Tag Archives: escape

Sapphire Eternity

FF155 Sandra Crook

Copyright Sandra Crook

The sea was calm and empty in the way a Twitter feed wasn’t.

Jake sat on the edge of the cliff, looking out into sapphire eternity.

He reached for his phone, realized he didn’t have it, realized that was the point.

What time was it?

The funeral was probably over.

They were probably furious with him.

How could he, of all people? they’d say.

He’d finally posted about her death, but couldn’t bear to change his relationship status.

He had to go back soon, he knew.

But for now he sat, letting it all drain out into that sapphire eternity.


Endy and the Office

Endy was a baby enderman. In that way, he was an enderboy, if such a thing existed. Endy didn’t know; he couldn’t even remember his parents, except that they were tall, shimmery, and had purple eyes. Just like him, minus the tall part. But Endy had teleported away from them one night and couldn’t find his way back. By morning, he had sought refuge in an office building and had gotten stuck in an office.

All Endermen can teleport, but for some reason Endy couldn’t teleport through things. He didn’t know if it was because he was young or if there was something wrong with him. This particular office had had the door open but usually it was shut and Endy was trapped. When the professor who worked there was in, the door was always shut and Endy did not dare move while it was open, in case he was spotted.

When he was alone, though, he could do what he wanted. He quickly made friends with the computer mouse.

Endy and the Office

“Let’s go for a ride!” Endy said. He teleported to Mouse’s back

“Okay, here we go!” Mouse said and reared up like a horse and slid over the mouse pad as far as its cord would allow.

“Go further! More! More!” Endy had said the first time. Mouse stopped and his scroll wheel blushed deep red.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m not wireless. If I were, I could anywhere, but I’m stuck here. My dream is to leave and scroll across the world, double-clicking on everything I see.” Mouse was a little weird, but he was a good friend.

Endy tried to make friends with the keyboard too, but that was harder. The keyboard could not talk like Mouse but it could push its keys down and spell things out. Endy couldn’t spell well, but with the help of an elderly electronic dictionary that lived in the top drawer, he soon learned all the keys.

“Hey, this one says End!” he exclaimed. “That’s almost like my name.”

“What does the one above it say?” the dictionary asked.

“It says Home,” Endy said. “Does it work? When I push it, can I go home?”

“Only if you live at the beginning of a line,” the dictionary said, which did not make any sense to Endy.

Endy and the Office

The keyboard was a little gruff and would sometimes put down its Shift key and burst out with a series of *%$#@ expletives if Endy got too rowdy, but it was usually protective. Endy would play around the keys, especially near the End and Home keys, which he liked the best.

At night, Endy slept on top of one of the speakers. It played soft music for him to fall asleep or occasionally, if Endy was feeling homesick, parody songs about his people that it found on Youtube.

Endy and the Office

One day, the professor got up to go to class. He was late and in a hurry. Endy looked up and saw that the door was still partially open.

“The door’s open,” Endy told Mouse. “What should we do?”

There was a furious clacking from the keyboard. It was repeating pushing down it’s uppermost left key.

“What’s it saying?” Mouse asked.

“It’s saying ‘Escape,’” Endy said.

“Go on,” Mouse said. “You deserve it. Go find your family.”

“No, we’ll do it together,” Endy said. He jumped on Mouse’s back. “Come on, try! Try to break free.” Mouse strained and pulled and then there was a pop and his cord popped out the USB slot. They were free.

“Good bye, Keyboard! Good bye, Speakers,” Endy said. “If I can, I’ll come back and say hello again. Good luck.”

Ctrl-C, the keyboard typed. With that, Endy and Mouse rode out the door.


Salt Flats Terror – Friday Fictioneers

This is by far the longest Friday Fictioneers story I’ve ever written, although don’t worry: it’s still 100 words exactly. It’s experimental, as many of mine are. I think it’s pretty clear, but please ask if you don’t understand it.

copyright Dawn Landau

copyright Dawn Landau

Salt Flats Terror

Salt flat


Just One Step Ahead – Friday Fictioneers

Well, this week I’m on the road again, hiking by myself in rural Korea. I was planning to write this one on my phone, like last week, until I walked into my hotel and saw a computer. Nice serendipity.

