The Truth of the Matter

(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on July 9, 2010: “In her right hand a woman holds a loaded gun, in her left, a coin that just came up ‘tails’”.)

There wasn’t much more to say, so I stayed quiet.

The officer looked at me icily, contempt and scorn the only things to be seen through the angry look frozen on her face, a look that grew angrier with each passing moment of silence. Yet still I stood there, mutely ignoring her scowls as best as I could while holding the hot blowtorch in my hand. In the distance I could hear the fire engines coming nearer, their sirens echoing hauntingly off the cold stone buildings and the low cloud cover.

Eyewitnesses, reliable as they might or might not be in a case like this, had called the police to report a set of car fires and a man holding a blowtorch wandering up and down the street shouting gibberish. That blowtorch-wielding man was, of course, me, since I clearly had the torch in my hand and just as clearly had been wandering up and down the street, shouting. I knew they were calling at the time but I did nothing about it – their calls were the least of my concerns.

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Of the People

(written for the [Fiction] Friday >prompt on August 28, 2009: “A new Government research and development facility is built on a decomissioned prison site”.)

“Hey! Watch where you’re putting that picket sign, buddy. Some of us like our faces the way they are!”

James Madsen cursed under his breath as he walked down the sidewalk past the old Albercrombie Maximum Security Prison. It was no longer a prison, of course, having been closed for thirteen years now. In fact, the government had just reopened it as a brand new, state of the art research and development facility. Dubbed the CRAP Institute by the media, the Center for Realizing America’s Potential had been opened with much fanfare, including a visit from the President himself. After an interminable number of speeches which included the obligatory self-congratulatory statements of the co-sponsors of the Formation, Accumulation and Revitalization of the Country’s Ego Act (the FARCE Act), the Institute’s official purpose was announced: to find that which makes us human and enhance the bonds between the people of the country.

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(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on June 19, 2009, which was “(your character) closed his/her eyes, took a deep breath and jumped”.)

There was chaos.

It had started with an explosion – a loud, fiery explosion – that had violently rocked the floors and the walls, knocking items off of shelves and people from their chairs and off their feet before plunging everything into a dark, terrifying silence.  The emergency power took a few moments to recover from being jarred suddenly into life when the main power went out and in the brief time between the main lights going dark and the sparsely distributed emergency backup spotlights beginning to cast long shadows across the floors, people went through all of the emotions ranging from surprise to concern to fear to terror, before their many years of training took over. 

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The Unauthorized Biography of the Tooth Fairy

(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on April 10, 2009, which was “A dentist is stabbed while he waits in line at the movies”.)

Dr. Richard P. Hanning, III stood in line outside of his favorite MovieMax Theater on the dreary gray autumn day, watching as the crowd continued to swell in anticipation of the opening of the ticket window. Only thirteen minutes until opening, he thought, excitedly. He had been waiting for three years for this movie to come out and it was clear that he was not alone in his excitement. The crowd was growing more quickly now as the opening time approached, but the real hardcore fans had gotten to the theater’s parking lot several hours early with Richard arriving at 3:30 AM and finding that he was already the fiftieth person in line. But now, thirteen minutes ahead of the special 11:00 AM opening, the crowd had grown to nearly two thousand people waiting to see the movie on one of the twenty-four screens in the theater that were dedicated to showing it.

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Soul Searching

(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on March 20, 2009.)

It had been a dark and stormy night.  The rain had finally stopped but the wind still blew coldly against his face on the dark road as he stood there, staring at the opened hood of his car, the only light being the thin beam of his flashlight combined with the periodic flash of the car’s hazard lights.  Occasionally there would be a brief glow from the full moon as it peaked through the thinning cloud cover only to be blanketed again as the winds pushed the clouds around like a bully.  He had tried to call for help but his cell phone was out of battery and he had left the car charger at home after taking it out of the car for some reason that escaped him at this moment.  It had been an hour since the last car had gone by, speeding past him and his blinking car as if they weren’t even there. 

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Voodoo Stew’s New Stimulus Package

(written for the [Fiction] Friday prompt on March 13, 2009, which was to write about a businessman who finds a voodoo doll in his hotel room on the third night of his stay.)

“May I help you, sir?” asked the young woman dressed in the neatly pressed hotel uniform and standing behind the desk.

“Uh, yeah,” said Stewart hesitantly.  “I think someone delivered a, uh, package to my room today and it was not for me.”

“Oh, sir, I am very sorry for the inconvenience,” said the woman whose nametag implied that her name was Melody.  “What is your room number?  I’ll have someone come up and get the package and we’ll see if it can be delivered properly.”

“Oh, um, three thirteen,” said Stewart quietly.  “But there’s no need to send anyone up, I brought it with me.” 

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