Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 79: Spencer Saviour of the World

This is the 79th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Spencer Saviour of the World, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 18th February 2013 (finally I’ve caught up, been one day behind every day last week).

Word count: 900

The story:

The odd thing about Spencer Redhill was that he had an aptitude for virtually nothing… Except for one solitary thing. He was a skilled hunter, not of games but of patterns. The guy was a genius with patterns, but he lacked qualifications, interpersonal skills, and ambition to put these skills to use commercially.

Nor was he like Sherlock who could pull patterns together from non-congruous data, it was a peculiarly singular and focused a special skill. If you were struggling on a word search, Spencer was your man.

So it was quite a shock to everyone when he became famous for saving the country from bankruptcy. It was all so shocking that this unassuming man would get tied up, be in a car chase, and a shoot out. It was a spy novel breaking out in real time, with the least likeliest protagonist.

I suppose I should start at the beginning for those in a coma or not yet born on the 5th October 2015.

Britain had just had an election, and a new government was in place. Almost immediately the national financial crisis hit home as the government was forced to default on payments. On the 5th October it was the third announcement in a row of defaulting on payments. It was a huge crisis, the credit rating had tanked, services were being cut to the wick, to no avail.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 78: Vixen

This is the 78th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Vixen, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 17th February 2013

Word count: 702

The story:

“Well that was a blast of fresh air. The girl I was just with liked it really freaky. I’ve been with plenty of women that thought that liked it freaky, but compared with tonight’s girl, there as vanilla as the yoghurt.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love vanilla, but cherry and spices made a real difference,” Craig the young man in the tight fitting expensively tailored beige suit said to his friends.

Each and everyone of his friends felt the instinctive desire to call bullshit. It was true that he seemed to have uncanny success with women, but blatantly he was prone to exaggeration.

“Okay,” Michael in the white open collared shirt said finally, “How did you meet this freaky girl?”

“Well I was in Bradford,” he started.

“Shit, you went out on the pull in Bradford. Do you not watch the news?” Tony in the blue rugby top asked.

“No why?” Craig asked bemused.

“There’s a serial killer targeting young men in night clubs. She’s been dubbed the Stairway to Heaven killer,” Tony informed his young boastful friend with relish.

“Yeah I was reading about that in the Metro,” Michael said.

“Oh if it’s in the Metro it must be true,” Craig observed drily. “Anyway, I can gaurentee, one night with me and she wouldn’t want to stab anyone anymore.”

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 77: Clean Up

This is the 77th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Clean up, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 16th February 2013

Word count: 590

The story:

“Your name is Constance Sorrows,” the police officer asked.

“For the second time, yes,” the young woman said.

“So what were you doing here?”

“Oh, I was just in the area… Looking for a cash machine,” she said cocking her head to one side and treating the police officer to a warm smile.

“Okay,” the officer said taking note, “Bit of a dangerous place to be looking. There’s one out on the main road, about for streets that way.”

“Thank you,” she said then hurried off leaving the scene of the crime.

Constance didn’t go to the cash machine, instead she found her car that had been parked a few streets away.

As she drove she looked back at the flashing lights of police and ambulances. Hopefully they’d never know who took out everyone at a drug deal.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 76: Space Swarm

This is the 76th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Space Swarm, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th February 2013

Word count: 1000

The story:

“The odds are stacked against us,” the soldier, Private First Class Eric Whitehead stated.

“Yep,” the mysterious civilian said. Eric had some suspicions.

“We’ve barely got any ammo,” Eric pointed out.

“That’s true,” the civilian acknowledged.

“And I don’t know you from Adam,” Eric pointed out flatly.

“Funny my name is Adam,” the civilian said.

“Somehow I don’t believe you.”

“Fair enough, it doesn’t matter what my name is. I’m presuming you can put two and two together. I outrank you in this, so believe me when I tell you that if we don’t even try the Earth is doomed,” the civilian said. Eric was now sure he was Earth Defence Intelligence. “We’re in the ultimate behind enemy lines situation. This ship is on a direct course to Earth.”

“So the two of us are going to single handedly invade their cavernous engine room and destroy it?”

“I was hoping to be discrete about it, but that’s the general idea, yes.”

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 74: Master and Teacher

This is the 74th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Master and Teacher, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 13th February 2013

Word count: 514

The story:
“You must learn discretion,” the wizened old man told the impetuous youth. The old man was Enlee Erasdio the Fourth, grand master wizard of the Kingdom of Eglasia. The young man was his apprentice Badger, formerly a homeless orphan from the neighbouring village of the Grand Master’s Tower in the Eastern edge of Eglasia overlooking the sea.

“We have all the power though,” the apprentice said.

“Power yes, it’s true, and yes it’s important,” the Grand Master acknowledged, “But the wisdom to use that power, and more importantly when to use it, is what you need to learn. There are few others that have mastered fireballs over the centuries, as quick as you have… But a fireball won’t put food on the table. Understand?”

“I could shoot a rabbit with one,” the boy pointed out.

The Grand Master waved his hands, and a rabbit sprang forth, “Go on then.”

The youth thrust his hands out, and a swirling ball of flame impacted on the stone floor, the rabbit looked back.

“A coin brings food far more readily then a ball of flame. Plus you are strengthened by it, not weakened.”

“Why not conjure coins?” the apprentice asked.

“Coins are complicated, intricate pieces of magic all on their own. The belief people apply to them gives them protection. It is easier for a fraudster to make fake coins than a magician,” the old man said.
“What like this?” the boy waved his fingers and a gold coin appeared.

“That coin is an illusion, and that has draw backs. For instance, if the receiver of said coin didn’t check it, he would notice it missing later. You could spend as many of those as you liked, but you’d never be welcome in that town again. The same goes for most physical objects you might convert.”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” the apprentice said, “So what do we do?”

“Well, that’s when we sell things that we can conjure and conjure well, or we can sell our services,” Enlee Erasdio answered. “When I was a young apprentice, not much older than you are now, I went out into the world’s adventuring.”

“Like Incingo De Janeiro?’ the apprentice asked.

“Very much so,” the wizard said. “He amassed a fortune, and a lot of exciting tales in his time. And it was on his long hard journeys that he founded not one but two schools of thought within magic.”

“Is that what I’m to do?” he asked.

“That’s up to you,” the Grand Master said, “There comes a time in every students education when they believe there is nothing more their teachers can teach them. They’re usually wrong, I know I was, but the experience we gain outside of this tower shows what we know and what we don’t in stark contrast.”

“I’m not ready yet,” the boy acknowledged.

“No, not yet, but I fear it won’t be too long. But for now, let’s try some spells that will help you when you are ready.”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 75: The Interview

This is the 75th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Interview, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 14th February 2013

Word count: 845

The story:

Sometimes my imagination runs wild, and reality fails to live up to what I intended. It happened a lot, but the time I remember most was a few years ago, there I was minding my own business when a colleague comes over:

“You’ll do it, won’t you?”

“Do what?” asks I, not having the faintest clue what he’s on about.

“We’ve got some people coming in to do video interviews, just three or so questions, for a board meeting.”

“I’m not sure.”

“It’s a great opportunity to get your face out there,” he says, showing his hand. It trumps mine, filled with reservations as it is.

“Okay, I’ll do it.”

I get told the questions standard stuff, best and worst things about working for the company, what I’d like to improve, etc…

So fairly straightforward really. Yet my mind starts directing a very polished seeming professional pitch, the kind no one would forget.

Here’s how my fantasy went:

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 73: Mutual Defence

This is the 73rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Mutual Defence, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 12th February 2013

Word count: 935

The story:
“How does it feel to have cracked the case?”

“I’ve felt better,” Jack Maisey said, his hand pressed against the wound in his side.

“I’m sure you have kid, I’m sure you have,” the MP said crouching low, cleaning the knife wound with the contents of a first aid kit he’d brought down with him. “You’re going to need stitches.”

“Yep,” the young private detective said, “If I live long enough.”

“Don’t be so melodramatic, of course your going to live, I’m not a cold blooded killer,” the MP pressed an absorbent pad into the wound.

“Aren’t you worried I’ll send you down?”

“No, I’m a trusting soul. especially  when people’s self interest is at stake. Remember, Mister Maisey, as you think you’ve got on me. It’s on both our interests to leave this place alive, and never mention a word of it again. Understand?” the MP said, pulling the detective to his feet.

“Yeah, I understand,” Jack said. “Okay if we go left at that corner we can make our way out.”

“The quickest way would be back that way,” the MP pointed with his free arm.

“And that’s where they’re waiting for us both, in force.”

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 72: The Alignment

This is the 72nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Alignment, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 11th February 2013

Word count: 520

The story:

“One roll of the spin more, just one more,” the gambler said to his long suffering wife.

“Come on honey,” she said,knowing that getting angry and making a scene didn’t work, “We’ve got a restaurant booking at the top of the tower at half past ten.”

“I know, I know,” he said putting the last of his chips on the table, fifty dollars on zero no less.

“Aww hun,” she said as the dealer set the wheel running.

“I feel like my lucky stars are in alignment,” he said.

The wheel ran and ran, bouncing around the spinning wheel. It felt like an eternity, and then it slowed and slowed.

Bop bop bop.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 71: Wrong Man to Piss Off

This is the 71st in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Wrong Man to Piss Off, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th February 2013 (Okay, the 11th, I may have forgotten to do Sunday’s, so the 72nd is coming in a few minutes)

Word count: 970

The story:

“You’ve missed,” the young boy pointed out unhelpfully.

“Sometimes kid, you’ve got to miss the target to win the prize,” the gruff middle aged gunman said, as he started packing his long sniper rifle into a block holdall.

“Huh?” the boy asked, he was younger than ten, the assassin felt certain.

“You’ll understand one day, especially with a job like mine. Which reminds me, great eyesight. Best spotter I’ve had in a long time,” he gave the kid three hundred American dollars, “Remember, I was never here,” with that he jumped out the window, on to the fire escape.

The kid watched as he dashed down the steps and into the shadows of the alley. In the distance he could hear police sirens getting closer. He decided to go back to bed.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 70: Bait and Switch

This is the 70th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Bait and Switch, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th February 2013

Word count: 625

The story:

“Hell, boy, you ain’t got nothing to show for it,” the masked gunman said in a Southern US accent.

“Had to try,” the middle aged man in a business suit said.

“Guess you did,” the gun man chambered a round in his shot gun. “So where’d you want it, head or the chest?”

The middle aged man took a deep breath, “I don’t suppose neither is an option?”

“Sure it’s an option, then I’ll pop you in the balls and stomach, that your choice?” the good old boy said.

“Well, I guess I’ll have option four. Drop your weapon, get on your knees, and lace your fingers behind your head,” the business suit getting up.

“What?” the gunman asked confused.

“You ask a lot of question Mister Strong,” the business suited gentleman brushed himself off, “But you haven’t asked the right one yet.”

“Who are you?” the gunman said, gripping firmly to his shotgun, but somehow held in thrall.

“Now that’s a question worth asking,” the businessman said, “I’m a private in the US Army.”

“Bull,” the gun man said, “Your British.”

“The name’s Robert Randolph Routledge the second. So, are you going to surrender or do I have to call my friends in?”

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