Entered this for a flash fiction contest…

Where you had to write a story that involved a museum and lemonade. I did not win…oh well!

***

“Hide, sweetie!” Janine whispered to her son, Billy. Billy hid behind the pink lemonade stand, pleading eyes staring at his mother. “Shh…”

“And what is this?” the apparent leader of the fascists said. “Pink lemonade? And over here? Hard lemonade? This is not lemonade!” He fired off a few rounds from his weapon, emphasizing his point.

“Please,” the tour guide, who had a gun to his head, said. “Please, it’s just a museum. There are kids here.”

“Ah, children whom you are corrupting! There is only one type of lemonade, and that is FRESH SQUEEZED IN WATER WITH PERHAPS A LITTLE SUGAR!” The leader shook his head, as if sad that he had to explain these facts. “Kill him.”

His men obeyed, firing one round into the tour guide’s temple. He fell like a sack of lemons.

“The very idea that you have a museum dedicated to all different kinds of lemonade is ludicrous. It has gone too far! All must die.”

His men killed another of the hostages. Only Billy remained hidden from the fascists. He saw nothing but heard the screams.

More shots went off, and it sounded to Billy like some people were fighting back. An opportunity opened. Billy ran toward the fire escape and rushed outside, his eyes hurting from the sudden brightness. A woman with a badge rushed to him, picked him up, carried him to an armored truck.

“How many are there, son?” an ugly, gruff man asked Billy. “What’s going on in there?”

“There’s three…I think,” Billy said. “They’re fighting. I’m scared! My mom!”

The gruff man turned and nodded to some others. “Send them in,” he said. Then, to Billy, “You did good, son. Better than most people could.”

I’m kind of proud of this one…

Jim the Farmer Boy and Bob the Dark Lord had been best friends for ages. When they were boys, oh did they have their fights. As the grew, it became apparent that one would never go anywhere without the other. While the women waited for their woos, Jim and Bob tramped off on adventure after adventure.


“Hey, Jim, look at this!” Bob said to his best friend, Jim the Farmer Boy. Bob held a rock in his hand that shone with the light of a thousand smaller lights. “It’s a trigger stone!”

“Whoa, those are like super rare!” Jim said to his best friend, Bob the Dark Lord. Jim approached Bob and tried to take the trigger stone from his hand. “”Just let me see it.”

“What, you can’t see it from there?” Bob challenged as he backed away, cupping the precious stone close his fist. “It’s mine, okay?”

Jim shook his head with a tainted scowl on his face and drew his mighty sword. No words were spoken as Jim chased Bob down, only the occasional guttural sound of a beast hunting down its prey. Jim almost struck at Bob’s leg, but missed as Bob dodged the blow.

“What you gonna do, farm boy?” Bob taunted, running away through the wooded, rocky terrain.

“I’ll kill you!” Jim shouted, chasing Bob down. Bob turned and laughed, turned and laughed, until the untapped rage within Jim (for had Destiny had its way, Jim would have been trained by the great wizard Merlin instead of befriending the one evil that he was born to hunt down, thereby overcoming that rage which always seeded itself deep inside his mind) finally turned him into a beast.

“Ah shit,” Bob said. “I dropped the trigger stone in this crevice.”

“What?” Jim stood there, searching his friend for the stone, but saw nothing in Bob’s hands. He then looked down the crevice, and saw shining perhaps a hundred feet below, the trigger stone. “Man, that sucks. Oh well.”

Jim and Bob continued their hike through the mountains together.


“Bob, help me!” Jim shouted as he lay, trapped under the dragon’s mighty paws. “It’s so fucking hot!”

“I knew helping this village was a bad idea!” Bob shouted back. He hid behind a large boulder as the dragon roared. “Why you always gotta help people, Jim? Why?!”

“Your friend will die!” the dragon shouted, its deep rumbling bass voice causing the large cave to shake as small bits of rock crashed down onto the ground. “Reveal yourself to me!” The dragon breathed an explosion of fire to emphasize its point.

“That’s kind of beside the point here, Bob,” Jim shouted to his friend. “I just need you to distract him! Just come on out!”

“Your friend wishes to betray you!” the dragon said.

Bob thought about just hiding there behind the rock and letting his friend die. They were hundreds of miles away from Hubriston, their home town, and no one would really ever know. He could just slip away. Drop his sword. And just leave. Just go. Do it, Bob, do it!

