One Thousand ThreadsThe farbeast’s claws raked across Khorsa’s back, and he strained to put on just a little more speed. It would do nothing to change his fate—once the beast had your scent, there was no hope left for you—it was for the village. If he didn’t lead the monster far enough away, far enough upwind...it would find them again.One Thousand Threads in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But today the wind was blowing down towards the river, and even that gentle slope had made Khorsa’s legs clumsy and feeble. He didn’t even make it out of the valley. A little more than three quarters of the way up the slope, there was a steep earth ridge. Here, his legs gave way beneath him and he slipped.
Rolling over to face the fiend, Khorsa bared his teeth, drawing the dagger from his belt. A feeble gesture. The farbeast had five knives upon each paw, and its hide was studded with the stubs of old arrows. The creature slowed as it approached, wide mouth cracking into a jagged snarl. Khorsa snarled back, making a pitiful jab wit
Red HerringThe shotgun blast was deafening in the cold, hard foyer of the bank. The silence that followed was broken only by the sound of several small chunks of plaster clattering to the floor.Red Herring in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Alright!” shouted the gunman. “I’m not going to ask you to put your faces to the floor, because it wouldn’t matter if you did!” He pointed to his Nixon mask. “Point Break reference. Classy, right?”
Nobody said anything. They simply watched, perfectly still, as the rest of the robbers filed in. There was a Ronald Reagan, a Jimmy Carter and...another Richard Nixon. Clearly there weren’t all that many Lyndon B. Johnson masks around. Jimmy Carter hurried over to the door of the vault and began unpacking various clamps and drills.
“My card.” The first Nixon handed a business card to the bank teller, lingering over the gesture so that everyone in the room could see the design: a simple red silhouette of a fish on a plain white background.
Come With Me if You Want to Live“Are you Sally Connal?”Come With Me if You Want to Live in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Do I know you?”
The musclebound gentleman stared through his sunglasses. “That is improbable.”
“Because you look kind of familiar. Aren’t you the Governor of somewhere?”
“This is not a productive area of discussion. Are you Sally Connal?”
To Sally’s surprise, the man slowly drew a large handgun from his coat pocket. To her even greater surprise, a motorcycle crashed through the café window next to her, knocking him through a similar window on the opposite side of the building. The rider of the motorcycle did a tight lap of the room, brought the vehicle to a dramatic halt and stretched out an arm.
“Come with me if you want to live!”
Sally glanced over at the first guy who had spoken to her. He was already standing, the glass under his feet crunching dramatically, as it would under the feet of an implacable bad guy in an action movie.
Sally set do
Some Disassembly RequiredFew cared to admit it, but Sebastian Lloyd had a head for business. It had been hand-fitted by Stanton Precision Instruments and was capable of processing more than sixty-two economic calculations simultaneously. If you wanted the best service, you went to Edwin Pierce Esquire or Jarvis von Hyde. But if you wanted the best price, you went to Lloyd.Some Disassembly Required in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Julius Foster rang the bell on the counter with a brass fingertip. There was a hiss of steam from the back room, and the sound of a chair being scraped back across the floorboards. Knowing the value of everything, and pursuing a more or less sedentary profession, Lloyd had not spared the same expense on his legs as he had on his patented pneumatic processor.
Foster took the opportunity to have one more look around the shop. The selection of wares out front was adequate—certainly a fair mix of parts—but there was nothing remarkable. Nothing befitting his steady rise into high s
The Dragon and the Golden Man Once upon a time there was a thief named Rashid. At first he found great wealth and had many wondrous adventures, but as his fame spread people began to grow wise to his tricks, and Rashid grew hungry. One day, having not eaten anything for a considerable time, he did something he had wanted never to do: he crept inside the great burial mound that lay not far out of town, and which all knew to be cursed.The Dragon and the Golden Man in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Within the mound, which was ringed round by standing stones, Rashid found vast piles of treasure. The thief needed no torch to see the riches he had discovered, for the quantity of gold there was so great, its lustre so brilliant, that it gave off its own light. However, though hungry, Rashid was not foolish. He took only a single golden cup, that surely could not be missed. And so Rashid stole quietly away, and neither wraith nor fiend nor devil pursued him from that place.
