Flash Fiction Challenge: Harden your heart…

Upon waking in the back of a police car, with your hands covered in blood and no memory of the past day, you begin to ask questions. 1000 words.

The wail of sirens, muffled as if buried in a bag filled with cotton, filled my ears as I slowly came back to consciousness. The sirens drowned out muffled sounds of voices swirling around my foggy head. As light returned to my eyes it was blinding, flashes of shadows and light with blurred outlines and soft hues. As I started to focus more and gain a better understanding of my surroundings fear gripped my mind. Looking down I noticed my hands locked together by metal cuffs, the usually cinnamon tan skin covered in dark red stains that lead up the sleeves of my shirt. That’s when I realized I was in a police car….What in gods name happened I asked myself as I started to become more and more aware of the situation. The jumbled flashes of images in my do little to answer any questions about what happened. The last salient image that sticks out in my mind is that face, that sweet angelic face. Her soft angular latin features with her emerald green eyes and raven black hair. I could see her face in such detail as if it was right in front of me. I’d spent all weekend staring into that beautiful face. My friends had warned me getting involved with her was trouble, but there was something I couldn’t walk away from. Did she have something to do with what happened? Why couldn’t I remember anything but flashes?

“Dispatch this is Bravo Eight Two. We have suspect in custody. We are in bound to the precinct. Victims were DOA, medics are inbound medical examiner.

            “Roger Bravo Eight Two.”

 

            Victims??? The word rang in my ears for a moment as I looked down at the blood soaked hands and shirt. What could I have done? The flashes came again, fast and incoherent. There was a third face now, a male. The images rushed by like pedestrians on a busy New York street. Just barely getting a glance before it’s gone. It was hard to put the pieces together, but somehow there had been a roof of a building, the city skyline in the background. I can hear screams and yelling in my mind but can’t draw the parts together. The flashes swirl around and around in my head repeatedly until suddenly a shot rings out in my mind, followed closely by a second shot. The shots brought all of the flashes together. Slowly they weaved themselves together. She had been the forbidden fruit, the unattainable and yet the worst thing that could have happened did; love at first sight. Word had gone out that she was messing around with some other guy….me. We had spent the weekend together before word had found it’s way back to her. She tried to warn me off, tried to tell me to run and never look back but nothing seemed as bad as leaving her side. Her guy, some big shot of the latin quarter, didn’t take kindly to other guys flirting with his woman. His woman, she laughed at the label. She was no one’s but her own she would say. Then began the chase. A couple of his guys had spotted us as she tried to warn me off. Somehow we ended up on the roof of her apartment. That was when he found us. He was every bit the epitome of the part he played…tall, dark, angry. The pistol sticking out of the waist of his pants was a clear reminder of how far he was willing to go.

That’s when the argument ensued. Screaming and pushing, unfriendly recriminations regarding my character and my status. When I attempted to step in to explain myself to him was when the gun came out. Waving it around like a toy, he continued screaming at her and her at him. Now I may be crazy, but I have one rule, never handle guns while having an argument. I realized now that was when things went bad. Pushing her out of the way with a rather violent shove, he pointed the gun at me. More recriminations about my character and a number of poorly translated curse words flew from his arrogant mouth as he moved closer to me, the gun still pointed at me. I backed as far as I could until I was up against the edge of the building. I tried to reason with him, tell he got it all wrong. I knew it was a lie, but I was desperate for my life. RICO NO!!! She screamed. That was when the first shot rang out. I expected to feel the fire spread inside my body as the bullet tore into flesh. I looked down to look for the blood, or the wound. In the same split second, another shot rang out. I looked up to see Rico leaning over, his hand clutching his neck. That was when she hit me like a sack of potatoes. She crashed into me as she fell to the ground. I grabbed her with all my strength, but the weight and lack of balance broke my footing, causing me to slip and fall to the fire escape under the ledge. I must have hit my head in the fall. Sorrow fell over me as I realized that she was gone. My heart ached as I thought of her smile and her warmth. Now I had to make sure her death didn’t ruin my life anymore.

Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Contain This Sentence…

From Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/05/12/flash-fiction-challenge-must-contain-this-sentence/

“The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.”

“A poetic pattern retains inertia.”

 

Jarl concentrated the best he could trying to focus on his destination.  He knew the power to bend space and alter the reality around him lay simply in understanding how the patterns of the universe flowed around every person.  He’d always felt the energy, known he was different.  But knowing you’re different and knowing how to manipulate the patterns were two separate things all together.

“A poetic pattern retains inertia….a chaotic pattern is unpredictable.”  His friend and Mentor Spiros Altarus walked around the small pod of a cockpit speaking in his usual riddles.  Much of what Spiros told Jarl seemed to be riddles, at least to Jarl.  Somewhere in that twisted mind of his Mentor all of this made sense.  “You’re thinking too hard about everything else.  Clear your mind, focus on the pattern.”  Spiros said in his heavy accented voice.

Jarl shook his head in aggravation, batting the ships control interface away from his face.  He turned to look at Spiros. “Have you ever noticed that your riddles make no sense Spiros!”  Jarl said with a pained look on his face.  “I can’t focus the way you want me to.  I can’t see the patterns the way you do.”  Spiros simply sighed, a smile on his face as he looked Jarl in the eyes.

“You have the gift my friend.  I would not have brought you as far as I have if I didn’t think you could do what so few can.”  He drifted to the command console.  He always seemed to drift to Jarl, not walk, drift.  With a groan of resignation Jarl slipped back into the command chair, resetting the control interface in front of his face.

“Clear your mind!”  He said, stepping over to a console to the side of the command chair.  His fingers like spiders weaving a web, Spiros’ hands moved with elegance along the smooth console.  Buttons and displays lit up in unison as the sound of melodic music filled the small space.  All manner of instruments formed a soft poetic song that surrounded Jarl like a blanket.  His mind lost in the rhythms drifted with the flow of the music like riding a river.  He let the music carry him, fill him with its spirit.  He had never heard music like this before but it caused his heart to swell.

An energy surrounded Jarl, like nothing he’d ever felt before.  His skin tingled, hairs on his arms stood on edge as the power washed over him like water.  A familiar tickle ran up his spine.  That was when he realized it, that was when he felt it.  His mind began to visualize space and time.  The minds eye walked among the stars, in places few had ever seen.  Planets and stars unlike any he’d ever seen before passed through his thoughts.  The simple beauty and intensity with which these new sights filled Jarl’s mind caught his breath and held it.

That was when it happened.  Had his eyes been open, had they not been focused on this place in his mind he would have seen it.  The space around the ship changed.  Lights melded together to form colors and then colors formed a canvas of light and color focused on the nose of the small craft.  A moment later the colors grew more intense, they encircled the craft, bending space.  Had his eyes been opened he would have also seen the aura of blue energy surrounding his body.

With a flash blue energy filled the cockpit, washing out the world around it.  As the blue subsided, the tingle on his skin also slipped away.  Jarl opened his eyes, awestruck with what lay outside the glass.  The image in his mind, the planets and nebulas and stars, foreign in every way from what he knew, hung outside the window as if copied from a dream.  Looking back as Spiros stepped up to the window, his expression betrayed his awe.  “By the gods….The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.  This should not be.  No jumper has ever jumped outside of our galaxy.”  Jarl couldn’t understand what Spiros meant until he brought up the ships navigational systems.  They agreed, the ship was no longer inside the borders of their galaxy.

Had the music enhanced his powers or had his powers always existed and the music simply pulled it out of him?  Jarl contemplated the consequences of this discovery.  Uncertain he could duplicate the power, he feared they might never return home.

Flash Fiction: Item Prompts

“A Parachute, A sliver of Moon, a Magnifying Glass, A Cane, an Arrow, a Tee Pee, a Rainbow, Sheep, and a Flashlight!

The moonlight gave the satin black sky a hazy feel to it as the stars twinkled randomly around us.  Falling silently through the night sky towards our objective seemed almost peaceful as the ground slowly grew larger and larger.  You could almost hear the sheep in a nearby village talking as they wandered through the fields looking for grass.

The quiet woosh of the wind passing across our chutes began to quiet as we grew closer to the ground.  A quick flash of a hooded flashlight told us where the landing zone was and the four other men behind me turned their chutes towards the light.  We had to be fast, I thought to myself as the ground grew closer.  We needed to find the artifact before the patrol arrived.  The air grew silent, my training told me the ground was coming up fast.  I let my training take control as I adjusted the rate of decent and braced my legs and body for the ground.  As I hit, my legs rolled and my body dropped absorbing the abrupt stop.

