04 From the Editor
1 6 Not the Faceee
Why Super Flash Fiction?
06 All Smiles
James L McGee
07 Crossroads James L McGee
08 Astrid Almighty Grier Jewell
09 Another Hen T Fox Dunham
1 0 In-Xperienced O'Brian Gunn
11 Dial In Villainy Emmet O'Cuana
1 2 Standstill
David Alan Ludwig
1 3 Variable Invincibility Matt Betts
1 4 Every Wednesday at Two David Macpherson
Artist Links Included znodden
1 7 Comic Page 1 znodden
1 8 Naomi
1 9 Running Rat Marek Hiavaty
20 Dawn Escapes the Night Jeff Fairbourn
21 Ever Get That Feeling SozokuReed
22 Smoky Trails Ryan Martinez
23 Hold My Hand Teekatas
24 Morning Mourn ceije1 01 0
25 The Good Thing James L McGee
26 Heretic Saint S P Johnson Jr
27 Call to Justice David Alan Ludwig
Linda M Crate
Bruce L Priddy
30 Rain of Lies Mercel Meyers
31 Lies My Heroes Told Me O'Brian Gunn
32 A Shot in the Storm George Arthur Davis
34 About Our Writers Writer Bios & Links
FROM THE EDITOR Thank you to all our contributors for sharing your art with us.
Reason #1 In today's high-speed, low-drag world of integrated information people are developing a taste for My name is John B Badd and I am the creator and quickness that a 500 word story can easily feed editor of Super Flash Fiction. What is still providing the nourishment their After tossing the while Super Flash Fiction? Well, it is the idea around with literary minds crave. unintended lovechild of my lifetime affair with narrative fiction, graphic art, some friends in the Reason #2 mortal realms of This format gives us the ability to introduce and comic books. Everyday and you to many writers in each issue. With the World Wide Web onset of E-publishing there are more I was writing one night, practicing my craft with the art of flash fiction, when I this magazine was writers out there seeking exposure than conceived. began to experiment with some of the ever before. Each of our contributors will be super-beings that live inside my head. I had so given a link to the site of their choice on their much fun bringing them to life that I began to published story's page as well as on our web-page. wonder if others would enjoy these stories as well. After tossing the idea around with some friends in the mortal realms of Everyday and World Wide Reason #3 Web this magazine was conceived. We are new to publishing and operating with a voluntary staff whose members you can count on Here at Super Flash Fiction we are not just looking one hand. Just like many of our contributing writers to bring you caped super heroes and masked and artist, we also are accelerating onto the literary vigilantes, though they are more than welcome to highway with Super Flash Fiction. join the party. We want to deliver fresh flash fiction and stand alone illustrations with a comic-bookFor our illustrated art forms we are promoting for 1 genre edge. This will include adventures into to 4 page works of action art. These may include science fiction, fantasy, magic, nature and the full page illustrations, splash pages and traditional depths of the human condition. panel style storytelling techniques. In fact any method an artist can conceive to tell a comic-bookAs far as our universe is concerned we would genre story will be considered for publication. In prefer to keep our stories and art set in a modernaddition to text-free art forms we will also have day-earth environment, but we will remain flexible room for 1 to 4 page mini-comics. This will not be and open-minded. If a writer submits a superb the focus of Super Flash Fiction, but as a form of work of fiction that we think you will enjoy, but it flash fiction it has its place in our pages as well. takes place in another time, dimension or even on another planet, then to hell with what we asked for, Enjoy the ride, we are going to give you that work to enjoy. John B Badd With our flash fiction we will be giving you great stories in 500 words or less. This is for three reasons: 4 Super Flash Fiction
All Smiles by James L McGee
The news lady is smiling. She never smiles.
She's always so frowny when she's saying things like, "Dozens are reported injured after The Butcher's latest rampage." Sometimes she even cries, and that makes me really sad. I think the news lady is the prettiest girl in the world. Even prettier than my mom. But I'm a different color than the news lady, so I'm not supposed to think she's pretty. Grandpa calls them "blacks," even though they're brown like the chocolate we get at Christmas. He says things like, "The blacks are the reason this city has gone to...," then he says that bad word that starts with "H." And he'll say, "I bet The Butcher is one of them under that mask," and when he says "them" he means "the blacks." And mom and dad always tell him to shush, so I pretend not to know what they're talking about, 'cause it would make them sad if I heard, and everybody is always so sad anyway. But the news lady isn't sad today. She's smiling, because The Butcher is on TV getting beat up by a big, strong guy in white pajamas. The Butcher is the strongest of the Bad Guys. He's really scary, and my mom and dad usually change the channel when he’s on, but my grandpa said, "Oh H-word, the boy's gonna hear about it somewhere. He can't escape it. None of us can." But The Butcher isn't scary today, because the guy in his pajamas is punching him and tossing him like our dog plays with a toy. After a while, The Butcher can't get up, and the good guy bends a lamp post around him just like a balloon animal from the circus. Then he takes him to some police guys that 6 Super Flash Fiction
have been watching. They yank off his scary mask and he's the same color as me, which makes grandpa feel silly, I bet. The news lady runs up and says, "Sir! Caroline Baker, Action News 7. I...thank you! On behalf of the entire city, thank you! But who are you?” And the big guy in his pajamas smiles back at Caroline and says, "There's no need to thank me. The people have lived in fear long enough. But now, The Guardian is here to protect them." Then he winks at me and jumps really high into the air and he's gone. And all the people on TV start cheering and Caroline is trying to say something but she's crying but smiling at the same time, so I don't think it’s a sad crying. I turn around and my mom and dad and even my grandpa are looking at the TV and smiling, too. And I think The Guardian is gonna be My Hero from now on instead of Dilbert Lively from the Mets or Bumble Bunny from Saturday cartoons. 'Cause The Guardian made everybody smile. Especially Caroline the News Lady, who has the prettiest smile of all.