First, Rashid took the golden cup to the
The Pen Laughs at Structure“I don’t mean to alarm you, Paul, but I’ve turned into a horse.”The Pen Laughs at Structure in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Not to worry. I’ll just turn this dial back a little, aaaaand...”
“Now I’m two horses.”
“Okay. I’m going to stop fiddling with this thing now.”
There was an awkward silence. Dave tapped two of his front hooves nervously on the hot, sticky tarmac of the car park.
“We should get going?”
“Yeah. Which way?”
Paul looked around. “Well, the sun’s over there, but I don’t know what time it is, or where we are, or where the crystalline elixir would be.”
“I thought you said that thing was going to make our job easier.”
“The device isn’t perfect, alright?”
“Gee, really!?” The horses snorted angrily. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Suddenly, a dinosaur’s head burst up through the floor. “ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOA
A Damp Squib Professor Hattersley took his place at the podium, ignoring the less than kind murmurs that spread through the audience as he crossed the stage. Talk didn’t bother him. For one thing, he was used to it. For another, after this conference the talk would be different. He set the shoebox-sized casket of gold and lapis lazuli before him.A Damp Squib in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Esteemed colleagues,” he began. “I am aware that my research has drawn a certain amount of scorn in the past, and I appreciate that a degree of scepticism is only healthy.” The murmurs showed no sign of abating. If there was one good thing about being an academic pariah, it was that it did wonders for one’s public speaking skills. He spoke louder. “The idea that the deities of ancient Egypt were not merely the invention of a primitive society, but powerful visitors from another dimension, will no doubt have a dramatic effect on Egyptology, and indeed the study of all
Rebranding the Black Throne “Thank you...erm...very much for coming here.” The Dungeon Lord wasn’t accustomed to being polite. “I realise this place is...some would say it’s a little out of the way.”Rebranding the Black Throne in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Well,” said the interior designer, “I suppose it helps to keep undesirables out.”
“Ah.” The Dungeon Lord raised a begauntleted finger. “Funny you should mention that. You see, while obviously any normal person would consider the rusty iron spikes, booby traps, whips, shackles and torture devices to be a deterrent, I’ve recently had a slew of visitors who mistook my little setup here for something...” he leaned down and cupped a hand to the interior designer’s ear, “...erotic.”
“Oh.” The designer raised his eyebrows. “I see.”
“Now, I don’t want to do anythin
The Return“Welcome to the Triassic Experience! Would you like a map?”The Return in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Actually, I was here just yesterday. I only came in to return this jigsaw puzzle.”
“Okay. Do you have a receipt?”
“Nooooo...” Brian breathed in through his teeth, grimacing. “I actually didn’t get one.”
“Ohh.” The gift shop cashier winced. “I’m afraid we do require proof of purchase for all returns.”
“Uh-huh, yeah, I get that. It’s just...I literally bought it yesterday. It’s not even been opened. See?” He pointed out the cellophane still on the box.
“Hmmm. Can I just ask...why do you want to return it, anyway?”
“Well, it was for my daughter. She’s a bit under the weather at the moment, and when we came on our family outing yesterday, she had to stay behind with her grandmother. I thought this would cheer her up a bit, but one of the dinosaurs on it scares her. It’s, uhh...
Before the Black Throne There was a rattle of chains as the rusty iron cage dropped from the ceiling. It was accompanied by the rattling laugh of the Dungeon Lord himself. The same mechanism that had dropped the cage over the great stone altar had also revealed his terrible black throne.Before the Black Throne in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“You may have found my gems of power, thief, but I don’t think they—or you—will be going far.”
“No,” the thief admitted. “This cage looks pretty secure. Very sturdy. Lots of spikes.”
“I claimed it from the Keep of Akragokh, where it once held prisoners of the Thousand Day Siege. Still, I don’t think it has witnessed such suffering as it shall see today.”
“Oh no,” said the thief. “What are you going to do to me?”
Standing, the Dungeon Lord approached an alcove near the throne and retrieved a