Callista – Room 101

Just a little something.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


Spencer stirred slowly as the cryo pod hissed and opened, his head pounding and the cabin lights causing him to reach up and cover his eyes.  He breathed deep trying to quell the nausea.  Hauling derilium ore across the galaxy was great money and the chance to see the colonies was something so few Earth born would ever experience but he’d never get used to the effects of coming out of deep sleep no matter how many times he did it.

Still squinting he checked the readout on the small display on his wrist.  Coordinates and timings checked out, he was back home.  Excited, he pulled himself from the pod, head spinning and stumbled over to the bridge, desperate to get a glimpse of the planet he had left behind nearly 150 years ago.

“What the…” he mumbled steadying himself against the back of a large chair.  He looked down at the control panel in front of him, lights blinking.

“Calista, confirm destination coordinates reached.” He said stabbing at a flashing red button.  The proximity sensors were on overload.

A flat calm voice responded.  “Coordinates for Earth orbit reached, local year is 2187.”

They had to be wrong.  “Calista please recalibrate and verify coordinates.”

“Coordinates for Earth orbit reached” she repeated.

Struggling forward he walked slowly over to the long wide window at the far end of the deck.  Where there should have been a planet all there was rock and debris as far as he could see.

“Calista where is Earth?” he asked.  There was a brief pause.

“Coordinates for Earth orbit reached” she answered.  “Records show no transmissions from Earth for 30 solar cycles.”

“Scan for local signals” he instructed.  Something must have survived whatever had happened.

Ore freighters didn’t have a crew or captain, programmed to track to their destination coordinates and only wake the solitary crew member – the engineer – in the event of significant technical difficulties.  Obviously Earth being rubble was for some reason not classed as a significant.

“No signals across any frequency detected” she answered.  “Scanning complete”

He stood and considered what to do next, his head still fuzzy from the effects of spending 70 year frozen as he tore across the galaxy.

“Calista, estimate return route to nearest Earth outpost, factor in remaining cryo reserves.”  HE knew he didn’t have enough for a full trip back to the nearest colonies but reserves should get him somewhere he could refuel and refill the cryo.

It took her longer than he had expected.  “Calista?”

“Estimates indicate that with current reserves and running STL drives at 10 percent to maximise remaning fuel it will take approximately 22 years to reach the nearest outpost at Sentauri.”

“And how much capacity have we got in cryo?  I really don’t want to be awake for 22 years with just you for company, no offence intended”

“None taken” Calista responded.  “Reserves will permit 5 years of additional deep sleep.”

“That’s it?  Five?”

“Affirmitive, Five”

Spencer sat down in the large chair and stared out into space and wondered whether the ships computer had solitaire built in…

Gettysberg – Room 101

The smell of blood and gunpowder mixed with the crack and fizz of musket balls filled Abel’s senses

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


The smell of blood and gunpowder mixed with the crack and fizz of musket balls filled Abel’s senses. Cold steel met soft flesh and a young lad, no more than 18 years old, collapsed lifeless next to him – dark blood seeping into his grey uniform. His heart thundered like the endless roar of cannons trained on their position from the ridge and he took a drink from his canteen.

Looking over to where General Lee stood he reached for his revolver. It was time to end this war.

He raised his revolver but before he had chance to squeeze the trigger there was a flash of light and he found himself back on the table in the departure centre.

“Change of plans Abel” came a voice over the comms, “were going to let the war continue a bit longer.”

Echoes of Mars – Room 101

“You see that girl” he said looking over at a canary is a small cage on a dresser next to the window.  “you see those vapour trails? That was me once.”

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

 


Amos sat in the old rocker looking out across the open fields in front of the farm house.  He watched wisps of clouds dancing across the sky and jet trails slowly dissolving into the blue and remembered a time, long ago now, when he was more than the frail old man now living out the last of his days watching the seasons pass from his window.  Snippets of another life he was no longer sure were even his.

“You see that girl” he said looking over at a canary is a small cage on a dresser next to the window.  “you see those vapour trails? That was me once.”

The small yellow bird cheeped almost as if in response.

His eyes weren’t what they once were but he could still make out the feint outline of the city in the distance and he watched as shuttles, from this distance mere specks, took off and headed upwards towards the east pacific low orbit station.

There was a flash of silver as the sun caught the side of a large long haul transporter rising slowly upwards and he remembered, not at all fondly, the early days long before anti-grav when they had to strap you to a rocket just to get you into orbit.

He didn’t miss the take offs but he each landing was fresh in his mind as the day he had made them

“Good times” he mumbled to himself rolling a small red rock no larger than a thumbnail between his fingers, a memento of his last trip to Mars smuggled home and his most prized possession.  He rocked slowly and pulled a blanket over his knees.  He looked at it and his eyes lit up and a smile spread across his face.  He had kept it locked away for decades but today, today he wanted to hold it.  It was softer to the touch than he remembered, perhaps from being kept in the old cigarette tin in the dresser.

“I went there you know” he told his canary.  He had told her uncountable times but he didn’t know that, not anymore.  His once sharp mind was now a lottery when it came to the things he remembered and the things he did not.  “I saw sunrise over the Martian planes, before we stopped going there and trust me, it was a sight to behold.  Miles of red, like a sea of blood stretched out before us.”

The canary cheeped and cleaned her feathers, then hopped down to the bottom of the cage.

