Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge


Writing challenges, flash fiction, interesting anecdotes, amusements, and general miscellanea.

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Post May 23, 2017, 07:59:54 PM

Re: 12 Mister Adjuster by Alexander D Jones

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]Mister Adjuster by Alexander D Jones

Clive's eyes darted from left to right and back again as he scanned the doctor's waiting room. There was so much wrong with it, so much that was - out of place.

<snip>

Very good - an OCD omnipotent god. nice light humorous piece to break up the monotony. Excuse me while I straighten my wall art...
:D

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:05:17 PM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi



The End[/quote]
Nice one. Good dialogue, but i think at some point looks more that a second grade conversation. From a father's view, i think the kids won't give up that easy this magical sphere. :) Beside that, i think is a nice one. Good luck![/quote]

I don't have kids but I am an aunt. I will have to ask my niece and nephew if they would give up the sphere so quickly! K.Vesi

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:08:34 PM

Re: 13 Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw

The Dragon was watching his realm through the eyes of eagles when the Dragon felt a human entering the cave. It thought, “It must be the day of the Summer Ceremony.”

The Son of Summer stood in his white gown. The cobbles inside the cave were more jagged than those outside. He wore sandals that protected his feet from the sharp edges, but he was afraid to twist an ankle.

<snip> Amazing tale. Delightful take on omnipotence.

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:10:31 PM

Re: 15 A Confrontation of Wills by Sergio Palumbo

A Confrontation of Wills by Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo

If someone did gain power over the world, it is possible aliens would notice. There might be some strange wavelengths coming from Frank's mind and like when a world starts using warp speed, other worlds take notice. Would like to know that the aliens were up too, though! K.Vesi.

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:15:18 PM

Re: 14 The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake

I know, I know; I know that I didn’t need to carry out the experiment, and I know that the answer was already out there. A quick search on the internet was all it required. I knew that. But I had my reasons, as you’ll see.

<snip> Reminds me of some song that went "...and the earth moved under my feet, and the skies came tumbling down..." Very interesting idea - get everyone to complete on common goal, and they will (?) cooperate on everything else. I did notice that in one line, someone had 2010 instead of 2100. Well done.

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:25:07 PM

Re: 16 The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

“Hey Fred, whatcha doing?” Fred is a spider in case your mind painted a picture of Fred being a fat, overweight, obese, pig of a man whose ancestors were once basket weavers in Nigeria.

“Not much Fred. Just hanging out and spinning another stupid web. Last one got destroyed by a praying mantis stealing my flies.” This Fred was also a spider and not one your mind painted a picture of as a female dancer from Egypt with a bikini and false teeth made in Iran.

<snip>

Clever - spiders controlling the world - LOL this ought to shake up the spider haters out there. I let the spiders in my place go for the most part, since they control the gnat and squito poulations. Good thing, too....

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:25:08 PM

Re: 16 The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

“Hey Fred, whatcha doing?” Fred is a spider in case your mind painted a picture of Fred being a fat, overweight, obese, pig of a man whose ancestors were once basket weavers in Nigeria.

“Not much Fred. Just hanging out and spinning another stupid web. Last one got destroyed by a praying mantis stealing my flies.” This Fred was also a spider and not one your mind painted a picture of as a female dancer from Egypt with a bikini and false teeth made in Iran.

<snip>

Clever - spiders controlling the world - LOL this ought to shake up the spider haters out there. I let the spiders in my place go for the most part, since they control the gnat and squito poulations. Good thing, too....

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:32:36 PM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

[quote="Daniel Johnson"]A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

I'm a modern demigod. One of the most depressed who ever existed.

<snip>

A fascinating trip - psychedelic walk through ominipotent lane. :D

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Post May 23, 2017, 08:53:50 PM

Re: 07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

Daniel Johnson wrote:For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

In a dim corner of a sleepy tavern off a state highway in the hill country of Wheatfield County on a muggy summer morning, three men stared at each other over a pitcher of watery beer. The felt-muffled thwack of billiard collisions punctuated the awkward silence. Two knew each other well. The third was Grimes, a hardware wholesaler from Granite City who had no idea where he was or how he got there. Only minutes earlier he was 100 miles away in his office writing up an order for toilet valves.

“Let me get this straight,” Grimes ventured, looking first at the rotund sandy-haired man sporting a ball cap with a tractor logo, and then to the slim dark-haired one in a western shirt and cowboy hat.

“You’re -- God. Right? That makes you...”

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my...” started the other.

God interrupted. “Oh STOP. Doesn’t that ever get old?”

“This can’t be happening,” Grimes concluded.

