories of his deeds - shocked by how it could all go up in smoke.

What a tragedy.

I stare at the closed casket, adorned with pictures and mementos that signified the fire of life this man had.

And how he lost it.

Wine is an agent for a lot of things, especially when laced with amyl.

I light a cigarette.

Somethings burn so nicely.

Steven said...

I imagine his syringe is ripe with sodium pentothal.

I’ve trained for this. Pain or Paradise, it’s a mental choice.

I’ve seen worse, even tolerated worse … back when.

Coagents call him the Extractor. Once he fires up his drill, you’re toast.

His goal will be realized.

The small motor engages like an armada of toy airplanes; my pulse quickens.

I’ll not speak. I set my mouth rigid.

No pain. I retreat to a quiet corner of my brain.

“You know, this could all’ve been avoided if you’d only floss more,” my dreamy-eyed dentist with the killer smile reminds me.

Leigh Ward-Smith said...

Dad’s AMYgdala has finally self-immolated. So it falls to me to glue together family reportage, which felt like eavesdropping on an autopsy.

My findings:

On Sundays when I’m 10, we watched re-runs and he made TOAST, eggs, buttery grits. (He’d freaked about Uhura and Kirk kissing.)

What an ARMADA of apologies from Jane Fonda can’t cure.

Where he pointed to moles napalmed all over his back, cussing AGENT Orange.

Who he killed.

How he drifted to PARADISE by mixing Coke and Seagram’s at 2; the bottle was empty by evening.

Why I’ll let him go, in peace.

Just Jan said...

"Who's the new kid?" asked Mouser.

Reilly shrugged. "Name's Magenta. Raised on organic catnip farm. Adamant that he doesn't eat meat."

Mouser shook his head. "Why live in Paradise if you're a vegetarian?"

"Here he comes," said Reilly. "Ask him yourself."

"Hey, kid," Mouser called. "Ever eat mice?"

"Ewww, no!" Magenta wrinkled his nose. "Do you?"

Mouser winked at Reilly. "Nah. Too gamy for me. We like to keep them as pets, though. In fact, there goes one of our favorites."

"What's his name?" Magenta asked, as the plump rodent scurried in front of them.

Mouser pounced. "Toast!"

Christina Seine said...

“My God, Priscilla. RentaGent? Seriously?”

“Shut up. Paradise Princes were bookicated!”

“Well if you hadn’t …”



“Drusilla. Did you send my crococodile bag to be cleaned?”

Eyes widenated.

“Wait … crococodile?”

“Mother, you know Drusilla is as stupupid as she is ugly.”

“You’re stupupider!”


Faces made.

“The bag?”

“Um.” Toe shufflated. “I thought … you said … the armadadillo one.”

“Oh you’re toast. Ididiot.”


Tongues stuck out.

“I’m ruined! Armadadillo is SO last season. We might as well arrive in a pumumpkin wearing glass slippers! We shall live in fashion infimamy.”

“Wait, we’ll be famous?”


W.R. Gingell said...

Another report from Agent Locke.

Sif pounced on it, dusting toast-crumbed fingers. It had the usual terse notes in his plain, square handwriting: she savoured them as she typed. Where was he now?


Paradise, no doubt.

Sif’d never met Locke, but she’d lived vicariously through his adventures, typing each report as it arrived.


Sif involuntarily smiled. Locke’s preparedness lived in infamy.

But wait. Someone else’s handwriting filled in the last entry of the report.

Sif’s manicured fingers slowed, stopped. A small sigh escaped her.


Lynn Person said...

My doctor explained that my brain injury caused apraxia, a speech articulation disorder. The Apraxia Mnemonic Yardstick, AMY, provided prompts, recorded brain activity and determined therapy.

“AMY’s back,” the nurse said hooking me up to the machine. “No more outbursts from you.”

I shook my head no.

AMY said, “Which of these words doesn't belong?”

Agent, armada, toast appeared on the screen.

My brain thought toast but I couldn't say it.

“Which one?”

“Which one?”

“Which one?”

Pulling the dinner knife from under the covers, my mind screamed ‘you’re toast’ as I plunged it into the computer screen.



Elissa M said...

She wanted to congratulate a fellow writer on signing with an agent, but she wasn't nearly as clever as the armada of posters who regularly entered these contests.

"I don't have to win to accomplish my goal," she reasoned. "My entry will surely be read even as far away as a tropical paradise."

So she raised a glass in toast. "Here's to Amy. May her path to publication be as smooth and pleasant as placid seas, warm sun, and floral scented breezes."

