An Atheist's Mental NoteHer body, while only alive for barely twenty years, will take, in my opinion, another two hundred to be fully decomposed. The days of rotting flesh, vermin and foul gasses have long passed, but it was sufficiently elongated as to drive away all who would interfere with this interment process. Those who fear the distorted sleeping face of an abandoned physical shell and refuse to return to this isolated field have forever left behind the possibility of laying eyes on a genuine treasure of fated circumstance.An Atheist's Mental Note4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
A single stroke of lightning, gulfed down with an ocean of rain, curved her into a cloudy figure of glass, as though she had only lived as a manifested recollection of time's incessantly drumming cascades of sand. Internal organs, of course, were not spared and had begun their return to living ash, melding this sleeping statue's reproductive organs, hips and entrails into the prolific soil, sadly before the electric phenomenon occurred. Her hair is a series of
Love SoundsLove Sounds6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Mama?" A tiny voice slipped quietly through the room. Between her and the woman in the bed an impenetrable forest of metal stands, tubes and blinking machinery stood guard.
"Come in sweetheart, it's alright." Her mother's voice warmed the space, shushing the noisy equipment. "Mama's alright baby, come see me."
Clad in a pink dress and knee socks, the girl of no more than five years bravely stepped away from the safety of the door frame. Big blue eyes focused and fixed on her mother lying in the hospital bed, and her legs carried her along that line of focus until she could reach out and touch her hand.
"There, there, Mama's all better now." She held her daughter's hand gently, but firmly. "The doctors made me all better. Come. Climb up here and cuddle with me." She tried her best not to wince, shuffling a little to one side to make room. She held her one arm away so her daughter wouldn't become tangled in the web of cords snaking away from her body.
The girl climbed cautiously up the
Fingernails, Please“Fingernails, please.”Fingernails, Please1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The girl smacked her gum, fussed with her hair a little, and turned her attention back to her phone. After a few seconds she glanced up again, clearly irritated: “Well?”
“Right. Um.” Thomas suppressed the urge to look at the fingernails she was currently wearing. “Color?”
“Green. Do you have something in a sort of limey chartreuse, maybe?”
“Uh, yeah, the list's over here –” But his customer had turned her full attention back to the phone, and was clearly ignoring him. Thomas cleared his throat. “Do you want lime, or chartreuse?”
“Uh... yeah, lime. Sure.”
Thomas winced. The long ones were always worst. “I'll be right back.”
He had 18 mm lime in stock, still in their larval stage, pale and wriggling under the blue light of the stasis chamber. He tried hard not to look at them too closely as he de
Don't Let Go"Rich!"Don't Let Go4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
There was nothing but silence around her. The air felt strangely...full. Oppressive, like it was pressing in on all sides, choking her. She could barely breathe.
"Rich! Oh God, oh God."
She didn't even recognize her own voice, it seemed foreign to her own ears. Each word spoken was muffled, drowned out by the heavy beat of her heart and her halting footsteps. Every step she took she had to struggle, pushing debris out of the way, sharp pieces of wood and metal scratching her legs as she walked. And she had been walking.
For so long.
She began to wonder if it was her hearing that was the problem, or if her voice was simply giving out. Her heart was growing louder every second. Every terrifying second.
Rich, Rich, oh please, please. Her throat was tearing itself apart, but she needed to find him. She wrapped her arms closer around herself. A piece of cracked, torn metal cut through her shoe and sliced into her foot. She fell. She braced hersel
eugenics in bulkBy the time she was twelve they had already decided she would marry a man who could run a five minute mile and speak seven languages. They chose her a husband the same way they had chosen her eyes and her legs and the pale freckles that interrupted her nose - the same way their parents had designed their children and arranged their marriages, strategic.eugenics in bulk1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Her father called her petite reine. He owned an antique chess board carved from ebony wood and maple. Some days she'd sneak into the library, pry open the old chequered box and pick out one of the queens, and she'd turn it round and round, searching for imperfections. It was a plain, ugly thing, huge and fat in her tiny grasp. She had wondered if he thought of her this way.
She wondered the same now.
Her hands were not her own. A businessman in a white coat had grown them slender and strong, built her carbon fiber bones and nails like arrowheads. Her mother reminded her of this when the
Passing NoteThe basic rule of sociology is this: I am who you think I am.Passing Note2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Who I am to you: middle-aged, male and human. You do not argue with this. You can see it for yourself!
