Wooden Bird Mr. Winsor stood just outside, showing off his son’s steam car with its fine red paint and delicately molded details. His son worked at the company that made them now that his apprenticeship was over. His son could afford a car.Wooden Bird11 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Edward couldn’t afford such an apprenticeship. Folding his arms together, he rested them on the window sill. Winsor always had good luck. He bought his son’s apprenticeship with a large purse of money he found while walking home drunk. An honest man would have tried to return the money. A smart one bought his son a good apprenticeship.
With a sigh, Edward went back to cutting vegetables. Everyone would be tired after work and stew was always good, even on hot nights. It couldn’t be any hotter than the factory, anyway.
A tug on Edward’s pant leg drew his attention down and he smiled. “Well, look who just crawled his way across the r
FFM2015 3 - FIRST SWARM: The MartyrI close my eyes, longing to hit the button that tells the medical swarm to drug me, to shut down my body and mind and enforce the rule of sleep.FFM2015 3 - FIRST SWARM: The Martyr12 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I do not. The medical swarm works at the same speed regardless of my mental state or wakefulness. It shuts down my ability to feel pain in the areas it attempts to mend. Swarms have become so advanced it does not even feel like anything is wrong with my body.
Until I try to move. Then I am forced to recognize how weak I have become.
The medical swarm and nursing staff are still unsure why my personal swarm malfunctioned. Though, that is why I ended up at the Center. A small percentage of personal swarms malfunction, which causes problems ranging from small to insane in the body they inhabit. They call the malfunctions "bugs" It is cute, until you hear some of the details.
In my case, my swarm suddenly detected several of my vital organs as threats to my well-being. It tore through my gut, heart, lungs, and stomach, chewing them up. Destroying
SpaceForce Ground TroopsThe SpaceForce Standard Battlesuit stands 3 meters tall, with its wearer encased within an armoured shell powered by a micro-fusion generator and a framework of servo-actuated electroactive polymers. Battlesuits are highly mobile, with jump-jet and roller-skate abilities in addition to standard walk mode.SpaceForce Ground Troops14 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
SpaceForce Standard Battlesuit
Head - 12mw defensive beam lance
Torso - 8mm beltgun + 35mm repeater (using conventional infantry munitions)
Left arm - 15cm heavy coil-mortar + 3cm light coil-rifle
Right arm - 1cm cyclic coil-gun + 6cm heavy coil-rifle
The SpaceForce standard Walking Turret is an armoured behemoth, striding on four legs, with gunpods on both the lower and upper sections of the "arms". It has a single pilot and a single gunner seated in tandem within the armoured torso, and stands at 4 meters tall crouched, and 6 meters tall extended.
Walking Turrets are slow but extemely heavily armoured and very well defended.
SpaceForce Standard Walking Turret
Head - 2x 12mw defensiv
Steampunk StaircaseI slowly ascended the wrought iron stair, each footfall soft on the metal surface. I kept my aether ray firmly in my right hand - after the monstrous hybrid of man and hydra I just vanquished, I knew I better be prepared.Steampunk Staircase14 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Little could I see ahead of me, so dark and quiet was the room above. The only sounds I could hear were the steam escaping the device upon my back that powered the weapon I held, as well as the slow whirring and minute clicks of the gears that helped draw power from the air around me.
The moment my boot came down on wood instead of iron, I knew I had reached the top of the stair. I readied my aether ray, bringing it up to firing position at my shoulder, and scanned the room.
The massive gears were no surprise, not in the old clocktower. The grand piano, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to be there. Nor was the figure hunched over it, gazing at me with one burning eye for just a moment.
Before I could speak a word, he began to play, and the clocktower van
Weirdly NormalSurprisingly, the eight-headed monster wasn’t the weirdest part of my day. The Yamata no Orochi was popular Japanese forklore. I’d known about it for years. First through some of my favorite Japanese anime, like BlueSeed and Naruto.Weirdly Normal14 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I’d learned about it when researching Japanese Mythology and how the Sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, expelled her brother Susanoo-no-Mikoto – the God of sea and storms – from the heavens. Upon his journey, he met the earth deities who were about to lose their last daughter as a sacrifice to the Orochi. By turning the daughter into a comb and hiding her in his hair, he killed the eight-headed dragon.
