FlashFeeD 1.4

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Full rules here:

The picture prompt this week:


Story must focus on the fiction element of : Plot.

Stories will be limited to 2000 characters* (about 300 words), including the title.

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45 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.4”

  1. Due Process

    He’s coming.

    I know he will. I can’t wash it off. Does guilt have a scent? Am I luring him? I’m sweating, soon all these people must smell it, stop and stare with noses wrinkled in disgust.

    I know I’m tired of running, looking back, covering tracks. And maybe it’s better, more right, that it’ll be him and not the police. Swift justice in some dark alleyway. At that last moment, will I prefer this throttling guilt to a swift kill and beg?

    He’s there….just across the street! So soon? He stands resolute, strong. Is that what righteous should look like? I was on the floor, crying and bloodied: picked up the closest thing and hit out. I didn’t even think to kill. But when he lay there twitching, his face twisted around the impacts, I left him to die and wished it! I was vengeance, yet guilt was my unwanted offspring.

    He’s seen me! But my feet are rooted.

    He’s coming over. Does he have a knife? A gun? No…knife for this busy place. In the gut? Across the throat? It’ll be in the gut and twisted all vicious and fast as he walks past, like a shiv in the movies.

    I hold my belly as an imagined pain unfurls. I close my eyes and feel warmth spill between cold fingers, then slick innards. And my feet are still firm.

    He’s coming to execute my sentence, his footfalls like a gavel, his hood a judge’s black cap. He pauses by my side, breathing in my guilty stink, then exhales in a shaky sigh. And then he’s gone, walked away fast, his sentence passed.

    I lift my hands…and they’re clean.


  2. Branded Invisible

    She has discarded me like old shoes that used to be comfortable and favourite until the heel broke and they were no use anymore.

    ‘We don’t fit now,’ she said as if she didn’t know how much her words would hurt, piercing, stabbing words. That moment I became invisible to her.

    I wear the jacket she bought me for Christmas and I recall her excitement as I opened the parcel. She knew how much I wanted it, how I couldn’t afford it and how happy I’d be she managed to get the right size and keep it as a surprise. The sneakers we bought together, she laughed at me when I said I didn’t think they were me.

    ‘They’re more you than you know,’ she said with a smile and she followed that with a kiss.

    The jeans we fought over. She wanted purple, I refused. I bought black. She said everyone had black jeans. I’d stand out in purple. She didn’t see I didn’t want to stand out.

    She stands out now, on the edge of the sidewalk, perfect in her stiletto heels, hipster jeans and latest designer tote. Those things never meant anything to me. Maybe that was the problem. I’d love her in a bin bag, but she always wore something with a brand.

    I’ve turned away from her, knowing my best efforts are not going to change her mind this time. I’ve yanked my hood into a cowl, so she doesn’t see my tears – wanton, desperate, missing-us-and-how-we-used-to-be tears.

    Will she move on? Find another?

    Will I?

    I need to find my face, my soul, my heart again first.


    1. It’s interesting. I (and not only I) centered on the hooded figure, yet you noticed the second person in focus, and made your story involve both, using their body language to gauge the situation. I’m envious, because it seems so obvious now…


  3. Dammit, dad, I didn’t need this. You could have warned me, instead of being your usual, secretive self. That way I could at least have had more warning when they came.

    But no, dad. You couldn’t.

    Do you think I didn’t know how you felt? I was there. Always there. It wasn’t my fault. And I was the girl who grew up without a mother. But that was no reason to keep me in the dark.

    I want to think that you would be proud of me right now, but who knows. You never opened up to me.

    Now it’s too late.

    Look, I get it. You lost mom when I was born. I was your burden. When I heard people talk about what a great teacher you were, how advanced your methods, how awesome your classes, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know where that man was. I understand now that you used your job as an escape.

    Your front job, at least.

    I had to learn of your real one the hard way. And then I found out that yes, indeed, your lessons are amazing. But hell, dad, I had no time!

    That is funny. No time. Us.

    Look at me. Standing here, in the kairós. The instant of time between the seconds. Invisible to the people. After learning just the basics of time displacement thanks to your tutorials. So that’s what you did in your office.

    You know what?

    You should have taught me. You. Directly.

    That way, you wouldn’t have needed to shove me into the kairós when they attacked our home. I would have known how to do it myself. I would have known who they were. And I wouldn’t have been afraid for so long.

