Tag Archives: flash fiction thursday

Some stuff!

So, I’m working on a piece of flash fiction that was supposed to be done today, but it’s not.  I’ll post it tomorrow.  =]

Also, I’ve been ultra busy creating a separate blog for Paganism.  I figure it’s best to keep my writing blog separate from my spiritual journey, so here we are.  Thistle in the Wind is up and running, but still being tweaked and tuned to what I need.  It doesn’t look pretty at the moment, but content is what’s important.  =]  I’m getting there.

Today is the debut for my Celtic Paganism social networking site as well!  Caraid Còmhlan!  You’re all welcome to check it out, though since I have more writer friends than pagan friends on this blog, I’m not holding my breath. LOL.

I’m getting back on track, slowly but surely. <3  I missed you guys!

I’m super glad Mckenzie has Flash Fiction Thursday up and running again.  I needed a set day that made me feel bad for not writing or I never would.  Damn my own lack of self-motivation.

Woo!  And things. <3

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Paganism, Writing

New Page – Bits of Random Fiction

Added to the navigation bar to the left.  <3  It’s called “Bits of Random Fiction.”

Not a very interesting post, I know.  I think most of my regulars have already read these pieces, but I plan on adding more fiction to the page.  Gradually.  So… at least I have the list started. <3

Woot and such. <3

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Flash Fiction Thursday: Axel

As a quick aside, I think this may be my last independent Flash Fiction Thursday piece.  I’m starting a second, internet-published WiP that’s going to be written in weekly installments.  Like episodes to a TV show or something.  It’ll be on-going until I get bored of it.  Not really Flash Fiction, strictly speaking, I know, but each installment will continue from, as well as be independent of, the last.  You’ll see installment one next week.

Also, for people who are interested in the self-publishing game (I’m not, but email likes to notify me of crazy things): Barnes & Noble is jumping into e-publishing…. er… e-self-publishing…. to promote sales of the Nook.  Check out Pubit! if it catches your fancy.

NOW!

Meet Axel: an accidental A.I. explosion from my brain that erupted last Friday. <3

The lights dimmed in the secluded moon-based compound as Michael threw the switch for the second generator, before the violent whirring had all the lights at full capacity again.

“Are you still with me, Axel?” asked the scientist, practically waddling over to his stool to plop down, mopping his forehead with a handkerchief.

“I am, Michael,” the automated voice returned, and the robot came rolling over, his lower half spinning, as it always did, to propel him forward.  A.I. they called him.  Artificial intelligence, programmed to interact with humanity on a profoundly different level than the robots of the past.  Axel could answer any question within the limits of his knowledge–but he couldn’t move beyond that.  He couldn’t understand the human condition.

“I’ve backed up all your systems, Ax.  This is going to be an adventure.”

Axel’s monitor flicked on and a clip of Errol Flynn as Captain Blood played for a moment, before Michael burst out laughing.  “Not quite an adventure of that magnitude, I’m afraid, but I think you get the idea.”

Michael’s brilliance as a scientist had been listed in far too many journals and publications to make note of, but the man never seemed to come out of his isolated living out here in the darkness of the moon.  It didn’t stop him from being recognized, however.  Tathis Morgan stood behind the tinted glass, arms folded over his chest and a look of mild impatience in his eyes.  There was something dark about him, both in body and presence, and Michael was very wise not to refuse his request for his little experiment.  Though… it had been Michael’s idea.  Funding was everything.  It took two years to prepare, and Tathis had been most impatient.

“Well.  Here we go, Ax.  No turning back now.”

“Of course not, Michael.  Time is linear.  I have prepared my host.  Is there anything I can do for you before I go offline?”

Michael gave a small grin.  He would miss Axel… but three-million credits was more than he’d seen in his life.  Maybe he was being under paid, but hell if that wouldn’t pay the bills for a long while.  “I’m fine, Ax.  Thanks, though.  Let’s get this done.”  He wheeled his stool over to an examination table, and pulled back a sheet on what looked to be a corpse; a man in his late teens, possibly early twenties, with perfectly combed red-brown hair.  He was pale, but not sickly so, and Axel flicked an image of The Thinker onto his screen.

“Don’t think too hard on it, Ax.  It’ll work out just fine.  And if it doesn’t, you’ll be back in your hard drive in no time,” Michael assured, and drew a cord from one of the little compartments on Axel’s unit, and plugged it into a USB port on the back of his monitor unit.  “Ready for the upload, pal?”

“I am ready, Michael.”  A smiley face appeared on his monitor then, and Michael lifted the head of the body on the table, plugging a pin into a port at the base of his skull.

“Upload beginning…. Now.”  Michael started the process, looking on with quite anticipation.

Tathis stood behind the glass, one hand pressed to the darkened barrier, waiting with his breath hitched, his mouth slightly slack.

Two hours passed, and it didn’t appear that anyone had moved a muscle, though expressions had grown tired and Michael hunched a bit on his stool– until Axel’s unit powered down.

Michael jumped a mile, and his eyes widened, flicking from the body on the table to Axel’s monitor, and back again.  “Ax?”

The body’s eyes flicked open as if a switch was turned on, and an arm instinctively flew up to shield his eyes from the fluorescent lighting.  Michael jumped up off of his stool and let out a whoop of triumph, hands in the air.

“Unbelievable!  Ax!  Axel, can you speak?”  He asked, and leaned over the newly-awakened man on the bed.

Dark blue eyes fell to pin pricks as the arm slid down awkwardly, and plopped back on the table.  “Michael?”  The name was hoarse and uncertain as Axel tested his new vocal cords.

Tathis came around the corner, clapping slowly.  “Well done, Michael.  You’ve transferred a PC into an organic, human body.”

Michael laughed and motioned at Axel excitedly.  “Ax!  Ax, this is Tathis.  Can you see us, Axel?”

Axel tried to croak out a yes, but only nodded.

“Listen, he needs time to get used to the body. We need to make sure he doesn’t malfunction.  He’s still… for all intents and purposes, a computer.”

“As far as you know,” Tathis countered, “but that’s the heart of this little adventure, isn’t it?  I’ll be here daily for a report.  I want to know when he begins to feel.”

“Ah.  Yes, sir.  But… if the computer in him doesn’t take well to the hormones and chemical processes of a human body, don’t count it as a loss.  We made a massive step today–“

“Just make it happen.  Otherwise, what am I paying you for?”  Tathis strode off with a single wave behind himself.

Michael looked to Axel, and heaved a sigh, tugging the sheet up to the computer’s new shoulders and patting him on the head, while Axel’s eyes rolled about, learning his familiar atmosphere with human eyes.

“Well, pal… Pinocchio would be jealous.”

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Flash Fiction Thursday: WiP

This week’s entry to UnabridgedGirl’s Flash Fiction Thursday is going to be more an excerpt that I’m working to polish.  Novel progress is fun, but I’m still struggling with Z and Gage’s dynamic.  I’m working like hell to get it past the ‘utter garbage’ stage.  So.  Here it is.

Ducking beneath the corroded web of braided steel sky car cables, she padded swiftly over the city hall rooftop. The cables that were no longer in use still stretched across the city itself, even as they crossed over the freshly-built top storeys of the central building. City hall was more a place of misery than of hope and justice, and Hazel felt that it would not be long before the corruption and secrecy toppled the establishment into the muck from which it had risen. The slop that now bred the low-born, the slaves, and the servants of this new artistic revolution; beauty from the darkest of places. Beauty could not save them from the disease and plague that teemed from these places, overflowing from community to community, township to township. Perhaps ignorance was not so blissful, when the Reaper’s crook stood at the ready to take those who could not escape the filth into which they were born.

Still, as corroded as this city had become over the years, those who inhabited the hovels and boarding houses below would not leave this place for anything. Perhaps a vain sense of pride was all they had to boast, all there was to lift their spirits. Hazel understood that on a deeper level, though as she paced along the rooftop beneath the abandoned sky car lines, there was nothing she would have rather done than flee. Flee the city, the smoke stacks, the disease, the career that made her appear a fallen angel in the eyes of those who knew of her.

Depressing, really. Unfortunately, it was her career, her life, that gave her reason to stay here. Scouring the cobbled streets of Anamcara for the swollen-headed mouth-breathers that created the melting pot of crime and sickness that it had become had been the only saving grace for her sanity—and perhaps the cause for the failure of that sanity. And yet, like the people below, she would not change her lot in life.
“Toil the laborers of the Skycity–ye lowly Puppets of Prose, penning Our story in tainted blood,” whispered Hazel, reciting the scrawl of white paint smeared in desperate streaks across the brick wall of city hall; massive letters by the roof top so that all could see.  It would be gone tomorrow, but the revolutionaries would return.