Seeing an eight-headed monster came as no surprise. Rather, the weirdest part of my day was seeing my father come to the door, wishing to see me, when I hadn’t seen him in years. I’d rather face the Orochi, itself. Maybe if I prayed, hard, Susanoo would come to save
Monkey WrenchedJuly 2, 1887 – Automata Fair Ends In Disgrace!Monkey Wrenched15 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
LONDON – The organizers of the 15th Annual London Automata Fair have not awarded a prize this year due to some confusion regarding the rules.
“Contestants have long been men of science, distinguished folk eager to test out new designs for mobile, self-contained machines,” said Professor Albert Pendleton, Esq., one of the judges of this year's competition. “Because of the nature of automata, we have long had to keep definitions flexible, as any number of innovations are possible- encouraged, I say! But the actions of Mr. LaBelle, and his entry's abuse of our qualifications, are a clear sign that the bylaws of this fair need to be revised.”
Since 1872, the London Automata Fair has applied the inventions of the Milton Steam Engine and the Mercier Inference Engine by creating contests of ability for different automata. This year's tasks were a small obstacle course, followed by an array of domestic cleaning
ContragravityContragravity techContragravity15 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Gravitonium is key material for building any gravitic motor.
Reductor - decrease resistance to motion/inertia of mass/"weight"
Expansor - increase resistance to motion/inertia of mass/"weight"
Deflector - repulsive force, "strong" inversion external linear direction
Attractor - attractive force, "strong" increase, external linear direction
Inclinator - rotational force, angular momentum/torque
Impellor - linear force, slow acceleration at best, not even a half gee
Contragravitic lift system - reductors arranged to reduce the accelerative forces of gravitation within a field, making vehicle lighter and vastly more fuel efficiency and reaction engine thrust
Inertial cage system - combination of attractors and deflectors used to simulate gravity and compensate for acceleration
Tractor/pusher beam system - system of attractors used to manipulate objects wirelessly
Gravitic impulse drive - the art of falling sideways, low power propulsion
Space/time warp field gener
FFM 2015: Day 2 - DeconstructionFFM 2015: Day 2 – DeconstructionFFM 2015: Day 2 - Deconstruction17 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Please try to relax, Celeste. It's going to take all night for me to fix this mess."
The tension that filled the room was palpable - bitter, if she could name the persistent taste that lingered on her tongue. Dalton's words were earnest, she knew, but they couldn't ease the rigid body he was tinkering with. The skylight above was surprisingly clean enough to see a glimpse of a crescent moon. She refused to take her eyes off of the sliver of silver and serenity. Taking slow, deep breaths she tried to release the anxiety trapped within her chest, praying for the fluttering in her ribcage to cease and her palm to stop sweating. "I'm trying, Dalton." I'm really trying.
"I know you are." He wouldn't look at her, and that made it even harder to gauge truly how furious he was with her. When she'd stumbled to his factory with half of a mechanic left arm and the tips of her curly umber hair singed, the look on his face nearly brought Celest
Prompt 20 - Missed ConnectionsPrompt 20—Missed ConnectionsPrompt 20 - Missed Connections18 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Mia guided Dylan through the super-complex, warily glancing around every few steps. Their “eyes in the skies”, Justin, gave her a constant stream of information, mostly regarding people and places to avoid. Working together, the two easily navigated the building, their goal: get Dylan to the central computer.
“Hard left in 10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . .” Justin chattered through Mia’s earpiece, giving precise directions, “. . . 3 . . . 2 . . . now! Okay, suspicious figure at your nine o’clock. Don’t make eye contact. Good. Now just keep walking forward, he’s looking back. And . . . he’s gone. Merge with the crowd. Good. Okay, turn into the second corridor on your right,”
“Justin? Are you sure?”
“What do you mean?”
