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Not the Marrying Kind ~Dice Games week 4

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Here is my Flash Fiction prompt for week four of Dice Games

 4 – Make a deal with the Devil

 

Not The Marrying Kind

The years alone hurt. The solitude of the ancient house created a dull buzz over her senses. Meredity poised in front of the full length mirror examining her choices. Red was so obvious. The black made her feel obtuse. What did one wear to an audience with the Devil? Inspiration struck, she ran up the rickety steps -skipping the creaking fifteenth- and tore up the hidden staircase into the attic. A few dusty minutes later she emerged with a wide grin on her face and the perfect solution draped over her arm. Yes, this will do nicely.

The basement was still cold, damp and dreary, there wasn’t much to do about it, honestly a Witch had to keep up some sense of propriety. Image was everything. No, it would never do to take those that saught her service down into a basement of pastel drapery and frilly embroidered pillows no matter how much she wanted to spruce up the place. Clients had certain expectations. When she crossed the threshold her nose perked up, sure she could still detect a faint tinge of singe on the air.

Careful not to marr her poufed skirt, Meredity drew a circle on the pounded earth floor, worn hard as granite over decades of frequent use. She brushed her hands together admiring her handy work. He’d do well to be impressed with that, every line and arch was perfect. She lit black candles for mischeif, red for seduction, a purple to gather the spirits around her. Twigs of rowan burned around the stench of hemlock and lemongrass.

A deep pulse sounded from above followed by eleven others; the witching hour. Meredity’s voice filled the cavernous space as she chanted the spell she had created. The light dimmed, thick shadows skittered up the walls, inside her circle a form took  shape. Excitement trilled through her. With the last note of her spell, the form was solid, the lights regained their luminescence.

“This had better be good.” The words rolled from a taut mouth. Meredity sucked in her breath as she looked at her future. He was so tall, with wide shoulders, a thick mane of black hair all shrouded in a devil-may-care attitude. She giggled at that, covering her mouth with her hand. “What’s so funny?”

“Oh, nothing.” She replied. Meredity smoothed her skirt as she sat down.

“Well, what do you want? If it’s something stupid so help your God, you’ll be dead by sunrise.” She could see he was uncomfortable in the circle, his long spiked tail kept getting zapped against the confines of her spell sending blue-white sparks shooting off behind him. It had to have stung but he seemed not to notice.

“It’s not my God, my lord, but my Goddess and I’m fairly certain I don’t have to worry about that. Once you hear my idea I can let you out of the circle but I think it’s best we play this with caution. Don’t you agree?” His narrow eyes narrowed further and lines creased between them as he studied her. He focused on her dress and she beamed. “Do you like it? I picked it out specially for you.”

“It’s…different.” He begrudgingly acknowleged. It was that moment, that one right there, that she knew she had the upper hand and it made up for the nearly unbearable itchiness of the miles of crenoline housed under the pink embroidered dress. It had been her mother’s very special party dress in the human world.

“Now I think it’s time we got down to business, yes? Then we can get you out of that horrid circle. I have tea ready in the parlor upstairs. I’d hate to think it’d get cold because you won’t listen to reason.” The scowl returned bringing with it puckered lips. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Alright then. I am lonely-”

“Ah, so you want me to make the man you want love you? I’m not a matchmaker, I’m the Devil.”

“No. That’s not it at all. Now, if you’d please be quiet.” He opened his mouth but she held up her hand to silence him. “I am lonely and, after many proven hypothesis’ have determined you are as well. I’m a practical sort of Witch and I’ve concluded, after many successful tests, that there is no reason for both of us to continue-”

“What tests?”

“This is going to be a very long night if you consistently interrupt me. But, if you I must know, I have interviewed several of your closest confidantes and servants. And I have…sturdied myself for your, um…preferences.” Meredity cursed herself -though she didn’t really because that would be counterproductive- for stumbling. She had this all planned out., there was no reason for her embarassment now. It showed weakness when she could ill afford it. “Anyway, as I was saying, I think we should get married.”

“Who?”

