Archive for the ‘the Stories’ Category

Singularity Utopia

Singularity Utopia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the time has come for the Quantum Short Contest, and I’m left with the same state of trying to think of something to write in a method that is usually so easy for me that I barely even try at all—which comes of course with memories flashing back to school when I could never write anything if it was assigned, but could always write anything on my own (hence why, even though have a degree in any form of writing would be cool, I also haven’t even bothered looking into it, ’cause I feel I would hate the classes telling me to do what I already do anyway).

Well, while I try to think of something to write, here’s what I submitted last time:

Flash of Reality

I looked at him as he clicked his pen out of a nervous habit while glancing at his notepad.

“Ok,” he began, trying his best to keep the sound of skepticism out of his voice, but failed, “You say you have the ability to teleport yourself to different worlds?”

I smiled and folded my hands while trying to formulate the right words to explain without sounding even more insane than I already did, “’Worlds’ would suggest ‘planets,’ which is wrong. And I’m not sure if ‘teleport’ is quite right either. To be more accurate, I can at will come to exist in any other reality.”

He looked at me with an expression that suggested he was waiting for the punch-line, but when it clearly wasn’t coming, he reluctantly clicked his pen out and jotted a scribble into his pad—following his pen-strokes, I’m fairly certain he wrote the word “Nuts.”

He looked back up at me while mentally sorting out which question would sound the least insulting to someone who may or may not be nuts, “And… how exactly do you do that, ‘willing yourself to other realities’?”

“I’m not much of a scientist, but I have tried my best to figure it out through library reading on the subject. But did you know, that there is actually a concept that existence only exists because it is observed by conscious observers?”

“You mean, like the tree in the woods; cat in the box—that sort’a thing?”

“Yes, those are thought exercises around the idea that these things exist because a consciousness observed it. On this idea, my existence here only exists because I’m being consciously observed.

“But, I myself am conscious, and therefore making you and all around me exist as well.”

He smiled, “I’m pretty sure I existed on the drive over here before you had the chance to observe me.”

“Yes, but not to me,” I said and let the words sink in before continuing, “Before you got here, you didn’t exist to me—and just as such, I didn’t exist to you. And the ability to fully understand this, allows me to exist anywhere else, anywhere I desire. I can be a rock singer or dragon slayer simply by willing it.”

He looked at me with a confused squint, “Do you me literally, or figuratively? I mean, are you actually talking about transporting your existence at all, or just having an active imagination, or day dreaming?”

“Oh, I mean quite literal, but you do direct us to the right questions. What is the difference between imagination and reality, or dream and wake? How do you know you’re awake right now? How do you know this isn’t a dream, and if it’s dream, which one of us is dreaming?”

“This is getting absurd, but alright. I guess if I really thought about, I really can’t tell—I could come up with logic problems like whose eye am I looking out of as opposed to who’s I’m not, but the answer could just as much be part of the dream.”

“Do you know what a waking dream is?”

He gave his pen a few unconscious clicks, “Yeah, it’s when you’re able to make yourself conscious of your dream and take control of it—are you about to tell me that’s what you do with reality?”

A smile spread across my face, “Exactly—although ‘reality’ is a bit more like a very convincing dream. We’ve all had dreams that for some reason, we believed they had to be real, until we woke-up—even if the dream was absurd, we still believed it. But even those dreams can be broken through with the right amount of convincing. And that’s all that is required here. Convince yourself that this is all just a dream—completely truly be consciously aware that this is something you control, and—poof—it’s all yours.”

He looked at me with a mix of skepticism and pity, and just shook his head, “I’m sorry, although I’m convinced you fully believe your delusion, it’s just too completely unbelievable. I don’t know if I could even write an article on this if I filed it as science-fiction.”

“That was expected,” I said with a smile, “after all, I have been in your place before.”

I look at the man as he absently smiles at me, I couldn’t tell what he possibly meant, beyond an insane rambling. So, with a final shrug, I close my notebook, click my pen and slide it in the spiral, and leave him to his lost mind.

For those who have been around here for a bit, you know what ‘Natural Selection’ is (the rest of you should look at the list over there, and catch up). I have mentioned that I wanted to do another one, but slightly different. While I have been trying not to put too much thought into it while I”m presently working on finishing a novel, I did try doing at least one story for it that I was going to try to put together for a mag submission. But, I never really got anywhere with it. I started it, but then just completely lost the direction to get it where I wanted it to go. What I have I think is at least somewhat interesting, but not what it’s supposed to be at all. It doesn’t tie in right with the universe I created so far for ‘Natural Selection.’ Although the character concept I have in this will probably be what I’m keeping, except for a slight timeline change, everything else would most likely get changed. And yes, I started writing this back during last year’s seemingly unending ‘Snowmageddon.’

