flash fiction

Throughout the years that I have been writing.  I have always enjoyed doing prompt writing.  No time to write outlines or think of a plot or characters, you just get a word or a phrase and off you go.  All the stories I share on my blog are stories that have been inspired by a prompt.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.


Unexpected Entry – By F.C. Janes

I stood crouched on the wall, looking down into the restricted area.  This place was for Kings, Queens, Lords, and Ladies.  A man like me would be killed on site if I was caught here.  Knights Templars walked in pairs, there were two right below me talking about a holy treasure and the meeting that was to take place between the Pope and Cardinals.

I had grown up listening to stories about powerful weapons that were infused with the power of God.  My religious nut of a father like putting the fear of god in his two children.  That usually meant beatings me and my poor sister being molested by our father.  I survived, she didn’t.

All the stories my asshole of a father told ended with a great man wielding one of these artifacts and having the power of God in his hands.  I preferred the power of money.  The tavern owner who I used to fence my goods told me that he had a buyer for this so call treasure.  He promised me that if I could get my hands on it he could pay me a sum that would allow me to take a nice long vacation.  How could I say no to that?

I let the guards below me pass and when it was safe enough I leapt down from the wall, landing as quietly as I could.  Keeping to the shadows, my black cloak keeping me hidden I trailed the guards until I found my opening to break free from the depths of the shadows.  I had entered the yard from the West.  It was a stupid move.  The building had been made by Freemasons and I should have known that the entry way would be on the East side of the building.  Patiently I followed the guards around until I saw the entrance, which held another surprise.  Two templars stood outside it.  I was not going to get in that way.  I kept following the guards until we turned down the North side.

Spotting where I would make my climb I left the comfort of the shadows and sprinted across the finely cut lawns.  Sliding on my climbing tools that would assist with getting a grip on stone I leapt up and grabbed a hold of the stone windowsill.  The metal claws I slipped on bit in to the stone and allowed me to pull myself up.  At the top of the windowsill there was a ledge about two inches out form the wall just large enough for my foot to take hold and offer some support as I reached for the next window.

It was difficult but I managed to climb window to window only scratching the stone work slightly.  The building was so beautiful I thought I should apologize to someone for leaving scratches on what was probably hours upon hours of work.  Maybe after I stole this treasure I’d show up unannounced at one of the Freemasons secret meetings and see what treasures they had.

Pulling myself up over the lip of the roof I put my climbing tools away.  At the far corner there was a hatch and I walked towards it.  That is when I started falling, the roof of the building had fallen out from under me.  I was now a slave to the fall.

I should have been more careful.  The fucking Templars and their traps.  They were notorious for elaborate traps and flood tunnels protecting their treasures.  I only had myself to blame for being this careless.

I landed hard on my ass, I wasn’t sure how many flights I had fallen but I was okay and nothing was broken.  After doing the body check that consisted of wiggling my toes, grabbing my dick as it is the most important part and I wanted to make sure it was still there, and checking the rest of me I realized the room I was in was lit up and around me sat four Templar Knights.  I bet you anything that this entry was very unexpected and it appeared I had interrupted dinner.  I jumped to my feet brushed myself off and waved.  “Hi ah, anyone know where the exit is?  I seem to be lost.”  They had meat laid out on the table with bread, butter, and wine.  Damn it looked good.  “Can I get something to go?”

There was an awkward silence before shit hit the fan.  Chairs went flying as they stood up and they reached for their swords.  That was my que to leave.  Daggers were thrown at me and imbedded in the wooden wall not far form my face.  I looked over my shoulder at the man who had thrown it, smiled, pulled the dagger out of the wall and threw it back.  That is when I noticed the door behind them and it was the only door in the room that I could see, I had to get behind them.

With my small sword in hand I did my best not to hit or injure any of them, using my sword to block and my fist to push and punch I slowly made my way around the room.  The last thing I needed was the murder of a Knights Templar on my hands.  If that happened I’d have to find a way to become a woman and even then I may not be safe.  “We can settle this all friendly like and I can just walk out the door, no need for violence.”  No one seemed to be taking me up on that offer.

I continued to move in a circle and did my best to  kick chairs over, flip tables over, and break everything that I could to try to slow them down.  I did manage to make my way to the door, two daggers embedded into it at head level.  I stopped waved and opened the door to find myself standing face to face with a Templar Knight.  “Kiss me?”  That confused him long enough that I was able to use my shoulder as a battering ram and slammed in to the Templar.  The force I hit him with knocked him down, tripping over the knight behind him which triggered a dominoes effect.  One by one they all fell over.  Dodging blades and leaping over bodies I managed to find the staircase.  I looked down then looked up.  Footsteps echoed from below me, which left me with one choice.  So up I went.

