YAY! ANOTHER FURIOUS FICTION DONE AND DUSTED!
Well, it was technically done and dusted about three weeks ago, but I always hold out publishing until the winner is announced JUST in case!
But alas, another month without a mention. Still, its great practice and I’ve enjoyed almost every story I’ve entered.* This month was no exception, though instead of a darker tone I went a little more towards cli-fi this time.
Coincidentally, a member of my writing group wrote a very similar story. Well, it has similar features and mechanisms and a similar ending, though it took a very different route to get there.
But I digress. FF#21! Featured in the birthday card (yay! Happy 21st!) and wrote a story to the following conditions:
1. Must take place in a library or bookstore
2. Must contain SIX of the following words:
BROKEN MUSIC AROUND MECHANICAL SMELT GRUBBY GAME COFFEE BEIGE HANDS TWELVE LETTERS BACKPACK NAMELESS COWBOY OPERATE CUPID TRAIN PUNGENT UNTOUCHED
. . .and here it is!
*The exception was one that I crafted after analysis of previous winners. I tried to recreate some of the features and styles, and in the end is just didn’t feel ‘me’. I didn’t enjoy writing it, I didn’t enjoy reading it, and I didn’t feel good submitting it. Lesson: I’ll write my own voice and just enjoy it, if anything comes from that its a bonus.
UNTITLED ENTRY – FURIOUS FICTION OCTOBER 2019
Small spots of scar tissue track up my arm, rough like scales of a snake or lizard under my fingertips. Or like a dragon, I think. It’s not far off. Flying away, leaving a trail of fire and destruction, little more than myth to them. . .
Their place seems so small on the screen. Once a ball of blue and green, it’s now covers various shades of yellow, beige and brown. We will change that soon. We will fix what they have broken. It makes me feel sick.
“Glad it’s over?” Jawan’s been around longer, done this before. My scars follow a single line – his seem to cover every vein on his body. Tiny, splotchy marks weave across his skin, pale blemishes where his DNA has been extracted as storage.
I’m silent. He’s my senior, it’s not my place to correct him. But it’s *not* over yet, and the end of this phase will be the hardest part yet. The library is complete, but not the mission. We are yet to execute the necessary steps; though necessity doesn’t make the brutality any easier. An entire planet of species relying on the twelve of us, each giving time and time again to supplement and encode each living species in our very DNA. I am surrounded by the entire body of knowledge of life here, each book a tome filled with all the knowledge of every living thing that has existed here. A library, a lab, and a warehouse all in one.
“Amazing isn’t it. Every creature, every plant, right down to the microbes.”
“Could’ve left the spiders behind,” I mumble before I can stop myself. I wipe sweaty, shaking hands on my uniform. Jawan is silent this time. He’s not stupid, he knows how I feel about this
“It’s ok. We all have something we’re scared of. But the Library would be incomplete without them. We need to record them all.”
All except the humans. I scratch at my arm again and shiver. Jawan knows me, knows what I‘m thinking. Of the twelve I’m the only one who wanted to include them.
“They still have a chance to evolve.”
“Evolution is a lottery.”
“And every lottery gives them a chance. It will be the exact same conditions as last time. They’ll be around again.”
Last time. So casual. He’s already moved on.
“What’s your fear then?” He walks towards the control panel and types in a command.
“Mine?” I hear a sharp inhale and the tap of a button. This is the moment.
“It’s the exact same conditions, Maya. My biggest fear is that they will evolve, they will build empires and kingdoms and civilizations again.”
The brown turns to orange, then an ocean of debris and atmospheric flames.
“My biggest fear? That nothing we have done matters. That we dump them on another untouched planet, and they do the same thing. And in another four billion years, we’ll be doing this all over again.”