Friday, February 10, 2012

WOE: 5-5-5-5

Prompt:    We got this prompt from here. This could be a good way for us all to work on voice. And dialogue. And everything else.   Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
Write them down so you remember.   The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation. Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.   All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.  

We have Subway to thank for the numbers I chose this day--I must have heard that 5-Dollar Foot Long commercial too many times!

"I think I found something, Jernot!"  yelled Xerb from below.  I paused a moment to clear my air filters once again.  My envirosuit was just this short of unbearable.  The air of this planet Earth was just too polluted with oxygen; I was rapidly depleting my ammonia tanks.  It made me wonder if Xerb had perhaps failed to place my tanks into the rejuvenation cycle after our last salvage trip.   He was always forgetting to do that.  He was always forgetting. I only kept him around because he could steer the ship. 

I used my rockets to lower myself to where the Xerb was waiting.  I admitted privately to some curiosity as I looked around at the orbs dangling above me among dusty signs.  One of the words I recognized from my studies.  Some sort of ritual, 'Christmas',  that involved this building.  My memory was hazy. 

This strange building with the open space in the middle appeared to hold nothing upon our initial visit.  Just acres of open space, surrounded by large compartments of items sorted in some manner.  Yet it had been a treasure trove of historical items in pristine condition and ready to trade.  Xerb had located a cache of 'shoes' on the previous trip, and we had already heard from several buyers interested in owning a piece of Earth history from before the Fall.

"What did you find?"   As I touched down, I heard a rattle of movement, a sliding sound.  My head rotated to locate the source, but Xerb distracted me with his excitement.

"Look at this!"  His Analyzer in his hands, the Boss pointed a tentacle at a grouping of gray blobs around a dead tree covered in small objects.   "It's silica!  Food!  Now we have proof that these creatures ate what we do!" 

"Nonsense," I rolled my eye, my disdain rolling through my voice.  "I don't know why I bother keeping you around, Xerb.  The histories are clear that the dominant organism ate other animals.  There were no carbon-based life forms who ingested silicon. If you'd paid attention in school all those arnts ago, you would know that."

"Never mind that!" Clucking submissively, Xerb pointed another tentacle.

There appeared to be a large seat in the center of the grayish blobs, next to the dead tree. A sign above the seat said "SANTA".  There had been a minor deity worshiped by the dominant species with a similar name.  My tentacles quivered in excitement, as that sliding/slithering sound came again.  I ignored it in my eagerness.  It took me a moment to realize that there was something seated on the throne, wearing threadbare fuzzy fabric once called the color 'red'. I moved closer, until I could see a face underneath a triangular floppy hat. A face?

Could this be the actual deity?  My four hearts beat erratically.

"Xerb, this is astounding!  This may be the biggest find we've ever located.  We are going to be wealthy.   An actual corpse will fetch--"

A low growl emanated from behind me.  I rotated in time to watch four skeletal corpses crawling toward me.  I felt a pulling sensation; the figure on the seat had grabbed a tentacle and was pulling me toward him.  His head fell back as his mouth opened, and the floppy hat slid to the floor.  I felt pressure building as a mouth full of teeth closed over my tentacle.  I screamed as I heard my envirosuit tear.

"Xerb!!! Help me!!"  I could see Xerb hovering above me, a malicious joy radiating from his entire being.  The corpses were gnawing at my tentacles, chewing them off.

"These are called 'zombies', Jernot.  They consume any flesh, and they do not die.  They caused the Fall.  If you'd paid attention in school all those arnts ago, you would know that."

As I suffocated, I watched my green blood splatter on the red velvet.

As always, constructive criticism is appreciated!!


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. That is just the kind of creativity that I love to read (and have no ability to create). I love how in such a short piece you gave us so much insight into the characters. I really felt like I read a full story. And the zombie angle? Bonus!

  2. Wow. I would not have been able to think of anything quite like that. So much imagination! It reminds me of this: , a web comic about a kind of insane character in a post-apocalyptic world.

  3. I'm totally applauding your imagination right now. I am so void of creative thought beyond humans. Great job!

  4. That is crazy good... what an imagination!! My only quibble is that, unless someone rescues Jernot at the last second, wouldn't he be dead and unable to tell us all the story?

    1. You're right! I just thought about that!

    2. just switch it to 3rd person and that'll take care of it. You can have an omniscient observer.

  5. I'm so jealous of your creativity. My mind doesn't reach that far. Maybe with practice? Solo good!

  6. Yea! Zombies and Santa and in the same story! LOVE IT!

  7. I love the zombies! And the malicious nature of the "dense" assistant :)

  8. Very good, so timely with the popularity of Zombies right now. A different take.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!