Moving my eyes side to side to make sure I was alone I pushed the hatch open and pulled myself out.  A hand reached out and grabbed my ankle.  Grabbing the top of the hatch I slammed it down on to the templars head, his hand let go and all I heard was the sound of a man tumbling down the latter and bumping in to all his friends.

Standing on the hatch for the time being seemed to be the safest place as I wasn’t sure where I had fallen through the roof and it was bloody dark out.  I decided the only safe bet was to walk on the lip of the stone wall and stay off the roof.  I stepped off the hatch which burst open and Templars started to crawl out.  I dropped down to the stone ledge that surrounded the windows but without my climbing tools it made for a quick descent.  I did my best to look graceful but it was more like a four story tumble than anything elegant.

My feet hit the lawn followed by my ass, I then hit the road and ran to the wall.  Sometimes I wish thieving involved open doors and running down hill.  I looked quickly over my shoulder at the templars chasing me, they were yelling for me to stop, to give up, to halt.  All I heard was faster, run faster, must ran faster!  Reaching the wall I climbed it so quickly I almost tricked myself in to thinking I jumped over it.  Once down the other side I quickly disappeared in to the shadows of the town and left the prize to his hidden location and the templars scratching their heads and their balls.

Later that night I sat in the Rusty Rooster and sipped on a pint of ale that was nearing its expiration.  I had a mouthful of salted pork when the door opened and two Templars walked in.  I spit my food out nearly choking.  One of them looked at me with a suspicious look on his face.

“We found one of these.”

Templar handed the tavern owner one of my climbing claws, when did I lose that I wondered.

“A thief’s tool, we know this is a fence for stolen goods, just tell us who this belongs to and we wont burn your tavern to the ground.”

Standing up I promptly left through the back door and decided to head home where there would be no traps and no Templar, thinking to myself that maybe I need that vacation.

The End

The world had literally fallen apart, not from nuclear war or the crash of any stock market. No, it had come from space and now it was going to end everything we knew and took for granted. For years now media outlets had carried programs with scientists specializing in the how and when the impact would occur and what we could expect. You could say the lucky ones would be mere miles from the impact of the asteroid. They would be vaporized immediately, their brain wouldn’t have time to comprehend what had happened and in seconds they would be…gone.
New reports showed huge masses of people making a pilgrimage to the projected impact site. Religious groups called it Armageddon, God cleansing the world of weeds. People had stopped going to work, there was no point in it. Who wanted to spend their last few days sitting in a empty office? I’m sure a few did, finding comfort in routine.

I spent most of my life avoiding people. Staying in doors playing video games and so I figure why not go out that way. But it was getting harder and harder to connect to the networks as the asteroid got closer and closer.

It was the day of the impact and nothing worked. I could have spent it with family but they never cared much about me.
Looking out my apartment window I could see people gathering in the streets. All with their heads looking up. I followed their stare and sure enough you could see this object moving through the blue sky. Some people hoped that it would break up as it entered Earth’s atmosphere. However that theory was proven wrong as we all stared at the asteroid.
There was no way to prevent this from happening. With all the technology in the would and all the great minds working on this single problem the time to act had come and gone, and now the time to watch and die was upon us.

The asteroid moved across the sky heading towards the horizon soon it would be out of sight and all that would be left to do was sit and wait. It disappeared over the horizon and was quickly followed by a bright yellow flash. It was happening for real, this was no movie, no video game, no hero to save us all. We were witnessing the end.

I closed the book and laid it on my chest, looking out the window. I looked up to the blue sky and wondered what life would be like here should the world end by asteroid? Lifting the book up I continued to read the last few pages enjoying end the story.

