Above Heaven, Below Hell #179: Guard Tower

Welcome!

Flashes of Sanity has changed name to Above Heaven, Below Hell! 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.

I would love to know my readers more! So, I’ll be having a question of the week from now on!

This weeks question: who is your favorite character in this little universe? Tell me in the comments! (It’s okay if there are more than one ;))

Today’s entry: Guard Tower

Enjoy!

Candle lights flickered as the once fully functional office went into night mode. Matrasses laid on the floor. It was the most comfortable bed Cassandra had laid on in what felt like years.
“Cass’?” She heard Kara whisper from the shadows.
“Yes, Kara.”
“I would like to bring the one that killed me in.”
Cassandra sat herself up. “Yes, we should do that. Do you want me to come with you?”
“Yes.”
“Then we will go tomorrow.” Cassandra laid down again and looked up the ceiling. The moonlight wandered across it. This was the first time she ever saw the white light from the moon enter the office, she realized. It had always been streetlight or office lamps.
“Could I also use one of the meeting rooms for talking to the other victims?”
“Like group counseling?” Cassandra let the thought wander between her neurons for a moment. “I don’t see why you shouldn’t. How many are there?”
“About ten I think, but I never counted them.”
“Take the owl then.”
Echoing steps from the stairway interrupted their discussion. Both turned towards the door. Brink slammed the door open. A man fought to get free in his arms. Hang was just half a step behind.
“We found one,” he said. “The bastard came running when we caught him. He held this.”
Cassandra got up on her feet. She glanced at the red liquid. Blood.
“Where did you get that?”
The man stared at her. Anger flushed though his cheeks. “From our enemies.”
“What enemies?”
The man stopped resisting the two officers. He directed all his force towards Cassandra. Brynk and Hang stopped him just centimeters away from Cassandra’s face. Cassandra’s pulse fled up her throat. She fought to not show it through her face.
“Enemies like you. All enemies of Gift-box.”
“He has been babbling about his Gift-box all the way here,” Brynk said between his teeth. “Apparently the guy will come and get us to refill the buckets some day.”
“How fascinating.” Cassandra inhaled slowly. “This Gift-box then must know we exist, right?”
The man’s face went from furious to blank.
“Thought so. Paul. Hang. Put him in the cell. Kara and I will get the hammers.”
“You can never beat Gift-box,” the man screamed behind her. “No one can beat him.”
Maybe not, Cassandra thought. But we got the upper hand.

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Flashes of Sanity #177: Sneak Peek

Welcome!

From 1st February Flashes of Sanity will change name to Above Heaven, Below Hell! Mark it in your calenders! 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.

I would love to know my readers more! So, I’ll be having a question of the week from now on!

This weeks question: who is your favorite character in this little universe? Tell me in the comments! (It’s okay if there are more than one ;))

Today’s entry: Sneak Peek

Enjoy!

It had been hours following one rat along the streets. One rat with little awareness about his surroundings.
“Come on, little rat. Show us your home.”
The rat looked over his shoulder, basically straight at Donna, but didn’t see a thing. He turned back to the brick wall, dipped his hand in the bucket and smeared the red into the same words he had written on the last three walls.
’VOTE GIFT-BOX’
The rat hesitated, then he dipped a finger in the bucket and wrote ’or else’ with tiny letters under his previous statement. The rat giggled.
“Who is this Gift-Box?” Donna mumbled.
The two grunts beside her shrugged.
“Someone new,” Joe said.
“There is always someone new,” Bill agreed.
The rat looked to his right. His shoulders went up to his ears , and he ran in the opposite direction.
“Follow him.” The voice sent chills down Donna’s spine. “I want him to be able to talk.”
Of all the people, she thought. The next second, she saw the man in what was left of his flesh. Oesten.
“I thought everyone went down in the mayhem,” Donna said.
“Apparently, Oesten knew to keep his head down.”
Oesten scanned the writing on the wall.
“Gift-Box. What war are you planning?”
Oesten returned back to where he came from. His perfume still hang in the air. It covered the rot badly.
“Change of plans,” Donna said. “Iwant to take down some birds to the sewer first. Then, we take the rats.”
“And what are you planning to get from that?”
“Revenge.”

