Time of Death (1-31-18)

You have the power to age or de-age people by stealing seconds,minutes,hour,day or years from others lifespan and than giving that time to someone else. This ability has made you wealthy. You give seconds chances to those if they tell you a good story. Today, you hear the most unbelievably one. [Link to post.]

“Your next appointment is here, Mr. Tyler,” Charlene’s voice notified me through the intercom. I pressed a black button the base to reply.

“Send him in.” I stood up and walked around the desk, preferring to meet all visitors on equal footing. A man much younger than my normal visitors walked in. He appeared to be in his early 20’s with a full head of long, silky golden hair on his head. He also sported a well groomed, thin golden beard on his face that matched his head. His hair style resembled a lion’s mane. He extended his hand and I accepted his greeting.

“Hello Mr. Tyler, my name is Regal. Thank you for seeing me.” He smiled and shook my hand vigorously. I showed him a seat then walked around my desk to sit across from him.

“What can I do for you Mr. Regal? If you don’t mind my asking, isn’t it a bit early in your life to want to start over? You know I can’t help with serious health issues, correct? I only handle aging, disease is out of my domain.” He nodded at me.

“Yes sir, I know. I’m here to ask you two questions. Depending on your answers I may have some helpful information to share with you, or I’ll leave.”

“You just want to talk to me? Without asking for my power?”  He hesitated slightly, taking a second to consider his answer.

“Well, maybe? You’ll see. For the first question I’m going to blurt it out at you, and you answer as fast as you can. Don’t even think about it, okay?” Regal sat up straighter in his chair, scooting his behind closer to the edge. I nodded at him. “What’s your favorite number?” he asked.

“14” I said, without thinking. A brilliant smile overtook his face, showing off his pearl white teeth.

“Do you have a tattoo with the number 14 on it?”  I nodded again.

“I do, but it’s not uncommon for people to get a favorite number tattooed on them. Why do you ask?” His smile dimmed a bit.

“Mr. Tyler, this next part is entirely up to you. I have answers for you, if you want them. I can’t answer everything, but I can answer a lot.”

“Answers? For what? If this is a scam…” I moved to stand up, ready to press the security button if I needed to. He raised both hands in the air in front of him at shoulder height as if to show he meant no harm. I remained at an awkward crouch hovering over my seat, undecided about calling security.

“Answers about what you are, why you have this magnificent power. You didn’t really notice it until you got your tattoo, right?” I felt the color drain from my face when he asked. I’d never told anyone about that. Less than a handful of people even knew about the tattoo, much less that I guessed it was tied to my abilities somehow. I let my weight fall back into the chair, and he dropped his hands back down to his knees.

“Tell me, please?” I asked. I did not dismiss the possibility it was still a scam, but I wanted to hear what he had to say. I could press the button for security at any time, they were posted outside my door.

“You are a Unique Soul, I’m one also.” Regal reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small purple notebook. He flipped it open and showed me a drawing of Death with the number 14 in the corner of it. Under the picture it said, “La Muerte“.

“That’s you,” he said. “La Muerte is a very powerful Unique.” I looked at the picture, then up at him.

“So, I’m a powerful Unique Soul. Okay.” I shrugged. “What does it *mean*?” He sighed in return.

“Unique souls are just that, Unique. Your personality, thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. You are the only YOU. There might be other people named Leonard Tyler, in this or even other universes. But just because they share a name doesn’t mean they’re you. You, me, all the Unique souls are the only one like them, in all the infinite universes. Each universe randomly produces 12 Unique souls,” he said. I put my hand up to stop him there.

“Each universe? So like parallel universes?” He nodded, then stood up from his chair to pace the room.

“Yeah, there’s infinite universes out there. Each universe randomly spits out 12 Uniques. If they die, they get reborn again and again, unless their soul is absorbed by another Unique. If a Unique gets all 12 souls from a universe, it can shape that universe however it wants.”

“So there’s only 12 of us? What’s different about non-Unique people?” I asked. I wasn’t sure if I wrapped my head around the first part yet, but I still wanted more information.

“Non-Uniques are cookie-cutter souls, they’re present in every universe in one form or another. Like your secretary, Charlene, for example. She’ll be found in any universe, and she’ll be almost exactly the same as your Charlene with the same likes, mannerisms, and so on. Maybe cosmetic variations, but the *soul* is exactly the same across universes. That’s pretty much it really. There’s infinite Charlenes out there, but only one me. One you.” He smiled at me.