“Oh yes” he continued proudly, fragments of past glories now darting about his mind. “I was a real American hero indeed.”

The canary chirped again, and then for a second time as Amos suddenly stiffened, a look of pain etched across his face.  His right arm reached for his chest and the small rock fell from his hand.  Amos gasped as the bird continued to chirp loudly, now in full cardiac arrest.  Hands clenched into fists the life ebbed slowly from his body as his eyes glazed over and with a final gasp Amos McCartney drifted into nothing.

And with that final, his body now relaxed the chair rocked forward crushing the small rock fragment, red dust smeared on the carpet beneath the runner of the old rocking chair.  The canary chirped wildly, hopping up to the small wooden perch and then back to the cage floor but there was nobody to hear it or heed it’s warnings.

Slowly, spreading out from the spot under the chair a red stain began to creep.  It first engulfed the chair and Amos, turning them a dark ochre red and, moments later,  the wood and flesh and plaid blanket on his knees suddenly collapsed into dust.   The canary chirped wildly, flying around the small cage panicked.

Outwards it then began to spread and in a moment the chirps of the canary were  silenced…

Departmental Duties 2 – Room 101

Jeremiah stepped out into the night pulling his coat collar around his ears as the rain continued to fall,  iridescent pools forming across the open paved area in front of the building that lead to the cross town zip. 

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene. I did part 1 here and this is a bit more.


PART 2

Jeremiah stepped out into the night pulling his coat collar around his ears as the rain continued to fall,  iridescent pools forming across the open paved area in front of the building that lead to the cross town zip.  The Immigration centre was in the heart of the market district, a leftover from decades before when this was part of a vibrant business area hosting head offices of banks and financial institutions from across the planet.  Now it was very much a sea of stalls, food vendors and a pulsating night live that catered for the most basic tastes and cravings for creatures from across all four systems.  High rises had been converted for accommodation and the suits were mostly long gone.

The main road through the area was a sea of neon painted against the wall of converted hab-blocks towering high into the grey skies above.  Across from the immigration building, illuminated only by the crack and fizz of the day glow signs, he could make out the silhouettes of a tall Carillion and a small group of Thracians.

“What a joke” he mumbled to himself.  Earth had welcomed them, gave them refuge and saved them from the ravages of their own worlds, but now they had taken over huge swathes of the city and people like him – humans, born of Earth – were an endangered species in some parts.

“Hey handsome” came a voice from the shadows as he crossed towards the Zip station.  “You been working late? You looking for something special?”

Jeremiah turned towards the source of the voice.  It was a Carillion.  Humanoid in basic form but standing 8 foot tall with bright blue scaled skin they were quite something.  Her voice rolled with an enticing melody.  It was almost a song and Jeremiah paused for a moment.

“No, no I don’t.” He answered sharply.  “I have a wife.”

She sensed reservation in his voice.  She know his type.  Hated them and their kind but couldn’t resist the lure of something exotic.  “You sure baby” she answered smiling.  She motioned towards a door lit by a single white light.  “My home is your home.”

Jeremiah walked slowly over.  There was a reason the Carillions were so popular, he’d heard the men in the office talking about them.  “Show me” he said, a snarl on his face

She placed a hand on the side of his head.  “Close your eyes baby”.

Jeremiah obeyed and in a moment he felt her inside his head, images of writhing flesh and darkest desires flooding his senses.  He could taste her on his tongue.  He could feel her long slender fingers on  his skin.

“Stop” he shouted opening his eyes grabbing her arm.

She smiled at him and lowered her arm.  “It’s okay baby I understand, I’ve seen your thoughts.  I know how you feel about us.  It’s okay”

He released her arm and stood staring up at her.   He wanted it.  He wanted her.  He had a thousand reasons to head home but right now all he could think of was the thoughts she’d put in his head.

“How much?” he asked.

She reached for his hand and opened the door.  “A hundred and fifty Credits for everything.”

He reached into his pocket and checked his wallet.

“I have one request” he said putting it back into his pocket.

“Yes baby of course, whatever you desire” she answered leading him through the door and up a small flight of stairs.

His mouth dry and pulse racing he followed her into a small room.  There were threadbare carpets on the floor and a bed along one wall.  On the opposite side of the room was a screen draped with a silk gown.  The walls were bare save for a long mirror and a crucifix above the sink in the corner.

Jeremiah reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his wallet and paid her.  He then took out his phone and sent a message to his wife telling her he would be home late and put it back away.

He looked up at her as she caressed his face.

“So what was that request you had then“ she asked, her voice filling his head.

He paused.  He hated himself.  “I want you to hurt me…”

Departmental Duties 1 – Room 101

“Carillions are awful at paperwork” he said to himself opening the file on the clan connections. That was it.  That’s what felt wrong, this application just looked too good.  “What are you hiding buddy?”

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.  This might actually be part 1…or the intro…


 

Jeremiah pushed his chair back, puffed out his cheeks and put his hands behind his head.  Just this case to finish and then he would head out for something to eat and then go home.  He sighed and looked out across the ofice and noticed he was alone, the three long rows of pods long emptied for the day.  As usual he was first in and last out.

“No wonder the detention centres are full” he mumbled to himself.

He scanned the data on the holo-screen before him. Everything looked okay on the surface but something about the case made him uneasy.  There were no outstanding warrants or red flags from across any of the four known systems, he had clan already settled on the east coast and his paperwork was faultless.  He hadn’t even had any run ins in the centre which was rare for his type.

