Write. Right.

For a short time I am allowing myself to call myself a writer.*

As it is snowing, I am stuck indoors (Ich hasse Schnee) and I want to do something constructive. So, as I have decided that my hobby is writing and it is not something I do regularly enough, today is the day to start to plan something wonderful.

I started a book and, against everything that any writer has ever said to me, I’m not going to finish it. I don’t like it. I wouldn’t pick it up to read it myself. It is not the genre of writing I want to write. It can’t be amusing and it isn’t science fiction.

In short, it’s my bloody hobby and I will do what I want.

I have ideas for science fiction all the time and they need to be explored more. It is the genre I am drawn to more than anything. So, that’s what I am doing today. Exploring some more ideas and trying to shape them into a story or even a book.

Anyway, I am also motoring through Carter Beats the Devil.  Which is proving to be another excellent book.

*Disclaimer: This post is not a procrastination. I have already written today and started to plan the rest of the story.

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Flash Fiction: Science Fiction

The yellow, brown and green of her eyes blended into a sparkling hazel iris surrounding a perfect black set pupil. She stood on the edge of an aged grey brick bridge, one foot resting on a small wall which was the only barrier between her and the deep lake below. As she stood in the warm sun on this spring day, she took a creased and worn photograph out of her jeans pocket. The picture comprised a family portrait. A pretty, smiling mother pushing a small girl in a pram. The child’s eyes were closed as if asleep but she was laughing. A proud father, handsome in his work uniform, held a baby boy in his arms who was crying the natural tears of a hungry new-born. The young woman with the hazel eyes took the step up onto the short wall of the bridge and, as she did so, the photograph slipped from her hand into the water. Her eyes followed the path of the photograph as it landed and was washed away under the bridge. She turned her head up to the sky and felt the sun on her face.

Hazel Day, so called because of the colour of her eyes, was born without any optical implements at all, no eyeballs, no optical nerve, not even a connection to the brain. Everything else about Hazel was perfect. She was in the top percent of her university classes, she enjoyed sport and found playing the flute soothing. Hazel was not alone with this disability.

No one could not work out what was happening when children all over the world, from families of all ethnicities and backgrounds were born without eyes. At first, it was thought a freak occurrence or genetic mutation but, as the numbers grew, the worry increased exponentially. One ingenious man found what he though was the answer. Optical implants, which looked exactly like eyes, were attached to the brain in a new and innovative way. The collaboration between scientists, engineers and surgeons was world renowned. But for a few mishaps, almost every child who had the implant had survived, none had lived extraordinarily long lives but the quality of life was greatly improved for those who could not see. The optical implants gave instant 20/20 vision, which over time did fade but not much quicker than eyesight would fade as you or I grow older. Of course, spectacles were useless with these artificial eyes but eventually a solution to the error of longevity was found. Optical implants were implanted into every single child born without eyes until the children began to suffer with head-splitting migraines. Eventually, every child in the first cohort of experimental patients ended their lives screaming with the pain of white-hot headaches every day. Doctors could not work out what went wrong, and, if the scientists and engineers knew, they did not say.

The implant programme was pulled from all over the world. The doctors, scientists and engineers were left disgraced and with no hope of gaining funding to find a solution. They all disappeared without a trace, as did the remaining miracle implant children.

These miraculous scientific advances sealed the fate of each and every one of the young people trapped in this idyllic university setting with Hazel. The university was built so that the optical implants were protected from the harmful UV light of the real sun by a shield. This was the real engineering and scientific miracle. However, no engineer or scientist could take the credit because this university was built for children who were taken. The children were drugged to loose all memory of their previous life, given new names and a new identity and they lived like this, being looked after kindly by the people who had shattered their lives in the first place. They lived well and studied so that most aided the scientific advancement of the world, their world, around them oblivious to the outside world.

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Detective Inspector Brown sat in his car, his right eye twitched but he ignored it. He had everything he needed to prove that this is where the children were being taken, but he didn’t understand why no one else see could see it. It didn’t take a lot to work out the connection. Missing scientists and missing children. Find one and you’ve got the other.

His phone began to ring, it was Bradley, his youngest. Damn. He answered but kept his eyes on the scene in front of him. When was Daddy coming home? Soon son, soon. Just after I’ve finished this assignment. Can Daddy speak to Mummy? OK. Your son misses you. You have a family here. Where are you? When will you be home? I don’t want to lose a husband as well as a daughter. Please… He was sorry but he had to go and he hung up the phone. He knew it all anyway. But he also knew that she was in there.

Something caught DI Brown’s attention and he picked up the binoculars on the seat next to him and gazed with a steely eye. There was a building in front of him, a large warehouse with big grey doors. Another blacked out van arrived at the doors. Another delivery he presumed. He noted this down in his notebook. As he watched the doors closing, his eye began to twitch again.

