Good morning, todays post will be a piece of flash fiction. Flash Fiction is basically a short short story. These stories are usually told in 1000 words or less and most often with around 500 words. They’re created to show people that an author can strip away the ‘stuff’ and present a barebones story that still grips the reader. Up until the other week I’d never tried it. My stories tend to be more grandiose and epic in scale with lots of world building going on. Strange new worlds and new civilizations, to boldly go, and that all that jazz. The idea of stripping this away and giving the reader 500 words was…well…very foreign to me. To be honest I’m not sure I succeeded. Usually these pieces of flash fiction stem from a writing prompt of some sort. Mine did not. It was an idea that jumped into my head most rude like and sat there squatting on my turf for several days. The idea didn’t do anything, didn’t even pay any rent the little bastard. So I decided to send it on its way as a Flash Fiction piece. I’m not sure if it’s as much as story as it is a scene. I’ve almost not posted it twice now but today is the day. According to the great Wayne Gretzky (an NHL icon of scoring for those non-sports types) “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” so without further ado….here’s my shot may it be straight and accurate.
'The Voice in my Head'
Pain radiates from my core outward, numbing my finger tips and twitching my limbs.
My eyes, open, stare at nothing. My world filled with shadows pulsing slowly in sync with the slow gentle beeping next to my head. I try to look but can’t.
My body’s numb, heavy. I can’t move. I try to call out. Nothing but a raw gasping choke escapes parched lips.
I don’t know how long I’ve been here but I know there are a hundred and twenty-nine black holes in the yellowed ceiling tile above me. A hundred and nineteen in the one next to that. Rorschach like water stains framing those tiny little holes.
“Nathan can you hear me?”
The voice is gone. I want it to come back. I desperately need it to come back. I experiment by moving my head slightly. It moves. I see the room, its yellowed walls closing in on me. A monitor’s black face staring at me. An antiseptic chemical stench fills my nose, stings my eyes. I need to move but, my legs still won’t work.
Crusty eyes slowly open. I can move. Waves of joy crash over me. Freedom. Slowly I move an arm. I curl swollen fingers. It hurts. Each little tendon curling and uncurling, bones and muscles working together. It’s a small thing but, it’s a triumph.
I push cotton covers back. I raise my hand to my eyes. A metallic glove covers it but, it moves and there is a joy that overcomes caution. Slowly swinging legs over the edge, I sit up. I wear powder blue scrubs, long sleeved and dirty. They stink. I stand, something off, I feel heavier and slower than I should. The room is featureless, no windows, the walls that same stained yellow.
“It’s not time.”
The voice again. I try to spin around but fall to one knee. No one’s there. I try to speak, I open my mouth. Nothing. Why?
Who are you?
“It’s not time.”
I stand on unsteady legs that don’t feel right. My foot doesn’t look right but, my vision swims with the effort. One stumbling step, then two. Fire sears through my limbs. I feel myself falling. Hand snakes forward, grabbing a dresser. Wood crumples beneath my grip. I look down at the hand. Not a glove. Skin. Not my own, larger and longer and silver. I release the dresser like it’s on fire. I turn it over and drink it in. The ‘skin’ is tight, heavy, and metallic. Then I focus beyond the hand. A reflection in a mirror over the dresser. I step towards it. My mind screams. Wide eyes stare back at me, eyes I knew once. Eyes framed by a face I’ve not seen before; round features, silver skin. What have they done to me?
“We’ve made you better,” the voice says as if reading my mind, “We’ve brought you home.”
I try to scream. I see my mouth open. Nothing comes out. The world swims, tumbles and blackness.