Staying Short September

Time for two more shorts written as part of StoryADay September. 

The first, Amnesia, was prompted by ‘Set A Timer for 40 minutes’ but mis-/re-interpreted. The second, The Exit, was a mash-up of three prompts: a change of POV, use two characters, and 100 words – it’s 99 words with the title.


By Roland Clarke

Retirement can come early. Just as amnesia and C4 never mix.

Not when lives depend on split second reactions.

Harry loved his job and his colleagues – well, so the survivors said. The ones whose lives his keen senses had saved.

But there had been failures. Not every IED could be disarmed safely or in time – the intent of Improvised Explosive Devices.

Demolishing abandoned factories proved safer. Hence, his expertise for the years after his discharge. Until the fall.

Then, the early retirement when he forgot to set the timer.

Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Humphrey Bolton / Tunnel exit, Soyland / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Exit

by Roland Clarke

The rain slices into the ground. You turn to the pompous fool.

“I said it could be arranged, Mr Johnson. Any last words?”

The blonde man grins, then jokes.

“More like a gutter.  Could we talk this through?”

“A filibuster,” you say, checking the shotgun’s safety. “No deal, I’m afraid, old boy. Not cricket, nor even ping-pong.”

You remember the foolish speech. He won’t. You never forget.

“But the people—”

“Didn’t vote for this. But you mentioned being dead in a ditch. Wish granted.”

You point the shotgun at his head and fire.