Saturday, June 10, 2017

Year 2, Week 42

 Have some rules c:

Welcome to this week's Cracked Flash Fiction. This week's prompt comes from the book The Stand by Stephen King. And oldie but a goodie. 

Judge This Week: Kelly 

Word Count: 300 max
How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.  Thanks :)

Deadline: 12 AM SUNDAY (6/11) PST
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon/evening.
Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition.  Have fun!
Prompt: "When it happened, it happened fast."


  1. 300 moments of pure hell

    That Warm Summer Afternoon When Linkville Went Kablooey

    When it happened, it happened fast.

    No time to think.

    Not that I did much of that most days.

    But this shook me.

    I heard the blast.

    Saw it too.

    Sounded like a thousand claps of thunder slamming inside my head.

    And the sight…that fireball shooting skyward like a moonshot, three, four times the height of the grove of Douglas Fir that separated the heart of downtown Linkville from Sully Quelch’s Coffee Garden where I was enjoying the late afternoon July sun quaffing my first ice cold chocolate mocha of the season.

    “Damn!” Larry Wingate said. “Damn it all to hell!”

    I just sat there. No excuses. I was frozen in shock and the chilled chocolatey delight of that Mocha.

    Larry was made of sterner, quick-to-take-action stuff.

    And he’d once considered applying for the Linkville Volunteer Fire Brigade.

    He jack-rabbit run to Sully’s phone, dialed the Chief, told him what we’d seen and then fetched me.

    “What did you and Mr. Wingate do next, Mr. Mustard?”

    “Call me Mickey. Been Mickey since before I was sucking my Momma’s nipple.”

    “Mickey. Yes Sir. What happened then?”

    “Made a beeline to the fire. Knew what happened, of course. A few folks had been talking on it for years. I mean, who puts a propane storage tank in the heart of a town?”

    “It does seem foolhardy.”

    “You young reporters sure have a way with words. But yeah, foolhardy. Anyways, it was total devastation. Like Dresden was, I imagine. General Store was cinders. School was toast. Summer-empty, thanks the stars. And not much else left standing. And we lost thirty-nine fine folks. Not counting the dozens injured.”

    “But you rebuilt!”

    “That we did, sister. Took years.”

    “And Propane Storage?”

    “Forever safely out in the old Limestone Quarry. Town’s not ever gonna kaboom again.”

  2. Shit Happens

    When it happened, it happened fast. We were screaming along on a downwind run with the spinnaker pulling us into a glorious South Pacific sunset. The boss and his guests stood toasting one another with champagne in crystal classes. I’d tried break him of that habit, because I so often ended up scrambling around after broken glass when some fool forgot and a jibe sent his glass flying. This time, though, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I saw no danger in the champagne flutes. I’d topped them up and stood with Bill at the wheel.

    None of us knew what happened. We were suddenly flying as the boat pitch poled and headed down. I caught the boss’s eye as his glasses came unseated and his champagne glass left his hand in slow motion. His mouth was open, but I couldn’t hear his voice with my own scream filling my ears. When the old man hit the water, I saw the boom smack the back of his head. His friends—who’d been forward of the mast—were forced down by the mainsail. None made it back to the surface. Bill and I were thrown clear of the boat by some miracle. Tommy, the deckhand, was trapped in his cabin.

    We later learned that a newborn mountaintop had reared up like a giant’s fist to catch hold of our keel. Our forward momentum sent the bow straight down. Life rafts and safety vests were useless—there’d been no time. Bill and I were lucky. The crew of a schooner several hundred yards to starboard saw the whole thing and picked us up.

    That day has become a metaphor that sums up life for me. Shit happens, even amid perfection.

  3. Word count: 106

    Sun song

    When it happened, it happened fast. You couldn’t take your eyes off it for a second otherwise you would miss it. You knew you wouldn’t remember it tomorrow so you needed every ounce of focus and concentration to make sure your eyes wouldn’t wander even for a moment. It kept getting lower, crimson flames spreading outwards like wings of the phoenix. No ashes here though. Pure scarlet and amber in perfect unison dancing like fire. You had to shield your eyes from the sheer immensity of the sight before you but you couldn’t pull your eyes away from it. Such was the sunset in Africa today.