Crossroads by James L McGee
"Oh! You hate to see that!" Before I can
even react, the guys have knocked the books out of my hand and are half way down the hall, cackling wildly. Didn’t even break stride. I start picking up the mess, and mom’s voice chimes in with one of those charming lies she’s always feeding me. "Boys only do those things because they secretly like you." Was she ever really a teenager? Most people are just jerks. They aren't misunderstood or "goodhearted deep down." Everyone can't be the good guy. There have to be a few villains. I scoop up my research paper and the flyer for cheerleading tryouts (Ha! Keep dreaming, right?), and another nugget of wisdom whispers, "Bullies are just cowards on the inside." That one rings a little more true. Would the boys treat me like that if they could see the things I do, late at night, in the clearing behind our house? Bet they wouldn’t be laughing anymore. Someone's foot barely misses my fingers. "Watch it!" the foot-owner yells, and there's a moment of white-hot rage as I picture reaching into the molecules of the scuffed floor tiles, transforming them into a river of burning tar that could snake through the hallways, taking care of everyone. Or maybe I could just reach out and grab that foot. I've never tried working with flesh and blood before. It started about a month ago, when I stepped on one of my little brother's toys. I picked it up, cursing, and it liquefied in my hand. My first thought was "Damn, I have to fix this," and...it just happened. Just by thinking it, the little army man was back to his old self. In a typical story, I would have been scared,
started yelling that I was a freak. But I was never scared. And a freak? Ha! I knew right away that I was so far above everyone else. No, never fear. All I could think of were possibilities. Riches. Power. Pain. "Need some help?" Some girl is kneeling in front of me and gathering the last stray bits of paper. "I saw. Buncha jerks, right?" "Yeah. Jerks." "Someone should put them in their place." She hands me the rest in a crumpled handful. “But, then we'd be as bad as them, right?" And she has this dopey, naive smile that...well, I can't help but smile back, the white rage cooling off. "Yeah. You're right." I walk down the hall toward the classroom, then turn back. "Oh, hey, thanks." And she gives me that innocent, genuine smile again. Maybe there are decent people, ones that are just naturally helpful and caring and all that. I guess there are a few "good guys" in the world. But we can't all be the good guy.
Astrid Almighty by Grier Jewell
Astrid found it odd that the new neighbors
chose to do their moving in the middle of the night. Odd, too, that they had such tiny bodies with big heads and bulbous eyes. She did not have a good feeling about them. But Astrid wasn’t one to stick her nose in other people’s business. Their vehicle blocked most of her view from the roof of her home as she attempted to track their movements through her Fancy Fierce night vision binoculars. Fortunately, her Go Girl Go audio surveillance picked up what she needed to know. Something something, gurgle gurgle, world domination, global destruction. One of them laughed wickedly after proclaiming, “Tomorrow, we strike!” It caused her some alarm. But Astrid wasn’t one to be rash. After lobbing a firecracker into their back yard and causing a small distraction, she rappelled down the side of her house and crept to their front porch. A cool glow of blue light pouring through the living room window drew her interest. But Astrid wasn’t one to intrude. She peered through the window just as they were tearing into silver crates with their teeth. One of them unpacked a head that looked a little like Mr. Papeeze, her school principal. Astrid pounded on the glass and shook her finger at them. “That better not be who I think it is.” As far as she was concerned, if they were collecting the heads of people she knew, their little game had gone too far. World 8 Super Flash Fiction
domination was one thing, but this was her turf and her principal. “Game on!” she shouted. The big-headed, bulgy-eyed one dropped the head of Mr. Papeeze and made a beeline straight for Astrid. “Back off, bug boy!” she said, aiming her Bigshot Chick ray gun through the window. The blast took them off guard. It also took off all three feet of the one who had been headed her way. Astrid brushed bits of yellow toe and shattered glass from her makeshift flak jacket and waved her ray gun in the air. “It’s like this,” she said. “I’m the boss around here, so unless you want to see the inside of my She Zaps microwave, you better do as I say.” But Astrid wasn’t one to be rude. She smiled politely and waved them into the yard where she lined them up and explained the rules of a new game—her game. It had been too, too long since she’d blown half her neighborhood off the map with her Take Down Sister Blast Reactor (Level One) . Finally, she had someone to play with again. After all, Astrid wasn’t one to be unfriendly.
Another Hen by T Fox Dunham
“You should be with your daughter,” I told
the guard. “She’ll give you a second chance if you try.” “How do you know so much?” the blankfaced guard asked me. His radio had buzzed six times. I handed him my lucky red bandanna. “Everyone’s got the same story,” I said. I tapped my temple. Pain cracked up my spine. I didn’t have much time to steal the encrypted files. Paul Mole waited back at the den to decrypt, to transmit them all over WikiLeaks and shutdown Tel-Hen Tech. I had this guard picked in minutes — same vacant eyes as the rest. I scanned him again, felt his emotions in me. I explored the hole in him — felt like daughter for sure. “Tel-Hen will poison all the daughters,” I said. “Go from here. Make this a better world for her.” He rubbed my shoulder and handed me his security-access card. He wrapped the red bandanna around his head. “Shut ‘em down,” he said. I slid the card through the electronic reader. I radioed Mole. “Fox in the henhouse. I’m in the vault.” “Cost you a bandanna?” “I always carry more than one.” Paul’s my support, always ready at the keyboard. I met him while writing short stories for his sci-fi radio show. He had polio as a kid, can’t use his legs. I pulled out another red bandanna and let it trail from my black blazer pocket. I checked my pocket watch then spun it back
into my lapel pocket. It wouldn’t be long before Security noticed a couple of its rent-a-cops had abandoned their posts to fix their lives. “Run Fox.” Morphine’s not bad for the pain, but if I sucked down anymore, my telepathic empathy suffered. I accessed the mainframe and downloaded the files via Paul’s new uplink drive. Connor strolled out of the side office. He held a Luger on me. His hair had grown back nicely since chemo, since we’d met in the radiation-oncology ward to fight our cancer. They’d radiated my brainstem to attack the lymphoma, stimulated dormant nerve bundles, gifts humans weren’t to find for another thousand years. “You were there with me, Connor,” I said. “You saw the suffering. You don’t care your new ePadphones cause cancer?” “Everything causes cancer these days, boy-o,” he said. “Lawsuits will be negligible to profits. And it’s not Connor to you, dear friend. I’m Malignancy.” He probed my thoughts. My pain weakened my shielding. He lunged for the uplink drive. I struck an energy center in his neck with my palm. We crashed into the wall. I just needed to keep him busy for the download to finish. I gazed into the mouth of the Luger. “No more pain, sweet Fox,” he said. The security guard stepped in. “For my daughter,” he said, holding his pistol on Malignancy. “Got it, Fox,” Paul Mole radioed. “Uploading the real documents now.” The guard covered Malignancy as I escaped. “Another hen.”
