Weltchys Notebook

Part Time Writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Hopefully a blog for Stories, both Long and Short


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A Matter of Perspective

Hi Folks, time for another hundred word(ish) submission to the Friday Fictioneers.

Photo prompt this week is courtesy of Erin Leary.

As always, comments are appreciated. I will try to read everyone’s submission, but with submissions reaching triple digits each week, it’s difficult to get round to everyone. Therefore, I try to read those who I follow, or who like / comment my story. I also hit a random selection from the list. You know know what gems you will find.

Finally, a short word on the weekly challenge. The Friday Fictioneers are a friendly group of online writers from all over the globe who endeavour to create short but fantastical tales with which to enthral and inspire both reader and writer alike. The genres and styles of writing are varied, so there’s something for everyone to be found within its midst.

PHOTO PROMPT - © Erin Leary

PHOTO PROMPT – © Erin Leary

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A Matter of Perspective

‘Mushroom’

The answer was subtle yet complex. Driven to comprehend Richard’s answer, I pressed, reiterating a question asked by many through time immemorial.

‘What colour is the dress?’

Richard laughed. ‘It depends on your perspective. All I see is mushroom.’

The dress in question lay behind a security field, allowing the public to view one of the great war’s few remaining artefacts. A period of turmoil, the war had turned cultures inside out as questions of race and religion were stripped bare to reveal the underlying truth; not that it mattered to a dress centuries old. To the dress, history was simply white and gold, a contrast to the black and blue that humankind perceived.

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Euphoria

Todays submission to the Friday Fictioneers is a return to more darker roots. I have to admit, upon reading this a number of times, I’m not convinced this is my best work. However, better to submit something than nothing. As always, comments are appreciated. I will try to read everyone’s submission, but with submissions reaching triple digits each week, it’s difficult to get round to everyone. Therefore, I try to read those who I follow, or who like / comment my story. I also hit a random selection from the list. You know know what gems you will find.

Finally, a short word on the weekly challenge. The Friday Fictioneers are a friendly group of online writers from all over the globe who endeavour to create short but fantastical tales with which to enthral and inspire both reader and writer alike. The genres and styles of writing are varied, so there’s something for everyone to be found within its midst.

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright = Douglas M. MacIlroy

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

 

Euphoria

Warmth spreads, a sensation that brings to mind memories of a lazy day, snuggled in blankets, oblivious to the world as it passes by.

Vision blurred, I struggle to see, to wake, from a slumber that feels euphoric. Yet deep down, I know something is wrong.

In the background I hear voices, or maybe screams. Hard to tell, for the noise is drowned out by something closer, something menacing. A constant drone, the sound is numbing, disguising pain that should be felt.

Wake up!

A voice shouts warning. Suddenly, eyes spring open, horror engulfs me.

Trapped. Cocooned.

Above hovers an insect, man-size in proportion. It’s mandibles twitch, intent obvious, for I am to be main course.


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House of Pleasure

Below is my 100 word (ish) submission to the Friday Fictioneers. Photo prompt this week is courtesy of Björn Rudberg.

I’m back in the writing grove now, so to speak, with hopefully an end in sight for the house move. Fingers crossed for the end of the month. I’ve also finally got my short story piece out and about (Order of Magic – 4.7k words) after a few edits and to great relief. Anyone who enjoys Fantasy Fiction and Magic, feel free to have a read.

Anyway, on with the main show. As always, comments are appreciated. I will try to read everyone’s submission, but with submissions reaching triple digits each week, it’s sometimes difficult to get round to each one. Therefore, I will tend to read those who I follow, or who like / comment my story. And finally, I also try for a random selection from the list.

Finally, just a quick word on the weekly challenge. The Friday Fictioneers are a friendly group of online writers from all over the globe who endeavour to create short but fantastical tales with which to enthral and inspire both reader and writer alike. The genres and styles of writing are varied, so there’s something for everyone to be found within its midst.

Björn 6

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright-Björn Rudberg

get the InLinkz code

House of Pleasure

“This is it”

Billie’s tone was suggestive as she exited the car, gravel crushing delicately underfoot before she sauntered down the path.

Eager for the night to unfold, Tom walked past, expectation forcing pulse to race as he approached the house. Pleasure of the mind was what he yearned, not crudeness of flesh, and the house might offer what he sought.

Door opening, he heard nothing, the silence was unexpected. Peering through, he recoiled in horror; bodies littered the floor. Nestled among them was metallic terror, tiny robots harvesting victims; tearing, biting and injecting those that lived, indulging some grand experiment of nefarious purpose.