She quaffed the libation. "Now, let's have a look at that query again."

Karen McCoy said...

Amy shined her Neighborhood Watch badge. Just let the perps mess with her tonight. She’d show ‘em.

She whiffed something exotic. Grains of Paradise? Probably marijuana. Local kids using the park to get toasted. Sure enough, two stringy teenage boys approached the park carrying brown bags.

Careful to minimize her denim thigh friction, she waddled behind, feeling like a secret agent. Or Queen Elizabeth facing the Spanish Armada.

The paper crinkled open, and she pounced. “Drop it!”

Bewildered, the boys dropped the bags, and six churros rolled out.

Amy sighed. At least she got the Spanish part right.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Racing to the foamy wave Buffy swings her bucket.

“Stop, Buffy. The lifeguard’s raised the red flag.”

“I’m hot, Maman.” Buffy sticks out her tongue when Lucie snatches her elbow.

“Honey, It looks like paradise, but we can’t go in.”

At their feet, an armada of jellyfish spreads onto the sand. Like jam on toast but worse than agent orange.

With a furious cry Buffy hurls her bucket into a lumpy wave. Lucie lurches for it but a gust of Mistral steals it.

“Maman, my bucket.”

Lucie tightens her grip.

Buffy squirms.

Fingers slip.

“Buffy, no.”

Julia said...

Amy’s armada of yellow submarines rounded Paradise Peninsula. She peered through the periscope.
“Anything?” Felicia, her second, asked.
Amy’s head twitched – but then she paused. Raised a finger. Curled her lip. Furrowed her brow.
“Reread that message.”
“Revise, Resend.”
Amy threw Felicia an impatient scowl. “The next one.”
“Sorry. ‘Getting toasted. At the hands of the natives.’”
“Look,” Amy demanded, rotating the scope.
Felicia peeked. The sunburnt agent lay contentedly beneath the resort’s massage therapist’s expert fingers on the beach.
Amy slammed the periscope up in disgust. “Not funny, Janet,” she muttered; then ordered the fleet back to base.

John Frain said...

A toast. I lift my glass. No one – her included – hears me say, To Amy!
My secret desires scream louder than cries from a steamy jungle. She’s my paradise.

Two dancing roses, Amy and I, practicing xenogamy together.
Open my amygdala and every emotion centers on her. She doesn’t notice me?

She’s in every waking thought – every sunbeamy sentence.
Her daydreamy, magenta lips call to mine – but get my name wrong!
(I’d live with polygamy.)

An armada of seamy cops at the door. Handcuffs. Miranda.
Stalker? I thought the cockamamy bitch didn’t even know I existed.

Kate Larkindale said...

I am an agent of change. I swoop into town amidst an armada of trash and pollutants like some mysterious angel. I keep my true nature hidden as I woo you into my arms with soft velvet words. Lonely and desperate, you follow. I’m not boasting when I say I’m a handsome man. Charming. Well mannered. Everything you were looking for in a man.
A quick bout of pampering with kind words then, like all of them, you’re toast.
The first drop is paradise.
Some people call it euthanasia.
Others murder.

I call it mercy.
And lunch.

Terri Lynn Coop said...


Amy take this toast,
You beat out the armada
Agent paradise.

Drops mic.



Meike said...

One night without any nightmares - what a reprieve! Maybe the agents were doing something right after all. I had taken an armada of neuropharmacological agents to get in shape. Paradise wasn’t waiting and I wanted this job. Maybe toast would help. The bag said “a toast in the morning keeps away yawning”. Not believing everything – I opened my mouth in anticipation of a big yawn, as I spotted a black spider, angling closer to my face. I just stared blankly at it. Either the nightmares were rescheduled for day now or my amygdala had yet to get in shape.

Hannah H said...

The Lovelace flew like a bird out of paradise: slowly, with a tendency to turn its front back. Millions they'd spent on the airship, and the captain'd seen more aerodynamic toasters.
Crewman Murdoch tripped through her door, spilling sandwiches.
"Get back on deck. Tie everything down!" the captain yelled.
"It's a gent from the government-- says he's impressed by the tactical evasions, and if we arm Ada we could outfly anyone." Murdoch winced. "He wants to do lunch."
"Tie him down, too!"
A Mylar sheet tore loose and the sandwiches started to brown.
The captain laughed and couldn't stop.

Kae Ridwyn said...

"Lobster?! Oh darling, you didn't have to! A steak would have been fine!"

