by Will Wright
Myrtle burst into the air, her flame streaking past the sputtering remains of an oldster. She surged with potential, her energy building within her. She let loose a blast of color, red, then purple, then green, syncopated by three concussive claps. Beneath her, the humans marveled. She was the star of the sky as she was always meant to be.
Suddenly tired, burned out, she descended looking for rest. As she fell, she saw Barry rushing through her embers, ready to explode into a circular blossom of light.
“Ah youth,” she sighed as she fizzled and died.
by Will Wright
In the rapid blinking of an eye, Sandman took young Justin across the seas. In Sandman’s world, ships could fly and even reach the stars. Villains were conquered, bravery rewarded, and there was always room for Frisbee the Labrador. But there was no room for homework, braces, or school bus rides next to smelly Cecil Sminglethorpe. Sandman’s world canvassed forever and beyond. Justin was the perfect age to explore it.
A different scent than Cecil’s took Justin away – a scent both acrid and demanding. Justin twitched his nose and fell back into the mundane.
Coffee: Sandman’s eternal nemesis.
by Stanley McFarland
Stacy’s little brother, now a man in his fifties nodded. “I said no, but you took it, and you lost it.”
“Someone stole it.”
“Because you were careless!”
“I was a child.”
“You never should have taken it.”
Stacy put her hand on her brother’s arm. “But we’re family.”
“No, we’re not - not anymore.”
Her brother awkwardly placed flowers on the fresh grave. They were orphans now as
was almost everyone their age. But that didn’t soften the grief.
Stacy watched her brother’s back as he left the graveyard.
Now she had no family at all.
by Stanley McFarland
It wasn’t de-ja-vous. Allen didn’t think he’d been in the same place or done the same thing. There was the same mysterious haunted feeling, but if anything, it was anti-de-ja-vous. Allen was sure that something was different – something had changed – maybe even he had changed.
Worse, it felt as if the change had been against his will. Some force, personal or impersonal, had ripped into his life, his being and mangled it – or at least reshaped it significantly.
It left him feeling helpless, impotent and frightened. It also left him questioning the point of any action, plan or ambition he might have.
“What’s the point?” he spoke into the air, as if the monster of change was in the same room with him.
“It makes for a better story,” a voice replied, calmly, matter-of-factly, as if it – perhaps she, spoke out of the air to people like Allen all the time.
“A better story?” asked Allen, both hoping and fearing that the voice would elaborate.
“It made no sense for you to be a sea captain,” said the voice. “The story makes far better sense in a modern setting, and modern sea captains just aren’t as dashing as their 18th and 19th century counterparts. We also negate all that nautical argot that only a small segment of the reading public understands or enjoys.”
“So what am I?”
The bodiless voice laughed – light-hearted, unconcerned, as if Allen’s crisis was a trivial matter. “You’re an international spy,” said the voice. “You were once an assassin for hire, but now you work freelance for the NSA.”
“But my ship.”
“There is no ship,” said the voice. “There never was. Look in your pocket. There are two tickets to Rio there. What you should be most concerned about at the moment is for whom the second ticket was obtained.”
“I don’t care. I want my ship.”
“We’ll change that.”
“So all I am is just bit of fictional fluff to you?”
“And you don’t care if I wish to participate in this… story?
“Not a consideration.”
“I can’t believe that even a writer would show so little feeling for his characters.”
“I’m no writer,” said the voice laughing. “I’m an editor.”
“Very well,” said Allen as he sat firmly on a chair that he felt certain had been his sea trunk not long ago, “I refuse to cooperate.”
“Oh well,” said the voice laconically. “I guess you’re just flash fiction.”