Flashes of Sanity #174: Awaken to Nightmares

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Awaken to Nightmares

Enjoy!

Light steps. That’s the way to do it. Dale studied his apprentice walking up the stairs. It was flawless. Not even a squeak from a stair not meant for climbing. Just trying too hard still, but that will come later.
Dale followed him. Upstairs was like downstairs. A mess. Bottles everywhere. Not a furniture matching the other. The work of a man not prone to details.
How could such a man get a son with such ease for it.
Mitch looked over his shoulder and pointed towards a door to the right. The door without snoring sounds breaking through it. Mitch opened the door. No sounds this time either. Still much effort even though the kid most likely had opened it many times before without making a sound.
They walked up to the big bed where all Mitch’s brothers laid sleeping under one sheet. One of them opened their eyes. The round one, Greg. Mitch threw his arms at the child’s mouth. The squeak living Greg’s lips was enough to wake the brother next to him. A brother sleeping with his glasses on. Dan. Dan screamed. He woke the five next to him.
”Dad brought a friend!”
”No,” Mitch said. ”It is just me. Please be quiet.”
It was already too late. Every child screamed. All of them begged for their dad to not take them.
”You spoiled brats!” Arthur screamed from across the hall.
Dale shut the door.
”What is our exit plan?”
Mitch stared at him with eyes wide open. Only fear resided behind the lenses.
”I don’t know.”
Two fists hit the door. They continued slamming hard.
”Give me the exit strategy,” Dale said with calm. ”Or else we could always give your dad the brick treatment.”
”No.” The fear sank back. ”I don’t want to crush him.” The eyes scanned the room, they locked on the window.
”I know what to do.”
”Good,” Dale put a chair in front of the door. ”Let’s continue the mission.”

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Flashes of Sanity #173: Reviewing the Darkness

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Reviewing the Darkness

Enjoy!

Mitch opened the front door. It was unlocked. Like it always was. The stench of alcohol hanged thick and the snores echoed from upstairs.
Father, Mitch thought.
Dale entered after Mitch. He hanged his jacket on one of the hangers. The man looked calm, but Mitch knew that every detail was filtered through his brain.
I need to be like him. Mitch focused on walls, the floor and the snores. He slipped out of his shoes. Outside, he had set the flashlight to lowest setting and now, he released the orb onto the hallway.
“My brothers have a bedroom on the top floor,” he had told Dale as they planed the break in. “My father has one there too.”
They reached the living room. The moon light painted the room in white.
“Will there be an instance when someone will sleep downstairs?” Dale had asked.
“Yes, if someone has been punished. It gets cold first at night.”
The orb travelled across the floor and reached the sofa. It froze at two faces tightly pushed against each other. Leo and Felix.
“Felix.” Mitch stumbled as hastened his steps towards them. “Leo.”
A hand grabbed his coat and pulled him back.
“Hush,” Dale said with his index finger pushed against his mouth. “Thoughts, not feelings.”
Mitch swallowed the lump in his throat. Dale wrinkled his nose. Mitch smelt it too. The punishment.
“How often does he punish you?” Dale whispered.
“Often.”
“We carry them out first. Then we take the others.”
The two bodies noticed nothing of Mitch and Dale picking them up from the sofa and carrying them out on their shoulders. They didn’t notice being thrown in the trunk of the car either. Or Miko closing the trunk behind them.
“I thought you said they would be nine.”
“They are nine,” Dale said. “These were the easiest to get out. We need you to be ready to drive if everything goes south from now on.”
“Sure.”
Mitch and Dale returned inside. A scream broke through the wooden walls and a window lit.

