Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

  • 0

15-Jan-2021

Character – An Astronaut
Random Object – A Hammer
Genre – Mystery

“Morning, Pursuit, how did you sleep?”

“Like a baby, ground.” The woman on the other end of the monitor smiled.

I glanced at Mike, the other communications officer, and repressed a smirk. “Good to hear, Pursuit. Anything to report?”

“Negative. All systems are in the green.”

Mike snorted.

I waved him to be quiet. “Good to hear, Captain.”

“What do you have for us today?”

I wasn’t surprised that Captain Jones didn’t mention the incident from the night before. “Nothing terribly interesting. You’re on deck to run diagnostics on the water filtration system and the sensor array. After that Command wants you to take some new readings on Mars.”

“Sounds exciting.”

Next to me, Mike brought up the video feed from the past twelve hours. He propped his chin on one hand and began fast forwarding through the footage.

“We’re hoping for no excitement, Pursuit. We only believe in dullness.”

“Oh?” Captain Jones raised an eyebrow.

“Of course.”

A clanging noise coming through the earphones made me jump. It sounded like a ball peen hammer on a metal picnic table. A muffled curse followed the noise.

Captain Jones winced.

“Problem?” I asked.

The woman rolled her eyes and leaned into the camera. “Arjun is convinced he’s hearing strange noises coming from the hull.”

I managed a convincing frown. “Has to doctor done a checkup?”

“Have you ever tried to get Arjun to comply with an unscheduled medical checkup?”

“No, ma’am.”

She made a face. “I wouldn’t advise it.”

Mike slapped my arm where Captain Jones couldn’t see it. I followed his pointing finger to the monitor next to mine where Arjun floated next to the hull of the spacecraft with his ear on the surface, like an old-fashioned safe cracker. Mike had the playback on high speed, so it looked ridiculous when Arjun suddenly pushed off the hull like a frightened cat.

A snort escaped.

“Something funny?” Captain Jones asked.

“No, ma’am. Allergies.” I grabbed a tissue and wiped my nose.

“Uh-huh.”

This time the cursing from the background got louder, along with Arjun’s angry voice.

“There, did you hear it, Captain?”

Captain Jones sighed. “I’ll get back to you when we’re finished with the diagnostics.”

“Sounds good, ground out.”

The monitor went black.

Mike broke out into peals of laughter. “He looked for that thing for three hours!”

A few of the others in control drifted over.

“Did the first one go off?”

“Where is it?”

“Does the crew think there’s something wrong?”

Mike transferred his screen to the large one at the front of the room and replayed Arjun’s search on high speed.

“What sound is it making?” someone asked.

I consulted the list on my phone. “It should be an eerie groaning sound.” I watched as Arjun floated around in an attempt to find the source of the strange sound. Everyone started to laugh as he retrieved a hammer and started tapping the inside of the hull.

“Lindon is coming,” someone near the door said.

Mike returned the screen to normal and we all went back to work.

Well, everyone who’s monitor wasn’t in direct line of sight of Lindon kept watching Arjun looking for the source of the sound.

“He’s going to kill us,” Mike said with a laugh.

Lindon—a tall imposing man—strode into the room and draped his suit jacket over the back of his chair. “Arjun has reported a strange sound coming from the hull. I need everyone from engineering working with him ASAP to find the problem.”

“He called Lindon?” Mike muttered.

“Apparently.”

The engineering crew, who had planted most of our little surprises, ran into the conference room with coffee and tablets in hand.

I watched Lindon follow them. “Forget Arjun, Lindon is going to fire us all.”

“Naw.” Mike waved a hand. “Captain Jones will get a kick out of it.”

For the next hour the engineering team went over the report Arjun had sent. Mike and I speculated on what they thought was wrong.

I wasn’t surprised when a message came through to my terminal.

Arjun scowled at me. He had a small device in one hand, which he held up in front of his glare. “You will pay for this.”

“Pay for what?” I asked with as much innocence as I could muster.

“An Annoyatron? Really?”

“Huh, how did that get there?” I asked.

Arjun leaned closer. “I may be millions of miles away from you, but I still have plenty of friends on Earth. You will pay.”

I grinned. “Come on, you have to admit, that’s funny.”

“It’s not.” His stern expression didn’t crack.

“We just thought you might like something to break up the monotony.”

“How many more are there?”

I shrugged with my hands.

His eyes narrowed.

Captain Jones floated past behind Arjun. She gave me a smile and a thumbs up.

“Should I tell engineering that the problem has been solved?” I asked.

Arjun flipped me off and cut the transmission.