“True, in a way,” God agreed. “If I were really here, your body would disintegrate into subatomic particles. I’m merely a construct. Like him. He’s actually chained in the Abyss, but sometimes I take him along on these... field trips.”

Grimes felt a sickening revelation. “Oh. I’m dead. That’s just great. Mighty strange afterlife y’all fellers got here,” he drawled for local effect.

The cowboy shook his head side to side.

Grimes looked at God. “Not dead?”

“Not even close.”

“Then this is some sort of a test?”

The others nodded.

Grimes nervously recalled the famous tale of a humble man from 4000 years ago who was pushed to the absolute limit. “Not a test of faith I hope. I’d rather not have my whole family wiped out, along with my -- goats or whatever.”

“Nothing like that,” God assured him then explained the rules, which boiled down to Grimes gaining control over the entire human race for one hour. Not their bodies, but their minds. Grimes must decide what to do with this unimaginable power.

***

“When you’re ready,” God instructed, “simply think the idea in your mind while holding up two fingers. The hour will begin, but for us it will be over instantly and we’ll return here.”

The two men disappeared. Next, the table vanished followed by the tavern and the highway. Grimes sat against an oak tree with the big summer sky flooding overhead. Think, he ordered himself. Don’t screw this up.

Grimes figured he shouldn’t exploit this to benefit himself directly. And being only a mental power, he couldn’t just feed the hungry or pay off everyone’s mortgage. But he needed to help everyone; give them something they needed. He thought about it mighty hard, but never was any good at puzzles.

“How the hell do I know what other people need?” It struck him before he finished the question, which in fact held the answer. “That’s it!” He checked it over in his mind to be sure, then again with two raised fingers. He’d barely blinked when the tavern scene reappeared, along with the world’s strangest drinking buddies.

God smiled broadly as he reached out to shake Grimes’ hand. “Excellent!”

The cowboy was sullen and defeated. This was going to cut down on business dramatically.

“Where did you get such an elegant idea?” God asked. “Being omniscient I already know, but you might want to tell Old Sulfur Breath over there.”

Grimes credited his mom. “She always told me I’d never understand others until I walked a mile in their shoes. But I guess an hour would work also. So that’s what I did, made people spend an hour in someone else’s life.”

#

A mysterious outbreak of telepathic empathy spread across the globe. People experienced the pain, the joy, the fear, the hopes, the dreams, and the nightmares of someone who, generally speaking, was their opposite.

The contrasts were between rich and poor, old and young, healthy and sick, black and white, and on and on. They could be separated by oceans or merely the walls of a house.

Throughout zones of war, fighters of opposing sides saw the world through the eyes of their bitter enemies and suddenly grasped the futility and immorality of their violence and hatred. They knew it was time to stop.

In the boardrooms of industry and the halls of political power, the elite witnessed the world through the desperate eyes of war refugees, sweatshop workers, or those sickened from pollution; all borne of greed, corruption, and bigotry.

Those who lived in poverty, oppression, fear, or ignorance discovered, through the minds of others, the inspiring power of self-worth, education, courage, creativity, health, and security. They would confidently begin to elevate themselves by boldly claiming their most basic rights.

Even the virtuous gained something; a keen perception of the darkness in the few truly damaged souls who remained a risk to others. Such knowledge was vital to protecting society in the most humane and proactive ways.

#

Back in Granite City, Grimes thought he nodded off for a moment, but took a sip of his coffee and resumed ordering those toilet valves. Over the next week he barely noticed the headlines that reported peace treaties, famine relief, and the voluntary recalls of dangerous products. He’d inexplicably begun volunteering some time at the nursing home down the street, and hadn’t had much time to read the news.

The End


Hope I get this right... this is my first time and I've been struggling to navigate this forum. THANK you for the comments...
FYI the name Grimes wasn't inspired by anything in particular. Sort of just grabbed a name out of the Ether
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Post May 23, 2017, 08:59:13 PM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

KVesi wrote:Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi



The End

Nice one. Good dialogue, but i think at some point looks more that a second grade conversation. From a father's view, i think the kids won't give up that easy this magical sphere. :) Beside that, i think is a nice one. Good luck![/quote]

I don't have kids but I am an aunt. I will have to ask my niece and nephew if they would give up the sphere so quickly! K.Vesi[/quote]

Very similar comments, I thought these kids seemed older, but then again, it could happen! My 9 year old surprises me all the time with her "sage" observations. Never sell them short. Thanks for an adorable story and good job using the kid's POV.
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Post May 23, 2017, 09:05:25 PM

Re: 07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

Genna Watson wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

In a dim corner of a sleepy tavern off a state highway in the hill country of Wheatfield County on a muggy summer morning, three men stared at each other over a pitcher of watery beer. The felt-muffled thwack of billiard collisions punctuated the awkward silence. Two knew each other well. The third was Grimes, a hardware wholesaler from Granite City who had no idea where he was or how he got there. Only minutes earlier he was 100 miles away in his office writing up an order for toilet valves.

