The Superposition Supposition Mission

niklin1 at DeviantArt.

Merton thought that delivering parcels again might be a nice little money spinner to help make ends meet in his retirement.  The first few deliveries for the university seemed straightforward enough.  Then came the Schrödinger delivery.  He was told that he had to collect a box containing a cat from the physics lab.  He was then to deliver the same box back to the same lab the next day.  When the delivery was made, he was told to repeat the process for the next two weeks.  Under no circumstances was he to open the box, or attempt to feed or water the cat.   

The professors all seemed really excited about this arrangement, and there was much discussion as to whether the cat was living or dead.  

Merton just didn’t get what those eggheads were carrying on about.   After all, with his thirty years working  for UPS he knew the answer.  Well, after he had kicked the box down the hallway, dropped it from the back of his van, forgotten it twice on the subway, and placed it under five heavier boxes to make space, the answer seemed obvious.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #88


Forbidden Love

Janek-Sedlar at DeviantArt

It is said that in a secret clearing in the Great Wood, two barren trees are captured in time.

Alion the woodsman had captured the attention of Nain the wife of the Wizard of the Wood. At first their relationship had been mere friendship. Nain enjoyed the gentle good-natured humour of the handsome woodsman, but as time progress it grew into an infatuation. The infatuation, in turn, became love – a love readily reciprocated.

It was not long before their rendezvouses became frequent and the Wizard of the Wood grew suspicious of his young wife’s departures from his keep.

Then came the fateful day when she departed the keep in a cheery spirit. The wizard transformed himself into a woodpecker and followed her into the forest.

As the woodman and Nain embraced, the wizard was filled with rage and in his anger changed them into trees. They have ever since been destined to stand in the clearing suffering the ravages of woodpeckers.



The Embankment

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Life had never been easy along the embankment. Eel-fishers and boatmen made their lives in the cramped dwellings clustered there. That was in the “good old days,” before the river began to silt over.

Now the channel is far from navigable, and even the poor fishermen and boatmen have moved away leaving the embankment to those even more unfortunate and downtrodden. The houses are increasingly rundown and only those with no other place to stay will even attempt to dwell there.

That’s why it’s called student accommodation.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #86

Hail Mary

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“The field was player-less. The board was scoreless. The School Board and health officials clueless.” What other way could Coach Tom Howard sum up the situation in what had been intended to be his retirement year?

Tom gritted his teeth as another cough ripped through his aching lungs. Each breath was an agony, and gave him the sensation of inhaling broken glass.

“Go ahead with practice,” he had been advised. “Teenagers are low risk carriers.”

Well in his book, that was “a fumble of epic proportions.” Now he only hoped to see next season. “Fingers crossed, and go for the Hail Mary,” he whispered to himself.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #84


The image: Ruth at Ruth Scribbles

It was said that all roads led to Rome.  Later, in the Medieval mind – Jerusalem was the centre of the world.  In Cambridge, the datum point from which distances to all other locations are measured is at Great St. Mary’s Church.  

Time too has its convergences.  A rough estimate of the date of the birth of Jesus is used as the transition between BC and AD in the Christian (and more generally Western) Calendar.  While the same date is used, minus its religious connotation to mark BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (the Common Era).  

But this was different.  As Rory cycled on what he perceived to be his usual path, he noticed several other pathways angling in towards him.  Surely this wasn’t like this yesterday, he mused.  But, sure enough, paths were all, like the spokes of some gigantic wheel coming together right before him.

As he entered the hub, an eerie blue-green light shot down from the heavens.  Rory’s new life as a servant of Emperor Zorg was about to begin. He had entered point Z, the convergence of all time and space.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #83

London Fog

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“I thought the fogs were a thing of the past,” Harry said.

“Well, technically they are.  The legislation from the 50s onwards has limited the use of coal, and the smog and fog,  north of the Thames is much less than it used to be,” the tour guide said as they approached Westminster.

“Then what is all this?” Melissa piped in.

“Oh, the Tories are unveiling a new policy today,” the guide said.  “That always creates fog and confusion.”




