kisahawklin: 15_minute_ficlets stopwatch (15_minute_ficlets)
kisahawklin ([personal profile] kisahawklin) wrote in [community profile] 15_minute_ficlets2009-07-19 04:33 pm

Prompt #2

If you wish to do this as a spontaneous exercise, don't look at the word until you're ready to write (I recommend having Write or Die open in another tab). If you're going to mull over the word and write later, peek away.

Once you've completed your ficlet, please either comment here, or post a link to it, if you're posting on your own journal. Feel free to reference the community or number of the prompt in your outside posts, but if you use the actual word, please put it under a cut to avoid spoiling others, should they want to write spontaneously.

Today's word is: desolate
ilthit: (apples are red)

Pick-Up

[personal profile] ilthit 2009-07-21 12:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Warning: One swear-word in the last sentence.

-

The landscape stretches out from our front door into what seems the end of the world. I know that if I start up the clunky old thing in our barn and fill her up with another canister for keeps in the back, and if I go and make myself a picnic basket of dry bread and fill up a few bottles of water, and I take that clunky thing down the road that runs by our gate, well, I know I'd get out of here, if I just keep driving.

I know that, but it doesn't seem like that.

I hear Macy crying so I go back inside and climb the stairs to the second floor. My body seems twisted the wrong way for climbing, every step is hard. I remember when I used to rush up these stairs. Am I just twisting myself up? Have I forgotten how to climb stairs? Ridiculous.

I take up my pretty Macy from her bed of ugly pastel flower patterns and I coo and I beep her nose but she doesn't stop crying, just looks like me like she's asking me, "What the hell are you doing here? Who are you? Why did you have to make all this happen? I want my mommy."

I don't have the answers. I tell her mommy will be back in a few hours and take her downstairs to feed her a bottle, change her diaper and wash her bottom. After that's done I put her on the floor on a blanket though she can't even crawl yet, so she just flops around and kicks her feet. Babies are weird. I can't wait until she's a little older and running around and bouncing on things, like Wilbur was. Wilbur's my little brother, but he went with dad in the divorce.

I read a magazine that's two months old. I wish I had a house like the one Cher just bought, somewhere with trees and a backyard pool. We've got room enough for a dozen pools but we're not getting one. I asked.

Mom says there's nothing in the big city but crime and rapists and I kind of know what she means. It's not like I want to go to the big city exactly. I just want to go somewhere. This place isn't anywhere; this place is just waiting for Mom to come home.

So, yeah. One day, I think, and I put the magazine away, and I put Macy back in the crib, and I go outside to look at the sky, and the horizon, and the sand, and the house, and the wounded scorpion crawling across our yard.

There's a sound like wind picking up, and I look up, but I see nothing at first. I go around the house but still I can't see anything like a hurricane in the distance. I look up again and then I see it, right above the house.

They always say these things hover but that's not really very descriptive. Do they just sit there in mid-air or do they bob up and down like a cork in the water? Well, they sit. They sit and they are not like saucers at all. But flying, yeah.

Mom's going to be home in an hour and I've changed Macy. It's all right, I guess. Anyway, how could I miss this kind of a chance?

I lift up my arms, and I feel my face straining, muscles strangely tight, and it's weird until I recognize what this is. I'm smiling. I'm fucking smiling for the first time in my life.
doc_sock: Doc Oc with all of this arms showing. (Default)

[personal profile] doc_sock 2009-07-23 01:07 am (UTC)(link)
What I Did on my Summer Vacation, New Avengers, Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Danny Rand/Matt Murdock.

God I am awesome.
silverraven: (Default)

[personal profile] silverraven 2009-08-17 09:04 pm (UTC)(link)
No-win
Star Trek XI / PG-13 / ~750 Words
wallwalker: Venetian mask, dark purple with gold gilding. (Default)

The Ruins (original)

[personal profile] wallwalker 2011-03-10 02:25 am (UTC)(link)
He's staring out over the desolation, the once-great homeland of a proud people now covered in rubble, and he can't help but wonder what became of it all. He can't help but wonder why it went this far, why he couldn't really stop any of this. The way that things had ended had gone so far out of his control that he couldn't have prevented it, but he felt guilty. He should have at least tried.

