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Jun 9, 2014




Jun 9, 2014


One Rainy Day
1,181 Words


Allison barely finished reading the letter sitting on her desk before grabbing the steel briefcase and dashing out of the lab. Still in her lab coat, she threw open the door to the truck, tossed the case inside, and hopped into the driver's seat. She jammed the key in, causing the truck to grumble to life, and peeled out from the Harvey Institute parking lot.

As the truck sped down the road into town, Allison looked up at the sky. Gray and bleak, just like always, but with a noticeable formation of clouds moving in from the north. It would rain soon. Allison didn't bring her chemical-proof umbrella. She prayed that she could get Sam back before the rain started.


Allison slowed the truck down as she reached town. The last thing she needed was to draw attention. She turned the corner onto the main street and avoided eye contact. Walking aimlessly down the streets were a few dozen denizens of Sunny Acres. They were the last few dozen that hadn't joined the militia or headed south like the rest. They pushed their emaciated bodies past the dead trees and half melted cars looking for clean water, the one commodity Sunny Acres did not have in bulk anymore.

Many of them Allison had known, and she knew that to them, she and her husband's research was not an acceptable reason for staying holed up in the institute, separated from her old friends. Allison never regretted her decision, keeping her son safe and the research secret was far more important than remaining a member of the crumbling community. When James died, she couldn't keep the device hidden from the militia any longer. She claimed it was unfinished, but clearly they knew better.

As she passed the grocery store, long since cleaned out, she noticed a small group huddled by the entrance. She had to stop the truck when she realized it was Mr. and Mrs. Nash, holding their little boy. The boy's face had gone just as gray as the sky, and he had the tell tale acid burns on his lips. Allison looked from the boy to the briefcase on the passenger's seat. Sam was first priority, but...

The militia wouldn't notice a slight drain on the battery from a single use of the device.

She got out of the truck, case in hand, and went to them. She knelt down in front of the boy, much to the surprise of his parents, and unlocked the case. Without a word, she activated the purifier. She filled a test tube with a sample of acidic water from a nearby puddle and placed it into the slot. The device took it in, ran it through a number of precise chemical changes, and returned an equal size tube of clean water. It's clarity was vibrant in comparison to its original state. She placed it on the boys lips and tilted it up, watching as the glimmer came back into his eyes.

The Nash's were in tears, barely able to thank Allison through their sobs. Just as wordlessly as she had arrived, she climbed back into the truck and continued towards the militia's warehouse. She wiped a tear from her own eye and brought it to her lips, savoring it's saltiness. All she could think about was Sam, and how tasty that clean water looked.


Allison arrived at the warehouse just as the clouds settled over Sunny Acres. She got out of the truck with the purifier and prepped herself mentally. The transaction would hopefully go quickly and cleanly, but being outside made her more nervous than she already was, if that was possible. Taped to the warehouse door, under an awning, was note adorned only with the word BUZZER. She rang the buzzer and stepped back. The large metal shutter shook and crackled open.

Inside were stacks of wooden crates containing food, medicine, and other supplies the militia had taken for themselves. The crates were being guarded by nearly a hundred men wielding guns. Three of them were standing just behind the shutter. One was unarmed and staring right at Allison. Another had an assault rifle pointed at her. The third was holding a young boy who began to squirm upon seeing his mother again.

"Sam!" Allison shouted.

"Mom!" Sam replied as he started to cry.

"Is that the device, Mrs. Harvey?" The first man asked, pointing at the briefcase.

Allison looked down at the case before meeting the man's eyes. Her icy blue eyes had gone razor sharp.

"This is it," she said. "We spent the last year building this, so you'd better not squander it."

"I promise, you're putting it in good hands," he said.

The man motioned to the one holding the boy and they both stepped forward, out into the open air past the shutter. Allison's grip on the case's handle tightened. In a few grueling steps, she was a only few feet from the men and her son.

"The case," he said.

"No, my son first, then the case," Allison demanded. The man raised in eyebrow in suspicion. She assured him. "I won't run away, not with that gun pointed at me."

"Fine, here's your boy," he said. The one holding Sam let go, and the boy leapt into his mother's arms. They embraced, lavishing in contact with one another. The man cleared his throat in impatience. Allison put Sam at her side and began to lift the case just as thunder sounded above.

Allison and the militia man both looked up to the sky in panic. Allison came to her senses faster and shoved the case into him, knocking him down. She grabbed Sam and dove for the awning above the door, outside the vision of the gunman, just as the acid rain started pouring down. She covered her son's eyes as a large drop hit the man in the face. His scream only motivated the men inside the warehouse to find a chemical-proof garment and get the case that was sitting on his quickly melting corpse.

