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Flash Fantastic!

No. 19May 2005

By C. Allen Reed

“It’s in his diaper,” the anonymous caller with the muffled voice said. “And when he falls down, he goes boom!”

Then the line went dead.

Candice Miller hung up the phone with a shaking hand and ran into the bedroom where her ten month-old son, Joseph was asleep in his crib. She hovered over him, listening to his small, shallow breaths, wanting to pick him up, but fearful of what might happen if the caller’s threats were true, if someone had actually broken into their home during the night and planted an explosive in Joseph’s diaper.

The Millers had enemies. This came with the territory when you were a high-profile prosecuting attorney. You send a criminal to jail and sometimes his family doesn’t like it, even if the scumbag is guilty beyond a crumb of a doubt. Sometimes those family members came after you. Letters of outrage appeared in Candice’s mailbox as often as junk mail and she was forced to change her phone number several times. Her house was spray painted with obscenities and the tires of her vehicle slashed. Her Saint Bernard was even kidnapped one night, only to reappear on the front lawn the following morning with his throat cut.

But this was the first time anyone had ever used her son in their sick plot of retaliation.

This was crossing the line.

Candice inspected the windows in Joseph’s room and found them all to be intact. She rushed through the house, checking all other possible means of entry and found that none of the windows had been broken or doors pried open. The only room she did not check was the guest room where her father was recovering from heart surgery. He was resting now and she did not want to disturb him, even though the pain medication he was on made it nearly impossible to rouse him. Best to let him sleep until she determined that there was a real danger present.

So Candice continued to the basement where she inspected the windows and found that none had been breached. She checked the remainder of the house and concluded that it had not been trespassed upon. But she couldn’t relax. The caller’s voice droned in her head like an alarm, warning her over and over:  It’s in his diaper... his diaper... his diaper....

Joseph’s father, Troy was away on business and Candice thought about calling him. But she decided against it when she thought of all the other bogus threats she had received in the past. No, better to just phone the authorities and let them do their job.

Within minutes, the bomb squad arrived. They managed to remove the diaper, only to find a small wad of turds inside. They sifted through the stool, searching for the device, but found nothing.

They were disposing of the dirty diaper when Grandpa entered the room with his walker. He stepped on one of the baby’s toys, a green plastic block, and went down hard on his backside.

The last thing anyone saw was a flash of blinding light.

By Vicki L. Robinson

“Are you sure this is going to work?” Sherry said, licking her dry lips.

“No, but what do you have to lose?” Dr. Harris said.

Sherry nodded her head, as she lay down on a leather couch in her psychiatrist’s office. In just a few minutes, Dr. Harris would hypnotize her. Strange dreams about murder had haunted her for the last few weeks, and since none of Dr. Harris’ magic potions had given her any relief, she had agreed to try hypnosis. He had to help her because . . .

Anxious to get started, Dr. Harris suddenly said, “At the count of three, you will start to get sleepy . . .”

Yeah, right, Sherry thought. Even though she had known Dr. Harris for a long time, she didn’t have much faith in him and his hypnotic mumbo-jumbo. Dr. Harris’ attempt at counseling her after a date rape a couple of years ago had failed miserably and she . . .

“One, two, three.”

Sherry’s eyes shut, as if a drapery cord had suddenly been pulled. She felt her mind start to wander and wondered if Dr. Harris actually could help her before something bad happened.

“You will go back through your past lives until you get to a time of trauma. Now, stop. Where are you?” Dr. Harris quietly said.

Sherry frowned. “I’m in a weird house. There’s a broom in my hand, and I’m sweeping a dirt floor.”

“What else do you see?”

“A huge fireplace. Something is cooking in a pot over the fire. Whoever lives here must be poor. The furniture is very primitive.”

“Can you see yourself?”

Surprised, she said, “Yes. I have a long dress on, and my hair is fixed up on top of my head. I have never had long hair, and I rarely wear dresses. What’s going on?”

“Stay calm. You are no longer in that time period and you have nothing to fear. You are only observing the scene. When you are in the house, do you know what year it is?”

Sherry’s throat closed up, as she said, “I don’t know how I know this, but the year is 1685.”

Shocked, Dr. Harris leaned forward in his chair. “Do you . . .”

“Wait!” she suddenly said. “He’s coming.”

“Who is coming?”

“My husband,” Sherry whispered.

“Your body is shaking. Are you afraid of him?”

“Yes,” she said, as she curled up on the couch.

“Why? Is he mean to you?”

Tears started to roll down Sherry’s face. “He killed me.”

Dr. Harris looked startled. “Are you sure? Maybe . . .”

“He found out about the baby.”

“Your husband didn’t want a baby?”

