Flash Fiction Friday 003 – Speed Demon

High above the desert, there lurks a demon. This demon preys on those who try to out run it.

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High above the Mojave Desert, the test pilot was being chased by a demon. He and the other test pilots all knew that a demon lived up in that bright, blue sky. They all just assumed that they were chasing it, not the other way around. Who would have thought that the sound barrier was guarded by a malicious spirit?

The Bell X-1 was not very maneuverable. She was built for one purpose and that was to go fast. Going fast was all that the pilot could do now that he looked out the side of the cockpit and saw the black form racing alongside his plane. A smokey claw reached out towards the plane, grasping at its wing as the pilot willed her to fly faster.

Mach .8

The only hope he had was to try and outrun this demon. How was he going to do that though? How does a person outrun a speed demon?

Mach .85

The gauges continued to inch further ahead. The desert floor was a blur beneath him. God, he was really burning up the speedometer. It didn’t matter, though. The demon had managed to grab a hold of his wing and hold on to his bird, causing her to shimmy and shake wildly.

Mach .9

It was all the pilot could do to hold her steady. The poor plane continued to shimmy as the demon crawled its way from wing towards the canopy. Just a little further to go, and hopefully he would be able to shake this thing off.

Mach .95

Red eyes stared through the canopy at him. Despite the speed, the demon clung on and looked at the contender with malice and contempt.

Mach .97

A shadowy hand passed through the canopy and reached out towards the pilot. He felt the white-hot burn in his side as the claw gripped him, but he couldn’t tell if it was the demon or the cracked ribs he was flying with. If it was the ribs…well…he didn’t let those stop him from taking off, he’d be damned if he’d let them stop him from beating this demon.

Mach .99

A dry cackle erupted in the cockpit. A second clawed hand reached out towards the pilot’s face, easily engulfing his head. His breathing became short and his head began to swim. So close…he was so close.

An explosion rang out on the ground below, the force of it causing the bystanders to shiver with the implication. There was nothing but static on the portable radio that they had set up. Another pilot lost….

Just then, a crackle was heard from the radio. After a few seconds, it was followed by another crackle and a pop. At last, the voice of Chuck Yeager came across, reading a speed of Mach 1. Cries of joy flew from the lips of the bystanders.

High above them, Yeager thought of those last several minutes. He had just managed to punch his plane through the sound barrier. As the boom of breaking the sound barrier exploded below, the demon lost its grip on the Bell X-1 and slid off. Yeager could see it attempt to catch him again, but its monstrous size had already shrunk greatly. Never again would this particular demon pose a threat to him or his fellow pilots.

Of course, he knew better to include this in his final report. Instead, the sheer velocity caused him to black out from a lack of oxygen, but that was the official report. Anyone who had ever tested new equipment knew that more demons were lurking out there, waiting for their chance to strike until they get beaten just like the sound demon.

 

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Flash Fiction Friday 002 – Knowledge is Strength

This week’s flash fiction looks at a world where knowledge and strength go hand in hand.

Master Rotenaphon sat atop his pillar, his large forearms resting on crossed legs. Six shelves were cut into the side of the pillar, and each shelf was filled with scrolls of various thickness. Those scrolls alone were proof of Rotenaphon’s prowess. Years of study and work went into gathering all that knowledge displayed within the pillar.

A potential student was brought within the room to stand before the pillar. The student’s jaw clenched and his shoulders shook slightly at the sight of the pillar. There was nothing else within the room to compete for his gaze. All the young man could do was let his eyes travel up the pillar, past each shelf, with growing apprehension before finally setting on the master himself.

“So,” Rotenaphon began. “You wish to learn of the philosophy of nothingness?” The master punctuated his question by flexing biceps the size of melons. “Well then, I hope you are properly prepared, otherwise you shall only learn the philosophy of pain!”

The fight was over quickly. Rotenaphon sprung from his pillar with lightning speed. Before the potential student was aware of what was going on, he was balled up on the ground and staring at the ceiling. Within minutes, the student was on his way out the door.

At this rate, he was never going to be able to learn anything beyond the basic education. Maybe he should just try an easier teacher, at least until he learned how to fight. Until then, he was never going to be able to win any lessons.

 

Remember to follow this blog for more stories and musings on storytelling. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We also have our quarterly newsletter you can sign up for with the link on the sidebar. Sign up for exclusive short stories and news about our projects. And remember, I mustache you to stay fantastical.