In-Xperienced by O'Brian Gunn
Ares’s sandals slapped down on the smooth stone floor as he flashed past an open doorway. Heavy steps faltered. Backtracked. He poked his head in the room and saw the young man sitting on a bed with his back turned to him. “Did you shut off your comm link?” He thumbed down the hall. “We have a mission.” The young man held up the small communicator strapped to his wrist, the oval face flashing and vibrating the bones of his hand and forearm. Ares ran a hand through his curls and leaned against the door-frame. “Your mind still poisoned about Kiev?” The young man turned his head in profile, revealing a furrowed brow over his scarlet domino mask. His mouth was etched into a grimace. “Xperience, it happens sometimes. It was your first mission.” Xperience looked over his shoulder with a tear slipping down the curves of his mask. “Fourteen people were shot on my first mission. I stood there and...” His voice cracked. “And...and I didn’t save them.” He blinked, parting his lips, “I’ve been training for two years and I...I just stood there.” Ares glanced down the hall, holding up a finger when he saw Silhouette standing in the doorway of the Situation Room. “Heavy Duty shouldn’t have sent you off on your own like that your first time out.” “I got their names, downloaded their pictures.” Xperience turned back around, hunching over and leaning his elbows on his knees. “I want to notify their families.” 1 0 Super Flash Fiction
“Terrence, you—” Scoff. “What?” “You didn���t call me by my codename. What, you don’t think I’m a hero anymore?” Ares tilted his head to the side, sighing. He ran his tongue over his teeth. “Once the team was deployed to East Germany to handle a series of hidden explosives, sega-ton bombs. We split up. Everyone deactivated theirs, but...but I went to the wrong address.” Jaw muscles pulsed. “I watched a building collapse and kill twenty-five people.” He scratched at his beard, “I can lift seven tons, but I can't figure out how to work a GPS.” Xperience looked out of his window. “I’ve read every mission log in the database. The A-Squads never been to East Germany.” Ares locked rigid, color blotted from his face. “I never had to lie until I came to this world.” Still slouched over his knees, Xperience removed his utility belt. “You should hurry to the Situation Room.” He wiggled his domino mask and started to peel it off. “What should I tell Silhouette?” Ares pushed off from the doorway and stood. The young man lifted his head, dropped it and ran bare fingers over his shaved scalp. “Tell her that I’ve got a mission to finish.” He finally uncoiled himself from his hunch, reaching over to his computer and tapping the track-pad. The screen winked awake, revealing fourteen photographs, fourteen addresses. “My mom always told me to close one chapter before I start another.”
Dial In Villainy by Emmet O'Cuana
[There are five callers queued for the conference] [Moderator is now joining the conference] “Good evening everyone, this is The Dread speaking. Before we begin let me remind you, no real names, no locations, no information on family members. Our community relies on discretion and I ask that you bear this in mind at all times. Now let’s seeMwho do we have on the line?” “This is Mitternacht, good evening Dread.” “Manticore here.” “Sister Pain, lovely to be speaking with you all again.” “Simon says die.” “Glad you could join us Simon.” “Simon says hello.” “And who else do we haveM? I see one more caller.” “This is the Revenant—” “Ah yes, the Revenant, how are—“ “Two. The Revenant Two.” “Yes, yes young man, I have it here on the minutes, do not be concerned.” “I bear the name of my father with honor.” “Yes, Revenant Two – the sequel, quite so. Your father was a dear friend and it is nice to see you keeping the family tradition alive. Well then let’s start. Does anyone have anything to add to the minutes from our last meeting?” “Dread, Sister Pain here, could you just remove the note stating I seconded the motion for less prejudicial trial coverage? I was busy with that school bus in Akron on that night.” “My apologies Sister, cheerfully amended. Anything else? No? Very good, moving on. Let’s seeMah yes. RevenantMTwo, you’ve added an item for discussion.Moh I see. The film.” “Yes, that piece of trash enjoyed by mental defectives that are paying through the nose to see
it! They have some blond bimbo from central casting humiliate and then kill my father – on screen – and people are laughing as she cuts his head off!” “Simon says CGI.” “What?” “Revenant Two, Simon means that the filmmakers chose to use a digitally created figure to stand in for your father.” “Simon says better than Jurassic Park.” “Why are you all taking this so calmly! You’re all in it too. Sister, you’re played by a man in drag! Mitternacht is a camp caricature.” “I loved him in that Herzog movie, it’s an honor to be played by an actor of his ability.” “Manticore isn’t even in the film.” “Simon says DVD special edition.” “This is your life these Hollywood creeps are exploiting.” “WellMas it happens we’re making a tidy sum from it actually.” “M” “Yes we were offered a generous remuneration package in return for permission to use our story.” “You betrayed the SocietyMfor film royalties?” “We made an investment. And I do not appreciate your tone. The Society welcomed you, despite yourMdubious claim to your title.” “My father loved me! Those fascist capes murdered him!” “My boy, Revenant had many notches on his bedpost, I honestly don’t recall him ever mentioning your mother. We just felt sorry for you.” “You’re all whores and liars!” [Revenant Two has left the conference] “Moving on, Manticore, you had something to say?”