“And my powers?” I asked.

“There’s 54 different Unique souls, and they’re divided into different tiers. You, La Muerte, are ranked in the highest tier, with the most powerful souls.” He flipped pages in his book and showed me a list divided into various sections. I found #14 listed in the “Celestial” category. I flipped through the rest of the book quickly.

“Wow. How’d you compile all this?” I asked. His head fell slightly, then he sat down in the chair again. He took a deep breath.

“Higher level Unique Souls each have a different role to fulfill. Most of us don’t know anything when we first awaken our powers. There is one Unique, El Mundo, that knows everything about Unique Souls, and its job is to inform the other souls as they appear. El Mundo is one of the few Uniques that is guaranteed to be in every universe. Most of that notebook is notes from my dad, he was the Mundo of my universe. Oh right, I should also point out that I’m not one of your 12. I mean, I’m not from your universe. I’ve been travelling looking for people to help me, and you would be a big help.

Drafty Drafter (1-30-18)

You have an ability where you can see people’s aura telling how successful they will be in life. Today you saw a guy in rags having the strongest aura yet. [Link to post.]

“NO!” I slapped the side of the beige PC tower. “C’mon!” Nothing happened. The PC was on its last legs a year ago, but the timing of the failure could not have been worse. I walked out of my room to look for my mother.

“Mom? Where are you?” I said as soon as I stepped out into the hallway.

“In the kitchen!” She replied. The smell of her meatloaf should have tipped me off, it was my favorite meal. I smiled when I stepped into the kitchen. Her aura sparkled like a cloud of silver glitter floating around her. She did not know that I could see her success, but she was happy that I smiled every time I saw her.

“Can I use your laptop? I need to take a test, but my PC finally gave up.”

“Sorry hon, left it at work today. Why don’t you try the library?” She always tried to encourage me to go outdoors. As far as she knew I was a depressed shut in. I decided to tell her at some point soon, but the test was more important. I was enrolled in college, but could not handle going to the campus.

Once I noticed it, my ability took me a while to sort out. I can see auras, and depending on its appearance I can guess how successful they’ll be in life. The blinding auras on the campus helped me learn that it’s more potential than actual success. 90% of the students had brilliant possible futures. Not only could I not concentrate in class, the light was often bright enough to be seen through my eyelids, and give me a headache. I didn’t last more than a couple of days before I switched to online enrollment. I hoped the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week would mean a relatively empty library.

“Save me a plate!” I yelled at my mom as I walked out of the house with my backpack over my shoulder.

“‘Kay.” She said. I got in my car and drove. I cheered to myself when I noticed there was only one other car in the parking lot.

“Probably the librarian,” I said to myself. I walked in and the place was beautiful. I’d not been in years. The library consisted of a two story building with wonderfully large floors. The help desk was in the center of the first floor with rows of book cases on each side. I made my way up the stairs to the computer lab on the second floor. It was also surrounded by rows of books. I sat down and got to work. After about half an hour I looked up and noticed a black speck.

The black dot hovered in the air behind the computer station I sat at. It began to grow wider and taller until it resembled a pitch black hole in reality. It appeared flat with no depth or any sign light escaping. I stared at it intently until a golden shining light forced my eyes shut. It was not enough and I still saw brilliant, solid gold through my eyelids. I put my hands over my eyes and laid my head down on the desk, hoping I wasn’t permanently blind. It felt like I stared at the sun.

“Hey, you okay?” A man’s voice said, and I felt a gentle hand rock my shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said. I looked up at him assuming the light was gone. Golden light seared my eyes and I forced my head down on the desk. I caught a glimpse. I could not make out any features, his aura was too bright for me to see the person. Normally peoples clothes help block out some of their aura, but from what I could tell this man seemed to be dressed in tattered rags. I noticed darkened strips going down his body vertically. “I’m not fine. Sorry. I can’t look at you, but don’t take it personally.” I hoped he didn’t think I was insulting him. His hand remained on my shoulder.

“It’s probably for the best, I’m kind of indecent at the moment. Is there a store nearby where I can get some clothes?” He asked.

