Well This Isn’t Good

Flash Fiction Fridays

When James first awoke he honestly had no idea what to think. He seemed to have been blinded, although he noted that he could just barely make out some kind of reflection, so it was more likely that his face was covered than there was something wrong with his eyes. For his body, however, he had no explanation at all. He was sore, as though he’d been beaten up, and he felt like he was wrapped in something snug and puffy. Strangest of all, he felt almost as if he was floating, and as he began to move that odd suspicion was confirmed. He had, effectively, full range of motion, but his entire body seemed to be suspended in mid-air, touching nothing.

Up until this point James had been a little woozy, a little disjointed, unable to really put together any coherent thoughts about what was happening. But now his head was beginning to clear. He flailed wildly, his aching limbs searching for something, anything, to touch. Slowly but surely his heart began to rise in his throat as he started to recall fuzzy snippets of a bar brawn that had involved the dishonoring of another guy’s girl.

Eventually James managed to find the release for the visor on his helmet and lifted it up to a view of thousands upon thousands of dots of starlight. The vastness of space spread out around him in every direction without even a single planet within the reach of his eyesight.

“Well, fu-“

Location Zero

Flash Fiction Fridays

(Oops…I had this post scheduled for the wrong day…better late than never, right? Enjoy!)

The work camp housed approximately five thousand people at maximum capacity, accounting for an average of one thousand commissioning technicians, twenty-five hundred construction workers, one thousand employees of the site owner company, and five hundred camp personnel.

Due to the nature of the camp, those five thousand people were almost always in very close proximity to one another. The walls were paper-thin, the air was circulated from room to room to avoid drawing in the dust-laden air from outside, and every two bedrooms shared a single toilet and shower.

Hygiene was not always kept to the highest standards. Rooms were only cleaned twice per week, with towels and washcloths being changed out on the same schedule. Bed sheets were cleaned or changed once every ten days. Food was served via a cafeteria-style system that encouraged dozens of residents at a time to lean and reach over, rummage through, and generally manhandle the dietary options.

Morale also tended to be quite low. Residents worked between a ten- and twelve-hour shift, traveling half an hour each way on overcrowded buses. Neighboring residents often had conflicting shifts, leading to arguments concerning noise complaints and shower usage timing. Washing machines, vending machines, and cellphone coverage regularly broke down. Unreasonably strict rules frustrated the majority of the residents, while the minority broke simple-to-follow rules and created unnecessary backlash for everyone.

It was a miserable place, full of angry, tired, frustrated people who had been eating poorly and getting more and more lapsed in basic hygiene practices with each passing day.

It was the perfect place for the outbreak to begin.


Flash Fiction Fridays

Have you ever stopped to consider where many of our mythological creatures originally came from? I mean, okay, I’m not talking about the Sasquatch, who obviously came about when a frightened hiker saw a grizzly-bear in the woods and exaggerated it to save face, but what series of events would lead to someone coming up with something like a unicorn? What could someone have possibly misinterpreted to come up with the chupacabra?  What kind of lizard would lead someone to imagine winged, fire-breathing monsters?

I’ve often wondered about the births of such creatures in human myth. You see, I have this theory that the human mind is incapable of creating such images from scratch. I believe that anything that has ever been conceived by the human brain must have some basis in truth…these things must have come from actual visual contact with something. In other words, in order for someone to come up with something as fantastical as a dragon, they must have actually seen something frightening that flew and spit flames.

I’ve believed my entire life, and I’ve traveled for a long time and a large distance in order to prove my theory to the world. I’ve been laughed at on every continent, but I’ve always known that if I searched long enough, worked hard enough, someday I would prove that mythological creatures – in one form or another – truly exist.

And as I lay here, my feet and wrists bound with vines as I stare into the fire that is meant to roast me up for dinner, all I can think is, Damn…it turns out Sasquatch is actually the real one after all.

Isn’t it Someone Else’s Turn?

**Note: I’m currently SUPER-busy cleaning, preparing for visitors, filming videos, getting a bunch of affairs in order, doing my taxes, etc etc etc, so for today you get a drabble, one of the cuter ones I think I’ve written in the past. Enjoy!**


Flash Fiction Fridays

Why does Godzilla always attack Japan?

As a young monster growing up I idolized Godzilla. He always seemed like the biggest and baddest of all the monsters. Even when he lost the battle he was still the coolest because he always came back.

But I did always wonder what exactly he had against the Japanese. I mean, with so many other countries just ripe for the picking, some of them even very close by, why constantly torment the same poor nation over and over again?