Standstill by David Alan Ludwig
“Grave robbin’s not the most glorious job,
but in the grand scheme of things it is supposed to be safe. You’re not supposed to lose anybody stealin’ from the dead. So you could say this job went wrong.” Another glass of Jim Beam burned the dusty drifter’s throat but left his bones cold as ever. “There was something down there, in the crypt. Killed Wilkins without so much as a whisper! Didn’t show up on night-vision, we were getting hit from all sides with no sign what was doing it!” Caldwell Keller slammed his empty on the plywood bar, “Seasoned professionals, and we were shooting at shadows like a bunch of spooked greenhorns! Come on, barkeep. Keep the hard stuff coming.” “You’ve had plenty. Find yourself a room and sleep it off.” The broad shouldered bartender firmly removed Caldwell’s glass. The drifter appraised the larger man before lowering his head. Hair prematurely gray framed his stubbly face recklessly. His audience started drinking after him, and was already lost in stupor. “You don’t understand,” Caldwell croaked, throat clenching greedily for more whiskey. “I was the only survivor. That thing’s been hunting me for three days and nights.” Shaking his head, the barkeep turned to give last call. Swift as quicksilver, Caldwell caught the burly man by the forearm. “I can’t run anymore,” Caldwell dug his fingers in. “But if I’m fighting a demon, I damn well am going to have pink elephants backing me up!” Trying to pull away, the other man 1 2 Super Flash Fiction
frowned at Caldwell’s iron grip, “You’re drunk enough.” Caldwell let go and sighed, “That’s true.” Leaving his cash in a wad he turned and waved over his shoulder. “Keep the change.” The arid evening air was bracing as the mercenary staggered into it, away from the city glow and toward the open plain. There was no moon and the air was still as the crypt. Fumbling with the catches, Caldwell tore the chest plate of his battle worn body armor off and threw it aside. He stumbled toward the darkness, bare-chested and bare-knuckled under the blackened sky. “You’re here to kill me? Well, let’s get this over with,” Caldwell raised his fists and rolled to the balls of his feet. “But don’t think I’ll make this easy on you!” He could almost see the shadow moving in the night. A shriek that couldn’t have been the wind presaged a flurry of strikes on the drifter’s exposed body. Driving sharply with his elbow he smiled at the jolt of impact against a cloth-like form. The exchange lasted the better part of an hour. Caldwell Keller rolled with an endless barrage of blows, finding his pace as his fists and elbows learned his opponent. However the last three days caught up him with final inevitability. Panting, hands on his knees, Caldwell realized the shadow had stopped as well. It was bent over as he was. “Truce?” Caldwell glanced at a proffered hand before taking it. “I’ll take it!”
Variable Invincibility by Matt Betts
The whole time I was riding in the
ambulance I was in shock. Not in the medical sense, but the mental one. I’d been shot. I was bleeding. I wanted to fly away, back to the mountain and the safety of my nice, damp lair. “Can you tell me your name,” the paramedic asked. You’d like that. Get me to reveal my secret identity in a moment of weakness. “I’ll gladly tell you what year it is or how many fingers you’re holding up,” I said. “But the world must only know me as - The Invincible Guardian.” The medical technician looked me up and down and nodded, “Sure you are.” He replaced the bandage over my wound with a fresh one. “Well, Mr. InvincibleM” “That’s Invincible Guardian, please,” I said. “Mr. Invincible is a cyborg created in the Soviet Union. He’s touchy about the name. Branding thing.” “Yeah, so, you’ve got a through and through here. The bullet went in your shoulder and out your back. You’re losing blood, but that slug didn’t rattle around inside your body for too long, doing a bunch of damage.” He taped the bandage to my chest. “You’re lucky.” I snorted, “Lucky? No. The super-villain, The Perpetrator, is the lucky one. I’ll be ready for him next time.” “No need. The police arrested him.” “What?” “The police got him right after he shot you. Taser gun. Took him to the ground in a couple of seconds. He’s in a squad car on the
way downtown.” A Taser gun? What the hell was a Taser gun? The siren was giving me a headache. “No. Can’t be. He’s a dangerous man.” “That’s why the cops have him,” the paramedic said. “They arrest dangerous men.” I could see the lights of the city going by in a tiny window of the ambulance. I’d lived there all my life and had never been to a hospital on that side of town. “I was capturing criminals before most of those officers were born.” “Yeah, you look kind of old, mister. Maybe it’s time to hang up the cape?” I tried to sit up, “My capeM” “Sorry, we were afraid it would cut off your circulation. We had to slice it off. And we left it at the scene.” I shook my head and smiled, “No. You couldn’t have. That cape was made from a material developed in the labs of the United States military. It was indestructible.” “Pretty sure it was cotton. Went through it with a dull pair of scissors in less than five seconds,” the man said. “Hey, do you want me to call your wife for you?” “What?” “While you were unconscious, the police found your cell phone. You want me to call and let her know what hospital we’re headed to?” He checked a readout with my pulse and heart rate behind him. They both were climbing. For the second time that day, I felt defeated. “No. I don’t want her to worry.”
Every Wednesday at Two by David Macpherson
The front desk nurse looked tired and
overworked, but still found the strength to smile at Doctor Destructor, the Scourge of the Night. “Mr. Holloway, you’re here. I guess it’s Wednesday,” she said. Doctor Destructor pushed up from his cane, “Tonya, it’s always a delight. I hope he’s well this week.” She whistled slowly, “He tried to jump off the roof twice and almost punched out the janitor, calling him Mr. Evil.” He laughed, “In other words, it’s been a slow week. I will show myself to him my dear.” Once Doctor Destructor’s name brought fear to the entire city. He had absolute power with his killer rays. Now he slowly hobbled to room 5A. He lived with his niece and subsisted on disability checks. It took three buses to get him to this home every Wednesday. He entered the room to see the shrunken frame of an old man. He was sitting in a chair by the bed, staring out at the window, looking at the back garden. “Ronald, I’ve come to see how you are,” the Doctor said as he found a chair to rest in. The old man looked at him with distress in his eyes, “That’s not my name. They all call me that. That’s not my name. I know I can’t remember anymore, but I know that it’s not my name.” Doctor Destructor agreed with a nod, “No. You are not Ronald. You are Captain Daybreak. You are the great hero of the city. You flew like a bird, and my how you could hit.” Doctor Destructor moved his chair closer to his old nemesis. “You never failed. You always found me out. You always beat me at 1 4 Super Flash Fiction
the last moment. I hated you, Captain Daybreak. I always swore that I would make you suffer. That the last thing on your lips, before you perished, would be my name.” Captain Daybreak shouted, “But I don’t know your name.” The Doctor paused, wiped a tear from his eye with a tissue. “No. You don’t anymore. I would never want either of us to be in the state we are. This is not the conclusion to a wonderful battle. Just two old men trying to get by, and one of them with Alzheimer’s. But let me remind both of us, you were a great hero, you were necessary.” “I’m sorry. But I don’t know you, and I don’t know what I’m doing here.” Doctor Destructor put his finger to his lips and gently shushed the Captain. “This is okay. This is our final battle. We will fight gloriously. We will never cease. We will do it together. You will always be my most cherished enemy.” Doctor Destructor reached out and grasped Captain Daybreak’s trembling hand. They held onto each in the silence of the afternoon light.
