Unbreakable, Monday Flash Fics


(Author’s note: This actually is an excerpt from something larger that I’m writing under my occasional pen name. More on all this later! —-J)


                            By Jeff Baker (As by Michael J. Mayak)


            “He got out?” Herriman said.

            “He didn’t escape, he collapsed as soon as he broke out of the tube,” Smith said. “He was hardly at his full strength.”

            “That glass cylinder is supposed to be unbreakable,” Herriman spat out. “And he’s supposed to stay in suspended animation. What happens when word of this gets out?”

            “It won’t get out,” Smith said.

            “Well, he almost did,” Herriman said. He paused and looked around the room, at the other men in the liquid-filled cylinders. “Does McCay know yet?”

            “I sent him an e-mail an hour ago.” Smith said.

            There was silence for a few moments and the two men could hear each other breathing in front of the silent, illuminated tubes filled with green liquid.

            “Thank God it wasn’t Doctor Apocalypse,” Herriman said. “This facility’s reputation would have been destroyed.”

            Doctor Apocalypse would have destroyed a lot more than Nix Olympica’s reputation. The corporation had put a lot on the line constructing a supposedly inescapable super-max facility. Supposedly inescapable.

            “Good work. You and your team, I mean,” Herriman said. “Getting him back in his cylinder before he could come to.”

            They stared in silence again.

            “Well,” Herriman finally said. “This should keep him suspended for at least another decade unless the solution runs out.”

            “Four months, tops,” Smith said.

            “Four months?” Herriman said, startled.

            “It’s when his sentence expires,” Smith said.



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Interlude With Wolves–October 17, 2016.

                                    Interlude With Wolves

                                           By Jeff Baker


            The man had been sitting on the cliff overlooking the lake for some time when the wolves approached.

            “See,” the younger wolf said. “He’s barely moved since I was here this morning. And he didn’t notice me.”

            “No wonder,” said the older wolf. “I see humans like this one at this spot quite frequently. They come here to stare at the lake, the sky and the trees.” The older wolf flicked his tail. “But they come this distance to stare at wonders and ignore the wonders in the places they live; the growing grass, children, the beginning of a new day.”

            “How is it that you know so much?” the younger wolf asked.

            “Experience. Taking the time to observe with all my senses,” the older wolf said. “This man will return to his civilization and go back to his way of not noticing.”

            “Is he here to jump?” the younger wolf asked.

            “No,” said the older wolf. “There is no smell of death here, but he may fall if he is not careful. It is how men live their lives; between death and caution.”

            The two wolves turned and walked down the cliff, the younger wolf glancing back.

            “Our lives are better,” the older wolf said.  “We meet our food. We know how to breathe and how to live.”

            The younger wolf thought about this but he still looked back at the man one more time.



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Something About Sharks–Monday Flash Fiction

                                 Something About Sharks

                                          By Jeff Baker

            “Grrr! I’m a shark!”

            “Yeah, right,” the man said.

            “Benny Hill would have made a more convincing shark,” the woman said.

            “Okay, what’s wrong with the way I do a shark?”

            “The legs throw it off a little,” the man said.

            “So do the arms,” the woman said.

            “Hey, the top half was all we could afford!”

            “You’re supposed to scare people,” the man said.

            “Not wearing that shark miniskirt he isn’t,” the woman said.

            “Maybe if I stay in the water, don’t get near the shore?”

            “Good idea,” the man said.

            “There he goes,” the woman said.

            “Trust me, people will come here to see this and pay money. Even knowing the shark is fake,” the man said. “There was always something about sharks.”

            “I hope so,” the woman said. “How long have the sharks been gone, anyway?”

            “The last one was spotted in the Pacific around 2217, I think,” the man said. “That was almost thirty years ago.”

            “Thirty years,” the woman said. “Look! He’s out by the buoy!”

            “Maybe an underwater drone with a big fin sticking out,” the man mused.



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Company Man


                        Company Man

                                                By Jeff Baker


            “One-two-three-kick! One-two-three-kick! Other-side, roll-over-and-one-two-three-kick!”

            Scott sighed. If it wasn’t for the money he wouldn’t have taken the job. 175 light-years from Earth to sit behind a desk. He’d been told the Emaulphi were an efficient, business-oriented society. H hadn’t been told he’d be assigned a trainer to do morning stretches and workouts.