Mia kept walking, “It
A Clockwork Spy--Day 2My eyes scan the crowded ballroom as I make my way past the guards at the doors. Or, rather, the cats’ eye glasses I wear pick out specific individuals in the room for me to pay attention to while I take in the group as a whole. My fingers delicately brush the full skirt of my dress, directly over the penknife concealed in its myriad ruffles and laces. Of course, it's just-in-case, but one can never be too careful.A Clockwork Spy--Day 218 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I’m Jenna Gillespie, corporate spy and assassin. And I’m here on a mission—search and retrieve a set of confidential-level blueprints from a businessman from a rival corporation, which, according to our intel, he keeps on a thumb-drive necklace. As sensitive as this mission is, I’m the only girl for the job.
Why me? A few reasons. I’m small for a girl, actually fragile-looking, with utterly forgettable features. Half the country has brown hair and watered-down blue eyes, so I come out looking
Obsolete ~ ScalesShe'd been observing her mentor for a moment. Whatever he was doing seemed to fascinate him. She'd never seen such a contraption. Even years later it seemed to be incongruous and coming from a distant world.Obsolete ~ Scales20 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"They're called scales." The Master said as if he'd heard her question. Most likely, he'd noticed the interrogative look in her eyes. "A long time ago, people used it to weigh."
He pointed a little objects sitting in a box. At his invitation she picked the largest one. It was heavy: at least one of the old kilograms that they used on the world called earth. The others must be lighter.
"But why would people use such complicated contraption Master?"
"They didn't have our tools and knowledge."
Then why did he have those old things? And why were they so interesting to him, she ended up asking.
"Ah I'm glad you asked. You see I've modified the scales a bit. Make one, the biggest you can. As much as this place allows."
She bit her lips looking at him sharply. He'd never allowed her to cr
Cakes and CogsIt was now ten o’clock and Gwen was still admiring herself in the mirror.Cakes and Cogs20 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Two black bat wings now flanked her octopus tattoo, and black gear silhouettes encircled the entire design. She could always change it later. The woman licked her lips and adjusted her small top hat, which was perched to the right on her head. She picked up a monocle, studied it briefly, and then added that to her ensemble.
She had never looked more like a business tycoon than today.
Pleased with herself, she left the back and studied the customers wandering around the front room of her bakery.
All of the serving girls had been outfitted in their new corsets – brown and brass, of course. The walls were decorated with giant brass cogs. The air smelled sweet with the many cakes that were already prepared for the morning.
Gwen inhaled deeply, her hands stroking the silkiness of her own corset.
Then, a horrific clanking noise from the back made every customer look up and around with confusion. Gwen clench
Melissandra's Last DayMelissandra checked her watch again, then snapped it shut and pocketed it with a sigh. She had another ten minutes to wait before the train would arrive.Melissandra's Last Day21 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She resumed pacing the platform. She was too nervous to sit.
A greasy-looking man with a goatee and velvet top hat was thrusting a bouquet of roses at her face. Melissandra turned pointedly away, but the man danced around in front of her. "You won't find flowers like this on the moon, miss. I've got red roses, orange roses, yellow roses, tulips, pansies geraniums..."
"No, thank you." Melissandra tried to turn past him and continue pacing, but he was blocking her way. "The moon is famed for its gardens," she told him with a polite smile.
"White flowers, glowing flowers, yes - but do you think you will find color there? Do you think you will find color there? Do you think you won't miss the red of a rose?" He singled one out for her and held it beneath her nose. "Come, take one with you, miss - to remind you of your hom
Flash Fiction Month - July 1 ~ Under the SeaI went with the visual prompt Dreaming REDO by Jon-LockFlash Fiction Month - July 1 ~ Under the Sea22 hours ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was lying on the school tables – as always it seemed. One might argue that it wasn’t comfortable but she enjoyed it somehow. She was in a relaxing position but the gaps between the tables kept her focused, almost in a state of meditation. Even though she wasn’t particularly likely to meditate.
Behind the glass windows, whales swam by peacefully. And the light in which they bathed was comforting. The sounds they made were soothing. That’s why she was here. she looked for some measure of peace. She hid from teachers and classmates alike here. No one bothered her at this time of day, in that particular room.
