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Flashfiction #33: Wanderlust

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, May 2, 2018.

  1. afgpride Retired Staff

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    Jan 28, 2011


    1. Your work must be within constraints of the theme.
    2. Of course, all themes can be interpreted in any number of ways.
    3. 500 words maximum per entry, or else the entry will be disqualified.
    4. Only post one entry per theme. The highest rated entry will choose the next theme.
    5. You may not rate/review your own work.
    6. Add a rating out of ten at the end of your "review".
    7. Be constructive/honest when criticizing a piece. No mindless flaming.
    8. You do not have to enter a flashfic to rate.
    9. If you enter and do not rate & review the other entries, your flashfic is disqualified from points.

    Starts 02/05, Wednesday, ends 12/05, Saturday. Reviews from 13/05 to 15/05 Tuesday.
  2. Sequester Not the hero The Alley needs, but the hero The Alley deserves

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    Mar 10, 2011

    Spoiler: 498

    Rain swept the city once again, washing away the sins of the night that occur often in New York; or was it the rain that brought about iniquity? The wind did seem to howl a foreboding tune. The sound was a warning to all of the dark storm that soon would pass, only there were no storms, just rain.

    Did it ever end?

    "Hey, is everything all right?" The soft spoken voice brought me back to reality, "Caleb?"

    That's right, his name is Caleb.

    My name is Caleb.

    "Uh, yeah. Sorry. It's just been a long day." I say in a voice that is still foriegn to me. I haven't been wearing Caleb's body for long, and I am still acclimating myself to his life. His girlfriend is talking to me. My girlfriend. Sara? I think her name is Sara. "You don't have to worry about me Sara, I am always OK when I am with you."

    I feel Sara's soft figure stiffen as she clings to me under the sanctuary of my umbrella; what did I do wrong? I tried to say something romantic, something a boyfriend would say... At least, what I think a boyfriend would say.

    Is it that obvious I am not human?

    "Are you teasing me by calling me by that bitch's name?" She says in a spiteful tone. I look at Sara, she fixes her blue eyes on me, and a smile creeps onto her lips as they move closer to meet mine.

    She tastes like Cotton Candy.

    Something isn't right. I am sure Sara was the name of my girlfriend, is she playing a trick on me? My vision begins to blur, the world starts spinning. Sara says something, but I can't hear her, all I can do now is feel:


    Recollection always hurts, and boy am I starting to recall; I see it now, Caleb has been quite the scamp. This person isn't Sara: her name is Lucy. Lucy is Sara's friend, at least, Sara seems to think so. They've known each-other since grade-school, and Lucy has been using Sara ever since. Sara is the residential doormat of her social circle, everyone takes advantage of her kindness.

    Of her weakness.

    Sara's always been awkward, the underdog all her life; in fact this is her first romantic relationship. Lucy is the one who introduced her to me; no, not to me, to Caleb... The sack of meat I currently find myself in. Sara does everything for Caleb, because she doesn't know what she'll do without him. It is why Lucy introduced her to Caleb in the first place. He needed someone to mooch off of. They laugh at her, they laugh at poor little Sara.

    Is this all there is to the human experience?

    Is this what I gave everything up for? To live among these self-centered thankless creatures? I wanted to find a genuine place. A genuine life. One worth living. Nobody has proven worth it.

    My search continues...
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  3. afgpride Retired Staff

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Spoiler: 500

    John’s wooden cane thumped like a metronome on the tarmac, playing chase with his beating heart as he huffed and puffed with casual pace. It was his nine-hundredth day in the wild, and his wrinkled limbs strode more briskly than the first, using what little sustenance he could give it to adjust to the rigors of his pilgrimage. Clenching the top of the cane was an ebony fist, rough and weathered, proudly boasting a gold wedding ring. On waking up every morning he’d first check if it was still there and not stolen by passersby, and it always was, proof that Linda’s spirit was watching over him. Sometimes the tug of his knapsack on his shoulders reminded him of her embrace, and he’d savor the nostalgia like a shot of whiskey from a wine glass.

    The thumping turned squishy as his cane met wet grass. If he was following the local’s direction properly, a drinkable stream was a half hour’s walk away. He trespassed a chicken coop and into the woods, keeping an eye out for the landmark red tree close to the bridge. After an hour of searching it was still nowhere to be seen. John’s squinting turned sour, as much a frown as an attempt to see through the harassment of the sun. Ninety-three-million miles, he ranted under his breath. You traveled ninety-three-million miles in the vastness of space, missing every object in your path until you landed on a pale rotating blue dot, past the clouds, through a small opening in tree leaves and finally onto my pupil. The beams of sunlight poked at him through openings like swords, unreactive to his complaints.

    Being a retired physicist only accentuated his short temper.

    By then his mouth was as dry as his hands. He traced back his steps, returning to the water fountain by the bridge he ignored earlier. The thought of turning the nob and going to town crept his mind, but if he caved now he’d no longer be in the wild. He’d be in the city. He ignored it again, determined to find the stream.

    The trick was to take a detour away from the walk path and into the bushes where the signs forbade. There he heard the dull, soft sound of flowing water, getting increasingly audible as he reached his checkpoint. He heaved his knapsack onto a fallen tree trunk and flipped it open, retrieving his waterskin with a satisfied patience. Stream water collected into the water skin and flowed into his mouth and down his esophagus, replenishing him with a rewarding earthy taste. The flavors picked up by John’s palate were different between streams. Sometimes there were more stony notes, sometimes mossy, the nuances giving character to each location he travelled.

    His thirst quenched, hunger took its turn with demands. But hunger was easier to contain, so he greeted the rumbling like a familiar friend as he went to sleep under the red tree.

    When he woke, his ring was still there.