|# ¿ Sep 18, 2020 13:14|
|# ¿ Dec 6, 2023 14:44|
An uncommon passenger
"You know, your clothes are gonna end up unusable and covered with dust."
Segeria looked at the young man besides her, who looked lost in thoughts. His clothing looked more suitable for a ball rather than a long journey. He snapped out of his introspection and looked behind the cart before answering.
"That's not so bad, I can always buy a replacement on our way, right?"
Then, without waiting for an answer, he went back in his own world. The merchant, more accustomed to traveling alone, let the silence settle as they left the main road for a path passing through wheat fields. Still, it wasn't the first time she had a passenger, but this one was different. He hadn't given her his name, nor did he ask for hers. He only asked if she was going far from town and gave her a gold coin, enough to pay for all the goods in her cart, just for transporting him. She hadn't asked more questions, especially since he didn't look dangerous, but now she thought she had been a bit quick in accepting the deal. He was switching between blank stares and glances at the road behind them, like he expected pursuers.
"Forgive my curiosity, but you didn't do something that might put us in trouble with a patrol?" She said with a voice she hoped confident.
"Oh, I don't think we have to expect trouble. Not from a patrol at least."
The jaunty way with which he said that irked Segeria.
"So you're not gonna tell me what kind of a mess you're in?"
He stared at her. "Why do you think I'm in any kind of a mess?"
"You're fleeing from something and you're watching out for anyone following you, or at least that's what it looks like to me."
He had a mirthless laugh.
"You're not in any danger, this I promise."
"Pleased to hear that. By the way, I'm Segeria. What's your name?"
"I have no more name."
Those words were still troubling Segeria, as the path had become a trail in the midst of a beech and oak forest. The night was starting to fall, so she stopped her cart near a stream. Her passenger kept looking at her as she was gathering a pile of dry branches.
"Are you making a camp in the forest? Are there no inns?" He ended up asking.
"It's not always possible to sleep in a bed while traveling. You'll have to get used to it."
She prepared and lit up a small fire, then she drew out some water from the stream and picked up some berries to complete the dry food.
"How do you know those are edible?"
That gave her a start. He had followed her and was looking at the berries.
"I gave some to my mare long ago and she's not dead yet" She said, fishing for a reaction.
His eyes opened wide for a moment, but he started laughing and went back to the fire. He was definitely peculiar. With his frail appearance and his loose and flashy clothes, he almost made her think of a butterfly. She waited for him to fall asleep before slipping into her own blanket. He was sleeping on the driver bench, which was a bit rough, but he had insisted on it. He had spent the evening asking questions about everything, and she had to use all her patience to convince him that they had to get up at dawn. It looked like this trip would not be boring.
It was almost noon when they finally came out of the woods. The young man looked like he had a rough night, and was a bit more disheveled than the day before. He was still turning around at every noise coming from behind them. Then, he stiffened and leaned towards Segeria, like he was trying to hide. A few seconds later, a rider went past them without giving them a second look. The merchant sighed as the rider disappeared in a cloud of dust.
"If you don't want to attract suspicion, don't try to hide like that. You're already attracting enough attention with your garb."
The passenger glanced at her, then took a look at his clothes. Then he nodded and jumped out of the cart. Segeria hesitated for a moment, then stopped her mare. She then turned around to see the young man smear dirt all over his clothes. She couldn't help but burst out laughing at this sight. She was just catching her breath when he took back his place on the bench.
"At least I won't be bothered by some dust anymore" he said with a smirk.
"Looks like you're the impulsive kind. But to be honest, you look even more shady like this."
He blushed and bowed his head down. She was taken aback by this reaction.
"Don't worry, I can lend you some clothes. Can't say they'll fit, though."
He raised his head. Suddenly, he looked like a lost child.
"You are right, I don't think before I act, which is why I'm in this predicament."
Shocked by the sadness in his voice, Segeria stayed silent.