“Don’t be dense. Me. You. Us. I think it’s only logical, a mighty fair trade, you get a lovely little bride and I get a husband that can actually keep up with me. It’s not easy, you know, being the Daughter of Blood. I break so many of them.”

He laughed. He laughed so hard he held his sides in pain, tears streamed down his red-tinged skin. “Oh, little Witch,” he said between gulping breaths as he regained his composure. “I haven’t been this amused in longer than I can recall. What makes you think that I would marry you? I’m the Devil, my dear, not the marrying kind.”

“Well. If that is how you feel, my lord, I suppose I’ll have to progress to Plan B. I’m afraid you won’t like this very much but I think you’ll thank me once you come to your senses.” The air tingled, the lights dimmed and the invisible forcefield sparkled. “You’ll have a little time to think about your future, I’ll be back in a few weeks to see if you’ve changed your mind. Toodles for now, the tea is getting cold.”

Meredity sipped her tea with a small smile on her lips. The screaming would die down eventually, soon he’d see the error of his ways. Maybe she’d keep him like a pet, visit him when she was feeling maudlin. Perhaps this was for the best. Oh, yes, it could be quite fun to have the Devil in her basement.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Sunday, September 25, 2318

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Sunday, September 25, 2318

I do not like the new tests. My shoulder burns where they extracted a dermal sample. “All for the best.” Grifkin answers me, “To be sure.” He replies. But for what they will not answer no matter how I try and threaten or how ever angry I become. And I am angry.

I slump back to my cell each day, has it really only been three days? Exhaustion weighs heavy on me, the long days filled with physical tests; running, lifting. There is a room somewhere where tiny vials filled with all parts of me lay, megabites of data float inside computers each with my name. It is unsettling.

The guards have returned, my modicum of freedom has ended. They escort me where I need to go, the door no longer opens for me. My eyes are already closed when my body crashed to the bed at the end of each day. I don’t have time to miss the Library, or his books. I don’t have time to even realize that I still feel safe in this room and to question the sanity in that.

But tonight, as I lay already deep in sleep I was awoken.

“Come, Faylinn.” He whispered. And I went.

We took a door I had never noticed before, to the far left of my own hallway. The guards were gone, everything dark and silent though I felt that it must be nearing morning. We entered an elevator and Tybal pressed a series of buttons, inserted a card and the backlit numbers changed from red to green, the door closed with a ding. It was as if I were flying, we zoomed so high so quickly my ears popped. I had no idea the place was this large.

The room was bright and it took my eyes a long moment to adjust and when they did it took me more minutes to catch my breath. My body tingled. It was a huge room, washed in white lights that hung from the tall ceiling. The air here was thick, hot, scented with a million thousand flowers that were blooming all around us. Every color I had ever imagined spotted brilliantly over lush fields of green, hung from enormous pots, trailed up support beams and threatened the lights, overtaking the room. I had never seen anything so… alive. 

Do you like it?” At those words I remembered Tybal. I rushed back over to him, throwing my arms around his neck.

“I love it.” He hugged me back and for a moment I forgot about the room.

“Let me show you something else.” He took my hand and led me through a semi-clear path towards the far wall. I saw it instantly. It sat, alone, inside a little clay pot on a ledge. “It’s yours.” The flower had already gone to seed, a white puff delicately held together on the stem head. I mourned the loss of the yellow, remembering how desperately I had wanted it. How much it had meant to me then.

“Did you put it there? That night? So I would leave?” I cradled the little pot in my hands.

“No, Faylinn. This is yours, you found this one.”

“Then how did you know?” He looked pained as though there was a fight going on inside of him. I waited as he started, stopped and started again.

“We were monitoring the entire perimiter, as soon as you left I felt it, I knew where you were going.”

“And the note? What was the reason for that?” He pulled something white from his pocket. Why did he still have that scrap of paper? He turned, brushing away a thick leaf on the wall to reveal a display. Music sounded, filling the room, an orchestral piece not frequently heard in the City. So different from their penchant for eletronic mixes.