“Carillions are awful at paperwork” he said to himself opening the file on the clan connections. That was it.  That’s what felt wrong, this application just looked too good.  “What are you hiding buddy?”

He chewed on a pen as he went through every page of the settlement application, but he couldn’t find anything solid.

Like so many Carillions he had found his way to earth after fleeing his home to escape the persecution of the Tardaron Federation, and whilst the central Earth Government wanted to help they’d been swamped in the three years following first contact so had brought in tight regulations to ensure the other systems weren’t just shipping their problems to Earth.

Now  didn’t care for either race particularly but the Carillions had provided the earth government with some pretty serious military tech so for now they were the good guys.

Jeremiah sighed.  As much as he wanted to reject the case he couldn’t find anything.  He tossed the pen across he desk, pressed the ‘Authorise’ button and shut it down.

“Alexa, what time is it” he asked rubbing his eyes.

“The time is Eight thirty five” came the response.

Jeremiah got up from his chair, pushed it back under his desk and headed for the door.  There would be more to process tomorrow, he’d meet his rejection quota then.

 

A last goodnight – Room 101

The old porch swing creaked as Cal pushed slowly back and forth, the evening breeze cool against his skin and the smell of bougainvillea thick in the air. 

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


 

The old porch swing creaked as Cal pushed slowly back and forth, the evening breeze cool against his skin and the smell of bougainvillea thick in the air.  Sam sat with him, saying nothing, simply staring up into the sky where the huge fireball seemed to hang like a balloon on the wind.  After a while he shifted in his seat and spoke.

“How long until it get’s here dad?” He asked.

Cal placed his hand on Sam’s arm.  He was a great kid with so much of his life still to be lived.  He deserved better than this.

“They say tomorrow will be our last.” Cal answered calmly.  He thought to himself that he probably should have lied but Sam wasn’t stupid.  He knew what was coming, he’d seen the news.

“So why couldn’t they stop it?” He asked.

“We did everything we could son” he answered putting his arm around his shoulder and pulling him close.  “But it was too big, too fast, and we just saw it too late.”

Sam pointed at the sky.  “It looks like another sun doesn’t it” he said quite calmly.

“Uh huh.  I guess so” Cal answered.

Sam lowered his arm and sat up straight on the edge of the bench.  He shuffled where he sat, looking uncomfortable.

“Did we deserve to die?” He asked “because Jenny Wilkes at the store said this was happening because we’re all evil.”

“Sam no, god no” Cal answered sitting upright next to him.  “We’re just in it’s path son, it’s nothing we’ve done.”

Sam seemed happy with the answer.  “I’m not scared you know” he said turning to look at his father.  “I’ve had a good life.”

Cal choked up.  He didn’t know what to say.  Here he was wanting to scream and shout about how unfair it all was and his son goes and says that.

“Do you think I would have had a wife one day?” Sam continued.

“Oh Sam” Cal exclaimed fighting back tears.  “I’m quite sure you would have yes.  Definitely yes.”

“Do you think she would have been like mum?”

“I’m sure she would have been just as wonderful as your mum son, without a doubt.” Cal answered, tears streaming down his face.  Sam wasn’t really old enough to remember her but every night he would ask and Cal would tell him all about her. “She would have been so proud of you, you know that right.”

Sam stood from the bench and turned to face his father.

“I know dad” he said smiling and reached out a hand.  “Let’s go watch a movie, I think that would be a good way to spend the night.  Then tomorrow we will see mum again.”

Beyond the stars – Room 101

Children for sale, get your fresh children here!

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


Cal opened his eyes slowly, his head pounding and a searing pain in his chest.  As his senses returned he found himself looking out into the darkness of space, the earth drifting far in the distance.  He was in one of the SS Brunel’s escape pods, he had done enough inspections of them in his time so that he knew.  What he didn’t know was how he’d got there.

He reached for his chest and winced.  There was blood and scorch marks on his tunic and he could smell med-plas.  Someone had patched him up but no matter how hard he tried he had no idea who.

He stabbed a finger at the console in front of him but it was completely dead with the exception of a single blinking red light and a small dial with an indicator reading ten percent.

“Well I have life support” he said to himself tapping the gauge. “For now at least.”

He pulled at the manual ignition lever above his head in an attempt to force a reboot of the pod but there was just a dull click.  A few more pumps resulted in the same result and he pushed the lever back into its housing.  If he couldn’t get the pod back online this was going to be a very short trip.

“Come on baby” he said willing her back into life and shifting uncomfortably in his chair to reach for a panel to his left.  He pulled open a small hatch to reveal the distress beacon which should have been blinking, but wasn’t.

He ran his hands through his hair and cursed.  No power, no distress beacon and life support now less than ten percent.

By his reckoning he had maybe an hour before oxygen levels dropped to critical.

 

Mountains must move – Room 101

Maybe a beginning but little more…

 Let’s do one of M’s prompts.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  They dont always finish, they don’t always have a start. I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or paint a single scene.  Originally they were always 101 words but not worrying too much about word count at the moment.


Even now after all these years Cal could still recall the day everything changed.  It was hard to forget.

Quite clearly he still remembered the panic in his chest hearing his mother calling his name frantically as he rode his bicycle through the tall grass in front of the farm house.  He knew that this was no time to hide, no time for games.

