Flash Fiction: What Does It Take

savingFirst drafted on Typetrigger.

What Does It Take

What does it take these days to be a hero? It’s no longer knights in shining armour and rebels like Robin Hood. It’s something a lot less obvious. And I should know, I’ve been trying like hell.

This last week I entered a burning building to rescue a trapped cat. The little girl whisked it away and scolded it on the nose, without a single thank you. The nearby crowd didn’t look up at me in awe. A fireman simply told me off for endangering myself. How can one be a hero when it’s seen as foolish and reckless? I burned down half a building to prove a point and for what?

The next day I tried something a little simpler. I chased down a thief who stole an elderly lady’s handbag. I ran for three blocks, dodged cars and returned it to the woman, who only complained about all the dropped items and went off to pick them off the pavement. I paid the thief twenty bucks and there were still no smiles of gratitude or admiration?

It’s no wonder some heroes turn to the other side of the coin; villainy. Why care about how nice someone thinks you are, when instead you can make them fear you to their very core?

I made headline news this week. I robbed a dairy. I killed a man. Sitting here in this jail cell has made me question a few things. Not one of them being my new status in society.

What does it take to be a villain?

Not much at all.

Flash Fiction: She Saw

classroomFirst drafted on Typetrigger.

She Saw

Lockers flashed by me as I rushed  to my classroom. School was long over and I just hoped the door was unlocked. I was literally halfway home before I realised I had left my homework on my desk. Now, why would a young girl care so much about forgotten homework? Well you clearly haven’t met Ms. Turnbull.

The halls were empty, this wasn’t a good sign. I passed by the science lab to find my maths class. Ms. Turnbull’s maths class.

I had my hand on the handle and just before I turned it I noticed a flash of movement inside. The window set in the door gave a clear view of my desk, and my homework sheet was still sitting there all innocent-like. At the front of the classroom, next to Ms. Turnbull’s desk was Ms. Turnbull. But she wasn’t alone. Mr. Edwards, my geography teacher, was there too, doing something with his hands, placi —  I snapped out of it.

What the heck was going on? My hand was still on the handle. Although part of me wanted to run, to forget I ever saw, I had come this far. I wasn’t going back empty handed. I twisted it and stepped inside. The teachers were startled by my entrance, unsurprisingly.

More surprising was that both my teachers acted in ways I had never seen before.

I expected Ms. Turnbull to jab a chubby finger in my direction and shout at me for entering without knocking, but she simply looked at me and clasped her hands together, stroking one hand with the other. Was she… blushing? It was Mr. Edwards’ turn to sternly ask me to leave and think long and hard about what I’ve done, but he didn’t. We stood in an awkward silence before I walked over to my desk and picked up my homework.

Ms. Turnbull finally spoke, “Sophie dear, don’t you worry about homework tonight. Leave that here with me.”

“But, I…” I was at a loss for words.

Ms. Turnbull took the sheet out of my hand, neatly folded it into a little square and pocketed it in her blouse. “And while we’re at it, why don’t we give you the rest of the term off homework. How does that sound?”

Her voice was silky smooth, not that harsh shouting she was well known for. It made my skin crawl.

“Okay,” I mumbled. I looked at Mr. Edwards, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Ms. Turnbull.

“Now run along home,” she said.

Mr. Edwards nodded in agreement, and I made my exit.

I was halfway out the door when Ms. Turnbull spoke again. “”This is our little secret yeah?”

“Of course,” I said and I slipped out the door.

Rachael was never going to believe this.

Flash Fiction: Broken Bones

First drafted on Typetrigger.

Broken Bones

Harrison panted as he heaped the last shovel of dirt over his head. The dirt joined the large pile next to the hole in which he was standing in. Harrison threw the shovel out of the hole and gazed at what he had just uncovered. There at the bottom of the hole was a dirt covered assortment of bones.

Harrison pulled out a pair of latex gloves from his backpack and slipped them on. He opened his backpack all the way to reveal a re-sealable plastic bag. Carefully he picked up the closest bone — a femur, brushed the dirt off and placed it inside the bag. He repeated the process with the rest until the bottom of the hole was clear and his bag was full of bones. He sealed the plastic bag and zipped up his backpack.

