Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 126: Cruel Hands

 This is the 126th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Cruel Hands, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 5th April 2013

Word count: 328

The story:

“You shouldn’t be surprised,” I told him, rather bravely at this point.

“What’s that meant to mean?” it asked, impatiently.

“You’re a god, maybe I believe just a little that you are the God, nothing I can do can surprise you,” I said, you know really baiting him. I’d been through as literal an interpretation of hell as you could ever get close to in your worst nightmares, and I felt owed this.

“I don’t think you understand the position you’re in,” it said, it’s words dripping with ire, “I don’t know who or what you think I am, and I do not care. What I do care about is that you didn’t finish the job.”

“You can’t expect me to do what you asked, you can’t expect anyone to do that. It was a baby,” I said, painfully aware it’d moved me past any answers. “Why don’t you do it?”

The next thing I know I was flying through the air at high speed with no way to control myself. I could see the Earth far below, and getting rapidly closer. Then abruptly I stopped.

“Will you do my bidding,” a voice boomed from the sky, as loud and menacing as thunder.

I was scared, “No!” I shouted despite my fear. I was stuck, just hovering there, hundreds of feet above the ground, no way to move, and no where to go if I did. It just left me there.

Finally after what seemed like hours I was lowered to the ground, I looked around to find myself surrounded by nothing but sand.

“This my punishment?” I shouted at the sky, but it never answered. It was done with me.

Fortunately as I was waiting for the response I caught faint sounds of civilisation somewhere to the West. I set off across the desert, altering my clothing to protect myself the best I could. It didn’t take long to find Las Vegas. It was somewhere at least.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 125: The PM

 This is the 125th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The PM, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 4th April 2013

Word count: 645

The story:

Life returned to normal slowly. The war, the insurgency, and the victory, they had taken months, but life after was slow.

It wasn’t hard for Doctor Hammersmith to understand why, everywhere you looked signs of the occupation stared you in the face. Empty homes, possibly from those that fled the cities not yet to return, most likely they were slaughtered.

Still life went on, and it was Doctor Hammersmith’s job as Prime Minister to make sure it did. Which was why this very day he was sat behind his desk at his office in York about to sign into law an order for mandatory service for everyone over the age of fourteen to apply for no more than ten years.

It was the most extreme law he had passed, but a nation in shock and mourning would not survive, life must go on.

“Margaret,” he called, and in moments the Prime Minister’s secretary popped her head round the door.

“Yes sir?”

“Fetch me Cooper Sinclair,” he instructed her.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 124: The Quarry

This is the 124nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Quarry, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 3rd April 2013

Word count: 625

The story:

Callum dug himself deeper into the coat rack inside the fashion store. He waited warily, he could hear his pursuers inside the shop kicking things over trying to find him.

It had been two hours of relentless chase, and they were determined. Breaking into the shop had been Callum’s act of desperation, it was the only thing he could think of, his energy was spent, he needed time to recharge.

“He’s in here somewhere,” growled one of the pursuers.

“We’ve looked, what if he’s not? He might have broken the door to distract us,” another said.

“Right, I want a watch on the front and rear exits, the rest of us will spread out see if we can’t pick up his scent,” the first voice said.

Callum breathed a small sigh of relief. It was in that moment he felt his drained powers starting to return finally.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 123: Potential

This is the 123nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Potential, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 2nd April 2013

Word count: 639

The story:

“You understand your here to learn, not play,” the man said seriously.

“Yes, John,” the boy said dismissively.

“John isn’t even my name,” the man complained, “You can call me Mister Simmons.”

“Whatever you say John,” the boy said.

“Okay, let’s just talk for a bit, Michael,” Mister Simmons said taking a seat opposite the young teen, “Man to man, okay?”

“Whatever,” a Michael said, uncertain at the new approach.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 122: Meadow Hell

This is the 122nd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Meadow Hell, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 1st April 2013

Word count: 278

The story:

“You must be joking,” the police officer said.

“Do I look like I’m joking?” the army sergeant said, “Someone’s stolen a nuclear missile.”

“That’s why we need your help, there are teams coming in from all over the UK, but we have to get moving now,” the sergeant said.

“Okay, okay, what does it look like?”

“Are you joking now?” the sergeant asked, unamused, “It’s long and pointy, on a flatbed truck.”

The police officer turned away and used his radio to call dispatch. “Your kidding?” the police sergeant said, “And you’re sure? I don’t believe this.”

“What is it?” the army sergeant demanded.

“Three soldiers with it?” the policeman asked.

“Yes they’re missing too,” the sergeant said.

“Could have mentioned that, though I’ll grant you a missing nuclear warhead probably does take precedence,” the police officer said with no particular sense of urgency.

