FlashFeeD 1.20

Yes, it’s that time again.

Many thanks for the amazing stories and comments last week. I knew you would thrive on such a thoughtful prompt in times such as these.

This week, something exciting for you in the prompt department.

 

As always, write a story within the character limit, based on the prompt, below.

Keep liking, commenting and contributing and you get points (DogTreats). The more you are involved the more you get awarded. There are badges, ranks and leaderboards that showcase your participation.

No special instructions this week.

Action? Faling? Games? Dots in the sky from below? You decide.

Full rules here:

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

*(The field itself will allow for 2050 characters, but this extra 50 characters is only to be used as contingency and it won't be increased).

Use the comment field to post stories, include your story title. Use the reply button on a particular story to provide positive feedback. Press the ‘like’ icon if you like a story.


 

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16 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.20”

  1. ‘Free Time’

    It terrified him, every time.

    But in front of him, they were already falling; behind him, his friends waited their turn; beside him, the familiar bark: “Go!”. Only having his cowardice known scared him more than that first step. Only picturing his shame could obscure the movie that played in his head: the long shot as he candlesticked to the ground; the slo-mo close up as his body concertinaed on impact; the high angle scene as his corpse was recovered; the over-the-shoulder view of some hapless liaison officer telling his father he’d died with ‘honour’ in a training accident.

    So he jumped, every time.

    The fear left him the moment he left the plane. He knew it would, just as he knew that physics would continue to work as it always had, that nothing got him higher than the fall, that his chute would carry him like God’s hand and deposit him safely back on earth.

    The minute of terror between the green light and the moment his back foot lost contact was just the price he paid for a few seconds of life. Only now – falling helplessly, unable to act, free from the need to do – could he truly live.

    Two more seconds and his chute would deploy. The sudden deceleration would snap him back to reality as his harness tried to snap his balls back into his abdomen.

    One more second of freedom, then he’d float. People who hadn’t jumped thought that that was freedom: the slow, almost meditative, descent dangling under a canopy, your destination subject to the whims of the wind. That wasn’t freedom, that was giving up control. That was voluntary servitude, accepting gravity as your master to escape responsibilty. Freedom was complete disconnection from the world. Freedom was the gift that fear gave him. Freedom was the fall.

    His chute opened; freedom was snatched from him, until next time.

    He could be free and it terrified him, every time.

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  2. Everyone Makes Their Own Choice

    “Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door,
    jump right out on a count of four.
    If I die in the old drop zone,
    box me up and ship me home.
    Pin my medals upon my chest.
    Tell my mom I did my best.”

    — Military running cadence

    It had been exactly 132 days since Thomas had enlisted, and 145 days since the war began. There was an overwhelming urge for him to do something. A wave of patriotism had spread through his town and one week seemed too long of a wait to ship out to basic training. His mom and sister cried openly, but his father could only say how proud he was at this decision. His dad had done the exact same thing exactly 18 years before during the first conflict. Now, Thomas was the one dropping into an active combat zone. Hammer company had trained hard and were ready to punish the enemy.

    Anti-aircraft guns blazed below filling the plane with holes. Thomas gripped his M16,stood up with the rest of his chalk, and hooked his parachute line; he was ready to jump. The gunfire tore through the fuselage of the aircraft and soldiers began to drop like flies. Sergeant Gordon turned the jump light from red to green and Thomas was out the door. The surreal float down didn’t last too long. A stray bullet tore through the upper half of Thomas’s helmet. A world of promise turned to black as his body floated down to the ground fighting below.

    “Somewhere there’s a mother,
    who’s crying for her son.
    He’s in a foreign land,
    he has blood on his hands.
    Don’t you cry him no tears.
    He don’t want your misery
    He’s an Airborne Ranger,
    and that’s all he wants to be.”

    — Military marching cadence

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      1. I asked myself the same questions when I was deployed back in 2004. I couldn’t answer it then and I don’t think I could answer it now. The story is fictional, but the tragic loss of life for no good reason from conflict was a daily struggle for me for about 10 years. I came home and some my friends didn’t. Why was I spared and they weren’t? Had me messed up for a long time.

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  3. Alan watched helplessly as Danny, then Glenn fell head-first into the clouds. He felt the spike in his back.

    “Now you!” Captain yelled over the noise of the hoverblades.

    That was the only name they had for her, and that was the only name they needed to know. Alan wasn’t even sure what she looked like. They had been hustled from the ship’s cells to the side door like cattle without much opportunity to get even a glance at their captors. All they knew was they had large pointed sticks, some able to deliver a deadly jolt of electricity, and the prisoners were unarmed, though still in their combat gear.

    “I can’t even see—” Alan said, looking down. “There’s nothing there!”

    “There’s an energy platform. All you have to do is find it.”

    Alan tried to turn but Captain prodded him.

    “It will lead you to a parachute,” she continued. “You have one minute to get to the parachute before the platform cuts out.”

    Alan hung his foot outside the ship, gripping the door frame on either side to keep balance. Captain pushed him; he stumbled forward. He could feel the energy field buzzing through his boots, and only just managed to stop himself when one foot dropped over the side.

    He pulled his leg back up and looked around.

    “Fifty seconds!”

    The parachute was on the energy field, about a hundred feet to his right. He turned on the spot and tapped his foot in front. The buzz tickled his toe. He put his foot down.

