FICTION: Reading Between The Lines

Man alone in office building

Photo: Brandon Holmes

Life was easy as a subtitler. The job wasn’t demanding. You sat in a comfortable office, and the only person who ever bother you was your supervisor, and that’s only to make sure you’re making deadlines.

The labour’s a piece of cake too. You ran a video through a subtitling software and correct the transcriptions made by the computer. That’s it.

Of course, things would’ve been much worse without the software. While the computer’s ability to decipher words might be horrendous, at least I didn’t have to manually insert the timestamps, which would’ve made my work three times harder.

Everything was fine, until ‘the awakening’ happened. If I had to pinpoint an exact time, it’d have to be when the software produced a particularly hilarious sentence.

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FICTION: Adventures In An Introvert’s Mind

fighting

It was a cloudy day, and Caleb kept to the shadows as he crossed the street. He didn’t want to be seen, though he knew that avoiding contact was inevitable. It had been getting harder since—What was thatWas that shadow there earl—

A searing pain tore through Caleb’s back. He let his damn guard down again. Instinctively, he tightened his grip around his duffel bag as he started to move.

Caleb leapt aside, the hints of a second strike whooshing past his ear. He didn’t turn to face his attacker. He just sprinted as fast as his legs would take him.

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FLASH FICTION: Undead’s Dilemma

“Just do it already.” Julia bared her neck, hair to one side.

“S-so do I just b-bite the jugular? Or?”

Jesus Christ. Even now he’s second guessing himself .

“I don’t know,” she snapped. “What is it you guys usually do?”

“I’ve never done it before all right?”

“Well there aren’t any blood banks here, so I suggest you get to learning. And keep your voice down. Bad enough you roused a pack of carvers. Now you’re gonna get us killed because you can’t handle a little blood.”

It was so dark that Julia might as well have been talking to herself, but she knew that Elu could see the scorn in her eyes. Go on pussyfooting like this and you’ll lose your that night vision in a jiffy.

“B-but what if you turn?”

“Look, Elu.” Julia didn’t know if it was the anger or fear having her speak through gritted teeth. “You don’t do this, you die. You die, I die. Turning stopped being an issue the moment you decided to wander into uncharted rooms. Now are you gonna do it or what?”

“O-okay. Right then. Yes. This might hurt.”

“For fuck’s sake.”

But it did hurt, the exact same way it would if someone stuck a blunt snail-fork in your neck. Julia might’ve whimpered as Elu drew blood… she couldn’t remember. Why is it that when you black out in the dark, the world starts getting brighter?

Despite losing grip on reality, Julia heard the unmistakable wails of the carvers. It was them all right, hungry for blood in a way that Elu will never be. Get strong, she thought. Get us out of here. As she toed the borders of consciousness, Julia summoned the energy for one last whisper: “Whatever you do… don’t look them in the eye.”

FLASH FICTION: Just A Hint

The straw that broke the camel’s back, was in fact, as light as a breath. Julie leaned in for the kiss — as she always did — not because she desired intimacy, but to make sure that Frank stuck to his word. She had sniffed the unmistakable scent of a tipple, along with Frank’s many other efforts at disguising it: mints, cigarettes, coffee.

How could it have been just a straw, when it felt heavier than sack of bricks? In fact, the only thing heavier than what she had packed — all seven years worth of living together — were the tears of her broken heart.

Via Daily Prompt: Scent

 

 

WRITING PROMPT: God Of Gamers

clouds

Photo credit: Kevin Dooley

Writing prompt: One morning humanity wakes up to a message in the sky. “Sorry was AFK for a bit there” -God

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“How do you think it got there?”

“I don’t know,” I say. “Probably some skywriters with a good idea of a prank.”

“Skywriting? But it’s been there since this morning!”

I leave the stranger behind, because I don’t need more questions that I can understand myself. Why don’t you come up with your own explanations then? If I’d stayed there for another minute, I might’ve snapped at him. Thank God, heh, I had the presence of mind to leave. Who knows what else I’d have done. I’m just on edge, is all. But deep down, I know I’m fuckin’ terrified.

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FICTION: Festive Doom

new-year-party

Photo credit: Rolands Lakis

Via Daily Prompt: Festive

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There’s a weird relationship between happy tunes and horror movies; the twinkling of a baby mobile, or tunes from a theme park. You don’t get the same chill from, say, dubstep or emo rock.

The advertisement jingles in supermarkets are right up the horror-movie aisle (heh). How could anybody be happy about a ten percent discount off a two-dollar item? My heart goes out to the staff every time I shop in a supermarket that repeats music and the month’s current offers.

Today, I find myself at the hypermarket deciding on a door gift for a new year’s party. Should I go for the wine, or the snacks? I visualise a wine snob at the party—and it’s a real possibility because I don’t know anyone there—frowning at my ten-dollar bottle of wine. But ten-dollar wine is classier than twenty-dollar bags of Lays, surely?

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WRITING PROMPT: A Birthday Wish

Birthday Cake.jpg

Prompt: You are in your twenties. You wake up to find yourself in your eight-year-old body. You are in the time and at the place you were when you were 8, but with all the memories and mannerisms of your twenty-something self.

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The smell of bacon roused Jess. It’s a smell that took her back to her eighth birthday; the most memorable one of her life. Dad had said that she’d become a big girl, and Jess had to agree.

She was certain that it was that exact day, because underneath the salty tang of the bacon was a hint of whiskey, a combination that’s involuntarily etched in her mind like a badly-drawn tattoo.

Barbie dolls and My Little Pony colouring books were strewn about her room, remnants of love from her late mother.

Wait, mom’s still alive, isn’t she? Am I dreaming?

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