Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 29
It was a bomb. A large bomb. The kind of bomb with several sticks of dynamite taped together, a bunch of wires sticking out, and for some reason a nice obvious LED display to give a clear indication of exactly how much time was left until the whole thing went boom.
The LED display read “2:27,” though it had been quite a bit higher to begin with.
“We have a specialist here to offer guidance,” announced Commissioner Hindsight, from a great distance, through a very large megaphone. “I realise we probably should have called her in sooner, but better late than never, right?”
Colonel Megaton took another glance at the display: “2:16.”
“There’s a limit to how long that’s gonna stay true!” he shouted back.
“I’m passing you over now,” said the Commissioner. “Professor Fanity, if you would?” He handed over the megaphone.
“Right!” said the professor. “The first thing you wanna do is ********** the ****ing blue wire!” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 22
“Hi everybody,” said Major Megaton, stepping into the Society of Rectitude canteen with his hands on his hips. “Did you miss me?”
“Oh, hey!” said Broccoli Man, giving him a wave. “Great to see you.”
There was a general mumble of acknowledgement from the other assorted heroes.
“Yep,” said Major Megaton, doing a little stretch. “Just me, Major Megaton, casually popping in for lunch.”
“Lasagne very good today!” grunted the Insatiable Bulk. “Bulk recommend!”
“Ensign Here!” Major Megaton walked over and slapped the stationery stalwart on the back. “I haven’t seen you since…when was it? When I detonated the 100 kiloton warhead lodged in my ribcage in order to defeat that giant fire-breathing dinosaur that was attacking the city? Man, that was a while back!”
“Yeah!” said Ensign Here. “Fun times.”
“Yeppers.” Major Megaton rubbed his hands, looking around the room. “Don’t, uh… Don’t think I’ve seen any of you at all since then. Now that I think about it, you must have assumed I was killed in that explosion.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 19
“It is I!” proclaimed the bemonocled gentleman, “The Pangolin! Come to steal your weather machine and blackmail the mayor into naming a park after me!”
“I…” Doctor Harrison wasn’t entirely sure what to do with this information. “Okay?”
“Don’t try to stop me! I’m one tough customer, here to establish a criminal empire of unprecedented scale.”
“Do you have superpowers, though? I mean you’ve got a nickname. I just don’t—”
“I’m an aristocrat with a taste for the finer things.” He doffed his top hat and flicked out his extremely long tongue for emphasis. “You might say I’m a rare breed.”
“Are these jokes?” asked Doctor Harrison. “I feel like you’re putting a really weird emphasis on certain words but I don’t know why.”
“But… You… Wh—” He wiped his forehead with a handkerchief. “I’m the Pangolin! Tough, scaly, rare…” He stared at her. “The Pangolin!” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 12
“Everybody on the floor!” shouted the bank robber, striding to the counter. “Fill the bag! I want small bills, non-sequential!”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” came the voice from behind him.
The bank robber froze, then slowly turned, dreading what he might find. From Irony Man to the Insatiable Bulk, there were were all manner of heroes who could have turned up to stop him, and as more of a career criminal than a supervillain, he really didn’t relish the thought of tangling with any of them.
But it was no hero who he found standing in the bank foyer.
“Count…” He could hardly believe his eyes. “Count Erfitter?”
“The very same.” The dashing aristocrat smiled.
“Are you pulling a job here too?” the bank robber asked. “I thought you were all about art theft.”
“Hmm, yes.” Count Erfitter casually examined his fingernails. “You might say I have a job here, but it isn’t theft. You see, I’ve found another calling.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 9
Challenge #4: Write a story in which two characters in conflict with one another are trapped in some kind of vessel. The story must feature an event utterly outside a character’s realm of expectation.
“Hold the door!” shouted Captain Caulk as he ran for the elevator, cape fluttering dramatically behind him. “Hold the door!”
The figure inside stepped towards the control panel, and the doors, obligingly, slid open.
“Thank you, kind citizen!” said Captain Caulk, panting slightly. Not enough to suggest that he was in any way out of shape, just enough to indicate that he had been striving heroically to do something heroic.
“Don’t mention it,” said the diabolical Doctor Baby, coldly.
“Oh.” Captain Caulk regarded his nemesis as the doors closed behind him, not entirely sure whether he should stand facing them—as was universally accepted elevator etiquette—or to prepare for glorious battle.
“No, really,” said Doctor Baby, the harsh fluorescent elevator lighting glinting from his sinister science goggles. “I thought I was pressing the ‘close’ button.”
“Oh,” said Captain Caulk, again.
“Mmyes.” Doctor Baby observed his own gloved finger, still hovering just by the button. “This is proving to be awkward for all involved.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2020, Day 1
“In ocean wet, in briny deep, when evil’s near I shall not sleep!”
