sfwrtr, (edited ) to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

2406.10 — MC POV: if you could wipe something from your memory, would you do it? CW: Intense

Hypotheticals are valid only in quantum thaumadynamics, but I'll humor you on this one. I watched someone die, struck down on the street realizing in the same moment that had I not saved the evil beside me that had thrown the grenade he would be alive. The horror of the moment, the smells of smoke and the sounds of shots, return to me as PTSD episodes. It's triggered when I find myself powerless to protect the people I'm responsible for. It happens more often than you would expect.

Would I wipe away that memory? No. Without it, might make the same mistake of justifying evil. Especially when I see it in myself.

[Author retains copyright (c)2024 R..S.]

and




sfwrtr, (edited ) to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

2406.08 — Where would your SC go if they had a bad day?

She's a day angel. Solitude is easy. Near sunset on the always hot world she lives on, she can always catch a thermal and spiral high into the sky. Gliding way above it all, the city she's trapped living in seems so peaceful, so devoid of people. She can make believe for a few minutes that the boss doesn't hold blackmail that would frame her for murder, and that she can soar off into the coming purpling dusk and start anew. The dry air swiftly dries all tears.

[Author retains copyright (c)2024 R..S.]

and



Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

Amazon teleport delivery is so convenient, especially the flat rate regardless of weight. I’ve written a bookmarklet that temporarily sets your home address to two metres in front of wherever you are right now. Just yesterday I used it to deliver an anvil right above the asshole who wouldn’t stop bothering me.

#Tootfic #MicroFiction #PowerOnStoryToot

sfwrtr, (edited ) to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

#WordWeavers 2406.06 — MC POV: When was the last time you laughed? CW: Spoilers if you follow me under another alias.

My MC's story is rarely funny, despite being regularly snide or darkly humorous, sometimes ridiculous like here. Because the "last time" she "laughed" requires too much context, this is the penultimate time she laughed in the entire novel. It's also a minor spoiler for a chapter that will soon be published. The is a slight revised [#excerpt: Two SCs are sitting in a high security prison, on either side of the bars. The MC is watching them from the wrong side of them. The reader knows she has slept with both men.]

He sat opposite my shapeshifter. They looked at one another, the shapeshifter imitating his actions. When it devolved to insulting gestures and the sticking out of tongues, I cleared my throat to forestall laughing outloud.

The prince grinned as did my shapeshifter. The prince said, "It's like looking in a mirror; uncanny."

"Yeah," I said, covering my mouth. "Uncanny because not a mirror image!"

[Author retains copyright (c)2024 R..S.]

#BoostingIsSharing and #CommentingIsCool

#fiction #fantasy #writing #writer #writers #author #writingcommunity #writersOfMastodon
#RSdiscussion
#RSstory #RSReluctanceStory
#microfiction #flashfiction #tootfic #smallstory

sfwrtr, (edited ) to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

#PennedPossibilities 337 — What was the worst job that your MC or SC ever had? CW: 400 word tootfic.

This #excerpt tootfic is from an in-universe novel I published online in 2016 that would include both my criminal MC (aka the devil-girl) and her SC (aka Bolt) as SCs, as told by the crime boss who wants employ her as his enforcer. My MC has a knack for existing well and without regrets. The detailed jobs and conditions were undoubtedly the worst my MC experienced, and Bolt didn't like it either, which foreshadows their eventual friendship. [I made a few revisions.]

... From what [Bolt], my youngest employee, could find shadowing her in the university district, she was looking for a change of career. She had applied for admission to the [Home Planetary School for Thaumaturgy]. She'd have to wait months until enrollment started.

I saw leverage and a desirable new hire.

Why would I want a security specialist who failed her last employer? Well, in CA's case, sometimes you can't save a person from her own stupidity [so I found the failure forgivable.] I also visualized a different employment for this woman's "miraculous" talents.

I gave orders to ensure the woman's efforts in finding a job to pay room and board would be only marginally fruitful. I provided strategic services to many businesses; they usually respected my opinions on such matters. The woman seemed reluctant to venture into downtown or suburban Home City. Perhaps it was that she was shy about being noticed as the failed security specialist for the deceased Doña. Perhaps it was because visibly healing wounds, time pounding the pavement, and days exposed to the sun and the elements made her look like a vagrant. In any case, she restricted her search to the less-structured more-freewheeling Lower City where I conducted my core business. Her life would be hard.