“Huh? Yeah, there’s one right next door,” I said. I was about to ask how he didn’t see it on his way into the library, then I realized he probably came through the black hole I saw.

“Hey, where’d you come from? Did you come from that black hole? Who are you?” He patted my shoulder warmly.

“My name is [Regal](http://hserratafun.blogspot.com/p/regal.html). So you saw me coming out of the portal?” He asked. I shook my head.

“I saw the portal open, but I was blinded when you stepped through. I can see people’s auras and yours was *really* bright. The brightest I’ve ever seen. His hand wavered on my shoulder, somehow it felt like he was thinking. I kept my hands on my eyes, and my face on the desk. Even the slightest wiggle allowed his aura to pierce through my eyelids.

“What’s your favorite number?” he asked. His question caught me off guard, and I answered as quickly as I could.

“34” I said.

“Do you have a tattoo with the number 34 on it?” Regal asked. I nodded, even though my mom had no idea about it. I had a tattoo of an old style army helmet on my thigh with the number 34 on it.

“[El Soldado](http://hserratafun.blogspot.com/2017/11/hugoverse-guidebook.html)! I’ve been looking for you,” he patted my back, then stopped suddenly. “Sorry. To be clear I haven’t been looking for *you*. I’m just looking for people like you. Unique Souls.”

Clean Freak (1-29-18)

Write something that contains the following sentence: He must’ve cleaned house before we got here. [Link to post.]

“Mr. Martinez do you have any statements to make regarding your readiness to re-enter society?” An older, female doctor stared at Mr. Martinez across the table. She was one of three reviewers considering whether the young, disheveled man was stable enough to leave the asylum where he spent the last five years of his life. Jorge Martinez scratched at the stubble growing back on his shaved head.

“I’m not a danger to anyone.” Jorge said while staring at the ground.

“The orderlies you’ve attacked for cleaning your room would disagree,” the woman said. The other two board members nodded, but did not add anything to the conversation.

“I’m not dangerous, I need my mess. It protects me.” One of the men on the board chuckled while the woman flipped through Jorge’s file. 

“From the… Cleaning Monster?” Jorge nodded with a sigh.

“Mr. Martinez the truth is this facility is full. I believe you’re no danger to anyone else,” she chuckled. “As long as no one tries to clean your house.” She stamped his paperwork. “Congratulations Mr. Martinez. We are granting your release.” Mr. Martinez smiled.

“Thank you!” He stood up and cheered. A security guard escorted him to get his things, and see him out of the facility. With no family or friends to call Jorge took a cab home. He spent five years in the asylum, but had amassed a fair bit of wealth before that. He was able to maintain his property and kept his bills up to date while in the asylum. He opened the door to find the house spotless.

“NO!” He yelled and shut the door. The house was not how he left it. He ran to his car and drove to the grocery store. He stuffed his shopping cart with arm fulls of anything that looked messy. Cereal, confetti, popcorn kernels and sodas. He returned home to the living room and enjoyed making a mess. He threw food on the living room floor, though he kept liquids to areas that had tile. When the living room was covered food and trash he at last felt comfortable enough. He moved his pillow and blanket to the middle of the mess and went to sleep. Several days later a pair of patrolmen knocked at his door.

“Mr. Martinez, are you okay?” One of them asked when the door remained unanswered. He knocked again with more force.

“We at the right address?” One of the patrolmen stepped back to look at the numbers on the door, then check his report. “Yeah, this is the right place.” The other officer yelled through the door again.

“Mr. Martinez, we have been sent to check on you. You’re supposed to be maintaining contact with a doctor at the asylum, and she’s worried that you haven’t checked in for a couple of days.”

“Mr. Martinez, we’re coming in. We’re not going to harm you.” The two police officers broke the door open and walked in to an immaculate household.

“Huh. The doctor made it sound like this guy was a complete hoarder, this place is spotless.” One of the officers said.

“Maybe it did him good to be in there. He must’ve cleaned house before we got here.” The other officer said from the kitchen.

“I have heard of cases where people clean house before suicide,” The first officer said. He joined the one in the kitchen and nodded to the living room behind them. “Found ‘im. Place is spotless, but he’s been dead for days.”

Minute to win it (1-28-18)

The clock says 60 seconds but you don’t know what it’s for. [Link to post.]

