26 Apr 2009

[OOC] - I have been working on a creative writing course for some time now and been asked to submit various pieces of short work. Here's one of them. Got 85% for it, so it can't be too bad? Had to work to a word limit of 1500 and the theme was about waiting and anticipation. Decided to use dear Old Flash as the subject and what goes through the mind of a pod pilot after his first pod death?


Anticipation filled Flash’s chest like hot exhaled air in a balloon. He pumped more and more of it until he felt like he was about to burst apart. He was simultaneously excited and afraid as he waited.

Flash, like the majority of the Brutor race was big-boned, black-skinned and bald. Even in the dimly lit room, he was wearing a pair of matte black sun glasses, protecting his eyes. A legacy of the perpetual darkness in the slave mines in Aridia prime where he grew up. It was all in the mind, said the brain doctors, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. He was tense and still, with his breath light and economical. He focused intently on the mirror, the same one hanging on the back of the door marked ‘exit’ as last time. An old analogue clock slowly thumped down the remaining minutes. I have time yet thought Flash as he tried to relax, just a little.

Fresh kill markings were being chiselled onto his skin by an auto-engraver. It hummed quietly as its needle drew and coloured in complex symbols. Blood welled from the shallow wounds and wept down his arms and legs. Flash, having refused an anaesthetic, relished the sting; this was not the first time that the same tattoos were done on his skin. It was an inescapable fact of his new life and status.

Flash glanced back at the clock. It read twenty seven minutes past three in the afternoon. He had three minutes left and inhaled slowly. His fists, meaty instruments of his indomitable will, smooth skinned and bearing no scars clenched and released slowly and rhythmically, in time to his heart-beat.

Would she recognise me? Thought Flash as he reached up and touched his right cheek. His bones, high and well-defined, were exactly as he remembered them. Of course she would recognise me! He was still himself, thought Flash as his finger traced an invisible line of an old ugly scar. On this occasion it was gone. It had never marked this body and thus the memory and evidence of that particular event, was gone. It had never existed.

Flash slowly exhaled, as he realised that she loved that scar and would spend hours tracing it with her fingers.

In fact, this body, grown from a strand of his own DNA, was one hundred percent his own. However it was too new, too unspoilt for Flash to feel like it was his. His body, until his first death, carried the echoes of his life. His struggles and his disappointments recorded in the numerous scars, countless bumps and imperfections in his skin, bone and flesh. He now felt like a fake, a fleshy impostor.

With a hiss, the auto-engraver automatically folded away and his tattoos were completed. Flash inhaled and slowly released it. It was now time to see whether he had managed to reclaim some small part of him from the prison of immortality. He got up and looked at the mirror, then at the clock and tensed as he heard footsteps approaching the door. There was a knock, uncomfortably loud. It was time.


Sard Caid said...

Good work! Lacks a conclusion, but that's more a limit on the word count, and you didn't sacrifice quality to fit one in either.

You forgot to make a title for the post: I wouldn't complain, however from blogspot I can't easily jump to this post without a title to click on.

Flashfresh said...

Yeah - the piece was one of several - there's more to follow. My assignment was a 1500-word piece under the theme 'anticipation'. The word count was a challenge to be sure.

Many thanks for the comment, definitely appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Leaving some questions un-answered adds for a little mystery, leaves the rest up to the readers imagination at the end. I liked it flash.