It had all gone further than it ever should have. He should have done something early on, when maybe someone would have had a chance of appeasing the ones who had done this. He should have spoken up to the people, should have warned them. He could have prevented so much death. He could have been a true leader, not just a figurehead.

It had been a long time since anyone had depended on him, on who he represented. The god that he spoke for had been silent for so long, and it was not in his blood to lie; some of the others had lied, the ones who spoke for other gods who had also been silent, but he had not been one of those men. He could not claim that they had spoken when they did not, no matter how right the words sounded to him or how much the people needed to hear them. He would not mislead them, not that way. But the others... some of the others, at least. They had lied - they must have, because if the gods had led them true, they would not have been in this situation. They would not be dying, desolate, their people wasting away slowly in this barren place. The waters would not have stopped flowing, the dust would not have overtaken their farms. They would have still prospered.

Someone must not have told the truth. There was no other explanation. But he would never know who. He was the last of the priests, the only one who had lived, which made him wonder if perhaps all of the others had paid for some crime with their lives. Had they all misled their people? Either out of desperation, desire for power, or even simple pity for lost souls who needed answers... he could not believe that all of their motives had been selfish, although he would have easily believed it out of some of them. But others... they had been good men and women, the godspeakers who had shared his office.

Had the gods simply stopped speaking? Was that why they were in this situation? They were no longer being guided, and now they were lost, and there was nothing anyone could have done. But he refused to believe that; he needed to believe that there was someone up there. He had heard the voice of the gods before, in his heart when he had meditated, had heard words that had shaken his soul. There had once been someone there, someone who had guided them. But now... for the last three years he had been waiting for those words again, and they had never come.

Maybe the gods had silenced themselves to see what their people would do. Had this all been a test? The thought turned his stomach; he could not believe that they would visit this much death and destruction upon innocent people simply because they had wished to see what their chosen ones would do if they stayed quiet. But the more he thought about it, the less outlandish it seemed. They had silenced themselves to see if their people would admit that they had not heard their voices.

Perhaps if they had admitted it early on they would have spoken again, and guided them in time to save them. He was as much at fault as anyone; he might not have lied about what they had never said to him, but he had never told them that they had stopped altogether. He had lied, if not outright, then at least by keeping the secret.

Now he was lost, and he could do nothing but stare over the ruins of a once-great empire. The few survivors had made it to a new oasis, and there was at least some small hope... but as sickness and despair wracked them, it was growing ever slimmer every day. He needed to do something. He knew he needed to go back, but how could he face them?

His heartbeat quickened as a sudden wave of dizziness washed over him, and he sank to the sand, his legs unable to hold him as he heard a sound he had not heard in three years. Go back, it said to him. Go to your people.

The voice! He was being spoken to again, and he felt nothing but gratitude, and a swelling of faith. But even that was mixed with doubt and fear. "How can I lead them?" he asked, his voice breaking. "Why would they follow? I couldn't save them."

Do not fear. You will have my voice behind you. You cannot fail. What has been wrong must be put right, or else it will all be for nothing.

"What do you mean?" he whispered, but there was no answer; the voice was gone. His heartbeat slowed, quieted. The god was no longer speaking to him. He stood, his legs weak and unsteady.

He would go back, of course. The god was no longer there, but his voice had been clear for the first time in many years. He would do what he could. His heart was full of misgivings, but he would do the best he could, and perhaps the voice was right. Perhaps he could lead them. Perhaps they could prevail.

He turned and walked back toward the encampment, following the moonlit sand, feeling both worry and hope for the first time since this had started. It wasn't going to be easy, but maybe it would be all right.
aftanith: (Default)

[personal profile] aftanith 2016-09-08 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Title: Regrets Among Infinite Sand
Fandom: Parabellum (original work)
Trigger Warning: implied Stockholm syndrome, copious amounts of swearing, self-worth issues, near-death experience

( The desert stretches out in front of her, a bleak and desolate landscape that she hates more with each and every passing moment. )
Edited 2017-01-07 05:41 (UTC)