Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Time To Write… Vacant

Looking around the room would leave most with the impression that no one lived here. It would be a kindness to call it a sterile environment. Furnishings were sparse and bare, one drab grey colored rug in the center of the floor, a solitary wooden chair sitting in the corner. An ancient television on a plain wooden stand against a wall and one of those tall lamps with a nondescript beige shade and a brass strand you pull to turn it on.

There were a couple small windows letting in a sliver of light. Off white curtains were hung up on both blocking most of the light, with a hint of a cobweb in the corner of one.

The place was too quiet. It was eerie. You expected poltergeists or something, maybe bats or mice, or something to crawl out of somewhere. Slam a door, or wind to gust creepily in from an open window. Instead, everything was silent.

The report stated that a small pale face was seen peeking out one of the windows. In a place that had been vacant for years. It was assumed the child was a runaway, or a homeless waif, or perhaps was a scared lonely little soul that had been lost or was abducted. But, there was no trace of anyone. Dust covered the floors and corners, and the fridge was empty, except some mold from something long ago. There was no bed, or table.

The county records show the property had been foreclosed on, and it was repossessed by the bank and had been listed for sale for quite some time. There were water stains on the ceiling, and some water damage behind the toilet. Otherwise, there wasn’t much that was in disrepair. It was just empty.

There were no crumbs, or fingerprints in the dust. Perhaps the person thought they saw someone when they didn’t? Perhaps, I hated to say it, as I waved the flashlight around the small room, it was a ghost?

A preposterous idea. I almost wanted a sound, any sign of life. Something, anything. We waited a few minutes more, before we took another walk around the property. The yard was overgrown. It looked like an old swing set was somewhere in there, but the black berry bushes had grown to the point where most of it was hidden. A child lived here once, but it did not look like it was recent.

“What do you think, Andre? Is it possible to have multiple sightings of someone that was never here, or is it more likely we have a small person who leaves no trace behind them? Maybe the witnesses are

in on some weird prank. If so, I do not think it is funny.”

“No one is that bored. Why waste our time? Besides, I would hope they would do something at least a little bit funny. This? A waste of time, and boring as hell.”

“Well, I guess we should examine the yard. There could be someone hiding in this mess, and we probably wouldn’t know it. It seems the bank gave up on selling this place.”

“I think they have it listed as land. I think the house is pretty much toast, but then I am no realtor. So, who knows.”

We both scanned the tall grass with our flashlights, listening for something small and scared. It was getting darker, and if there were a child out here it would be getting awfully cold soon, with no heat in the house, or blankets. And, who knows what out here.

Coyotes for sure, and maybe something much worse, I thought to myself, part of me hoping to find something or someone just to have the day have some kind of achievement. A meaning, we were doing this for a reason and not wasting our time or resources.

Someone’s child may be out here, alone. Starving, freezing. scared. I was that child once. I remembered it all too well. Parts of it, anyway. Some parts, I sealed off from myself. Some families do more harm than good. That was why I went into this business after all. I wanted to help children who were in horrible situations. Like I wished someone had done for me.

 

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Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

Timed Write — First Thing that Comes to Mind

She walked down the street quietly, hands embedded into the pockets of an overly large beige rain coat. A piece of garbage blew past dancing along the street to some silent tune while the occasional rain puddle stood showing the sky in its natural mirror.

She sighed. Perhaps she just wanted to hear more than the occasional dripping of droplets from rooftops trying to hurry to the ground in their own wet way.

Sometimes she liked to hear her own voice, it almost sounded like it was coming from some other person. Her voice wasn’t how she imagined it would sound like in her head. It was higher, tinnier, distant. Like an echo of what she assumed was her voice.

She was young, wearing a maroon scarf and a small black hat askew. She had her own fashion sense, it was a bit nonsensical. Part retro part comfort, part a little bit detective movie, and a little bit couch potato. She wasn’t sure who she was yet, or who she would become and the impression she gave was of a whimsical and confused teen who wasn’t sure she liked herself all that much.