I brought up the list on my phone and clicked off the first item.

“Well?” Mike asked.

“One down, eight to go. The next one will sound like a cat.” I glanced at where the engineering team was leaving the conference room. They were laughing.

Lindon rolled his eyes at me, but said nothing. Mike held out his fist. I bumped it with mine.


  • 0

1-Jan-2021

I’ve written a limerick for the end of 2020.

Don’t judge too harshly, I wrote it in five minutes.

*clears throat*

This year should have been a good year
Instead it did fill us with fear
The whole thing was glum
Pandemics are dumb
Can’t wait for 2-1 to premier

The End


  • 0

24-Dec-2020

Welcome to the last Flash Fiction Friday of the year!

Apparently I have the apocalypse on my mind. Gosh, I don’t know why. It’s not like this year has been that crazy…right?

The Ride of Christmas’s Past

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Driving Around Looking at Lights
A Rabid Snowman
and
Gluten-Free Gingerbread

Narrator 1: Welcome to the Ride of Christmas’s past. Please take a seat in your twentieth century vehicle and we will get started.

Narrator 2: Do up those seat belts, it might be a bumpy ride. Especially after the year 2020.

Narrator 1: A wise precaution. Back before the turn of the century, and even for some time afterward, it was customary to decorate the outside of your living abode with lights during the Christmas season. Many would drive their cars around to look at said lights, partaking the beauty with joy.

Narrator 2: Or stealing ideas for next year’s light display.

Narrator 1: During the late 1900s, the production of strings of Christmas lights became more affordable, giving a greater swath of the populace a chance to use them in displays.

Narrator 2: As soon as they figured out how to make it so when one light went out they didn’t all went out things got much better. Way less acts of violence due to decorating.

Narrator 1: The technology continued to advance, giving the people of that time more options to choose from.

Narrator 2: Which wasn’t always the best thing. The lights on your right were perhaps the most trendy of styles—the icicle lights.

Narrator 1: And let’s not forget the infamous twinkling lights.

Narrator 2: You mean the seizure inducers?

Narrator 1: Indeed.

Narrator 2: Then the dumpster fire of 2020 hit.

Narrator 1: The Christmas of 2020 was impacted by many factors, but it was the next year in which, as they say, everything changed.

Narrator 2: Don’t worry, kids, those are not real snowmen.

Narrator 1: The likeness is uncanny, is it not? It was early in the winter season of 2021 when the snowmen began coming to life. At first it seemed a wonderful thing.

Narrator 2: Then it hit the fan hard.

Narrator 1: The tale of Frosty the Snowman had warned humans that snowmen could be inhabited by magical being. Alas, the cautionary story had turned into a children’s fable many years before, leaving the human race unprepared for the Snowman Apocalypse of 2021.

Narrator 2: Maybe if the humans hadn’t made so many snowmen, brought them to life, then left them alone to melt in the sun—a horrible way to go according to the snowmen—things would have been different.

Narrator 1: Here we have a scrolling memorial wall of all those killed that winter by the snowmen. People described them as rabid dogs, going after anyone they could sink their icicle teeth into. Men, women, and children.

Narrator 2: Even dogs. After all, no one likes getting peed on. Yellow snow is a thing, and the smell…

Narrator 1: It took society a few years to deal with the snowmen.

Narrator 2: You call banning the creation of snowmen on penalty of death dealing with them?

Narrator 1: Even now there are always a few people who dabble into the lore of the snowmen. They usually do not survive.

Narrator 2: And now that all police and most households are armed with UV flood lights the snowmen don’t survive long either.

Narrator 1: Just as the snowmen problem abated, a new issue arose.

Narrator 2: Did you just try to make a pun?

Narrator 1: Did I?

Narrator 2: I’m not sure you could say gingerbread really rises.

Narrator 1: By this point the world had realized there was more magic in it than they had thought. The snowmen had, in a small part, prepared them for this. However, no one was prepared for the gluten-free gingerbread men to come to life.

Narrator 2: Turns out gluten is a magic salve of sorts, and without it, any magic that goes into food is corrupted. And when I say corrupted, I mean they forge themselves weapons out of candy used to decorate gingerbread houses, grow two ten times their size, and go on rampages that make Godzilla look like a little child.

Narrator 1: Here we have footage shot of the destruction of New York. This man and his family were hewn down by a hundred foot tall candy cane just before they got over the bridge and out of the city.

Narrator 2: Gingerbread wasn’t the only gluten-free food to rise up—yes I did make that pun—in rebellion. Bread, cookies, crackers…the worst was probably the breakfast cereals. They would expand and fill an entire town, and could only be vanquished with a flood of water, which left a soggy mess.

