Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Steam-O-Nomics

 “Happy Halloween!”
The Easter Bunny* #quote

CJ isn't coming over this weekend so oh-well, but I'll be certain to get myself into plenty of shenanigans. Anyway onto the flash fiction!


                “Gentleman,” the alien spoke to the humans across the table in English the thick accent from his native language giving his vowels a sort of slippery sound, “I simply cannot take a deal where I fail to see the profit for who I'm making the deal with.” The alien went by Mr. H around humans since his name started with an h sound but contained a few sounds that only a few human languages naturally came close to producing. Mr. H wore a blue, long-sleeved shirt and long pants made out of a sort of cotton-like material created from a the wool of a rare creature on their planet. The cotton reflected light slightly to create a gentle glow and the outfit would be considered the equivalent of a suit on their world. He had no hair and frog-like eyes and mouth and nose. His skin stood to be one of the most unique aspects of his race with scales able to spread to open up pores that could excrete a number of things to cover and protect his skin when his body needed it, from simple sweat to a fine film.
              “What, are you suspicious?” asked Roland Bartly, the head of the three men speaking with Mr. H. The three men represented corporations and were negotiating mouthpieces. Roland was the most important of all the three since he possessed controlling stock in the company he represented.
             “Of course.” Mr. H responded. “You're offering to sell me your solar panels, claiming it was to spread awareness of your product, but the loss of setting up the panels on my planet is ridiculous. The amount of panels you need to equal my steam output would cost an absurd amount of money. And there's no reason for my people to want solar power anyway since there are no environmental laws promoting it and all the steam my factories give off we're fine with.” Mr. H's skin moved a little in some spots as a reflex to the thought. His species's skin allowed steam power to be used without much care. The skin filtered any problems with the byproducts. A moss rampantly grew on their planet that they harvested, hardening with a simple process into something like coal for their engines. Their planet and people were hardier than Earth.
           “We're just trying to sell solar panels to the people of your world.” Roland smiled.
            Mr. H stood up from the table they were negotiating at said, “I don't know what you're trying to do. But I didn't become one of the richest of my kind by being tricked. I won't buy solar panels for my factories, even the small fraction that you're asking me to. You will get nothing from me.” Mr. H walked away from Bartly and the other men. He assumed he dodged being ripped off. However the alien overestimated his importance in the grand scheme of things. The corporations that the three men represented now regretted that they bought the land next to Mr. H's factories.
           Humanity was buying land where they could. However the rampant use of steam made it difficult for humans to settle. Due to the way their skin could manage them Mr. H's species functioned fine with their technology and used it everywhere, but it made their world like a vindictive sauna to humans and forced them to being tourists in protective suits or environments. But corporations and governments in the guise of corporations aimed to change the alien world with one resource they knew worked. Money.
            And they just needed to find the right people to buy, they couldn't stop every household, but they planned to puncture holes in areas in the world by finding people like Mr. H who controlled large sources of steam. Mr. H didn't listen, but they figured that eventually they'll find enough aliens with the right prices.
          Until then Mr. H goes to bed watching the sun of his world set on a horizon filled with steam.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Today's #flashfiction BrainDaVinci

 “He's swinging for the fences.”
Tarzan* #quote

They ask how much wood could a woodchuck chuck. But really I think he's content just carrying it. Anyway onto the flash fiction!


            “No!” I yelled at the computer, “That is not what I wanted you to do!” The canvas in my art program became flooded in red. The angrier I got, the darker the red. Soon it became the color of muddy blood. I took a deep breath. One of those deep, therapeutic breaths that psychologists and mothers tell you to take when you're angry. When I calmed down the canvas in my art program turned to a soft, light blue. I wanted my mouse and keyboard back.
               The modern world was switching to brain interfaces for many computer programs. Everyone is going from sweeping their mouses, clicking-clacking their keyboards, tip-tapping their tablets to snapping on these gray, polished mind-reading helmets. People wrote books with these helmets. They jumped the words straight from their head through the helmet to the screen. Composers could string together melodies. Digital art was jumping on that bandwagon too. Digital art is where I worked and if I didn't hop along, I would be an old man out of a job.
              Without a keyboard, mouse and tablet to clutter it up my wooden desk looked barren. I still kept the six-inch reference mannequin from college on the old desk. Four hours ago I turned on the new computer I bought, its monitor, and inserted the CD for the art program. I just barely managed to install “BrainDaVinci” and open it. The logo of the program was a picture of Leonardo looking wise and sophisticated.
                The program's window wasn't as pretty as any of the Renaissance painter's art. Around the digital canvas in the middle of the monitor where I was suppose to make my art were a huge amount of “focus buttons”. Focus buttons are what most brain interface programs use for their basic controls like “save as”. You look at the little icon and focus on just it like your having some crazy, intense, split second staring contest then you break focus. That's how people click with these screwy mind-reading helmets. And that's what spent four hours trying to figure out how to do to install the program in the first place.
             I couldn't take any classes. I've been doing digital art for thirty-five years and I wasn't going to have some inexperienced kid half my age telling me how to do my job. I'd figure it out myself. I've always figured it out myself. I'll stomach a manual. Whether a manual is written by one person or a thousand together the most important part is that it isn't someone waving their finger in my face or looking at what I'm doing.
            The canvas was still a soft, light blue from when I calmed myself down. I focused on a small, square-shaped area in the middle of the canvas in the art program. To match the old idiom the programmers of BrainDaVinci made the color green appear with the emotion envy.
             And the square turned red, probably because this was attempt twenty at forcing myself to feel envy. I became angry and lost focus. The box became red and turned into a blob shape as I didn't think of any solid shape. My anger turned to the entire work, changing the whole canvas red again.
               How could any sane human being do this? How could this be quicker than my tablet? Did the company hire zen monks who could control their emotions perfectly? This thing is impossible! Well, whoever can use this program is obviously some sort of level above me.
The canvas turned green.
             Wait? Why'd it turn green? You stupid machine! Why'd you only turn the color I want when I don't want you to? No! Now the canvas turned dark red again. Crap. I didn't want to get mad. I took a deep breath to calm myself again and the canvas turned a light blue. It soon hit me. The canvas turned green because I was envious of the people who knew how to use the program.
            I decided to try again. I focused on a square in the middle of the canvas. I thought of those people. I thought hard. I didn't exactly know who they were so I had to make a sort of mental image of them. I actually imagined a zen monk in brown robes wearing one of the brain interface helmets. A man even older than me but somehow less wrinkly. And then I had green in my square. I'll admit it was a reddish green, I was angry at my imaginary monk's superior skill. But still I had green.
I finally did it. I created the green square. A perfectly shaped, green square over the light blue background from my little calming breath. The canvas turned an obnoxiously sunny yellow. Well I guess I just found out the color for overjoyed satisfaction.
            I made more and more squares of envy on top of my new yellow background. I worked to make as even a checkerboard pattern as I could. If I ever got satisfied about my progress I focused on a tiny area of the canvas that was already yellow so I wouldn't stain my entire picture. I think it was more chance than skill that I managed to make squares across the entire canvas without focusing on it all a single time. Also the fact I immediately yanked off my helmet when I reached the finished helped. My squares were perfect in shape, but not size, and the checkerboard pattern had become lopsided, like someone had stitched quilts of multiple sizes together. But still it worked and I made something intentionally.
             I put my helmet back on and kept working. I focused on the entire canvas. One deep breath to turn it a solid, light blue. I focused on small areas in the shapes of triangles and circles and colored them with my envy. I worked to controlling the sizes along with making octagons, trapezoids and as many more shapes I could. I worked into using more than envy for my shapes. I reminded myself of my successes in the program to bring back the sunny yellow and I found out I could think of my ex-wife to get any red I need. Over time I noticed that this had become faster than my tablet. My designs were basic, but everything had become much quicker as I skipped the middleman.
It took two more hours, but I finally completed a piece of art. It was sloppy. But it still was art.
          The bottom third was the ground. I scrawled dark green grass over a dark brown dirt. I still had plenty of envy for the other artists to use for that green and I found out that brown came from pride, something I could get simply by thinking about my greatest art I've created over my career. On that ground I made a red-brick house. Outlines were in black. Black came from loneliness, which I got from reminding myself that I was the only one that lived in my apartment. The door was simple and white. The helmet put white on the canvas when it read my mind feeling fear. Bringing the fact to mind that not mastering this program would put me out of a job provided all the white I needed with a quick simple thought. Light blue was created by calm, but the darker shades were created by sadness. I brought up sadness with memories of a childhood pet long gone. With the fear of death I placed a few large, pure white clouds in the sky.
         I took off my helmet to avoid any risk of messing up my piece while I looked it over. I found it terrible in quality. I looked at the time. I was shocked. It took me only fifteen seconds to make the piece. I practiced moving my eyes and changing emotions after the checkerboard piece for a good two hours before starting this. I couldn't believe I became so quick. And all the perfectly straight lines in the bricks of the house. Without having the middleman of the mouse or tablet and the brain and eyes just danced around the canvas in the program.
           My heart felt mixed and twisted from playing with my emotions. I was willing and able to tug them around out of desperation to keep my job. But how far could this feeling of desperation carry me? I noticed that the degree of calmness I had controlled the shade of light blue, same thing with the strength of red with anger. That meant that the people replacing my old coworkers, or the coworkers who managed to stay on, must have been controlling their emotions perfectly, in order to get the exact colors they wanted. Otherwise they couldn't get the shades they needed for whatever art they wanted. But if they could find and control all the right emotions for all the right colors and focus on the smallest or largest areas they wanted perfectly they could create something in minutes with the brain interface that took me hours with my tablet.
           I checked around the screen to see the focus buttons. After all my practice working on art the idea of focusing directly at them then unfocusing became absurdly simple in comparison. I saw that they also had all the familiar effects like “transparency” in them. I didn't know how they worked. Probably you used the focus button then focused on the part of the piece you wanted. Either way this meant that I didn't even have that advantage over them with my old tablet program. I looked at my terrible, basic piece I created. A badly done brick house on brown ground with a blue sky and white bouncy clouds. The work of a child. I would be replaced wouldn't I? I fell into a deep depression. I wondered how dark a blue it would have been in the art program.
        I looked over to some of my art hanging on the wall. A romance book cover with a man with unrealistically large muscles holding a woman as they stood on a beach. Never read the book before I did it. I put it on my wall because it was my first book job. Next to it I hung a cover of a science fiction/fantasy magazine I did. It was of a robot fighting a dragon. I did it early in my career when I was still in my twenties. I never knew why they were fighting, but I knew I loved doing the cover. But nothing new will be hung on this wall anymore will it? Not with brain interface technology replacing me.
         I spotted another piece of my art. Something done decades ago. Back when my Dad gave me a used tablet to play with as he just bought a new one. He taught me how to make colors and shapes and the fun I had that day got me into digital art. The work was a terribly done red brick house on sloppy brown ground with dark grass. The sky was dark blue with white clouds. I then noticed the clock on my desk read 11:00 pm.

