Friday, May 15, 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Subgenre Boogie!

Today's piece of flash fiction is, again, thanks to Chuck Wendig's terribleminds blog and the weekly prompts he posts.

This week's prompt was to use a random number generator to combine two sub-genres into a single work of flash fiction (preferably as organic as possible, even if the random number generator decreed, for instance, that your two sub-genres to meld together were "superhero" and "erotica").

My number generator turned up the dystopia and whodunit sub-genres. Below is the resulting piece of flash fiction I developed.


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On the day of its own execution, No. 16 stared across the courtyard, out through the bars, glass shard in hand. Smoke rose on the horizon. A score of other numbers stood in two clusters below, divided by a long, empty aisle.

Two Peacekeepers in green robes dragged No. 12 between the other numbers and dumped it in front of the platform. No. 12 lay limp and broken. A faceless Peacekeeper in a purple robe stepped forward with an elaborate urn, dipped out a handful of ashes, and scattered them over No. 12.

The ashes were what remained of the uniform No. 12 had worn in service to The State.

No. 16, barefoot and chilled, with a haze in its memory, canted its head to the side to study the proceedings, which were out of order.

Yesterday morning, no other numbers besides No. 16 had occupied The Pit. Then, somehow, No. 12 had been found out and its execution rescheduled, to take the place of No. 16.

In the courtyard, a Peacekeeper in a red robe stepped out of line, stripped to the waist, and accepted an ax from a Bystander.

Who was the betrayer?

No. 16 glanced down, away. In the straw at its feet, blood dripped from the shard of glass and pooled in a sick, shimmery line.

In the corner, close inches away, a Zero cowered with a quiet moan, face in hands, rocking.

No. 16 looked at the courtyard, the Zero, the glass shard, the blood, the courtyard again.

Sworn to protect ... 

The least suggestion of danger, and No. 12 would defy The State on behalf of one in need.

Like the Zero in the corner.

In the courtyard, silence fell. When No. 16 looked out between the bars, No. 12 stared back across the cold air, knowing.

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