“Aaah!” yelled the first mate of the Reel McCoy. “Take my wallet, just don’t stab me!”
“What?” asked the fish-tailed lady who’d just flopped aboard. She lowered her trident.
“I don’t have much cash on me because we’re in the middle of the sea and there’s nowhere to spend it, but there’s a loyalty card for Molly’s Chippie in there and it only needs two more stamps!”
“What?” asked the mermaid again.
He got out his wallet and slid out the card. “The ink got kind of wet when I was in the dinghy, but Molly’s nice. She’ll honour it anyway. That’s a free sausage and chips! I mean, you’ll still have to have to buy two more meal deals to qualify but the change in my pocket should get you most of the way there!”
“Okay.” The mermaid used her trident to lever herself upright against the guard rail. “First of all, I’m not here to mug you.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 22
“Is there a doctor on board? Anybody?”
The flight attendant looked around, absolutely dreading having to follow that question up. There was no response.
“Okay. Then, does anyone…um…does anyone know how to fly a plane?”
The cabin erupted into mass screaming. This was exactly the response she’d been hoping to avoid. She ducked back into the cockpit and locked the door, just for a chance to think through what the heck to do now.
“What is it?” asked a woman who’d inexplicably turned up in there. “What’s wrong?”
“Aaaaaah!” screamed the flight attendant. Right now the main thing that was wrong was that the aircraft seemed to have gained a passenger mid-flight. Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 4
Challenge #2: Write a story in which someone or something is living somewhere unexpected and a small, everyday object is re-purposed in some way. Optionally, there must be a problem that is both caused and solved by the main character.
“Stop, good citizen!” cried the complete stranger who had just burst through the door. “Sign not that paperwork!”
“What?” yelped the estate agent. “What are you doing here? Who are you anyway?”
“Why, I am Apartment Man!” proclaimed the intruder, who wore a hat on his head shaped like a house’s roof.
“And I his loyal sidekick, Rent B—” Apartment Man’s young ward stopped himself. “Rent Wrangler! I’m the Rent Wrangler. I dispute terms in contracts that would cause tenants to pay excessive amounts of rent.”
“Well that’s lovely,” said the house-hunter, “but right now I’m more worried about the fact that you’ve just ripped the door off its hinges.”
“Ah!” cried the estate agent, fluttering over to the doorway. “But that’s the beauty of these doll houses. This door will snap right back on. Perfect for the modern micro-pixie on the go!” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 2
Challenge #1: Write an editorial piece including precisely three questions. One must be answered with a lie, and at least one of the others must remain unanswered. The story must also include an existing headline and two of the following items: a sudden disappearance, an ‘expert’ witness, a talk show host, the phrase “off the record,” a banana.
“Friendly” neighbourhood superhero Spiderguy is once again the talk of the town following his sudden disappearance in 2014. But who is Spiderguy, and is he truly friend or secretly foe? The answer, undoubtedly, is foe.
The caped crusaders of our fair city fall into two categories: those who serve justice openly, and those who hide behind a mask. Who is Spiderguy? Is the figure who returned in the wake of Major Megaton’s spectacular demise the same one as before? Despite years of tireless photojournalism, even I cannot say. But what I know for certain is that true heroes have nothing to hide. The openly superpowered Astounding Welt – host of popular talk show Wednesdays with Welty – had this to add:
“The main reason I never seriously tried to conceal my identity is that I’ve got a very distinctive face. I didn’t really expect a little domino mask would do anything, but I’m not sure I could fit one of those full spandex deals over my head. Broccoli Man has much the same problem: if you grow a giant green afro as part of your costume, it’s not as if you can just pop a hat on top of it and hope nobody notices the rest of the time. You’re pretty much committed to making your superhero identity your only identity.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 20
“Today we remember Therm O’Nuclear,” announced Captain Caulk, with tears in his mighty eyes. “Though to those present now, he was perhaps better known as Major Megaton. He will be most dearly missed.”
“Oh, sure,” muttered Tsar Kazm. “I mean, it’s not as if any of us have ever turned up after dying before. Like, that’s not a thing superheroes are known for doing or anything.”
Captain Caulk glowered at him.
Suddenly, the church doors banged open. A lone figure stood spandex-clad and silhouetted in the space between them.
It was Spiderguy.
“Sorry I’m late!” he whispered as he edged his way awkwardly down one of the pews at the back. “Kind of embarrassing: I got stuck in the bath.”
Captain Caulk cleared his throat. “As you will all probably be aware, Major Megaton’s body was sadly never found—”
“Also not a massive hint he’ll be back!” said Tsar Kazm, less quietly this time. Continue reading