Instant Story

Flash fiction fresh from my fingers to your mind!

Challenge #03217-H308: The Future You Want

They had supplies for when the waste material hit the proverbial fan blades. Their neighbors knew they had stockpiled for a long, long time just in case. Then things went south. The neighbors did not raid them but, instead, came to ask to work with them, as they, themselves, were mildly disabled and could not do everything alone anymore due to their age. This came in handy when others decided to try to raid them, however, and the neighbors let people know, you want to hurt their friend, you have to get through them, first. You want to help, work together, and survive? The door's open, just leave your weapons over there in the locker before you come in. -- Anon Guest

My name is Bob, and I'm not like the other survivalists. A great deal of them focus in the fantasy of themselves and anyone they hold dear against the world. They're all about defending their family and never thinking about what happens when their child grows up.

They never ponder the next generation working their way out of the chaos. For most of them? It's all about the guns.

I mean sure, they make hunting more efficient and you can defend yourself with them, but there's better ways to work things. For example - pick a geologically stable area with decent rainfall and good drainage and then populate all of it with companion plants that are either medicinal or edible or both. Set up an ecology. Build the facilities on places where little to nothing prospers. But most especially, make friends with the people around you.

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Challenge #03216-H307: Just Sort it Out

A good friend of mine invited me over for a drink, didn’t think it would be relationship advice. “More than friends, less than lovers? More than anything it sounds like you two are too f[FORNICATION] tsundere over your emotions.” -- Anon Guest

[AN: Edited the prompt because too many asterisks in a row messes with things]

"Tsundere? Me? Really?"

"You did just say you wanted to punch hir pretty little face in. And then kiss it. That's pretty tsundere." Tuz

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Challenge #03215-H306: Why Didn't You Say?

Ms. Oxbrydl decides the poor elf needs a mother's care as well and decides to go from treating hir as just a protector and teacher of her son, to looking out for hir as well. Cooking meals, sometimes trying to get hir to wear a jacket as it gets cooler, fussing as she does for Kevin and her new goblin child, and even sometimes singing a lullaby at night trying to get hir to shut hir eyes and sleep for a while.

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Challenge #03214-H305: Instant Adoption

Little Scut gets a new name, a new "mom", and a new, if clumsy, "big brother". Wraithvine helps them pack up camp and watches over the family, and one has to wonder what ze's thinking, and feeling, knowing the small creature ze rescued now has a loving family, thanks to hir. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Fixed the pronouns up there. Wraithvine is a ze/hir just like your humble author. I called hir 'him' in one

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Challenge #03213-H304: Human Violence

"My dear colleagues and guests, this morning we are going to study human games and how, throughout their history, their games have both brought them together, and caused some of them to tear their own cities apart." -- DaniAndShali

It is often said that many Human games are war by more civilised means. After all, people follow the rules when they're playing a game. The fans of the game are the most dangerous. Their tribal identity lies in the team they support.

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Challenge #03212-H303: They Were Behind You the Entire Time

"Behold the field in which I grow my fucks. Lay thine eyes upon it and see that it is barren." -- Anon Guest

Two adventurers were journeying together down a long and winding road. Almost heedless of what may lie ahead. That was because they were having an argument as they walked.

"Not that I don't want the money, mind," said the first. "It's just that you're so gosh-darn cheerful about dismembering folks. It's off-putting."

"You'd be cheerful, too, if it earned

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Challenge #03211-H302: Better Than Expected

They're absolutely terrified of flying, so much so they've considered strong sedatives to be able to do this. It's their only chance at escaping from under an oppressive, cruel, polity's thumb. -- Anon Guest

Social engineering can be used for evil. Case in point, The United Shareholders of New Economy. In order to stop citizens fleeing their polity, most Deregger empires simply make it too troublesome for the wrong sort[1] to travel.

This one has spent a significant effort in making

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Challenge #03210-H301: Actually Fair and Balanced

A - "I'm innocent your honor, I didn't DO anything wrong!"

B - "You struck your employee for refusing to endanger their safety."

A - "I'm allowed to do that, though, they're my property, they work for me!"

B - Pinching the bridge of their nose in exasperation. "Ok, let's go over it again why that is NOT allowed in Alliance Space and why your employees are going to be compensated." -- Lessons

"It isn't Alliance Space, it's my space," argued CEO

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Challenge #03209-H300: In Defense of Whys

One thing I've learned of human children, they are very receptive to knowledge but you have to frame it in ways that will keep their interest. Otherwise, they will start the "Why?" game. And that can go on for a very long time. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Sometimes, the Why Game will go on regardless. There's strategies for that.]

"What'cha doin?" Ah, the catch-cry of the Greater Spotted Bored Annoyance. Evidently the activities for the day had lost their lustre and now

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Challenge #03208-H299: Breaker of Bad Habits

The Human is only four foot in height, even with the battle-hardened live-suit. The recruits for this new marine outfit are six to seven foot Deathworlders from level three, and a couple near level four Deathworlds. The Human teaches them why you don't laugh at someone just because they're smaller. -- Anon Guest

Gurhag's Grunts were supposed to be meeting the maddest, baddest Deathworlder to train them in new combat techniques. When a child-sized entity in a livesuit appeared and took up

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Challenge #03207-H298: Solution Evolution

They knew their name, Lillian, named after the lovely flower. They knew that they'd gotten hurt, possibly died. They knew they'd fallen into the mana pool. Now the pool was gone, but they could still feel the upwelling of mana, the raw essence of magic, everywhere. When the magi told them they were a walking, talking, mana fount, their body had become the container for it, they laughed it off. Now, they were learning to take pieces of amber and fill these

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Challenge #03206-H297: The One That Matters

An aged, wizened man. He wishes he could follow his wife, and his kids, and his grandkids into the great beyond. But, when he was young, and on guard duty, he had fallen asleep at his post, failing to raise the alarm when invaders got inside, and a thousand within the city perished as a result. Now, his gods won't let him die, until he has saved one thousand lives. One life for each that had been lost. Marking his arms and

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Challenge #03205-H296: A Parable For All

A village is evacuating en masse. Even the local dragons, normally holding such villages in disdain, are now grabbing as many people as they can safely carry in their paws, allowing humans to strap carry-baskets to their backs, and runners are warning away all travelers. The local mountain is emitting smoke, the rumble and scents mean only one thing, and though a very stubborn few refuse to leave, often to the tears of family members who are begging them to also evacuate,

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Challenge #03204-H295: Surgical Precision Strike

A Human and a Havenworlder are both trapped in a cargo bay of a medical transport ship. The Human is in a support frame due to an illness that had created serious malformations in the spine before they were rescued as one of the last few survivors from a failed Deregger colony. The door is forced open by the pirates and the only one to save them is a Havenworlder with a scalpel. The Human reassures the Havenworlder, "you're not as weak

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Challenge #03203-H294: A Machine With Real Heart

They had an android body, they were an AI, and yet, we fell in love. Some in my family tell me they're just a machine despite the AI within and cannot feel real love. But, how do you define a machine? Can we truly be together? We love each other, this is so hard. -- Anon Guest

What is life? What is real? Does it even matter? My family thinks so. When I met P3T3R Five at Docks and Locks, it wasn't

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