The truck was only a few feet away but in the open. Allison whipped off her lab coat, exposing her bare arms, and put it on Sam's head. They both ran for the truck. A drop of rain hit Allison's shoulder and she bellowed in anguish as it burned to the bone. She ripped the truck's door open and Sam climbed in, Allison immediately after, just before a drop hit her head. She peeled out of the warehouse parking lot and sped back to town.

The rain audibly sizzled on the truck's roof, but Allison couldn't hear it over the sound of her heart beating and the pain in her shoulder. It would take time, but she could build another purifier. She got what was most important. She turned her head and saw her son's icy blue eyes staring back at her. His face was a mixture of fear and hope. She did her best to smile at him.

Jun 9, 2014



Jun 9, 2014



your knight has sworn to protect someone from the elements of nature

Concrete Graveyard
1,280 Words

KBG Agent Sergei Olevsky held the door of the black sedan open as the aging physicist climbed out. He scratched at his collar through his transparent radiation suit as he looked out at the city of Pripyat. Dr. Volkov, hunched over with cane in hand, adjusted his glasses with a grim look on his face. They did not look at each other. They had not made any conversation during the drive from Kiev. It was improper, fraternity between a scientist and his bodyguard.

"Alright," the doctor said. "Let's get this over with." The two of them headed forward on foot, leaving the car at the chain link fence adorned with myriad warning signs. Olevsky put his hand on his hip, comfortably gripping his sidearm. He focused on his breathing as he stared at the mass of steel and concrete on the horizon. Construction of the sarcophagus had already begun.

The city was supposed to be evacuated, and yet a construction worker had seen movement in the window of one the apartment complexes. With the government's attention still on cleanup and publicity, only a single agent could be sent to investigate the nebulous claim. The decrepit doctor insisted on coming along to study the spread of the radiation. Now, instead of getting in, looking around and getting out, Olevsky was on babysitting duty. He sneered, hoping Volkov wouldn't keep him out here all day.

The air felt much too chill for early autumn. The trees were still fully green, yet the slight breeze rustling their branches put Olevsky on edge. It was dead silent apart from their footsteps. Normally, sounds of construction would fill the air, but the workers had reached their daily time limit on exposure. Thanks to the encumbering suit over his clothes and the Geiger counter quietly ticking away in the doctor's hand, the agent could not relax.

As the two men reached the residential area, Dr. Volkov pulled out a second handheld device, one that Olevsky couldn't begin to understand the purpose of. He fiddled with dials and tapped buttons, nodding to himself as though this ugly place held some greater meaning. Olevsky fingered the switch on his portable radio as he scanned the buildings and parks for movement. A few small animals could be seen scampering about. He squinted at a squirrel, expecting to see a third arm or some cancerous growth.

"There are no mutants here boy," the doctor said. Volkov didn't have to take his eyes off his devices to placate his partner. Olevsky wondered if the comment was meant to calm him, or if the old man was making fun of him. The agent bit his tongue and mentally reminded himself of his assignment. Protecting the doctor was his first priority, investigating the area was second. He assumed it would have been the other way around, but if the brass thought knowledge was more important than the life of a civilian, then he would do his duty without complaint.

Just as Olevsky set his eyes on the apartment complex in question, Volkov announced that he had already gathered all the data he needed.

"I'll be back at the car. Have fun with your investigation." Volkov turned back to towards the city limits quite satisfied with himself. Much to his annoyance however, Olevsky grabbed him by the shoulder.

"You're not going anywhere doctor," the agent said back. "Your protection is paramount. I cannot allow you to walk around this place by yourself." Volkov clicked his tongue, and after a moment, he resigned.

"Fine. But I'm not going up any stairs," the doctor said. He glared at the seven story complex like it had personally affronted him. Olevsky wondered if the old man had any care at all for whoever might be inside, even if they were countrymen.

The front door was unlocked. Olevsky peered inside, gun at the ready. The overcast sunlight seeped into the lobby from the windows, revealing a mess of dust and small debris. It had only been a few months since evacuation, yet the building seemed like it had been empty for decades. The two men shuffled inside and immediately covered their noses. A rancid odor filled the halls, a mixture of chemicals and rot. Olevsky approached an out-of-service elevator and pried the door open. He pulled out a flashlight and aimed around the shaft, not really sure what to look for.

"This had better not take long agent," Volkov grumbled. Olevsky was about comment back when he suddenly heard thumping a few floors up. It sounded like someone running. Olevsky swallowed and took a deep breath. He looked towards the stairs. Three floors up maybe?

He climbed a single step before stopping and remembering his partner. Volkov's hearing must not have been very good, he hadn't reacted at all. Olevsky paused in thought. Against his instincts, he stayed loyal to his mission. He walked over to the doctor and handed him his pistol.