“Let me get this straight,” Grimes ventured, looking first at the rotund sandy-haired man sporting a ball cap with a tractor logo, and then to the slim dark-haired one in a western shirt and cowboy hat.

“You’re -- God. Right? That makes you...”

“Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my...” started the other.

God interrupted. “Oh STOP. Doesn’t that ever get old?”

“This can’t be happening,” Grimes concluded.

“True, in a way,” God agreed. “If I were really here, your body would disintegrate into subatomic particles. I’m merely a construct. Like him. He’s actually chained in the Abyss, but sometimes I take him along on these... field trips.”

Grimes felt a sickening revelation. “Oh. I’m dead. That’s just great. Mighty strange afterlife y’all fellers got here,” he drawled for local effect.

The cowboy shook his head side to side.

Grimes looked at God. “Not dead?”

“Not even close.”

“Then this is some sort of a test?”

The others nodded.

Grimes nervously recalled the famous tale of a humble man from 4000 years ago who was pushed to the absolute limit. “Not a test of faith I hope. I’d rather not have my whole family wiped out, along with my -- goats or whatever.”

“Nothing like that,” God assured him then explained the rules, which boiled down to Grimes gaining control over the entire human race for one hour. Not their bodies, but their minds. Grimes must decide what to do with this unimaginable power.

***

“When you’re ready,” God instructed, “simply think the idea in your mind while holding up two fingers. The hour will begin, but for us it will be over instantly and we’ll return here.”

The two men disappeared. Next, the table vanished followed by the tavern and the highway. Grimes sat against an oak tree with the big summer sky flooding overhead. Think, he ordered himself. Don’t screw this up.

Grimes figured he shouldn’t exploit this to benefit himself directly. And being only a mental power, he couldn’t just feed the hungry or pay off everyone’s mortgage. But he needed to help everyone; give them something they needed. He thought about it mighty hard, but never was any good at puzzles.

“How the hell do I know what other people need?” It struck him before he finished the question, which in fact held the answer. “That’s it!” He checked it over in his mind to be sure, then again with two raised fingers. He’d barely blinked when the tavern scene reappeared, along with the world’s strangest drinking buddies.

God smiled broadly as he reached out to shake Grimes’ hand. “Excellent!”

The cowboy was sullen and defeated. This was going to cut down on business dramatically.

“Where did you get such an elegant idea?” God asked. “Being omniscient I already know, but you might want to tell Old Sulfur Breath over there.”

Grimes credited his mom. “She always told me I’d never understand others until I walked a mile in their shoes. But I guess an hour would work also. So that’s what I did, made people spend an hour in someone else’s life.”

#

A mysterious outbreak of telepathic empathy spread across the globe. People experienced the pain, the joy, the fear, the hopes, the dreams, and the nightmares of someone who, generally speaking, was their opposite.

The contrasts were between rich and poor, old and young, healthy and sick, black and white, and on and on. They could be separated by oceans or merely the walls of a house.

Throughout zones of war, fighters of opposing sides saw the world through the eyes of their bitter enemies and suddenly grasped the futility and immorality of their violence and hatred. They knew it was time to stop.

In the boardrooms of industry and the halls of political power, the elite witnessed the world through the desperate eyes of war refugees, sweatshop workers, or those sickened from pollution; all borne of greed, corruption, and bigotry.

Those who lived in poverty, oppression, fear, or ignorance discovered, through the minds of others, the inspiring power of self-worth, education, courage, creativity, health, and security. They would confidently begin to elevate themselves by boldly claiming their most basic rights.

Even the virtuous gained something; a keen perception of the darkness in the few truly damaged souls who remained a risk to others. Such knowledge was vital to protecting society in the most humane and proactive ways.

#

Back in Granite City, Grimes thought he nodded off for a moment, but took a sip of his coffee and resumed ordering those toilet valves. Over the next week he barely noticed the headlines that reported peace treaties, famine relief, and the voluntary recalls of dangerous products. He’d inexplicably begun volunteering some time at the nursing home down the street, and hadn’t had much time to read the news.

The End

First, I love the imagery. Beautifully told story.

Second, where did you get the name Grimes for your main character. Was this story inspired by "The Screwtape Letters" or the character Grimer Wormtongue from "The Lord of the Rings?"

You had me focused all the way through.