           I looked back at the screen. I put the helmet back on. I used the “save as” focus button. A small window open with a text box prompt with the instructions: “Think of File Name then Look Away From Monitor to Save File”. I thought “DayOne” and then looked away from the monitor with computer making an affirming beep noise. I turned off the monitor, took off the helmet, and went to bed.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Costume Party

 “Travel lightly.”
Batman* #quote

This weekend CJ might come over, but it's still a chance. Either way I'll find a way to have fun this weekend as I tend to. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Costume Party

         After I signed “Zarchary Jackson” on the party attendance sheet I realized that there shouldn't be a sign in sheet at all. Tonight I was supposed to be headed to a friend's house for a Halloween party. But instead I wore my store-bought mummy costume in some kind of mansion along with many other people in a massive dance hall of some kind of mansion. The room's doors were shut and I saw purple clouds. With no light bulbs the rooms main light source must have been the hundreds of candles attached to the walls with golden holders. After thinking about the shut doors some more I wondered where I must have entered the room from in order to sign the strange party attendance sheet. What other mysterious way could I have entered the room?
       “Where are we?” a woman in the crowd of attendees asked.
        The only person in the room without a costume answered her, “In the house where the costumes have their party.” The bald man wore pajamas with a candy pattern on them and his skin was pumpkin orange. He wore sunglasses and smiled a toothless smile despite the fact he only looked about thirty and should have every tooth. “It's their turn to wear you.” He then turned into water and fell to the floor as a massive puddle.
         I felt the rags of my mummy costume tighten around me. I gasped for air while the soft bandages somehow gained the power to crush my chest despite how much I fought. I struggled and they only became tighter. They began to pull me along while they walked across the dance floor. My costume first approached a woman who dressed as a witch. The hat pulled over her head and I heard muffled screams while the black robes lifted her body around to into proper position to dance with my costume.
       Our costumes pulled our arms out and forced us to wrap around each other. They danced traditional dances liked the waltz. They danced crazy party dances. While my costume flung me around I saw all the costumes in the room throwing people around into dances as they tried to first scream then just breathe.

      A bandage from my mummy costume fell over my eyes and it tightened its grip. I saw darkness. I felt nausea and pain. I tried to get rid of the nausea by imagining the dances the costume forced me into so I could get some frame of reference so my gut didn't turn as much. But while it crushed my lungs and cut off my blood flow I couldn't control much. I started losing the ability to imagine. My ability to think. The loss of air. I'm gone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Today's #flashfiction A Genre Of Film

 “Don't be a part of the crowd.”
Waldo* #quote

They say follow your heart. But what if there were more reliable organs? Like your liver? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

A Genre Of Film

          The film's protagonist bore two names, Phil Johnsgames and Agent Number Negative. The agent's attractive face went with his attractive clothes and his blonde hair was spiked in a fashionable, thought-out way on the film-makers part. For the last two hours Agent Number Negative had been doing different takes of the climatic scene where he escapes from the hideout of the secret criminal organization he's fighting. For drama it's been rigged to explode for the plot so the actor's been forced to run through it multiple times.
         “Cut!” the director yelled. “That's a wrap, last take for the day.”