The End

It was just another day in the graveyard. My job was simple people die and I’m paid to dig the holes. I was working on my fifth grave of the day, the sun was setting and you could hear the town crier ringing the bell. A sign that shops were closing and the taverns would soon be full of people drinking their hard day’s wage away. Usually I’d be right there with them, but with the plague in full bloom a break wasn’t coming until I had all the bodies buried.
I didn’t work in any graveyard, no I had the high end customers, nobles, lords and ladies alike wanting a private resting place. Not the mass graves that were dug for peasants. The idea of a noble resting beside a peasant made these richie-rich types roll over in their graves. With a quick look over my left shoulder I could see two more bodies wrapped up in tight clean white fabric by the saw bones. I didn’t make enough to be treated this well at death, I’d be tossed in a mass grave with the rags on my back. The rate these nobles were dying I wondered how many could possibly be left?
Wiping my brow of sweat I tossed the shovel out of the hole and climbed out. All I had to do was bury these bodies and I could be on my way to my favorite spot to drink. You’d think getting this close to the plague would make me nervous but I figured if I haven’t caught it by now maybe I was going to be one of the lucky ones and survive this sickness that was sweeping the city.
One of the final two bodies was that of a noble woman. I had no idea how old she was, but her figure was a nice hour glass shape, easily seen under all that linen. I knew their families would be to cheap to bury them with any gold or other valuables, but a wicked thought crossed my mind. I would never get my hands on noble blood, but I could now. I figured I was going to hell anyways so what would one more sin do to my already wicked resume?
Reaching down I cupped the full breast of the dead women. It was hard to tell what I was holding to be honest. But the knowledge of it did arouse me, a commoner like me touching the fun bits of a noble. Fuck yeah. I looked around as my hand lingered. Then some noise from behind me spooked me and I stood up straight and continued doing my job.
By the time I got the ladies body to her grave the clean white wrapping was now covered in green grass stains and dirt. Not that she would care. I pushed her in to her hole and turned to grab the other body. I was shocked to see that it was gone. I stood there stunned…shocked and looked around thinking that someone was playing a trick on me. “Hello?” I spun in a circle expecting one of my drunken friends to jump out at me but there was no one, just silence. Well this is odd I thought to myself.

I started to walk around the graveyard, looking for any sign of the body. It’s not like it could just get up and start walking. Then from behind a rather large tree trunk I spotted a white foot sticking out from behind it. “There you are.” Looked around the tree and no one was there but it was not the body of the man but the body of the woman with a dirty hand print on the linen over her right breast. “How the hell did she get out of the grave?” I turned around. “Okay is that you Joe? Who ever is fucking with me, this is no longer funny.” I didn’t even hear as much as a snicker.
Nearly jumping out of my skin as something kicked my foot. “What the hell!” I turned and looked at the ladies body, her foot had moved the linen was coming lose. Her left foot was now at an odd angle. I gave her a kick, it wobbled but bounced back to the position it had been in before I kicked it. That was not enough for me, I needed to know this lady was dead. I leaned down and poked her in the side of her head, an arm shot up out of the white wrapping and grabbed my shirt. I yelled out and tried to pull away but the black bony hands had a death like grip. Screaming at the top of my lungs as I tried to break free I heard teeth grind and soon the fabric around the mouth split. I could see dark gums with brown teeth and a worse then death stench.
Pulling as hard as I could against the hand I broke free and turned to run, but there behind me was the male body and I bumped right in to it. I fell to my ass and got slapped in the face by the dead ladies arm which was still holding on to my shirt.
I yank and pulled at the arm but I couldn’t get it off my shirt, it was like the thing was apart of my own body. I got to my feet and watched as the dead lady got to hers. She seemed to know where I was even with the fabric around her eyes, she instantly turned in my direction and both of them started walking awkwardly towards me. I got up and ran, but something tripped me up and I fell into one of the freshly dug graves landing right on top of a squiggling body. “Fuck!” I yelled as hands wrapped around me. Suddenly I felt bodies fall upon me. Body after body fell upon me. The weight making it harder and harder to breath as I was slowly being crushed. When I was able to suck a breath in, it smelt like I was breathing in death.
Then a pain so bad light up on my right shoulder, dots of light flashed through my vision, then another pain in my hip came screaming into my brain. It felt like flesh was being torn from my body. My vision started to fade in and out as my vision collapsed inwards. I tried to breath, tried desperately to suck air in to my lungs. But it was to late, I felt something take a hold of me and pull me deep, deep in to myself until their was nothingness. Just a strong desire to eat.

The End.

From the shadows I stalked, watching, waiting, and baiting unsuspecting souls in to the inky blackness of what would be their last breath.   I loved the night and how things changed.  How behind every corner could be the end of your story.  It sickens me that during the day everyone walked around with a sense of power and control.  Even the most timid soul could be a mighty king in the mid of day.
But when that sun faded over the horizon and the silver moon was high above.  That was when monsters like me came out.  Where the mighty kings of day would turn in to cowards.  Where shivers of the cold could leave you breathless and scared.  This was my home, the deep dark black of night.
After all this is why children were often afraid of the dark, being told ghost stories from the beginning of time.  Where monsters hide under their beds and grotesque creatures would stalk the forests.  Hundreds, thousands, a millennia later on the silver screen these monsters turned in to high school lovers, it was joke, an insult to us night dwellers.  Sparkling in the sunlight, a love triangle with a werewolf.  I’d shake my head if I currently weren’t latched on to a half drunk woman love struck on my bite.  But what did they know anyways?  They knew the stores, but not what truly hide in the darkness.