I woke up in a twin sized bed, in a white room. I felt around on the bed, the sheets were white silk. I wore a set of white cotton pajamas that I knew I didn’t own. I turned off the bed and stepped on the cold white marble floor. I looked around. No windows, no sign of a door.

“Hello?” I said. “I’m awake.” I expected something, but got nothing. The room stayed silent. A small white table sat in the middle of the room with a single chair in front of it. On the table I saw a small black box. I took a seat at the table and stared at the box. It was a beautiful wooden box painted with the darkest black I’d ever seen. I picked up the box to get a better look and found a note under it.

“60 seconds. Stop. Go.” The note appeared to be typed in a typewriter. I looked around the room, now looking for anything that resembled a camera. I suddenly felt like I was being watched, though I have no idea where the sensation came from. I opened the box and a panel inside lit up with numbers. “60.” I set the open box on the table and stared at the blue glowing numbers inside it. The numbers did not change until I remembered the note.

“Go,” I said, trying it out. The clock changed immediately and began counting down. 59 now showed on the face of the clock with a circle around it getting smaller to tick off the milliseconds.  “Stop.” I said. The clock stopped and showed 60 seconds again. I tried it again. “Go.”  I waited until the clock hit 30 seconds and told it to stop again. It reset at 60.

“Go.” I tried it again, then reset it again at five seconds. I was unsure what would happen if it reached zero, but I had fun playing with it in the mean time. I let time pass, then I got back into the bed. I was starting to get hungry and I assumed if I was a prisoner someone would feed me. I woke up in the same room with nothing moved, nor any sign of food or water. I tried waiting it out. I don’t know how many nights I got into bed, or if they were nights at all. I tried counting time with the clock, but it got tedious after the first hour. Finally I decided that the clock needed to reach zero in order to get something else to happen. 

“Go.” I said, and it started counting down. I left the box on the table and crawled onto the bed. I wanted to watch it from a safe distance. The timer reached zero, and the numbers turned into flat dashes. The lights went out and the once brilliant room was now pitch black. The dashes changed color from blue to red, then the numbers changed. It started at 1. I realized I could hear a high pitched noise, and it grew louder as the clock counted up. After 5 seconds my head was killing me. At 10 seconds it became unbearable.

“Stop!” I yelled. I held my hands over my ears trying to shut out the pain. The lights came back on and the clock reset to a blue number 60. “Go.” I said again. It counted down from 60, then the lights went out when the clock changed to red. Once again I barely made it to 10 seconds before I had to stop it. I wondered how I was going to survive the 60 seconds.

Monkey Spank (1-27-18)

Fuck it, you think to yourself. “I wish for the most terrible, the most awful things to happen to me. Do your worst.” The last finger of the monkey’s paw curls down. [Link to post.]

Nothing happened. I wasn’t on fire, or covered in spiders, or anything. The dry paw felt cold in my hand, as if all the magic were gone. But, nothing happened.

“Yeah that’s what I thought, stupid ass monkey. You’re so smart, how come you’re missing a paw?” I knew it was trying to give me a false sense of security, but I knew I could wait it out. I tossed the paw into the back of a drawer and shoved it closed to go on with my life. It took effort, because the fear was always there in the back of my mind. Luckily I was able to bury myself in work. The few friends I made thought I would crack, with as much work as I was doing. Too much for a freshman to handle, they thought. It was a win/win situation for me. I was a patient master of the long con. Work hard all year, establish the positive reputation as a hard worker. Then I can skate by the next three years. It came with the added bonus of distracting me from the paw. After the holiday break I noticed a beautiful woman begin to make appearances among my group of friends.

“That’s Charity,” John said when I asked him while we sat in my dorm one time. “She’s single, you should ask her out. Get your head out of the books for a while.” John was a rock. He was my best friend, and helped keep me together the first time the monkey paw showed me its power. It was thanks to him I had the courage to deal with the paw. If he said I should ask her out, I decided I should ask her out. It helped that he knew about the paw.

“Yeah, I will. But I’m waiting out a thing with the paw.” I shrugged.

