Flash Fic Challenge – Noise

Yep, another fic challenge fic challenge. Here’s the result.








The fourth blow of the sledgehammer put a hole in the wall big enough to shove a pony through. After that, tearing down the rest of the wall was a piece of cake.

Zach stopped for a beer, and to wipe off the sweat and drywall dust. Taking down a house always seemed slower than it should have been. Really he should have just hopped in his truck and floored it. He’d have brought the house down in much less time, and with minimal effort on his part. Of course, there was a chance he’d destroy his truck in the process, but he was insured, and he could always claim it was an accident. But insurance agents were notorious pains in the asses, and he’d probably just end up fighting them for years. So fuck it. Backbreaking manual labor was best, even if it didn’t feel that way.


He left the house and sat on his hood to drink a beer, marveling at how fucking hot it could be while still kind of cloudy. Maybe it was global warming or something. Whatever, it was miserable. He felt like he was trying to breathe through a hot, wet towel.


“Hey, Zach,” Myron said. Zach was surprised, because he hadn’t heard him drive up.


Myron was a weirdo who lived down the street, in the weirdest looking house. It was like someone had compressed theMunsterhouse into a split level, painted it leftover two week old meatloaf green, and replaced the fence with an irregular collection of out of control raspberry vines and mysterious things under tarps. If anybody actually gave a shit, they could probably get the place declared a public nuisance.


But the reason it hadn’t been, and the reason no one really complained or dealt with Myron at all, was because of his reputation. He was a recent Army vet, and supposedly he was a sniper of incredible skill. But at the same time, the rumor was he’d been discharged from the military due to “mental health concerns”, meaning he may have been a crack shot, but he was also cracked in the head. Zach wondered if those things were connected.


Anyhow, no one wanted to mess the vet who was most likely to go full Rambo any minute. His bird’s nest hair style and visibly lazy right eye only added to this problem. He looked like a muscular mad scientist who might snap at any moment. Adding to that mad scientist perception was the fact that he did indeed tamper with machinery, hence the detritus scattered all over his front yard. For some reason, he took Zach’s basic, non-committal nature – honestly, it was just laziness – as a kind of friendship. And there was no way in hell he was going to discourage the guy who one day might go on a rampage, and decide to spare his only friend. “Hey Myron,” Zach replied. He’d have offered him a beer, except Myron didn’t drink.


“I just perfected the greatest thing ever,” Myron said, clambering over to him, a box cradled in his arms.


“Oh yeah?” Last time he’d said that, he said he’d built an “in car microwave”, and when he showed him how to use it, it blew up. Zach was glad he tested it on his back patio, otherwise his house could have burned down.


Myron put the box down on the hood of his truck. It looked like a metal shoe box with a big button in the center. He could see wires beneath, but it wasn’t clear what it was supposed to be. “What is it?”


Myron glanced down at it, as if to remind himself. “You know those white noise machines that block out all sounds? This is just like that. Only better.”


“Better how?”


“Whatever annoys you, it shuts off.”


Zach snorted. “How does it do that?”


“Press it and see.”`


He looked at it warily. “It’s not gonna blow off my hand, is it?”


Myron shook his head. “There isn’t enough power diverted inward.”


Was that supposed to be comforting? Still, Zach had a nice mid-day beer buzz going, and figured what the hell. He hit the button, braced for the worst.


Nothing happened. It was almost a disappointment. “See?” Myron said.


“See what?”


“Listen!” He exclaimed, holding out his hands like he was signaling a touchdown.


Zach did. And, funnily enough, it was super quiet. He could no longer hear cars on the main thoroughfare. And a plane in the sky, just entering their field of vision, wasn’t making a bit of noise. In fact, it now started plummeting out of the sky like a stone. “Holy shit, that plane’s going down!”


Myron glanced up at it, and then looked down at the box, which continued to do nothing. “Oh no, I may have made it too well.”


“What? You couldn’t have been responsible for that … right?”


Myron said nothing, just grabbed the box and hustled off to his car.


“Dude?”  Zach asked. Had that little box somehow been responsible for a plane crash? No way!


Then again … it was a weird ass coincidence.


Oh well. If anyone asked, he hadn’t seen Myron all day.







Plot generated: The story starts when your protagonist tears down a wall.

Another character is a marksman who invents strange machines.

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