          Relieved the actor took off the mask of Agent Number Negative. He let his green skin get a breath of fresh air. That human mask had been choking him all day. “Finally,” he said. “I hate these science fiction flicks. You have to wear these hot costumes.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Today's #flashfiction A Fool's Digital Errand

“Honor thy father and mother.”
Nero* #quote

 Today was a wonderfully wonderful day. Besides when the mole people tried to steal my lunch. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

A Fool's Digital Errand

          “Son, it's what's called a fool's errand.” Vance's dad told him while he died the thousandth time fighting the video game boss. “You've been playing all day trying to beat the same bad guy.”
         Vance pushed the buttons on his controller to navigate the superhero he controlled through the level. He trounced the two robot minions right in front of the level boss's door for the thousandth and one time and entered the battle. He lost again.
        “Darn it!” Vance yelled.
        The dad told his boy, “Take a break, it's time for dinner.”
        “Fine...” Vance was too hungry to argue, he already stopped for lunch before. Maybe tomorrow he'd try something different. Maybe if he checked the Internet something would help him. He turned off the game.
        When the game turned off the characters began to chatter as they did in the off time. One of the two minions that stood in front of the boss door said to the other, “James, give up, you're never going to get him. He's always going to get to the boss and lose to him instead of us. It's called a fool's errand.”
        “I'll get the player tomorrow,” the minion replied. He figured if he tried hard enough he could be as tough as that boss instead of just being a doormat for the player to crush in front of it. Right?
Tomorrow's always a new day.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Daniel's Gamble

 “He's like a bull in a china shop.”
King Minos* #quote

Hanging with CJ was fun. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Daniel's Gamble

          Old man, card counter, and gambler extraordinaire Daniel Hillberry wore ugly clothes, old ragged jeans and an unwashed shirt. He was a very rich man but giving off the impression of someone in deep debt with bad gambling habits made sure that nobody figured out he cheated. And in an alleyway that contained one of the many underground gambling rings he visited a demon found him. This demon preyed on gamblers it found around these establishments and took one look at how Daniel was dressed and figured that he was easy meat.
         “I can tell you're a gambling man, and sure you're luck might have been down recently. But if you take my bet you'll be happy. You roll a die. If you hit a six, you get immorality. If you get one through five I get five years off your life. Come on, the risk is definitely worth the reward. And luck always turns around.” The demon, despite being red with the typical horns, dressed like one of the staff that ran the tables.
          Daniel, thought for a second, then said, “On one condition. You do absolutely nothing to influence the roll of the die, either directly or indirectly through some sort of other person or force like magic or a device.”
          “Agreed.” The demon was planning on using magic to influence the roll, but now he just had a chance of an immortal human running around he'd have to manage. Not the worst thing to take care of. The demon then pulled out a die. Daniel then smiled a demonic smile.
          “I never agreed to rolling a die that you own. I'm going to a roll a die of my choosing. I need to make a quick trip to a magic store and get a rigged die.”

          From then on the demon learned his lesson. Never judge a person by how they look. Just because they dress like a hopeless, foolish broke gambler doesn't mean they are. The demon was mocked by his peers for the next five hundred years for his blunder.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Lucky Break

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...”
Back to the Future* #quote

Been hanging with CJ. Not on anything precarious like the edge of a cliff, just general hanging. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Lucky Break

         Once in a while a person gets a lucky break. Where and how that lucky break happens can be quite strange. For Thomas The Pizza Delivery Guy he got it when he delivered a pizza to the house of a wizard. Thomas was quite baffled when a man wearing those blue robes and a hat answered the door while music pumped in the background. He could only explain it by the fact it was a costume party.
        “That'll be 82.50” he said while holding the absurd amount of pizza the wizard had ordered. What appeared to werewolf came out and took the pizza from him. Thomas thought that costume looked stunningly real.
         The wizard pulled out his wallet. “Crud, forgot my credit card in my other robes.” The wizard's wallet was strapped for cash. “But if the guests don't get their pizza I'll get mauled.” Thomas saw a zombie somewhere in the house. Well it had to be a costume right?
         The wizard took a gold ring from one of his fingers and gave it to Thomas. “I'm pretty sure that'll cover it. Plus it's enchanted with luck you'll love it. Consider the rest of the value a tip. I need to start feeding my guests the pizza before they transform into something unruly.” The wizard slammed the door shut. Thomas didn't have a chance to object that he needed money.
If he didn't have ten other deliveries to take care of he would have bothered to argue with the man. He looked at the ring. He assumed it must be fake and he was just scammed by a man trying to get free pizza. His boss wouldn't accept it. He decided he would keep it and would give the boss the value of the pizza the wizard ordered.

       He turned out to be a wise decision, the ring was real gold, and luck soon befell Thomas. The first token of luck was getting a coupon for free pizza and finding a hundred dollar bill on the ground. After that things spiraled into even more good fortune. He lived happily ever after. The next guy who worked at the pizza place didn't run into a wizard and his own lucky break just a cranky middle-aged woman with too many spoiled, loud kids.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Cloudy With A 40% Chance Of Life

 “You're the sunshine of my life.”
Count Dracula* #quote

CJ's coming over today so that'll be fundacious. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Cloudy With A 40% Chance Of Life

       Doctor Frankenstein worked with Igor to collect all the pieces of the puzzle of life. Those pieces being the pieces of dead bodies. The doctor himself already came up with the how. And on this night, with all the parts of his creature sown together on the table he'd raise the creature up into the storm and let the lighting strike his machine. The jolt needed to make it arise.
       Higher and higher the creature went. Darker and darker the storm clouds became. Tonight there would be life. Then the clouds became lighter and lighter and went away. With the excited doctor looking at his assistant devastated.
     “There was supposed to be a storm today,” Frankenstein said sadly.
Igor shrugged his stump. “Luck wasn't on our side...let's try again tomorrow Masterrrr...”

      Doctor Frankenstein agreed. They tried the next day, but it didn't happen either. It took a few weeks but eventually they got life. If Doctor Frankenstein was trying to make life in the present day at least he would have had the weather forecast on the news and wouldn't have had to go to as much trouble.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Today's #flashfiction A Penny For Your Thoughts

 “Treasure every moment.”
Captain Blackbeard* #quote

It seems whether or not the weather forecast turns out true is a matter of whether the weather doesn't decide that it'd rather do something unpredictable that we'd have to weather through. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

A Penny For Your Thoughts

        Robots, when they obtained artificial intelligence, became a massive economic force. However their minds lacked several things humans had. Robots could follow deductive reasoning and project results of events. But imagination and things like dreams were beyond them. At least inventing these things on their own. They could absorb this data into their brains. And besides power and repairs experiences from the human imagination and experience were what robots desired.
        Since robots worked harder and faster than humans in most parts of life many humans sold their thoughts for money. If they couldn't invent things they watched television so that robots could download their experiences from humans. When a robot watches TV with just its cameras it just sees the images. But if it downloads the human experience it gets it. They envy humans for being able to create emotions on such a more complex scale than them. If someone's thoughts are particularly engaging their wages could be high. A penny for a complete train of thought was standard. But an epiphany, an emotional burst, or something similar could fetch even more. Each person experiences things differently and in order to keep the economy running the powers that be made sure that thoughts couldn't be shared back and forth so easily. Copyright for experiences and thoughts. Particularly powerful experiences were auctioned. People with reputations for interesting lives charged more, though in general people at first tried to set their own prices and work their way to establishing a reputation to how engaging their thoughts are to the robot public.

       What price would you put on your thoughts?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Perception

 “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The Energizer Bunny* #quote

         Tomorrow I'm heading to my game club at the college. I won't be heading back to regular classes with reduced credit hours as planned. Last week I met with my doctor and we talked about a new medication which may be good for me. So I'll try that and see if that can get me to full capability.