THANK you so much. No particular source for Grimes... just sort of grabbed it out of the Ether. -glenn
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Post May 23, 2017, 09:30:11 PM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

gmdiamond wrote:
KVesi wrote:Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi



The End

Nice one. Good dialogue, but i think at some point looks more that a second grade conversation. From a father's view, i think the kids won't give up that easy this magical sphere. :) Beside that, i think is a nice one. Good luck!


I don't have kids but I am an aunt. I will have to ask my niece and nephew if they would give up the sphere so quickly! K.Vesi[/quote]

Very similar comments, I thought these kids seemed older, but then again, it could happen! My 9 year old surprises me all the time with her "sage" observations. Never sell them short. Thanks for an adorable story and good job using the kid's POV.[/quote]


I have a difficult time gaging kids. Both my niece and nephew are super tall. My neice towers over her whole grade and many of the kids in the next one. So I am a poor judge of size. Then my nephew is in the 98% percentile in whatever academic testing they do at school. Hahaha! Thanks for liking my story. I laughed the whole time I was writing it. K. Vesi

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Post May 23, 2017, 09:46:10 PM

Re: 07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond


What makes this story so moving for me is that while the main character has control over everyone in the world, he doesn't force people to change their minds. Instead, he offers them situations where they will have realizations/revelations. I don't know if most people, if given this test, would think to do that, but you did, for this story!

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Post May 23, 2017, 09:59:05 PM

Re: 16 The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

radagast-now wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski



Clever - spiders controlling the world - LOL this ought to shake up the spider haters out there. I let the spiders in my place go for the most part, since they control the gnat and squito poulations. Good thing, too....


and

Now this is a cute story! Two spiders named Fred, how adorable. Life from the spider's perception.

Spiders may make you like spinach yogurt? Well, I don't want that.

Highly entertained Mr. Lipinski. Are you a pro writer?

My brain processes in a multi-dimensional logic thus in reply to two comments color is needed to sprillicate the operendous corner

First, thanks for the kind words geena. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. As for being a pro writer, while it would be something nice to be called I'm much more comfortable being called a free minded, free willed, individual. Or in other words, i'm just an idiot who loooooves to write.

And to radagast, thanks too for the nice comments. Spiders are one of my favorite creature on this planet. Now on other planets spiders take humans that are living on their television sets and say, "Ooooh, a human. Honey, could you get rid of... OH! NO! Don't squish it... Ooo... Take it outside. Take it outside."
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Post May 23, 2017, 10:21:12 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

I'm going to comment here on the need to snip. Quoting the entire story is unnecessary, especially if you aren't commenting on a specific part of it. If so, quote that and snip the rest.

I'm not having a pleasant time with this challenge because having to scroll large blocks of text gives me vertigo. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person affected this way.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
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Post May 23, 2017, 10:24:09 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

The clicking the quote button was an important part of my plan in bringing in people to the challenge who are nervous and uncomfortable with forum methodology. Many have written me about not participating for that reason. There are a lot of them. I solved that with using the quote button.

I do not want to add any new thing during this challenge. I want to make an easy transition for those who are first timers.

Lester Curtis wrote:I'm going to comment here on the need to snip. Quoting the entire story is unnecessary, especially if you aren't commenting on a specific part of it. If so, quote that and snip the rest.

I'm not having a pleasant time with this challenge because having to scroll large blocks of text gives me vertigo. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person affected this way.

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Post May 23, 2017, 10:30:53 PM

Re: 05 For the Greater Good by Hope Gillette

Daniel Johnson wrote:For the Greater Good by Hope Gillette

Silence was the order of the hour, though the echo of rain could be heard on the parapets outside. Beyond the low thrum of the raindrops, the chamber was quiet, its sole inhabitant slouched in thought, staring intently at the object of his concern.

It had no eyes to speak of, but the orb at the center of the room was staring back at him--Ulor was certain of it.

That he should have come into possession of such a thing was unbelievable to the mage; the majority of the world had forgotten the very existence of domination relics. Hidden away, locked beneath piles of earth and the remnants of a lost civilization, this particular orb almost cost Ulor his life. And now he planned to use the relic. Insanity!

He squinted at the aquamarine sphere, held up on an elaborate pedestal of silver. Am I really going to do this? he asked himself. Can I sentence humanity to such a fate?

He knew the answer despite the doubts swirling through his thoughts. It was the only way; his last, final act before departing the world of the living.

"Master?" came a tentative summons from the Corridor of the North. "You called, Master?"

Ulor peeled his gaze away from the relic to acknowledge Hector, one of his most accomplished acolytes. He smiled at the lad, a boy of no more than 15 years, and motioned for him to join Ulor on the dais where he sat.

"Are you ready, Hector?" he asked. "Did you bring the snakesbane and yellow thrall?"

