#WEPFF Requisition (Science Fiction #Story)

Pixabay

*Author’s Note: This post will serve a dual purpose. One, to satisfy the word prompt for today’s Write28Days Challenge (Glory). Second, to participate in WEP’s February’s Story Challenge (theme: 28 Days). 

 

Requisition

 

Glory fingered a loose strand of black hair as her green eyes stared outwards. A warm breeze caressed her petite body as she sat on the wooden steps of the white porch. The air carried a mild scent of sweet honeysuckle which she slowly breathed in.

“Enjoying your final day?” Came a husky voice from behind.

She turned partially towards her housemate, an aging, thin man, sitting in the rocker, and nodded, “Yes.”

He leaned back as he took in the mountainous view spread before them.

“It’s a shame you couldn’t be granted another twenty-eight days here,” he said as his colorless eyes scanned the horizon’s deep purple and pink hues, “it makes no sense at all as to why they couldn’t allow you to remain here indefinitely.”

“You know that’s not how it works,” she muttered as her arms wrapped around her knees.

“Yes, but it is unfair, not to mention unjust,” the man tapped a finger on the chair’s armrest.

With a shrug, she replied, “I’m just grateful to have had this one last wish before it’s all over with. I mean, goodness, I had the chance to see all of my friends and family, to say my good-byes…even if none of it was real…it was nice.  Really nice.”

The man scowled as he nodded, “Yes…yes.”

“I know you try to understand, Jessup, and I appreciate it very much,” Glory said as she glanced down the expansive meadow where she could see the shadowy forms of buildings that made up her childhood town, “but you don’t have to stay any longer.”

Jessup let out a long exhale, “Yes, but it doesn’t feel right to leave you to -eh- to face your end.”

She smiled, “You are too thoughtful, but I will be okay.”

His eyes swept over her before he bowed his head, “As you wish,” and within seconds, his body dissipated into a thin cloud of mist.

Glory studied the empty chair for a moment before returning her attention to the sky. The streaks of purple and pink were quickly transitioning to layers of dark blue and black.  The usual nightly orbs obscured by a looming menace in the heavens where billowing sinister clouds barely concealed an enormous fiery mass barreling towards her.

A shiver ran through her body as she closed her eyes.

Will I feel any pain? She wondered as waves of heated air brushed over her.

The earth beneath her rumbled as the roar grew louder and louder until her body shuddered right off the porch, and on the rolling ground.

Crackling and sizzling filled her ears as she opened one eye to see where the fire was when she realized the sounds were coming from her skin.

Just as the burning grew unbearable, everything went dark.

*****

 

Bleep bleep bleeeeeeeep.

The blipping line on the monitor instantly became a steady line.

A tall man in a white jacket stood staring at the screen for several moments, the bushy brows burrowing which revealed the deep lines around his brown eyes.

“Dr. Cruz?” came a woman’s voice from the nearby console.

“I will never get used to this,” he said, “extinguishing lives all for what? Profit? So that our government can repay its debts?”

“No, it’s mankind’s next step in its evolutionary process. It has also helped science learn much about the human’s consciousness,” the same woman replied.

He bowed his head for a long moment, eyes closed as he pondered on her words. Then, he shook it.

“Those are just the Company’s taglines.  We are nothing more than an assembling line for repurposing human bodies for those who can afford them. For the few who want to extend their own selfish, futile lives.”

“Dr. Cruz,” the woman’s tone now stern, “I wish to remind you that everything said and done here are being carefully monitored.”

He clenched his jaw, “Time of conscious death, 23:02,” his fingers tapped hard on the blue-lighted tablet’s screen.

To his left, the woman in a white jacket turned to focus her attention on the various displays of electronic devices in front of her.

“Closing the file for collateral number 230645 aka Gloria Swann,” she said as she pressed on the glowing screen, “body already prepped and ready for shipment to recipient number 02A02,”

 

 

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Sunday Story: Surrender

Deepwater Horizon – Neatorama

*Warning: has mild language.

 

Ben was resting in bed, perusing a Road & Track magazine, when the first blast shook his quarter.

Damn crane must have dropped another casing, he thought casually and went back to the article.

But, when the second blast reverberated through the rig, he knew something was wrong.

Deadly wrong.

As he pulled on his sneakers and life-jacket, an enormous explosion blew the heavy-duty door off its hinges like it was just a piece of cardboard; only it didn’t feel like cardboard when it smashed against his stocky body instantly knocking him unconscious.

Somewhere in the murkiness, a familiar voice floated to his ears.

“Do you love me?” It was Mia’s, his high school sweetheart. She leaned her petite body against the blue sports car.

He was bent over the 8-cylinder engine, his hands fingering the spark plugs, “Course I do,” he said.

Mia let out a chuckle, “Liar. You love your car way more than me. ‘Sides, my Daddy won’t let me marry you anyway.”

She let out a squeal which strangely morphed into a high pitch ringing.

“Warning,” echoed a female computerize voice, “proceed immediately to the lifeboats. This is not a drill.”

When Ben opened his eyes, at first he thought he’d gone blind but realized the lights were knocked out. Back up on his feet, he steadied his shaking body and assessed the situation.