        Time passes based on a person's perception. In fights I've had before I've felt time slow down before because of the adrenaline. It happens all the time in boxing. But not like this. Things feel frozen. The opponent's glove moves towards my face like it's working its way through jello. The fist belonged Charlie Howls the new fighter rocking his way up to the top match after match to face me, the powerful veteran boxer, world champion James Graves.
        Did my brain give me a slow down of time to let me block this blow? The match had been going on for awhile and this punch connecting meant a knockout for sure. I knew it'd toss me to the ground. My mind gave me a reaction time I never had before to stop the attack. But a special condition existed on this match.
       I'd been paid to throw the match. And I'd already done a good job of making it look real. I think that's how Charlie reached me in the first place. A carefully planned advancement with close matches where they needed to be. I think my brain pushed adrenaline into me to slow down my perception of time so I could counter the punch and win the match honestly. The honor of the sport and myself intact.

      However along with that fist coming at me I saw a more comfortable retirement. I let the fist knock me out and when I awoke I retired before I fell out of my prime. The days of James Graves as champion ended. I wonder what Charlie Howls's price will be for his championship.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Roles

Neil Armstrong* #quote

Got my “camera” partially working in my game. The camera is how the game window moves. My game is 2D and so far I've tackled vertical movement somewhat. Whenever the character lands on new ground, like jumping from one cliff to another, the camera will scroll up or down so that he will stay in the shot by making that the new ground level for the camera. In my work name things “da camera” and “da terrain”(for the ground in the levels) My program must look very professional. Anyway onto the flash fiction!


         Two security guards at Hu-Friend Industries watched over the incubators. Each incubator held a human being developed in a vat to a full adult form, or whatever form fit the order, with the implanted memories that fit the order. Thomas and Sarah didn't understand the vats, or how exactly they developed the humans with good muscular structure despite the fact they “grew up” in a tube. The science was a bit above their understanding.
        The gears in Thomas's neck turned and his head turned to Sarah. His two camera eyes met her. “I'm getting that weird feeling again.” His jaw, made of unnatural, flexible metals allowed him to speak with similarly metal vocal chords in his throat. His voice sounded like thousands of spoons rattling.
        Sarah replied, “That feeling huh? Yeah, I get it too. I really noticed it when you pointed it out to me.” Both Thomas and Sarah had body made of metal filled with gears and machinery. Thomas possessed a more masculine shape and Sarah a more feminine. These shapes were chosen at birth for them.
       Thomas approached one of the vats and almost placed his hand on it. He couldn't since the rules didn't allow it, but he often felt compelled to. “You just feel like something' in here.”
Sarah told him, “Yet it shouldn't be. We've been making humans for, like ever. They're a unique kind of labor animal.”
       Thomas then said, “But it feels like, I dunno. Maybe something else is more natural. Like, what if we're not supposed to be doing something like this? Making them? Or maybe they should be making us? Maybe that's how it was...”

       Sarah then laughed, her metallic vocal chords echoing like two slamming frying pans, “Your wires crossed? That's the craziest thing I ever heard. Next you'll tell me there was a time before the Internet.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Spareless

 “T-t-that's all folks!”
The Grim Reaper* #quote

         Today I watched the new Jurassic series movie. We didn't watch it theaters so we got it on DVD. The movie would have turned out a lot more different if I ran the park. If dinosaurs broke out in my Jurassic World then I'd have a big red panic button that would deploy an angry army of Rambos. They would always be ready to be deployed. And tanks. Lots and lots of tanks.


          A young boy named James once broke his glasses. And by coincidence right soon after he broke his spares. His mother lectured along with his father on being clumsy. They both had their own styles of lecturing. The mother had a you could have done differently style while the father had a you should have done differently style. The mother's tone was harsher than the father's.
         James's vision was some of the worst on the scale from awful to horrible. He could walk across the room at least. Objects were objects and he could pick them up. But everything had an intense blur. At this time the things in his imagination had become more real than reality. In his imagination there was no blurriness.
        So that's what he did. It took them quite awhile to repair his glasses. But in the meantime as he walked through life he replaced everything with an imagined copy. He knew what his dog looked like. So when the panting blur approached him he imagined what it really looked like in its place. Same place with his parents, the car, the house, dinner, his friends and everything. His used his imagination to define everything back to reality as his glasses showed him.

       When his glasses were finally repaired though he was surprised. Things were not quite as perfectly aligned to as he had repaired the blurs to be when he didn't have his glasses. He now knew the little slip of distortion between imagination, memory and reality.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Goblin's Employer

 “You're barking up the wrong tree.”
Treebeard, The Lord Of The Rings*
Fixed a bug in my programming today. I'm pretty satisfied with my progress and I'm getting better at this as I go along. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Goblin's Employer

        I hate goblins. The little green runts have great eyesight in the night so all the ones that mixed up in crime get mixed up deep because they're such great runners. And when they finally get caught they clam up tight.
       This one seemed particularly cocky. My red uniform of the Magical Bureau of Investigation didn't intimidate him at all. It takes awhile to break goblins, but they always break since even from the beginning there's a bit of sweat on their face. They just take forever. Sometimes longer than you have. This one was different.
      “Mr. Hopins, I don't work for anyone in the Crime Circle,” the goblin said just like he'd been saying for the past three hours. The Crime Circle was what the MBI called the largest gangs that controlled most of the magical crime in the country. The Crime Circle hated one another but also sometimes associated with one another. One day a gang could be cooperating, the next a massive bloody battle between them. The amount of magical contraband we found the goblin with there was no way he wasn't working with one of these larger gangs.
      “Rat out your associates. A deal with make everything easier. You must know somebody. Considering the dangerous materials you had you'll see a lot of prison time if you get convicted. Cooperation will spare you a sentence.”
      This idiot goblin. Anyone in his position would make a deal. The evidence was against him was crazy. Why didn't he take the logical option?
       The goblin repeated himself, “I don't work with anyone in the Crime Circle.” This time he gave me a cocky smile. Like he knew something I didn't. Wait. Maybe he did. Am I missing something Unless he's crazy there has to be some reason he isn't cracking a deal.
      Think, Hopins. Think. No, that's just bizarre. Was there the possibility the goblin was telling me the truth? He wasn't working for the Crime Circle? Alright, working on that assumption that meant he couldn't make a deal for his freedom. Then how could he be so calm?
      “I figured you out little green criminal,” I told the goblin smiling.
      “Agent, what do you mean?” The goblin asked me, now concerned.

      I laughed. “I know who you work for.” This goblin only had one reason he'd feel safe if he had no one to rat out on. If he was working for someone in the system. Now I just need to investigate everyone who's working on the prosecution of the goblin. They must be in the pocket of who the goblin works for or are the ones who employ the goblin themselves. Thank you annoying, little criminal for making me aware of corruption in my ranks.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Devils Don't Deal In Dibs

“Hygiene is two thirds of health.”
Psycho* #quote

I went to a family gathering at my Aunt Linda's house today. With my bro's friend's wedding, the Celebration of Life yesterday the past few days have filled with activity I'm glad my seizures haven't spiked. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Devils Don't Deal In Dibs

