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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

“Why?”

“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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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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