The other four landed quickly behind me as we all quickly scooped up our black silk chutes and hid them in the nearby brush.  Our contact, a local man approached in the darkness.  Our red hooded flashlights revealed an old man supporting his weight on a cane.  “The artifact should be in that cave to the east.  Hurry, there is a patrol that should be here in less than thirty minutes.”  I patted the old man on the shoulder as we hurried off into the night towards the east.  J

Just as he suggested, a rather unremarkable cave mouth stood at the base of a small stone outcropping.  Three men squeezed carefully through the small opening while two stood guard at the mouth.  The three of us climbed and crawled our way through the maze of tunnels until we came upon a large cavern.  In the middle of the cavern stood a stone teepee with a large red jewel at the top.  Having already studied the stories and legends, I pulled the specially crafted magnifying glass out of my pack along with a multispectral laser designed for this mission.  Pointing the laser at the red jewel, I moved the magnifying glass into place in front causing a rainbow of light to hit the jewel.  After a moment the teepee split in two as it slid to either side, revealing a large glowing arrow whose glow could only come from alien technology.

Grabbing the arrow from the pedestal, we turned only to be faced with the heavily armed presence of our alien enemy

 

Flashback Repost! Finish this sentence, “The best thing in life is…”

The best thing in life is true freedom Cassandra Velarou thought to herself as she crouched on the ledge of a roof top looking down at the city below.  Steam plumes rose into the sky in the background of the slumbering city from the engine factories that never seemed to sleep.  Cassandra, or Cassie to her friends, looked at the bundle in her hand which she deftly acquired from the residence of the Kingdoms Solicitor General.   She felt the weight of the bundle in her hand, pulling away the smooth velvet scarf which it was wrapped in.  Two square gold plated cards with imprints of the Queen and the Prime Minister etched into them shimmered in the dim light from the clear night sky.  “These are going to guarantee my freedom, nothing will stand in my way now.” she whispered aloud as she rewrapped the bundle and stuffed it in her belt pouch.  The sound of a steam engine carriage driving up the street brought her back to the moment.  She hunkered down on the ledge watching the carriage come to a stop a the front of the building.  Three men jumped from the carriage and entered the building as a fourth stood guard.  Cassie quickly scrambled further down the rooftop to a point where two another building nearly touched the roof.  Her sleek muscular figure, accentuated by the light of a half moon and oil lamps moved gingerly under the tight dark grey clothes she wore.  

Cassie cautiously moved along the rooftops until she was sure that she was far enough away to not be in danger.  Finally dropping to the ground in an alleyway a number of blocks from the scene of the crime, she reached into a hidden compartment built into the brick of a large building.  Pulling a bundle from the compartment, she quickly pulled off her top and bent to search inside the bundle.  As she searched the bundle, shadows and city lights battled to keep her glistening skin hidden from the night.  Finally she pulled a white top from the bundle and pulled it over her head.  Adjusting the fabric to sit firmly on her shoulders and gently show her ample cleavage, she pulled shoes and some other accouterments from the bundle and placed them in their appropriate spots.  Once she was confident of her look, she slid the bundle back inside the compartment and strolled down the alley towards what appears to be a bustling market.  Cassie stopped at the mouth of the alley, checking to make sure everything was how it should be, then she quickly slid into a large group of people and allowed the flow of traffic to carry her down the street.  The sounds of merchants selling wares, cutting products with knives, and carts carrying merchandise down the cobblestone streets filled the air along with many strange and sometimes not so good aromas.  

After a few minutes Cassie finally found what she was looking for.  She stopped at a booth which sold black market engine cards, outwardly showing interest in a stack of shiny black cards while she cautiously watched over her shoulder to the booth across the way.  Macius Wane was talking to an older man regarding a piece of merchandise he held in his hand.  Cassie watched as the man obviously was attempting to haggle with Macius.  Cassie snickered to herself, she’d known Macius for years and knew how much of a penny pincher he was.  He didn’t haggle on a good day and so far this would not be a good day for him.  Finally the man gave in and handed Macius three small silver coins and walked into the flow of the crowd.  Macius turned from the street and disappeared into the tent behind his booth.  Cassie quickly took advantage of the opening and slipped across the street.  Her hand firmly on the stiletto strapped to the back of her belt she slowly entered the tent.
         “You know if you’re going to continue trying to sneak up on me when I’m unsuspecting, you really shouldn’t watch me from across the street to find your moment.”  Cassie stopped in her tracks as Macius addressed her, still turned away from the opening yet somehow he always knew she was there.
         
