Thursday, March 8, 2012

Waking Up Dead

George was fairly certain he was dead now.  The last time his eyes were open, they were looking down an empty subway tunnel under lower Manhattan.  George was a track checker and close to retirement.  It was his last full week at work and as he had done for 35 years previously, he trudged his section of tunnel looking for problems on the line, around the line, down the line.

Now George noticed he was walking on a dirt road.  The Sun was up high like it was one side of noon or the other.  Trees swayed slightly under a kind and gentle breeze.  Outside woodsy smells assaulted his nostril replacing the stench of the subway he had huffed 5 days a week for the last too many years.  He had a walking stick in his hand and he no longer limped.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Broken Man - Terrible Minds Challenge

Challenge from Terrible Minds
For Friday 1/13/12- use song title from random song pick from list - 500 word limit
My song title was "Broken Man" - Rage Against the Machine
Carson sat with his back against the ruined front wall of what had been a nice upscale McManision a year ago.  He was a sitting duck here and he knew it.  It would not take long for one of the random flitterbugs to spot his heat signature.  He had to get underground and do it soon.  He could not stay here upside like this much longer.

He had to wait for daylight. His heat signature would be harder to spot and it seemed there were fewer flitterbugs out and about.  It had taken Humans at least 6 months before they caught on to this one weakness of the Urigions, or Uriggers as they became to be known.  Their day was Humanity's night.  Their physiology juxtaposed against Mankind's told a story of a species from a planet and existence completely alien to the Human mind.

Finally after some had been killed and cut open, the high IQ’s still left among Humanity’s ranks figured Urigon was a planet of low light, low gravity and was very noisy in the wavelengths humans were used to. Uriggers hearing dropped to deaf below the sound of a dog whistle and their vision stopped at the infrared level.   The visible light Earthmen favored seemed to be poison for the Uriggers.  They only stepped out of their sealed encampments at night, and only on cool nights. Of course their machines emulated their species' particular physical eccentricities.

Did this make the Uriggers superior?  Or inferior?  Carson once wondered this.  The Uriggers had certainly shown their technology was better. The mankind that was left existed now underground in forgotten mine shafts, natural caverns, and deep basements under destroyed tall buildings.  Once dominant, Man had been reduced to competing with rats in order to survive.

Carson had quickly forgotten to worry about the fate of his world.  His only concern was self preservation.  Making it back to his hole in the ground was his focus right now.  He concentrated on remaining still this last hour before the Moon turned over control to the Sun.

Something rubbed against his leg.  Carson looked down.  A righteously well fed rat had it's head buried up his right trouser leg.    Carson panicked, but only inside.  He managed to remain perfectly still.  The rat bit him.  Carson flinched.  Still he kept his wits.  Slowly he brought his machete up and then quickly down, cutting the rat in half.  A needle of light burned a hole through Carson's brain.  He slumped over.


Urigions are nothing if not environmentally conscious.  It took them several Epochs, more than a few downfalls, but eventually they figured it out.  It was possible to hunt a species to extinction.  Lleg and Brnk walked up to Carson's body.  Lleg sliced Carson's right hand off with a  beam knife.

"It's a shame hunting season ends tomorrow.  But if we want to keep this place primal and full of game, we have to let it heal.  Besides, with this hand, I'm tagged out."

(500 words on the nose)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lying Truth - Indie Ink Challenge - 100 Words

Facts intermingled with conjecture and forgone conclusions cast Truth aside in favor of expedient knee jerked solutions.  Lost in a sea of deception, specious goals are massaged by lying hands, replacing Honesty with Truth’s ugly step sister, the Half Truth.

The Midway Squawkers and Snake Oil Salesmen insist and demand the Half  Truth into our lives hoping their deception lasts long enough for them to cash in their nickels and dimes. 

Assaulted long enough, we allow recent lies to become our New Truth. Delusion casts itself in stone and merry populations dance around it happy as if they had brains.