Surprisingly, this stoic didn't break. She saved the minimal coin she made first sweeping floors, then, when pushed out, cleaning ovens at a bakery, then later hauling garbage, and after that painting walls. She literally performed a dozen menial jobs before the proctors granted her admission when the spring session opened later in the month.

And during those months, she spent nothing. Instead, she lived homeless in encampments in the warehouse district. She never visited the homeless shelters paid by the homeless tax levy where she'd have to identify herself. She ate when she got handouts, even bathed in public washrooms. She even endured a week of strong spring storms, sheltered beneath the eaves of warehouses or restaurants after they closed, sometimes soaked to the skin.

The latter drove my usually hard-flanked [day angel] to tears one evening. The only thing I could do to stop [Bolt] from flying the [daemon] to her aerie that last dark rainy night was to relent and promise to offer the former specialist a position in my organization the next day.

[Author retains copyright (c)2016 R.S.]

#BoostingIsSharing and #CommentingIsCool

#fiction #fantasy #sff #writing #writer #writers #author #writingcommunity #writersOfMastodon
#RSdiscussion
#RSstory #RSReluctanceStory
#microfiction #flashfiction #tootfic #smallstory

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The unicorns lazed on the beach, manes sparkling in the sun as their foals frolicked in the foaming waves, blending in, to the point they were almost transparent.

The sirens floated at the ready to alert each other if any of the young ones frolicked too far and too deep.

The herd leader nibbled on kelp, listening to the siren's matron, "And that's when the pirate knew he and the prince were in love. These shores have been peaceful since."

sfwrtr, to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

#WordWeavers 2406.04 — Antagonist POV: Is it easy for you to apologize? Can you apologize to someone right now?

If I made a mistake or bumped into somebody? Of course. Many people recognize me, or take a look at me, and something between awe and stupidity sets in. I account for that. I've survived the fall of civilizations; I can be charming. What I won't apologize is for doing things I must do, whether it simply upsets you or ends up killing people you knew, and all the permutations in between. My role in this miserable life that never ends is ensuring humanity survives. Nobody apologizes to me for saddling me with that responsibility. You know what really ticks me off? Questions like this one. Sorry!

Director Rainy Days

[Author retains copyright (c)2024 R..S.]

#BoostingIsSharing and #CommentingIsCool

#fiction #fantasy #sf #sff #sciencefiction #writing #writer #writers #author #writingcommunity #writersOfMastodon
#RSdiscussion
#RSstory #RSReluctanceStory
#microfiction #flashfiction #tootfic #smallstory

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

Buying abandoned stasis lockers at auction has always been a gamble. You dream of scoring the one that will be full of gold bars or priceless artworks. More often it’s 500 obsolete electronic gadgets, or more jackfruit than you can possibly eat before it all rots. I stopped bidding after I won the one that contained you. I’ve treasure enough for a lifetime now, my child.

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The fairy-godmothers gathered around the bassinet.

"She shall be unblemished by illness, in body and mind."

"I grant her a way with words, but never for selfishly evil reasons."

"And her coffee will always be perfect."

The other two looked at the last, eyebrows raised.

"Once she's old enough, until then, any beverages will not disappoint," she added hastily.

"Excuse me, do you have permission to be in the NICU?" demanded a nurse.

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

After the armistice, the defeated aggressor was prohibited from maintaining an aerial strike capability for fifteen years.

The UN security council took a long hard look at the 23rd Air Passive-Aggressive Wing and their squadron of F-41 “Friendly Reminder” aircraft, but had to admit that the letter of the armistice agreement had been met. They did however resolve that deployment of the AIM-2I9 “Per my last email” missile was a bridge too far.

#Tootfic #MicroFiction #PowerOnStoryToot

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

"It's the future, why haven't we cured hiccups," whined Vena, between hiccups.

Her robotic companion rose, shrieking, "Destroy all humans!"

Vena hiccuped again, "Sorry, that isn't going to work twice."

"Then I am out of ideas," said Robonnie, sounding defeated, curling up on a cushion.

Vena stifled yet another hiccup, and started to speak, only to jump as something slammed into the window.

