Frozen Memories

restaurant

MorgueFile May 2018 1400068700w0086

Noah Banks stopped in front of the four-star restaurant his Grandparents used to take the family to when he and his sister were kids. Mom told him when he was six that this wasn’t the sort of place you ordered a PB&J or hot dog with extra relish at, but what did he know?

The young man chuckled at his own childishness. Grandpa never minded, and since the old man owned the place, neither did the management.

But that was twenty years ago and everything had changed. The place was still set up, pristine, orderly, waiting for patrons who would never come. He looked up and down an almost deserted Wilshire Boulevard. Everyone was in the shelters waiting for the next Glazzuarq orbital bombardment. Amazingly, this part of L.A. had been spared so far.

Half a block away, his shuttle to the spaceport was just pulling up. The U.S. Marine hustled, carrying his heavy duffel. He had to get to Vandenberg in time to launch aboard the battle cruiser “Intrepid” and fight those alien goonies in space. But before going, he just had to say good-bye to the rest of his family, now all interned at Forest Lawn cemetery.

I wrote this for Week #32 of the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 199.

Since you can see the reflection of trees in the window, the POV is from the outside looking in. I thought about memories, and how a young woman I used to date many decades ago, told me when she was a child, she did order PB&Js at expensive restaurants her parents took her to.

The rest just unfolded in a dystopian sort of way.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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Anne

grave

© Liz Young

Her grave was one of the few to survive the uprising. Earth defeated the invaders in the Revolution of ’48.

I can barely make out ‘Anne’ on the gravestone. She was thirty when she died, one of the millions killed in the uprising. Only because my project was so secret did she think I died during the first alien attack.

It’s been decades since Earth became free, and the new government eventually found records of my experiment and sent rescuers. The equipment was still working when they woke me from decades of cryogenic sleep.

I wish I’d died with my daughter.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge for April 28, 2017. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction based on the photo above that is no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Alien

ellie

The first issue of Scaffolding Magazine

Not another infection. I can’t stand it.

I know I asked for this. I know I volunteered. But the doctors didn’t say it would be this bad. I knew I’d be giving up my life with the first injection, but they didn’t say anything about this kind of suffering.

Even when the symptoms seem to have subsided for a while, the slightest warning sign, such as a sneeze or a mild sore throat, drives my anxiety to dangerous levels.

The doctors say I need to stay calm, that emotional aggravation could make me feel even worse and endanger the success of my treatment. How can I stay calm when they’re doing this to me?

OK, I understand. Take deep breaths. What an odd sensation.

Let me go back to the beginning. Maybe it will help you, whoever you are reading this (they won’t let me post videos for obvious reasons), understand what I’m going through and why.

We are on the verge of exploring and investigating a new planet. The planet is dominated by a sentient species, which is the problem. So far, all of our monitoring has been passive and remote, listening to their communications broadcasts, observing video transmissions. Last year (their year based on a single, complete revolution of their planet around their star), we sent a shielded drone into orbit, undetectable through the specific bands of the EM spectrum they typically monitor.

But you can only learn so much that way.

This is the first part of my story published in the first issue of the new scifi and fantasy publication Scaffolding Magazine. To read the rest, click the link and purchase a copy. I promise, you won’t be sorry.