Friday, April 24, 2009

International Pixelstained Technopeasant Day

I forgot about it, last year, I think, and it's still the 23rd on the west coast...

I'm tired and have nothing really prepared, but you can have the beginning few paragraphs of a flash story I was writing for a Codex contest this winter. =) It's not finished and may never be... It has no title. (Yes, I number my stories.)

-------Start of Story 70-----

When the apocalypse came, they ate apples. Mary fed them to the children, as she duct-taped the windows with garbage bags and counted her bottled water supply. Crowded around the emergency radio with its tinny voice, she forced Bijay to eat the peels he hated, and spoon-fed applesauce into baby Emma. She didn’t know how long the formula would last, or whether there would be any way of getting more.

While the phone lines lasted, she made calls.

“Hello, Mrs. Cuccini, this is Mary from Mary’s Day Care. I’m calling to let you know that Zach is safe and sound. We’ve got some food and water. Please call back to let me know, if you’ll be able to come and get him.”

Four calls; four voicemails left; four children in her care.

She made a tent for the children under the dining room table, draping sheets she had stripped off of the beds upstairs. They gathered in a pavilion of gold, green, and hot pink, lit by the electric lantern; their personal fort against the gray ash falling outside. Zach and Bijay played with LEGO, while Emma slept in her carrier. The shockwaves had been frightening, but they were young, and their tears soon dried. It was a game they played, for now.

Jessie was the real problem.

---And that's all I ever wrote of it---


selestial-owg said...

One question ... why did you stop?

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

selestial-owg, I was sick and I ran out of time for the contest that week. I still love my first line, but I think the rest of the story would need to change, if I rewrote it.

Janeal C. Falor said...

I can see why you love the first line, it is good!

pdlloyd said...

I liked this. It resonates.

Robert W. Leonard said...

I liked it the way it was actually. I could see why you may want to change little things, but it's a compelling intro to a story. What happened to the parents? Did they abandon the kids, are they dead? And obviously, what is the problem with Jessie.

How many stories in the world are left undone? I have plenty as well. :)

Thanks for sharing it anyway.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

I was actually thinking that Jessie was dying of radiation sickness from being closer to the fallout when the apocalypse happened.

But I ran out of time. I'll finish it, I guess, if enough people ask nicely. =)