He hadn’t made it back to her before the skies started to darken, and after abandoning his bicycle and setting off at a sprint he saw a look of fear on her face that would never leave him.  As they raced inside the house the sky seemed to explode, crimsons and  oranges painted horizon to horizon and a deafening roar cut through the air, shaking the house to its foundations.

“What is it Mom” he had asked her, “what’s happened.”

Se said she didn’t knew but that they needed to hide and get to the bunker.  He didn’t believe her then but looking back he understood why she had lied to him.

He would have done the same because the lie was better than the truth.  It was a truth very few of them would survive.

 

 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Sea of Chardonnay – Room 101

Children for sale, get your fresh children here!

 Let’s do one of M’s prompts.  Rusty Bearings.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  Originally they were 101 words only.  I’m less strict about that now.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


 

Ada and Sol stood hand in hand and waited.  Before them golden waters stretched away into the distance, the sun dancing across the surface of the lake.  Behind them long grass on rolling hills swayed in the spring breeze generated by the bio-hab.”

“I’ll miss the moon” Sol said, a tremor in his voice.  “Nurse says this is what the Earth used to be like.”

Ada felt the grass between her toes.  She would miss it too.  This was home, all she had ever known.

Nervously they watched the shuttle skim across the surface of the water towards them.  A long white cylinder with small dark windows along each side it caused the water below to ripple as it eased slowly to a halt on the waters edge.

“I want you on your best behaviour” a man’s gruff voice barked from behind them.  “These people have paid good money and they expect only the best do you understand.”

A small hatch opened in the underside of the craft and a ramp descended slowly.  They held their breath as around twenty terrans spilled out onto the grass. Ada felt sol squeeze her hand and she squeezed back reassuringly.  She had always been the strong one.

A small blonde haired boy stood a few metres from Ada started to cry.  “I don’t want to go to earth “ he sobbed. “I want to stay here.”

Ada turned to him and flashed him a smile and nodded.  “It’s okay” she mouthed.

“You’ll do as we say” the gruff voiced man said sharply “you cant get kids of your quality back on Earth.  These people pay top money, now smile.”

 

Rusty Bearings – Room 101

a quick something and nothing.

 Let’s do one of M’s prompts.  Rusty Bearings.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else.  They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.


 

Cal stood on the repair deck of the SS Los Angeles looking out into the inky expanse of space and wiped at the grease on his hands with an old red rag.  He loved rest days when he could just potter around the repair deck and have time to think.

He braced himself as he felt the rumble of the high orbit burners beneath his feet and the ship manoeuvred slowly around until the earth drifted into view.

“Wow” he said to himself shaking his head.  The old girl didn’t look well.

From high above large swathes of once green land were now barren and ocean’s once blue and teaming with life were now darkened with the toxic remnants of the third and fourth great wars.

He placed the rag into his overall pocket as the ships com gave a single beep and crackled into life.

”This is captain Armitage.”  He sounded tired.  Eight years in charge of a destroyer will do that to you Cal thought to himself.  “It is with great sadness that I can confirm that Central Command have today confirmed that the SS Trump has been lost over Mars.  Survivors are not expected.  God bless her crew and God bless America.”  The Comms beeped again and there was silence.

Cal grimaced.  That was four destroyers in the last month alone.  They were losing this war.

Sandpaper and Sinkholes – Room 101

Jay tapped refresh on his screen and waited anxiously for the numbers to appear. 

 Let’s do one of M’s prompts.  ‘Pinches of positivity’.


 

Jay tapped refresh on his screen and waited anxiously for the numbers to appear.

“Looking nervous bro” Mo said watching him from across the room, a broad smile on his face and his brown eyes sparkling mischievously.

“Whatever” Jay answered as the numbers flashed on the screen.

“What you got then?” Mo pressed getting out of his chair and walking across to try and take a look at the screen. “How many do you have?”

Jay pulled away and pushed the device inside his robe.  “2.4.  Still plenty more that you” he snapped.

“Ah but it isn’t just about numbers, it’s also about quality Jay.”

Mo reached into a pocket and pulled out his own device and thrust it towards Jay.  Initially reluctant he took it and scanned over the stats blinking across the screen.

“1.6 with pretty high dedication scores I will admit” he said sullenly and handed it back.  “I still beat you on wealth and influence categories too though.”

“For now” Mo said still smiling.  “You’ve seen my predictions for the next 80 years right?  Dad thinks I’ve a real chance of catching you, especially now my mortality rates are dropping and you have your European problem to deal with.”

Jay really did find him so annoying at times.

“I have no idea why you’re grinning so much” Jay replied angrily, “Vish has nearly as many as you do and his dedication scores are nearly as high as yours.  Vish what you got mate?”

Both men turned to where a third man was sitting on a small wicker chair surrounded by piles of books and papers.

“Don’t involve me in this “ he shouted back and pulled on a pair of headphones “I want nothing to do with this I am quite happy with what I have.  I’m sitting this out for now thanks.”

Mo laughed and folded his arms defiantly.  “You know I will get his eventually don’t you, there’s just no way you’ll ever get them.  Say what you want, his dedication scores are on the slide almost as badly as yours.”

Jay balled each of his hands into a fist.  He really wanted more than anything  to punch him in the mouth.  He was so abrasive when in one of these moods.  Always so desperate to get ahead.

