Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Micro Fiction: Conversation Vignette “Alien Smoothie”

The alien sat at her desk tinkering with a smooth, shiny metallic object. This project for the humans had been keeping her busy for the last six days. Her two digit hands pushing buttons on the device and a small remote that controlled the device. Each push of a button  yielded a response from the machine. Across the room, her mate entered and her work caught his eye.

“How’s it going?” He asked, walking over to her work station.

“Just finishing up.” She said proudly.

“Looks fantastic!” he said, gently sliding his bluish gray appendages over the smooth metal surface. “Looks like the old food processor.”

“It is. I made a few small modifications so it looks less, you know, ‘alien-y’. I made it smaller, more compact, I kept the self sanitation feature, and I added blades inside, so it won’t look too futuristic.” She then paused to explain. “It’s gotta look like it came from Earth. It’s the newest ‘invention’,” she said, using air quotes, “for the next infomercial.”

“What the heck was that?” he laughed, imitating her air quotes.

“Oh, human thing.” She replied. “It’s to signify that whatever is being referenced isn’t exactly as described. It indicates sarcasm.”

“Ah, interesting.” He smiled. “So we get a little cultural bit from them in exchange, huh?” he smiled.

“Yeah, along with those huge ass checks they send us for the ‘inventions’.”

She stepped over to the back corner of the room to retrieve a hard plastic shipping container, placing it on the table beside the mutilated appliance.

“I hope they like this one as much as the last one.” The male said.

“Well, the last one made Patty a millionaire, so, I imagine she’ll welcome a new gadget.” The female responded, referencing one of the infomercial ‘inventors’ she shipped items to.

“Ah, Patty; I thought this one was going to Brock.”

“Nah, he bought from another alien. But he does want some of our absorbent fabric. He said he thinks it’ll sell like crazy. … He was so excited when I showed it to him.”

“Well, at least we know their intense enthusiasm in the infomercials is real.” Her partner laughed.

She carefully arranged some soft cushion material inside the shipping container before placing the altered alien food processor in.

“They’re too enthusiastic!” She replied.

“No argument here.”

“And they’re just so weird!” She said with a hint of exasperation. “If you ask me, they’re not human!”

“Wouldn’t surprise me! They are kind of odd….and so loud and excitable.” He paused to ponder a moment. “You think they’re Kylorians in disguise!?”

“That’s as good a guess as I can make. Kylorians ARE an excitable species. They do resemble humans a bit. And they never stop talking….They could easily disguise themselves as infomercial hosts.” She said as she gently slid the device into its container.

This ‘invention’ would make its way to Earth, and in a few months time become the newest ‘amazing discovery’ in appliances. It would captivate the humans and compel them all to buy one because of the ‘space age’ materials that weren’t available anywhere else. And all the while, the humans would have no clue the device they were looking at was originally made by aliens and really did have materials from space. They would just be in a rush to buy the newest thing. And to fill those orders, hundreds of aliens would be employed to alter old alien food processors into the newest infomercial sensation. And in return, the aliens received huge payouts from the Earthlings.

She picked up her computer tablet to put in an order to have the invention picked up. Then she lifted it carefully and placed it outside of the door to their dwelling, awaiting the pick up.

“Now we wait.” she said.

****************** 3 Months later **********************

The male alien greeted his mate as she walked in the door.

“Hi honey! How was your day?”

“Eh.” She said shrugging.

Well, it’s about to get better! The check from the invention deposited about an hour ago and the film from it arrived too.” he held up a shiny disk.

“Great, let’s see it.” She said, plopping down on their couch in front of a large screen.

A plump brunette human female, Patty, appeared on the screen with the altered food processor in front of her. She was excitedly fondling the device while telling the audience that it would revolutionize the buyers’ lives, make them better as if it was somehow the key to living a happier life. Her smile was abnormally large, her voice loud and brimming with oddly unsettling levels of excitement. Her behavior was decidedly outside the norm for typical happy human behavior.

“Why do Earthlings think infomercial hosts are human?” The female alien asked the male.

“Beats me. …..I guess it’s easier than thinking that they might be aliens on Earth.” He replied.

“Mmmmm, makes sense.”

Turning back to the infomercial, the host proceeded to start throwing human foods into the device, then turned on the power. Fruits and veggies went maniacally spinning together in a nearly silent tornado of food before being poured out into a glass as a smoothie. The audience clapped frantically.

“I see you kept the low sound feature.” the male said.

” Yeah, I figured they’d like that.”

The sales pitch went on, the hosts’ chattering about the sleek, compact design, remote control functions and quiet, high speed spinning blades resulting in ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ from the audience. Then the host began talking about the processors’ so called blade sharpening feature.