The white strobe lights faintly flickered through the thick, black mass pouring into his sleeping area. His head throbbed as something warm trickled through his lips.

Blood.

He could feel the entire rig rattling and groaning as one word penetrated the deep fog within his mind.

Blowout.

“Oh, god,” he said.

When he stepped out in the dark corridor, the scent of burning oil nearly overwhelmed him as he bent over to gag and cough.

Got to get to the lifeboat.

The trek to topside was met with twisted steel and thick smoke. Twice he had to seek out a new direction. On his last attempt, the heat was so intense he could hear the soles of his sneakers sizzle with each step.

Sweat streamed down his smoke-grimed face as he quickened his pace up the warped metal stairway. Another voice wormed its way into his head. His father’s. They’d gone fishing at Pilot Pond that last time–just before the fatal heart attack.

“Son, every man needs to decide the kind of road he’ll travel. Whichever one you surrender to will rule you for the rest of your life.”

It was an odd conversation as Dad was never one for offering advice of any kind, it was as if he knew his time was nearly up. Ben hadn’t grasped what the elder meant…until now.

The closer he moved to the surface, the louder the roar and screams grew until he broke through, and entered hell.

Surrounded by towering flames and billowing black smokes. he sought out familiar shapes or bodies. Nothing appeared like it normally should only melting steel structures and burning debris falling from above creating blockades everywhere he turned.

Where’s the damn lifeboat?

His tearing cobalt eyes searched through the hellish scene for the section where a lifeboat should have been. He saw nothing.

As he stood near the edge of the platform, the realization that he’d been left behind coursed through his body as his eyes surveyed what lied below.

“Oh, sweet Mary!” He croaked.

The water was on fire.

Mia’s face filled his mind. Her mesmerizing chocolate eyes, the ones he always lost himself in.

“Why wouldn’t your daddy let you marry me?” He’d asked.

Those eyes narrowed and seemed sad, “He said you’re too much into the things of the world, and that you’d value them over me.”

“He’s wrong,” he replied.

“Liar,” she laughed softly, ” and you know it.”

Another explosion ripped through the rig as the heated blast slammed into his body, and sent him flying in the air. As he landed on the steel landing, he felt all the oxygen whooshed out of his lungs.

Was this how he was going to die? Here, on this fiery rig? In all of his twenty-four years, he’d never truly done anything worthwhile except work on that worthless piece of metal on wheels. His father was right, and so was Mia’s.

Ben wanted to change that.

Grunting loudly, he pulled himself up off the hot steel surface and looked out over the blazing sea.

And jumped.

 

 

*Inspired by the true events that took place on the Deepwater Horizon

 

Saturday Story: Suppose

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate. 

 

Suppose

 

Scared witless, he slammed the company’s truck to a full stop and watched as the radioactive sludge engulfed the town. Strangely, the first thought to come to mind was- “Dang, I suppose I should have lowered those control rods.”

The Swan & My Other Creative Outlet

 

This post will serve two purposes: Answer the monthly question for IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group), and satisfy today’s word prompt for the #Write28Days Challenge.

Let’s start with today’s word prompt for the daily blogging Challenge.

 

Swan (a writer’s lament)

 

My pen

lumbers like the swan

as this sheet of paper

offers no grace in its blankness

 

Oh, written words, how I long for your

beauty and fullness

-please whisk me away

to a land most divine and true!

 

 

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

This month’s question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

 

When I’m not writing, I enjoy creating videos of my (as well as other writers mainly poets) written works-mostly poems and microfiction.  I got this idea after working with Motionpoems for three seasons (interviewing award-winning poets and filmmakers).

Click on image to learn more

I loved the idea of taking poetry and turning them into films. I got to thinking-why not do the same with mine? 

By utilizing Kizoa.com, I’ve created several videos (“films”) of my own.  Here’s one, for example, of a one-liner story I wrote:

Since I am a visual person who loves music, I enjoy combining images with music and then watch as my writings come to life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons As To Why You Should Accept Your Flaws (As a Writer)

 

 

You know the saying, no one is perfect, right?  Yet, so many are trying to be perfect, and failing miserably at it. Including writers.

Especially writers!

I don’t think I’ve known very many writers who didn’t give a darn about the quality of their written work. In fact, many of us get so hung up in believing that our writing needs to be perfect before we can send it out into the world. The problem is, this way of thinking is probably the number one reason why nothing gets completed (and in many instances, even started).

Heck, perfectionism is one of the root causes of the so-called “writer’s block.”

What a writer to do?

Here are some reasons why we should accept those flaws as writers.

!. It lowers the stress level.  I think Stephen King was on to something when he said:

“As with all other aspects of the narrative art, you will improve with practice, but practice will never make you perfect.”

No matter if you’re an unpublished writer or a prolific, best-selling author, the writing craft is a life-long apprenticeship where there are no masters.  Instead of agonizing over your struggles in grasping certain grammatical rules, realize that we all have issues with them. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. You will never get the story “perfectly” written in the first draft. The sooner we accept that, the easier the words will flow.