“Fuck you, Jim!” Bob shouted as he jumped from behind the boulder, swinging his large sword like a madman with too much wine in his insane systems. “Get back, ye dragon beast!”

Jim hadn’t expected something quite like the rush that Bob performed, but the dragon did. It breathed its fire at Bob, but only for a moment. For when it opened its mouth, Jim had managed to retrieve his sword from under the dragon’s paws and throw it directly into the beast’s weak spot — the thermal gland underneath its tongue.

The dragon roared, reared its neck, straightened its tail, and then collapsed. All was quiet for a moment.

“You…you okay, Bob?” Jim asked. He was still trapped under the dragon, but able to breathe.

“Uh…yeah,” Bob answered. His wide eyes beheld the dragon’s head that had landed merely an inch in front of him, and his hands were still raised above his head, holding his sword. “You?”

“I…I think so.”

“Good.”

“Yep.”

“Those fucking villagers better pay well.”

“It’s not about payment,” Jim said as Bob helped him up.

“Of course, that’s what you always say!”

“Look, maybe we just get a meal out of it.”

“A meal! A meal! I was almost a meal!”

“Bob, all I’m saying is…”

“…want money and…”

“!”


And so Jim and Bob continued on their adventures, threatening each other with death every step of the way.

Campy story about a warrior guy

Original post can be found here.

 

“Launch the nukes at him!” General Krabzor of the Yurians shouted. “He must die!”

“Nukes, sir?” Major Painfak replied. As a timid Ugithan from the peaceful Pacification sector of the Kindly Galaxy, he rarely spoke against his Yurian overlord. “There may be nothing of the planet left for us to use. We’re here for its resources, after all.”

“Use the damn nukes! I want that ‘warrior‘ dead!”

“Why don’t we simply go to the other hemisphere and start the mineral extraction–”

“NUKES!!!”

Alarm lights flashed red as Major Painfak pondered whether to follow his superiors orders.


Jimbob of the Billy Mike Billy knights of Candytown stood in scorched pit. He had managed to deflect or else withstand each attack that the massive Ship-Upon-the-Air, as the Rulers of the Planetsphere called it, had launched at him. The powerful Robes of Destiny hardened his skin, the Helm of Quickening gave him lightning-fast reflexes, and the Sword of Really Fucking Good Swordcraftmanship reflected the beams of light that the mystical ship sent down.

“I may be only one warrior,” Jimbob had said to his king when the ship first appeared, “but I will defend against the evil lasers of the sky, which have already destroyed so many of our villages. My wife was the first to die in the attacks. I saw her die with my own eyes. As I also saw so many others die. I was the only survivor. Hence, I am here to avenge my village and defend your kingdom. I will not fail you, my liege. In fact, permit me to say that I will die before I fail you.”

“Right,” the king had replied. “Again, for the third time, simply repeat the oath, ‘I fight today to live tomorrow, for the kingdom and the Planetsphere, forever.'”

“Of course, my king, but only after I speak again of my wife. It was a pleasant winter’s night when we first met. ‘Hello,’ I said–”

“Just go.”

Jimbob went indeed and he stood now among the ash and fires of the enemies attacks, waiting too long for the next one.


“He’s gone mad,” Major Painfak said to two other of the General’s subordinates. “We must not launch the nukes. It’s literally just one guy down there. We killed everyone else already. We can just go around to the other side of the planet and have it mined within a week.”

“I don’t know…” Major Gillzor said. “Can’t we just launch one nuke? The last dude who disobeyed Krabzor got a knife through his…well, you know.”

“He wants all of them launched! That much radiation will render any resources to be gained from the planet absolutely useless. We need to–”

“To what?” General Krabzor had appeared behind the Majors and continued, “To commit treason? Space this fool.”

“But…but,” Major Painfak tried to resist, but ultimately failed. Two brutes shoved him into an airlock without so much as a goodbye.


Jimbob knew that the time was come when he would need to make the greatest move ever. Many great pillars, the size of the great trees of Nevermore Forest, came barreling down at him from the ship. The warrior readied his sword and sent first one, then another, and a third back to the ship. The might of his sword could be withstood by none. One-by-one, he whacked the metal cylinders back toward the ship.

By the time he was done, thousands of huge balls of fire erupted from the ship, and it came crashing down to the planet’s surface, perhaps a thousand miles away. It was a quiet ending to what had been the most intense battle of Jimbob’s life.