“Wait, that doesn’t sound right.” The male alien said, turning to the female. “I didn’t think you altered it to do that.”

“I didn’t.”  She sighed. “They never read all the directions and comments I send them; they just make crap up.”

The host went on, yammering on endlessly and excitedly, whipping the audience into an excited frenzy, eager to buy the food processor. Her smile practically bigger than her face,, her eyes looking like they were bulging out of her head with excitement, she looked almost nonhuman like.

“Definitely Kylorian.” The male alien said. The female alien nodded in agreement.

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction) · Random, Fun & Quirky

Apocalypse Pizza Co.

This piece was inspired by a writing prompt published by WordPress blog “A Writing Prompt A Day”   The idea was to construct a piece about delivering pizza during the Apocalypse. So here it is:

 

APOCALYPSE PIZZA CO.

The evening sky glowed yellow, orange, and red with plumes of black smoke punctuating the Apocalyptic sky.

A huge navy blue SUV pulled up to a brick house on Morton street. With monstrous off road tires that were covered in mud and debris, it looked like it could run over a line of cars at a monster truck rally. On the top sat a glowing green sign that read: ‘Essential Pizza’ in red with a pizza beside it.

A slim figure dropped out from the elevated drivers seat dressed in what looked like riot gear. A black helmet with Plexiglas face protector, full body jumpsuit, torso and thigh guards and a holstered gun made them look like they were about to ward off violent protesters. Two green warming bags carried in the left hand bore the company logo.

Jane stood at her front door as the driver approached.

“Hi.” Jane said to the driver.

The pizza carrier pulled off the helmet to reveal  shoulder length curly hair and feminine facial features.

“Hi Ma’am. Here are your pizzas.” The driver replied as she unsnapped the opening of the food warming bags. “Two large cheese with green peppers and tomatoes and a large spinach and mushrooms, right?”

“Yes.”

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Jane had friends in the house sheltering from the Apocalypse outside. They were playing games and watching tv in the background. A man peeked at Jane and the driver from behind a wall deeper inside the home.

“Food’s here!” he called to others inside.

“Finally, we’re starving.” a woman’s voice responded from the next room.

As the driver pulled the pizzas from their cozy warm cover, the man approached behind Jane peering at the driver anxiously.

“We also had five bread sticks and seven cinnamon twists.” he said wringing his hands nervously.

“Yep, got those here.” The driver said opening the other heated bag.

“Marty, I left my purse in the living room, you got any cash?” Jane asked turning to her nervous, hand wringing companion. He dug in his pockets a moment before producing the money to pay for their dinner.

As the driver took the payment a bright orange yellow flaming ball zoomed overhead and landed a few houses away. Screams of horror cut through the sounds of the blaze and jerked Jane and Marty from their interaction.

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The shocked and surprised voices of Jane’s friends could be heard in the next room as they all ran to the living room window.

“Whoa!”

“Oh my gosh! It’s a fireball!”

“Wow, that sucks for the Henderson’s!” They heard a voice from the living room cry out.

Jane looked back at Marty with a concerned expression. He wore the same expression.

“I’ll call 911.” He replied and disipeared into the house.

Jane turned back to the delivery woman who was cool as a cucumber.

“Um, so you delivering much tonight?”

“Yeah, a ton. This is my fifteenth tonight. About an hour ago I delivered eight pizzas and seventeen pastas to a family of five a couple of miles away. And last night we did a massive order of twenty-five pizzas for a group of ten. Everyone’s ordering.”

The calls for pizza had been surprisingly frequent at Essential Pizza. So much so that everyone on staff had to be called in to handle the deluge of pizza requests. People all over the city had been ordering pizzas like crazy and Essential Pizza drivers were driving all over town.

“Wow! Wonder why they’d order so much!?” Jane exclaimed.

“Eh, gonna need to stockpile food for the disaster.” The driver replied casually.

“Yeah, I guess we should have done that. There are eight of us in here.” Jane said, gesturing to the noise of the people in the living and dining rooms.

“Well, just let us know if you need anymore food.” The driver replied. “We have extended hours during the Apocalypse.”

“Well that’s good to know.”

Marty returned to stand with Jane.

“Paramedics and Fire are on the way.” He said. Jane nodded. They could already see neighbors rushing to the Henderson’s’ house to help the family escape the fireball that had hit their home.

“Have you had to deal with any crazy apocalypse stuff?” Marty asked the driver.

