In with a flash
|# ¿ Mar 6, 2019 14:51|
|# ¿ Jun 29, 2022 14:06|
if you failed the last time you submitted.
You aren't quoting anyone, but I assume this being the first post after my signing up was purely coincidental? I haven't done one of these for five years, and while my last submission was awful, I did submit something.
|# ¿ Mar 6, 2019 20:23|
Hands of fate
Flash rule: Your authoritarian is a palm reader.
The embers of the fire-place were glowing orange witnessing the fire that once was. Smoke was rising from it, producing twisting and turning curves in constant movement, reminiscent of a sensual dance, and enchanting anyone whose gaze might be caught for a second too long. Leila, who might as well had have grown up in this chamber, had long since learned to absolve her mind of the concretions of the dance of the smoke, and its pungent smell of burnt pine. Her mind was on the subject before her, and how they would fit into the Great Mural.
In front of Leila in this moment, was a boy in his mid teens, who was not quite as comfortable with the fumes. His eyes were uneasy as she held his right hand, and traced the lines in his palms with her fingers. Silently she dragged her finger-tip across his life-line in a smooth motion, then rotated his hand clock-wise in a jerking motion, that produced a whelp of pain that she scarcely noticed. With a pensive expression she traced each line across the bases of his fingers.
“Hm, this is very strange,” she whispered to herself.
The gaze of the boy grew uneasier still, at this remark. The boy used his free hand to wipe the sweat off his brow. “W-what do you mean?” he said.
“These lines,” she said, tracing two lines from under his index finger to the broad side of the hand. “they don’t match; I’ve never seen anything like it. Has anything happened to you that might have altered your Pattern of Fate?”
“No. N--not that I remember.”
“Show me your other hand.” She said, as she let go of his right and gestured towards his left.
“Why?” he asked, raising his voice. “The right hand has the Pattern of Fate!”
One of the Enforcers stationed at the entry to the Chamber stepped in, “Are you questioning the orders of the Great Reader?”
“N-no, of course not,” the boy said, as he lowered his head and extended his left hand.
Leila took the hand and pondered it for a few seconds. “They’re always sloppy with the left hand,” she said, and continued “You have mutilated your hand and committed sacrilege. For refusing to -”
The boy suddenly bolted for the door, but the Enforcer caught him before he was even on his feet. “PLEASE!” He cried, tears now running down his cheeks, “M-My father was a Miner and died before I was born, I can’t be a Miner too!”
Leila said, calmly, “It is not for us to say where we belong in life. The gods have a place for us in the Great Mural,” she said, gesturing to the massive painting on the wall of the chamber, extending several meters across, and ever-changing in shape from the constant smoke in the room. “Our palms is their medium through which they communicate their plan, and you have mutilated this gift.”
Leila moved to the fire-place and picked up a red-hot rod of iron by the handle. “Hold out your hands” she said. The boy sat sobbing, and held his hands to his face. The Enforcer grabbed him by his wrists and forced out his hands.
“For the crime of this sacrilege, I hereby sentence you to exile.” She said, as she held out the rod, and the Enforcer forced his hands unto the red-hot iron. The boy let out a blood curdling scream as his palm prints were erased from existence. Leila suppressed a wince. She had always found exiles uncomfortable, but they were necessary to maintain the balance of fate.
Before being left on the street, the boy had revealed the location of the defacers who had mutilated his hands, and they were headed there with a group of Enforcers. One of them kicked down the door to the third-floor apartment. One defacer came running past the group, and managed to pass by them, as an Enforcer ran in pursuit.
The apartment was dimly lit, and with the kind of nondescript brown furnishing, that made it hard to discern dirt from intended color. One window was open from a defacer who had jumped, but his screaming witnessed to the fact that his escape was ultimately unsuccessful. One room at the end of the hallway marked “Modding room,” stood out from the rest of the apartment. Unlike the rest of the decor, this room was well-lit and clean. Along the walls were posters detailing the meaning of the hand-lines, and illegal propaganda posters reading “Don’t be another line in the mural,” and “Don’t play a hand in her game.” In the middle of the room was a barber’s chair with straps added to both arm-rests, next to which was a surgical table with scalpels and scissors drenched in blood. A trail of blood droplets led from the chair to the door.
Leila followed the trail, and it led her to a broom closet. She gestured to one of the Enforcers, who opened the door. A kid, no older than 15, and with great, black, unruly hair tried to push her way past the Enforcer, who held her back with ease.
“Let me go!” she yelled.
Leila nodded at the Enforcer and he unhanded her. She grabbed the hand from which blood was dripping; the defacer had not managed to do much damage. Despite the blood, Leila was able to discern the long life-line, long head-line and short heart-line.
“Bureaucrat,” she muttered to herself.
“I’d rather die” the girl said, and ran, as a black book fell from her coat. Leila picked it up, as the Enforcer captured the girl and took her away.
Back in the Chamber, curiosity got the better of her as Leila started to browse through the book. The first few pages were unsurprising, the bored doodles of an unruly teenager. Simple hearts and primitive patterns. But as she moved on the patterns became more intricate. Nothing spectacular, but she was impressed that a Bureaucrat could train herself to produce something even pleasant to look at. As she moved on realistic depictions of real-life became more frequent, and they were good. The abstract patterns, however, were what caught Leila’s attention the most. Several pieces seemed to almost move like a bird made entirely of straight pencil lines that looked like it was in flight. This work was professional. Worse, it was creative. Certainly not within the abilities of a Bureaucrat. In the final parts of the book they were outright expressive, producing emotions in Leila she didn’t know she was capable of.
A massive cloud of guilt overcame her as everything she had known to be true, everything that gave her control came crashing down around her. How many fates had she ruined? How many times had she denied someone their potential because they might have fit better into the plan? What if she was not truly supposed to be a Reader? In her delirium she picked up an ember from the fire-place, her overwhelming impulse to create overcoming the excruciating pain. She moved to the Great Mural where she began to trace over the intricate, curving lines with rough, thick strokes of black. All the while the fire produced even wilder and darker smoke from the disturbance. She did not let up until the entire mural had been covered by a distorted hand, whose chaotic palm patterns seemed to lack concrete form. Leila looked at her hands, and noticed that all traces of her Pattern had been eradicated by the embers.
|# ¿ Mar 11, 2019 01:24|
In + flash
|# ¿ Mar 12, 2019 01:35|
I've been booked completely the rest of the week, so I'll have to fluke. For future reference, is it preferred to give a notice, or is it better to just not poo poo up the thread and fail quietly?
|# ¿ Mar 14, 2019 13:46|