“Dance with me. Please.” He took the pot from my hands, placing it back on it’s home on the ledge and wrapped my arms around his neck. We swayed to the music before I felt the hush of his breath on my ear. “We must be careful. They listen everywhere, follow our movements. Faylinn, please listen to me.  Right now they are pushing you around, telling you where to go and what to do. They keep you like a prisoner, like a pet. But you have to realize that dosen’t have to be the way.”

“I don’t understand.” I whispered, finding his ear.

“And they don’t want you to. Not until they have what they want, not until their tests confirm what they already know. You are Chosen. It will be you they all turn to but they are too blind to see it that way right now. All they want is to control you, they don’t understand that they need to be accepted by you.”

“You’re not making any sense.”

“We don’t have a lot of time. There is so much more I want to tell you but I just can’t right now. I’m not important, Faylinn, I’m no one. Not yet, anyway. If they know I’m telling you these things you’ll wake up one day with a different Consort. One that is on their side, one that won’t look at you and see the things I see. You have to accept me. I know I’ve made mistakes, like with the note but it was the only thing I could think of. The only way to get you to make the choice to go to the Domes. We couldn’t extract you from the Private Sector. The City is too heavily guarded, it’s why your father never left.”

“Did you have to use his words? Did you have to use them against me like that?” I wasn’t nearly as angry as I should have been. To use the dying words of my father to manipulate me had been wrong. And he knew it. But I still couldn’t be mad, not now, not as I swayed in his arms listening to his desperate words. I didn’t even need the apology he gave over and over again.

“What do I need to do?” Before he could answer the music was drowned out by a harsh whir of machinery. I broke away from Tybal, turning to the large outer walls. Slowly, the whitewashed walls rose exposing thick black glass. Higher and higher, until enormous panes reflected the room back to us. We stood silently as I watched my first sunrise. Pinks and orange shot up from behind the black masses of nearby mountains. We were up so high I couldn’t see the ground below. The colors shifted into red, yellow as the sun ascended, aided it seemed by the lure of the music still playing. My entire body vibrated with the sun, the plants, the thick air, the colors. I felt connected to them all. As if I could reach out and tell the plants to grow bigger, force the sun to rise higher, make the air hold more moisture.  I felt Tybal next to me, I could feel his warmth, his solidity but where I felt power over these other things I felt none of that with him. Though looking back there was something there, some connection not made, a break in circuit, something I couldn’t quite place my finger on but it was dim and overpowered by the sensation of everything else.

The spell was broken as the door to my room closed behind me. When I realized he had never answered my question, I rushed back to the door only to find it locked once again. I took off my night clothes to get ready for the day. My reflection caught in the mirror. I turned, fingertips feeling their way to the place on the back of my shoulder where they had removed the square inch of skin.

It had already healed.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Thursday, September 22, 2318

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Thursday, September 22, 2318

Grifkin is the kind of man that people initially overlook. The round, quiet older man that sits in the corner, unobtrusive. His graying hair and soft appearance, endearing. While you think he is idle and unconcerned, he is in fact biding his time. I could cut myself on the sharpness of his mind which I found out nearly by accident.

I had become a habit, a routine, something predictable. Each day was the same, how easy it was for me to fall into a dance, especially when I felt safe. That is no longer true. In the course of a single day my entire world collapsed yet again.

I am beginning to wonder just how many times I can have this happen before I break.

The freedom they had given me, the ability to roam the halls was a farce. Every corridor, every door, every entrance was blocked or locked besides a select few they chose to leave access to. The library was one, my room, the cafeteria and the testing rooms. Other than that I was trapped like a rat in a cage. Which is exactly how I felt meandering through the dark, solid walls. Until yesterday.

I think my mind worked like it had in the Dome, detecting and devising while I focused on other things like reading the books my father had wrote. Oh! And what vividly stimulating books they were, filled with all the things he told me of and so much more. There was an entire series dedicated to the study of his research with molecules and nanotechnology, injecting small machines into the living tissue of plants and animals. So far his experiements were failures. But I imagine my father, in a long white coat, hunched over these very books, the ink flowing freely under his intense gaze. I run my finger over the indented markings, the overstuffed chair molding around me and the scent of dust and paper filling my nose and feel close to him. But I digress, this isn’t the time for nostalgia.

