Flash Fiction: “The Outsider” (Director’s Cut)

Ever bemoan cutting favorite elements from a story to keep within a word limit? What is an author to do? Rise to the challenge of course! But sometimes it’s gratifying to indulge oneself and post a lengthier “director’s cut”. If filmmakers can do it, why not writers?

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“The Devil Is In the Details” (Author’s Cut)

Brody Quade cursed, hearing the sharp rap at the door.

“Police! Open up!”

Brody marveled at how quickly they had managed to locate him. He made a mental note to better research this world’s technological capabilities.

“Half a moment! I’m coming!” Brody lied.

He quietly gathered his essentials and keyed on his transporter.

“Come now, Mr. Quade, the gig’s up! Surrender peacefully! This doesn’t have to end with violence!”

Brody could hear their attempts to override the lock.

“Alright! Alright! No, need to destroy my door!”

Casting a longing look at his collection of stolen goods, Brody lamented all the hard work, now wasted. Shame to lose it all so close to the end, he reasoned. Rummaging about, he greedily stuffed a few odds and ends into his pockets.

“Time’s up, Mr. Quade! Any blood spilled is on your head!”

Before he could respond, Brody detected the sound of a barrier-breacher powering up.

“Blast! They’re quite insistent! No, time for calibration.” Brody muttered.

Perspiration blurred his vision as he hastily inputted the obscurest coordinates he could recall off the top of his head.

“A valiant effort, Inspector! But, I remain as always one step ahead!”

Brody laughed manically as the authorities disintegrated the door just in time to see him slip into another dimension.

He endured an unusually long and rough transit before the transporter finished relocating Brody.

“Phew! That was cutting it too close.”

Swiping his brow with a handkerchief, he paused to orientate himself to his new surroundings. Brody smiled, recognizing the crowded café. The aroma of coffee mingled with the dry, desert heat creating an inviting atmosphere he knew would soothe his frayed nerves. He wove his way in and sat at a table being cleared.

“Triple espresso, please.”

Looking up, the server huffed and hurried off without any response.

“Rude.”

He waited, preparing a scathing rebuke. But indignation turned to shock when the waiter returned to seat an elderly couple at Brody’s table.

“Voila, Monsieur, Madame. A moment while I fetch your drinks from the bar. Apologies for the delay.”

As they proceeded to sit at his table, Brody experienced a bizarre whirl of force whisk him abruptly from his chair onto the floor.

“Well! I never!”

Clawing at the table, he pulled himself back up.

“Mind your feet, Mario. You’ll upset the table.”

“I haven’t touched the table.”

“Well, something did.”

“Perhaps, a tremor. This local’s suspectable to such activity.”

Brody glowered, hands on his hips.

“I say! What the devil has possessed you to assume you can just barge in and hijack my table? Waiter!”

The woman looked up from her menu.

“What’s that, Mario?”

“I didn’t say anything, Harriet.”

“You were muttering something, dear.”

“I most assuredly was not.”

Blood drained from Brody’s face. He pulled out his transporter, unsurprised to find an error notification flashing across the screen. Opening the message, he swore as he read the details.

[INSUFFICENT DATA. TRANSFER INCOMPLETE. LOCATION OUTSIDE STANDARD DIMENSIONAL PARAMETERS.]

“Blimey, stuck in between again!”


Read Original 75 Word Version Written for Chronicles’ July 75 Word Challenge.


Prompt: The Outsider

Word Count 500

Micro Fiction: “The Outsider”

An exceedingly short piece of speculative fiction!

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Some of you know, I enjoy the challenge of writing a story with as few words as possible. Definitely an acquired taste for only some writers and readers! Below is what I entered for Chronicles’ (A Science Fiction and Fantasy Community) 75 Word Challenge for July.

There were 41 entries this month!

I encourage everyone, who loves science fiction and fantasy, to check out this website. Great way to connect with other writers and fans! Perhaps, you might entry next month’s challenge?

The prompt this month was “THE OUTSIDER”. Genre was author’s choice of horror, speculative, fantasy or science fiction. Hope you enjoy my entry below!


“The Devil Is In the Details”

Desperate, Brody hastily inputted coordinates to escape back into his own dimension.

Frazzled, he sought solace at a favorite café.  

A couple approached to join him. Before he could protest, eddies of nausea swept him onto the floor. 

 Brody stood up, hands on his hips. 

“Excuse me! But this table’s mine!”

“What, Mario?”

“I didn’t say anything, Harriet.”

Disquieted, Brody checked his transporter. He blanched, observing the error message. 

[INSUFFICENT DATA. TRANSFER OUTSIDE DIMENSIONAL PARAMETERS.]


Prompt: “THE OUTSIDER”

Word Limit: 75 words.