Flashes of Sanity #136: Protect the Sewers

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

Today’s entry: Protect the sewers

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”I thought I heard someone breathing,” a voice said from above. Then the little goblin giggled as it threw itself at Cassandra.
Cassandra drew her gun before she thought. She fired at the approaching creature as her brain processed what her eyes and ears told her. Her bullets were joined by countless more as her squad emptied their guns into the being.
“What was that?” Aresh asked.
“I don’t know.” Cassandra stepped closer to the goblin. She reloaded. The goblin had bells on its feet, still it snuck up on them so easily.
Wonder how many more now sneaking up on them after hearing the gun shoots?
The mouth moved on the lump of blood, and Cassandra fired again as it threw itself at her. It grabbed her face.
“Merry Christmas!” It said and gnawed on her ear. It pulled her ear away.
Cassandra screamed. She pulled at the monster. The others did to, but it never came loose. It swallowed her ear. Then it went for her face again.
“Move!” Cassandra heard Kara scream.
The monster looked up just to see a pipe fall onto its head. The monster crashed to the sewer floor. Kara continued to hammer it all while the goblin laughed.
“You are not safe here. Santa is coming for you.” It stretched for Cassandra’s feet but another hit flung it further away.
“Don’t just stand there,” Kara said. “Hold it down. Tie it up.”
Cassandra watched as her crew threw themselves at the goblin. Some held the head in place, others focused on the arms and the legs. Cassandra considered gutting it to get her ear back.
Kara threw the pipe to the ground, and she cuffed the monster. Saliva got stuck on her loose lip.
Just to be sure they tied the blood lump up so it couldn’t move. The monster didn’t seem to mind.
“Merry, merry Christmas,” it sang. “We will kill you all.”
Cassandra tore off the arm of her uniform and pushed it against her ear. With the few sparks still capable of thinking, she made a decision. They would leave the safe place they had been the last few days. To where she didn’t know.
“Pack everything, we are moving. And throw the goblin in the water, that way no one can hear it at least.”

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Flashes of Sanity #135: Job Interview

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

Today’s entry: Job Interview

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“Welcome to my home.”
The world around Bjoern blurred itself back into existence. He was still in the sewers. It was just decorated to look like a family home.
“Chop, chop, eyes on me, okay?”
Bjoern turned towards the man on what once was a kitchen chair. Arm rests and ornaments had been attached to make it into a throne.
“Who are you?” Bjoern’s thoughts grasped at the memories of the morning. He went to meet Gift-Box. He saw an undead Santa. Two elves chased him down the sewer. Then black. He looked at his shirt. The buttons were untouched. He was still recording.
“Me,” the man said. “I am Nick. Gift-Box. A family man. Or was until the bastard over there took them away.”
The man pointed at the wall behind him. A wall covered in heads, Bjoern now realized. 15 heads to be exact. They all moved.
“You are Gift-Box, and you have living heads on your wall.” He made sure to articulate the words. All the questions Bjoern had prepared for the meeting seemed irrelevant now.
This was so much better.
“Yes.” Nick turned to the heads. “They are my court of heads.”
“I will kill you!” One head said.
“You say so all the time Piotr, it is getting tedious. Can’t you just get over the fact that I killed you. I promise, I might try to get over that you slaughtered my family. Just for some freaking stones.”
“Why do you have them on a wall?”
“They are my advisors. Or most of them are. Piotr is for decoration.”
“Advisors for what?”
Nick tilted his head and gave Bjoern a weird look.
“For my next move, off course. Madeleine said we needed someone to document all I have accomplished, so, here you are!”
“The world will turn red!” One of the heads said. “The end has just begun. Magalago said so. What Magalago said is the law.”
“Sorry,” Nick turned to the head and smacked it. “That was Timothy Galan, he read the great journal of Magalago and claims he knows all that was and all that will be. The world translated that as over his head crazy. But I think there might be something to it.”
“The man in red has attacked. That initiates phase 1. Soon the red will come.
This time Nick punched Timothy’s head with his full force. “Do you want me to dip you in poop? No? Then, shut up.”
“Once again, sorry. Heads can be so unpredictable,” Nick continued as if nothing had happened.
“What do you want with me?” Bjoern asked with his eyes still on the fifteen heads.
“I want you to join my court of heads.”
Bjoerns heart froze. “What if I don’t want to?”
Nick tilted his head. “Do you think you have a choice?”
Nick snapped his fingers. Everything turned dark. Pain struck through Bjoern’s neck. He screamed, a lungless scream.
“Welcome to my court,” Nick said.

