Daily Flash Fiction: The Early Conclusion

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

And the writer saw everything he had written, and behold, he saw 14 grammatical errors, 27 spelling mistakes, 5 plot inconsistencies, and 3 unbelievable truths

Jonathan L. Lawrence, May 2013


Hands up if anyone noticed I’d not posted in a month? Well I noticed, and it was very annoying, because it means I’m really really quite far behind on my daily flash fic posting. So far behind that it’s gotten to a month and a half, (well 44 days to be precise). I’m never going to catch that up, because I don’t think I can commit to daily stories at the moment. It’s never been my style, I’m not a short story writer. Well despite 135 short stories to the contrary.

That said, I am really proud of some of them, yes they all need a lot of work – the challenge was not to edit and just keep posting, but there are some real gems in there.

And since I’m very fond of stats, I’ve had a look at some for this challenge:

105,168 words written (in story only)

796 average story length

Here’s some graphs, because I love a good graph. The first shows my words per day, and a moving average word count. It shows I was gradually getting shorter in length, which was a goal of the challenge, so that’s something positive to take away:

From Word Usage

The second is just for my interest really, I like seeing an accumulative word count. Of course with a limit of 1,000 words maximum, and for most of the challenge a minimum of 500 it was pretty much guaranteed to run a relatively straight line, but it’s nice to see all the same:

From Word Usage

Aside from getting bogged down in distractions, apathy, and writer’s block, I’ve enjoyed the challenge for the most part. And it’s succeeded in several ways, such as having the chance to try new things, practice things I’ve never been particularly good at, writing with a little more abandon. It’s also given me ample opportunity to see where my skills are weakest in the fundamentals, (spelling and grammar that I simply don’t get).

It’s also more words than I’ve written outside of NaNoWriMo since I started doing NaNoWriMo, and probably from before then too.

I’m not done though, although I won’t be trying to keep up with 365 short stories in a year, I am going to post the occasional short story – to keep my eye in for next year, to give me a break from other projects, and to simply test out an idea I’ve got bouncing round in my head.

In the meantime I’ve got two pretty big story ideas, neither of which will be saved for NaNo, I want to write them now. I’m in a planning phase at the moment with brain storms and notes scattered all around. I’ve decided which one I’m going to write first, though I’ve written a few lines, (the proverbial foothold in enemy territory of the plain white page), I’m mostly writing out the back story. It’s a fantasy piece and it requires a good backing mythos to really work.

I’ll get you next time, Gadget. Next time!

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 135: The Voice on the End of the World

This is the 135th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Voice on the End of the World, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 14th April 2013

Word count: 632

The story:

“All you have to do is crawl inside and pull the wire,” the voice over the wireless headset said.

“I’m not going to survive am I?” Carol asked.

“Its already too late. I’m sorry, we didn’t know it would be uncovered,” the voice said soberly.

“I liked you better when you were flirty,” Carol said, “This will save everyone else though?”

“We think so, it will at least stop it spreading,” the man on the other end of the call said, “If there were any other way… If there was any way at all to save you, I would make sure it was done, even if I had to hop in a helicopter and do it myself.”

“Thank you,” Carol said.

“When you go in,” the man said, and Carol appreciated bringing the conversation back to business, “The cables going to be far in, it’s bright red. Pull with everything you’ve got until it comes loose. That will stop the reaction and the radiation will begin to subside.”

“What’s it going to be like in there?” Carol asked.

“It’ll be hell, it’s going to be hot, your hands and feet will burn every time they make contact with a surface. You’ll feel your hair melting, and your vision will be impaired.”

“Wish you’d stopped at hell,” Carol said.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 135: The Voice on the End of the World”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 134: Interplanetary Politic

This is the 134th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Interplanetary Politic, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 13th April 2013

Word count: 460

The story:

“What makes you want to be president?” the journalist asked, then tipped her microphone forward.

The senator took a calming breath, “I want to make a difference. This world we live, well the universe really, faces unique and immense challenges, and as head of the World Government, I believe I can help us through it.”

“There’s some controversy over the office of World President, many member nations have expressed a wish to leave, or even disband the World Government. President Hutton founded, and headed the government for four terms, without him, will it stand?” the the journalist asked.

“I wouldn’t say it was under significant risk,” the senator said, “People are worried, the future is uncertain, it’s understandable. However, humanity has the greatest opportunity to shape it’s own destiny since since someone shared the secret of fire with their neighbours. The first rounds of the presidential elections will be in a few months, everyone will vote at least to see where it will go, before anyone chooses to leave.”

“Thank you Senator Wetherby,” the journalist said turning back to face the hovering camera. The senator walked on, where his press consultant and Chief of Staff awaited him.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 134: Interplanetary Politic”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 133: The Pitch

This is the 133rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Pitch, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 12th April 2013

Word count: 820

The story:

“This it?” the General asked looking at the stand.

“That’s what all the fuss is about,” the executive said.

“Its not very intimidating,” the General noted.

“This weapon isn’t a threat, if you pull the trigger while it’s pointed at someone, they will die. Armour, cover, none of that matters. It has a one hundred percent kill rate, and it’s spot on accurate. No loud bangs, not even the puff from a silencer. It does one thing kill,” the executive said.

“Can we wrap it in something more terrifying?” the general asked.

“A wolf dressed as a wolf?” the salesman asked.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 133: The Pitch”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 132: Romancing of the Fighter

This is the 132nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Romancing of the Fighter, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 11th April 2013

Word count: 758

The story:

 “Let me put this a way you’d understand,” Francis said, “I need room to manoeuvre.”

Robert stood there quietly, waiting for more, challenging Francis to go further, when he didn’t he asked, “Why?”

