I set myself a task last week: write 750 words every day. I have not succeeded. However I’m getting married in 8 days so I have an excuse I think.
The story “Rain Patrol” was my first effort under this short-lived regime, a piece of flash fiction written in an hour. It was inspired by this painting:
It’s called In The Rain and it’s by Vitaliy Smyk, a Ukrainian artist. It turns out that the painting itself was a two hour speedpaint, so it seems pretty fitting!
One Hour Fiction: Rain Patrol
For days, it had rained. He had forgotten when it had started and forgotten what being dry was like, becoming accustomed to the mud, the constant companion of damp and the sheer brown of his existence. And then, as suddenly as it always started, the rain had stopped. The clouds parted just long to let the twin suns of this barren, forgotten rock peek through to remind him they did in fact exist.
Three stinking months. That’s how long he had been here, this time round. He still wondered quite why he had signed up to return, knowing that the promises of forging new worlds and bringing hope to oppressed peoples were nothing but empty marketing drivel. Instead, all that awaited him was foot rot, tepid meals consisting mostly of rainwater and a near statistical certainty that he would return in one or more body bags.
His company of men lived in close proximity in what seemed to be a plughole for the whole planet. How did all the water drain here, from both the ground and the sky? Last week a mobile command post had been washed away. Three guys now missing – dead, really – after the building had been torn from its moorings and swept down the valley. He had heard them yelling for help on the radio, but what could be done?
Click me to read the full story, and a few others too.
I spend most days brain-deep in Popit code, but in my spare time I like to exercise my other, other brain and write short stories. If you like reading (the activity, not the town) then make a cup of tea, pull up a biscuit and Are You Sitting Comfortably? Below is an excerpt from Part 1 of a story I’m serialising as I go called “Earth stood hard as iron”.
The dull swirling of Gordon’s frozen breath is the only sign of life in the tiny apartment; Choirboys’ voices lilt softly through the still air from the radio in the kitchen, cutting sweetly through the silence. Gordon sits still as a stone, wrapped in blankets whilst Cal, his small mongrel terrier, keeps his feet warm. The room is cold, barely above freezing, a single bar of the electric fire struggling against the bitter winter. It’s cheaper that way.
Gordon blinks as if waking from a dream, moves to stretch his frozen joints, and flexes his numb lips.
“Come on Cal,” he says quietly, “It’s time to go for a walk.”
They shuffle down the hall to the door, and Cal looks on as Gordon agonises over putting on his coat, scarf, gloves and boots. The laces are hard to do. Finally, Cal’s lead is clipped onto his collar.
The rest is on the other side of this link, so please read on! I hope you enjoy it, feedback is always most welcome.