  4. AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe
    294 words


    When it happened, it happened so fast that there was no way to make sense of the scene before me. They showed up, all of them, almost simultaneously. I didn't get the chance to see from which directions they came and how they arrived. It was surreal. I didn't know why my spell brought me there. I was in for a big surprise.

    I found myself at the center of the clearing. I hadn't been to this forest. I didn’t know where I was. I shook off my daze and tried to remember my spell, what I asked for. It must have been higher power.

    There were witches, wizards, a couple of sorcerers and the most beautiful sorceress I had ever seen. I wondered if I intruded a meeting of the powerful ones and if I should get out. They spoke a little to each other and looked at me. They were not intimidating so I relaxed a little.

    "Young one, why have you come here?" The sorceress addressed me.

    I wanted to say I didn't know because I didn't deliberately go there but that would be a smart-ass response and I did understand what answer they were looking for. "I really am not sure how I came to be here but I did cast a spell."

    "Tell us about the spell. After all, it seems, you summoned us here."

    "Me? Summoned the most powerful ones?" I was astonished. I was also sorry. "I didn't mean to. Forgive me. I only asked for higher power." Hastily, I added, "To use for good, of course."

    "What are you willing to give?"

    "Anything. Everything. Whatever it takes." If I was unsure before then, I was crystal clear on what I wanted. I knew I was ready.

  5. Forest Inferno
    By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    231 words

    When it happened, it happened fast. Dryads were finally free from the land, their trees shrunk to a manageable size for them to flee. Imps popped in and out of existence, taking animals, insects and saplings with them.

    The fire roared in rage as it consumed only trees and underbrush.

    Meara grinned even as the strain to help the other Fae was taking its toll: she was sweating. Swallowing away the fear that she was going to sweat away her very existence, the water Fae pulled more magic from the ocean.

    Ly Ergs and Goblins giggled and danced on the beach as they watched their handiwork. With a sniff in their direction the ocean swallowed them up and kept them suspended above the flames. Their screams joined that of the animals and Fae that were still trapped.

    The inferno moved steadily up the mountain, leaving nothing in its wake.

    Meara closed her eyes, sweat pouring from her. She knew that her power was limited. Raising her head, she glared at the blaze.

    With determination she did not know she possessed, she willed the ocean to flood the beach and the forest, to hunt down the flames.

    Sizzling filled the air and all the screams disappeared as the Dark Fae were returned to their realm for punishment.

    Meara disappeared with the water, not sure where her consciousness stopped and the ocean’s began.

  6. When it happened, it happened fast. Up to that point, I had thought it would never happen again. Destiny, though, has its own ways.

    My eyes were glued to the restaurant entrance, awaiting this man I was scheduled to meet. Oh, don't get me wrong. It wasn't a date. I was going the traditional way this time. Meeting the guy, whom I could possibly marry, alongside his and my family. Yeah!

    In walked the people we (my little family and I!) had been waiting for. My eyes searching for the man, whom my fingers had already googled and eyes scoured the internet for. In he walked too. Much shorter than I had expected. Had a little paunch too. But boy, did he have a ruddy complexion?!

    All of us sat around two tables which had been joined together to accommodate so many of us. Seven to be precise. The relatives were noisy, just like they always are.

    The two of us, however, had found corner seats facing each other. Our own quiet zone amid the turmoil. So we could talk. As I started talking, my girl - brain started an analysis of his facial features, his way of talking, his language and grammar (am a grammar nazi!), his half grey sideburns, and his smile.

    His sonorous voice hit me in the gut and struck a cord that shook my core a bit. It definitely meant he had overpowered me. His features sharp yet softened by experience endeared him to me that very moment. His aura completely engulfed me. It was love; and it happened faster than I had expected.

    1. Name: Neha Srivastava
      Twitter: @nehasri
      Word count: 245
      Title: Love again