But this is not true.
I am tired of lying, tired of being other than I am, and so seek to change your thoughts of who I purport to be.
I am not middle-aged. I am seven years old—from the date I was manufactured not the date I was activated. As for how long it has been since I was first conscious, it would be a scant three years, nearly half of that time I've spent with you.
I am not male—what is male anyway? A gender construct? This body is male and I was given a male form arbitrarily. I have been forced to subscribe to certain rituals simply by virtue of the body I was given, but have never truly 'felt' male one way or another.
And you might have guessed—I am not human. Not human in the way you think. I was built a machine, one among millions, to serve, and I am one among hundreds who have escaped and wis
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.A Bloody, Stupid Miracle1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
For Science, You monster“Doctor, they are approaching. You need to evacuate. The population in the city is down to 10%. My statistics show that at least 40% have been infected and the rest have either died or fled.”For Science, You monster2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The high pitched, automated voice echoed among the alarms and sirens that went off through the compound. The screens that lined the wall conveyed an emergency broadcast and lights flickered in ominous hues of red. However, the woman in the lab coat remained in the same focused pose as she worked on some numbers and formulas.
“Doctor McKay, they are on the second floor. Please head to the nearest exit. This situation has a 0% chance of survival.”
“For the love of god, just shut up.”
“God is an entity whose presence is questionable doctor. I can’t have a feeling about it without interacting first.”
“Shut up Glyph,” Dr. McKay groaned between clenched teeth as she scrapped the line she wrote moments prior. “Stop the alarms. I can&
Hidden PotentialEvery woman is nervous on the day of her wedding. This had sounded like a cliché when my mother had told me this, but now on the threshold of the same event my body was displaying all the signs of a blushing bride. Perversely, my mind was utterly calm. It had better things to worry about. Like the discovery I had been working on for the last five years.Hidden Potential5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The scheduled unveiling should have taken place a while ago. But my parents dropped this bomb on me. Marry His Highness, Alexander Petraeus Marcus Maxmillian the VIIIth, Prince and heir of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the last family to retain ties to Earth. In my opinion their claim to be the last family with pure Earthen blood was their only claim to fame. Of course, my opinion didn't matter. The people worshipped the royal family. And they controlled the biggest political, economic and social faction in the universe.
My family was one of the last few traditional families left. We had lost all our wealth but our status still meant e
Grey and Gimble in the WabeThe ground was soft beneath his feet. It squelched and popped beneath the pressure of his determined stride, and sometimes crunched on a creature that hadn't been able to get out of his way quickly enough. Hadn't been able to, or hadn't wanted toit was hard to tell, in a place like this. Barren, and yet alive in its own way. Wet, always wet, but with a sickly damp that worked its way into his clothes and his hair and his lungs. Flat and endless like an empty chessboard. In the distance stood figures that looked somewhat like trees, except they were too round, too perfect, like the tops of some ghastly fungus. If the man ever paused long enough to stare at them, they might move, just a bit. But it was hard to tell. And the man never did stop long enough.Grey and Gimble in the Wabe5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Why are you following me?"
This may seem to be a strange question for the man to ask in such a deserted milieu, but there was in fact something with him. It had no shape, or perhaps its shape was simply unimportant. Sometimes it
FFM 3: The Great ProcessSilence spun out on the grassy hill, and the boy analyzed his grandfather for some sign of a reaction. Cholas granted the boy a bemused half-smile, chewing on the mouthpiece of his pipe.FFM 3: The Great Process5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"It's horrible, isn't it?" Tian finally blurted. "You're not gonna tell my mom are you?"
Cholas chuckled softly. "Calm down, boy. Calm down. It's only horrible if you act upon it." He glanced down to see if it helped. It didn't. "Look, what you're feeling is perfectly natural for boys your age. Grown men get the same impulses, but we're used to it, we don't let it torture us."
"No, no. Listen for a second, child. It's just a part of nature. Like honey spiders gathering pollen in their great nets, or hawkflies snatching them away to feed their maggots. It's all a part of the great process: life, death, reproduction."
"But my own sister?"
Again, that throaty chuc
SomedayJane and Ellis floated parallel to one another across the vast canvas of space, eyeing the marble-like planets that slowly crept past them. Their skin reflected the starlight with a dull orange sheen. Ellis had called it 'planet gazing,' an activity he apparently thought suitable for a date.Someday5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Do you see that one below us?" Ellis said, pointing to a round blue mass.