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Flashes of Sanity #134: Kyle the Survivor

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Today’s entry:

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Kyle Rose had seen much. A rich life, a downfall, a failed revenge, and surviving a massacre by brain washed soldiers.
Going into hiding afterwards had been somewhat weird. Seeing your dead father appearing on the screen was weirder. Meeting said dead father also made quite the story. Seeing the one who took all your riches away being his right hand stung. Having your dead father make you head of his militia topped it all.
Kyle took his time and looked at each and everyone. His old friends. His dead friends. His new friends. And those he did not know where they stood.
“We are facing something neither of us have ever seen before,” he said.
Murderous elves was what he meant. There was no meaning in telling the soldiers. They were all too aware.
“But we are immortal, remember that! They can harm us, but they can never kill us! And you know what? Santa’s elves. That sounds like saints to me. Doesn’t it?”
He got a few nods in answer. Whether they truly believed him didn’t matter.
“We will kill them!”
Some repeated his words. Simon was one of them. That was always a good thing.
“We will kill them!” Kyle screamed it again.
He punched the silent on the shoulder. A few screams more and they were all shouting in adrenaline fueled rage.
Even Kyle believed his words now.
“Charge!” Kyle opened the door. The soldiers poured out on the street. Kyle joined them. Shouts of rage turned into screams of pain the second they walked out. Fire rained from the sleigh above. Teeth pierced their skin. Simon lost his head.
Kyle fired bullet after bullet as he saw his men fall to elves who cheerfully gnawed their skin away.
“Hi, Kyle,” a man said from above.
Kyle didn’t need to look up. He already saw the red hat on the face that once belonged to his father’s best friend. He tightened his hand around a grenade. He pulled the pin.
“I want you to tell me where your father is,” Sam wheezed in Kyle’s ear.
“Make me.”
Kyle dropped the grenade and held his breath.

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Flashes of Sanity #132: Corporate meeting

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

Today’s entry: corporate meeting

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”What do you take away from all this?” Donald said as he scanned the city from their new abandoned apartment. What once had been a rooftop suite had become four walls barely holding together.
Outside, the streets were on fire. A city screamed in terror and pain, and above it all a man flew around on a sleigh.
“May I first ask if you truly believe it is him?” The Reviewer walked up beside Donald, his apprentice came close after.
“I am sure it is Sam.”
The Reviewer looked out through the once-a-mirror in silence. The man in the sleigh shot fire onto a building creating a sentence in hell fire.
‘WHERE ARE YOU DONALD?’
“He is still angry with you.”
“That much I figured out for myself. Anything else.”
“The fact that he dresses like Santa and flies around on a sleigh pulled by reindeers forces me to questions what I thought was facts.”
“Yes, but how do we take him down?”
“We have a rocket launcher. But that would give them our position. We could fight them from the streets, but the most probable conclusion is that,” the Reviewer looked down at the streets screaming, “he has people there too.”
Donald thought about the two dead ends. He sipped his coffee.
“That leaves below ground to be explored. This hotel has a path through the cellar to the sewer if I remember it correct. Should that be a path worth considering?”
The Reviewer turned to his apprentice. “What do you think?”
The apprentice flinched as if they thrown their fists at his face.
“What I think?” The apprentice gathered himself and corrected his suit.
Probably something The Reviewer taught him.
“Do we have to exit our place of safety?”
“Yes,” Donald said. “They will find us anyway. It is better we take the battle in our hands.”
Donald thought about his people on the street. Not an army, but a resistance. It was only a matter of time before the wrong person decided that the pain wasn’t worth it.
“Then it is decided,” the reviewer said. “Well done, Mitch. Mr. Diamond, should we inform the others?”
“Yes.” Donald continued to look out the window as the two reviewers backed from the window. Partly, he wanted Sam to see him. Get the battle over with. But face-off would guarantee failure.
Donald didn’t want to fail. Especially not when Sam was holding the other gun.
“Just one more question if you don’t mind?” The Reviewer asked. “Sarah, the one who built SurgeRay with you and Sam, you haven’t heard from her?”
“No, I haven’t,” Donald answered. “And I probably won’t.”

