Bullet When I was a kid, I wanted to be Superman.Bullet3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
They said he was faster than a speeding bullet. Not just any old bullet, moseying home after a long day at the office. A speeding one, tearing up the atmosphere like nothing in the world could stop it. I wanted to punch through the sound barrier and carry on and on, away from everything.
I started running a year after my mom died. I was nine years old, but already fast enough to beat my army dad to the corner of the street. There was a local cop with a big brewster moustache who was always dragging me back home. I forget his name. His sedan could run faster than my legs, and his hand was quick enough to grab my collar. When he was still fetching me back two years later, he stopped by to have a word with my dad.
"He's pretty quick on those legs of his," he said. "You thought about getting him to do sports? Might burn up some energy
ResearchSome writers frequently delete browsing history.Research2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Golden TicketThe candy factory? But I'm diabetic.Golden Ticket3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Her Necklace Now It began as a very small thing.Her Necklace Now4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Junior and his dad disagreed on an item made in their silversmithing shop.
That shop was kept away from the family's houses, set up in an old outbuilding because of noise.
Silversmithing was always too noisy for the dozen homes on the family's half-section of wood and meadow land.
The lapidary equipment alone made a terrible sound.
Allie, Junior's wife, used that equipment to smooth rough turquoise and coral into stones ready for silverwork. She used a spinning grinder of damp and charcoal gray stone for her main work. When Allie put a stone against that, it sounded just like the machine it was. She used a smaller spinning buffer to polish stones.
One Saturday, human voices escalated in the little, old shop about who owned a particular design.
Even Allie, using loud lapidary equipment, heard Junior and his father argue. Naturally, curiosity won and she slowed her work, listening through a thin old wall of warped
United, We WriteHear me read itUnited, We Write2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
0hgravity, if by some divine fortune you should decide that today is the day you will fail me, then let me soar through the ChemicalSkyline. Grant me a-lovely-anxiety that raises a storm InTheStarryNightSky for me to riseandbe above all else. Let me soar.
How I long to be the frail rider-on-the-storm and not a victim of the RoamingShadow, Rogue-Of-The-Night, that BlackVelvetNightmare of my nights and days. I long
ChimeraOn midsummer's morning a boy found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a lioness.Chimera9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She spewed fire into the sky, and said: “Child, be ever proud: be ever regal: fear not the fire, but wield it as your own. You shall find strength, and all barriers shall fall before you.”
Awed, and frightened, the boy carved her words into his heart.
On midsummer's midday a man found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a serpent.
She spewed fire into the earth, and said: “King, you have forgotten yourself. You have forgotten your people. Too long have your eyes gazed heavenwards: frail is your might, and brittle: you must bring yourself back to the earth.”
These words he heard; but he forgot them.
On midsummer's evening a beggar found his way to the top of the hill. He met with the face of a goat.
She spewed fire into his eyes, and said: “O Graybeard, you have fallen far. All your fancies have led to failure, and the fury of your heart
Then There Wasn'tDay 1Then There Wasn't10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The colors went missing. Yeah - I know that makes no sense. But they’re missing now, and I get the feeling this is part of something bigger. Like an omen.
My boyfriend says he can’t get here til tomorrow, and I’m a bit worried. I just want to see him in case something terrible happens.
I should call my parents too.
We’ve gone numb. He’s here but touching doesn’t help. The TV says it’s not just us.
Also on TV, lots of people are scared. Some are hoisting up every flag they’ve got. Do they think a magical eagle is going to come down and save us? You can barely even recognize the American flag without color.
Well, at least we’ve got voices.
Thank god irony didn’t hit. We didn’t lose our voices overnight. But we did lose names.
It’s titles too. And brands. Nothing identifies the difference between TV sta
Men and Monsters"Why can't serial murderers kill like normal people?"Men and Monsters4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I paused for a moment, shooting Detective Rattigan a sideways glance before I finished lighting my cigarette. "What?"
"You know," Rat said. "With a quick stab. Or a gun. Like a normal person."
"I'm a little disturbed by your apparent belief that it's normal for people to kill each other. Maybe you've been working this job a little too long," I said, kneeling to examine the bloody corpse that lay in front of me.
"I'm just saying that there are easier ways to kill someone, that's all. Quick knife blade in between the ribs, that's all it takes."
"Rat? Do me a favor and stop talking."
That man frightens me sometimes. John Rattigan has been my partner for almost 4 years, and I still haven't gotten used to his... eccentricities. Still, he's smart and reliable enough, and a good cop. I looked back at the body, taking a drag from my
The KettleThe inside of Sharon’s house had changed since Janie had last seen it. Now there were Persian carpets, and rich tapestries on the wall; in the kitchen the counter was made of silver, the table of gold.The Kettle9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Er,” said Janie. “You’ve redecorated, haven’t you?”