ACTION ART GALLERY Hint: Names are often links and Arrows are always links.
1 6 Super Flash Fiction
Not the faceee by znodden
Visit znodden aka Susanna's Portfolio of Doom
C o m i c P a g e 1 z n o d d e n
1 8 Super Flash Fiction
Naomi by Justin Curry
Justin is the co-founder of the comic company Little Guy Productions
Running Rat by Marek Hiavaty
Marek also did the art for the free browser game Niborea: War for the Throne
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Dawn Escapes the Night by Jeff Fairbourn
E v e r G e t T h a t F e e l i n g by SozokuReed
SozokuReed aka CJ has a web manga called Heaven Systems
22 Super Flash Fiction
Smoky Trails by Ryan Martinez
Hold My Hand by Teekatas aka Raindropmemory
24 Super Flash Fiction
Morning Mourn by ceije1 01 0
The Good Thing by James L McGee
“Will it hurt?”
“Oh, yes. It will hurt very much. But you are a strong girl, aren’t you?” Her eyes drop for a moment, then meet his again. She nods hesitantly. “Yes you are. Very strong. This is a good thing you do. Good and noble." As she watches, the man takes the scalpel from the metal tray. It catches the light, glistening. A glance at her, a wink, and the blade disappears. Kendra is five. She lives with her father in the facility. She has seen the sky from the playground, heard the sounds of the world, but has never been outside the compound walls. She does not remember her mother, but knows she died doing “The Good Thing.” The thing she, herself, is now learning to do. The man sitting in front of her, Dr. Caplan, is drawing the knife up his forearm towards the crook of his elbow, opening a red gap in the flesh. Blood begins to poor down his arm. Kendra wants to hide her eyes, but knows she must be strong. Finally, the Doctor extracts the blade and places it back on the tray. A single, crimson drop spatters the table. “Now,” he says, voice thick with pain, “take my hand.” Kendra does. “Look at the cut. At the blood. Now, reach out. Reach out with your mind.” Kendra does this, not fully understanding what it is she does, but knowing she is meant for this. There is a feeling—not warmth, not electricity, not anything an Empath can describe to someone without the gift—that passes from Caplan’s hand to her own. Kendra closes her eyes, tip-
toes along that current, knowing the moment she leaves her own body and enters his, though she will never be able to say how she knows. She finds the pain and piggy-backs it to the source. Coming upon the severed tissue and vessels, Kendra grabs them in her mind’s eye and begins to pull. Back. Back along the current from Caplan’s body into her own. “Ow.” It comes in a soft squeak. Kendra bares her teeth, scrunching her eyes. “Shh,” Caplan coos, watching the cut close on his arm as blood begins to trickle from the girl’s. His flesh knits together just as hers lazily spreads apart. Now Caplan wipes the blood from his arm, and there is nothing. No sign of the cut at all. Kendra is crying, tears trickling silently down her cheeks. Caplan plucks a dropper from the tray, begins applying the yellowish liquid to the girl’s cut. She winces. “I’m sorry. It stings, doesn’t it?” She nods, sniffling. Caplan delicately plunges the hooked needle into her skin, the ointment already working, numbing, Kendra barely feels this. “You are very brave,” Caplan soothes, pinching the two sides of the wound together, smoothly pulling the needle and thread through. “You did so well. You will do so many good things.” Kendra opens her eyes, looks into Caplan’s, and smiles through her tears.
Heretic Saint by S P Johnson Jr
Father Jerome took all of us in and named
us: Francis, Lucy, Giles, Amelia, and me, Moloc. We were all just kids, each sick in our own way, and Father Jerome was more than the priest he pretended to be. He fixed us. He made us better than how we hoped to be when he carried us into his church. In return, we gave him some of ourselves. If my sickness wasn't in my head, I could have seen what a sharp-toothed, iron trap that was. But a kid with no hope is vulnerable. Tell a blind kid you can make him see better than anyone alive, or a cripple he can run faster than any other human, and they'll pay whatever you ask for that speck of hope. The funny thing is, I was the one Jerome wanted the most, but the only one he couldn't use. When he got in my head, I didn't have his improvements anymore, and I thought like any regular kid. So while he could hear anything through Francis' ears or act with Amelia's awesome strength, only I could think with my mind. I believe Jerome began with good intention, but I couldn't agree on his method. Whether or not we had extraordinary abilities, we were still kids. He may have been in control of the others when they did what they did, but they still saw it and felt it. Amelia cried for almost a week when Jerome made her kill that man. She was only ten years old. Lucy saw her do it, and said she was crying while Jerome forced her hands to grip and her arms to pull away sharp and ferocious. Later Jerome told us about the man: who he was, what he did, and why Amelia was 26 Super Flash Fiction
right to do what she did. We were kids, the youngest of us, Giles, only eight-years-old. We shouldn't have been told those things. Where were the proper stories about talking animals and happy families? Yes, we weren't getting those as crippled street urchins, but we also weren't being made to understand crimes against humanity, or worse, being forced to do them ourselves. The truth is, Jerome was sick. He was more sick than any one of us, and only I could see it. I'm sure he would have stopped me from seeing it if he could have. And that's my other reason: he regretted healing my brain and making me smart, because he couldn't have me. He couldn't stand me being stupid, not because he loved me, but because he loved the idea of having me smart. The same went for the others. He never loved any of us. While I was smart enough to know he needed to die for us to be free, I wasn't smart enough to explain it to the others first. I couldn't understand that they might've loved him. So I'm alone again, back on the street. And God damn me if my head's not still sick.
