Redeploying – Flash Bizarro Fiction

Photo by Jeremy Bishopon Unsplash

Holding on tight to my twin I went through the door into the redeployment machine.

Once we were all in and settled, the door shut with a click and the whooshing started. The vessel then started to spin. Slowly at first, then getting faster and faster.

As the vessel spun faster my twin fell away from me. I couldn’t hold on. I tried to find her as we started to spin, catching glimpses of her and then losing sight of her again. My only hope was she would be one of the chosen ones along with me.

We had been told in the holding bin that not all would make the promised land. Only a few of us each journey went to the higher place. The rest of us would have to carry on our daily jobs, ready for another attempt, later on.

The whooshing grew louder and then a bright flash of light and I was airborne.

Five minutes later I was laying looking up at the higher place. I had made it. Looking around I looked for my twin, she was nowhere to be seen. She hadn’t been selected. I could only hope she would get another opportunity later on.

I was free, to live in the higher place. I heard humans talking about what happened to the missing socks in washing machines. If only they knew.

Heated Success – Flash Fiction

“A heap of empty test tubes” by chuttersnapon Unsplash

Robert monitored the thermometer. This time he was determined to take the mixture off at the right temperature. Dan, his laboratory partner and twin, stood beside him measuring out the next part of the substance.

Six months ago the pair had hit upon a revolutionary mixture. This formula was going to change their industry completely. The new formula had effects on its users that had only been dreamed of. Their discovery soon became common knowledge. All the big money men from the industry had flocked to secure these two young wizards.

Dan and Robert had a choice of who to work for and could demand whatever salary they wanted. They signed on to a company that offered them three times as much as most of their competitors. As a reward for signing they received a state of the art laboratory in any area they wanted. The twins chose a seaside town where they used to go as kids. Dymchurch was an idyllic seaside village where everyone knew each other’s names. Dymchurch provided them with two advantages. The twins felt at home there and the lack of nightlife minimised the distractions. The two fitted in immediately and started making some friends.

Everything was amazing for a couple of months and both young men felt on top of the world. Six months into their work and things had started to go wrong. The problem was no matter how hard the pair tried they could not completely repeat the mixture. Both had been so excited to perfect the mixture their record keeping had not been that thorough.

The businessmen ploughing money into the laboratory were starting to lose patience. If the twins didn’t have another breakthrough soon their adventure would be coming to an end.

“I have got it this time, Dan, I know I have,” Robert said. “This is it, here comes the money.”

“I bloody hope so bro,” Dan replied. “I don’t fancy having to pay back all the money for this laboratory.”

“No wait,” Robert replied. “We are nearly there.”

He carried on staring at the thermometer watching the mixture increase in temperature. Robert started to shake, one more degree and they were there. Robert was staring so hard at the thermometer his eyes started to water. The tears in his eyes were so bad that he didn’t notice the temperature shoot up until it exploded.

The local paper that week ran a tiny article about the brothers. On page two right at the bottom, was a tiny paragraph that stated. Gas leak in quiet seaside town found to be Meth lab.

Ringing for Change – A Short Story


As the alarm went off, Eve reached out and hit the snooze button. Ten more minutes she thought to herself. Ten more minutes before the normal, boring routine of her life started.

Eve knew how today would go. It would be exactly the same as the five previous years she had lived through. Get up, have a shower and get dressed. Go downstairs and put the coffee on, ready for Adam to wake up. Whilst the coffee percolates, wake up Tommy, help him get dressed, brush his teeth. Back downstairs to make breakfast for them both. At 0830 am both the men in her life would kiss her goodbye and leave. The day was then spent cooking, cleaning and washing. At 3 pm, pick Tommy up and help him with his homework. Adam came home at 5 pm, he normally grunted a hello to Eve. He ate his dinner and then sat semi-comatose watching TV until they went to bed.

Eve once again leaned over and turned the alarm off. Strange, Adam was not in bed. Eve couldn’t remember the last time Adam had been up before her. Going downstairs Eve went to put the coffee on.

There, standing in her kitchen was a 20-year-old, muscle-bound, naked, hunk.

‘Hey babe, you’re up late,’ the guy said, as he walked towards her, kissing her.

Eve heard herself say, ‘Scott, I told you I have a later meeting.’

Eve had no idea where this had come from or why she had said it.

As she sat drinking her coffee the rest of her life came to her like a showreel. Eve had fallen pregnant at 21, like her other life. After Tommy had been born she returned to work after 6 weeks. From there her career had flown, she was now managing director of her own HR company. Addicted to work, her family life had suffered. She was divorced at 25, Adam had gained custody of Tommy. Eve now saw Tommy once a month.

