Thursday, 20 March 2014

Update - and a very short story

I'm in the final stages of editing for Spark of Humanity, the follow-up novel to Life Support. I'm also working on the first draft of Intertwined, which is set partially in and around South Wales.

My writing group's writing game last night had the following writing challenge: 20 minutes to come up with a story involving a colour, a mood, and a body part. Everyone produced something interesting and different - it's a great exercise for just getting something down on paper/screen.

The choices I ended up with from our random selection: -

Colour: Peach
Mood: Thoughtful
Body Part: Hippocampus

Here's the story that I came up with in that time...


“Do they know?”

It’s always the first question asked about new acquisitions. It's short-hand. Corporate-speak for asking whether the subjects are going to be difficult. Whether the cost of finding them and transporting them will be offset by the visitor fees.

“Of course not,” came the reply, crackling over the comm-channel like the disembodied voice of the creator himself.

“Fine. Let's hope these two are less trouble than the last pair.”

He stopped outside the viewing room, watching, leaning in to the darkened glass to stare at the man and woman held within.

They were younger than the last two, barely adults. They lay on white beds, covered in even whiter sheets, in a still whiter room. Sanitised, clean, germ-free, at least before the subjects had been placed there.

 The man’s blonde hair had been shaved on the left side of his head, and a fresh wound lay visible, lending a slight, bloody tinge to the otherwise perfect white bandage. Similarly for the woman, her long, brown hair was shaved, the same scar present, in the same position.

“What did you call the area affected?” he asked, staring at the slight movement of the sheets cloaking the pair as they breathed.

“The hippocampus. It affects memory. They’ll be scared at first, but more malleable. They’ll believe what we tell them.”

The watcher stared at the pair, suddenly realising how this technology could have been used against him as well. His hand moved to his own head, thoughtfully probing, searching for evidence of a similar scar, but there was none.

“What about feeding them?” he asked.

“Leave water for them. We’re bringing food stocks back from storage.”

“Will they remember anything at all?”

“Perhaps. It doesn’t matter though. This is their home from now on. They’ll get used to their environment soon enough.”

Leaning in to stare more closely though the glass, the watcher caught sight of his own eyes, so much larger than that of the humans. Giant, black orbs, that contrasted with the pale grey of his skin and the soft cream of his jumpsuit. He knew the human word for the colour, so gentle, and warming. Peach. It was apt, a contrast against the cold sterility of the rest of the facility.

“When do you want them on show?” he asked, stepping back from the glass as the pair woke up, their panicked, blank faces scouring the room for anything recognisable.

“Give them a day to get adjusted,” said the voice. “But I want them out for the weekend crowds. Theres’s plenty of interest in humans at the moment, and it's been such a long while since we've had a mating pair at the zoo.”

The End

© Craig Romans 2014.

It's quite liberating to just type away and keep the inner editor locked away in that time. Give it a whirl.

Happy writing!