Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 58: How to Kill Demons from Another Dimension

This is the 58th a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

How to Kill Demons from Another Dimension, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 28th January 2012

Word count: 546

The story:
When it happens, it always happens fast. If you want to survive, it doesn’t come down to chance, it’s preparedness, if you’re not prepared, you die.

Trust me, I’ve been doing this a lot longer than everyone else.

I got sucked into their dimension years ago, I only got back when they’d already invaded. It’s easier to survive here than it is there. There, they have nearly nothing we would call food. Here there are still homes and shops with food in them.

If you’re hearing me, you must have survived too, you already know this. What you probably don’t know is, I can kill them.

First thing you need to know is, it’s no good once they’re hunting you, when they hunt they are extremely alert,, and even the best weapons won’t harm them. I found this out in their world, I was being hunted and I decided to fight back. I had a rudimentary blade, and as it struck I tried to stab it.

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Where Have All the Robots Gone?

What’s in a word? Letters. Vowels, consonants, grammar occasionally.

Words are by far the greatest invention of humanity. Words are singularly responsible for civilization – and all the great and good, and evil and bad that that implies. I’m not a logophile as such, but I do love words. It’s part of the reason I aspire to be a writer, working with words is fun, and usually quite safe. Though there are some very dangerous words out there.

Words do have power though, in theory they shouldn’t. When spoken their just a random collection of noises we’ve learned to pattern together, likewise when they’re written it’s just scratchings in a small place. But these patterns are ingrained on our childish brains, and reinforced through strict regimes of practice, and necessity. And because our brains aren’t perfect, those patterns get loaded with a load of useless data as well – whether it’s random trivia, a memory, or an emotion. We love to charge words with emotions, and the emotions give the words far greater intent.

So, when clearing out some of my Twitter favourites from the past three years, (on my personal account, rather than my newer and not yet swamped in favourites writer twitter account), I came across this little gem.

While you’re at it, check out the Google Ngram of “literally” use over the years: http://j.mp/gkxMHR

Posted back in June 2011.

The word literally doesn’t do a great deal for me, but as soon as you see that tool – you can’t help but start firing words at it. And so I did, and it’s amazing the stories you can see in the graphs it produces. I set the Ngram Viewer to English, rather than English fiction. I wanted to see the effect on the whole of the English language dataset, rather than on fiction. With fictional elements, and concepts, obviously the effect will be greater in the smaller fictional dataset. Have a play, and see what I mean.

So, to start with I used the theme from today’s flash fic, zombies:

Zombies on Google’s Ngram Viewer

From Word Usage Post

Which as you can see is a fairly recent trend to use it, though I’m intrigued to find the uses of it in the 20’s and 30’s. The word undead shows a similar pattern. I’ve circled the bit I find particularly interesting, zombies are big business at the moment, with a TV series of the walking dead, and a few films due. There’s a zombie survival fitness training app doing the rounds, and numerous live role-playing zombie games going on. Yet while it’s still rising, it looks to be staling, the speed of the rise is slowing considerably.

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Short Story: You Choose.

This was originally part of my daily challenge initiative, however I really enjoyed writing it, and didn’t want to try and cut it down to just a thousand words. So bonus day today, two fics. Though I’ve not written the replacement Daily Flash Fic, so I need to get on that right away.

You Choose, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 19th December 2012

Word count: 1,563

Theme: decision, god, alien, travel, choice, saviour, apocalypse, the one

The story:

You choose.

“Excuse me?” Roman was wondering where that thought came from.

You choose. It was a voice in his head, almost like that internal voice that tempered or tempted him daily, but it was somehow different.

“Choose what?” Roman figured there was no harm in letting it play out. Maybe his brain needed to tell him something.

You choose.

Roman gave up, and went back to sleep. He woke up late the next morning, panicked momentarily about the time until he realised it was Sunday.

You choose.

He shook his head in the vain attempt at dislodging the unwelcome thought that kept repeating. He went to get the newspaper from the door. Did hits usual, sorted himself toast and jam, and a pot of tea.

He sat there reading the paper doing his best to ignore that voice in his head, that repeated every time he read a bad news story. It went silent for the football results, and then he came to an article about a particular vicious incident at a game. A player had headbutted a member of the opposing team, but the referee never saw it, so it was on report.

You choose.

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