Posts Tagged ‘variations’

24th September
2011
written by amber

Variation II

My daughter went missing on her high school geology trip. Apparently the transport broke down and solar activity was so high that they were unable to radio for help. The teacher decided they should walk out and try to reach a nearby settlement before their oxygen ran out.

And most of them made it. One boy succumbed before they got there and two others had to be dragged into the settlement after passing out just outside the airlock. But my daughter wasn’t with them.

The teacher hadn’t noticed she’d gone missing. Trent, her boyfriend, said she’d argued with him for the first kilometre, saying they should be headed for the much nearer penal colony instead of the settlement. When he pointed out that no one was allowed inside the penal colony other than the prisoners and that it would be dangerous to go there, she claimed that she’d been there a few times and met some very nice people.

And that sounds so much like my Corey. She’s a strong-headed girl, and – it’s true – I have taken her there to meet some selected patients of mine. But there’s many there I would never allow within two metres of my daughter. She met Ollie Ringold, Mars’ first prime minister, charged with embezzling and influence peddling. And she met John Donald Craft, Earth’s biggest Ponzi artist, who would have been lynched a hundred times over if they hadn’t got him off-planet.

She didn’t meet Alvin Buchanan, a.k.a. the Woodcutter, charged with raping and murdering four girls and suspected of a dozen more. He claims he’s innocent. I was inclined to consider considering this claim – he told me the name of the man who framed him and Alvin sure didn’t seem like the type.

The solar activity has died down now and Alvin’s pod read-out reveals he has unauthorized company. I haven’t triggered the alarm yet, so I’ll be there before anyone else.

If he has my Corey, I swear I’ll kill him.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Tags:
23rd September
2011
written by amber

Variation I

The body was in the yard, just outside the cabin. I lifted the sheet and took a brief look. Shotgun wounds aren’t pretty.

“Who called it in?” I asked my men.

“Anonymous,” they said. “Pay phone at the gas station out on the highway.”

“Tracks in the yard that don’t match Bud’s truck?” I asked. Young Bud, either simple-minded or drug-addled, had lived in this cabin for over two years. He’d never given us any trouble. And now his troubles had been ended in the most brutal manner.

“Yeah. We took impressions.”

“Good,” I said, and stepped inside the cabin. Two cups on the table and the pot of coffee still warm on the wood stove. The bed heaped with a tangle of quilts and animal pelts, and a neatly folded pallet of old grey army blankets on the floor. A galvanized wash pail beside the stove, damp rags and old towels draped over the edge. A pair of hiking boots drying by the fire, too small for Bud’s large feet and too new for the woodsy recluse’s limited budget.

I went back outside.

“Call Jerry Whyte,” I told my men.

“The man over in Edville whose daughter is missing?”

I nodded. “I don’t think she’s missing any more.”

“You think Bud took her?” They looked around as if they’d overlooked some clue to the missing girl.

“I think he found her, and was fixing to take her home, after she got warmed up a bit. And I think Jerry mistook his intentions.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Tags:
20th September
2011
written by amber

Fairy Tale

Once upon a time a lovely young princess wandered away from the castle, through the woods in springtime, and before long, she became lost.

She wandered for hours, she wandered for days, but she became more and more lost. And she despaired of ever finding her way home.

At last, she came to a humble log cabin deep in the forest. Smoke came from the chimney and she heard the sound of wood being chopped. Behind the house, she found a young man with an axe, splitting fire wood for his hearth.

By that time, her clothing was ragged, her face and hands were scratched by thorns, she was dirty and hungry. But when the young man saw her, he fell to his knees saying, “What has happened to you, my princess?”

She was overcome with relief and she fainted. When she woke, she was tucked into a snug bed beneath warm blankets made of fur, next to a roaring fire. The young man was stirring a pot of gruel over the fire.

“How did you know I am a princess?” she asked him.

“I saw you in the village, at the May parade. I never forgot your beauty.”

She ran her fingers through her tangled hair, she felt the dirt and rough skin of her cheeks and hands. “I am no longer beautiful,” she said.

He said, “You eat now, and then I’ll heat water so that you can wash. Tomorrow I’ll take you out of the forest and back to your castle. Nothing that has happened to you could ever mar your beauty.”

The princess ate the gruel and it tasted better than the finest meal she’d ever eaten. The young man waited outside the cabin while she washed herself with a rag and no soap, using only a small pot of water, but it was better than any bubble bath she’d ever enjoyed.

And the next morning, before the young man could guide her out of the forest, her father arrived and smote him as a kidnapper, and carried the princess home on a snow white horse.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Tags: