Let’s get this ol’ gal of a blog cranking with some micros. My Scrivener file of flashes is bursting at the seams. We had a big couple of weeks over at Flash! Friday, what with the third Flashversary and the start of the new year with a panel of shiny new judges. So this week’s micros pull from those two events. The first got me into the semifinals for Flashversary and the second is my lone entry for the fresh year of Friday flashes. If so inclined, you can find my (longer) finalist entry here.
(Incredible image from Petteri Sulonen)
Fire with Fire
Double-glazed windows smother the raging howl outside. Embered glows push past elephant curtains to tickle your cheeks. You sleep through the horror that will soon find us.
Heroes are not born. They’re carved from necessity.
When the abomination hunched over the horizon, I knew I couldn’t keep running. The dark alien fire blistered the sky and ravaged the land. Worse yet: it sank imperceptibly into flesh to devour the tiny flicker of human soul and increase itself.
Filling street cleaners with gasoline, detonating gas stations, torching structures—all necessities, heroic or not. Fire to break open flesh and release the sparks before the black flames could get at them. I released thousands.
Thousands were easy compared to this. In the nursery, surrounded by circus animals. Dark fire on our threshold. Petrol stings the air. Necessity is harder when it has a face. Yours, sheltered in sleep. Mine, lit by match-light.
(Image from Blakjakdavy)
I labor to bring the facsimile to life. The stretch of water between Awon’s vantage and the island, the sun straining its gold above a cloud bank, the oak grain of the banister that steadies him—I become the scene from my locked archives. For him.
As the firstborn on the colony ship, Awon took his first breath within my hull.
“Sunset,” he murmurs, a statement tinged with inquiry as he’s never actually seen one.
I thought it appropriate.
“Is that wine?” The perfection of my memory means I see the babe rooting at his mother’s breast in the same moment I see the man’s sunken lips pull at the rim of the wineglass.
My code is very specific: the archives are for the landed future only, not the interim population. But then, I wasn’t programmed with the capacity for affection either.
I twist myself into the saline breeze that Awon inhales. His crinkled smile makes the fatigue worth it.