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Flashes of Sanity #172: Forgiving Father

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Forgiving Father

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“Lousy cretins, that’s what you are.” A bottle flew across the kitchen. It missed the wall and went into the living room. It hit Leo in the head and both crashed onto the carpet.
“Nothing but spoiled brats.”
Leo screamed his pain out into the room. His brothers stood beside him and looked. All except Felix. He was dozed off on the couch.
“What did I say about disturbing me?” Arthur came running into the living room He found the screaming son. He found the bottle. The cork came of. He poured the drink down his throat.
“I told you to never disturb me!”
The kid didn’t stop. Not even when Arthur grabbed the shoulders and shook the boy. He threw Leo back to the floor.
“I know how to silence you, you failed slobs.” Arthur disappeared into the kitchen. When he came back, he had another bottle in his hand.
“It took down that miserable sod of a brother you have. It will do the same with you!”
He pressed the boy’s cheeks together and forced the mouth open. The screams were muffled by the bottle. The blank liquid stopped them completely.
The boy coughed it up, Arthur pushed the bottle further down. “Drink, your miserable prick.”
Arms and legs fought to get free, but a father is always stronger than his sons. “Drink!”
The blankness went down. Arthur threw the bottle away and pressed his hands against the mouth when it all came pouring up. Leo swallowed while looking into the eyes of a father he once thought he loved.
“Now, go,” Arthur said and released Leo. He turned to the seven sons remaining. “Anyone else who wants to test me?”
The seven answered with silence as they watched their little brother stumble to the couch. Leo tripped and hit his head against the table. Not even a whimper left his lips, and the little boy didn’t rise after.
“I thought so,” Arthur turned back to the kitchen. “Now leave your father alone until dinner, okay?”
No son moved until dinner. When he called for them, they only hesitantly moved away from their corner in the shadows.

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Flashes of Sanity #171: Shades of Departure

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Shades of Departure

Enjoy!

Gary Oliviallo turned back towards the beach. A bartender and a coconut-dancer waved him off. He waved back.
“I will see you soon,” he said.
They laughed back at him.
Right, he thought. I don’t believe it either. The water stretched for as long as he could see. Gary laughed.
“It is in shades!” He shouted.
The wind pushed him on until the grey swallowed his view in all directions. He pulled the ropes and glanced at the compass on his arm. The digital numbers above the compass told him it was dinner time.
He filled up on energy. So far, a pointless precaution. Once he reached outside of the states, he believed it to be necessary.
I hope the change won’t let my soul free. I hope my body will hold together.
The risk was there. It all hang on the wounds his body accumulated. Were they permanent? Or had they healed? The pain had passed at least.
That had to be a good thing, right?
“I don’t know Gray,” he mumbled with food stuffed into his mouth. “But we made it to a spaceship with a whole lot of I don’t knows, so I guess this will go alright too.”
It took him a day before the ship reached the border. He felt it in a chock travelling through his body. A soul keeping the being together reverted into its passive role. Lungs cried. A heart moved slow under bones. Thoughts became slow.
Please. Let. It. Work.
His breathe returned. A heart once dead found its normal beat among the living. The lungs pushed air out his mouth in celebration.
“I made it!”
The blood found its way through empty veins. Every part of Gary’s body stung as the emptiness was forced away. The soul fed the brain with thoughts. The brain took them all in and made them part of the being that died in war. He fell to the deck exhausted from feeding a body need all the energy it could find. He took sugar from the pantry and butter from the fridge. He stuffed himself with it all as fast as he could and felt the energy pushing his body out from the coma.
The man that was Gray returned.
“Do you like it?” He asked his body. “It’s in shades, just like me.”

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Flashes of Sanity #170: Holy Protector

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Holy Protector

Enjoy!

