The Detective (flash fiction)

The Detective

Raewyn was about to close the shop. It was dark outside and it had been a slow day with few customers. A man suddenly walked through the door and flashed her some identification.

“Hi ma’am, I’m Detective Jones. We’re checking the area as one of the world’s most notorious serial killers has escaped from a prison nearby. We need everyone to keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously, as the killer will be dangerous.” He told her. Raewyn put her hand up to her mouth in shock.

“That’s terrible. What do they look like?”

“He has short brown hair, is of medium height, and prefers to wear suits.”

“So he sort of looks like you.” she replied. The Detective smiled.

“I guess so ma’am.”

“Does he have a name?” Raewyn asked.

“He’s known as The Detective.”

“The Detective?”

“Yes. He likes to impersonate police detectives to put his victims at ease. Then he kills them horribly.” he replied. Raewyn went pale and slowly backed away from him. He smiled at her as he began to remove something from his coat pocket…

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Kumara? (flash fiction)

Kumara?

“You’re making a roast tonight?”

“Yes there’ll be roast beef with roast potato, onion, parsnip, and kumara.”

“Kumara? What’s kumara?”

“It’s a sweet potato the Maori brought with them when they settled here. It’s nice baked, roasted, and I also make pumpkin and kumara balls with satay sauce.”

“Sounds great. There’s much about this country I still don’t know, like when the Maori settled here.”

“In the early 14th Century is the most accepted date, and the Europeans first arrived around four hundred years later. The Penguin Book of New Zealand History by Michael King is worth checking out.”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt sweet potato provided by Carrot Ranch’s March 4 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Going to the Clinic (flash fiction)

Going to the Clinic

Today Cindy was going to the clinic. After having daily injections of hormones, it was now time for her eggs to be harvested by the doctor so they could be fertilised. She hated medical procedures and felt nervous about going there. Jess was meant to be with her today, but there was an emergency at her parent’s farm she had to help them with, which meant Cindy was now going into the city by herself. Which made it worse…

“The next step is to fertilise the eggs. When you come back next week we’ll transfer a healthy embryo to your uterus.” the Doctor told her after she had collected Cindy’s eggs with a fine needle.

Once Cindy got home, she saw there were flowers on the doorstep. The card read: “Hey babe, sorry I couldn’t be with you today. I hope it went well. I’ll be home soon. Love Jess.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 150

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #121.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Chair (flash fiction)

The Chair

“There it is!”

“That’s the chair you were talking about?”

“Yup. What do you think?”

“This is the chair you want to take home?”

“Yes!”

“Why?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Why do you want us to have this chair?”

“Because it’s a chair. I’m sure we could use it.”

“What for exactly?”

“Er, sitting on?”

“You want to sit on that chair?”

“Sure.”

“It’s covered in moss. Or have you failed to notice that?”

“I know it’s covered in moss, but we could remove it somehow.”

“Somehow? Like how exactly?”

“I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“Big surprise there.”

“I just thought it looked like a good chair and we should take it since no one else seems to want it.”

“Yes you’re right there. I’m pretty sure no one else wants it.”

“We could reupholster it.”

“And you know how to do that?”

“Why are you so negative all the time?”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 150

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #120.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Oracle, part eight (fiction)

The Oracle

8

Below a planet surrounded by darkness. Suddenly there is light. Lights erupting on the surface, no not lights, explosions of light. Explosions. Cataclysmic explosions all over the surface of the planet, until they cover the planet in one never-ending continuance of light. One never-ending explosion. At first there was darkness, let there be light, and there was light, and it was good. Then the light is gone, and darkness returns. This time darkness will return forever. And it was good...

“Captain Clarke?” A voice said. Steff slowly awoke from a dark dream and opened her eyes. At first everything was blurry. There was something above her, maybe someone. Slowly it focused into a face. A face she knew.

“Doctor Philips?” Steff asked, not completely sure of who the face belonged to.

“Good to see you back in the land of the living Captain.” Philips replied smiling.