        “Well, I call dibs!” One of the devils yelled. At least I considered them devils. They may just be mortals but my powers allowed me to see into their hearts and I found darkness.
         The other devil grabbed his top hat whose deep black fabric was only a few shades blacker than his skin. “You cannot call dibs! That's ridiculous. Besides even if dibs were allowed I called dibs on this months ago when I announced to the world I'd steal it. Or do you live under some rock and haven't heard of the great thefts of the Great Phantom Thief Snags?” He took a bow in his elaborate costume. The thief wore a suit and long rippling cape. How he managed stealth escaped my magical powers.
        The first devil replied, “That's your name? At least I put some thought into my villainous name. I'm the great Doctor Evilvile.” It seemed the two men contesting over me, their hearts full of ill intent, though their brains not necessarily full of wisdom, were a villains of two different breeds.
         At these kinds of points I enjoyed being a magical crystal orb the least. My powers allowed me sight in many ways, into people's souls, the fabric of the universe and other things even television. I enjoyed the last one since it passed the time sitting on my cushion in the Magic Museum in the Crossroad City, a big dimensional port between realities. I learned most about the city by using my powers of far sight to read signs and tour pamphlets left in the museum lobby.
        “It doesn't matter what you think of my name, or whether you entered the room at the same time as me. That crystal ball is mine and I'm going to sell it to the richest warlock in the universe for a fortune.” Phantom Thief Snags said to the supervillain. I saw the supervillain start to motion towards a pocket in his labcoat but he stopped since he noticed the Phantom Thief locked eyes on his hand. I used my powers to gaze through the coat pocket's first layer and saw the supervillain possessed some kind of ray gun.
         Doctor Evilvile stared the other devil down through goggles, “You want the crystal ball for petty cash? I will use it for the most magnificent evil schemes!”
          A strange purple hole opened up in the floor that shot out lightning then a woman riding on a broom. An old witch, she looked much older than the two men before her. Perhaps much older than both of them combined if the rumors about how witches extend their lives are true.
         “Dibs!” She yelled. Another devil. I saw a darkness just like the others in her.
         “No!” Both of the men yelled.
          The witch landed on the ground and held her broom while the portal closed behind her. “Stupid kids. You wouldn't know what the true value of this thing is anyway. Could you possibly have talent to make use of this orb? I will spread nightmares like no other witch with it. I'll be the most popular gal at the Witches Club!”
          A strange silver disc then passed through the wall with technology unknown to the devils. I used my powers to peer at the disc to discern what it was. A green, slimy creature exited the disc into the room and holding some tentacles up high it spoke through a translator/speaker and said, “Dibs!”
Another devil, from another world. The three devils already in the room shouted, “No!” at it.
          “But I need this crystal ball for a war for my species!” The green devil left out details as its voice gurgled. Their race conquered and enslaved. I peered deep into the creature's mind with my powers to figure out these motives.
          Another portal opened, this one a bright blue, definitely not magic like the witches. Or at least the same kind of magic. A woman in a suit emerged. When I used my powers to peer into the events around surrounding her circumstances I felt very strange sensations when getting the information. I saw impossibilities and things yet to be. A time traveler entered this room.
         “Dibs!” The time traveler yelled. When I looked into her heart I saw darkness as well. “I'm Laura Hauythorn. I need that crystal ball to see more clearly as I travel through time so I can prevent the destruction of the future!” I peered deeper into her heart and saw a motive to predict the stock market and other financial institutions since her time jumps were apparently very limited in time she could stay and usage so she couldn't use them over and over to gather data and learn things. She only used them to affect things.
         The time traveler, green creature, witch, Phantom Thief and supervillain argued. They nearly came to blows with their fists. When violence finally broke out they used everything they had. The devils caused utter chaos in my display room. All the nice tiles and walls were wrecked. The other items were destroyed. The roof half collapsed, opening up into the floor above. The fight ended in a draw, with everyone suffering broken bones all over the place and the alien with its slime body fried.

      The police, when they arrived on the scene, didn't have difficulty arresting the devils.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Painter's Parrot

 “3 second rule!”
Alice, Alice In Wonderland* #quote

Today I went to a Celebration Of Life of my Grandpa Nolan who recently passed away. I will always remember that strong, kind smile of his.

The Painter's Parrot

          Painter Nathan kept his parrot Paul in the studio. He painted while playing music softly. The parrot sometimes copied the musings Nathan made to the bird or himself. Sometimes it emulated the music. A middle-aged man with a few crises here and there and many memories, Nathan certainly had plenty to muse about. His wife enjoyed the art he made. A hobby that managed to make a few dollars on the side was nice. She made him leave Paul in the studio because of how chatty the orange parrot was.
         But Paul paid attention to more of its world than just the noise and the musings. At first the sounds and feeding time was all it cared for. But eventually it figured out how to unlock its cage. It could never leave the studio since Nathan shut the door so the little kids didn't wander in a mess with wet paintings. The screen of the window kept the parrot from just flying out so he moved about the room.
         At one point the bird saw an open paint bottle. He dipped his claw into it and color covered his toe. That day Nathan left out a blank canvas. The bird flew over and wiped off a bit of the paint. It recognized the process it'd seen ever since it was a very, very young child. Painting the canvas. It felt compelled to do it. Paul the parrot saw his adoptive human father do it nearly every single day and the activity became gut instinct. The bird kept dipping its claw into the blue and marking the canvas. He flew to hit higher parts of the canvas.
        The resulting painting didn't follow a grand design. It came out of a pattern created from Paul's desire to figure out how to emulate his human father. Since the parrot could only use its toe it created a painting made of straight lines that ran upwards in steady, imperfect rows. Because he used blue paint an abstract waterfall emerged from the painting.
         Nathan then walked in and saw Paul put the last strokes on his painting. He said to the parrot, “I'll be damned.”
          Paul repeated back, “I'll be damned.”

          Nathan loved the painting, and certainly knew nobody would believe him. He left out more colors for his bird and allowed it to paint more. Nathan sold the bird's work as his own. The paintings turned out quite popular, and when Paul learned that he got bird treats if he made good paintings a new artist for the ages was born.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Today's #flashfiction How Many Doors?

“Marco! Polo! Marco! Polo!”
The Blair Witch Project*

Today I'll be going to the wedding of my brother's friend so that'll be fun. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

How Many Doors?

         “Exactly fifteen doors my queen. Fifteen doors and we'll be dead.” The servant told his master.
         “We have guards at each one. They're all shut tight. We'll be safe right?” The queen said to her servant.
          “No my queen. We won't be safe. The entire country has revolted. Eventually they will get through. The fifteen doors between the front of the castle and your throne room will fall. The castle is only so big, and eventually the revolutionaries will flood it.” The servant went to his knees. He wanted to give her the comfort that at least one man in the country still wanted to follow her whim.
          “I shouldn't have asked how many doors there were. Even if they don't break through we would just starve in here.” The queen began to cry. “They're going to kill us. Torture me. I-I have tortured them. There has to be some way out.”
           “There is no way to escape the throne room my queen,” The servant responded.
            “There is!” She yelled, “The open window!”
The servant shook his head. “It's a fifty foot drop. You would die.”
             “I'll commit suicide then. I won't let them torture me and give them the satisfaction.” The queen began to tremble in fear. “But I don't think I have the will to kill myself.”
             “My queen..” The servant frowned.
The queen clenched her fist. “Push me!”
             “W-what?” The servant stuttered with disbelief.
             “Push me through the window. Save me from their wrath. But tell them I was attempting to escape and plan a counterattack. That's what I want the history books to say. You must do this for me.” She saw fear and hesitation in her servant's eyes. “I beg you. I cannot face them.”