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #82




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It was a place steeped in Elf-lore.  The Blue House was a place of refuge, and within its walls no harm would befall those seeking its sanctuary.  

Hellon had always doubted the existence of the house.  After all it was preposterous that a glowing blue building would materialise at the place in which one found themselves in greatest need.   No need to seek it, it would find you.  No, Hellon thought.  Even magic doesn’t work that way. 

That was before the Ogre attack which had killed his two best friends, and left Hellon himself fleeing blindly into the dense forest.  His shattered collar bone made any additional resistance on his part nearly impossible, and jolting pain shot threw his shoulder with every step he took.

To make matters worse, the Ogre could be heard roaring behind him.  It was not endevouring to run him down, but merely kept pace with Hellon to ensure that he ran himself to exhaustion.

Suddenly there was a blue glow in the woods, and the trees gave way to an intricately designed pathway which led to a sturdy house emblazoned with a blue tree at its gable end.

Preposterous or not, Hellon jogged onwards to the threshold.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #81


The Ranger (The Other Version)


Huong Lan Nguyen at

Sarah awoke with a start.

Where am I?  she thought as her head spun. Oh my God. Where are my clothes?

She sat up on a couch under an unfamiliar window.  The view outside was of a back yard, but not one she could place.  She noted that the room was pretty barren, except for the couch and a couple of wooden chairs.  Everything seemed to be covered with the same sheer white material which served as her only covering as well.

“Well Good Morning Miss Sarah Snoop,” a gravelly Texas drawl remarked as she sat up.

“Shane?” she replied almost involuntarily.

“You expecting anyone else?” he retorted.

“I, I, ” she began and then trailed off.

Okay, I went to ask him about the Vietnam medal because he wasn’t on the data base.  We chatted, and then – then he gave me some tea, she recalled trying to reconstruct her own past movements.

“Darlin’ I need you to do a little something for me, and I might just let you out of here,” the Texan said earnestly.

“What?” she replied starting to tear up.

“I want you to read something aloud for me.”

He handed her a card, and she began to read. “Hey Danny, It’s Sarah.  I had some business to do in Tulsa, so decided to dip down to Austin and check out Shane.  He’s the real deal.  Twenty years a Ranger, and he even got the Silver Star in the war.  It’s right here in his records.”

“Not bad, but try it again and make it sound a little more natural,” Shane said.

After the third attempt he was satisfied, and had her make another recording telling her mother that she was going out of town for a few days.

“Now my dear, we have some business in the kitchen.” She didn’t like the way he put a strange emphasis on the word deer.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #76

The Ranger





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They had called it the great scurge.  Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of fire locusts has swept across the land.  In the end all that remained was a barren landscape of exposed clay and charred vegetation.  When the rains came that spring the soil shifted, and the burned remains nurished the land.  Slowly, ever so slowly, the first trees began to re-emerge.

It was into to this newly born world that Heravan arrived.  He – the son, of a son, of farmer’s son would transform this stark place.  He, his mule, a plough, and an iron will, would create a paradise of golden fields.  Heravanland, the bread basket of the empire was born on that day.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #75

High and Dry


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Extinction took a different connotation during the third peak of Covid 19.  Lock-down was accompanied by “shoot to kill” orders for violators.  Extinction, with this new mutated form, was something that even Right Wing deniers had to accept.

Extinction took a different connotation; Extinction Rebellion was all but a footnote.  Lock-down led to work from home orders.  Long nights of lights burning, and the constant demand on the internet raised electricity demand three-fold.  In order to cope, governments recommissioned coal fed plants.

Extinction took a different connotation, in light of the power drains and the thawing of the last of the Ross Ice Shelf, as well as the ice from, the now green, Greenland.  David ignored the last stay at home order and grabbed Barbara and the kids and made his way the the High Sierras.

Extinction was far from David’s mind as he stepped from his little cabin at New Sierra.  He took Barbara’s hand and they gazed into the Pacific sunset outside their home.  Tomorrow at low-tide, they would picnic on the beach.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #74