Flash Fiction Challenge: Everyday Business

This story is brought to you by FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: PICK A CHARACTER AND GO, GO, GO at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds. I used Jersey Malone, created by HELEN ESPINOSA. Helen, thanks for putting Jersey out there and letting use play in your sandbox. As always, hope y’all enjoy this glimpse into another world.  Peace! –FY

The sign above the door held no words, only a cartoonish mug with an overflowing head of foam. Didn’t matter. A sign would have only said “BAR” but it would have had to say it in so many damn languages it wouldn’t have been worth the effort. Besides, everybody knew, it wasn’t a bar, it was THE Bar. Someone new, dusty, fresh from the wastes might press for more, might ask “Which bar?”, and anyone with half a brain would tell them it’s Jersey’s bar, and you best keep the peace if you go in.

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Claudia Artifex

This story is brought to you by FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: TIME TO CREATE A CHARACTER at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds. So here’s a rough sketch of a character that has been poking around in the back of my head. Hope someone out there can use her. Peace. –FY

Claudia Artifex posses a strange artifact, a family heirloom. Passed down from mother to daughter, this necklace can open any lock in the world. As far as Claudia knows, her mother used the power sparingly, traveling to small villages in order to right injustices, but leaving her young daughter behind in the care of a family friend who raised her more than her own flesh and blood.

On her fifteenth birthday, her mother did not return, but the necklace did. There was talk of an accident, saving a school full of children, but it doesn’t matter. Claudia rebells against her mother’s teachings, becoming a high priced cat burglar, becoming a chess piece in the games of the rich and powerful.

Eventually that life catches up to her, and, with fresh scars, Claudia finds herself at twenty five, traveling from town to town all over the world, performing odd jobs, trying to do enough good to find some kind of balance in her life. It’s in one of these small towns that Claudia finds out two things: Electronic security measures fall just as easily to her skeleton key, and her mother’s death isn’t at all that it appeared to be.


Flash Fiction Challenge: The Ragged Abyss

This story is brought to you by FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: SIX RANDOM TITLES at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds. Two of the other titles, “The Third Girl” and “The Flame of the Years” may make appearances in later stories. This title, combined with one of Joseph Michael’s amazing photos inspired a neat bit of short fiction. Hope you like it! –FY

The greying man leaned against a bulkhead, absently tapping the ash from a cold cigar. “Nietzsche reportedly claimed that if you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” He turned towards his pupils, eyes red-rimmed from too many sleepless nights. “Each of you owes me five pages on how that quote applies to the Way, and the opening of the Gate. Due tomorrow.”

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