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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, August 1, 2011

Free Flash Fiction!

I went shopping for a lamp this afternoon. We went to the thrift store and looked for a nice hanging lamp to go over the love seat in my family room. No luck. So, my husband suggested we go look at cars, just window shopping, kick a few tires, see what's out there, that kind of thing. Big mistake. I now own a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan that is replacing my 1995 Dodge Ram 15 passenger van. Anyone want to buy the van?

Because I'm too tired to write anything else, here's a silly piece of flash I wrote a while ago. The idea was triggered by a comment from my son- "Why are they dust bunnies? Why not dust rhinos or dust kitties or dust dolphins?" Enjoy.

Dusting Wars

"General! The left flank is crumbling. What shall we do?"

"Buck up, man. We still have the power to beat this thing. Send out the rhinoceros. Bugle call, right flank, close the gap." General DB waved his baton. His troops rallied to his cry.

The rhinoceros charged, gray fluffy bits trailing in his wake. The assorted bunnies and animals followed, bellowing battle cries as they charged toward the fanged mouth of the monster menacing their home.

The monster growled, a roar so loud and terrifying that General DB shivered a whole fluff of cat hair loose. The rhinoceros thundered forward, a huge concoction of couch fibers, hairballs, pet fur, and dust. The monster's mouth swept closer, the roar constant. The sound drowned the screams as the front line troops disappeared into its maw.

General DB's aide froze, eyes wide in terror. The beast decimated the army, sucking whole squads into the bristle lined mouth. "We are going to die."

The troops scrambled backwards in full retreat. The monster slid its mouth closer, metal neck clattering on the floor.

"General, what are we going to do? The thing has our backs to the wall."

"Literally." General DB thumped his baton against the baseboard where the infant dust creatures gestated. "We must save our young. This vile creature must be stopped."

"How, sir?" His aide quivered, shedding bits of fluff and bread crumbs.

"We must sever its power umbilical. It is time to summon the Ferrous Feral One." General DB snapped his baton against the metal grate set into the flooring.

"But, General, he is evil incarnate. They say that he's mad, sir." The aide leaned close. "He even ate his own young."

"Be that as it may, without him, we have no hope. Our entire colony will be devoured by that creature." General DB hammered on the heating grate. "Oy, you, Ferrous One. We need your help."

"What's in it for me?" The gravelly metallic voice rattled through the duct.

"First rights to any coins or metal bits that fall through Couch Clouds."

"Your entire hoard, as well?" A fragment of dusty hair poked through the grill to study General DB.

"If you do not help us, our hoard will be swept away into the belly of the beast, along with our entire colony. We need your assistance, Ferrous One."

"You banished me, claimed I was too contentious for your fuzzy clan."

"Look at yourself, man. Metal bits poking out everywhere. You tore three of us to shreds just rolling past."

The Ferrous One pulled himself from the grate. Staples framed a gaping mouth, twisted into a wide grin. "I like the sharp bits. I used to live beneath a Desk."

"Yes, I know. Hurry, man, or there will be nothing left to save." General DB moved to prod the Ferrous One, but hesitated at the spiky mass of metal paperclips, staples, and thumbtacks protruding from its back.

The mouth of the monster slashed through the dust troops, sucking them wholesale into its belly.

"I shall return. And you shall honor your promise." The Ferrous One dribbled tacks beneath the General as a threat.

"Your courage and bravery shall live forever in our legends." General DB saluted the dangerous dust ball.

The Ferrous One charged towards the bristled maw, trailing staples in his wake. The mouth sucked him in. The monster swept its neck closer to the general and his aide.

"He failed, sir. What now? Do we die, sir?"

General DB squeezed back against the baseboard, spreading his fluff to protect the young.

"It was a pleasure to serve with you, sir."

The mouth swept closer, scratching over the floorboards. The constant roar increased in volume. General DB closed his eyes, pulling cat hair over the googly bits.

The monster screeched. The mouth paused as the belly whined. The mouth stopped, retreating. Sparks flew between the bristles. The high-pitched squeal cut off. The monster lay dormant in the sudden silence.

"What the devil?" The mouth clattered against the floor as something shook the metal neck. "Horace! The vacuum clogged again. You said you fixed it." Giant shoes clomped into the distance.

General DB let out his breath in a long sigh. His fluffy middle sagged away from the wall.

"Are we dead, sir?"

"No, I think we survived, thanks to the sacrifice of the Ferrous One. May his bravery serve to inspire our warriors for generations to come. Let's see who's left." General DB rolled forward.

The bristled mouth of the monster stirred. General DB froze, cat hair dripping from his underside. The monster coughed, a wheezing gasp that spat out the jagged shape of the Ferrous One.

"You've grown," General DB observed as the feral dust creature approached.

"Lots of materials to implement in the belly of the beast." The Ferrous One smoothed his staple smile. "I want payment, General. I lost more than a few of my paperclips in defeating the beast."

"Of course, certainly. Right away." General DB nudged his aide.

"Just drop it through the grate." The Ferrous One paused at the lip of the heating duct. "I have a long memory and I don't forgive easily."

General DB nodded. "We shall not forget, sir."

The heating duct rattled at the passage of the Ferrous One.

"Sir? Where shall I put these?" The aide dropped a dozen bent paperclips to the floor. "Nasty metal bits, all pokey and hard."

"Just drop them down the grate, man. And be grateful that's all he's asked for in payment."

Paperclips rattled as they slid through the vent into the underworld.