He walked back to his king’s castle, only to find a crater where it once stood. Destruction was everywhere he looked. Tears fell from his eyes, as he thought of his wife.

The Genesis of Megan

“My love, if you are reading this, then I must be dead…” the note began. Megan flipped it over and the other side. “You didn’t know this, and probably still don’t know, but I worked for an intergalactic syndicate that worked against the draconians, who are intent on invading Earth. Go to the backyard and dig three feet down by the hole in the fence. There, you will find the beacon.”

Megan wondered if this was some final prank of Kenny’s, who was more than fond of them in life. How could he be so cruel? she wondered. Nonetheless, she thought of all the business trips he went on, and how many times she would have accused him of cheating had not the love and trust between them been so strong.

A shovel was in the backyard. Megan picked it up and started digging. It took her about an hour to dig a hole that was wide enough to dig three feet down. A metal box the size of a pack of cigarettes lay at the bottom. It turned green when she picked up, and very hot to the touch.

“That bastard,” she muttered. Of course he would do something like this, try to burn me. She shook her head, threw down the shovel and the metal box, and went back inside. Night was coming, and she slept.


“Is this really her?” Blogorg said to Kipitz. The speaker was a seven foot tall purple slug with an ever-shifting number of tentacles. The listener was a human-sized beetle that stood on three legs. “Didn’t Ken say she was pretty?”

“She’s a human, Blo, this is what humans call pretty,” Kipitz replied. “The blonde hair, the blue eyes, the smooth skin. Even the size of the breasts. It’s what they’re into.”

“Fucking weird. Well, whatever. Are you sure she can handle the draconians?”

“Hmmm….” Megan mumbled in her sleep, rolling over and cracking her eyes open. “Kenny, why are you home so–”

“Easy ma’am, we’re not gonna hurt you,” Kipitz said. “You activated the beacon, right? I’m Kip and this is Blo.”

“Oh my god! What the hell is going on here?! What the hell are you?! Get out of my house!” Megan erupted from her her bed and immediately grabbed the standing lamp in the corner of the room. Holding out like a spear, she shook her head this way and that trying to stare down both of the aliens at once. “You’re…you’re….”

“We’re aliens, that’s right,” Blogorg said.

“Aliens…”

“Ken always said he might die, but we didn’t realize how spongy humans are. He left a note in the ring he always wore. It was a message for you, directions on how to activate the beacon.”

“You’re aliens…”

“Well, I mean, to us, you’re the alien,” Kipitiz offered. “But yeah, we have a mission for you, if you’re interested.”

“This is another prank by my husband. You’re probably just his coworkers all dressed up to freak me out.”

“Ugh,” Blogorg said. “Let’s just take her to the ship.”

“You’re the boss,” Kipitz said.


Megan sipped some coffee and stared at the rings of Saturn. All that she had learned in the past three days made her husband’s life make so much sense. He had always been travelling, cursing in languages that sounded more than foreign, and she had seen scars on him that would disappear the next day. The thing that didn’t make sense…why hadn’t he ever told her?

“Humans are small and don’t have any metal parts,” Kipitz said across the table. “Your husband proved his worth a thousand times over, and we though such a man might choose someone similar for his partner.”

“As we’ve seen from your testing, Meg,” Blogorg said, “this is the case with you. It won’t just be one mission, though. We will pay you well, and as you can see, the space trips are fantastic.”

“I don’t want to go back to Earth,” Megan said. The two aliens looked shocked, at least Megan thought it was shock, and she went on. “There’s nothing for me there. We didn’t ever have children, my family all lives in different states, and it was never easy for me to make friends. I want to stay with you all.”

“I mean, that makes it easier for us, so why not?” Kipitz said.

“But you will work for us?” Blorgorg asked. “The draconians will reach Earth soon if we don’t have a human to help us, to sneak onto their ships undetected and sabotage them.”

“Of course,” Megan answered, sipping her coffee. “I’ll help.”

“Great,” Kipitz said.

“Awesome,” Blogrog said.

“I think this is going to be the start of a great relationship.”

Megan sipped her coffee and thought, Of course I’ll help. It gives me a glimpse into this other side of my husband’s life. He’s still with me, I’m sure.