Call to Justice by
David Alan Ludwig Biting back her cry of pain , Hazuki rolled
away from Gran-Gran’s vicious knife-hand assault. Jaw clenched to contain choice commentary, the ebon-haired fifteen-year-old watched for a hole in the old woman’s defense. She thought she had it, until GranGran caught her punch. Surging through the reversal, Hazuki leaped into the air and came down foot first on her grandmother’s head. Sucking air through her teeth, Hazuki flipped back to land in crane-stance on a stone pinnacle. Even kicking the boney crone really hurt! “Well done, Hazuki,” Gran-Gran groaned, raising a knobby hand gingerly to her steely-haired head. “You’re finally ready.” “Yes!” Hazuki exploded with an overly enthused sigh, though she resisted the urge to collapse on the rocks where they’d been sparring. Her old mentor chuckled, “Yes, you have much to be proud of. Today you are officially a Devil Slayer. As heir to the Akiyama family, it is now time for you to take your place on the front-line of the secret war.” Suddenly Hazuki felt she could soar on the mountain air that had been so painfully thin moments ago. Ten years of rigorous afterschool training and nightly dreams and she was finally a Devil Slayer. “The war between gods, devils and man? When do I get to fight my first devil? Will I meet actual gods?” Slapping her knee, Gran-Gran cackled, “Patience, child! You must master our family’s secret technique first. As a mortal, it will be your only advantage against the foes arrayed
before you. The ability to generate matter from thought, with this technique you will be able to adapt to any situation.” Hazuki’s eyes shone with the memory of seeing her mother and grandmother perform the technique. “So now I pick my signature weapon?!” Dropping down from the rocks, GranGran beckoned Hazuki to follow her further up the mountain trail. “You may find different enemies call for different weapons. No, your first priority must be a disguise you can don with a thought. If all else fails, protect your true identity from your foe and you may see the opportunity to face them again under better circumstances. Our family has a proud tradition of ninjas and kunoichi.” “HmmM.” Three weeks later, a middle-aged salary man, on his way home from a night of drinking, had the misfortune of being dragged into the river by a water devil. It would have appeared the suicide of a dissatisfied worker, if a flight of shuriken hadn’t forced the devil to release him. The devil’s ire turned to the bridge where a young kunoichi called it out with elaborate hand gestures. “Sun and moon bear witness; you who have evaded terrestrial justice, are now mete celestial judgment by my hand!” Against a seemingly infinite arsenal of weaponry, the fiend found itself always a step behind and was soon vanquished. GranGran’s voice came over the heroine’s headset. “Does your disguise have to be pink?” Hazuki grinned, hands on her hips, “My generation, my style, Gran-Gran!”
Defiance by Linda M Crate
Regan Chambers, better known as Glyph ,
was sitting on her bed when the call came. She picked up the phone hesitantly. Despite not knowing the name on the caller I.D. she was certain that it wasn’t a telemarketer. “Hello?” she asked. “Regan Chambers?” “This is she...her, whatever.” “Hello, Regan,” came the voice of what sounded to be a rather charismatic man. After hearing the man’s reason for calling she was still a bit skeptical. She asked her mother to come with her. The man wanting to see her ability in action was a bit of an odd behest, in her humble opinion. Her mother didn’t disagree with her. Glyph was known as such because she had a special power that lesser mortals feared. She could decode anything from a word puzzle to complicated security codes of defense bases and even banks. The latter of which made the government rather nervous. They wanted to control her, but with the aid of her mother and her mother’s lawyers they made sure that didn’t happen. The man she spoke to on the phone, a Mr. Rupin Rogers, was there to meet her. He looked disappointed that she had brought her mother. “I’m only fourteen,” she explained. “I was nervous.” “No worries, I would never hurt you.” “So you say,” Glyph’s mother interjected with pursed lips. “What kind of tests do you plan on running on her that the government already hasn’t?” “Don’t worry, everything will be okay.” 28 Super Flash Fiction
That was the first lie. The man knocked Glyph unconscious and she woke with the knowledge that her mother was dead. She didn’t know how she knew, but she knew. One lie was all it took to enrage her. She was not some test subject that one could keep locked up in a laboratory. She was a living, breathing human being. Rupin came in with a device meant to absorb her powers. She cracked the code without breaking a sweat and sent the machine into a frenzy as it shorted. She then unlocked all the coded metal doors holding others behind them. “You really should learn some manners, Regan.” “You really shouldn’t try to absorb the powers of people whose powers far outstrip your own,” she retorted. Before she could continue further, a girl coated in thick gold fur came in. She had long black claws and sharp white teeth. She let out a threatening snarl before ripping Rupin’s eyes clear out of his head. “Thanks for the lift, kid, what do they call you? They call me Lioness,” the woman said by way of greeting. “I’m Glyph because I can crack any code by anyone, anywhere.” “Useful,” came the voice of a man. “I hope you don’t have Arachnophobia.” “Why?” “That’s his nickname. Stupid if you ask me, but he likes his cheesy line.” Glyph, Lioness, and Arachnophobia found a way out of the armored fortress where they could be free to live their own lives by their own rules.
by Bruce L Priddy
The hardest part of being a speedster is
keeping in shoes. There’s isn’t a brand made for runners who can cross 800 miles in an hour. Even top-of-the-line shoes fall apart in a few weeks. I tried to save money buying generic discount-store brands but the soles only last a day. “How much,” I ask the clerk at Running Adviser as he hands me a pair of LunarElite's. His name-tag reads “Kevin.” “Ninety-Nine, Ninety-Nine,” Kevin says. Looks like I’ll be eating Ramen until payday. I can’t afford not to buy them. The pair I have on now ripped chasing a pursesnatcher yesterday. And going barefoot, like Kenyan marathon runners, isn’t an option. Stubbing my toe or stepping on a piece of glass at Mach 1 could lay me up for a month. “If I were to run to California tonight, would these hold up?” I ask Kevin. The clerk furrows his brow a bit. “You doing one of those cross-country deals?” There is an electronic ding behind us as another customer walks in the store. A kid, probably just out of his first year of high school. “Yo’ man, can I try on the new Jordan’s?” he calls out across a store empty except for him, Kevin and me. “Go on,” I say to Kevin, “I’ll be a bit deciding.” The clerk asks the kid what size he needs and disappears into the storeroom. Keeping in shoes may be the hardest part but it’s not the most annoying thing I have to deal with. No, the most annoying is the media being unable to wrap their head around me being Native. “Ignition,” shouldn’t be that difficult of a name to remember. Sure, it
doesn’t have any special meaning to it. I just like it. But they’ve called me “Quick-LikeLightning,” “Thunderbird” and “Pow Wow Runner,” (I really hate that last one), though I don’t wear anything tribal except my slightly dark skin and black hair. I thought an interview in the Louisville Times would set things straight. But despite me telling the reporter I’m of Blackfoot descent, the article was titled “Ehneeek-chock!” This was the same person who was mystified when she found out I didn’t grow up on a reservation. I try on the LunarElite’s, bouncing and pacing to get a feel for them. The kid looks like he’s doing the same with his Jordan’s. Then he runs out the door. Before Kevin can finish yelling “Hey!” and the electric-bell can finish ringing, I have the kid by the collar. He tries pulling a knife. There is a loud snap as my hand breaks the sound-barrier slapping the weapon away. After the cops have left with the kid, I help Kevin pick up the displays knocked over by my speed. “I think I’ll take the shoes,” I tell him. It was a short run but they feel great. He leans in close. “Are you the Pow Wow Runner?” He’s almost giddy. I sigh, “Something like that.”