            And nobody had told him his new bosses were cats.

            He wasn’t going to make the mistake the Ambassador had and try to pet one of the Emaulphi superiors. (Talk about rubbing someone the wrong way!) And, thank God, he wasn’t allergic like his immediate predecessor who’d had to leave the planet in a sneezing fit.

            The Emaulphi weren’t so bad, once Scott got used to the twelve hour workdays. On the other hand, since days were thirty-five hours long, he had a day to kill between shifts. But then every time office management would change, the new supervisor would spray everyone in the office, including Scott. And there was frequent turnover; the only Emaulphi who’d been there as long as Scott was his trainer. The one who had him laying down raising various limbs.

            The job wasn’t that bad. Sit at a desk, taken incoming calls and orders from human customers, type up orders and send them out to the distributors. At first, Scott had thought the customers must’ve preferred human interaction to talking with a feline. Turned out the Emaulphi regarded that as grunt work, which is why humans like Scott were paid a bundle to relocate.

            Plus, if he wanted to, Scott could take a catnap during the day.

            The afternoon was long, the twin suns were arcing through the sky and Scott was dozing at his desk when he heard the howling from the front office. In a gray blur, his boss streaked into Scott’s office, followed by the District Supervisor, an orange tabby. They hopped on Scott’s desk, facing each other, still howling and spitting, backs arched, claws at the ready.

            They were snarling and hissing and Scott could make out some of the words in the Emaulphi tongue; “Spay you!”  “Oh, yeah? Spay you! Your breath smells of mice!!”

            Scott couldn’t make out the rest.  He jumped out of the way as the two cats began fighting on the desk, knocking his coffee cup to the floor and banging into his monitor screen.

            Scott sighed. He’d be sprayed by a new boss and a new supervisor soon. He didn’t want the job himself, thank God.

            Office politics were the same all over the galaxy.



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New Anthology “Flight.”

My story “Wing’d His Roving Flight,” is in the new flash fiction anthology “Flight,” a collection of LGBT-themed stories from Queer Sci Fi. I wanted to rip-off, uh, “borrow” a line from Shakespeare to use as a title. Turned out the line was said about Shakespeare, not by him. Well, I think it fits!

“Flight” is the second annual print anthology from the third annual Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest. The object being to write a complete science fiction, fantasy or horror story, 300 words or less, featuring LGBT characters and/or themes. (Phew!) The anthology includes stories by Loren Rhoades, Kirby Quinlan and Rory NiCoileain, among others. Having read some of the stories, and having read the previous year’s anthology (“Discovery”) I can highly recommend this one!

My special thanks to editor Angel Martinez, Queer Sci-Fi’s administrator J. Scott Coatsworth (who wrote “Flight’s” foreword) and Mila May who illustrated the cover!

As for writing my story, once the specific idea hit me it just breezed out of me. I’ve written a lot of flash fiction and even published some in print and I can’t wait for next year’s contest!

For those of you who want to order a copy, here’s a link. You can also go on the Queer Sci Fi site. Thanks for reading! https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Queer-Annual-Fiction-Contest-ebook/dp/B01L0R0JRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474410245&sr=8-1&keywords=Flight+queer+sci+fi+kindle#nav-subnav

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Monday Flash Fic. for Sept. 26, 2016; “Don’t Blame The Messenger.”

            Don’t Blame the Messenger

                                          By Jeff Baker


            “Okay, if you’re an angel, how come you’ve got a bicycle instead of wings?”

            “Angels are messengers,” the man at the front of the bike said. “Haven’t you ever heard of a bike messenger?”

            “Yeah, but I…Lookout!” Stan yelled.

            They swerved to avoid the car stopped in the road. Stan held onto the back of the bike for dear life. He was wishing he hadn’t listened about a half hour ago when the man had shown up at his hotel, asked if this was room 243, asked if he was Stan Howard and told him he was an angel.

            There was nothing angelic about the words the Angel spat out as he regained control of the bike.

            “Pardon my French,” he said.

            “We’re in Amsterdam,” Stan said. “And you told me this was urgent.”

            “It is,” said the Angel.