“Oh yeah. Yesterday I had to run from three big hungry dogs. A few days before that my co workers and I were fighting off crazed customers at the store. And I always have to drive around the meteors.”

Jane gazed around her neighborhood at the crazy chaos unfolding around them.

“Aren’t you worried about that? The driving, I mean.” She asked.

“Nah, I’ll be fine. We’re outfitted pretty well to get through this.” The driver said patting her helmet.

“But things are so crazy out there!” Marty exclaimed, his anxiousness over the situation  obvious. “I’m worried we won’t be able to get food soon!”

The driver seemed unfazed by Marty’s worry.

“Nah, we’re a Pizza place, we survive anything.” The driver looked at Jane and Marty’s concerned expressions.  “Food places never close- you’ll be fine.”

“This is so crazy. You guys are risking your lives during the Apocalypse to deliver food. Your pizza shop should be called ‘Apocalypse Pizza Company’ or something.”

The delivery woman smirked and turned to leave.

“Ya’ll are hero’s!” Cried Jane.

The driver turned back to her.

“We do what we can.”

As the pizza delivery woman drove off Jane surveyed her neighborhood. The Henderson’s burning house being attended to by fire teams and neighbors, another house down the street smoldering from an earlier hit, people’s pets and local wildlife wandering around, the sky a swirling eddy of yellow, orange, red, and black swirls of smoke.

About four houses down, a group of people sat on their front lawn in folding chairs watching the chaos unfold. They treated the Apocalypse like some sort of reality show, eating pop corn and drinking beer, pointing, laughing and guffawing in amazement when a stray meteor would slam into a building further off. One member of the group even held up their phone at the goings on, videoing, getting it all for an internet that wasn’t even functioning. Jane sighed, shook her head and closed the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

“Dragon Rock” Part 1

“Dude, we are not asking the dragon for directions.” Said Zepher as he handed his flying partner Jiri a tool.

Zepher and Jiri, members of the Air Guard on their home planet Kirie had found themselves stranded on an island in one of the planet’s oceans when their patrol flight vehicle experienced a malfunction forcing them to land on Dragon Rock island.

“But we’re here and don’t know the island.” Jiri responded. He fiddled with the engine of their patrol craft for a moment, hoping to re-start it.

“Really?” Zepher responded sarcastically.

“And this thing is shot anyway….. And why not?”

This elicited a quizzical look from Zepher.

“Because it’s crazy. And it’s a dragon- it might eat us or something. And who knows what it’ll do to us!?”

Jiri closed the door to the engine compartment and began to secure the vehicle. He gestured to Zepher to get their things from inside. Despite the sunny, cloudless day, it was still chilly. Winter was only two weeks away and nightfall would bring a dangerous cold.

“Ok, first of all, I don’t think he eats Kirians. I heard he eats livestock and other animals. And secondly, the weird stories about him could just be rumors.”

“Ok, what if it isn’t the only dragon here!? You’ve heard the rumors!”

“Yes, but they’re just that- rumors. It’s probably fine.”

“I don’t want to find out.”

Zepher pulled their computer tablets, communicators and emergency survival packs from the flight  cockpit.

“Well, it doesn’t matter, anyway” Jiri finally said. “We just need directions.”

“We can figure our own way.”

“We don’t know this island!”

”Yeah, that’s because no Kirians come here cause there’s a crazy ass dragon living on it.” Zepher exclaimed.

“Hence, we need directions. Pull out the pad, we’ll try the map.” Jiri responded calmly.

Zepher sighed and pulled a small tablet from his backpack.  It annoyed Zepher that Jiri was so calm. He handed it to his partner.  Zepher proceeded to complain as Jiri poked the tablet, trying to bring up a map. The island had been a military post for nearly a hundred years before dragons forced the Kirians to abandon it forty years earlier. Now, there was one famous-or infamous if you believed the rumors- dragon occupying the island.

But traces of Kirian settlement were still left. Some of the original buildings remained standing and functional and could provide shelter for the night. Jiri was looking for the one that sat on far eastern coast of the island. Its electrical signal was still active, meaning the equipment inside might still be able to send a distress call or message.

“We’re risking our lives just being here.”

“You’re being such a child, you know that? It’s gonna be fine.” Jiri finally said.

“There is potential for my life to be threatened, so that means my fear- and the pansy ass behavior that comes with it is justified.”

Jiri chuckled and shook his head.

“I’m not getting a good connection to the internet system, it’s only loading the map for the southwest corner of the island. Look, we don’t have much left of our provisions. I really don’t want to be out here overnight, it’s gonna get really cold.”

Zepher sighed in defeat. He couldn’t argue with that.