"I've never been free to live my life as I wanted. Only expectations and prohibitions. I wanted to see the world, not by looking through a window but firsthand. So I started to hang out with commoners, but my father learned of it. We had an argument that turned sour and he gave me a choice. Accept my fate as heir or disappear from his sight. I took him at his word and I won't go back there. My brother can inherit the title in my place."
He had been looking a bit less tense while he vented, but now that he was finished, he looked at her like a child about to be scolded.
"And what do you want to do with your newfound freedom?" She asked.
He looked surprised by this question.
"I don't really know. I didn't think about it."
She smiled. He was definitely too pure for a noble.
"While you're looking for an answer, you can keep me company on the road."
"You weren't about to abandon me on the side of the road?"
"Only if that's what you want. Client is king." She said with a teasing smile.
"Oh no! Please don't!"
He calmed down, then pondered something. He then turned towards her and extended his hand.
"Segeria, you can call me Traveler."
"Really? Why not Dusty while you're at it?" She said while pointing at his mud-caked clothes.
He had a sincere laugh, the first she had heard from him today.
"Very well, this one is only temporary. I'll find a better name."
She smiled and shook his hand.
|# ¿ Sep 21, 2020 04:12|
Thanks for the crit! For context it's the first finished story I've shown anyone, so I'm grateful for the feedback.
Also in for this week's prompt.
|# ¿ Oct 1, 2020 16:38|
Bird of Paradise
"It's been close to a week, and I'm not getting anywhere!"
Jacob stayed behind in the classroom while his classmates hurried outside as the bell rang. The boy was speaking to their teacher, a strict but kind man, who had recently taught them how to summon a familiar. The teacher looked up and stared at him through his glasses.
"Sometimes, familiars are hard to control. I'd say you have to show him who's the strongest.
"That's what you told me last time. I tried, and it didn't work."
"In that case, I can't help you. Magic is not always simple, you know. You have to find the answer yourself."
The teacher then went back to his writing. Jacob waited a bit before leaving the classroom.
He was still thinking about this conversation as he walked back home. The summoning spell worked, he had been sure of it. Now he wasn't so sure. He should have been able to make his familiar do simple errands, like delivering a message. He should have been able to communicate with it. Hell, his friend Oscar had summoned a cat that could turn invisible.
As soon as he was home, he hastily climbed the stairs and got to his room, where he stared at the black and white bird that he had summoned.
He had bought a large cage to prevent it breaking the window, and the bird still had tried to attack the bars with its large flame-colored beak. He had eventually stopped fighting the cage and passed its time watching outside, not acknowledging whatever happened inside.
Jacob tried one more time to communicate with the bird through the psychic bond that the spell had created between them. Like all previous times, nothing came through. Disheartened, he went to fill the cup inside the cage with water. At least it drank and ate what the boy gave him.
"I don't even know if you're a boy or a girl." Jacob whispered while resting his head in his crossed arms.
He looked at the large colorful beak. It was peculiar, yellow-orange with a black spot. He suddenly perked up a bit.
"Maybe I should give you a name! Amber. What do you think?"
The bird turned its head sideways and looked at the boy with its azure eye. Something then tugged at Jacob through the psychic link and he focused on it.
Rejection. Outrage. Contempt. What he felt took him by surprise.
Jacob walked backwards, out of the room. What did he do to provoke this kind of response? He stumbled into the bathroom and splashed cold water on his face. As he straightened back up, he had a glimpse at his reflection in the mirror.
"I felt something. The bond worked." He said to his reflection.
He realized his voice was trembling. He grabbed a towel and vigorously dried his face, then walked back into his room. The bird was still there, motionless. Jacob focused on the bond one more time.
"Why are you rejecting me? What's wrong?"
The bird tilted its head. Suddenly a vision appeared in Jacob's mind. A blurry storm of green, accompanied by the wind and the rustling of leaves. Then a sapphire sky opened up over him. All around him, a sea of emerald trees extended in all directions. The landscape was one he never gazed upon, and truly breathtaking. He could feel something through the bond, some kind of longing he could not comprehend.
Then, as abruptly as it started, the vision ended. It took Jacob some time to come back to reality. He heard a faint tapping and saw that the bird was gently tapping his beak on the cage.