    What if I had never thought of your pendant, dad? The only thing you always insisted I wore? The micro-SD card inside changed my world. Forever. You could have told me.

    I better move. They cannot catch me like this, but they can track me if they find me. I suppose. I haven’t reached that lesson yet.

    And then a hand touches my shoulder. Nobody should be able to touch me here, in the intersticial spaces between an instant and the next.


    But. It. Is. You.

    I’m sorry, I read in your lips.


    1. Fantastic. The story fits the image perfectly–standing so still as the world blurs by. Like the poignancy balanced against the dread…and that ending which just refines it into something like redemption and peace.


  4. *The Body Politic*

    He was a nobody seeking to become a somebody but was left with being a nobody due to the politics of the era.

    She was somebody wishing to be a nobody but was burdened with being a somebody due to the politics of her clan.

    Both he and she were noticed for all the wrong reasons.

    Both became prey for the curious and the criminal.

    Neither wanted to be totally ignored but neither did either have a say in the matter.

    Who am I? He whispered to her.
    How the hell should I know. She replied.

    The crowd passed by giving neither a second glance.

    Who are you? He whispered to her.
    Someone who has no interest in you. She replied.

    A dog passing on a leash held by with its owner stopped to smell his feet then continued passing by without raising its leg.

    I’m not good enough to be pissed on. He muttered to her.
    Look, fella, I don’t know what your game is but please take it somewhere else. She replied.

    A black limosine stopped by the curb. A chauffeur exited the driver’s side door then held the passenger side door open.

    Where to, sir? He asked.
    Home, James. That is unless the lady would like us to take her somewhere?
    Don’t mind if I do. Drop me off near the women’s shelter on West 142nd Street. Thank you. She replied.

    Something changed the dynamics between the two people. Was it something obvious that we missed or something mysterious that we’ll never know about?



  5. Pause.

    Even superheroes need a plan B. Especially when one’s Cosmic Crusader’s Compendium has been stolen and the time machine has blown a head gasket. So to speak.

    My name is Kai. I’m a superhero. More about that in a minute.
    My day job as an archaeologist takes me all over the world. Just this morning I was in Cairo at the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    Scientists made this cool discovery using muon tomography that revealed a hidden void inside the Great Pyramid. So we’re trying to figure out this big mystery – but that’s a story for another day.

    So yeah, I’m an archaeologist /superhero /Cosmic Crusader. And I’m trapped in New York City with this beautiful scientist, Eris, whom I persuaded to go for a spin in my time machine, and now she wants me dead.

    By the way – my superpower is bending things: spoons, time, gravity. Long story short: I bent the time machine too much.

    To complicate matters, it turns out that Eris was playing me. She only exploited my interest in her to steal the compendium which contains Easter egg type clues that are the key to the mystery of the void in the Great Pyramid.

    So after showing her some dinosaur bones at the Tyrell Museum in Alberta, Canada, we went and visited real live dinosaurs before the big bang. It was brilliant!

    Except, that’s when she revealed herself as a pre-Babylonian descendent of the evil Draco reptilianoid race. Things got a little weird then because we were kissing during our fast forward to New York City. She breathed fire at me and stole the Compendium. I freaked out and accidentally bent the capacitator.


    In truth, there was no Plan A. I guess I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of superhero. No cape, either.



  6. Black Eats Light

    The search for the blackest black continues. For awhile, designers were giddy over Vantablack, but they could not get the rights to use it.

    Then came singularity black, a black so disturbing, it was beyond matte, beyond flat. The contours of things disappeared. It was the perfect cloaking device!

    It also defeated facial recognition software, making it the black of choice for rebels, at least until the programs were changed. Yes, it still has its uses, everything from military camouflage to little black dresses.

    But now, there is a new black, a black so black it eats the light. It swallows things, and spits them out somewhere else.

    It has no name. Maybe it came from a chemist’s laboratory, or a designer’s dream. Some say, it came from another dimension. Could it be dark matter? I don’t know. But more and more kids are wearing it now. They don’t say where they go.


  7. Sam had almost made it to the other side. One more step and he’d be up on the kerb buzzing with the rest of them. A drone … but an angry drone. A faceless drone. Nobody you’d notice. Just one step …

    His cell vibrated, a low growl that, if he looked, would turn into his wife’s ceaseless sniping. She was like a dog with a bone, always worrying at him for something. Bitch. Now she would be demanding to know where he was, yet when he was home she’d be yelling at him to get off his fat backside and DO something with his life—do something different for a change.