Eve knew she had to get ready for her 10 am meeting. Going into her wardrobe she looked at her expensive selection of clothes. Choosing a Chanel dress, a Prada handbag and Louboutin shoes, she yelled bye to Scott. She went into the garage, to her brand new Audi. Eve was starting to enjoy this dream life. Was this a dream life or was the other world a nightmare, she couldn’t work it out.

Without knowing how, Eve knew her way to work and her office. The meeting was long and boring. Eve, however, was starting to enjoy spending time with other people. For once, people listened to what she said and were interested in her opinions. A fancy lunch followed the meeting. Then another couple of meetings. Before she knew it her workday was finished, it was 8 pm. Home to hunky Scott and then out for an evening with friends.

This was how her life continued for the next week. Her last life started to fade into the background. After the first week Eve received her weekly phone call from Tommy. He sounded so distant to her. She tried to talk to him about common subjects she knew he loved. As his one-word answers mounted up, her heart began to break. She remembered her dream of being at home with him. The feeling of his little hand in hers on the way home from school.

Over the next week, the longing and loss became worse. Eve was continually tired and Scott was thick. He looked pretty but as far as debating current affairs with him, it was impossible. How she missed Adam’s quick mind and analytical thinking.

By the end of the third week, Eve was a tearful mess. She had been signed off with depression. Scott had moved out 3 days ago, luckily he had left an old tracksuit which Eve was now wearing. Her designer wardrobe didn’t accommodate slob clothing.

By the end of the fourth week, Eve had not washed or changed her clothes. She barely ate, instead she sat daydreaming about the wonderful dream she had a month ago. That night she’d had enough, she went to bed knowing that if she woke up tomorrow she would be ending her life.

The alarm clock woke Eve and she felt the depression settle on her like a black cloud. That’s when she heard the soft snoring coming from beside her. She looked over at the sleeping form of Adam and her heart skipped a beat. Without worrying about making coffee she threw herself at Adam.

Coming to, he enveloped her in his arms.

‘Hey, you, what’s wrong?’

‘Adam, I have had the worse dream,’ she sobbed resting her head on his chest. ‘I love you so much.’

‘I love you too, babe’ he answered.

At that moment Eve heard the tiny patter of feet as Tommy came running into the room. As he threw himself into his mum’s arms, tears rolled down Eve’s face. Adam leaned over and hugged her.

‘Baby, what is wrong? How about I take the day off and we go out on a nice family day?’ Adam said.

The day was amazing, the best day ever. Eve would never moan about a normal day again.

The Banquet – A Short Story

1*I9Lcmmr_qd8yZy4eySSIBgAs the bright white light faded, Tom saw the strange hippy in front of him. The aged gentleman smiled at him running his fingers through his long beard.

‘Welcome traveller,’ he said.

Tom swallowed and replied, ‘where the hell am I?’

‘You, my friend are at the gateway. The place where it is decided if you are going up or down.’

‘Are you God?’ Tom muttered.

‘Me no. I am his understudy, God is far too busy to man the gates. I dress like this well because it seems to be what people expect. I would far rather be in my jeans and hoodie. You can call me Bob.’ The hippy said, offering Tom a handshake.

‘Bob?’ Tom was hoping he would wake from this dream soon.

‘You’re not dreaming my friend,’ Bob replied. ‘Yes that’s correct I read minds. Now let me see your tally.’

Bob held up a clipboard and started studying it, running his fingers down the list.

‘Um worked in a hospital as a nurse,’ Bob said with a smile. ‘Oh had an affair at 45,’ This time Bob raised his eyebrows in Tom’s direction.

‘I can explain,’ Tom stuttered.

‘No need the decision has been made, no explanations are needed. You, my friend, are going upstairs, congratulations.’

With this, a step ladder appeared in front of Tom. He frowned, a step ladder was not what was written in the books. Where was his stairway to heaven?

‘Yes sorry about that,’ Bob replied. ‘We had a load of politicians up over the last couple of years. They have persuaded God to privatise the stairway, it is only for VIP guests now. You get the step ladder.’

Tom took a deep breath, he had been wanting to ask something since arriving here. ‘What is hell, like?’

‘Well I don’t normally do this, but I feel sorry for you with all the step ladder business. Do you want to have a quick peek down below to see what it is like? Only for five minutes though and you have to come back when I call you, or you will be stuck there.’

‘Yes please,’ Tom didn’t even hesitate.

With that, Bob tapped the step ladder and the steps reversed. Tom took a deep breath and stepped on the first rung. Tom descended the steps. He reached the bottom step and emerged into a huge hall. In the centre was the biggest banquet table Tom had ever seen. The room was dark but he could still see all the beautiful food piled high on the table. As far as you could see there was food of all descriptions.

Tom thought it this was hell, then how good would heaven be? At that moment Tom saw the people all seated around the table. Every one of them had arms without elbows to bend. The arms stuck straight out from their shoulders. This was when Tom noticed the arms were so stiff they couldn’t reach their mouths with any of the food. They threw the food up in the air, but they never caught it. They tried to roll the food down their arms, but it never made their mouths. These people were starving to death even though they were surrounded by food.

