Tagged: Rome

California James and the Chapel of Rome

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 30

“Come on, Squat Runt!”

“Can we rethink my nickname, Doctor James? I feel as though it crosses the line from affectionately disparaging to actually hurtful.”

“There’s no time! We have to reach the Sistine Chapel before that albino monk gets—”

A hooded figure stepped out from the doorframe. “My ears are burning,” said the monk.

“Well, I’m not surprised,” said California James. “It is an exceptionally sunny day.” Continue reading

Never Let Me Down

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 29

Challenge #13*: David Bowie Day. Write a story including a character in mourning and exploring the theme of religion. It must include at least three David Bowie film titles, a swan song, and a character who speaks to the audience only in David Bowie song titles.

Everyone had been sad about it, naturally. To so suddenly lose a figure so beloved to so many. But it had struck Hades more than most. To him it was deeply personal, somehow. It shouldn’t have been—until it had happened, he’d never even been in the same room—but it was. He bet Baal never had to put up with this sort of sacrilege.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” said Virgil to the reader.

That was Virgil’s imaginary friend: “the reader.” Hades wasn’t sure when it had started, but he suspected it had something to do with his still-alive friend Dante waltzing off to Purgatory and leaving him stuck here. That or the linguine incident. That had been hard on everybody. Hades himself didn’t much like to think about it. He turned his attention instead to Charon, still trying to lift the deceased into his tiny little canoe.

“Have you tried using a lever of some kind?” yelled one of the shades.

“For the last time, Archimedes, enough with the levers!” Hades yelled back, then turned to Charon once more.

He didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Continue reading

Retroactively Doesn’t Count

Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 18

Challenge #8:  Write a story set during or in the wake of a disaster, featuring an anachronism.

There was a blinding flash of light, and a deafening bang.

“Well,” said Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus, squinting out over the burning ruins of Rome, “there goes the distillery.”

Emperor Nero didn’t say anything. He just kept singing. Badly.

There was another blinding flash of light, and another deafening bang, this time right beside the two betogaed figures on the palace roof.

“Ahh!” yelled Tigellinus. “By Pluto’s purple pectorals, what was that?”

“Hic!” said Nero. “Hic! Hic! Hic! Hic!”

Tigellinus wasn’t sure if he had developed a case of the hiccups or was just stuttering in Latin.

Continue reading