So it has come to this…
I am changing the name for my 500 Word flash fictions!
It occurred to me that the challenge of a story of 500 words or less every week is finished, and honestly it doesn’t pose the same challenge anymore. So I am changing the name to…
FLASHES OF SANITY
Kinda proud of that honestly.
In the same manner I will structure my blog posts under 4 banners:
Flashes of Sanity: A weekly short story of 500 words or less. These posts will keep the numbering from my previous 500 words banner.
I like shorts: A segment where I put the stories who are not part of Flashes of Sanity.
Thoughts of Insanity: Highly irregular posts where I talk about everything from what I listen to where I forget my socks and updates on my writing
Optional Opinions: I have been thinking about adding a review segment to my blog. Mostly books or comic books. This will just as Thoughts of Insanity be highly irregular.
Hopefully these changes will bring some freshness into the blog and some needed structure!
If you want to read this week’s story about a weird meeting at a store, don’t worry. It is still here. Just further down in this entry.I have added some blog-like personal thoughts to this and the last entry.
It feels like I am ramping up my writing! And I have alot in the pipeline both for the blog and my writing in general! This is so exciting (and a little nerve wrecking). Stay tuned!
I have discovered a couple of new podcasts that really excite me. They really have opened my eyes around the business of being an author.
1. The creative Penn podcast ( https://open.spotify.com/show/070M71FwN4u6HOivKRvqvq?si=UvmWJa_eTnmSFjWeSY1_ug&utm_source=copy-link )
2. 6 figure author podcast ( https://open.spotify.com/show/3YVuvQBs7OVWYRxm2Sqmyx?si=W8ACK2pqTJi8bYsB9hESgw&utm_source=copy-link)
Do you have any great podcasts? Send me a link!
Now to the story!
I had a blast writing this story. Gray just had som special about him. I hope you will have a laugh too.
Gray: The Retailer
”HELLO!” The voice echoed above the shelves. “Welcome to Food Palace – Where we make life easy.”
“Hush.” Matt said. “Did you hear that? Let’s be quiet, okay?”
Little Joe nodded.
“How can I help you todaaaaaaa-!” And there he was, Gary ‘Gray’. His feet lost their grip and slid on the tiles. For effect, he imitated a motorcycle.
“I see you brought Joe today.” Gray pinched the babies cheeks. “let me help you with that cart.”
Joe burst into tears.
“I think someone wants to have a loooollipop.”
Before Matt had the time to object, Joe hade a red lollipop in his mouth and a storm of new pinches hailed upon the reddening cheeks.
“So Matt, how can I help you today? “ Gray turned to Matt who saw Joe cry while turning hyperactive.
“I don’t need any help. “ Matt said. “We are just here for a quick errand.”
“Matt… no one enters food palace for a quick errand.” Gary steered them towards the vegetables.
“But we only need mi-. “
“Do you like my new shirt?“ Gray suddenly halted. “It is in fifty shades. Just like me.“ He leaned closer to Matt. “I am gonna let you in on a secret, I have learned a thing or two. And my playroom draws women like crazy.“
“Playroom?” The father said as two carrots landed in his cart. “I said… “
“Have I showed you our news?“ Gray suddenly steered deeper into the store.
“You should see the craziness we have taken in.” Gray continued . “Boats, cars… You know wwhat we sell houses. Maybe we should rename our self ‘The Palace’. “
“But I wanted milk.” Matt resisted but suddenly stopped. “Is that…”
“Yes.” Gray put his arm around Matt’s shoulders. “A full sized lego tank!”
Between them, Joe jumped up and down in sugary high.
“And you know what… “ Gray leaned closer. “It is on sale.”
“I could never…” Matt stared at the giant monstrosity . “We don’t have the money… Lisa would never…”
“Like you care what she thinks!” Gray blurted. Joe got a new lollipop and reached a terrifying hyper energized state .
“I do!” Matt looked startled at all the fifty shades of Gray.
“Sure.” Gray whistled in disbelief. “From what Lisa told me in my playroom you are kind of disappointment.”
Matt looked in confusion at the man who didn’t look to ever land anyone off the opposite sex. “Lisa has seen your playroom?”
“Many times and I gotta tell you, that tiger knows her stuff. “
“Tiger?” The craziness of it all got shady. “She hasn’t worn those in years.”
“Only for special occasions. They really shows her best sides.” Gray shaped a woman’s curves with his hands. “So what do you say? Lego tank? Or not?”
“I don’t know…” Matt said as he signed the paper and his mind thought tiger stripes and fifty shades.