The youth nodded, setting down a box sealed with the herbalist's mark.

"Good. Very good." Ulor pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the internal creak of his old bones. Just one more task. Just this one thing¸ he reminded himself.

"Are we really going to do this, Master? Can we really touch the minds of everyone in the world?" Hector warily glanced at the domination relic. "Mind control...I mean...is such a thing really possible?"

The older mage nodded. "Indeed, lad, it is. And tonight we will right a very ancient wrong."

Ulor didn't expect Hector to understand the intent behind the night's ritual, and for that reason, the senior mage kept his plans secret. All Hector knew was to take the orb to a nearby cavern after Ulor's ceremony reached completion. There, in the depths of the caves, an ornate chest had been placed where the relic could be stashed safely.

Of course, Hector didn't know about the dragon living deep in the earth there. A dragon Ulor charged with keeping the orb after it was deposited. No one believed in dragons anymore, either, but only in an immortal dragon's treasure horde would such an item of power be safe.

"Now, Hector, light the snakesbane and place it in the basin by the Corridor of the South."

The youth did as he was told, his demeanor melancholy. Ulor couldn't blame him; all acolytes knew one day their masters would pass into the spirit realm through a great deed of magic, but few actually had to take part in the process. Even though Hector understood death was not the end of ends for their kind, it would be many more years before the budding mage would fully grasp such a concept.

The smell of burning snakesbane slowly filled the room, and Ulor took his place by the domination relic's pedestal. He was attempting something none before him had ever dared: to control the minds of humanity as a whole. He only needed a moment to complete his task, and that was likely all he would gain, even with power as great as his.

In one moment, he would implant a command--a notion to be maintained in the minds of humanity from that instant onward--as long as the relic existed to keep the magic going.

For all Hector knew, Ulor was going to put an end to the violence gripping every nation by the throat. He was going to quell the aggression in mankind and start an age of renewal. And Ulor was going to do those things--just not quite how Hector assumed.

"Boy," he commanded, "heed me, now." Satisfied Hector's unwavering attention was on him, Ulor continued. "Humanity is a burden on this world. We take. We destroy. We do not renew what we use, and we do not respect the creatures that have come before us. Humanity," he paused and placed his hands on the orb, "is a disease on this world."

The acolyte nodded, though his expression betrayed his uncertainty.

Ulor closed his eyes, tilting his face toward the heavens. Soon, he would be linked with every mind in the world; soon, he would put an end to the rampant, destructive flood that was humanity. He would bandage the wound of the world with one simple command:

No more children.

The ancient mage started his incantation.

The beauty of the domination relic was, of course, that it maintained unquestioning servitude. Yes, in the past such tools were used primarily to control one or two individuals at best. Ulor was linking to all of the human race, but he wasn't seeking total obedience. He just needed compliance in one particular matter...

A connection to the orb established, he reached out into the ether with his consciousness. Such powerful magic required the draining of his life force, but Ulor was steadfast in his task. Before the last moments of his life ebbed away, he felt the universal connection he'd been searching for.

A smile on his face, the body of the mage slumped to the floor, never to rise again.

The End.


Well done -- interesting story. I liked that Hector was kept in dark about Ulor's true intent.

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Post May 23, 2017, 10:45:44 PM

Re: 06 The Lily Pads of Your Minds by Gareth D Jones

Daniel Johnson wrote:The Lily Pads of Your Minds by Gareth D Jones

Guillaume yawned and stretched in the warm comfort of his bed, blinking against the sliver of sunlight that laced his pillow. He needed a decent coffee to wake up to. He closed his eyes and stretched his mind instead. His perception leaped away - he always pictured it being like a frog – and landed briefly on the mind surface of Marissa Hesketh who lived in the apartment below. Minds were like ponds, some of them dark and murky, and Guillaume could rest briefly on the surface, as though on a lily pad, observing without interfering. Marissa was pouring a bowl of Low-Cal Special cereal, being ‘good’ to fit in with the fitness zeitgeist. The cereal wasn’t particularly tasty though. Guillaume decided to cheer her up. He dipped a finger below the surface of her mind, if indeed frogs have fingers, and nudged her towards adding chocolate chips to the bowl. That made it much more tasty, and honestly who cared that she was a size 14 instead of a size 12?

His mind hopped down another floor and outside the door where the whistling postman was walking down the path and thinking about how nice it must be to deliver the mail in sunny Bermuda instead of chilly London. There he could wear Bermuda shorts all year. Did they wear Bermuda shorts in Bermuda, or was that just a stereotype like French people wearing strings of onions and Mexicans wearing big hats?

Across the road a dog walker was heading for the corner of the street. Guillaume decided not to delve into the mind of someone who choose to walk around carrying a plastic bag of dog poop.

