In Tech We Rust

Once upon a time in a land far, far away…

Baron Von Sankt Troffembach invaded with a force of three thousand Mecha. The scouts encountered no resistance at all, and the giant Titan robots and their support mechs gathered in one massive, terrifying force at the Grey Forest in preparation to rolling into Kapfenberg.

The desperate Mayor summoned the Witch Queen, Marta Esmeralda, for aid.

At sunrise, a fog of greenish-blue arose from the ancient swamp and the invading force began corroding, quickly enough to be visible. Marta’s version of WMD was a cloud of 2,2-pyridinium dipyridyldisulfide chlorochromate, a corrosive agent which violently attacked and dissolved the giant mecha completely.

You can see all that’s left. The toxic blue fog cloud that never retreats and the rusty water marking the graves of hundreds of members of the invading force.

The war was over, but dispersion, stray winds and groundwater seepage returned Kapfenberg to the Bronze Age.

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Inspired by this week’s Monday Finish the Story prompt:

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The King of Everything

Life is quiet for the last man on Earth.

Other people have only irritated me since Jeannie passed and I paid extra to leave them out of my Virtual. I wanted all of the trappings of civilization, without any arseholes. My Virtual includes my home and my street, duplicated exactly, but without people. I can smoke, drink, swear, and even walk around naked on my front lawn. There’s not a soul around to bother me.

I was enjoying catching up on my reading and studying mechanical engineering. I thought I might even build a windmill someday.

That is, until this morning. When I glanced across the street, at the blue house where Jones used to live.

The red flag on the mailbox is up.

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124 words. Inspired by this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt:

Photo © Dawn M. Miller


Hero saves the day

“You folks, git movin’ on into the next car. We ain’t got all day.”

The bandits waved their guns around, directing everyone into the last passenger car. Women were trying desperately to keep their little ones quiet, not an easy task with all of these guns on display. Their men clutched luggage and belongings, shuffling in the slow-moving queue, looking pale.

When the desperados stopped the train, rumors had dispersed through the passengers at the speed of panic, but now all was grimly quiet. The bandits intended to either take hostages, or just collect everyone into a single car and strip them of their valuables.

The masked rider in white suddenly appeared on a pale horse galloping toward the front of the train. “We’re saved!” The women cheered…

“Jimmy. We’re in Spokane, time to see Grandma.”

“What happened to all the bandits, momma?”

Momma just laughed, “No bandits, Jimmy, just us.”

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150 words. Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast


Annie responded with two photos for the topic “Ephemeral”.


In Philadelphia, she got a 15 foot cobra to “hood” briefly. Caught at a nearly ideal moment.


And a recent eclipse, “ephemeral” by definition. 300mm lens, just begging for a telescope. Astronomical viewing in Chicagoland always gets a lot of light pollution anyhoo.

Out of Business Sale

Johannes sighed and closed shop. Another day wasted on the folding chair at the airport, not making any sales at all.

It seemed such a natural, perfect idea for a business. This was Sin City, the modern Gomorrah—surely the perfect location, right? He just couldn’t understand why the product wasn’t selling here. The occasional impulse buyer, curiosity purchase, and souvenir hunters kept sales feebly limping along. While there wasn’t any overhead to speak of, he just couldn’t make enough money to eat.

Even the stolen illuminated Vatican stationery hadn’t helped. No more “Official Papal Indulgences For Sale—Fifty Dollars.”

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Inspired by this week’s Velvet Verbosity prompt: Indulge


Offensive punalty

“It’s called the Eye of Selene,” he explained.

Captivated by the glow in her palms, a soft gasp escaped her. “It’s amazing,” she breathed. The six-inch crystal orb emitted a dim, even light. Gazing into it, most viewers would recognize the familiar mares, oceans, and craters of Luna.

“Thousands of years ago, the Greek gods imbued crystal orbs with the tiniest portion of their power. The Eye of Mars is red, the Eye of Neptune glows blue, and so on. I’ve been trying to complete the collection, but each individual orb is an archaeological search of enormous proportion. They’ve been scattered all over the planet, some in museum collections, some captured by pirates, some lost to antiquity.”

Suspicion flared. She happened to know George had never been out of the state. But whatever, this globe-thing was pretty.

“Mercury is lost, Venus is bright yellow/white, Jupiter is greyish-blue with that big red spot, and Saturn is yellowish with cool rings. Pluto was recently lost. So there’s really only one Eye missing. It’s brown. Can you guess which god it is?”

She ticked off planets in her head.

“Only one missing is Ur…” She spied the reflection of his delighted grin in the Eye. “You bastard!”

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Inspired by this week’s Picture It & Write prompt (which really IS pretty):

White nights by (Juanfer Penagos)


I fail sneaking in.

“You’re late,” she observes. Reclined in the armchair, she stops my heart with two chilled words. She arches a mordant eyebrow, and raises one foot to instruct me.

“Beseech my forgiveness by cleaning my boots. Use your tongue.”

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He covets. That is his nature.

“My entire collection hangs here,” Alistair said proudly, wiping an invisible speck of dust from the Indiana plate with a chamois. The hanging plates hung proudly from the ceiling with a wire-rack construction connecting them in vertical columns of eight. “I’ve done a lot of driving and vacationing to collect them all. Some I’ve traded by mail with other collectors, some I’ve recovered from junkyards and scrapheaps. A couple of plates came from car accidents. At this point, I’m short just three states.”

Sheila snapped a couple of more close-ups, and nodded, stifling a yawn behind the license-plate collector’s back. The recorder captured every detail for the blog, but honestly, she could not wait for some real assignments. These pure puff pieces were killers.

“Which three states are you still missing?” Sheila led with another question.

“I’ve got a colored states map downstairs in the basement, let me show you.” The basement door creaked as Alistair slowly pulled it open. Thumping and muffled screams arose from the darkness. Alistair quickly slammed the door and blocked it with his body.

“Perhaps not right now,” he stammered. “Isn’t the car out front yours? The blue Honda with Wyoming plates?”

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197 words. Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

copyright- Joe Owens 2015