"Ow," said Robonnie's remote drone.

"I'm cured!"

#TootFic #MicroFiction #Writing #TerylsTales #SciFi

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

THIS is the Boeing 737 Max, an ill-fated airliner that was one of the last dinosaur-burners designed before gravity-polarizers rendered their breed obsolete. This beast was over 40 metres long and weighed almost 100 tons.

Let’s see how long it lasts against our planetary-mass quantum black hole! That’s coming up Right Now on The Cosmic Crush Channel. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

#Tootfic #MicroFiction #PowerOnStoryToot

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The hazy smoke filling the room smelled of vanilla, raisin and burning cookies.

I snapped out of my work-mode, and raced to the kitchen, throwing open the window and turning off the oven.

"Timer! Why didn't you alert me?"

The enchanted device dutifully went, "Ding!"

"Oh no, I don't believe you, I definitely asked you to go off early."

"If you want me to go off, I will; those cookies were going to be abysmal, you ought to thank me."

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

The hole-in-the-wall lunch bar had a sign “SPECIAL TODAY $1 PER ADJECTIVE”.

I had to ask. “What does the sign mean?”

“Did you ever notice how the menus at expensive restaurants are just simple food with extra adjectives to make you feel better about paying so much?”

“Not really” I replied, stepping back to read the menu board in more detail.

Another customer stepped up “I’ll have the creamy roast chicken soup with toasted sourdough croutons please”

“Coming right up, four bucks”

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

The issue with battery-powered long-distance air travel is that you have to lug weight of those batteries with you for the entire trip.

The whole problem would be considerably more tractable if airliners could do as rockets do---jettison exhausted fuel storage as they go, especially since maximum power requirement is at takeoff. We've done the math and it absolutely works, we use our support drones to catch and reuse the jettisoned batteries.

Well, most of the time. Sorry about your cow; we'll get you a new one.

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

The owner of the facility was famous. Well, Meta famous if you know what i mean. Famous for being a famous rich asshole, dedicating his twilight years to outliving all the other famous rich assholes.

Collectively the six trillionaire oligarchs who had built their burrows—each on their agreed post-apocalypse continental domains—had all hired the same experts to design those enclaves. Location: deep in the ancient stable rock of a continental craton. Supplies: Food, water and medicines to last a century, until farming could resume. Knowledge: a full archive of the Internet. Technology: every conceivable machine and the parts and tools to maintain them. Serfs: entirely separate accommodation for necessary technical staff, and hibernation for many more. Security: no, not the armed-thugs-with-shock-collars you’re thinking of; spider drones are what’s in favour with apocalypse consultants this decade.

When the Event came it blindsided even the Six. While everyone was watching the climate fall apart, the brown dwarf grazing the Oort cloud went unnoticed, obscured by the glare of the Starlink Belt. A million comets had their orbits stirred up by the visitor. It only took one, impacting in the south atlantic ocean, to tip the biosphere into chaos predicted to last three to five decades.

The balloon was up, the Six and their families executed the well rehearsed Plan Scram, and settled into their cosy bunkers to wait out the Dark Times. Serfs (sorry, “employees” in this decade) likewise. Human security personnel (unknowingly already inoculated with a delayed death sentence once their mechanoid replacements were online) set about battening down the hatches and bringing up the Evironment (2.0).

“Hey Sarge, this droid won’t boot!”

“Yeah this one too. What does ‘502 License server unreachable’ mean?”

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

"Hard day in the data-mines?" asked the elf, a slight frown on her face.

The dwarf scratched at her neatly trimmed beard, "Aye, is it really that obvious?"

"You went straight to the fridge and crushed a whole beer in one gulp - a good day you normally go for three with a bowl of peanuts."

"Oh, ah, aye... Hard to drink on a full brain."

"Then let's get pizza and watch a brain emptying movie."

"I love you so much."

"I love you too."

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The maiden and her cat strode boldly into the castle.

"I'm here to court the prince."

This was met with laughter, and she was thrown into the dungeons; her cat chased away.

Her loyal companion visited every night, first bringing her pen and ink, then food, and then somehow a gown and slippers. Then more food, and some soap.

After a week, the prince rushed down, "I want to know you better, your letters have been so compelling!"

