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Latest Stories

September 25, 2021
General Stories NT Franklin

Coming Home

While Rupert paced in the parking lot, a cool spring breeze went down the back of his neck and made him shiver. Or was the shiver from having to go into the boss’s office? He had issues with male authority figures, or so his last work-ordered therapist had…
September 25, 2021
Flash Fiction Sandeep

Space Age Agency

Today I want to write about a nice story about OutSpace Consulting Pvt Ltd. that hired me to work for a Space Age Aeronautics Frontier (SAAF). To create a new vehicle and technology for managing their database, missions, research and exploration endeavors.…
September 13, 2021
General Stories Kasimir Kozlowski

An Understanding

1 The sharp halogen beams of the Greyhound bus cut a swath of light across the white frozen tundra of the flatlands nearing a small town outside of Winnipeg, and the passengers are beginning to get a little restless. Henry also stirs to life. He’s been…
September 13, 2021
Fantasy Stories Abdulla Ameen

That Memorable Quest

Beneath the starlit sky, which not only had that dark blue shade but also a purple tone, with stars lying flat on the vivid plain, was the cavern he chose to spend the night. The hillside was riskier in the dark and that was the only thought that made him…
September 13, 2021
Crime Stories Benoit

Marseille

Marseille Synopsis Carmine Diop was looking for the Fast Lane; instead, he met his Maker. A mistake, a sin. The wages of sin are death for beautiful Annette and her boyfriend Youbai. Dust to dust. Marseille Every city has its specialties, including Marseille.…
September 05, 2021
General Stories Barbara Dolan

Dreams

She watched him from a distance, wondering if she should, how she should, approach him. Flying to San Francisco from Southern California, Alice took a bus north to the small town on the Russian River, a town she had never heard of, nor had she seen it on any…
September 05, 2021
Flash Fiction Richard Sanders

Leak

“Sir.” With Slayer blaring in his ears, Madison is in his own world scrolling through Twitter. His head is throbbing. He’s had a long week of school and work, not a lot of time for leisure. This is the first date Jordan and he have been on in weeks. He’s…
August 13, 2021
Fantasy Stories André Gouyneau

The Great Leap

Mike River, the owner of the Artificium Gallery situated on New York’s Fifth Avenue, was waiting for Glen Dinano. The brief message from the artist had fueled his imagination. The title – The Great Leap of Ronald McDonald – seemed catchy and he liked this…
August 13, 2021
General Stories Marco

Today's The Day

Still half asleep, Patricia opened her eyes and glanced at the alarm clock. Too early. Next to her, Joe slept soundly. She tried to doze but the excitement struck her. One last hurdle, then bliss, it will all be over. Today our lives change forever. She…
August 11, 2021
Romance Stories Barbara E. Dolan

Desert Fires

The flickering yellow light from the candles seemed to wrap the table in a kind of floating gauze. Her head felt light from too much wine, and it seemed that her body was covered in a warm, soft blanket. They had shared many dinners with Michael and Denise,…
August 11, 2021
Crime Stories NT Franklin

The Next Victim

Bobby put his coffee down as the two detectives walked up to his booth. “You should’ve been there today, boys. The divorce hearing at family court spiraled to new lows.” “Whoa, slow down, Bobby, you’ll choke on that coffee.” Detective Rush smiled when he…
August 09, 2021
Fantasy Stories Azahra Dea A

Meant To Be

It was Saturday morning, wind blew softly through her hair. She was enjoying a frappuccino at a café, yet she was losing her mind as she knew there was a room full of chaos inside of her. It was like a broken compass and she wedged there, screaming for help…

What had happened was this - at the time of the Great War, fought between Angels and Demons, Hell had not been completed. So when Lucifer and his fellow fallen were cast out of Heaven they had nowhere to go, other than to try and mix in with the inhabitants of the Earth and hope that nobody noticed. Apologies from the celestial council had been forthcoming with the promise that their new abode would be ready in time, but as to what time was never made clear. During this time the great Architect, The Watchmaker himself had decided to take a vacation, as he was about due and quite frankly needed the rest. Obviously the job of running everything, everyone and every time was not something that could not be left to its own devises, and so an advert was placed in the job vacant section of the Celestial Times and read thus:

 

WANTED:

INEFFABLE BEING. MUST BE ABLE TO MUTLI-TASK.

