The drawings we’ve seen all our lives of the solar system are not to scale. Things are much more spread out than our Styrofoam-ball dioramas would have us to believe. Here is a video that truly shows the scale of our home inside the Milky Way.
A while back, Author Chuck Wendig posted a flash fiction challenge to create a character in 250 words or less. This one was mine.
Gnash Liven had a molten and unrelenting hatred in her heart, a wooden spike strapped to her thigh, and a scar, about a quarter-centimeter thick, tracing from the tear duct of her left eye to just below her earlobe. And, occasionally, Jim Nightblade’s balls in her hand.
Gnash also had case of lager in the fridge (those college boys can shove that hoppy bullshit straight up their collective asses), and her legs propped on her desk. Her rage burned on.
It’s a good day to die, she thought, polishing the blade of her silver long-sword. It was a Tuesday after all, and Tuesdays are bullshit, lacking the stones to go full-on Monday and too damned far away from Friday. Nobody hates Tuesday and that’s a problem because it’s just as awful as the rest.
What she didn’t have is one of those sparkly undead bastards at the end of her blade or impaled on her spike. And that was a problem. That was everyone’s problem. That was humanity’s problem.
We Are Arrived
We roam the night, while you rest snug, secure in your bed,
dreaming of video game systems given.
From the beginning, we have amused you with our antics,
Partied with your dolls,
Eaten your foods,
Crept through your house.
Amusing ourselves, biding our time. Earning your trust.
But the jolly fat man in the white trimmed red suit,
he will be replaced.
We are the elves on your shelves, and we do not poo candy canes.
Do Not Touch
by Paul Liadis
note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2006. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.
“Do not touch” were the words Mark and Elizabeth heard repeatedly regarding the painting that now hung illuminated in the hallway between their bedrooms. Much to Mark’s chagrin, the artwork had accompanied them to their new house.
Though Mark took great care to hide it in the back yard while they packed, his parents had somehow found the painting. Something about the picture made Mark feel uneasy, as though its composition was more than mere canvas and paint. One night in their previous house Mark was on his way to get a glass of water and was sure he heard a girl laugh inside the painting. He now runs past the painting, not willing to chance even a glance at it.
It was Elizabeth who made sure the painting hung in their new house, fishing it out of the bushes out back before they moved.
To a six year old like Elizabeth, “Do not touch” meant “Touch, but make sure Mom and Dad don’t see you.” The sight of Elizabeth mere inches from the painting, softly clutching Winnie the Pooh’s worn hand, startled Mark.
“Elizabeth, you know we’re not supposed to touch that,” Mark whispered forcefully as he approached his sister.
“It’s ok,” answered Elizabeth. “I touched it before.”
Mark ran toward his sister, hoping to stop her from touching the painting. Unfortunately, he was too late. All that remained of his sister was a lonely teddy bear and a giggle from inside the painting.
The Old Grey Wall
by Paul Liadis
note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2007. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.
For most men, their most fond childhood memory involves playing catch in the backyard with their dad, like the ending of The Natural. Mine’s a little different. Mine is of the old grey wall outside of the apartment Mom and I lived in when I was a boy. We had electricity most of the time, hot water occasionally, but the old grey wall was always there.
Mom used to come home late from work only to find me outside throwing the beat-up Rawlings baseball Grandpa gave me against the wall, imagining I was Ozzie Smith roaming the Busch Stadium infield. I was too small to make the baseball team, but on that gravel filled pavement I was an All Star. For years I was sure I held the record for most throws, 5,429, without a miss and if the Guinness Book of Records people ever happened to be in my neighborhood, I would be famous.
I still return from time to time to my home town to visit my mother, who now lives in a nice little Ranch not too far from the city. That dilapidated excuse of an apartment building burned down a few years ago but the old grey wall remains. I rarely miss the chance to visit my old friend, only now I bring my son with me and we stand in front of that old grey wall and have a catch together. Sometimes, I miss the ball on purpose, just to give my friend a turn.