“You know what Mo” Jay said walking closer, chest puffed out.  “Maybe it’s time we took this to the next level.  Maybe it’s time I put you in your place.”

“Oh and how are you going to do that then?” he asked pushing back.  “You got some secret weapon?  You played the evangelist card in the eighties, you got nothing left.  They were all discredited.  You’re bluffing.  Best you can do is damage control.”

Jay hesitated for a moment, smiled and then took a step back.  He reached back inside his robe for his device and stabbed at the screen.  He smiled and slowly turned the screen in his hand and held it outwards towards his brother.

Mo looked confused.  “You’re playing a Donald?  What the hell is a Donald?”

Pinches of positivity – Room 101

Seems this is my 500th post…

Well this is my 500th post.  Not sure how that happened, I was only really popping in to see what this blogging lark was about.  Oh well, better write something deep and meaningful. Let’s do one of M’s prompts.  ‘Pinches of positivity’.


Lying strapped to the bed Malcolm looked around the room.  Harsh chrome spots reflected on the cold white walls and floor and a single door at the end of the room seemed to be the only way in or out.

He struggled against the wrist and ankle straps but there was no give.

A woman’s voice crackled into life over a speaker, .it was calm and smooth like liquid sugar

“All things are good” it said slowly.  “All things are good.”

Malcolm instinctively tried to ignore the voice but it resonated deep within his mind and filled his senses.

“Everything will work out.” it continued as the words bounced around his head and filled him with calm.  The room drifted into nothing as he closed his eyes.

“This is all you need and you need nothing more.”  iIt said and Malcolm began to mumble the words phrase after phrase.

“This is where you belong and what you need.”  The words left his mouth almost synchronised with voice from the speaker.  He felt warm and safe.

“Everything is fine”

Phrase after phrase flowed into and over him, repeated word for word as he slowly passed into sleep, the words of comfort still dripping from his lips.

As the speaker crackled into silence two orderlies emerged from the door at the end of the room and wheeled his bed back out towards the exit.

“Think he’s nearly?” a barrel chested man asked.  His colleague pulled the door closed behind them.

“Just a couple more sessions and he will be ready for his wedding.”

 

Teleporting Topless – Room 101

Clarke reached for the key on the panel, an array of lights blinking.

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.  These tend to be snippets of things that could be or might be one day.  Or never see the light of day again.


Clarke reached for the key on the panel, an array of lights blinking.

“First full human trials commencing in 5…” He said looking up at a camera in the corner of the room.  Reaching zero he turned the key.

A bright flash lit up the room, static electricity fizzing and popping as the form of a person began to take shape on the receiver.  The air crackled as first feet and then legs took form.  Clarke waited heart racing.  The fizz popped and stopped.

His comms unit barked into life. “Boss, we have a problem.”

Clarke stared at the platform.   “Oh shit”

 


 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Butter Brickle – Underworld 3

Marcus Henderson was born to a poor mid-west family just after the second American civil war. 

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.   I used to do 101 words, hence the title but I am scrapping the restriction.  They will still be a brief.

Part 1 is here

Part 2 is here


Marcus Henderson was born to a poor mid-west family just after the second American civil war.  His parents had picked the wrong side and they had paid a heavy price for those decisions for years afterwards.  Like so many who had felt it was their duty to reclaim the America of their forefathers his father had died a broken man and his mother a shell of the tender and caring woman he remembered from his very earliest years.

As he walked towards the Zip station he thought of them and of the promise he had made his father as he lay dying, his body riddled with radiation poisoning. He would have been proud of the man he had become.  Proud of his sense of duty and his loyalty to family and a cause that still lived silently in the heart of so many.

“Don’t forget what they did” he could still hear him saying.

With rain falling and the inky blackness of night now descended on the city he reached into his pocket and fingered a small wad of credits.  Just enough to get him to the Airport and then it was off planet.  He gripped the briefcase more tightly and turned a corner.  The Zip station was just a block ahead and he quickened his pace.

“I’ve done it” he said aloud and allowed himself to smile.  It was probably his first smile in years.

Unfortunately for Marcus Henderson, with the exception of a brief moment where he managed to muster a “what the…”, those were the last words to ever leave his mouth.

From the corner of his eye he caught a blur of motion, a whiff of perfume and then he was suddenly dragged back into a small loading alley running parallel to the main walkway.  He felt arms around his throat and despite kicking frantically he could not fight back.

There was a brief “Shh” in his ear and in one swift movement there was a crack as his neck snapped and he slumped lifeless to the floor.

“Heavier than I thought” Jessica said to herself looking down at him and reaching down and prying the briefcase from his fingers which she placed it on the ground next to a dumpster.  She then went through his pockets and found his cash, ID Papers and a packet of butter brittle.

“Sweet tooth eh” she said.  “Don’t you know sugar will kill you sugar.”

She didn’t have time to get him into the dumpster and pulled him out of sight.  Not a minute too soon too as she heard hurried footsteps and through the patter of the rain  listened as the two hooded men walked past oblivious to what had just happened.

“He must have headed into the station” she heard one say.  There was definitely the hint of a Russian accent.

“Head up to the main concourse” the second told him breaking into a run, “I’ll check the departures.”

Jessica stood in the darkness, rain falling, and listened to the their receding footsteps.

