Saturday, May 9, 2015

Good writers writing bad fiction? That's so ironic.

We of the Skype Writing Group of Awesomeness have this concept called Cracked Flash Fiction (CFF). You've probably never heard of it.

As you can see in that handy sidebar, this means we three of much sanity and maturity (Si, Mars, and Rin) get a prompt, ten minutes, and ... well, actually, that's it.

Prompts courtesy of MARS, Generator-Writer of Doom (as in, she writes generators. Awesome ones).

(Memes at the end. They're pretty great.)

And so we begin! Here are my flashes (flash fictions?):

One Internet to anyone who gets the names.

#1504: "What's the blinking light for?" // "It means . . . wait, did you say blinking?"

"What's the blinking light for?"

"It means ... wait, did you say blinking?" Ada Love stared at her brother. Her heart started to beat slightly faster.

"Yeah, look, rate approximately 2000." He frowned at her, absently rubbing a dirty hand over his face.

"Oh sh." She swore softly.

DJ stared at the dinky circuit board between them. Wires trailed over the shed floor like tripwires, in those ancient Bond movies.

"2000 microseconds?"

"Yeah?" He blinked at his sister. "Is that a problem--" He cut off. She didn't look at him. Slowly, she ran both hands through her tightly curled hair and clutched it. Her eyes, red with exertion, focused on the little board, with once-silver knobs and faint wire tracings through the green plastic.

"I don't get it, Ada," she heard him say, faintly. She ignored the sound, all the sounds. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

She didn't look at the beaten-up monitor, carelessly parked against one wall of the shed, crooked, spitting out line after line of numbers and error statements.



"Dijkstra." She said softly. He went silent, staring at her. "Cover your head."

"Oh." She heard him say, the relieved exhalation of solving a problem.

We're mad. She thought. Then threw herself to the floor.

The explosion was, actually, rather quiet.

As dust rose to wreathe the shed with tendrils of soft, ghostlike particles, she heard him yell.

"It's a race condition!"

Insane. She pushed herself off the floor, coughing, ignoring the sting of splinters. She couldn't see anything.

They were both laughing.
Aaaand I offer no apologies for the next one. Subgenre: CFF Horror.

 #1650: "You of all people know there's nowhere to run."

The Horror in Green

"You of all people know there's nowhere to go."

She shrank against the wall, fingers frantically scrabbling over the metallic surface. It was dark, with only a few, flickering bulbs far away and out of reach. She couldn't see. She couldn't think.

"Don't be stupid."

Sliding, sliding along the cold expanse, fingertips freezing, searching for that tiny groove, a screw out of place. How had it come to this? Herself, alone, weaponless, stupid. She was supposed to be intelligent. She should have been able to think her way out. That was how her ancestors differentiated from monkeys, right?

"You've had your run. Give up, like the rest."

Tears in her eyes, blinding her further. She could hear something, moving, slowly. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Like a boulder, or a robot. Inexorable, slow, quiet. But mindless?

Not now.

She bit her tongue in pain, trying not to yelp, as her fingernail caught and tore. Agony racing up her finger, her hand ... no, she had to think! Cradling her hand near, she huddled closer to the wall, eyes wide, trying to see.

A faint shadow--was it? Or was she dreaming? With her other hand, she delicately dragged her fingers over the spot. Was it--yes! Yes, a slight edge, a jagged join, that had cut her. And that meant--

"Hiding like a mouse, little one?" The grating, jarring computerized voice. Like an answering machine but terrifying, deadly in the darkness. "Get over here and lie down. We've had enough."

No. No. She caught the edge, barely, and pulled.

For one, glorious moment, she felt it give.

Then light, suddenly, poured from the heavens. She cried out and fell back, covering her eyes. Blinding, burning! She hadn't seen so much light in days, weeks. No, she had to, had to, open the hatchet ...

With eyes slitted she saw it. She froze. Her gorge rose, her muscles clenched, she gasped for breath.

Slow, rolling, with a tiny circuit-board on wheels following on a lead, like a child's toy.

Green. Gigantic. And, somehow, sentient.

They had done this.

"It's the end, little human." The cabbage said, slowly, in the Verizon woman's chirpy, computerized voice. The circuit-board flashed. Red, red, green.

"You should never have made us GMO."
It's past 10PM now ...

#2107: He was crouched in the glass case, eyes fighting between fear and fury.

The Little Elf

He was crouched in the glass case, eyes fighting between fear and fury.

"I am the night!"

Tittering laughter.

Tears welled in his eyes. Dammit, why had this happened to him?

"You'll regret this, one day." He whispered.

A large finger, clumsily prodding at the case. As big as his body. He fell back and collapsed, as the case shook violently.

"Mama! Make it angst, Mama!"

"Hush, baby, it's sleeping. We'll come back later, okay?"

Trundling away, thick, ungainly bodies shaking the earth with each step. Where was the grace, the beauty, of the land from whence he came?

He pushed himself to his knees, wincing as the hay stalks stabbed at him. In the corner, a grey bowl, made of some unnatural material. A woody cave in the other corner, with more stick-like material haphazardly thrown over the top. A faint whirring from the fan that made a half-hearted breeze.

"You will REGRET!" He shouted, voice thin and reedy after so many days of that nauseating pellet s**t. As if they could even call it food. "Vengeance! The vengeance of my people--"

Booming laughter, making the case shiver.

Who were these massive animals, barely sentient, and disgustingly graceless? How had they caught him, a prince of the forest, a warrior of his people?
Shame drowned him, misery suffocated him, but he could not end his existence.

A warrior fought. A warrior survived. He would be true to his people.

It would begin with finding out the meaning of angst.
...blame Mars for this one. She made me. I WAS GOING TO GO TO SLEEP.

#82: He ran into an unyielding wall and cursed. Where had he put his cane?

Being Neighborly

He ran into an unyielding wall and cursed. Where had he put his cane? Should've stayed home with his porridge. Dang those kids, and their weed killer!

All he wanted as a nice clean yard, a blue shiny "Best Neighbor" ribbon, and his twice-darned breakfast (he was, briefly, proud of his restraint. Filthy youths could keep their gutter words--he was a gentleman!).

He'd kept it to dirty looks, for a long time. Then he'd shaken his cane once or twice, maybe yelled a few times to get them off his lawn. Nothing more, harmless, surely?

Turns out, everyone had a breaking point.

He strapped the flamethrower to his good hand, and spied his cane lying, abandoned and dirty, with his good eye. Hobbling over, he scooped it up (with a soft "oomph!" for his back) and clutched it firmly.

He could hear them jeering over the wall.

He squinted, he saw the ladder, and the frayed rope. Cursing softly under his breath (nothing your mama'd wash out of your mouth with soap, no, never him), he limped over, ONE two ONE two ONE.

He'd bought a single level house just to save his knees from climbing. With a grimace, he took the first step up.

As the flamethrower peeked over the wall, he heard the jeers turn to screams.

They'd brought it on themselves, they had, those meddling kids.

Aren't you glad you waded through all that late-night writing?

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