Fallen Snow

English: Fallen leaves in snow.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another snowfall—at least “snow” is what we called it. I’m of the last generation who would remember when snow reflected memories of child play and laughter—but now the word “snow” was simply what we called it hoping we didn’t think of what it really was. Hoping that memories of the sweet smell of frozen rain would replace the bitter stench so thick that you had no choice but to taste it—and always know what it really was.

The ashes of the fallen lay thick in gathered piles.

The snow came less frequent than it used to, but that only meant there were fewer of us left.

They have been hunting us throughout this world since I was a child. I remember when they first came—the ground was covered with real snow then, from a real snow fall the night before. I was excited to see it, as any child would have been—no school, snowmen and snow forts fully armed with snowballs to build—but I barely left my front door when the ground shook casting the loose snow through the air. The sky opened up as if a gaping hole was being torn open, and the whole of what was the sky became filled with a mass so large that it appeared to have no edges.

I had no idea what I was seeing; I had no idea how I was supposed to react to it. I stared in wonder, like one the many science fiction novels I’ve read just came to life before me. Everyone was outside, staring upward, as uncertain as I was—my mother was there holding my little sister, but I barely registered their presence as I was enthralled by the mass that just replaced the sky.

I don’t know how long after its arrival it was ‘til it made its first move, for when it was first seen, time didn’t seem to move in a normal fluctuation anymore, but eventually, its mass began to slide apart miles across, and revealed a cavern as dark as its own mass. And from the darkness of that cavern they dropped down like a disturbed swarm from a hornet’s nest.

We ran as those who didn’t run fast enough became scorched bones and ash. Eventually we gathered and mass a means to fight back, but the strategies constantly failed against their forces only to eventually evolve only in learning to hide as they tore this whole world apart. Fear became the normal state of being.

After they cut through the masses of us, rumors started that they were capturing some of us. No one knew why, but many had their own ideas, from past stories of creatures from the beyond collecting us to experiment on. The stories were always seen as only stories, until now when so much of them were already beginning to look so true.

The years went by, and the fighting slowed, but mostly because there we so few of us now that it was easier for them to take their time, and simply pluck out the stragglers for sport.

And so the snow falls. I survived it all long enough to reach an age where my grandparents used to predict the weather through the pain in their bones—my pain is constant and sharp.

This was originally written to be the prologue to something, but I have no idea what. It basically came from one of my many moments where I was reading something and thought, “I can do that better.” And even though I like it, I sadly have no idea what to do with it. I thought maybe making it something for D’arc Lyte, but since I can’t figure out what to do with him either, it sits and does nothing. But, it’s in the notebook that I’m writing ‘Stiym’ in, so it keeps staring at me, and telling me to do something with it… so this is me doing something with it. It might get reused elsewhere, but for now, it’s here…

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer Hous...

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A smell fills my mind—the memory of a sweet perfume. It calls to me, it rumbles in my mind like a long starvation. My hunger for the flooding tastes of the salty, sweetness with its lasting trace of iron.

I look at my chest-of-drawers—the place where it slumbers. The image of it burns like a glowing ember. It calls for my hand—it calls for my feet—it calls to run free. It calls…

The memories telling me it’s wrong—scolding me to shame as I curl up tighter. I shut my eyes to ignore the burning, but it’s still there to blind me beneath my eyelids, demanding to be served. The memories scold me…

I curl ‘til I feel myself floating—falling. Down into the deep depths of the darkness—my god, the darkness…

It lulls me into submission like a siren’s call—it drowns the memories that tell me “no,” it smothers them as they gasp to silence. And my body responds and I rise…

My existence floats to the chest, slides the drawer where it waits to be brought from its slumber. The objects that hide it are shifted, and I move a false back away revealing its small casket of a box. It creaks as I raise its lid.

I believe it smiles at me as it sees me… and it knows… it’s time to feast.

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The empire was at war, once again. The docking platforms were lined with gun-clad airships, loading to the brim with soldiers and merchs alike.

As I trudged towards my own transport of destruction, I viewed a display of two love-torn kids putting on a drama for the whole place to catch a show. I’ve seen the type before—the boy, so young, he probably never even touched a loaded pressure-rifle before, and would be lucky if his trembling hands don’t blow his own head off the first time—but he read the penny-store novels and rags, and his mind was filled with the idea of battle’s glory.