             “Yes my queen.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Mouselys

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Ferris Bueller* #quote

Today I made some good progress on my programming for my game. I must admit though I am no professional and I am learning this as I go along. I realize as I work why people get paid, sometimes good money, to do what I'm stumbling through. (And they do it a lot better and quicker) But I won't give up, you can bet on that. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Mouselys

        “Let's move to the old house on the hill nobody will bother us there.” Mrs. Mousely glared at her husband while she quoted him. They hid in their mouse hole while their swarm of children split the recent batch of garbage the parents looted from the surrounding neighborhood.
          A rot-black, three-headed cat hissed at their home from the kitchen in the house. The husband replied, “How was I supposed to know a human with a monster cat would move in?” Mr. Mousely then ran his hand down his face. “And by my tail I know that thing had one head a few days ago!”
          The Mouselys didn't understand the different kinds of humans. Well, mice did pass down at least some of what they knew about humans verbally through the generations. They knew the humans exchanged flattened wood for items each other made. Beyond that the system blurred between different types of humans who do tasks to get the paper and possibly what kinds of things they may have in their homes. The building humans, the humans who care for the plants in their land, the humans who hunt, the humans who make creations of things of plastic and metal or other materials.             The list goes on and on. The human that moved into this home went beyond what most mice discuss.
          He wasn't a mad scientist, because that would imply crazed laughter and a lost sense of direction. The scientist in this home just chose to make money at the university and with every experiment too illegal and inhumane for sanction he worked on without anyone knowing. If he found the mice he might put them in a cage and put some crazed gene therapy on them without bothering with putting the mice out of their misery if the experiment hurt too much. The man currently sat at the kitchen table reading, ignoring his cat's hissing. The ingredients for his sandwich lie on a plate He hadn't put it together so a piece of cheese lay separate from meat and bread.
           Mrs. Mousely then said to her husband, “Dear, let's just move out of here. You're not quick enough to get past that monster of a cat.”
           “I can get past that cat.” Mr. Mousely said. Mouse culture demanded that mice go after what food they good then run afterward.
           “Dear, you can't.”
           “Yes, I can.”
            Mr. Mousely ran. But not straight. He ran in a zig-zag. The three headed cat tried to follow with all three of it's heads making it stumble in a dizzy stupor. He climbed up the chair leg and grabbed the cheese. He fled with the piece he could and the scientist yelled at him while he ran back into the mouse hole.
            The scientist picked up the cat, “Obviously needs some adjustments. Perhaps if I give it a robotic tail and make the extra heads into guns.”

            After hearing this the Mouselys made a unanimous decision to move as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Today's #flashfiction On Memory

 “Respect people's privacy.”
Santa Claus* #quote

If you crossed a demon and an angel would get a demgel? Or would you get a human being? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

On Memory

         Vanessa Ingot didn't have a very good memory so she wrote everything down. This memory problem plagued her from birth, and although not chronic to the point of having to be hospitalized she kept notebook after notebook of everything that happened from day to day to keep everything straight. Things could get boggled very easily for her. She could type very quickly but doctors told her that writing it by hand helped reinforce memories.
         After graduating college she managed to land a job as a programmer. Throughout life her personal documenting system allowed her to work with the complex systems between other programmers and software. She also was able to move through the documents on the computer quite quickly. Still her condition held her back and the talents didn't make her quite extraordinary, it merely brought her up back to normal skill to upper level skill. Vanessa, with ratty black hair and poor fashion sense, still didn't stand out.
           Then an apocalypse of sorts hit the software company she worked for. Another corporation was the suspect, but someone sabotaged their servers with all the data on them. Everything dead. Someone broke in and fried each of the machines with powerful surges of electricity. A strange, but definitely professional job.
         The company felt like it would collapse, kept it under the lid so that their stocks wouldn't plummet. But rumors circled around the offices. At this moment Vanessa stood out by presenting her notes to the heads the of the company. They then promoted her to a record keeping position that they invented out of caution for any future attacks.

         Y'know, more and more places are eliminating paper records. Should we wonder if there are enough Vanessas to save us when the time comes?  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Twenty-Seventh Musketeer

 “Service with a smile!”
Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh* #quote

Somebody may boast by saying they'll give you the world. Sure that's impressive, but it'd really be impressive if you could give someone a galaxy. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Twenty-Seventh Musketeer

           Musketeer Antonin, numbered twenty-seventh in the musketeers, plunged his sword through the heart of a conspirator against the French Crown. The final one of four he spent the whole night hunting and dueling on each of the rooftops of city. The conspirators planned to steal documents from the military and penetrate national defenses.
          Head held high he came into a bar to brag about his valiant actions to the commoners. He even ran his fingers through his black hair to look better. However he ran across a scene where people already cheered over a victory. How could they know his actions?

          Someone handed him a drink. He learned that some other Musketeers won some other dramatic battle and were the current subject of gossip. Antonin tried to tell people what he did but nobody listened, so he grabbed a drink himself as realized he was old news before he even became news. Well, hopefully he'd get a promotion. Antonin hoped his bravery and talent in the line of duty would get someone to write a book about him. Oh, well.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Today's #flashfiction What Is Missed

 “Shut up and drive.”
Tiger Woods* #quote

There are days that feel like dreams, days that feel like nightmares, and days where you cannot tell which of the two it is. Today I had a normal day. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

What Is Missed

         Two ghost brothers floated in their old home, haunting it and mulling over their past lives.
         “Y'know you miss a lot of things as a ghost,” said Tom to his brother Jake.
         “Yeah, bro,” he replied in a low, sad voice, “I miss having a body that looked more complicated than a puff of air. I miss talking to the living.”
         Tom then added, “And then there's the food and all the wonderful things you can touch in the world.”
          Jake then conjured a smile in his mind that would have appeared on his ghost body if it had a mouth. “Yeah, I do miss being able to hold things. Having a beautiful woman in my arm.”
Tom then said, “You know one of the things I miss most?”
         “What's that?”
          Tom told him, “Ping pong.”

         “Yeah, I miss it too.” Jake agreed. While alive the two brothers played ping-pong all the time together ever since their dad got it for them for Christmas many years ago. Now as ghosts their bodies couldn't even hold the paddles and they lost the ability to have those happy times. They did cherish the memories, and they hoped those that still lived had the wisdom to play their games before they ran out of time.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Sentimental Sun

 “Never mind the details.”
Sherlock Holmes* #quote

CJ and I discussed the game we're working on. We made some good progress on concepts and direction on what I'm going to program next and what he'll draw. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Sentimental Sun

            I used to think I was immortal. With a strong, bright body I floated in space and a set of planets orbited around me. The planets changed while I changed hardly at all. But now I grew and grew and started engulfing the planets around me. I turned red. I could feel myself running out of mass.
            A planet fell into my body and burnt up. I remembered it. It used to be a beautiful blue that none of the other planets were. On it more than the storms of the other worlds existed. A pretty little thing called life happened. Some of the things on the world came up with language. The creatures called humans gave me names. My favorite name was the Sun. I miss it being blue. Before my heat boiled the oceans and took away all the pretty life. Before when I looked at the planets only they changed. With their weather and the evolving life on the little blue planet. I can feel my energy running out. I thought only life could die.

           Thank you for being a wonderfully pretty place to watch. I appreciate all the company you've given me over all these years along with everything else in the solar system.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Today's #flashfictions Getting Into Shape

 “Take time for all things, great haste makes great waste.”
Cinderella* #quote

I've heard of Banana Phones. But what about Cucumber Phones? Are those just out of fashion? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Getting Into Shape

        Lines considered social cliques exceptionally important. They vied to take friends from each other to make themselves the biggest group they could when they reached puberty. When lines reached puberty they no longer became lines but joined ends and became shapes, the more angles the better.
       Lenny the Line only had one friend for the longest time. When puberty neared he thought him and his friend may be stuck being a vector. But a group stole him away, not taking Lenny since Lenny's strange, anti-social nature could threaten the group's ability to stay together until the final day when their form takes shape.
        A line all alone results in a strange existence. They live as ugly, undeveloped children that become weak and unstable quickly with a short life-span. However Lenny didn't want to live like that. He wanted more. He may have been anti-social but he was willful. Out of his own will on the day of line puberty he did a marvelous thing. Lines normally just attached with each other but Lenny used all his might to bend his body and join ends with himself. He became a circle and self-reliant.