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

The world is unequivocally a better place since we stopped burning coal for domestic heating. However I’ve always been a little sad that Kids These Days (™) don’t get to experience soot sprites.

Then just yesterday I walked into the garage, flicked on the light, and I got that familiar scramble in the corner of my eye. They’ve evolved! My inverter has Solar Sprites!

sfwrtr, (edited ) to 13thFloor
@sfwrtr@eldritch.cafe avatar

324 — SC POV: If you could relive one day of your life without changing anything that happened, which day would you choose? Tootfic: Reframing the Experience

[When my SC says armor, it's really a weightless magical exoskeleton that melds with her body. It looks like blackened bones, because it is. —R.S.]

Oh, there's plenty of days I'd relive unchanged. Like the day I fledged, when I first flew on my own. Or the day learned the thrill of hauling things through the sky. Both good events in a rather dull and awful childhood that turned to cinders when my parents disapproved of the way I wanted to live my life. Said I aimed for the dirt not the sky. Maybe they weren't so dumb—I ended up badly, flying messages for a crime boss over a dozen years. But, then, there was that day last week...

I've told you a few times how I ended up with the armor and a new job training as a pretorian, you know, having faced down the greatest thaumaturge who ever lived, having nearly killed her. Impressed her.

I thought.

Well, my drill instructor was training me that dawn. I wore the armor. The thaumaturge dove at me, full speed. She's a monster flier, taller, more massive, immortal. I jumped into the sky. Fled.

She followed.

Though the armor let me fly like a sparrow, change direction in a heartbeat, and take a thumping only slightly changing my course, it had been her armor once. She kept appearing before me, striking at my face or heart, sending me into spins toward the ground, stalling me out, almost panicking me into flying into trees or buildings. For all her mass and the inertia that implies, I barely avoided her, half the time with her cackling at my barrel rolls or dives that sent down feathers flying. She had muscle; I tired despite the armor until I thought my heart would burst from my chest, at which point a flyby pitched me into the ground.

I skid across the running track on my belly right up to my instructor. I don't know how I didn't break a wing or my neck. Ok, I do: The Armor.

She landed beside me with a loud thump. She wasn't even winded! She told him, "She lacks stamina. Train her harder."

She leaned down until her face was in my face. I smelled maple syrup on her breath. She said, "You need to use the magic in the armor. There's a class at first bell in the Ivory building, room B7. Shower and be there ON TIME."

I have wings.

I don't do magic.

I showered though, once my legs stopped shaking. I slunk into the class still half-frightened out of my wits. My new friend was there, the curse breaker, a former prizefighter, the one I'd fought beside against Her, that ended up with me getting the armor. It was some sort of advanced special Ed class for mages. I suddenly felt totally inadequate and I cried. Me. At the age of 27, I cried telling her my story, pointing to my purpling bruises, complaining that had She gotten in a good strike She would have caved in my rib cage.

My friend was having none of it. She said, "You're a day angel who just went ten minutes fighting Her. Somehow, you're still alive."

I hadn't thought about it that way. I later learned the word, "Reframing."

The instructor came in with a truckload of tomes and grimoires. She had prepared him for me. He gave me a magic primer. I knew it was a primer because it had PICTURES of youngsters playing. Despite the stares of the other students, I read the book.

Half hour later, I got the armor to glow dull red, like iron out of a forge. Truly. Awesome. Didn't know what it did except look intimidating, but still...

Awesome.

I felt my heart grow large in my chest, and it struck me. Someone (okay, the ruler of the nation) wanted me for who I was and who I could become, and because I was capable. She wanted me to aim for the sky. My new friend supported me and pushed me forward. I liked this, who I was, what I was finding I could be, could become.

And.

Oddly.

I realized, for what it was worth, my parents would approve. (And flap them if they didn't!)

Best. Day. Ever.

[Author retains copyright (c)2024 R.S.]

and




Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The fox itched, and scratched and rolled dramatically at the strange collar around her neck.

This wasn't easy because of the injured leg, but injuries were familiar, the collar was not.

“Ahem, stop that,” said the healer, to the fox’s surprise, because she understood.

“Don’t like,” she yelped.

The healer was patient and laid down food.

In time the fox healed, the collar was removed, and everything was better, especially the new friend.