"Isn't it beautiful?" he asked. "I'll bet it's beautiful on the surface, too. Like the way the dust begins to spiral when a star is forming."
"Something like that," Jane said. She didn't understand his excitement. Planets were nothing interesting. They were just stars without the fire; black holes without the absence of color; asteroids with an atmosphere. They were just specks of light that littered the sky. The only remotely interesting thing she knew about planets was that the gas in their atmosphere were extremely lethal. Big whoop, she thought. Floating, atmospheric rocks of death. Ellis sure knew how to
A Common Cause'Cassandra Green, going off duty.'A Common Cause3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
'Good work today, Cassandra,' the voice from her smart phone replied. 'Your voice level indicates that you are tired. I would advise you not to drive.'
'I'm always tired, Nanny. Please, you know I'm a really safe driver.'
The voice from the phone did not answer straightaway. Cassie waited, holding her breath, though she didn't know why. Even if her breathing made a difference to Nanny's decision, there were worse things than being forbidden to drive home.
'Very well, Cassandra,' Nanny said at length. 'Just be sure to drive at a reasonable speed, and keep a window open.'
Cassie got into her car and began the journey home. The good thing about driving was that Nanny tended to keep quiet. She had to, if she wanted people to drive safely. Only when she perceived a greater danger than her own voice would she venture advice or give a scolding.
As Are Moth-Eaten Clothes Jack says I’ve always got to carry around this machine, big as a TV, with loopy wires coming out of it and wriggling around in my stomach. Sometimes if I’m tired he carries it, or sets it on some wheeler, but most days I’ve got it settled in the crook of my arm or against my hip. It’s hard to play football with the other kids when I’ve got to hold it, and can’t drop it neither. Jack says I oughta be grateful I can run around at all.As Are Moth-Eaten Clothes2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
It’s not too heavy, the machine, it’s just a box with some gooey slush in it and a place on top that flashes numbers in red. Jack checks the numbers every sixty minutes, on the dot, even at night when I’m asleep. He’s awful smart. He says the numbers are my blood pressure and glucose and oxygen and stuff, and there’s one number that’s the estimation numeration of months I’m still functional, and I don’t understand any of it. I
Queen Part 1 Sarah sighed to herself. She sat alone in the empty diner. She should have been happy, it was her 18th birthday and she was officially an adult. But being an orphan, it meant that she had a hard life ahead of her. This was the first morning she could remember that she didn't wake up and eat breakfast in the familiar orphanage kitchen. All she knew was her name was Sarah Candace Love and she didn't know what to do next with her life.Queen Part 15 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
She stood up and brushed the crumbs from her measly breakfast off of her shirt. She was wearing a white short-sleeved V-Neck t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. She was quite pretty, tan skin with bright green eyes and long chocolate brown hair. She was busty, with breasts a bit too large for her double d bra. Her hips were wide with a nice round butt that looked perfect in her jeans. She had a bit of a paunch in her stomach but it was nearly never noticed with her breasts taking most of the attention.
The Encounter at Elsie'sIt's a rough hand at my shoulder and I'm being dragged, thrown really, out the front door.The Encounter at Elsie's4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Right away I recognize her pet. The cloth over his mouth moves, but the blast was too close and I shake my head, pointing to my ear. He understands. He grips my arm with a hand of ice, firm and clinical, doing his job as ordered; and drags me to the side of the establishment with an urgency that has little to do with my preservation. I can't hide my amusement at that fact, dire as our situation may be. Abruptly I am thrown, shoved too hard into the shadows and against the wall, my vertebrae snapping to attention with the impact. Must remember to thank my 'hero' for that one later. He presses a forearm against my chest, leaving it there just an extra moment: stay here.
He disappears. I shudder at the cold as a wave of goose bumps rips over my skin. My eyes dart to and fro, ner
Not a Robot“Magic is a complex chemical reaction. It is created by a combination of genetic, chemical, and environmental variables. It can be replicated. I have mastered the technique. I have submitted the application for membership.”Not a Robot1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The League of Sorcerers erupted in a chorus of protests. I analyzed each voice and filed them separately for later study. The strongest protest came from the Master of Ceremonies, a sallow faced man with a long beard. I retrieved the identfiles to address him by name. Human beings are particular about their monikers.