Sharon sighed. “It’s been a long couple of days. Let me tell you all about it over a cup of tea.”
“I’ll make it!” said Janie and she went to the kettle. This was also new but perfectly ordinary looking. Except—
“You know, I can’t find the on switch. Or its lead for that matter.”
“You need to rub it,” said Sharon.
Janie stood aside and watched as Sharon started polishing the kettle with a duster. Suddenly smoke began pouring out of the spout and as Janie stared, it coalesced into a seven foot man: bald, bare-chested, and wearing rather billowy trousers.
“Gracious,” said Janie.
LionheartIts first flicker of awareness was of a hot, musty dim place, though at the time it didn’t know what hot, musty, or dim were. It only knew sensation, proximity, and presence.Lionheart10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There were others there – like it, but different. And then others still, not like it at all, and one of them lifted one of its shining kindred from the wall, twirling it, dancing light through the air...
A whistle, a clash, a terrible ringing snap, and one of its kin extinguished.
For the first time, it knew fear.
“No good. Another.”
Another was taken, tested, and duly shattered.
“I thought your work better than this.”
“No – here! My greatest yet. Please, test this one, and know I have no better.”
A hand settled upon it, and it tasted sensations beyond its own newborn fear: boredom, distaste, a vague acknowledgement of its fine form and shining steel. It was turned and spun, examined and shaken, and then suddenly whirled high, twisted, and swung shrieking towar
The Order of Sublime SimulacraKamon woke to the sound of bells and saws. The ceremony must have started hours ago; there was invigorating yellow sunlight outside the gauzy curtains. Kamon's Self was intoning eight o'clock, eight o'clock with all the insistence of a song looping in his head.The Order of Sublime Simulacra4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Flesh brain, he thought, you should have caught that alarm. Sometimes the flesh was louder than the devices supposed to make it properly quiet. The flesh insisted on the persistence of the Real. This was exactly the type of lesson that the brothers were supposed to learn, and Kamon hoped that relaying to the abbot how thoroughly he had learned it might lighten the inevitable punishment that came from reminding himself of himself. (Of course, that punishment would still be severe. He was going to arrive at the ceremony so late--)
On the orders of his Self, Kamon moved blearily out of bed and into the shower. (Rules For The Sanctum Three and Four, said his Self. Wear a clean robe. Wear a clean body.) Li
Hairball“The cat did it.”Hairball2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
A bizarre case—woman suffocated in her sleep by her cat dozing on her face.
“Can’t arrest him,” said DI McGonagle. “Better phone the RSPCA, Sergeant.”
Pompom smugly washed his paws.
Handy that a cat isn’t legally responsible for his actions, but can be named sole beneficiary in his owner’s will.
The Goblin: An Unexpected JourneyIn the waning years of the Third Era, The War Of The Ring drew to a close. With the One Ring destroyed at the hands of Frodo Baggins, the lands of Mordor were emptied after the battle at the Black Gates, but something happened then, that no one intended. The battle was survived by the unlikeliest of creatures, a goblin, Garzaht of Mordor.The Goblin: An Unexpected Journey2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Urgh, get off!" the scratchy voice said from beneath a heap of bloodied orc corpses. With a rustle one of the bodies was dislodged tumbling down the side of the pile and hitting the ground with a sloppy, bloody thud. A hand reached out from under the mass, pushing limbs aside and clutching onto whatever solid handhold it could. "Pathetic, fat, stupid, stinking, dead orcs!" the voice continued.
Getting a solid grip on the hilt of an orcish scimitar, blade dug into the ground, the hand pulled hard and with a loud slurp, the grimy form of a grimy goblin emerged from the pile. Getting to his feet with a clumsy stumble, the goblin spat on the pile of his
Department of Fantasy NamesThe department of fantasy names was busy today.Department of Fantasy Names3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Name," said the clerk.
"Ragnar," replied the vikingesque man at the front of the queue.
The man stroked his beard. "I did strangle a dragon one time."
"How does Ragnar Wyrmsbane strike you?"
"Well I didn't actually kill it, I just put it to sleep long enough to steal its treasure."
"What was the treasure?"
"This and that. Mostly gems. Sapphires, opals, kind of thing."
The man grinned toothlessly. "Aye, that'll do, thanks."
The queue had started long this morning and had only grown longer. The Clerk sighed.
"Lynnhilde," said an athletic young woman.
"I can skewer a fawn at fifty paces."
"Lynnhilde Spear...deer? Wait. That doesn't work... how about Lancehart? It's kind of a pun, you see..."
"Brilliant, thank you!"
The clerk smiled. His job was rewarding sometimes.
"I go by many names," said a gruff barbarian lady.
There was a pause. "Which are..
Antikythera mechanismElise sunk down with the rest of the ship, dragged down by her brass innards. Wordlessly, she begged her creator to let go, but she knew he wouldn't. He'd brought her to life out of love, and he would do anything to save her. Elise watched him struggle and drown, her perfect sculpted face impassive while her mind whirred and clicked behind it in turmoil.Antikythera mechanism3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She hit the seabed and was swallowed in a cloud of mud as the carcass of the ship broke apart around her. Over the ages her gears seized up and her alabaster curves effervesced and decayed, macerated by the sea. Still her soul lingered on. Aphrodite had infused life into her copper heart, and it would never stop now. Never.
She lay in the Lethe for the longest time, while the lives of men went on oblivious above. When she was dredged up, she was no longer recognisable as an entity, let alone the paragon of femininity she had once been. She was limbless and worn, a sentient pebble. They held her in their hands and probed her jammed up m
My Vampires Violet was walking home from school. She took the long way tonight. She didn't feel like going home tonight. That's why she takes full day classes.My Vampires8 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The moon danced on her pale skin and glided on her reddish-orange hair. Her brown eyes twinkled like the same stars above her.
'It's not like any ones waiting for me.' She tried to reason with herself.
It was true. Her dad bailed when she was born and her mother died when she was still in high school. Luckily, she was seventeen so she could live by herself. That was a year ago.
The night is cold and a gust of wind came, blowing her black and white plaid skirt to the side. Her long sleeve shirt with a grey vest and her knee high white socks with black dress shoes weren't keeping her warm. She folded her arms across her chest, with her books in between and started to shiver. As she inhaled and exhaled, she could see faded puffs of evaporation in the air in front of her. She was shivering so bad that you could see her a mile away.
The ChangeMiss Basildon liked us. Our parents often let her baby-sit, but they didn't bother telling her where they were going. Before she arrived, they'd write down all the important phone numbers and give them to Anne.The Change4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I was the fourth child, so Miss Basildon had been coming since before I could remember. Anne and Lucy told me that she used to lean over my cot, fondling my hands and saying, 'Such sharp little fingers.' Joseph joined them in telling me how she used to pull down my lip with her forefinger and say, 'Such pointed little teeth.' I remember well how she used to run her fingers through my hair and say, 'It grows like ivy, doesn't it, dear?'
I started to avoid her when she came to baby-sit. As there were so many of us, it was easy to get lost. Miss Basildon was happy to read stories to Molly, or to lean over Daniel's cot and cluck. Once, Anne caught me watching her from the doorway, and she said, '
The Well Beast and I"NO," the beast in the well said.The Well Beast and I9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"What do you mean, 'no'? Don't you know what an ultimatum is?" I shouted down at it. "I really will do it!"
"NO," the beast said. "IS TRICK."
"I really don't have to cut you this slack," I yelled. "I really loved that cat! Not even the Prior would blame me for taking revenge!"
"WAS GOOD," the beast said.
"Was...? Wait. Did you just tell me how delicious my pet was? Did you really, in the name of cruel irony, tell me that my Mr. Snickers was delicious?"
"WAS GOOD," the beast confirmed.
"Alright, this is fucking happening," I said, getting up onto the lip of the well. I unzipped my fly.
"NO, IS TRICK," the beast said, a little uncertainly.
I whipped out my man-hose and started peeing down the well.
"NO NO NO NO NO," the beast said. The walls of the well shook as the beast writhed around.
"Nowhere to hide in a well, is there?" I called down. "I've been drinking an awful lot of water! Why, I daresay I c
All Sewed Up It was a guy who introduced himself mainly as a Scorpio (with the added name of Simon) who inspired Helen's best art work. She wasn't much of an artist, really -- more of a reader, and not so hot at that either. Simon asked her to embroider a large scorpion on the back of his thin denim shirt, so that's what she did.All Sewed Up2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Helen used every shade of the many reds she had in her embroidery kit, shaping the scorpion, sculpting it. She separated the six strands of thread to make a piece of embroidery thread thin enough. She knew the more subtlety there was in a piece, the better it looked.
For this scorpion, she couldn't stop until it was done, a full twenty-four hours. She had no idea why that happened.
Helen only knew a drop of her own blood was in the red of that scorpion, and that it was the best art she'd ever done.
Simon was excited when she called him and he came over to pick it up.
"Wow," he said. "This is dynamite! I love it!"
He never looked at her. Few peop