Today's story is a few hours later than I try to get it posted, but here it is. It took me all week to figure out which "universe" to set the story in. The prompt could work for almost all of them. Then inspiration struck while I was preparing lunch today.
This flash fiction is set in the A.I. universe several days after the events in "Unknown Benefactor" and several months before "Wrong Number."
If you haven't noticed, I set up a series of playlists for the audio versions of these stories over on my YouTube Channel. They're separated by the "universes" in which they are set, and each playlist is arranged in chronological order. I have playlists for the Icarus, Yekara, Secrets and Stones, Science and Myth, and Supers universes. I will create one for the A.I. universe once the audio for this story is ready since this is the third story set within in it.
“Well, the best of the best weren’t available, so we got the best of the mediocre.”
“I pay you to get a job done, not to get smart with me, Abrams,” Brady growled. He glared at his assistant, disgusted with the younger man’s ineptitude and blatant disrespect.
Abrams tapped the foot he had slung over his other knee and raised an eyebrow at his childhood friend turned boss. “The firm pays me, not you, if you’ll remember, Mr. Hall,” he said. “I’m not the one trying to cover up a string of dirty little secrets. My job is quite safe. Can you say the same?”
“You wouldn’t dare.” Brady stood and leaned over his desk, looming over the other man. “You owe me!”
“I know,” Abrams answered. He rested his head on his hand, leaning into the side of the chair with an air of utter boredom. “That would be the only reason I’m helping you with this at all.” He watched Brady scowl before straightening to his full height and turning away. Brady strode over to the ridiculously huge windows behind his desk and looked out over the city. “What more can you expect me to do with the budget you’re forced to follow after what happened with the Truman account?”
“Great lawyers aren’t cheap.” Abrams laughed. “Good ones aren’t either, and that goes triple for hackers. Be happy I was able to get a team together at all, and call it a day.”
A frustrated sigh was the only sign Brady had heard him, but it was enough. In the years he’d known the man, Brady played everything close to the chest unless he was playing on another’s need for sentiment. This was a rare show of true emotion, and Abrams didn’t expect his boss to say anything else.
Abrams stood and smoothed his clothes. He pulled an envelope out of his suit jacket’s breast pocket and laid it on the desk. “Their contact information,” he said.
“If that’s all, I’ll take my leave for the day.”
Brady’s jaw clenched, but he nodded.
“Good luck,” Abrams said as he turned to leave. “And consider my debt to you paid in full.”
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
70566 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4