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Just One Step Ahead

Bankruptcy is for losers, even when you owe Visa $153,221.

“We just gotta stay one step ahead,” I told my wife. “I know this place in Sweden. The rent’s peanuts.”

“Run away?”

“Escape.” I grinned, all Prince Charming. “Just one step ahead.”

“If you take that step, you’ll do it without me.”

I called her bluff. And she . . . well, it was probably for the best. We only had enough money for one ticket anyway.

I survived, somehow, until the landlady came knocking. Peanuts are still more than nothing.

“Is a check okay?” Full-on Prince Charming.

Just stay one step ahead.

 


The Prison Key – A thought exercise

There was once a prisoner named Harry. He did not like prison (of course), but had gotten used to it. He stayed out of trouble and was mostly liked by both the prisoners and guards. One day, one of the guards retired and stopped by Harry’s cell.

prison cell

“I got a present for you,” he said. “You know that door at the far end of the cafeteria that’s always locked? It leads to E Block, which has been closed down for years. The far end of E Block is open to the outside. If you go through that door, you can escape.” He handed Harry a key.

“Why are you doing this?” Harry asked, taking the key in amazement.

The guard shrugged. “You’re a nice guy and I don’t care anymore. Just don’t tell anyone I gave it to you.” He told Harry how to evade the guards and leave without being noticed. Then the two shook hands and the guard left.

The next day, Harry thought about escaping. But, it was raining so he put it off until the next day. The next day as well he put it off. Finally, he hid the key in his room. Ten years later, he was released. On his last day, he handed the key to his roommate and told him the story.

“Are you crazy?” the man asked when he’d heard the story. “You could have left at any time in the last ten years and yet you stayed here? You suffered the bad food and the loneliness when you could have seen your family or eaten home cooked food? Why would you remain in captivity?”

Harry smiled. “But I wasn’t. From the moment the guard gave me the key, I had the ability to leave and so I was free. You’re only in imprisoned if you can’t leave, but I could have left at any time.”

keys

Do you agree with Harry? Is freedom being out of captivity or can it be simply having the option to leave captivity? Let me know what you think.


One Last Ride – Friday Fictioneers

copyright Indira Mukherjee

copyright Indira Mukherjee

One Last Ride

“Take your glaucoma medicine,” they said.

“Don’t overexert yourself,” they said.

I say, nuts to that! What golden future am I saving my strength for? I’m well over the hill and coasting fast towards the finish line, etched with a cold, hard epitaph. This is my car and I’ll take it for one last ride, damn it!

Only one good hip? Who cares! That’s one more than a cobra has and it’ll bite you in the ass if you don’t watch it. Don’t underestimate me just because I’m older than you.

Sirens. “Pull over!” they say.

Nuts to you, copper!

 


A Night of Loss and Grief – Fantastic Travelogue #14

Sometimes you have some amazing adventures you just have to tell everyone about. Read the rest of this account here.

Synopsis: I was hiking in the mountains of Korea when I got lost at night and came out in a strange valley. I couldn’t understand anyone, but I found out they knew Chinese characters. I met a young woman name Ain-Mai, and later, her brother Sing-ga. While I was there, a creepy woman appeared. Ain-Mai and her brother told me that the creepy woman was named Hengfel and came from another world. Hengfel eventually captured all three of us and brought us back to her world. They separated us, but Sing-ga and I got out and rescued Ain-Mai, although I got quite injured in the process. We took shelter in the air vents. Sing-ga went to find water, while Ain-Mai bandaged me and took care of me. Sing-ga finally came back, bleeding badly and very injured.

Night of Great Loss

I had never seen anyone die before, but I was there, kneeling next to Sing-ga when he died. I heard his breath catch, as if he were choking on something and then it just stopped. I kept waiting for him to breath again, but he didn’t. Ain-Mai, on his other side, was starting to become frantic. She was hyperventilating and shaking him, calling his name. Finally, I reached out and touched her arm and she wilted, her arms falling down to her sides.

