Flash Fiction Friday #10 - September 4, 2009

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oilsdragon

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Sep 4, 2009, 12:07:26 AM9/4/09
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Anchors away! Post avast ye mateys! Um... yeah, it's not really a
pirate's life for me.

Who wants the mic?

Cliff Stornel

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Sep 4, 2009, 9:45:32 AM9/4/09
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Hi all

First time posting a Flash Friday in fact first time writing any Flash Fiction. So hope you all in enjoy it

Independence declared and a new micro-nation born. No one cared or noticed except the ruler.

See you all in a week

Randilin

--------------------------------
Join the students at Carpe Arcanum for some wild adventures in University life and studies in Magic.
http://www.carpearcanum.com

Be sure to check out the Magical Earth
http://themagicalearth.blogspot.com

You can also find my blog at
http://betweentheticks.blogspot.com

“One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.”
Robert A. Heinlein

hilary slater lamont

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Sep 4, 2009, 1:27:14 PM9/4/09
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"It's really dark down here! Who the hell would dig a tunnel this deep anyway? And why?"
He crawled down into the dark chasm, wondering where it would lead, feeling increasingly uncomfortable. The "fight or flight" response was triggering a mild but growing panic reaction. What the hell were they doing this for anyway?
"I'm sure it'll level out soon. That's what my grandfather said. He said there was a place where it got lower, and then it opened up again. It shouldn't take long!"
"Well my time is almost up here. When I have no air left I'm turning around!"
He was almost shimmying on his stomach now, knees barely able to push him forward. In fact, his legs were twisted into a sideways warp, and he was using the ever-closing in walls to lever his body against. The hole dipped down suddenly, and he felt his hands drop into the pit. The bottom was almost out of reach. He bent downwards, holding his weight with his feet pressed against the sides. 
"I can feel the bottom of this pit now! I'm searching for the other side. The air is really thick. Ugh I'm not enjoying this adventure one bit!"
"OK, ok, I could have gone first you know! I wanted to but, no, you had to be the leader as always."
"Yes, I can feel the other side now, I'm sliding down into the pit thing, so hold my feet for me until I figure out if there's a way up on the other side!"
"OK. Are you sure you're safe? I mean, if it's a dead end, how are you going to be able to turn around and back out?"
"Shut up! I don't want to think about that right now! DO you want to make me panic? My asthma isn't completely cured, you know!"
"Ok, I've got your feet. Go forward!"
He slithered down into the deep dip in the cave hollow and wallowed a few seconds in the dank hole. Groping around, he felt up the other side, as it was climbing again. Ah, yes, the grandfather had been right! He wriggled his flashlight into position and flashed it forward. Yes, a hole, projecting upwards! 
"I"ve found it! The cave does go upward again! We're there!"
"Oh, man! Hurry up and crawl up, so I can get up there too! Woah! It really does exist, just like he said. I can't believe it!"
They wriggled forward together, like a pair of worms in their underground holes. 
First the one then the other, they crawled upward through the tunnel, and then out into the opening of the cave above them.
"Shine your flashlight out there! Let's see!"
They both shone their lights around, amazed by the size of this inner cave. It was impossible to see the far sides of it with just the light of their torches.
"Look! Here they are!"
And there, on the walls,  were the thing they had searched for. This adventure of 3 years of planning, research, and map finding was finally over. They had succeeded.
They both studied the intricate ancient hand prints and drawings, flickering their flashlights over the surfaces of the rock.
"Well, I"d say we're both going to be 2 famous teens, at the very least!"
And they grinned and gave each other a high 5 in the dark.

-- 
H i l a r y   S l a t e r
Sustainable Landscapes


oilsdragon

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Sep 4, 2009, 6:15:15 PM9/4/09
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The sound of the wind chimes in the eaves makes her think about him,
and she'd rather not, so she took 'em down. I still see her sitting
out on that porch, though, of an evenin', like the two of them used
to, drinking her rum 'n coke and staring off into the sunset. All
alone. And such a pretty lady, too. She's much too young and beautiful
to be alone. It's so sad.

I was downtown last week, picking up my son's dry cleanin', and this
crazy siren went off less than a block away. I must have jumped two
feet! Then the ambulance comes sweepin' by and I couldn't help but
think of that poor young man. Don't you wonder if it hurt? I wonder if
that sound I heard, the sound of that poor boy's face hitting concrete
an' splitting open like ripe melons under the knife, was really there
or if my memory's a-playin' tricks on me. I wish I could forget that
sound. I think of it every time I see his poor widow's face.

Maybe I should move. If she can take down those pretty wind chimes to
help her forget him, maybe I should move away from this street so I
can forget her, and their house, and the awful, awful accident.