 

2. Your flaws are what sets you apart from the others.

“Flaws are what makes people most interesting.” -Minh Tan

Some of the most interesting people in the world have been writers and the first one to come to mind is Ernest Hemingway. Aside from his flamboyant and active lifestyle, he was noted for his writing style. He lived in a time where literary (aka elaborate) writing dominated; but his style ran counter to this. He preferred to write lean descriptions while relying more on dialogue and action to tell the story. Many, at first, viewed this to be a flawed writing style; instead, he gained notoriety and eventually won many awards (including the Nobel). His writing style wasn’t the only reason for his success; it was also the kind of stories, their characters and content, that set him apart from the other writers of the time. Much of this was due to his wartime experiences as well as his battles with mental illness and alcoholism. All of these were responsible for fundamentally shaping  his style of writing.

He was an imperfect man who wrote unforgettable stories.  So, embrace your flaws and make them your strengths rather than view them as weaknesses.  It is our flaws that will set our writing apart from the others, and it is also our flaws which readers can connect and identify with.

3. Your flaws are part of what makes you, well, you!

I love Ann Lamott. She just has a way with words, and putting things into perspective.

Our flaws can make our creative life messy, but they contain some of the juiciest morsels for our stories. And stories are the reflection of who we are as writers. So, stop trying to be perfect and accept your flaws as mere extensions of who you are as a person, and as a writer.

One last quote from Ann Lamott to ponder on:

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life Besides, perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force (these are words we are allowed to use in California).”

 

 

 

Thursday’s Tale: The Beast In the Woods

Pixabay Free Images

 

 

I once had a friend named Blue who swore there was a beast in the woods. She claimed it was a wolf as big as a house. It had red eyes too. Of course, none of us believed her until one day, she simply vanished.  Weeks later, a park ranger stumbled upon a boot, the same kind she usually wore.  But that wasn’t all that was found. Apparently, he nearly fell into a large hole . He quickly realized it wasn’t just a hole, but an enormous paw print the size of a small car.

I guess Blue didn’t fib after all.

Monday #FlashFiction: The Suitcase

 

 

*Note: This was taken from a prompt suggested on the DIY MFA website. To retrieve a prompt to ignite a story or poem in your mind click here

Here are what I had to work with:

Character: Night-shift nurse

Situation: Must face his or her worst fear

Prop: Suitcase

 

It was a quiet night as she walked the halls. Most of the patients slept as she carefully checked their monitors and IVs. In one room she paused to study the milky rays as they filtered through the thin curtains covering the wide archaic window. From the 16th floor of the aging building overlooking the city-that-never-sleeps, she could barely hear the sounds of the street life below.

She used to find comfort in these quiet moments but that was before the Suitcase Killer which she barely survived some ten years ago. Her body shuttered as the image of a hand reaching out of the suitcase she’d packed earlier in the day for her red-eye flight home. Other than that, she remembered nothing of the three-day ordeal with the sadistic monster (which her psychologist have labeled “Dissociative Amnesia ” ) but it left her infertile and with a mountain of medical bills.

Over the two-year span, there would be twelve victims before he was caught, tried in court and sentenced to death by lethal injection. The state invited her to witness his demise, but she didn’t attend. She couldn’t bring herself to look at his face again in fear of triggering the traumatic memories. Memories she just as soon forget, forever.

The execution took place two years earlier. With him gone from the earth, she’d thought she’d moved on with her life until she turned to check on the comatose patient.

Setting on top of a chair nearby was a suitcase.

Her breathing hitched and held.

It looked strangely familiar. No, it couldn’t be.

Can’t be.

She had it destroyed in an incinerator immediately after she was discharged from the hospital.

Her head began to spin as the darkness encased her.

Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe as she forced the air to move in and out of her burning lungs.

Her eyes fixated at its brown leather body until they zeroed on a flaw. The same flaw her suitcase possessed. A circular shaped white patch on the upper right corner. They said hers was damaged during the manufacturing process, and because of this, she got a steal of a deal on it.

What were the chances of finding another with the same damage?

Next to nothing?

She wanted to tear her eyes from the bag, but couldn’t. Her feet was rooted to the spot. Her skin felt frozen and yet she was sweating under the white uniform.

Pain radiated through her chest as she tried to slow her hysterical panting, but failing miserably.

The deafening roar in her head blurred  everything around her until the suitcase was all she saw.

Oh god, oh god.

Horrific images pricked somewhere from the deep recess of her mind as they threatened to explode into her conscious.

No, no!

“Nancy?”

The voice sounded so far away at first she’d thought she was imagining it. Then it repeated her name.

Blinking several times to clear the fog that seemed to have enveloped everything, a woman’s form came in view.

“Are you okay?” She was asking, in her hands a tray of carefully measured meds.

Nancy slowly shook her head and returned her attention to the object on the chair, and had to close her eyes for a moment before looking again.

The chair was empty. Void of luggage of any kind.

“Nancy, you’re scaring me,” the younger woman’s voice rose to a higher pitch.

Nancy forced herself to meet the woman’s wide-eyed expression with an unquivering smile, “No worries, Beatrice, he’s not here anymore,” and walked away.