Around the corner, on the main road, a student was heading for college and thinking, seemingly, of nothing.

A bit further along the road was the coffee shop. Janine was in the midst of serving a self-important businessman in a dark suit and bright tie. Guillaume diverted her mind from that task and set her about the task of preparing his creamy mocha latte deluxe.

“That’s not my order,” the business man snapped.

Janine ignored the man and finished off Guillaume’s drink.

“Now, see here…” the businessman tailed off as Guillaume hopped over to him and impelled him to take the drink from Janine and leave the shop without his own order. He headed along the main road towards Guillaume’s side street and handed the coffee on to the postman who had just finished the row of houses. The postman returned to Guillaume’s apartment block door and paused. Guillaume sent Marissa down to collect the coffee and bring it up to his own door. By this time he had climbed out of bed and put on his robe.

“Thanks, Marissa,” he said and closed the door on her bemused face. He took the coffee into the kitchen and sat down to enjoy its strong, smooth flavor. First task of the day complete. Time to get on with taking over the world. If only he could figure out what he wanted to do with the world once he’d taken it over.

The End


Nothing like a cup of coffee before taking over the world. I like how he leap- frogged from one mind to another. Curious as to how he got this power!
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Post May 23, 2017, 11:38:09 PM

Re: 07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

Daniel Johnson wrote:For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond




Like the story concept, reminds me of an animated TV show I have called God, The Devil, and Bob. Ending is good too. Well done!

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Post May 23, 2017, 11:45:04 PM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

Daniel Johnson wrote:A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.



Great imagery, nice flow although the linkage between events was a little hard to follow. Overall impressive story. Well done.

Roddy Turner

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Post May 24, 2017, 05:26:05 AM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

The Fisher of Men wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

I've read some of the commenters asking if authors were professional. I got to know, are you a pro writer? Do you have anything I could buy online or in a bookstore?

Thank you,

Frank Martin


Thank you Martin for your kind words. Yes, I have published some books in romanian. I guess, that makes me a pro writer. :D I also published a short story volume in english - Iman and other fantastic stories. Can be found on Amazon. == BUT DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK == It was published by America Star Books and it was a total hoax. They translated my manuscript with Google - i guess - and they sent me back the translated work full of typos, strange mistakes, wrong character names etc. And they started to ask money for all sort of reason. I also published a story on a british magazine -- The Singularity No. 3. Can be found on Amazon too. This one was ok. Profi editors. :)
Again, thank you!

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Post May 24, 2017, 05:27:43 AM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

rodentraft wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.



Great imagery, nice flow although the linkage between events was a little hard to follow. Overall impressive story. Well done.

Roddy Turner


Thank you very much! :) I must be sicere, in my opinion, it is very hard to write a great flash fiction story. For all sorts of reasons. Word limitations and flow, mostly.

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Post May 24, 2017, 05:42:22 AM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

KVesi wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

Poetic and powerful. You wrote a painting.


I very much thank you for these kind words. :)

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Post May 24, 2017, 05:44:16 AM

Re: 17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

radagast-now wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

I'm a modern demigod. One of the most depressed who ever existed.

<snip>

A fascinating trip - psychedelic walk through ominipotent lane. :D


Thank you so much! :D

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Post May 24, 2017, 05:46:44 AM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

KVesi wrote:
gmdiamond wrote:
KVesi wrote:Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi



The End

Nice one. Good dialogue, but i think at some point looks more that a second grade conversation. From a father's view, i think the kids won't give up that easy this magical sphere. :) Beside that, i think is a nice one. Good luck!


I don't have kids but I am an aunt. I will have to ask my niece and nephew if they would give up the sphere so quickly! K.Vesi


Very similar comments, I thought these kids seemed older, but then again, it could happen! My 9 year old surprises me all the time with her "sage" observations. Never sell them short. Thanks for an adorable story and good job using the kid's POV.[/quote]


I have a difficult time gaging kids. Both my niece and nephew are super tall. My neice towers over her whole grade and many of the kids in the next one. So I am a poor judge of size. Then my nephew is in the 98% percentile in whatever academic testing they do at school. Hahaha! Thanks for liking my story. I laughed the whole time I was writing it. K. Vesi[/quote]

To be honest, I would not give away that sphere. No way, man. All mine. :D

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Post May 24, 2017, 08:27:45 AM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

Nice story centered on Kids and what they might or might not do if they encounter extreme power.
Tesla Lives!!!