“Thankfully it’s not got a war head,” the sergeant said. “Now what did they just tell you?”

“Oh yes,” the policeman said, as if just remembering, “Three men in fatigues are currently arguing with a traffic warden about an illegally parked massive truck in the Meadowhall.”

“Your kidding? This is no time to be joking? Is it true?” the sergeant demanded in a torrent of questions.

“I’ve told the police officers in their way there to detain them there,” the policeman said, “If you hurry, I’m sure you can diffuse the situation.”

The sergeant rushed off to his Land Rover, leaving the police station without stopping to say thanks or even bye.

The policeman went to tell the whole station, not that anyone would believe the army had misplaced a nuclear missile in Meadowhall.

Daily Flash Fictopn Challenge 121: The Repayment

This is the 121st in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Repayment, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 31st March 2013

Word count: 1,000

The story:

“This is what a gold bar looks like,” young Joshua Heseltine said admiring the shiney yellow brick in his hands.

“Yes, it’s extremely valuable, so do not drop it, or lose it,” his father Joshua Heseltine senior said.

“I won’t father,” the young man, barely fifteen years old said placing the brick in his bag.

“Okay, take this letter, and the gold to this address. Don’t be put off by anyone in your way, tell them you’re there on my behalf. You must be very clear, and forceful on that, do you understand?” Joshua senior said.

“Yes father,” the young Joshua said accepting the letter solemnly.

“Good, go to it,” the senior said, “And son,” he said added as the boy headed for the door, “You’re a good boy. I love you dearly.”

“Love you too father,” the boy said, and then cheerily went on his way.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 120: The Sword of Destiny


This is the 120th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Sword of Destiny, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 30th March 2013

Word count: 834

The story:

“This is it,” the old man said handing over the long package wrapped in oiled cloth.

The younger man looked at it reverently. He had spent years searching, a trail of bodies laid in his wake, lives ruined. It was worth it, now he, above all others, had found it.

“Take it,” the old man urged, not understanding the man’s pause with the prize so close.

“Why?” the man suddenly asked.

“You’re on a quest. The whole world awaits the man who takes this sword,” the old man said.

“I don’t need it,” the man said suddenly making up his mind. “It’s not worth it,” he said with finality.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 119: The Racing Holiday

This is the 119th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Racing Holiday by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 29th March 2013

Word count: 521

The story:

“If we cut through this town here, and head for that bridge, we might save an hour,” Sarah said looking at the map.

“Or it could cost us the whole race,” Michelle said, “What if there’s traffic? Why do you think it’s not on any of the suggested routes?”

“The suggested routes are for information only, we can take any route we want. I think I agree with Sarah,” Carl said from behind the steering wheel.

“Yeah, we need to do something different, or we’ll never separate ourselves from the pack,” Victoria chimed in.

“Okay, okay,” Michelle said surrendering, “But just don’t telegraph it. We don’t want to end up with the whole competition following us, it’d be pointless.”

“Okay Carl, come off at the junction after next,”

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 118:

This is the 118th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

I Can Haz Burger the Story, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 28th March 2013

Word count: 464

Note: I really enjoyed writing this, and I decided not add words to get it to the 500 minimum – until I’ve caught up, I’m releasing that particular rule, and just keeping the 1,000 maximum.

The story:

There’s a time and a place for anything and everything. Peeing your pants in fear is normally preserved for childhood, so it came as quite a surprise to Jackson Miller when he found his pants warm and hot. However it was a minor injury, what brought him to the wet pants club was foremost in his mind.

He wasn’t the only one, seven overs were stood at the bus stop that fateful winters night. None could cope with what they saw, for the rest of their lives it would haunt their nightmares, and would be seen frequently out of the corner of their eyes when they least expected. Thus was the horror the entity instilled in those that saw it.

“Hello,” It said menacingly, “My name is ggsduphxsf, but you can call me Simon.”

It was too much for two of the seven they ran away screaming.

“Was it something I said?” the entity asked with pure malevolence.

Jackson found himself screaming in terror.

“Oh now that’s just mean,” the entity said his words dripping with menace.

Two more broke and run, leaning Jackson, an old woman battling a heart attack, yet held on her feet by the fear of what the entity would do to her.

“Let’s start again, my name’s Simon and I’m pleased to make your acquaintance,” the entity said, it’s words burning the soul of all who heard them. “What’s your name?” the entity gestured to Jackson with its unspeakable claw.

Jackson found that now was the time and the place to drop to the floor sobbing, overcome by terror.

“I’m not sure I can pronounce that,” the creature said blood curdlingly. “Which is strange, the Internets suggested I would be able to pronounce the names here. Do you mind if I call you Jeff? I do so like the name Jeff, it rolls off the tongue,” the creature said in a rumbling menacing growl.