”These are hard times,” the man said,
”Very hard times,” his friend said.
”You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the coin.”
Aaron studied the two men. “And you tell me you are on the right side of said coin?”
The two looked at each other. They smiled with intentions. Aaron actually could picture the intentions in his mind from times behind enemy lines. Those were not intentions one wants in a church.
“Yes, we are,” They both said.
Aaron’s grip hardened around the knife under his robe. His other hand prepared to crush two skulls against each other.
How long will it take before they come in larger numbers, he thought. Longer than if I let them live.
“How can I be sure your protection will be what is right for my church?”
The two smiles widened. It would be so easy to open their mouths from bone to bone with lips that stretched.
“You will know once you need it.”
Aaron loosened his grip around the knife.
“Please, come in,” he said and turned around. “Welcome to our sanctuary for those who cannot defend themselves.”
The two crocks followed him inside. Without looking back, Aaron knew they looked around in the large room.
They scan for things to take and places to break in.
“There is no one here,” one of them said. The bald one, Aaron recalled. The voice moved to the left.
“No, not yet.”
“How many do you plan on holding here?” The friend said.
“Hundreds. I keep my money behind the altar, follow me.” Aaron steered left. He intentionally stepped on the trap door.
They are warned.
He turned right. His grip hardened around the knife again.
“This place is perfect,” the bald one said.
“It truly is,” Aaron answered. He put his hand on a pedestal and pushed hard.
Spears grew out from the floor. The trap door opened. The crooks screamed.
“Remove all their clothes,” Aaron said. “Search for any recorder.”
“You will pay!”
Aaron turned. His robe rose from the air and his arm swung forward. The knife slit both throats. Screams turned to gurgle. Aaron punctured the lungs. He dropped the knife and grabbed the jaws. With a hard pull both let go from the bodies.
“No recorder, sir.”
“Thank you, Marshal. Now take them down. Make sure the kids don’t see a thing.”
The trap door closed and left was only blood splatter and two jawbones. Aaron crushed the jawbones with a hammer. The powder, he burned.
“Dear Merciful Lord,” he said. “Forgive me for I have sinned.”

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Flashes of Sanity #169: After party

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: After Party

Enjoy!

Bottles laid everywhere. Some broken. Most just forgotten in the never-ending party. Isa crossed the room unnoticed. The first day, he was scared that someone would see him, but that quickly proved false. The devils were either too drunk or too hangover to care about what they saw.
They had won after all. That was all that mattered.
As usual, a couple had found each other under a table and moaned loudly, but apparently not loud enough to awake the man on the table.
I killed myself for this, Isa thought. To see a bunch of redheads fuck each other’s horns of.
The irony hit him just as hard as the sadness in it all.
I actually killed myself. I did it.
It all felt so empty.
He crisscrossed out the back of the large meeting room. ‘New York’ it was called. It and ‘Los Angeles’ were the most popular rooms to party in. He walked through the hallway, pushing himself towards the wall at the right moment before a devil or some devils crossed his path. The elevator was open, but Isa disliked the risk of getting locked in with the enemy. He took the stairs, always the stairs no matter if he was on floor one or six. The only devils there were too busy fucking to even notice the stairs collapsing on top of them.
The streets closest to the offices were bursting with people but further away they quickly became empty, and at the prison cells there were only occasional guards. To be honest, those were not the for guarding, they were there for revenge.
For being creators with the holy mission of tending to sinners, the devils were dangerously similar to their victims.
When the light went out, we are all animals who fight for survival. Isa echoed the thought in his head as he walked the corridors between the cells. It was as close as home he could get. There was always a cell empty for him to sleep in too. Without his reflection trying to kill him.
Sobs echoed between the walls. The losers in a war. Isa didn’t care for either.
What do I care about? Isa thought. Really?
Sobs came closer, and disappeared behind him.
“Why?” A woman moaned.
Isa glanced into the cell. She was alone on the floor. Shit was everywhere.
“Why?”
Because you weren’t cautious, Isa thought.
“Why did you have to kill them?” She cried. “They were innocent. They were just kids.”
Isa halted. The heart of his soul screamed in pain.
Kids, he thought. They kill kids. Why?
He quickened his steps back to his cell. He sat by the wall.
“Why?” The woman moaned again.
Why? He thought. Kids. Is nothing sacred?

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Flashes of Sanity #168: Conflict of Wat

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Conflict of War

Enjoy!