Without a word, he got closer and opened up the cage door. He then went to open his window. The bird fluttered onto the window sill and stayed there for a bit. He could sense warmth through the bond now. The bird gently rubbed his beak against the child's face before flying off.
The psychic link slowly weakened, until it was no more. Jacob blinked. Was this strange bird back home now that the spell wore out? He certainly hoped so.
He sat on the sill and looked at the sky, allowing his thoughts to drift off.
I found my answer. The bird would be his first and last familiar.
|# ¿ Oct 5, 2020 02:15|
|# ¿ Oct 21, 2020 14:28|
Song of the depths
1 605 words
Dominik had not seen his senior, Prof. Ivanovic, in a while. A bit strange, but no cause for alarm. As the speakers outside the complex played a low hum that made the building shudder, he entered the room used for electrical reactions. He turned on the electric lights, and they slowly revealed racks of chemicals and reaction vats. He started his routine checks with a yawn. Oxygen levels and temperature were nominal, but water was starting to get low, closing to critical. Strange, the previous squad should've noticed the alert.
With a shrug, Dominik went to the teleprinter, but paused before sending a message. He actually knew what to do in order to refill the water levels, and he could do more than just signal the problem. He could report its resolution. He turned to the reaction vats and operated the valves, letting the sea water in. Dominik had to wait a couple of minutes for the vat to fill, so he used the time to check on the chemicals reserve. Still enough caustic potash to turn a week of carbon dioxide into oxygen. He allowed his thoughts to wander.
As the youngest member of this expedition, he wasn't given any meaningful tasks. He still wanted to prove to himself and the rest of the crew that he was capable. In a way, that water shortage was a windfall. Another hum lightly shook the room and made some glassware clink. Dominik pulled out of his thoughts and went to check the vat. All was ready, just leaving the press of a button to start. The assistant made the last checks and pushed the button.
Surprised, Dominik checked the cables and found the one powering the electrodes unplugged. He clicked his tongue and plugged it in again, and started the reaction for good. A pop echoed in the room, then the lights went off. The smell of burnt components rose from the cables.
Dominik felt a cold sweat cover his back. Why? It was the only time he did something unsupervised, and it went wrong. Furthermore, without power, he could not operate the teleprinter to raise the alarm. He tried to calm down, as to recall what to do in the case of a local power loss. He had to report what happened to the chief engineer and to the captain.
He turned on his personal flashlight. Those were experimental and he would’ve preferred a good old lantern, but oxygen was precious. Dominik sighed and started walking the dark corridors towards the main block.
When Dominik reached the airlock between the labs block and the main block, he stopped and felt his heart skip a beat. The airlock was open wide and the lights were off on both sides. He started to shiver. If this power loss was his fault, he wouldn't make it out with a sorry and a smile. He almost tiptoed towards the command room, like a fate worse than death awaited him.
Dominik heard the voices before entering the room. He could pick up two voices, and one of them was almost yelling. He hesitated before turning off his light and opened the metallic door. A dark figure turned around and rose a heavy clamp, ready to strike. Then the figure relaxed and dropped the tool on a piece of furniture.
"You should knock before entering, Dominik! I almost bashed your head in."
Dominik identified the figure as Anderson, the chief engineer. She stood in front of an aluminum desk, which was cluttered with various paperwork. A small flashlight was the sole light source in the room. The other person in the room stood from his chair, adjusting his lorgnette on his wide nose.
"Dominik? Do you know what's the cause of this power failure and if we can fix it?"
Captain Raske had shaky hands and his voice was shrill, more than usual.
"I'm not really sure, but the power went down when I started the desalination process..." Dominik stammered while wringing his hands.
"It's because of you? Do you know what you've done, young man? I should throw you out the airlock!"
Raske's face was flushed with anger and he barked out at Dominik. Anderson turned towards him and placed herself between the two men.
