Would it be too much to say that I’ve been waiting all my life for this story to see the light of day?
Well, maybe not all my life, but Jonathan Cypher has been part of me in one incarnation or another for over forty years.
Mark at Dastaan Magazine just accepted “The Unreal Man” for the “Quantum” themed issue of that periodical. He accepted the 5,000 word tale as opposed to the 10,000 expanded tome I originally submitted, but at least Jonathan’s name will be out there.
Here’s a couple of excerpts:
© Björn Rudberg
“Sign seems a bit kloogie.”
“Maybe we should turn around, Randy.”
“Where’s the adventure in backpacking if you worry about every little sign, Marcia?”
“I’m just saying…”
“Come on. The sun will go down in an hour.” He grinned and then marched forward.
“I knew this was a bad idea,” she muttered and hurried to follow.
Then the world violently flickered around them. “What’s happening.”
“I don’t know. Maybe…”
The flickering stopped and landscape became heavily forested when it had been rocky before.
“Welcome.” There was a man calling to them from ahead. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.
I’m sure this sign is perfectly legit where ever it was taken, but it sure looks odd, especially the “leg” from my point of view in the U.S. Also, the “face” on the sign looks kind of alien. I let that rule my imagination when I crafted my wee tale.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
© Hossein Zare
This world wasn’t real but then nothing he dreamed was real. Unfortunately, he was dead and all he had left were his dreams.
Jonathan Cypher stood on a salty white plain, the sky above a uniform gray mist. How had he gotten here? He woke up but the statement hardly did his situation justice. He was always dreaming and when he woke up, he was always in another dream.
The dream of the salt plain held two remarkable features. The first was a tree in the distance. Like everything else around him, it was presented in varying shades of charcoal, but it was lush and alive, or so it appeared as it stood on the distant horizon.
Then there were the tracks. Some looked like twin tire tracks but for others, the pair were too close together. What could have made them? There were no vehicles in sight, no sound of engines or people, not even birds. No wind, no rain, the only thing he could hear was the crunching of the salt that probably wasn’t salt under his feet as he stepped down.
The idea of following the tracks was compelling. Something had made them but whatever it was had disappeared at their vanishing points. The only reasonable destination, if reason could be said to apply here, was the tree.
He started walking.