Narrator 1: It took the world three years to get rid of all the artificially gluten-free food. Scientists worked feverishly to cure any gluten intolerances and allergies in people.

Narrator 2: They do say that necessity is the mother of all invention.

Narrator 1: That brings us to a modern Christmas celebration, which looks much like the mid 1900s. Simple yet elegant. There are some places that do not allow Christmas decorations. Those parts of the world are hoping to be set free from this oppression soon.

Narrator 2: What do you think could be next? Reindeer uprising? Trees that impale people? Maybe it’s better we skip Christmas.

Narrator 1: Or you could live on the dangerous side.

Narrator 2: And get dead.

Narrator 1: There is that.

Holiday Flash Fiction Categories!

Tradition:

  1. Decorating cookies
  2. Picking out a Christmas Tree
  3. Driving around looking at lights
  4. Staying up until midnight to hear the church bells ring
  5. Going into the woods to cut down your own tree
  6. Watching favorite holiday films
  7. Taking one of the men playing around with the deep fryer (while trying to cook an additional “better” turkey) to the ER for 2nd and 3rd degree burn
  8. PJ pictures on or near the stairs of all the kids Christmas morning
  9. The family sleeping around the Christmas tree the Friday before Christmas
  10. Christmas stockings made by grandma

Object:

  1. A Rabid Snowman
  2. Reindeer
  3. An old nutcracker
  4. Grandma’s crotched snowflakes
  5. Advent Calendar
  6. Krampus’ switch
  7. The heirloom tatted ornament that has been dunked in sugar water, starched, , and modge podged so many times it’s hard to tell what it originally was…(resembles an oblong Easter egg that’s been scrambled) but it’s been out for every Christmas since the oldest family member remembers, it’s tradition
  8. Wooden Christmas signs bought at Ensign
  9. Christmas village on the fireplace
  10. Death Star tree-topper

Food:

  1. Gluten Free Gingerbread
  2. Fruitcake
  3. Cranberry Jell-o Salad
  4. Homemade divinity
  5. Christmas crack chocolate
  6. Christmas Kibble (a cookie that looks like kibble)
  7. Aspic Salad
  8. Wild Rice
  9. Raspberry cream cheese desert
  10. Christmas sugar cookies

  • 0

18-Dec-2020

Welcome to today’s installment of Holiday Flash Fiction Friday!

I swear, I can write warm and fuzzy things, but for some reason this combo made me go a bit dark. Again.

Christmas after the Apocalypse

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Watching Favorite Holiday Films
Wooden Christmas Signs
and
Christmas Kibble

I jumped when I heard the scrape of boots on gravel. My heart raced as the footsteps grew closer. It took most of my strength to lift the shotgun and aim it at the doorway of our hovel. The barrel shook.

“Addie?” a familiar voice asked softly. “It’s me.”

Relief pulled the already meager strength from my arms, and the shotgun fell onto my leg.

“Addie?” This time fear laced my name.

“I’m here,” I said softly.

A plank of plywood moved aside with a hiss. Gray light from the sun filtered in, giving me just enough illumination to see Mark’s silhouette.

“Thanks for not shooting me,” he said. I could hear a smile in his words.

An actual smile.

“What did you find?” I made an attempt at pushing myself into a seated position, and mostly failed.

Mark moved to my side and helped. At one point in my life I would have told him not to bother. I weighed too much for anyone to manhandle me, but there wasn’t much left now. His strong hands slid under my shoulders and knees, and he lifted me and put me back down without so much as a grunt.

I knew I looked and smelled wretched, but Mark gave me a kiss anyway. His lips lingered on mine, as they had done so many times now, giving us a brief moment free of the end of the world.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“I can’t move my legs.”

He nodded as he lit a candle.

My latest infirmary wasn’t a surprise. It was the natural course of the Conclusion, as people had started calling it even as they had died.

The yellow light hit Mark’s face, giving me a clear view of his square jaw, now covered by a few inches of black beard, his dark eyes, and his lips.

“What are you smiling about?” I asked, unable to keep from smiling myself.

“I found a few things for tonight.”

“Tonight?”

He grinned. “It’s Christmas Eve.”

“Is it?” I’d stopped counting the days months before.

“It is.” His eyes glittered.

I fought back tears. Christmas had been our thing. A huge tree, lights on the house, Santa on the roof, and nativity out front…I swallowed hard and made sure my voice would be even before I said, “And?”

