The Last Strafing Run

Photo by: Matthew Wright

Dwayne “Fuzzy” Fusini privately admitted the divorce was probably his fault. He spent so much time restoring the old P-51D Mustang into a like-new condition, he could understand why Darcie slept with another guy.

He was still trying to understand why she slept with fourteen other guys.

C’est la Vie. At least the Mustang looked terrific. The WW2 fighter was pristine. Any parts that couldn’t be replaced (there were many) were machined by hand. A 1940s mechanic wouldn’t know the aircraft hadn’t been built at the factory. Every single system on the aircraft worked like the original…even the six heavy machine guns.

That’s probably why the lawyer of his patron was screaming as Fuzzy removed his helmet after the flight.

“Do you realize what you’ve done?” shouted Mr. DeLancy. “You’ve placed Mr. Fitzgerald, your patron and financier, in a very difficult position!”

“Would that be the missionary position?” quipped Fuzzy.

“You won’t be laughing later. You destroyed…you obliterated a residence with your ridiculous…uh…chicanery!”

“It’s called a strafing run,” instructed Fuzzy. “Attacking a ground target with an aircraft. Anyway, I was checking the weapons. Just a little squirt, you know?”

“A little squirt? You attacked the same house four times. It collapsed! Mr. Fitzgerald will be furious at what you’ve done.”

Fuzzy unzipped his flight suit. “He’s not the only one.”

“Who else?”

“My ex-wife, when she sees what remains of the house she won during the divorce settlement.”
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Written for author and historian Matthew Wright’s weekly short story challenge. Look here to find this week’s prompt: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/this-weeks-short-story-challenge-21/

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Strict Adherence to the Rules

Photo by: Al Forbes

Phil Eierkopf was already a peerless engineer before his private plane crashed in Borneo. He spent the following eighteen years with the lost tribe, Yacanang’Ug, becoming a peerless sorcerer.

Years with jungle tribes and traveling through the astral planes where ancient Gods live, changes the way a man thinks. Phil started life as a Western Man, but he wasn’t any longer. He still found Western thought…challenging.

Phil planned to race in the Jaguar Rally Cross. The main rule was simple: the car must have a Jaguar engine. He raced and won handily over twenty-year rally champions. That’s when the race officials demanded to see the car’s engine.

Phil removed his helmet. Bones with magical symbols were woven into his red hair. Exotic tattoos shimmered with color on his right cheek. An amulet, given to him by an Egyptian God, hung from his neck. “Technical anomalies?” asked Phil.

Eberhard Freeney stood before the delegation of officials. He’d never won a rally cross, but he found his calling when it came to the rules. He was universally disliked, but he kept himself employed as an official with shrewd “interpretations” of the officials assignment rules. “Yes, Mr. Eierkopf. I…we believe there are issues with your car’s engine.”

Several officials carefully examined the sky.

“But sir,” said Phil. “I’ve strictly adhered to the rules.”

Eberhard sneered. “The engine, please.”

Smiling, Phil popped the hood.

Everyone watching gasped.

Some even turned and ran.

A Jaguar…that is, a jungle cat with huge fangs and rosette spots, stood up from the engine compartment. The beast was twice the size of any living cat, and it stood easily on its hind legs. Shrunken heads adorned a necklace around its neck. An obsidian knife hung from its crocodile-hide belt. It carried a spear with an impaled a human skull still dangling from it. Phil said, “May I introduce Tatixuacha’Jalipensa. I call him, Tati. He’s the Jaguar that powers my car.”

Tati rumbled to the watching crowd, “What up?”

Several onlookers fainted.

“That’s no jaguar!” accused Eberhard.

Phil rolled his eyes. “Okay, okay, he’s a Jaguar God, more ancient than humanity. But that’s splitting hairs, right? He’s still a jaguar.”

“Where did you get it?” sneered Eberhard.

“Impudent beast!” rumbled Tati. “Phil? Do you own this creature?”

Phil attempted to cool the tension. “I did mention he’s a God, right? A little courtesy…”

“Nonetheless, this thing is a rules violation! I must…”

Tati gestured complex symbols in the air and flicked a three-inch claw toward Eberhard. In a blink, the man shrank and became a common tree snake. The reptile looked around, squeaked, and fainted.

Tati bared his fangs at the remaining officials. “Anyone else see a rule violation?”

One official, evidently a member of Mensa, shook his head. “Nope. That’s unquestionably a Jaguar engine!”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for this week’s prompt and a blue button linking to many more of this week’s stories: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/sunday-photo-fiction-may-1st-2016/

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A Pedestrian Dinner

Photo by: Graham

Mbanefo’s was THE place to eat in the wealthy financial district of Nairobi. The well-heeled ate there to be seen and sample ingenious foods. Mbanefo’s advertised that they would cook anything. On a sweltering Friday night, they proved it.

It took two burly men to carry the platter containing a roasted Giraffe’s leg. Pots of Matsutake mushroom risotto, mint chutney, and tamarind sauce rested on a bed of Baobab leaves. Onlookers gasped, stunned by the immense haunch.

Hiram and Lizette Portnoy sat open-mouthed among the onlookers.

“Good God,” muttered Hiram. “That’s positively outrageous!”

“Absolutely, Darling,” agreed Lizette. “Who could possibly finish it?”

“But it’s a bloomin’ giraffe! Who eats a giraffe?”