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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2022

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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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2022

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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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2022

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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Flashes of Sanity #150: The Element of Surprise

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: The Element of Surprise

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Joe pinched Donny. Hard. The pinch traveled through his body in an electric shock and Donny prepared himself for what was coming.
The two cops fired at the Santa from hell. The Santa was thrown aback, not by pain, that Donny was sure of.
Is this the right time? He feared he already had let the moment pass.
The bullets rained onto Santa, he turned towards the two cops. So far, no one else had reacted.
Now!
Donny threw himself at the corpse in Santa’s outfit.
”What are you gonna do?” Joe had asked as he handed over the grenade.
”Think of Bella and all that happened to her. Then I will blame the bastard for it all.”
He hit the red body with all his force and caught some bullets while doing so. At this point, the bullets just stung. Santa fell backwards, and Donny came after. They crashed into the asphalt and Donny sat himself on the rotten chest.
“This is for Bella and all your kind did to her!” He punched the grenade into Santa’s chest. When someone has been decomposed for long enough that goes surprisingly easy.
Santa looked at his chest, he scratched at it to get the grenade out. And Donny went for the red hat. He pulled it off the dead head.
The dead head didn’t realize what happened until Donny had thrown it to those behind him.
Please let it be Dale that catches it, he thought. Or Mitch.
The Santa screamed in a high pitch Donny guessed only molded vocal chords could accomplish. Donny leaned in and wrapped his arms around the body.
“You and me are going for a ride,” he said.
The explosion tore his chest apart. He was thrown into the air.
Donny knew he wouldn’t die but one could always hope.
Donny knew he wouldn’t meet Bella either way, but wasn’t that what wishes was created for.

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Flashes of Sanity #130: Doomsday Interview

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Doomsday Interview

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The first time was scary. The other too. Now when Bjoern actually gave it a thought, it was always scary to put yourself in the line of fire. Even though the first bullet confirmed your suspicions.
But it brought in the scoops of a lifetime. Which gave connections in governments. Just because so few wanted to risk not being a saint.
He tapped the microphone in his shirt button. The camera was the button below it.
“It is go time.”
The door complained. A fresh breeze of a city at war pushed away the stale indoor air. He kicked the corpse crawling right outside his window.
“Not today, Glenn. Today I am after the bigger fish.”
The corpse fell over and tipped over the dock and into the sea.
“You son of a” Glenn said before the water took jis last words.
The bigger fish was the mysterious Gift box. A man quickly rising in the crime world after the war began. Named after his process of picking his opponents apart and putting them in neat boxes.
Apparently, he was considered quite a nice guy in the underworld.
Shadows wandered across the horizon. Bjoern directed his camera towards them and tapped it from above.
Hope those are your ships, Mr. President, he thought.
They were supposed to meet at a supermarket a mile into the city. Sunny Mart. Or the invite had said ‘where the sun shops’. And sunny Mart was the only shop in town fitting that criterion.
“Recording, September 21. Today I will interview Gift-box. Wish me luck.” He released the microphone and whistled while he walked the road to the city.
“Hey, shit face,” a man said in the distant. “When will you interview me?”
“I already got enough of failures on my tapes, Lars.”
“Fuck you, Bjoern.”
“Is that your official statement.” Bjoern continued to whistle.
The morning sun disappeared as he walked between the buildings. The supermarket was visible now. It was as empty as it always had been.
Broken windows and broken spirits, Bjorne thought.
The sun peaked in between the buildings again. Bjoern stopped his steps.
How come Sunny Mart was in the shadows today?
He looked back at the shadow casters. His hand reached for the camera. Tap.
He tapped again. And again. As the convoy passed above him. His eyes remained wide open, his mouth too.
“What the…”
He turned his fingers around the button to zoom.
“Is that Santa?”
The man in the red cape glared down at him. The face with too many holes to be considered a face grinned. He pointed his fingers in Bjoern’s direction. Two elves peaked over the sledge. They laughed and jumped down to the street.
Bjoern’s camera caught it all. Then he ran.
He stumbled and fell down a sewer. He hit his head. And all went dark.

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Flashes of Sanity #128: Indoor Protection

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Indoor Protection

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“There is dangerous world out there ma’am. For a lady like yourself our services can prove crucial.”
The three men outside her door smiled those crocked smiles she always saw on TV. It was the bad guy smile.
“And if I don’t want you protection?” She asked just as her heroes Marta McToomb would. She even got the accent right.
“We will make sure you learn how dangerous the world can be.”
With those words they pushed her away from the door and walked in.
“All we ask for is your sons and daughters for our army and our entertainment.”
“You can’t take my son!”
The men stopped her mouth by pressing a knife against her throat.
“It is our fee, okay? It is a fee you will want to pay.”
What would Marta McToomb do? She thought. How would she save the day?
She would give them what they want just to take them down with a genius plan she came up with on the way to her son.
“He is up stairs.”
“Thank you for your cooperation.” The knife disappeared from her throat. “Show us the way my lady.”
As she walked up the stairs, her brain searched every corner for an idea. She was not an idea-woman like Marta McToomb, she realized. She was a worry-herself-into-an-ulcer-woman.
They came to a bedroom door. Two voices moaned from the inside.
“Harder,” the female moans burst into explosions of ecstasy.
‘Yes,” the man panted.
“Looks like we got the jackpot, boys,” one of the men said and slammed the door open.
The smile on all the men’s faces went away. With mouths open they looked at the middle-aged man on the floor.
“Mom!” The man screamed. “I have told you to not disturb me when I am playing videogames!”
The two dolls in his hands were as naked as dolls can be. Their bodies were entangled.
“Is this a masturbation cave?” One of the three men asked.
“No! I am playing videogames.” The man on the floor looked up at his visitors and the teenage rage ran off his face.
“Really?”
”I mean.” He looked at the turned off computer and TV. Then he looked at his own bulging crotch and the two dolls in his hands. His face reddened.
“Yes,” he said. “This is a masturbation cave.”
One of the three men turned to the woman standing right behind them. Her face was red too.
“You will receive our protection,” he said. He glanced at the overgrown teen. “For free. If you need anything more, just tell us okay. Shit, this was just.”
“Sad,” his two companions filled in.
The three left the house with their mouths still open. They took the rest of the day off.