“Don’t wait too long. Women like that don’t stay single long,” John said. Later that evening I ran across charity. It couldn’t have been planned better. She was trapped at a bus stop in the pouring rain, without an umbrella. I walked by wearing a poncho, and holding an umbrella. I’d often been teased for walking around with both, but I realized this was the moment I’d waited for all my life.

“Hey, you’re Charity, right? I’ve seen you around.” I stepped into the small space with her. She smiled and extended her hand.

“Yeah. You’re Danny, right?”

“Right. Hey, wanna borrow this?” I handed her the umbrella.

‘Yes! Thanks so much. I have one, I just forgot it today. How bout we meet up tomorrow morning? I’ll give you your umbrella back, and buy you some pancakes to say thanks?” Charity’s eyes sparkled while she asked me out. I smiled. Man, John always knew what he was talking about.

“You’re on.” I agreed. “10 tomorrow morning at the diner.” Walking home in the rain gave me a lot of time to think. I was still afraid of whatever the paw might have planned, but I couldn’t live a life that way. I saw Charity the next day. Then, every day after that for six months. We couldn’t get enough of each other. She was perfect, and she made me completely happy. I’d forgotten all about the monkey’s paw until I was cleaning out my desk one day. I fished it out of the drawer and sighed. I looked at it, then looked around the room. Pictures of Charity and I dotted the walls.

“Well buddy,” I shook the monkey’s hand, “I don’t know if you couldn’t do anything, or if whatever you tried to do didn’t work out the way you planned it. But let’s call it off.” I dropped the paw when it began to shake in my hand.  Then I worried about hurting its feelings.

“Sorry!” I reached down to scoop it back up. When I did I noticed a finger had uncurled. “You gave me back a wish! Hey thanks. Though, I’m sure you’ll understand that I’m not in a real hurry to use it.” I smiled at the paw, as if it were a friend now. I placed it gently in the desk and closed the drawer. The desk moved around, but the drawer remained closed for seven years. One night I rushed into my home office and went straight to the drawer. I searched out the monkey’s paw then bolted to the hospital.

“Did you have to bring that thing?” John asked while he drove us.

“As hard as the pregnancy’s been, I figured it’d be nice to have a back up,” I said. It was our first child together. Charity’s pregnancy had been plagued with complications. Each time I came close to calling on the paw for help, but she always managed to recover. This close to the finish line I wasn’t going to take any chances. “The paw and I came to an understanding years ago, when I first met Charity.” They reached the hospital and Danny ran to his wife’s side. She was unconscious, but he held her hand while the doctor explained the situation.

“I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do,” the doctor said. “We can only *attempt* to save one of them. I say attempt, because it’s still quite risky, and there are no guarantees.”

“Hope,” I whispered.

“I’m sorry?” The doctor leaned in closer.

“My daughter’s name is Hope. Save her.” I continued to stare at the ground. I watched the doctors shoes walk away, then John approached.

“Give me the paw, man. You don’t want to bring it into this.” John stretched out his open palm to wait.

“I’ve got a wish left! I can save them both, I know it’ll work. I don’t care what happens to me, take care of them.” I reached into my pocket to grab the monkey’s paw.

“Don’t!” John stepped forward to wrestle it away from me, but I was too quick.

“I wish my wife and daughter survive and are perfectly fine after this, I don’t care what happens to me.” The monkey’s paw shivered, and I sighed with relief.

“It’s done. Man, I’m hungry. Let’s go get some pizza.” I said while I rubbed my stomach.

“Man your wife and daughter are getting operated on!”

“They’ll be fine, but I wanna go enjoy my last meal. She’s gonna be fine, but it’s not like she’s going to be magically healed. They still gotta do the operation, that’s probably going to take a while. John nodded. It was funny how life worked out. As we walked out of the hospital I chuckled to myself when I had the realization that John was listening to me now, instead of me listening to him.

I’d been to that place dozens of times before, but on that day it was the best pizza I’d ever had in my entire life. I reached into my pocket to cover the tip and found the monkey’s paw again. It still had a finger up.

“Hey, I used up my last wish, and I still have a wish left?” I showed the paw to John. Immediately he burst out laughing.

“You don’t have any wishes left, that monkey’s just giving you the finger.” I stared at it. How did I not notice that. The one wish I had left, the one finger the monkey was sticking up in the air was him giving me the bird.