Mark pushed the plank back in place, and set his pack on the floor. “And we’re going to celebrate.”

I raised my eyebrows.

He pulled a small wooden sign from his pack. It said “Have Yourself A Merry little Christmas” in red and green letters with faded holly designs painted around it. Mark had attached a piece of twine through the holes on the top and hung it from a hook in the ceiling. The words glittered as it turned back and forth.

“Very nice,” I said.

“But wait, there’s more.” He wiggled his eyebrows and reached into his bag again.

I couldn’t help but sit forward. “I didn’t get you anything,” I said.

“This is for both of us.” He pulled a small, black box-ish thing out of his pack. His lips had pulled into an even bigger smile that practically went from ear to ear.

“What is it?” I asked.

Mark opened it to reveal a computer screen.

“You know that won’t work, right?” I asked.

“It’s a DVD player. Fully charged. Still operational.”

A bubble of excitement filled my stomach. “Really?”

“I figure there’s enough juice to watch a couple of movies.”

“We don’t have any movies.” I pointed out.

“We do now.” Mark retrieved a flat, plastic container from his pack and handed it to me.

I opened it to find several old Christmas movies. I let out a gasp. “You actually found The Year Without a Santa Clause?”

“Who’s a good husband?” he asked me.

I grabbed him by the coat, pulled his lips to mine and let him know just how good of a husband he was.

After a breathless minute he let out a contented sigh. “There’s a storm coming.” He gave me another kiss before he stocked our make-shift stove with wood and climbed onto our bed made of wood pallets and shredded blankets.

Right before he put his arm around me, he snapped his fingers. “Forgot, one more thing.”

The crackle of plastic filled the air as he got a package from his bag. He then grabbed a flat board, cuddled up next to me, put the board on our legs and placed the DVD player on top of it. Only then did he show me the package.

“Muddie Buddies?” They had to be well past expired.

“Christmas Kibble,” he said.

“Sort of,” I said.

“Beggars can’t be choosers. Now which movie do you want to watch first?”

“Duh.”

He handed me the Muddie Buddies while he started the show.

It felt strange to be ripping the plastic bag apart. To have food in there simply ready to eat.

The smell of the peanut butter and sugar filled the air, and we both breathed it in.

“Ladies first,” he said.

“You mean I’m the tester to see how bad it is.”

“It’s all in how you look at it.”

I laughed and took a single sugar coated Chex square out and put it in my mouth. Was it stale? Yes. Did I still moan in pleasure? Yes.

Mark gathered me in his arms and we sat and watched the movie and slowly ate the Christmas Kibble.

I couldn’t stop smiling. He must have scavenged for miles to find this stuff. Halfway through Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Mark began to snore. I gently reached into his pocket and pulled out the calendar.

I wouldn’t last until New Years. I felt bad about that.

Then my suspicion was confirmed. Christmas was still two weeks away.

I wouldn’t last until then.

A tear trickled down my cheek, and I lay my head on Mark’s shoulder. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he muttered.

Holiday Flash Fiction Categories!

Tradition:

  1. Decorating cookies
  2. Picking out a Christmas Tree
  3. Driving around looking at lights
  4. Staying up until midnight to hear the church bells ring
  5. Going into the woods to cut down your own tree
  6. Watching favorite holiday films
  7. Taking one of the men playing around with the deep fryer (while trying to cook an additional “better” turkey) to the ER for 2nd and 3rd degree burn
  8. PJ pictures on or near the stairs of all the kids Christmas morning
  9. The family sleeping around the Christmas tree the Friday before Christmas
  10. Christmas stockings made by grandma

Object:

  1. A Rabid Snowman
  2. Reindeer
  3. An old nutcracker
  4. Grandma’s crotched snowflakes
  5. Advent Calendar
  6. Krampus’ switch
  7. The heirloom tatted ornament that has been dunked in sugar water, starched, , and modge podged so many times it’s hard to tell what it originally was…(resembles an oblong Easter egg that’s been scrambled) but it’s been out for every Christmas since the oldest family member remembers, it’s tradition
  8. Wooden Christmas signs bought at Ensign
  9. Christmas village on the fireplace
  10. Death Star tree-topper

Food:

  1. Gluten Free Gingerbread
  2. Fruitcake
  3. Cranberry Jell-o Salad
  4. Homemade divinity
  5. Christmas crack chocolate
  6. Christmas Kibble (a cookie that looks like kibble)
  7. Aspic Salad
  8. Wild Rice
  9. Raspberry cream cheese desert
  10. Christmas sugar cookies

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26 other subscribers