Focus by Yvonne LaRose

which link is this. which link is this? WHICH LINK IS THIS!

The inquiry was futile. Nothing was in place to indicate the link’s source and its destination was an empty space. Nora gave up. She saved the test pattern as a draft document. Too many other more pressing and important matters needed attention and successful resolution.

Just keep writing.
Just keep writing.

Notwithstanding, she fully realized this mystery would be haunting her until the puzzle could be handled.

“What started this distraction,” she pondered. Her attention veered back to the project already at hand when she stumbled onto that mystery link.

“Focus. Focus you ninny!”

The command was successful for the next two hours, until completion of the project. Shifting gears into the next priority brought recollection of the mystery. “It will simply have to wait until all four projects are done. I must focus. $250 per project is not worth eight hours of finding the answer to a mystery that has scant promise of an answer.”

The distraction started at 9:43 AM. By 10:58 PM, the projects completed, the PayPal invoices sent, Nora finally found the answer to the question.

Somewhere In A Publishing House…, by Gordon Lawrie

The publisher sighed. The author wanted to hear the fate of his recently-submitted manuscript personally.

“Well?” the author asked hopefully.

“Sadly, I’m afraid it’s not for me,” said the publisher. “450,000 words is simply too long for modern tastes – everyone wants flash fiction nowadays. Or diet books. Yours needs editing – four chapters simply repeat the same story, and it ends with a mass of letters.”

The old man looked devastated.

Trying to be helpful, the publisher produced a business card. “Look, why not try these people?”

The author nodded his thanks. The card said:


Two Master Criminals, by Gordon Lawrie


Two boys from the local school broke into the nearby Semi-Chem drug store looking for diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. The drugs weren’t for themselves, naturally; they planned to sell them and spend their ‘earnings’ on dope and ecstasy.

They didn’t seem to know that Semi-Chems don’t have pharmacies, so they stuffed their pockets full of shampoo, aspirin and children’s nappies. Nor did they pay much attention to the alarm that sounded throughout their stay. They weren’t very bright kids.

They were later apprehended by the police making their way across a golf course with their swag in a supermarket trolley.

Vectors, by Gordon Lawrie

If you can recall your school mathematics lessons, ‘vectors’ are distances to which direction has been applied. Their practical use really only dates from the mid-eighteenth century, but they’re known as ‘Euclidean’ vectors because it was the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid who first spotted their importance.

A keen runner, he ran in the 10,000 metres finals at the 272BC Olympics. Trailing in a distant ninth, Euclid suddenly realised that after a great deal of effort running 25 laps, he was simply back where he’d started.

Euclid thus proved it was more efficient to be a couch potato than a runner.


Murder in Sinai by Gordon Lawrie

Source: Deviant Art
Source: Deviant Art

With the rain off and the Ark berthed on Mount Ararat, Noah counted animals off: dogs, cats, snakes, lions, ocelots, meerkats…

No mammoths.

Noah panicked when two dead mammoths were discovered in their cabin five minutes later. Shot, then skinned – their coats had vanished. “Call the animal detectives!” he cried.

“Please to help?” a little man with a waxed moustache asked in a French accent. (It later transpired he was Belgian.) Quickly, he gathered the suspects on the bridge, solved the crime, extracted a confession. Probably hypnosis.

Turned out it was the sheep. “We were feeling chilly,” they said… sheepishly.

The Old Crone, by Gordon Lawrie

She was a sad case.

Perhaps she’d outlived her time, for her sole remaining joy seemed to lie in criticising others.

Sometimes, she wrote letters to her neighbours detailing their faults: anonymously, naturally, but everyone in the community knew who’d sent them. If chided, she claimed she was “only joking”, but no-one was fooled. Once, she’d have been a candidate for the ducking-stool; these days townsfolk just spoke about her behind her back.

She died alone, her body lying undiscovered for several days before anyone noticed.

Pity, really: she wasn’t all bad, she just went off-colour towards her life’s end.

Terror Attack by Gordon Lawrie


At ten o’clock on Wednesday 2nd July, the LinkedIn Board of Directors began its monthly meeting. Sitting smugly round the table, each looked forward to lunch afterwards in the city’s most expensive restaurant. None had noticed the curious boots directly beneath their chairs.

Precisely four minutes later, the boots exploded. Each of the seven directors shot over two feet into the air.

Apart from damaged pride and some bruising to their backsides, their were no injuries. According to the police, the attack bore all the hallmarks of FFFALI*. That, and the fact that the message claiming responsibility was in Scots.

*Friday Flash Fiction Against LinkedIn