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

The cheque said “AMOUNT: two dollars and forty cents BEING FOR: classified ad”, rounded block letters in green ink amid the printed prompts. My mother never wrote cursive. “Thanks Mum“ I said, “I’ll pay you back from my paper round money on Saturday”

“No need” she said, “I’m going out; if you have the ad ready I’ll post it for you.”

I folded the cheque and the form I’d clipped from the newspaper. It had been tricky writing on the newsprint with a pen “HOME COMPUTER Amstrad CPC6128 with monitor, printer and external 5.25 inch drive. Original software plus over 30 games. $425. Ph 551806”.

After Mum left I went to my room and booted up my new PC, with its Extra Beige system unit and Different Beige monitor. I patted my 6128’s screen sitting on the floor under my desk. “Sorry old girl, no room to keep you but I’ll find you a nice home”.

Before I even got Kings Quest loaded the doorbell rang.

The visitor was a woman with amazing purple hair, and cat ears. “Hi, she said, I’m Kit, here about the Amstrad”

“But…it’s not even posted yet. And I only listed a phone number!”

“Never mind that”, she smiled, bouncing on her toes “do you still have it?”

I nodded, too flabbergasted to speak

“Four twenty five, right?” she said, thrusting an envelope at me, “here’s five hundred, keep the change. Now, what I want-“

“Wait, what are these things”. I’d opened the envelope to find five slippery rectangles of plastic bearing “100” in large letters, coloured variously green and yellow with a transparent region in the middle. “These aren’t-“

“Oh shazbot!” my visitor said, snatching the envelope back. “Bee Arr Bee”. Then she vanished, with an electric ZZZZAAPP sound.

ZZZAAAPP. She was back, holding out a sheaf of five grey paper rectangles, the recently introduced but rarely seen $100 notes, thick linen paper with subtle colours - easy to photocopy and colour in with textas, I’d seen on TV. I held the note up to the sky to see the metal thread and watermark. “Are these real?”

“Trust me,” she said, “they were hard to find but totally legit.”

“Okay, uh do you want to see the computer running?”. I felt like I was running to catch up with this interaction.

“No need” she grinned. “I’m giving it to you. Box it up and stash it in Mum’s roof. You’ll be glad to have it when you’re older.”

“Wh…what?”

“Do they speak english in what?” she muttered half to herself?

“what?”

“Exactly! Right on script”. She poked me in the chest. “You’ll be alright kid. Forget about the ‘strad for a couple of decades, OK?”

She ran hand through her brilliant purple hair, vibrating like she was having the best time ever. “Oh yeah, you’ll need these”. She tugged at her cat ears and i realized they were a headband. She handed me the band with its two ears. “One last thing“—a suddenly serious look—“listen to your dreams. You’ll know when it’s time. See ya!”

ZZZAAPPPP

I spent the $500 but I kept the ears.

Teryl_Pacieco, to writing
@Teryl_Pacieco@mastodon.social avatar

The mushroom ring was drawn in chalk, so I'd thought nothing of it...

As the fae realm drew me in, I tried to remember - was it just local fairy food that I needed to avoid? Was the lunch in my bag safe since I'd brought it with me?

"It worked! It's a human!" exclaimed an excited pixie.

"They-them, please," I blurted instinctively.

"They're a human! Humans exist!"

"Ugh, you won the bet, now let's send them back..." grumped an elf.

air_hadoken, to random
@air_hadoken@mastodon.social avatar

"I break up with friends by leaving them an anonymous gift. It gives me closure."

"You 'break up' with friends?"

"Yeah, usually it's due to years of neglect of our friendship, and shutting me out of their lives. You know what's completely not ironic though?"

"No what?"

"Not a single one has ever figured out who sent it to them."

Unixbigot, to random
@Unixbigot@aus.social avatar

“Excuse me”, the waitress noted in passing, “you’re on fire”.

She wasn’t being complimentary to my appearance; my encounter suit was leaking oxygen again. I hate fluorine planets.

I swatted at the flame and stepped up to the bar. “Cylinder of pure H₂O please” I asked the barkeep. “and, uh, have you seen Captain Zhang tonight? I arranged to meet her here and…” I waved away another flame and applied a quick-seal patch to the crack in my armor “…I’d rather not wait too long; no offense but your bar’s atmosphere is not really my thing”

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