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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 #129: Resurrected Father

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

Today’s entry: Resurrected Father

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“Where is Mitch?” Little Leo locked over his shoulder as if the lost brother would miraculously appear behind him
“We don’t know Leo,” Felix said. He swallowed. With what’s showing on the news. That could only mean one thing.
The ten had become nine.
Two fists hammered against the door. Again.
“You lousy rascals, let me in!”
“Please, make him stop.” Dan said. His glasses fell of his left ear and hang across his face.
“Is this how you treat family? Lock them out? Force them to stand outside in the rain? Is that really the Sooly-way I have taught you?”
“Maybe we you should let him in?” Oliver asked.
“Are you thick?” Felix punched Oliver so hard he fell into Greg. In a reaction to the sudden hit Greg spat out all his cereal. Greg stretched for another spoon full of cereal and found comfort in the crunches between his teeth.
“He will kill us!” Felix continued. “Do you want to die?”
“At least then I will meet Mitch.”
Felix’s hand stopped mid air, hovering centimeters from Oliver’s shoulder.
“Yeah, I would like to meet him too.”
“You know what?” The father outside said. “I don’t want to play nice anymore! You will pay for not letting me in. You will pay for not visiting my grave!”
“Do you think he has been drinking?” Adam sad.
“Probably.” Felix sighed. “As immortal he probably is drinking all the time.”
A window shattered in the kitchen. A father’s laughter raged inside the house. His steps created vibrations in the wooden floor.
“Papa, is here for you now!”
“I want to hide,” Leo said. “Why don’t we hide?”
“Don’t you worry,” Felix said. He put his arm around his little brothers. He remembered how Mitch always stood between them and the punches. He swallowed. “You can hide behind me.”
Arthur Sooly stood in front of them. The red eyes popped out of the once dead body.
“You are mine.” He panted. “You are all mine.”
Felix stared straight into the fire. He prepared himself. Behind them the sobs of eight brothers strengthened him.
“Welcome home father,” he said. “I have been waiting for you.”

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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 #127: Field Work

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

Today’s entry: Field Work

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Donny looked out from behind the wall.
“All clear.” He gestured towards Donna to come.
They entered the highway and searched every car for something and anything that could satisfy their starving group.
“Remind me again why we search abandoned cars for food, when we could go through the supermarkets.” Donna said, in her hand she held a forgotten banana peel that probably had been rotten already when the car was forced to halt.
“Because all the supermarkets already have been raided.” Donny reminded himself for the thousand time this day that she only was a teenager. Nothing more. Just a teenager capable of murder if the rumor was correct. “People raided them probably on hour one, or two if there was an electronic store on the same street.”
“So, we are hoping to survive on candy bars parents hid from their kids.”
“Pretty much.” Donny searched the glove compartment and found a bar and a soda bottle.
“That would be a lot of candy bars in that case.”
“You have no idea,” Donny said and thought of the mountains Brutal Joe and Cat-Scratch Bill usually ate. Them and Bella. The feeling stung in his chest and travelled up his throat in nauseating pulses.
She is dead…
“Wait!” Donna pulled herself out of a passenger seat. “Did you hear that?”
Donny froze and pushed away the nausea. Yes, there were people laughing. Right below them. There were also people screaming.
Donna and Donny sneaked towards the edge of the highway. They looked down at the streets below.
A man laughed again.
“Your money doesn’t matter now.”
Hanging in their feet three men and two women hang in their feet. Their clothes were torn, the women’s much more than the men’s. They were all bleeding.
In front of them a mob laughed while exchanging turns on dealing punches.
“Please,” one of the men sobbed.
“Shut it! I never asked you to speak.” A knife slashed through the man’s shirt and chest. He screamed.
“And you.” The slasher turned to one of the women. “I always wondered what the jugs of yours felt like in the night, maybe I should take one of them with me home and test it out?”
His knife slid in under what was left of her shirt. She didn’t scream, she didn’t cry. Even when the knife pierced her skin, she didn’t move a muscle.
“You should not see this.” Donny took Donna under his arm and forced her face away just as the blood trickled down the woman’s neck and her face.
Donny looked away too.
They probably did something similar to Bella, he thought.
“Should we leave?” Donna sked from his armpit.
“Yes. Yes, we really should get going before they notice us.”
The two sneaked of the high way. Another man screamed.
“Hi,” one attacker said. “Do you like nachos?”
All Donny could think about was his beautiful Bella in blood, and the knives tearing her apart.