Jim shuddered right at that moment he heard Bob’s voice calling him back and the step ladder reappeared. Tom ascended the ladder. He stopped to thank Bob, before continuing on his journey.

As Tom emerged into another massive hall, this one was lighter than before. The same huge banquet tables stretched from one side to the other. The same food was piled high. Tom looked at the people around the table and noticed that they too had no elbows. Looking down at his own arms he saw his elbows had vanished and he shuddered.

Finally, Tom saw the people sat around the table were laughing and looked far from starving. That is when he noticed that they were feeding each other. Everyone was using their non-bending arms to feed the person opposite them.

For the second time that day Tom saw the light, understanding life completely.

Parts of this story are based on an old Chinese allegory called The Allegory of the Long Spoons. I have taken the liberty of changing some parts but the essence is still there. I hope you enjoyed my interpretation.

Prisoner Pickings – A Short Story


Jim sat on the Thailand beach letting the sun warm his bones. Getting into the country had been easy. The fake passport had worked, with not even a second look.

Someone was unloading beer barrels behind him. As metal banged against metal the noise took Jim back. Back to the horrendous first night, he had spent in prison.

Five years ago to the day, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder he didn’t commit. He had been taken straight to Rochester, one of the countries oldest prisons. He was placed in a tiny cell for two on C wing. C wing handled all the long-term inmates. Jim was housed with all the murderers, rapists and career criminals.

The first week had been the worse. The more Jim tried to keep a low profile the more he stood out. It was almost as if the experienced prisoners were sniffing out fresh meat. The first month he went to the medical wing six times with various injuries.

Over the years he learnt to be smarter, to move away from trouble. To sense the landings where trouble was waiting for him. He chose his friends to minimise the beatings.

The person he enjoyed spending time with the most was Dr Matthews. His frequent visits to medical meant they spent many hours together chatting. The first couple of years it was everyday talk about football, films and books. As the years progressed Dr Matthews started asking about his case. When he said he was innocent the Doctor believed him. Everyone in prison was innocent it was a relief to be believed. The other inmates laughed at him when he proclaimed his innocence.

Almost 5 years into his sentence he got in the middle of a particularly nasty fight. He knew straight away when he felt pain in his side, that he had been stabbed.

Fifteen minutes later he was sat on Dr Matthews table being stitched back together. Placing iodine over the wound Dr Matthews stitched him up. As the Doctor put in the last stitch a nurse came in asking for urgent help to sedate another inmate. Left with his thoughts Jim saw the spare tweezers glinting on the side. Picking them up he placed them carefully, where no one would find them.

When Dr Matthews came back Jim held his breath to see if the missing tweezers were noticed. Ten minutes later he was back in his cell. Thirty minutes after that Jim got his second piece of good luck. His cellmate was too ill to be transferred back to the cell. Jim left it five hours before he removed the tweezers and started picking the lock. His father had taught him to pick locks when he was a boy, it surprised him how easy it came back to him.

Within five minutes Jim felt the familiar click and the door swung in. Crawling out Jim pulled the door too. He then crept down the corridor. He followed the route he had memorised, avoiding the creaking parts.

He managed to get through the next door without incident. The guard was on his rounds at the opposite side of the building as Jim had calculated. He was almost through the courtyard and at the goods gate when he saw the guard. As the guard emerged in front of him Jim hoped it was true about good luck coming in threes. He chanced his last piece of luck. Turning the tweezers round in his hand, he came up behind the guard. He pressed the tweezer handle into the guard’s neck.

Jim hissed, “open the fucking gate, don’t make a sound or I will split you from ear to ear.”

The guard didn’t get paid enough to be a hero he complied immediately and the two of them walked out the gate. Locking it behind them.

One mile away from the prison Jim committed his first real crime. Hitting the guard on the back of the head he left him unconscious but, safe.

The rest of the escape was easy. Jim stayed away from populated areas, living in barns and sheds. Two weeks after the escape a tramp jumped onto the Eurostar at Ebbsfleet. When the train stopped in Paris a smart clean-shaven businessman got off. Then straight onto a plane, landing several hours later in Bangkok. A short local flight brought Jim to this quiet Thailand beach.

He sat smiling at how free he felt. Caught up in the moment he never saw Dr Matthews walking up behind him. He jumped as he felt the pressure on his neck and then relaxed.

“ Told you it would work, didn’t I?” She giggled into his ear.

He turned around and for the first time in five years, Jim kissed Dr Matthews.

Kaleidoscope of Memories – A Short Story

Taking a deep breath Alice knew it was now or never. She had been putting it off too long, it was time to clear the shed. Armed with 5 black bags and one box for stuff to keep, she made her way down the garden.