“Where am I?” Steff asked.

“Beta Station Medical Bay.” Philips answered.

“What happened?”

“You were shot by a crew member of Beta Station. Fortunately for you they were a bad shot and you were only hit in the left shoulder. However you fell over and hit your head on a table, which ended up being the bigger issue for you. You have a subdural hematoma and concussion. You’ve been in a coma for 24 hours.” Philips informed her.

“And you came to visit me?”

“No. As your doctor I took charge of your medical supervision.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t kill me in my sleep.” Steff said. Philips frowned at her.

“I may have issues with you, but I’m a doctor. My training is in treating people, not killing them, no matter how I feel about them.” Philips reminded her.

“I’m sorry, I’m just confused.” Steff confessed. Philips smiled at her.

“That feeling may last for a while.”

“Wonderful.” Steff replied sarcastically. Philips laughed. Steff tried sitting up in bed, but everything began spinning and she lay down again.

“I wouldn’t try getting up for now. You’re going to have to be patient. How’s your shoulder?”

“Sore.” Steff replied. She moved her right hand to her left shoulder to find she was bandaged up. When she touched the area there was a sudden stab of intense pain.

“I’ll get you some more painkillers.”

“When can I go back to the ship?” Steff asked her.

“I don’t think you should be moved for at least another 24 hours.” Philips replied.

“We’re going to have to extend our stay here then.”

“Yes, but don’t worry about it. Blake, as acting captain, has extended leave for another 48 hours.”

“If the crew wanted more time here, they only had to ask.” Steff replied. Philips laughed again.

“Good to see your sense of humour has returned.” Philips said as she typed something into a datapad. She then left, but came back shortly with a syringe. She stuck the needle in Steff’s left shoulder. “My advice is get some more rest.” Steff’s eyelids grew heavier, until she fell into a deep sleep again.

*

Steff opened her eyes again. The Medical Bay seemed quiet and empty. She tried sitting up, but everything spun round again, though not quite as bad as the previous time. She lay down and waited for the spinning to stop. She put her hand on her forehead and discovered her head was also bandaged up. A nurse walked into her room.

“You’re awake Captain.” The nurse stated.

“Yes obviously.” Steff replied.

“How are you feeling?”

“My shoulder is sore again and I have a headache.” Steff told her feeling a dull ache that spread from her shoulder to the rest of her chest.

“Okay I’ll get you something for that.” The nurse replied. She left briefly and came back with a syringe. She stuck the needle in Steff’s left arm and the pain began to lessen. “I’ve never seen an albino before.”

“Really?”

“I thought that anomaly was edited out during fertilisation.” The nurse said in a matter of fact way as she took Seff’s temperature.

“I guess I’m a genetic throwback.” Steff replied.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend you. I just find it interesting.” The nurse said. She gave a quick appraisal of Steff. “Do you want me to raise the bed?”

“Yes that would be good.” The bed was raised until Steff was almost in a sitting up position.

“Commander Ellis wants to see you. Do you think you’re up to seeing him?” The nurse asked.

“Sure I can talk to him.” Steff replied, though she was starting to feel drowsy again.

“Okay, I’ll tell him he can speak to you for a couple of minutes. You’re still looking tired.” Steff nodded at her words.  Shortly afterwards Commander Ellis walked in looking grave.

“Captain, how are you feeling? I’m sorry this happened to you in my station.”

“I think I’m getting better Commander. Can you tell me what happened?” Steff asked him.

“One of my crew walked into my office and shot you. I’m sorry about that. She has been arrested and will be court-martialed. After her shot you fell over and hit your head on my table on the way down. I lunged for her and we both ended up on the floor. After managing to disarm her, the station security came and took her away. If I hadn’t acted quickly she may have shot you again. When I turned to look at you were lying unconscious on the floor in a pool of blood. I thought you were dead. The medics came and found you were still alive. That was a great relief to me. I would never have lived that down if you had died on my station.” Ellis told her.

“Thanks for telling me.”