It was a comfy chair. The cream of the crop didn’t want anything to disturb the thinking process, I guess, Susanne Queen thought.
“Correct me if I misunderstood,” she said. “We declared war on President Sloptokov to fight Xander Bylix’s cloud monster. Which proved unnecessary as a dragon randomly showed up and destroyed both himself and Bylix. The declaration of war is still active and as we speak, Sloptokov talks to the UN about possible outcomes because our nation has proven to dangerous since the dead began walking.”
“That is correct,” Marge said. “The UN have inquired you the president of the United States to defend our position.”
“Right. What is your take on this conversation?”
“Sloptokov has been searching for reasons to turn everyone against us. As the state of the country is today, he’s got a point.”
“Is there anyway we could convince them to side with us?”
“We must try. I suggest you take the stance that we will clean up the mess and bring this whole country back on track.”
Susanne nodded. She glanced at her desk. Her thoughts puzzled with the dilemma from all possible angles. “What do we have in case Sloptokov gets his will through?”
“Our army is impaired, but we hopefully can get it back on its feet with the rouges.”
The rogue Hunters and Witches of Xander. Not that reliable when Susanne thought of it.
“Our main strategy has been to take the war to the enemy. News reports from around the globe suggests that it would be unwise in our situation.”
Susanne glanced at the muted TV, probably the only TV in the country still working. Just like her communications with the outside world probably was the only working within the country. Criminals outside of the US still died. Within the borders everyone lived.
“No, the troops we send, if anyone would agree to it, would die on the battle field.”
“And the troops Sloptokov sends to us would become immortal,” Marge continued her trail of thought.
Susanne rested her eyes on the TV-screen. A reporter gave the viewers his personal opinions on what could happen. The reporter called it analysis.
“We need to win the UN over. We will press on the fact that the war declaration was enforced and we needed military action fast when our own was down. Do you have a recording of your conversation with Sloptokov?”
“Everything is recorded and backed up, but it will probably take too long to get the recording.”
“Try anyway. Otherwise, we’ll hope the UN trusts us and not Sloptokov.”
“I will see what threads can be pulled.” Marge picked up her phone and tapped the screen with fingers quick as thoughts.
“And Marge, I find it hard to believe Gool didn’t keep track on our country. See if you can find what people he had reporting from the streets.”
“On it.” Marge sank deeper into her phone.
Susanne corrected her dress.
Now, what should I do next?

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Flashes of Sanity #167: Post-Apocalyptical Officers

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Post-Apocalyptical Officers

Enjoy!

Cassandra entered their old office. The windows were gone, the computers too.
We will have to sit on the floor during meetings like in kindergarten, she thought. It will have to do.
“Is this really a good idea?”
“Is anything a good idea at the moment, Aresh?”
That shut him up. At least for the moment.
“Paul. Kim. Could you make sure our office hasn’t gotten new guests.”
“What do we do if we find any?”
“Show them the badge. Hopefully, it will work.”
Cassandra walked up to the wall where they used to display details for the whole group to see. The screen had been ripped off.
“Do we have a blackboard or a whiteboard in the basement? Kara, could you check for me. Roger you go too.”
The holding cells at the back of the office were empty. That would change. They were all the prison they had access to nowadays and the thought of what hid in the real cells of prisons in times like these made Cassandra’s skin crawl.
“Do you really think those will hold anyone for long? I mean they are immortal. Someone will probably crush his head against the bars and squeeze through them.”
Cassandra sighed. “Yes, someone will probably do that unless we crush them like we did with the army at the square.”
“We will crush them?” The two wide hollows that was Aresh’s eyes stared at her.
“Like bugs and pile them on top of each other.”
“You got to be kidding me?”
Why should I joke about this?” The sudden outburst got Aresh jumping back as intended. “I want to take care of the crime in this city and I have only seen us succeed at one point since this hell started. Everything else has failed. Everything!”
Seven faces had their color disappear. Only four returned from the white before Cassandra continued.
“If you are not okay with it, you are free to continue outside of my task force.”
“I was not okay with it on the square,” Aresh said. His face was the last to return to color. It was also the first to turn red. “I will not be part of it again. I am leaving.”
“This sick,” he mumbled as he returned the same way they came.
“Anyone else who wants to run?” Cassandra felt her own face heat up. “Anyone?”
Raul Saref and Regina Julius turned their back at her without a word. Their steps echoed down the stairs.
The five remaining kept staring. Cassandra stared back.
“So, I guess we won’t have to clean the cells then?” Kim said.
“No.” Cassandra’s pulse fell back between the ribs where it was supposed be. “Let those devils rot in the dust.”

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Flashes of Sanity #166: A Gifted Council

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: A Gifted Council

Enjoy!

