Simmer Starters – January 30, 2015 (Special Feature: Flash Fiction!)

Favorite links from the past week!  Enjoy.

Two Things to Tell Yourself in Temptation (ScribblePreach) – “Temptation is tricky.  Just when you think you’ve got hold of it, it rears its ugly head….again, and again, and again.”

How Each Myers-Briggs Type Responds to Finding a Spider in the Shower (BlondeRJ) – Some good, clean fun for the Myers-Briggs enthusiasts among us. 😀

Jill Williamson Shows Her Process For Making A Fantasy World Map (Go Teen Writers) – Very impressive!  I enjoy making maps for my books myself, but they are nowhere near this good!  It’s neat to watch this one come together.

Almost Couples (J.L. Mbewe) – I enjoyed this short little post where my writer friend Jennette Mbewe poses the question: “Who is your favorite almost-couple?”

How to Create Multi-Dimensional Characters – Everybody Lies (Kristen Lamb) – “We all have faces we show to certain people, roles we play. We are one person in the workplace, another with family, another with friends and another with strangers. This isn’t us being deceptive in a bad way, it’s self-protection and it’s us upholding societal norms. This is why when Grandma starts discussing her bathroom routine, we cringe and yell, ‘Grandma! TMI! STOP!’ ”

Special Flash Fiction Feature This Week!

If you didn’t hear through Facebook – my sci-fi flash fiction piece won the Speculative Faith Winter Writing Challenge!  Hurray!  I was so excited.  Here is the piece in full, for those who may not have read it – 500 words, not including the first sentence, which was the contest prompt.  (If you’ve read it before, scroll past to see two more links to other flash fiction pieces on the web this week!)

*

Ryder Robot

by Bethany A. Jennings

Ryder needed to know the truth, but he was pretty sure none of the others were interested.

He pressed his fists to his forehead.  Convincing his friends to help him break into the city hall and search the android registry would be tricky.  They might be talented hackers – and the only ones he knew – but no one would go along with a stunt like that, unless he admitted his suspicion.

I’m a robot.  And I have the virus.

Sick to his stomach, Ryder scanned the article on his tablet again.

“As part of an executive order to protect citizens against infected androids, government officials will collect and examine all android citizens between the dates of June twelfth and June thirty-first.  Normally functioning androids will receive special security upgrades and be released to their homes after a standard memory refresh so they can resume their ordinary lives.  Those with compromised systems will be shut down to protect society.”

Fingers twitching, Ryder stashed the tablet in his backpack again.

He stared at the cafeteria linoleum.  It must be true.  All these twitches, these glitches, these fingers that go numb.  Nobody else gets this.  No one else has this photographic memory, either.  I’m one of the androids.

Despair pooled in Ryder’s mind.

Androids were designed to blend in with society and live ordinary, innocent lives.  They weren’t supposed to suspect their true nature.

And they were never, ever supposed to have random urges to kill people.

It couldn’t be normal to see dangerous red auras around some individuals, only sometimes – auras that made him feel like he was in imminent danger and needed to destroy them.  Ever since he started began the red he felt less and less in control, like one day he would snap and do something unthinkable.

I’m infected for sure.  I’m a ticking time bomb.

Would being shut down hurt?

He looked across the high school cafeteria.  Atta, Leroy, and Fitch sat at a table together, chatting, biting egg salad sandwiches, and licking the mayonnaise off their fingers.  All their dreams and plans for the future flashed through Ryder’s mind.  Breaking into city hall could end with them all incarcerated – and him dead.

There it is again!  Fear seized him as he focused on Leroy and that red aura came into view, shimmering around his buddy’s frame like an omen of death.

Ryder reached carefully into his backpack, groping deep in the bottom…

No!  Not my knife!

He whisked out his hand and held it in a fist against his stomach, squeezing his eyes shut until the desperate feeling passed.  When he dared to look at Leroy again, the aura was gone.  All his memories of friendship and nerdy hangouts with the boy flooded back, piercing him with grief.

June twelfth was too far away.

I’m going to kill my best friend in the whole world, if somebody doesn’t shut me down first.

Ryder clenched his jaw. I have to turn myself in.

He walked toward the door, casting a last glance at his childhood friend.

For Leroy. He’d do it for him.

*

I definitely plan to rework and extend this piece into a longer short story someday!  🙂

If you’re in the mood for more flash fiction fun, two of my author friends challenged each other to write short pieces this week, and posted the results on their blogs.  Check them out!

The Bloody Rag (BlondeRJ) – 996 words.

Flash Fiction Challenge (Heather Fitzgerald) – 1,500 words.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the link-backs!
    And congratulations, again, on winning!

    Reply

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