 

The End

It was a long day at work and all I wanted to do was head home, pop open a beer and play some Destiny.  It was the latest triple ‘A’ title released and it was great fun.  I sat in my cubical and spent the last 30 minutes looking up WTF pictures until the clock ticked four and I was a free man.

As my luck would have it the only spot available was at the very end of the parking lot when I arrived earlier in the day.  It was winter, I was cold, and by the time I got to my car I was grumpy.  Unlocking it I got in and let it warm up.  As my windshield slowly defogged I saw a note.  Great had to get out of my warm car, I was not impressed.

Ripping the note from the under the wiper blade I began to read it.  “The World is ending call 843-2632.  We need your help to save the world.”  I looked at the note and laughed. Some asshole co-worker was playing with me because who ever it was found out I liked video games.  I may be 35 but I like gaming so what if I like getting lost in an imaginary world now and then and get to play a hero saving digital worlds.  I tore the note up and tossed it out my window thinking nothing of it.

I arrived home in a pissed off mood and got my beer and went online.  Xbox Live was down.  Great!  I sat there looking at the green and black screen when my apartment building started to shake.  My first thought was I live in Ontario it’s not earthquake central like LA.  I looked out my window and saw a fireball moving though the sky.  “Shit.  I should’ve called that number.”  My cell phone flashed with a text message from 843-2632 it read.  “Asshole”.  I finished my beer with a front row seat to the end of the world.

The End

I looked out the window at the fading suns, the reds, blues, and pinks caresses the horizon in a display of color that I have never seen before.  It was fitting considering it maybe one of the last I see on my home world

Against my parent’s wishes I had joined the explorations unit of D.S.E.  I had heard stories of great men and women discovering new races at various stages of evolution, planets that seemed ripe for colonies only to have monsters that would tear you limb from limb and worlds where you’d think no life could exist only to find a thriving metropolises.  The danger that went along with joining the D.S.E I’d like to think was the main reason my parent’s were concern about me join.  The concerns they had didn’t stop me, I wanted a life of adventure, not routine and boredom.

 

At 1700 all the new recruits gathered in the intergalactic map room for orientation and assignments.  A few of my friends had spoken about going to unexplored regions where they would be in deep hibernation on their ships only to wake fifty years later and have only aged a day.  They’d return heroes like the space explorers of years before.  The idea of waking from deep sleep to find that your loved ones had passed on and that the world your loved had change was something I wasn’t sure I’d want to come home to.  If you came home at all.  Deep space missions were the most dangerous kind.

“Hey Giblet, how’s it going?”

I turned and looked over my shoulder and saw Larry and Bob standing behind me.  Giblet was a nickname I gotten in school because I once peed my pants during a Halloween haunted house.  Not my best moment, but I was only five.  I wondered if anyone here knew my real name?  Then again Dick isn’t much better then Giblet…to think of it I’d rather be called Giblet then Dick.  “Good, any idea where they might send you”’

“‘I hope deep space, that’s what I checked off in the survey.”

“I checked off the Helix Galaxy.”  Bob said as he came to stand on the other side of me.

“What did you check off?”  Larry looked at me.

“I check off undecided.”

Larry and Bob passed a quick look of confusion between the two of them.

“What do you mean undecided.  All you talked about when we were kids was going to deep space and becoming a hero.”

“I guess I changed my mind.”  I shrugged.

 

“Attention!”  The chief officer entered the cramped room, with twenty new cadets it was shoulder to shoulder standing room only.  Everyone came to attention and in behind him walked Space Commander Zed.  He was said to have discovered the mining colony Serg that gave us an abundance of Cel-Gel warming coolant for our space engines.

“At ease fella’s.”  He looked around the room eyeing everyone.  When he met my eyes I felt a shiver flow through me.  “Well right here I have all your assignments.”  He tapped his finger against a v-log.  “Some of you will be very happy but in here is a classified long term assignment.  Before we get in to assigned duties, I need a volunteer for this long term off planet integration assignment.”  He looked around the room at everyone, probably trying to see who might raise their hand, but no one was jumping to accept it.  Integration missions were long term sometimes life sentences and that wasn’t for everyone.

“Okay you need more information huh.  I can tell you this assignment has a life span of 30 years, you will assimilate in to the culture, and you will try to prevent an all-out extinction of the planet by influencing it through new discoveries.  Of course this discoveries will simply be the invention of technology that we already have but used to bring a fractured world together.”