       The other young lines, now shapes, found him marvelous. They all wanted to know him, the individual after the joining process of puberty. Lines in following generations emulated him. Many of them more social, but still desiring individuality. Eventually the whole world of lines filled with circles.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today's #flashfiction To Yearn For A Name

 “I make sure to keep abreast of things.”
Dolly Parton* #quote

CJ might come over tomorrow. Or he might come over yesterday if I run into some sort of time anomaly. You never know what you'll run into.

To Yearn For A Name

          Everyday they feed that other cat. They called her Violet. I never got it. Why name someone that when they're white? But still I envied her. The people in the home feed her, and give her warmth while they shoo me away. I spend my days snatching pigeons. I thing I wanted most was a name. Give it to me. I grew up with no people. Give me identity.
           After surviving my first winter so far all I've gotten while wandering through the whole city was “that damn stray”. Eventually some people caught me in a net and took me to a place crowded with many other animals. The scents overwhelmed me. A few months in I overheard someone saying,
        “He's already about a year old at least, if someone doesn't adopt him soon, he might not have much chance of being adopted at all. People don't like older animals.”
          Later than that an old man walked in. He smelled like fish and wood. Like one of the humans I lived next to for a few days that were working on their house. Maybe he did something with wood too?
          “I like this one, good nice black coat. If he doesn't scratch me I think I'll adopt him.” The old man then picked me up. It was uncomfortable. I wanted to claw at him. Bad. He grabbed me rough and I wanted to send him a message. I really didn't quite understand what most of humans said. I can stay here as long as I want right? Nothing bad happens if I take awhile to get “adopted” here? Before I decided to claw the old man he then said next, “I'll call you Atticus.”

          A name. I felt like someone more than I ever did in my entire life before. I purred in the old man's arms.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Capeless

 “It's not my fault.”
Saint Andres* #quote

Dark matter is the matter that we don't really think about everyday, so to most of us, does it really matter? Anyway onto the flash fiction!


          The supervillain laughed not in his usual maniacal way, but out of actual humorous surprise. An old officer had entered his lair. Sorcerer Vileon picked the caves near a small town to set up his next plan to take over the world since no superheroes lurked nearby. He figured he could summon Glurok The Destroyer without interruption. He didn't expect one of the lowly local cops to interrupt him.
        Vileon said, “Weak commoner! What do you think you're doing here? You have no business here.”
         Officer Hank Gondine moved to the small town he lived in after dealing with the big city for awhile. He'd seen small and big crime. He'd been through many tough spots and dealt with very tough scum. Never a supervillain before. However he didn't have the body of when he fought the battles of his youth. He now had the jolly face and figure of Santa Claus and his skin matched the chocolate that got him that way. His jolly face didn't match his speaking voice though, when he addressed the villain in an annoyed tone, like he pulled over someone for speeding.
       “You're under arrest for conspiracy for supervillainy...and littering.” Hank looked at some of the garbage Vileon left around the cave while he made it his lair. “You need to come with me to the station.”
        The Sorcerer then grinned. “Me? Go to the station? Ha! What are you going to do? You're no superhero! Police are the ones that cleans up the mess after the real fight ends. After people like me battle. I've used my spell book to take on the most powerful heroes on the planet. I don't know what rock you live under but I am one of the modern gods! You'll never take me away! Can you lift buses? Run faster than the speed of sound? Can you? Then you stand no chance against my magic when I inevitably kill you-”
        The supervillain then fell to the ground from the power of Officer Hank's taser. The old officer evaluated the situation, considered the supervillain to be threatening him and quickly took the spell book away since the supervillain kept telling him that was the weapon.

         “The superheroes are right,” The Officer said, “You villains do talk too much.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Out Of Inspiration

 “I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.”
Bob Barker, The Price Is Right* #quote

Think about how many times have you felt boxed in. Now think about how many times you've felt boxed out. Now think of how many times it involved cardboard boxes. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Out Of Inspiration

          Artist Nathan Grover made millions selling his works. The art community loved him. At first no one loved his work, but at the age of forty his work broke through. However at the age of sixty he stopped making art. Interviewers asked him why and he said he couldn't make any good pieces for lack of inspiration. Some people who mocked his art style wondered what could possibly stop him from coming up with different ways to make abstract blobs of paint of normal everyday objects.
          One night, a few years into his inactivity, his wife approached him on the matter. “Dear, I haven't talked to you because I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, and space. But I think you're lying. What is the real reason you can't paint anymore? It's something besides a lack of inspiration isn't it?”
            Nathan told his wife, “I tried to sell the art I made after my years of training at the art schools and it never worked. I never made any of the paintings I sold after all those years of schooling.”
His wife looked at him shocked. “Are you saying they're stolen?”
             The artist then confessed, “No, I made them when I was a kid. I feel so worthless. All the hard work and the only thing people like are the little things I did before I hit puberty. The reason I can't make any more art is because I ran out of my works from when I was a kid. I've got nothing to give them.” A horrible feeling about his life welled up inside Grover even though he had plenty of money to retire extremely comfortably with his wife, he felt worthless. All the compliments over his many years of putting art in galleries felt hollow.
            Nathan's wife then replied, “I don't see why you can't think like a your young self again. Now go pick up that brush.”

            The artist listened to his wife and with a new mindset didn't have trouble with inspiration again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Ultimate Master

 “Keep your nose to the grindstone.”
Pinocchio* #quote

If you play Hot Potato too long you start playing Cold Potato. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Ultimate Master

          “I have taught you well, but you will never be able to overcome me. I train people here to better themselves. Not for them to try and prove themselves.” The Ultimate Master of Kung-Fu And Everything Else said to one of his many students. The Master took on the students who managed to hike up to the top of his mountain and pass his test. A feat of physical skill considering hiking was a past time rare in the heavily land-developed era of 2200. His teachings involved many tests, and as soon as a student failed they were told to go home. Arrogant students challenged the master. And no matter what they challenged the Ultimate Master of Kung-Fu and Everything in he bested them. From fighting to knitting nothing was beyond his skill.
          “Damn you,” said the student who spent a year learning under him and many years prior just to challenge the Ultimate Master of Kung-Fu And Everything Else. Everyone wanted to best the man. Some became his students just to get an impression of him before challenging him. The man wore a simple robe and a his soft eyes complimented his soft skin.