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Flashes of Sanity #126: Church

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

Today’s entry: Church

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His first task was finished. Now Aaron’s mission began.
I built a church. He let the feeling sink in. This is my church. This is where I will keep my people safe.
He walked inside and took in every bench, every carving and every balk.
The angel had been right. The world would need saving. Now more than ever. It had truly turned red.
Aaron walked down the aisle.
A place for praying, he though and turned right at the altar. A place for surviving. He opened a hatch in the floor.
A place for hiding.
The bunker below would withstand countless days of constant bombs. It also had food for years.
He still wondered if it was enough. Aaron himself could survive on less then a tenth of the meals planned. But not everyone had survived imprisonment, starving and torture.
Aaron was one of the few lucky enough to have that experience. He wished no one else would need to learn the teachings he had been taught.
Behind a fake wall, he had hid weapons in all forms and sizes. He would train the men, the women, and the children. Everyone should know how to save themselves. Especially in this world.
He hit his heel against another hatch. The metal multiplied his knocks into an echo.
And as with every war, Aaron thought. Prisons are necessary. It was sound proof. For the sake of the children. They should never have to know what their priest does to those unlucky enough to end up down there.
After all, this was Aaron’s church. The innocent should feel safe here. They should stay innocent.

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Flashes of Sanity #125: Frozen Promises

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

Today’s entry: Frozen Promises

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The snow was everywhere. On the ground, in her shoes, in her eye, and under Dina’s coat. Susanne made another attempt at getting the white away from Dina’s neck.
“Mart, how much longer do we have to go?”
“Just a little longer!” The snow storm muffled Mart’s voice. “We will see a door anytime now.”
A door in the middle of nowhere, that’s about he most stupid thing Susanne ever heard. She believed it anyway. At this time, she had no choice.
“Mom, I don’t think I want to meet Santa anymore.”
“Just hang on, honey. Just a little more.”
Dina closed her eyes and hugged herself. Susanne leaned in and hugged her daughter.
“That was just perfect…” Marge said beside them.
“What?”
“Charles Gool just declared himself president.”
“Gool? Didn’t he resign? Wait how did you know that?”
“He resigned, yes. Maybe not voluntarily.” Marge turned to Susanne. “And I was working with the presidents for decades. I got ways to get information anywhere. Even the North pole.”
“Here!” The shout came from what was Mart’s shadow that should only be 50 meters ahead, but looked like a distance too far away to walk.
Susanne picked up Dina. “I will carry you the last part,” she whispered. “I promise, I will carry you all the way.”
The door was big. Way too big to be missed. Susanne still didn’t see it until she crashed into its wooden frame. She looked at the massive open door planted in the middle of a snowy desert. Warmth radiated from the room on the other side. She resisted the wind and forced herself in. The storm subsided immediately. Her frozen spine could finally move again. And Dina opened her beautiful eyes.
“We made it,” Susanne whispered. “We are at Santa’s home.”
“We are?”
“Yes, you are!” A steady voice grumbled from some stairs. “Welcome to my sweet home.”
Susanne glanced at up the stairs and the man with the red hat. The skinny man with more holes than skin.
“Don’t look at him, Dina!”
Dina struggled in Susanne’s arms. “But I want to meet Santa.”
“Do you know what happens when a child sees Santa before Christmas?” The child stopped and looked at Susanne with big eyes.
“He disappears. Just like that. We don’t want that, right?”
Dina shook her head. “Can I look at the elves instead?”
In Susanne’s periphery, the corpse shrugged his shoulders and opened a door full of machines. An elf stood on the other side. His crocked back, long fingers and sly smile would break Dina’s heart.
The corpse whispered something in the elf’s ear. The back instantly straightened. The smile got kind.
“Is it right? Why don’t you show me to her right away!”
Dina turned towards the friendly voice, and the sparkle in her eyes would melt any heart. The corpse was gone, for now.
“Mom, it is an elf!”
“Yes, hon’,” Susanne said. “Let’s see if he can show us the toy factory.”

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