Stay indoors at dawn they say. Keep safe at dusk. When the time eaters are at work, turning night into day and day into night by eating away the layers in between. Keep still as they slip through the spaces between the seconds, as I’ve heard that sometimes the time eaters can be indiscriminate about their food. Time to them is just time, regardless of its source.
They care not for your attachments or for your affections, only for the time which you are yet to use from your years. They are enticed by your youth, and tempted by its promise. So stay safe in the twilight hours, and pray they don’t notice you, or the time which you don’t have to give.
*on my way in to work one morning, I was asked a rather unusual question by a stranger – which provides the inspiration behind this little piece..
“Yeah, pink shirt. Go!” Freddie nudged him forward. His prey drew closer, weaving through the crowd without breaking her pace.
He stood frozen in place, heart pounding in his chest as he watched her walk past, close enough for him to smell her perfume. Taking a deep breath, he moved towards her, jogging lightly to catch up.
“Excuse me.” She was only a few steps ahead now. “Excuse me, Miss.”
She turned to look at him, hand raised, ready to swat away his sales pitch. “No thanks. I’m in a hur..” She stopped when she saw that he wasn’t selling anything, and he jumped in for the kill. “I was wondering if I could…could I smell your feet?” She stared at him, synapses struggling to stack the words into order.
“Could I smell your feet?” She glanced down, feeling exposed in a pair of flip-flops.
“No. um.. No.” Before she said any more, he turned and disappeared into the crowd, heading back towards his friend.
Ben! Over there! Freddie was on the move, signaling towards a woman in a green dress who was walking towards Town Square. He pulled out his notebook and etched another line on the page. Five.
“So I killed him. So what, he was dying anyway.” He had diabetes. “Yeah well that’s a disease isn’t it?” She tapped tiny embers into the night, the shiny things on her fingers glinting in the darkness. “You know, on average at least one person dies on every cruise? There are a lot of sad people out there, looking for a painless exit.” Or just a lot of cold hearted murderers. “Anyway, what do you care.” She flicked her hair like she did just before a point was about to made, and stretched her arms across the rails. “All that is in the past, now we can ride on the oceans forever on the Sea Princess.” She laughed into her cigarette, drawing on it one more time before flicking the dying butt over the rail. She bent down to pick up her shoes. Black water churned beneath them. Let’s go back in, it’s freezing out here. A soft nudge and she tipped over. “Oh shit. Help me up!” She fell laughing onto the smooth deck. I pulled her up and brought her close, inhaling that familiar scent of wine and nicotine, barely masking the headache inducing perfume. She looked up at me, reaching her hands up towards the back of my neck. I gave her a smile and hoisted her over the rail. Farewell my love. I won’t miss you.
Sometimes our writing is inspired by the least expected things, isn’t it?
I hear you creature. Thudding around up there, clawing at dark crevices in your desperate attempts to flee. Why do you run now, when your invasion was a success? Is it because your plunder is now your prison. Although your prison is in fact your refuge. From me. Because I don’t appreciate my home being invaded, my possessions defiled, my comfort ruffled. Your arrival may have been at your choice, however your departure is very much at mine. And don’t think that you can leave before I have your head for a crumb of cheese.
After an insane week of unexpected chaos, calm has returned once more to the savannah. And now I must write like the wind.
Also, does anyone else think that Chewie has had a facelift? How could he possibly still look the same after almost 40 years..
Here’s my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thankyou Priceless Joy for another fun prompt this week!
Oliver Wilde stumbled up the hill, too depleted of energy to take anything beyond the smallest steps necessary to keep himself from toppling over. He stopped and steadied himself on a light pole, waiting for the wave of nausea to subside.
He was in the process of passing out from the smell of his own breath when a loud bang jolted him back to life.
“Hey buddy, over here – in the dumpster.”
Oliver stared at the big blue box sitting in front of him, unsure of his next move.
The dumpster’s lid was slightly open, so he leaned forward to peer inside. “Hello?”
“Can you give me a hand in here?” a voice echoed from inside.
He pushed open the lid of the dumpster to find there was nothing in it except for an empty beer bottle.
I must be drunk, he thought, scratching his head. “I need help”.
Word limit: 151
I’m using Chuck Wendig’s 100 word flash fiction challenge to see how Jenkins the butler got on in the Orion Nebula:
A man walks slowly on blistered feet through a ruined world, charred and smoking from its recent demise. His body is covered in soot, blood and sweat. Beneath the grime he is riddled with scars – trophies from his time in the fighting pits. A familiar sound gets louder as he approaches the singularity.
Jenkins? Are you dead? Hurry up, its almost tea time and I’m starving!
He lifts a wortbort off his shoulder, and places it gently on a pile of rubble. Sorry Wobbzy, you can’t come with me this time. With a sigh, he steps back into the wormhole.
Here’s my attempt at this weeks Monday’s Finish the Story
Finish the story begins with: “A body suddenly crashed through a plate glass window at the Brigadier’s house.”
“Argghh not again! They said they’d fixed that stupid thing.” The Brigadier wiped egg yolk from his beard as he went to inspect the latest inconvenience.
“Jenkins! Get those inconsiderate Reticulans on the holophone right now. I’ve had enough of this nonsense.”
It was a wortbort this time, mostly eaten of course. They only seemed to throw away the messy parts. This one was missing the half of its body, and was busy leaking all over the Brigadier’s clean white tiles. “And bring a mop”.
Due to an unfortunate set of events involving a quantum physicist and an architect, the Brigadier’s home was built above a wormhole which led to the garbage chute of a family living in the Orion Nebula. He’d shoved a few broomsticks up there, but they just seemed to enjoy eating those too. There was only one thing left to do. Send Jenkins up.
Here’s my last minute contribution to Monday’s Finish the Story. Thanks Barbara for the prompt!
Finish the story begins with: “On March 9th, 2015, three objects were reportedly seen in the skies over the Borracho Todos los Tiempos Vineyards.”
March 9 2125 – PJ stared down at his grandmother’s prized possession, carefully cradled in his hand inside its tattered plastic sheath. The faded old photograph showed the arrival of the creatures, over a hundred years ago. He had seen it before, when she brought it out on special occasions to show the family, and as always, it wasn’t the ships which drew his fascination. It was the earth, with its the blue sky, green trees, the red earth – it was so alive back then. He imagined what the breeze would sound like rustling through those trees, what it would be like to taste the fruit which grew on those vines.
The image was his now that his grandmother was dead – to share with his grandchildren one day, to show them how beautiful their home once was.
Word Limit: 135