    “Forty seconds!”

    Alan would need to go faster. He trod carefully, waiting for that buzz. If he didn’t feel it with one foot, he changed direction. Eventually he found himself almost within reaching distance.

    “Ten seconds!”

    One more step… his foot fell through the sky, and this time he had been overconfident. His body weight propelled him forward as he fell from the platform.

    The wind beat against his face and his clothes. The ground so far below, but rushing toward him.

    He felt a bump on his back. Alan reached behind and grabbed the lump that had landed on him.

    The parachute.

    Like

  4. Alva Holland
    @Alva1206
    154 words

    This Jump Is For You

    ‘One day you’ll walk in my shoes, bro.’

    My eyelids smarted with his words as they carried him out of the troop carrier. Taken down by a roadside IED in Kandahar, my hero brother left this world at just 19 years old.

    ‘I’d like his gear, if that’s ok,’ I asked the powers-that-be when they made a routine enquiry if there was anything they could do.

    He knew I was afraid of heights. Instead of teasing me, he protected me. When the bullies came, he saw them off. I felt safe.

    Now, in his honour, I am jumping from 10,000 feet, dressed in his gear, to show him I can keep myself safe in his absence. He would like that, he’d be proud. I wanted him to be proud of me.

    Dammit, I want him to be here and proud.

    For you, bro. I jump in your shoes, with tears in my eyes.

    Like

  5. Tyrant?

    Before the fall
    I had the world at my feet
    Could see for miles
    The mapping of my life
    Along expected paths
    A respectable road to the grave

    Until I diverged
    Plundered the oyster
    Sullied the pearl
    Turned everything upside down
    As I stalked my global stage
    Became a trigger with my words

    Talked of things unsaid
    Of children dead
    Sowed the seeds against
    Veils and slaves
    Gave all of me, each word free
    But now I have no platform

    I am the voice, silenced
    A different opinion
    An inconvenient truth
    A challenge too far
    A speech unspoken
    I could be wrong

    Are you that scared?

    Or have you become a tyrant?

    Like

  6. I jump off the plane. There’s enemy fire, but it was supposed to have been suppressed. I see Kowalski jerk and he plummets down, chute closed.

    I open mine. I’ve never believed in God, but I pray. At the same time I curse the brass who decided a parachute deployment in broad daylight was a good idea.

    A missile streaks up. Straight towards me.

    I’m dead.

    But it veers off, and I hear the plane engines roar as it turns, punching chaff and flares trying to fool the missile. I hear an explosion, but I pay no attention, because the ground is here.

    Hit the ground, roll, weapon out, quick scout, release chute. Don’t bother picking it, this is no secret mission.

    Small arms fire from my left. But the left flank is mine. As I try to supress the idea that it was Kowalski’s, I deduce that means it’s enemy fire. I take cover behind a wall and take a peek.

    There. Calling that a house is an exaggeration now. Perhaps once it was a house, or a barn of some kind. Now I see flashes out of two windows, and the cracks that come with them.

    I choose my route so they cannot see me. It’s my job, I’ve been trained for that. I count the seconds.

    19.

    Then I’m with my back to the wall, and I toss a grenade in.

    Boom. Crash.

    I jump in. Three bodies, two immobile.

    And her eyes. Black, large, round, staring at me.

    A girl, no older than 12.

    A gun. Two guns. Hers and mine.

    A shot. Two shots.

    The pain in my ribs.

    The blood on the wall behind her.

    Her eyes.

    Wide open.

    Wide open.

    I wake up again in my bed, sweating, alone.

    I’ve killed her.

    Again.

    I beg for forgiveness, but I don’t believe in any god.

    Like

  7. Boots Down

    This is a turn-up for the books my first jump with the Special Forces and I’m jumping behind enemy lines within our own country. I never saw this civil war coming. I was expecting my first jump would be into the Middle East or one of the ‘Stans’ but here I am jumping into Southern Texas and we’ve only been given a 40% chance of success.

    It’s a foreign country down there now from what we gather. The currency has been bastardised into some notional Confederate dollars and the economy is more up and down than a Disneyland Rollercoaster. Intel suggests that guns and food have been coming into the country via Mexico which is somewhat bizarre given what this puppet regime stands for; I guess oil and gold buys a lot of shrugs and guns. Buenos Dias Mr AK47, wanna buy some corn tortillas and some beef with that rocket grenade? Hecho en Mexico. Who’s the bad hombres now motherfuckers?

    Join the army and see the world. That’s what the poster said. And I’m hurtling towards the outskirts of Austin where my grandparents lived.

    It looks parched. There’s no sign of the fields there were when I was a lad. The irrigation systems have been failing. The climate change this dick claims doesn’t exist is fighting its corner viciously. The Texans will be totally reliant on Mexico in no time. If you can’t beat them join them.

    Last month Mexico’s President was talking about building a wall to keep the New Confederates out. How fucking funny would that be? Still, if we can get in and out with the minimum fuss then maybe we can turn this tide of stupidity around a little. That’s what the powers that be say. But what do they know?

    There’s Russian missile systems being built in the vicinity. With our recon and maybe a little troublemaking we can help the poor resistance out. God, I feel for them. Probably some cousins of mine down near Austin – I don’t even know who’s side they are on now. Poor bastards either way.

    Landing zone approaching. Boots down on enemy soil.

    Like

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