I’m all grown up now, a fully grown monster, and I’m going to attack Canada.

Monster in the Closet

Flash Fiction Fridays

Have you ever had a monster in your closet?

I don’t mean a real monster, of course, but rather the imaginary perils that children love to create from piles of dirty laundry and tree-branch shadows on nighttime walls. The kinds of monsters that never cross their mind during the day when they’re playing with their toys in the afternoon sun, but spring out of nowhere come bedtime when mommy and daddy just want you to lay down and at least pretend to fall asleep.

I wasn’t the kind of kid who cowered under the blankets and shrieked for mommy if that evil tree-branch tapped my bedroom window. No, I wanted the monsters to be real. I dared them to come out and face me. I would wait until my parents had sneaked away to their own room, and then I’d wiggle out from under the covers, plastic sword from the Dollar Store in my hand, and challenge the monsters. Every night I’d taunt them, call them names – whatever I could think of to make them slither out from their hiding places and fight me. I had this dream, you see, that I’d slay a monster and become a hero: the first grade-schooler to ever kill the monster from their closet.

Of course, eventually I grew out of such things. I stopped threatening the imaginary creatures in my room and went on to real life. But every now and then, when I was having a rough day or felt like the world was being unnecessarily cruel to me, I’d sit in the middle of my bed, pretending to have that cheap plastic sword in my hand, and yell at the monsters again, daring them to challenge me, urging them give me the opportunity to be a hero.

Yesterday, I lost my job, my girlfriend broke up with me, and the woman in the apartment above mine flooded my kitchen again by letting her tub fill too high. So I flopped onto my bed, screamed into my pillow, and since I was the only one in the apartment now, I grabbed my imaginary sword.

“Come get me, already!” I screamed, pouring my frustrations into the fantasy. “I’m ripe for the picking! Just come get me!”

If I live to be a hundred years old I’ll never forget the way the closet door creaked open in that exact moment.

Worlds Bleeding Together

Flash Fiction Fridays

I’m a bit preoccupied at the moment rereading my manuscript in an attempt to fall back in love with it – a la yesterday’s post – so I haven’t gotten a flash fiction post prepared. Instead, I thought I’d share a little scene from the story I’m trying to rekindle a relationship with. It’s way out of context, but I though it would make a nice little teaser. Enjoy!

It was clear that Tori was having difficultly forcing her brain to work properly, so Jared led her up to the next available teller. When she made no movement to take over the transaction, he began rummaging through her purse, pulled out the leaflets of papers and forms, and slid them across the counter. “Sorry,” he told the teller. “She’s, uh, having a really rough time. Please just tell me if there’s anything you need her to do or sign.”

Tori vaguely registered that the teller replied, but she was distracted, straining her ears to hear something else,something strange. It was a very faint sound, but she could swear that she was hearing some kind of a rumbling, and it was getting louder with each passing second. Not again, she thought. Please, no more. I don’t think I can take any more. Her gaze flicked back and for through the bank, from patrons to employees to the line at the ATM in the corner of the room, searching for even the tiniest hint that someone else was hearing the mounting din that sounded to her like rolling thunder. There was none. Everyone else in the building was going about business as usual, completely oblivious to the noise that was growing louder and louder and louder.

A hand fell on her shoulder. She jumped and whirled around to see Jared and the bank teller looking at her expectantly. Jared repeated the question, but Tori couldn’t make out his quiet voice over the noise, which was now reaching painfully loud levels. She placed her hands over her ears and took a step back. “I can’t hear you!” she shouted. She could barely hear her own voice, but Jared jumped in surprise and suddenly everyone in the room was turning to look at her.

She wanted to cry and scream. “Can’t you all hear that?” she moaned. People began to whisper to one another and a security guard stepped forward with a frown on his face. He looked at Tori and his lips moved, but she couldn’t understand a word.

She couldn’t stand it anymore. With her hands on her ears she turned to run from the building, and as she did so she felt something very warm touch the skin above her breasts. She looked down to find that the crystal pendant had slipped beneath the neck of her shirt and felt unnaturally hot against her bare skin. When she tore her eyes away from its shimmery glow it was to find herself standing in the middle of a large meadow with a stampede of horses – their footfalls like thunder – heading directly for her.

Tori shrieked at the top of her lungs and threw herself to the ground. And then, just like that, the sound of the stampede ceased, and she was instead surrounded by concerned murmurs. A man’s voice asked whether he should call 911, and a woman’s hissed for her children to step back. Tori peeked her head up from the floor and found Jared staring down at her, his eyes wide. Her face felt cold, like all the blood had been drained from it. After what seemed like a very long moment of hesitation Jared rushed forward to help her up, but she scrambled to her feet and held out her hands as though to say, “Don’t touch me.”