On that morning I had a stomach ache and stayed in my room longer than usual. How easy, it seems, for others to fall into the same steps I dance. They didn’t think to look for me or monitor me, so predictable I had been, so on this day I rose later than usual and headed toward the kitchen. Fifteen steps before I reached that door another lay. My eyes caught the sight before I realized what I saw. A fissure in the door, a line of light seeping through, for whatever reason it hadn’t fully shut. I stopped, listened for sound and heard nothing, felt no one. My fingertips gingerly eased it open.

The flexible foam shoes were soundless, I am sure I stopped breathing. The sound of my pounding heart would surely give me away. I could hear voices, loud, arguing, coming from further down the hallway. I pressed my back against the cold wall just outside the open doorway. I couldn’t see in and didn’t dare peek but I knew who was in there without needing to look.

“You have to tell her!” I heard feet pounding against the floor and imagined Tybal pacing as he yelled, his blue eyes flashing.

“She isn’t ready. You see how she is, burying herself in Monroe’s books. We need to wait.” Came Grifkin’s easy reply.

“I waited long enough for her. She needs to know. If you won’t tell her I will.”

“No. You won’t.” A razor edge entered Grifkin’s voice. I pictured him sitting, relaxing in an overlarge chair as he did talking to me that night. But where there was comfort in his voice then, it was stripped away now. “She didn’t grow up knowing, like you. She didn’t have the years of acceptance or training. Monroe did what he could trapped in the city but it wasn’t nearly enough. You saw the test results.”

“She’s fine. She’s perfect. Let me tell her. Let me have her now.” Tybal sounded almost petulent. My heart squeezed in my chest. My mind grasped for something, something it felt it knew but couldn’t access or remember. I ignored it, focusing on their words and listening for footsteps in the hall.

“I won’t let you distrupt this project with your pettiness. It has taken us centuries to get to this far and as far as I’m concerned it can wait a few more decades until she is ready. You know it won’t matter in the end but for this to succeed you will follow my directions. Do you understand me, Tybal? She is the important piece, you, my son, are expendable. Don’t forget you’re not the only one in line, just the first.” Tybal growled, his footsteps grew closer, my eyes darted around for a place to hide but there was no where. I took a deep breath, relaxed and as he turned the corner smiled at him as if I stood here every day.

His eyes widened nearly imperceptably but he didn’t say anything just grabbed my elbow, pulling me along beside him, never even missing the beat of a step. As the hallway door shut behind us -Tybal giving it an extra push just to make certain- and the smell of dinner bloomed in the air, he finally spoke.

“How much did you hear?”

“I heard nothing.” He smiled at that.

“Oh, now, don’t be like that. I know you heard us…bickering.”

“Well, maybe I heard a little but I don’t understand. Tybal, please tell me, explain. It was me you were talking about wasn’t it?” I placed my hands on his chest beseechingly. I felt the warmth through his dark shirt. I felt awkward and unsure and slightly nauseous though from his nearness or the information I overheard I still am uncertain. His hands came up to my shoulders as he looked down at me.

“I can’t.” I could see the pain shooting through the clear sky of his eyes. And then I saw it, as vividly as if I was witnessing it before me. I saw a star, a silver speck in the blackness, flame and move, streaking across the night sky. I knew the names of these things as I watched them, the burning white trail; the coma, the white-hot head; the nucleus though I had never seen them in anything more than pictures. Now they moved in slow motion across the empty canvas of the Universe.

And then I felt it, a tingling that had nothing to do with Tybal. I felt a pull like nothing I had ever felt before, so different that words escape me how to describe it but I know it was a calling. When my vision cleared and the tingling subsided Tybal was smiling down on me. I opened my mouth to explain but closed it again. There was nothing I could tell him. He already knew.

“I will come get you in a few days. I have to make some arrangements first, but there is something I want you to see.” I nodded dumbly, still recoving from my vision and he left.