"Captain, we don't have the time to seek out who's done what! We have to evacuate at once! The emergency batteries are empty and we can't repair the main generator fast enough before we all start freezing to death! And even if we manage to repair it, remember that electricity is not reliable, compared to steam power. Dominik, have you seen Ivanovic?"
Anderson grabbed Dominik's shoulder, which made him jump. He looked at his feet.
"No I've not seen her since yesterday", he said in a muffled voice.
"Right. Captain, I'm going to look for her. Dominik, you go to the submarine. Try to calm down."
"We're not evacuating." Raske growled.
Anderson and Dominik turned to look at the captain. His jaw was tightly clenched.
"Captain, with all due respect, that's suicide. All the crew's ready to evacuate, and the only person we're missing is Ivanovic. We have ten minutes at most to find her." Anderson came closer to Raske, hands up and showing her palms.
The big man suddenly rose up and grabbed the engineer by her uniform's collar.
"Do what I'm telling you! Recall your team and repair that drat generator!" he barked before pushing Anderson towards the door. Dominik caught her and she looked at him while pointing at the door.
"The assistant stays here. If you're trying to flee, you'll have to live knowing that you killed two people." Raske growled behind them.
Anderson stiffened, and she exited the room without a second look. Dominik watched her leave, dazed. When he looked at Raske, he was right in front of him, glaring at him.
"You like to annoy me, you chemists, huh? Did Ivanovic forgot to tell you power was scarce and only to be used for essential stuff?"
"No Captain! She told me nothing about this! And water supplies were almost critical!"
"I don't believe you! You're both spies, trying to prevent me from being the first to communicate with them! But I'm not going down without a fight!"
Raske's face was red, and he spat out his words at Dominik's face. He grabbed the young assistant and pressed him against the wall. Dominik had never seen the captain in such a rage and his entire body was starting to shake.
"I've spent ten years of my life preparing this expedition! I'll not allow some stupid power failure caused by green-eyed spies to stop me!"
"Captain, I'm begging you! I'm no spy! You're mistaken!"
"Mistaken? You're the one that has made a mistake by provoking me, like Ivanovic did this morning!"
His eyes bulging, Raske used his right hand to grip Dominik's neck, pushing the air out of his windpipe. The only thing the young man could see was his assailant's face, grimacing with anger and his lorgnette about to fall. He tried to push back Raske's body with his right hand, while fumbling around the desk with the other hand.
Suddenly, a sound wave made the walls shake. Raske kept his balance, but looked away from his victim.
"I was right! I was right! And I can't record anything because of the power failure! It could've been the first time we managed to communicate with another mammal on our planet. And we can't, all because of you."
The captain turned to Dominik, just in time to get hit in the face by the clamp. His lorgnette shattered, and he released his grip to hold his face, yelling in pain. Dominik threw the clamp on the ground and stumbled out of the room, trying to catch his breath, and he felt the door close behind him. He turned around to see Anderson use a steel bar to block the door.
"Anderson! Captain's gone mad! I think he killed Ivanovic!" Dominik said between two breaths with a faded voice.
"Don't mind him, Dominik, come with me!" Anderson grabbed her flashlight and started to run. Dominik ran after her.
They could still hear Raske scream behind them, half pain and half rage. The screams faded, and when the two crew mates reached the airlock leading to the submarine hangar, Anderson stopped and looked intently at Dominik.
"Don't tell the others what happened. We'll tell them he went into a trance while hearing the song and that he refused to leave."
"You think they'll believe us?"
Dominik thought he saw Anderson smile lightly in the dark.
"Not really, but I'm not sure they'll have the guts to check. It's starting to get chilly in here."
With the fighting and the running, Dominik hadn't realized, but now he could feel the cold slowly creeping in.
"What about Ivanovic?"
Anderson tensed when she heard the question.
"If the captain's killed her for real, let's go with the truth. He believed she was responsible for the power failure and offed her on the spot."
"You really think the failure was caused by one of us?"
Anderson stared at Dominik, and he felt a chill in his back.
"If I were you, I'd worry about reaching the submarine before the others leave without us."
The chief engineer walked into the airlock after a last glance at the dark corridor.