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Flashes of Sanity #120: Red Crown

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Red Crown

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’We are on our way’, the text said. It put a smile on Sam’s face. All his son’s texts did nowadays.
Who could have guessed the little rascal would stop rioting and grow up to become like his father. He even got SurgeRay for a little while. Impressive to say the least.
”Please,” the bearded man pleaded. “Let me go. I want no harm.”
“I know.” Sam tucked away the phone into his jacket. “That is why I am here. It is about time your people learned how harm others.”
“But Santa is the kindest there is. Santa and his elves can never do any harm.”
Sam raised his right eyebrow. He walked across the room, past a large door to the elf tied up on a chair. Behind the door songs were sang and machines were humming.
“You are partially right, you can’t do cause any harm. That is you nature. It is really a shame that one of the kindest people on earth found the red crown. Your elves on the other hand… Yes, they are the kindest of all our folks. But that is only because they obey the one wearing the hat. They abandoned free will a thousand years ago.”
Sam grabbed the elf’s chin and pushed the head up so they were eye to eye. The tears glistered in his eyes. He shook.
“These little rascals have been in so many wars throughout the years. Up until their leader got slaughtered on the battle field and their whole kind went into stasis. And then you found the hat, and the rest is something I told my son every year.”
“I don’t think I understand.” Santa tried to move his arms. The rope held him tight. “We are a peaceful people.”
“No.” Sam stretched into his jacket. He found the grip. He tied his fingers around it. He found the trigger. “You are peaceful. These bastards are close to mindless.”
“No… They are…”
The gun exploded inside Sam’s hand. Santa froze. As the trickle of blood travelled down Santa’s forehead, the sounds behind the large door stopped. The elf closed his eyes and became completely relaxed.
Sam smiled. A laugh tickled his throat. He let it out. He let it all out.
Once he gathered himself he took the red hat from Santa’s head. He watched the white tassel swing back and fourth.
“You are mine now,” he said and put the hat on.
The elf woke up. The tears in his eyes still glistered as he looked around.
“How are you feeling now my kind elf?”
The elf found Sam. Behind the tears a fire was ignited.
“I am angry,” the elf said. “I want blood.”
“I will give you blood.” Sam laughed again. The elf laughed with him.
And behind the door the song was of war, and the machines rebuilt the toys as weapons.

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Flashes of Sanity #117: Queen in the Rubble

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Queen in the Rubble

Enjoy!

The red monster flew across the sky. The dragon came flying after it engulfed in its own flames.
“Mom.” Dina tugged at Susanne’s arm. “I want to go home.”
“I know honey, mom just have to think so we don’t kill ourselves first.”
Susanne crossed a street full of demolished buildings and torn, living bodies.
“Do you really think you can die?” Marge said behind them. “I am pretty sure you should reevaluate yourself in that case.”
Susanne gave Marge a toxic look.
“Maybe I can’t, but I am pretty sure Dina can.”
That shut Marge up, for now. Susanne already regretted the choice of bringing her along. But certain people could make all the difference in a possible future.
Susanne knew Marge Umington was one of them.
The red monster threw itself at the flaming dragon. The dragon went for the throat.
“Mom, I am scared.”
“Me too honey. We just have to wait for Uncle Mart to pick us up.”
A screech left the monster’s mouth. The screech turned fiercer for every second it lasted.
“Damn you Xander!” Marge shouted
“Xander?” Susanne glanced at Marge. “Xander Bylix.”
“Yes! How do you know him.” Marge went silent. Her eyes wandered to Dina. “Oh.”
Susanne grabbed Marge’s once fancy dress and pulled her close. “If you tell a soul, I will make sure you suffer.”
The smile playing on Marge’s lips was enough to make her consider it anyway.
“You don’t have to worry Mrs. Queen. Your secret is safe with me.”
Susanne let go.
One more enemy knowing too much, she thought. I’ll need to keep her close.
A car roared. It ran through all the living corpses and stopped by Susanne’s feet.
“Finally.” Susanne threw the passenger door open.
“Get in!” Mart Adamson screamed from the driver’s seat. “We need to get away from here before they blow everything up.”
The car screeched through more corpses, and left the city.
“Are we going home?” Dina asked.
“No,” Mart said. “We are going somewhere better. We are meeting Santa!”

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