“Can we at least be cautious?” Zepher requested.

“Of course. We’ll keep a safe distance.” Jiri yielded.

Zepher grudgingly agreed and the two began walking.

The island was dominated by large, dark rocks. Huge, beautiful trees and vegetation sprouted up in the small plots of soil nestled in between the rocks.  About an hour later, Jiri and Zepher were climbing a hill dotted with rocks when Jiri spotted the dragon about a hundred yards ahead perched on a large round rock looking out towards the ocean.

“ There he is.” Jiri whispered to Zepher.  “You ready?”.

Zepher wasn’t ready, and was hanging behind his partner. When he didn’t respond. Jiri turned back to him.

“It’ll be fine, man, don’t worry.”

Jiri began moving forward towards the creature, gesturing for Zepher to follow.

“I wish I could believe you, man.” Zepher said in a hushed whisper as the two men climbed the rocky hill. As they got closer the animal looked bigger and bigger. With only about thirty yards between them and the creature, he looked like a hulking mass of muscle.

“Shit! He’s massive!” Exclaimed Zepher.

“Shhh! Be nice!” Jiri whispered to Zepher before approaching the dragon.  “Hello!” He called out.

*****************************************************

THIS IS THE END OF PART 1 OF THE STORY. PLEASE CHECK BACK ON JANUARY 25TH WHEN I POST PART TWO!

 

PHOTO: Pixabay/elukac

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Micro Fiction Stories

“Fool Yourself”

*He couldn’t hide it from anyone- except himself. Person after person left his life, never to return. Friends, girlfriends, co-workers, a sibling. With each lost relationship, the confusion grew stronger and stronger. ‘Why were they leaving’, he thought? The only person who stuck around was his mother- but that relationship was strained. She tried telling him he was difficult, but he never listened. ‘Just haters’, he thought. But he couldn’t keep people in his life for long. He began to think maybe something was wrong. But would he ever see it? Would he ever change?

 

“Three-peat”

*She built a life with a husband in Charlotte. Then she fell in love with another man. So she married him and had two husbands. A few years later, in Greensboro, she had added a third man to the mix. Three cities, three lives, three husbands. The men didn’t know about each other- at least she didn’t think they did. She worked hard to keep each life a secret. She wove an ever growing web of lies to juggle it all. She constantly feared the reaction of her husbands; she knew that if her secret were exposed, she’d lose all three.  Then the day came when they told her they knew…….They’d known for awhile; but to her surprise, they weren’t mad.

 

 “Like Father Like Son”

*Long ago, when Ryan was young his father Caleb had suffered from a horrible disease. Caleb suffered for years, unable to care for himself, slowly disintegrating, and going towards death step by step. Ryan and his family rallied around his father to care for him. Ryan’s greatest fear had always been dying the same way. He couldn’t shake the fear; it was like a shadow. Then one day he was diagnosed with the same thing.  Only he had no family to take care of him.

 

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

The Sock Dimension

Hi  readers! I hope the new year has been positive for all of you so far! Today I’m posting a short piece in response to a prompt from the blog ‘A Writing Prompt A Day’. The prompt was to write a piece about why socks go missing. So here it is.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/52085930/posts/1979787343

Monday morning came early for the Henderson’s. Marques wandered into the kitchen to start some breakfast. Out of the kitchen window the sun began to peek over the horizon of the Arizona desert. Bright orange and yellow rays of light burst through the scattering of clouds in the sky. He wished he had more time to enjoy it, but he had an early meeting that morning. He put a pan of oatmeal on the stove and walked across the room to the laundry nook. He had been drying some clothes over night. Marques began pulling out the clothes. His wife Kara stuck her head in the door to say good morning before wandering into the kitchen.

Marques peered into the dryer, pulling the clothing into a laundry basket, sifted through the items and sighed. Another pair gone again. He stood up and took his full basket into the kitchen.

“Lost some more.” He said to Kara.

Kara looked up from stirring the oatmeal.

“Again!?”

“I don’t know where they go!” Marques exclaimed.

“So which ones are gone this time?”

“My blue and gold striped and your pink ones with the watermelons.”

Kara sighed. The couple had been losing socks at a steady rate for the last few weeks.

“Well, that’s how it is in the dryer: something goes missing and you end up with something you don’t even remember buying.”

Marques dropped the basket onto the kitchen table.

“I swear they’re getting sucked into some other dimension or something.” he said in sarcastic frustration.

Kara chuckled as she pulled the oatmeal from the pan and plopped it into two bowls.