Rain ofLies by Mercel Meyers
There was a time when all things were well in
the world. Until the great lie spread. It flew like crows and spread like nuclear fire. All became tainted. All submitted. All seemed lost. The sun shone bright on the last clean square of land, Wednesday afternoon. The grass sung sweetly to the lilting winds. Spectacled, slender, and smiley, Gerome Bartleby was innocently watering his roses when the lie finally hit. It came overhead in the shape of a dark cloud and it rained suffering and hopelessness, yellowing his lawn, wilting his roses. To children the rain made them grumpy and old. To adults it made them lost in worlds of taxes, financial quotas and car payments. And to the elderly it made them completely invisible and mute, never to be seen or heard from again, yet still witness as helpless prisoners. The rain of lies matted Geromeâ€™s hair to his face. His facial lines creased in surprise and fear. He struggled under the pummeling water, the fears of livelihood, family, and finding love collected like drops in the well of his ears and slipped into his body, drowning it into complete and utter depression. Only one shining thing was left undimmed. It was rooted, unmovable like a mountain in his core. It flickered in the mounting despair as the rain of lies poured all of its energy into this lone, insignificant being. Gerome clenched his chest and fell upon his knees. He cried out the true meaning of anguish as his soul was filled black. In a futile moment Gerome dug a small hole with his hand and in it poured his remaining tears and 30 Super Flash Fiction
with them the spark. In the vortex of his heart he felt the world crash beneath him. He listened to its gentle caress of the final blade of grass. Then all was still. Like a whisper his spark grew from the dirt, into his mouth. And he stood. The lies roared in his defiance and soaked into his bones. And he laughed. He laughed like Santa Claus on his sleigh or a fat Buddha, his arms up in joyous repose. It was a laugh so deep and honest that sparks of sunlight shot from his gut, through his mouth and pierced the cloud, hard and deep like a jousting Knight. The great lie, depleted of its hoarded fears, could not sustain this fatal blow and it dissipated into nothing, an illusion that never was. All of its waters soaked back into the earth. Strong sunlight gave energy and warmth and not just to Gerome's grass, but for all the plants and animals. All the children played. All their parents went to them suddenly free of burden. All the elderly, released from their invisible imprisonment rejoiced in their neighbor's warmth. The whole world looked around and saw the person standing next to them as friend, in the perfect happiness of existence. In truth.
Lies My Heroes Told Me by O'Brian Gunn
Dr. Cassel jotted down a note, looked up at
the costumed woman sitting across from him. “Did you come to this conclusion gradually or suddenly?” She looked out of the window before answering, forehead on her gloved knuckles. “Helsen Hell came to the conclusion for me.” Cassel squinted. “The bomber in Gunsam Prison?” Nod. “Said that ever since I arrived in Ward crime has only increased. Told me my presence here was actually drawing the criminal element instead of wiping it out.” “Do you feel that you’re making more criminals than you’re apprehending?” Eyebrows knit together. “I...I do. I honestly do.” Blue eyes unfocus. “A few months ago there was a woman with explosives who threatened to kill everyone in her apartment building. After I took the woman down, she had this wide grin on her face.” Memories mar her mien. “She told me that she was glad it was me who brought her instead of the cops or SWAT team. She keptMrunning her fingers down my arm, like she couldn’t believe I was real. Then she told me she wanted to be my enemy, that she would escape from prison and do it all over again, except on a larger scale.” “What happened to her?” A burst of birds blurred past the window. “She was killed by an inmate.” She wrinkled her lips. “Do you feel responsible for what happened to her?” Grimace. “I don’t see how I’m not. Everything that happened to her wasn’t my
fault, but I’d be lying if I said some of it wasn’t.” “And all of this forced you to decide that you don’t want to do this anymore, despite everything that you’ve accomplished?” The woman stared at the material of her gloves, lifted fingers to her mask. “It’s like giving water to a thirsty person. There’s a chance that the water is poisoned, but you have no way of testing it and the person is about to die.��� Shrug. “What’s the right thing to do? Watch them die, take a chance that they might live or accidentally kill them?” “You must’ve faced decisions like this often in your career.” Scoff. “Trust me, this isn’t a career. It’s aMSisyphus impersonation.” She looked at the man for the first time. “Have any of your other patient’s experienced this? I know Metronome comes here sometimes.” “I can’t discuss what goes on with other patients.” Lips pinch. “Even if it keeps me from making a mistake?” “The information I give could very well help you make that mistake.” Wry tug of lips. “Now you know how I feel.” “I’m no hero.” “Sometimes heroes aren’t the only ones who save lives.” Silence entwined. “So what’s your decision, Glorious?” Glorious tugged off a glove and studied the lines etched along her palm. She tightened her hand into a fist, dropped it to her lap. She lifted her eyes and looked out of the window at the city of Ward.
