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The Master

It’s time again for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, in which a group of us attempt a 100 word piece inspired by a photo. Hosted as ever by Rochelle, this week’s photo has been supplied by Douglas M. MacIlroy.

To view all the other entries, click here!


Copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

“You have learned well, my pupil,” smiled the old man. “Finally you too have earned the title ‘Master’. Wear it well.”

Yoshi bowed low in respect for his teacher. He straightened slowly, his hand a sudden blur as he sliced his ceremonial dagger cleanly across his mentor’s throat.

“There can of course be but one Master, old friend,” he said regretfully.

Sighing deeply, Yoshi sat cross-legged at the edge of the pond in quiet contemplation, watching as the water turned slowly to the colour of the brightly coloured koi as they swam all unaware through their recently polluted home.

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  1. October 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Creepy. Great Halloween stuff.


    • October 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      I went dark again but I guess it’s the right time of year for it.


  2. October 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Oh, that was chilling, great job 🙂


  3. October 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I always knew there was a danger in becoming an aging master….bets i think to stay a young apprentice, well done.


    • October 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks! I keep wondering if the master knew this would be his fate.


  4. October 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Devilish. I think the master knew. He foresaw his own end, the true passing of the baton.


    • October 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      I think you’re right. I imagine he might have done the same to his old master many years ago, and felt the same passing regret as Yoshi.


      • October 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        The right of passage for the grasshopper and release to the next level for master. Love it.


        • October 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

          As it has been for thousands of years, my young apprentice…


  5. kz
    October 31, 2013 at 2:36 am

    oh the betrayal! good stuff though. 🙂


    • October 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

      There’s only room for one at the top 🙂


  6. October 31, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Eek! Seems quite a few of us are feeding those fish some questionable food. Well done.


    • October 31, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Yes, I noticed that. Amazing how so many of us saw such a serene picture and thought “Hmm, this won’t do at all”!
      I think the peacefulness of the picture actually lends itself to a bit of horror – more shock value.


      • October 31, 2013 at 7:38 am

        Not the direction I generally go, but I felt the same thing this week… or, maybe it’s Halloween? Either way, we certainly dove into those dark waters. 😉


  7. October 31, 2013 at 6:39 am

    You never cease to amaze in your ability to turn the innocent into the macabrely funny! This would have made The Karate Kid a more interesting movie…..


    • October 31, 2013 at 7:33 am

      “I told you if you forced me to ‘wax on, wax off’ one more time there’d be consequences, old man!”
      I’m afraid the very serenity of the picture was just begging for some violence. But necessary (in the pupil’s mind) violence, and delivered with profoundest regret.
      “There can be only one!” as Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod would have said.


  8. October 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Dear Draliman,

    Never train your replacement is my motto. Good job here.




    • October 31, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Hi Doug,
      Training a replacement is always a worry though you usually just get fired!


  9. October 31, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Dear Draliman,

    I heard echoes of the Highlander here. A rather grisly end for the teacher. Well done.




    • October 31, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Hi Rochelle,
      I detected a sort of mash-up of Highlander, Karate Kid and Star Wars 🙂


  10. October 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Good one!


  11. November 1, 2013 at 12:42 am

    ahh, love the reemergence of the dark. Makes my dark heart flutter.
    For me, that was a rouge student with an alternate plan.
    Well done young man.


    • November 1, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      What creeps me out the most is how calm Yoshi is about the whole thing. He’s either very Zen or very psycho 🙂


  12. November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I love it, Dr Ali 🙂


  13. November 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    This is exactly why I’ve failed my Masters. Nicely told, cold-hearted yet respectful.


    • November 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      I think it’s Yoshi’s respect for his master and his regret at killing him that make the tale more chilling…


  14. November 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    A fantastic little story.


  15. November 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Gruselig – what a bad guy! Starts his career with a murder – not so unusual 🙂
    Liebe Grüße


    • November 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      At least he seems to regret it. Just one of those things which had to be done. Which I guess makes it even more creepy!


  16. November 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Well told, dark story! The image of the blood seeping into the colorful pond will stay with me all day. Thanks for that. Chilling and wonderfully written.


    • November 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Glad you liked it! There’s something about blood seeping into water that I find quite chilling.


  17. November 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Sad Yoshi indeed. A beautifully sad tale.


    • November 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      I almost feel sorry for Yoshi. He obviously thought what he did was necessary, but he regretted it all the same.
      On the other hand, he did kind of murder his master.


  18. CherryPickens
    November 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I know that I shouldn’t chuckle, but when I read that there could be only one master, I was also reminded that there can be only One who feeds the fishes. I like how you presented this tale. Nicely done.


    • November 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


  19. November 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Wow. Riveting. You used the juxtaposition of the calm pond and the violent act well.


    • November 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks for noticing that! Calm to violence and finally after the deed, back to calm.


  1. December 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

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