“Well, that’s as good an explanation as there is.” Kara laughed as she handed a bowl to her husband. “That’s probably how we ended up with all those pairs of baby socks two weeks ago.” She pointed out.

“I guess so.” He sighed. “Just once I’d like to put our things in the dryer and not lose something or get something else that’s not ours.”

About an hour later in Massachusetts, Eleanor and Alessandro were playing with their baby daughter Kiyana, enjoying their day off from work. The dryer timer dinged and Eleanor walked into the laundry room, pulled open the dryer door and reached in for their laundry. She pulled out a handful of socks. One pair was pink with little watermelons, the other blue and gold striped.

“What the crap!?”

“What?” Her husband called out from the other room.

“Another bunch of freaking socks!” She responded as she sifted through their laundry.

“Again!?” Alessandro called back. “This is the fifth time this month! Where the heck are those things coming from!?”

Eleanor walked out of the laundry closet with the socks in hand and promptly threw them  on the nearby couch. “I don’t know! I swear they come out of nowhere! Every time we do a load of laundry we get some random pair of socks we don’t own and end up losing socks we do own. I can’t keep Kiyana’s socks for anything. It’s like they get lost in some black hole or some weird other dimension.”

“Ok, maybe they’re ours, and we just forgot about buying them.” Alessandro suggested.

“Well, that still doesn’t explain how we lost Kiyana’s.”

“They’re tiny, maybe they got sucked into the dryer duct.”

Alessandro shook his head as he pushed Kiyana  in her rocker. She cooed and giggled.

Eleanor came to sit on the floor with her husband and daughter. “I’m getting tired of constantly buying socks- and baby socks are expensive. They’re so tiny- why do they cost so much!?”

“Maybe we should start putting our used, holey socks in instead.” Alessandro chuckled. That’ll be a great way to get rid of them.”

“I want to know what we can put in to get our stuff back!” Eleanor  retorted.

Kiyana tugged at her socks and giggled.

 

PHOTO: Pixabay/Tawnyowl

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction) Vol. 2 Three Flash Fiction Stories

STORY 1:  “FOLLOWING AGAIN”

The morning was still dark, but she was awake and loading her bags into her car. She looked sadly on the home she would never see again. The porch lights illuminated the crisp lines of the big beautiful house she had called home for the last three years-the longest she’d lived anywhere. It broke her heart, but she had to get out of there before they came for her. They were following her again and would be along shortly.

STORY 2:  “13 MILES DOWN THE ROAD”

He was thirteen years younger, and thirteen long years behind her. She wished she had realized it before she married him. At least he was still happy.

STORY 3:  “ILLEGAL THINGS”

The worst place to go and mess up your teeth was when you were out of town.  Three teeth were loose in Tom’s gums, and pain was shooting through his mouth. Luckily he’d found a dentist in town willing to fix it for him. He sat in an exam chair, cotton shoved up his mouth to stop the bleeding and the dentists’ hand probing his teeth. The dentist called an assistant in from another room. A woman entered and handed the dentist some tools. She looked so familiar, thought Tom, but he just couldn’t place her. She looked uncomfortable as Tom stared at her. Finally it hit him: he’d seen her on America’s Most Wanted- she was a fugitive! His eyes widened in terror. The assistant and dentist exchanged concerned glances. Then the dentist said “Tom, I’m afraid I’m going to have to put you under to fix these teeth.” Tom squirmed and tried to yell for help, but the sedation gas mask was on his face before he could get a word out.

 

Hope you enjoyed the flash fiction! Which one is your favorite?

Photo: Pixabay/ LeoNeo Boy  305 Images

 

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction) Vol. 1

PATH

Narrow brown path, flanking walls of green blades, her scent soliciting tiny insects. The sounds of happily chirping birds had stopped half a mile ago.  The route was narrowing; she wasn’t sure it where it was going anymore. Long, leafy stems kept slapping her face. An uncomfortable silence was advancing like the overgrown foliage. There was a tightening in her chest. It was time to turn around, she realized. But before she could, it stopped her in her tracks. Ten yards away, its eyes locked on her. Half as big as she was, it was a torpedo of muscle, covered in fur. She stepped back slowly. It watched her. She took another step, and then another.  As she took a fourth step back, it cocked it’s head, looking at her curiously. Without warning, the torpedo shot at her. She turned to run. A blur of green and brown was all she saw. Heavy panting and paws on the ground behind her filled her ears. Fear began to overwhelm her as she tried to flee. She could hear it getting closer. Bright light shone from around a corner, the dark path opening. The panting behind her got heavier, the animal getting closer. It would catch her if she wasn’t fast enough. But light was brightening the end of the path.