“Oh no. Charity!” I threw a hundred dollar bill at the waitress then ran out of the pizza place, John right behind me. I drove us to the hospital and immediately walked in to see a nurse running up to me.

“Where have you been???” She panicked. Tears flowed out of her eyes, and her face was red. “Your daughter needed blood, we didn’t have any matches.” She reached out to hug me.

“I’m here! I’ll do it!”I pushed her off and started rolling up my sleeve. She stopped me, and shook her head.

“It’s too late. Hope is dead.” I felt the monkey paw shiver in my pocket.

Peer Pressure (1-26-18)

As a superhero with a day job you’ve had to come up with a lot of quick excuses to disappear from the office. They figured it out awhile ago and let it keep happening for the good of the world. Everyone can tell you’re running out of ideas for excuses and they think it’s hilarious. [Link to post.]

“Where ya goin’ Mitch?” Mr. Bellows, the floor manager asked. He interrupted the daily staff meeting to draw attention to Mitch Clarkson as he tried to sneak out of the room. Mitch stood up straight and nodded his head at the door.

“I’m uh… I’ve gotta.. ” He gestured at the door with the frustration of a child unable to use his words to get something he wants. Mitch’s best friend Julio stood up.

“I told Mitch to go get some breakfast tacos. For all of us.”

“TACOS! Yeah, that’s it.” Mitch rushed out the door. Everyone in the staff room waited a full minute before a single giggle from Cheryl signaled the release for everyone. Laughter erupted from everyone sitting around the table.

“He’s gonna bring them too!” Mr. Bellows laughed with a high pitched wheeze. His eyes bulged out of his red face while he doubled over holding his stomach. Within 5 minutes the focus shifted back to work. An hour later Mitch returned with two bags of tacos. He placed them on the table while everyone else giggled.

“Man, I should bring tacos more often. You guys are in a great mood,” Mitch said. After the meeting Mitch visited Julio in his cubicle. “Thanks for your help, man. I’m literally out of excuses now.”

“No problem! Me learning your secret was a good thing, now I can help you out.” Julio smiled at Mitch and offered his hand. Mitch shook hands, and shook his head.

“I’m just glad no one else has figured it out yet,” Mitch said. Julio laughed. Mitch stiffened, he turned to stare out a window.

“I have to go.”

“Go? Go where?” Mr. Bellows happened to be walking nearby and he asked. Julio placed his arm around Mitch.

“Mitch here just volunteered to get lunch for all of us. Pizza party!” Julio threw his arm up in the air, and the rest of the office cheered.

“Alright Mitch, carry on,” Bellows said. “Make sure you get me a thin and crispy.” An hour and a half Mitch returned with several pizzas. He pulled Julio aside again.

“Hey man, I appreciate the help, but tone it down. I have this job for a reason, I’m not exactly swimming in cash.” Mitch whispered.

“Oh, of course. Sorry.” Before Julio could apologize more Mitch stiffened.

“I have to go,” he said.

“I don’t think dessert’s necessary,” Mr. Bellows said as he walked by.

“It’s his grandma, sir.” Julio explained. Mr. Bellows shook his head.

“All four of your grandparents are dead, Mitch. I went to all their funerals myself.”

“Boss, I gotta come clean,” Mitch stepped forward while undoing a button on his shirt.

“That’s why he’s gotta go! Grandma zombie wandering around!” Julio pushed Mitch out the door.

“Oh of course, why didn’t you say so,” Mr. Bellows waved Mitch out the door while Julio pushed him.

“I can’t believe that worked,” Mitch said to Julio. “Thanks!”

“No problem man, we live in a weird world, you know. You’re a super hero, zombies aren’t too far fetched.” Mitch nodded then jumped over the rail down the center of the stairwell. Julio walked back in to the office. His friends were clapping and cheering.

“I can’t believe that worked,” Mr. Bellows said. More laughter poured from the employees until Julio raised his arms.

“Wait guys, wait.” He waited for the laughter to die down. “Time to switch it up.” He reached into his pocket and came out with a handful of pencils. He held them out letting everyone draw one. “Short stick is the new confidant.” Cheryl showed the shortest pencil and the rest of the office clapped.

“Hey guys, maybe we should actually be supporting Captain Energy instead of dicking around with him,” Cheryl said.

