Archive for the ‘Flash Sci-Fi’ Category

Snap Sci-Fi: Rejuvenation   3 comments

Credit: 1st edition of John Jakes’ novel The Asylum World (1969)

If ever there were a time for rejuvenation, this was it.

Philippa gazed at herself in the mirror. Twelve years on and she still managed to cling to the hope that her youth was endless. The evidence, reflected before her, proved otherwise.

But something deep within her began to change. She struggled to make sense of it.

A boring ex-wife, doomed to a midlife divorce and a minimum wage job. No hopes, no dreams, no anything. Each day she arose confirming this self-inventory, and every night she struggled to sleep, haunted by her personal truths.

But today, she noticed something not visible: her memory. She recognized the face in the mirror, but not its purpose. Philippa’s hands traced the contours of her cheeks, her neck, even pinching the flesh to examine its authenticity. Nothing. She turned away and walked the interior of her home seeking clues, feeling reassured that her mother’s artwork hung from the walls, last night’s leftovers expected to become today’s lunch, and Sunday’s crossword needed a few more clues to be solved.

What changed?

She opened a small drawer in her nightstand. Crumpled behind the junk that naturally accumulates within it hid a piece of paper. She unfolded it and read it out:

My Testimony

Be it said by me, Philippa Jrzowski, that no longer shall I exist. Instead, my soul will be inhabited by unknowns. My thoughts shall be those of indeterminate usefulness. I shall wrest whatever I can from what ever I become, if for no other reason than to live. And I mean, LIVE.

Enough, thought Philippa, enough. She smoothed out the paper and lay it on the comforter.

She returned to the mirror, gazing hard at the image before her. This time, however, a woman appeared more fierce than before. Philippa reached towards it and clutched its edges, bringing it closer, blurring her focus. She smiled.

“Exactly,” said Philippa. “And now, I mean to do just that.”


Gone – Flash Sci-Fi   Leave a comment



I struggle to find the words as my chilled body shakes.


Hardly a whisper filters through these naked trees, unless one counts the soft murmur of the rill snaking along the rocks. Yet I find myself beaten and stabbed, alone here, but not without reason or purpose.

If only I hadn’t.

Funny, now, how a small attempt at pleasure erupted into violence. She neither presented no indication nor imparted any suspicion of her true nature. Yet I submitted myself to her attentions. A flirt, a taste, a wisp was all it took.

And now, look at me.

Of course, I’m less than innocent. I knew what I wanted. How to get it. Didn’t take much. All I needed was the will. All else’d follow. I heard the siren call, the claim of fulfillment, no judgment, only satisfaction.


I’d never known such happiness. Beauty. The world and all its charms. I had it all solved, all squared, done up in a bow and sealed with a kiss. Power and glory, all mine for real.


Until it wasn’t, and by that I mean there’s a price for all that goodness. Gets steeper by the week, day, minute. Doesn’t take long to discover the beauty you had’s now the the demon you dread.


Got to conquer the beast. Can’t let it get into my head. But wait. No, I said now. Can’t. Oh yes you can. You will. And if you can’t, then get gone.


So I watched, bided my time. Dove in the cold water, expecting to swim. Discovered it’s easier to drown. Over my head in a flash. Two counted my days until they ran out.

And done.

That short journey took forever. Still, my hopeful self denied it’d ever happen. If the flesh didn’t do it, then certainly the steel’s finishing the job. My time is over, folks. The chilled air’s getting thin, and the light of day’s faded.


Owen McQueen – Flash Sci-Fi   Leave a comment



My name is Owen McQueen, and I have the vast fortune to be poor. Dreadfully poor.

You see, it is my fate to have been born with an affliction that renders me useless in most forms of employ. Some call me idiot, insane. My shape is round, my eyes appear half-awake, my speech childlike, at best.

But my mind! Thoughts so rich and rewarding, trapped in a doomed cell from which escape is hopeless. Yet its optimism never eases. Even as I gaze at the mother who pulls her child to her breast as she passes before me, I smile. For my hope is not lost, merely tucked in a safe place, for that time when I dare retrieve it.

I hear the auctioneer speak my name. Folks gather around me, curious. One reaches over the chain to touch my vest as if to examine the fabric’s wear. Another notices several holes in my stockings and frowns. Two men stare at my face. “The devil surely rejected this one,” I hear. To this I laugh, causing the pair to recoil in surprise.

How did I come to be in such a position at this station of my life? For as long as God had placed me upon this Earth, I’ve been the ward of the Overseer. His duties of office require him to auction not only myself, but others who find themselves in this wretched state. Though fault of soul or circumstance, we chosen few are placed in his control.

Every April, paupers such as us are required to report to the Overseer, who then assesses our condition. He makes note of our general health, the condition of what few articles of clothing we possess, and anything else of note, such as lameness. A scribe carefully records these observations, as well as the value of our upkeep. We are then told to clean ourselves as though we were to attend Sunday services. If we present well, two slices of black bread and a slab of cheese are given us as a reward.

“Owen McQueen is a loyal soul, hardworking and docile. His clothing is in good repair. He’ll give you no trouble and the cost of his keep is merely four pounds per year,” said the auctioneer. “Who’ll take him?”

At first, no one answers his call. I show the crowd a hopeful face.

“Certainly someone treasures a bargain. There are none today cheaper,” offers the auctioneer.

“I’ll take him,” says a man with a grey beard. “He’s bound to be of use to an old man.”

The Overseer takes the money from grey-bearded man and I’m given a push towards him. I expect nothing. After 50 years of Aprils, each one spent at auction, my life has never been my own, and as a pauper, it never will.





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