“Um… Should I call 911?” the same voice – another teller – repeated.

Jared shook his head, though it didn’t seem that he was so sure himself. “No, no,” he stuttered. “It’s okay. I’ll take her home.” He reached back to snatch Tori’s paperwork from the teller’s desk. He reached out a hand toward Tori and tried his very best to give her a reassuring smile. Tentative, unsure of anything anymore, Tori reached out and let him wrap his fingers around hers. As he did she saw another vision of his face, surrounded by shaggy hair and marred with a scar down his left cheek. She silently squeezed her eyes shut to banish the image.

“Are you sure she’s okay,” someone – the security guard, perhaps – asked. “She looks like she’s in pain.”

“She’s been through a lot recently,” Jared replied, squeezing Tori’s hand. “I promise that I’ll take her to the hospital if it seems necessary.” Then he began to lead Tori away from the whispers and murmurs of the bank patrons. She kept her eyes firmly closed until she was safely sitting in the passenger-side seat of her car. She opened them just long enough to fish her keys out of her purse and toss them to Jared, then closed them again for the entire drive home. By the time Jared had gotten her out of the car and to the living room couch she was so exhausted that she drifted immediately into fitful sleep.

The Eyes of a Monster

Flash Fiction Fridays

At first it was very dark. The girl thought that her eyes must have been closed, but she blinked a few times and realized that this was not the case. Blind then? She tried to lift her hand to wave it in front of her face, but found that she was unable to move very much. She wasn’t bound, but she appeared to be in a small, compressed space. She wiggled frantically and managed to coax her arms up near her face, but she her eyes refused to register them. So…blind, possibly, or perhaps just cut off from any inkling of light, given her current predicament.

She wiggled some more, twisted herself in all directions. She felt along the edges of her confinement as best she could. It seemed to be some kind of rectangular metal enclosure, positioned vertically so that she was forced to stand while in it. She felt all along it, twisting herself in circles, looking for an exit. She found a seam on one side, running vertically down along the juncture between walls, but she found no handle, no clasps, nothing to allow her to open the structure. Instead she tried pushing. She pushed with all her strength, breathing deep and slow. She pushed again and again, losing a little of her strength each time. She was getting nowhere, fast. And she was beginning to panic. Where the hell was she and why was she trapped in this…this coffin?!

Before she knew it her breathing had sped up, her heart begun to hammer. And then she noticed something that she hadn’t before, something that frightened her to her core. Her breath and her heartbeat were the only sounds she could hear. Otherwise, she was in complete and total silence. Horrifying, maddening silence. She began to beat on the walls, but she had very little space with which to gain momentum, thus her impacts created only the soft padding of her skin making contact with the metal surface.

That was when she tried to scream for the first time.

She couldn’t.

A deep dread set in. Mind-numbing terror.

She tried again. No sound escaped her throat but for the vague rasping of her breath leaving her body at rapidly increasing intervals. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Her hands flew to her throat, clawing at it desperately, willing some noise to come from it.

She felt something strange. There was a seam on her throat. With wide, unseeing eyes, she traced the raised bit of skin from it’s starting point just under her chin, down, down, past her collarbone, past her breasts. There was something else there as well, she realized. Something that periodically broke the rigid seam that split her body in two.


She lost what tiny strand of sanity she was still clinging to. She opened her mouth in silent shrieks, breathing faster and harder, hyperventilating, drawing in every last ounce of oxygen in the tiny enclosure. She pounded on the walls of the box with every ounce of strength she could muster. She rocked back and forth, banging her entire body into the walls, shrieking her silent shrieks. She willed herself to make some kind of noise, any kind of noise.

Any kind of noise!

The light was so sudden that it shocked her into stillness. She fell back against the wall behind her and her hands flew to her face to block the onslaught of bright white. It took what seemed like a long time for the spots in front of her eyes to disappear, but then she slowly moved her fingers, one by one, until she could see what happened. A small square window had been opened up on the wall in front of her. The light shining through really wasn’t all that bright now that her vision was beginning to adjust, but what she could see through the window was more ghastly than anything she’d experienced up to that point.

A pair of dark green eyes stared back at her; cold, fathomless, without emotion. They were the eyes of someone running an experiment. The eyes of someone who didn’t give the slightest damn about her personal well-being. They were the eyes of a monster.

Fantasy Versus Reality

Flash Fiction FridaysJamie thought about Super Mario.

The first of the franchise’s games in the Super Nintendo era, “Super Mario World”, had been Jamie’s first video game ever. He played that game so much that you could swear that the controller’s buttons were worn down a few millimeters. He’d played every stage about a hundred times – not because he couldn’t beat them, but because he was having so much fun that he never wanted to stop. He’d defeated Bowser and his kids so many times that he was confident, even now, that he could do it in his sleep.

Eventually he’d moved on to role-playing-games, like the Final Fantasy series, and those were fun but he’d never quite caught on to the kind of gameplay that required him to scroll through menus in the heat of battle. He wanted the action, the quick-thinking movements, the excitement of having to dodge attacks and initiate them simultaneously.

It took a few years, but eventually he found exactly what he was looking for: Halo. This was the game for him. It had space marines and aliens. It had little guns, big guns, and massive guns. It had bombs that you could stick to people. And Jamie didn’t have to just play the campaign missions…he could play in versus battles against his friends too! At least…until he got so good at the game that no one wanted to play with him anymore.

First-person-shooter games became his life. After demolishing the early Halo franchise he moved on and worked his way through the entire available roster. The Battlefield games, Counterstrike, all the Call of Duty options, anything with Tom Clancy’s name written on it. FarCry, Doom, Quake, and Borderlands. Gears of War, Crysis, Killzone, and the Clive Barker games. Jamie had played them all, and often with such fervor and frequency that he was at the top of every leaderboard, the most hated player on ever server.

Those were good times. And he’d thought that, surely, if he was this good at firing digital guns, real ones couldn’t possibly be that difficult, right?

Jamie quivered in a foxhole, clutching a spent magazine and the bloodied arm of his dead companion as shots and screams rang out all around him, and he thought of Super Mario.


Flash Fiction FridaysHave you ever felt like something just wasn’t right, but you weren’t sure what or why?

The feeling came upon me as I was unloading the dishwasher. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I was lifting a water-stained glass from the plastic rack with a scowl when my gut suddenly clenched in a very unpleasant way. I knew something was wrong, something had…changed.

I wandered around the house for quite a while, trying to work out what my gut was trying to tell me. At first everything looked totally normal, but then I pulled aside the kitchen curtains. My backyard seemed so still, so quiet, which I guess shouldn’t have been too alarming, except that it’s usually quite windy in my town and not a single leaf was rustling on the trees. Then I released the curtains and they neglected to fall back into place. At first I almost didn’t take notice at the lack of movement, but as my brain rushed to catch up I found myself standing there, mouth agape, staring at the long strip of fabric that was coiled off to the side as though held there by an invisible hand. When the initial shock wore off I reached out a trembling finger and poked the curtain. It indented where my finger touched it and remained in the new position when I withdrew.

The next thing I knew I was out in the front yard, gaping in horror at the neighbor kid, suspended in midair with a skipping rope winding from hand to hand behind her back. There was a pleasant smile frozen on her face, but to me, at that moment, it was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen.

The man up the road sat on an immobile ride-on mower, a beer half-raised to his mouth. A car backing out of a driveway up the road was perpetually paused at a forty-five degree angle. A robin that had taken a leap from its nest was hovering with its beak open only a few feet above my head.

And my gut twisted and writhed because I knew – I just knew – that somehow, this was all my fault.

So Easy

Flash Fiction FridaysIt would be so easy…

Alex tossed another rock into the “lake” and watched as it plopped down on the surface and hung there. Gretchen took no notice, but continued running her mouth at him like she was undisputed queen of the Universe.

Alex considered the process on which they were standing. The floating structure was effectively a boat that housed a powerful pump. The main oil plant would pump all of their dirty run-off out to this remote, man-made pond, and then the “boat” would separate the water and pump it back to the plant for re-use. What was left behind was a thick, black, tar-like sludge lake that was so solid it took almost five full minutes for Alex’s rocks to sink below the surface.

He’d tossed six rocks so far. They sink so satisfyingly.

Eventually, when too much sludge had accumulated, the entire lake would be buried.

And my rocks will never be seen again.

“Are you even listening to me Alexander?! My god, you are so inconsiderate! We’re supposed to be partners! We’re supposed to be working together! We’re all we’ve got out here in the middle of nowhere, and you can’t even be bothered to pay attention to me when I’m talking to you!”

Alex watched his seventh rock sink slowly, the sludge enveloping it in a warm, smothering hug until all traces of it had vanished into its slimy grave.

Oh my god, Alexander, you are such an asshole! Look at me! Look at me!!

Alex looked at her and wondered what he would tell Operations.

It would be so easy…