I am proud to say that I actually wrote something this week! Shock! Horror! I was inspired to take part in the latest Flash Fiction Challenge on Chuck Wendig’s blog: It’s ABC meets XYZ. I chose two titles from a list of twenty popular movies, TV shows and books (the ones that popped out to me were The Handmaid’s Tale and Reservoir Dogs.) Using those two influences as a starting point, I came up with this (very rough) short.
Flash Fiction written in a flash!
The door opened, but BU-712 hadn’t realised it was a door before this, so it took her a few seconds to wrap her head around it. To see something she’d always thought so solid breached, it sort of tipped the world over. Doctor Chen had to touch her on the shoulder to bring her out of the shock, but then, 712 had never been touched on the shoulder, or really anywhere, before, so that sent her into a new state of shock. She stared slackly at the hand on her skin and then up into the Doctor’s eyes.
“Look, you have to keep your mouth shut and follow me, okay?”
“Yes, Doctor.” Used to following instructions, 712 stood and followed Doctor Chen out through the new door and into what lay beyond. A hallway reached far off, but her eyes and brain couldn’t communicate the notion of ‘distance’, so she stared down at the back of the Doctor’s head. Up close Doctor Chen was almost a whole foot shorter than her and 712′s eyes fused to the sharp part in the Doctor’s hair, a pale white stripe in amongst the glossy black strands. It still felt like there was a glass screen between them and she reached out, expecting to feel the cool barrier. She didn’t. Her hand kept reaching until her fingers sank into Doctor Chen’s ponytail. The doctor turned and pushed her hand down.
“Later. There will be time for wonder and discovery and all that shit, but not until we get out of here, got it?” 712 didn’t really get it, but she could tell Doctor Chen wanted her to nod, so she did. It was the right thing to do because the Doctor turned back around and kept walking and 712 smiled.
She lay a hand on her belly because the moving thing was happening again. Sometimes her belly was small, sometimes it was bigger, but at this moment it was very big indeed and when it was all stretched out and round like this, whatever was in there moved. It wasn’t very comfortable. She couldn’t wait for the morning when she would wake up and the belly would be gone along with whatever it was that wiggled around in there. It was such a nice feeling, the emptiness, but it didn’t last long. The belly always came back. It was hard to walk with the moving thing happening, plus 712 had never walked this far before and her legs were starting to hurt.
Doctor Chen stopped and 712 paused behind her. They had come to another door and the Doctor slid her card into the slot to make it hiss open. 712 liked the sound. Behind it stood a man in grey who barred the way with his rifle poised diagonally across his chest.
“Out of the way, Riggers. You’ve been paid,” said Doctor Chen. The man licked his lips and pulled himself up a little taller.
“The price has gone up, Chen.” He said, and his lips twisted into a grin. The smile didn’t last long. Doctor Chen stepped forward, distracting him with one hand as the other swept over and her elbow connected with his nose. There was a sick crunching sound that echoed up the hallway. He barely had time to inhale for a scream of surprise and pain before the Doctor triggered her laser with a gentle hiss. The hole in his temple smoked a little. 712 pressed her hands together and while she didn’t quite smile, her lips did tilt in an upwards direction.
“That was wonderful, can you do it again?”
The Doctor glared at her as she stuffed the guards body into a storeroom.
712 had never been inside a place so big before, or so cold. She was used to the white walls of her pod and an ambient temperature. It was too dark to see what colour the walls were, but the floor was packed dirt. She reached down to touch it and brought the floor colour back on her fingertips, then wiped her hands on her pale gown, spreading the stain further. Doctor Chen sat at a table by the door, smoking an electronic cigarette. She blew big clouds of vapour that wafted up through the spot of light from a bare hanging bulb and disappeared into the darkness above.
Finally the door clicked open.
“You’re late, Yarick.” Chen clicked the cigarette off. Yarick stretched out in the chair opposite, placing one filthy boot up on the table with a thud.
“Forget it, Chen. What do you have for me?”
Doctor Chen leant forward, interlacing her fingers on the tabletop. “The foetus is almost at full term. Healthy. Baby boy. The host is healthy too. Fertile, if you want her for breeding. If you’ve got anything else in mind, she’s engineered to be obedient. She will do whatever you want her to, you know how these breeding units are. Two point seven mil for the pair.” Yarick snorted, but the Doctor shook her head. ‘That’s the final offer, Yarick. I incurred a large number of expenses breaking her out, and I still need to turn a profit. I don’t work for free.”
Yarick glowered at her, but nodded. “It’s a done deal.” He put his hand out to shake, but even from halfway across the big room, 712 could see the lie in his eyes. The laser hissed gently, muffled as it was, pressed into Doctor Chen’s gut. She cried out, pressing her own laser beneath Yarick’s chin. They both fell at the same time.
Yarick lay still from the moment he fell, but Doctor Chen took a long time to stop moving. 712 watched through the hours, feeling cold and hungry but at a loss as to what to do about it. The Doctor panted and groaned and called, a big, blackish puddle spreading out from under her. When she was finally still, 712 stood and paced around the big, empty room. She walked through the puddle that came from Doctor Chen and it was cold and thick, clinging to her feet. As she opened the door a harsh wind lifted the hem of her gown and she doubled over as the thing inside her belly began to move again.
Thanks for the inspiration, Chuck! Follow his blog, Terrible Minds, to take part in his awesome Flash Fiction challenges.