“Now go and fulfill your dreams!” Gray disappeared between the shelves.
“Damn you Gray.” Matt sighed.
Once again… Wednesday! Once again I have a short story for your entertainment.
I have used a random word generator to find inspiration for this and the following entries. It has posed a bit more of challenge for my writing but I find fun to work in more limited environment.
The word for this week was Reviewer, it actually worked out pretty well.
And well I will give you the words guiding my upcoming entries as well just to tease you a bit 😉
They are: Retailer, Abnormal, Threads, Heir, Asylum, Homosexuals
What will I do with these words? Stay tuned to find out!
Anyway… Lets get to the short story.
Dale Riderstorm stood in front of a door. Most people would see just that, only a door. Dale was no normal people. He was The Reviewer. The rich’s boogeyman. He saw a white paint so clean the door shone in the morning light. He saw the code lock with fingerprint recognition.
Dale scanned the door from top to bottom as he picked up a color chart from his front pocket. He opened the chart to page 91.
As suspected, he thought slyly.
‘Cotton white from Shuster’s paint and home décor’ He noted in his leather notebook bought at Authors and Doers. The smell filled him with calm. No one could make notebooks as Laura does.
He looked over his shoulder and glansed at the other houses. seven out of ten with code locks. All from the same manufacturers.
Business must be booming, he thought for himself.
Dale stepped back. He studied the windows. Also cleaned with an extraordinary precision. Out of his left pocket, he picked up a flashlight no larger than a pen. The light beam refracted into all shades of blue as it hit the windows.
‘Qlever Home Cleaning’ Dale noted. They were the only who used detergents with that refraction pattern.
Dale decided that he had seen enough and walked up to the door and knocked. He could hear his subtle knock vibrate through the door and create a heavy echo on the other side.
‘A Bernard Hausen Woodwork Door. Quality.’ He noted.
A man in jeans and a shirt opened the door. No freshly pressed suit. Dale smiled. It probably waited in the closet until Dale had left.
How stupid the rich are, he thought as he picked up his notebook again.
‘Grim Denim. Loose Fit. Extra tears from’ Dale took a closer look at the jeans. ‘Western Clothing. BesQ Shirt. Summer Edition.’ Dale looked down at the socks. ‘Submarines Diamond Edition. Luxurary on Demand.’
The man looked at Dale’s pen and then at his socks. He swallowed.
“Kyle Rose?” Dale loved the fear in all the victims eyes before the hammer came down. He held back a shiver.
“Yes.” The man stuttered.
“I am the Reviewer.” Dale walked in without waiting for Kyle to invite him. “Are you alone?”
Kyle looked around as if he made sure he was not forgetting anything. A reflex he shared with so many other creeps. “No I am all alone.”
“How great!” Dale put on his leather gloves. Highest quality. Easy to clean. “Please close the door. We don’t want the neighbors to know about your shameful living.”
Kyle nodded. He hesitated.
“We don’t run from our problems Kyle. Such impulses could make our matter really ugly.”
As if he was electrocuted Kyle immediately closed the door.
“So Kyle Rose…” Dale smiled as he looked around. So many possibilities. “You know why I am here. Let the review begin.”
It is time for my weekly short story!
But first… A little update! (yeah I am testing something new again)
From next week I will start using a random word generator for themes on my short stories. This will bring a new level to this challenge. I am looking forward to this so much.
On my other writing projects:
I have sent a pitch to a publisher for the Thundering Flame comic book project I have been working on. Let’s see how this goes!
On Demons in Cotton, I have decided to go for self-publishing. So now I am looking for an editor and hopefully this will soon be resolved.
A lot is happening right. And it feels like I am entering into a new era of my writing life!
Stay tuned for more information!
Now to the story!
Sonja was no lady with a tin foil hat tyghtly wrapped around her head. No, that was the idiocy level 1 conspiracy theorists. Sonja left those days behind her a long time ago. When she met Grant. Wheen he taught her the levels.
No more government against the small people. No more lizards behind rich faces. No more flat earth.
The world was built differently. It was a layer. Nothing else. And all the crazyness was what came when you piled layer on top off layers on top off layers. It was pressure nothing else.
Sonja hugged the heavy book closer to her chest. ’Physics of an unstable world’ by Grant Buster. A true master piece. A true master. All needed to understand was on these pages. Explanations of the human psyche. Diagrams of a world spiraling into chaos.
She was so happy he reached out to her before it was too late. Now they can change the world. They can save it.