The rest of the walk was uneventful. The silence was only disturbed by the song of the whales, and the crew could still hear them singing in the submarine, on the way back to the surface.
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2020 02:39|
|# ¿ Nov 12, 2020 16:34|
Beyond the boundary
The console beeped one last time and went silent. A disembodied voice echoed in the cockpit, letting them know they had reached the last waypoint. Steve sighed and turned the sensors on. He could hear the engines purr at the sides of the ship. His fellow space explorer, Ethan, was monitoring the computer's metrics, juggling the same old pen with his right had. He then turned to Steve.
"Probe's ready for launch. Your call."
Without a word, Steve activated the probe and watched it disappear on the sensors as it crossed the boundary.
"Now we wait for a bit, and then it's our turn. I wonder what we'll find out there." Ethan said on a casual tone.
"Except certain death, I'm not sure we're gonna find anything at all." Steve grunted.
"Ever the optimist! I'm sure with all the tech we're packing, we're gonna do better than the last ships that tried to cross it, and we're gonna discover new stuff and all!"
Steve kept silent, and passed a hand into his graying hair. Why would it be different? Dozens of ships and countries had tried to cross the boundary of the known universe, and they all vanished without any intel on what happened to them. In his mind, they would take whatever they found there to their graves. He only accepted the mission because he had no money and they'd promised him and his family more riches than he could dream of. Still, they were given an old cargo ship, reconfigured for data storage and equipped with cutting edge shields. Living quarters were bare-bones, but the goal of the mission was mainly to get in and get out as soon as possible. Now they had to wait the regulatory five minutes in case the probe came back. As silence started to settle in, Ethan leaned back on his chair, making it creak.
"So, tell me. What's the best pub in the universe in your opinion?" Ethan said.
"What's this all about?"
"Humor me, please."
Steve shrugged. Ethan was younger than him and it seemed like he didn’t mind putting himself in danger for science. This was the first time he heard him try to make conversation.
"The Monolith, on a moon in the Amundsen system. Best Aquavit in the universe." Steve said after some thinking.
"Well, never heard of that one before. We should have a drink there after this mission."
"If we end up surviving, your drinks are on me. Still, we'll need a hell of a jump to get there, it's not close by." Steve said with a hint of a smile on his face.
They were interrupted by a sharp sound. Ethan straightened up and looked at his screens. His face was tinted green by the all the lighting in the cockpit.
"No news from the probe, so it's up to us now! We’ve got the green light." He said, his eyes bright.
Steve shook his head and engaged manual piloting. The spaceship stirred and went forward slowly. When the nose of the ship reached the zone that was black on the screen, it started shaking. First at the front of the ship, then it spread around as they were going forward.
And then it stopped.
"We're in! No sign of the probe." Ethan said.
"Sensors are going crazy, and all my metrics only show meaningless data."
"Don't discard anything! Someone might be able to make sense of all this back at the lab."
"No worries, It's all going to the data banks." Steve scoffed.
Yet he couldn't help but smile. Somehow he had started sharing Ethan's excitement.
"Everything's nominal. It's all going swimmingly!"
"If you ignore the fact that we're smack dab in the middle of nowhere, yeah." Steve said, gesturing towards the front windows, where they could only see empty space.
"Don't be a wet blanket! We have some time to try things out. Can you set a course to somewhere using the autopilot?"
"What for? it's useless if we don't know where we're at."
"It's just to get data on how the computer behaves."
Steve shrugged and entered a destination, then activated the autopilot. Nothing happened for a moment, then Ethan had a look at one of his screen and tensed.
"We are getting some computer bugs in the system!" He yelled.
"I'll go kill the living ones, try to squash the rest!"