“Nah, he’s a cool guy and we’re bonding! He’s a super hero, nothing can go wrong.” Julio said. A young intern rushed into the room.

“Guys, it’s all over the news. They’re saying Captain Energy went rogue. He robbed a pizza store earlier.”

Step into my Parlor (1-25-18)

 They missed [Link to post.]

Sparks popped off the far wall, behind [Sebastian Spinne](http://hserratafun.blogspot.com/2018/01/brand-name-1-20-18.html), the man with spiders coming out of his beard. Security personnel rushed into the room when the orderly hit the alarm, but the sight of the spider swarm left them uneasy. They fired stun lasers. They missed.

Dana Sharp turned to check why the security guards had not fired again. They were on the ground, covered in black widow spiders, probably dead. A sea of spiders surrounded Dana and her assistant, Melody. They stood in front of the disheveled man. He scratched at his beard while he stared at the women. A spider crawled out of it, up the side of his face, and into his ear.

“We had an agreement, where’s my money?” Sebastian asked. Dana nodded.

“We still have an agreement. The money is on its way.”

“Then why they tryin’a kill me?” He pointed at the corpses of the guards. Dana shook her head.

“Just a precaution, because, well you have spiders crawling out of you. They weren’t trying to kill you.” Dana began to walk toward one of the corpses, the spiders skittered out of the way to allow her to walk. She picked up one of the stun rifles.

“Melody?” Dana said with a smile.

“Yes, Ms. Sharp?” The young assistant gave Dana her full attention. Then a blast of blue energy hit the assistant in the stomach and she fell over. The spiders cleared out from under her.

“See? Stun gun.” She tossed the gun aside. Sebastian nodded. The spider swarm trickled to him across the floor. They crawled up his legs, chest, neck and into his beard.

“Thank you, Spider.” Dana said. She smiled knowing that was the last time she would have to humor him with that stupid name. The door opened, allowing another security guard to enter the room. He held a black briefcase, and he stepped over the corpses of the other guards without flinching. He approached Dana and handed her the briefcase. Dana walked to the examination table and placed the briefcase on it, then she waved Sebastian over closer.

“Here you go, 10 million dollars as promised.” Dana opened the briefcase to show off the neatly organized piles of hundred dollar bills.

“Woooww,” Sebastian scratched his beard while he admired the sight. Dana took advantage of is distraction by signaling the orderly in the other room with a thumbs up gesture. When she did the white lights in the room began to slowly transition to blue. In seconds blue light filled the room, and gentle hum electricity could be heard.

“Do you know how we learned about souls, Mr. Spinne?” The man shoved the case shut and pulled it up to his chest to protect it.

“My name is Spider!” black spiders crawled out of his beard and onto the briefcase to help protect it.

“It was purely by accident. An unfortunate accident that left someone dead in this room, but it turns out the experiments we were running were able to trap their soul.” Dana smiled and looked around the room in admiration.

“You can trap souls in here?” Spider took a step toward the door. It was his last step.

Demo Spiders(1-24-18)

Flash Fiction Challenge – Location: An Arcade | Object: A ladybug [Link to post.]

“Ladies, gentlemen,” the woman looked over the small crowd. She hand picked each of them for the
presentation. She smiled convincingly, “Investors. I’ve worked close enough with each of you that
you know how fast I move.” She winked towards the deepest pockets. “So I’ll get to the point.” The
woman turned her back toward the crowd. Her long dark hair bounced while she walked toward an
arcade machine illuminated by spotlight. The machine was one of dozens in the old abandoned arcade.

“This is the past.” She pushed the machine over. She reached behind her back, then her hand came
forward holding a small leather wristband with a golden button on it. “This is the future. This harnesses
soul energy for any powers we program, and the safety features are all hardwired. This is the ultimate
game.” The woman waved to someone in the crowd. A young girl wearing a ladybug shirt and black tights
with red polka dots walked to the presenter.

“This is my daughter. She’s six.” The little girl lifted her wrist and the woman put the wristband on.
The girl centered herself in front of the crowd and smiled. She pressed the button and instantly a
swarm of tiny golden spiders crawled out of the bracelet and enveloped her wrist. The swarm crawled
up her arm and down the rest of her body until a tight golden bodysuit enveloped the girl from the
neck down. The woman pointed upward. Spotlights shined on a giant wrecking ball. The ball dropped
and landed on top of the little girl. She caught it and pushed it aside with ease. The investors stood
and applauded. Dana Sharp knew she just earned the funding she needed.

