flash fiction, Style, Under 500

Next time, just call 911 or something

I go to the local library and check out a few books. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d seen them. But on second glance, I realized the black shelf contained only a handful of old, leather-bound books. I picked one up and skipped in a few pages. I’d hardly ever seen this runic language in my lifetime.

Carrying the book, time seems to fly past. Yet upon arriving home, minutes become hours. Reading the material increases the velocity of my thoughts and my lucidity. Eventually, I reach the conclusion that the runes are not only extinct, but ciphered. Hours poured into the analysis of a single page. In the end, only one end can be reached. The book describes a gesture and an incantation. Performing the ritual, I open a window in space.

The experience blows me away. I watch businessmen sing karaoke in a Tokyo bar, then African tribes at war. Next, the window takes me to Europe, where a radical IRA cell plans an attack on a British-owned hospital. In that moment, the power at my disposal becomes apparent. I must stop anyone who would so callously take innocent lives in the masque of a political cause.

As I read further through the book, I learn of a way to reach through this window. With another spell, it becomes a door a door. The soldiers see me and immediately pointed their guns. The apparent fusion of two points in space disorients them as much as it does me. One thinks to throw a grenade. I close the door and open the window just in time to watch the grenade land in their house and explode.

I’ve never seen men lose limbs, burn in agony… their house must have been an explosives cache, as the thing practically disintegrated and not one man was left a complete body. I close the window before it is made clear if any survived. The image will haunt me forever. I know now the dangers of the power at my disposal, and why a wizard should never utilize his magic before trying a mundane solution to his problems.

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