Sherry felt ashamed, as she said, “The baby isn’t his. I have a lover named Jess, and he is the father. My husband found out about us and killed Jess. He hid Jess’s body in a cave. When he kills me, that’s where he will put my body—and my baby’s. After my husband killed Jess, he came back to the house and beat me. Suddenly, I got birth pains and had my baby right on the dirt floor. My husband kept beating me until I died. He threw my body on top of Jess’s body in the cave, and then he threw our poor little baby in with us.”

Sherry stopped speaking for a moment until she got her sobbing under control. “Jess’s son lived almost two days before he died. My husband lied to everyone and said Jess and I had run away together. Our bodies were never found. I don’t know how I know this but my husband remarried a couple of years later and had a happy life.”

Dr. Harris wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Okay, you’ve had enough for now. At the count of three, you will wake up. One, two, three.”

Sherry opened her eyes and lay on Dr. Harris’ couch in stunned silence. Everything she had just said sounded preposterous, but she knew every word was true.

Dr. Harris suddenly spoke and made her jump. “Now that you have regressed back in time and faced your previous life, your bad dreams about murder will go away.”

Sherry slowly sat up on the couch. Her voice shook, as she said, “But, Dr. Harris, my dreams aren’t about someone murdering me. My dreams are about me killing you.”

By Ty Gorton

Eldridge Godown walks out beyond the swaying grasses of his home, beyond the trees of his birthright, beyond the furthest edge of the only world he has known. Behind cold eyes an image parade loops toward infinite madness.

Tha-thooom. Tha-thooom. He can already hear the dreaded sound vibrating through earth. He continues on.

At the jagged foot of Malik Mountain, he finally stops. His gaze lifts slowly until the contours of rock and earth are lost into thick lavender mists. This is a forbidden land, cursed by the blood of ancestors that attempted in vain to control the mountain’s thunderous heartbeat. Since the beginning, Malik’s heart has pounded an even rhythm for miles in every direction.

Eldridge lowers his head, strips off the elegant garments of his kingly position, and begins to climb. The afternoon slips to a shattered dusk, and he urges weary muscles on. In the darkest center of night he curls up against the rough wall of a boulder and rests. The heartbeat of Malik shakes his bones and slows his blood to pure humility.

One more day and night he pulls himself upward, hands and feet torn open, his body trembling with exhaustion. Defeated arms lift Eldridge to the flat plateau of Malik’s highest peak. Mists swirl angrily on all sides, filtering sunlight to alien tones of purple and gray.

“Why have you come?” a voice booms.

Eldridge Godown rolls onto his back, straining in the meager light. He can just make out the silhouette of an inhuman figure, and eyes that contain a twist of otherworldly color. His voice rasps from a scorched throat, “I came to kill you.”

“Kill me? You could barely climb this mountain. How do you expect to kill me?”

“But…you must die.”

“You are not the first to think so.”

“I will be the last.”

“No. There will be others, they will keep coming here until the end. Crawl back down from this place and live out the rest of your life.”

Eldridge pulls bloody feet beneath him and leverages his remaining faith to stand, “What do you mean, until the end?” Malik’s every heartbeat threatens to topple him to the ground.

“You expect answers from the thing you came to destroy?”

“I expect nothing. I only want your voice to vanish from my mind.”

“Better to ask the stars to vanish from the night sky. Better to wish for angel’s wings that might carry you beyond.”

“You can be killed. I won’t be fooled by your words.”

The Beast comes closer, glass-smooth black skin absorbing the available light, “You think the heartbeat beneath your feet is the mountain’s? That is my heart, that is my strength. No…you cannot kill me. None of you can do that.”

And Eldridge Godown knows the Beast’s words to be true. The creature before him is nothing more than a shell for the entity that breathes deep within Malik’s rocky terrain. He turns away and looks out into the thick mist. His lands are there in the distance, awaiting his return, awaiting his rule.

“You are leaving, then?”


“Will you send others?”

“No. You will live on. You will outlive me, my children, and my children’s children. I understand this now.”

“Yes, yes, you see the truth of it.”

“You will live on, but not in our hearts. Not in our ACTIONS. We won’t give you that power. And one day when this world has finally moved on and become what it yearns to become, your heartbeat will stop. You will die then, and fall away into the depths of your own hell.”

As Eldridge begins to lower himself from Malik’s peak, the Beast of Intent loosens laughter that echoes across vast miles of earth and water and forest. In the folds of that laughter, every living thing hears the eventual end of intention marred by vague desires of flesh and ego.

In that laughter, the world awakens to the possibility of evolution.

THIS ISSUE OF FLASH FANTASTIC -- "The Diaper" is ©2005 by C. Allen Reed.  "Strange Dreams" is ©2005 by Vicki L. Robinson.  "Best Called Intent" is ©2005 by Ty Gorton.  All contents of Flash Fantastic 2005 are edited by Art Brown. Please send all submissions to FF editor, Art Brown.  Final formatting and additional graphics by Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Crazed Fanboy dotcom and Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.

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