The old woman gave up, the sheer terror too much to handle, she collapsed to the sweet relief of death.

The other man, who had been spared the absolute worse terror by being the furthest away, could contain himself no more, he turned and ran. He only got a few paces before he crashed to the ground, passed out.

Jackson found some little strength and got himself to a sitting position only to be met by those menacing slit like eyes of the entity.

“Well Jeff, it was lovely to meet you, I must be going now,” the ever growing menace of the words over came Jackson and he passed out sitting, involuntarily vomiting the days lunch over himself.

The giant black and white cat turned, looked upwards, and leapt into the air, and kept on going until it was our of sight, travelling straight up.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 117: The Power of Good and Evil

This is the 117th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Power of Good and Evil by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 27th March 2013

Word count: 893

The story:

I suppose I should start this off the way they do in comics. I’m not someone you’d look at and think “superhero”, I was an unfit geek from the arse end of no where. And indeed when it happened I was outside having a cigarette, (I’ve since quite – apparently there are certain expectations with being a role model).

So there I was on my break from my typical menial job when there was a crash and I was blown off my feet. Everyone at the smoking shelter outside the eighties concrete block was. Metres away there was a smoking crater, with flashes of light coming from it.

Everyone else moved away, but for stone reason I couldn’t help but get closer. For some reason, I was thinking pound notes. It might be a meteor, or maybe a fallen satellite. I never claimed to be an angel, not as such.

In the crater which was easily twenty feet deep, and twelve feet across at the bottom, there were unbelievably two figures fighting. One dressed in pristine white, the other in red, each with hair to match their garb. Let me tell you my jaw dropped. They were human in appearance, but this was something else. When I say pristine, despite the smoke, the mud, and the burst water main, no dirt seemed to touch them.

They were fighting hand to hand, and then they were throwing weird colour light at each other. They were so preoccupied with killing each other they didn’t notice me, I’m not sure they even noticed where they were.

Then at once they each fired simultaneously, and as the beams of light collided there was a sudden explosion of light and I was throw backwards onto my back again. I lost consciousness after this.

I woke up in hospital, alone but as I looked round there were plenty of cards and stuff.

I was questioned by police, the army, and a bunch of scientists. All of whom seemed to think I was crazy, that a concussion had got the better of me.

Turning on the news, I saw the official reason for crater, they claimed it was an old Russian satellite that had returned to Earth unexpectedly, and uncontrollably.

So much for riches and fame, right?

I never quite felt right after though, there was always this tingling deep inside. Here’s the weird thing though, over time I began to realise the tingling changed user certain circumstances, when I was doing good it would be a soothing sensation, and when I did something bad it was like fire.

Over time I learnt to trigger these sensations. I did a sub three hour marathon by maintaining a stream of naughty thoughts. The fire was the most intoxicating sensation, it was also the least predictable. It wouldn’t just go away at will, and sometimes I’d lose control. I got in a fight at a bar, over a woman – the sensation had crept up on me, and suddenly I was in a fight, and then his friends joined in.

I got my first true glimpse of the extent of this strange firey power. I beat two of them, and I mean beat, bones were broken, heads smashed, countless internal injuries, I left them lying in pools of their own boss and vomit. The last one pulled a knife, now I realise it wasn’t a big knife by any standards, but back then I wasn’t as familiar with these things, and that fire surged on my adrenaline. He started to approach, and I somewhat instinctively threw my left arm forward and flames flew out.

I’d not been in a fight since school, but until the fire finally abated I was itching for another one. Once it was gone, the full impact of what I’d done hit me. The guy ended up with second degree burns to his chest and face, he was lucky to survive. He would always carry those scars though, and I felt such a tremendous guilt.

That smooth, calming sensation returned, only now it was somehow intense, it seemed to be matching my guilt, it was terrible, and yet I endured it for the sake of my guilt.

My powers didn’t end there, I discovered that I could pass the sensation temporarily onto others. I could calm a situation by sharing what I called the White sensation, I could trigger guilt, and smooth over fear. If I shared the fire sensation I could inflame a situation, give someone a great deal of guts and determination, set allies against each other with paranoia.

It was amazing, and once I made that jump into the whole superhero gig, I didn’t look back. In fact I got more powerful, I could use the fire to fly at incredible speeds, the white let me hover, let me hide myself too.

Still, it was a constant battle to keep the fire under control, lest it consumed me and those around me. I couldn’t not use it though, it was fundamental, that power could save people.

Anyway, I guess the story of how I dealt with the terrible nature of the fire, and by extension by own terrible nature is a story for another time. I just wanted to explain how I began this journey. No one’s ready for the true and terrible story that happened next.