Stopping the Fire


MorgueFile May 2018 1382470355ix82z

Noa hoped the authorities would think the fire was caused by a lightning strike long enough for her to get away. She knew the machine was experimental, and Professor Klein finally admitted it would be a one-way trip when he taught her how to use the device.

Her physics professor at Cambridge confessed his covert time travel project to her right before they heard the news that radical extremists had seized Iran’s new nuclear arsenal. In a flash of light and heat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa were gone, along with everyone the young Israeli student had ever known.

Eventually, they’d find the remains of her vessel, but there wouldn’t be much left for the experts to analyze. They would know it was some form of technology, but the melted and fused chassis and control circuits would never reveal their secrets.

Now she was here, but that wasn’t going to be the hard part.

She had traveled back fifteen years into the past to stop a war. Today’s date was Wednesday, August 4, 2010. She had five years to change history, and she would do anything to keep Iran from ever getting nukes.


I wrote this for Week #31 of this year’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the basis for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 193.

I know this story will probably be unpopular, but I like writing the “flip side of the coin,” so to speak, the stories no one else will write because they go against certain political and social “sacred cows.”

I know the Iran Nuke Deal is highly controversial, and opinions vary wildly as far as whether or not it has been successful. We do know that if nothing changes, the deal will expire, allowing Iran to once again pursue the development of nuclear weapons.

Frankly, I can’t see how Iran could nuke Israel without killing a whole lot of Arabs along with the Israeli Jews. Jerusalem is way too close to Jordan for them to get away with leveling the Israeli capital city, and they’d have to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount as well. I don’t think that would happen.

However, they might decide to take out Tel Aviv, although with all the money the U.S. paid out to Iran as part of the Nuke Deal, the Ayatollahs are probably having more success in killing innocent Israeli citizens by funding Hamas and Hezbollah.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

The Fall of Iran

iran riots

Iran Experiences Power Outages Amidst Protests – Found at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem website. No photo credit given.

“Our star is falling from the sky, President Rouhani. These power outages are simply the latest sign.”

“So it’s not merely increased energy consumption and this cursed heat wave, Reza. Does SAVAK have any indication this is the work of the Mossad or CIA?”

“Nothing conclusive. It is true that the US and Israel have always plagued us, but this time, the people are rioting without outside provocation.”

“Damned that buffoon American President. This would never have happened if Obama were still in power or that woman Clinton had won their election.”

“What should we do?”

“Tell the Ayatollahs nothing. Let them believe they can win another holy war. Meanwhile, quietly gather the other ministers. We’ll follow the Shah’s example and transfer as much of the treasury to off shore accounts as we can manage. Exile to the west is far more preferable than another revolution.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image and/or location as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 146.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Tehran, Iran. The story almost wrote itself. My main information source was the Newsweek story Iran Faces Blackouts as Protests Rock Capital.

I decided to use the 1979 Iranian Revolution as a template. In that revolution, over 2,500 years of continuous Persian rule was overthrown by the Islamists, installing Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini into power. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was supported by the United States, had to flee the country with, I suspect, as much money as he could lay his hands on.

My tale of a conversation between Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and President Hassan Rouhani is totally fictitious of course, and I have no idea if the CIA and/or the Mossad have their fingers in these latest events in Iran. Oh, SAVAK is the Iranian secret police.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

Our Honored Dead

war memorial

© Sandra Crook

“You consider this site to be a war memorial, Jonathan?”

“It’s foolish to see it otherwise, Raven. In fourteen years, an American President will give Iran nearly two billion dollars in cash ostensibly to inhibit their nuclear weapons development, but the hideous result was to fund a whole new era in world terrorism. How many more World Trade Centers is the future facing?”

“Our holographic presence allows us this view of the destruction, but how do you propose to heal such a pervasive characteristic in humanity?”

“I can’t fix it all, but I’ve got to start somewhere.”


Aerial view of the World Trade Center site taken September 23, 2001

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to take the image above and use it to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

The monument in the photo contains the words “A Nos Morts” which I’ve learned refers to a vast number of war memorials commemorating those who died during World War One. That made me think of the site of the World Trade Center formerly known as “Ground Zero” which led me to consider the state of world terrorism.

Getting political, I also recalled that terrorism takes money and Iran is the principal source of finances for middle eastern terrorism and its effects all around the world. Giving Iran $1.7 billion in 2015 probably didn’t stop their nuclear weapons program and it certainly gave terrorism a big, big boost.

My character Jonathan Cypher, who just yesterday discovered his purpose is now looking at how best to begin “fixing the world.” Can his dreams change reality so radically as to eliminate all forms of terrorism or will he only be able to alter specific expressions of it?

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