“Job done” she said to herself and picked up the case and pushed the cash and ID papers into her jacket pocket.  She tossed the butter brittle at the dead man’s feet.

“Nothing personal Marcus” she said heading back out into the night, “I’m just doing my job.”

Moonlit Excursions – Underworld 2

Heads turned as she walked into the club, a dozen pairs of desperate lonely eyes drinking her in as eagerly as they suffered what passed as beer in this place

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.   I used to do 101 words, hence the title but I am scrapping the restriction.  They will still be a brief.  This is a follow up to one I did yesterday which you can find here…


Marcus Henderson was a fragile man, and he had for many years enjoyed his ill health about as much as he was enjoying the second beer just put before him.

He nodded a thanks to the bar tender and pushed a handful of credits towards him.  He didn’t really want the beer, and he didn’t want to be here, but somehow this is where he was and he had no idea why.   He just needed to be anywhere but there.

The original young girl on the stage had been replaced by her more voluptuous colleague, an engineered model no doubt given the size of her assets, and she was making easy work of hoisting herself up and down the pole.

“You not thirsty Marcus honey” she asked in her warm southern drawl, her red lips lingering on the ‘M’ just a little too long.  “You dont want it to get warm now.”

He pushed it away and readied himself as if to leave.  He looked up slowly as he spoke.

“It was very nice to meet you Miss…” He paused.

“Call Me Jessica, Marcus.  Very nice to meet you.”

“Likewise” he said  shaking her hand and then quickly pulling away.  “I must be going though” he added nervously “I have a dirigible to catch”  and with that he rose from his stool, pulled his coat tight and with his briefcase clutched to his chest he headed towards the exit and the neon night beyond.

“Be safe now you hear” she said as he walked away and up a small flight of steps to the club door.  She picked up movement from a dark corner and her eyes instinctively scanned the room and she watched two dark coated men rise and follow him as he left.  “Fuck” she said finishing her drink.  How did they know he was here?  She needed to act, and she needed to act fast or everything was going to go south fast.

“Thank you sugar” she said to the barman, waiting a few moments and then made for the exit.

The fizz and hiss of Neon lit the night, high sided buildings adorned with luminous invites to whatever dark craving you might call normal.  Across the road she spotted the two men weave between the street side vendors and the corporate nobodies that filled this part of time once night fell.  Pockets full and empty lives they moved from joint to joint in search of something that would pass for entertainment.

Heels or not she wasn’t letting this one get away and she skipped between the traffic shortening the distance between herself and Marcus’ followers and tucked in behind a  broad shouldered Colony Marine who seemed to be heading in the same direction.  Billows of steam hissed from street vents and the calls and cries of the market traders fought with the buzz of the traffic as she passed endless shopfronts selling everything from trinkets to weapons and somewhere in between you’d find the off-world girls and occasionally boys for those with an appetite for something a little different and a wallet to match.

She pulled the collar of her leather jacket up around her ears and darted from behind the marine and down a small side alley.  He had said he needed to catch a dirigible and given that there was only one zip station in the precinct that had a direct link to the airport she knew where he was going.  More importantly, she knew how to get there faster.

She picked up her pace and winding through near dark allies she headed for the zip station.  Here beyond the main strip and the glow of the neon hooded faces skulked in the shadows.

“What you after darling?” A tall thin man asked as she skirted the pools of water and garbage.  He reached a hand towards her and her eyes flashed bright, the glow of electric blue cutting through the darkness.

“H-hey sorry” he stammered recoiling in fear “I’m not looking for no trouble” he continued and hurried inside a dark doorway.

Jessica never broke stride and as she heard the clang of the door closing she rounded a corner and found herself just one block from the zip station.  She looked up feeling the first drops of rain beginning to fall, and there was a feint rumble of thunder in the distance.

They would have to come this way, and when they did she would be waiting.


 

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Shades of Chartreuse – Underworld 1

Heads turned as she walked into the club, a dozen pairs of desperate lonely eyes drinking her in as eagerly as they suffered what passed as beer in this place

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.   I used to do 101 words, hence the title but I am scrapping the restriction.  They will still be a brief.  This might be the start of something.  Might well be a ‘To be continued…’  Actually, it could even be a middle or an end never mind a beginning.


Heads turned as she walked into the club, a dozen pairs of desperate lonely eyes drinking her in as eagerly as they suffered what passed as beer in this place.  With legs as long as her skirt was short she sidled up to the bar and effortlessly perched on the stool.

“Chartreuse” she said in a voice as smooth as silk.  The bartender nodded.

The room was dim enough to hide even the darkest of secrets and across from the bar on a small stage, lit only by a single spot that cut through the swirls of cigarette smoke, a pretty young thing wound slowly around a pole – her eyes dead and her mind anywhere but here.

“What’s your story” she asked a small balding man in a long dark overcoat sat two stools away.

He said nothing, staring deep into his glass.  He held a small battered briefcase on his lap and even when he drank kept one hand on it.

She took the glass of yellow green liquid from the bartender and slipped him ten credits.  “Keep the change sweetness” she said smiling.  He blushed awkwardly.  She was unnervingly beautiful.

“Not a talker eh” she continued, taking a sip from the glass.  “Well you cant come for the liquer either” she said putting it down, “so I guess you’re here for the girls then”.

“Im m-m-married” he answered.  She watched him for a moment.  He was small and very pale and beads of sweat glistened in the dim light.

