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.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 116: Tryrant’s Cause

This is the 116th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Tyrant’s Cause, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 26th March 2013

Word count: 664

The story:

The third age of mankind wasn’t born in space, like the old Sci Fi shows tell it, no, the third age of mankind was born on Earth.

It was born out of world war three. It wasn’t as bad as was feared, only twenty seven nukes got to their targets. The great and bountiful array of missile defence systems, some of which the public knew others top secret, prevented most of them going beyond the upper atmosphere.

What caused the war, who were the major players didn’t really matter. All those nukes going off high in orbit, they altered the world as we knew it. See, in the end the radiation shortened our lives, the electromagnetic pulses wiped out much of our tools and knowledge.

The third age of mankind existed in a kind of perpetual countdown. The remaining population was reducing by five percent in average every three years. That number could only go up as cancer rates soared.

Even as the countdown bit, life wasn’t pretty. Only the hardiest of crops and animals survived, plants and animals that hadn’t previously been a regular feature of the human food chain were now prominent. Money meant nothing, and all those cushty jobs in the cities less still.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 115: Acceptable Loss

This is the 115th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Acceptable Loss, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 25th March 2013

Word count: 882

The story:

“What’s the plan?” the soldier asked.

“Kill the enemy, rescue the other hostages, and find a way out of this dump to safety,” Rubi said.

“And how are we going to do that?” the soldier asked.

“Well I’ve got two guns, but I suppose you can have one,” Rubi handed over a pistol shaped ray gun.

“Thanks, and it’s in my colour too,” the soldier said looking over the pink gun.

“Its what they had on them. Not sure they care much for coordination,” Rubi said dismissively.

“The names Goldberg, Left Tennant his majesty’s Royal Marines,” the soldier said holding out his hand.

“Rubi, of no where,” the mercenary said.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 114: The Red Button

This is the 114th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Red Button, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 24th March 2013

Word count: 791

The story:

“Under no circumstances do you push this button,” George Fabia said sternly, “Never.” This was the most serious Christian had seen George all day. It was Christian’s first day in a new job, he’d previously worked carrying the boxes with all manner of things to feed the great machine that produced a series of toys for sale to shops the world over. It was a minor role in the great machine, but he’d been doing it dilligently for two years, and as a reward they moved him into an apprenticeship with George, as understudy to the machine’s engineer. George didn’t appear to be very happy about it, and he’d been doing his best to fob off his curious audience all day.

“What does it do?” Christian asked.

“Nothing, it does nothing,” George said flustered, “Here if you want to make yourself useful, go get yourself a drink. Come back in a couple of hours.”

“Oh, okay,” Christian said, nonplussed. He headed off to the staff canteen quite happily.

When George was satisfied his new annoyance was gone, he smiled and looked at the button.

An hour later Christian returned again, “Sorry George, Margaret sent me back,” he said as he climbed into the control room. As he entered he noticed George wasn’t around. He looked through the grimy windows down to the factory floor, but he couldn’t see his unwilling mentor.

Christian took the only seat in the room, and sat fidgeting for ten minutes before combing over the boards filled with lights and gauges. Then he found himself in front of the big red button, and he studied it. It was set in a board surrounded by gauges that showed pressure levels, and oil temperatures, and the like.

“George,” Christian called out experimentally, but there was no sign of the man. With childlike eagerness and curiosity, Christian pressed the button.

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