Opening the door a wave of nostalgia engulfed her. No, not now. She wouldn’t let her emotions get the better of her. Taking a deep breath it was time to face her memories.

After two hours things were going better than expected. Four full black bags lay around her. Alice sat on the floor, dust-covered her hands.

One more drawer to go. Pulling it, the oak drawer seemed to hesitate before giving up its treasures. “The painting stuff, well, compared to some of the stuff this would be easy,” she thought.

Alice had managed a full two hours without crying. His gardening gloves had undone her but she had stuffed the sob back down.

She had thrown most of the painting stuff away when she reached down for the paint roller. It sparkled in the sunlight, it was so white. He was always so careful to clean the rollers after use. Just as she was about to throw it in the bag she saw the kaleidoscope of colour on the handle. Bringing the roller to her she looked down at it.

Red the colour they had painted the lounge. She chuckled to herself at the memory, the tears broke down her face.

Green the colour of the kitchen. It was the only colour that they could agree on in the shop. She had been cooking Lemon Meringue to surprise her mum. She never thought about checking the blender was together before she hit the on button. Lemon and sugar shot out from the bottom covering everything in a sticky mess. The only way to sort the kitchen was a quick repaint. How he had rushed to do the job and stop her crying. He did a good job too her mother never found out what a failed cook she was.

She spotted the yellow by the head of the roller and sobbed. Yellow the colour he had painted the nursery to surprise the expectant mum. The pride on his face. When he proudly revealed his work.

Alice sat and sobbed, what remained of her resolve crumbled. Why, why had someone taken this amazing strong man from her. Why, why had he been the statistic that didn’t survive cancer. All those things she thought she had time to say but hadn’t. She should have told him how much she loved him. How much she measured her life by making him happy.

The pain was too much, radiating from her heart like a burning hole. She picked the paint roller up and threw it in the black bag as she launched herself out of the shed. Her vision clouded as she tried to lock the shed door. Tears streaming, she turned from the shed.

’Happy Father’s Day, Dad, ’ she sobbed.

Fish Fear Me – A Short Story

Mark sat by the lake in peace and tranquillity breathing in the sweet smell of cut grass, he sat and watched the fishing hook below the surface. The float bobbing around the lake waiting with anticipation of his first big catch of the day. He had arrived early. Threading his fishing hook with great precision. He dropped the test float to judge the depth of the water. Putting the bait on his hook and flicking his wrist it dropped into the water.

Mark had been working all week at the factory so the quiet of the lake was a welcome relief from the constant noise. Mark was a big guy used to manual work who could sit for hours waiting for the float to drop. He had rough hands that were full of scars. This was not evident when he gently remove the hook from the fishes mouth. He sat mesmerised watching the line under the water and the fishing hook looking for its target. The only movement by the lake was the gentle bobbing of the float.

The float bobbed down for the third time that day. Mark reached for the rod waiting to flick the end, hooking the fish. As he moved, the fish went off in the opposite direction. The beautiful large body of the carp, swam past Mark almost as if it was taunting him. Mark had been trying to catch this fish for the last three hours. He had changed his bait and his fishing hook nothing was working. At least Mark presumed that this was the same fish. In his head, it was a battle between man and animal.

Again the fish came back dangling its mouth over the hook. Mark was completely engaged, nothing else was happening around him. He was going to catch this one, he didn’t care whether he was late home. He was going to catch this prey before the day was over. He still had several hours of light before he needed to return home.

Mark was so engrossed in catching the fish he failed to notice what was happening around him. It was only when he heard the noise behind him that he was brought back into the present. This was not a normal noise of the country. This was a strange unfamiliar noise like nothing he had ever heard before. The prickling sensation started on the base of his neck. He turned to see what was or who was sneaking up behind him. It was getting dark and there was something lurking in the shadows.

He could use the rod as a weapon. If he was lucky he might even be able to flick the hook and do damage. Hit the intruder to give himself enough time to run to his car.

Mark moved his hand down to his fishing rod feeling the weight of it in his hand. He was glad he had opted for his old wooden rod, rather than the new lighter one. Gripping it tightly he was ready to face whatever foe was coming towards him.

A cloaked man emerged from the bushes and smiled in Mark’s direction. Mark thought he recognised the face, but couldn’t quite place where. If you could actually call it a face. The stranger smiled and pointed his finger at Mark. Mark felt the pain start in the centre of his chest and then travel to his arm. It felt similar to when he had a fishing hook in his finger but 3000 times worse.

He didn’t immediately notice the bright beam of light coming towards him. He watched the light approach and change colour. A warmth spread throughout his body, the pain in his chest forgotten. The empty container of a body then collapsed by the lake.

The light disappeared as soon as it had appeared. The only movement at the lake was Mark’s float going under the water as the carp took the bait off the hook.