Brett Michael Orr


Short Stories

A collection of short stories and flash fiction, sometimes set in Established Universes, or from writing prompts.

Flash Fiction: Home

The picturesque suburban street flows past the car window like a river of delivered promise.

He can barely see the fronts of the houses for all the Christmas decorations. Every porch is adorned with trees, reindeers, and sleighs. A kaleidoscope of lights shine from rooftops and wrap around mailboxes; American flags flutter from the gables, caught in the fierce wind. Snow blankets the yards, a well-worn path carved through the sidewalk, and as the car carries down the street, he sees several neighbors dutifully shoveling their driveway.

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Flash Fiction: Ashton

You walk up the gravel driveway, the small gray stones crunching beneath your boots. The sun is hot and beats down on the back of your neck, stinging your skin. Sweat beads along your brow, though not from the August heat alone – you are nervous, terrified. The future scares you most of all, but this moment, right now, seems as dangerous as whatever will happen when they arrive.

The house is exactly how you remember. Her brother’s pickup parked haphazardly underneath the sprawling apple tree; the green lawns perfectly trimmed and the hedges exactly square, thanks to her father’s pedantic obsession with gardening.

The purple door is new. It was the last thing you saw when you stormed out of the house, and your knuckles still hurt from where you punched through the inset window. This door is solid timber – a better choice.

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[Writing Prompt] Gamer’s Lingo

This is my response to a writing prompt by /u/IFedTheCat on the /r/WritingPrompts subreddit. The writing prompt was:

A horrified non-gamer overhears a conversation between gamers, misunderstands their references to violent killings, and mistakes them as violent psychopaths.

As a gamer myself, I know the lingo and discussions between gamers must sound rather ‘odd’, to say the least, and this flash fiction was designed to take a darker look at those conversations, from the perspective of a non-gamer. Warning: some coarse language.

Gamer’s Lingo

They didn’t know I was in the next room, my back to the wall, paralyzed with fear. How long had I known these people? Maybe two years, perhaps a bit longer? How long had they been hiding this side from me, how long had they been suppressing their true, sickening, violent forms?

“So, the other night, you should’ve seen this killstreak I was on.”

That’s Charlie’s voice. I guess, out of the four people I once called friends, he was the one I figured would always snap first. I mean, he’s always been slightly unhinged, but now I see it – he’s part of this disgusting, satanic group of blood and murder.

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Dark Souls – Flames of Dawn

The bell rings out over the Burg, its solemn peal echoing through the long corridors of gray stone, amplifying its volume until no creature above or below ground could possibly have ignored it. The noise falls down into the forest, where it mingles with the birdsong and the rustling of leaves in the breeze.

“Come now, we’re going to be late,” Mother chides me, snapping her fingers above my head. I groan, blinking sleep from my eyes. The Church bell is the waking siren for all residents of the Burg, an unfriendly reminder from our King and our Gods that a new day has dawned. My back aches from long hours of hard labor, and very little sleep on the hard cobblestone floor.

It’s dark in our house. Very little light makes its way down into the Lower Burg, and candles are reasonably expensive to acquire. A little stub of wax burns on the table, casting flickering light around the room, and throwing dark shadows into the corners of our house. I could probably reach out both arms and touch the opposite walls, but it’s a roof over our heads and a thick door that keeps out the feral dogs that have started breeding down near the sewers.



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