Countdown (1-23-18)

“You are not welcome here.” [Link to post.]

I stared at the paper pinned to the back of my front door. I lived alone, and mentally ran through my friends that had a key to my apartment. I doubted any of them left the warning as a joke, but it was the only other explanation. My day went by quickly and I forgot all about the mysterious note, until I was ready to leave the next day. Another note pinned to the door with the same message.

“You are not welcome here.” The message was scribbled in red ink, and I did not recognize the handwriting. If my friends were going to have fun with me, I decided to have fun in return. I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote a note to leave on the back of the door.

“Why not?” I left it. After work I rushed home, but the note was still there. I almost took it down, but decided to wait until morning. The last couple of notes appeared in the morning, so it made sense to wait. When my alarm went off I ran to the door before anything else. A new note waited for me. It consisted of a single number, drawn in red marker.

“5.” Not knowing what it meant I left a note on my way out to work.

“5 what?” The note remained when I came back, but the next day it was different.


“Oh.” I said to myself when I realized. “Days.” I shrugged and left, without leaving a note. I had nothing to say.

“3.” The note said, the next day. I hated to admit it, but I was growing scared. I didn’t know what would happen when it reached 1, but I didn’t want to be in the apartment that night.

“2.” The next day I tore the note off the door and tossed it in the trash. Then, I waved goodbye to my apartment. Luckily a friend of mine thought it would be a great weekend to get together. I would spend the next two nights over there.

I woke up on the couch, and walked to the restroom to wash up. I began to change out of my pajamas and my reflection caught my eye. In the mirror a big red number 1 was drawn on my chest. I met my own eyes in the mirror, and my reflection smiled at me.

“You are not welcome here. Enjoy your last day.”

Abort, Retry, Fail? (1-22-18)

Goodbye… [Link to post.]

“It’s time. Bring the sword,” Ballisea said. She sat upright in a large, elegant four post bed. Her husband Allister sat next to her, holding her hand. Her order was acknowledged by a skeleton that nodded then walked out of the room.

“Are you sure you want to do this, love?” He asked her, but she only glared in return. “We can -,” Ballisea interrupted his statement.

“No, we can’t. You don’t know what it was like, and I hope you never do.” Ballisea reached up to caress her husband’s cheek. “I can’t stand to bring a reminder of the worst part of my life into the best part of my life.” She leaned forward and kissed him softly on the lips. “You should leave. I don’t want you to see me.. to see this.” Allister grabbed her hand and kissed it.

“I’ll stay with you.” A noise from the doorway distracted them. The skeleton returned holding a beautiful [green glowing sword]. Allister took the sword from the skeleton and nodded at his wife. “Let’s go somewhere, so you don’t make a mess here.” She nodded. A black hole formed on the bed beneath them, and they sunk into it. On the other side Ballisea sat in the snow in a frigid tundra with Allister holding her hand.

“This is one of the first Earths I conquered. I killed all 12 [Uniques], and stopped production. It’s the perfect place.”

“Yeah, perfect for freezing to death,” Allister said. He pointed at the ground and started a fire to keep himself warm. Ballisea didn’t need heat.

“Sorry, I forget.” She leaned over to kiss his cheek.

“Yeah, yeah. Let’s get this over with.” Allister stood from the ground and hefted the sword up with him, but Ballisea stopped him.

“No. I won’t ask you to do this. I have to do it myself. A black hole appeared next to him, then a skeleton walked out. The bony hand grabbed the green sword from Allister then held it above Ballisea. The tip of the blade pointed straight down at her bulging stomach. The skeleton held still. Ballisea opened her legs wide. Skeleton hands appeared out of black holes under her legs to prop them up. She took a deep breath and her face strained as she pushed out. She squeezed Allister’s hand. She labored for several hours, and the finally it began. The surface of her large stomach began to glow with golden light.

“NO! DO IT NOW!” Ballisea screamed when she saw the light. “Through me, I don’t care!” The skeleton lifted the sword high for extra momentum.

“Goodbye, [Oren].” Ballisea said. Then, she nodded at the skeleton.