“Because this isn’t the life I wanted. Fair enough you got drafted, a lot of people did, but after the battle for Epsilon Eridani, most people quit and returned home. You went career without even talking to me.”

“They needed me,” Robert said, he was a man of few words, a trait he considered stoic, right now Francis just found it infuriating.

“I needed you,” Francis said, “I needed you, and you are barely here. Always off on some secret mission or another you can never talk about when you are home.”

“I understand,” and he really thought did, his colonel had warned of the hardships of a career in the defence force.

“I need space, and I need time. I need to find out if this is what I want,” Francis said quietly.

“I understand,” Robert repeated.

Two weeks later Robert was gone, he’d been out of contact for a week, Francis already knew that meant he was on mission again, and he was trying not to care, but he worried, he always worried. Pilots had short life spans, so many things to go wrong when you’re in and out of space constantly. Francis had seen the war documentaries, accidents had taken nearly as many lives as the enemy in the two years of the war.

There was an electronic chime from the door.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 132: Romancing of the Fighter”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 131: Duct Rat

This is the 130th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Duct Rat, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th April 2013

Word count: 952

The story:

The war had been raging for two generations. There had been quiet times, cease fires, truces, but they had only served to provide time for each side to resupply, recruit, and rearm.

It was a terrible time to be born, but it was the universe Crys Shirebrook was born into. Constantly on the verge of starvation his whole life as the enemy tried to cut off supplies to the colonies, just like his side was. He grew up in an age where knowledge was spread easily and quickly, and at a young age he was indoctrinated into the propaganda of the war.

So it was predictable that at the age of fifteen he signed up to fight. His skills were identified, categorised and subsequently he was rapidly trained as a space fighter pilot.

He earned his wings and then he was thrust into the bloody business of war.

On a routine patrol he was captured by the enemy and taken to their capital ship for interrogation. He was scarcely twenty, and he was scared. Little did he know the stuff of heroes was in him.

On the eve of his ninth day of incarceration, and his third of torture, (or preliminaries as the torturer called it), Crys caught a break. Just a worn strap, just a door not quite shut, but suddenly he was free. Out of his cell, and realising be couldn’t just wander round, he would be too easy to spot, he made his way into the air ducts, pressing deep into the ship.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 131: Duct Rat”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 130: First Contact Blues

 This is the 130th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

First Contact Blues, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 9th April 2013

Word count: 705

The story:

“How do I look?” the president asked trying to brush dust off his pressure suit.

No one answered, how could they? It was pretty difficult to look presidential in a high pressure suit.

“Never mind,” he said as secret service agents put the helmet over his head and check the seals.

“Remember sir, this is meet and greet. They might want to talk policy, but they’ll be meeting with the guys from State for that, right after, so politely steer them away,” the Chief of Staff reminded him.

“I know, I know,” the presidents voice said coming through a speaker in the chest plate.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 130: First Contact Blues”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 129: Survivor

 This is the 129th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Survivor, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 8th April 2013

Word count: 908

The story:

“So,” the psychiatrist said.

“So,” Chris repeated.

“Why are you here?”

“I don’t know. It’s not my choice. I figured I’d be in prison by now,” Chris said.

“Under normal circumstances you would be,” the psychiatrist said, “However the admiral managed to talk down the Achilles Alliance ambassador. The ambassador didn’t want you arrested you know, he wanted your head on a platter. So tell me what happened?”

“I’m here because I acted inappropriately,” Chris said.

“What you did was a symptom, not the cause Chris,” the psychiatrist turned over a page in the file, “Why are you here?”

“I locked the Achilles Ambassador in a cupboard, and wouldn’t let him out, and I fought with security to stop them helping him,” Chris said frankly.


“Politics,” Chris said frankly.

“No, it wasn’t politics. Does politics involve locking people up in cupboards?”

“More than you realise, what do you think prisons are for?”

“Okay, fair point,” the psychiatrist said, “But it was more personal than that, wasn’t it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Chris said.

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 129: Survivor”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 128: Frigging Frigates!

 This is the 128th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Frigging Frigates!, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 7th April 2013

Word count: 815

The story:

The Captain pushed his little fighter into a spiral to dodge around the crimson beam of light fired by destroyer.

“Gamma flight leader,” the Captain said into his microphone as he desperately tried to keep his fighter ahead of the destroyer’s firing solutions, “Wing down. Last survivor, destroyer Kremlin has crossed the border and is attacking.”

Having sent his message he pushed his little vessel for all the acceleration it could give to give him space from the fourteen plasma impregnated laser cannon aboard the Russian Federation destroyer.

“Gamma flight,” a message came back after over a minute of the Captain’s hard flying to stay alive, “Reinforcements are inbound, two minutes. Stay alive Captain, that’s an order from the Admiral.”

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 128: Frigging Frigates!”

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 127: Round and Round

 This is the 127th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Round and Round, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 6th April 2013

Word count: 1,000

The story:

“One day you’ll go too far with theses plots of yours, and I’ll have to execute you,” the the Queen said through the bars of a cell.

“Don’t you see? This is it,” the wiry man, dressed in fine robes from the other side of the bars. “Your reign is over, my brother will make himself king.”

“I’m sure he’ll make a fine king,” the Queen said, “Except my Kingdom has a Queen.”

“There’s no taking with you is there?”

“Reuben, did you expect different? You took my castle, you snuck men in under the promise of peace, and you took my castle. You didn’t take the kingdom, and so now you’re here to convince me give me up my rule, my authority, my reign,so that you can have my kingdom,” the Queen said sitting daintily down on a bench, as gracefully as if it were a throne.

“I’m here to argue for your life,” Reuben said, “You don’t have to die today. You can live, go into exile.”

Continue reading “Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 127: Round and Round”