Some Flash Fiction

I thought I’d post some of my attempts at something called flash fiction. Check it out and leave a comment.

The Norfolk pines

They stood tall and proud, the Norfolk pines. They lined the edge of the beach and watched the surf as it rolled in and frothed and bubbled into thinly spread, watery fingers.

They stood guard over the beach; had done so since early the last century. They’d been planted by the local fishermen’s families. In the dim light they were tall, dark, imposing sentinels.

And every year, the first full moon in May, a mystery unfurled. The fishing village would come to the beach, bearing lanterns.

Streaming through the village, the villagers came, down to the beach late at night. The lanterns made a string of bright beads in the night, snaking through streets, through the trees, down to the beach.

The trees bore witness to the event, every year since being planted. And every year, they watched and waited.

The villagers packed the beach, lanterns held aloft. All were silent. The only sounds to be heard was the surf as it rolled in and spread hissing across the sand and the wind as it ruffled clothing and leaves and grass.

And then, at around midnight, there was movement among the trees. They shivered and shook, and rustled their leafy arms. It was time. A youngling stepped forward from out of the villagers massed on the beach and fearfully moved toward the shivering trees.

Invisibility boots

Danny had been digging in the backyard of the family house one sunny afternoon in August. He had wanted to plant some roses for his mamma along the back fence. He was only 10.

The back fence was a wiry barrier to a forest of blackwood trees and willow wattles, plus a few mysteries. He worked his way along the back fence using first a flathead-pick and then a fork to turn the soil.

About 20 minutes into his gardening efforts, he struck upon something buried. A chest. A small chest, it was about 20 cm by 15 cm and made of wood and iron.

He heaved it out of its shallow grave and brushed the soil from its top and front. It was locked.

He went to the shed and found a tool to cut the lock off. The lock fell away as its metal finger came in two.

Excited at the prospect of finding treasure, he swung the lid open. It creaked. To his surprise what he saw wasn’t silver and gold, but a pair of boots. Strange looking boots, the likes of which he’d never seen before.

He was about to toss them aside when he had the strangest feeling he should put them on. And put them on he did. But nothing magical seemed to happen after he slipped them on, and he sat down in a huff.

But just then his young sister, Margo, came outside and hollered for Danny. He waved at her and said, ‘Over here!’ But to his surprise, Margo stood right before him and couldn’t see him and said, ‘Where? I can’t see you.’ He suddenly realized then that he was invisible.

It’s war then!

The Hrexan battlecruiser hovered twenty-thousand metres from the Jannaxian battlecruiser and was poised to fight.

‘Hrexan vessel, this is Commander Flaangrin of Jannaxian Imperial Fleet,’ was heard on the Hrexan battlecruiser’s comsystem. ‘Surrender now, or prepare to meet your maker.’

‘Commander Flaangrin of Jannaxian Imperial Fleet,’ Blexro said, through gritted teeth. ‘It is I who give you warning of impending destruction. You have two minutes to comply with my demands to surrender or you will meet your maker.’

It was a standoff. The battlecruisers were equally matched. Their commanders equally determined. But who would flinch first, no one was prepared to bet on.

The Jannaxian commander felt he should give the Hrexan the benefit of the doubt, seeing how he hadn’t opened fire the instant they met.

‘Time is dwindling, Commander Flaangrin,’ Blexro said, taunting him. ‘I hope you’re saying your prayers, commander, because in thirty seconds you’re going to die.’

‘I don’t think so, Hrexan dog,’ Commander Flaangrin growled back to Blexro. Stubborn they both were, and certain they were, of each other’s capacity to weaken at the last instant.

‘Twenty seconds, commander,’ said Blexro, just a touch anxious.

‘Ten seconds, Hrexan,’ Flaangrin growled back.

‘Prepare to be gutted!’ Blexro said, and poised a finger on the button to launch missiles.

‘Too late, Hrexan,’ Flaangrin said. ‘He who hesitates is lost.’

Dead, just a little

After a few punches, kicks and shoves, Django had Jacinta in a headlock and was trying get her to relax, just a little.

‘You’re here to kill me, aren’t you?’ Jacinta huffed. ‘I’ve seen that look on your face before, right before you …’

‘They want you dead!’ Django said. ‘Why? Why would they want you dead?’

‘Because they like to kill people!’ Jacinta yelped. ‘They have always killed for money; that’s what they do.’

‘Yes, but I know you and I can’t for the life of me figure out why they want you dead,’ Django said. ‘Not just dead dead, really dead.’

‘I don’t know,’ Jacinta finally said, and stopped struggling against Django’s firm grip.

‘Then let’s get on with it,’ Django said, and proceeded to tie her up, arms stretched out between poles.

‘W…wait!’ Jacinta stammered. ‘Don’t you want to know … find out why?’

‘Yes,’ Django said. ‘But they want proof of death, so I’m going to kill you.’ And when she screamed, he said: ‘Just a little, and give them proof of death. And then together we’ll find out why they want you dead. Ok?’

Even robots serve dipshits

Gale was a robot, and she served in a big restaurant on the La Grange Interchange in deep space. And today was a hectic day, and she was a bit tetchy.

‘I swear,’ Gale said to her co-worker and waiter, Trevor. ‘If that Boltran customer doesn’t give me a hefty tip for all the service I’ve given him and his unpleasant friends, I’ll add it to his bill.’

‘It’s been a day for it,’ Trevor said, wearily. ‘It’s been mad with visitors today. I’ve never seen so many on the same day.’

‘And they’ve eaten our stores bare!’ Gale yelped.

‘We might have to close for a few hours while the managers replenish the stores,’ Trevor said, worried. And added after a pause: ‘How’s your energy stores?’

‘Oh, I’m alright,’ Gale said, enthusiastically. ‘Just them customers making me jittery.’

‘Uh-oh,’ Trevor said, concerned. He was receiving instructions.

‘What?’ Gale said, curiously. And when she saw the look on Trevor’s face, she said: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me? Them customers wants more than they’ve already had?’

‘Yep,’ Trevor said. ‘You’re instructions are coming through now.’

Gale twitched her head to the right and stared into the distance. But Gale wasn’t impressed and yelped: ‘Bloody hell! No wonder they’re …’

‘Here you go,’ Trevor said, interrupting her knowing she was about to curse and slid a suspensor trolley of food in front of her and smiled.

Talia meets Darius

Talia leapt from the air duct and dove to the other side of the wide air shaft. She reached for a bit of thin piping and found it.

She dropped down to a metal lip in the wall and launched herself. She continued her descent down the large air shaft like this until she landed on decking 15 metres below the duct she’d first leapt from.

Her thudded landing on the decking echoed up the wide air shaft. No one else was around; she made her way toward a doorway to her right.

There was a loud creak and the clink of metal on metal behind her. Swirling and crouching into a defensive stance, she was ready for a fight.

It was a familiar face she saw, but not a completely friendly face. And not one of the Collective’s cronies bent on flaying her the instant they saw her.

‘Darius,’ she said, surprised, and a twang of nervousness. ‘What are you doing here?

Captain’s prerogative

‘It’s the way you say it, not who you are Captain,’ Captain Perky said.

‘My dear Captain, you do exaggerate, don’t you?’ Captain Senior countered.

See, there you go again,’ Perky said, annoyed. ‘It’s also still your turn.’

‘Didn’t I just have my turn?’ Senior asked, slightly confused.

‘Captain, have you read the rules?’ Perky queried, with perhaps just a touch of sarcasm.

I have read the rules, Captain,’ Senior said, and raised one eyebrow in surprise, ‘and I see no logic to your turns.’

‘The logic, my dear Captain,’ Perky said, flatteringly, ‘is there for all to see. If they but take a moment to reflect on the rules.’

‘The rules?’ Senior said, with more than obvious qualm. ‘A curious thing, is it not? For I believe, as I believe my interpretation of the rules, as you recently emphasized, suggest that all turns will end, shortly.’

Pleasuring the Lynx

After she’d excused the girls who’d been attending to her, she lent in closely to the Jarri, whom she’d asked to stay.

‘You must help me in my quest to satisfy the Lynx,’ Cerci began.

‘Certainly, my Lady,’ Jarri said with a knowing smile. ‘Your wish is …’

Cerci brushed aside formality then, not wanting to hear servitude at this particular moment. What she wanted, needed, was a certain insight into the Lynx, which she believed Jarri was quite capable of supplying, and said flatly: ‘I am unsure how to make the Lynx happy, Jarri.’ Cerci blushed. ‘I must learn how to make the Lynx happy.’

Jarri just smiled at the Lady of Gloryan, and said: ‘Gladly my Lady, if that is your wish.’

‘I am so new to … the Lynx,’ Cerci said. ‘I am very obviously not Draygon. But I must make him … please him, more than usual.’ She looked at Jarri anxiously.

‘Then you must use a way that is not Draygon,’ Jarri said, tantalizingly, and gently ran her hand along Cerci’s exposed thy.

Ravina’s Bella Lagossi moment

Startled, Ravina sat bolt-upright in her bed. She found the darkness difficult to penetrate, and tried to imagine the room’s layout in her mind’s eye.

Shadows appeared here and there as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, assumed them to be cupboards, a dresser, and there, the window. Did the curtain flutter just then, or was it her brain gearing up for action?

As she adjusted to the dim grey light, she felt a chill tingle her spine. Why? It was a bad dream that had caused her to wake, not the presence of someone in the room. She tried valiantly to reassure herself.

Then it happened. Out of the corner of her eye; something moved, sudden and inexplicable. ‘Hello?’ she yelled, not caring whether she sounded polite or not. ‘Is there someone there?

Again, there was sudden movement; a charcoal figure flittered by the window. Her heart almost burst from its cavity in sudden panic. It was unmistakable, the outline, the crouch; she’d seen it, a figure now stood by the window.

‘What do you want?’ Ravina managed to say, jittery, given the pressure she felt as fear overwhelmed her. And then added between desperate gasps: ‘I’ll call the police!’

Hands, cold and clammy, were instantly around her neck. And before she could scream, she felt the sting of sharp, penetrating animalistic fervour. A frenzied sucking sound was the last thing she heard before she was overwhelmed by a sudden and inexplicable darkness.

More than photons

The experiment had gone according to plan. Just as Sandra had predicted, a photon materialised where it was supposed to. And when, given that less than 11 microseconds ago she’d beamed it from her lab in Manhattan, to Christopher’s lab, the sister lab in Los Alamos, California.

Christopher was instantly on the vidnet, with childlike excitedness, speaking about the result. ‘It’s here! It’s here! It’s materialised just as you said it would. It’s a magnificent sight!’

‘Thank you, Christopher,’ Sandra said, selflessly, ‘now we need to check its stability and integrity. Can you begin that protocol now?’

‘Yes, yes,’ Christopher said, agreeably, ‘we’ve begun the process. We should know in about 3 or 4 minutes whether it has maintained stability and integrity after migration.’

Sandra heard feverish chatter in the background, indistinct, as she waited for confirmation. If everything is right, has gone according to plan, she was going be very popular in the next 24 to 48 hours. She could almost hear the accolades.

There was sudden movement across the vidnet, someone flashed back and forth. ‘Is that you, Christopher? What’s happening?’ What she first thought was excited chatter, turned out not to be. Christopher’s face appeared in the vidnet, twisted and grotesque. Shocked and startled, Sandra simply said: ‘Christopher!? What’s going on?’

Christopher was instantly snatched away from the vidnet screen. Flashes of light traced across the screen, but its source could not immediately be identified. Alarmed, Sandra instantly phoned security at the lab in Los Alamos. But the line was dead. Turning back to the vidnet, it too had gone dead.

Surprise! I’m not what you think

The younger dauphin, Frederick, watched the young girl disguised as a young man enter and cross to the older dauphin, Fellini, and deliver a letter.

‘You deliver a letter for me?’ Fellini asked, formal. He accepted the letter offered by the hand of the quiet young girl-man.

The younger Frederick was amazed and curious; wanted to know the identity of the young girl-man. He’d heard a rumour about him that he had recently come from visiting his young sister, Deellia, at the cloister.

Frederick watched as Fellini took the letter and sullenly went to another room. He then turned his attention to the quiet young letter deliverer.

‘You and my sister became friends?’ Frederick asked. ‘Tell me how you came to be at the cloister of St Stefan?’

The quiet young girl-man hesitated before speaking. ‘The carriage my family travelled on, its axle broke, and we had to stay while it was repaired.’

As soon as Frederick heard the quiet young girl-man speak, he knew there was something different about him. His voice was too feminine for a boy. And this puzzled him.

The other [book]

Choleric was sure the secret to Zelda’s tomb was in the Book of Sevenths. He’d found it in a chamber in the tomb, not far from where he’d found the Golden Sceptre.

Reading eagerly, the Book of Sevenths told him many things, but not the thing he really wanted to know. He felt the frustration growing, after many years of research he felt sure he should have been much closer than he was.

And then, to his surprise, an unusual entry in the Book, which struck him as odd. It read: ‘On the side, the Golden thread, is found the key to Zelda.’

On the side? He was more than puzzled because he’d scrutinized the sceptre and not found anything other than wear and tear. Picked it up and again scrutinized it. Nothing.

And then it hit him. The Golden Thread is the other book! Which he didn’t have, but knew where to find it.

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Author: Robert M. Easterbrook

I'm one of those tall thin guys who looks around a lot and keeps to himself. I've recently completed a PhD, thinking it might be useful for something. I'm also a dreamer, because dreaming is far more interesting than the mundane.

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