Posted Mar 21 2013 - 05:35 PM
Here guys. So, in an attempt to cure a particularily nasty case of writer's block, I chose to go back and re-write one of my stories from the Flash Fiction Marathon last year, keeping the 400-600 word limit. This was my first and only experiment with 'human bionicle', which I think I may have done in a slightly different manner than usual. Anyway, hopefully you guys will enjoy it, and I'm interested as to which you think is better! (Old version is in spoilers at the bottom.) There's some obvious similarities between the two (cause I really liked using that Tahu quote) but they definitely have some differences in style too... The Beach ...all that remains is faith... Taylor was on a beach. A long, narrow, sandy beach. Ahead, he beheld a rocky cliff face. Behind him, he could hear the heavy splashes of an ocean tide sweeping up the sandy coast. His first thought might have been ‘how did I get here?’ Instead, he found himself asking; why am I not wet? His clothes were completely dry, and as he looked to his wake, he found no boat on the shore’s edge behind him. Perhaps he had been left ashore by those who did have a boat? Perhaps he had been washed ashore and dried by the sun? Come to think of it, he could not recall climbing from the sand beneath him, and he found his clothing completely devoid of dirt or tarnish. A tugging sensation at the edge of his coat drew his attention away from his origins in this place. He looked down to the ground behind him, where, to his shock, he found six children gathered behind his legs. It seemed as if they meant to use him as a shield, to protect themselves from something further up the beachhead. Taylor couldn’t help but stare at them, one by one, his eyes drifting toward each of four of the boys, the lone girl, and then finally the last boy. Blonde, wrapped in red, torn rags, he stood the further forward than the others, and it was his hand that Taylor found wrapped around his coat’s edge. The boy’s eyes, however, remained fixed on the beach before him. Taylor struggled for something intelligent or reassuring to say, until a more intense look of fear spread across the blonde boy’s face. Taylor turned back up the beachhead and was instantly confused. What had seconds earlier been a sunny paradise was now shrouded in the black shadows of an overhead storm cloud. No rain or lightning fell upon the scene, but the edges of the shade relentlessly crept upon Taylor. It seemed as if there was movement within the darkness, flickers and slithering as it crept down toward the water’s edge. Taylor instantly knew that this darkness, mad as it may have seemed, was alive. These children suffered not from a simple fear of the dark. This oncoming sense of doom enveloped him as well. Knowing no logical course of action, Taylor moved for the only survival instinct he thought could be valid. His hand drifted to the grips of his Glock sidearm, NYPD standard issue. He doubted his badge could do anything to stop the shadow’s advance, but his handgun had never failed to stop a threat before. Taylor’s hand snapped up from his hip, cracking shots off aimlessly into the dark mass. Into the air, at the ground, it mattered not. Taylor’s bullets were unsurprisingly useless. Closer, the shadows crept, now only a few meters away. “Halt! Stand back, or you will be...” His voice trailed off mid-sentance. Taylor’s nerves grew ice-cold the moment he attempted to talk down the shadows. There was no more sense in it than in his shooting. As he finally admitted that he had no means of stopping the dreadful force, Taylor dropped his sidearm. He dropped down to his knees in the sand, closing his eyes. He couldn’t bear to look at the children behind him. The blackness was only inches away. He had no options but to sink his hands into the cold granules of sand, and pray for the innocent lives behind him. ...where wisdom and valor fail, all that remains is faith... The Beach...all that remains is faith...Taylor was on a beach.How he got there, he didn’t know. There were no footprints that led to where he stood now. At his back there was an ocean, and no boat was in sight. He was bone-dry, clothing and all, so he had not washed ashore.It was painfully, confusingly simple. He had merely appeared here. Spontaneously, without reason. For a man who made a living off solving mysteries such as this, the feeling of not knowing how this happened felt like to spike in his mind.There was yelling. Screaming. Children in the distance. Taylor’s ears perked to the sound, and suddenly it didn’t matter how he had gotten here. There were kids in trouble, and he was a man of the law. His first job was to help those kids, wasn’t it? Before his duty to himself came a duty to...well...other people.He stepped forward through the sand, and his hand instinctively reached for his handgun. His fingers brushed past his hip, without catching on any equipment. Taylor halted in his steps, and looked down. He still bore his long coat. All his clothing, his tie, even his badge. But his firearm was no longer there. He had no defense.The screaming drew nearer and Taylor looked up. To his distress, six children came running over the beach ridge. Behind them was a storm cloud. How had he not noticed it before? A massive, black storm cloud, cloaking the landscape in its shadows. These shadows snapped at the children’s heels, chasing them across the sandy beach. There were no people pursuing them, only the onyx presence overhead and the darkness it spread below.“Get behind me!” he called out instantly, rushing to the children’s aid. “Run, swim, burrow in the sand. Just get away!” The children obediently ran to his first command, gathering behind his back and huddling together. But as for his second demand, they showed no efforts to go further in their escape, merely standing still behind him as if waiting for him to cast off the shadows.Taylor grimaced again, lost for what to do. He looked to the shadows, which seemed to hesitate for a minute. As if debating whether to pursue him. When no better ideas occurred to him, Taylor decided to move first. He stepped directly into the shadows, showing no fear or emotion as he did so.What struck him was a mix of frost, wind, force, and sheer darkness that overcame his vision. When his eyes recovered, Taylor found himself at the feet of the children. He groaned in pain. This was something beyond him. He couldn’t battle the shadows...He didn’t attempt to tell that to the children. Before he could speak, the children were already hefting him to his feet, leaving him to once again face the now oncoming shadow. Alone.It was then that he noticed his hands. In a moment of panic, he attempted to shake away the red-hot flame that seemed to envelope them. But the flames would not disappear. They did not scald his skin. He didn’t even feel the heat.With the shadows now at his feet, Taylor did the only thing left he could think of. He threw his hands down above the flame, holding a faint hope the flames would force back the shadows.In a relieving but confusing twist of fate, they did. The flames receded, trailing away at the same pace they had come...Where wisdom and valor fail, all that remains is faith.
Edited by Tufi Piyufi, Mar 23 2013 - 02:38 PM.
Spoiler tags are to be used for spoilers only.