“Faylinn,” Grifkin’s voice sounded behind me. I froze, half opening the cafeteria door. I pasted on a smile and tried to look innocently. I didn’t want him to know I over heard. I wasn’t ready to piece together what I had learned. I know I didn’t want him to know of the vision. Instinct told me that would be bad. He wasn’t who I thought he was. This place wasn’t safe anymore than the Domes or the City. And I was trapped. He smilied in return, the viper I heard only moments before was now hidden behind a teddy bear. “Make sure you’re up early tomorrow. There are a few more tests we need to do.” I swallowed hard, afraid this time, of these new tests. Tybal was expendable.  What did that mean? I wondered if he could read my guilt and fear on my face but I schooled myself as much as I could and nodded.

When he left he took my appetite with him.

Blood Witcher ~ Dice Games Flash Fiction

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Week two I *rolled* a one! Rules, must use prompt, under 1k words.  Here’s my prompt from Lady Antimony

1- “Sometimes its easier just to let them die…”

Blood Witcher

The rain came down in big wet sheets. It splashed across the window endlessly washing the landscape into a impressionistic vision. Meredity was bored beyond belief trapped by nature in the big, dark house on the hill. She leaned her head in her hand watching the sky rivers pour down, tracing symbols in the thick dust of the window ledge, listening to the mechanical tick leading the hands of the clock in dance. If only they would let her join.

But she was already past twelve and had nothing to show for it.

Nothing but a small spark from her fingertips when she was actually able to make a snap. It wasn’t her fault her mother -Goddess rest her soul- bred her off a Normal. It wasn’t her fault either, that her mother died and left her to the tender mercies of Aunt Gretched. And it surely wasn’t her fault that Aunt Gretched hated her for taking after her father, whoever he was.

She could feel the chanting through the floorboards even up here in the tower room. She could feel the thick beat of power through her stockinged feet. It called to her, quietly, softly but every time she tried to answer disaster struck, and struck as hard as the lightening out her window.

The moon was hidden but that too, fat and ripe behind the angry clouds called down to her. Tonight was special. Tonight was the Equinox. Tonight was the night for invoking the Goddess, she could feel it pulse around her with the beat of chanting. It was the pulse of power.

Quietly, she made her way down the bare wood staircase, careful to skip the fifteenth step, the one that creaked. It was nearly black in the hallways leading to the deep basement. She had seen it only once, a large cavernous space dug out from beneath the old mansion’s foundation. It made her feel as though she was wrapped in a cocoon, embraced in the Goddess’s womb.  And she had been beaten soundly for her curiosity. Meredity was afraid, she was sure even her black curls trembled, but she was being pulled and pushed by the Earth and the Sky and there was nothing for it.

The chanting grew louder, thickening the air. The cloying scent of a smudge stick coated her throat; rosemary, sage, lavender. She knew the smell, knew the symbols, the words, the motions but without the magic it meant nothing. Why did the Goddess refuse her offerings? Why, out of the entire line of Witchers that went back so far as before the Egyptians, went back to Mesopotamia where they traveled in tribes wearing animal pelts and spoke in grunts and gestures, was Meredity the very first female to be born without the gift?

Light broke through the basement door, a thick firey outline that stunk of tallow. And that too, called to her. By the time her hands touched the worn, cold wood of the entrance door, her cells were screaming, with what she did not know. The chanting continued, rose, crested, flew on the wind that swirled around her weaving through her curls and whipped her nightdress against her legs. She stood there lost in time, lost in the rhythm, filled with something too amazing to put into words. She felt a stab of pain in her stomach, then a thick hot gush between her legs. Blood stained her clothes. The chanting abruptly stopped. The viscious feel of the air became empty, the pushing and pulling stopped but she remained full. Something new was inside her now. Something different, changing.

The door moved beneath her hands, opened to reveal the firelight contorted face of her aunt and the four fellow witches of Gretched’s coven. They pulled her inside the cavelike room, tossing her to the floor.

“Punish her Lady Gretched. Teach her the glory of the Goddess she dares spy upon.” Tall and spindly, Veronica hissed.

