Everything was wrong. Jasey hadnâ€™t planned this heist to go this way. Yet, here he was with a shaking hand trembling before a live audience of hostages at the bank. Sweat reigned supreme on his brow and he dared not wipe it to acknowledge its existence. His grey eyes slipped left and right frantically.
Sector Police had shown up not an hour ago and still hadnâ€™t made a move. This fact alone kept Jasey guessing and becoming more progressively nervous. No cops were outside scanning the doorways, but the lights were still flashing. Nothing here was right at all.
What seventeen year-old Jasey didnâ€™t know was what the cops werenâ€™t telling anyone. He knew the reports about residue from bullets having a high risk of causing cancer. Jasey also knew the only way to prevent it from affecting him was to take his gun into his local gun shop to be cleaned by a professional chemist on the designated dates shown on the tele-screens. The humper that Jasey didnâ€™t know was that cordite did not cause cancer He took his gun to be cleaned monthly, but there were no special chemists.
Still, he was there shaking like a drug fiend begging for his next fix with all the intention in the world to find a way out of this mess. The people sat scared, huddling themselves in fear that his weapon would go off and kill one of them. Men, women, and children were all stuffed into a corner to wait out this harrowing experience.
It was then that the revolving doors made a whoosh and a man in a grey overcoat walked in while lighting up a cigarette. His aged features contrasted his nonchalant entrance with the sense that this man had a purpose. Jasey swung the gun towards him, then continued to switch it back and forth between the victims and the new arrival.
â€œWhoâ€¦ who the fuck are you!?â€ Jasey exclaimed while shifting the weapon in his sweating palm.
â€œHm?â€ The man took a drag before pulling the stick from his mouth and dipping into his pocket for a badge. â€œDetective Harris, Lunar PD.â€ The detective let the words hang between them as he took another drag. He seemed as careless as a kid in the park.
â€œWhy are you in here!? Canâ€™t you see Iâ€™ll kill someone? Whereâ€™s my space-lift out of here!?â€ The boy bit his lip. He knew something had gone wrong.
Detective Harris shifted in his step and walked over to one of the hostages, then picked her up off her feet. â€œYou won’t kill anyone, Jasey. Feel free to put the gun down and walk out. The police are waiting for you.â€
The boy’s fury was offset by his immense confusion at the situation. He directed the gun towards the detective as more hostages began to stand and move towards the door. The detective turned back to Jasey, realizing that loaded weapon was pointed at him. â€œCâ€™mon now, Jasey. Look at yourself. Youâ€™re nervous. You arenâ€™t sure whether this is the best course of action or not. You wonâ€™t fire that gun because you canâ€™t.â€
â€œWhat?â€ The shock in Jaseyâ€™s voice was equal to the confidence with which the detective had declared his inability to fire the gun.
â€œYou took your gun in to get cleaned, right? Boy, that gun wonâ€™t fire without a sure hand, and I sure as the light off this Earth can see you ainâ€™t sure about any of this.â€ Harris has just about evacuated all the hostages. Jasey was beginning to doubt himself even more.
He pointed the gun at a wall and tried to pull the trigger but as Harris had predicted, it wouldnâ€™t budge. Jasey tried and tried but it simply wouldnâ€™t fire. Detective Harris snatched the gun from his hand and sighed. â€œOutside, before you make yourself look any dumber, boy. No need to put your hands up, either.â€
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org