“Feel free for you and your crew to stay here as long as you need. Maybe I’ll still get to have a tour of your ship yeah?” Ellis asked. Steff smiled.

“We’ll see Commander.”

“I let Spacefleet know everything that happened.”

“What did they say?” Steff asked him.

“They acknowledged my report, but have not said anything else so far.” Ellis informed her. “Maybe this might get me some notice. Maybe this will get them to send more ships here.”

“Is that what you do to get more notice? Get one of your crew to shoot a visiting officer?” Ellis looked visibly shocked at her words.

“No Captain! I’m a big fan of you. Big fan. I like your no nonsense way of solving conflict. It’s what the New Earth Imperium needs more of. Only then will the Separatists be defeated. We need to do the same to the pirates. I have no wish to harm you.” Ellis explained.

“Okay. I’m sorry I’m not really myself at the moment.” Steff replied wanting to get out of this conversation. Ellis nodded.

“I understand. I think I should leave you and let you get some rest. We’ll talk more once you’re better.” Ellis said. Steff nodded, but thought Oh God I hope not as she drifted into sleep again.

*

Steff had been awake for some time when both Doctor Philips and Lieutenant Blake walked in to her room. Doctor Philips looked her over and consulted a datapad on a side table. Blake smiled at her,

“Morning Captain. How are you feeling?” she asked Steff.

“Better.” Steff replied yawning.

“Good to see you awake, Captain.” Blake said. “I’ve been here often, but this is the first time I’ve seen you conscious.”

“Depending on how you’re feeling, I’ve been thinking that we should consider moving you to the Oracle’s medical bay.”

“Is there any urgency?” Steff asked. Philips and Blake exchanged looks.

“No. We just thought you might feel safer there.” Philips answered.

“SARA is also getting anxious about you.” Blake added. Steff rolled her eyes.

“SARA is just a program. I doubt she can feel anxious or any other emotion.” Steff told them.

“I’m not so sure about that.” Blake replied.

“But yes if you want to transfer me to The Oracle that’s fine by me.” Steff clarified.

“Are you in pain?” Philips asked.

“Yes, but it’s not as bad as it was.” Steff answered.

“You’re looking a lot better.” Philips said. “When you first woke up from the coma I was rather concerned. You didn’t look so good then.”

“You’re nicer to me when I’m your patient.” Steff remarked. Blake smiled.

“That’s just my bedside manner. My feelings haven’t changed at all.” Philips replied.

After Steff was administered more pain killers and given something to eat they brought in a hover stretcher. She was carefully moved onto it by orderlies and then guided out of the medical bay, and then along the corridors towards her ship. A security detail also walked alongside her. On the way Steff saw various people on the station trying to get a look at her. Once aboard The Oracle she was taken to the medical bay and transferred to one of the beds there. Doctor Philips came in after them and checked her over.

“Just rest. You’ll be back in your own quarters sooner than you think.” Philips told her.

“Do you know anything about the woman that shot me?” Steff asked her. Philips looked at her strangely.

“No. All I know is that she worked on the station and was arrested by security after she shot you.” Philips answered.

“But you don’t know where she’s from? Or who she is connected to?”

“No idea. That’s not my field. Edwards could check it out if you asked him.” Philips suggested.

“I’d rather not ask him.” Philips shook her head at Steff’s words.

“You need to get over that paranoia regarding him. I’ve checked him out. Medically he’s fine. I’m not sure what your issue with him is.” Steff looked away.

“I’d rather not say.” she replied to Philips.

“One day you’re going to have to tell someone.” Philips said.

“I know.”

“Just not me I guess.” Philips replied. She shook her head again and left Steff to herself.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: The Oracle

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Op Shopping (flash fiction)

Op Shopping

“What do you think?” Adaline asked as she held up a painting.

“Well at least it’s not dogs playing poker.” I replied. Adaline laughed.

We were in an op shop looking through clothes and “treasures” others had thrown away. Adaline’s tastes were rather kitsch and I always thought I would like someone more sophisticated, but Adaline was fun loving and beautiful. I knew I was lucky to be with her.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 69 + prompt

This was written with the prompt kitsch provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #198.