She knew she liked the rain. It was soothing when it hit her hat and her coat, it made a satisfying plop sound. It made its own music, a rhythmic percussion of sounds that set a tempo for action or just a lengthy walk.

She loved to walk. But, for some unknown reason, when the rain stopped something about the world seemed dark and gloomy. The music slowed down, and everything just sat wet and bland. Everything was just there, remaining around concrete and water.

The clouds were still overhead promising a return of rain in the near future. But in the meantime she was left walking down a largely deserted street wondering if the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse would resemble this.

Everything and everyone needs water, and rain is the form it often comes from. Rain was life, just like sunlight was. A plant would die without water just like it would without light. The air smelled different after a good rain.

The humidity messed with her hair more than her hat did, and she would stop to readjust a strand that somehow got into her face. It was a constant battle between her hat and her hair and her glasses. There was never a real victor, much like the rain or the sun, hair always came back.

Occasionally she would yank a particular strand out and examine the root of it, before tossing it. It would grow back. She guessed that was okay, after all, she didn’t want to be bald. Then again, since she liked to wear hats, perhaps that didn’t matter very much to her. Hair was kind of a symbol of vitality or health though.

People looked at a girl funny without hair. Everyone would probably make insane assumptions like cancer, or some terminal illness if she lost all her hair. Perhaps it is better to have it, so she can blend into the surroundings better. She didn’t want to attract too much attention. she didn’t want any more stares than she occasionally got for the hats she would wear.

A little attention was nice, a lot of attention was scary. She didn’t want stares, a glance was okay, but a stare would be altogether different. She wanted to be different, but not necessarily a freak.

It was a delicate balance that she might not ever perfect. But she was learning how to be herself and sometimes mistakes would be made.

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

Timed Write—Between the Cliffs of Venus Part 2

Adi woke up, her head aching and pounding. The hulking giant beast man leered at her in the copter. Was she dead? Was this some messed up after life? She patted herself down, the plans were gone, as was her lasgun. Damn. Of course they would have stripped her clean. She was a goner for sure.

“Hey, where are you taking me? I don’t suppose there is any use trying to make a deal with you, is there?”

The creature’s face remained the same weird leer, no recognition seemed to enter the thing’s eyes. The person driving the copter remained silent. Was it Harris? Or did she imagine that? This could be her chance to take out the mastermind behind her people’s destruction. This could be it, the only chance to get so close to the villain of her generation.

But, they had removed her weapon, and her head pulsed in agony. She remembered being shot. It seemed ages ago. Her arms were painfully tied behind her back with thick cords. “Okay, you got me, so what now?”

“The silent treatment? Are you Harris, then? Kinda impressive that you came out here to Venus on my account.”

“The silence really gets to you doesn’t it? Must’ve been very lonely out here on your own.”

She heard the voice from the front of the small airborne vehicle. He didn’t turn around. She couldn’t verify for sure that it was him. It would seem strange that someone so important would come in person. But, she could have sworn she saw his face.

“Your father was once a friend of mine, many years ago.”

“You knew my father?”

“Sure. I knew a lot of folks in the early days when we just started to develop this place. I modified that lasgun to stun only. I didn’t want to kill you. Not yet anyhow. I would like to know, what exactly you know. Where the Blue Rim is hiding out, for starters. Or, how about how you survived out here, all by your lonesome.  That is quite impressive.”

“So, you rescued me, to disarm me, and torture me?”

“It doesn’t have to be torture, does it? You gotta be lonely. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friendly chat, you know, for once?”

She couldn’t gauge whether he was serious or joking. His voice was muffled by the whirring noise of the machine and the wind whipping around them. She would never give up the rebel’s location. She would rather throw herself out of the copter and fall into eternity. The hulking man beast was blocking her path to the door with its crooked smile. Glassy eyes staring at her, not seeming to understand beyond its orders of watching her.

“While we are just chatting, friendly like, why don’t you tell me where we are going?”