She could spend whatever time she wanted daydreaming about what it would have been like to live on the earth, breathe real fresh air and oxygen instead of the one they collected and artificially from the ocean. Instead she and the children of the solar flare’s survivors lived under the sea. Under
FFM 2015, July 2 - Anticipating the Grind"Leah! Get out of there right this instant!" Her nanny's angry voice woke her from her peaceful slumber between the teeth of the gear.FFM 2015, July 2 - Anticipating the Grind1 day ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Look at you: Greasy and dirty like some clockwork technician!"
Nevermind the danger of sleeping in the machine: Just as long as the fine born lady didn't look like a working class child.
"What would lady Heathfield say! Now hurry or we shall be late for the flying machine!"
"Yes nanny." Leah crawled out, aware the only thing obstinacy would get her is a good spanking. If nanny knew how much time she spent with the engineer's boys, she would have a fit. Leah looked over her shoulder, high up at the control tower, and gave a small wave.
Far above, the engineer smiled. He had been waiting for the child to leave before starting the engine. "Coal in!" He bellowed. Then he announced: "Airship embarking in ten minutes! Pardon the delay."
He watched as Leah Heathfield left, dragged by her nurse towards the gentlefolk's entrance, on the other
Clockwork BondThe large silver serving platter functioned nicely as a makeshift shield. She was wielding it thoughtfully, a rolling pin in the other hand as she imagined herself fighting off hordes of villainous gizmos, when Cook re-entered the room. "Isabelle!" The paunch woman, voice raised over the hissing steam and pounding pistons of the kitchen, was not happy. "Get on with your work, girl."Clockwork Bond1 day ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The stern admonishment loosened Isabelle's grip, and the platter crashed to the floor, spinning across its expanse like a giant coin. The rolling pin followed, slipping into the shadows and knocking into a tiny figure that quickly moved away. Isabelle flushed and Cook's glare deepened. "I've told you before. You'll not find yourself any part of the battles ahead. Now get that cleaned up and finish your chores." She quirked an eyebrow in the girl's direction, and gathered the items she'd returned for.
Sensing the girl's discontent even as she kneeled, Cook added a threat on her way out the door. "No more non
Clockwork GirlTwirl, twirl, twirl.Clockwork Girl1 day ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The first time I opened my eyes, I saw my father. When I reached out for him, my joints squeaked and creaked and my arms jittered.
That was his first word to me.
He took off his glasses and left the room cleaning them. That left me alone, in the dark, listening to spiders clicking and clacking inside my head. They frightened me. I wanted my father.
When I tried to move my legs, I found that I had none. It was disconcerting, but not an impassable obstacle. I used my arms and my fingers to drag my body across the floor, until I met the door. It was disconcerting, but not an impassable obstacle. I broke the door and passed through.
I heard running steps above me. Then the steps ran down the stairs. My father appeared. He saw me and staggered back.
“Hmm,” I said. “Hmm. Hmm.”
My father approached me and I reached out for him. We both jittered.
He swung a wrench at me and all the spiders stopped.
A Morbid EpiphanyWaking up on a coroner's slab is an ordinary experience for me. Though it generally happens before the autopsy. Not that I mind having a few extra scars, but I dislike jolting upright with a scalpel lodged in my sternum. You should see how fast coroners collapse after watching me rise from the dead.A Morbid Epiphany1 day ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
This one puts the number at 157. Times I've died, I mean. Don't ask me how it started, because I have no idea. The first time it happened I almost had a heart attack and died again. Ha.
Anyway, I go through what I had come to call the "Zombie Routine." I make sure that my body is still intact, flexing my fingers, moving stiff joints, and stretching out muscles. Apart from the initial incision made by the medical examiner, everything seems unscathed, but as I make my way through the checklist, I notice something is missing - the pinky toe of my right foot is gone.
The sensation of wiggling all but a missing appendage is a strange one. Shuddering, I swing my legs onto the floor, clutch
And Then Dinosaurs "I gave you permission for a pet, John," Marianne ground out. "A. Singular. Pet."And Then Dinosaurs2 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
John grinned at his flatmate. "Well, I was merely fiddling around with the teleportation device, trying to make it more efficient, and then..."