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Post May 24, 2017, 09:31:53 AM

Re: 03 The Pettiness Device by Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Daniel Johnson wrote:The Pettiness Device by Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Bobby shifted around in his pocket and thumbed at the small device. He’d been too scared to push the button, but he knew that he couldn’t resist the temptation for much longer. Removing his hand from his pocket he switched the blinker on, signaling his intent to exit the freeway. The driver to his right sped up, blocking his passage, causing him to miss his exit. Glancing at the rearview his saw his face contort in grimace. His fingers found their way back to the device and without thinking he pushed the button. The blinker still flashed. He turned his head to the right and saw the line of cars back off to let him pass.

Off the freeway Bobby noticed that all the cars were yielding to him. When he arrived at an intersection at the same time as another car the driver waved for him to go first. He’d forgotten to turn the device off. He almost pushed the button again, then refrained, deciding to wait until the drive was over. It was smooth sailing for the rest of the ride.

The pettiness switch really does make life a lot easier. Do I actually need to turn it off? He didn’t say anything about leaving it on for long periods, he’d only said that the switch would turn off the pettiness of others. A strange pawn shop find. Bobby had bought the device on impulse, thinking it would be a good gift for his wife, who was always complaining about how petty people can be. As he was turning the knob of the front door he experienced a moment of hesitation and hit the switch once more before entering the house.

Tamara, his wife, sat watching the soaps, barely noticing his entrance. He threw his keys into the dish with a loud clank. Only then did Tamara stir. Without looking up from the TV she asked, “Did you remember to stop and get me more Chablis?” He had not. The strangeness of the courteous drive had made him forget all about her request.

Bobby was about to leave the house again, for the forgotten errand, when he decided to push the button. His fingers hadn’t left the device when he heard Tamara call out, “Don’t worry about it, I’m sure you’ve had a long day, and we still have some Chardonnay. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll pour us a glass.”

He was shocked. She was never kind to him when he got home from work. Usually she just wanted to give him an earful of TV gossip and complaints. She was still talking to him, but he didn’t hear. On the television a political debate was taking place, but the candidates were not debating. Instead, a series of apologies were taking place. The talking heads praised each other and spoke of each other’s favorable qualities. What could be going on, did the world change on my way home? Is this my doing?

He thumbed the device once more. The politicians froze for a minute with shocked looks on their faces. As they returned to arguing his wife spilled wine all over the floor. “Damn it, Bobby. I thought I asked you to pick up Chablis. You know I hate Chardonnay in the early evening.”

He pushed the button again. “Oh, how clumsy I am.” Tamara said to herself as she grabbed a towel and started cleaning up the mess. On the television the argument reverted to an almost sycophantic shower of compliments. Each candidate patiently waiting for the other to finish before rebutting with a comment equally polite.

Bobby went into the front yard to clear his head. Passersby waved from car windows. He pushed the button again and watched their demeanors change. The waving stopped as people ignored him and went back to navigating the thick traffic. A hand extended from a car window and from the hand extended a middle finger. The driver shouted insults at a passing vehicle. Bobby couldn’t resist hitting the button again, and again the moods of the drivers changed. This thing really works. Pettiness disappears instantly when I activate the device. I could do a lot of good for the world with this thing. He shuddered at the power that rested in his palm. Quickly he shut it off, fearful of the awesome control he now had over others.

Walking back in the house he was greeted with more of Tamara’s complaints. He sat on the couch trying to ignore the insult. The politicians were back to their mud-slinging. Tamara already seemed drunk. Her volume was rising in intensity. I can do something about it, why shouldn’t I? The allure of the button tainted his judgement and he pushed it without further thought. Tamara settled down. Through his thoughts he even heard her utter a kind word.

His mood sank. Why didn’t the man at the pawn shop warn me? This device may turn off the pettiness of others, but every time I reach for the button I’m being petty myself… Bobby sat up from the couch and went outside once more. He hit the button one last time, turning the pettiness of the world back on, then lifted the lid of the trash can and chucked the device in with the rest of the rubbish.

The End


BRAVO! I really liked this one. Reminiscent of Twilight Zone episode "A Kind of Stopwatch". Great ending.
Glenn Diamond

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Post May 24, 2017, 11:07:35 AM

Re: 11 Absolute Platitude by Mike Dorman

Daniel Johnson wrote:Absolute Platitude by Mike Dorman

Whenever I tell my story, the following objections inevitably arise: how did you come to possess such technology? How does it work?! To which I always reply…shut-up and listen! If I wanted my entire point disregarded, I wouldn’t have started speaking in the first place, thank you very much.

So yeah, I possessed the technology to control every living person’s mind—just deal with it—and what do you think I did? Another guy once scoffed, pointing out my missed chance at the NBA, to which I replied, “shut-up and listen!” Control over people’s minds didn’t mean I could make Spaldings swish through hoops.

