Five-Sentence Stories: A Short Collection of Flash Fiction
by Geoff Lichy
Copyright © 2016 Geoff Lichy
These stories are works of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is purely coincidental.
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This ebook was last revised on 4 February 2016.
1 Floating Labyrinth
2 Other Places
3 Secrets of the Self
4 Outside Dangers
6 Sorcery of a Few
8 The New Barbarians
9 The Warning
10 Destiny in a Split Second
11 Dark Queen
12 Sunbeam from a Black Hole
13 Planet Artifact
14 Dichotomy of the Fang
15 Traitor’s Discovery
16 Epidemic Eighty
17 The Council of Overlords
18 Pineapple Shipping
19 The Second Accident
20 Passengers Unknown
21 The Cat Realm
22 Traveling Through Space And Time
23 In A World With Killer Robots
24 The Other Underground
25 The White City
1. Floating Labyrinth
The cave waterfall was barely noticeable despite its considerable width and unfathomable height. Countless geometric shapes floating in the air before it – that was what drew all focus. The explorers half expected their elaborately carved surfaces to be slick with water droplets, but they were dry enough to stand on and move around. If you wanted to, you could jump from object, especially since most of them were cubes. If one was to fall, there was no telling where they would end up, for the bottom was shrouded in darkness; it was like a staircase into an abyss.
2. Other Places
The staircase was nearly invisible. Hidden in an alleyway, behind a rusted broken chain-link fence, was a small dark gap overgrown with ivy and weeds. It was easy to miss and even easier to forget. The stairs fell into darkness, leading one to believe that they led nowhere. Although it did lead somewhere, it wasn’t a specific place with a name any human being knew or could pronounce.
3. Secrets of the Self
Like a safe to which I’d forgotten the combination, my mind had betrayed me. I could remember nothing, not even the stars of a distant past. I had nothing but a nightly crescendo of dreams and nightmares which disappeared with the dawn of wakefulness. I needed to know the secrets I’d held, to see the ghosts of a former life, but there was simply emptiness. I would remember nothing.
4. Outside Dangers
The rain pounded heavily against the glass. Large drops that echoed like fireworks. The elevator was still working, so people could escape the building’s lower levels for the relative safety of high ground. The zombies lurched and moaned in droves – hundreds of thousands roamed the streets – and it was only a matter of time until they broke in. The building’s occupants huddled together in the top rooms, keeping quiet, and hoping the rain would flood the streets until the zombies were no more.
“We don’t know for sure if the catahara still exist,” the teacher said. “This is just an ancient tale, one which is probably more grounded in mythology than fact. I wouldn’t count on them having ever existed, personally.”
“But there are still places on Earth that no one has visited – hidden homes for things which we thought went extinct a long time ago.” The classroom was silent for a while after the student finished speaking.
6. Sorcery of a Few
“Shh, keep it down! I’m not supposed to be telling anyone this.” He looked around the corner to make sure no one was around before speaking again. “Witches aren’t very magical, as we can’t actually affect anything without materials; we do spells and rituals. You might be thinking of sorcerers – now those are dangerous, since they can do magic on-the-fly.”
Jessica awoke to the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. The first thing she noticed was a faint scent of potato, like someone had just peeled a dozen or so right next to her tent. She took out her flashlight, unzipped the entrance, and went to check. A large plant that wasn’t around earlier was now remarkably close, with wide green leaves about the length of her legs. Upon closer inspection, spiny vines spiraled outward from the base of the thing – which was growing much larger than anticipated.
8. The New Barbarians
Riordan didn’t remember much of his life before The Fall. He spent most of it in a small squat building which would’ve been white if not for all the dirt. Filled with unimportant items on rusted shelves; it had been his job to make sure everything was in its place in the proper quantities, more or less. Now few people had actual jobs. The Fall had changed everything on the planet, the cataclysm reducing society to a barbaric pre-medieval life.
9. The Warning
Vol was walking against the wind; head down, hands in his pockets, and coat collar turned up as a feeble measure of protection against the chill of winter. He felt someone bump into him, and began to apologize with “I’m sorry, I didn’t see…”
As he looked up, standing in place, the sidewalk was empty in every direction. Taking a step to continue walking, the man felt something new in his pocket. It was a piece of crinkled yellowed paper with spidery brown script reading “your heart attack will happen tonight.”
10. Destiny in a Split Second
He shook his head. “You don’t understand. When you saw her touch my head with her index finger, she made me see. I saw everything, past and future, that leads to the end. There’s no escaping it because she’ll just alter events and erase everyone’s memories… I think she might be God.”
11. Dark Queen
“Find her,” he demanded. “She is the last of the Dracul bloodline. We must bleed her for the ritual.” The security team nodded and moved out, the necromancer among them grinning. A few summons might speed the process along. They didn’t know, however, that the woman had a little summoning box of her own that worked well with a few drops of her royal blood.
12. Sunbeam from a Black Hole
“Enemy ship coming into position, with Zeus and Hermes preparing to fire.”
“Let’s hope the Apollo arrives on time.” The captain’s face was grim. Two small ships wouldn’t be able to take on this monstrosity and win. The enemy vessel was too large, with powerful shields and weapons that would likely enable it to duel any other ship in a one-on-one situation.