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Hazel Day stood next to the crumbling bridge. She took a creased and worn photograph out of her jeans pocket which was comprised of a family portrait. Hazel looked blankly at the picture and the forbidden memories flooded back into her mind. The tears that could not flow prickled at the back of her eyes and, as Hazel took the step up onto the wall, she threw the photograph into the water. Her dim, stoic gaze followed the path of the photograph as it descended and eventually disappeared. Then Hazel turned her head to the artificial sky, closed her eyes and jumped.
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Again, for THIS.

Flash fiction entry. Words: Cape, Senator, Gloves, Motel

The door closed on Senator Morgan’s final meeting of the day. He sat back in his chair, loosened his tie and sighed as he pressed the intercom.

“Margaret, can you come in here for a moment, please?”

He was always polite to his mousey, prim little personal assistant. She was a good organiser with an OCD for desk tidying and made excellent coffee, black with two sugars, just the way he liked it. Margaret entered the room, notepad ready in hand.

“Take the rest of the day off, honey,” he said, “go home and enjoy yourself.” She smiled at him, welcoming the slight flirtation, but her eyes didn’t portray any relief.

“But Senator Morgan, your conference, do you not want to go through your speech one last time?”

“No. I know it inside out. Just need to get myself to the airport now. I’ll see you next week.”

She nodded, “Good evening then, Senator Morgan.”

“G’night, Margaret.”

She walked back out of the door, stopping only to delicately place her notepad back on her desk at the correct 45 degree angle and to pick up her bag before she left. 

Morgan rose from his chair and walked to the window to watch her exit the building. He sighed again.

It was going to be a long night. He removed his tie completely, tucked it into his shirt pocket and picked up his two suitcases. Then he put them back down as he caught a brief glimpse of the gloves laid neatly on the side table. A treasured present from his ex-wife on completion of drama college, dark red leather gloves, worn with use over a great many number of years. He slipped them on before leaving.   

The car journey to the airport was slow and frustrating. It seemed to Morgan that every stop sign was against him. Eventually, way after dark, he reached the place that would be his shelter for the night. A space to prepare himself before a plane journey to perhaps the biggest speech of his career. He parked up, grabbed his bags and checked in to the motel. If the security guard recognised him he was too tired or too bored to mention it. Morgan found his room just as a young couple found theirs. They waved a bottle of whiskey and giggled as they fumbled with their lock. He smiled back and raised a gloved hand in greeting.

The accommodation was basic but fine for the one night. He put his luggage down and jumped with surprise as he saw his reflection in the table mirror over the other side of the room. He wished he too had a whiskey but he needed a clear head tonight. A plane flew overhead which made Morgan look up to the cracked, white ceiling. It didn’t matter, he wouldn’t sleep much tonight anyway.

After removing his gloves and putting them safely on the table, he picked up the larger of the two suitcases and changed into some dark jeans and a shirt, neatly folding away his suit. He didn’t bother to empty any other items of clothing. Then he turned to the smaller suitcase. He laid this on the bed and tapped in the code for the combination lock. Beneath a folder containing the speech he had prepared for the conference, was a dark grey cape and black hat. He removed both items of clothing to reveal a red box. Morgan took out the box and placed it on the table. He sat on the stool next to the dressing table, looked in the mirror again, then opened the box. Inside were two layers of stage make up, a false beard and a wig. He wished that the lighting were better but, even so, his training as an actor meant he knew exactly how to change his face so that no one would recognise him unless they were up close and personal. He wasn’t intending to get close enough for any living soul to recognise him that evening. He finished by placing the hat on his head and tying the cape round his neck.  He slipped his gloves back on and headed out into the early hours of the morning. As hoped, there was no one else around.

What followed was another frustrating journey which took longer than necessary. Morgan slipped on mud, tripped over stones and branches and almost had to crawl up the bank to his intended destination. Finally, he reached the top of the hill and the wooded area which would hide him from sight. He dropped down to the ground, sat and watched as another plane flew overhead. He gathered his breath then removed the cape and took the cord out from inside the top. He pulled it tight with his gloved hands and felt it flex between his fingers. Slowly, he moved to the edge of the copse.

What he saw was a green sports car. The occupants were a woman and man, illuminated by the in-car lights. He kept his distance and listened to the laughter and noises which finally turned into relaxed conversation. Eventually, the man left Morgan’s ex-wife in the car and headed towards the trees for relief. Morgan was counting on this…

Bad news travels quickly. The newspapers printed pictures of a body covered by a cape. The strangled man was not only Senator Morgan’s rival in love but also in career. Twice the betrayal. Double the feelings of hate. Now that there was no other major candidate, Morgan was first to perform his career boosting speech.

“Good luck, Senator Morgan. Knock ’em dead. As they say.”

“Thank you Margaret.” Morgan winked at her as he strode onto the stage. He entered the crowded room to a huge round of applause. His face was blemish-less under the lighting. He put down his notes on the podium and adjusted his dark red gloves. Then he looked up, smiled to the crowd and began the act of a lifetime.

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Created for THIS.