“Aren’t you all sweetheart” she answered smiling and down one seat.  “Things not good at home then?” she asked.

“Everything’s fine” he answered curtly cradling the briefcase in his lap more tightly.

“That’s what my ex used to say” she said circling the rim of the glass with her forefinger “He’d say everything was fine and then I’d find him with Tracy or Kimberley or Julie or whoever the girl of the day was.”

The small pale man turned his head to look at her before quickly looking back down at the bar.

“He must have been a fool” he muttered.

“Oh thank you sweetheart” she said placing a hand on his arm.  Her bright blue twinkled as she flashed him broad smile   “I’m long past holding grudges though, he’s nothing but a story to me these days.  A distant memory and nothing more.”

He quickly took a drink from his almost empty glass.

“What’s your name sugar?” she asked.

“Henderson” he replied.

“First or last?” She teased.

“Marcus.  My name’s Marcus” he said.  She noticed him move ever so slightly towards her on his stool.

“Well Marcus” she said taking another drink from her glass, “Here’s to things being just fine.”


 

I think I might try continue this tomorrow…the prompt could work.  Moonlight Excursions.


Photo courtesy of pixabay

Stripped and polished – Room 101

As the bar began to empty her long nails traced patterns on his arm.  

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.


As the bar began to empty her long nails traced patterns on his arm.

“Nice colour” he said nervously

“You like it?” She asked smiling.  Of course he did. They all did.

“I…erm.”

She laughed leaning over and whispering in his ear.  “It’s blood red.”  The feel of her breath on his skin made his head spin and her perfume filled his senses.  “It’s of my own making” she continued, her nails now digging into his thigh.

“R-really” he stuttered, his jeans suddenly rather tight.

“Yes” she answered taking his hand and smiling.  “Come with me I’ll show you how.”

 


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Frosty Goes Wild – Room 101

This one’s bloody awful. Sorry.

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.


The cold wind stole her breath and the smell of tobacco filled her nostrils as gnarled fingers wrapped tight around her throat and pushed her up against the wall.

“Mmmm” She gasped, the moon reflecting on his deathly pale skin.

“Shut up” he snapped squeezing tighter, Ice running through her veins as she looked into eyes dark as coal. You “like carrots?” he asked, his laugh echoing through the night.

Struggling against his grip she gasped as he forced her slowly to her knees.

“Damn, there really must have been some magic in that old silk hat” he said grinning wildly.

 


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Swayed and seduced – Room 101

The colour spilled from Nick’s usually ruddy cheeks as he pushed open the dorm room door.

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.


 

Her heart raced as his hands rested on her hips and he pulled her closer.  She didn’t even know his name and right now she didn’t care.

She pressed herself against him and felt the thud of the music throughout her body.  His warm breath on her neck sent shivers down her spine and he whispered into her ear.

“Want to get out of here?”

She nodded, and as they left the bar her phone beeped.

Having a good time?

Bit boring babe wish you were here x see you later.

She closed the message screen and turned off the phone.

 


 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Perfectly Imperfect – Room 101

Trash cans spilled over, their contents whipped into the sky as the air fizzed and crackled. 

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.  I know I said I was done with them.  I lie.  Probably should have wrote this in October but hey ho, better late than never.  Think it works rather well as an idea given the prompt.


Joseph stood before the mirror, the face staring back a contorted mockery of his former self.  He tried to smile and he raised a trembling hand to his face, slowly running his fingers along the scars.

He still remembered the pain as the fire tore through his flesh, the smell as it cooked and melted his face filling his nostrils until they too succumbed to the heat.

He turned away unable to look any more, he was too grotesque and the memories too painful.

Grabbing his coat he headed outside, at least it was Halloween and he didn’t need a mask.

 


 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Conspicuous Coincidences – Room 101

Trash cans spilled over, their contents whipped into the sky as the air fizzed and crackled. 

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.  I know I said I was done with them.  I lie.  Oh and this has more than 101 words.  Sue me.


Trash cans spilled over, their contents whipped into the sky as the air fizzed and crackled.  Damien  emerged through the blue hue of the portal behind ‘Mac’s Diner” and looked about checking that no one was about.  Clean ups really were a pain in the arse.

He checked his watch, buttoned his long dark coat and pulled his cap over his eyes as the portal swirled closed behind him and disappeared with a POP!

“Twenty one fifteen” he said to himself heading down the alley fingering the 9mm pistol in his pocket.  The steel felt reassuringly cold and smooth.  All he needed to do was stop himself  from making the biggest mistake of his life and everything would be different.  He wouldn’t have to spend a lifetime fixing the mess he was about to make.

He watched from the alley until he saw himself pull up in the old Lincoln he’d borrowed from a friend that night.  All he needed to do was to delay him long enough for Mac to close up and leave safely.

Snow began to fall as Damien crossed the road, the neon glow of the diner lights extinguished as he made his way towards the car.  Approaching he saw his younger self, the glow of a cigarette illuminating his face in the darkness.  God he looked so innocent.

He approached the car, his feet leaving soft tracks in the falling snow, and knocked on the window.  He made himself jump and then the window rolled down.

“What?” his younger self said.

“You got a light?”

Damien took the lighter he was offered and lit his cigarette.  A few minutes longer and Mac would be away.  He handed it back taking care not to reveal too much of his face.