“She’s bleeding, if ever there was a time to kill her it is now. She is past Reconning. There is no use for her.” Voiced Melissa, sliding up next to Veronica.

“Sometimes its easier just to let them die in the cradle.” Gretched’s growl carried over the chatter of the others. She raised her hand to cast.

“Yes,” Meredity replied easily getting to her feet, still so filled to the brim she was spilling over. “Sometimes it is.” She snapped her fingers and Veronica was set ablaze.

“Oh Goddess, why? Why choose this retched beast?” Gretched cried out, never sparing a glance for her coven sister now writhing on the dirt floor the blue flames eating her alive.

“Merciful Meredity, that’s what they’ll call you.” Melissa fell to her knees at Meredity’s feet, the blood still flowed into the ground, absorbed by the dirt. My offering, finally She accepts it. “You are our queen. Please, oh powerful one, Daughter of Blood, spare me my ignorance.”

“The Goddess shall spare you if she deems it so.” Meredity snapped her fingers again and this time, like acid etching a tin-type Melissa melted into a globulous puddle of screams. “She deems it not.”

The other witch had slunk into the shadows but a snap sent her violently to her death leaving only Melissa and her Aunt Gretched eye to eye. Gretched wildly signaled for the Goddess but each of her spells was refused. The magic seeped from her, no, was pulled from her across the floor and into her niece.

“Well played little Goddess.” The flames engulfed her but she did not scream.

“I wouldn’t have had it so, Aunt.” Meridity said somberly as the last ember died.

Midnight Wounded ~ Dice Games Flash Fiction

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I stumbled upon a new Flash Fiction prompt that uses dice to determine your weekly writing topic. There are 6 choices and I don’t have a die so I closed my eyes, spun in my vintage metal chair and pointed at the screen. It worked well. My first prompt’s story is below, the goal is roughly 1000 words, so longer than my other Flash Fiction challenges. This still only came out to about 500. I really enjoy these types of writing as I’m able to experiment with different writing styles, points of view, genres as well as flexing those writing tools.

For September 5th this is my prompt, though I changed “was” to “is”. I hope that’s okay. Yes, I realize first out the gate and already I’m breaking rules. That’s just how I roll.

2 – “There was something decidedly odd about that child…”

 

Midnight Wounded

The motorway lit up like a Christmas tree. Burning trails of twinkling lights. It’s nights like these that get remembered. Nights like this that change lives. Searing themselves as brands into souls. Triggered memories, young feelings crawling over old skin, bringing back the moment in it’s entirety. But you weren’t there. You don’t know that things haven’t been easy.

Did you ever even care? Are you coming home with me tonight? I shouldn’t ask but I can’t help myself.

I heard what they said. I remember. Whispers, vocies from the other room, speaking as though I couldn’t understand their language. A little boy, only wanted to dance, to be free and wild untouched by the long arm of responsibility. Impossible.

“There is something decidedly odd with that child…”

Is it because you were jealous? You weren’t there. I waited for you. In that secret tree with pilfered amber liquid sloshing promises. But you never came. I still feel the bite of bark beneath me, the heat from my embarassed face, the scent of oleander on buffeting breeze. The sharp ache when I realized you wouldn’t come. I burried the bottle there, small drops clinging to the rim. The tree remembers.

My friend told me he saw you there, dancing under the bright club lights. I drank some more.

“Such a little thing,” you say, “Suit yourself, it’s said and done.” And you wonder how I can sit across from you now not trusting you. I heard what they said and you never disagreed. You were so hard to please. So, very hard to please. Where were you? Where did you go on floral scented nights? And the bells rang. And I went home.

“He’s not right…”

I fell in love that summer. Above the twinkling lights, experimenting with cigarettes and sex in the back seat of stolen cars, fumbling hands hidden beneath schoolgirl skirts. Running hard in midnight fields to capture thoughts, feeling, branding everything we could fast and hard into our souls. Not knowing those would be the last. That those would have to feed us until we died. Even with the pain from your betrayal still breaking my heart as I stood outside your door. I should have known but I lost it. I gave it. I freed it.