In other news: this evening I did some pickling for the first time in three years.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Frozen (flash fiction)

Frozen

“Come in! You must be frozen!” Sonia said as she opened the door wide for her friend. Maddy walked in shivering with her arms hugging her body. She had been caught in a sudden cold snap and felt cold to the bone. “Let’s get you warm.” Sonia wrapped her arms around Maddy slowly warming her with her own body heat. The two of them stood there in silence.

“Thanks.” Maddy said appreciatively. This is what she lived for: being in the arms of Sonia, the girl she deeply loved. If only Sonia loved her the same way in return.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt frozen provided by Carrot Ranch’s February 25 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Dark Path (flash fiction)

The Dark Path

She walked through the forest carrying her basket. Behind her she heard footsteps, so she hid amongst the trees as they got louder. On the path she saw a tall man carrying an axe. She stayed hidden waiting for him to pass by. Unexpectedly he stopped from just where she was watching. He turned in her direction.

“I saw you ahead of me. Don’t be afraid, I’m not here to harm you. There is a wolf in the forest.” the man said. Against her better judgement she walked back onto the path, and faced him.

“I have heard of the wolf,” she told him. “But I was told if I stayed to the path I should be fine.”

“I’m not sure the wolf knows those rules.” the man said. “What’s a young girl doing walking through the forest after dark?”

“I’m visiting my grandmother. She’s poorly at the moment, so I’m taking her some food.”

“What a good young granddaughter. Do you mind if I join you? At least I can offer some protection if the wolf picks up our scent.” the man offered. “My name is Johan by the way. I’m a woodcutter.”

“They call me Red.” the girl said.

“Is that why you wear a red cloak?” Johan asked.

“I like the colour red.”

The two of them walked down the path. Above the trees the sky was covered in bright stars as the moon hadn’t risen yet. They mostly walked in silence. The forest seemed unusually quiet around them.

“Why does your grandmother live out in forest?” Johan queried. Red shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know really. She just likes it out here. She’s lived in her little cottage for years.” Red answered.

“Has she ever had any trouble with wolves?”

“No. She doesn’t venture out much and never at nighttime. At least not anymore.” Red replied. In the distance they could see a little cottage with light in the window. The moon began to rise.

“Well it seems we’ve arrived with no sign of the wolf.” Johan said as they walked up to the cottage. Red suddenly stopped and faced him.

“There was no trouble, because I am the wolf.” she said as she began to transform. The woodcutter screamed.

Joanne Fisher

This is either my fifth or sixth version of the Red Riding Hood story…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Just in Time! (flash fiction)

Just in Time!

Jeremy’s car had broken down, so he walked to the creepy castle in the middle of a thunder storm for assistance. When he knocked on the door, it was answered by a creepy-looking old man who led him straight to his Master. While Jeremy explained to the Master about his car, everything suddenly went black and he collapsed onto the floor.

“That was fortunate. Talk about right place, right time!” the Master said as he looked down on his creation, now with Jeremy’s stretched face added. “Now Igor, let’s hook this up to the grid, and see what happens!”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt right place right time provided by the Carrot Ranch February 18 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

the groynes (poem)

the groynes

come down to the sea

they say

do you not hear them

calling you?

hear them whispering

beside you

in the sea breeze?

beyond the reclaimed

groynes they call

to join them

 and once you are

trapped in the

undertow unable

to breathe

that is when they

have you

their mottled green

hands holding

you under what

do they say?

welcome to the deeps

sea-daughter

become one of us and

live forever in these

sea-green depths but

you struggle

break free rising

to the surface

before running out

of breath

you have escaped

this time

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 95

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #119.

Is anyone else having problems with the Block Editor? They seem to have changed it again. This is my eighth attempt to write this post. The preformated block I’ve been using lately for my poetry seems to have been changed and doesn’t seem to work the same as it did. I’m getting sick of this…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher