Tag Archives: flash fiction

Bye Bye Birdie

copyright Ted Strutz

Bye Bye Birdie

Me and the fellers are unwinding when one of them new auto-harvesters drives by. The ones that took our jobs and left us homeless by the highway.

“Ay, ya arshdriver!” Kenny shouts, flipping the double bird as it roars by. I flip it off too just as a piece sticking out chops off my right middle digit, clean as a butcher. It goes flying into the fire where Robbie’s cooking roadkill.

It’s nothing but ash now. Bad enough the bastards take my job, but now I can’t even flip the double bird in protest? It’s enough to make you misty-eyed.


Requiem in Amber

Requiem in Amber

Walk to the grey city at the edge of the long-dry sea, past the corpses of ancient architecture.

Go to the center where it all ended, the gothic hall where that otherworldly bomb landed, obliterating everyone, leaving everything.

Sit anywhere you like—you’re the only audience today. Maybe ever.

Listen to the orchestra playing in their bubble of time, like music trapped in amber. They endlessly loop the 122 minutes before the bomb, unaware of the dead world outside. Odd how that happened.

Close your eyes.

Relax.

If you fall asleep, you can hear it all again in two hours.


Hope from Above

Happy New Year everyone. Globally speaking, this has been a pretty terrible year and a lot of people are still suffering quite a bit. We can only pray that 2021 is better and do what we can to make it so. I have hope.

copyright Na’ama Yehuda

Hope from Above

The wind caressed the dress shirt from its rooftop drying rack. It rose into the air, a well-dressed ghost preparing for a New Year’s Eve party. A cross breeze sent it dancing with invisible partners.

Sung-Ho sat listlessly on the curb. Suicide? Why, with no life insurance? Burn down the building? Insurance companies could tell. Start over?

How?

He felt Eun-Ha’s hands on his shoulders. “We’ll get the money somehow,” she whispered.

The shirt fluttered down. Sung-Ho caught it before it hit the ground.

“See?” his wife said. “2021 will bring hope. Even God is sending us his dry-cleaning now.”


Mixed Signals

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Thank you to everyone who has read any of my stories over the past year. I am looking forward to big things in the coming year.

By the way, this story takes place before COVID times. 🙂

Mixed Signals

I’d spent a week preparing for the Christmas party. We even got an eggnog fountain.

Little Ellie-Mae wanted to put a sign at the end of the driveway, so people knew where to turn. “Eggnog for all!” it would say.

Twenty minutes later, she was back. She’d made the letters too big. “Can it just say EGGNOG?”

Sure.

Ten minutes later, she returned. “How many G’s does ‘eggnog’ have?”

Three.

“Oh. I only put one in.”

EGNO? ENOG?

When no one showed up, I walked down to the road to look for cars.

That’s how we learned about Ellie-Mae’s dyslexia.

copyright Trish Nankivell

When You Don’t Fit

Copyright C E Ayr

When You Don’t Fit

When you fit, you’re invisible . . .

“I want to be an artist.”

The queen growled.

“For the last time, we don’t need artists. We need laborers. If everyone did what they wanted, what would we eat? Where would we live?”

“There are millions of us! Why can’t I be different?”

“But why you?”

“Because I’m asking.”

She let him try. In a month the hill was covered in a rainbow of swirls and circles. The word spread. In a jungle of 400 trillion ants, he was the only one with a name.

The Artist.

. . .When you don’t, you’re all they see.

*         *         *

In 1835, French naturalist George Valentin came across a nest of Argentine ants in the Corrientes province of Argentina. It was three feet high and covered in symmetrical patterns of berries and twigs, including one design that many claim to be the figure of an ant. It was destroyed in a flood the next year. To date, it remains the only example of ant artwork ever found. Source*.

*Okay, so this didn’t actually happen. But it makes a good story.


My Steel Mask

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and happy end of November to everyone else. This is definitely not a Thanksgiving story: I just wrote the story I saw in the picture. However, I’m very thankful for everyone who reads my stories. Thank you.

As Monty Python said, “And now for something completely different.”

copyright Susan Eames

My Steel Mask

The crutches are my mask. One glance and people have this poor crippled girl all figured out.

“The hell are you?” I come closer and the man’s demeanor flips.

“Hey, you lost?” He’s all Mr. Rogers suddenly. “This is a bad neighborhood.”

I wait until he’s close enough that when I swing the crutch up, the spring-loaded spike destroys his throat. He falls in a bubbling heap. Nighty-night, mugger.

He’s got $300 and a pack of cigarettes on him. I smoke two as I sit on his corpse to rest my aching leg.

Who says cripples can’t be superheroes?

A rare explanation: I realize that the term “cripple” is viewed as offensive by some. That is not at all my intention, so my apologies if you felt uncomfortable. I chose it only to fit with the tone of the story. After all, the point of the story is not to judge someone by their outward appearance.


Shadow Chat

copyright Sarah Potter

Shadow Chat

Mia watched the shadow in growing frustration. Her mother was speaking in their shadow sign language, but the silhouette of her blowing hair kept obscuring her hands.

“I can’t understand!” Mia shouted.

Her mother’s hands dropped, then formed a heart.

A cloud passed over. When the sun reappeared, she was gone.

Mia’s father found her sobbing ten minutes later.

“I just want to see her again.”

“Me too,” he said. “But she’s dead, honey. I envy your gift of seeing her shade in full sunlight.”

He surreptitiously picked a long wig hair from his sleeve and went to hug her.


Portentous Tinsel

My apologies to all my Friday Fictioneers friends that I could not read your stories a few weeks back. I usually try to read as many as I can but this has been a busy time. I’m looking forward to reading them this week, plus looking forward to Thanksgiving in a few weeks when I can get a few days off.

copyright Dale Rogerson

Portentous Tinsel

Dad thought Christmas made everything better, so when he started putting up decorations in August, we knew something terrible had happened.

Jasmine felt the dog’s pulse as Dad assembled the Christmas tree. When he put on carols, I called to check on Grandma.

By the afternoon, he was putting up the outside lights and my search history included words like “asteroid” and “zombies”. Mom had no idea, but she gave us a signed affidavit they weren’t getting divorced.

Dad came inside. “Merry Christmas.” He wiped away a tear. “I have tragic news. Tom Seaver died today.”

Silence. “Who?” Mom asked.

In case your reaction was the same as Mom’s: Tom Seaver


Where You Stare into the Story, the Characters Stare Back

copyright J Hardy Carroll

“Check it out what this old man gave me,” Brad said, showing Mark his backpack. “Any books you put in here are weightless. The drawback is you forget how to read.”

“That sounds like that one Rick & Morty episode,” Mark said.

“So?”

“So, do you want to get sued?”

“That’s fiction!”

“So are we!” Mark looked nervously at the edges of the blog post.

*         *         *

David sat back in frustration. This cursed story generator worked great, but the characters kept announcing the plot and breaking the fourth wall. Still, it was worth it to get Friday Fictioneers ideas every week.

Read all the other Friday Fictioneers stories based on this picture.


I Came for the Sugar

I Came for the Sugar

“What the…?” The waitress was staring at Nise’s sleeve. Panic exploded in my mind.

Nise’s laugh sounded natural as he pulled the worm out. “This is my pet, Mirai.” Nise sprinkled sugar on the table. “He loves this stuff.”

The waitress looked ready to vomit.

I rushed home and let Nise collapse on the couch. I crawled out of his pocket, exhausted from controlling the huge body.

That was too close. I had to get out of this Neanderthal era and back to my own civilized time.

I manned the chrono-communicator. Again. “Mirai to anyone. Get me out of here.”


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