Flash Fiction: Synapse Collapse

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My dad said I would see some terrible sights if I became a paramedic. He should know he used to drive ambulances in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. And he was right. The things I saw, the things that can happen to the human body, are beyond words. Beyond comprehension.

The carnage is timeless but not the changes in people’s behaviour. Some things have stayed the same. You can always find the accident spot. Night or day, there will be a ring of people standing around the wrecked car or the wino lying unconscious on the pavement. When a crowd gathers, you know something bad has happened or is about to.

But now, people don’t stand around looking helpless. They whip out their mobile phones and capture the dying moments of strangers for posterity. What is wrong with these people? And their anger when I push them out of my way to get to the casualty. Do mobiles emit poisonous waves that damage the neurons and send the wrong signals?

It’s a lovely thought that if, rather than rushing to your aid, these fine folk will film you. Not everyone, those with a remnant of human dignity among the bystanders, will be just as fast to the scene ready to help, struggling through the crowd taking photos. These idiots don’t care about your life or your right to dignity. A picture no longer tells a thousand words: it gets a thousand likes.


Written using these daily prompts:
Three Things Challenge (RING, THROUGH, FAST)
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (Remnant)
Ragtag Daily Prompt (Neuron)

One Night Stunned

“You wanna drink, little lady?”
As she turned to reject his advances, her homely face lit up with a smiling welcome. Woah, but this guy was sexy as hell.
“How about a Slow Comfortable Screw?” she said, giving him her best Lauren Bacall look. “Or Sex on the Beach?”
“You bodacious little strumpet!” He laughed and lifted her hand to his lips.
Hot breath sent her erogenous zones into overdrive.
“Grab your coat,” she gasped. “You’ve pulled.”
Twenty minutes later, she was pregnant.
Shame he furnished her with a fake phone number.

Written using these daily prompts:
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pregnant)

Ragtag Daily Prompt (erogenous)
Three Things Challenge (homely, welcome, smiling)
Word of the Day Challenge (furnish)
Your Daily Word Prompt (bodacious)

Snake Oil

“Your basic facial cleanser will only literally remove the top layer of dirt,” she gave me what I can only describe as a plastic smile.

I responded with a sour one, her punishment for using the word “literally.”

“After all,” she continued, “you don’t want nasty clogged pores, do you?”

“At my age? That’s the least of my worries.”

She faltered for a second but rallied magnificently. “It’s never too late to change your beauty regime. After all, you only reap what you sow.”

“I smoked for twenty years and I work outdoors.”

“But our new improved formula has a higher percentage of barmecide than any other product on the market.” She paused dramatically. “It will remove ten times the grime—”

“So does soap and water.”

She stared me into silence and then leaned forward so I could smell her minty fresh breath. “Never, ever use soap! It builds up and stops your skin from breathing.”

“I have lungs for that job.”

“Not with all that smoking.” Her eyes narrowed and the plastic smile melted into a sneer. “But, if you will just shut up and listen, we can help turn back time.”

I snorted and earned a brittle frown.

She waved a sheaf of papers at me. “Our market research was a total success and led to universal acclaim. All the women reported improved tone and fewer wrinkles.”

That caught my attention. “Really?”

“Within a week according to the test groups.”

“I’ll take four bottles.” I reached for my handbag. “What did you say this stuff was called again?”

“L’Huile de Serpent.”

Written using these daily prompts:
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (basic)
Ragtag Daily Prompt (cleanser)
Three Things Challenge (build, reap, late)
The Daily Spur (percentage),
Word of the Day Challenge (barmecide)
Your Daily Word Prompt (acclaim)