The doctors told her it didn't hurt, that he was dead before he felt a
thing. I don’t rightly know whether or not to believe them. I saw it,
and that makes it all different for me. I saw his face as he –

I know. There's no sense in revisiting it. But I just can't get that
sound out of my darn head.

Christine Love

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Sep 4, 2009, 10:56:22 PM9/4/09
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I don't really like this idea, but I wanted to write SOMETHING this
week.

----
A Passionate Robot Murder

I don't buy it, no.

Well, what do you mean? No, I'm not just saying it, it's the truth; a
lot of those robots are intensely human. You see how they take off
after their parents as much as any human does, it's damn eerie.

Excuse me, bartender! Yes, another pint, please.

No, no, it's definitely not just a matter of imitation. We're talking
about emotional development, proper. Did you ever hear about Stacy
R12? She was-- yes, the one who killed that woman. She was definitely
human, in a profoundly, scarily broken way.

What? Rumours? I think you misunderstand. I worked her case back when
I was a defense attorney. I met the robot herself, and I assure you...
well, do you want to hear about? Sure. Sure, no worries. No, you
didn't know, that's okay. Nice to meet you, I'm John.

Anyway, Crown v. Rohrer. Paul-- sorry, that's Rohrer, the defendant--
had been under investigation for killing his wife for like three
months. He didn't do it. Prosecution eventually came across Stacy, and
there was a mountain of evidence to show that she killed him. She
denied doing it, and of course, since this was before the robot
criminal code amendment, they couldn't actually prosecute her anyway.
Anyway, it turned out that Stacy and Paul had worked at the same
office, so they came up with the theory that the two were having an
affair, and Stacy had killed the wife in order for them to be
together. Dramatic, but I'd seen weirder stories.

So the theory was, that Paul had given Stacy the idea that they could
never be together unless his wife was killed, and that even though he
wasn't the one to strangle her, he was still recklessly responsible
for putting the whole sequence of events that resulted in the killing.
That's manslaughter, or at least, it would've be.

Our argument was that the affair never took place-- and it didn't--
and that the prosecution hadn't shown beyond reasonable doubt that
he'd even put those events into motion. And let me tell you, no judge
in the world would have-- oh, yes, we did go for a bench trial, a jury
would have nailed him for sure. Juries are scared shitless by robots.
No, we didn't take our chances with one, we went with a bench trial,
but I think even the judge was swayed by the gut reaction to a killer
robot. But no judge in the world would have let that argument fly if
the killer was a human. But since the killer was a robot, she has no
responsibility for her actions at all. It all fell on Paul.

So anyway, we argue that they haven't met the burden of proof, and
that's about ready to win us an acquital, when suddenly the
prosecution comes up with a letter in Paul's handwriting corroborating
the affair. A letter! No, like, an actual, written letter. Of course
he hadn't ever written a letter in his life, who the hell has? It was
ridiculous. But... it was in his handwriting! That's irrefutable! When
I suggested that Stacy had forged it, the judge looked at me like I
was crazy, asking me just how far the conspiracy went.

Long story short, Paul got convicted of killing his wife. He would've
gotten off on appeal, I kept telling him, but he killed himself in
prison when he got the chance. He left a note saying he couldn't live
without his wife, it was tragic. So the whole thing haunted me. The
facts just didn't add up: Stacy couldn't be prosecuted, so why would
she forge a letter strenghtening the prosecution's case? Why had she
even killed Paul's wife to begin with, if what Paul said about the
affair's non-existence was true.

So I tracked her down. She was avoiding the press, but she agreed to
talk to me so long as it was off the record. So I stood there, outside
her apartment, and suddenly I froze up at the whole situation. I just
stood there in silence for a moment, then finally, I asked her the
only question I could think of: why did she do it?

Well, she told me, she was madly in love with Paul. They hadn't had an
affair, she'd been turned away at her first advance. Ten words, that's
all they'd ever spoken, and he'd turned her down right away. And for
that, she plotted her revenge. She'd left the police hints whenever
the investigation strayed away from investigating Paul, eventually
leaving just enough of a hint to make it look like she'd done it, then
she planted the evidence that made it look like there was an affair.

I'm completely blown away. I ask her, why would she do that? How could
that possibly be enough to warrant killing a man? Ten words! How big a
slight could it have possibly been? I'll never forget her response,
and understand that it seemed entirely heartfelt: "I wanted to show
him how passionately I felt about him."

