Marla just didn’t understand. Bernie couldn’t give up his collection. He tried to explain it to her, but it was futile, he knew it.
“They’re not just collectables, Marla. Theyâ€™re history. I would think you would understand that. You buy for a museum, you should be able to recognize history.”
“These are garbage, outdated weaponry. And this, this isn’t even loaded.” Marla picked up a heavy, oversize pistol from its display rack. Steel through and through, not the light plastic models currently in service. “Is this suppose to be some sort of home defense?”
“That is a .44 millimeter Desert Eagle! You canâ€™t find that anymore!”
“Whatever.” She set the gun back down in disgust. “They aren’t history, they’re toys. You’re nearly thirty, Bernie. You shouldn’t be spending so much money on toys.”
“Why not? We can afford it!” They could. Bernie’s job as a sysadmin kept him up at odd hours, but it kept his collectionâ€”and his waistlineâ€”healthy.
“That’s not the point–”
“What other point could you have? I am decorating—”
“Decorating! Fine then! Why don’t you just put all our money into broken firearms, then?!?”
“Maybe I should! Better that than every shoe store in town!”
“Those pumps were a business expense!”
Bernie cell phone went off, just when he was about to say something particularly nasty. Work, calling him again, despite the late hour. Bernie told Marla he had to go, and she waved him off with a glare that told him that this wasn’t over.
That night, Marla found herself jerked awake by the sound of fighting in the living room. Suddenly, she heard a loud thud, and the fighting stopped. “Oh no,” she thought. “Bernie!” Gripping the Hiro Taninchi-autographed baseball-bat Bernie kept in the bedroom, she inched toward the door. The sight in the living room made her gasp loudly.
There was Bernie, holding the Desert Eagle in one pudgy hand and the dark shirt of another man in the other. The other man’s head rolled back, a bleeding cut on his forehead.
“Caught him trying to make off with our stuff. Bernie said. â€œProbably the same guy who ripped off the Whipplesteins down the street. Idiot should’ve known better than to come between me and my collection!”
Bernie proudly held up the gun for Marla to see. There was blood on its gargantuan barrel. â€œHome defense,â€ he said.
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