OMNIPOTENCE A MUST.

FULL TRAINING WILL BE GIVEN, AS PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IS UNLIKLY.

APPLY TO ANY DIETY YOU WISH AS THEY ARE ALL ME ANYWAY.

 

Within the hour there appeared in the spiritual inbox an email from a Mr. Lewis Cipher, and attached was a résumé of such an impressive nature that it was hard not to give him the job there and then. Still, protocol had to be observed and so Mr. Cipher was invited to an interview at ten o’clock the next day.

 

There was a knock on the main office door at precisely ten followed by a fumbling of a door handle that would not turn due to sweaty and nervous hooves. After a drying them on his pants the owner of the knock got a grip on himself and the doorknob and was able to let himself in.

He peered around the half opened entrance as if unsure as to whether this was in the right place.

‘Mr. Tecked?’ He asked.

There was a puzzled look offered by The Watchmaker to accompany the one of alarm that Lewis was already wearing.

‘Excuse me?’

Lewis looked down at the piece of paper he held in his claw.

‘Mr Archie Tecked?’

‘Oh, I see – yes, please come in Mr.?’

‘Cipher, Lewis Cipher’

The Watchmaker peered over his glasses at the strange little man who stood in the doorway. He had a familiarity about him.

‘Have we met before?’ he asked.

Lewis stood panic-stricken for a moment as he considered his answer.

He was an odd little man whose nervous disposition made him appear to dance on the spot without actually moving.

‘I don’t think we’ve met before’ he ventured, and then stepped back a little as if expecting a reaction for giving the possible wrong answer.

The Watchmaker smiled.

‘You have never been here before?’ he asked.

‘Never’ lied Lewis.

‘I expect you just have one of those faces’ he said.

Lewis adjusted his false moustache and said,

‘No, it’s definitely my face – honest’

After a resolute sigh The Watchmaker invited Lewis in and offered him a seat.

‘Now, Mr…’

He looked down at his notes.

‘..Cipher?’

‘Yes, that’s me’ answered Lewis. The sweat on his brow was a mixture of nervousness and heat caused by the large woollen hat he had chosen to wear for the interview.

‘What qualifications do you have that would suit this position?’

Lewis had practiced this bit over and over in the mirror – well, a mirror that had not screamed and dissolved when he looked into it.

‘Well, I am very effervescent, and I believe that was one of the main skills you were looking for’

He beamed a little at how well it was all going, so much so that it nearly took his mind off of how much his new shoes pinched his claws.

‘Ineffable’ said the Watchmaker.

‘Bless you’ replied Lewis.

‘No, Ineffable - too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words’

There was an awkward pause before Lewis said,

‘What does my word mean then?’

‘It means you’re fizzy’

A spiritual bundle of tumbleweed rolled by as if the emphasise the harrowing gap that had appeared in the conversation.

‘Still, never mind’ smiled The Watchmaker, ‘let’s continue shall we’

Lewis let out a small sigh of relief, and a little something else that he hoped would go un-noticed.

‘It was stated in the advert that omnipotence was a requirement’

This brought a smile from Lewis.

‘Well sir, you will have no worries there. Mrs. Cipher will contest to that – if you know what I mean’

He tapped the side of, what would loosely be called his nose and offered a conspiritual wink to his interviewer by was of an explanation.

The Watchmaker gave Lewis a blank stare.

‘Mr Cipher’ he said.

‘Yes’ said a smiling Lewis.

‘Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited power’

The smile stayed frozen on the ‘face’ thing that Lewis now wore.

‘And what does my word mean again?’

