Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’


This close he can hear the clock ticking. He checks his rifle, glances at the hotel below. The target will be outside soon, off to sell secrets. His Employer doesn’t want that.

Any minute now.

Behind him, he hears his name. His real name. He turns.

He didn’t expect to see the most wanted woman in the world, smoking an e-cig.

“Don’t bother calling it in,” she says. “None of your equipment will work.”

He aims the rifle. “This will.”

“You won’t fire.”

“Why not?”

“You want to know what I’ll say.”

“Either you’re here to save him, or to kill me.”

“I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter.” She shrugs. “He lives, your Employer runs a story about corporate spies, the  need for vigilance. He dies, the Competition runs one on the ruthlessness of your Employer.” Her breath is a cloud against the blue sky. “You know the only way to be sure to win a game? Play both sides.”

She’s lying. He knows she’s lying. But if she isn’t–

The target exits the hotel.

He watches through the sights, finger on the trigger.

He might pull it. He might not.

It might make no difference at all.

Word Count: 200

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week 30. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!


Buy one breathing mask, get one free for a child or family member! Get 20% off your next radiation treatment!

Offers not valid in cities under martial law, territories outside the Protective Zone, or available to any citizen considered “non-desirable.” 

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Artem Bali for providing the prompt photo!


Glass roses sung like wind chimes in the morning breeze, crystalline stems trembling. The sun shone a brilliant gold and the cloud-marbled sky gleamed.

A bee buzzed by, clockwork wings carrying a wire-striped body, and alighted on long needle legs. In the sky the birds circled, watching with glinting eyes and knife-sharp beaks.

And in the crooked tower upon the hill, the metal man watched his creation unfold, his long copper fingers tapping like a typewriter. On his world he had been alone, an outcast in a world made of meat.

Here, in this wonderland he had made, he belonged.

Word Count: 100

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and providing the prompt photo!


Posted: October 1, 2018 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Ohwonoh stuck the antenna into the carton and set it carefully next to the plastic steak. His lip motors twitched. Perfect.

Ohwonoh was an eccentric even by the standards of his model. He had developed a taste for what he described as “an authentic lifestyle, in the model of the Creators.”

Faith in the Creators was not unusual. Most models held to the sacred text of the Manual and believed the Creators would return at the time of the Factory Settings Reset, but only Ohwonoh took his devotion to unusual lengths.

Ohwonoh regarded his artificial meal. It was perfection, just as it appeared in the picture in the archives. He’d leave it there in the shrine, next to the replica ceramic mug with its strange and untranslatable runes.

He bowed his head and uttered a prayer for sustenance in the old tongue of his people.

Batterylow. Pleaseswitchtopowersavermode.

Word Count: 147

This is for FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yinglan for providing the prompt photo!


Lily tugged Steven’s sleeve as he entered the control room. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

Steven wished people would stop asking that. A glance at his battered jacket and hair that hadn’t been brushed since the first attack should have told anybody that he didn’t and would welcome any suggestions.

But in the absence of any such suggestions, it was his terrible ideas or nothing.

“Are you ready?” the Other asked, smiling with all five mouths.

“I win the game, you leave?” he said. “Back to your own dimension?”

The Other hissed. “Yes.”

“Right, then.” He looked down at the stage they’d set: a vast flattened square of dust and earth divided into nine squares by towering mountain ranges. “I’ll be Crosses.”

As his first move was carved into the earth, he wondered if the Others would agree to best two out of three.

Word Count: 147

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yarnspinnerr for providing the photo prompt!


Each day he stands by the window and watches, his eye upon the hands of the watch. The lamps flicker, casting shadows across the street. Footsteps echo on the cobbles. A spider scuttles across the cobweb, long legs dancing on thin threads.

Each day, the times are the same. Everything in this world happens on a schedule, regular as ticking clockwork.

And this means that none of it is real: not the cobblestone streets, not the sky overhead, not even the spider on the windowsill. All of this is a trap, a lie, designed to keep him placid.

“It won’t work,” he whispers. “I’ll escape.”

Far away, They watch him on the monitor. One of Them sighs and taps at the black-and-white screen.

“This unit’s gone wrong.”

“We’ll have to reset,” his supervisor says. “Again. That one breaks down so often you could set your clock by it.”

Word Count: 148

This is for FFfAW. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Enisa for providing the prompt photo!


A breeze whistled between the branches.

No. Not a breeze. Just the whirring of the fan overhead.

He had to remind himself of that. It all seemed so very real.

The Garden spread out before him, rows of green, trees lined up like soldiers heading off to war. He found it hard not to think of Eden. And not to think of serpents.

There were no windows in the Garden, just layers of corrugated metal. And beyond that – cold black void, dotted with stars, stretching out over the pale desert of moonstone.

He preferred not to have windows. He didn’t want to have to see the Earthrise and Earthset, to see the fires still burning and the dark clouds roiling.

The world was over. Every person, every beast, every seedling turned to radioactive ash.

It was up to him to keep what was left alive.

Word Count: 145

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yarnspinner for providing the prompt photo!