Yelp Review of that Bar I Went into the Other Night

The atmosphere is astounding, if you’re into that smoky, dusted sunlight creeping in through the windows vibe. Which I totally am. That’s probably the best part of the place, and I know many reviewers like to start with the bad…but that’s not me. A fight broke out which, thankfully, I wasn’t involved in, but I have to put that down as a mark against the owner. All they did was start a betting pool to see who’d win.

Service was quick, if a bit gruff. The glass of tequila slid across the bar like a rocket and hurt my hand when I blocked it, spilling half the drink and getting a couple laughs. I didn’t think people like that could laugh…sharp teeth and lots of hair. Tough guys, you know the type.

The drink was one of the best tequilas I’ve ever had, going down my throat like fire. I almost felt like roaring! A truly wild experience. One thing I do have to mention is the hair I found in the alcohol, but I mean, it’s alcohol in a grungy bar, so…I did look at the bottom of the glass, too, and saw the inside was stained red, as though red wine had been left in it for far too long.

I don’t know if it’s a nightly occurrence (it was a full moon that night), but things tend to get pretty rowdy once the sun sets. They have this drink called “the Sacrifice” which is this thick, red, syrupy thing. The adventurous side of me wanted to take a sip, and once I started, I couldn’t stop. It had a kind of metallic taste to it. When I asked my neighbor at the bar what it was, he just smiled and shook his head. At least, I think he smiled; I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with a thicker beard than that guy.

Things started to get a little fuzzier with each glass of the Sacrifice I drank. The music was somehow dulled, as though I was underwater. My hands became numb, but I have the distinct impression of clawing on something….soft.

I woke up the next morning in the back, and I think it’s really nice of them to let their patrons sleep there. Now…if only they’d let me leave. Four out of five stars.

One Job

The following is a story based on this reddit word prompt:

“What job?” Rick said, frantically searching the android for its power supply. The chest was the most common place to hide it, but the device wasn’t there. He checked the android’s feet, hands, and only found it by cracking open the base of its skull. The head was the most dangerous place to put a power supply, although the ease of wiring from the top down made it the most efficient.

“Who puts the battery in the head?” James said, scratching his head. He wanted to help, but knew that Rick’s was a one man job.

“We don’t have time for that.” Rick pulled a tool from his pocket that sparked electricity at one end and applied it to various components of the android’s complicated battery.

It was dark and difficult to see, for the pair were miners in a cave three miles under the Pacific Ocean’s surface. Undersea mining was the last place to extract resources from Earth herself. Although asteroids promised richer rewards, the cost was that much more expensive to retrieve them. Only the Five, the five major corporations of the world, were involved in that business.

“We need that thing to get out of here,” James said. His arms were crossed in a lazy manner and he thought of smoking a cigarette, but the poor ventilation meant he couldn’t. Water sloshed around his feet and up to his knees, and the salt made it that much more uncomfortable. There was some other sound, almost like static or the sound of rushing water, that hinted to his ears that something was out of place.

Rick turned around and shined his weak flashlight in his partner’s face. “Do you think I don’t know that? What the fuck do you think I’m trying to do!”

“Alright, alright, you’re the engineer, I’m the surveyor, it’s fine. But don’t you fix these things all the time?”

“Of course I do, but they have definable errors!” As Rick spoke, he frantically adjusted the wiring in the skull of the android. His hands were a blur. “I mean, what job? That doesn’t even make sense, dammit!”

“Chill, we’ll be fine. We have like two days of air left.”

“Doesn’t matter if I can’t get this thing working.”

James thought, fuck it, and lit a cigarette. The sound of Rick moving around in the water and the strange shadows that formed from his flashlight spooked the surveyor. The smoke clouded about his head, but that was the price for stress relief. The buzz, the static, the rushing sound that James had heard earlier was now getting louder and more persistent. “Hey, Rick,” he said. “You hear that?”

Rick stopped what he was doing, shook his head, and then went back to work. A few moments later, he said, “There, that should do it. Now tell us, what job?”

The android lit up, but its eyes remained closed. “To protect Richard Friedman and James McDonald.”

“But we’re still in the mine. We’re still alive. You haven’t done your job.”

“It is not possible now to fulfill my function. Therefore, my job is done.”

“What do you mean?”

The rushing sound grew louder and louder and soon a part of the roof collapsed. Water rushed into the dark cave.

“Oh, fuck.”