He tore himself from the girl’s fingers, one-by-one, with such a caricature of love-lulled look on his face. I was too far to hear, but I already knew the lines as if they were reading them off an offstage cue-card.

“I’ll think of you every night,” he’ll say.

“I’ll cry myself to sleep, worrying about you,” she’ll say, while whipping up alligator-tears to make sure it was believable.

And then he’ll say, in some off iambic pentameter, “Good-bye, my love, I will long for the day I will return to you, and feel your touch again. For now, my empire calls…”

He’ll be puking in a corner, crying for his mommy at the sight of the first battle flare.

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Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater...

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into a storage tank via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (whose books you should be reading), started her own indie-publisher, the Writing Network. It’s still in its very young stages, but it’s being lead by someone that knows what she’s doing.

As one of her draws, she started a Word of the Day Flash Fiction, and while I haven’t had the time to do much with it since she started (because I was writing a bunch of deadlines), I will try to get more into it (especially since I need something to give my flashes structure). Back for her opening, I did do one for the word “sunshine” (even though her rules were a max of 500, I kept my rules of 300):

The sunshine shot deftly through the boarded window directly at my eyes, prying me from my sleep—something that used to be the most irritating way of waking up, but now was a comforting sign that I survived another night.

I stumbled to my feet with my head still spinning of an uneasy sleep, and made my way for the door. After a couple minutes worth of unlatching locks, I let in the new day and walked out into its warmth. My first step was into a pile of ash splayed across my porch—I had to force it from my head for now—convince myself it was only dirt as it seeped between my bare toes.

I walked to the end of the yard where the overflowing rain barrel sat and splashed the sun-warmed water at my face. Staring down at my reflection, I saw a face so worn and tired I barely recognized it as mine.

Then the extra eyes glimmered just over my shoulder.

I barely had time to dodge as the draugr swiped at me from a shadowed corner. I jumped back as it lunged forward, and burst into white flame—instantly consumed by the sun, with only the traces of it ever existing left behind.

I staggered back for the shelter of my home and re-latched the door behind ‘til I could work the courage back up to venture out again. I slumped back to my tattered mattress, and let the beam of sunshine comfort me with warmth. As I lay, I felt the warm slowly turn to a subtle burn across my arm. I sat up, and saw, slightly beginning to smolder, a slight scratch—not much—but just enough. Enough to know this would be my last taste of sunshine.

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A modern reenactment of a Viking battle

A modern reenactment of a Viking battle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hear the thunder approaching from all around, as the rising clouds of murder caw for the field of feast.

Drenched in blood, over blade and body, and covered in even more fatigue, fighting on against the coming horde is only motivated by the roars of the warriors beside me. They strike down their final prey, and take their trophies of flesh, and stand and wait with a fury filling their eyes that can only be quenched by the clashing of swords, and the brandishing of axes.

The thunder rolls toward like raging heartbeats, and the explosion of battle begins again. I surrender to the chaos, let the gods guide my hand, cast my blade to the throats of their desire, and spill the blood in their honor.

The thunder cracked and rang through my being as a hammer slammed to my shield. Stunned, I lay confused in the mud of dirt and blood, as my brothers of arms continue the dance of war around me.

The barer of the hammer came for me again, and I just barely rolled aside, raising my blade up and diving through his helm.

The thunder dies, and the clouds of murder drape the field.

Lightspeed

Lightspeed (Photo credit: i be GINZ)

I push the throttle to full and plunge through the void as existence blazes past me as no more than a perpetual glowing wall.

I have no idea how much of a lead I have on them, I’m mostly running on hope that I have any legitimate gain at all. The more I think about it, the more I get the sickly paranoid feeling that they’ve already caught-up, and if I went back to the cargo hold, I’d see them slithering through the shadows.

I don’t even know for certain where I’m going, and moving at these speeds without a destination isn’t normally considered safe—the navigation computer has been blaring its warning alarms at me since I entered into the jump.

I need time to think—I need to find somewhere to stop and hide, and come up with a plan. But nowhere is safe—not even for a minute’s rest.

I swear I can feel their miasmic breath across the back of my neck. I look despite sense, and see nothing but the empty cabin and my own reflection across the panels—staring back at me—mocking me with my repeating questions of fight-or-flight.

They killed her—she’s dead—and all I can do is run for my own life—running into oblivion fueled with cowardice.

I look down at the navigation, and see the Return Home on its menu—it would take me headlong back to them. Chances of getting out alive pretty much don’t exist, but I could sure as hell make them feel my pain.

I hit the return, and the warning alarm finally calms. I flip open the red panel, smash the glass below, and flip the switches that begin the count-down.

I sit back in my chair, and wait.