Flash fiction can be a lot harder than you might think. To tell a story, connect with a reader and paint a picture all in 500 words is no easy feat, but I love the challenge. The Other World’s short story competition had writers of all ages crafting responses inspired by artwork. This piece screamed dystopian to me and I was excited to be awarded second place int he adult category!
The Nightmare we call Earth
Blake shivered feeling the cool hard steel beneath her. The heavy iron door rattled as a metallic tray skidded to a halt by her feet. She unfurled herself slowly, looking around the claustrophobic grey cell its walls towering over her like a disappointed parent. Blake couldn’t remember how long she had been confined but she knew it had been long enough to know her time was running short. She hated the world she lived in because everyone was the same; starved, broken and completely powerless. Their world was consumed with pollution, smog-filled the sky blocking out the sun and draining the oceans of life. They were inhabitants of a black and white movie now, a nightmare. With so little resources and such precious clear air remaining population control was seen as a necessity and not what it actually was. Murder. Blake spent her days drawing on every surface of her cell. Her every memory was tattooed across the walls and floor. Happier times. Moments that mattered. People she loved.
The crackling sound of the artificial lighting being switched off was her cue. For a moment she had to stuff her fist into her mouth to keep from screaming as her tiny island of solitude was plunged into complete darkness. A wave of calm washed over her terrified body as the emergency exit sign above the door sparked into existence. Blake knew exactly where she wanted to go tonight and began sliding across the floor to the centre of the room. She touched her extended index finger to the memory. As she did so it rippled as if she had dipped her finger into a pool of water. Mesmerised by the ripples she leaned closer until she felt the familiar grip around her wrist.
Her eyes snapped open to see the vast ocean stretched out in front of her. The sun danced across the waves of sapphire blue and turquoise green. She breathed the beautiful air in deeply and tasted salt upon her lips. Her stomach dropped at the sound of his laughter. Looking across the ocean she saw her sun-kissed brother twisting and darting through the waves on his surfboard. The gulls squawked loudly as they attempted to catch the fish that were brave or silly enough to break the surface of the iridescent water.
Without warning Blake was ripped off her feet, the colour around her faded, the air became thick and began suffocating her with a vice-like grip. She found herself being pulled to her feet in her depressing monochromatic cell. In between artificial breaths emanating from the safety of their oxygen masks, a gargantuan guards spoke, “prisoner 8275 in accordance with the depopulate or perish act your sentence is to be carried out immediately.” Disoriented Blake pulled against them trying desperately to return to her memories, to a better world, a world before people stopped caring. They gripped her wrists tightly and her body went limp. Another sacrificial lamb to the slaughter.