Flash Fiction: Against The Wall

If I did not have a gun, this man would worry me. With the gun, I was only on professional high alert.

Perhaps a description would be useful in this, a reference point to the creature—once human.

He had the usual marks—dark green veins around his mouth. Had the standard shadows at his feet dancing and snapping at things. Each time they touched me I got cold.

He also wore a black suit. Continue reading

Embrace The Oddness

Life is weird. You already knew that. But if you are a writer, you owe it to yourself to make it weirder. Go out of your way and end up in the strangest situations you can manage. Most people already say to “take a chance,” to “expand your horizons,” and any other of those cookie-cutter platitudes.

But no, that is not what I am telling you to do: not specifically. I am telling you that as a writer, you might be so blessed as to be a weird magnet, and if you’re not, you should act like you are. Because you are one of the few types of people who can take such raw material and do something better with it than occasionally entertaining dinner guests. Continue reading

Fine Internet, I Like Stranger Things

Okay, you got me internet: I like Stranger Things.

Now, to add context to that statement, I only finished the show today, and I watched it over a large chunk of time (a couple of months). And I never felt the need to binge the whole thing in one marathon. I never got fanatical.

In fact, up to the last episode, I just thought it was okay. Decent.

But then…dammit, Stranger Things got me. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Dark Zone

In a town like this, you learn not to drink from the water fountains. This lesson, among many others, came with living in a Dark Zone. We are one of the towns you hear about in horror stories. We have a curse from someone or something always popping up around once a month.

For most of us, life is short. But you can manage to survive longer if you bother to be smart about what you are doing.

You must be self-reliant, because it’s not like you will get much help. The thing about Dark Zones is that we can’t communicate out of it to anywhere but other Dark Zones. If the type of phenomena we regularly experience ever reached the attention of the mainstream media, it would change the world. If a single person escaped after being pulled in, we might have the entire country’s military come down to purge the place like a zit on the fabric of reality.

But we can’t, so they don’t. Continue reading

I’ve Lost Control Of Them

“Bobby, tell the doctor what you said to me.”

“…I had…have, voices in my head. They talk to each other.”

“Is that all?”

“No… no. I can’t help but listen to people secretly, and I try to remember how they said things. I see random parts of things I don’t really understand. Actions, faces…that sort of stuff. Like a scene from a movie. I don’t always know what they mean.” Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Flash Fiction: It’s Kind Of Awkward

Let it be said that I do not always do stories which are all doom and gloom. This one is, shocker, a pure romance story. Served to you a couple of days before the day of couples, Valentine’s Day.

I hope you enjoy this tale. It’s called:

It’s Kind Of Awkward

The thing about her was that I knew. I did not think I could know. It was astonishing.  Flabbergasting to even comprehend that such a person could exist.

But, there she was. Standing there, and looking around with big eyes, and I just…melted. A little ball of wax in my heart moved to liquid. A slow thing gliding down my chest. Continue reading

Brandon’s Favorite Things: A List

The subjective nature of art, and the changing of a person’s personality as time goes by, adds up to it being desperately hard to nail down a favorites list. Media shifts as we do—at least from our perspective—and thus we will respond differently than we had minutes before. But, as a creator, and a consumer, and dare I use the pretentious word: “connoisseur” of creative things, I do feel it necessary to try to understand my taste in media, and since this is the internet, the natural tendency is to try to put it into an easy to read list.

So, here we go. I am going to, based on my opinions on this day 2/6/17 (which is when I wrote this…you’ll see the edited version on Wednesday) list out my favorite creation in each form of media I can think to include, along with a short reason for why. Though, to keep the word count reasonable, I’ll keep to only a few short sentences each.

So, here we go. My current all-time favorites. If I had to grab something for entertainment and run, these would be my choices. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Broadcast (Part 3 of 3)

(In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link to part 2.)

Whatever the woman was hearing shrieked, and her mouth shot open, and her eyes darted. She stared around, panicked. Her foot hit the camera, and it knocked over sideways in the dirt. The lens cracked, but the light continued to shine.

Her voice refused to come to her. Gone was all sound from the room until broken by the other’s human speech.

“Okay, gave you the chance. I’m lowering myself down, I’ll bring you back something shiny.” Continue reading

Ideas Versus Plot Versus Characters

Upon looking over a bunch of stories, I figured something out which kind of makes me get what I am trying to do with my writing, and what causes some of my shortfalls.

And that is, I like stories around an idea.

Now, I don’t mean that as an implication that stories often don’t have an idea behind them; I mean different stories have different priorities. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Broadcast (Part 2 of 3)

(In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link to part 1)

“Now we’re talking. Careful with the camera then. I’m doing first contact here. A huge step.”

“I’m sure someone already beat you to that.”

“Not on a live web feed.”

A rumble, somewhere, shook the ceiling. A few tiny rocks plopped down and made the water again ripple. The sensation of something stalking them was prevalent. And not altogether impossible. It was egg-like. There could be a mother. Continue reading

Knowing Your Own Tropes

I speak from experience when I say: if you write enough, fast enough, you will repeat yourself. And you will notice that you are repeating yourself.

And I don’t just mean certain words or phrases or descriptions. I mean entire plot points. Character types. Ways to have a situation play out—down to the pacing of it. Your artistic “voice” is like a thumbprint, and you can’t help but put it on everything you touch.

And, since I am—perhaps—too aware of myself, I worked out some of my “tropes” and trappings, which I cannot help but do. When I brainstorm, these are what I will go for as an automatic thing. And, since I figured it might be fun, I’ll present a few of them in a random order as I think of them. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Broadcast (Part 1 of 3)

(Due to some time distortions, and several Gods, I am getting this out to you a little late. Hope you enjoy it all the same, and I should be able to get thing back to relative normal soon.)

Somethings should not be on camera.

I call this story:

Broadcast

“Are we live?”

The light shined weak against the skin.

“Yeah, this is live. We’ve got…ten viewers already.”

“Okay, wow.”

“Getting a clear image is hard. The camera doesn’t like it.”

“No, I’m betting it doesn’t.” Continue reading

Flash Fiction: New Age Virus (Part 3 of 3)

(Due to an error on my part, I don’t have a discussion article for Wednesday. Instead, here is the finale to the three part story of a man and his computer. If you haven’t read them yet here’s part 1 and part 2.)

 NEW AGE VIRUS


Segmented boxes flashed up on screen and he perused them, watching counters tick up and down in wide amounts until one was within acceptable range for him to join the conversation.

Well, “conversation” may have been a stretch of a word choice, as down in this level, the communication was numbers and code words and strange symbols zooming across the screen like news tickers on a major network. A series of waving lines showed he could speak now if he wanted to, and Bernard did not feel like keeping up the typing speed required for full immersion.

“Auditory. Virus. Attack.” Continue reading

Flash Fiction: New Age Virus (Part 2 of 3)

(For those who have not read it, here’s part 1)

The response took five minutes. The incoming message symbol fluctuating several times in the span of only seconds. This irked Bernard, but he was willing to observe patience if this was indeed something as interesting as he hoped.

Yeah. It is.

Under one second it took Bernard to type a response.

When and where did you get these pictures?

From a forum. Week old. Continue reading