Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flash Fiction: The Reason

This is the only piece of Flash Fiction I've ever written. :-) It was born from a challenge, you could say - I was given the beginning of a sentence and told, "Write a one-page story." and this is what appeared on the page over the course of around half an hour.

It's similar to my short stories in that it wasn't planned - short stories usually pop into my head as a fully-formed first draft, title and all (weird, I know), and I actually never found out what this piece's title was, until tonight, when I was getting it ready for this post. It is, without a doubt, one of the strangest stories I've ever written, but I'm oddly proud of it, odd little thing that it is.

Hope you enjoy it. :-)

***


Claire was looking for clues that would tell her who had killed her.

The murder scene was an abandoned parking lot. She couldn’t remember ever being here, and that was strange.

The open space, lit fitfully by standing lamps, was about thirty feet by forty feet, and dust covered every surface, lying in a sixty-year old layer on the four remaining automobiles. There had been fourteen once, a couple of decades ago, but the most interesting models had been disassembled and removed for study.

Water dripped from cracks in the ceiling in such profusion that it seemed it was raining, and Claire, 3-hours alive, felt as if she should be thankful to someone. She was experiencing rain when no-one on the surface had felt it or seen it of smelled it for sixty years.

“But I’m not the only one, aren’t I?” she asked, and the emptiness tumbled her words back at her.

Two hours later, Claire relaxed into the warm water and laid her head back against the bath-tub’s curved rim. Her skin, now only 5 hours old, tingled exquisitely.

Taking up the bar of rose-scented soap, she wondered when the voice would speak to her again. It had been there as her senses kicked into life, in the White Room. The agony of sound had made her pass out, but when she awoke, ten minutes later, it had been more bearable. “You were murdered,” it said. Its voice was calm, without inflection or emotion. “You must find the killer. If you cannot, you will not rejoin society.”

And then nothing, not even after Claire’s repeated attempts at getting it to respond. She had screamed her voice raw, and had spent another hour crying because of the pain. It didn’t take long to find the strength to stagger, and then walk, and then run. The voice helped her, told her where she was –the island of Manhattan- what she could eat, where clothes were and water. And then the lights had gone out, everywhere, and when they came on again, she was in the parking lot.

“This is where you were killed.”

Claire returned to the parking lot –she did not know how, only that she thought of it, and was then there- and saw the person lying on the dust-covered, muddy-in-places floor. It was a girl, and as Claire walked up to her, the girl’s eyes opened.

“Who are you?” the girl whispered.

“I am Claire. Who are you?”

Confusion, and then the light of understanding lit. “I am Claire.”

Claire took a step backwards, frowning. “But you – “

“– are me!” finished the girl.

“We have to die.” Claire realized this, knew it to be true. “One of us, at any rate.”

“Why?” asked the girl, eyes wide and tearful. “I’ve just woken up!”

“Because,” answered Claire, drawing out the revolver she had found, had been given, “one must die, and the other must know why.”

She pointed the gun at herself and pulled the trigger.

***

Weird, huh? :-) I welcome your thoughts!

Be EPIC!

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