“There is something wrong with him…”

You smell like I remember. Rose water carefully applied. Another brand to soul, another secret memory. Are you lonely, too? I can’t stop thinking in past tense even as you’re here with me now. I gave up sleep to come here. I gave up more than I will tell. I don’t mind them now. I don’t mind the talk, the things they say, but I minded them then and I can’t erase those scars. The one where you didn’t speak. Something is still worrying me tonight.

Did you ever really love me? No, don’t come closer. I feel it next to me. This gaping hole. Had your love ever filled it? Is this, now, because of love? I can’t remember your love though I tried to hold on. Now it sits next to me, just out of reach, this emptiness that you maybe once filled. The impression of your love or what I imagined it to be. I don’t want to wake up knowing there is no future. Only burnings to be remembered. I don’t want to wake up alone again tonight.

I haven’t said too much, have I? These are things I should keep to myself. No, it’s fine. Don’t ruin the apology with excuses.

So, say it. We’re old friends. Say what you came to say. I’m listening. My soul is ready for branding once again.

Faylinn’s Chronicles: August 20, 2318

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Friday is supposed to be my ROW80 or other type book review but I haven’t really finished anything yet! I am working on a couple novels so hopefully those will be up soon. I have been lax in getting Faylinn’s story written, I know where I want to go but not sure how to get there. And with a word count limit per serial it’s hard! This is an older post, sorry it’s not on the right day but I’m hoping to make that up shortly.  

 

 

Saturday, August 20, 2318

I’m not sure how many more entries I will be able to write. Drastic things have happened since last I placed pen to paper, the letter from Tybal was merely a drop in the bucket. I smooth out the page he sent me, written on a small square of paper. For some reason it is more precious than this journal. Yet, I also hate it.

Has it only been two days? Not even that, not yet, though it feels as though years have passed through my fingers.

Friday I made my choice. As I was standing there, about to cast my life to Fate, my tongue didn’t want to form the words my brain wanted to say. I had dreamt about my life in the private sector, the fresh food I’d be able to purchase instead of the tasteless nutritional bars and vitamin-fused drink powder I was rationed. The nicer clothes with fewer brands plastered across them that fit my shape better. I dreamed of a larger room, perhaps even big enough to dance in. But when the air passed through my vocal cords that were primed and ready to say “private sector” that wasn’t what emerged.

“Hygrodomes, please.” Much to the astonishment of upper management as well as myself. Then it was done, my life was ruined by a tiny scrap of crumpled paper and disobedient tongue. I barely had time to collect my meger belongings, to swipe white birds off high ledges, before I was shoved into an overcrowded bus like a can of sardines -the smell was fairly equivalent- and driven out of town to the far edges of the city. Far past the barricades still taunting us with it’s promises as it eats us with fear. The course of my life has changed so much over these past few weeks, I feel like a ball being haphazardously thrown by unfocused children. I don’t know where or when I’ll land. Though I know in the meantime I won’t be treated gently.

The processing center for the Hygrodomes is a stark white building with stark white innards. Genderless humans dressed all in white with large masks on heads and air tanks strapped to backs lead me with white gloves to a small area. Here I am stripped, scrubbed. My skin stings with anitbacterials, antifungals, antivirals. I gingerly smooth baggy white pants and shirt over red skin. They cut my hair off. I silently mourn my pretty hair, brown debris on a colorless floor.

I am genderless now, too.

I understand why they do this. The necessity that proceeded me here. Three hundred years ago our seed supply was gobbled up by corporations. They designed new, better seeds that could withstand drought, bugs, be immune to pesticides and herbicides, produce higher yields in smaller spaces with less work. It was a miracle product and all they had to do was tamper with God’s creation.

The corporations were a bit greedy though. When people started objecting to the food produced by these miracle seeds. They didn’t want their food contaminated by chemicals but there were starving people in the world. The arguments on both sides, much like political parties could never win over the other, at least not for long. So, the companies started buying the old seeds, the ones people kept for generation upon generation and destroying them until the only thing left was the miracle, magic seeds.