A Shot in the Storm by George Arthur Davis
"I saw your wife's car at the bar," his
neighbor says. It is a dark and stormy night that should have made him stay home but he had to venture out into it. She told him that she had stopped seeing the man she dated before shacking with him. "He’s still a part of you," he moaned. "No. That is not true," she assured him. "I don’t believe that bull." "I’m yours believe me," she said. He walks through the bad weather, worse than the weatherman predicted. He stops in the bar’s parting lot and hides behind a tree. He can see in the bar. She is with a man. They’re talking. She smiles that cute smile of her’s for him. He knows now he has no other choice than to do what he has made up his mind to do if he saw them together. The pistol rests between his stomach and belt and he grasps its handle and then wraps his finger on the trigger. A sudden thunderclap startles him and he feels hot pain slicing through his penis. He drops to the ground, grabs his groin and rolls around screaming, "Please help me I’ve been shot." A fellow leaving the bar sees him and calls the police. A police officer arrives before the fire-rescue ambulance and then other
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police officers join them. With a not so concealed grin, the fire-rescue officer tells two police officers. "The guy shot his weenie off." "No fooling." "Damn." The rescue officer gives the policewoman the pistol. "That's why I didn't see a bullet hole." "Yeah." The rescue officers lift him into the ambulance. From the curry, he sees her. She is no longer interested in the commotion he caused and gets into her car with the man. "He should be home from work by now. You’ll like him dad," she says. "I really love him."
Enemies by Jason McDonald
The hospital room was dark, stagnant, cold.
A single lamp on the desk seemed the only thing that kept the long, deep shadows at the edges of the room from sucking the last vestiges of life from the small, ancient woman on the ventilator. The machine hissed, inflating and deflating her tired, weary lungs as she lay there, staring into darkness. With spindly, frail arms, she reached for a small picture frame atop the desk. With wizened eyes clouded with cataracts and sunken in with age, she looked over towards the shaking, feeble thing that was her hand, stretching desperately toward the faded photograph of times long past. Grasping at it, she blinked away the blurriness from her vision and gazed into the picture into yesterday. She was eighteen again, smiling wide into the camera in a pose of absolute triumph. She called herself Lady Justice then, a beautiful young woman with crazy ideas of truth, justice and world peace filling her naive mind. She could feel her costume of leather and brightly-colored spandex pressed against her curvy body. She was arresting her deadliest enemy, Madame Marlette, who looked even more ridiculous in her own unique costume. The old woman sighed. "I remember that photo," a sensuous voice spoke coldly from the darkness. The old woman's eyes widened and her heart started pounding hard. Shaking with a sudden terror, she dropped the picture, shattering the frame and glass across the dirty tile floor. "You stopped me from releasing my
Death Spores across the globe." The woman in the shadows moved slowly, methodically through the darkness, towards her intended prey. The frail, helpless woman that was once Lady Justice shook her head weakly. The ventilator in her throat choked away any possible response. Madame Marlette came out of the darkness like a ghost. She was much older than her picture, wrinkles twisting the features of a face once pristine sixty years past. But her eyes were just as sharp and as unforgiving as they were then. "I spent fifteen years in a woman's correctional facility. Did you know that?" Lady Justice shook her head slightly, terrified beyond words as Madame Marlette stood above her. The villainess rubbed her hands together eagerly and smiled, picking up a pillow. "I told you I'd be there at the end...," Madame Marlette said. Tears ran down Lady Justice's face as Marlette lifted the pillow high. Lady Justice brought her frail arms up to defend herself. The villainess simply swatted them away and pulled Lady Justice's fragile neck toward her gently, wedging the pillow behind her head. Marlette carefully laid her enemy's head to rest onto the pillow, fluffing it slowly and patiently. Lady Justice looked up to Madame Marlette, confused. "...after all, no one should have to die alone." Madame Marlette pulled up a chair, and held Lady Justice's weathered hand, reminiscing about the two costumed women in the photograph, until one of them was gone.
About Our Writers Bruce L. Priddy
Bruce is a writer living in Louisville, Kentucky. Mister Priddy's Marvels
Mullaney), appears in the Shakespeare Shaken anthology from Red-Stylo Media. On Facebook
David Alan Ludwig
David is a writer who lives in Central Massachusetts with his wife Heather and son George. Another Cool Story
Jason is a science fiction reviewer, comic book lover, compulsive writer, IT student, and legend in his own mind. “When you have that knack and need to start writing, you cant always stop yourself. Most times you shouldn't. That's me in a nutshell,” said Jason. He hopes you enjoy any stories of his that make it to the page. Visit his blog for classic science fiction reminiscence. DisconnectedEventsandDiatribes Blog
Linda M. Crate
David is a fan of the fantastic who believes everyone has a story. He has several, and he invites you to explore them at your leisure. by.DavidALudwig.com
Emmet is a freelance journalist originally from Dublin, but currently based in Sydney, Australia. Which he writes about on his website: The Momus Report & on Twitter
George Arthur Davis
George was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvanian but now resides in Tampa, Florida. He studied creative writing at Community College of Philadelphia and is a retired Federal employee now writing short fiction. Stories by George A. Davis & on Facebook
James L. McGee
James has loved storytelling in all its forms for as long as he can remember, and has wanted to tell his own stories for almost as long. His first published work, an 8-page comic short entitled “Star-Crossed,” (with art by Mark
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Linda is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poems have been previously published in several magazines. Her short stories have been published in Carnage Conservatory, Daily Love, Yesteryear Fiction, Circus of the Damned, Linguistic Erosion, and Three Minute Plastic. On Facebook
Matt has been published in a number of places, mostly focusing on science fiction and horror. His superpower is Hyper-Nonchalance. MattBetts.com
Mercel is a good writer. Read his stuff. It's that good. Another Entertaining Read
Although she hasn't gone Astrid Almighty on any of her neighbors, Grier plays for keeps when it comes to writing twisted flash fiction. Her work has appeared in several publications for kids and adults, including Underneath the Juniper Tree, Crow Toes Quarterly, Frightmares Flash Fiction Anthology, Dark Moon Digest, Black Lantern, and the Los Angeles, Times, Kids' Reading Room. GrierJewell.com
O'Brian is a lover of singing, alliteration, noir and graphic novels. He has written several short stories, one novel, and is working on completing his second novel. His works have been published in the e-zine “Chaos Theory: Tales Askew” and the 2011 RuneWright anthology, “It Lives.” And the best is yet to come! The Soliloquy Suites
S.P. Johnson Jr.
S.P. Johnson Jr. lives in Holland, MI with his wife and two daughters. He is also an artist, and singer/song writer.
T. Fox Dunham
T. Fox resides outside of Philadelphia, PA. He's published in over 90 international journals and anthologies and was the finalist in the Copper Nickel Annual Short Story Contest for his story, The Lady Comes in the Night. He's a cancer survivor. His friends call him Fox, being his totem animal. And his motto is: Wrecking civilization one story at a time. On Facebook