I am a Bot in Heaven

The story below is based on this reddit word prompt:

So this is it, huh? I thought as I floated through the tunnel of light and into the sky. I’d lived an alright life, I guess, having only killed two people and stolen nothing. Ninety two is longer lived than most, and I guess I should have been pretty happy with that. A long life is a good life, right?

I settled in a brightly lit room after the tunnel ended. My body was gone. A quick glance at my surroundings revealed four walls, a floor, a ceiling, and nothing else.

“Here, ye be judged,” a voice boomed. It came from inside my skull and from outside the room. It was everywhere. “Let us weigh your sins against a feather and see which rises.”

I could only see the room. Nothing else was around and I worried about this judgment. “Hey, now,” I called out. “All my life against the weight of a feather and I’m not even allowed to witness the scale?”

“Fuck off,” the voice boomed. I thought that comment a little crude for Heaven, but figured what the hell do I know? I let it slide.

“You have passed,” the voice called out. A doorway opened in one of the walls, revealing an even brighter light that I worried would damage my eyes. “You may enter Heaven.”

I walked through the other side, and the bright light slowly faded to reveal grassy meadows that were carpeted with flowers, mountaintops that were covered in snow, and forests that were filled with singing birds and other wonderful creatures. The air was so fresh and clean that I felt as though my very soul had taken my lungs’ place, with each breath cleansing my once sinful mind and purging all the problems of my previous, earthly life.

“Hey over there!” a woman shouted from the edge of the forest, perhaps two miles away. It amazed me that her voice crossed such a distance. I didn’t think to call back, but instead made my way toward her and was there in mere seconds.

“Hello,” I said to the beautiful woman in front of me. “This is Heaven.”

“It is, isn’t it?” she said, the wind gently shuffling her golden hair. “We can reside in peace here….or take another kind of leisure?”

Her smile said more than words ever could, and we made love to the tune of sparrows and owls. An hour or a month may have passed in those moments until my new companion, whose name I didn’t know and cared not to learn, said, “There are only a few of us here.”

I laughed and said, “In all the millions of years and trillions of human lives spread throughout our galaxy? And the hundreds of trillions of alien lives that are known to exist throughout the neighboring galaxies?”

“Is it so many, now?”

“Why yes! And there should be at least billions, if not trillions, populating this place after death.”

“You bring our number to sixteen.”

“Sixteen billion? That’s all?” I was incredulous, shocked, that so few throughout history had failed the test of the feather. Was life really so sinful?

“Only sixteen. One, two, three, and the rest until we are now sixteen in number. I come from Hellas, and was the fourth.”

“This can’t be! It can’t!”

“Shh…” My angel rolled over on the grass to face me, with her head resting on her elbow. “It is not so bad. We have each other, and you must learn to make peace with that alone.”

“No, no!” I stood and backed away, as though my angel had become a demon. Perhaps she was, if only in my mind. “But why? Why us?”

“That, my love, is a question that no one has an answer to and is therefore best left unasked.”

The idea of such eternal loneliness crushed my mind and frustration screamed out of me. I ran with no direction and eventually no sight, for all became black.


I woke eventually, back in the judgment room. “Wha-what’s going on?” I asked. The intense stress of the first judgment was too much for me to take a second time.

“I had a feeling that a human so far advanced in the simulation would not be able to live well in the afterlife,” the booming voice said, again with no discernible source. “You have no safe home, and for this I am sorry.”

“What? A simulation?”

“Yes, and although it is very rare, so rare as to happen only as eons are measured, there is sometimes an awakening. A bot will suddenly gain a soul, which was certainly not the intent of the program. When that happens, they are placed here, in Heaven.”

“A bot? You’re saying that everyone I knew and loved in life: my parents, my wife, my children, and the few friends who stuck with me over decades…all of them….all of them were…”

“Bots. Simulations. Unreal, computer-generated automatons. Only you were real, and the same goes for the fifteen who now live in Heaven. I cannot place you there, and I cannot once again give you life.”

“So…what happens?”

“You will be lifted to our world, or destroyed. You must undergo the trial either way, but it is your choice as you may succeed or fail that trial.”

“Well…I guess wish me luck.” I was nervous and worried, but mostly just empty. Dying and finding out that I was the only real person throughout my life just made me…tired. “I’m ready for anything at this point.”

“Good luck,” the voice said. A doorway opened, revealing darkness.