Based on the “How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” model I started several weeks ago, I’ve written the beginnings to 5 more short stories. Let me know which ones you’d be most interested to continue reading. The middles happen during lesson 2 and the ends happen during lesson 3! The beginnings to Story 1 through Story 5 are included in my review of the “How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck” post. Story 6 through Story 10 can be found in my previous post. As I complete various stories, I’ll update the beginnings to link to the finished story. As always, I love reading feedback, so leave a comment, tweet me, or email me!
“Annika’s mother’s is the last woman alive who was actually born on Earth, and if Annika wants to go camp out and spend her days staring at her mother’s home planet, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Just finding the policy took considerable resources. No doubt, the man’s bewildered stare was as much politeness he could muster as he struggled to figure out a good way to explain this to his superiors. Europa was fairly peopled, but all of the satellite’s resources were devoted to converting methane to oxygen for its people. I hoped that the bureaucracy would feel some loyalty to Annika’s mother who is partially responsible for our colonization, to Annika’s many brilliant contributions, and even to my own contributions. The technology that brought us to Europa from Earth had not been improved upon, so I expected the trip would take at least 35 days… if the ion propulsion systems and solar sails hadn’t been dismantled already.
I grew up on Disney stories… on Princesses and Prince Charmings, on Fairy God Mothers, Evil Step-Mothers, and Wishes Upon Falling Stars. Well, I turned out not to be a Princess, and the man I loved was no Prince Charming. My God Mother couldn’t cure me with a wave of her want, and as for Evil Step-Mothers… mine is a saint and my best friend. I’ve never seen a falling star, though, and just once before I go, I’d like to see one. It seems we always want what we can’t have, and the first thing to go was my eye sight.
In every crime, the perpetrator makes seven mistakes. If I can find even one of those mistakes, I can usually find the Perp, too. But this… this crime scene is too perfect. In my profession, it’s common to think of the “perfect crime scene” and recount all the mistakes others have made… mistakes you learn from to make sure you’d never repeat them yourself. I can’t find that one mistake I need to find the Perp. No finger prints, except my own. The nearest house is my own. No tire marks except from my car. The woman’s head, hands, and feet are gone, and her body burned almost to the point of incineration.
Why can’t I remember where I’ve been for the last three days? And why won’t Aubrey return my calls?
I’m just distracted, that’s all. This isn’t the perfect crime scene. I just need to push away all distractions and focus. Focus.
The tiny human stared impolitely, which irked me, but given my treatment over the last millennium, I prefer the attention of a rude gaze over uncaring indifference. Or worse… comments uttered in full hearing distance, “I wish they’d move that rusty old heap. What is it supposed to be anyway? A lizard with fish scales?”
The tiny human kept staring, and I kept thinking of all the injustices. The neglect. The disrespect– a group of hooligan boys tried to pry off my head! Look at me! I’m covered in rust. My shining steel scales are breaking away, and my sharpened talons are now a pile of iron dust.
And how the young boy stared. And stared. And stared. My temper, and my jealousy got the better of me, and before I knew it, the little remaining moisture within began to heat. And then it began to steam. With glee, I exhaled a blast of hot steam… only it came out more as a huff, no doubt due to rusty plumbing!
There are so few children anymore. When I missed my cycle, I was celebrated by the women and pampered by all. My people revered me and respected my husband. Every night, the men came to him to ask him his trick, just as the women inquired about my food and how I laid down with my husband.
When my belly grew round and fat, there was scarcely a moment in the day when I did not have four or more hands pressed to my skin. Every day, I worked my grain and baked my bread, and every woman wanted my bread for her fertility. So many hopes, all dashed in a blood-soaked moon day. I held him in my arms until he was cold, and now I bear his burden. No home, no husband, no people.