Dr. Killian’s Portable Ray

Every month Michael Brooks from The Cult of Me, hosts a flash fiction contest. We are given a picture as a prompt and have 500 words in any genre to tell a story. Top stories win some cold hard cash (just the right incentive for starving artists).

There is still time to get something written for December’s contest.

The story that follows took 2nd place for the month of November.

Dr. Killian’s Portable Ray

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” Garret said. “Step right up. You don’t want to miss this. There are wonders galore and many such more. Come one, come all and see this show you won’t believe, even when you see it with your own eyes.” The crowd was warming to his call. Third town, third engagement that day. His throat was running next to raw with all the calls and proclamations he had made over the past few days. But they had a deadline and sales to make before it.

“That’s right miss, step right up.” He offered his hand to the blond woman that had come close to the stage. “I want to introduce you to Dr. Killian’s Portable Ray.” Garret picked up the device, covered with tubes and wiring. An electrical spark traveled between the tubes as he held it before her. “I can hear your questions now, ‘What’s it for? What does it do? How can I get one of my very own?’”

Dr. Killian's Portable Ray

SteampunkProp(byMollyPorkshanksFriedrich)” by Mark Harding
Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

She mumbled and then looked across the crowd.

“Can it find you a husband?” he said. “Madame it can do that and so much more. You will be shocked and amazed by all the things this box can do.” He pushed it into her hands and then twisted a few knobs while standing beside her. “Keep it pointed straight ahead. No ahead of you, toward the table over there.”

She jumped and almost dropped the device when the beam of light burst from the biggest tube. The light illuminated the table and burned a hole through the wood.

“Ooops. Sorry. That was the wrong setting,” Garret said. He fiddled with the dials and yanked out a tube. He then replaced the tube on an opposite side of the device. “That should set it to rights.”

She pressed a button again. This time the beam of light flashed a soft red then blue. A bowl of fruit appeared on the table. She mumbled and pressed the button again. A duplicate of the bowl of fruit appeared beside the first.

“Astounding, and a healthy choice.” Garret picked up an apple from the first bowl and held it up for the audience to see. “Perfect and red, better than picked from the tree.” To emphasis the point he finished with a crunchy bite into the fruit. After he swallowed the bite, “And no worms. I can hear you asking it now, how can we, get one of these great devices from Dr. Killian? Heck, how can we get two?”

He turned with a smile and a wink to the woman that had the device still in her hands. The smile dropped from his face when he saw her fiddle with the device one last time. The beam slammed into him and he fell the ground, a bag of apples.

“I thought he would never shut up,” she said.


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