Which would have been alright I suppose, if we took care of those things. But as history has taught us, we can’t ever learn. One year, a virus mutated. And in the span of a few months time seventy five percent of the crop foods in the entire world were wiped out. Those that did survive, those that they mutated and engeneered further had to be grown in specific conditions inside sterile plants. They couldn’t touch dirt, or the sun, or the wind for fear that they, too, would be compromised.  

And the Hygrodomes were built. Far from the city in a restricted area, miles upon miles of white round blobs errupted from the dead black earth. They had their own power plants, food processing, police, hospitals. They were cities unto themselves and no one in the world could survive without them.

They were also a very scary place. One that parent’s threatened their children with when they misbehaived. “Clean your room or I’ll send you to work in the Domes!” Because once you went to the Domes, you never, ever left. Outside goverment wasn’t allowed inside for fear of contamination, there were no visitors. Everything was under lock and key with biometric scans and flash cards. Rules and regulations were read to me from a thick book. They gave me a copy. There were no windows anywhere, only a strange white glow that eminated from the high white dome above my head. I was lead to a small room with no furniture and told to wait, for what or whom I couldn’t guess.

And here I am, being processed into Hygrodome XXIV all because of a stupid note attached to a smile and a tratiorous tongue.

A Well Respected Gentleman – Flash Fiction

Standard

Here is another bit of Flash Fiction. While the rules this time allowed for up to 1500 words, I kept this under 500. Though this was posted August 8th and set for a one week time limit (and I am late again.) I went ahead with the prompt anyway since it seems they’re also late and the new weeks prompt isn’t up yet.

 

A Well Respected Gentleman

By C.M. Cipriani

Ruphert Charlesdale Taloo Eldecott Grossbender Moneymunger the third, well known in social and political circles as Mungsy to his esteemed friends, prided himself with his ability to learn a variety of topics which leant toward a charming disposition and the uncanny ability to blend seamlessly into said various circles. Not only was he a fabulous dresser, frequently known to set trends lasting up to three full weeks, his home was equally impressive with the finest silks and brocades brought over from such exotic places as China and France and Taiwan. Mungsy never had a hair out of place nor would a solitary blond hair he possesed even suggest itself to such undecorous circumstances. Which made it quite easy to maintain the vissage of a consistently proper gentleman such as himself.

For to be sure, if one could not even manage obedience over ones own self how could one be expected to lead his fellows and the lower classes? Simply put, he could not.

But it was on this particularly dreary day in May that Mungsy found himself quite out of sorts with a particularly horrendous case of bed head. No matter what punishments, brandishments or bribes he contrived the affected swoop of hair just would not obey and curved his ear quite unbecomingly. He briefly considered snipping off the offender but the resulting out growth would surely be most off putting. It was bad enough his nose wasn’t put on quite straight, but one worked with what one had, crooked noses aside.

After nearly two hours and the combined assistance of his butler, Beezly, acting as coiffer -a position the man greatly despised- Ruphert et. al the third, realized he was late for his ambassatorial meeting with his fellow dignitaries of state. Therefore, he sent ’round cards to each of the representatives with long flowing script in delightfully wordy phrases calling on all his learned abilites filling no less than two full pages each telling them, in shortened terms, he was not feeling quite the thing.

Sure that Lady Penningsly Apron Balerdash, with her red stringy hair and round rouge splotches on her cheeks, would be most offended for their regular tea was something she most looked forward to. Though her biscuits were always the same and also quite plasticy and her tea never did seem to quench a parched throat, one might hedge to say it was nearly non-existent. The tea set, on the other hand, was quite a lovely China, handpainted by their monarch, Sally, even if her nasty little brother, Billy had broken the delicate biscuit tray last week. He was always running amok. It was a relief of the senses he was delt the blow of a stern and fitting time-out.  

Mungsy gave one last scathing look to the perpertrating lock, doffed his apparel and resigned himself, a good book and a torch for a full day in bed. For if one wasn’t able to meet obligatory needs, there was no reason to waste the day away with idle nonsense.

And that is just what he did.

“Day 164: Cozied Up” by Snugg LePup (Flickr)