How to Fight Unity by Daniel Casey

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 words exactly | Genre: Science Fiction

Kelton shuddered involuntarily as his ship transitioned back to normal space, the after effects of the transit field still wreaked hell on his physiology, despite years of experience.

Glancing at the preliminary readouts, he grimaced.  Four jumps past the edge of known space; he’d been tasked with following the traces of the Tessera’s jumps signatures back to their origins.

Sighing in resignation, he swung the long-range scout ship around and headed in towards the system’s primary.   He couldn’t see any signs of anything in this system.  Two gas giants at distance, and what looked like the remains of a planet blasted into an asteroid belt.

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Mastermind by JM Barrie

Prompt: Mastermind | Word Count: 1000 | Genre: Action

Warning: Violence and some coarse language

Concrete shards rained on Julia Griffin’s blonde hair as bullets slammed into the office wall where her head had been an instant earlier. She cocked her silenced Sig Sauer P226, forward rolled out from behind a desk, aimed, and fired as she rose to one knee.

Five minutes later, Griffin climbed into the passenger seat of a grey delivery van. Watson, already behind the wheel, eased into the mid-morning traffic.

‘Mission accomplished?’

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Young masterminds by Tricia Ever

Prompt: Masterminds | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Fiction The chirping of crickets drifted languidly through the open window. The sheer curtain barely stirred in the faintest of breezes and the shadow of a tree branch hung motionless on the…

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Brainiac by Vic Ribeiro

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 words | Genre: Speculative fiction

“Mar, have you seen my new shoes?”

“Have you looked in your closet where you are supposed to put it?” came the musical voice from the kitchen.

Jonathan paused a second.

“Er, yeah honey, that was the first place I looked.”

He quietly walked to the closet and took a peek to make sure it was not there.

“Can you think of anywhere else it could be?”

“Jo, it’s your shoes… Why should I know where it is? If you put it away like I ask you to, then you won’t ask me these things every time.”

Jonathan could hear the touch of irritation that coloured his wife’s tone. He knew he had to carefully traverse the minefield to head off an argument.

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Parasitism by Michael James

Prompt:  Mastermind | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Short Story

Jarred Hickey wasn’t smart. He liked to be called Hicks, from the movie Aliens, and he liked saying a particular quote from the movie, “Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards.” Even when it wasn’t appropriate. Quiz nights, Trivial Pursuit, and just general chatter around meals were a challenge for Hicks. He’d tried reading, but didn’t understand many of the words and ideas. He tried eating the right foods; salmon, garbanzo beans and cauliflower were all recommended. He even started watching documentaries on war, and how they made crayons. Nothing helped.

Hicks didn’t believe in destiny or fate, it was the good Lord God that guided his life, so when the Masterminds leaflet landed at his feet during a blustery afternoon he said a short prayer of thanks.

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A Pultor Insertion by Mark Patterson

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 Exactly | Genre: Crime Drama

“Which African Country is …”

The buzzer sounded.

“….I started so I will finish, is approximately the size of France or Texas?”

“Botswana.” Was the confident answer I gave. It was over.

“Correct! That gives you a total of 15 perfect answers on General Knowledge and a grand total of 30 a perfect score. You are the Mastermind champion of 2016!”

It is now 2017 and the doorbell rings. I wheel myself to the front door and open it to see 2 police warrant cards.

“James Pultor?”

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Meeting of the Minds by David Macfie

Prompt: Masterminds | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Stephen Hawking thought it would be really cool to have a face-to-face meeting with the two scientists whose work provided the main underpinnings of his own contributions to science. A slight impediment to this was that both had been dead for many years. Hawking applied himself to the problem of time travel and, using wormholes and wrinkles in the fabric of time, he worked out how he could transport the two gentlemen from their time to the present and back again. Helped by some of his colleagues, he set up the Fantastically Intuitive Time Transport Invention for Noncurrent Gentlemen. (FITTING for short)

When all the equipment was ready he organized dinner and entertainment, then, using voice recognition in the device and a WIFI connection, he dialed July 1687 on the chronometer of his device and Isaac Newton’s physical address at that time on the location control. Since the chosen date coincided with the first publication of Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation, Hawking figured this was a good time to catch his first guest at the height of his intellectual powers.

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Genius or Collective Illusion? by Arthur Hall

Prompt: Mastermind | Genre: Fiction | Words:1000 exactly

Simeon Chasseur was a tall, gaunt, university-student of psychology living in a small, backstreet house in Brighton’s Kemp Town. For me, he had the other-worldly look of someone permanently under medication. He had a slight stoop. His wispy beard bobbed from side to side as he made a telling intellectual point. His eyes were deep set and underlined with grey skin. His head was never still. When I first met him I had the feeling that he was trembling as if under tension.

After a while, at that first meeting, I settled into my chair and listened to the range and depth of knowledge of this mastermind. He appeared to be a talented artist, literary and art critic who possessed that Socratian talent of bringing you ever nearer to his point by cross-questioning you. All conversation I made was met by a verbal examination so stringent that I was left feeling limp and inadequate. He wasn’t exactly inviting company but compelling he certainly was. The truth was that his Svengali-like influence drew me back to his presence, again and again. Nor was I alone.

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Mastermind by Mia Botha

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 words | Genre: Thriller

The blonde bobs hover near their Range Rovers, clutching their take-away cappuccinos. They have exchanged their pastel twinsets for luminescent active wear, complete with neon sneakers and matching puffer jackets.

The old school building looms over everything, stately and disapproving all at once, waiting for the school day to begin. We’re scattered about the playground, our uniforms making us alike, but no uniform can make us the same on the inside. I have never been like them and I never will be. Not with a mother like mine.

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Mushroom Clouds by Amanda Acton

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Fantasy

The hive was beautiful. A drop of sunlight, twisting lazy loops. It all but glowed with promise and Harry licked his lips in anticipation. He squinted up at the hive and his brain began to whorl. The hive was a good six meters from the ground, but that was hardly the problem. The real problem, the thing that gave Harry pause, was the Gigantus Fungalus.

Gigantus Fungalus were a rare species of giant mushroom and this hive, this beautiful font of sweet treasure, was nestled deeply within the black fronds of one such mushroom. Harry stroked his stubbled chin. Even within the Neglar Marshes, a veritable paradise for fungi, the Fungalus were rare and Harry’s prime directive was to keep them safe.
Well, his actual job was harvesting honey, but it was his personal belief that one could do so without unnecessarily hurting the environment. The whole thing with the bees was unfortunate, but Harry had heard some interesting stories of keeping bees in boxes, almost like livestock and he was eager to try it out for himself. If all went to plan he would be able to secure the queen from this hive and…

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