“Cold night huh” he said returning the lighter.

“Sure” he answered winding up the window.

Damien left his arm inside the window as it raised slowly.  “Hey buddy, move along “ his younger self said sharply.  “Beat it.”

Damien pulled the gun from pocket and raised it. “Just sit where you are and don’t move” he said taking a step back from the car.  “Don’t do anything okay kid.”

Damien took a deep drag of his cigarette.  Suddenly, he flicked it and reached for the door pushing it open wildly.  It slammed against the arm of his older self, the pistol flying from his hand and skidding across the road.  A glimmer of steel flashed in the streetlight as he stepped from the car.

Damn, he had forgotten how fast he used to be.

He stumbled to his feet and staggered to where the gun lay half buried, head spinning and the crunch of racing footsteps in the snow.  His survival instincts kicked in, and falling forward he reached for the weapon and rolled onto his back bringing it to bear on himself and fired off two quick shot.

As the shells hissed in the snow he crashed down on top of himself, the knife falling from his hand.  Lying on top of his killer his younger self looked into the eyes of the man beneath him, and in that moment a look of recognition flashed across his face.

“Oh Fu…” Damien said as he felt his younger self go limp, his body already disappearing into nothingness…

 


 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Tales of Tinsel – Room 101

101 words with a twist thrown in just because…

Let’s do another month of M’s prompts shall we.  101 words allowed only.  I know I said I was done with them.  I lie.


Slowly Damien sneaked downstairs, not daring to breathe.  He’d heard something, and he was convinced it was him!  Christmas lights twinkled as he entered the room, his heart pounding, and there he saw a bearded, round bellied man silhouetted against the moonlight.

He had him!

“Sant…” he began to shout when suddenly he noticed two bodies lying unmoving on the floor.  He knew from the matching reindeer slippers it was mum and dad.

The man stepped grinning from the darkness carrying a large sack and raised a gun with his free hand and pushed it into Damien’s chest.

“Merry Christmas kid…”

 


 

Photo courtesy of pixabay

Room 101

So, 30 prompts, 30 days, whatever 30 times 101 words amounts to…

Thanks to Michelle for the prompt

Okay this was scheduled but I want to be done with the challenge, so I am pressing publish right now! 

Now, as challenges go that was quite something .  I set myself the goal of using every single November daily writing prompt from Michelle’s page and to do a 101 words on each, all on something a bit weird or odd.

As a writing experience I tackled it by writing all the prompts on a page in word and then under each I bashed out the basic outline for the story and the twist.  The prompts really fired my imagination and I did the whole lot in one go and it took me about an hour or so.   A few changed as I progressed but for the most part what you see on my blog is what I planned on day one.

Now I only started the challenge on the tenth of November, so I thought I would do one a day and catch up the others along the way but as it turned out I wrote the first 8 in one day (as I had a day off work) and within 7 days I had written all 30.   Once I started I seemed to not be able to stop and it felt great ticking them off and completing that idea.

I’m not quite sure where I found the time but the planning helped in that I was working on them in my head before I started writing.  A few took some heavy editing in terms of word count early on but by the 30th post I could mostly write it and come in at about 100 words without trying.

What I like is that I think I could probably do something more substantial with each one so am really happy with it as a process, even if some of them are a bit crap.

Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed them and thanks again M for the prompts, they were fab!  If you don’t follow Michelle you should.  Do it.

Michael


Photo courtesy of pixabay

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Room 101

Saving the worst for last.

Thanks to Michelle for the prompt

Okay.  This is the last Room 101 and the most stupid and rubbish.  It is an unedited version that I bashed out and when I read it I had not a clue what the hell was going on.  Broomsticks made me think witches, bedknobs made me think bed knobs and that got me to dildo’s and suddenly we have this abomination.  It made me laugh though so stupid is it and I thought I would leave it as it is as a reminder to myself that its okay to have a really crappy first draft and sometimes ideas just don’t work.


The swirling contents of the large Iron pot hissed and fizzed as Hilda tossed in a handful of wolfsbane.  “Agnes, fetch the stranglewort from my bag” She asked leaning over the pot.

“This is brewing up very nicely indeed” she said to herself cackling.

“This?” Agnes said holding up a small silver bottle she’d taken from a large cloth bag.

“No no girl” Hilda snapped.

“How about this?” she said presenting a posy of white flowers.

“No, STRANGLEWORT” Hilda said angrily.”

Agnes rummaged around.

“This?” she said holding up large wooden dildo.

Hilda blushed.

“Let’s just leave it out shall we…”


Photo courtesy of pixabay

The art of boredom – Room 101

Ever feel like this is all just one big joke?

Thanks to Michelle for the prompt


“Boss, that’s a terrible idea” Caleb said shaking his head.

AJ smiled, his brown eyes twinkling.  “I’m telling you they’re stupid enough to fall for it.”

“You think?”

“Oh absolutely, remember Hitler?.  You underestimate their self-destructive nature.”

“But why?  Seriously?”

AJ huffed.  “I’m bored.  Bored of this planet, bored of these people.  I really do need a new assignment.” He paused, sensing Caleb was almost persuaded.  “Plus it could be hilarious, especially when it comes out what he did to his daughter.”

“Fine” said Caleb resigned.  “But don’t blame me when head office find out.”

AJ grinned.  “Good call, good call”


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