So I ask the obvious question. How could she think that was the best
way? And she responds, in the most perfectly human way possible;
blaming her parents. I remember her response, word for word:

"I guess it's just the way I'm wired. I'm sorry, sir, you just have to
understand, my creator was awfully bad with people, that's just how I
was raised. But the way I was programmed, I was never very good at
showing displays of emotion. But I'm remarkably good at displays of
spite. How better could I show him just how passionate my love was?"

tama...@gmail.com

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Sep 4, 2009, 11:27:44 PM9/4/09
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In the face of danger, Cameron caved faster than a tissue paper
umbrella. He’d just come back to base from his dozenth mission - the
dozenth mission he’d tackled on pure luck.

Cameron hadn’t always wanted to be a secret agent. He’d wanted to be
- <b>a lumberjack!</b> But that career failed too. Deep down,
Cameron was a storyteller and he knew it. He may have very little to
his credit in terms of action, but damned if he was going to
disappoint his Spaceleague comrades.

Once he was safely in the informal setting of the off-boundaries bar,
he could let his true talents shine. His buddies, most of whom had
been saddled with less illustrious patrol boats, looked at him over
their beers and waited expectantly. Roland, a warrior wielding office
supplies, had been hastily quieted by a firm nudge to the arm. Too
bad. Cameron was silently hoping the rambling tale of bureaucratic
policy would have continued on a bit longer, as he was still
tightening up a few details of his own adventure.

Oh, well. No time like the present.

“Roland, shut it,” said Bill.

“Yeah,” said Sammy. “How ‘bout a <i>real</i> story?”

Cameron took his cue and grinned at his friends.

“So there I was,” he began. “Back to the wall with the Chiromantians
closing in. Wasn’t worried, of course, ‘cuz I had my bluelight
blaster with me.”

“Damn,” said Roland. “I’d be freaking out.” Cameron waved
dismissively.

“Nah,” he said. “You get used to it.” He took a swig of beer. “Now,
where was I? Right, the bluelight blaster. So I fired a warning
shot, which those warty buggers took as a challenge. One of ‘em
charged at me. Then the rest of ‘em followed.”

“Oh, Jeez.”

“So what did I do? I charged right back at ‘em, firing all the way.
Exploded a few skulls there, I’ll tell you that much.”

“All headshots?”

“Of course.”

“Nice.”

“Yeah. The problem with that, though, is those jibs really fly. The
handle got all slippery. Made it tougher to aim.”

Sammy shuddered visibly.

“But I didn’t have time to think about that, because one of them
jumped me from behind. Yeah. I smashed his slimy green face.
Knocked him out, but I lost Baby Blue in the process.”

“Wait a sec,” said Bill. “Wouldn’t it have just fallen on the floor.
Like, you could pick it up right?”

Cameron thought quickly. “No,” he replied. “Because it was dark.
And there were a lot of open pits around, so it probably fell right
into one of those.”

“Wouldn’t you be able to tell.”

“Well, you know. If it hit the ground, which I know it did, it must
have got kicked in there in the skirmish.”

“Uh...okay.”

“Yeah. So I was left with no choice but to fight with my fists.
There must have been another 50 fighters down there with me. Hard to
tell, it was so dark.”

“I thought your mission was during the day.”

“It is. It’s just...it’s dark there during the day. It’s like the
moon, you know, one side is always dark. It’s like that.”

“Ah, I see.”

“So I’m fighting them. Left hook, right hook, uppercut, on and on.
And then, you’ll never believe what happened.”

Cameron had another long drink of beer, biding his time. He snuck a
look out of the corner of his eye to see his friends’ rapt
expressions.

“What happened?” Roland demanded.

“My watch beeped.”

“Your watch?”

“Yeah. I’d set it to know how long I had until the bomb went off. I
knew there wasn’t time to fight them all, so I picked one of them up
and I threw him at a pile of nearby rocks.”

“What?”

“Just listen. The impact was at the perfect spot, triggering the
avalanche. The rocks crashed down, killing the lot of them! Me, of
course, I jumped out of the way at the last second. I went into a
roll and jumped up next to the bomb, which I cracked right open.

There were a million little wires in there, and I didn’t know which
one to cut. So you know what I did? I guessed.”

Cameron swung his arms around in a wild gesture. “And you’ll never
believe - ow!”

“What happened?” Sammy asked.

Cameron didn’t want to admit it. His shoulder was sore as he’d pulled
a muscle getting out of his ship. Bounding out from the driver’s
side, excited to finally be back at base, he slammed the door so fast
it caught the back of his jacket. He continued forward. His jacked
didn’t. He wrenched a muscle in his arm and was starting to feel the
pain again.

“What happened?” Cameron repeated. “I was judo flipped by a
platypus.”

hilary slater lamont

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Sep 6, 2009, 12:17:59 PM9/6/09
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oohhh ugh :D.. but great description! :D

hilary slater lamont

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Sep 6, 2009, 12:29:49 PM9/6/09
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interesting robot/murder/mystery! :D... good development!
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