Flash Fiction February 10: Creature

This thing will change everything you thought you knew about life.

We found it on X/2152 H3. Yes, that comet. You probably thought that it was all just dead matter, just some rock and ice and nothing spectacular. But apparently, just because we didn’t see the regular traces of biological functions doesn’t mean there isn’t anything alive.

Yes, I know it looks like a nanoscopic block of nothing but that’s why we’re using a quantum-tunneling nanoscope. Look closer. Do you see it now? The Planck perturbations? Yes? Isn’t it awesome?!

Don’t tell me it can’t be! It’s right there in front of your face! You can see the reactions. That thing interacts with the quantum foam. It eats virtual particles!

What is it doing to the fabric of our reality? Well, that’s what we’re going to look into next. No, it’s not making nanoscopic black holes. Don’t be ridiculous. It wouldn’t have survived this long if it would. How long? I don’t know. That comet has an X designation. We’ve only been following it for just over a year now. We haven’t figured out its trajectory yet. Of course, that’s why I was so interested in it.

Could these things be affecting the comet’s orbit? Possibly. The Quantum Foam is the basis of our reality. It bubbles and sinks like a lake surface under heavy rain. Virtual particles pop in and out of existence all the time. It’s an even push and pull on the fabric of the universe. If you remove one virtual particle, you are creating a sort of divot in space-time.

No, please don’t write about a new life form pooping divots in space-time…

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Flash Fiction February 09: Food

Have you ever heard of food blindness?

You probably heard of face blindness, right? Prosopagnosia is a neurological condition meaning a person can’t make out details in faces, can’t distinguish between different face, and/or can’t recognise a face is even a face and not a bacon-cheese omelet.

You might be salivating at the that last concept there but I wouldn’t know. I know of the concept. I’ve read stories and seen movies where a character craves a food item so much their mouth starts producing excess drool with no conscious control. But it never happened to me. I have food blindness.

What does that mean? Exactly what you think it means. I can’t distinguish between different tastes. Sour, sweet, salty, bitter, umami, nothing. No, it doesn’t mean everything tastes like chicken or ash. I don’t even know how those taste. Have you tried licking not dirty, not freshly cleaned glass? Can you tell me what water tastes like? Exactly. that’s what I mean. It’s nothing.

My friends sometimes gush over how this hamburger is so good, how this is the best fruit salad they ever ate, or how I should try real Champagne or real gelato, but it doesn’t make a difference. I wish it would. It seems like I’m missing a big part of life and it always makes me a bit sad when we go out to dinner, to celebrate, just to have fun, to enjoy life… and food.

But, you know what?

I dominate spicy-eating competitions.

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Flash Fiction February 08: Weapon

If you collect a large enough group of bored soldiers, PMCs, or operators you’ll eventually get a discussion about gear. They will tell you what each prefer to use out in the field, who makes the best scopes, what gloves are the most breathable yet most grippy, and which sidearm, longarm or assault piece is the best.

I don’t like guns. I find them distasteful and uncivilised. Besides, I find that if you reach the need to use guns, you’ve already failed and the only solutions you can reach cost too much and are not worth it.

I prefer to use the weapon inside my skull, the one composed of neurons and axions, the most powerful and most complicated, yet most nuanced and subtle weapon we know of in the whole universe, your brain. In every encounter I’ve ever faced, speed beats strength, stealth beats speed, resilience beats stealth, and thought beats everything.

Be prepared, be knowledgeable, be experienced, and you have the best weapon of them all.

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Flash Fiction February 07: Inspiration

Inspiration doesn’t come and go. Inspiration doesn’t wait for you. You have to go out there and grab it. Look in every nook and cranny. It’s hiding in crevices and folds. It won’t come to you willingly. You need to take it by the throat and pull it out kicking and screaming.

That’s what any creative endeavor is like: you set a goal, and you rely on your education and experience to lead you there… and that tiny bit of inspiration. But even that one percent usually won’t come unbidden. Because you’re on a schedule, you need to get this done. So it’s into the reeds again, prowling and searching.

When you finally get it, it’s like a lightning strike. Everything flows. Most end up thanking their inspiration, forgetting the thankless job of coaxing it out of the ether. Especially in the beginning, that is the hardest part, not the general conjuring of ideas but the complicated search for something specific that fits the mold. It’s only when you sorted through all the gunk to find that one specific thing, that it is called Inspiration.