"Here, in case you need it," the agent said. Volkov didn't say anything. He just took the gun and nodded solemnly. He suddenly seemed less like an ornery cripple and more like a experienced veteran. Olevsky went back to the stairs and began to climb. If it came down to it, he could defeat an assailant in hand-to-hand, or at least he hoped.

The climb up was not at all pleasant. The odor grew stronger the higher the agent went, and the amount of debris increased. Rust coated the banisters so thickly that Olevsky feared touching them, lest he cut his hand open and get infected with who knows what. Personal items were strewn across the landings. Clothes, jewelry, and small furniture, left behind in the rush to evacuate. There even appeared to be a fine layer of fog a few inches off the ground, giving the sensation of walking through some untouched cavern. It all felt very unnatural.

As Olevsky reached the third floor, he saw a blur of movement at the end of the desolate hallway. He reached down and grabbed the nearest object, a radiator pipe knocked loose from its spot on the wall. Within his clammy hand, he found it brittle due to age and rust. Steeling himself, he moved down the hall. Each empty room he passed made him more nervous.

At last he reached the final door. Beside it was a window overlooking the city, the dead reactor dominating the horizon. With his free hand, he grabbed the doorknob and gently pushed the door open. It creaked all the way across its hinges, screeching like a dying animal. Olevsky tightened his grip and rushed into the room.

After a few seconds, Olevsky realized his eyes were closed. After making sure that nothing had actually happened, he opened them. He found himself in the center of a perfectly square apartment. There was an overturned couch, a smashed TV, a bare bed frame, and a kitchen with all the cabinets left open. In the corner whimpering was a young boy. Olevsky guessed around ten years old.

He wore filthy moth-holed rags and no shoes. His eyes matched the color of the mud and grime on his face. Olevsky looked the boy up and down for signs of disease, madness, or mutation. All he saw was malnutrition and exposure. He dropped the pipe. Its clank upon hitting the ground scared the boy into cowering further. Olevsky crouched down and put out his hand.

"What's your name, son?" he asked.

"S-S-Sergei, s-sir," the boy replied.

The KGB agent smiled. He grabbed his radio and tuned it to the evacuation services channel. He reported a survivor, picked the boy up, and headed back to civilization.

Jun 9, 2014



Jun 9, 2014


Cosmic Catch-Up
467 Words

Somewhere in deep space, two cosmic horrors bumped into each other.

"Hey Jerry! Long time no see!" said one.

"Is that you Bob? I almost didn't recognize you under that wriggling mass!" said the other.

"What do you think? I've been growing it out. The old maid thinks it looks good on me!" Bob said.

"I think your old maid is going blind!" Jerry said. The two elder beings writhed in laughter, their tentacles shaking in jovial camaraderie.

"I haven't seen you since Martha's barbecue! How long ago was that?" Bob asked.

"A couple eons I think, back when our star was still big and red," Jerry replied.

"Oh yeah, now I remember. Speaking of which, how is she?" Bob asked.

"I'm afraid she's gone supernova," Jerry replied.

"I meant your wife, wise guy," Bob said.

"So did I. She's taking me for everything I've got," Jerry said.

"Oh! I'm sorry I didn't mean to-"

"Its fine, you're not going to hurt my feelings anymore than she did," Jerry said. "Anyway, how about you? How are Sarah and Timmy doing?"

"Well, Sarah got a job at the rim, very important work, and Timmy, just the other day, devoured his first planet!" Bob said.

"That is wonderful, I wish I had the ectoplasm that you do," Jerry said. "Didn't I always say you were going raise some fine nebula munchers?"

"That you did! Hey listen, I think we're going the same way. Want to tag along while I'm on assignment?" Bob asked.

"The boss got you running clean up duty again?" Jerry said. "Yeah sure, I'm in no rush."

The two entities flapped their leathery wings towards a particular galaxy and began to drift.


In a few thousand years, they reached their destination.

"So what's this rock called?" Jerry asked.

"The locals call it Earth," Bob replied. "Intelligent life that thinks it's the center of the universe."

"They call that kind of thinking intelligence?" Jerry said. "I've seen quasars with more brains."

"There it is, the little blue pimple," Bob said. He pointed a feeler at the tiny blue orb, third in its system. They hid behind a nearby gas giant and observed.

"You think they ever wonder? Question themselves?" Jerry asked.

"I doubt it, they're probably still worrying about predators," Bob replied.

"Predators like us you mean?" Jerry nudged Bob with a slime sac and raised his facial tentacles. Bob shoved a moon in Jerry's face and rolled thirty-seven eyes.

"Let's just make this quick, Angela's making pot roast tonight and I wouldn't miss it for the dimension," Bob said.

The two unknowable creatures loomed over the Earth and prepared to attack. Their shadows slowly began to engulf the miniscule planet. As this took place, far down below, somewhere on Earth, two humans bumped into each other.


Jun 9, 2014


Thanks for the crit!

Next time will be better.

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