Flash Fiction – The Stumbler

Zippy Flash Fiction

The giant lumbered in a wide circle. Its bolted feet grinding stone into dust. Ralz gazed through crystal binoculars glinting in the sharp sunlight. A gleaming sparkle atop a dusty mesa.

“There he is,” Ralz said, “The Stumbler.” He passed the binoculars to Caz.

“He’s a big one, alright,” Caz said, whistling. “Just what do you plan to do?”

Ralz sniffed hard and sucked his teeth.

“Well… the way I figure it is… the reason he’s always stompin’ around in a circle is because the hydraulics in his left leg are shot out, right?”

“Right,” Caz said, intrigued.

“Well… the way I figure it is… if we can get that left leg straightened out, then he’ll start movin’ straight ahead instead of walkin’ in a circle.”

“Yeah, but how are ya gonna do that?”

“See that pillar of rock over yonder? He comes within fifty feet of it when he circles. If I can get a grapple on that bad leg and tie him up ta that rock, I figure he’ll keep on movin’ against that grapple until he falls. If we’re lucky, the tension on the filament will pull his leg back right.”

“Alright, I’ll buy that. But what next? He’s just gonna get back up and walk off.”

“Sure, but not before we get aboard,” Ralz said slyly.

“Are you nuts? That thing is electrified!”

“Yeah, but when he falls, his shields go down for 45 seconds. All of the electricity gets rerouted ta the front of his body ta form a magnetic field that softens his fall. Afterwards, it takes about 45 seconds for his generators ta power back up ta full. All of his electronics will be down, including the locks. We can walk right in.”

Walk right in in 45 seconds or get electrocuted,” Caz snorted.

“I’d make it 40 just ta be safe,” Ralz said. Caz stared into Ralz’s eyes trying to determine whether he was crazy or just stupid.

“Okay, say we don’t get shot out the sky attaching the grapple. Say the filament holds and he falls. Say his leg twists straight. Say we get onboard without gettin’ crispy. What then?”

“Well, that’s where this comes in handy,” Ralz said, pulling out a large, aged roll of paper. It crackled as he unrolled it.

“Schematics! Where in the world did you get a hold of this?”

Ralz sucked his teeth and smiled.

“I’d tell ya, but then I’d have ta kill ya, and I need ya ta help me get inside that big beautiful walkin’ rust pile,“ Ralz said. He ran his finger along the yellowing paper. “Right here on his back is the hatch. Shouldn’t be too much trouble gettin’ inside. I got a pound and a half of rubber explosive ta bust the rust. Once we get in, it’s a long drop down a dark hallway. This thang wasn’t meant ta be boarded lyin’ down. We’ll have ta close the hatch, and attach ourselves ta the floor usin’ these electromagnets until he stands up again. After that, it’s a straight shot ta the core. An access ladder runs straight up ta the control room from there. Only problem is the control room rotates on the main gear shaft. We’ll only have 30 seconds to get inside every 5 minutes, and if we mess up the entry code, the access hall locks down and spins onto a gear tooth.”

“In other words, if we put in the wrong code, we’ll be axel grease,” Caz said.

“Uh-yep. Ready?”


Flash Fiction – Rotten Iron Wrought in Green

Zippy Flash Fiction

Inspired by 5 Words #47

Chunk ka-chunk ka-chunk…ssssss

The heavy, rust-pocked bulk came to a halt and depressurized with a hiss of steam. Spyglass eyes flashed brightly and dimmed as the machine revved down to a rumbling idle. Its head swiveled slowly one way, then the other.

Painted along the wall was the word “CAUTION” in bright yellow letters half-covered in grime. Beyond that, was open air and a thirty-foot drop onto a jagged, broken foundation. The entire corner of the derelict factory had sheered away at some point.

Near the edge, among the rusted out teeth of a shattered floor, an air plant held fast. Its bush of green tendrils swayed in the breeze like a patch of unruly hair.

Sheenk sheenk sheenk… sssss

A round hatch on the belly of the machine turned jerkily and swung open with a screech. A slender figure stepped out, wiping sweat from her brow. She took in a deep breath. The air was better here; it was healing. Removing a thick glove, she knelt and scooped up the lonely plant and peered out across the horizon.

A new day was rising, and the world felt like… hope.

Flash Fiction – Skystriker

Zippy Flash Fiction

“It’s pointless, the king is a fool! He’ll never agree,” a figure cloaked in purple said.

“But he must agree. And he will. I’ll make sure of it,” a man wearing thick black goggles said. He smiled, his teeth black as soot. The purple figure fidgeted, uncertain, concerned.

Black Teeth stretched out his right arm, it was twice the size of his left, and took hold of a heavy, cast iron crank. He grunted. The muscles and veins stood out of his arm and neck. His body tightened, bulged, sweated. Slowly, a long low creak screeched through the room. Gears tangled in a brilliant horrible mass began turning on each other. A faint blue light glowed all around like bottled lightning crackling.

“What, what are you doing?!” the purple figure said, stepping backward.

The light grew brighter and brighter. Blinding blue, white-hot light. The purple figure dropped to his knees, shielding his eyes.

Black teeth began laughing maniacally as the crank turned faster and faster. Soon his arm was a blur as the gears ground on each other in a cacophony of iron and steam. The purple figure scratched at his ears trying to block out the terrible sound that pounded his head.

A sudden explosion rocked the entire airship. The purple figure felt as though his insides had been separated from each other. Bone from bone, muscle from muscle.

The machine began to slow and the lights dim. The purple figure stood shakily, clutching his head and stomach. He looked up, bleary-eyed, at black teeth. His arm was still turning, slower and slower as the machine screeched to a halt, and the room darkened.

“Wh-what did you do?” the purple figure asked.

Black teeth was smiling.

“I stopped the rain.”

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