         “You’re assuming I care whether or not you see the face of the person who ended your life.”  Cassie returned with an evil grin on the corner of her mouth.
         Macius turned from what he was doing.  His stout build, dark skin and large black mustache made him a very opposing figure even though he stood almost a head shorter than Cassie.  “Do you have them?”
          Cassie dropped her hand from her stiletto and leaned against a support pole for the tent crossing her arms across her chest and her left foot over her right leg as she supported herself on her right foot.
        
          “The best thing in life is true freedom, you remember our agreement if I got them for you!”
          Macius nodded, “You have my word Cassie and you know I’m good for it.  If you truly have the cards the syndicate will release you from your contract.”  Cassie thought for a minute then reached behind her back and pulled the dark red velvet bundle from at hard leather pouch.  Tossing it gingerly to Macius, she returned her hands to their crossed position on her chest.  Macius slowly unfolded the velvet scarf and stared for a moment at the two golden plates weighing heavily in his hands.
         “By God Cassie, you truly are the best.  But we have a problem…the Imperial Crest is missing!”  He looked up at Cassie with concern only to find a sly feline look of accomplishment on her face.  The edge of her mouth on the right side twisted into a mischievous grin.
         “Insurance!  It’s not that I don’t trust you Macius, you are a good and dear friend.  When I have a decree declaring me free from the Syndicate the last plate will be delivered.”  Cassies’ words hung in the air as she suddenly disappeared from the doorway.  Macius stepped into the street to look for her but she was nowhere to be seen.

Flashback Repost

“You work for a large corporation, in a very large office building. You finish filing your last report and you are ready to head home. It’s been a long day, and you’re really happy to leave the office behind. But, as you reach for the office door, the lights go out”

Standing quietly in the darkness I allow my eyes to adjust to the light from the city outside as my senses begin searching for any sound out of the ordinary.  I notice that no light leaks in through the bottom of the door from the office outside. The lights at least are all out on this floor. I think to myself.  I begin to notice what seems to be a repeating vibration, carried on the glass of the building, slowly growing in intensity.  At the same time I catch a random sweep of red light from under the door.  Someone’s coming for Cypher.  Training from a previous life kicks in and I quickly but quietly make my way to my desk.  Tapping in a key code into the desktop display, a small door at the base of the desk opens and a door slides out, revealing a cube.  Taking the cube into my hand, I spare a second to admire the wonder of this technology.  A DNA locked organic crystal data system which carries more storage or processing power than any current computer system.  The vibrant thumping grows louder through the glass as my attention turns back towards the situation.  I can see numerous red lights sweeping the area outside the door now.  My mind searches frantically for an exit then suddenly I remember the rooftop to the secondary research lab is directly below the west window and only about twenty feet down.  Without hesitation I stride over to the small couch end table on the west wall and push it through the glass. The raucous crash of glass exploding into the night, resonating for blocks, surprised the men outside the door as they busted in.  Four men dressed in smooth armored suits, all carrying small automatic weapons with laser sights burst into the room running straight for the open window.

“Pick up one this is Lead, subject has dropped to secondary roof on west side of complex.  No visual, need eyes on” the voice from under the hardened combat face plate emitted from a speaker located somewhere in the helmets casing.

Two men scoured the room by the desk, recognizing the opened safe drawer meant their target has been removed.  None of the men noticed the dark figure in the business suit who slipped into the hallway after they burst in, nor did they notice the countdown on the secondary console signalling the anti-theft countermeasure which tripped once the crystal was removed from the safe.  As the turbo fan transport flew around the side of the building and settled just above the roof to the secondary research lab, a bright flash of light filled the night sky.  To most the plasma charge explosion was just an interesting flash in the night.  For the men and the chopper in the office the EMP of the charge blew out all of the electronics within two blocks, but the plasma flash disintegrated all matter within five hundred feet.

Flash Fiction, from 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder

You discover a diary with only one entry. This one entry gives you a grand insight into that person’s life. 50 words or less. Go!

“I walked through the tunnel, the wash of warm air and light cleansed my soul. I stepped out onto the rocky crag. Far below, the mountains in the distance and the valley floor so far away transformed my world forever. Misty breezes rush across my arms like wind over wings.”