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Incommunicado


I promise I didn't miss my weekly short story entry last week. I did write something for the Wednesday writers group, it's just that it ended up being a single scene and was nowhere complete given the time allotted to write it. I did continue working on it throughout the end of last week, but as it is with many of my stories, this one just couldn't stay short. As I typed, it birthed fangs and a sharp tail and threatened to burst from my chest spitting acid (Man, I hope you got that reference!).

So, needless to say, I had to put that story on the back burner for now so that I can continue editing the stories I will be including in my upcoming compilation. Yes, There's another book on the near horizon and I can't wait to share it with everyone. In fact, I'll be looking for beta readers soon, so if you are so inclined, please subscribe to my website and then shoot me an email letting me know that you'l like to be included on my beta-reading group.

Now, without further ado...here is the prompt we were given this week, followed by my short story. I hope you enjoy, Incommunicado.

Prompt: You wake up in an unfamiliar country. You don’t speak their language, and they don’t speak yours. Now what?

Incommunicado

The sand. It’s everywhere. I can feel it grating together in my wound. I feel water at my feet and realize the tide is probably starting to roll in. If I don’t try to move, I’m a goner because there’s no way I can swim in my current condition.

There’s a flapping behind me. The wind has caught hold of some unseen fabric and is making it snap. The sound reminds me of my childhood—when my older brother used to roll up a wet towel and pop me in the ass with it. Rat’s tail. That’s what it was called. He left plenty of whelps on my skin back then—and right now, I’d give anything to go back there.

The beach is dark, the only illumination coming from the lamps attached to my helmet. Behind me, the wind catches the fabric again and I realize what it is. I feel a slight tug on my shoulders. It’s the parachute.

It’s all coming back to me know. The landing gone wrong. Something streaking through the air. It strikes the back of the craft with tremendous force. No options—the auto eject flings me up and out. Then the falling into darkness—with no way to tell what is below me.

Another sound jogs me out of the memory and back to my current situation. A crunching in the sand. It’s anything but a natural noise. With my arms bruised and aching, I manage to raise them, unclasp the buckler that attaches the helmet to my suit, and push of my helmet.

The air is good—clean. We know that already. We’d known that for a long time. But there’s always that first moment, that point when doubt creeps in just enough to raise the panic alarm. The hiss of depressurization. The helmet falls free.

Another crunch in the sand. I try to rise, my leg screaming as the sand rubs against the open wound like glass. I look up the beach, toward the dark silhouette of trees. Grabbing my helmet, I turn the beams of light toward the sound and there before me, a two-legged beast of a thing that causes my heart to freeze.

It was walking toward me but now it stops. A guttural sound emanates from deep within its throat. It repeats the sound and I have the feeling it’s trying to communicate with me.

I say, thinking afterward that I could have come up with something less cliché. “I come in peace.” My voice cracks and there’s no denying the fear I’m feeling reflects through my broken speech.

The thing utters again and moves toward me with aggression, and in my mind, I can’t help translating the things words as, “Nice to meet you, Spaceman…I’m hungry.”

- CJT

August 29, 2018


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