Turning to flee, Tom felt a shove, pushing him to the floor.

“No turning back now”, laughed Billie as she slammed the door shut.


22 Comments

Twitch and Scar

Below is my 100 word (ish) submission to the Friday Fictioneers. Photo prompt this week is courtesy of Kent Bonham.

As always, comments are appreciated. I try to read everyone’s submission, but with submissions reaching triple digits each week, it’s difficult to get round to every one. Therefore, I tend to read those who I follow, or who like / comment my story. And finally, I also try for a random selection from the list.

Just a quick word on the writing group. The Friday Fictioneers are a friendly group of online writers from all over the globe who endeavour to create short but fantastical tales with which to enthrall and inspire both reader and writer alike. The genres and styles of writing are varied, so there is something for everyone to be found within its midst. Anyway, hope you enjoy the story.

 

Copyright – Kent Bonham

Twitch and Scar

How about the fat guy in the middle?”

Scar stopped picking his teeth with a metallic claw and looked to the stage below.

“You know Twitch, sometimes you can be quite offensive.”

Yawning, Scar focused his gaze on Twitch’s newest selection. “Anyway, he’s too old. How about him?”

Pointing with his mechanical tongue, Scar indicated a muscular dancer on the edge of the stage.

Twitch’s reply was short. “Ohhhhh…….”

Scar nodded and gave Twitch a toothy grin. “Now there’s a tasty morsel I could sink my teeth into.”

Spreading wings of adamantine steel, Scar leapt from the rafters and exhaled a stream of fire. Hungry from a year-long sleep, the little clockwork dragon and his brother swooped down, eager to feast on the unsuspecting people below.


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Slave to the Machine

So, I thought I’d post another short story, this time from a more modern era. This was a piece I knocked up a year or so back, and was just waiting to be finished. The story hits around 2000 words and so can be devoured within a single sitting. As always, I read through the story multiple times; editing various parts of the story,  and like most authors (I imagine), I’m not completely happy. However, I hope you the reader will either enjoy my creative attempt or at least provide feedback on where I can improve. Anyway, less of the chat and on onto the story…..

Slave to the Machine

A chill ran down Tom’s spine, followed by a rasping inhale of breath that drew the cold air of the night into his lungs. Had he imagined an echo that sounded like footsteps in the distance, or caught a glimpse of something in the corner of his eye that could easily have been movement? Tom couldn’t be sure because the mind always played games in the dead of night. Especially since he was waiting anxiously within the shadows cast by empty buildings that lined either side of the alleyway he was standing in.

The alleyway was fairly sparse, with large rubbish bins decorating the sides. The bins were pretty much full to the brim, with smaller bags of rubbish piled up on all sides. Among the rubbish was a family of rats doing its best to noisily scavenge for left overs; any rat lucky enough to find a scrap quickly having to fend off the others, all eager to share in its rotten bounty. The smell from the rubbish bins and it’s inhabitants should have been rancid and overpowering, but the weather was cold, obvious from the icy vapour that Tom exhaled as he slowly let out the breath he had been holding.

The alleyway was as suitable a place as any as he waited to meet with Ed, his erstwhile purveyor of all things black market. Ed was Tom’s ‘goto’ man for anything and everything. If you needed a little pick me up or something to ease the pain, Ed was your man. Need someone leaned on or roughed up, Ed could put you in touch with the right people. Of course, Ed’s line of business could make him a little paranoid from time to time. Therefore he always insisted on meeting somewhere quiet and out of the way, to ensure discretion from prying eyes. The alleyway offered this in abundance, as well as an easy getaway in the form of adjoining alleyways and roads. Tom’s car was parked in one of these nearby roads, on the off chance he needed to leave in a hurry.

Checking his watch, Tom wondered what was keeping Ed. Ed was running at least ten minutes late and if nothing else was very punctual. He had called Ed late at night, a hasty phone call that had been answered with Ed’s normal lack of conviction before demanding to know what he wanted. The answer was pretty obvious, at least in Tom’s mind; the usual fix, as soon as possible. Tom didn’t think he was predictable, but all Ed asked for was an address, a time and to make damn sure he was good for the money.

Money for Tom was never a problem. Tom worked in high yield derivatives for one of the big Investment banks in the square mile. He was pretty good at it and while he didn’t earn the big bucks like some, his yearly bonus would easily have covered the deposit on a sizeable house. Of course having lots of money didn’t mean much if you forgot to bring a nice warm coat, he thought to himself, as the biting cold really started to hit home. Wrapping his arms around himself, Tom shifted his weight from side to side, trying to warm himself up. His whole body was starting to shake, but whether that was due to the cold or withdrawal symptoms, it was hard to tell.