13. Planet Artifact
The first few months of exploration on the planet didn’t reveal much. Then they discovered the hidden cave that looked like the laboratory of a maniacal inventor. The first artifact was a wand-like thing of an unknown material. Its effects seemed to vary based on the user’s thoughts, plus a code they could input using four small unlabeled buttons near the base. It didn’t seem made for human hands – what else would you expect on a planet that humans only recently discovered – but it could be held well enough.
14. Dichotomy of the Fang
“Wait, this is the location? That can’t be right, unless he planned this all along….”
Her friend rubbed his bandaged forearm as they walked toward the abandoned church, consternation on his face. “My arm… I thought the wounds were from the car crash, but maybe it was something else.”
A howl burst into the air from somewhere deep inside the church, and both people shivered – wondering if the old legends about werewolves were true.
15. Traitor’s Discovery
“Now we know who has betrayed us,” she said with a fiery glint in her eyes. She walked around the inside edge of the horseshoe-shaped table, knocking down the nameplates of various council members. When she was done, about half of the nameplates were on the floor. Some found this shocking, while others appeared bored. One person stood, shrugged, and left the room.
16. Epidemic Eighty
He cupped Katie’s face in his hands and examined her face. He looked contemplative; she looked a bit fearful, but not too concerned. “Well, it looks like you’re oka—wait, what the hell is that?” The underside of her chin, where it met the neck, was beginning to break out. Tiny brown dots began to blossom from nowhere, like pinpricks.
17. The Council of Overlords
“Why does evil always lose? Perhaps because we like to believe that Good always triumphs. That there are happy endings to the lives of everyday people, or at least not bad endings. Evil is often portrayed as sinister but incompetent; perhaps this is due to human nature. So my question is this: are we sabotaging ourselves, the subconscious always setting us up to fall?”
18. Pineapple Shipping
The company contact was a pudgy soft-looking man who gave his name only as Bob. He was short, with uneven teeth, and had some faint condiment stains on his collared shirt; Charlie didn’t like him. The transaction concluded within a few days and Charlie’s foster parents cheerfully waved goodbye as she cried a little bit. She didn’t understand what was going on, so she wasn’t overly sad. The girl was driven to a warehouse and locked in a shipping container with several other girls, most of whom looked terrified and anxious – waiting for rescue.
19. The Second Accident
Doctor George Zoth had been mixing chemicals late one night, aided by two research assistants, when one of the beakers exploded. It shattered every object in the room, including containers holding an unstable experimental virus. The intention was to usher in new boundaries in genetic manipulation, but was it nowhere near ready. The three humans crumpled to the floor, unconscious from the force of the blast. The remaining two assistants arrived in the morning to find their twisted and mutated corpses.
20. Passengers Unknown
About halfway through the flight, Joel got up to use the restroom. When he finished, he didn’t see any of the airplane staff, so he decided to head for the closed-off upper deck and see what it was like. He carefully stepped over the divider and walked up the stairs, brimming with curiosity.
There were deer everywhere: just sitting in the chairs, relaxing, as a normal human being would. They all turned their heads to face Joel in unison and he felt a shiver crawl up his spine.
21. The Cat Realm
Cats were everywhere underneath the nebula-encrusted night sky. Some wore three-piece suits tailored to fit their small bodies, cuff links and all. A few of these fancy cats had pocket watches made of various metals; the chains were visible snaking their way through folds of cloth. It was the place all cats went if they disappeared for a length of time. Countless portals to other times and places.
22. Traveling Through Space And Time
When the time spell resolved, he thought all his problems were about to solved. Most of his money and friends disappeared as he continued on the mad quest to do something no one thought was possible. “Grief has driven him insane,” the remaining family members whispered to each other, seeing him take months to prepare for the strange ritual. Soon, with horror gripping his heart, he realized he had no control over when or where he went. He could travel in time, but with no steering or brakes: the ancient book had lied about what the Master Of Time spell could do.
23. In A World With Killer Robots
“Excuse me, sir, you dropped your wallet!”
“Oh thanks, it’s… hey, you’re not an android, are you?”
“Only my wallet knows that. Yours says ‘bitter human’ on the ID card inside, so you must not be one.”
The man pulled out a gun and shot several holes through the rogue android, retrieving his tan leather wallet from the smoking metal corpse.
24. The Other Underground
“None of the cities in the world can hold a candle to the underground. Not the seedy crime-ridden underbelly we know exists but pretend isn’t there; I mean the Aether. The labyrinths of forgotten cities which few people have ever seen. The exquisite catacombs of civilizations that never feel the warm breath of the sun. Miles and miles of another world beneath ours, beneath even our subway lines, undetected for hundreds of years….”
25. The White City
Colya trekked her way through miles of dense jungle, followed by a small archeological team. Three scientists and a journalist with a good camera. Last night they had passed the final landmark on their maps, a lush valley separating needle-like mountains. With a sluggish river on their left – one the color of chocolate milk – the group made their way northwest. Searching for the rumored ancient city.
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About the author:
Geoff Lichy lives in the northeastern United States with too many cats. He’s a graphic designer and photographer who decided to take his many ideas and turn them into stories. He doesn’t write as often as he should, instead occupied with exploring a wide variety of interests and tasks. In addition to being a prolific musician, he reads more news than is probably necessary.
Other works by Geoff Lichy:
Across The Plains
The Valentich Disppearance
The Pillars of Idrapha
Version 1.0 published on 4 February 2016