And eventually they would be caught and hanged from the sky car cables to be made an example of.

“Gage,” she breathed, “where are you when I need you?”

The young surgeon’s ‘projects’ took up a good deal of his time, and stole his brilliant ramblings from Hazel when she desperately needed them.  It was Gage’s off-hand pondering aloud that helped Hazel see things more objectively, though it made her wonder if he had any leaning one way or another on any subject at all.  He was a passionate man, with a gentle bedside manner; an old friend.

He could be cold though, in the things he said, as if objectivity came naturally, and it was his heart that fought violently to come through in his opinions.

“Fuck me, what could you possibly be doing this time of night?”  She huffed, and took a running leap from the side of City Hall, quickly latching to a ladder on the adjacent building, her boots and gloves making her descent an easy slide from roof to pavement.

“You said midnight.”  A man stepped from the shadows, bespectacled, and tugging a watch from his fob pocket.  “You’re early.”

“So are you.”  Hazel turned around to face Gage, unstartled by his stealthy entrance.  “They’ve moved again.”

“The Underlings?”

“Yes.” Her voice was impassive, but the way she glanced at her partner made him stiffen a bit.

“You should have stopped them.  That’s your job,” spat Gage, tucking the watch roughly back into his waistcoat.

“My job?” Hazel’s features twitched, and she drew a breath to remember to keep her voice down.  “You were supposed to keep intelligence on that situation, Gage.  Your connections are failing me.  If that continues, then I don’t suppose I’ll find any more use for you.”

The surgeon stared at her for a moment, and removed his hat, straightening his hair with his free hand.  “You don’t mean that, Z.”

Of course she didn’t mean it, and her posture sank a bit.  “Just get me what I need to know: where they’ve gone and by what route.”

A bird-like squawk pierced the air, though it was distant, screeching across the city, as if in warning.  Hazel lifted her head, and Gage lowered his, both holding their breath as the cutting, high-pitched bark stilled the moment.  Hazel glanced to Gage, and his eyes lifted, their expressions mirrored severity.

“I’ll have everything you need to know by morning.”  Punctuating that statement, Gage turned sharply, and disappeared off into the darkness of the alley, the clicking of his leather soled shoes fading as quickly as he did.

Hazel watched him go, a cold pit growing in her belly as her contact disappeared before her eyes.

“I sincerely hope you do….”

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Flash Fiction Thursdays

UnabridgedGirl has posed a fun challenge on her blog called Flash Fiction Thursday, and I thought I’d crank out something to post for that.  So, in the last half hour, this is what I came up with:

“Light it,” the whisper quaked as she dragged the backs of her fingers through the tear-streaked rouge marring her cheeks. “Light it, Phineas!”

The match pinned between Phineas’ thumb and forefinger remained uncertainly poised against the rough grain of the box edge. “We’re in the middle of the city, Grace, I–”

“For the love of God, Phin, please!” Her demand fell more desperate, laced with a sob as the woman turned away from the towering whore house she had once called home. The darkened windows stared down at her like reaper with a toothless smile, mocking her—her stomach churned and she pressed lace-gloved fingers to her lips as she waited for the wave of nausea to subside.

The epidemic had claimed her sisters, beautiful girls, filthy by societal standards—though not a one of them would have hesitated in giving her their last bank note if she needed it. The doctors surpassed them. The townspeople shunned them. They were allowed to die, not through the fever that swept through Dakai City, but through simple inhumanity.

Grace had loved, cried with, and laughed with them. She had been through the hardest of times with the very same girls who were now corpses, covered by soiled sheets out of modesty and respect, with no good, church-side cemetery that would take them.

Phineas laid a hand on Grace’s shoulder, his fingers, covered in coal dust from the train yard, left a smudge on the ruffle of her dress sleeve. He repositioned the match against the edge of the box, and struck it, a spark exploding and engulfing the tip of the small matchstick in a bright yellow glow. Slowly, he approached the brothel steps, and held the flame above them.

“Are you absolutely certain, Grace? We can think of som–”

Grace whirled around and sobbed. “Just drop it!”

Giving a stout nod, Phineas dropped the match into the puddle left by the shattered paraffin lamp and a tidal wave of flame erupted to cover all the kerosene had touched. He stepped back, an arm snaking around Grace as the last place she called home was gradually consumed by the flames.

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