”Okay,” Nick said and wandered on and of between the curved walls. “We need something new. Something that makes our dynasty magnificent. Something extraordinary.”
“Hit me!”
“The red will come.”
Nick facepalmed with a sigh. “Mark, could you sow Tim’s mouth shut before we continue.”
“I could crush his jaw for you if that suits you better?” A muscular man said as he approached from the shadows.
“No, only sowing and don’t pretend you don’t know how to do it. I have seen the mittens you do when no one is watching.”
The muscles grumbled, but a needle magically appeared from his pocket.
“They are beautiful by the way.”
The grumbles stopped. The back got straighter, and shouts of pain from an annoyance turned to mumbles.
“Now.” Nick said from his throne and spread his fingers. “Madeleine as my PR advisor what do you think?”
“We should put out posters with invitation to join you in this war.”
“I like the way you think, Madeleine. The printers are down, though. What about writing with the blood of our enemies?”
The court agreed to the inquiry with exception for Piotr, but he was smart enough to remain silent when threatened to have his mouth sowed shut too.
“Our next point, what should our next target be? We got the city. It is only suitable to go longer.”
“How about going west to the coast,” Blaine, financial shark, said. “They have casinos.”
“No, too small. We need to prove that we are here to remain.”
“Why don’t you go for the presidency then?”
Nick froze in his chair. “That sounds scary.” He tasted the words. “I love it! Bjoern! I knew you would pay off, but this quick. You really are full of surprises.”
Nick snapped his fingers. Two grunts appeared.
“Please, go up and find some enemies for blood. I need you to write ‘Vote for Gift-box’ at every street corner.”
‘But I can’t spell,” one of the men objected.
“Those left can’t read either so everything evens out.” Nick returned to his court. “I feel like celebrating. Mark! Open the bottles in the back, and when you’re at it free Tim’s mouth. We are having a party for the centuries.”

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Flashes of Sanity #165: Criminal Begginings

Welcome to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Previously called Flashes of Sanity. I am changeing the name because it is not flash fiction. It is a whole story with chapters!

Four times a week, a chapter of 500 words or less will be published. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Today’s entry: Criminal Beginning s

Enjoy!

Donna searched the shop from top to bottom. It was as empty as the other ones. Only rats, and rat poop.
Was that all the city had become?
“We should get going,” Cat-scratch Bill said. “The city is not safe for a small gang like us.”
“You are right about that,” Brutal Joe said.
Donna ignored them. Who could be in the city? Who thrived among rats?
“Donna lets go.”
“Wait, I just want to check one more store.”
“Why it will be like this one, and the one before that, and the one before that.”
Joe nodded in agreement to his friend’s words. “It is a waste of time.”
“Who is it you are afraid of? All the gangs blew each other to pieces as soon as they realized they were immortal.”
“All gangs?” Joe shook his head in disbelief. “You are one lousy criminal if that is what you assume. There is always someone biding their time ready to strike when everyone else is down.”
Like me, Donna thought.
“Like who?” She asked.
The two thugs shrugged in unison.
“That’s the rule. There are always one more crook.”
Bill smiled. “Yep, there are always someone you can work for.”
“But I don’t want to work for anyone.”
“And that’s why we will escape the city.” Joe’s arm landed on Donna’s shoulders. “This in not safe for someone like you.”
“Someone like me?” Donna threw his arm of her. “Do you even know what I am capable of? Do you even understand what I have done? I am the mastermind behind this whole war.”
“Up until the immortal part,” Joe filled in.
“After that you got caught and tortured in a basement,” Bill continued.
“And I want revenge!” Donna felt her face heat up. “I want to make them all pay for ruining my plan.”
Her two newfound friends took one step back. They looked at each other.
“Well, we can’t die,” Bill said.
“You are right about that.” Joe turned to Donna. “So, what is your plan miss Sweet Sixteen Criminal Mastermind?”
“My plan?” Donna glanced at the rat poop.
Rats survive everything. She looked out through the window and saw a manhole cover. Rats are everywhere. She smiled. Rats live below.
“We will find who runs this town, and we will make them beg for their sad lives.”
“Just the three of us?”
“Yes, we will build our base above ground, and when the rats dare to come up, we will catch them one by one.”
Joe and Bill looked out at the manhole cover Donna saw. Her plan sank in behind their thick skulls, and they nodded.
“Yes, rats they must be,” Joe said. “Rats can lose.”
“I like the way you think, little girl.” Bill laughed. “Let’s get this party going.”




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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2022