Nightmare Flight. Sunday Scribbles 2018 (Prompt: Nightmare) #flashfiction #sunscribbles

Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!

The prompt this week is Nightmare.
Sunday Scribbles Writing Prompt Nightmare 21st OctoberIntroduction: Sunday Scribbles Writing Prompts
Past stories: Sunday Scribbles Short Stories

This is another piece of writing from my MA. We had to choose an object and write about it freely. I chose a fly on the wall. All right, so it’s technically an animal and not an object, and I went a little nuts with it, but it was fun so it doesn’t matter!

Nightmare Flight.

Nightmare Flight Short Story

‘When I said it’d be cool to be a fly on the wall, this isn’t what I meant.’

‘Shh! I’m trying to listen.’

Mel sighed and kicked her feet up on the console in front of her, narrowly missing the emergency warp button with her large boots.

‘Be careful!’ Scott, her reluctant companion, batted at her feet with a galactic spanner. ‘Dad’ll go spare if I break the rules. Warping’s for-‘

‘Emergencies only. I know.’ She refused to budge and pulled out a bag of popcorn. ‘But if I hafta sit here doing nothing, I get to put my feet up.’

‘It’s not nothing, it’s homework.’ He ran a hand through his hair. ‘Just, be careful?’

‘Kay,’ she replied around a mouthful of corn. ‘When you agreed to indulge me, I didn’t think you meant this. We seriously gonna sit here all day?’

‘Do you have anything better to do?’

Mel groaned. ‘It’s this or spring cleaning at home. Mum’s on a warpath.’ She slouched in her chair and turned her attention out of the large tempered glass window in front of her, where a young woman danced around with earphones lodged in her ears and feather duster in hand. 

‘Thought so.’ He flushed. ‘Sorry we couldn’t go somewhere more exotic. Dad’s got a tracker on the fuel gauge, and he’d… Hey, did she just…? No way!’

Mel leaned forward to get a better look at their object of study. ‘Why is she eating that?’

Scott shrugged as the woman pulled another fluffy strand from the duster and plopped it into her mouth. ‘Humans are strange.’ He grasped the thruster and engaged, hurtling their craft into a neat dive which sent Mel’s popcorn tumbling to the floor.

‘What’re you…’ She stood and peered out of the window. ‘Oh. It’s even more odd up close.’

‘Hmm. Take a sample.’

‘Roger.’ Mel pressed a button on the console as they landed atop the strange duster. Tiny feelers reached out from the craft and plucked a piece from the sticky web. ‘Odd.’

‘What’s odd?’

‘Computer says it’s sugar. Curious. I wanna try- Woah!’ She tripped and fell backwards into her seat, limbs sprawled akimbo, as their craft went flying in all the wrong ways.

Scott braced himself and secured his belt as rapid fingers pressed a number of buttons on the console. Eyes on the ceiling outside, he took a breath and took a chance. ‘Hang on.’

She nodded and buckled herself in just in time for their craft to flip, and land, upside down, on the ceiling. ‘Whose stupid idea was it to disguise the ship as a house fly!’

The craft stabilised. Below them, the woman’s sharp eyes searched her messy living room.

‘I thought it’d help us blend in! I didn’t know humans were afraid of such a tiny creature!’

‘I don’t think she’s scared. Look!’ She leaned forward and pointed as the woman below scowled and dumped the fluffy, sugary, concoction in the bin.

‘She’s angry at us.’

‘Yeah, no shit. Now you know how I feel about my popcorn.’ She sighed. ‘Come on, let’s go.’

‘Fine.’ He booted up the craft, and the wings buzzed to life as the system powered up. The woman looked up, and her gaze fixed on their ship. ‘Hold on tight!’

A book whizzed past them, and he sent the craft into a vertical dive to avoid a pillow.

‘She’s insane!’ Mel yelled as a rolled up newspaper swatted at them. ‘Get us outta here!’

‘Yeah, yeah.’ He squeezed his eyes shut and tentatively hit the warp button. ‘Sorry, dad.’

Mel’s yelp of surprise was the last thing he heard before the resounding smack pierced his ears. He opened his eyes and blinked as the bright lights of warp space faded, and a dark little world appeared below them. Shops. Offices. A busy space port. They’d been hit, but they were home.

The ship’s pitiful whine broke the tranquillity and knocked the relieved smile from his face. The engine choked and spluttered, and he shot forward, frantically pressing buttons. ‘No, no, no!’ It was no use. With a final splutter the ship careered out of control and crashed through the trees, into the memorial park in the middle of their city.

‘At least it’s out of sight, right?’ Mel asked as she released her belt. She winced as she stretched. ‘And we probably didn’t land on anyone either, at this time of night.’

Scott ran a shaking hand through his hair. ‘Yeah, but when dad finds out-‘

‘You can fix it, right?’


‘Then pretend it never happened.’ She smiled, but it faded a second later. ‘I can’t believe we didn’t get some. We’ll hafta go back some day.’

‘Seriously? After that nightmare of a flight that’s all you have to say?’ She nodded. He frowned, but then a smirk crept across his face. ‘Cheer up. You’ve still got your popcorn, right?’

She gestured to the scattered sweet treats littering the floor of the ship. ‘Please don’t tell me you’re gonna make me clean that up?’

He raised an eyebrow and gestured to the dustpan and brush. ‘What else are you going to do whilst I repair the ship?’

Mel rolled her eyes and grabbed the brush with a huff. There was no escaping cleaning today, apparently. Still, at least here she didn’t have to deal with her mother’s overbearing cleaning regime. Scott wasn’t so bad, when he could be persuaded to take a flight of fancy.

Thanks for reading!

Creepy huh? Beware the flies on the wall, they could be watching you! This story was inspired by one of the writing exercises I mentioned in last week’s Author Toolbox post about writer’s block. It’s short because I have a deadline, and I still don’t know which piece to work on!

Next week? Chasing my Muse: To Glastonbury and Beyond! (Or, lots of holiday snaps, King Arthur, and the fickleness of inspiration. Also, maybe a little bit of Nanowrimo, and why I’m probably not doing it, but will no doubt change my mind at last minute!)

Share lines with #sunscribbles every week on Twitter, or write a short story based around one of the prompts. The prompts for October are:

28th Plague

I only have one prompt set for November so far, so I’m open to suggestions!

One word not enough? I post expanded prompts on Pinterest:
Writing Prompt They said you'd be safe here
They said you’d be safe here, surrounded by armed guards in a secluded location, but they couldn’t protect you in your nightmares.

If you use one of the prompts feel free to share your story links in the comments.

See you next week!



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