The first signs of withdrawal had started to kick in a few hours before, much earlier than was usual. He had been enjoying a night out on the town with Jimmy, an old work colleague from back in the day, when he had noticed the telltale shaking of the hand.

Ignoring the signs, Tom and Jimmy had continued moving in and out of bars for a couple of hours before hearing about a party at the Shard. Conniving as ever, Tom had bet his friend there was no way he could talk his way in, which just spurred Jimmy on even more. Jimmy could work his magic anywhere, gaining access to most parties in London, but this one would require something special for it was invitation only.

Charming his way past both security and doorman had not been easy, but after calling in a few favours, Jimmy had come up with the goods. This came as no surprise to Tom as Jimmy worked on project bids, also plying his skills among the trading and investment houses of London. Getting his foot through the door and talking people round was his nine to five.

The party had been in full swing when they arrived, a hundred or so people crammed into a penthouse apartment that took up a whole two floors of the Shard. The place was littered with money, both old and new, whilst women and drugs were passed round like cheap champagne at a wedding. Ever the optimist, Tom had promised to behave, but as always the lure of alcohol and women soon took over, driving Tom down a very dark and well trodden path.

Pressing a finger as carefully as he could against the swollen side of his face, Tom recalled with regret how the rest of the party had turned out. The area just under the eye was pretty sore to touch, the result of some guy having taken a swing at Tom. How was he to have known the hot looking girl had been the guy’s fiancée. A fight had broken out, Tom giving as good as got, before he had been unceremoniously turfed out by the resident bouncers.

The sound of a car engine in the distance forced Tom to focus on his current situation. Deciding to step out of the alleyway and into the main road, Tom saw that the car had stopped maybe a block or two away, a male figure having gotten out of the car. Squinting really hard, Tom tried to get a food look at the person who was now walking toward him. It looked like Ed, but It was difficult to tell at this distance.

Whoever was walking toward him had picked up the pace, but gave no outward sign of having spotted Tom. Ed might not be the most switched on, but he was normally clever enough to give some sort of signal. His Modus Operandi was usually a tip of the head, his way of saying ‘I’m here, now let’s get on with it’. Whoever this person was, Tom didn’t think it was Ed.

Starting to feel uneasy about the whole situation, Tom briefly wondered if maybe he was worrying over nothing. Whoever this was could have nothing to do him. Or Maybe Ed was too busy to deal with Tom himself and had sent someone in his place. Things however just didn’t add up in Tom’s mind.

The man was close enough now that Tom could make out his features. He looked disturbingly familiar but for some reason Tom could not place him. Not being someone to sit quietly and wait for something to happen, He decided to take action for himself.

‘Hey buddy’, he shouted, ‘got a light?’

The question was innocuous enough but served its purpose, causing the man to stop walking and look directly at Tom. His face was a blank slate, refusing to reveal any clue as to his purpose. A moment passed and then an almost imperceptible smile, or possibly a sneer, formed in the corner of his mouth, barely noticeable before it was gone. Yet however short it had been, something about that expression lodged itself in Tom’s mind, a memory from earlier in the evening.

Then it hit him. He had been at the party.

‘You don’t know me Mr Jacobs, but what I have to say could mean life or death to you and your family’

Tom’s heart skipped a beat. Was that a threat? He noticed then that the man had casually reached a hand inside into his coat. Damn it he thought, no time to run. Taking a deep breath he prepared himself for the inevitable.

‘No cause for alarm, Mr Jacobs’, said the man, chuckling to himself, ‘I have something for you, compliments of our mutual friend!’

The man pulled something out of his coat and threw it at Tom. He caught the object before realising it had been thrown, a small package wrapped carefully in brown paper. Deciding to open it in a hurry, Tom eagerly suspected what the contents might be.

The contents of the package caused Tom’s sense of anticipation to skyrocket. Resting within was a type of computer chip that he was intimately familiar with. The small chip, called ‘Bliss’, was designed to be inserted into a jack implant at the base of his neck, something Tom normally used to interface with computer systems. Not everyone had a jack, as the procedure came with a hefty price tag, but they were starting to become mainstream as people realised the edge this new piece of technology could give. Like every new technology however, there was always a way to abuse or misuse it. ‘Bliss’ was certainly one of these, an incredibly addictive and illicit use of the implant for those willing to pay the price.