“A babysitting assignment!”  Someone yelled out in disappointment.

‘Who said that!’  The Chief looked around annoyed and ready to hang someone.

“It’s alright chief.  We believe that the planet Earth is worth saving.  They have come a long way but with world destruction looming and the great wars that consumed many countries, they require leadership, and we need someone here to help guide them.”

Bob leaned over and whispered loud enough that Larry and I could hear.  “Who would want that job?  I don’t want to go there, not to that brown shit ball of a planet.  Hell it will probably implode before whoever decided to do this gets there.”

“This will also grant you early retirement after your return to your home world after the thirty years.  So before I pick someone anyone want to volunteer?”

I looked at Bob and Larry, they look around wondering who would be dumb enough to take it.  “I’ll do it sir!”  I yelled out.  Bob and Larry looked at me in shock.

“What’s your name?”

“Private Dick Space sir.”

“Will Mr. Dick Space, the job is yours.  Come get your itinerary.”

I stepped forward and took the v-log and looked down at it.  On the screen in big bold red letters is said Confidential.

“I suggest you leave Dick Space, you have a long journey to pack for and some reading to do.”  Zed looked to the Chief.  “Show him to his new quarters where he will be staying until mission goes active.”

“Yes sir.”  Chief said.

I turned my head and looked over my shoulder at Bob and Larry who were still wide eyed as they watched me leave.  I still wasn’t sure how I felt about them, but maybe on Earth I’d meet someone else and make new friends.  Maybe even end up saving a planet.  One thing I did know is that on Earth I could be anyone I wanted to be.

 

The End

February 9, 2015

 

Glossary

D.S.E – Deep Space Exploration

“Roy it wasn’t that bad, you did good. You got a few laughs.”
I gave Derek a sarcastic stare my show was the exact opposite of good. Derek and I had been best friends since grade five. Right now I didn’t need my best friend what I needed was a break. I couldn’t go back to my job on Monday, the very thought of going back to Coffee-N-Go serving those over privileged, skinny jean wearing, metrosexual, make up wearing, wannabe’s that were born to trust funds just ticked me off. And after tonight’s failure seeing them would pull that wound open and pour salt on it. “A few laughs, I need more then a few laughs. Damn it Derek I’m going to be the first act for the rest of my life with just a few laughs. You know what maybe I’ll get an arena gig with just a few laughs. Maybe that cute blond in the front row would get with me with just a few laughs.” This conversation was not helping me. Hell I was not helping myself with all this sarcastic bull shit.
“Look, dude I know you’re upset. I thought it was funny and I’m sure a few other people did. How about we go get a few drinks hit on a few girls and tomorrow we’ll work on your stand up for your next gig?”
“Derek you weren’t on stage when that drunk started to laugh, everyone looked around for the one guy laughing at my jokes, it was embarrassing.“ From deep down a heavy sight escaped, like a wave crashing before the calm. “I have a gig next Saturday but I think I’m going to cancel.” I shook my head. “Hit on girls? What so they can turn me down and I can embarrass myself again? That will make me feel much better.” I said sarcastically.
“Don’t cancel, let’s go get a few drinks and think of tonight as a learning experience.”
“Everything is a bloody learning experience. My first time kissing a girl was a learning experience, my first time driving a car was a learning experience, my first time getting the crabs was a learning experience. I’m tired of putting nights like this behind me. For once Derek I want to walk out of a venue and have everyone waiting for me to sign autographs. To get that killer paycheck, that is what I need to have happen.”
“It will come.”
“I’m not so sure, I’ll be collecting social security before I’m funny.” With that Derek shut up and we walked in silence to the pub.

We made our way to Flanagans. A pub that served decent food and it wasn’t to far from where I lived. So after I was finished drowning my sorrows I could stumble my unfunny self home.
“Hey Roy, Derek, how’d tonight go?” I looked at Amanda, she was new to Flanagans but every time I was here she was. I considered it luck on my part, as she was easy on the eyes. After the night I had, any distraction would be appreciated.
“It went really good Amanda, how’s your night going?” I said.
“Good, the tips could be better. When is your next show?”
“Next Saturday, you should come. “ As soon as I said it I regretted it.
“Maybe I will, give me a joke. If I laugh I’ll come and the first round is on the house.”
“Sure, what the hell.” Derek and I looked at each other for a brief unsettling moment. It was to late now I had to go through with it, good or bad. “Okay Amanda. A little girl puts a quarter in to a gum machine, and a human tooth comes out. The little girl looks up at her mom and says Mommy I found where the tooth fairy lives.”
Amanda looked at me then to Derek, “It’s $7.50 beer night.”