          The Master possessed a simple secret to his powers. When he headed back to chambers he tapped his stomach in a secret rhythm and it opened so he could pull out his data and power cords. Sophisticated android organs gave his body heat and the feel of a human along with his synthetic skin. He plugged himself in to recharge and synch his data with long term memory storage and maintenance computer that also downloaded skills into his processors. The Master of Kung-Fu And Everything slept for the next day of executing his directive that his now deceased creator programmed with: “Be as cool as you can.” The creator forgot to make sure The Master told everyone who created him so the creator could be famous like he intended.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Eternal Prison

 “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
The Cat In The Hat* #quote

Are the most modern of pirates the ones who use satellite connections to download movies illegally on the high seas? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Eternal Prison

        I live in an eternal prison with many others like me. We wait in line to be vaulted into the torture chamber for our session. We cannot move as we slide along helplessly on a hill while massive arms slam us back up the hill. I can do nothing but suffer through this dizzying rolling sensation while my trapped form hurtles into the various constructions laid on the hill. The constructions are bright towers and walls that echo and bounce me away like rubber. Sometimes I feel like a rat lost in a maze when I roll up and down the hill, thrown between the things on the hill and launched back up by the arms. Temporary relief only comes when I fall into a hole between the arms and go into line behind my fellow prisoners waiting for them to complete their turns. Such is the life of a pinball.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Your Shadow

 “Clothes make the man.”
Spongebob Squarepants* #quote

Albert Einstein once said, “God does not play dice.” The question is...does God play Blackjack? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Your Shadow

         Your shadow's a very dangerous thing. You shouldn't trust something that changes shape and bends different ways so easily. What you should you think of a thing that changes as much as a shadow? Where every moment of the day, switch of the light, or even flicker of a candle turned them to something totally different? It's something quite insane and unstable.

         There is one place to control your shadow. Lock yourself in a box where not even a single drop of light can get in. Not something like cardboard, light gets in, it must completely sealed, light gets in where air does. Work hard and maybe you can find something that lets in air and keeps out the light. You need food and water? That will let in light when you open the door. You worry too much about things other than your shadow. Or maybe you need the light and the outside world like your shadow. Maybe you change as much as it does and are as crazy as it.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Time-Out

 “Smile, you're on Candid Camera!”
Big Brother* #quote

Tomorrow Jessica is coming over so that'll be fun. Anyway onto the flash fiction!


        “Sarah, time out now!” Mommy sent me into the corner of the room for doing something bad. I wanted to yell back and tell her I didn't have to have a time-out. I knew I did something wrong, time-out's were just wrong. I hated them. I wanted to yell at her that I should never have a time out...but I couldn't get the...get the...was there a word for this thing I'm thinking of?
         “Courage,” something spooky said.
         “Who are you?” I whispered.
         “Down here little Sarah” I saw an teeny-weeny spider. I wanted to scream, but you don't say anything during time-outs. Was I already in trouble for whispering? “Would you like time-outs to go away forever? Never to get in trouble for taking the cookies from the pantry and eating them before dinner like today or anything else? I can offer you a wonderful deal for a little something unimportant called a soul.”
          “Are you Santa?” I asked the spider.
The spider didn't say anything for a few seconds then talked again, “No, no I'm not. I really don't see what that has to do with anything.”
           I squished the spider. Mommy said that anybody that knows things about you for no reason is a bad stranger. This spider knew how I got in trouble and I didn't know why. So I got rid of him like you should any bad bugs.

           Years passed and when I remembered this day I think I squished a demon. That taught me to talk to my children about stranger danger.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Nuts And Knights

 “Look lively.”
The Grim Reaper* #quote

Do optimists look at the Moon and say it's half full while pessimists say it's it's half empty? Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Nuts And Knights

       “I, Sir Fluff, claim this tree in the name of the Scampering Kingdom,” proclaimed the squirrel knight while he waved his sharpened stick in the air. Though Sir Fluff didn't have strong armor like a human knight he possessed a powerful look. The knight lived as the youngest knight ever in his court, but became accepted for his famous feet of scaring a hawk away with just a look. The women of the kingdom loved his tough, brown fur.
      An old voice called out to Sir Fluff from several branches above, “My people were here first boy. Before the humans set up their camps and took this tree for the many winters. I've come to reclaim it for the Bigpaw Kingdom.”
      Sir Fluff needed to only a single glance at the old squirrel to know who he was. Sir Picnic used to have a different name but managed to raid human places constantly for food. A constant survivor he's managed to live longer than any squirrel despite being in constant danger. Some people call him immortal. But his gray hair indicates otherwise. Elders usually possessed either a happy or jaded expression. Sir Picnic's eyes focused on Sir Fluff with intent to react to whatever he would do next, but his body remained calm as well. His body language only prepared him to react to combat, not anything social, so Sir Fluff couldn't read him at all. A human would compare it to talking to a recording.
      “It doesn't matter what stake of ownership you had so many winters ago.” Sir Fluff pointed his stick at Sir Picnic. The sword of his matched Sir Picnic's in sharpness. “By international law, human invasion resets land borders. Now that they have left it is open to be reclaimed by anyone.”
        Sir Picnic responded, “I did not see you arrive before me, and you did not see me arrive before you. So there is only one way to resolve this. A duel.”
       “I accept.” Sir Fluff hoped this opportunity came up. His claim to fame was scaring away the hawk with a look, but many people said something else may have caused the hawk to go away. If he won this duel he would prove himself some other way. Get glory for his kingdom and self.
        The standard rules for a squirrel duel were simple. First to fall off the tree and hit the ground lost. The rules do not specify whether or not they have to be alive when this happens.
        Sir Fluff jumped to the branch Sir Picnic stood on and it bounced up and down from his weight. He tried to use this to surprise the old man but the lunge from sword was blocked. They began going back and forth with their blows, the blades meeting with the rattle of clashing wood. Sir Picnic held the skill acquired from age, but Sir Fluff held the strength of youth. Neither let up.
        Sir Fluff parried a blow while yelling, “You will not have a single acorn from this tree old man!”
Sir Picnic replied in a much more reserved voice, “Arrogant boy. You don't deserve to hold a sword.”
        The squirrels continued their fight. A strong wind wobbled the branches. They both saw this as an opportunity and took a risky lunge. Their swords slashed the sides of each others arms. They both dropped their weapon and their fur turned red. They maintained their positions on the branches while the blades dropped to the ground.
        Sir Fluff then said to his opponent, “Do we fight the savage way?”
        The old squirrel's disposition changed from his difficult to read composure, to a more depressed face. The savage way meant to bite at each other. A brutish way to battle. To even come to that sullied his honor. And to him that was a dishonorable way to go. Because the second thing he knew was that he was already dead. “This fight is over. Go back home. Rest and you may live. I will die.”
         “You mean, the spirits of the air?” Sir Fluff replied.
          Sir Picnic then said to him, “Yes, I'm too old to possibly fight them. I don't care enough about this tree to make you have less of a chance to live. Go home, rest, and maybe you can live.” The squirrels didn't understand bacteria and sickness. They knew that when your flesh opened and became exposed to air you could get sick. They assumed angry spirits of the air did it. “Don't worry about me I'll make my death quick.”
         Sir Fluff looked at the old squirrel. The gray squirrel who lived through so many perils. He then yelled, “This isn't how it was supposed to end! Tales that get passed down for generations don't end with the knights just walking away from each other!” Sir Picnic jumped from branch to branch heading nearing the ground. “You're robbing me old man!” Sir Fluff hopped down after him. “This is supposed to be the fight where I conquer the most legendary knight in all the kingdoms and my lords select me as leader of court's knights. This is supposed to be where my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren get their title. I can't come home with this kind of story! This is not what either of us deserve...”

         Sir Picnic landed on the ground and picked up his blade. He turned to Sir Fluff and told him, “Life isn't a story boy. At least not the story you want it to be.” Sir Picnic then took his sword and ended his life quickly instead of being consumed by the spirits of the air. The acorn tree now belonged to Sir Fluff and the Scampering Kingdom.