For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Sherree challenged me with "There's a world of difference between truth and facts.  Facts can obscure the truth.  Maya Angelou" and I challenged Catherine with "Water is the theme - either too much or too little - any setting"
_________________For Challenge week 1/6/12 to 1/13/12________________

Some Below the Fold Thoughts on the Piece

Along with the rules of the prompt, I usually write down snippets of thought pertaining to the story or essay I want to write.  I do this more often when I really have no idea of what I want to write.  I hope that by seeing these random thoughts that may or may not be connected to the prompt, a story will cross my mind.

I leave these snippets at the top to help remind me of what I might want to include.  For this challenge, I dutifully began a story, then stopped.  I kept coming back to Maya Angelou's quote and the phrases and words I had written down to jog me in the right direction.   Her quote was so concise and utterly complete, I thought I should try to be also.  Thus I decided to limit my effort this week to 100 words, a style of flash I really enjoy.  Regardless, this is what I came up with this week.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chicago Likes Things Tidy - F3 Cycle 62

Prompt: Write a story set in the 40′s or 50′s where the protagonist is addicted to something
Genre: Pulp Crime or Pulp Romance - I picked crime
Word Limit: 1,800 - Actually finished with 1794 words
Deadline:  Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm EST
Rip looked up the front of the five floor brownstone on East 173rd in the Bronx.  He looked at the slip of paper in his hand.  "Fifth Floor - back apt."  Then under it, “Ask for Gus”.  He looked again up the five floors, every window hanging wide open in respect to the brutal summer of 1943.  Rip pulled a grimy handkerchief out of his back pocket, removed his hat and wiped the running sweat from his forehead.  He took one more anguished look up and started climbing the steps.

Plodding up the stairs, Rip considered why criminals always set up shop in the dumbest of places.  Here was a stand alone five story walk up and the flounder not only deals his drugs here but also runs his counterfeit gas ration card operation on the fifth floor.  Just what kind of brainiac was this clown anyway?  No way out but down these stairs or some rickety steel fire escape out back that may or may not be safe to even let the cat out on.  Gasping and red faced, Rip finally reached the fifth floor.  He wondered if he’d be able to get some free smack along with the fake ration cards he was there to pick up.  

On the landing Rip collected himself.  He took a moment to re-wipe his brow, pull up his britches, and run his right hand up under his left pit to make sure his gun was still there.  Rip performed this unconscious ritual every time he was involved in criminal activities in a new location or meeting with someone he did not know.  This visit would entail both. With a final few tugs readjusting his crotch, he headed down the dim hallway to the back apartment.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Turn Left and Look Up - Indie Ink Challenge

Avery hated the cold.  He hated being broke worse.  That he didn't have to worry about rent, food, or even clothes had nothing to do with it.   Avery did not like owning empty pockets.  When his agent called with a photo shoot involving ski wear, he jumped on it.  The gig paid eight grand and he got a free weekend in Vail.  He grabbed his ready bag, left a note for Marta Sugar Mama and headed to Miami International for the last flight to Denver.  

Avery never considered that women found him attractive and men envied him until he had dropped out of high school ten years ago and hitch hiked from Buffalo to the Big Apple.  He had no plan or idea of what he was going to do.  All he knew was whatever it was wasn't going to be done in Buffalo.  That first night he was hit on by two different gay blades and one older woman at a bar near Times Square.  He went home with the woman.  Three weeks later he was still massaging her feet and her libido, only he was doing it in Palm Beach.  He had finally left the hated cold behind him.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Realm of Possibility - F3 - Cycle 61

Elder Jacob Bean closed the banned copy of the Scripture.  He understood why the second book had been outlawed during the Troubles.  Harsh times called for harsh measures.  The clearly defined rules found in the first book were perfect in their simplicity and dovetailed well with the brutal measures taken to fulfill the Great Elder’s prophecy of the Final Reformation.  He could not understand though why owning such an innocuous collection of harmless fables was still on the list of capital offenses.  Would not a good caning suffice?