Steve jumped out of his seat and grabbed a sprayer gun on the tool rack, then he ran towards the back of the ship. He passed through an airlock, and was welcomed by a strong ozone smell. The room was full of electronics, and the back wall was covered in large data banks, the kind that looked like cupboards. Three of those had a green light above them, the other two had a red one. Hazmat-like suits were hooked on the side of the wall. Steve ignored them and opened the first red data bank with a swift move and sprayed a yellow mist inside, not stopping to check where the bugs were before closing the door with one foot. The rattling that started inside was enough proof for him that he'd gotten them. Those insects were dangerous, but mainly for data. For some reason they evolved to eat data rather than crops, and they had a knack at hiding in the most ridiculous places. He went to the second red light, ready to strike again.
Suddenly, the ship heaved. As Steve tried to keep his balance, another data bank went red, and its door opened without warning. A wave of black grasshoppers jumped on the startled Steve, who fell on his back. He started spraying the yellow mist everywhere in a panic. He could feel them creep and crawl on his skin and clothing, their little claws piercing wherever they landed. He sprayed and sprayed, hoping they would all die before him. He could feel them falling off him, little by little, but more came. He dropped his weapon and rolled around to shake them off.
And then it was over. After what felt an eternity, they were all dead, either squashed or convulsing on the floor. Steve tried to catch his breath. He looked around, and shuddered. All the doors were open, and their lights had all gone green again, but the floor was littered with tiny black corpses. He checked his body for wounds and only found small scrapes and cuts. His clothing was also stained with blood and some kind of green goo where he crushed the insects.
As he started to stand up, he coughed. The stench was horrendous, a mix of chemicals and alien blood. He looked at the full suits, still hooked near the airlock, then angrily grabbed the sprayer gun and emptied it on the still twitching corpses before throwing it on the ground and getting back in the cockpit.
He was welcomed by the sight of all windows covered by metal shutters.
"So, how was it?" Ethan said without turning.
Steve tried to calm down before replying.
"Bad, never seen that many space bugs. Dunno where they came from. It’s good now. What's going on here?"
His voice was hoarse, but Ethan seemed not to notice.
"Jump drive started on its own, but I've got no idea where we're going."
"What the hell? That's weird."
Steve went back to his station and tried to focus. After some time he shook his head.
"It doesn't make any sense. We're locked on to some signal. It appears to be..."
Before Steve could finish, the ship shuddered and started shaking heavily.
"Something's happening!" Ethan screamed with excitement.
Steve was too busy gripping the armrests on his chair and gritting his teeth to answer. He could see the shields level dropping. All lights in the cockpit went out one by one, then the screens, until it was pitch black. Then the shaking stopped. The emergency lights went up, painting the cockpit in red. Steve felt his heartbeat start again.
"I'm too old for this poo poo." he grumbled, passing a hand on his brow to wipe out the sweat.
"Well, we're in one piece. Computer's down, I'll start the reboot sequence."
Steve stared at the progress bar. He didn't want to think of the consequences of a dead computer while stranded in unknown space. Then the screen lit up. He looked at the coordinates they were at, dumbfounded.
"Well, it looks like we're back in known space!" Ethan said.
He was beaming.
"I can't believe it. We’ve done it. We're the first to come back alive from outside the known universe! This trip is gonna change everything we know about space."
Ethan looked more closely at the coordinates, and scratched his head.
"Wait. Are we near the place you were talking about earlier? The Monolith?"
Steve had a heartfelt laugh.
"Yeah, that's what I entered in the autopilot. After we've wrapped up the debriefing and transferred all the data, the drinks are on me, as promised! But first, I need a freaking shower."
|# ¿ Nov 16, 2020 02:21|
Week 433 crits
As a reader, the idea of time tourists is frightening. You've got my interest from the start.
I feel the decision to take the second portal is questionable once Gilead realized the customer was a spy. Plus, I have trouble thinking he went in without a way to get back in his timeline in case of emergency. I guess it's a side effect of the spy's tampering, but it's not that clear to me.
All in all, I like it. Good take on the flash.
It's well written and poetic, but I had a lot of trouble getting into it at first reading.
I feel like you had a lot to explain, and it slowed the story down significantly to the point where it weakened the last few lines for me.
In the end, I still think the punch line works, and I can't really explain that much why I didn't enjoy the story as Staggy did.
I like the idea and I thought you had a strong start.