            “If you’re an angel why don’t you just OOOP!”

            They hit a bump in the road. The Angel swore again.

            “Why don’t we just fly?” Stan said.

            “I don’t have a license to fly with passengers,” the Angel said glancing back with a grin.

            “This is some kind of Amsterdam drug deal, isn’t it?” Stan asked. “I’m not into that. The only thing I ever…”

            The Angel interrupted.

            “The strongest thing you ever tried was weed; the last time was in College, January 23, 2006. That was at a party where you and Billy Mitzer went into the back room and made out.” The Angel slowed the bike to a stop. “But you really had a crush on Kev Sanchez and you never told anyone.”

            Stan’s jaw dropped.

            “Billy is straight; he’s married with three kids and was so stoned he doesn’t even remember that night.”

            “How do you…” Stan began.

            “I’m an angel. I know things. Like your needing to be right here right now. And that my telling you I was an angel was the only thing I could say that would get you on the back of this bike.”

            Stan had stepped off the bike when the Angel started pedaling away.

            “Hey!” Stan yelled. The Angel looked back and called back at Stan.

            “You might want to give Kev Sanchez a call.”

            Stan thought about running after him, but instead turned and started walking back to the hotel.

            The woman had been pounding on the door of room 243 for about five minutes when the door across the hall opened.

            “He’s not there,” the man said.


            “He left about thirty minutes ago.”

            “Well, then I have the wrong room,” she said. “I’m looking for my aunt.”

            “Older woman? American?” the man asked.


            “I saw her in the lobby a while back,” he said.

            “Oh. Okay, thanks,” she said heading down the hall.

            “Do you want a cup of coffee later?” he asked.

            She stopped and turned. He was her age and there was something about him.

            “Yes,” she said. “In the café, downstairs. Later.”

            She smiled and walked down the hall.

            She seemed nice, he thought as he watched her go. Who knows? Maybe they were destined to meet.





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Monday Flash Fics, Sept. 18, 2016; “Goodnight, Sweetheart.”

(Note: This story is a sequel to my story “Atmosphere,” posted August 29, 2016 on “Monday Flash Fics” Facebook page.)

                                        Goodnight Sweetheart

                                                By Jeff Baker


            “How’s the coffee?” Bryan asked.

            “Good,” Nico said with a smile

            “How’s your head?”

            “Lots better,” Nico said, taking a sip of the coffee. “Most of it’s coming back. I remember that interview I had before with all those forms to sign.”

            “Yeah,” Bryan said with a laugh. “I’ve done this three times now. It’s a pain but it’s worth it when you get a month’s pay for a weekend’s work.”

            Nico thought back on the weekend. Being programmed to fall for each other, compelled to kiss and snuggle there on the grounds, lending “atmosphere” for the customer’s romantic weekend at the resort. Nico had forgotten signing up and all he could think about for two and a half days was Bryan and how nice he looked in shorts and a tank top. After the de-programming with his full memory coming back he wondered if his feelings for Bryan were going to fade.

            “Remember they told us at the interview that even if we didn’t go through deprogramming we’d have our full memories back in about two days,” Bryan said.

            “Us,” Nico said. “Did we meet at that interview?”

            “Yeah, we did.” Bryan said. “We weren’t supposed to remember the interview during our weekend but somehow I did this time.”

            With a start, Nico remembered the explanation that they wouldn’t be able to think about anything except the mutual attraction that would be programmed into their minds. He remembered meeting Bryan, and hearing Bryan say that he’d be glad to make out with Nico happily, even without the programming. Nico had smiled and thought he felt the same way.

            When they were done with coffee they called a cab. They had been advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery for at least another day. With what they’d earned that weekend they could certainly afford a cab. Besides, they wanted to share the ride.

            “One of us can wake the other up when he falls asleep,” Nico said as they got in the cab. They laughed. They were both exhausted.

            “1511 North 11th street,” Nico told the driver. “The Parkside Apartments.”

            Bryan stared at him.

            “I live there,” Bryan said. “Building A.”

            “I’m in C,” Nico said. “C-39.”

            When the cab dropped Nico off in front of his building he leaned back to Bryan.

            “I guess I’ll see you later,” Nico said.

            They kissed, certain this time that it was real.



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