Archive | Farther Stars Than These RSS feed for this section

Back From The War (Flash Fic)

1 Sep

20th March 2014
Back From The War
By Ray Daley

As the gas flares for the fourth time I finally manage to reach the holding area. As always the police are there to meet me.

“Good morning Captain Kloss.” The Sergeant smiles and tries to make small talk but I wave him off.

“Just Mister Kloss now Sergeant. Is he secure?” I ask him.

“Like a fortress sir, sleeping like it never happened,” says the Sergeant.

“How much this time?” I ask, running the credits in my pocket through my fingers.

“Just 50k for the droid sir. I thought he was better now, some said he’d been to The Clinic?” the Sergeant is generous, no booking fee, no bail and most important of all – no bribe to grease the wheels of justice into faster action.

I pass him the 50k and he smiles. “As always, good to see you Captain.”

“It’s just Dmitri now Sergeant. The war ended ten years ago,” I say to him.

I got him this job, my write-up helped to get him the extra stripe. He feels like he owes me something which is probably why the bail-outs are always so cheap on his watch. I hear the boots of the other police officer approaching, matched by the familiar staccato footsteps as he stumbles along beside him.

“Hello Jason, old friend!” I say, knowing he won’t reply. I manage to get him into the cab that is waiting outside for us, the driver knows where to take us. We are that well known.

“Hello Captain, it’s good to see you again sir. I’m sorry about the Lieutenant sir. I hope The Clinic will do a better job this time.” The driver is yet another face from my past. As usual we pay no fare when we get out at The Clinic.

The Porter on the front door snaps to attention and salutes me out of habit, I have to restrain myself from throwing one back at him. “Captain! We weren’t told to expect you sir!” he says.

I indicate towards Jason. “Another episode, sadly. We’ll try the treatment again. Perhaps with greater success this time.”

He helps us inside, bringing out a wheelchair.

Jason can walk. His legs work fine. It’s just the link between them and his mind that aren’t functioning right now.

Another old comrade is working at the booking desk, he hastens our admission for old times sake, many favours are owed to me that can never be repaid. We’re directed to an elevator. I know what to expect next. When the door finally opens several floors later, he’s already waiting for us in the corridor.

“Hi Doc, sorry to be back again so soon,” I say to him, slightly red-faced at being back in The Clinic so soon.

“It’s okay Captain, the Lieutenant can’t help himself. Who did he shoot?” the Doctor asks me.

News travels real fast here, especially bad news or idle gossip.

“Just a mech Doc, don’t ask me where he got a gun or how he found the money to buy one. Veterans Admin say he barely gets enough to feed himself most days.” I explain, or try to.

I push Jason into the examination room and stand ready. The Doc locks the door and activates the audio tape. Outside the room it’s mostly silent, just the ambient hum of normal hospital life going on in the distance. In here is the sound of distant gunfire, explosions, men screaming for help, the engines of war.

“Sir, take cover. We’ve got incoming!” It’s Jason, back with us again.

The Doc stops the tape and Jason slowly releases his vice-like grip on my wrist.

“Where am I Captain?” Jason asks me, unsure of his reality.

“It’s just Dmitri now Jason. The war is over. We are home now,” I say.

“Are we really back sir?” Jason asks, with a glimmer of hope in his eyes.

“Yes my friend. It’s all long over now. You’re back from the war.” I turn and look across the cityscape framed by the window and say to myself “We’re all back. Mostly.”


So you think you own everything I’ve released?

13 Mar

Oh no you bloody don’t!

Yes, it’s me, your friend and humble author, sweary Ray!

So back in 2012, I was pretty active in the Goodreads forums and took part in an anthology that was eventually published on Amazon.

It was (and still is) called “A Splendid Salamagundi“.

My contribution was a VERY short story called “No World For Vampires“, which until recently even I didn’t have a copy of in my own archive.

I’ve since corrected this massive oversight.

This book has won the Indie Book Bargains award for best anthology for 2012!

I don’t own a copy of “Salmagundi” but will do once I get all my ducks in a row & get it off Amazon. I’ve since gone on to appear in another anthology from Crimson Cloak Publishing called “Steps In Time” (my story is called “The Waiting Room“) and I’ll be featuring in “Deserts Of Fire” later this year.

That’ll be my first proper paying gig as the two above stories were given for free.

Obviously there’s all my free stuff on Smashwords & Feedbooks. There’s “Survival” (for sale exclusively on Smashwords) and my other pay titles available solely through Amazon.

There’s stuff online too at some of the free flash fic outlets. If you check my Goodreads profile there are a couple of exclusive stories on there as well as things on my blog & my Facebook feed.

Best Books of 2012

A Splendid Salmagundi
Best Anthology

There’s something up!

20 Mar

My newest published flash piece Back From The War is now on the front page of Farther Stars Than These.
Direct story URL:-
Thanks to Earl Wynn for taking another chance on one of my stories.

Good news!

10 Feb

The good news:-

My story “Back From The War” has been accepted by Farther Stars Than These and will appear on their front page on March 20th 2014. My thanks to Earl Wynn for his appreciation and support of my work. It’s nice to finally make their SF site at last!