”Thank you for coming on such a short notice. ” Grant said in the distance.
Sonja looked up into the candle light. ”How could I not?” She said. ”The world’s safety is an urgent matter.”
”It is indeed…” The old man limped closer. His cane with its dragon head was carved out of marble. Yet he carried it as it was nothing but cheap plastic. ”And the world must never know of the work we do.”
”Yes.” Sonja put the book down on her knees. ”I haven’t told a soul, but if they knew what hides between these pages.” She caressed the spine. ”They would change their ways, I truly believe so.”
”You young ones are so naive.” Grant sighed. ”I have tried many times in my youth but never have it penetrated through the ignorant minds. We must do what they cannot. We must be seen as outcasts so they can live the good life. ”
A pause stayed between them for what Sonja thought felt like forever before Grant once again spoke.
”It is time for you to become a level 10. ”
”What?” Sonja turned to her meister. ”But I am only a 5, how could I jump all the way to 10. It has taken my years to get here.”
”Yes, but time is of essence. And I do not know how long I have left.” Grant leaned on Sonja’s chair. ”Your real training begins now. You will have no breaks, you will never see home again. You will not be a member of the ignorant anymore. You are ready my child. ”
Sonja swallowed her fear and all the memories of the life she once called her home. ”Yes I am. ” She said.
”Good. Turn to page 439. ”
Sonja obeyed and looked at the drawings in front of her. All the components, and all the chemicals.”What is this? ”
”That?” Grant rested his heavy marble cane on her book. ”That is a bomb for our enemies. I want you to bring it to yhem. ”
Sonja hesitated. ”Do you want me to detonate a bomb with our enemies? Do you want me to kill myself in the name of our cause?”
Grant laughed. ”No, I don’t want you to kill yourself. ” Then she felt is breath along her neck. ”You see at level 10 you don’t die. His fangs dug into her skin.
She gasped for air but nothing reached her lungs. She screamed but her voice was already dead. The book hit the floor and her empty body crashed down beside it. In the corner of her eye she saw Grant walk closer. Nowhere was the limp that one was his trademark.
”Please don’t kill me.” Sonja whispered. Her weak heart gave of a desperate final beat.
”Welcome my creature of the night” Grant whispered into her ear. ”Now let your body die and join me in the dark.”
Yes! Another Wednesday! And this time let’s talk about a beast in a black fur.
A Hairy Beast
“You are my hairy beast.” It was what his wife called him. He loved how she curled the R while saying it.
He loved how he couldn’t walk into a room without being noticed. He thrived in their respect and their awe.
That said he was used to seeing hair in the drain. It was the price one paid for magnificence. The thick blackness swirling downwards, clogging the pipes as they disappeared.
This felt different.
It was his hair. It was the same thickness, the same blackness.
It just lacked life.
Soon all of it would be gone. In the drain, in the garbage can. Everywhere but where it should be.
Soon his enormous being would shrink. No heads would turn as he walked by. No one would walk out of his way. No. No one would notice him.
Soon all he would be was pancreatic cancer. Discovered too late. Prognosis too bad. Medication just for show.
He dragged his hand through the thick blackness once again. Hair straws followed the fingers as they left the scalp.
“I am a hairy beast.” Words so hollow they fell down the drain with what once was his being.
He told himself that he would fight this. He would survive. He would once again become one hairy beast with Rs curling with excitement.
As the man of respect he was, the lie stung. Even at this stage.
A trip into the monologue of a mad man. And he likes nachos
Nachos and murder
Asphalt bleeds in the summer heat, did you know that? You did? I did not. You know what it doesn’t matter. Not when nachos are this cheap.
This is the best dip. Lets embrace the moment shall we… Yeah Yeah cry… It is not like you make any difference.
I need more nachos. Hey what do I have to do to get some more nachos around here!
Hah I am sorry. I forgot. I can make some myself. How hard can it be really.
Want to have a bite?
Hah two times within a couple of minutes. Silly me. I will mix it for you. Do you want a straw?
There, there, everything will be okay. They screamed of happiness. Does that make it better? No. How bad. Lets try again. I want you to smiiiiiile. You hear me?
That wasn’t so hard was it? We just have to wipe your cheeks a little.
Hmm that made it worse. Maybe if we use some water?
OH sorry! Wrong bucket!
No no stop screaming. JUST STOP SCREAMING!
Heeeey. You look like fun company. Your friend over there was kind of a mood killer. You look like you laugh alot.
You hear that!? Sirens. They will celebrate US. This is the time!