    Sam smiled at that—and started to laugh, his rising humour dissipating his anger. His fingers briefly went to the small bag of powder in his jacket pocket. His smile broadened to a grin. He took out the phone and texted his wife, ‘You’re right. I do need to change and I promise things’ll be different. Starting tonight. I’m cooking dinner.’

    As he pressed send, another text came in confirming his one-way ticket to Brazil. Sam took the step.



    The tropical night lay heavy on the city, it was a night for being indoors, the frozen shopping malls were packed though no-one was shopping. In the streets the aircons whistled and breathed like asthmatic clunking dinosaurs whilst below the veins of the city pulsed and clogged, a lard filled heart-attack waiting to happen.

    Everyone was on their own mission. There was no unity of thought, no community of action. Eyes down get from A to B without anything getting in their way. Homeless seen without eye-contact and weaving in and out the phone fixated morons. Trip and bump hazards somehow avoided without a first thought. The city worked despite itself and, even then, only just; a nudge and the whole house of cards would come crashing down.

    There in the melee Banner stood stock still; waiting – controlling his breathing, hoping that nothing would stop him. He’d done it before, many times, and issues had been few but any now could stop the plan at a critical time. And his life would be nothing.

    The work had been done in offices and on computers, the scenarios run and re-run. It was simple and perfect, apparently. A quick in and out job. Banner volunteered before he was chosen. The prize would be unparalleled; riches beyond most people’s dreams. But Banner did it for the rush. Mainly.

    He was almost there now. Hiding in plain sight. The catalyst to cataclysm.

    His skinny body was encased in some old fashioned 21st Century garments to appear innocuous. He could sense they were too hot for the climate and time he’d been sent to. He’d been to these times before. No-one looks, no-one sees: until too late. The matt glass reflected to him the mad neon scene of the corrupted city. He could finally feel his face forming, the transportation almost complete. Nothingness exploding with possibilities. With probabilities.

    The nudge was on.


    1. Very atmospheric and portentous. Really love the description of the city, and catalyst to cataclysm was a brilliant phrase. Would love a part two to this…


  9. I was born with a crystal ball on my head.

    This is both convenient (“Schuyler, will it rain?” “Not until Thursday”), inconvenient (“Schuyler, I’ll never cheat on you again.” “You’ll cheat on me in 11 hours, 47 minutes”), and deadly (“Schuyler, I’d love to manage your career.” “Actually, you plan to chain me in your basement, surgically remove my crystal ball and reattach it to your own head, leaving me to die in the shards of my own blood.”)

    This last one I don’t say aloud. His eyes, a Louisiana swamp green, are so sincere, that even though I can taste the slick wet mold crawling along his basement floor, I don’t want hurt his feelings. He blinks at me. I wonder what blinking feels like?

    Instead I say, “Thank you, but I don’t believe in careers.”

    This still hurts his feelings but makes me feel better about myself, especially as he is going to hide in a back alley and attempt to kidnap me Friday.

    For this reason I will buy myself a Thursday plane ticket to Munich; my would-be manager is ambitious but on the no-fly list.

    “If you’d let me manage your career, perhaps you’d start believing,” he says. When he smiles, his eyes sparkle.

    He has a fake passport, it turns out, and a deep bank account, and will follow me to Munich Saturday.

    He says, “Dreams fail because people don’t know what they want.”

    I will be safely in Paris, then Venice, by Monday. He will follow—he has eyes everywhere (those eyes!)—but he will lose a few hours at the Zurich train station, talking to a woman who makes knives.

    “It’s important to know what you want,” he says. Not swamp green: sea green.

    From smouldering Venice I will take a ferry to Pula.

    He will hire a boat.

    I will take a bus to Zagreb.

    He will buy a little plane and reach Zagreb first.

    I will.

    He will.

    I will.

    He will.

    -He will.

    “I know what I want,” he says (emeralds!). “Do you?”

    The mold tastes cool and, I think, closing my eyes for my first and last time, the tiniest bit sweet.


    1. Awesoome and amazing are used so often that they are almost meaningless nowadays. But this story deserves those adjectives. It’s a real emotional rollercoaster, as we follow the future path of the two characters. Brilliant!


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