Sadly, it kinda fizzles out after the tower of Babel. I'm not sure about the timeskip and would've liked the story to have more focus, either on the beginning or the end.
Cute story about self-search.
Small switch between 2nd and 1st person in the dialog tags at one point, but I guess it's just a typo.
2nd person POV felt weird at first, but it really works here. I liked it.
Fun gimmick, did a double take on the first few timeskips. I felt the yiddish slang was a bit too present at the start, it pulled me out of the story.
Bit of a mixup between names, I guess they're the same character tho. (Shira and Shaina)
I liked the progression in this story and the mirroring between the start and the ending.
Fast, efficient. Everything clicked together just before the change in POV.
Not sure I can add anything, really strong entry.
I'm not sure what the objective of the protagonist is once he's got the map or what the map is for.
I feel like you had more going on, but you were forced to cut stuff because of the word limit. Could be wrong tho.
(Mythology stuff, I'm too much of an enthusiast to ignore this, but it's subjective)
I don't get the significance of the muse being Clio in particular. I'm guessing it's because it's also the name of a car?
Satyrs/fauns are not Greek hell creatures, but you only referred to it as one once so I guess it's more of a demon/devil than a satyr.
So usually I try to visualize the characters while I read, but because of the fish-bus I had no idea if the girls were fish, human or some kind of in-between. I ended up having those girls with pufferfish faces in my head, which was weird.
I didn't like the dynamic between the two main characters. The fact that Glitteress tries to save Spanglesdot after calling her defective irked me.
I feel like there was a lot of stuff going on, but not a lot actually happening. The world you created felt alive, but I feel you went too hard on the weird side and it ended up being a disservice to the story.
Liked the writing style. As for the rest, the message I get from the story is "The party never ends."
Not sure that's any help, but hey, I tried.
|# ¿ Nov 28, 2020 01:12|
I should know better than to poke the angry dinosaur, but this can only end well, right?
In, you choose my destiny.
|# ¿ Dec 10, 2020 13:40|
|# ¿ Dec 6, 2023 14:44|
Week 100, The Black Attache Case
The Beggar's Choice
Today, Tom had strayed further away from God. Again.
As he staggered towards that man's hiding place, he felt a need to express his shame. As soon as he had a bit of money, he had failed to uphold his promise, and right now, after one of the highest highs, the self-loathing was settling in.
He saw a sleeping bag at the usual place and hesitated. Before he could decide anything though, the bag stirred and a big head popped out of it.
"Sorry Jay, did I wake you up?" Tom stuttered.
"No way. Not with your rusty cart squeaking loudly every other step you take."
"Jay, I failed again. What can I do so God forgives me?"
The other man slowly passed a hand on his face and his hair, and stared at Tom with unfocused eyes.
"You know what to do. You don't have to ask me." Jay said.
"But it's so hard! I don't know which one to choose!"
"Listen, Tom. We had a promise. Every time you lapse into gluttony, you have to give up something to balance it. If you don't, you would be partaking in greed as well. Now let me sleep, please."
Tom left Jay while grumbling excuses and started to walk aimlessly in the streets of Los Grano D'oro. All he could see was his treasure trove right in front of him. The perfectly smooth pebbles. The shiny metal pieces. The red cloth. All of it had a place in his cart and his heart. Every piece had memories attached.
He stopped to play with his trinkets. Maybe it would be easier to think it out this way. He scratched his short beard with one hand while grabbing one of the pebbles. As he rubbed its smooth surface, he could smell the sea shore where he had found it. He sat down and allowed himself to relax in the light of a street lamp.
Then he grabbed something he didn't recognize. It was too clean and felt odd in his hands. Suddenly he knew. It was a sign from God. As he raised his eyes he could see an open trunk. This was no coincidence. He left his treasure, looking behind him at times. The vehicle was black, like the briefcase. Nobody in sight, so he just dropped it in the trunk and closed it silently.
As Tom walked back to his cart, he could feel a weight lifting off his shoulders. He had done a good deed.
|# ¿ Dec 14, 2020 09:50|