‘You should have mentioned Ed sent you’, Tom mumbled as he took the chip and pushed it into the slot in the back of his neck, ‘How much do I owe you?’

The man smiled and shook his head, ‘Well Mr Jacobs, Bliss can be an expensive recreation, especially for an addict like yourself’.

Tom would have frowned at this comment, had it not been for the feeling of euphoria that was cascading through him.

‘However, In this instance we can forgo the usual payment in lieu of a small favour, if you are interested?’

‘Favour?’, replied Tom, struggling to give the conversation his full attention.

‘it’s simple really, just give me a moment to explain’

*****

‘What the hell’, thought Tom as he struggled to comprehend what had happened.

The scene before him looked like the reenactment from some horror film, with bullet ridden corpses lying on the floor and a panicking mass of people running as fast as they could away from him. One little girl he noticed, dressed in a pink butterfly costume, kept looking back over her shoulder at him, open mouthed with bewilderment. Her mother, at least Tom thought it was her mother, had hold of her arm and was pulling the little girl along as fast as she could whilst trying not to be trampled by the rest of the crowd.

Tom’s focus switched to his hands, noticing the automatic rifle there for the first time. In shock, he stood staring at it, before throwing the rifle away like a hot stone as soon his brain caught up and put the second piece of puzzle together.

What concerned Tom most was he couldn’t remember anything at all. The last thing he could recall was talking to Ed’s friend and plugging in the chip. The next thing he knew, he was standing in the middle of what looked like a shopping complex, covered in blood and surrounded by a bunch of people he could only conclude he had shot.

Things were starting to get all too much for Tom. He collapsed to the ground, a cry of anguish issuing forth as the overwhelming weight of responsibility forced his knees to buckle. His hands came up to cover his face and hide the shame when he heard heavily booted footsteps running toward him. The footsteps were followed by a clear female voice shouting at him to lay face down on the ground with arms out wide. Struggling to comply, Tom’s vision started to waver as he began to black out. The last thing Tom would ever feel was a sensation of burning in the side of his neck, accompanied by an acrid smell, before everything went dark.

*****

Looking down over a railing to the floor below, a lone man watched as the events continued to unfold, his expression uninterested as the SWAT team moved in on their now prone and very dead target. Stepping back from railing, the man’s thoughts were elsewhere, taking part in a conversation whose other participants were far away from his current whereabouts.

‘Congratulations Mr Smith, on a job well done. I believe I speak for everyone here when I say that your subject exceeded our wildest expectations.’

The lone man simply nodded his head. There was no need to reply to the speaker. He was not one to acknowledge any form of verbal plaudit. Instead, his silence was answer enough.

‘However, can I remind you that our project is falling behind schedule due to your past failures. It is more important than ever that we move to the second phase of our plan.’

This time, the lone man answered, his sub-vocalized response both calm and measured.

‘The delay was inevitable considering the resources available. Be grateful that today was met with any form of success. With luck, today’s result will more than make up for any lost time.’

‘We can but hope Mr Smith, but I would prefer not to rely upon luck and providence. Do not disappoint us, Mr Smith lest we are forced to withhold payment or more. Just remember, we will not tolerate any more delays. Goodbye.’

The irony of the speaker’s last statement was not lost on the lone man. As he walked away from the massacre below, he could not help wondering if the speaker’s conviction matched his words. Only time would tell if that was the case, but to the lone man, it did not matter. The role of executioner was reserved for a select few, and there was always someone willing to pay for his services.

© 2014 Alan Weltch


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An Opening Post

After much thought and deliberation, I finally decided to create a blog. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. If I’m honest with myself and you, the reader, this is more of a spur of the moment thing. I’m writing this opening post from the comfort of the sofa whilst the wife sits opposite, totally oblivious watching TV whilst I ignite the blue touch paper and kick this blog into motion.

So, you’ve searched out this blog, read the above and still not hit the back button. Brilliant, then I have at least got your attention. Firstly, I will pose a couple of questions to myself. What do I hope to achieve, where do I start from?

Over the lifetime of this blog, I will hopefully use this experience to further my own goal to publish works of Science Fiction and Fantasy. At this moment in time, I have written a number of short stories, none of which have been published as yet. I also have a somewhat larger science fiction project on the go, one that I hope to publish as a novel in time. I live in hope!

So, watch this space and hopefully this will be the start of sometime special. If not, then here’s to a descent into obscurity