In one quick movement Harrison grabbed the edge of the hole and pulled himself up. He grabbed the shovel and heaved the dirt he had worked so hard to retrieve, back into the hole. After that was finished he brushed the lumpy ground over to match the surrounding earth. Harrison pulled a few leaves off some trees and scattered them over the now-filled-in hole.

Harrison grabbed his bicycle leaning next to a nearby tree and haphazardly hopped on. He biked along with one hand, the other barely holding onto the large shovel. He made it home and dumped his bike into the unlocked garage. Harrison went round the back of the house and took the edges of the window and pried it open. Taking his backpack off first and placing it inside his bedroom he then squeezed through the gap.

Harrison unzipped his backpack and laid the bag out on the table. It was time he investigate the truth behind Fluffy’s untimely death.

Flash Fiction: Rage

First drafted on Typetrigger.

Rage

I hovered behind him like an angry hornet, pulling up close, about to hit his bumper. Who did this fool think he was driving under the speed limit? He doesn’t deserve a licence. I hooted again, two loud short bursts, to no avail. There was no passing lane on this stretch of road and I couldn’t cross lanes thanks to the road barriers kindly placed by our lovely government and MY tax dollars.

I pulled down my window and shot out a finger and waved it at the bloody little Honda. I combined it with the horn for an aggressive combo. My wife sat next to me in her passenger seat — eyes closed and white knuckles on the railing. Women could be such worry warts. How could we crash? We weren’t even going 100!

Finally the road barrier disappeared and I was left with a whole new side of the road to drive on. Apart from the odd car it was practically empty. I took my chance and went for it, foot on the accelerator, blood rushing through my hands and feet. My wife yelled my name, “Jason!”. But all I could see in that moment was to pass that little grey-haired man in his Honda. I was halfway between the two lanes, side by side with him. He looked out his driver’s window at me with fearful eyes.

That’s when the road barrier popped back up.

In less than a second, a dreadful shredding of metal tore its way though us. Glass exploded around us. My air bag deployed in the nick of time but my head still pounded from the impact. The seat belt had cut into my flesh. I looked at the damage to the front of my car. It was beyond repair.

Then I saw my wife. Her airbag didn’t deploy. She had a gash across her head. Glass stuck into her. She lay limp in her seat. The Honda pulled over and the little old man climbed out of his car and came to my aid.

Flash Fiction: Show Me How

First drafted on Typetrigger.

Show Me How

The small boy looked up at me with those big round, brown eyes.
“Please Mister, I need to know.”
I bent down on one knee in my dark suit. “It’s magic.”
The boy didn’t look too pleased at that answer. He frowned and something wet began to form in the corners of those deep brown eyes,
“No, I really need to know. How did he get in there?”
I offered the boy my black top hat. He gave it a once-over and returned it to me.
I reassured him, “I say abracadabra and he appears.”
“But where does he come from?”
That put me on the spot. “Teleportation. I pull him out from his habitat — it could be someone’s garden down the street, or a forest across the country — and I send him back home safely after.”
The boy pouted. “But where did that bunny come from?”
I could see this conversation wasn’t going to end soon. I scanned the disappearing crowd for the kid’s parents, but no one seemed to be sticking around. Great, I’m stuck with your typical garden variety four-year old who has a question for everything.
I took the child’s hand reassuringly. “The bunny came from a place called Wonderland.”
“Where’s that?”
“A fantastical place full of talking animals.”
“Then how come that bunny didn’t talk?”
“Oh, didn’t you know? All animals talk, but in our world we just can’t understand them.”
“Can I go to Wonderland?”
“Maybe one day you can.”
“Can you send me to Wonderland like you did with the rabbit?”
“I’m afraid my hat just isn’t big enough.”
“Okay,” said the boy, looking at his feet glumly. “Thanks mister.”
And with that he took off and chased after the dispersing crowd.