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Flash Fiction February 06: Oath

What is more correct?

You swear an oath to something you believe in. You check, you try, you make sure it’s for you. You test your conviction against the world. You find that it works, it rings true. You get results, good results. You carry on with your journey, expanding, improving.

Then you find something that contradicts your oath. Maybe it’s bigger, maybe it’s more refined. But you find it’s more true. It works better. It encompasses more or it walked where you previously feared to tread. Do you abandon your current oath? Do you forgo everything you have done? In one case, you must. In another, you’re not lesser because of it. And when you walk forward with a new conviction, you’re stronger because of it.

That, my friends, is Science.

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Flash Fiction February 05: Challenge

This. A Writer’s Block.

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Flash Fiction February 04: Sky

There is no greater freedom than the sky. If you haven’t sailed there yet, you’re in for a surprise. Yes, I’m sure you know what a ship is but this is no ordinary one. We might be docked in this here sea port but it can go further than that, especially if you want her to reach your destination. Just hop on board and take your seat when you can. Don’t mind the deckhands. They are experienced sea-folk. When they tell you to buckle up, listen to what they say. You don’t want to fall off the side, do you? This won’t be a cheery few meters drop to a welcoming ocean. Have you ever seen something falling on to water from up on high? The waves aren’t so welcoming then as you might think. But, enough of that. We’re setting out! Let out the mains, stants and royals! Careful of that side-wind! Full speed ahead! Spool up the galavano-gravitic core! Gently coax her up! Steady as she goes! We’ve got full hydro-separation!

Breathe normally, we’re on our way there.

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Flash Fiction February 03: Heart

We all know the story of the Grinch, right? An evil little bastard who hated Christmas in Whoville? Do you remember how the Whos’ cheer and joy upset his shriveled heart and made him want to still their presents and ruin their holiday?

Well, that’s the story they like to tell. They wouldn’t tell you about the poor creature who was just so different that people couldn’t stand the look of him, bullied him, and pushed him away. Add to that a hearing disorder called Misphonia.

Oh, you haven’t heard of that one? Think about how you felt when you first heard nails scratching a blackboard or a car with worn out breaks. Imagine having that feeling almost all the time. That would make someone uncomfortable, don’t you think? A tad annoyed? Maybe even drive an anger-fueled revenge plot, just to make the noise stop?

But the Whos don’t care. They just wanted their toys back. They didn’t just sing in the end. Well, maybe a few of them did, as a call for help. But not all Whos were juvenile accepters of reality. Some of them were devious. Some of them were chemists.

And that end of the story? The Grinch didn’t return the presents of his own accord. One Who snuck up to his lair and poisoned his coffee. His heart grew three sizes, burst from the pressure, and the Grinch lay there, no outside markings. And do you think the other Whos cared? No. That one chemist told them he got the Grinch to give the presents back. No need to go up that mountain and check. You’ve got what your hearts desire.

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Flash Fiction February 02: Time

The things we regret the most usually aren’t the things we did but the things we didn’t. No one regrets not working long enough but many do regret not just, once in a while, taking the time to stop, to think, to sit down and be. We’re always in pursuit of the next something, the next goal, the next achievement.

But you can’t fault yourself for what you feel you want or need, and you definitely can’t fault your friends. You don’t want to hold them back, silence their desires, stifle their dreams. Because it’s ok, you tell each other, we’re young, there’s plenty of time.

Then you separate. One friend goes this way while another goes that way. You fall into your own obsessions, and sometimes you fall too hard, not realising the months and years that have passed. And it’s hard to reconnect, even when you want to, even when you need to.

Sometimes, one friend is just gone. That’s it. No longer there. No place to return to. And you can’t go back. You’re not the same person, and the river has passed you by. You’re left just standing there, staring at the wake of what was and what could have been, but this ship only goes forward.

You think about what you planned, what you hoped, what you dreamed could be, and you remember those last conversation, and you tell yourself, “We always thought there would plenty of time.”

(Based on true stories)

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Flash Fiction February 01: Space

Ever since childhood, we seek more space. We want to grow bigger. We want a bigger room, our own apartment, have a car so we can drive to the next town over. We want to fly, we want to travel, expand our horizons, discover new possibilities. Some people even leave this entire planet behind, if only for a little while.
But, in the end, even as we age, all we want is a tight, confining, loving hug from someone we care about.

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