I could, however, make my wife obey, and that was every bit as wonderful as you’d imagine. Apart from the obvious, Julie was also a competent cook, and I gorged on cherry cobblers and tuna casseroles until I couldn’t take anymore. And before you judge me unscrupulous, imagine your wife became like some 6th grade crush you couldn’t shake, no matter how mean you got. Or unfaithful.

So yeah, I cheated on Julie, if you want to call it that. Things were going well for me at work—real well—and I took my rightful spoils as the newly appointed CEO, upgraded the office right along with the house and the mistress. Julie was likely devastated, but I left her a handsome severance package, if not exactly any clue on where to find me.

Much like Julie however, my role as CEO also grew ill-fitting. A glorified insurance peddler? For one possessed with my persuasive abilities, securing the ventures of the more powerful was hardly what I envisioned. So I switched industries—sectors, if you want to get technical—and climbed into public office.

The campaign proved a pleasant distraction; at the very least, it delayed the full severity of my solipsist predicament so I could enjoy the adulating crowds and entire stadiums jam-packed with Julies, all wanting me--needing me--to save them.

You know that platitude about absolute power corrupting absolutely? It’s nonsense. I mean, if you’ve got all the power, corruption’s kind of a mute point. What absolute power does create, however, is absolute boredom. But it takes a while to get there.

So yeah, I became president, one with a House and Senate eager to mold my American dream with the corresponding bills and regulations. Can you imagine? With the rest of the world’s leaders kowtowing to my better judgment, there was no need for wars. After I tackled that global warming quandary—easily solved with a world government headed by yours truly—I got to dealing with the domestic fall-out. Jobs could neither be replaced nor easily created, to say nothing of the costs of my desired universal health care, so I came up with a novel solution, which isn’t to say it wasn’t without its ethical shortfalls.

Question: if cyborgs don’t have souls, are humans stripped of free-will any loftier? I ultimately decided that automatons are automatons, flesh or not, so yeah, I started killing people, if that’s what you want to call it. Shuffled them all into their voting locales and whoever rolled a six was euthanized.
At this point, my relationship with my daughter, Melanie, went south. Even though I let her boyfriend off the hook (he’d rolled a six), she couldn’t forgive me, called me a monster and the like.

How, you ask, could any mind-controlled daughter hate their mind-controlling father? Because—you guessed it—my daughter was exempt.
Believe me, during my down time, I often thought of acquiring Melanie’s affection the easy way, but, cliché or not, love ain’t love unless its freely given. Couldn’t she see I wanted a better world for her?

“Don’t worry, I won’t be staying long.”

“Melanie!” Sitting up in my chair, I shot a look at the agent responsible for this barging-in. Looking at my daughter, I smiled. “What a nice surprise. Come, take a chair—“

“—Did you block my passport?”

“How’s…what’s his name again…Ricardo doing? He still playing in that band?”

“Did you block my passport?”

I leaned back, sighed. “I can’t have you running off again. What if something happened to Mom and I needed to contact you?”

“First of all, for the life of me I don’t know why Mom still adores you.” Her green eyes, her wavy brown hair—all heirlooms of her mother—taunted me. “And second of all, you can’t control me, Dad. I’m not one of your lackeys—“

Try as I might otherwise, I chuckled. “Lackeys?”

“Yeah, and I’m not one of them.” She narrowed her eyes, a remarkable likeness to Julie. “And I’ll never forgive you if you don’t unblock my passport. Never.”

If you can’t imagine how I would miss behavior like that, than you’ve clearly never controlled the planet. Melanie was the only spot of sunshine in my drab, predictable world. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Just wait around until she saw her old man in a different, more forgiving light? Even if—miracles never cease—she did, I wasn’t accustomed to waiting. So yeah, I manipulated my daughter’s mind, if you want to call it that, and it was my biggest regret to date, because when Melanie finally wanted to spend time with me, I didn’t even like her. Her affection had no substance.

To think, I used to scoff at my theological upbringing. I mean, why would an all-powerful Creator sit back and allow his measly creations to curse and break his will, unless, contrary to canonized wisdom, he wasn’t as powerful as he was cracked up to be?

Now—too late—I know better.

The End


Absolutely Awesome! Loved it.
Glenn Diamond

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Post May 24, 2017, 11:37:24 AM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

The Fisher of Men wrote:I was afraid my story was a bit too graphic.

I'd wholeheartedly agree.

v.

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Post May 24, 2017, 11:42:42 AM

Re: 15 A Confrontation of Wills by Sergio Palumbo

Daniel Johnson wrote:A Confrontation of Wills by Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo

The End


A interesting subject. I sense a journalistic style in here. Like a documentary seen on tv. Good luck.
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