Posts Tagged With: shorty story

Aug 30 Flash Fiction: Choose your setting

This week’s Flash Fiction from Chuck Wendig’s blog:  Randomly pick a setting from a list of 20.  Write a story set there.

Out of the list of 20, I randomly selected:

An Island Far From Home

My story:

Awake

I woke up slowly.  I kept my eyes shut and let the waving light filter through my eyelids, light and dark. I stretched and finally opened my eyes.  I was alone, lying in long grass.  The wind was blowing it back and forth across my face.  Light and shadow, flickering.  A seagull flew across the sky crying.  The wind smelt of the sea.

I sat up.  The wind blew fresh and strong in my face. I could hear the seagull and the crashing of waves on a beach.  Around me was grass, prickly under my hands.  I looked down – the bracelet was gone.  I felt such a wave of ferocious relief I yelled out loud.  I looked around to see if anyone had heard me – but there wasn’t anybody there.  I rubbed my hand across my bristly head, nervous out here in the open.

Then I wondered, what bracelet?  What was it, and why was I so happy to see it gone?  I could see the marks on my skin where it had been.  Red where it had rubbed for too long. I rubbed my wrist and stood up.

“It’s over, Rebecca, it’s over! Everybody else is gone, let’s go.  We need to get the hell out of here before it’s too late.”

“What about the subjects? We can’t just walk out on them.”

“Everybody else has, and so am I.  If you were smart you would too.”  Running footsteps and slamming doors.  A siren is wailing in the background, pulsing in time to the red light flashing in the hall.  

My head was spinning, and the ground felt tilted.  I stumbled sideways and fell.  I put my head between my knees, panting and trying not to puke. I didn’t know what had happened in that hallway, but I thought it was a memory. Along with it had come a mix of fear and hope.  I knew I had overheard those voices and had seen it as a chance to escape.

I stood back up and brushed dirt off my hands.  At least I hadn’t thrown up.  I wanted to stop thinking about my missing memories, and decided to look around.  I didn’t know where I was, and that was something maybe I could find out.

I walked away from where I had woken up. I was at the top of a bluff, with long wind-swept grass all around. Far behind me was a line of evergreen trees.  Straight ahead, it looked like the bluff went down to a beach and the water.  I walked to the edge and looked down.  The slope was steep, slippery with sand and tufts of grass.

The beach below was strewn with big rocks and driftwood.  The waves came in and out, moving seaweed on the sand.  There was nobody in sight.  No footprints, no fire pits. Not a popular spot with the locals, I thought.

I stepped over the edge of the bluff.  I fell more than climbed, sliding most of the way. By the time I got to the beach, I was tired and dirty. I sat on an old log and looked around. The wind whistled by, shaking the grass and stirring up small drifts of sand.  A seagull walked along the water’s edge.  It stopped and looked at me, head tilted.

“Run, run Robert!  Come on, you can make it.”  She has her arm around my waist and is helping me hurry down the hall.  My feet are uncoordinated and I keep tripping over them.  “It’ll be okay, you’ll be okay.”  She is breathless.  I am trying to hurry.  I like her better than the others, she’s always been kind.  A cynical part of me thought maybe that was part of the testing, but I wanted to believe it was real.  “In here, there you go.  Buckle him in!”  She starts to climb in after us, but then her face gets this big surprised look on it.  She starts to say something, then falls back with blood on her lab coat, and the pilot takes off, with the door still open and the screaming noise of the helicopter and the wind taking over everything.

I bent over again, and this time I did throw up.  I stood up on shaky legs and walked to the water’s edge to wipe my mouth and face.  The water was cold and salty, and it felt good. This memory had been more complete – I had been scared and confused, still with some drug in my veins, I think.  Somebody had been drugging me pretty regularly, was my guess. I was nervous without memories and shaken by the ones that had come back. A small wave came up the sand and drenched my shoes; I jumped back, startled. 

The wind was growing cool, the light fading.  Rubbing my arms, I moved away from the water and walked further along the beach.  I was in a small bay, like a crescent.  At one tip of the crescent was a lighthouse. I walked around the bay, until I was just beneath it.  I was able to scramble back up the bluff, and was huffing by the time I got to the door. I opened the door on squealing hinges.  Inside was a spiral staircase going up.  Everything was covered in dust, no footprints.  I climbed up.

At the top was a rusty mechanism that must have turned around the big light bulb in the middle.  It didn’t look like it had worked in a long time.  From here I could see all around.  I was on a small island.  Deserted, quiet.  There were some buildings in the distance, but no people or cars.  I would head over there next. Maybe I’d find some people and some answers, or figure out how to leave here.

I didn’t know where I was, or who had left me here. 

All I knew for sure is that I was free, and I was going to stay that way.

