Rock

A deceptively normal rock.Sarah huffed and puffed. It had been a long hike so far, and the entrance to the underground cavern network was still a few miles away. She needed to get there before sundown, before the amulet’s power became too weak to keep the portal open. She spotted a large rock on the path and sat down. “Hey,” she heard a voice say. Sarah looked around. She didn’t see anyone. “Hey,” the voice came again. “Yes?” she said with a tinge of apprehension. Sarah reached for her dagger, putting her thumb on the button. “It’s me,” the voice came back. “You’re sitting on me.” Sarah looked over at the rock. “A talking rock?” she asked. “Stranger things have happened,” it replied. “Hey, listen,” it said. “I just wanted to let you know, there’s another entrance to the caverns. About half a klik north of here, take the right fork. You’ll see another big rock there, about my size. There’s a hole underneath him that leads to a secret tunnel. He knows you’re coming, so he’ll get out of the way for you.” Sarah sat for a moment, saying nothing. Then, she replied, “How do I know this isn’t a trap?” she asked. “It is,” came the reply. “And you’ve already sprung it. You sat here just long enough to give me time to drain the power from your amulet. Nothing personal, but we really can’t have you going into that cavern and messing up our plans.” Sarah pulled the amulet from her pouch and gasped in horror as it crumbled to dust.

 

Bite size fiction.NOTE: The brief narrative above was brought to you by The Bite-Size Fiction Project, created by Dave Baldwin and Sheila Lee Brown (this particular one is a Dave-story). The results of this project are bite-size story morsels for short attention spans. These tidbits are sometimes fun, sometimes weird…but always short!

Reading 1984 in 2017

Cell phones are the screens in 1984.I thought I had read most of our classic literature.  I was an English major in college and generally curious about books that have withstood the test of time. However, I had not read 1984 previous to this year. It has come up quite a bit regarding the state of our country, so I felt that I needed to read it for myself to see what was what.

I liked the book, though there were places where it moved very slowly. I can see that the intent was to hammer things home over and over again, but I found myself scanning in several places. My tolerance for wading through long descriptive passages has certainly waned, no matter how eloquent it may be.

I enjoyed the internal action and the obvious development of the idea. It is a very well designed book. I can see the work that would have gone into thinking through the elements of the civilization in the projected future and the new words being created to think and speak about things. I can also see that it brings into mind how transitory reality is and how the present can easily be manipulated because we can trick our minds into believing a different past or different reality.

I love that people are interested in this book because of the major changes happening in our society currently. However, it is my hope that people reading it now will see that this is not something that is starting to happen now. This has been happening for quite some time – I would think it has been happening as long as there have been people in power over other people.

The screens described in the book are easily equivalent to the cell phone and IPad and things that we willingly take with us everywhere. I think that is the most interesting part of what we have become. We WILLINGLY allow our lives to be tracked at nearly every moment. I feel that we are already living out 1984, but it has been disguised in a much cleaner and even entertaining way. We have accepted this surveillance as a convenience because it allows us to access information and many of us enjoy the social aspects of it.

Much food for thought, indeed.

Messy Day (WARNING: This story has graphic images)

A bloody mess.Mamie could feel the fear building up inside her like the pressure in the soda can she had dropped down the steps when bringing in the groceries that morning. Her five year old son had made a mess when he opened it a short while ago and it had sprayed all over the kitchen. She wished she hadn’t lost her temper about that, but she also knew wishing wasn’t going to settle the terror bubbling up inside her. She knelt on the kitchen floor, halted in cleaning up the sticky brown liquid spread out around her, staring into the opening of the small pistol she kept hidden in her bedroom. Her son’s tiny hands held the gun pointed straight at her. She could see that he was going to pull the trigger at any second. Despite the panic quickening her heartbeat and causing her to break out into a sweat, she couldn’t help but wonder who would be cleaning up the spray caused by the bullet popping open her head.

 

Bite size fiction.NOTE: The brief narrative above was brought to you by The Bite-Size Fiction Project, created by Dave Baldwin and Sheila Lee Brown (this particular one is a Sheila-story). The results of this project are bite-size story morsels for short attention spans. These tidbits are sometimes fun, sometimes weird…but always short!