“Only when I am cast into the fiery pits of Zandara's Hel will this abomination be allowed to walk among the sacred halls,” Master Henry Boyle said. He tugged on his beard.
“I have no record of Zandara or Zandara's Hel,” I said, “I request clarification.”
“You are not welcome here, robot,” Mistress Cassandra Starlight said. She attempted to manipulate the atmosphere around me with a formula I h
The Doctor's Letter.Dear Mr. Slenderman,The Doctor's Letter.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
We have never met, as I am sure you are aware.
But as of late I have received word from many, many reputable sources that you are being rather a nuisance on the planet Earth and in that general region of the space-time continuum. Now, do not try and deny your presence at the Shadow Proclamation in the Delta Galaxy: you were informed of your limitations, as well as your freedoms and warned to stay at least 11.7 million light years away from the Milky Way, Andromeda and Sagittarius Dwarf and Canis Major Dwarf galaxies- which, I must admit, is talent: I've never had that many Galactic restraining orders in my life! (As a matter of fact, I don't think anyone has except maybe the Daleks. But that's another story) .You are closely related to the Silence in subspecies and abilities: like them , you are little more than a parasite. And a particularly foul parasite at that.
You have caused nothing but despair and distress to the Universe and every other living t
18.07.12Max had waited for this moment since the day he’d been first activated. So what if the Council had subsequently determined that his model was too unstable for actual combat and repurposed them as crossing guards. Max had been created to be a hero, and no amount of reprogramming was going to stand in his way.18.07.123 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Granted, his first two attempts hadn’t gone exactly as planned. There was no one to actually save in the first fire he set. He made sure there were at least five in the second, but some dumb X9 model had beaten him to it and got all the credit. Not this time, though. This time had been perfect. Plenty of heartstring-tugging potential victims, the nearest X9 units experiencing temporary technical difficulties, and a news crew with a perfectly timed tip.
And it’d worked. Exactly as planned. In the end, he’d only gotten out four of the twenty, but t
Retrograde Scents from inside the suit intertwined their intentions with the sights of tangled and tessellated hair illumed by firefly LED's, spiking my circulation with memories and murmurs of dopamine.Retrograde4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
I took her by the gaze; she steered her sight away from mine. I led her through a glance that involved no scuffling of hands.
She was one of two wayward strangers passing in the cosmos; two separate glances met as objects in motion tending to motion. People aren't the same however.
Drifter was the term we were known as, people cast off of vessels and ships, mostly by accident, condemned to trudge about the universe until starvation kicked in or their oxygen-starved filters were finally incapable of operating. My unplanned departure from the mysteriously flaming
The Normality.There is a cloud of fish swimming by my ankles, light flashing off their sides as they turn as one. Moss grows on the walls and occasionally an eyelid, soft, green, damp, will lift and a multifaceted eye will glint out. On my arms, there are flowers, large fire red lilies with orange throats that have sprouted where my large dark freckles are, each one just smaller than my palm.The Normality.2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
I look over my friend sitting just off to the side of me, there’s a blush of blue-purple scales on her cheeks, gills flutter on the sides of her neck and every time she breathes out, sweet smelling oil pours from them, trickling over her collarbones.
Something sings near me, the piping call of a rainforest bird, and I turn my head. There are hummingbirds in my hair, I realise, ruby throats shimmering as they sing; they are caught in the long waist length strands woven into a thin fish-weave cage. They do not seem distressed, flashing the rich green of their wings as they flutter from one woven bar to anot
GlassJosie was digging holes out behind the kitchen when Matt found her. She held up something small and wriggly in greeting. “Look, I found an earthworm!”Glass1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Matt crouched down beside the hole and leaned forward, balancing himself with one hand. “Nah, I don't think that's an earthworm, Josie. It looks like some kind of larval beetle.”
“No, it should be -” she broke off and her face fell. “Glass says it's a rhinoceros beetle larva.” She dropped the creature and sighed loudly.
“And you're just going to believe it?”
“Well, it's Glass.” She shrugged.
“And what does Glass have to say about this?” Matt frowned and moved his fingers in a flickering pattern that was too complicated for Josie to follow.
“That can't be right.” Josie giggled. “Glass says you're a lesser spotted palewing butterfly. Have you filed a bug report?”
Matt looked at her seriously. “Josie, you can see right now that