‘I am sorry to say that the word you maybe referring to is ‘Impotent’ and is something that you and the ‘lovely?’ Mrs. Cipher would need to talk to someone about’

An air of suspicion crossed the mind of Lewis as he replayed a conversation that had taken place with his wife the previous night.

‘Moving on’ said the Watchmaker.

Lewis was sweating quite badly now and had started to leave a small puddle where he sat. The Watchmaker poured him a glass of water.

‘You look very hot Mr. Cipher, would you like to remove your hat?’

Lewis jumped.

‘What horns?’ he said defensively.

‘Hat’ said the Watchmaker ‘I said hat’

‘Hat?’ came the reply. Lewis looked around wild eyed, ‘what hat?’

‘The one that is on your head?’

‘Err – no thank you, it keeps my horns warm – HEAD’ he said, almost shouting his correction, ‘It keeps my head warm’

‘As you wish’

The Watchmaker looked back at his notes once again.

‘Ah’ he said, ‘I notice that you live ‘down under’ – is it nice there?’

‘It’s Hell’ said Lewis absentmindedly. He was sure he had got away with the horn reference, but you could never be too sure with The Watchmaker.

‘Is it hot there?’

Lewis smiled grimly.

‘You can say that again’

‘So I guess a nice couple of weeks working on this side of the celestial plain would be just as much of a holiday for you as it would be for me?’

‘It would indeed’ Maybe he had gotten away with it. It seemed that his interviewer had no clue as to his secret identity.

‘So the job entails’ continued The Watchmaker ‘the basic day to day running of Heaven and the other seven celestial realms’

‘Seven?’

‘Indeed’

‘Wow’ He had done it – he had really done it. He was going to be given the keys to Heaven, and seven other realms that he had no idea existed.

Now things would be different – create man in our own image huh? well we will soon see about that. And this free will rubbish - that sounded like a day one change if ever he heard one. His thoughts were interrupted by the voice of The Watchmaker.

‘Would you like to be shown around Mr. Cipher?’ he said as he stood up. He walked to the door in order to open it for Lewis,

‘So that you can get a feel for the place’

‘Oh that’s okay, I know my way around’

A look of confusion crossed the face of The Watchmaker.

‘You do? – I was under the impression that you had never been here before’

Lewis stopped.

‘Why would you think that?’ He held back the panic in his voice, hoping against hope that his long time enemy had not seen through his disguise.

‘Because that’s what you told me at the start of the interview’

‘I did?’

‘You did’

‘Think man shaped entity, think’ he muttered to himself.

‘Maybe this place is like your face’ said The Watchmaker, as if throwing Lewis a lifeline ‘it seems familiar to everyone’ he smiled a reassuring and comforting smile.

‘Yes’ sighed Lewis in relief, ‘that would be it’

‘Indeed it would, well Mr. Cipher, I will leave you in the capable wings of my assistant Gabriel to show you around before you leave’

‘How did I do?’ said Lewis with genuine hope in his eyes. It had been a long time since he had sought approval from The Watchmaker and was surprised at how much he still craved it.

‘You did your best I’m sure – there will be a letter in the mail for you in the next couple of days. But for now I will say goodbye, and thank you so much for coming – back.’

Lewis offered a gloved hoof to shake to which The Watchmaker looked down at with alarm in his eyes.

‘Thank you, but no’ he said. ‘We will talk again soon - Mr. Cipher’.

 

Accompanied by the Archangel, Mr. Lewis Cipher was shown around a place that he knew so very well. A place he had once lived in until he was shown the door a long time ago for being very ‘naughty’.

Having completed the tour, Gabriel escorted his guest to the large pearly gates that served as entrance to, and the exit from, paradise.

‘Well thank you for your time’ said Lewis.

‘You are very welcome’ said Gabriel ‘ and you are welcome to come back here again anytime you like’

With that Lewis smiled and walked towards the hidden lift that would take him home. He turned to wave at the winged figure standing at the gates.

‘Goodbye Gabriel’ he called.

Gabriel smiled and waved back.

‘Goodbye Lucifer’ he said.

 

THE END

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