The patient's insane shrieks grated on my nerves. Our visits here were truly awful. Pa's room? His 'outfit'? His 'aroma'?! My senses reeled every time.

In hospital after his operation, he'd been fine. Sitting up, a drip in his arm. A day later, and he'd had a massive stroke. He'd recovered. His memory hadn't.

11pm. Police at the door.
"Grandpa? Rad. I see you've found him. Again."
Mum crying.

But now? This. It wouldn't take much. Just a gentle push, during our evening walk across the bridge.

Tony Clavelli said...

In the back of a speeding Chevy Armada, Rhonda kneels beside a mounted stretcher, keeping “Gus” awake.

“I’m toast.” Blood blooms from a steamy wound.

“Shh.” She squeezes Gus’s hand.

Her Paradise Limousine Company doubles as an underground ambulance for anyone needing extreme discretion.

Two blocks from Rhonda’s Laundromat—-surgeon waiting in the basement—-the driver checks his phone. They stop.

“Payment’s short.”

Rhonda frowns, calls Agent Thompkins.

“How much for....” She searches Gus’s wallet. “Oscar Jeunet?”

Oscar-Gus wheezes.

“It’s double,” she whispers to Oscar.

“Anything!” he groans.

“Sold!” She hangs up. “Money transfer first. Then let’s fix you up.”

Alice Reads said...

Hours away from what they called peace the man appeared out of nowhere. An agent, a black gun in his hand, his bullet silent as light. Amy was the last one to fall before the fight was announced over. Seconds later her soul joined the armada that followed the final road through the gates into a place where she would rejoin her man, her love she thought she’d lost. Once there, together again, they would raise a toast for a new beginning in this place called paradise and hope the new won peace would be worth their blood.

L Wilson said...

Amy stood at the gates of Paradise. An armada of angels stood guard along the endless barrier. An agent of the Lord sat at an ornate golden desk. She supposed he was St. Peter, but she’d never imagined him looking like Liberace. Moving closer, she realized that he didn’t look like the famed piano player at all, it had only been the bejeweled toga that had given her that impression. After studying his face, she decided that he looked much more like Wayne Newton than Liberace. As he stamped “reject” on her paperwork, Amy wished she’d replaced that defective toaster.

Audrey Chin said...

“I’m putting it down to asthma.”
“Old Adam wasn’t one allergies.”
“Adds up though — plane trees shedding like a spring shower then his watery eyes and runny nose afterwards.”
“I’ve seen men die from rat poison that way.”
“But they were in paradise , him and his wife. She wouldn’t do it?”
“She’s a sight too young for him.”
“She’s got no reason to harm Adam. That farm’s going to a cousin. She get’s nothing but her freedom.”
“Like I said … “
“Maybe, poison’s a woman’s weapon. “
“You got a test?”
“There’s an amylase reagent I can use.”

Audrey Chin said...

“I’m putting it down to asthma.”
“Old Adam didn’t have allergies.”
“Adds up though — plane trees shedding like a spring shower then his watery eyes and runny nose afterwards.”
“I’ve seen men die from rat poison that way.”
“But they were in paradise , him and his wife. She wouldn’t do it?”
“She’s a sight too young for him.”
“She’s got no reason to harm Adam. That farm’s going to a cousin. She get’s nothing but her freedom.”
“Like I said … “
“Maybe, poison’s a woman’s weapon. “
“You got a test?”
“There’s an amylase reagent I can use.”

Sue Arnott said...

"A toast to your quick recovery."

The wine was a beautiful deep magenta.

"Ya, ya, ya. Two prosthetics. Worth it. I be multi-millionaire now. Amy always loved me for money anyways. She no mind the extra hardware."

"Tell me again about the buried treasure."

"It vas sunken ship off the coast of Scotland. Part of the 1588 invasion. Prince Philip II against England. Hebrides islands, ahhh. . . absolute paradise. I dive right in as usual and damnit if shark doesn't get me. Cost me an armada leg." said...

‘What in Drake’s name are they?’ asked BellAMY, pointing at the tethered balloons in the water.
‘One-way ticket to PARADISE,’ Lizzie said. She tied the last neck. ‘If it bursts, we’re TOAST.’
Her rowing boat bobbed dangerously in the swell.
‘Careful. Drift any closer and they’ll hear the bang in Spain.’
Shouts from the men in the fort had grown quiet as the ARMADA approached. Sitting ducks.
‘It’s raising AGENT and gunpowder. Once I’m past the harbour, the current should take them close.’
‘How do you set them off?’
Lizzie threw him her bow. ‘I don’t,' she said. You do.’