Lets get married! Too fast? It is just something with your eyes and those dimples. Oh I would love those… Shit. The knife slipped.
No don’t cry. Not you too.
No you know what? Papa is tired of your shit. Lets divorce. Colt says he would looove to help.
That was easy wasn’t it?
And now to the men in blue.
Welcome to my party!
This one turned into more of a monologue than a story. It turned out pretty good anyway, so read and stay safe folks
It all began with a single thought.
Maybe I am not made for this.
Nothing more. Nothing less. It was an echo in the static, a mumble in a crowd. Then silence. For a long time. But never forever. Once it returned the voice brought a friend. And two voices echoed.
This is not worth it.
I pushed them away. They were not me. They were not what I believed. I was happy. Most of the time.
It will be easier without me.
Four voices became eight. Sixteen. Thirty-two. Soon they where more than hundred, and just some friends in my head became too much to ignore. The waves began.
I am meaningless.
I am useless.
I am nothing.
I smiled. I laughed. I kept it all inside. Cause’ what no one knows doesn’t exist. Right? That is how it works. It must be? If I tell it to myself enough times, maybe it becomes real.
No one really cares.
I was drowning. And wherever I looked everyone was to busy with their own life. It is fair. In this world we are all alone against the tides. We are all just surviving. Some better than others.
They are all pretending to care.
Once I wanted to scream, it was to late. The crowd inside was too strong. They were already done. I was alone and lonely, and I wanted to be. I had already decided.
My end has come.
The crowd is silent now. They have been for days. They only nod in approval.
I will free us.
Great news everyone!
My first draft for Flaring Thunder (working title for a four-issue comic book project) is finally finished!
For the first time since beginning this project are all the pieces forced together. And well this story got some adrenaline pumping between the lines!
Next stop: Polishing the pieces so every detail actually fits. Also called the second draft!
In all the COVID-chaos, one man rose among the others. In all the pain, he built an empire.
This is Bill!
Bill’s road to riches
Bill was a man of singular vision. He was a man of passion. He was what he called the real deal.
Back in the day, they had laughed at his ideas. Even bullied him. They thought they knew more than him. They thought they knew the way to riches. They thought they knew how to get future happiness.
Bill looked out over his stock. All neatly packaged boxes addressed to houses all over the globe. He chuckled.
He actually had been close to giving in to all the naysayers. Then it happened. COVID. Lockdown after Lockdown.
Each one made his smile a little wider. They talked about the third wave now. Maybe even a fourth. Maybe the virus could mutate. Maybe it would be seasonal thing.
All was good news in Bill’s business.
He picked up one of the boxes. Anderson.
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. Bill put the box back.
Who could have known lonely couples could be so horny.
Bill had known.
Bill had always known that his sex toys would save the world!
Hey! Let’s revisit Mr Diamond!
A coffee with Mr. Diamond
It was one of those plaves where the sun was so hot even the air seemed to sweat and Douglas Diamond hated all places without air-condition.
”I want my coffee black from the best damned bean you savages can find in this shed.” Even that was probably worse than the mass produced shit the supermarkets had at home, when he thought about it. It was probably so bad even the cup threw it up.
Douglas would drink it anyway. It was coffee after all. One of three things he actually enjoyed.
His reputation was the second.
The pressing on his suit was the third.
Both was as spoiled as the coffee now handed to him. All just because of one lousy letter. Somehow these things always end in the wrong hands. The hands that make stocks plummet and companies go from top 500 to bottom hundred in a week.
I will kill whomever wrote that bloody thing, he thought as he sipped the dark cocktail of manure this tribe called coffee.
The cup actually seemed to shake in his hands from disgust.
”Everything to your liking sir?”
”How dare you speak to me without being asked?!” Douglas spat the coffee in the man’s face. It tasted even more bitter on the way out.
As the coffee dripped down on the ground, the man’s face fell with it. He screamed.
Douglas looked at the scenery. How the hell? Then his coffee in his cup fell out through the bottom.
Douglas coughed. His hands turned red.
As he fell to the ground ha saw a smiling face among the crowd. When everyone else escaped she stood still. She laughed.
”Pigs die but witches and hunters survive!” She said.
Witches? Douglas thought. Hunters?
The girl picked a knife from her belt and walked closer. Her shoes faded away in the fog.
”I wonder what privilege tastes like?” She whispered in his ear.
Douglas never felt the stabs. He was dead before two hands broke his ribcage open.
Privilege tasted delicious. That could Douglas have told her if she had let him survive.