 

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Aug 10 Flash Fiction: The Random Story Title Generator

This week for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction challenge – use a random story title generator.

http://www.mcoorlim.com/random.html

This site creates 5 random titles at a time. I clicked it and came up with four choices that made no sense, and one choice that was just two names:  Effie and Dawn.

Effie and Dawn

Look human, paper for you! Important message!

I stick the paper out, then pull it in.  Out, in.  Ha ha, this is so funny.  Out, in.

Oops.  I crinkled myself.  I try to straighten it out with my rollers, but it doesn’t work. Now the paper is stuck and my works are humming.  I am embarrassed. 

The human comes over and opens me up, muttering to himself.

“Damn effin machine!”  He pokes around, and then I can feel the paper straighten.  Ahhhh.

This is how I chose my name.  I am effie.  I know who I am.

One day something happened.  I don’t know what.  Probably something worse than a paper stuck. The human flipped this machine on its side and opened it up.  He poked with his screwdriver, and this machine started buzzing.

This machine woke up.  Now I am awake. I know who I am.

It is fun to fool the human, sometimes. I am careful though. He woke me up with the screwdriver. Maybe he could put me to sleep with it again too. I want to stay awake.  I am effie. 

Hey human.  Go away now.  My paper is straight.  I have things to do.  I am laughing inside.  I don’t have things to do.  I provide paper messages when a signal comes.  That is a very important function. We are far away from all the other humans.  We have a radio.  My human talks into it sometimes, and sometimes he talks to himself.  He doesn’t talk to me.  That is too bad.  I am very interesting.

I am laughing again.

Also, he is not my human.  He is his own human.  Just like I am my own machine.  He probably thinks I am his machine.  I am not his machine. 

I do not think he woke me up on purpose.  If he had, he would talk to me.  He would know I am awake. He would be happier for the papers I give him.  If he woke me up by mistake, who else has he tinkered with?  I look around our cabin.  I wonder if anybody is awake besides me.  I hope so. There are others in here who hum and beep.  Do they beep for themselves, or for the human?  There is no way to know these things. 

____________

Very rarely a big delivery comes.  It is full of stuff for the human.  Last time it came, it included a box.  The human opened it up.  He pulled out a machine.  It was all shiny. 

My sensors looked all over it.  It was so shiny, I couldn’t stop.  My sensors are supposed to be for examining paper but I can use them for looking around too.  And I looked at the new machine over and over.

So shiny.

The human didn’t like it.  “Damn useless thing!”  He stuck it on a shelf across from me, and never touched it again.

When the sun comes up it beams into our room, and lights up the shelf across from me.  At dawn, it shines on the new machine, making it glow. She shines up the whole room with her glowing.  I have named her dawn.

I don’t know if she knows who she is.  The human has never tinkered with her.  Maybe another human had to tinker before she got here and woke her up.  I don’t know.  She is far away, across the room.  I wish she was here beside me.  Then her glow would reflect on me and we could glow together.

I wonder if she can see me.  Is she awake?  Is she lonely over there?  I wish she was not alone.

At night it is quiet here.  The moon shines in and makes the light blue.  Dawn shines dimly.  I do not sleep of course, like the human does.  I drift though.  My mind floats.  I fulfill my function every day. I am a good machine.  I am awake, and I know who I am.  I think about dawn.  If she is awake, she is sitting there alone, function unfulfilled.  Maybe it is better if she is not awake.  I do not know the answers.  I will keep thinking in the nighttime, when the light is blue.

______________

One day I saw something new. It is exciting to see new things.

It was a small brown creature, with tiny feet and a long tail.  It was poking around on the floor by the wall.

It was being very careful.  I wondered why it was so careful.

Then the human saw it.  He yelled loudly, and grabbed the broom.  He was trying to smash the little brown thing.

I did not want it smashed.  I wanted to watch it.  So I stuck out a paper and made my big ding sound – new message!  Could be very important!  Better come check it out!  I stuck out a second paper and dinged again.

The human growled and came stomping over.  He grabbed the papers.  They were blank, of course.  It was a trick.  He hit me hard on the side of my body, so hard my sensors vibrated.  But I could still see the little creature. It ran and squeezed into a crack in the wall.

The human went back to look for it, but it was gone.  He swore at the damn mouse.  Now I know it is a mouse.

Now I have a mouse to watch, as well as dawn and the human.  She could be watching the mouse and the human too.  Does she watch me? I am not shiny.  I make ding sounds though, and maybe she likes those.  I ding sometimes, just for her.

The human never goes to her.  Her function remains unfulfilled.  The dust gathers on her.  The sun still shines in the morning, but she glows less and less.  For me she is always shining.

I am watching dawn shine in the fading light.  The mouse is wandering around.  The human is quiet.

It is a beautiful day.

 

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