“All in good time, Adi. We are almost there.” She felt the copter shudder to a still and land with a plume of dust rising to cover the windows. She squirmed attempting to free herself from the cords, feeling her skin painfully being scraped away in the process.  The pilot got out of the copter, the door shutting behind him. Another man beast yanked the door near her open and roughly grabbed one of her arms, dragging her forcefully from the vehicle into a dusty area that served as some kind of landing pad.

The man she assumed was Harris walked in front of her with an escort of beasts with lasguns. Her beast man dragged her along while her boots scuffed a dust trail behind her. Her mind was trying to figure out where she was. If she could get free perhaps she could tell the others of this place.

“Bring her in, and shut the door.” The man said without turning around. The floor was made out of some sort of smooth laminate. It was smooth and white and a large machine was in the middle of the room with a chair in the middle of it. She dug her heels in.

“Come on, Adi. It is almost time for our little chat.” The man removed his helmet gently, handing it off to a person who seemed to come out of nowhere to take it for him. “Oh you don’t like my little chair. I just wanted you to be comfortable, and in a place where we wouldn’t need to argue or fight, or waste needless time. This handy device records thoughts, and thoughts don’t lie. Oh, they can at first, but after a while, the truth will out. You can’t run forever. I assure you, it is comfortable. And you won’t remember a thing. You will wake up refreshed and be on your way.”

“You are Harris. Why are you doing this?”

“The burden of keeping secrets and of people trying to undermine what I am trying to do here is getting tiresome. Don’t you see, that I am trying to do the best for everyone? Why can’t you appreciate that? That information you were going to smuggle out? Yeah, it just would have sabotaged everything. Set me back a long long way if your little group blows this facility up. Earth is on its way out, the future is here, but it is my future. The future I envisioned. I won’t let you ruin it for everyone else.”

Another man entered with a tray of tools for the machine. He left quickly but not before she caught a glimpse of his face. “Wait, what? That is Harris too? How can there be more than one of you?”

“Same technology as the beast men. All about cloning and technology. It is how and why I, Harris, can personally get you from the sky, all the while another Harris is still running things on Earth, and another Harris is running another laboratory far from here. You cannot stop us. There is, fortunately, only one of you.”

Was it all truly hopeless? Her head hurt, her arms were chafed and raw and bleeding on the white floor.  She had to free her hands. She had to get out of here so she could warn the others.

She looked around the room, it was circular and there were several doors where the other Harris’s seemed to go. The beast men stayed by the door. She watched as the Harris in front of her loaded a syringe with a clear fluid, getting the straps on the chair like device ready.

She somersaulted backwards suddenly aiming for the lasgun in the hands of one of the beast men behind her. She knocked it out of his surprised hands as he grunted confused. His companion looked on moving slowly toward her.

Harris turned around pointing at her but she didn’t wait to her what he said. She had the lasgun in her mouth and and hopped out through the door which she opened by slamming her shoulder into it, running for the copter.

She used the lasgun to shoot the cords sizzling some of her skin in the process as she clenched her teeth in pain. The hulks were coming up behind her. She fired the lasgun at them both which slowed them down but did not stop them as they felt very little pain.

Luckily for Adi, they were pretty slow. She reached the copter first, yanking open the door and shutting it loudly. She locked the doors. Her com and beacons were removed from her jacket by Harris or his goons. How to get this thing started up without a key. She felt the hulks shaking the copter.

She opened the compartment below the main unit and carefully removed some wires, rewiring them and making new connections. She would need to hurry, she heard a crack in the glass and saw it form like a snowflake from her days on Earth. “Father I need your strength about now. Please, guide me to the Blue Rim.”

The copter powered up, lights a glow, and lifted off the ground. One of the creatures was hanging onto the tail and she spun it around to get him off. She noted the coordinates of this place in her mind, the only tool she had left.

She only had so much fuel she noted looking at the gauge, and she had to get away from here. Where were the others? How could she reach them now? She didn’t have her beacon, besides it alerted Harris to her location.

She might be all that was left of the resistance. But she had to hope. Her life had to have a purpose. She set off in a direction away, seeing other figures on the ground shaking their fists at her as she drifted further from the building.