“Not us, I’m afraid. We’re simply not that adventurous.”

“Apparently, we’re rather boring and conservative.”

“Not to worry, Darling,” smiled Lizette. “I still love you.”

“Same here, Ducks.” Hiram took her hand. “I wouldn’t have you any other way. Luckily, we’re satisfied with our rather pedestrian dinners.”

“Indeed! By the way, how’s the Nile Crocodile?”

“Smashing! How’s the Jellied Flamingo?”
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Author’s Notes:

Baobab Tree: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baobab

Matsutake mushrooms are among the world’s most expensive: http://www.therichest.com/luxury/most-expensive/the-top-10-most-expensive-food-in-the-world/?view=all

Written for the weekly Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers writing challenge. Look here for the week’s prompt and a blue button linking to many more of this week’s stories: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/fffaw-week-of-04-26-2016/

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Managing Just Fine

Photo by: Mary Shipman

Lillian Mattingly stood merely 4’10” tall. At twenty-three she ran a general store alone. Unheard of in 1857.

Maddie Evenson, wealthy wife of the Mayor, tittered haughtily, “Still no man, yet?” She pointed at the dresses drying fifteen feet up. “Who reaches the high places?”

Lilly shrugged.

“And what if a customer…” Maddie sniggered. “…shorts you?”

She guffawed before skipping away in a flurry of ribbons.

Lilly spat. She reached out, her mutant arm stretching twenty feet to the door. Deftly, she batted Maddie’s heel as she exited.

Maddie fell face-first, in a cloud of ribbons.

Lilly called, “I’m managing just fine, thank you.”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here for the week’s prompt and a blue link to many other stories: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/29-april-2016/

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Dangerous Liaison – Gargleblaster Microstories #263

“Mrs. Henretty,” said Dr. Knowles. “Your son fell three stories. He’s alright.”

“He with that Jones widow again?” snarled Petunia.

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“He hurt anythin’ vital?”

“He received a concussion.”

“Busted his head?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“That’s alright. He weren’t usin’ it anyways.”
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Tyrannosaurus Run

Photo by: Al Forbes

T.S. Farnsworth had received accolades for his robotics work from France to Romania and Sweden to Malta, but in the company of Andronicus Stanford Stapleton he encountered continual criticism.

“The skin of that plantosaur is too shiny,” bellowed Stapleton. His criticisms were always shouted, praise merely murmured.

“You mean herbivore?” Farnsworth tried not to look at the plump man’s shuddering jowls.

“I know what I mean!”

The two strolled through the museum with Stapleton offering criticisms of every single display. To be fair, Stapleton complained about everyone’s work. At least he was an equal opportunity whiner.

“Oh that one’s interesting,” noted Farnsworth.

“Oh that? The Egyptian Portal? Bah! Pseudo-Scientific balderdash! It’s something I’ve placed here to amuse children and idiots.”

Farnsworth ignored the implied insult. “It seems to hum, as though it were operating.”

“What? Oh, the installers must have produced that for new-age fools. As though it might actually open to another place and time.” Stapleton waved his flabby arms mockingly.

Farnsworth wasn’t convinced, but he walked on with Stapleton. They roved deeper into the museum where Farnsworth’s robotic dinosaurs graced the displays. Stapleton led them to where an Edmontosaur display had been forcibly dismantled. “Look at this mess!” boomed Stapleton. “This is sloppy work, Farnsworth!”

“I didn’t do that,” shuddered Farnsworth.

“Oh really? I suppose it was elves?”

They ventured further. “Now this is excellent work,” murmured Stapleton, gesturing at a free-standing Tyrannosaurus Rex display.

Farnsworth felt the blood drain from his face. “I didn’t make that.”

“Well who did? Farnsworth, you can be…” Stapleton stopped when the tyrannosaur’s head suddenly dipped down towards them, and it growled.

“Realistic motion, Farnsworth.”

“Uh, that’s not a robot,” squeaked Farnsworth.

“What? Don’t be daft, man! You’ve lost…”

The Tyrannosaur roared and stomped.

As Farnsworth sprinted down the hallway, he looked back. Stapleton nearly kept pace with him. The man ran in lurches. His prodigious penduluming paunch continually threw him off-balance. The tyrannosaur crashed through the hall behind him.

“You’re the dinosaur expert,” squealed Stapleton. “How fast do we need run to escape it?”

“I don’t know,” grunted Farnsworth. “I just have to run faster than YOU!”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for this week’s prompt and a blue button linking to many other stories:

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Really Really Big

Photo by: Matthew Wright

Feeley whistled when he gazed upon the massive edifice of stone. It rose three stories easily.

“Yes,” said Warwick. “We built this as a safe haven for whenever the alien walkers attack.”

Feeley nodded solemnly. The alien Farnuche fielded war machines the size of office buildings. They pulped everything beneath their gargantuan feet. Anything that protected people from them had to be massive. Feeley felt that perhaps humanity gained hope with facilities such as this one. He squinted at the winding trench the edifice was built from. He said, “It must have taken a lot of work to build this trench.”

“None at all!” grinned Warwick.

“So how did the trench get here?”

“Why, this isn’t a trench. It’s a foot print!”
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Written for Matthew Wright’s weekly Short Story Challenge. Look here for the original post: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/this-weeks-short-story-challenge-15/

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