"And then dinosaurs?"
"And then dinosaurs."
A slap echoed through the room. "Only you, John," she sighed through her hand. "Only you."
"Can I keep them? I'll house train them and clean up after them and --"
"Dinosaurs, John. Roar, I'm going to eat you?"
"They're well behaved!"
"Send them back. Now."
John smiled sheepishly. "I'm... not quite sure how to."
Marianne's scream could be heard ten blocks away.
Tower on the Horizon The tower stood bleak on the horizon. Novak the Other leaned on his staff and stared at it from across the desolate valley that lay between him and it. It was the first manmade structure he had seen since he had started wandering. He thought of what it would be like if there were people living there. Novak the Other had not seen a human in years, no living thing in months. He was sure his own voice would sound disused and alien even to himself.Tower on the Horizon2 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The prospect of seeing people almost took him in that direction. What if this was where they had gone after the Great Reckoning? What if they he ventured there only to find them all long dead? Or worse, hostile?
Thoughts of fresh food and clean water danced in his mind, teased him forward a few faltering steps. But he stopped short. If there were humans, he might find a visitor’s welcome. Novak the Other could endure strange looks and whispered conversation if it meant a full belly and a warm bed.
FFM2015 2 - Balley-2She opened the door, smiled at his dapper appearance, but jumped back as the bag he carried growled. She closed the door to just a crack, and frowned.FFM2015 2 - Balley-22 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“No. Absolutely not.”
“Ah, c’mon Val. We’ll just foster him for a few days and that’ll be that, I promise.”
He tried to push his way in, but Val rolled a cog in the door that locked it in place.
“You bought a haunted bowling ball.” She eyed the old, rounded bag and the rusted gears she presumed were all that kept her safe from its contents. “Again. Sam…”
“Come on! We ball-proofed the place last time, and that turned out alright!”
Val stomped the ground. “NO. We ball-proofed it for last time, which we agreed was the only time you would do this. I refuse to once again go through the entire mansion and move around anything that vaguely resembles bowling pins.”
The gears on the bag creaked as the ball inside attempted to throw its weight around. E
FFM 2015: Day 1 - AssignedFFM 2015: Day 1 – AssignedFFM 2015: Day 1 - Assigned2 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
What little amount of sunlight managed to enter through the grimy window struck scarred bronzed skin and ruffled pale blue bed sheets. The azure pendant - inscribed with a single letter “C” - that gleamed on her chest rose and fell with each steady breath she took. Blissful dreams made her grin. Her body shifted, and her face became buried in a tangled mess of umber curls. Black sand beaches and cool blue water lapping at her feet, her body and soul basking in copious amounts of sunlight as the waves pulled her in and whisked her away from all that she knew….
Playful kisses tickled the nape of her neck and slowly elevated her into consciousness. She giggled softly. "Dalton, I didn't know you could be so loving..." she cooed sleepily, a lustful smile crossing her lips as her eyes slowly opened. Dark brown irises focused and rested upon an Apatosaurus that stood anxiously at her bedside. An ungodly scream sounded throughout
Morning DelimmaWith a groan, I turned from one side to the other with the attempt to find a new comfortable position. The mattress of my bed sank beneath me. Sleepy… I was still sleepy, it couldn’t be time to wake up, yet. I had eight more minutes to sleep, after hitting the snooze button, and I was going to make every minute count.Morning Delimma2 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I pulled the blanket up around me and wrapped its warm softness around my body with the attempt to shield out the cold morning air. Forcing myself to ignore the painful feeling of a full bladder, I dove back into the still lingering moments of the dream that I’d been having.
Too quickly, the sharp, ear splitting buzzing yanked my consciousness back to reality. Out of habit, my hand slapped back at the snooze button. When the annoying racket continued, after my blind aim missed its target, my eyes pried open to shoot an accusing glare at the cursed machine.
The time flashed before my eyes, reading a half ho