In the faint light of the moon and stars that was coming in through the opening, I could see that Sing-ga’s arms and face were covered with circular bites. If he had been attacked, how had he gotten away? And could there be things that were still looking for him? I wanted to get away, but I wasn’t sure where to go and I was in no shape to travel.

A light, skittering sound came from up the tunnel. Ain-Mai didn’t seem to notice. She was smoothing back her brother’s hair and crying softly.

“We should go,” I said. She paid no attention.

Something the size of a dinner plate flew out of the darkness at me. All I saw were thin, clawed legs outstretched towards me before the thing wrapped itself around my arm and I felt the sharp pain of it biting into my flesh. I shouted in terror and ripped it off, hurling it savagely out through the grating and into open space. More came leaping at me and I fought them off desperately, pure adrenaline overcoming the pain of my injuries. From what I could tell, they were like huge spiders, with clawed legs and a sharp-toothed mouth in the middle of their body. Even now, I sometimes have nightmares about those horrors jumping out of the darkness at me.

Mouth spider

One got caught in Ain-Mai’s hair. She screamed, but it roused her to action and she fought back, lashing out at the monsters when they jumped at her.

“We have to go!” I shouted, not caring that she couldn’t understand me. I started to move in the only direction that was open to us, out the opening and onto the sheer outer side of the tower. I hesitated when it came to actually stepping out of the opening and onto the rough plates of the outer wall, and it was Ain-Mai who took the lead and held out her hand for me to come out.

I had just taken her hand when one of leaping spider-mouths latched onto my shoulder and bit in deeply. I writhed to get it off and felt myself slipping. Ain-Mai pulled me back to the wall and reached down to rip the vile creature off my shoulder. It gave a thin cry as it disappeared into the darkness far below us.

I did not wait to see if more were following us but gripped Ain-Mai’s hand and followed her along the ridges of the wall. They stuck out at an angle from the wall and were easy to hold onto, but they were also irregularly shaped. My right foot was bandaged and extremely sore, so I hopped along on my left.

The spider-mouths didn’t follow us out. I thought this was strange until I remembered poor Sing-ga’s body lying just inside the tunnel. I was sick with horror, but it came out as anger. I shuffled along, swearing under my breath, spitting out profanities with every hop. I’m not even sure who I was angry at: at the spider-mouths; at Hengfel for bringing us to that terrible place; at myself for getting Sing-ga and Ain-Mai caught with me and in doing so, causing his death. I was thankful for the calming effect of Ain-Mai’s hand in mine, which kept me from doing anything stupid.

We came to a hollow in the outer wall a minute later, which was fortunate because I could not have gone on much longer in my condition. It was probably a dragon nest at one point, but it was deserted and we collapsed into it. I put my back against the stone wall and tried to regain my strength and calm my mind. Ain-Mai slumped down by my side, sobbing. I put my arm around her and she drew closer.

Night of Great Loss

Ten minutes later, she had quieted and lay still against me. I had my eyes closed when I felt her stir. The next thing I felt were her lips on mine. She was kissing me in a quick, breathless way, not romantically, but as someone desperately needing comfort in the midst of despair.

For a moment, it was as if time stopped and the Choice stood in front of me. We were alone together in an alien world. Ain-Mai had just lost her brother and was overwhelmed with grief. She needed me. As for myself, I was lonely and tired and she felt so good next to me that in that moment, I wanted nothing more than to abandon myself to her kisses and caresses.

But then I thought of my wife–by herself and worlds away from me. I imagined her going about her daily life, wondering where I was, hoping I was safe, and I realized that she was the only one I really wanted. Still, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done to pull away from Ain-Mai’s embrace. “I,” I said, and then took her hand and drew out the character for “married” on her palm. I guess she understood my meaning one way or another; she nodded and then put her head back down on my shoulder. She started crying again, very softly, and I put my arm around her again. I didn’t know what else to do.

The next thing I remember was opening my eyes to see the sun breaking over the far horizon. Ain-Mai was sleeping with her head still on my shoulder. Then I noticed with a start that a large bird-like creature was perched on a wall plate next to the hollow. It had wings folded behind it and small arms in front, each with a large golden bracelet on it. We looked at each other for a moment until it put its hands over its eyes and bowed deeply to me.

(to be continued…)


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